Jump to content
SeusEverling

Choosing a Gaming Laptop for SL 2019

Recommended Posts

Hi all, I've been trying to choose a good gaming laptop that will run SL on Ultra settings with advanced lighting and shaders and could really use some help. I'm not the most computer savvy (or SL savvy for that matter), and I've never owned a gaming computer, so I'm still a bit confused after a lot of research.  Unfortunately, it does have to be a laptop, as I travel weekly for work and like to take SL with me. :)

My budget is around $1,200, and I've been looking at the i7 9th gen with the 1660 Ti.  Honestly, I think the Acer Predator Helios 300 (2019) would be a no-brainer if I didn't need it for work, but its gaming aesthetics aren't a good fit for me.  I've been looking at the new Dell G3 and G5 with similar specs and pricing, but it seems like the thermals are a big issue on the G5, and I haven't found any in-depth reviews of the new G3.  From what I've read, lots of people think that Dell is overpriced, but it seemed like the G series might be a good gaming/work hybrid option.  I'm open to any suggestions, as I didn't know anything about the subject a few weeks ago, and have been trying to learn about gaming CPU,s GPUs, Nvidia, AMD, Intel, cores, threads, M.2, thunderbolt, overclocking, undervolting, etc.  Whew! lol  It's a lot to take in, and I still don't feel confident.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the risk of being yelled for not being helpful, but I feel that laptops are the absolute worst for gaming. They get hot, are barely upgradable, easy to steal (yes, that too is a consideration) and you are stuck with whichever configuration the manufacturer decided that you need and if the CPU dies, you get to toss the whole thing.

A desktop PC is IMO to be preferred over any laptop. Whatever you buy, you can in due time upgrade key parts.
So suppose you buy a system with a potato of a graphics card. In due time, you get to replace that card with something better and BOOM your gaming performance has improved dramatically already. You can get a RAM upgrade, buy a larger hard drive when this one gets too small, heck add two more hard drives even! Want a larger screen than 17"? No problem! Heat is much less a problem in a desktop PC than in a laptop, but should you feel that your CPU runs too hot in spite of cleaning the dust off, you can buy a better CPU fan or even a liquid cooling system. 

All this would be possible because you chose a desktop PC over a laptop.
Just my $0.02 worth.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Fritigern Gothly said:

A desktop PC is IMO to be preferred over any laptop.

Ditto to this. Here's a good rule of thumb for any computer you want that is "spec'd" for Second Life: If it's a desktop that costs less that $1,200 U.S. or a laptop that costs less that $1,600, it probably won't do very well. Good "gamer" machines average around this range. If you spend less that $800 then you are basically buying a glorified word-processor.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, if you need a transportable machine it won´t be a real gaming machine (reasons are well explained before)

If you want to play be lazy on the couch, you need a mouse with room to move, headset ...

Playing with the gamepads is just - yikes

About SL: a big screen, good cooling (because SL is Hardware intensiv), good keyboard (if you buy a laptop test the keyboard BEFORE)

The only advice for a mobile machine would be, look at the grafx card, if it says BLAH BLAH "Mobile" - it´s not going to be a good one but will usually work.

The immersion with a big screen and a good headset, plus the much better graphics AND sound, can´t usually be achieved on a lappi.
(I remember a friend that played on an old laptop, the grass was just a green flat, trees just upright logs ... after she updated it was a complete new world)

Monti

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only difference between "gaming" computers and any other computers is... the marketing. There's nothing particular about them that makes them better for games and a lot of them won't even run the latest and greatest. What you're paying for (if anything) is some edgy design and pretty lights, not better performance.

If you're on a budget, you should be picking individual parts and either putting them together yourself or paying a store to do it for you.

Computers have, generally speaking, 3 very important components.

  1. The processor (CPU)
    It's the most important part because it's going to be doing most of the work in most situations.
    1. For gaming, you'll probably want 4 cores. Less isn't enough and more won't really help.
    2. For speed, anything at or above 3.6GHz should be okay, based on personal experience.
       
  2. Memory (RAM)
    The second most important part because if you don't have enough RAM, your CPU will have to start storing its memory to the hard drive which is incredibly slow. No matter how fast your CPU is, everything on your computer will lag without RAM.
    1. These days, 8 GB is the minimum you'll want. (Two sticks of 4 GB)
    2. I would recommend 16 GB (two sticks of 8 GB) if you use a lot of programs at once, browse while gaming, or tend to use a lot of tabs.
       
  3. Graphics card (GPU)
    Now, just because this is only the third most important part doesn't mean that it's not worth the budget. While your computer should be fine with a bad GPU (or none), games are quite dependent on it for good performance.
    1. GPUs come with their own dedicated memory. Anything at or above 2 GB should be enough for comfortable SL and browsing.
    2. I know less about GPU speeds (at least over 1000 MHz or 1 GHz), but I would assume that almost anything that has 2 GB or more memory is also fast enough for SL.

