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I have an Alienware A51 that is just over 2 years old.  Also a Dell XPS 18 all in one 24" tablet sort of thing.  Hubby has a Gateway that was rebuilt last year, a Surface Pro 3 and we also have an ancient Toshiba laptop.

 

None of that matters.

OK ... this is my philosophy on what to get.  Just like race cars, speed costs money.  How fast do you want to go?
In other words, it all starts with a budget.  Which you have. Perfect!

For the base PC, any of the well known brands are about as good as any others.  Year to year and model to model there are going to be differences but as a whole, they all make and keep reliable products.  Dell, HP (not my favorite but at one time they were), Asus, Toshiba (better laptops than desktops) If you want to stay with a laptop, just find one with an i7 CPU and an Nvidia 950 GPU or better.  Here's one for $800USD that just needs another 8 GB of RAM.

For a desktop gaming rig, 75% of the budget is for the computer and 25% is for the graphics card. The current line of cards I would say go with a 960 for around $150

For what it's worth, you can get an Alienware Alpha that fits these specs for $1000.

 

Edited by Rhonda Huntress
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I have a desktop with these specs: 

CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4670 CPU @ 3.40GHz (3392.18 MHz)
Memory: 16338 MB
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit Service Pack 1 (Build 7601)
Graphics Card Vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 970/PCIe/SSE2
 

My advice is this: You don't need the highest specs EVAR to run SL at lightin-fast speeds, you most likely won't even if you do. SL's lag is notorious and it mostly comes from their side of things not yours. Of course this doesn't mean you can run SL with a computer from the 90's.

Even with my specs, fast-wired connection to internet (SL can have issues with wifi) and if I'm in a place that doesn't promote tons of lag, SL will still have it's issues because SL isn't just a game that remains the same, it's CONSTANTLY changing.

If you have the money, invest in a better GPU and hope for the best. Also, if you're debating between desktop and laptop, go for the desktop. Personally, it's just makes more sense cooling-wise, the ability to upgrade for the future, and you get more bang for your buck.

For laptops you're just paying for mobility.

They're okay for a luxury but my desktop is my main system for these reasons.

Hope everything goes okay! :D

 

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You can probably run SL well with a budget 1050ti and 8gb of RAM, the bottleneck comes mostly from CPU when it comes to SL (a scene with a lot of avatars does tax the GPU, but also the CPU). The thing about having a GPU bottleneck is that you can just turn the graphics down and the lag will most likely go away. Of course your budget would allow you to afford much better components than the GPU and amount of RAM I mentioned above, but I'm just saying that you should probably invest most of it on the build's CPU if it's primarily for SL. I'm not sure what CPU you should get, but I've read in some forum post(s) that SL depends a lot on single core peformance and not so much on multi-core performance, of course you would want to get a quad-core or a dual-core with hyperthreading at least with that budget, but like before, I'm just saying that so you would get a better idea on what components you need to choose. Also, get SSD(s) and make sure your SL's installation / cache folder is located inside your SSD, it should make loading things up a lot faster (if you're not bottlenecked by a slow internet connection).  :)

Bear in mind even the most high-end components probably won't let you run SL at constant 60 or 30 FPS even, but they really do make a difference, especially if you choose wisely. My friend who has a high-end intel i5 (I forgot which series) and a more powerful GPU than mine generally runs SL at more FPS than me who has a budget X4 860K from AMD. But even then, SL is still pretty usable to me. (40-60 FPS in low-load zones, 10-20 FPS in heavy-load zones at high graphics settings). I'm thinking about upgrading my motherboard and CPU to a G4560 pretty soon (which would only cost like $120-$130 in total) and it would totally increase the performance of my PC, according to several raw power benchmarks and tests on games people did online on YouTube. So yeah, it doesn't take that much to get an acceptable SL experience, but the gain of performance per dollar generally declines the higher you go up the price range.

Edited by lucagrabacr
changing "playable" to "usable"
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I brought my desktop PC 3 years ago, after my old one suddenly died.

  • CPU: Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E3-1230 v3 @ 3.30GHz
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Graphics Card: NVidia GeForce GTX 770
  • OS: Windows 8.1

Its not the best, not even was when I got it, but I had a budget and it gets the job done.

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you want to run SL maxed out in 1080p you wont need much. A modern build with a Pentium G4560 + 1050ti and 8gb of ddr4 will be enough to max out SL in 1080p at over 60fps in most if not all locations.

And that would be ~500-600$ depending on what other components you chose, mobo/psu/storage/case/etc

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  • 4 weeks later...

CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-5820K CPU @ 3.30GHz (3298.07 MHz)
Memory: 16286 MB
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit (Build 14393)
Graphics Card Vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 980/PCIe/SSE2

Windows Graphics Driver Version: 21.21.0013.7653
OpenGL Version: 4.5.0 NVIDIA 376.53

Always run on ultra with various long distances and at LOD2 (for mesh testing purposes)

Multiple avatars, busy areas all good. Always have shadows on. No issues with depth of filed on or with fancy smooth shadows. Very high FPS (I have seen 170)

I have a solid state drive for programs and secondary hard drive for data but not sure that makes much difference for SL. Maybe.

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I wouldn't suggest building a brand new machine based on existing systems which might be a couple of years old.
That's what hardware forums and they buying guides are for... but well: Intel Xeon E3 1231 v3 @ AsRock H97M mainboard, MSI RX 480 8GB, 16 GB RAM, the SSD with the operating system (Win10) is a Crucial MX200 256 GB SSD and the "gaming SSD" holding the SL cache is a Samsung 840 EVO. 

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I'm using a 3.5 yr old CyberPowerPC laptop.  CPU: Intel i7-4700MQ @ 2.40 Ghz, RAM: 8 GB, Windows 7 64-bit, Nvidia GeForce GTX 780M.  My graphics is normally set to Ultra, with a few things tweaked a bit, and I usually get 75 to a bit over 100 FPS.  I will bump some settings way down if I'm going shopping in a full or near-full sim/event - I don't need land/trees/sky/avatars looking super for me to buy stuff and that way I can still average 50-75 FPS at things like the current Truth hair sale.

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Computer: Leibniz' Arte Combinatoria, 1672

CPU: Integral calculus
OS: Binary universal computer
Input: Punched cards or black and white marbles.

 

Leibniz1666.png

Edited by Rachel1206
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