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That in no way implies that you need that much. Windows 7 manages ram differently depending on how much you have. And you can put as much ram as you can in a computer and windows 7, and I believe vista will still use a paging file, its just how they work. Many think "wow I can put 12 gigs of ram in my computer and it will never use my hard drive.". Wrong, it will still do it.

Pull half your ram out and see what happens. I bet you will notice no difference at all in how your system runs. Well you will notice one thing, it will use less power. The more ram you have the more power your computer will consume. So when thinking of people using a laptop, using less ram will actually give you more battery time.

A computer is a whole complex system, its rarely one item that will suddenly you make you perform better. For games the best power boost is a better GPU, but that is not the case with other things.

Things to consider are the speed of your cpu, the amount of ram and ram speed it will actually support, the amount of cache and speed. Then there is the main board its self and what amounts and speeds it will support. Then there is your hard drive, how big it is, what the disk speed is, the amount of cache it has and its read, write and seek times. Faster ram with tighter timing would actually be better performance wise than the amount. But putting the best and most ram you can find in your system will do you no good if something else is sub pare. Like say you have an older cpu or a huge fragmented hard drive, or one with slow specs.

You want to see your comptuer speed up, drop a SSD in it for you OS. My computer boots in under 30 seconds. However it really made no improvement on how sl runs. It launches faster, but it doesn't run any faster.

Ram is usually the last spec I consider in a system as long as it has around 3 gigs. One of the main reasons to go with 4 gigs is you can run it dual channel and double the speed. Its not the extra ram helping, its the way it accesses it.

Even your operating system makes a difference, especially where sl is concerned. I have tried sl on XP, vista, linux and windows 7. Windows 7 always gives me the best performance. I was actually not impressed at all with linux, but then I am not a programmer.

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Mannie Clowes wrote:

its not difficult to compare SL to modern games at all, even if you have 10 people all with different variations of those necklaces standing next to each other you wont get anywhere near the graphics load that any of the new games will have, compared to them SL is poorly coded thats why you need a machine with a little umph to run sl nothing more

The reason you don't get as high of a graphics load is pipeline stalls. GPUs can only draw a limited number of textures at a time, most modern chips can do 16 or so max. So the more textures you have the more you have to split up the work in to batches, the more batches you have the more time you have to spend changing state as you switch between them. The ridiculously high textures counts in sl is one of the main reasons for the low frame rates we get.

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I just ran a short test too see what would happen on my system with multi tasking.

I have ten internet browswer windows opened, not tabbed, seperate windows. Gimp with 10 textures opened, blender, fraps and SL/firestorm running in ultra. And on top of that I opened windows movie maker and started processing a video file at the same time.

applications snapshot.jpg

performance snapshot.jpg

As you can see I am only using around 60 percent of my memory and I am still pulling almost 100 frames per second in sl. And this is with 4 gigs of DDR2 installed. I can personally think of better ways to spend money than on 12 to 16 gigs of ram. For that kind of money you could get a 60 gig SSD drive, a really good SATA drive or depending on what you have for a processor a better one. And if you were running on integrated graphics it would get you a pretty decent stand alone video card.

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I guess I'll quit posting back when I quit reading such nonsense as SL is not graphically intensive.  SL is probably the most graphically intensive program you can run on your computer.  The reason is not so much that it's a complex program (but, it really is...just not all that relevant) but due to the content that it contains.  Things your system (computer) must deal with.  You seem to think that makes no difference...........but you are so wrong, it should be embarrassing for you.  Equating a program that utilizes un-optimized textures, poorly written scripts, amateur created mesh and objects that range from simple planes to complex sculpties (all in one scene) is beyond ignorance.........borders on insanity.

 

A mid spec'd computer will run SL.........yeah, it will.  But that same mid spec'd computer will run WoW 100's of time better.  The main difference is the content..........that's it.  Nothing else.  I've never said a computer has to be some super gamer's rig.........but I've never said a computer without the necessary hardware will run it at all.  And, I've never accused the developers of "poor coding".  Poor coding.....yeah, right.  Anyone else ever done what LL has?  Name them.....I want to go see what they've done ( I really do..........and I've searched for such a program.  So far, that's a complete fail).

