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Ok, so I just installed the latest version of the SL Viewer and I noticed when going to the Graphics tab, I am now able to activate the Lighting & Shadows features, but the Viewer is running extremely slow...atleast a 3 second delay when pointing over things, and don't get me started on walking *damn wall* lol. My question is why am I able to activate those features with this version and not with the previous 2 versions? My FPS was like 6.2, but after turning off every feature, moving the slider to Low, set my Draw Distance to 256 and Particle Count to max (8192 I think), the FPS shot up to 15.0. I've been on another thread here getting advice on a new graphics card. I've been doing research on the GeForce GT 440, 430 and 520 which are within my power supply wattage (300 W). I may upgrade that so I can get the GTX 560 Ti. Your thoughts?

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When you install the viewer, if your graphics card can do shadows, but it is likely to put the frame rate below 10, then shadows will be off by default.  But since your rig can understand the instructions, it will be possible for you to override the settings and turn it on.  It goes back to the old saying tho - just because you can, doesn't mean you should.  ;-)

My FPS goes from 25-30 down to around 10-12 when I enable shadows.  That kind of a drop insn't unexpected - real time dynamic lighting is a massive load on teh GPU.  My ATI Radeon HD 4600 Series does a decent job - but there are definitley cards that will do better.

 

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You can enable lighting & shadows because technically the HD 4200 does support the necessary features. You're getting such low frame rates with it because the HD 4200 is just a rebadged HD 3200 which was just a rebadged HD 2400, in other words a 5 year old worthless low end chip.

To expand on what Gyphon said. I have a GTX 560 Ti and my frame rate can go from 280 fps on low to 40 fps with everything enabled.

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I have a Core i5-750 with 8GB of ram the GTX 560 Ti and a 650w power supply. The power supply is more than I need, I could easily get by with a 500w unit. Your Phenom x4 is just a little slower than my CPU (depending on the model) so you should get around the same performance as I do with the 560 Ti.

There is such a thing as too much power. The 560 Ti has a TDP of 170w and my CPU has a TDP of 95w, add in around 50w for everything else and we're at 315w. Bump it up by 20% for a safety margin and future upgrades and we're still under 400w. The main reason to get a relatively high wattage power supply is because most low wattage ones are cheap and unreliable. I would say look for something around 500-600 watts. Check the web sites I linked to in the other thread for reviews of power supplies, there are lots of good ones in that range for only 50-75 dollars.

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