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that old question about specs and performance


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hello and I am sorry if this is an oft repeated question... 

i have a friend who relies a lot on secondlife for her social life, some work, friends etc etc... she likes doing pictures, and does some work in graphics programmes outside SL but does not "play" other "games".

I see the SL recommended system spec, and knowing there is not a hoofing great amount of money to spend, I wonder if the following spec is good enough to run high graphics for a good experience...... 

  • 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-11400 processor(6-Core, 12M Cache, 2.6GHz to 4.4GHz)

  • Windows 11 Home, English, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650 SUPER™ 4GB GDDR6

  • 8GB, 8Gx1, DDR4, 2666MHz

  • 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive

Thank you, and more for putting up with what I imagine to be a tired subject.

 

Jonathan

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28 minutes ago, GenericTomlass said:

hello and I am sorry if this is an oft repeated question... 

i have a friend who relies a lot on secondlife for her social life, some work, friends etc etc... she likes doing pictures, and does some work in graphics programmes outside SL but does not "play" other "games".

I see the SL recommended system spec, and knowing there is not a hoofing great amount of money to spend, I wonder if the following spec is good enough to run high graphics for a good experience...... 

  • 11th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-11400 processor(6-Core, 12M Cache, 2.6GHz to 4.4GHz)

  • Windows 11 Home, English, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650 SUPER™ 4GB GDDR6

  • 8GB, 8Gx1, DDR4, 2666MHz

  • 256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive

Thank you, and more for putting up with what I imagine to be a tired subject.

 

Jonathan

A little bit more RAM would be good so she won't have to use swap on very crowded regions. Other than that she is fine.

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A second and maybe a little faster RAM module would be good. 16GB is fine, 8 GB can be limiting.

The CPU supports two memory channels, so you want two RAM modules to use the memory bandwidth. 

In addition, the CPU supports RAM speeds of 3200Mhz, so 2666 Mhz is a bit on the slow side.

 

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1 hour ago, Kathrine Jansma said:

The second RAM module is more important, the actual speed is only a big concern if you used a non dedicated GPU or try to get to really high FPS.

+1

The viewer itself is not really sensitive to the RAM speed, unless you are using an APU or iGPU (i.e. using the integrated graphics unit of your CPU), in which case the ”VRAM” is actually the system (CPU) RAM...

When using a discrete GPU (even as old as a GTX460), your bottleneck will be at the CPU level: the better the single-core performances of your CPU and the higher the frame rate (it's almost exactly proportional).

As for the OS, you'd better go for Linux to enjoy a +20% bonus (minimum, for NVIDIA GPUs, probably +50% or more for AMD GPUs) on frame rates with the exact same hardware, with the caveat that new Intel heterogeneous CPUs (with their poorly performing ”E cores”) can induce some bad decisions in the scheduler (this is also true with Windows 10 or older): in this case, you may use the CPU cores affinity settings of Linux to solve the issue (the Cool VL Viewer can even do it for you, if you specify the proper CPU mask in its settings), or even its core hot-plug feature (you can enable/disable cores usage on the fly in Linux, and decide to disable all E-cores when running applications that suffer from them).

Edited by Henri Beauchamp
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I would also recommend little bit more RAM... 8 GB might work, but if she for example wanted to do also other things on the computer while logged in SL, then more RAM will become really handy. I have 12 GB and really noticed the difference when upgraded from 8.

 

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SL is an odd beast, and it can be better to ask whether your computer will run well for a particular region or region type rather than "in SL".

4GB VRAM is a bit thin, but given the current market, might be the best you can do without spending stupid monies. The GPU itself is more than plenty enough, at least until the viewer's rendering pipeline undergoes some major changes. Keep your resolution to 1080p and I guess it'll be OK. Given SL is the only thing used other than "other graphics programs" such as Photoshop, maybe it's worth pricing up some refurbished 6GB Quadro card? Last-gen Quadros can be had for surprisingly cheap, given the big shortages were mostly around gamers trying to get shiny toy GPUs to play with, rather than pro-end stuff that isn't normally used in, or optimised for, games. You may need to research more on that, given that most people are only familiar with the model numbers of the toy GPUs.

CPU probably won't be awful. Cheap, cheerful and does its job, but probably also will be a bottleneck for SL specifically. My frame rate can drop to horrible levels with a 6900xt and a 3960x threadripper in busy areas with long draw distances, and that's a machine that can run basically anything out there right now that isn't SL. Concentrate on something that has a good single-core performance, if you're making a Second Life rig. Don't expect anything outside of liquid nitrogen overclocked stupid-machines to run a busy shopping event at high frame rates without some compromises.

