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Steveo77 Zerbino

Will this laptop run second life ?

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hi all

I am thinking of getting a new laptop and anm getting confused about what might run SL best

 

I have seen a Dell Inspiron laptop which has an Intel I5- 2410 processor with 6GB memory.

 

will this be ok?

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Need to know what it has as a video card/chipset. SL is a very graphics-intensive application, and needs a fairly high-end video capability. Laptops that aren't specifically geared as "gamer's rigs" for playing games with intense 3D graphics will usually be struggling to do anything with SL. If it has built-in graphics on the motherboard, and less than 512 MB dedicated VRAM, you won't do very well with SL on a laptop.

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There are many laptops in the Inspiron range, as well as in the XPS range. And "running awesome" can be interpreted differently by anyone as well. Not helpful. Some people are satisfied with very basic graphics, without any atmospheric blissand bells and whistloes and reduced drawing distance. If you want to add some eye candy and maybe shoot the one or other snapshot you gotta have decent powerful graphics.

So, let's get into medias res, Steve, shall we?

The processor you mentioned is just fine, as almost every modern processor is these days. But as mentioned already, what you need is a dedicated graphics chip, not some lame ass compromising on board graphics solution. It needs its own RAM too, at least 512 MB. And these requirements brings you into the high specceed Inspiron and XPS or even Alienware ranges, when you insist on Dell as your supplier. Other mothers have nice daughters too, but they are equally expensive or crap in other aspects. I tried it with Asus, but what use are the powerful specs when the keys are jumping off the keyboard already after some weeks of SL chat? And then there's the problem of overheating which can cause all sorts of troubles. So you have to buy a seperate cooling stand anyway, which makes your laptop machine even more exypensive.

My suggestion: If your old lappy was able to run SL, and you're not on the road all the time - stick with it. Use it for when you're on the road and need to log in from hotel rooms and the like.

Instead take your money and buy a nicely specced desktop PC. It's so much nicer, so much better in SL ... and so much cheaper. Don't buy any brand but just go to the friendly little neighborhood PC warehouse and have them build one for you. Good Gigabyte mobo, fast RAM (8 GB or so), powerful power supply, a good GPU (nVidia GTX series, stay away from ATi), and a nice box, big enough to put all the goodies into and with ample amount of cooling fans. Doesn't need to be a gaming rig even, no watercooling or any of the voodoo stuff needed. But a stable workhorse that can take a beating, that's what you want.

 

 

 

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...lets take this one step further shall we?

Not easy to give advise on lap top or pc without also knowing what the user will be using his/her system for.

If you are using sl as a social platform then you wouldm't need the same system as someone who is a creator in sl for example.  Do you aready have a pc & want a laptop cause you need mobility?  Etc. etc.

Bottom line, determine what ALL your needs are, research the various systems available, read what others have to say about similar systems (not from makers websites) then you can make an informed decision

I have pc's as well as laptops.  IMO a pc is always most preferrable to running sl if you want full functionality and the ability to do endless tasks, but i also travel & so use laptop as well.  I did not run sl on any laptop until I bought my Inspiron & now the XPS.

Whatever you decide, enjoy!

 

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Form the other suggestions it should be obvious the trend in advice is forming; it depends on what you want to do.

If SL will be the only game and task the computer ever needs to run, a moderate business machine with moderate graphics is a starting place.

If you play other computer games, you will need something beyond SL's specs. So, you need to make a decision. Decide what you may want to do 2 to 3 years from now.

Except for art and video editing, there are no 'business' tasks that will stress the computer. It is the gaming uses that run into the computer's limits. So, only gaming is the criteria one has to deal with.

For a CPU duel i3 Cores will work for general use and mid range gaming. i5 and i7 increase cost and improve performance as does the shift to quad core. Buy the best you can afford or a willing to put out.

Even in SL what you do changes the requirements. I disagree with photography being a deciding factor. One can use low graphics settings until they want a nice picture. I can get by with 4 or 5 FPS with shadows and distance maxed for a couple of screen captures/snap shots then turn down the settings for 25FPS. On the other hand machinima demands high performance. If you like combat games in SL, you need the ultimate in performance. The FPS affects event processing speed in most games with things happening at the beginning of each frame. In SL a number of events are controlled by server side Phycics FPS, which your graphics card does not affect. Other events are affected by viewer FPS, which your card does affect. Hard core combat junkies get max power in their hardware and then turn the graphics down to the minimum for 100+ FPS...

ATI and nVidia are your graphics choices. Right now both are having problems with SL. Historically ATI has more problems with SL than nVidia. The nVidia problems are almostly fixed. There are fixes in progress and several are in testing in the SL Dev viewer. In general nVidia is a better choice for SL use.

The newer nVidia cards are coming down in cost. 400 and 500 series cards are good choices. You will find the biggest differences in the cards is in their support for OpenGL. You need a card that at least supports OpenGL 3.3 and that is for today as that is what the new Dev Viewer is using. OpenGL is up to 4.2. But, this is more a driver issue than a hardware issue. My old 8800 GTS is running OpenGL 3.3 now.

It is hard to know which video card one should choose. Cost may decide it. But in the US$75 to $150 range the capability difference is mixed and confusing. You need a third party to help you decide. 2011 nVidia Performance Chart shows the difference performance by card. Prices are all over the place. Fry's had a GT550Ti for $500+/- in a huge box (my shoes come in a smaller box) and Best Buy had the card in a small box for $150. So, one shops or watches the one building the computer like a hawk. Itemized prices are a must.

Mac, Linux, and Windows are your choice in OS's. If you wanted Linux you wouldn't be asking us questions. Mac poorly supports SL and has OpenGL issues. The Lab is working on fixing those problems. Windows is the target for the Lab and fixes for Windows problems arrive ahead of Mac fixes. Microsoft works to make Windows a 3D model gaming machine... they focus on 3D-photorelaistic games. Apple works to make Mac a 2D gaming machine... there focus is the move to tablets, phones, and web based games. They both work toward serving all types of games and uses, but they have primary and secondary foci. 

Brand Name or custom built... HP, Dell and other big manufactures build some nice machines. HP to reduce cost and control customers uses lots of propriatary parts. You can only get yur replacement parts from HP and they are costly. Plus only HP authorized (meaning they paid HP money) service providers can work on HP equipment and get parts. But, HP makes some really nice lap tops at good prices. Dell is not that much into proprietatary parts. They exccert cunomer control via guarantees. The cost of working on computers and the software that allows them to remotely work on computers and update them is built nto the cost of the machine. One gets more support for the money but less quality in the hardware.

In custom built computers from a local shop, one puts all the money for hardware into hardware. Warrantee money is clearly defined. Most factory warrantee is 90 days to 1 year. Extended warrantee is clearly labeled.

There are lots of personal preferences involved in choosing a new computer. 

You may find additional information on Dell Island a 4 region area that Dell maintains in SL.

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