Digital Storm - How well would this computer run SL?

Beebo Brink

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Sep 20, 2018
280
#1
I've spent the last two years trying to trouble-shoot why my aging computer doesn't run SL any more (last time I logged in, I had an FPS of 3). What's made this even more frustrating is that I bought a cheap Dell for my wife ($400) and it runs SL better than mine has for years.

So I can either pay to have a professional trouble-shoot my issues and maybe, if I'm lucky, fix them or I can just bite the bullet and buy a new computer.

For the last 10 years, I've spec'd and assembled my own rig, but I really don't want to do that again. I'm willing to pay for a decent gaming box that someone else puts together. Can anyone comment on Digital Storm gaming computers? They have two models in my prices range (although I'm sure shipping costs will add considerably). Would I get a decent computer for the price? Would it run SL?

Or should I just buy another cheap Dell -- to hell with high-quality graphics, just be glad I can function inworld.

$700
Mid Tower Chassis
AMD Ryzen 5 2400G
Radeon RX Vega 11
8GB DDR4 Memory
2TB 7200RPM Storage
Premium CPU Cooler
600W Power Supply
A320M Motherboard
Windows 10

$1000
Mid Tower Chassis
AMD Ryzen 5 2600
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
8GB DDR4 Memory
2TB 7200RPM Storage
Premium CPU Cooler
600W Power Supply
B350M Motherboard
Windows 10

ETA: Their website is at VANQUISH 7 | Digital Storm
 
Last edited:

Soen Eber

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Sep 20, 2018
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#2
With Second Life, you want a balance between your CPU, RAM, and your Graphics card. Either one of those can be a critical bottleneck; 2 of the 3 can be viewed with resource monitor; NVidea probably has its own monitor app. Also there tends to be a strong preference for NVidia.

On a new system it's only another $100 or so to go 16 GB of RAM, and you may very well feel the effects of that sooner rather than later if you stick with 8 GP.

Also, don't cheap-out on the board. An economy board can really throttle performance; one of the YT links posted earlier about computer reviews showed that the board design had cut memory throughput in half, and that was on a gaming system. Check out reviews to make sure you're not getting bit by this.

That's really all I have.
 

Katheryne Helendale

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Sep 20, 2018
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#3
I know nothing about the motherboards they are using, so I really can't weigh in on which one is better. But if I had to choose between the two systems, I'd go with the $1000 system simply because of the nVidia GPU, which has historically played nicer with OpenGL-based programs like SL than AMD GPUs have, and because of the overall better CPU. SL itself won't directly benefit from the extra cores, but having more cores allows for better system multitasking overall, helping to ensure nothing else is going to try to compete with SL for the single core it's using.
 
Sep 26, 2018
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#4
I've spent the last two years trying to trouble-shoot why my aging computer doesn't run SL any more
Hugs the Beebo.

(last time I logged in, I had an FPS of 3).
Beebs when I'm socializing my FPS is only slightly higher. Our mutual acquaintance Rachel from the Duchess has mentioned that SL brings her high end machine (currently with an RTX 2080 TI) to a single digit fps crawl sometimes.

What's made this even more frustrating is that I bought a cheap Dell for my wife ($400) and it runs SL better than mine has for years.
That sounds strange, what are you running?

Or should I just buy another cheap Dell
IMHO buy an inexpensive refurb with a good CPU and then put 16GB of RAM and a nice video card in it ( and perhaps a power supply upgrade), but since you don't want to mess around:

$1000
Mid Tower Chassis
AMD Ryzen 5 2600
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
8GB DDR4 Memory
2TB 7200RPM Storage
Premium CPU Cooler
600W Power Supply
B350M Motherboard
Windows 10
This one, though you should up the RAM to 16GB. SL wants as much as it can get and if you want to do else while running SL, and I do mean "anything" other than say running a terminal, or lightweight media player, SL will be happier with 16GB. Oh sure you can "make do" with 8...but the RAM use of SL and say Firefox or Chrome will increase over time and eventually they'll be fighting each other over that 8. Or if you want to use SAM or IDJC to DJ, or GIMP to photo edit, while running SL. With 16GB you'll be able to leave your web browser open. With 8...well I switched to minimal web browser Midori when Charlemagne sent me youtube links or fashionistas sent gyazo/flickr links.

Never heard of them before.

I'm probably going to be picking up a new machine myself this year. I'll do what I did back in "aught ten" and get a cheap mid-tower refurb with a good CPU (probably some kind of AMD quad/hex core at 3.2/3.4 GHz like say a Ryzen 5) and slap my current RAM and GTX 1050 TI and power supply in it. I don't care what else is in it so even if it's some office focused machine as long as it has one full x16 PCI 3 slot, I'm good.
 
