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Nvidia not overriding SL, bad performance


Nethya Emor
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Today I tried to turn down the Viewer settings (AA, AF) and putting Nvidia to work instead. But for some reason the application settings won't get overrided. I ran SL after applying all the settings and nothing came out of it. I'm trying to get best out of SL, but don't know whats wrong

Medium.pngMediumNVidia.png

Nvidia GeForce GTX 460, 1GB
4GB of RAM
Intel i3 540 3.07GHz
 

All drivers recently updated, not overclocked.
Internet connection: 4Mbps/256kbps. Actual download 500kb/s
Located in Europe, which might explain the high ping to a sim (200-250 usually), is the ping too high for this connection even?
The bandwidth is set to 1500, since I've seen it reach it at times when sim is initially being loaded.
Cache on 2GB, recently cleaned. Port on default one, although I try placing it on 13001 at times to troubleshoot problems.
Viewer takes about 1.5GB memory usage usually on Medium settings.

Here are some runs on high settings:
SLsettingsHigh.png 

 And on Ultra:
SLsettingsHighest.png 

 

I bought this PC recently so I'm trying to figure out whats wrong, I really wish best performance out of SL but can't find the problem!

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My experience with over ridding SL's preference setting with the nVidia control panel has been that it simply does not work.  When I tried it (on a couple difference cards) is that the performance either remained the same or it degraded (mostly degraded).  I suggest setting the control panel back to default and use the viewer preference settings instead. 

A couple things I noticed with your screenshots (it's a little hard to see so I might be wrong).  You have AA set to 16x in the control panel.  That's huge.  With AA enabled your rendering will slow down and 16x (even if it did work using the Control Panel.......which it doesn't) would bring your system to it's knees as far as rendering is concerned.  4 x is about as high as you could expect with the GTX 460 card.  Combine that with Antisrophic filtering enabled you are asking your video card to do much more than it's likely able to down with serious slowing.  I would set AA to not more than 4x and enable AF (its going to slow you down some but not really so much that it would be very noticable).  That setting will give you a nice smooth edge to to what you see on screen (it might be a noticable factor if you are doing highly detailed photography in which case you can up the AA for your photo shoot........you'll slow down but for temporarily you should be able to endure the slow down.  Just set it back for your normal SL activities).

Your pings confuse me a little.  On the screen shot with high settings I see what appears to be around 200 - 250 (201?) as you mentioned in your post.  But with ultra settings that ping appears to be over 400.  I can't imagine what would cause that by changing settings.  The ping time is how long it takes for a signal to go from your computer to the servers and back again.........it's not dependant on content but only on how long it takes for that signal to travel to and from the destination (the LL servers either in San Francisco, CA or Dallas, TX).  There will always be a little more latency to the servers since the signal is going to one of the over 30,000 servers that make up the SL grid.  200 is not too bad but 400 might be something that will definitely cause issues for you.  You might do a trace route to see what is cause such a difference in the pings.  Long ping times can cause disconnects from the servers due to time outs.

Your tested download is a potential problem  SL will work fine at 500 kbps.  But your advertised speed is much higher than your tested speed.  I would say you need to contact your ISP to find out why...........it appears your ISP may be throttling you connection to SL due to amount of data transfer.  However, even if you speed is 500 kbps you should not have too much problems (maybe some lag and studdering of the viewer) but overall not too bad.  The problem I see is your bandwidth setting in the viewer being 1500 kbps.  That's three times what your tested bandwidth can deliver.  That's not going to help you in the least and can really cause some huge problems for staying connected to the servers.  You have no overhead for any services (such as streaming media, music or voice).  You are telling the servers to send you 1500 kbps when you can only recieve 500.......that is more than you can recieve and packet loss is a great big potential.  Packet loss will disconnect you or crash you just about as fast as anything that can happen in SL.

And my final note.  A GTX460 card is a mid-level gaming card.  It will not handle ultra settings without a significant hit in performance.  You will lag considerably more than at high settings and your rez times will increase noticably.  Your screen shot showed that you did not have shadows enabled.......and that's good.  Shadows would drop your FPS (performance) even more........it may crash you.

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Is there any reason why you can't let Nvidia's control panel delegate graphics settings to programs such as SL? I'm doing that with the same card you do, and I'm not having any issues regarding performance. I'm able to go to all sims with all settings on their highest, Shadows and 16x anti-aliasing included. At a low, I see about 8FPS. That'd be in the most crowded of sims of miserable repute.

