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Shirley Marquez

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About Shirley Marquez

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  1. Looking in some months later... I just built a system using a Ryzen 2400G. Micro Center sells them for $110 (including the $30 discount if you also buy a motherboard, and you'll need one so it's fair to include it), making it a cheap step up from the 2200G which they sell for $80. I have it coupled with 16GB of DDR4-3200 because I want the extra RAM for other uses; 8GB would be enough if I were just going to use it for SL. You DO want fast memory with an APU and you want a dual channel setup; the APU loves to have lots of memory bandwidth so it's worth paying the small premium for DDR4-3200. (But keep in mind that you won't be able to use an A320 motherboard with most of that memory because it requires the use of an XMP profile.) My hope for this system was that it would be a cheap and cheerful one for running SL at moderate graphics settings and not heating up the room - advanced lighting and AA but no shadows. Once I figured out that I needed to reconfigure the BIOS to set aside 2GB or more RAM for graphics it started to sing. With the 16GB RAM I'm using 4GB for video; with 8GB RAM I would use 2GB for video. (With 4GB I'd wait until I bought another 4GB.) The default on my motherboard is 1GB and that's just not enough to get full performance from the viewer. I have tested both 2GB and 4GB; not much difference between them but a HUGE difference over 1GB. To sum up the costs: Ryzen 5 2400G: 110 Gigabyte B450 MicroATX motherboard: 70 8GB DDR4-3200: 100 (I spent $168 for my 16GB) 256GB Intel M.2 NVMe 3.0x4 SSD: 60 (wicked good deal, even if I do feel dirty putting an Intel SSD in an AMD build!) Case and power supply would be about 40 each if I had bought them; I reused those from an old build So we're talking about a bit over $500 plus the cost of a Windows license. (I already had one of those lying around as well.) And you'll have to add the cost of a keyboard, mouse, and monitor if you don't already have those things. All in all, a good showing for a system at that price, not to mention a TDP of 65W for CPU and GPU combined. The 2200G or 2400G would also be great for HTPC builds, if any of you are looking to put together one of those. If I were building a $1000 system for SL right now it might look like this. This one should let you enable all the eye candy at 1080p unless you're in a REALLY crowded space. Ryzen 5 2600X: 160 (Micro Center again, including the $30 discount if you buy a motherboard) Motherboard: 70 (same as above, or perhaps splurge on a full size X470 board) 8GB RAM: 100 (or 16GB: 170 if I'm also doing content creation) 256GB SSD: 60 (same as above, or stretch to 100 or so for 500GB) GTX 1080: 400 (they'll be there soon now that the 2000 series is about to come out, or 1070 if I really have to buy TODAY) PS: 60 (we'll need a bigger one for this build) Case: 40 (same as above, I'm not into flash) Yes, over twice as much for the graphics card as the CPU. That's what it takes to get a balanced system for SL now that will give you all the eye candy. If I were cutting the budget down to $800 I'd step down to a GTX 1060 and downgrade to a Ryzen 5 2600 (no X) to save another $40. All out but not insane build (probably around $2500 total): Core i7 8700K (or 8086K if I don't have to pay a ridiculous premium) - the extra cores in an i9 are worthless for SL, so this is the fastest current CPU for SL 16GB or more DDR4-3200 or faster memory - heck, buy 32GB as 2x16 so you have room for expansion later 1TB SSD (or bigger if we're feeling really luxe) RTX 2080Ti Motherboard, case, and power supply to match Optional addons: spinning rust drive for bulk storage, optical drive
  2. The GPUs in Android phones implement OpenGL ES which is a subset of OpenGL. There are only a handful of different designs that are popular; the important ones are the Adreno in the Qualcomm chips, the NVidia Tegra 3 and 4, and whatever is in the Samsung Exynos processors (some use Power-VR GPUS, some use the ARM Mali). If we care about upcoming Intel-based Android devices then we also have to cater to the Intel GPUs in the Bay Trail and Haswell CPUs: same basic design but the Bay Trail has far fewer resources. Anything not on this list is going to be in a device that doesn't have enough resources (processor power and/or RAM) to run anything approaching a full viewer. It's likely that a chopped-down rendering chain could be designed to cater to the capabilities and limitations of those devices, leaving out a lot of the code in the renderer in the standard viewer. It won't need as many special cases to handle a large variety of graphics hardware and it can leave out high end features like shadow rendering that no present phone will be able to handle. Next challenge: making a UI that will work on a tablet. Simudyne has a viewer designed for Windows 8 tablets; I haven't had the opportunity to try it but I know they have put some thought into the tablet UI.
