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Why does viewer performance deteriorate with age?


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For me, any particular version of the SL viewer seems to deteriorate with age.  What I mean is that avatar textures take longer and longer to load.  Often, when a new viewer update comes out, rezzing is quick to start with but gradually deteriorates.

I do the obvious things like 'clear cache' but that doesn't seem to make any difference.

Is this deterioration just my imagination or do others experience it?  And is there a cure for fixing an existing installation without having to re-download?

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Thanks - I'll remember not to do that but that's what people always seem to suggest if there's a problem.

However, it's mainly other avatars' clothes and mesh attachments that take longer and longer to rez, and presumably they wouldn't be in my cache anyway since it would be a combination different people and the same people with different clothes each time I visit a location.

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Conifer Dada wrote:

Thanks - I'll remember not to do that but that's what people always seem to suggest if there's a problem.

However, it's mainly other avatars' clothes and mesh attachments that take longer and longer to rez, and presumably they wouldn't be in my cache anyway since it would be a combination different people and the same people with different clothes each time I visit a location.

Linden Lab is working on teh serverside baking. that is probably the cause of all of your issues..

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 the SL viewer seems to deteriorate with age.

 

 

It's not seems... and it's not sl viewer

most likely your pc isn't keeping up with the development of sl, or your isp's  bandwidth is perhaps not enough

there are so many reasons that make rezzing slower: bad wireless, drawdistance, graphic settings, to high bandwidth in the settings, and of course low end graphic cards will never give you full capabilities for viewing sl.

 

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bad wireless, drawdistance, graphic settings, to high bandwidth in the settings, and of course low end graphic cards will never give you full capabilities for viewing sl.

 

Eggzackerly!

Also the hint not to clear cache was correct as well. Once you've cleared it your PC needs to fill it up again = slooooow! Even Jessica Lyon (head chief mistress of Phoenix/Firestorm) says so. In fact your cache acts like a swimming pool with  steady running water supply. Once the pool is full the oldest items get purged to make space for new graphics. No need to purge it completely by yourself.

Best way to speed up the rezzing would be to find a good balance of your bandwith speed. Optimal is 1/10 of your actual bandwith. For example if speedtest.net tells you you're on 10 Mbit, set bandwith in Preferences to 1000.

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Orca Flotta wrote:

bad wireless, drawdistance, graphic settings, to high bandwidth in the settings, and of course low end graphic cards will never give you full capabilities for viewing sl.

 

Eggzackerly!

Also the hint not to clear cache was correct as well. Once you've cleared it your PC needs to fill it up again = slooooow! Even Jessica Lyon (head chief mistress of Phoenix/Firestorm) says so. In fact your cache acts like a swimming pool with  steady running water supply. Once the pool is full the oldest items get purged to make space for new graphics. No need to purge it completely by yourself.

Best way to speed up the rezzing would be to find a good balance of your bandwith speed. Optimal is 1/10 of your actual bandwith. For example if speedtest.net tells you you're on 10 Mbit, set bandwith in Preferences to 1000.

I thought the recommendation was 80% of your test to Dallas or San Francisco.

1/10 of a 1MB connection would only be 100kb.

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Conifer Dada wrote:

For me, any particular version of the SL viewer seems to deteriorate with age.  What I mean is that avatar textures take longer and longer to load.  Often, when a new viewer update comes out, rezzing is quick to start with but gradually deteriorates.

I do the obvious things like 'clear cache' but that doesn't seem to make any difference.

Is this deterioration just my imagination or do others experience it?  And is there a cure for fixing an existing installation without having to re-download?

This idea that our computing experience degrades over time is probably based in a mix of objective reality (fragmentation of hard drive, increased swapping of virtual memory as program sizes increases, increasing complexity of SL sims and viewer software on a machine that's stuck in capability until the next upgrade) and perception (the bike rider who finds increasing fault in his current bicycle as he gains experience, and so upgrades... and upgrades).

Someone once told of me that the cheapest way to make your PC faster is to drink three beers. Unfortunately that makes everything faster, including the person competing for your job.

;-)

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Perrie Juran wrote:


Orca Flotta wrote:

bad wireless, drawdistance, graphic settings, to high bandwidth in the settings, and of course low end graphic cards will never give you full capabilities for viewing sl.

 

Eggzackerly!

Also the hint not to clear cache was correct as well. Once you've cleared it your PC needs to fill it up again = slooooow! Even Jessica Lyon (head chief mistress of Phoenix/Firestorm) says so. In fact your cache acts like a swimming pool with  steady running water supply. Once the pool is full the oldest items get purged to make space for new graphics. No need to purge it completely by yourself.

