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Taryn Hoof

Any viewers work without a graphics card? & Netbook performance with SL?

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You could run one of the text-only clients, but that's probably not the experience you're looking for.

The netbook is going to be an even greater challenge..

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You could run one of the text-only clients, but that's probably not the experience you're looking for.

The netbook is going to be an even greater challenge..

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First, let's talk about netbooks.

There are three main graphics options for netbooks.  The cheapest is the Intel GMA 500.  It is not capable of running SL.  Some people have managed with a lot of tweaking, but this chip has horrible 3D support and is not worth the effort.  Next up is the Intel GMA 950 (there are a couple of other Intel GMA varieties, as well as ATI options, but performance will be similar in most).  It meets the minimum specs for SL, and on a low resolution screen can get OK framerates at lowest settings (Newegg has recertified Asus EE netbooks for $240). The high-end GPUs for netbooks are the Nvidia Ion systems (a scaled-back Nvidia 9400).  It will run SL and add a bit more effects than the Intel graphics can handle, but will be hard to get in your price range (cheapest I found was $390).

Upgrading your desktop is a good option.  There are a few things we need to know to make recommendations.  The first is what expansion slots your motherboard has (AGP or PCI) for video (or the model of your computer so we can look it up).  The second is the power supply, which is often a limit on what you can install.  Given your budget, you can get a GT 9800 for $60 after rebate.  That will get high to ultra settings with no problem.

You might also want to look at Rainbow Viewer.  It runs well on low-end equipment and might get you a smoother framerate than the official viewer.

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Thank you very much to both of you!

 

Veritable Quandry, I had some further requests for advice. Prior to this graphics card business, when I was simply looking for a affordable netbook for portability, note-taking, web-surfing, and video messaging, I was leaning towards a Lenovo IdeaPad from the general reviews on Amazon and such.

 

I am now committed to purchasing an Ion-based netbook.In keeping with my prior inclination to purchase a Lenovo, I am considering the EEE PC 1201 N, EEE PC 1201 PN, and a Lenovo IdeaPad S12. Which would you recommend for my uses? I've decided to go as high as $400-450, by the way, in terms of budget.

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I'd go with the 1201pn of those three.

The 1201pn uses second generation Ion, which has seperate memory for the GPU.  It also has a more advanced CPU than the others.

The 1201n uses a first-generation ION GPU, so it has to share memory with the main system, so there is less availalble to each.  The advantage that this netbook has over the other two is that it has a dual-core CPU with hyperthreading.  The others use a singel core with hyperthreading.

The Lenovo is the least powerful of the three.

I have an Asus gaming notebook, and my wife and father-in-law both have Asus netbooks.  The build quality is good, and we have not had any issues with them.

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I'm playing on a netbook,

windows 7

intel atom CPU N270 @ 1.6 1.6 GHz

1 GB of RAM

Windows Performance rating of 2.0

Mobile Intel Express 945 Chipset Family graphics card

Minimum Graphics Memory:    8 MB
Maximum Graphics Memory:    251 MB

Using Second Life Viewer 1.23 because viewer 2 probably won't even load up

I've been able to just barely get online @ about 7 fps, but my concern is that Sculpties never seem to load.

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Running a graphics intense program such as Second Life on a netbook is like crossing the open ocean in a dingy. It's technically possible, but I wouldn't recommend trying.

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