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Latest SL Viewer ATI Radeon Card Issue?

Chuck Iskast

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I just switched to the latest sl viewer and it is causing my video card to overheat.  I have tested this every way to Sunday and   it is definietly the sl browser.  I used to be able to use high graphics, now I am overheating at medium.  I am using a ATI Radeon 5700 card on Windows 8 and latest video drivers.

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Did you see an increase in fps? Unlike what you might expect, my experience is the laggier/fuller/more complex a region is, the cooler my card. It looks like the GPU isn't getting information fast enough in those cases. On a near empty sim the fps can go into the 100's, making the card quite warm. So better coding from LL could cause (over)heating of your card.

Maybe all it takes is a good cleaning of your graphics card fan/heatsink. Better to use compressed air and/or a toothbrush than a vacuum cleaner, which can damage your computer because of static discharge. Or you could try to find a program that allows you to control the fan speed.

What is the temperature btw? GPU's can get quite warm. My fan doesn't kick in until the GPU is 70 or so degrees Celsius. Temperatures up to a constant 70 or 80 should be safe I think, but you should look that up for your specific card.

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I ran a few tests this morning using the latest SL viewer and I didn't notice any difference to previous versions. I have an ATI Radeon HD 5850. Teleported around to a variety of sims and the GPU temperature never went higher than 74.5 C at any time at Ultra setting with Lighting & Shadows enabled and a draw distance of 128m. I'm on Windows 7 64-bit.

I haven't come across anyone else mentioning the latest viewer causing GPU overheating so possibly an issue with your card or driver. What card in the 5700 series are you running and what Catalyst version?


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Saying the latest driver means almost nothing.

If you actially want help when you ask a tech question include information about your computer and viewer. If the viewer will at least show the login screen, get the info from the viewer's Help-About... and paste that into your post with your question. Help->About... provides all the version numbers we need.  To add your info to an existing question use OPTIONS->EDIT. It’s in the upper right of your post.

To see what is happening in the computer get GPU-Z and System Explorer, both free programs. In GPU-Z you can see your graphics load and the fane speed and temperature. If the fan is slow to speed up, or is already running fast, you may need to clean the card.

You can also try running a graphics benchmark program to see if the card over heats. Heating up is OK, but overheating is not. You can get the max temp for your card at the ATI site. In general contant operation at 75C and above is hard on chips. But, some are designed to hotter.

The viewer doesn't place an abnormally high load on video cards. My GTX560 runs about a 25 to 75% load and heats up about 10C when I start SL Dev Viewer 3.4.6 (270268). I seldom see the fan even get to 50% full speed.

So, I doubt the viewer is the problem.

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Thx for all the replies.  It is only sl.  I log in and the fan starts going full blast and doesn't let up.  I minimize sl and wait a minute it stops, I maximize sl...it starts again.  I can only stay logged for short periods due to system heat.  It started the moment I updated and nothing has changed in the system.  

Second Life 3.4.5 (270263) Feb 12 2013 04:43:00 (Second Life Release)
Release Notes

You are at 183,856.0, 265,803.0, 2,501.9 in Vacation Island located at sim6517.agni.lindenlab.com (
Second Life Server
Release Notes

CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1035T Processor (2611.64 MHz)
Memory: 7936 MB
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit Service Pack 1 (Build 7601)
Graphics Card Vendor: ATI Technologies Inc.
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series

Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.17.0010.1129
OpenGL Version: 4.2.11672 Compatibility Profile Context

libcurl Version: libcurl/7.21.1 OpenSSL/0.9.8q zlib/1.2.5 c-ares/1.7.1
J2C Decoder Version: KDU v7.0
Audio Driver Version: FMOD version 3.750000
Qt Webkit Version: 4.7.1 (version number hard-coded)
Voice Server Version: Vivox 3.2.0002.10426

Built with MSVC version 1600
Packets Lost: 30/99,948 (0.0%)

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I'm puzzled now. You said in your opening post that you were using Windows 8 and the latest video driver. The computer details you just posted show Windows 7 64-bit SP1 and certainly not the latest driver. 

Do you have Windows 8 and SL is showing your OS incorrectly or do you really have Windows 7 64-bit SP1? If Windows 8, I assume you updated from Windows 7 yourself as your graphics card and CPU are from 2010 but you will need to update your graphics card driver here:


Make sure to uninstall the existing driver first using AMD's instructions on that page.

It doesn't matter from a video driver viewpoint as all 5xxx cards use the same one but as asked before, what card in the 5700 series do you have?


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Did some test myself, there is a difference to the previous Version.

While I have a nVidia-Card, I do get a higher GPU-Temperature as well.

Standing on the top of the staircase connecting the lower parcel with the upper one,
I do get:

Firestorm 4.3.1:  8.3fps & 50°C
Singularity 1.7.3: 29fps & 55°C
SL-Viewer 3.4.5: 29fps & 56°C
SL-Viewer 3.4.4: ~8fps & ~50°C

In all cases: Deferred Rendering on, Shadows on (Sun, Moon, Projectors), Draw range 192m
All Sliders fully to the right, except Sky/Windlight, Water transparent, Reflections minimum.

GPU: nVidia GeForce GTX 650, CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 945 @ 3.0GHz.

I have the impression, that until now, most viewers running with slightly reduced performance
maybe to prevent overheating.
My advice would be, in case there is a heat problem with the new viewer, make sure the GPU-cooler fan
runs properly and is relatively free of dust. Plus, AMD includes with some Radeon-drivers a Overclocking tool,
use that to reduce the GPU-clock. This tool usually works in both directions. Check, if it is included with yours.

I for one like the fact, that the LL-devs had released the handbrake on the new viewer.
Methinks, I no longer need Singularity with the crappy V1-UI.



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That more or less confirms my experience. Better performance equals higher temps. It makes sense. 56 C is nothing to worry about btw. The fan on my NVidia doesn't start speeding up until the GPU hits 70 C, then it will keep it there. I wouldn't start worrying until the card stays above 75-80 C under load.

If the fps get higher than 30 and you don't want to, you can also use the NVidia settings. In the NVidia control panel (3D Settings -> Manage 3D Settings, Program Settings tab) you can turn on Vertical sync then "Adaptive (half refresh rate)" and "Triple buffering" for your viewer of choice. That will prevent anything higher than 30 fps (using a 60Hz monitor). "Adaptive" will do the same, but will keep your fps under 60.

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