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using ultra level Graphic


sonata1986
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The  Gigabyte GA-MA78G-UD3H motherboard appears to have an onboard ATI Radeon HD 3200 graphics controller.

http://www.sonycinemasystems.com/u/ps/gama780gud3h/gama78gud3h/1971436

That is quite a low level graphics card so probably only good for Low graphics in SL and Medium in low lag sims.

I wouldn't be qualified to instruct you how to add a discrete graphics card to that motherboard capable of providing High or Ultra graphics in SL or whether that level is achievable as it depends on other computer components not bottlenecking it, having a large enough PSU, cooling fans etc but I believe the installation of adding a discrete card is covered in the manual, page 19. You can download it here. However, that refers to adding another ATI card in CrossfireX mode and Crossfire does not work in SL and in fact can produce worse performance than a single card.

Perhaps it is possible to add a better discrete card and disable the onboard one but you would need specialist advice from a computer shop that handles upgrades.

http://www.helpowl.com/p/Gigabyte/GA-MA785G-UD3H/Research/113392?search=gigabyte%20ga%20ma785g%20ud3h

 

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I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination.  I do have a fair amount of experience in upgrading or installing video cards for my computers over the last 8 years or so.  I cannot speak for ATI/AMD cards since I've not owned one for about 6 years (at least).  It may sound like I'm recommending nVidia.............I'm not it's just that nVidia is my video chipset of choice (much like my bias toward Intel......there's nothing wrong with ATI/AMD).

 

If you want to upgrade your video card you need to settle in on what brand you want.  The ATI/AMD cards are typically a little less expensive than the nVidia cards (just like AMD is less expensive than Intel CPU's..........it's not a reflection on quality).  Whatever brand you choose you need to learn how to determine the performance of the card, what less is required for the card to be installed in your computer, and if your computer motherboard supports the interface the card is designed for.  You're motherboard supports the latest interface that almost every high performance video card manufactured today uses.  That being PCIe (PCI express).  That gives you lots of flexibility as far of high performance cards are concerned.........practically any high end card you find will install in on your motherboard.

 

The performance of video cards can be determined by the model number (both nVidia and ATI/AMD use a similar model number method, but I'm more familar with nVidia so I'll discribe that).  Two numbers in the model number are the most important.  The first and the second number.  The first number tells you the series of the card and tells you little about the cards performance.  Over time the series can be an important number since it does tell you the general time of production.........a lower number is an older series card (and that means the card was manfactured using older technology).  Don't get confused with the 4 digit numbers over the 3 digit numbers......all that means is about 2 years ago nVidia reached the end of thousands and instead of going to 5 digit numbers they started over with 3 digit numbers.  An nvidia 9800 is an older series than a 280 but the performance is almost the same.   The second number in the model number will tell you the performance of that card within that series.........it's the more important number to pay attention to if you are looking for high performance in your card.  A number 5 indicates mid-range for the series of the card.  Anything less than 5 will be a lower performing card and anything above will be a higher performing card (that is within the specific series).

 

As far as I know, the current series for nVidia cards is the 500 series (they may have released a 600 series but I've not heard of it yet).  A 500 series will naturally be the most expensive cards simply because as any new product, it's "the best" and will be priced accordingly (it's marketing more than anything).  As the second number increases so will the price up to whatever the highest performance level is for the series..........that can be quite expensive (even up $500 USD and above).  The get a high performance card you do not have to have the most recent series card.  You can drop back several series and still have a very high performing card.  Personnally when I'm looking for a new card, I look 2 or 3 series back (example would be if the current series is 500, I would look at 200 and 300 series cards).  Look for a card mid range or higher (the prices for the series a couple back are conciderably lower and you will get the great bang for you buck).  Once you found your card, you'll see things like GT, GS, GTS, GTX.........those designations basically tell you the card has additional capabilities (like maybe new technology such as 3D video.........new stuff that only a few people would use.  For SL it's more of less useless.......but may be of interest to you).  I normally go with the greatest special capabilities I can find but I'm not going to pay more for it because, for my use, it's not important.

 

Once you find the card, you need to make sure it's PCIe (that's the fastest interface for video available today for computers........gaming consols, I think, have a faster interface but those devices are highly specialized and won't work with SL anyway).  A PCIe X16 is the fastest on the market today..........and your motherboard supports it.  You probably also have 2 PCIe slots (one at X16 and one at X1).  Many (if not all) high performance cards are wider than other PCI devices you might install or have in your computer........the require two availabe slots next to each other on your motherboard (they will partially cover the slot below the slot they are plugged into.  That is something you'll probably have to physically look at for your computer.  Then a very important component that must be considered for proper video card installation (both for the expected performance and protection of the card and other devices installed in your computer, including your motherboard itself).  The power supply.  High performance cards have a minimum power supply requirement.  You need to pay attention to that requirement to get the performance (and not waste all your effort and money).........and to prevent possibly damaging other components installed in your computer.  You will very likely have to upgrade the power supply with any video card you purchase for higher performance.  Typically a modern high performance card will require a 400 or 450 watt power supply.  And most computer manufacturers install a power supply in the computers that barely meet the requirements for the computer as built.........your computer probably has a power supply with a wattage rating for 280 or 300 (max).  You can find very good brand name power supplies of 650 watts (or higher) for under $100 USD (I found 650 watt Antec for $80 about 4 years ago......it's been transferred to two other computers over those 4 years).  Power supplies are easy to install..........not as easy as a video card but almost.

 

I hope my rather windy post helps you find what you are looking for.  I only want to mention one more thing.  Second Life requires a good video card.  It does not require the highest performing card you can find.........mid range or higher (up to your budget allowance) is about the best you can do.  You'll be wasting all the performance for the "latest and bestest for you use in SL...........if you are a gamer or want "bragging rights" that is a different story (go for it......my GTS 250 will keep up with your card :matte-motes-big-grin-wink:)

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