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Jonathan Cheviot

Where can I get a laptop that can run Second Life on medium graphics settings without serious FPS lag for under $650?

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If you look into Best Buy and tell them what you want, they'll possibly have something that will work.  Laptops with dedicated graphics adapters (not the on board adapters like most of them come with) are pricey though...

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If you look into Best Buy and tell them what you want, they'll possibly have something that will work.  Laptops with dedicated graphics adapters (not the on board adapters like most of them come with) are pricey though...

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I got my girl a "gaming" computer at Best Buy for Xmas.  It was $600 online, a Gateway and their cheapest "gaming" laptop.  The did NOT have it on display in the store.  Instead, they had the virtually identical competitor's model for $1,000 as the cheapest gaming laptop on display.  I had to ask if they had the one from the internet site, and sure enough, they did.  They even admitted they don't keep it on display, hoping people will come in looking for it and spend $400 more for the other one.  Nice.

Anyway, it does a very good job for SL.

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Buy.com has a refurbished Asus G50 for $589.  Look around for a refurbished G series, if you keep an eye out you might get lucky.  After a quick look at Newegg, medium settings and low lag starts at $799.

A quick look at the "Gaming" laptops listed at Best Buy shows 2 at about $800.  One has an Nvidia 310m, which is an entry-level GPU.  The other has a mid-range GT 330m.  Not exactly gaming machines.

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Your biggest challenge here will be wading through the various numbers that ATI and Nvidia have cranked out for mobile GPU chipsets.  Forget about anything that is Intel, even the new "HD" stuff with the core i3/i5s.  They just won't give you what you need for SL.


An older CPU (Core 2 Duo, etc) will be fine, as long as that GPU can handle the load, and you have enough RAM both for the system and the graphics.


I can't speak for that price, but we just paid 799 for a Gateway NV59.  With its Core i5 and ATI 5650, it runs SL rather well in Low, and nicely in High, and depending on where, in Ultra.

The ATI 5650 is the key here.  With its 1GB of video ram, and high benchmark scores, this laptop, to me, was a bargain for the price.  After using it on SL now for a few days, I can say we are very happy with it.  Using the emerald viewer, by the way.


Do your research on the GPU!  I can't stress this enough.  I used http://www.notebookcheck.net/ as my primary site for wading through the marketing of the GPU Chip vendors, and getting actual numbers so I could decide if a given laptop was worth the price.

Looking down the road towards the future, if you can get a chip that has native DirectX 11 support, I suspect you'll be a lot happier.

Good luck!

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I got an inexpensive Dell laptop to double check my work from the desktop but I have to tell you I have had nothing but bad experiences with dealing with Dell since.  I have owned several Dells and the customer service now is horrible with a fix it yourself attitude even though I paid premium extra for all servicing.  Don’t go Dell – it will work for SL but the hassle isn’t worth it when it breaks down.

 

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Try TigerDirect / CompUSA (they're the same company now).

I bought my system there for less than $500.

They have at least 30 laptops with 4gb of ram for less than $650

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Daria.Afterthought wrote:

 

A gaming laptop for under 650$ with low lag and can run medium graphics can be found in the same place that sells unicorns and faerie dust.

I'm currently in a busy club on SL with setting on Mid,all shaders and reflections enable and have a decent framerate and low lag.Not sure what it is in $ but my laptop cost me just over £600.

The Unicorn in the corner looks pretty good to me

 

huggs

Mondy

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Lenovo Core 2 Duo 2.2Ghz 14" Laptop with Nvidia $569 FS

Lenovo has the G450 laptop with NVIDIA GeForce G 210 512MB video card for $699
Apply coupon code "USPG4CG38" to make it $569

 

Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 2.2GHz dual-core processor, 14" 1366x768 LED-backlit widescreen LCD, 4GB RAM, 320GB 5400 rpm hard drive, dual layer DVD burner, NVIDIA GeForce G 210 512MB video card, 802.11g wireless, Bluetooth, 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.

 

Message was edited by: cuda70 SnowpawI own a Sony laptop 17in Intel Core 2 Duo T6600 2.2GHz dual-core processor with 512 meg ATI video card 4GB RAM, 320GB 5400 rpm hard drive, dual layer DVD burner,  802.11g wireless, Bluetooth, 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.And Cablevision Cable modem with 30 mbit download and 5 mbit upload and second life never crashes and rez time is very fast.

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Compaq CQ50 228CA

 

I can run SL on ultra usually, always forget my draw distance at 512, and can run Second Life Shadows on it.

 

Highly highly reccomend, I paid 399 for it over a year ago now.

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As a rule of thumb, I would suggest looking for a 130/230/330 or better number from Nvidia (9500 or better if you run into older series), or a 4600/5600 or better from ATI.  On Notebookcheck, you'll see those as the upper half of the Class 2 GPUs.  Anything in the Class 2 or better will be OK, but SL is very demanding on a GPU, so higher is better.  The ratings may be a bit off comparing two close cards on Notebook check, but its the best resource for a comprehensive list of GPUs and their relative performance.

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You get what you pay for.  Better components, and a cooling system that can handle them.

Don't forget to buy a cooler for the new laptop.  It will improve performance and prolong the life of your system.

I'd second that recommendation for Compusa...they have a G51vx-RX05 for $749.97 or a G60vx-RBBX05 for $799.97.  Buy.com also has a G51vx-RX05 for $729.99.

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