  3. The Second Life database tracks the creation date of all assets. The dates appear to be inaccurate for some very old (2006 and earlier) assets, probably due to some database damage that wasn't fully fixed by maintenance procedures (the result is that they appear to be even older than they are), but they should be fine for anything newer.
  4. The 1100T is pretty cheap now, under $200. It's also a 3.3GHz processor (and a Black Edition so it can be overclocked if you are so inclined); you can't get much faster than that per core in the AMD family, except in the new Bulldozer line which has its own problems. You could get a bit better SL performance with a high-end Intel processor, but if you choose to go with AMD you can't really do better right now, and you can't save a huge amount of money by going with something else. That combination of hardware is also in line with Shirley's Rule of system balance for Second Life - spend about the same amount of money on the CPU and the video card. Shadow rendering has thrown that off a bit; now you can justify spending more on video than the rule would specify. And it's always been questionable at the high end (over $500); CPUs hit diminishing returns, whereas you can buy more video performance with SLI or CrossFire (though sadly not as much as one might like; they're much more effective for full-screen programs than for windowed ones). Finally, although a six core CPU is overkill if you're JUST going to run SL (three cores seem to be about as many as the viewer can use effectively), it helps if you're planning to run other applications at the same time. That's especially true for content creators who might like to have Photoshop or GIMP or Blender or Maya or (add your own favorite content creation app here) open at the same time as SL.
  5. I tried out Second Life yesterday on a new MacBook Air at the Apple Store (Sandy Bridge i5 processor, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Lion). Epic fail; avatars wouldn't render at all. But I didn't experiment with graphics settings. No idea at this point whether the problem was with Lion or with the new graphics, but in any case I can't recommend that configuration for Second Life!
  6. Frame rates above 45fps aren't a total waste. Anything that is done client-side (texture animation, prim rotation, avatar physics, flexiprims) will look smoother. That said, frame rates above 60fps ARE a waste on most modern computers, because that's the refresh rate of your display. People with retro computers with CRT monitors or fancy 3D-capable flat panels with 120Hz refresh are exceptions.
  7. Doubling the price of regions for nonprofit and educational use strikes me as a really bad idea. Do we really need a mass exodus of these important members of the Second Life community at this time?
  8. Chat focus -- good one! My own preference, though I've never heard anyone else speak up for this, would be for the focus to ONLY go to the chat box or the IM box (or other places like search where you type text), never anywhere else. In other words I WANT the WASD movement controls etc. to be broken, I want those characters to always be for chat - I get so tired of moving around or jumping when I'm trying to talk!! But I know that some people would consider my choice to be dysfunctional so this is the sort of thing that has to be a preference.
  9. I like the idea of having some way to protect your name. Either tie it to premium membership, or charge a fee (not huge, but enough to make people think about it -- and preferably one-time rather than recurring) to insure that their name is unique.
  10. To be fair, not all the land owned by Governor Linden is abaondoned. 5-10% of every mainland sim is occupied by things like roads and railroads and water that the Governor owns, plus there are things like the Welcome Area, the infohubs, and the Luna marketplace. There will always be a little bit of abandoned land but the current amount is unhealthy; in a healthy SL the percentage of the mainland owned by the Governor would probably run around 15%. SL usage always drops in the summer, except in the summers of 2006 and 2007 when the rapid growth masked the seasonal effects. If the trend continues downward in September and beyond we'll have more cause for concern. Back to the subject at hand... I do have some concern for the fate of existing builders of prim content because their markets are likely to be overrun by already existing mesh content from elsewhere. But I believe that we have to move forward toward higher quality content for SL to survive and remain relevant, even if it will cause pain for some existing businesses.
  11. I'm looking foward to seeing the results of mesh import in Second Life. I do worry a bit about a step that moves even more content creation out-world, but on balance I think it will be a net benefit to SL. Please listen to the comments here and make the code available as soon as possible! As for the viewer issue, I think it's going to be easier to graft the old UI (or something inspired by it) onto the Viewer 2 code base than it will be to backport mesh support (and the other new rendering features like media on a prim) to the Viewer 1 code base. I believe that's the direction that the Phoenix team is planning to take, for example. Some of the UI changes in the new Snowstorm builds and in Kirstens S20 are already a step in the right direction, like the detachable sidebar windows. (Still no way to have more then one profile window open at once though, sniff.)
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