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Illiana Melody

Will a laptop with this spec run sl?

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Yes it will run SL just fine. In lower end laptops and desktops, the chipset for graphics is part of the motherboard and in most cases marginal for any 3d application. In higher end ones, even laptops, the graphics card is seperate and much more robust. The geForce 230 series chipsets will run SL fine, and you can probably run with the graphics settings at Ultimate.

The rest of the computer is not nearly as important as the graphics. I have an old P3 machine with 1 gig ram and Windows XP that runs SL just fine because it has a NVidia 7600 card in it. It won't run SL and anything else at the same time because of the computers limitations, but because it has a decent graphics card, SL looks fine.

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That's a decent mid-level graphics card.  It should give you good performance in SL, but be sure to invest in a laptop cooler as well.  If you can add more RAM, you will get better performance as well.

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It's a more than decent laptop for running SL, just keep check on the heat build up. Laptops may be called laptops, but for running SL, you don't want your legs clogging the air circulation from placing it on your lap. It's something to keep in mind for any laptop, no matter how much money you throw at it.

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Interesting tip about the cooler.  I hadn't heard of that before.  It seems there are two sorts... a gel pad, or one with fans built in. Will either do the job, or is one better than the other?

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Get one with active fans.  Gel coolers can block air from the vents on some laptops, and they only work until the surface of the pad is as hot as the surface of the laptop.  After that, they trap heat instead of drawing it away.

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