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Hello everyone 

I hope this is the right forum for my question

My dear computer is about to explode, after 8 years of an intense use, so I am considering a laptop now (no MAC).

Any recommendations on the type of graphic cards I should be looking at? I know nothing about computers, and I would like my SL viewer to run properly. 

Thank you in advance for your help

 

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1 hour ago, Elena Core said:

Any recommendations on the type of graphic cards I should be looking at?

The best Nvidia GTX card that fits in your budget.

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27 minutes ago, Lyssa Greymoon said:

The best Nvidia GTX card that fits in your budget.

if you put that in a pentium ll pc you'd still be screwed .. too easy answer.

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4 hours ago, Alwin Alcott said:

if you put that in a pentium ll pc you'd still be screwed .. too easy answer.

Anything that comes with a dgpu to begin with is probably already an adequately specced laptop otherwise.

Wont find a mobile GTX 1050 paired with a dual core ULV Pentium and 2gb of ram.

To make a more specific suggestion for OP, read reviews, don’t buy anything with a mechanical hard drive, quadcores are the bare minimum. A mobile GTX 1050 is about as low as you can go reasonably with a gaming oriented laptop anyway, and it’ll do SL fine. Right now the popular entry level option with a slightly newer mobile gpu is anything with a 1660ti and 9th gen i5/i7. Nvme ssd’s ideally, look for ips displays in whatever size you’d prefer. If I had to suggest a very specific model, get a Gigabyte Aero.

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17 minutes ago, cheesecurd said:

Anything that comes with a dgpu to begin with is probably already an adequately specced laptop otherwise.

Wont find a mobile GTX 1050 paired with a dual core ULV Pentium and 2gb of ram.

To make a more specific suggestion for OP, read reviews, don’t buy anything with a mechanical hard drive, quadcores are the bare minimum. A mobile GTX 1050 is about as low as you can go reasonably with a gaming oriented laptop anyway, and it’ll do SL fine. Right now the popular entry level option with a slightly newer mobile gpu is anything with a 1660ti and 9th gen i5/i7. Nvme ssd’s ideally, look for ips displays in whatever size you’d prefer. If I had to suggest a very specific model, get a Gigabyte Aero.

for a normal SL user this is overkill

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I have a  GeForce GTX 980/PCIe/SSE2  which I run at one slot down from ultra with shadows on all the time. No issues with Depth of Field etc.  So anything around there would also work just fine. 

 

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47 minutes ago, Alwin Alcott said:

for a normal SL user this is overkill

Feel free to present a less equipped laptop capable of providing a joyful SL usage experience.

And stop comparing desktop components to mobile ones. 🙄

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2 hours ago, Alwin Alcott said:

for a normal SL user this is overkill

1 hour ago, Lillith Hapmouche said:

Feel free to present a less equipped laptop capable of providing a joyful SL usage experience.

And stop comparing desktop components to mobile ones. 🙄

I quote Lilith here to answer her as well. While certainly anything with Intel HD620/630 or any of the current Ryzen mobile APUs will handle SL just fine and dandy, 1080p normal settings, might drag a bit with a lot of people but otherwise fine.

It would still be preferable to have a system with a dedicated gpu. At the minimum that’s a mobile 1050 and mobile i5/i7. That will do whatever you want in SL without issue, handle more complex stuff and is a good buying guideline.

However the current all purpose gaming laptop without getting into super high end stuff involves a mobile 1660. That’s what you get. And nothing with a mobile 1660 will have less than a quadcore i5, 8th gen maybe, 9th gen most commonly. You’re not gonna find a lower end option that’s actually worth buying, anything with an MX110 is barely better than HD620, an MX130 is just a mobile 1030 and it’s not a good value choice.

I know what can and can’t play SL well. If the goal is just “it runs”, buy a Thinkpad T420 with Hd3000 and at least 4gb of ram. It’ll run SL, it’ll run ok at best, and it’ll cost about 80$ and last another decade on its already 9 year life, but it’s not the best choice overall, just economically.

