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AlienWare Alpha Consoles and second life

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So a  friend o f  mine  was  telling  Me  about  the Alienware Alpha consoles  and   how  they  are  used  for  PCs  as well.  Now  just to  note  I  have  been  on  sl a  long  time  using   minimum  requirements  with  low  settings   low  settings  and  intel  integrated  graphics  and  am  wanting a  solution  since  now  mesh is  becoming  difficult to  view   and   it  wil l hel  tremendously  in  combat   and  such.  

So  i  found a  500 Gig hard  drive 4  gig of  ram  alpha  console  with a  NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX GPU 2GB GDDR5  and am  curious  how well  will  it  run  second  life   and  if anyone  can  suggest  anything different. Thank you  in  advance !


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Hey. I don´t have one and don´t know anyone who has personally, but in case nobody does, hope maybe this helps you more than no answer.

Is there a specific reason you want a small solution like that box because of space or carrying it around or because you could get one that would cost you considerably less than a desktop? Because there seem a few disadvantages coming with that vs. a 'normal' pc.

You forgot to specify the number the graphics card has, so I looked for specs and assume you mean this one:

'dual-core Intel Core i3 4130T, 4GB of DDR3/1600 RAM, a 500GB 2.5-inch hard drive, 802.11a/c Wi-Fi, and a custom overclocked GeForce GTX 860M graphics card with 2GB of GDDR5.'

For a general idea: GTX 860M is a lower end gaming laptop GPU. The current generation of mobile GPUs are 960M (lower end), 965M and 970M (medium) and 980M (high end; there even since some days are laptops that support a GTX 980, without the 'M, which is kind of a quantum leap for laptop GPUs and very expensive). The more important number btw is the 2nd one, so a last year´s 880 might well run better than a this year´s 960, for example, just as an aside, there are websites with benchmarks and one-on-one comparisons for all nvidia cards to check.

So, 1st disadvantage, you´d have a laptop GPU in your box instead of a 'normal' GPU in a pc, the laptop GPUs, the models with the 'M' after the number, aren´t as powerful as their pc counterparts. I assume they use the mobile GPUs because of space and cooling, which is why laptops have them, as the box is pretty small compared to a desktop. I suspect you could get a more powerful GPU if you go with a desktop for the same kind of money.

2nd disadvantage, the GPU is soldered, you can´t exchange it, if you burn it, or want to upgrade it some time, like you could with the GPU in a PC.

3rd, from what I read it seems to be nice to use in the console-mode, but not so much in pc-mode, depends on your actual usage of course if you´d be ok with that, I´d definitely recommend googling for reviews. And even that unfortunately doesn´t really tell you much about secondlife itself, as it´s a special kind of snowflake, if you can´t find someone who actually has that console and runs secondlife on it, it will be guessing.

That all said a GTX 860M, coming from integrated intel graphics, should be a quantum leap in enjoyment of SL still. It was one for me when I changed from a cheap 400 € laptop with integrated GPU to one with a dedicated lower end one, and then again from that one to a gaming laptop. Each time a big 'wow'-effect. Everyone always tells the people who ask for laptop advice for SL 'get a pc, much better specs for less money' and of course that´s right, but some of us really need a laptop or simply want one for their own reasons, and sl is running quite fine on my gaming laptop, so it´s not that I want to talk you out of the console in favour of a bulky desktop, just be aware that a GTX xxxisn´t the same thing as a GTX xxx (without the M), and 2 GB VRAM isn´t that much either, and I guess you mean the version that has a 4th gen core i3, while currently the new 6th gen and skylake processors are out, so that´s not the newest either. I saw a lot of 1 star reviews on amazon for the alienware console, I´d definitely do some more research before getting one.

If you really want the console, for looks or something, what you could do for extra speed, now or some later time, is swap the harddrive, which is a very slow model, with a fast ssd, and I think you can add more RAM too.

But I don´t think anyone who doesn´t have the console themselves and runs special snowflake SL on it, would want to guarantee you how it will run ;)

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They don´t have the same form factor, but since NVIDIA calls them full desktop GPUs and dropped the M for them. Obviously they won´t be in a Macbook Air anytime soon yet, but they fit in the fat gaming laptops obviously.

Some links for more info for people who are interested in the now ultimate laptop GPUs in laptops and don´t mind if they are not the same size as their desktop counterparts as long as they deliver:







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I´m interested in the alienware console now myself actually, for my son lol so read up more on it, andI couldn´t find anything regarding the alienware console and Second Life, but I actually saw a review on another mini-pc, not the alienware, but also with a 860M, the Zotac ZBOX, that mentions it, in case it helps you with your decision:


quoting the relevant text:

'I cannot comment on its suitability for games but it's powerful enough for Secondlife which is evermore memory and GPU hungry. What you're actually getting is a mobile processor, mobile memory and a mobile GPU: In short a gaming laptop in a mini PC form factor. But don't let that fool you: USB 3.0, gigabit ethernet, bluetooth 4.0, discrete GPU with 2 gigs of dedicated memory and 802.11ac wireless takes it way beyond the average low end machine which is what you'll get at this price.

Overall very pleased with it. It's taking everything being thrown at it so far and there's so much empty space on our computer desk we're looking for a smaller desk.'
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