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VRprofessor

GPU Disappointment

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Jenni Darkwatch wrote:

I do like this page here for relatively useful comparisons between GPUs:

Edit: With your card I'd think you should easily be able to run lighting&shadows. I've got a weaker card and can run it at (for me) acceptable frame rates. With my GT440 at work I get a minimum of 17FPS with light&shadows on in that Kuula place.

Yes, I think what I have purchased is primarily the ability to run the high end lighting and shadows with pretty good frame rates. 

I turned off some (all?) of the lighting and shadowing effects as well as setting water reflectivity to minimal, but was found by friends and dragged off before I could properly test the changes. (A good problem to have :matte-motes-smile:)   However, improper testing suggests that frame rates have improved, but I'll have to wait to find out for sure until later.

Tomorrow I run at different settings and find out how I feel about lighting and shadowing effects versus taking my wife out to dinner.  (And possibly upgrading my son's graphics.)

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You don`t need to run 2 gpu`s 1 for each monitor, it`s pretty much a waste of power unless you do 2 things that require rendering on both monitors

Got 3 in sli with 2 monitors plugged into the primary card, no issues

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Alicia Sautereau wrote:

You don`t need to run 2 gpu`s 1 for each monitor, it`s pretty much a waste of power unless you do 2 things that require rendering on both monitors

Got 3 in sli with 2 monitors plugged into the primary card, no issues

Makes sense.  Would running two avi's count as rendering on both monitors?  That would be the one and only time that it could plausibly make any difference to me. 

 

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If your running 2 clients alot, i`d suggest running each monitor on it`s own gpu specially if you have it at high settings
If it`s on a very rare occasion and you play other games, just sli them, but 2 clients could be quite laggy at high settings as only 1 gpu is rendering

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Alicia Sautereau wrote:

If your running 2 clients alot, i`d suggest running each monitor on it`s own gpu specially if you have it at high settings

If it`s on a very rare occasion and you play other games, just sli them, but 2 clients could be quite laggy at high settings as only 1 gpu is rendering

Thank you for jogging my memory.  One of the goals with a more capable GPU was running two clients simultaneously while still using a single card. I wouldn't say I run two clients a lot, but whenever I am on my home desktop I tend to fire up two clients. 

Right now I am using the 660 GPU and  running two clients using default "high" settings.  As long as only one avi is in a heavily populated area there is little loss of fps relative to a single client running.

I have managed to run two clients using default "Ultra" settings and that still worked pretty well, but there was enough glitching in the heavy traffic area I probably don't want to do that normally.  (Although I may need to try it again...the region crashed a few seconds after I experience the glitching so maybe the glitch was server side.*)

I am starting to feel better now.   From an electrical power consumption point of view I think I am better off with the 660 card rather than two 550s.  I don't expect meaningfully different performance between the two options when running two clients.  So I thnk I am talking myself into keeping the 660. 

As for other games, only casual games.  My one and only reason for owning a GPU is SL.  Nothing else I do requires anything beyond basic graphics. 

 

*Went back to Kuula with default ultra settings in both clients--fps were 18-22.  turned down draw distance and minimized water reflection in both clients.  Kuula client started running @ 28-30fps without noticable glitching.  I am definitely feeling much better. 

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I disagree with Echo. Your bandwidth will have some affect on your FPS but not much. Anything over 1mb/sec and your going to have all the FPS that you can get from connection performance. Once the area's textures are cached and your system is no longer decompressing textures you should see your pure render speed.

Slow internet connections generally appear as sluggish mouse and arrow-key response (high PING). Poor Internet connections with lost packets create problems that can slow down the FPS as CPU is diverted to handle error corretions and repeated attemps to decompress corrupted textures.

If you are going to test your connection see: Troubleshoot Your #SL Connection

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nVidia does most of their benchmarking for DirectX games. OpenGL can run as well as DirectX and according to some benchmarks and tests even faster in some cases. HOWEVER, SL does not take advantage of all the neat OpenGL tricks and runs at a rather low FPS.