 

Now I might shut up.........don't hold me to that though.  :)

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I'm not disputing the value of a SSD drive.  But, like everything else computers, it has it's draw backs (or faults).  An SSD drive has a significantly shorter life span than your standard spinning disk hard drive.  It's the number or write cycles it can endure before it fails.  Every hard drive (SSD encluded) will get fragmented over time.........that requires either live with the slowing caused by the fragmentation or you defragment the drive.  SL (the cache particularly) fragments a drive heavily.  And defraging the drive is the only solution to fixing that problem.............a spinning hard drive suffers enough with defragging (yes that process of defragging shortens it life too) but it has many more write cycles before it fails.  The gain is the difference in speed....but when your drive fails a year or so before you would think it would, what did you gain? 

 

It's something to think about when deciding to go SSD.  Is it worth the speed gain vs the durability?  If so.....go for it.  If not stay with the longer lived old spinning drive.  The speed can mostly be made up with RAM and high end hardware (which you will still need even with your SSD drive).

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That was the case a few years ago, but the newer drives have a much longer life span. It goes by how many writes they can take before they go bad, and that amount is pretty large for the average user. By the time you wrote to it that much you would need a new computer anyway. And you don't defrag a SSD.

My Intel drive is rated at 100GB per day of random writes for 5 years before failing. And there is no way I am coming anywhere near that. And that is most likely a concervative estimate. And even when a SSD does fail, you don't lose any data. It just stops accepting writes, it will still read. So you can still transfer your data to another drive.

The biggest draw back is the size vrs price vrs performance. If you are looking at anything larger than a 60gb ssd for what it would cost you could get a mechanical drive that would be pretty fast and way larger. And a good mechanical drive actually has faster write times in most cases. SSD's excell at reads, not writes.

But the SSD's have no moving parts, use less power and put out almost no heat and can take a lot more physical abuse. They were really designed for laptops.

And again, like I said, my ssd offered me no improvement for sl at all.

I use both, I have an SSD and a 7200 rpm mechanical drive. And windows 7 will automatically see a SSD and optimize itself for it.

 

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I know why it would be recommended not to defrag a SSD, but if you don't defrag it it's going to get slow after a few months of use.  Take your swap file as one instance.  At some point your system is going to have to dump some of the active RAM to virtual RAM (such as streaming a video).  That will mean a lot of data being written to the swap file.  It will fragment and if you don't defrag it that file will be spread all over your drive.  When your system needs to retrieve the data it temporarily pushed off to the drive it's going to have to search the whole drive to find it all.......yeah your drive's read times are faster but it's still going to slow you down (significantly if the swap file is large).  I defrag my drive about once a month (sometimes not so often, but that's pretty much average).  In that month my drive will show up to 25% fragmentation (where normally after a defrag I'll see less than 10%).  And I don't really stream that much.  Just web browsing, email, some GIMP stuff, and SL.  SL does it's share of fragmenting a drive itself.......mostly the caches but a little in the swap file. 

 

If you can't defrag a SSD then you have to live with the drive slowing down?  That's not something I would want.  But, like I said I understand why it would be extremely hard on the drive.  It can take dozens of write cycles to the same sector for just one defrag.  I'll let SSD's get a little further down the development trail..........for the amount of storage to cost it just doesn't seem to be worth it.  As a storage drive for back up or archiving..........might be worth it (but do you really need the speed for archiving and storage?).  Just my thoughts.......sort of rambling, I guess.  :matte-motes-big-grin:

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So fragmentation has no effect?  I didn't know that..............but I'll take your word for it.  Guess I need to do some more homework (damn, I just got spinning drives sort of straight in my head.......now something new?)  I feel a headache coming.  :matte-motes-big-grin:

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A little bit more on the life span of a SSD. And SSD doesn't write to the same cell over and over. It spreads the data out over the whole drive and has software that monitors how many times a cell has been written to to keep the wear level even over the whole drive. So in order to wear one out you would have to write X amount of data to the entire drive over and over on a daily basis.

Most drives are rated at 5 years life span with X amount of data written to it daily. keep in mind this is continuous writing 24/7 365 days a year. Ratings are anywhere from 20gb to intels 100gb a day. The avarage person writes about 10gb a day, if that and that isn't continous over the whole day.

So that means on a drive with a 20gb a day rating you can over write the entire drive with 36,500 gb of data before it begins to fail. With a 100gb rating it would be 182,500gb of data. And I willing to bet this is a conservative number.

So based on an average of 10gb average of data you are looking at 10 years of life for a 20gb per day drive and 50 years of life on a 100gb per day rated drive. And remember this is writing to the entire drive in order to wear out all the cells. And the larger the drive the longer it will last since you have to write more data to it to wear it out.

