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Tyrian Slade

I need some advice on finding a laptop

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Thank you all for your thoughtful replies.  I've learned a lot about how to judge a computer's systems.  Whew!  Now I just have to remember those resources for next time.  >.<

I no longer need help with this question.  I've purchased a laptop: integrated graphics, but one of the better cards out there.  It seems to run SL on lower graphics settings well, and without getting too hot.

If I need more power, I'll just upgrade my tower and use that for most of my SL gaming.

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Thank you all for your thoughtful replies.  I've learned a lot about how to judge a computer's systems.  Whew!  Now I just have to remember those resources for next time.  >.<

I no longer need help with this question.  I've purchased a laptop: integrated graphics, but one of the better cards out there.  It seems to run SL on lower graphics settings well, and without getting too hot.

If I need more power, I'll just upgrade my tower and use that for most of my SL gaming.

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Try Newegg.com and use advanced search in the laptop section to see if there are any laptops with a good video card/integrated video that can run SL. If you look in the help section at the top of this forum page you can pull up the system requirements of SL. (which I see that your previous graphics card is below the requirements).

That 500-600 price point is going to be hard to find. The problem is that there are lots of notebooks that can run SL fine but they are just not being sold in stores anymore. I would recommend you check the secondhand market or try finding a really small computer store that has cut-throat pricing. Try Ebay.

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Tyrian.Slade wrote:

 

P.S.  forgot to add that in, but my current graphics card is integrated, and I suspect that's part of my performance issues.

Your graphics adapter is rather dated. Few cards in that series have the "oomph" to push SL graphics at a reasonable level. The fact that yours is an IGP (integrated graphics processor) certainly doesn't help matters.

As a general rule, integrated graphics should be avoided completely when considering systems for 3D gaming. It's not that the processors themselves are underpowered (though most are), but the lack of dedicated memory over a dedicated local bus really, really strangles performance, as the processor is forced to negotiate with the rest of the system (including waiting its turn to be acknowledged by the CPU and memory controller) for memory access. Unfortunately, laptops with discrete graphics cards are not cheap. It will be extremely difficult to find one within your price range.

That said, you might be able to snag a good deal with a mid-range HP laptop, particularly if you can score a good combination of store specials and factory rebates, especially if you get a model at the end of its model year, that could get one just within your price range. I have an early-2008 model with an nVidia 8600M-GS that handles SL quite competently, so your laptop does not have to be bleeding-edge technology.

Here is a good place to see a good real-world comparison of most of the mobility graphics cards and how they rank. To play SL competently, you should select a laptop that has a graphics card at the top of the Class 3 range or better.

Regardless of which laptop you get, be sure to invest in a Chill Pad or similar. SL will run your laptop hardware to the extremes, making them run quite hot. SL has been implicated in many a laptop's heat-related premature death (including my own).

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Sure but you will not like it .............. buy a PC.

You will pay 1/3 more for a laptop then a PC and get 1/3 less.

Compare the specifications. You want power, more and faster, especially using SL.

Don't forget a fast connection.

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Well, I think I have a solution:  I'll get a laptop with an integrated graphics card for lugging around (and the chill pad.  Thank you for that idea.), and I'll upgrade my desktop's graphics card for my main SL-playing.  That I should be able to do within my price range, or within $50 of it.  Thank you all for your help.

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Yes get a PC. But seriously, there are websites and chat groups that specialise in custom laptops. Most of those are horrendously expensive and have built in obsolescence. Your best bet would be to contact one of those forums and get in touch with laptop gurus/builders who might have a refurbished unit with a new hard drive, graphics card and battery. That is the only way I see you might get what you want at that sort of price.

I dont know if laptops support pci express for graphics cards, but whatever their equivalent is, is what you want. You may know 2.1 is the current standard but the prior version 1.?? will certainly do. A card with 1gb should be the minimum but 500gb would suffice. Main memory woud be crucial to its performance. Any 64 bit operating system will allow for usage of 3.2> + < mb of memory. (8gb would be perfect). 1333mhz FSB with a core 2 duo, (pref 3ghz) would be quite a capable system for SL. What else.....  All I have to add is that the compnents I have mentioned are mostly considered three generations old now so you *should be able to get a bargain liasing with the right people.

In summary:

2.8 to 3.0 ghz Central Processing Unit, 64 bit Operating System, (old one-vista every1 hates it/cheap, even XP64 possibly), 8gb of RAM@1333Mhz, 1333Mhz front side bus. PCIE Graphics card 1gb memory, New Sata 2 hard drive, new battery. Print these out if you want and use the list to get quotes or estimates. This specification was my last PC and it ran superbly.

 

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what u might want to do is get a mac min or something similar....if u already have a flat screen, a keyboard, and a portable or stand alone disc drive... they are fairly portable if u don't mind dragging all the extras along ...they are affordable and would fit within ur price range...prolly more powerful than any laptop u can get at the same price ...u get the best of both worlds...u get something small and easily carried from place to place and u get the the power and durability of a desktop...u would have to install a new OS if u don't like leopard

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Not knowing how crucial portability is, or what your current system specs are, I have to say, if you are using your laptop away from home for work/business, don't get another laptop. You're current laptop will likely last you for quite some time, so get a tower. You will save money in the long run when upgrading. After all, its less expensive to add RAM or a better graphics card than it is to replace the whole system.

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Daria.Afterthought wrote:

 

Can people PLEASE figure out that there is no such thing as a "good SL capable laptop"

 

umm.....yes there are, but there are poor operating systems to run them on.

Using linux I typically get 20 fps higher than running under the bloat that is vista or win 7.

A brand new laptop is miles better than my 3 year old (which was high spec when I bought it)

 

huggs

Mondy

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I would not get a laptop to run Secondlife on.  I have had three different laptops become unusable for SL because Secondlife stopped supporting them.  One is less than 6 months old.  The viewers just don't maintain hardware compatibility from version to version.  Since laptop graphics are almost impossible to upgrade, any laptop that runs SL now can be expected to NOT run it in a year or two.  Buy a desktop so you can upgrade your video card when you need to.

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Cnet does reviews of technology, and they have their own "laptops" category. You can even define the search parameters, such as price ranges, maker, and the like. I found an excellent gaming laptop through one of their "Top 5" guides, and I have not been disappointed. I highly recommend checking it out.

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I already have a tower, and I need(ed) a laptop for portability.  However, I wanted one that could run SL from time to time. 

 

Anyways,  I've gotten one.  Not as advanced as I'd hoped I could find, but it seems to run SL fine on low graphics settings.  I'll upgrade my tower for a better SL experience if I need to.

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