RAM is OK, not terrible, but get CL16/3200 and 16GB of it if you can afford it. Don't forget to turn XMP on in the BIOS.

Ultimately, this all goes back to the first sentence: It all depends where in SL you are. Expect to be dropping draw distance down to 64m or less at busy events or clubs, and tbh, you probably don't need more than a 32 or 64m draw distance in a club anyway. On the madlands, everyone suffers. In a mostly-empty sandbox where you're just pratting about with toys and chatting with friends, you can probably up those details a fair bit. On your own personal Openspace (they do exist!), Homestead or full region where you have complete control, you can keep things tightly curated and have something that can look quite pretty with high to ultra graphical settings, without needing a supercomputer to see it all.

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20 hours ago, Henri Beauchamp said:

As for the OS, you'd better go for Linux to enjoy a +20% bonus (minimum, for NVIDIA GPUs, probably +50% or more for AMD GPUs) on frame rates with the exact same hardware, with the caveat that new Intel heterogeneous CPUs (with their poorly performing ”E cores”) can induce some bad decisions in the scheduler (this is also true with Windows 10 or older): in this case, you may use the CPU cores affinity settings of Linux to solve the issue (the Cool VL Viewer can even do it for you, if you specify the proper CPU mask in its settings), or even its core hot-plug feature (you can enable/disable cores usage on the fly in Linux, and decide to disable all E-cores when running applications that suffer from them).

As someone who uses Linux as a daily driver, I would not recommend Linux as an SL machine to someone who just wants to switch on and have fun. The stock viewer does not support it. Firestorm has SLVoice issues. Black Dragon only runs in WINE and not entirely without issue. It's all a bit geeky-fiddly-argh-why-won't-you-just-work, and it seems that the Lab are entirely uninterested in any kind of Linux support right now, which compounds the issue. Apparently Linux users don't put enough money in to be worth it... because the regions I pay for and premium subscriptions are apparently non-existant and why am I not just using Windows amirite?

Granted, the amdgpu stuff built into the kernel is lovely, but that's not going to matter if you're using an Nvidia card and end up downloading the Nvidia blob to drive it, and you'll still end up whacking Vivox with a mallet to make voice work.

Given this is a machine that is also going to be used for other stuff, that also has to be factored in. If the other programs are basically a web browser, Blender and some light office work, that's probably fine. If you're trying to use the Adobe Creative Suite? Yeah no.

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ha. thank you to all of you. i respect and value you taking the time to reply.

So upgrade RAM - faster if possible, 16GB minimum

CPU  will probably leave as is but upgradeable in future

GPU  will also probably leave but upgradeable in future

It's a good basic machine I think is what I hear you all say. 

Toothless, there's a big heap of Quadro cards out there from £150 to .. lots... did you have any particular one in mind?

 

 

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3 hours ago, Toothless Draegonne said:

As someone who uses Linux as a daily driver, I would not recommend Linux as an SL machine to someone who just wants to switch on and have fun. The stock viewer does not support it. Firestorm has SLVoice issues.

.../...

Granted, the amdgpu stuff built into the kernel is lovely, but that's not going to matter if you're using an Nvidia card and end up downloading the Nvidia blob to drive it, and you'll still end up whacking Vivox with a mallet to make voice work.

Try the Cool VL Viewer... It is primarily a Linux viewer and works perfectly in all aspects (including voice, via Wine 32 or 64 bits, if you really need it: it even provides an install script for Wine-SL-voice).

The ”Linux = geek” old cliché does not stand any more, nowadays. As for the ”NVIDIA blob” it is just as cliché as the rest (mind you, even so called ”Open Source” drivers do use a closed source firmware blob from AMD: each and every modern (i)GPU (NVIDIA, AMD, Intel) use such a blob anyway).

Nothing prevents you either to dual-boot your PC (*). The 20-50% increased FPS rate is worth at least a try !

(*) Oh, wait... Micro$hit tried hard to make that impossible with Win11 and its ”secure” boot requirements and such... But Windows geeks solved that and you can actually install or upgrade to Win11 even on an old PC with ”unsupported” CPU, in BIOS mode or on an MBR partition, without secure boot, without any TPM support at all, with less than 2Gb of RAM, etc... And yes, it does run (and update) just fine; I personally did it on multiple VirtualBox VMs and 3 different ”bare metal” PCs, all of which without secure boot, without TPM, in BIOS/CSM mode, on MBR partitions, two of which with unsupported CPUs (2500K & Q6600)...