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Thank you for all your great suggestions. I've been reading about all those concepts, because they are totally new to me. Some of the options seems a bit expensive, but if it's good quality, I don't mind spending on them

So, If I got it right, some of you consider SL would always run better on a regular PC rather than on a laptop, because of the graphic card? 

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I have just found this thread that might answer my question. So thank you and let's start checking desktops!!

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Elena Core said:

Thank you for all your great suggestions. I've been reading about all those concepts, because they are totally new to me. Some of the options seems a bit expensive, but if it's good quality, I don't mind spending on them

So, If I got it right, some of you consider SL would always run better on a regular PC rather than on a laptop, because of the graphic card? 

For price to performance, yeah. A desktop is optimal for that and you can tailor it a bit more to your needs 

a laptops price increase comes in the form of portability, raw specs wise a 1000$ current gaming laptop would be blown entirely out of the water by a 1000$ desktop, but you can’t carry around a desktop that easily

Parts wise for a desktop is a different mater. The kinda goto right now is any Ryzen 5 processor + 16gb 3200mhz or faster ddr4, and then whatever gpu fits your graphical needs. 1080p don’t bother with anything above a 3gb GTX 1060 or even a 1050ti. For 1440p look into an RTX 2060 super or 1660ti, for 4k go for an RTX 2070 super or radeon 5700xt or better. Everything else pretty much stays the same, because a Ryzen 7 processor is just a 5 with more cores, which most stuff won’t need and definitely not secondlife.

Ryzen 5 3600 + 1660ti, check for that combo or anything similar, R5 2600, R5 1600AF (not a regular 1600 though).

 

On the lower end, Ryzen 3 3200g + GTX 1050ti or RX 560 or anything similar, 2200g, R3 1200. Gpu wise there’s also the 3gb 1060 still or the newer Radeon RX 5500xt

Intel cannot compete at the moment and anything other than the i7 9700k on team blue is a terrible choice as amd is outperforming with lower wattage and cheaper processors at every other price point.

Edited by cheesecurd
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CPU: Any of the Ryzens, personally i'd recommend 3000 series but 2000 will do too. Quad Core minimum. Ryzen 5 3600 is like THE thing currently, is pretty good.

GPU: Anything with 4gb VRAM minimum, so everything under GTX 900 basically is a no-go. Otherwise you'll see loads of texture thrashing. Power-wise a GTX 600 series would be fine but they don't have enough VRAM. If you can go for 6gb (like GTX 1060 if these are available for laptops and with 6GB VRAM)

RAM: I'd suggest 16GB. DDR4 3000 minimum, Ryzen go wrooooooom the faster your RAM is.

Harddrive: Doesn't matter to SL. If its loaded its loaded, loading times don't matter. If you want to be able to use the Viewer and not have a powerpoint slide-show you'll want to look for the above 3 mainly.

With above you can EASILY run everything on at all times. I run around with 30-60 fps. Deferred (ALM), shadows, projectors, no jellydolls (but impostors), ambient occlusion all on. Heck you can go all out with that stuff and become the next super photographer with that stuff and it should be somewhat cheap too although i'm not sure about laptops, they might smack a huge increase ontop just because.

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50 minutes ago, NiranV Dean said:

Harddrive: Doesn't matter to SL. If its loaded its loaded, loading times don't matter. If you want to be able to use the Viewer and not have a powerpoint slide-show you'll want to look for the above 3 mainly.

Cache, whatever SL sets up its cache file on will affect load times for previously saved content. Regardless mechanical hard dives in 2020 are exclusively for bulk storage, and even then it’s usually worth it to get a sata SSD at least.

nvme is the only way to go if building or buying a new pc

To touch on the other subjects, vram is a terrible metric for gpu performance, as is raw generation generalizations. A 2gb GTX 960 will still do fine and will outperform a 4gb 1050ti. Just the same a 3gb 1060 would beat both or the 4gb variant of the 960.

