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Ramping Up Your Computer Performance Tags: ramping computer performance

A good graphics card might be considered the most important aspect of VR performance... more important than your computer itself.


Graphics cards regularly increase dramatically in performance.  When I first wrote this article a "good" card was the Nvidia GeForce 250 and 450.   Now the 10xx cards are out (I own a 1050) and the difference in performance is incredible.  Even more incredible is the fact that a new 1050x card is less expensive than the 250s and 450s were in their day.

You can greatly improve your virtual experience by adding a good graphics card.  Such doesn't have to be expensive. 

For your computer, a minimum dual-core is recommended.  Windows 10 requires 8 gigs of RAM to operate well (4 gigs will suffice but performance will suffer). 

IDEAL SYSTEM (minimum configuration, at this time, considering overall performance and cost):

Fast duo or quad core PC, 8 gigs RAM, Nvidia GeForce 1050 2-gig graphics card or better.  Lesser graphics cards will work, but not as well.

The graphics card is more important than the CPU. Don't skimp on graphics.  Graphics cards make a major difference on VR worlds. 


In recent times lag has been significantly reduced.  However just so it's said: nothing is going to stop lag entirely. Eventually, you are going to experience lag somewhere, sometime.  No amount of computer is going to change that.  So there's no need to buy a high-level gamer computer to use a virtual world.  A decent basic-level computer with a good graphics card will work wonders.



Higher-level graphics cards often require higher-level power supplies.   Usually 500 watts is a minimum.   Get a quality power supply; cheap power supplies can harm your computer.  However the GeForce 1050 cards are designed to require half the power of prior cards.  That is good news for existing computer owners.


Nvidia GeForce vs ATI Radeon

Radeon cards are okay but do not seem to operate as smoothly as GeForce cards. But if you can find a good deal on an ATI Radeon card you can save some $$$.  Avoid the 5770; it is known to have glitches. 

Nvidia and ATI have always been neck-in-neck in the video card race. In general, Nvidia seems to work better on virtual worlds than ATI, but these days even Windows Tablets seem to work acceptably.  My personal recommendation is Nvidia 1050 or better unless your pocketbook requires ATI.  Check the Internet and compare specs between cards.



When you install your new card, be sure you first UNINSTALL your old graphics card drivers and software. Then go to the official website for that card and download the latest drivers supporting your specific operating system. There are different drivers for different Windows versions, Mac and Linux. Be sure you download and install the correct drivers for your OS and your video card. Usually the installation disc in the box will not be up to date. Ignore it, and download the latest releases.



Following are several benchmark readings as well as ongoing information, some of which has been consolidated into this blog. Take the time to read through all the comments as well. Look at the charts. Remember that raw speed is not the essential ingredient, but the faster your card, usually the better the performance. Balance your finances with what's out there and remember: a few extra dollars spent now will be soon forgotten-- but the quality of your video card will reward you every single day. Buy the best you can afford and if you have to spend an extra $30 or $40 to get a better card,  you'll later likely be glad you spent the extra bucks. Check specs on Nvidia's own website:



When you install a higher level graphics card, you are likely to get into power and cooling issues.  (This does not apply to the Nvidia GTX 1050, which uses half the power of normal cards.)

Larger power supplies and heavier graphics cards mean the computer will run hotter-- which is not good. Top-vented cases work well (holes in the top with a fan blowing out... hot air rises). Equally beneficial is opening up the side of your computer entirely and blowing a small desk fan right into the side. That airflow trick solves just about all heating problems and is a lot cheaper than other solutions. 


Virtual worlds are resource hogs.  But the same applies to Windows and Apple operating systems.  When upgrading your graphics, take it for granted you are going to spend from $75 to $200 on the graphics card.  If you get a full-size Nvidia card you may require a new power supply.    The performance is worth it.  As of March 2018 the Nvidia 1050 is considered one of the best graphic card purchases on the market.





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