Computer Specs (for Comparison)

[Updated Apr 2009.]

It’s been brought to my attention that certain types of systems may be having specific issues with Second Life and/or Uru.

I’m going to bring up notes on my various systems here, and their successes with the following:

Second Life version: 1.20 (when possible)
Oblivion format: Regular + KotN + Shivering Iles + Latest Patch
Uru: Myst Online (via GameTap Launcher), or Uru/CC /w GoMa’s ULM library

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Desktop (Current):

Build-From-Scratch PC.

Case: Cooler Master Cosmos 1000

Mainboard: Gigabyte P38-DS4 Rev2

CPU: Q6600 Quad-Core (overclocked to 2.66 3.0 Ghz), OCZ Vendetta cooler.

Video: 7800 GT (256 meg) Palit 8800 GT (1 gig video mem, non-reference design)

Primary MonitorDell 20″ widescreen 1680×1024, using the DVI port. 24″ LCD from Soyo. Two stuck pixels that I can live with.
Secondary MonitorDell 19″ 1280×1024, using the 2nd DVI port, ‘right’ monitor. [Removed for other projects]

Working Status: SL is amazing; I have draw distance @ 400m & just about every thing set to ‘high.’ Oblivion I’m getting 40+ FPS average outdoors, though that’s required more than a few mods for optimization (the video upgrade to 8800 GT appears to be lifting that restriction). Myst Online ran well; Latency was transferred to the servers mostly and the heavy load for the network stack. I expect the normal Uru/CC/ULM combo to be absolutely beautiful.

Related posts: Discussion, Initial Build, Final Build, Update for Palit and 3.0 Overclock, Monitor Upgrade.

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Desktop (Previous):

Shuttle SN25P Barebone case. Capability to have 4 SATA and one IDE connection (the latter normally for CD/DVD drive). One 5.25″ bay for CD/DVD, three available slots for HDDs or two if you put a floppy drive in.

Processor is AMD 64 3500+ (not a Venice sadly) using Shuttle’s builtin cooling system for the CPU. Idle of 27c, not much hotter under load for either SL or Uru.

Video – nVidia 7200, 256 meg ram, PCI-e.

Primary Monitor – None, was the widescreen above.

Misc – Memory 2 gig of unknown speed (though appear to be OK), Onboard sound /w stock driver from Microsoft. HDDs were 2 x 320 gig SATA-II (perpendicular recording format). A Dual-layer DVD-RW is also in the case, which I’ve only used for ordinary CD/DVD writing.

How well does the above run on it – Older versions of SL ran OK @ 96m-128m draw distance; Windlight was never tested here. Oblivion was uninstalled before this video card went in, but should work with a few things turned down (on the 7800 it ran OK as long as you did not go mod-crazy). Myst Online (as of November ’07 episiode) was freezing alot; the single core appears to have had too much to handle.

General Stability of this system sux IMNSHO, especially if you have to go through insane steps like this to prevent parts of the nForce 4 chipset from eating your system alive. However it’s never crashed or had an issue after doing this – when using an ordinary XP install. I did try RAID for a short time, but that died a horrid death; Back to individual drives but using an nLite-d, stripped install of XP. CentOS apparently has the same issues with nForce 4 (both 5.2 and 5.3 so I’m reasonably certain its not the images). Debian was stable.

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Notebook 1 – HP L2000 Special Edition (aka LiveStrong):

Review here (not mine).

Processor is AMD Turion 64, 1.8 ghz. Video is ATI Radeon Xpress 200M IGP, shared memory (128 used), stock drivers. System Mem 1 gig (minus 128 for the video).

Stability: Not bought with any game in mind, let alone SL or even Uru. SL ran (as of late 2005, pre-Windlight) but was unbearable.

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Notebook 2 – Sager 8890-V (FOR SALE)

Specs here.

Processor is P4 3.2 ghz, HT. (This is a ‘desktop replacement’ grade system.) Video is ATI Radeon 9600 Mobile, dedicated 128 meg mem, latest drivers supplied by Sager (due to LCD screen support). System Mem 1 gig, 2 @400 (800 FSB). LCD is a Very Rare True 16″ @ 1280×1024; Flawless.

Stability: Uru (Prime/TPOTS) runs beautifully, even in fullscreen at max res. SL has had texture corruption from literally day one (I signed up and went through Orientation on this system); Unable to fix as of yet due to special ATI drivers that support my LCD screen. Amazingly, there is not much in the way of latency on this notebook. Mind ya, the texture issues are a show-stopper in its own right, though thankfully its not *too* bad. Oblivion will not run (video not supported). SL after the Windlight release will no longer run, due to the demands on video.

This system is currently retired, and the disk is wiped pending a bare install of XP or Linux (perhaps CentOS).

I’ll take serious offers on the Sager at this point, its still a wonderful PC. My ‘general’ price is US$250 + shipping (this sounds like a lot but its basically the cost of a new screen – the only part that can be sold individually without issues); Trades accepted if its useful for me.

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