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Hey all, wasnt sure where this question would fit in the forums, forgive me if it's misplaced. I've been looking to buy a new computer & since i have no clue about computers, Just wondering, if those who do could directly link me to some that are for sale?

 

Basically, i'm looking for a generally all around good computer, but especially one that will be able to handle second life performance smoothly on ultra, or high graphics. If i could be recommended the best computer,  by what i've described, for under $1500/£1000, great. If that's not possible, please do still linkones that fit my preference. Thanks alot! It's really gonna help, i've been researching things i have no clue about for countless days now.  :)

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What a loaded question.  :)  I can't relate much to the English pound but the USD of $1500 gives you quite a bit of leeway to get a very good off the shelf computer (something like a high end Hewlett Packard or Dell or even a Sony).  But one that will run SL"smoothly at ultra settings"?  That's going to be hit and miss.  Computer manufacturers will put together a computer anyway you want and tell you that you've got the best of the best..........for the most part that's hogwash.  It's sales pitch and, though you will get some good stuff, you won't get the "best of the best".  To get what you say you want you'll have to build the computer yourself or have one custom built for you. Both can be done and stay within that $!500 USD quite easily........the off the shelf and you'll spend the same and get something less than you expect.

 

You stated that you havent' a clue about computers.  That makes it almost impossible to tell you what to get that meets your requirement for running SL at ultra and to run "smoothly".  You need to get a friend you can trust to help you learn what computer components are high performance and what are just hype.  You don't need the best of the best of anything to put together a "best of the best" computer.  You need flexibility.......things like expandability for your computer is not obsolete a month after you buy it.  For that you need research.......what motherboard do you need for what CPU you want.  What expansion slots you need for the hardware you want.  What memory support you need for the memory you want.......and how much the board is capable of running.  What operating system you need to make the best use of all your hard work and mony spent.  I can put together a "dream machine" for $1500 USD.....but it won't be a machine HP or Dell would call a "dream machine".  But it will run circles around anything those two manufacturers would every put together for $1500.

 

I know I haven't ansswered your question.  If you don't know anything about computers there's just no way I can.  My advise is to find someone in real life to help you.......someone you can trust to be honest and is competent.  Exlpain what you want and shop with that person to find the best you can afford with the most expandability built into the machine. 

 

I guess it obvious, but you won't be able to get a laptop to do what you want for the $1500.........double that and maybe you'll get close.  Maybe.

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The page I linked is from LL's wiki and is titled:  Choosing a Computer.

It doesn't limit to minimum requirements but gives some good info on what you should look for when purchasing a computer.

As far as ultra goes, the functionality only allows you to see far away.  Wonderful for taking long distance photos etc. but not much use for anything else.

 

 

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I could drool over what I could build with $1500, but like Peggy said it's hard to recommend an off the shelf computer to you.  If you have a geeky friend and your  main concern is Second Life, I will make this one recommendation.

Second life is graphically intensive so don't skimp on your graphics Card.  It's not the only thing in the equation, but many of us will recommend you go with NVidia.  GTX560 is supposed to be very nice.

Here are some examples in the $200 to $300 range:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007709%2050001402%204018%20600030348%20600094002&IsNodeId=1&name=EVGA

And for that kind of money I wouldn't have less than 8  Gigs of Ram.

But seriously, if you can get a Geeky friend involved with helping you and after you narrow down some choices you can list them here and get more guidance as far as it running SL goes.  Sometimes SL can be a bit quirky.

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I know what ultra does and does not do.  The OP stated he wants to run SL at ultra and for it to run smoothly.  A low to mid range computer (which is what the link you posted discribes) will not do that.  The OP, from the question asked, wants something more than a mid range computer........not necessarily a high end computer but certainly more than a mid range.  For $1500 that can be done quite easily.  But an off the shelf computer is hit or miss for accomplishing that goal.  To be assurred fo getting $1500 worth in a computer to do what is requested a custom or home built computer is just about the only way.

 

Otherwise, just spend $500 USD and take what you get.......and that is what the link points people to.

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I'm not trolling.  The OP stated in his post that he wanted something above average.  Something that would run SL at ultra smoothly and gave a budget.  That would be something more than "good enough". 

 

Everything here is "my opinion"......unless someone can produce credentials to back up some level of expertise that's all everything said here is.  I can't produce those credentials.........and never professed any expertise.  I do, however, have a lot of experience in puttint together computers.  Some of which are even high end.