So chances are it will fail due to an electronic hardware problem before you ever wear it out by writing to it.

 

And on defragmenting, SSD's keep track of where they write the data to and have no mechanical heads that need to move to find the data. They can virtually instantly access it no matter where it is written to. Flash memory works nothing like a mechanical mangetic drive. SSD's scatter the data all over the drive on purpose in order to make it last longer.

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I'm not doubting you (or leileil) but I am going to do some Googling............tomorrow.  :matte-motes-big-grin:  I was joking about feeling a headache coming on but this is beginning to overheat my tired brain cells.........it's way past my bed time.  :)

 

All this is really a derail and, for me, very interesting.  But a speedy drive (SSD or one of those 10,000 rpm gamers drives) won't help any computer run SL as much as a good video card and enough RAM to not have to use any drive for virtual memory.  :)  So if the OP is still reading this is good stuff............but a SSD is NOT a requirement for good performance in SL.

 

Night night all.:matte-motes-big-grin: 

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" and enough RAM to not have to use any drive for virtual memory"

Like I said in my other post, this will never happen. Windows will always use virtual memory unless you manually shut it off, which most don't suggest. It doesn't matter how much memory you have, windows will always use a paging file, it is just the way its set up.

And the more ram you have the larger your page file will be, unless you set it manually.

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Unfortunately, once again, the elephant in the room goes unmentioned...*sigh*

There's more to getting performance out of your system then just going out and buying  a GTX500-series GPU, an additional 12GB RAM, and two 10K-RPM drives set up in a RAIDzero array.  All too often, the case of "my system can't run this-or-that well" can be narrowed down, at least partially, to USER-error/inexperience...even stubbornness.

Allow me to explain:

 

When I worked for a small system-repair/upgrade business a few years back, my brother referred a friend to me, who called explaining that his expensive new system (it was relatively state-of-the-art for 2007) was not running his games up to speed.  I took a look at it, and indeed he had bought all the bells and whistles that comprised a gaming-system for that year.

He fired-up one of the games he said was bogging (I think it was Counterstrike or something), and indeed it WAS a slideshow.  I took over, exited the game, and it didn't take me thirty-seconds to realize what the problem was.  Here is the list (as much that I can remember) that he had running in the background WHILE HE WAS TRYING TO PLAY THESE SYSTEM-INTENSIVE GAMES:

*third-party firewall

*antivirus running in 'continuous scan' mode

*a rediculous number of mp3 downloads going on

*watching a movie in a window on the second monitor

*a number of messenger windows opened, as well as voice

*third-party defragger

*a seemingly-impossible number of chatbars prevalent in an open-browser 

Now, these are all just fine and dandy.  But heres the rub: when I told him that he shouold try shutting those things down to free-up his system, or wait until they're all finished, he actually got irate, and told me (on no uncertain terms) that he "needed those running AT ALL TIMES, and  that it wasn't all the stuff he had running in the background that was to blame, but "poor coding from the game companies" that caused the low framerate.

'Needed' all those things?...

Sadly, this is all too often the case of system after system that came my way.  I'd clean-up the tasklist, and the customer is happy.  Customer brings computer back a week later and says "It's slow again..."  I explain to said-customer that they should really  not reinstall those twenty Yahoo-Toolbars and that there's no need to have THREE AntiVirus programs running at once.  Customer, of course, informs me that they NEED those things running.

So, what am I saying here?  Well, I'm running a dual-core 2.6GHz, 4GB DDR2, Zotac GTS250 1GB, under Win7 Ultimate 64-bit.  For a viewer, I've been using Kirstens (latest iteration, S21).  Under said viewer, I'm running shadows, DOF, 4x AA, and Global Illumination.  My point?  (drumroll please...)  I'm getting between 20 and 30 FPS regularly.  How?  I shut down EVERYTHING before I start the viewer.  I mean that.  No AV, firewall off, Photoshop closed, unnecessary services off, the whole nine-yards.

This, in turn goes back to my original point about the 'quality' of hardware not being the end-all of viewer performance.  The end-user has a responsibility to their system-performance, and just by shutting a few things down, it's amazing how much more that seven-year-old system can do.

ETA:  Sorry if this came across as complaining, which is far from my intention; just trying to further enlighten.

Cheers! 