Best way to speed up the rezzing would be to find a good balance of your bandwith speed. Optimal is 1/10 of your actual bandwith. For example if speedtest.net tells you you're on 10 Mbit, set bandwith in Preferences to 1000.

I thought the recommendation was 80% of your test to Dallas or San Francisco.

1/10 of a 1MB connection would only be 100kb.

These recommendations for setting bandwidth sometimes feel a li'l like urban myth. I've heard that grabbing all the available bandwidth for the viewer causes packet loss, and I've even propagated that story. Why doesn't that happen for any other application running on my computer? Those bandwidth tests I run use up every last bit of it and never report an error. And why is there even a throttle? I've never seen one on any other program I use.

I could see limiting SL bandwidth to allow other internet connected programs to run well or to avoid being capped if you have a usage limit, but is there truly a reason to limit it to improve SL performance?

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My understanding is that the bandwidth is just for the old UDP transfers and it's there because UDP has few good ways to verify data or have a two-way conversation with your viewer so it'll send data at a given speed regardless of whether or not it will be recieved cleanly. Most other internet communication is by HTTP, which has a built-in verification system and can adjust speeds to make the transfer cleaner. You should bear in mind that your actual bandwidth used will be the "bandwidth limit" PLUS HTTP connections PLUS the audio stream. UDP can and will use all of your connection up to 3000 kbps if you don't throttle it

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:

My understanding is that the bandwidth is just for the old UDP transfers and it's there because UDP has few good ways to verify data or have a two-way conversation with your viewer so it'll send data at a given speed regardless of whether or not it will be recieved cleanly. Most other internet communication is by HTTP, which has a built-in verification system and can adjust speeds to make the transfer cleaner. You should bear in mind that your actual bandwidth used will be the "bandwidth limit" PLUS HTTP connections PLUS the audio stream. UDP can and will use all of your connection up to 3000 kbps if you don't throttle it

Thanks Theresa, that's something to chew on. HTTP's verification is done by TCP just below it.

Does this mean that even with HTTP textures turned on, the viewer is still doing some stuff via UDP? And there can be, I think, two audio streams heading to the viewer, one from SL's servers (ambient and UI sounds) and another from the media URL, via things like shoutcast. It makes sense that a parcel media stream would be outside the bandwidth limit. SL server audio too? No need to answer, I'm just wondering out loud.

It's been ages since I dealt with this stuff. It seems to me the bandwidth limit would have to be applied at SL's servers. They're the ones feeding torrents of texture data into the internet, destined for our viewers. Without knowing how big our end of the funnel is, they'll just fill their end as fast as they can. So while we're thinking the limit is for our viewers, it's actually for their servers... I think!

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:


Orca Flotta wrote:

bad wireless, drawdistance, graphic settings, to high bandwidth in the settings, and of course low end graphic cards will never give you full capabilities for viewing sl.

 

Eggzackerly!

Also the hint not to clear cache was correct as well. Once you've cleared it your PC needs to fill it up again = slooooow! Even Jessica Lyon (head chief mistress of Phoenix/Firestorm) says so. In fact your cache acts like a swimming pool with  steady running water supply. Once the pool is full the oldest items get purged to make space for new graphics. No need to purge it completely by yourself.

Best way to speed up the rezzing would be to find a good balance of your bandwith speed. Optimal is 1/10 of your actual bandwith. For example if speedtest.net tells you you're on 10 Mbit, set bandwith in Preferences to 1000.

I thought the recommendation was 80% of your test to Dallas or San Francisco.

1/10 of a 1MB connection would only be 100kb.

These recommendations for setting bandwidth sometimes feel a li'l like urban myth. I've heard that grabbing all the available bandwidth for the viewer causes packet loss, and I've even propagated that story. Why doesn't that happen for any other application running on my computer? Those bandwidth tests I run use up every last bit of it and never report an error. And why is there even a throttle? I've never seen one on any other program I use.

I could see limiting SL bandwidth to allow other internet connected programs to run well or to avoid being capped if you have a usage limit, but is there truly a reason to limit it to improve SL performance?


Those recommendations are you could say anecdotal and based on the general experience of the Firestorm Team.   http://wiki.phoenixviewer.com/fs_speedtest  

There have been a few threads where the Bandwidth Issue has been debated.  If someone is having troubles it does give a good starting point to work from. 

Several years ago Torley did a Video on Bandwidth which eventually was taken down.  In it he had recommended that people just crank it up to the maximum and a number of people took issue with that.

While is true that on occasion the Firestorm Devs make mistakes, I don't think they are in the habit of just blowing wind.