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Rival Destiny wrote:

The page I linked is from LL's wiki and is titled:  Choosing a Computer.

It doesn't limit to minimum requirements but gives some good info on what you should look for when purchasing a computer.

As far as ultra goes, the functionality only allows you to see far away.  Wonderful for taking long distance photos etc. but not much use for anything else.

 

 

Not to take sides here but I read through that Wiki page and it is not going to help someone who as the OP says "i have no clue about computers," and "i've been researching things i have no clue about."

That page succeeds in being both technical and over generalized at the same time.  After reading it I would still be coming back here and saying, "HELP!"

 

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My god stop the bikkering...

If you want to run sl smooth on ultra, your fine with a pc in that price range, i would only strongly suggest to go with a nvidia card.

IF you wnat deferred rendeing (shadows+light), you won`t be able to run at ultra, but ultra tbh is pointless as you defenetly never want 1024 draw distance and 8000 particles :P

With some custom settings you will be able to run with deferred enabled, just don`t expect to run at 30 fps on a mid ranged pc with very high settings across the board  ;) 

 

 

ps; for the love of god, don`t go for a brand pc, really, don`t, go to your local shop and ask for something like this:

cpu: i5 960 2.8ghz
mobo: ASUS Maximus IV GENE-Z/GEN3 (my fav brand, only the rampage extreme series :))
ram: Corsair 4 GB DDR3-1600 Kit 
psu: 
SilverStone ST60F-P or ST60F-ES 

 

Ask in the shop for the costs and/or different parts, but don`t let them convince you to buy directly, get the parts they can supply back here, i`ll keep an eye out, some of those store.. *chill* :)

You might even have some bucks to spare to get the 580 gtx  instead of a 560 depending all the prices ;) 

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Yes, don't buy a brand PC of the shelf. Visit the local PC store down the road and ask them to build a machine to your specs. Since you "don't have a clue about computers" just tell them you need it mainly for a very graphics intense MMOPG.

What you need:

CPU: doesn't really matter, all modern processors can run SL smoothly. Intel is a bit more pricey but also much better than AMD

GPU: only the BEST will do, preferably nVidia GTX series 560 - 580 over ATI. Don't go for anything SSI or twin cards

RAM: more is better, faster is better, so ask for 8 GB with at least 1333 Mhz. Brand doesn't really matter.

MOBO: don't let them put in some cheapo MSI or ASUS crap, only the best range of those brands will do. GIGABYTE mobos on the other hand are all good and won't give you any problems

PSU: at least 750 watt

Hard drive: as fancy as those new SSDs are, you don't really need them. They will start up your machine much faster but won't be of any use in game. So go with a traditional spinning drive. Western Digital is still a  top brand.

Case/cooling: must be big enough to fit all the parts inside it, obviously. Also the bigger the case the less overheating problems you will have. Still rather let them fit in 1 or 2 fans more than less. Liquid cooling is for freaks only, no need for that voodoo in SL.

Other components depend on your taste and what you're doing in SL. A good headset and maybe a dedicated soundcard if you're a DJ or use voice.

Keyboard and mouse: run of the mill good quality will do, you won't need special high prize gaming gear. But check all keyboards in the shop, some feel right for your typing, others are not right, and that does often not reflect in the price tag

Screen: bigger is better, obviously. In the case of screen you should for once trust the big name brands: Dell, Acer, Samsung ...

Don't order right away, let them give you a quote with all the intended parts listed. Then check for the prices online and find out if your local store doesn't try to rob you. And don't let them charge you more than 20 US$ for assembly. It takes less than half an hour for an experienced hardware guy to assemble your machine. So again, don't let them take you for a ride. And at delivery check if you get all the spare parts, manuals and warrantee papers.

That's it, voila. Your very own personal no-nonsense custom-made workhorse ... and you saved some bucks as well.

 

 

 

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Just playing around at one of the sites I like for custom built computers and came up with this (the page won't allow copy/paste so I'll list what I put together for $1455.00 USD.  No monitor, keyboard or mouse....just the box with the hardware.  It would be considered a high end machine though it does not have the "best of the best"........it is good stuff and very expandable for future upgrades.  A five year life would be conservative.......up to maybe 6 or 7 years with regular maintenance could be expected.

