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Okay so, since i've been more active in the grid as blogger/photographer and i'm trying to create mesh stuff i encounterd some problems with my laptop:

Too laggy even when doing nothing (low graphics and such) 

I have to take photos in Medium quality since otherwise it will crash badly. 

Resolution not highter of 3kx1900 or SL will crash.

Need of a second airvent thingy or It burns like hell. 

Plus my battery is down, like if i unplug the laptop from the charger i'm done. 


So, that being said, can anyone help me finding a good computer that for once in my life will let me use SL in ULTRA settings (no people around. I work alone), render stuff from Blender without turning intorno an airplane and that wont cost me a kidney?

My budget would be around 500€/600€ cuz i'm not working atm so i will have to save. 

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I dont think youre gonna push ultra on 500-600 britbux. The biggest factor for overall smooth performance in SL is a decent processor, to get Ultra graphical settings out of it you dont need too crazy of a GPU though, but definitely not on the low end.

If you want to get the best performance out of that budget, you'd be building your own PC. Youre not going to find a 600 bongdollar laptop thats going to get that kind of performance in SL, nothing new and not without some upgrades/repairs or some serious deal hunting on ebay.

And even then youre going to want to go back a generation or two to save you some money on the platform as a whole, and to find cheaper used items. Since the performance difference across intel processors in the last 4 or 5 generations is so small, you can go back a fair bit and be fine, you dont really need the i5 8400 or whatever, with the expensive LGA 1151 X370 motherboards and DDR4 memory. You can go back to say, an i5 4690 and the cheap LGA 1150 B85 motherboards, DDR3 memory and save a lot of money that way, use the savings for a decent modern mid tier gpu OR older equivalent used. You can get a GTX 1060 or you can try and find a used GTX 970, or something like an R9 290. Though as you go further back power efficiency decreases and you'd want a better power supply. A 1060 is a 140w single 6 pin sort of card, an R9 290 requires dual 8 pins and draws like 300w of power.

So something fairly modern from parts in that budget would be like a Ryzen 3 1200, some cheap A320 motherboard, 8gb of DDR4, a basic 1TB 7200rpm HDD, a decent power supply and case (though you may want to go for a combo to save a bit of money, stuff like that is usually kinda chincy and not that great, but for a low power low end modern build the weak power supplies and below par cases arent a big issue from a power delivery and airflow standpoint), for a GPU look into an RX 460/560 or GTX 1050ti. I wouldnt suggest going newer intel because the last few generations of intel processors have really small performance increases and buying a brand new i7 7700k is a minimal performance gain (especially for SL, a very singled thread performance loving game) over a now 5 year old i7 4770k. Same goes for an i5 7600k vs an i5 4690k or most other intel equivalents besides the Pentium G4560, which is significantly better than a Pentium G4400 or G3258 due to the hyperthreaded cores on the 4560.

Now if you dont want to build your own, that gets more tricky on a budget. Theres generally a premium for prebuilts, they have to make their money somehow, they pay essentially the same as an end consumer for the parts so the machines cost more since they come built and with a full system warranty and all that. And really 500-600 crumpetroos might not be enough for anything too decent. Most machines im finding online in that range dont have dedicated GPU options, and the ones that do are modern low end like GT 1030's and more recent i3 processors.

Try and look for a used system online with some form of i5 with a minimum of a 4 digit number in it starting with at least a 2000, and a GTX graphics card of some form with at least a 700 in it, or an AMD card with at least R7 in the name. There are a lot of OEM office lease cycle machines online (dell optiplexes, HP DC series, lenovo thinkcenters) that have decent specs for fairly cheap. You can find a lot of Optiplex 790 or 990's on ebay for ~200 burgerbucks in fully refurbished condition with 2nd gen i5/i7's, 8gb of ram, Windows 7/10 or whatever. Then you can add in some kind of PCIe power only graphics solution, low profile of course because theyre usually small form factor machines, like a low profile GTX 1050ti (MSI makes one and i think Gigabyte has one as well?) and that would be a decently powerful machine for maybe 300-350 USD. And if you've never done a GPU upgrade before, in the case of a pcie power only option in a machine like that, its very simple, its a matter of putting square peg in square hole and fastening a screw or two before installing drivers.