Edited by Henri Beauchamp
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6 hours ago, GenericTomlass said:

 

Toothless, there's a big heap of Quadro cards out there from £150 to .. lots... did you have any particular one in mind?

Something Pascal architecture (so the "Pro" version of the 1000 series) and 5-6GB DDR5 or more. Bear in mind these are NOT "toy" GPUs and are suboptimal for gaming, but should be sufficient for SL, and would be great for stuff like Photoshop or other workstation uses. Use a properly refurbed unit and they needn't be bank-breakingly expensive, though if you can get something like a 6GB GTX1060 normal Nvidia card without slapping your bank account around too badly, that would be fine too.

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6 hours ago, Henri Beauchamp said:

Try the Cool VL Viewer... It is primarily a Linux viewer and works perfectly in all aspects (including voice, via Wine 32 or 64 bits, if you really need it: it even provides an install script for Wine-SL-voice).

The ”Linux = geek” old cliché does not stand any more, nowadays. As for the ”NVIDIA blob” it is just as cliché as the rest (mind you, even so called ”Open Source” drivers do use a closed source firmware blob from AMD: each and every modern (i)GPU (NVIDIA, AMD, Intel) use such a blob anyway).

Nothing prevents you either to dual-boot your PC (*). The 20-50% increased FPS rate is worth at least a try !

(*) Oh, wait... Micro$hit tried hard to make that impossible with Win11 and its ”secure” boot requirements and such... But Windows geeks solved that and you can actually install or upgrade to Win11 even on an old PC with ”unsupported” CPU, in BIOS mode or on an MBR partition, without secure boot, without any TPM support at all, with less than 2Gb of RAM, etc... And yes, it does run (and update) just fine; I personally did it on multiple VirtualBox VMs and 3 different ”bare metal” PCs, all of which without secure boot, without TPM, in BIOS/CSM mode, on MBR partitions, two of which with unsupported CPUs (2500K & Q6600)...

I cannot recommend and will not use any viewer that is not on the TPV. There's enough scare stories to stay well away from anything that isn't on that list.

amdgpu is built into the kernel and is wholly open source. You're thinking of amdgpu-pro, which has proprietary additions for OpenCL and other workstation-ey uses, and ironically doesn't perform as well as the open saucey kernel module when it comes to realtime 3D rendering.

That you're talking about multiple virtual machines, secure boot and all kinds of other geek-isms is exactly my point: Normal users just want something that works. Linux mostly does that, but it doesn't do that for SL. I will say again, I have a 24 core threadripper, 256GB RAM and a 6900xt, with a cooling system that cost more than most entire PCs. I run Linux as my daily driver and I'm very comfortable with dicking about in terminals if I need to do something weird.

Most people, however, are very much not. Install, run, use. If it's not that simple, it's no good.

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12 hours ago, Toothless Draegonne said:

I cannot recommend and will not use any viewer that is not on the TPV.

If you please could stop spreading FUD... To cite my web site:

Quote

The Cool VL Viewer is itself TPV-policy compliant (and for people wondering why it is not listed in LL's TPV directory, it's simply because I don't want to provide private data to LL about myself, data which is illegal to require for such a purpose in my country. Being listed in the directory is in no way a requirement for a viewer to be considered TPV-policy compliant anyway: see the paragraph 6 of the TPV policy).

The Cool VL Viewer has been (publicly) around for over 14 years and not a single day pin-pointed by LL as non-compliant. It has in fact been the very first TPV to fully implement and comply with the TPV Policy. The listing in LL's TPV Directory is totally optional and in no way a guarantee that the listed TPVs are policy-compliant, just like not being listed does not mean the viewer is not compliant (see the paragraph 6 of the TPV policy).

Edited by Henri Beauchamp
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14 hours ago, Toothless Draegonne said:

I cannot recommend and will not use any viewer that is not on the TPV. There's enough scare stories to stay well away from anything that isn't on that list.

For goodness' sake leave Henri alone!  He has explained many times why he WILL not supply LL with the personal info that they insist upon. Not all countries have laws that synchronise with US law.

I have quite safely used Cool VL and while I don't currently (I don't like the V1 UI) it is perfectly safe and has some distinct advantages.

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