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Low FPS... suggestions?


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Upuntil recently, I decided to give second life a second chance (pun intended). The one major problem that ruins the whole experience for me is the absurd perfomance spikes which I have encounterd since day one. Anyway, here are my specs.

-CPU: AMD Phenom II 960T unlocked/overclocked to 3.6GHz X6

-Graphics Card: GTX 260 overclocked

-RAM: 4.5GB DDR2

-Broadband internet connection with average speeds of 17-25mbps down and 3-4mbps up

-Running through a wireless 150mbps LAN adapter


I'm using the Phoenix viewer (current) and have the rendering graohics settings set to LOW. At most I average about 20-30 FPS... and on busy maps I most times dip into the single digits. I don't understand... my current hardware should be overkill for this game. What can I do to improve the perfomance?

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Who knows.. I doubt you u get any kind of real a nswer here. I have a custom built gaming rig as well and I cant even get this piece of junk to open. Even on a FRESH install of windows 7 i keep being told its a "windows" issue and not a SL issue.. How is this game so popular yet so bugged.. i hope you receive some type of support as ive got nothing

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Really I'd expect you to get better with your nice system.

I'm on an older pc and 20 - 30 fps on mid setting in a quiet sim is normal for me (using Singularity viewer with the draw distance set to 24m). I get slightly worse performance with Cool VL viewer which is another good viewer for older pc's i understand... the main difference is that the minimum draw distance is 64 m for Cool VL - probably it would do as good or better if i was able to reduce this further.

Perhaps it's worth trying another viewer? Also, if at all possible, use a wired connection to your router. If you haven't already checked this, make sure your grahics carddriver is uptodate.

I'm sure others will chip in and offer advice too. 

Hope things improve for you!

Emma :)

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You don't really give us enough of your system information to see what the problem may be.

When you ask a tech question include SL specific information about your computer and viewer. Get the info from the viewer's Help-About... and paste that into your post with your question. To add your info to an existing question use OPTIONS->EDIT. It’s in the upper right of your post.

I suggest you get some monitoring software to see what your system is actually doing. All this stuff is free. Use System Explorer to see what all the CPU cores are doing and which tasks Windows is spending its time with. It graphs page faults so you'll have an idea if your short on system ram.

Download CPU-Z and GPU-Z. CPU-Z will reveal what SSE level your CPU can handle. GPU-Z will show you what load the GPU is actually carrying. It will also show available video ram.

With these tools you can start to sort out what the problem is. I think you should get the FPS you see on LOW at the HIGH setting. You can search this forum to see what rates other 260 users are getting.

You can play with the settings described in: Graphics Tweaking for Second Life.

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Download Cool VL Viewer

Once launched go into preferences and select Recommended settings


Set draw distance to something like 128 or 256, set max particle count to 512 or lower, set flexprims to medium or low.

Under Hardware Options turn off Anisotropic Filtering and Disable Antialiasing and increase Texture memory to 512.

Might be a good idea to turn off Occlusion as well but, not necesary.

Particles will kill any system.




The problem with SL is twofold.

1. Bad geometry. Most people that build things here use way too many polygons which converts to way too many tris.

2. Bad texture usage. Far too many texture calls since SL seems to have no idea how textures should be handled properly. It would be far more economical if some kind of Atlas Texture requirement were used so you would only have one singe 1024x1024 or smaller Atlas texture per avatar. I don't know how they could implement this but, I would theorize you could set limits on single texture sizes per item creation then write some software that will grab that texture and stick it inside an Atlas.


for example:

1x pocketbook has 1x128x128 texture

1x hair has 1x128x128 texture

1x av has 1x 1024x1024 texture but only 1x256x256 section of that texture can be used for the characters skin and face. The rest would somehow have designated places where each item attached to the character will copy the texture over and embed it into the main 1024x1024 texture thereby making 4 textures only 1. Eliminating 3 texture calls in software and freeing up bandwidth.



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Since V2.8 Basic FPS has been very crippled. Despite all excuses and what all say, it's simply cut by half. I know a few ppl who have bought a super duper computer for gaming... and the same problem persists for SL. Rediculous performance.

I hear all kind of excuses and academic blahblah, LL even keeps on repeating the same service robotic like answers, but i know it is as it is.

In all V1 based viewers me and my friends have 30 - 40 FPS easy with draw distance at 256m, with exactly the same settings like AA 4x, AF on, water shadows on, lightning & shadows off, etc. I get 8  - 15 with all V2/3 based viewers. My vid card? An Nvidia 9800MGT. Turning on VBO, AA off, FA off even makes the performance worse. Crazy. I tried a newer Nvidia driver.. no joy. It's in SL's program code. A current friend of mine can play SL with low settings only while having a top the rnage vid card. Madness.