You can however sometimes find people who have already done such a thing and are selling their fully upgraded machine online, frequently you can find earlier machines like that with things like Core2Quad Q6600's and GTX 750ti's. Because its a very common project for people on a budget, cheap office PC + upgrades = best price to performance option. And you can find newer generation versions of that sort of build, with more recent intel i5/7's and things like GTX 950's or even 1050ti/RX 560 sort of ordeals. Though that isnt too common and you really have to search for those in the tsunami of used optiplexes for sale online. When you find one though, the people who are getting rid of them are usually people who finally bought a much better PC build, so they sell for cheap. Like finding a gold nugget in a river of mediocrity.

You can also go a few steps up of course to suit your budget, maybe look into a used Dell Precision from the same era and a better graphics card, precisions are workstations and have better power supplies usually with a pcie 6 pin power connector, which means you can go up to something like a GTX 1060. Though those machines are more expensive than the more common and less upgradable SFF optiplexes that have flooded the market. And as i stated above, office lease cycle machines, those little silver boxes in every public library and boring office are only used for 3-4 years most of the time, and after a generation is replaced, resellers unload them on ebay in bulk for super cheap. And that includes a lot of machines, look into each companies business machine lineup, Dell has Optiplexes, Lenovo has Thinkcenters, HP has the DC lineup.

Thats just your best options on a budget like this if you need decent performance, a brand new machine for 500-600 poundaroonies is not going to give you the performance you want, building your own or buying a prebuilt used is your best option.

If youre not comfortable with those options you can still just spend 600 teadollars on a new laptop, just be aware that youre paying more for what in the end is going to be weaker performance. Most laptops in that price range are either only going to have integrated graphics, which would run SL fine but definitely not on ultra settings and probably not above 720p. Or youre going to find very low quality, low end "gaming" laptops with things like Skylake mobile i5's and the infamous Nvidia 940MX, which is a terrible mobile graphics card but still somewhat better than integrated. Look out for these, Acer has a bunch of them and they basically fall apart after a year, and the 940MX is specifically named and included in these machines because its super cheap to slap into a laptop, and people confuse it with "GTX 9xx" desktop graphics cards and presume its good, when really it compares performance wise to something like a GT 745, which nowadays is very underpowered and kinda just barely enough to run things like GTA V in 720p on low/medium settings at around 40 frames per second, which translate to SL means about medium settings before you see the graphics card produce a bottleneck that would start killing the framerate at higher settings.

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If youre good with building one, my suggestion for something on this budget is a system like this:


Note that this includes a licensed copy of Windows 10 Home 64 bit, you can always just pirate it (not that i would suggest that, no sir not me), or use the "demo" version that i dont fully understand but i think it just leaves a watermark on your desktop, and thats free. Or use Linux and the Linux viewer if you dont do anything that requires really windows specific software. You can also usually buy keys online for a bit cheaper. If you want to save the 80-90 pounds or so.

Theres a lot of compromises here, but its still pretty decent hardware, R3 1200 + 1050ti benchmarks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EK_ktjGHyeg

Note its holding 60fps+ on high/max settings in a lot of games in 1080p. Now SL is different because obviously its not like these perfectly designed games, SL is basically a big trash bin of unoptimized content.

Its single threaded performance is similar to mid tier quadcores from a few generations back, such as the i5 2500k, which is plenty for running SL without a crazy CPU bottleneck.


I run SL fairly smoothly on medium settings in 1080p on a Core2Quad Q6600 and a Quadro FX 4600 (2007 hardware), and the R3 1200 makes the C2Q look like its a relic from the 80's performance wise.