The nVidia card will give the precent of increase they claim in DirectX games. It won't in SL.

The next biggest performance improvement you can make is to put in the fastest memory chips your system can use.

My GTX560 Ti blasts some benchmarks along at 1,000 FPS but only runs the SL Release viewer at 25-35 FPS on High.

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I notice that you are running an I5 2500k and the upgrade to the 660 card but you did not mention what mother board or chip set you are using. The 660 is a PCI-E 3.0 architecture if your mother board is the 2.0 spec you will not acheive the results you desire.  The game (or as I have been told its not a game )) ) also likes fast core memory and gpu memory. The 660 certainly has the memory required.

I have a friend who has the 660 except 16 GB of memory and a 3770k processor on the new ASRock MB. She has to limit the 660 to 60 fps under Ultra with all options on or it will run between 100 and 120 fps and heat up like an oven. She also had 3 avatars on all running ultra at 60 fps. So your bottleneck is not your video card unless you got a lemon, and no one ever gets a lemon in the computer industry  ))

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Sephy McCaw wrote:

More then likely that its because the 660 is brand new and LL haven't had time to test it and release viewer update to set the standard for the card. IM sure you will see an increase of your fps in the next viewer aslong as they don't break it that is.

The 660 might be brand new, but it's a tuned down version of the higher end 600 series cards, they have been around since march. I think the only difference is in the number of shaders and the memory bus width, the architecture is exactly the same, chips the same, memory (DDR5) the same.

@VRProfessor

The small increase in performance is probably because of the fact your old card wasn't running at full power to begin with. Somethig is limiting your fps, but it's not the graphics card. Information processed by it needs to be offered to it first. So if your card is simply waiting for something to do, a better, faster card won't make much of a difference.

I went to Kuula and noticed only a 50% or so load on my GPU with fps comparible, although slightly higher than yours. (that can have various reasons, most importantly the number of avatars around I guess). My GTX670 (not 660 like Coventina said) wasn't getting any warmer than 41 C. On a sim not as crowded and loaded, the card works a lot harder and I had to cap the fps at 60 to prevent it getting 70 C (A number NVidia or Asus seem to like, since the fan will keep it there)

So again, I'd say the upgrade in GPU will only be noticable when you make it work harder in areas that don't need SL input. That would be fancy shadows and reflections and such. It all makes sense I guess.

I think it has been said before, the sim fps shouldn't affect your screen fps all that much. The sim fps is the rate at which the server send you changes, that's server side. The screen fps is the rate at which pictures are built to show on screen, that's all happening inside your black box.

Btw I experimented a bit and put my cache on a ramdisk, since I suspected the reading of cache might be the issue. I don't see any performance gains, but I think I'll keep my cache there anyway, it's using RAM I don't need and saves a lot of write/read cycles on my SSD. In another thread someone did some benchmarking, with the conclusion the biggest performance gains were made by using faster RAM.

If people say they get splended graphics with their new systems including 600 cards, you should ask the question what they are comparing it to. A lot of people will compare it to maybe 2 or 3 generations ago. I myself can only compare it to 4 generations ago, which is 5 years. I also compare my current graphics to how SL looked in 2006, when joined SL.  All in all that results in my observation my graphics look great. It's all very relative.

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The good information continues to poor in. 

I know that my motherboard will handle faster memory so I'll look into that this afternoon. 

Today's goal is to identify local/system bottlenecks that are degrading performance.  I probably don't need all the power offered by the 660, but my gamer-geek students looked like I was planning to dismember a puppy in front of them when I mentioned that I was considering sending it back. 