What you will also need is storage (HDD or SSD, SSD is faster but smaller and more expensive), a case (duh), 1-2 fans, power supply, and a motherboard, which is the "base" that all of those components connect to. Which one you'll need depends a lot on what parts you get. You can probably find the CPU/GPU you might want and then go ask a store for help. There are also websites like this one that only show you the parts that are compatible with what you've already picked.

There are other much less important details, like what kind of HDD/SSD you should get or what kind or how fast your RAM should be. These details are something you would only worry about if you wanted absolute peak performance in modern games -- which SL isn't -- or wanted to play on absurd resolutions like 4K or 8K.

I should also point out that no matter how good your computer is, SL will have low framerates. (20-40 on average, depends a lot on where you go.) Don't go spending over a thousand dollars on a computer you'll only be using for Second Life. It's not worth it. Laptops are also not worth it, you'll pay more for less, unless you need to be able to move it around.

Usually the reason for people buying laptops is that you just have to buy one thing and it's easy, but it's not going to last as long because it's going to gather dust and slow down while being very difficult to clean.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

even if you max out all of it,  you still are going to have client side lag,  Shadows unless tinkered with are fps killer (notice I dont say dont use them anymore) and draw distance.

 

I have a purpose built PC.  I do not run shadows (unless for pictures) and I do not use a draw of more than 32m.

 

CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-5820K CPU @ 3.30GHz (3300.01 MHz)  <-- Overclocked to 4.5ghz on an AIO
Memory: 32679 MB <--32gb ram
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit (Build 18362.267)
Graphics Card Vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 980/PCIe/SSE2  <-I have 2 of those in the system.

 

I still hit issues even with my setup. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for your input.  I have a desktop at home, but unfortunately, I can't really fit it in my suitcase. I've been traveling with a Macbook Pro for 3 years, but it's time to replace it, and I thought I would bite the bullet and switch back to Windows for a better SL experience.  Am I the only person who needs a good laptop for SL?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the only real way to decide whether any particular laptop can run Second Life well (well meaning what is acceptable to us for the price)  is to get the sales attendant to let us download the SL viewer onto a show machine and log in

outside of this is then SL OpenGL historically tends to have less trouble on Intel CPU and NVidia GPU.  So I would go with that. Buy the highest rated CPU and GPU that you can afford. Don't pay any attention to the "gamer this gamer that" advertising. Just look at the hard specs

the only other thing outside of this to look at (which I do) are the size of the arrow keys buttons. If they are half-sized or cramped on the layout then it can make it a bit more difficult to navigate the inworld assuming you use arrow keys to move rather than WASD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Mackbook.

Have you tried installing Windows on your Pro via bootcamp in order to play SL?   I did that on an iMac a few years back and it brought a marvelous boost to using SL.  I didn't bother to quantify it, i just enjoyed it until later I built a strong PC for gaming.  They way I run macs is like... a 3 year old Mackbook Pro would be still super.  Don't know what performance you are getting in SL with it,  but I would certainly love to hear how installing Windows as above suggest would boost your performance.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/1/2019 at 12:39 AM, Fritigern Gothly said:

At the risk of being yelled for not being helpful, but I feel that laptops are the absolute worst for gaming. They get hot, are barely upgradable, easy to steal (yes, that too is a consideration) and you are stuck with whichever configuration the manufacturer decided that you need and if the CPU dies, you get to toss the whole thing.

A desktop PC is IMO to be preferred over any laptop. Whatever you buy, you can in due time upgrade key parts.
So suppose you buy a system with a potato of a graphics card. In due time, you get to replace that card with something better and BOOM your gaming performance has improved dramatically already. You can get a RAM upgrade, buy a larger hard drive when this one gets too small, heck add two more hard drives even! Want a larger screen than 17"? No problem! Heat is much less a problem in a desktop PC than in a laptop, but should you feel that your CPU runs too hot in spite of cleaning the dust off, you can buy a better CPU fan or even a liquid cooling system. 

All this would be possible because you chose a desktop PC over a laptop.
Just my $0.02 worth.

This detailed response actually help me as well; as I am currently in the same situation. Looking to upgrade to a gaming system but wanted to be able to carry second life with me. After reading what you said I guess i'll sacrifice the portable factor for something long lasting. 

Thanks! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 8/8/2019 at 4:46 PM, SeusEverling said:

Thank you everyone for your input.  I have a desktop at home, but unfortunately, I can't really fit it in my suitcase. I've been traveling with a Macbook Pro for 3 years, but it's time to replace it, and I thought I would bite the bullet and switch back to Windows for a better SL experience.  Am I the only person who needs a good laptop for SL?

Yes, a laptop costs more and may not last as long or be as up-gradable as a desktop, but you can find some deals and the difference in performance doesn't have to be that bad here in 2019. A lot of people stick their nose up to this, but I'm a big fan of Dell outlet for deals on laptops so I'd recommend to check their stuff out. Anything with a GTX of 2060 or 2070 should run SL fairly well. Even cheap laptops aren't that bad anymore but may not handle advanced lighting settings.

Check out this website: http://forum.notebookreview.com/ as theres all kinds of information about laptop reviews and such. Hope that helps!

Edited by imacrabpinch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...