The motherboard is nothing special but it is the first compromise, the A320 chipset is the low end of AMD's current Ryzen/AM4 processor chipset lineup. It does not support overclocking, it doesnt support crossfire/sli. You can see what the chipsets for AM4 can and cant do here: http://www.amd.com/en-us/products/chipsets/am4#

However, its still AM4. You still have a massive upgrade path to go from the Ryzen 3 1200 all the up to a Ryzen 7 1800x if you really wanted to, just that you wouldnt be able to overclock it, and you would be limited to one graphics card.

The RAM is 2x4gb of 2400mhz DDR4. This is a 50/50 depending on what you want to do here, i chose that configuration because its the cheapest 8gb option currently, a single 8gb stick would be better because you could add another 8gb stick in the future for a total of 16gb, but if you have 2x4gb sticks you need to replace both to get 16gb. If you think you will use 16gb in the future, spend the extra 20 pounds to get a single 8gb stick now. If not, the 2x4gb sticks are the most economical route.

The HDD is just a really basic 7200rpm 1TB HDD. Honestly, use whatever for this. Get the kind of capacity you need, i personally dont use much space at all on my PC and i hardly fill the 120gb SSD i have. If you only need 160gb, get a 160gb drive. I dont recommend it, but theyre like 15$ USD max, its still a 7200rpm drive and its still fairly fast. If you want to sink a bit more money into it, invest in an SSD, the faster read/write times do pay off in cache heavy programs (like SL), boot times and loading times for applications are also decreased a lot. Though SSD's are more expensive from a price per gigabyte standpoint.

The EVGA 1050ti is a 1050ti. Its a good card, 1080p/60fps kind of thing, really popular, not much to say about it, the above benchmark video on this setup kind of shows what it can do. It doesnt require any PCIe power connectors and runs off board power alone, its cool and quiet.

The Seasonic S12II 520w power supply, i always suggest a higher quality power supply unless youre straight up destitute broke. Its nothing fancy but its made by a very well respected brand, Seasonic, and its 80+ Bronze efficiency rated. I cannot be bothered to explain PSU efficiency but basically it wastes less power and makes less heat. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/80_Plus

It has everything you need for future upgrades, including 6 and 6+2 pcie connectors so you can upgrade to a decently powerful GPU in the future (i think reference GTX 1080's use 8 + 6 pin connectors).

The case is just... whatever. Ive never heard of it, its inside layout looks nice to work in, its got good reviews, and its cheap. But pick whatever you really want for a case as long as its Micro ATX or larger and full height (since you have an mATX board and a full height graphics card). If you have a case lying around, use that. If you find something cheap at a garage sale, use that. Case isnt the most important thing for these low end builds where airflow is not a massive concern.

Theres also a little wireless adapter there.


Piece things together as you find deals on parts, pcpartpicker is just a good reference to check compatibility and compare prices across the more popular computer parts retailers online. If you find a component cheaper elsewhere, go for it. Brick and mortar physical real world stores tend to have decent deals and rebates, coupons and sales and all that. Microcenter or Frys or whatever.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been using laptops for ever for sl, slow and buggy and would crash at busy places, turns out i just needed more ram.  I replaced it last year with this and it runs really fast no more crashing or graphics issues, apparently i just needed more ram as my ram was running at 90%/100% every time i launched sl on my old laptop which only had 4gb of memory, now it doesnt go above 33% ps; only cost me £399.

Medion Akoya 15.6 Inch Intel Core i5 8GB 1TB Laptop

full spec and theyre available on ebay.

  • owerful intel core i5-6200u.
  • Nvidia geforce 940mx graphics.

CPU, Memory and Operating System:

  • Intel Core i5 core i5-6200u dual core processor.
  • 2.3GHz processor speed.
  • 8GB RAM.
  • 1TB SATA hard drive.
  • Microsoft Windows 10.
Edited by Luci Ohmai
adding info
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