------------------------------------------------

Intel i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3 GB CPU

Coolermaster Hyper 101 CPU fan

Asus P8H67-M EVO motherboard

8 GB PC1 2800 DDR3 1600 RAM (Corsair)

GeForce GTX 580 1.5 GB PCIe x16 video card

Western Digital 500 GB 7200 RPM Hard drive

LG 22x DVD Recorder Dual layer +R/RW -R?RW optical drive

All-In-One card reader

RealTek 10/100/100 PCI Ethernet card

Thermalake mid tower case

Daul 120 mm case fans

Thermalake TR2 600 watt Power Supply

Windows 7 Home Premium x64 license with DVD disks

--------------------------------------------------------------------

That's the basics of a good, solid and powerful computer.  Much better than any off the shelf machine you can buy.....especailly for the price.

It's not a gamer's rig but it will compete quite well with even the best of them.  I left out things like audio cards....the onboard is really quite good 5.1 sound but you can add audio easily late if you like.  The site I used ( http://www.magicmicro.com/ ) is a US company and I don't believe they ship overseas.  But there are many such sites all over the world that you can check out.  Most, like the site I used, will assemble and test the computer before shipping either for free or a small charge (Magic Micro does it for free unless you opt for the express build where they charge a small fee).  Dig out your Google skills........you can put together a very good computer for what you say you can afford.

 

Good luck.

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Don`t listen to Orca, he`s clearly the expert...

cpu does matter, the sandybridges are faster then the old i7`s counterparts.

Mobo, asus is one of the few brands that doesn`t craps out along with evga, and we are pushing the buggers to their limits in our lil oc club.

600wat psu is more then enough unless you add a second gpu, it`s a sales pitch...

More ram is better, bull**bleep**, more ram is only expensive, your client will crash befor you get 1.5gig ram filled with sl stuff, stick to 4 for now to keep the costs abit down untill you want to add another 4 gig.

Faster memory is good, but memory also has timings, why i posted that ram set

CAS Latency (CL)	9RAS-to-CAS-Delay (tRCD)	9RAS-Precharge-Time (tRP)	9Row-Active-Time (tRAS)	24

But as i`m a watercooling FREAK, run pc heavilly overclocked, in an overclocking club where we see more hardware fail then succeed some punishment, feel free to listen to the other experts... i`m not putting a list out as i`m clueless...

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  • • AMD FX-4100 Processor
  • • 8GB DDR3 1333MHz Memory
  • • 2 x NVIDIA GTX550Ti 1GB Video
  • • Asus M5A99X USB3 SATA3 AM3 MB
  • • 1TB SATA-II Hard Drive
  • • 24X Double DVD±R/±RW

Chances are there are better specs, but that's just off the top of my head. £799 inc VAT from a big UK custom builder, Windows included, no monitor. I have one of those graphics cards in a less powerful machine with half the RAM, and it runs SL pretty capably (even with the Firestorn graphics toys turned on).

If you don't have a monitor, you'd need to buy one; budget around £125 for a 23" capable of 1920x1200. That's most of your £1000. You could tweak the specification a bit if you liked: adding an SSD for your main drive and/or swapping the two graphics cards for a single more powerful one would look like good choices to me. Whichever way, there are plenty of options for £1000.

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Alicia Sautereau wrote:

SL doesn`t support sli or crossfire so 2 cards is a waste of money for better parts :matte-motes-crying:

Can I assume you were referring to the specs I posted? I did suggest that going for a single, powerful card was likely to be better than the SLi set-up, but maybe the OP also wants to use this machine for high-end gaming other than SL.

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Thanks alot guys! the listing of components/descriptions of your ideal computers to run sl on high, smoothly, is pretty much exactly the info i needed. I've been on some custom built computer sites, i just had no clue what selections to make when it came to components, mainly at the fear i wouldn't want to spend more on say.. a graphics card or cpu etc, thinking it will be better, when i could of selected another, just as capable for what i want and significantly cheaper. I was tempted to go with cyberpower, but i stumbled across a fair amount of negative comments about them, me building one myself is a recipe for disaster, so might i be as cheeky to ask another suggestion, for good custom built pc company sites? :3

 

Also, most people i know barely know how to find the power button on a comp. So no geeky friends there :( the only option would be to order from a custom pc site, or purchase some of your recommended components seperately, & have a computer store, or find a diamond in the rough to assemble it for me.

