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I have HP Pavilion g series with following specifications;
Windows 7 ultimate
Ati radeon HD4200 series
Mobile DualCore AMD Phenom II N660, 3000 MHz
4gb RAM
And Second Life works on low details like a **bleep**. How is this possible? I was running MAFIA 2 normally on this notebook and other games too. ATI drivers are up to date.

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SL needs monster specs i am affraid. The reason?

1. All complex graphics and textures need to be downloaded from internet and then processed by your router and computer, not from your local CD/DVD/Blue ray or hard disk like so many games.

2. The SL program is not so excellent programmed to beging with. It's done by a relatively small company, Linden Lab. Their programming is known to be quite lame i'm affraid and not very top notch.

3. You card is really at the bottom with even (slow) shared memory.

4. AMD/ATI aren't the best combinations for SL, and their updates can make it even worse. SL runs best on Intel and Nvidia, at least a Duo Core, at least 512 Dedicated graphics mem (not shared!), at least 256 bits graphics card Memory Band Width (or AT least 192), the mid range cards only have 128 which is a HUGE difference.

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As Linda said your laptop graphics are holding you back. Search through these forums and you'll see them filled with people complaining about how poorly SL performs on laptops in particular. Unlike other games SL's content isn't created and optimized by professional 3-D artists (for the most part) and therefore requires a lot more horsepower to render.

If you have access to a desktop computer with a graphics card made within the last 2 years you should be fine. Otherwise lowest settings and low framerates are what you're stuck with on your laptop.

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Very right.

I am using an Asus notebook which runs SL at lightning speed, but it is a class 1 appartus at... well quite the price.

The average notebook isn't very fit to run SL. So best is not a notebook indeed, but a super spec tower or desktop.

If a laptop then at least a very expensive one with super specs like an Nvida 580 card, i'm affraid.

 

Mind btw that almost nobody is using the official SL viewer since update 3.2.8, it is a showstopper even for top equipment. At the moment i do see the Phoenix 1.5 viewer used by about 90% of the users. In other words make sure you have a top computer like we said and then do NOT use the official SL viewer, but like Phoenix 1.5. Then you are ok.

 

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I can agree with everything you said except for this part:

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"2. The SL program is not so excellent programmed to beging with. It's done by a relatively small company, Linden Lab. Their programming is known to be quite lame i'm affraid and not very top notch."

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And, maybe the part about "monster specs".  SL does require computers spec'd out somewhere above a mid-level gaming machine.  But I would not define that as "monster specs".  A decently spec'd machine, for sure, is somthing one needs for good performance in SL.  There is a point of deminishing returns for computer specs because of most of what you pointed out in your post.  The highest spec'd machine in the world is going to run up against a brick wall due to what the computer must deal with by the very nature of all the content being remotely stored and delivered to the computer.

On the part I quoted I hear this statement all the time.  And, not once, has that statement ever bee credibly backed up.  What, exactly, are your verifable credentials for making such a statement?  What do you know that the coders for LL don't know about how to write the code that you say is "quite lame and not very top notch"?  LL has had two CEO's who both have very high credentials in the gaming industry..........would you not think that they might know how to code a not "lame" or "less than top notch" program more than most people?  If it all the problems SL has was as simple at hiring top notch experienced programmers why aren't they hired?  LL not having enough money?  Hard for me to believe with the numbers I've seen on LL's financial status (not the best in the world, but absolutely not so poor that paying someone a competitve salary (with programmers, say, for EA Sports).  I'm pretty sure LL has some top notch coders in their employ.....maybe even some of best.  You can't back up your statement.  You're making a statement based on your perception of SL due to the performance you get with SL.......completely neglecting your points 1, 3, and 4 of your post.  Maybe you have one of those "best of the best" computers and have hit that brick wall of deminishing returns...........I don't know.  But I do know your statement has not based on facts.

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Linda Brynner wrote:

SL needs monster specs i am affraid.

I run SL on a now more than 4 year old computer and it performs pretty good, most settings maxed out and around 20 fps on average.

AMD 3800+

NVidia 9600GT with 512 MB (this is younger than my computer, but not a high end card by any means these days)

3 GB of RAM (2,5 for windows, 0,5 for the graphics card)

 

The only thing holding the OP back is the graphics card and possibly the connection speed. Since it's a laptop I can imagine the wireless causes potential issues, although I have a wireless connection myself.

I do wonder what the OP means by "bad performance". You can't expect 50 fps (or anything in that region) like you get in a highly optimised video game. SL is made by the residents so it's amateur heaven, which is one of the big pluspoints really. You don't need these high framerates in SL for 99% of the activities anyway, if you want to race cars or do some shooting game, I think SL isn't the place to be.

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In theory you might be right.

Thing is, the practicality is a bit different ;)

And no, the SL program isn't very well programmed. Based on facts analysed by top IT professionals in my own business circles. And these ppl are not exactly the smallest talents. Conclusion: the overall code is very very very lame, spagetti like put together and badly QA'd due to IT typical iteration policy and methods. Methods used typically by any average IT company... which is a garantee to over stacked bugs. So... No LL and SL are NOT top notch. A CEO coming from a top game company doesn't mean t thing. It is upto staff and financial mass and policies and methods in place.

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"Monster specs" to make it super "dead'-clear for a new computer and for the use of the official viewer that is needed, specially now 3.2.8. is out, which is a super drama so much that almost nobody i see using it logged in. I do see Phoenix being used around 90% and Firestorm about 10%.

