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Is this computer capable of running Second Life at high graphic detail?


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I want to play Second Life at the high graphics setting with texture and lighting, atmospheric effects and the works. As a college student, I also need a laptop to take to different classes around campus. I am only choosing between these three laptops as I can get a student discount on them, which one do you think will work best and why?



Sony 15" laptop

CPU: AMD A8-3520M (1.6 Ghz, quad core)

GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6620g 


Resolution: 1366 * 768



Lenovo 15" laptop

CPU: Intel Core i3-2310m (2.1 Ghz, dual core)

GPU: nVidia GeForce GT 520m


Resolution: 1366 * 768


Dell 15" laptop

CPU: Intel Core i3-2330m (2.2 Ghz, dual core)

GPU: Intel HD Graphics 3000


Resolution: 1366 * 768


I have a fast fibre optic network to use from the school computer lab or dormitories so internet speed is not an issue. Which of these three computers will have faster and better looking graphics? 

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None of the above will run SL too very well as all main processors and grapic cards are too light. Perhaps in low settings...

At least an i5 with a decent graphics card specially for the latest SL viewers which need monster specifications.

What is really needed to get speed is a graphics card with at least a 256 memory bus, even for older V1 based SL viewers. That would start with the nvidia 580, The 560 has 192 but i don't know if the price is too different. 128 graphics bus is a no no... way to slow, 64 is a real showstop (as you see graphics memory more that 512 is irrelevant for SL, a wide graphics memory bus is).

AMD/ATI has never been very fond of SL btw, do choose Intel and Nvidia since SL works best on those.

Ask the seller what graphics memory bus it has. Really really really important and a world of difference.

And ask the seller if the video memory is not shared but dedicated (shared is much slower).

It is THAT important because (for example) an older Nvidia Geforce card (8000/9000 based with dedicated DD2 memory) with a 256 graphic bus and (older) Intel Duo core with 2.53 mHz runs SL perfectly smooth and fast.

Best of luck ;)

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I'm gonna disagree with Lynda. All of those will run SL just fine and probably in the range of mid level. Well, maybe not the intel, I've never used or even seen 1 in use. You don't need an I5 to run SL. I have a quad core desktop with 8 gigs of ram, that can run SL maxed out with shadows at 15 fps, with only a Nvidia 520 card. I had a beefier card before, but it had some issues with things.

This is the problem with using laptops. Generally, you are stuck with whatever it came with, so I would always suggest a desktop for your main SL computer. Personally, I use a laptop for my secondary SL computer. It is Gateway and only dual core, 3 gigs of ram, and has a cheap Radeon HD 4200 card. It runs SL perfectly at Mid settings and I've never had an issue with it. It is like 3 years old now and I only paid $450 for it. I bought my son a very cheap laptop last year for $350 and it has the same specs as my laptop, and has a little better video card. I also always use the latest SL viewer and haven't even opened an old viewer for SL in well over a year.

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All three of the laptop computers you are considering can play Second Life at a resolution of 1366 * 768. They all have sufficient CPU power as well as sufficient RAM. The game is especially enjoyable if you have a fast internet connection which you do have. The GPU or graphics card is key. 



Radeon HD 6620g

- excellent graphics card that can play almost all games at high graphic detail at about 720P resolution

- SL uses OpenGL 2, Radeon HD 6620g is capable of OpenGL 4.2


- very demanding games like Crysis 2, Civilizations 5 can play at medium or high graphic details 

- super demanding game like Skyrim plays on this GPU very well at high graphics detail

- can play Second Life at high graphic details smoothly 



nVidia GeForce GT 520m

- this entry level discrete graphics from nVidia is a decent GPU for laptops and doesn't get too hot

- can play Second Life at 720P resolutions with medium graphic detail, smoothly

- SL uses OpenGL 2, GeForce GT 520m is capable of OpenGL 4.2

- super demanding game like Skyrim plays on this GPU decently at low graphic detail



Intel HD Graphics 3000

- integrated graphics that come with Intel Sandy Bridge APUs

- drivers not mature like Radeon or GeForce drivers, graphics aren't rendered as nicely as competition

- SL uses OpenGL 2, Intel HD 3000 capable of OpenGL 3

- Second Life playable at medium graphic detail with relatively smoothness

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