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Best low budget laptop for playing SL please?


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Hi all,

 

I am needing to buy a laptop as I am going to be away from home for nine months, and also, my PC at home is ten+ years old anyway (and has been running SL - barely) and is pretty much dead. I would love to have some recommendations for budget laptops (max £500-600 English pounds) that will run SL. It doesn't have to run on max / ultra settings, I'm not expecting miracles from a budget machine. But I'm looking at a Dell right now and as I've never owned a laptop before, I am beyond confused, specifically regarding built in graphics cards. I'm running out of time and due to my budget, have little to no options. 

 

Just to to give you an idea of how badly my PC ran SL, it is still on Win XP home 32bit, 1GB RAM, 75GB HD, ATI Radeon graphics card, I'm not at home right now to give the exact model of the graphics card but it was/is so bad that I could only ever use a very old version of SL Viewer that I had to specifically download so it would run with XP. I was disconnected from SL every five mins using this desktop, and the lag when I was connected was ridiculous on even the lowest of settings. So any improvement in that would be a happy relief. And the new budget laptop is really just a stop gap until I'm back at home to purchase a new desktop.

 

Ive been looking at a Dell Inspiron 15 3000, which I understand is an old model, but I'd read an older post on here which stated that on board graphics card will run SL better than anticipated. I am going to try to add a photo of the specs as I can't remember them all. 

 

Thank you you so much in advance for any help, advice, etc..

 

Marisol x

 



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Hi Amethyst,

 

Thank you for responding, I was concerned that this would be the case. I hope you don't mind me asking, but could you (or anyone) please recommend any specific laptops to look at for playing SL on standard settings? Or could you maybe suggest what I'd need to amend my budget to in order to be able to play SL? I miss it a lot.. and maybe it's time to call on my flexible friends, Mr Visa and Mr MasterCard.. 

Again, thank you for replying.

 

Marisol x

 

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That is a much better choice.  I don't have experience with that graphics card personally but the benchmark shows it rates much higher than the recommended cards.

I'm not sure if you will be able to run high end graphics with all the bells and whistles though, but you may since it rates so much higer than the recommended. Check out this website for card ratings.  Someone with more experience with NVIDIA GeForce cards hopefully will chime in here and give you the answer to that.

When you run SL on a laptop, your laptop will get hot because of SL's high demand graphics, so be sure to get a great cooling pad to go under it and keep an eye on the temperature.  Desk tops do a lot better with the heat, but for your situation a lap top is what you'll need.  I have a laptop myself that I use to run SL with when I am away from home.  

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Amethyst,

 

Thank you so, so much for coming back to me on this. I am extremely grateful for your input and opinion.

 

I will hold off for a bit and hopefully, like you said, someone with more experience with this graphics card will voice an opinion too.

 

Again, many thanks.

 

Marisol x

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Hi Marisol. I have a good option for you to consider!

I recently was borrowing a friend's laptop, and, and it ran Second Life very nicely, considering it's not a dedicated gaming computer. I e-mailed him to ask what it was, because he had said at the time that it was very affordable, and it's an Acer Aspire E-15. I looked up the specifications, and it has a solid state drive (starts things up much more quickly!) with 8 GB of memory and a good (not amazing, but good) NVidia graphics card. The processor must be pretty good, because I had no problem running Second Life. I haven't ever tried Second Life on a high-performance gaming computer, so I'm sure people who are used to the best hardware wouldn't be as pleased with it, but compared to what you've had, I think you'll love it to pieces. I didn't have to limit draw distance or really much of anything else. It has Windows 10 and a backlit keyboard, which makes it easy to use in dim places.

I don't know what he paid for his in the States, but I found it on Amazon UK for £480. (Maybe they sell it for less elsewhere in the UK; I haven't done any comparison shopping for you.)

Good luck!

^^^\ Kate /^^^

 

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You should be able to get a pretty good laptop for £500 to £600. That is about $750 USD.   Any of the Nvidia 900 series GPU's will work very well, and higher numbers are better. The chart for Passmarks posted above is wonderful:  I would look closely at it for each model.  Cards with an 'M" as a sufix are Mobile versions, and generally are slower that ones without the M.    

Don't buy anything with less than 8 GB of memory.  More is always better.   SSD disk drives are nice as they are much more reliable than spinning disk and very fast.  It won't change your experience in-world, but it will boot and load faster.   What is essential is lots of RAM and a good 1 GB Video RAM GPU.  SL will attempt to load the entire sim into memory.  If it will not fit, it will swap to disk and just crawl.   More than 1 GB of Video RAM is overkill, as SL will not use it.  

Here are some suggestions that should all run advanced graphics and shadows at bearable frame rates in most sims. - The Dell looks pretty nice to me.  I like Dells.   http://www.triobest.com/best-gaming-laptops-under-800/

tl;dr There are lots of places that show up if you search Google for "laptops under $750"

 

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If you took a snapshot of all the new laptops that can run SL you would see a top tier, a middle and lower tier with prices matching the performance. With your budget you'd be looking at the lower tier. If you look at a snapshot from 6 months ago to 1 year ago, the laptops listed on tbe top tier are all being sold for less now, probably used on ebay, but even though they are older they may be a better value (more powerful) than a new laptop in the lower tier.

Just throwing that out. Maybe a used gaming computer could suit you. The difficulty is finding one and evaluating it. 

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  • 1 year later...
On 15.5.2018 at 2:15 AM, LittleMe Jewell said:

And your point or question or comment is?????????

Probably pointing out the official answer to the OP's question. Better late than never ;)

 

On 15.5.2018 at 5:14 AM, LittleMe Jewell said:

Well, Marisol was looking about 1.5 years ago.  Hopefully they found something by now.  :P

Hopefully some better answer than that page, it was way outdated back then too.

I mean, it actually lists ATI graphics cards - those cards were rebranded to AMD in 2010!!!

Edited by ChinRey
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