Sep 20, 2018
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#5
Often clearing the hard drive and reinstalling everything fresh really perks up a machine. If I recall correctly you're running Windows 8, if so upgrading to Windows 10 could help too. Though the official date for the free Win 10 upgrade has long past it still appears to be possible, just recently I upgraded two old Dell T1600 to Windows 10 using their old Windows 7 product keys and I assume it would work for Windows 8.
 

Kalel

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#6
i stopped using AMD Cards due to open GL Visual glitches SL was giving me and constantly crashing/restarting my graphics card every 20 minutes while running SL due to a driver bug that as far as i know was never fixed.(Just SL no other program was affected) i do not recommend AMD for graphics at all.


you don't need a full gaming PC for SL as long as it's balanced.

I agree with everyone else extra Ram is useful. Especially if your a multi-tasker or have multiple programs running.

If you can also get a small SSD drive and Move your SL cache to it. you'd also see some loading speeds increase as well

Digital storm,MSI gaming, Ibuypower, Cyberpower, Xidax, alienware, Razer the list goes on. Custom build websites are popular and have good warranty and customer support to keep your business. Digital storm is definitely become more trustworthy over the years seems to have acquired a following.

all these websites do have built in overhead no shame in using them tho.. just shop around and pick the one your comfortable with. they have lots of freebies to entice you. Best time is around holidays as they try to throw in more.
 

Beebo Brink

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#7
Often clearing the hard drive and reinstalling everything fresh really perks up a machine. If I recall correctly you're running Windows 8, if so upgrading to Windows 10 could help too. Though the official date for the free Win 10 upgrade has long past it still appears to be possible, just recently I upgraded two old Dell T1600 to Windows 10 using their old Windows 7 product keys and I assume it would work for Windows 8.
I actually did upgrade to Windows 10 before the free upgrade lapsed. A refresh is a good idea. I'm always anxious about doing something that drastic because the potential for making a mistake and wiping out my computer is high. But I'm really at my wits end, so nothing much to lose (assuming I can back up everything).
 

Beebo Brink

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#8
That sounds strange, what are you running?
I put this together back in early 2013, so 6 years old now. I'm willing to upgrade parts, but I have no idea which parts are causing my issues.

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570 Ivy Bridge Quad-Core 3.4GHz
PSU: SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold 650W
RAM: 16GB
Boot Drive: 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

I forget the video card specs, but it was a decent used card that I bought from Veritable, so I know it runs SL well. It seemed to help for awhile, but the last few weeks when I've logged in to SL, I can barely move.

For awhile I just assumed it was my ISP, but if that were the case, I'd have trouble running from my wife's computer, too. But I can move easily, almost free of lag, on her Dell.

Spending over a $1000 to start from scratch is a pretty drastic solution, but I'm feeling very worn down. I'm just not savvy enough to figure this out.
 

Kalel

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#9
Spending over a $1000 to start from scratch is a pretty drastic solution, but I'm feeling very worn down. I'm just not savvy enough to figure this out.
you definitely shouldn't be having an issue with those specs... seems it may just need a deep cleaning.

can you do a search for your device manager? and see the name of the graphics card?
 

Cristiano

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#10
Kalel is right - those specs are excellent for running SL decently (SL is so horribly optimized that even on super high end systems it can still have issues). Something in your current setup is screwy. A fresh install of Windows should help, and make sure you do have the latest drivers for your video card, and any updates also for your other devices. You should not have to buy a brand new computer to run SL at more than 3 fps.

One other thing I thought of - what quality level do you have SL set on? I'm wondering if something is out of whack there as well.
 

Beebo Brink

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#11
Kalel is right - those specs are excellent for running SL decently (SL is so horribly optimized that even on super high end systems it can still have issues). Something in your current setup is screwy. A fresh install of Windows should help, and make sure you do have the latest drivers for your video card, and any updates also for your other devices. You should not have to buy a brand new computer to run SL at more than 3 fps.
And I did run SL well for several years, but then it gradually ran not so well... then worse... until now it's practically unusable. Trying SL on my wife's computer was an attempt to determine whether our local ISP was at fault. If nothing else, I've ruled that out.

One other thing I thought of - what quality level do you have SL set on? I'm wondering if something is out of whack there as well.
I've done several complete re-installs of both the LL viewer and of Firestorm. I run badly on both of them, so this appears to rule our viewer pref/configuration issues, unless there's something amiss with the default values. At one point I reduced to the lowest quality that I could stand and I think it helped a little, but not all that much. And I routinely have a draw distance of about 64m, which is like being myopic inworld.