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Here's an interesting tid bit about UDP:

"The "Waiting for Region Handshake" message occurs when the Second Life Viewer does not receive an acknowledgement from the server.  The usual cause of this error is a firewall blocking UDP packets. Reconfigure your firewall to resolve this problem."

http://community.secondlife.com/t5/English-Knowledge-Base/Login-failure/ta-p/700109

 

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Perrie Juran wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:


Orca Flotta wrote:

bad wireless, drawdistance, graphic settings, to high bandwidth in the settings, and of course low end graphic cards will never give you full capabilities for viewing sl.

 

Eggzackerly!

Also the hint not to clear cache was correct as well. Once you've cleared it your PC needs to fill it up again = slooooow! Even Jessica Lyon (head chief mistress of Phoenix/Firestorm) says so. In fact your cache acts like a swimming pool with  steady running water supply. Once the pool is full the oldest items get purged to make space for new graphics. No need to purge it completely by yourself.

Best way to speed up the rezzing would be to find a good balance of your bandwith speed. Optimal is 1/10 of your actual bandwith. For example if speedtest.net tells you you're on 10 Mbit, set bandwith in Preferences to 1000.

I thought the recommendation was 80% of your test to Dallas or San Francisco.

1/10 of a 1MB connection would only be 100kb.

These recommendations for setting bandwidth sometimes feel a li'l like urban myth. I've heard that grabbing all the available bandwidth for the viewer causes packet loss, and I've even propagated that story. Why doesn't that happen for any other application running on my computer? Those bandwidth tests I run use up every last bit of it and never report an error. And why is there even a throttle? I've never seen one on any other program I use.

I could see limiting SL bandwidth to allow other internet connected programs to run well or to avoid being capped if you have a usage limit, but is there truly a reason to limit it to improve SL performance?


Those recommendations are you could say anecdotal and based on the general experience of the Firestorm Team.   
 

There have been a few threads where the Bandwidth Issue has been debated.  If someone is having troubles it does give a good starting point to work from. 

Several years ago Torley did a Video on Bandwidth which eventually was taken down.  In it he had recommended that people just crank it up to the maximum and a number of people took issue with that.

While is true that on occasion the Firestorm Devs make mistakes, I don't think they are in the habit of just blowing wind.

I did two little bunches of tests down to Dallas. I got 33Mbps (16ms ping) about an hour ago and 21Mbps (13ms ping) just now. This is better variability than I saw years ago, when I'd swing from 1-2Mbps (mid evening) to 7-8 (wee hours). If I'd set my limit to 80% of the 33 (if we could go that high), I'd still end up in trouble. I wonder how variable a typical SL connection is over a 24 hour period.

Last fall my neighbor tried to use some collaborative music jamming software that uses UDP to reduce latency so he and his friends could jam from their respective college dorms. He gave up on it because the latency was all over the place.

Perrie, that "Waiting for Region Handshake" because of blocked UDP suggests that even if we're using HTTP textures, there's still UDP stuff going on under the hood. I've never had SL connection troubles, I should probably stop asking about them, they might hear me.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:


Orca Flotta wrote:

bad wireless, drawdistance, graphic settings, to high bandwidth in the settings, and of course low end graphic cards will never give you full capabilities for viewing sl.

 

Eggzackerly!

Also the hint not to clear cache was correct as well. Once you've cleared it your PC needs to fill it up again = slooooow! Even Jessica Lyon (head chief mistress of Phoenix/Firestorm) says so. In fact your cache acts like a swimming pool with  steady running water supply. Once the pool is full the oldest items get purged to make space for new graphics. No need to purge it completely by yourself.

Best way to speed up the rezzing would be to find a good balance of your bandwith speed. Optimal is 1/10 of your actual bandwith. For example if speedtest.net tells you you're on 10 Mbit, set bandwith in Preferences to 1000.

I thought the recommendation was 80% of your test to Dallas or San Francisco.

1/10 of a 1MB connection would only be 100kb.

These recommendations for setting bandwidth sometimes feel a li'l like urban myth. I've heard that grabbing all the available bandwidth for the viewer causes packet loss, and I've even propagated that story. Why doesn't that happen for any other application running on my computer? Those bandwidth tests I run use up every last bit of it and never report an error. And why is there even a throttle? I've never seen one on any other program I use.

I could see limiting SL bandwidth to allow other internet connected programs to run well or to avoid being capped if you have a usage limit, but is there truly a reason to limit it to improve SL performance?


Those recommendations are you could say anecdotal and based on the general experience of the Firestorm Team.   
 

There have been a few threads where the Bandwidth Issue has been debated.  If someone is having troubles it does give a good starting point to work from. 

Several years ago Torley did a Video on Bandwidth which eventually was taken down.  In it he had recommended that people just crank it up to the maximum and a number of people took issue with that.