Anything over 1gb wont see many texture issues from my experience unless you’re at extremely high draw distances. About the minimum you can even get anymore is 2gb anyway but don’t go out and buy a Polaris radeon pro duo because 32gb of vram = more good.

To detail the Ryzen 5 stuff more, the 1600AF is like 85$ usually and performs like an R7 2700, it’s a 2nd gen die with a 1st gen name sold in gen 3 for some reason but they’re dirt cheap 6 core processors and if you can find one, get one. Their downside is that they’re made out of B stock dies, and aren’t made often, so when they show up and amd sells them, retailers go through them fast.


There are other things to consider in a desktop as well but it’s more of a concern if OP would want to build their own. Otherwise, Ryzen 5, gpu for your choice of resolution and settings, 16gb of faster ddr4, NVMe SSD.

Details on a laptop have already been mentioned and they posted another thread about that as well.

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Just now, cheesecurd said:

Cache, whatever SL sets up its cache file on will affect load times for previously saved content. Regardless mechanical hard dives in 2020 are exclusively for bulk storage, and even then it’s usually worth it to get a sata SSD at least.

nvme is the only way to go if building or buying a new pc

To touch on the other subjects, vram is a terrible metric for gpu performance, as is raw generation generalizations. A 2gb GTX 960 will still do fine and will outperform a 4gb 1050ti. Just the same a 3gb 1060 would beat both or the 4gb variant of the 960.

Anything over 1gb wont see many texture issues from my experience unless you’re at extremely high draw distances. About the minimum you can even get anymore is 2gb anyway but don’t go out and buy a Polaris radeon pro duo because 32gb of vram = more good.

To detail the Ryzen 5 stuff more, the 1600AF is like 85$ usually and performs like an R7 2700, it’s a 2nd gen die with a 1st gen name sold in gen 3 for some reason but they’re dirt cheap 6 core processors and if you can find one, get one. Their downside is that they’re made out of B stock dies, and aren’t made often, so when they show up and amd sells them, retailers go through them fast.


There are other things to consider in a desktop as well but it’s more of a concern if OP would want to build their own. Otherwise, Ryzen 5, gpu for your choice of resolution and settings, 16gb of faster ddr4, NVMe SSD.

Details on a laptop have already been mentioned and they posted another thread about that as well.

OP wants to use SL, i didn't read that OP wants to game with it so i based my system specs purely on SL (which will automatically mean anything else will run fine too, that's how i've been doing it for the past 13 years). A.

B: I doesn't matter whether a GPU outperforms another GPU, SL does not utilize the GPU much past a GTX 600 series which is why i said what i said. Most important for a proper SL is not the GPU power (going from a GTX 600 series upwards) but rather the amount of VRAM your GPU has because all the GPU power means jack sh** if you experience texture thrashing all the time. Which you will do with 2GB. Every and all places that had at least one avatar on it and wasn't completely empty easily filled 2GB without hesitation. Most regions require more than 2GB minimum, and i'm super generalizing here because there are no specifics, regions can range anywhere from 2GB to 4GB but generally you want more than 2GB, i'd consider minimum. My GTX 670 had 2GB and i was seeing texture thrashing everywhere and it was unavoidable. 4GB is mostly save although i have heard of user reporting texture thrashing still and after checking the place out myself (an empty place, skybox, just  2 avatars) i found that the place used a good chunk more than 4GB. Which makes me believe that 4GB is an ALMOST completely safe option with the occasional extreme exception (but really i told those users and now they are considering redoing their entire skybox). Personally i chose my GTX 1060 as 6GB variant because i knew that 4GB wasn't going to be enough but for her purposes any GPU with 4GB VRAM should be enough as long as it is not an AMD card. There are no trash-tier 4GB VRAM GPU's (none that i know of) so its safe to say that anything with 4GB VRAM is a good enough GPU. I didn't want to specify further for the simple fact that i don't know whats available in laptops and because i'd just suggest whatever i use because i know it actually works well -> GTX 1060 with 6GB VRAM but i'm also thinking of a budget here. OP did not mention any budget limitations but i'm always considering that someone might want to choose the best performance/price ratio.