However, you are quite right that buying a new computer is probably not the best answer (and certainly an expensive one).
 
Sep 20, 2018
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#12
Do you have bad performance at all locations in SL, or at just certain locations? May have a neighbor who unwittingly bought some server tipping coffee mugs.
 

Kalel

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#13
And I did run SL well for several years, but then it gradually ran not so well... then worse... until now it's practically unusable. Trying SL on my wife's computer was an attempt to determine whether our local ISP was at fault. If nothing else, I've ruled that out.


I've done several complete re-installs of both the LL viewer and of Firestorm. I run badly on both of them, so this appears to rule our viewer pref/configuration issues, unless there's something amiss with the default values. At one point I reduced to the lowest quality that I could stand and I think it helped a little, but not all that much. And I routinely have a draw distance of about 64m, which is like being myopic inworld.

However, you are quite right that buying a new computer is probably not the best answer (and certainly an expensive one).
you've only mention fps drops... no blue screens or graphic glitches? or fan noises?

only other thing i can think of is graphics card overheat.. could be an early sign of it dying...?
 

Veritable Quandry

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#14
The GPU is an Nvidia GTX760.

I would also be interested in knowing how you are connecting to the internet. Bandwidth can be the worst problem and the hardest to fix.
 

Beebo Brink

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#15
Do you have bad performance at all locations in SL, or at just certain locations? May have a neighbor who unwittingly bought some server tipping coffee mugs.
Tested in my home sim -- on my wife's computer I have no problem, on my computer I can barely move.

you've only mention fps drops... no blue screens or graphic glitches? or fan noises?

only other thing i can think of is graphics card overheat.. could be an early sign of it dying...?
I DO get a flicker -- intermittently the entire SL viewer window flashes on and off.

I would also be interested in knowing how you are connecting to the internet. Bandwidth can be the worst problem and the hardest to fix.
Cable, not wifi, and again, my wife's computer has no problem running SL.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, I have a plan. I can take my computer in to the local repair shop and have them:
  • Install a CPU cooler I bought several months ago
  • Refresh Windows
  • Test for viruses
Would there be any benefit in upgrading the CPU while I'm at it?
 
Last edited:
Sep 20, 2018
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#16
Tested in my home sim -- on my wife's computer I have no problem, on my computer I can barely move.


I DO get a flicker -- intermittently the entire SL viewer window flashes on and off.


Cable, not wifi, and again, my wife's computer has no problem running SL.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

So, I have a plan. I can take my computer in to the local repair shop and have them:
  • Install a CPU cooler I bought several months ago
  • Refresh Windows
  • Test for viruses
Would there be any benefit in upgrading the CPU while I'm at it?
I'd say no to the CPU upgrade since you're doing all this to see IF it solves the issues, and my CPU which is about two generations older seems to run SL fine.

Maybe ask them to stress test the hardware and see if anything is overheating, thermal throttling, or just plain failing.
 
Sep 24, 2018
5
#17
Other thing would be getting the NVidia 1050 card from Amazon, it is about $170 - replace your existing video card and see if it helps. And you have 30 days to return it to amazon if it doesn't.
 
Sep 24, 2018
5
#18
Also, I tried ordering a PC from Digital Storm - they gave me a ship date of about 3 weeks out. At a day after the 3 weeks, they send me an email saying they were out of parts, it would be another 1-2 weeks before they got the parts, and 1-2 weeks after that before they shipped. Keep in mind they charged me apon order, so they had my money. I canceled the order, and ordered from Cyberpower PC. They missed their ship date by only 1 day, and didn't charge me until they were shipping my PC.

You can buy the CyberpowerPC units from Amazon as well, which tends to make returns much easier.
 
Sep 19, 2018
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#19
Other thing would be getting the NVidia 1050 card from Amazon, it is about $170 - replace your existing video card and see if it helps. And you have 30 days to return it to amazon if it doesn't.
That was my first thought. Video cards can make a huge difference. I'm a total amateur though. This web page says a 1050 is only around 50% better than a GTX 970.

UserBenchmark: Nvidia GTX 1050-Ti vs 670
 

Beebo Brink

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#20
Other thing would be getting the NVidia 1050 card from Amazon, it is about $170 - replace your existing video card and see if it helps. And you have 30 days to return it to amazon if it doesn't.
Thanks, but I know it's not the card, because I've replaced that already with a better card than I had before.

And again, my computer USED to run SL very well. So it's something that's gone wrong with what I have left in the box.