And indeed, would you think a new vid card like the 600 series of Nvidia would improve the experience? Uhuh, nope. Have tried that on a friend's computer. No joy.

Btw, SL isn't so popular anymore. It is far over the hill since 2009 and then came viewer 2... Most of my friends left SL, because it was a mess for them and it pushed their computers over the edge. In RL, like me,  they were rational students, professionals, not gamers. They wouldn't buy a new computer specially for SL for which i can't blame them since it's more luck then wisdom these days to be able to experience SL or not.

Concurrent daily logins? Not more than 55k where it was 85 once.

I've been part of IT projects many times, project management. What i can tell is that the development process of LL is low-mid quality and even based on very old codes, almost child like processes. Certainly not like a high end gaming industry. The new CEO from Electronic Arts hasn't been able to make a difference as well. It's the business culture of LL you see.

As long as i can login with a V1 based viewer (Phoenix, though very bugged as well), i enjoy SL for what it's worth with very high FPS and high settings. Should V2/3 become really mandatory, it will be a matter of clearing my place and abandon it, reduce my membership to basic. Because then it simply becomes unplayable.

With viwewer 3.3.3. i did notice a gain of FPS however it's still a far cry to what is was. Firestorm 4.1.1. is as bad as pre 3.3.3., and even worse.

However... I think LL is on it...

Not much you can do at the moment other than use the much faster V1 based viewers. 


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The thing that is so frustrating about SL's performance issues, is the responsibility is ALWAYS placed on the residents, not Linden Labs. We've joked, "Well did you know, you're not supposed to run Second Life on a toaster". That's absolutely true, you cannot realistically expect to do any sort of gaming or run a virtual world on a computer that isn't equipped with proper graphics.

But if you read the forums for any length of time, it become clear a LOT of people with mid-to even high end machines have serious performance issues in regards to running SL.

So of COURSE when people first sign up for SL and they see everything on low settings they may not want to stick around. Second Life is EXTRAORDINARY when you can run it on high or ultra settings with different windlight settings, shadows, etc.

Linden Labs NEEDS to lessen the client side burden. They've recently made promises to help fix some of these issues, and I truly hope they do. I love SL. I love it for what it CAN be, but it's just not quite there yet.


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I'd like to state for the record that I've discovered the problem causing LOW FPS, at least on my system.


AMD Phenom II X4 955 @ 3.6 ghz with a 240 FSB

16 GB Kingston HyperX Blu

Nvidia Galaxy GTX 560

Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer

1 TB, 7200 RPM, 64 mb cache Hard Disk



SL viewers 2.x-3.x are not using the graphics hardware past 40-50% utilization and card utilization goes down as the clock speeds are boosted due to SL holding the frame rendering until the viewer deems god knows what is satisfied.
I wanted to see if it was texture loading lag or any network issues like everyone seems to claim or if it was an issue with the client.
So I created a profile on my NVidia panel that ramped up the clock speed, boosting it to the regular 830 MHz core, 1660 MHz shader, as opposed to the 405 MHz base clock under low 3D utilization mode that SL 3.x loves to force.



These measures were taken after all rezzing had completed, standing still with no camera movement on Andorra.

I was averaging around 320 kbps on my bandwidth setting while I was there.


For Reference at Default Settings with Default Clocks and Default Low 3D:

With Pheonix I get 70-98 % utilization. It’s a v1 Viewer
Deferred Render Off - 45 FPS Average

Deferred Render On - 20 FPS Average

With Firestorm I get 20-33% utilization. It’s a v3 Viewer.

Deferred Render Off – 14 FPS Average

Deferred Render On (No AO) – 6 FPS Average

Deferred Render On (AO) – 4 FPS Average


With LL Viewer 3.3.x I get 30-43% utilization. It’s a v3 Viewer.

Deferred Render Off – 12 FPS Average

Deferred Render On (No AO) – 7 FPS Average

Deferred Render On (AO) – 6 FPS Average



Now! The Low 3D card mode ramped up to the ‘under load’ voltage and clock settings.

With Firestorm I get 9-19% utilization. It’s a v3 Viewer.

Deferred Render Off – 14 FPS Average

Deferred Render On (No AO) – 6 FPS Average

Deferred Render On (AO) – 6 FPS Average


With LL Viewer 3.3.x I get 7-12% utilization. It’s a v3 Viewer.

Deferred Render Off – 15 FPS Average

Deferred Render On (No AO) – 8 FPS Average

Deferred Render On (AO) – 7 FPS Average



Note: Disabling Texture loading which is the main source of lag for rendering and rezzing yielded 1 FPS across the board and switching to the Linden Viewer gave me about the same boost.

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