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The 460 is now two generations old, it wont give you that much of a performance boost, i suggest you keep sl on its predetermind settings for your card (guessing high) and lower your draw distance and play around with your setting to achieve what ever fps you are trying to get(i've noticed that what ever you get on your predeterminid settings is what you'll get no matter which setting you use below it.... atleast for me with my AMD card) .... I also doubt that the control panel would help in any way with opengl based graphics... and you musnt forget that SL is more intensive then other games since textures are pretty high....

 

 

P.S. Peggy. the ping will more likely be cause by the fact that she took the pic straight after switching to ultra there for throttling her ping while it loads the textures.

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When I tried doing that with my card(s) (both of which were 8000 or 9000 series cards) all that happened was I had no anistrophic filtering or AA.  The settings in the nVidia control panel did not take effect (they did not work with SL.......only the preference settings worked).  The preference settings over ride the control panel settings every time.  I gave up trying.  But I will concur with septimusminimus.  My performance did not fall off as far as FPS were concerned.  I would gain rez timess due to settings being turned off in the preferences..........I had no AA and AF unless I turned them on in the viewer preferences.  And I really don't think 16x AA is possible in SL with a 460 card.  How would you know the difference in 4x or 16x with the unoptimized textures that 95% of SL is made up with?  If you set AA that high in the viewer you'll see a much slower rez time.....everywhere.

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"...

P.S. Peggy. the ping will more likely be cause by the fact that she took the pic straight after switching to ultra there for throttling her ping while it loads the textures."

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

I can go along with that.......once her 500kbps connection caught up with what's being sent it should settle back to the 200 I saw in the screen shot.  I think anyway.  :)

 

PS........thanks for pointing that out.  I really had me confused.

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Thanks for all the quick answers, I didn't expected them that soon! And yes Sephy you're right about the ping, it jumped to 400 while I changed the settings.

Though when I enter a new sim, the bandiwdth knows to jump around 800-1300, thats why I put it higher, I noticed that when I get new viewer with 500 bandiwdth default it loads really crappy and slow, I used to have bandwidth up on 2000-3500 actually. The download speed is same in whole country. Would getting a better connection make a large impact on better performance or not really? After sim loads I doubt its that much required?

The reason I put Nvidia Control settings so high is to show they were not applied in the viewer. That had me confused because I have seem plenty of blog posts about the performance increase. It saddens me to see SL with such high requirements and still same graphics.

At High and Ultra settings I put back on SL Hardware settings instead of Nvidias. That was the performance on already loaded sim with 4 people.

Are there any other options to get better performance and graphic out of SL, or just replacing some of the PC components?

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Ping.png

Taken few moments after I had entered the sim, after it loads the bandwidth falls down to normal for the sim (50-200).

I haven't actually tested the real upload speed, but it must be around 32kb/s which is low (ADSL), but is it needed even?

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Once a region is loaded I've seen the bacdwidth drop to 30-90kbps.

There is a problem with a UDP throttle. The Phoenix viewer team says it is in the Linden code and Max Bandwidth should be kept under 1900 mb. We should see that fix roll out with a 3.3.5 version viewer.

In general the Max Bandwidth setting should be 80% or less of your tested max bandwidth and less than 1,900kbps. See: Understanding the Maximum Bandwidth Option in the Second Life™ Viewer.

If you want to see what your video card is doing get a free program GPU-Z. It will show you how much of the graphics load the card is carrying. My GTX560Ti with 8x CSAA loads the GPU to 15% and knocks along at 17 FPS. I do use the nVidia AA rather than the viewer's AA. This is one setting that is very obvious. If the card did not pickup the AA I would easily see the jaggies.

I am not sure the card's ansotropic is that good. I also don't find that the viewer's ansotropic makes that much of a performance hit. But, experiement with your system to see how it affects your performance.

Also, make sure you have all the multi-threaded stuff possible turned on. See: Graphics Tweaking for Second Life.

Get the free program System Explorer or use the Windows built in Performance Monitors to see if your system is paging memory to disk. You can also see in System Explorer or the Task Manager how well your multiple CPU cores are being used.

I get 18-25 FPS high HIGH without Sun/Moon Shadows on my Core2 Quad and 560. With shadows on that comes down to 12 to 18. Some with similar hardware and 64bit Windows get around 50 FPS. 

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