Anyway, the specs above are way too low. And that's the pont.

As we all know, using Phoenix (v1 based) a class 1 computer is best. All rezzed and sharp within 5-10 seconds (well for me).

Class 2 (mid range) with the Phoenix viewer: feasable, but mind longer rezz times; upto 5 minutes or longer.

Yep, me too is using a 2 year old notebook, but it is still class 1 rated and very fast. Today the world of computers have changed and manu Nvidia graphical cards have mainly been rebaged from older cards and even downspeced to save energy and heat development. When buying a new computer + official viewer = "monster spec".

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My theory is a bit more sound than the theory of poor coding being the issue.  No one in the world has done what the coders for Linden Lab has done.....many have tried and failed miserably (look at all those Open Sim grids.......and they had a head start with the reverse engineered server code they started off with).

You said an nVidia 580 card is necessary..........why, then do (and a poster just a few minutes ago) get such good performance?  I have a 2 year old nVidia GTS 250 1 gig video card..........certainly not the top of the line and it wasn't top of the line when it was released.  A solid mid-level card is all it is and all it was ever designed to be.  I average somewhere about 30 to 35 FPS in the vast majority of sims and areas in SL.  Heavily populated and textured areas I still can maintain 25 to 30 FPS.  Likely loaded sims I often get 90 + FPS.  How is that possible if SL requires an nVidia 580 for good performance?

Editing to add............I use the official SL viewer (the next to the most recent one........3.2. something).

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So to keep it "practical" one has to have a $3000 laptop or a $1500 desktop to enjoy SL with good performance?  And we have to accept that the coders who developed, maintain, and advance the SL platform are second rate or worse programmers (other company's cast offs or first semester high school students).  That's practical?  That sounds more like ignoring facts (or, at least, indications that your assertions are not quite up to snuff.  Maybe even false.)

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So since I had no issues with the latest viewer at all... does that qualify my grandma of a computer as class 1? I'd like to think it won't even qualify as class 2, rather class 3. It has a decent gpu, but nothing fancy.

To add to the 3000 and 1500 dollar comment of Peggy, I think you can get something similair to my computer for under 200 bucks these days...yes time for an upgrade, but it does run SL as it should.

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How Fast is Your Viewer? - Second Life shows the hardware and performance several people are getting. The nVidia 240, 440, and 540 are not uncommon cards and work reasonably well. They are considered low to mid range.

Many are using Duel Core2's and doing OK. Several are using older 8800 and 9800 nVidia cards on Core2 systems with good results.

Some are getting i3 Intel's and others AMD's. Some are getting great performance with AMD CPU's. I can't see enough performance difference between Intel and AMD CPU that I would worry about the CPU brand. However AMD/ATI video cards have weak support for OpenGL and several people have problems with those cards. See: Pink Problems.

Most of us have no way to know how well the Lindens do or don't code. Peggy makes a good point that the Lab is developing a system that is unique. Few games in the market place contain the terabytes of content found in SL. Most, like Blue Mars, pre-download the content. I think SL being so unique makes it very hard for anyone not working with the Lab to assess the quality of the code being created. After all the server code is proprietary and unavailable for review. The viewer code in V2 came from a professional company and is being reworked by the Lindens. What little of it I have looked at seems to be modular. There are a huge number of dependencies that have to operate in real time. That could look like spaghetti code to some. But, I've never thought of C++ or C# to be conducive to spaghetti code. May be your thinking of V1 code.

 

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I have to *respectfully* but also strongly disagree with this. I volunteer my time at a college computer lab and they use Second Life for educational purposes. Thus I have setup and seen Second Life running on computers with many different configurations. In my humble opinion:

- Second Life runs WELL on both nVidia GeForce & AMD Radeon graphics, as long as the GPU is sufficiently powerful

- Second Life runs on some Intel HD Graphics but the lighting & detail is not as good as nVidia or AMD/ATI

 

What screen resolution you run at determines what video card you will need. The higher the screen resolution, the more powerful the graphics card you will need. Here are the specs which I am confident is what is required due to setting up many systems.

 

Second Life @ 720P (ie 1280X720, 1366X768, 1024X768)

- Radeon HD 6310 - high graphic detail in low traffic areas, medium graphic detail in high traffic areas

- Radeon HD 6520g or faster - high graphic detail in all areas without anti aliasing

- Radeon HD 7750 or faster - ultra high graphic detail with anti aliasing 

- GeForce GT 520m - high graphic detail in low traffic areas, medium graphic detail in high traffic areas

- GeForce GT 540m or faster - high graphic detail in all areas without anti aliasing

- GeForce GTX 550 or faster - ultra high graphic detail with anti aliasing 

- Intel HD Graphics 3000 - medium graphic details, no AA, graphics not rendered as nice as nVidia or AMD

 

If you want to play SL on a multi-monitor setup, with each monitor at 1080P resolution, then you will want the ultra high end and ultra expensive desktop video cards like the nVidia GeForce GTX 570 or higher / AMD Radeon HD 7950 or higher. 

If you want to play SL on a single monitor at 1080P with the graphics settings on ultra high with antialiasing cranked up, a mid-end graphics card like an AMD Radeon HD 7750 or higher / nVidia GeForce GTX 550 or higher will get the job done well. 

 

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