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Mara Inkpen

just another video card question

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Hi! I have currently pretty powerful pc with GTX 680 video card, but it still cannot handle max graphics with max viewing distance in official SL viewer, so i am thinking about the upgrade. GTX 780 looks most logical to me,  but .... what if Titan will work MUCH better for me? I know Titan is just A LITTLE more powerful than 780 in most games, but in SL? What if Titan's 6 GB of video RAM vs 3 GB of 780 will be great advantage for SL where we have tons of small objects and openGL instead of DirectX? Maybe someone knows, how good SL viewer can use video memory?

Or, maybe, it will be even better to get professional card, like Nvidia Quadro K4000? I know almost nothing about these devices, but they work with OpenGL, dont them? If yes, and Quadro will be very good for SL, is it possible to have Quadro and GTX 680 installed in same system in same time, to use Quadro in SL and 680 in games? And maybe use Quadro as physical engine while 680 works as graphical engine?

I know my english is not good, and i am sorry :(

 

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Your graphics card may be able to handle the max, the other parts of your PC might not be able to. I noticed a huge performace boost when I went from 8 gigs to 16 gigs of RAM. 
What are your other specs? SL is VERY resource intensive so having a good CPU and a LOT of RAM to back it up will enhance your performance a ton. 
Also if you have your draw distance maxed out you're doing it wrong :P There is no need to see beyond 128~200m so I recommend pulling it down a bit if you would like a better viewing experience. 
(Most games you won't see beyond 200m, They'll derender things at that distance.. Well SL doesn't derender things very well and this will lag the living crap out of you.)

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I doubt the video card is your bottleneck for SL, so I don't expect any improvements at all by your proposed upgrade. Quadros don't perform that good in games, I would forget about those completely, especially taking in mind the price tag.

SL is limited to 512 MB of texture emory, so you won't use more than about 1GB at any point, unless you are loading your graphics card with something else while playing SL.

The physics in SL are calculated by the LL servers and I suspect your cpu would handle them if that wasn't the case. So again i don't see any reason to upgrade your card.

It would help if you post all your specs, cpu, RAM, internet connection etc. And what do you mean by "can not handle"? Don't expect 120 fps on a busy sim, that simply won't happen. My GTX670 handles everything perfectly, with fps ranging from 25 in a very crowded sim to my capped 60 fps under normal circumstances.

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Mara Inkpen wrote:

Hi! I have currently pretty powerful pc with GTX 680 video card, but it still cannot handle max graphics with max viewing distance in official SL viewer, so i am thinking about the upgrade. GTX 780 looks most logical to me,  but .... what if Titan will work MUCH better for me? I know Titan is just A LITTLE more powerful than 780 in most games, but in SL? What if Titan's 6 GB of video RAM vs 3 GB of 780 will be great advantage for SL where we have tons of small objects and openGL instead of DirectX? Maybe someone knows, how good SL viewer can use video memory?

Or, maybe, it will be even better to get professional card, like Nvidia Quadro K4000? I know almost nothing about these devices, but they work with OpenGL, dont them? If yes, and Quadro will be very good for SL, is it possible to have Quadro and GTX 680 installed in same system in same time, to use Quadro in SL and 680 in games? And maybe use Quadro as physical engine while 680 works as graphical engine?

I know my english is not good, and i am sorry
:(

 

The difference between a GTX and a Quadro looks to be the difference between a racing car and a semi truck - they're both very powerful and very good at what they do, but they're meant to do fundamentally different things and one won't necessarily be any good at what the other specializes in.

It looks like the Quadro is optimized for very complex 3D calcuations like ray-tracing - it's meant to create absolutely perfect frames one at a tile.It would be for things like professional photorealistic rendering or computer animation and it won't be set up for sheer speed - for instance, there's a scene in Pixar's Cars 2 where every frame took ONE-HUNDRED SEVENTEEN HOURS to render. Reading in the description of the Quadro, nowhere does it say "RULEZ FOR GAMES" so I'd assume it's not that good at putting together comparatively simple frames very quickly, which is what a gaming video card is designed to do.

 

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my other specs are up to date i think:  i7-3930, Asus Rampage IV formula, 12 Gb of RAM (it was 16, but 1 plank is gone dead), 64-bit windows 7on 256 gb plextor SSD, 100 mbit internet thru ASUS RT-N66 (and there was significant performance gain after router upgrade from RT-N56)

i bet the only thing to enchance is my video card (ofc i may add RAM, but not sure it will help much)

i usually do not need extreme view distances, but i like to have max while i travel, especially in slow motion flyers: air balloons, airships, helis, starships, also its good sometimes to photograph views 

Снимок2 (1024x558).jpg

actually, i want to upgrade my card anyways (to play games), im just trying to understand, to which card. if SL cant use more than 512 gb of video memory, then i do not need Titan for sure 

i cant easily agree, tho, with an opinion about  QUADRO is totally worthless in my case  - i know its not for games, BUT:

1)  SL is not a game not only conceptually ( its a world), but also technically: its engine is not directx-based, like almost all modern games, but opengl-based (like professional graphical software) - thats, for example, why we cant play SL in 3D glasses, while we can do it with most of the games