Again harddrive is not important at all for SL. Loading times don't matter, at all. I've had my cache on an HDD for the longest time and i do have it on a SSD now, there's 0 difference. Cache does not improve your performance, only your loading times (and not in a meaningful way), the performance while loading doesn't matter because it is a temporary state that will clear up when everything is loaded, hence why the harddrive doesn't matter for SL. You will want a SSD for Windows however because super fast bootup times and that stuff.

CPU is by far the most important piece of your system that you are going to buy for SL. SL is mostly CPU, CPU and more CPU. So much is done on CPU and so little on GPU. Switching my CPU from an AMD FX 6200 to a Ryzen 5 3600 doubled my framerate on average and quadrupled my framerate on heavy scenes. I was able to turn off jellydolls completely and still get twice as much FPS, thats a massive improvement for just the CPU, my GPU meanwhile sits at 50% utilization if i don't crank any GPU specific option up (depth of field, ssr, volumetric lighting, shadow resolution)

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10 minutes ago, NiranV Dean said:

OP wants to use SL, i didn't read that OP wants to game with it so i based my system specs purely on SL (which will automatically mean anything else will run fine too, that's how i've been doing it for the past 13 years). A

Right. I would only use it for SL, apart from the regular use (Office, Photoshop....) and Blender, which I understand doesn't have an impact. Thank you

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1 hour ago, Elena Core said:

Right. I would only use it for SL, apart from the regular use (Office, Photoshop....) and Blender, which I understand doesn't have an impact. Thank you

They do have an impact and especially Photoshop (if you are editing huge pictures) can profit from a faster GPU but once again that's not really a concern, with hardware hungry editing like Photoshop or Video editing you can basically never have a good enough PC because they can scale almost infinitely with available hardware. You shouldn't leave Photoshop open too because it can easily eat lots of VRAM too and you'll want your VRAM for SL, same for your RAM.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, NiranV Dean said:

SL does not utilize the GPU much past a GTX 600 series which is why i said what i said. Most important for a proper SL is not the GPU power (going from a GTX 600 series upwards) but rather the amount of VRAM your GPU has because all the GPU power means jack sh** if you experience texture thrashing all the time. Which you will do with 2GB.

SL does utilize your gpu, just not well. 2gb is plenty and doesn’t cause texture thrashing in I would argue the vast majority of places, I rarely top 700mb of vram usage in this game but I don’t hang out in super detailed places all day.

Again with this generalization, I’m not even gonna be nice about this because it’s just outright misinformation, where is this hard line at “GTX 600 series” coming from? You know the 700 series stuff right after it doesn’t start straight after GTX 680 performance? If all you need is a 600 series card, better not get a performance equivalent part for a cheaper price. Why get a 1050ti if you can get a 680 which performs the same but at like three times the wattage? That’s dumb.

The point here is not what a person needs, if that was the case Id tell them to buy an i5 2400 and a 560ti for a grand total of 100$. It’s a matter of the parts being new and common.

Nobody is selling a GTX 6xx brand new, there is no point in mentioning them at all because they are irrelevant to the discussion of a pc purchase for SecondLife in the year 2020.

Heres whats commercial relevant for consumer computers right now: Ryzen 2nd and 3rd gen, Intel 8th and 9th gen, Nvidia Pascal and Turing, AMD Polaris and RDNA.

On the hard drive thing, similar issue. It’s 2020, they are dead. Welcome to the god damn future, any newer pc these days is running nvme, it’s been a consumer norm for a few years now, your mass storage is relegated to sata solid state drives, usually older tech ones. The only thing a mechanical hard drive is for these days is if you have a massive amount of crap to back up.