But before I worry about that


Kwakkelde Kwak wrote:

@VRProfessor

I went to Kuula and noticed only a 50% or so load on my GPU with fps comparible, although slightly higher than yours. (that can have various reasons, most importantly the number of avatars around I guess). My GTX670 (not 660 like Coventina said) wasn't getting any warmer than 41 C. On a sim not as crowded and loaded, the card works a lot harder and I had to cap the fps at 60 to prevent it getting 70 C (A number NVidia or Asus seem to like, since the fan will keep it there)


Overheating was something I had not considered until now.  I don't overclock so I didn't think I needed to worry about it.  But I have noticed that on a basically empty sim I can see fps rates at 100 - 150 fps with spikes at 185fps.  I do not need frame rates that high and I certainly do not want an overheated GPU.

How hard is it to cap fps to help avoid overheating?  Can I adjust the fan to keep the card cooler?

Thanks again to all who have been offering help and/or sympathy.

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From Coventina I heard you're using an asus card, so I suspect your settings can be chaged exactly like mine on the 670.

To monitor your temps, you can download speedfan, it will give you incorrect readings on your i5 though I suspect.

Download Speedfan 4.46

To adjust fan settings AND monitor pretty much everything on your graphics card, I use "GPU tweak" by Asus.

Download GPU Tweak

GPU Tweak pretty much speaks for itself, on the left you can monitor everything on the card like load, voltages,  temperature, memory use etc. On the right you can under- or overclock by the press of a button or change the fan speeds manually.

GPU tweak includes GPU-Z, which shows you all the specs on the card, not all that important, but informative in case you are interested.

 

To cap the fps to your monitors refresh rate (in my case 60hZ or 60 fps) you can use the NVIdia control panel. Go to "Manage 3D Settings" and select the viewer you're using, you might have to browse for the executable and add it. On the bottom set Vertical sync to "Adaptive" and Triple buffering to "On".

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Kwakkelde Kwak wrote:

From Coventina I heard you're using an asus card, so I suspect your settings can be chaged exactly like mine on the 670.

 

EVGA GPU, if that makes a difference.


Kwakkelde Kwak wrote:

To cap the fps to your monitors refresh rate (in my case 60hZ or 60 fps) you can use the NVIdia control panel. Go to "Manage 3D Settings" and select the viewer you're using, you might have to browse for the executable and add it. On the bottom set Vertical sync to "Adaptive" and Triple buffering to "On".

:)  That was easy!

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Ok, not an asus then. Wouldn't hurt to try the program anyway, chances are it will work with any card. There are other monitoring and tuning tools around, RivaTune or Rivatuner I know of.

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Speed fan looks to be working.   With two clients running it shows my GPU running @ 45c.  That dropped quickly to 40crunning only one client.  Now I need to review earlier discussion to find out if those are good numbers or bad.

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40C is excellent, but means what we suspected, your card isn't working all that hard. I try to keep mine under 60C, but peaks to over 90C shouldn't be an issue.

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I'll take that as good news, so the next thing to look at is my memory.  Currently using 8GB of DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800).  It appears that my Motherboard will take DDR3 2133, although I am guessing this will require some overclocking or some such. 

I had orignially hoped to upgrade motherboard and cpu this fall, but now it looks like I will be waiting until at least spring.  But memory is cheap enough and I'll get some higher speed memory if it is likely to help.  Otherwise I'll wait a few more months and upgrade the entire system (except for the GPU).

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Well, chances are nothing will increase performance, 1600 is already pretty fast. The bottleneck might not be on your end to begin with. I personally wouldn't upgrade the memory, there are no guarantees it would speed up things. If you decide to upgrade anyway, make sure both cpu and motherboard support the faster memory, that might not be the case.

If you know any people with a higher end system than you have, do a side by side performance test to see if and if so where and when the differences are noticable. I consider my system pretty high end, with the same memory you have, although twice as much, a slightly faster cpu (3770K) and a slightly faster gpu. If you say SL is the only graphic demanding program on your computer, I'd pick the "taking out the wife for dinner" option over new memory.

