The Importance of Hardware Upgrades

Decoding Ordinal’s latest post and converting the language from the Victorian…I think she got a new video card. :-)

This illustrates an important point, though: SL can use as much hardware as you can possibly throw at it, especially CPU, RAM, and video card. It seems to have issues with dual-core CPUs (for now), but screaming-fast CPUs are decidedly indicated. So is RAM, to such an extent that I would throw an extra gigabyte into my system (for a total of 2) if and when I could. And, when I placed the order for my components, I thought the Radeon X1600 Pro with 512 Mb was serious overkill. Wrong! (Mine is a Sapphire-branded board that Newegg sold me at a very reasonable price.)

Disk isn’t as important, as long as you have enough disk space for the client and its cache. But boosting that cache to 1 Gb in Preferences is often a Good Thing.

As a consequence of the above, there are very few notebook machines that really have the “oomph” to run SL. Those that do, such as the one that Allie has, tend to suffer from overheating when they get heavily loaded…and you can wind up with a nasty burn in sensitive areas if you have it on your lap at the time.

Mucho bandwidth is also a big thing. I’ve heard of people trying to run SL over dialup, but they strike me as masochists. Even DSL may not be completely adequate. We have Comcast cable modem service here, which works well (and thankfully, Comcast in Denver seems to provide us with more reliable service than Danielle is getting from them in Illinois). We use a Linux box as a router to supply both my system and Pamela’s; she never complains about slowdowns as a result of SL, even with the load she puts on the connection (basically, a Web browser and N instant messaging programs).

When it comes to hardware and SL, you’ll never go wrong by remembering the 97th Rule of Acquisition: “Enough…is never enough.”

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2 Comments

Filed under Technical

2 responses to “The Importance of Hardware Upgrades

  1. The only problem I seem to have with SL aside from the LL induced crashes is with Comcast(the rat basturds). I run on a laptop so that I can enjoy my favorite spot (my bed) and the television (I am a discovery channel,CSI, SciFi junky and SciFi has a marathon of bad sci-fi flicks on the weekends with a good one every once in a while). I digressed oops. Anyhoo, my laptop is a Compaq Presario V2000 series (keep the comments to yourself) with an AMD Turion 64 Processor, ATI Radeon Xpress 200M Graphics and 768 MB of memory (1.96GM-Virtual). I however, use a chill pad so I have no overheating problems to speak of.

  2. Heck, we put a TV in the computer room…Pamela has been known to watch shopping channels while searching on eBay for the items being sold. :-)

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