 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_OpenGL_and_Direct3D)

and maybe (maybe?) quadro cards can work with openGL better 

 

2) my first computer i have played SL with, was HP Compaq 8710p laptop, with Quadro NVS 320M onboard, and it performed SL very well, better than i expected, in pure 1920x1080 (and games worked good enough too, Everquest II for example) 

so i hoped maybe someone had some experience with newer quadro cards and sl :) 

 

 

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Max Graphics with max vieweing distance can mean that you will have to load incredible amounts of data  in a extremely short time over and over again, when moving. The bottleneck  in this case seems to be the  internet connection, in detail the  throttled  bandwidth by the server,  in combination with the new ' let's load things on a random base cause  the server decides now which texture to deliver in which order' interrest list 'improvements' introduced by LL some time ago. You can put in a 10000 US$ GPU and will still not get  the results you  expect. Sl is not a 'game'  that preloads everything from your HDD like installed Windows games, it loads all stuff over and over again by streaming it from the severs. Data that is not yet there to be processed cannot be processed neither by a nVidia 680 GTX  nor by a 780 GTX nor by a Titan nor by a  10000 US$ Quadro FX 4600 SDI.

J.

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Mara Inkpen wrote:

 

1)  SL is not a game not only conceptually ( its a world), but also technically: its engine is not directx-based, like almost all modern games, but opengl-based (like professional graphical software) - thats, for example, why we cant play SL in 3D glasses, while we can do it with most of the games

 (
)

and maybe (maybe?) quadro cards can work with openGL better 


Even though SL uses OpenGL rather than DirectX, it's still more of a game than anything else as far as architecture goes. I can't be sure since I have no Quadro to test with, but I think the car comparison would work again. Quadro being the semi, now fitted with tires which perform very well on tarmac. On the other side a race car, with tires designed for sand. Now put them both on a track, I think you get the idea.

Quadros excel in certain areas, areas common in professional work, where precision and reliability are the main factors. If you do something "3d workish" in SL, such as editing an object so the wireframe shows, especially a high poly one, the Quadro would probably do better. When just walking around, or flying in your case, you'd probably need a GTX680 hardware equivalent Quadro, so that would be a K5000, which costs well over $2000.

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data transfer is obvious bottleneck in case of max view distance, but it can be acceptable, if i move slow - powerful pc with good connection thru fast router  is capable to load and render landacsape with acceptable speed. 

but i dont understan why my view is fully rendered, then i turn 180 degrees, and landscape start to load-load-load and at last its fully rendered, and i turn 180 degrees, and landscape i fully had 5 min ago, starts to load again. what must i upgrade to have all these already loaded objects stay loaded? i hoped, more video memory can help, but it seems that hope is lost. i cant understand why these objects are not stored in local cache or at least in temporary cache

it was very interesting to hear about new object load procedure - it was long ago, when i traveled last time and now i tried and i see situation got worse with landscapes, i can remember better views :(

actually, i must say thanks to all the people who answered me :) ive sold my GTX 680 today and will get GTX 780 tomorrow, and will write about my new  impressions with SL (if any)

 

 

 

 

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There is a little program out there called DU meter  you get to try for free for 30days go get one and watch the data load that sl places on your internet connection. I think you will be surprised how little bandwidth SL actually uses I rarely see no more than 100Kbps which makes on wonder what's going on with the rest of my 25 meg line ))

 

There are many others who use video cards of much less stature than your current setup and obtain very useable results

I suppose 120 fps is nice if you have a monitor that can scan that rate but the human eye does not interpolate 60 HZ  if it did we would all be walking around watching flickering lights  Movies are presented at 24 fps and in SL anything over 15 to 20 fps gives a rather smooth presentation

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If you see things loading, I suspect something in the SL internals, not your own computer, it's something I haven't experienced myself, but heard of recently. Let's hope it's a bug that will be fixed rather than the inevitable result of some permanent changes. Like you and Jean say you're at the ceiling of SL performance, but you might want to try a couple of things anyway:

One thing SL seems to like is a very fast CPU. Unfortunately SL doesn't have a clue when it comes to multi-threading. I always see one thread loaded, the other 7 idling or doing something else. If you want to upgrade something in the near future, you might want to overclock or replace the CPU, as high end as it may be. One with( fewer but) faster cores could make a difference.

You can clean and increase your cache.

You could check the cache hit rate in the Ctrl-Shift-1 menu to see if the reloading items are actually read from cache at all.

You seem to have plenty of RAM for SL, 2 free GB should be plenty, so you could set up a RAMdrive for your cache. I used to have one instead of caching on the SSD. In theory that should be a lot faster, but I didn't notice any difference to be honest.

I really do not think it's your video memory, but there are programs out there that monitor your graphics card. I use Asus GPU Tweak which will show how much video memory is in use. I have never seen my 2GB maxed out, which isn't a surprise considering the maximum 512 MB used for textures. Never seen the gpu load maxed out because of SL either btw, unless I turned off VSynch, then on a very empty sim or in a skybox the fps would shoot up to over 200, maxing out the gpu.