 

Heres the link, if anyone wants to mess about building an ideal one to show, that i could buy. Just been doing it, but still fearing i'll get more than i need haha

 

http://www.cyberpowersystem.co.uk

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The site I listed in my post containing a custom built semi-gaming rig is the one I would recommend to anyone.  For some reason I got the impression that you are not located in the US and I'm still not sure Magic Micro ships overseas.......but looking the "Terms and Conditions" page on the site they do mention international orders so I would guess that they do.  If you are in the US then I can vouche for quick shipping even for the standard rate......I've purchased two computers from them in the past 3 or 4 years and each time I recieved my computer within a week.

 

What I suggest if you go that route is to pick a starter computer then go to the customize link for that basic computer (it's called a "bare bones").  From there you can change hardware devices or add them to the bare bones......your price will adjust as you add and change things (but you do have to refresh the page to get the changes added or subtracted).  When I pick a bare bones to start with I tend to shy away from the ones that have some fancy case with lights and bells and whistles.......that's nothing but flash and you pay for it (you do want a good case that is well designed for both access to hardware for maintenance of upgrades and good ventalation).  I like Antec, Apevia, Cooler Master and Thermalake.....but any well designed case is good.  Don't get any case smaller than mid tower or you'll run into problems fitting some hardware devices in it........and cramped spaces get hotter which is not good for your hardware.  I like the plexiglass panels because you can see inside and know when to blow the dust out.

 

One thing you have to decide early is what CPU you want.  The two big names are Intel and AMD.  I lean toward Intel myself but that's just me.  It's best to get the CPU and motherboard as a set........they have to match up (you can't put an AMD CPU on an Intel designed motherboard (or vice versa).  The only reason I recommend going with the latest CPU series is it gives your expected life before obsolesence more years.  The CPU, for SL is not really all that critical but some of the hardware components you might want to put in either now or later could be......any CPU post Pentium 4 will work just fine with SL.  But I would still recommend an "i" series CPU (that's an Intel CPU).  For SL an i3 is just as good as an i7.........and quite bit less expensive to boot (though I would go the middle of the road and take the i5).

 

The video card is probably the most critical for high performance in SL.  The higher performing cards will be the most expensive.  And, in this case, performance is somthing you want.........skimping on price will hurt performance.  There is an exception though.  The most recent chipset series is going to be the most expensive but a series or two old chipset, with the same performance number, will equal the performance of the newer series and be substainally less expensive (as much as half the price).  For instance the highest performing 500 series nVidia card (the 500 series is the newest series nVidia has on the market right now) will run you close to $500......the highest performing 400 series card will run you close to $300 (even less if you shop around).  The series number really has little to do with performance.......a high performance Ferrari 2 or 3 years old will perform right along side a high performance Ferrari built yesterday (the features and bells and whistles will be more advanced but they both will run really fast :) ).  You'll want any video card to be as high performance as you can afford with the most oncard video memory as you can get.  Look for PCI express x16 interface.  Which means your motherboard will have to support PCI express x16.........most motherboards do that but you usually only have one x16 slot (if you can find a motherboard that is reasonably priced with more than one x16 slot, go for it.  One thing about the higher performance PCI express x16 cards is that they are twice the width of a standard PCI or PCI express card......when installed in the computer it will cover the slot directly below where the card is installed (effectively using two slots on the motherboard).

 

Along with the higher performance video cards you need to make sure you have enough power to run it properly.  A power supply of 600 watt rating will do for most anything you put in your computer (most anything is not the same as anything though....you can exceed the 600 watts easily if you put a lot of hardware in your computer).  The more the better when it comes to PSU wattage.........but there is a practical limit (1000 watt PSU is overkill for anything I can think for for a computer to run high end games or graphics programs.....but a 2000 watt PSU won't hurt anything.  A little over the top but it will work fine).  My suggestion for a PSU is to stay with the big names.....warranties and endurance are key.  Antec, Thermalake, and Cooler Master are the big boys and I would stick with one of them.

 

System memory is almost as important as the video card.  Ideally you would want as much RAM as your motherboard can support.  But that's often not practical and it certainly is not necessary.......but like PSU's, there is no such thing as too much.  Look for DDR3 RAM with clock speed of 1300 or greater.  You can get away with as little as 4 GB if your video card has 1 GB or greater on card VRAM.  But you will take a performance hit if you are running a Windows machine.  6 GB is better and 8 GB would be a good compromise from the max supported to the max you need for good SL performance.  Anything more will help if you multitask and have lots of stuff running why in SL but it's really not necessary.