Its not a matter of SL not needing, which it does anyway, it’s that it’s no longer a relevant technology.

Edited by cheesecurd
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1 hour ago, cheesecurd said:

SL does utilize your gpu, just not well. 2gb is plenty and doesn’t cause texture thrashing in I would argue the vast majority of places, I rarely top 700mb of vram usage in this game but I don’t hang out in super detailed places all day.

Again with this generalization, I’m not even gonna be nice about this because it’s just outright misinformation, where is this hard line at “GTX 600 series” coming from? You know the 700 series stuff right after it doesn’t start straight after GTX 680 performance? If all you need is a 600 series card, better not get a performance equivalent part for a cheaper price. Why get a 1050ti if you can get a 680 which performs the same but at like three times the wattage? That’s dumb.

The point here is not what a person needs, if that was the case Id tell them to buy an i5 2400 and a 560ti for a grand total of 100$. It’s a matter of the parts being new and common.

Nobody is selling a GTX 6xx brand new, there is no point in mentioning them at all because they are irrelevant to the discussion of a pc purchase for SecondLife in the year 2020.

Heres whats commercial relevant for consumer computers right now: Ryzen 2nd and 3rd gen, Intel 8th and 9th gen, Nvidia Pascal and Turing, AMD Polaris and RDNA.

On the hard drive thing, similar issue. It’s 2020, they are dead. Welcome to the god damn future, any newer pc these days is running nvme, it’s been a consumer norm for a few years now, your mass storage is relegated to sata solid state drives, usually older tech ones. The only thing a mechanical hard drive is for these days is if you have a massive amount of crap to back up.

Its not a matter of SL not needing, which it does anyway, it’s that it’s no longer a relevant technology.

This generalization comes from experience. I've had a GTX 670 before. No performance difference. I had a GTX 460 for a day while my 670 was dying, no performance difference. I got a 1060 now, no performance difference.

I'm not saying she should buy a GTX 600 series because its enough, i'm simply saying a GPU power equivalent of a GTX 600 is enough for SL. Whatever you make out of it. I could go into detail, go on GPU benchmark websites and pick out the very best price/performance ratio. Also yes, no one is gonna sell you a brand new GTX 600, they are outdated. We are speaking of GTX 900/1000 series here minimum because they are the only ones relevant today, you will have a hard time even getting GPU's lower than that.

Again i highly disagree that 2GB is enough. I don't hang out at detailed places, i hang out at very simple places and just sitting here at my TPV parcel which has next to nothing on it i'm already seeing 1.2gb usage. For nothing, no avatars except me. I'm not expecting her to dig into optimization and memory usages and avoid places with high memory usage. As dumb this will sound but she's a user, she's also a human, she won't hang around furry places which are often a good chunk lighter on resources, she will hang around human content places, places with chairs that have 20 1024x1024 textures, she will most likely buy and use stuff that spams 1024x1024 textures because she doesn't know about these kind of things. I wouldn't be surprised if her avatar has like 200-400mb alone. I'm going by what is given to me and what i've seen works for the use case, which in this case is going to be a basic user with human content around and human content has always started at 2gb minimum. I literally just need to turn around on the TPV parcel and look at the occasional human coming over and see them use up like 200+mb on average. What happens if she goes to semi visited places, goes shopping or does anything other than standing in an empty SIM playing with her thumbs? She's gonna see texture thrashing everywhere, shopping walls not loading, her own avatar becoming blurry all the time and so on. I get quite a few reports of texture thrasing from time to time and i'm surprised its even possible with my automatic memory management because the only way thats possible is if they are running out of VRAM, which they do and they have 4GB most of the time. Lucky for her, GTX 1000 series all have quite a good amount of VRAM so that shouldn't be a concern, though i brought it up because as with my GTX 1060 for instance there is a 3GB and 6GB version and if something like this comes up i'd suggest taking the 6GB version, you don't take the 3GB gimped version ever.

