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TLVW10 SL system requirements guidelines

Page history last edited by Nahir 13 years, 6 months ago

TLVW10 SL system requirements guidelines

 

Second Life requires a powerful computer to be able to operate and offer satisfactory user/resident experience.  The crucial elements in this respect are: (i) the graphics card installed, (ii) the amount of RAM memory available to the processor, and (iii) the speed of the processor itself.  The official Linden system requirements site:http://secondlife.com/support/system-requirements/?lang=en-US  carries the most basic information on these and other hardware specifications. Experience shows that it is wise to be guided by the 'recommended' requirements there, rather than the 'minimum', if an acceptable SL performance is expected. However, the site itself begs more questions than it answers. For example, how can the potential SL resident *know* what graphics card they have on board, or how fast their processor is? To help with these and other similar queries, here is a selection of websites addressing such issues. As far as possible, the selection has been made in an attempt to avoid the most difficult technical jargon. This is not, however, entirely possible, because the issue is indeed highly technical. It is worth while, nevertheless, to devote some time to checking if your computer is up to the task of running SL satisfactorily because a large proportion of the resident experience in-world depends on the hardware used to carry SL. For example, if your graphics card is not up to the recommended specifications for SL, you may experience problems walking/flying in-world, or the camera control will be erratic to the point of taking any enjoyment out of being in-world. And what would SL be without enjoyment?!

 

Another technical requirement contributing to smooth SL operation goes beyond your computer proper. You must have a fast, wide-band internet connection for all necessary SL data (especially visuals) to downstream properly. While cable or DSL internet access is absolutely required ("Second Life is not compatible with dial-up internet, satellite internet, and some wireless internet services"), there are few guidelines on the web concerning the actual downstream speed of the connection guaranteeing good SL operation. Some sources claim that 1 Mb/sec (that's 1 megabit per second, which equals to 1,000,000/8=125,000 bytes per second, or 125 kB/s) is enough, but to be on the safe side you should probably strive to at least 4 Mb/sec, especially if you share your connection with other users, for example on a LAN router at home or office, either wired or wireless).  Because your computer has much less data to transmit to the Linden servers than to obtain from them, your upstream internet speed is much less important for SL. You can check your internet speed here: http://www.speedtest.net/.

 

At the bottom of this document you'll find my own SL specifications for comparison (retrieved from the help menu of the SL interface, as instructed here: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/How_to_identify_your_graphics_card). These are not in any sense some golden standard, of course, just reference.  On the "Can you run it?" site (http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/bonus/t/analysis2.tmpl?registration_option_id=6632) you can actually test if your system is up to the point of running SL, and the result is delivered in an easy to understand way.  See for yourself!

 

Please let me know of any gaps/flaws in this document -- Wlodek Barbosa (SL)

 

 

A selection of websites concerning SL system requirements:

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Wlodek Barbosa's SL system info:

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Second Life 1.23.5 (136262) Oct 14 2009 12:08:26 (Second Life Release)

CPU: Intel Core 2 Series Processor (2404 MHz)

Memory: 3072 MB

OS Version: Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3 (Build 2600)

Graphics Card Vendor: NVIDIA Corporation

Graphics Card: GeForce 9600 GT/PCI/SSE2

Windows Graphics Driver Version: 6.14.0011.9038

OpenGL Version: 3.1.0

 

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