 

Which brings up the operating system.  Most users run a Windows OS so that's what I'm assuming.  Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit is a good OS..........it's fairly efficient even with the bells and whistles enabled (Aero Glass).  But much more efficient with most of them turned off.  You need an OS that is 64 bit archecture to realize more than about 3.5 GB of system RAM........and I say you need 8 GB.  Get any operating system you choose but make sure it's 64 bit.

 

That's what I consider the most important components to make up a computer that will run SL very well even at ultra settings.  You can get things like a sound card but all motherboards today have 5.1 audio.......which is quite good for a person with a normal ear for music and sound (the audio freaks will disagree, I'm sure).  Most motherboards have onboard Ethernet chipsets too..........and they are probably good enough for good, solid Internet connections.  But I'm old school and tend to like a dedicated network card (NIC).........they are inexpensive so that's going to be up to you to get one or not.

 

Go here:

http://www.magicmicro.com/

Pick a starter bare bone and then play around with components keeping in mind the important things and go for the best you can get for the money you can spend.  Then add the nice to haves or "fluff" until you are satisfied.  Magic Micro will put it all together for you, install your operating system and test it for you before shipping........and, like I said, they are prompt and very courteous (at least through their online support portal).

 

Whew............I'm windy, aren't I?  :smileyvery-happy:  Good luck.

 

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Kellie Hallison wrote:

Thanks alot guys! the listing of components/descriptions of your ideal computers to run sl on high, smoothly, is pretty much exactly the info i needed. I've been on some custom built computer sites, i just had no clue what selections to make when it came to components, mainly at the fear i wouldn't want to spend more on say.. a graphics card or cpu etc, thinking it will be better, when i could of selected another, just as capable for what i want and significantly cheaper. I was tempted to go with cyberpower, but i stumbled across a fair amount of negative comments about them, me building one myself is a recipe for disaster, so might i be as cheeky to ask another suggestion, for good custom built pc company sites? :3

 

Also, most people i know barely know how to find the power button on a comp. So no geeky friends there
:(
the only option would be to order from a custom pc site, or purchase some of your recommended components seperately, & have a computer store, or find a diamond in the rough to assemble it for me.

 

Heres the link, if anyone wants to mess about building an ideal one to show, that i could buy. Just been doing it, but still fearing i'll get more than i need haha

 


As it happens, cyberpowersystem is where I sourced the specs I mentioned earlier, and where my last two PC builds have come from. I stand by my suggestion: swap the two 550Ti's for a single more powerful card, have an SSD as your system drive, and include a new monitor if you need one.

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Heres what i've come up with :)

 

CASE: CoolerMaster Elite 310 Mid Tower Gaming Case with see-thru side panel
VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX580 3GB 16X PCI Express [+388] (Major Brand Power by NVIDIA)
CPU: AMD A8-3870 3.00 GHz Quad-Core APU w/ Integrated Radeon HD 6530D [+59]
MOTHERBOARD: [CrossFireX] Asus F1A75-V Evo AMD A75 Chipset CrossFireX Support DDR3 Socket FM1 ATX w/ UEFI Bios, 7.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, HDMI, Display Port, USB3.0, SATA-III RAID, 2 Gen2 PCIe X16, 2 PCIe X1 & 3 PCI
MEMORY: 4GB (2x2GB) PC10666 DDR3/1333mhz Dual Channel Memory (Corsair Value Select or Major Brand)
Cooling Fan: CoolerMaster V8 Gaming CPU Cooling Fan (Extreme Silent Operation at only 22dBA + Overclock Proof) ***Overclockable XXX***
Power Supply Upgrade: 850 Watts Power Supplies [+59] (CoolerMaster 850watt Silent ProModular Gaming Power Supply, SLI / Crossfire ready
*******************************
*******************************
*******************************
Noise Reduction Technology: None
Overclocking Service: No Overclocking
Internal USB/SATA Expansion Module: NONE
Dedicated PhysX Card:None
Hard Drive: 1TB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 16M Cache Hard Drive (Single Hard Drive)
Data Hard Drive: NONE
Hard Drive Cooler: Vigor iSURF II Hard Disk Drive Cooling System [+18] (1 x System)
Optical Drive: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE. (BLACK COLOR)
Optical Drive 2: NONE
SOUND: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD 7.1 AUDIO
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