Graphics Cards

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Kismet Reyes
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Graphics Cards

Postby Kismet Reyes » Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:58 am

I'm seeking advice, I'm not techy when it comes to how my computer operates on a mechanical level. But I am becoming irritated with the Display failures and crashing. I crash now daily. LL must have improved something that my card doesn't like or can't keep up with.

So I am thinking about upgrading my graphics card, but there's so many! SL is the only 'game' I use, my PC is fairly good but over 2 years old now so no longer near top of the range.

I've been looking at the Nvidia Gforce GTX range.. but I don't know how high a card I should be looking at as I don't suppose I'm a 'Real Gamer'. I just want to improve my SL experience and run the programs I use regularly: Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Flash, Muse, etc. My current internet connection is at best 5MB dl, 0.5MB ul, so I'm not expecting miracles (at least not until I move and can get onto a Fibre optic connection).

Can anyone offer me any advice? :beg:
Jenny1919
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Re: Graphics Cards

Postby Jenny1919 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:44 am

Depends on your budget and pc specs... I would check out one in the 600 series if you can also find one that uses GDDR5 Ram its alot better than DDR3 ram ex GDDR5 1gb will preform bit better than DDR3 1gb...You probably be paying between 150-200 dollars... I have a NVidia 560 TI and its a couple years old now but still runs great There might be a few those still out for sale but if you can get something newer would just ensure you can run sl longer without upgrading. Internet connection shouldn't have any baring on your visual experience... I ran completely fine on a 6mb dsl connection till I was forced to upgrade from my dsl company to their fiber optic... Your SL connection is networked load balanced and SL caps at 3000kbps ive watched the statistics window and I rarely seen the bandwidth window meter exceed 600-1000... But Fiber optic is nice though once you get it ^^
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Kismet Reyes
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Re: Graphics Cards

Postby Kismet Reyes » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:00 pm

Jenny1919 wrote:Depends on your budget and pc specs...


My PC specs I'll add to the thread when I get home (being cheeky and posting during a work break). Budget isn't too much of a concern, although I don't want to pay for something I don't need.

I would check out one in the 600 series if you can also find one that uses GDDR5 Ram its alot better than DDR3 ram ex GDDR5 1gb will preform bit better than DDR3 1gb...


I would but.. I have no idea what the above means. Better how? what is DDR3 and GDDR5, will having a 1gb be much different to a 2gb? Am I going to notice a difference?
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Re: Graphics Cards

Postby Tantus » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:11 pm

Kismet Reyes wrote:I'm seeking advice, I'm not techy when it comes to how my computer operates on a mechanical level. But I am becoming irritated with the Display failures and crashing. I crash now daily. LL must have improved something that my card doesn't like or can't keep up with.


Like Jenny says, your first step is deciding on a budget and then you can narrow it down to a handful of cards - then Google each for reviews and comments. The Overclockers store and forums are a good reference, you will find recent forum threads and recommendations within the same budget.

If your PC crashes(blue screen) and resets, then something might be overheating, but if only SL crashes, then it's probably just a software issue.

If 'SL' alone is crashing, then update your graphics card's drivers and test a lighter viewer like Catznip. Now would be a good time to reinstall windows, if you haven't done so in two years(preferably not Vista). All PC users should know how to reinstall windows! it's a simple process now.
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Re: Graphics Cards

Postby Jenny1919 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:30 pm

DDR 3 AND GDDR5 is ram.. or memory.... GDDR5 is just newer and faster.. and faster is better obviously... But they still sell for budget conscious people and DDR3 is a lot cheaper now a days... GB is gigabyte or how much memory.. 2 is more than 1 meaning you can load more onto the card for the card todo the processing work... since its on the card its faster and more efficient than waiting in the computers memory... Ill agree with Tantus... Might not need a new card either.. should post your specs.. you can get them quickly in Secondlife especially if your using like firestorm but all viewers have them under Help -> about Secondlife or about "viewer name".. I would post all the specs top from CPU downward to OpenGL version... Below that really isn't relevant to post... Also maybe just a clean install but can be a hassle especially reinstalling the programs again.. But if your running vista I definitely would suggest upgrading that too...

I will add if price isn't a major issue and your pc is relatively new buy a bit more expensive card you might not need it now... but in 2-3 years you wont be sitting here asking the same question.. If your PC is older adding a new graphics card might just be like spitting on a fire..


Sorry if my typing is a bit of a mess im at work too going back and forth between a few things..
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Re: Graphics Cards

Postby Anarch Allegiere » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:45 pm

SL depends just as heavily on your CPU speed and RAM power as it does on your video card specs.

Just stuffing a high grade graphics card in your computer will not solve the issues you might be experiencing right now. It could all be cpu and RAM memory related instead. I had to upgrade my RAM to finally get decent FPS in SL and stop getting crashes, it had nothing to do with my graphics card.
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Re: Graphics Cards

Postby Kaitlin » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:10 pm

To add to what has been said you also may need to upgrade your power supply and fan if you go with a new graphics card.
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Re: Graphics Cards

Postby Danika Stenvaag » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:21 pm

stick with nvidia for second life. stay away from amd-ati graphics cards, they traditionally don't always play as nice as nvidia inside second life. nvidia supports open gl which is what second life uses so it's like it was made for sl and generally is a much better experience.

i use the nvidia geforce gtx 560ti and it works beautifully both for sl and my graphics intense class work in geography. but as anarch says above, graphics card is only part of it. your sl experience is also improved by your cpu. a graphics card can get bottlenecked if your cpu is underpowererd. i'm using an intel core i7-2600 @ 3.4 ghz with 16 gigs of ram so they all dance nice together.

don't go lower than a 560 or 550 and if you can afford it, try to go up to an nvidia 660 which is a nice jump up from my 560ti. 670 would be sweeter and 680 tops but prolly too expensive and overkill for most people.

some people still use fred flintstone era computers with graphics cards older than 5 years and i guess they can putter around sl a bit but it's almost like using a garden hose and smoke signals in place of a modern cell phone.
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Re: Graphics Cards

Postby Leah » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:05 pm

You need to make sure that your power supply will support the card you're buying. Best way to do that is to find out what the wattage is on your power supply.

However, sometimes a power supply can be labled a smaller wattage (mine says 350W), but actually be more powerful (this seems to happen with Dell computers a lot). I actually pulled my case open and examined the specs of the power supply and gave them to a friend who works for a computer company. Turns out, my power supply is a lot more powerful than 350W. So yeah. lol.

But to be safe, you should upgrade your power supply to make sure that your video card can run. If you don't, your computer will start doing hard shut downs when the video card pulls more power than the power supply can handle.

For the record, I'm using an ATI Radeon HD 5670, and I've never had a problem displaying in SL. I'm about to upgrade to a Radeon HD 7770.
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Kismet Reyes
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Re: Graphics Cards

Postby Kismet Reyes » Fri Feb 01, 2013 3:50 pm

Remember - Me = not techy. I am going to follow the research sugested, thank you. My PC spec as per Firestorm's about option:

CPU: AMD Phenom(tm) 9850 Quad-Core Processor (2500.08 MHz)
Memory: 4084 MB
OS Version: Microsoft Windows Vista 64-bit Service Pack 2 (Build 6002)
Graphics Card Vendor: ATI Technologies Inc.
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series

Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1129
OpenGL Version: 3.3.11653 Compatibility Profile Context

--Also, when the 'Display Driver fails' it kills not only SL but also Google Chrome. But it's not the 'blue screen of death' but a black screen. SL is the only triggerso far as I'm aware.

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