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Ya I did a video on that for racing in sl. On how to adjust your viewer and computer to get more out of it. I do the same as you. Actually I have it set up so nothing loads when I start my comptuer, which is another reason I have fast boot up times. The SSD helps, but not starting 15 programs in the background makes a big difference lol. And there is a program called Advanced System Care that has a boost mode that will actually shut off everything for you and change your desktop settings to get more performance. And another one that comes with it called Game Booster that optimizes it even more.

This thread did get seriously side tracked, but then the OP never did post his actual specs so there isn't much we can do on that one. SL really depends on various things to run well, some you can control some you can't. If you have a poor internet connection, really high ping or the SL server is running like crap the best computer in the world won't help you. It will still run like crap.

As far as sl is concerned though really the best investment you make is a better GPU if everything else is at least half way decent. Its one of the things that actually has the largest impact on the game. I have tested many different configurations with sl and without a doubt the GPU has the biggest impact. And after that from what I found was the operating system. just switching to windows 7 significantly raised my frame rates, as in more than doubled them over xp or vista and linux.

If you have at least 2 gigs of ram, a dual core cpu and healthy hard drive upping them really doesn't have much effect on sl. Where it pays off is when trying to multi task while running sl. As in if you are a content creator and are running texturing, 3-d modeling or video software while working in sl.

If you are running sl on a system with at least 2 or 3 gigs of ram, dual core processor and integrated graphics my advice would be to get a stand alone video card before you did anything else. A top of the line processor and 16 gigs of ram won't gain you squat compared to a decent stand alone video card. Even if its only a 70 dollar card, if you get the right one. Something to consider though is when step up to the better video cards like a 9800 or similar and up you will probably have to upgrade your power supply as well.

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Agree.

I should have pointed out that I'm on a cable internet connection, which makes a HUGE difference.  I have the connection-speed turned up to 3500kbps, as anything higher doesn't seem to affect performance.  This is also a good place to mention that the HTTP-TEXTURE option has turned out to be a terrible bottleneck, and so I recommend turning it off.

The GTS250 was a gift from my wife last november, and the improvement from the 8500fx that I was using before it was a hundredfold; so yes, getting a better GPU will almost always help.  For the record, ATI cards and SL do not seem to get along, although mileage seems to vary from user to user.

As well, just to drive the point home, I should also have made it clear why I mentioned that I use Kirsten's Viewer.  It's relevent to my point because so many users have indicated that while the graphics capabilities of KV are 'above the curve', most say that their system simply can't handle the settings that facilitate all the eye-candy.

Cheers! 

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never mind the 2 dozen apps they have preloading every time they turn the machine on ("but I'm not running it it's just in the toolbar[system tray]"), or the 3 dozen plugins running in nearly as many browser tabs, and the gobledy gooky applications that duplicate basic OS features but are laden with ad and spy ware, or the fact that they bought the pro/ultimate version but never knew about (and so never turned off) the default server processes etc that they can't even use in a single computer environment (not to mention glaring security targets like remote registry and remote desktop)

/end rant

can you tell I've seen it all too often?

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I have the gts 250 as well. I find Kirstens cranked up does put quite a load on your system compared to the sl viewer or firestorm with the same settings. Hisr viewer is specifically geared towards those that shoot video or take pictures. So it does look awesome.  Also on cable internet as well with 8mb download speed. From what I understand though sl still only sees 1.5 so setting it higher really doesn't gain you anything. Maybe its different for different people?

The newer ati cards seem to work better I guess, and it depends on the computer. Like macs seem to do quite fine with ati. I think its the drivers rather than the card. Also ATI doesn't do as well with open GL and that is what sl uses. At least the older cards anyway. I know when I originally got my GTS 250 I had got an ATI card first and had to take it back, sl wouldn't even run with it. But that was a few years ago. I agree though, for a PC I always suggest someone stick with Nvidia since it seems to work no matter what.

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Chelsea Malibu wrote:

Video Card and Ram are probably the two most critical after your internet connection.

 
  • Wireless = bad
  • 512 or smaller video card = bad
  • less than 4GB RAM = bad
  • Less than 1.8 Gb processor = bad 
  • Drinking by yourself all night thinking you're hanging out with friends when you are actually alone, online in SL = bad

 


I'm actually still running with a 512m video card and I have great rez times and no problem with performance.  I also have super internet service and so even the writeless connection in my house runs pretty darn good.

And finally - sometimes, drinking by yourself all night, hanging with folks in SL, while alone in RL, is just what the mind needs.

 

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