It would be nice to hear if the 780 makes a difference...

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Sorry but as far as i can tell from your posts there is not much you can do. Second Life cant use more than 3.5 GB of RAM and 0.5 GB for graphics. Thats 4 GB total and the maximum a 32 bit application like Second Life is able to use under Windows.

It is also the reason why Second Life has to load the same contents in your case over and over again: when set to max draw distance it has to remove objects and textures and all from RAM (graphics and system RAM) that are not needed now to be able to render your current angle of view. A new graphics card or faster processors cant help if the needed information isnt there. More RAM cant help if it cant be used by the application. Faster internet connection cant help if it is the server that limits bandwidth.

MAYBE it helps if you set your viewer's cache to maximum size and place it on your SSD. SL will still have to tidy up RAM and reload everything when you change your viewing angle but it doesnt have to load that much over the internet over and over again. And from the SSD loading of cached objects will be faster than from HDD.

Other things you could try:

- Reduce drawing distance.

- Use a 64 Bit SL Viewer. (Is there one yet?)

- Dont change viewing angle on max draw distance :P

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yes, you are right, Coventina, bandwitch is not so big, but i never knew why, because of SL servers or because of my pc.

one time i had Outpost Firewall installed, and it showed me not only total bandwitch, but also how many connections particular program creates. SL created megaton of parallel connections, i dont remember exactly but it was unspeakable number, far more than any other program  i ever saw. thats because, i believe, my router upgrade improved my experience so signifially (such a small total  bandwitch is not a problem for any router, i think) 

actually, my monitor works at 120 Hz, but i rarely have 120 fps in sl. my initial problem was - i dont even have 25 at max detail and distance

Kwak, my cache is set at maximum possible. thank you for that Ctrl-Shift-1 combination, i will try it! c 

i tried cache on RAM drive once, but it was no effect at all, i WONDER why!! :((( my friend tried the same thing, same results. but i must  say thanks to Anpe,  for ssd-cache advice - i was so stupid, forgetting to move SL cache to ssd when installed it, it is still on big HDD :(((

finally. i must agree with Anpe - looks like we have software limits here, not hardware. 780 will give me more fps, but loading and rendering problems will never be solved with current viewer. official SL viewer just cant load in RAM and render all the surround scene, when 512 meters view distance is set (its 5x5=25 sims, am i right? how much memory can full sim take?)

any ideas about alternative viewers?

 

 

and NOW .... joke of the year (for me, at least) :))) 

SL knows nothing about GTX 780, it forced my settings to the lowest, and when i returned them to Ultra, i found it grayed out all the advanced options: shades, shaders, advanced lightning model, so SL looks like crap for me atm (comparing with what i had with 680) :)

o, cruel world... 

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Give it a few weeks, as I remember the lower end 600 cards had compatibility issues when they came out, I'm sure it will be fixed, either by LL or NVidia. A shame though.

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Kwakkelde Kwak wrote:

I doubt the video card is your bottleneck for SL, so I don't expect any improvements at all by your proposed upgrade. Quadros don't perform that good in games, I would forget about those completely, especially taking in mind the price tag.

SL is limited to 512 MB of texture emory, so you won't use more than about 1GB at any point, unless you are loading your graphics card with something else while playing SL.

The physics in SL are calculated by the LL servers and I suspect your cpu would handle them if that wasn't the case. So again i don't see any reason to upgrade your card.

It would help if you post all your specs, cpu, RAM, internet connection etc. And what do you mean by "can not handle"? Don't expect 120 fps on a busy sim, that simply won't happen. My GTX670 handles everything perfectly, with fps ranging from 25 in a very crowded sim to my capped 60 fps under normal circumstances.

This^^^^

Although I now run dual Gigabyte 670 windforce OC's SLI, when I ran a single it performed flawlessly. The differences between the 670, 780 or any other very high end card are miniscule as far as SL for an application. If you're having problems, the card shouldn't be one of them.

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Mara Inkpen wrote:

 

SL knows nothing about GTX 780, it forced my settings to the lowest, and when i returned them to Ultra, i found it grayed out all the advanced options: shades, shaders, advanced lightning model, so SL looks like crap for me atm (comparing with what i had with 680)
:)

o, cruel world... 

Take a look at this thread: Issue with GTX780

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I have SL on a RAMdrive and yes, I really can't tell the differance either. Here is why. Most HHDs you buy today have a pretty good transfer rate, somewhere in the 50-100mbs range typically. An SSD can up that to nearly 600mbs and a Ramdrive can increase thaat to 5000mbs. Now, lets consider loading SL, its a 25mb application. this may take 1/2 a second to load from an HHD and on an SSD its even faster and on a Ramdrive the key press never reaches the down stroke completely before it is loaded. Thing is, to the human experience, they are all equally fast. Having the cashe on a Ramdrive is again not going to make much difference to you, a human living in slowtime. When SL loads, it also loads the cashe into memory so, by the time you are rezzed enough to move around, the cashe is already in fast memory even with a slow HHD.                   

 

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