Harddrives, same story as above, i'm not saying she should buy a ***** harddrive because its enough, i'm saying a ***** harddrive is enough so she can freely select whatever she wants (or is in her budget) without having to fear that it will have a big impact on her goal of making SL run decent. Laptops come with SSD's today. But for SL only they wouldn't be necessary.

But if you want a specific suggestion what she should get:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600

RAM: 16GB DDR4 3000/3200

GPU: GTX 1060 6GB

Harddrive: SSD whatever the amount you need.

Boom, this is exactly my current setup and you'll be able to run SL just fine at basically all times. You can run around with all the fancies turned on at all times. If you turn them off you will see framerates you thought where never possible. In other words SL will run absolutely perfect.

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13 hours ago, NiranV Dean said:

This generalization comes from experience. I've had a GTX 670 before. No performance difference. I had a GTX 460 for a day while my 670 was dying, no performance difference. I got a 1060 now, no performance difference.

No performance difference In SL between a GTX 460 and a 1060? Seriously? 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Lyssa Greymoon said:

No performance difference In SL between a GTX 460 and a 1060? Seriously? 

Yes. This is due to SL not utilizing the GPU to its fullest.

You see, the Viewer (depending on which) might use your GPU anywhere between 10% to 100%. Depending on which settings you enable (like depth of field, ssr, volumetric lighting, ssao) you will increase the GPU load because some graphics are purely GPU and some others are CPU or a mixture of both. SL does very little on the GPU unless you run Advanced Lighting Model and have everything on and even then a GTX 460 can handle that just fine. However, there are cases where GPU usage spikes, such as with shadows on low sun angles where the shader needs to iterate more than usual, if that happens and you reach 100% GPU usage, anything beyond that will immediately cause an average FPS drop depending on how much more is being done that your GPU cannot handle in time. With the default Viewer you can run with a GTX 460 with everything on as long as your CPU is powerful enough to never become the bottleneck (spoiler: it will). When i tested this i was using my own Viewer with my usual default settings which are quite a good chunk more GPU hungry than the default Viewer is so i'm quite confident to say that it technically doesn't matter what GPU you get because you can virtually get no GPU that is too bad for SL unless you'd look into a trash pile or get it via Ebay/Amazon from someone who has a 15+ year old GPU or something.

The only problem i had with the GTX 460 was obviously its 1GB VRAM, almost no textures were loaded, everything was permanently blurry and reloading which even bogged down the Viewer and yet performance wasn't different (that is when i finally got everything in the pitiful 1GB VRAM.

This is why i always have to chuckle when i hear someone saying you need a monster GPU for SL when you really don't. Note though that this might change soon. We have new graphics coders after all and SL might get a lot more GPU relevant stuff soon.

Edited by NiranV Dean
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Well I do need to figure out how to convince my GTX 560 it’s really a 1060, because it’s really slacking on me.

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I’ve been quietly following this thread for advice to improve my SL performance. My late 2013 MacBook does everything I need.. except run SL enjoyably. After reading and researching all the suggestions I found a used Predator on eBay for less than $500 and the results were amazing! My FPS went from average 6-10 on lowest settings to almost 40 in laggy sims on high. At one point in a skybox, I hit 108. I’ve never been able to enjoy ultra settings before, and this is important to me as I like to take photos in world. I just wanted to thank everyone for sharing their knowledge and experience because it’s truly appreciated.

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18 hours ago, VioletEcho said:

.. I found a used Predator on eBay for less than $500 and the results were amazing!

That Acer is a great choice when it comes to "gaming" laptops and is very well build,  as long as you blow some compressed air every 6 months and you replace the thermal paste/pads once a year to avoid thermal issues  you will enjoy it for a very long time.

**And like every other laptop you get the benefit to use it wherever you like. Cheers.

IMG_0624.thumb.png.452dfe53ad3c3aaa19947773a4a94f33.png

 

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