I have the feeling SL just can't utilise all the high end components, but if someone has twice the fps we got on Kuula, I'd love to hear what their specs are.

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One of my local gamer geeks suggested a benchmark suite that might identify any issues on my end.  I won't get to play with it for a few days, but it gives me something to look forward to.

My new disappointment is that the 550 I replaced card cannot be installed in my work computer because a) the existing power supply is underpowered and b) the connections are not standard so I cannot replace the power supply.

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well what you experianced fits with my benchmarks really  .... also yes ram speed and cpu mhz will help you sl loves em

 

also who ever sayed is not a big diference between 550 and 660 ..... 660 is at least 2 times faster if not more ^^

 

http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Second-Life-Viewer/CPU-RAM-VGA-what-sl-likes-More-attempting-to-answer-that/td-p/1635647

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Nala Spires wrote:

also who ever sayed is not a big diference between 550 and 660 ..... 660 is at least 2 times faster if not more ^^

I think it's safe to say that's most certainly not the case for SL. The "who ever"  is VRprofessor himself and it's what this entire thread is about. The 660 not being significantly faster than the 550, not in combination with his other hardware while running SL.

On my machine the CPU doesn't seem to be the bottleneck either btw. When running SL, CPU load of well under 5-10% is pretty normal on quite sims, even visiting Kuula doesn't load the CPU more than 20% once things have loaded, spreaded over all cores.

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sl does not benefit  from beast cards   but trust me sl loves mhz  i have the cpu i7 3770k  reducing it's speed to 2,5 ghz from 3,5 reduced the fps count close to 30% thats why i say sl loves mhz  just check my tests i posted the link on my last  post ^^

 

and ofc 2500k is not a bottleneck  is a great cpu and there is nothing really you can buy that will significant speed up sl really   maybie 2-3 % if you got to 3570 but not worth it   ^^

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I have the same 3770k you have and my fps on Kuula were more or less the same as VRprofessor got with his i5. I visited that sim a good number of times these last days and fps are always the same, slightly over 20fps on ultra. None of the components I can monitor real time show any indication of full usage or anywhere near it for that matter.

I trust the numbers you posted with your benchmarking, I'm just not so sure I would have conclusions as fast. I'm not all that technical when it comes to how a computer works, but I can imagine a CPU designed to run at 2.5 GhZ doesn't perform the same as a cpu underclocked from 3.5 to 2.5 GhZ.

And if you say the CPU isn't the bottleneck, which I think is true, something else has to be. Like I said, I don't think it's anything at the user's end, so no upgrade will make a real difference.

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is the same architechture really  some even from the same batch  procecors are not designed to run on a specific speed thats why you can overclock em intel set em depending on witch state they are meeting the tdp example 77 watts and also where is really safe and guaranty it will run ... well i am still waiting a cooler for my i7 when that comes i will do a comparison from 3,5 to 4 - 4,2 depends where i will feel safe ...    on high settings with 30-40 people front of me i dont get bellow 30 so i guess i will not get a lot more than 20 on ultra my self ...also what i noted is that 8 gb kit  at 1600 mhz costs 50 euros give or take the 1866  and 2133 kits can be found around 70-80 euros in a sale so those might worth  if you are going after a new rig    but sure not worth to cheap out and go for a 1333 kits witch cost like only 5 less euros if not the same .... and yes my cpu on the tests at any scenario never even passed 50% neither my gpu had max  load  at any scenario

 

what i believe is that sl just can't utilize the muscle of a modern card since it  is based on a code writen back on 2003-4 and they just adding stuff  updating as much as they can but still the engine remains old

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Although it seems we agree on most things going by your last post, I dont think you can compare the architecture of an i5-2500 and an i7-3770K, they are completely different as far as I know, one is sandy, the other ivy.

Anyway, this all doesn't answer the big question, is there anything we can upgrade to get a higher performance? I don't think so :)

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