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Selc

What would Linden Lab need to do to get Second Life bundled onto Windows PCs?

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I really don't think they can really do that because I don't think they even know what that would entail. LL's main focus is the infrastructure of SL, mainly the servers that the sims run on. Those run on Linux using middle ware Intel Xeon processors from 2 to 5 years ago. The client is somewhat secondary and it is focused on the core user with an average computer on a so- so internet connection. They don't test high end components because they aren't designing SL around the .5% of users on $10k monster computers with 4 Titan GPUs in SLI because it doesn't make economic sense. To be honest, I'd think you would be shocked to see how cheap a computer an SL optimized system would be.

From my testing I can tell you SL runs best on a CPU that has the highest single core speed rather than modern multicore beasts on the high end of the CPU scale. A $125 i3 Intel double core CPU with the highest single core speed available will run SL better than a $2500 i7 mega monster CPU because SL is not a multi-threaded program. I can disable 4 out of my 6 cores on my i7 5820 and SL will run just fine with no fewer fps. Of course with all 6 cores running I can have 4 instances of SL running, my browser open and playing a movie no problem but a machine solely to play SL doesn't need an expensive processor.

The GPU is the heart of an SL machine yet it doesn't need the best available. An Nvidia GTX1060 is hardly taxed by SL at highest settings and my 1080 is way overkill, it never bumps off of idle for the most part.

System memory and a super fast SSD will make SL far more responsive and will crash less. SL has had some really agregious memory leaks in the past and still has some so the more system memory you have, the longer you can go between crashes. Back on 32 bit machines with a ~3.8G limit on system memory, you were crashing pretty regularly. Once 8 gig and 64 bit machines became the norm, the crashing became less an issue. I have a 64 gig machine that rarely, if ever crashes in SL. A fast SSD makes SL load and load the cache much quicker. 

A good motherboard is essential for an SL machine, one that can handle lots of fast system memory and can accommodate fast SSD flash drives such as M.2 SATA at full speed will make a huge difference. On the other hand, it doesn't need to be an enthusiast's board for overclocking because the 2 to 4 fps you might see isn't worth the money, time or risk. My i7 5820 is overclocked to be 35% faster and I might get 2fps better. 

4k Monitor. These rock with SL as long as you have a card that can handle it. At 4k you don't need anti-alaising which is a huge performance hit the higher you go. Jaggies are as dead as disco baby.

I find a trackball or mouse with assignable keys to make a huge difference in playability. 

 

 

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