As of June 1st 2013
Any 2 or 4 core cpu will be fine as long as it's 3 Ghz or faster
See here for options: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-overclock,3106-2.html
The faster the better, but there's really no reason for any more than 4 cores so.. if you're going with intel and gaming is all you're into, there's no reason to get an i7. Only difference between the i5 and i7 is hyperthreading. Hyperthreading allows each core to run two threads so.. an i7 is like having an 8core cpu and there are very few games available that can actually utilize that many.
My computer is about three years old now. i have an amd 1090T X6 processor that is 3.2 Ghz. Although, i've disabled three of the six cores and over clocked the three to 3990 Mhz ( *shrugs* 4 Ghz ) and i've found that my games run much more fluidly. - maybe someday i'll get a better cpu cooler and enable the other three - ( no rush )
Second Life definitely falls into the Advanced Gaming category because of the elaborate 3D environments, especially if you want decent frame rates while running with deferred rendering (Adanced Lighting / Shadows n Stuff).
So as for the graphix: i'd at least recommend a GeForce GTX 660 or a Radeon HD 7870
but.. you'd love your SL experience more if you went with a GeForce GTX 670 or a Radeon HD 7970
Here's the recent low down on Graphic Cards: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107.html
And between Amd and Nvidia.. it's just whatever suits you best. If you're running multiple monitors and you have them combined together for an increased resolution.. Amd has been in that game for the longest, so their software for that may be more mature. On the other hand, if you're wanting an actual 3D experience with some games or movies then Nvidia would probably be the best route.
I use both between my desktop and my home theater pc and i actually prefer Nvidia... but mostly just because Nvidia's software is easier to install on a linux system.
but there are lots of nice documentation on installing Cataylst ( a.k.a. fglrx ) that i'm thankful for : )
Nvidia's cards are a bit more efficient too ( not as power hungry ) AND.. If you are using Windows, there are some nice new Nvidia utilities available that could make Fraps obsolete ( if you know what that is ).
Now since i've mentioned "linux," i will go on to say that within my experience using Second Life on Windows 7 and any linux distribution [ i've used ubuntu (including mint), arch, and openSUSE (currently) ]. Second Life is about three times faster when using linux.
and if you want to try it.. i'd recommend beginning with a 32 bit install of Linux Mint. There are multiple desktop environments and i like KDE but just regular linux mint install, using cinnamon or mate may be easier to grasp for a beginner. Also, if you're wondering about the 32 bit part and installing it on a 64 bit capable machine.. don't fret. Second Life actually runs better on a 32 bit operating system (os) because it is a 32 bit program. Linux also detects how much memory you have during installation and knows when to use a PAE ( Physical address extension ) kernel, so you'll be able to efficiently use up to about 8 GB of RAM for multitasking and such.
After reading all about Linux Mint from all of the many links on Mint's website and then formating and installing ( the install disc makes it pretty easy but i'd read a little on "formating for linux" first ). You'll want to install your graphics driver the "hard way" for best performance. That consists of downloading the driver directly from Nvidia or Amd's site.. just like i hope you do for Windows.
yeah. just read the readme on the driver's site.... or call google for help.. Hell, IM me if you want and i'll point you in the right direction.
Here are three PC builds that i've recommended to friends:
( using their choice of websites )
Aleda's PC (excluding case & psu)
Perle's damn near state of the art PC
Perle's Budget PC
And here's three different computer cases in the 60 - 70 Euro range ( i just couldn't pick one.. but you'll need to )
And you might want to use the cpu water cooler from the "state of the art" build above. Most people say that the stock cpu fans that come with the cpus are noisy.
i've never actually used one myself so i really don't know, but they are all generally small fans and big fans are much quieter than small ones. Although the sealed and "ready to use" cpu water-cooling systems that are available cost about the same or less than the nicer heat-sink and fan 'cooling solution.'
Another Suggestion to a friend:
Evidently hardware is much more expensive in Sweden
July 9th 2013
4. CPU Cooler
http://www.inet.se/produkt/5322250/cm-eisberg-120l-prestige ~ Preferred for it's Copper Radiator
6. Boot SSD
1. 1 933 kr
2. 1 490 kr
3. 1 649 kr
4. 1 199 kr
5. 3 790 kr
6. 1 890 kr
~ 11, 951 Total kr = $ 1763.78 USD
***************Lower Price Option:***************
Substitute a GTX 760 for the GTX 770 ( 760 is almost equal to a GTX 670 ) - Aleda has a 670
______GTX 770 - 3790 kr
____ - GTX 760 - 2299 kr
Subtract & = 1491_________ - 1491 + 11951 = 10460 kr = 1546.22 US Dollar
[04:47] Transann: Well all i need is a PC that last a long time and works good in Second Life *giggles* all the rest is not necessary...not for me
[04:49] Alisa Menna: yeah.. i'd keep that board "Z87-plus" and then if you wanted to knock the price down.. get 8GB of the 2400Mhz RAM, instead of 16.
[04:51] Alisa Menna: Then if You still want to drop the price down.. get a 128 GB SSD instead of the 256.. but instead of the 840 Pro - samsung.. get a Crucial M4
[04:53] Alisa Menna: But if i were buying a Graphics card today.. i wouldn't want anything less than the gtx 760
[04:53] Alisa Menna: 770 if i could : )
1. If thermal grease isn't pre-applied to your cooling solution (cpu cooler / water block). You must apply some yourself onto the cpu. It only requires about half of a pea size. If the heat pipes are exposed on the bottom of the cooler / block, pack some grease into the crevices / gaps. Google for a video tutorial.
2. Avoid touching any gold or copper electrical contacts and either wear a grounding strap or touch something with bare metal occasionally to discharge any static electricity, especially when handling the memory modules. Static Kills.
3. Before installing your operating system be sure that the BIOS / UEFI system's device controller is set for AHCI (usually is by defualt, but check to confirm).
4. If you're not using intel or xmp compatible memory, you'll need to set the memory timing manually for memory speeds above 1333. Look up the memory on the manufacturer's website or check the vendor's listing for information.
5. There's sometimes buggy and/or irritating software included on the mother/main board's disc/s. Only install what you need.. or better- Only install the NIC ( Network Interface Card )'s driver if needed and then go to the board's website for the latest drivers.
Oh and Windows and linux can coexist on the same machine and even the same drive. Just install Windows First.
Be sure to make a Windows Repair disk, in the event that you want to remove linux... and no, removing linux doesn't hurt / break windows in any way.. You'll just want the repair disk to make your computer boot directly into windows again instead of giving the option between linux or windows