While is true that on occasion the Firestorm Devs make mistakes, I don't think they are in the habit of just blowing wind.

I did two little bunches of tests down to Dallas. I got 33Mbps (16ms ping) about an hour ago and 21Mbps (13ms ping) just now. This is better variability than I saw years ago, when I'd swing from 1-2Mbps (mid evening) to 7-8 (wee hours). If I'd set my limit to 80% of the 33 (if we could go that high), I'd still end up in trouble. I wonder how variable a typical SL connection is over a 24 hour period.

Last fall my neighbor tried to use some collaborative music jamming software that uses UDP to reduce latency so he and his friends could jam from their respective college dorms. He gave up on it because the latency was all over the place.

Perrie, that "Waiting for Region Handshake" because of blocked UDP suggests that even if we're using HTTP textures, there's still UDP stuff going on under the hood. I've never had SL connection troubles, I should probably stop asking about them, they might hear me.

Again, it is general advice.

What percentage of the population has what speed connections is probably anyone's guess.

The one thing we do know is that the Servers operate at 1500MPS so the FS Wiki states:

 

  • Speedtest returns a value of 6.0 Mbps
  • Converting to Kbps gives 6144 Kbps
  • 80% of this is 4915.2 Kbps
  • This is larger than 1500 Kbps, so set the bandwidth in Firestorm to 1500 Kbps.
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Perrie Juran wrote:

Again, it is general advice.

What percentage of the population has what speed connections is probably anyone's guess.

The one thing we do know is that the Servers operate at 1500MPS so the FS Wiki states:

 
  • Speedtest returns a value of 6.0 Mbps
  • Converting to Kbps gives 6144 Kbps
  • 80% of this is 4915.2 Kbps
  • This is larger than 1500 Kbps, so set the bandwidth in Firestorm to 1500 Kbps.

That server hard limit explains why the viewer slider stops at 1500. I've always had mine set there. What I'd not thought of before is that the limit is applied on the server end (which I'm now convinced of) and not on the viewer end.

And so the reason I've never had issues is that, by the time I found SL, my connection was already well above the server limit. The evening/wee hour variability gets better every year as well. I'm probably at the point where I could scale back to a less expensive plan, I don't need that much speed these days. Although I can type a wall-of-text with the best of 'em, I'll probably never get to 500 million words per minute.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:

I'll probably never get to 500 million words per minute.

I'm lucky if I get to 5 words per minute... it's all Pep's fault that I'm so scared of misspelling a word or using bad grammar that I have to spend twenty minutes rechecking my posts for mistakes.

 

...Dres (You're right Maddy, Pep is the devil.)

 

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Dresden Ceriano wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:

I'll probably never get to 500 million words per minute.

I'm lucky if I get to 5 words per minute... it's all Pep's fault that I'm so scared of misspelling a word or using bad grammar that I have to spend twenty minutes rechecking my posts for mistakes.

 

...Dres (You're right Maddy, Pep is the devil.)

 

I never said he was the devil. I'm the devil!

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Dresden Ceriano wrote:


...Dres (You're right Maddy, Pep is the devil.)

 

I never said he was the devil. I'm the devil!

Please allow both of you to introduce yourselves as persons of wealth and taste
...

l.jpg

Which makes me ponder ... You'd better not be wealthy ... and Pep better be effing rich if you're both the one and same .... :robotindifferent:

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I dunno, last time Madelaine spoke to me she told me something to the effect of, I'm worse than Pep and Storm combined because I'm the kind of evil that goes among her kind unnoticed. So I think that puts me in the running .. ;)

*waves to the forumites*

So this is still a thing huh?

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Clearing the cache was the thing to do until some time in 2010. Somewhen in there the Lab changed the cache. It is now an indexed cache and much faster.

However, if you leave it at its default size (512mb) you may be filling up the cache. Boost the size up to 2048mb or 4096mb. The amount of free space on your disc should decide which size to go with.

Clearning cache is now NOT recommended except as last resort type fixes. Only when you KNOW that you have something corrupted in the cache is clearing recommended. As a trial and error attempt to fix something, clearing may actually make the problem worse.

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The suggestions made here are all valid, but yes I have seen deterioration of the viewer over time. I use Firestorm and can not really speak for the LL viewer as I only use it to UL Mesh since FS refuses to do it for me )).  Open your statistics tab (ctl shift 1) and watch the bandwidth meter  I would be surprised if you ever exceed 100Kbps by much. Bandwidth tests will give you the maximum at the specific time you make the test. As far as the cache is concerned yes it is now indexed which just means it indexes the errors also ;). I do still clear it regularly, normally when it manages to find half of my inventory. The best solution is just reserve yourself to a fresh install every 30 days or when you suspect the system is slowing down. Sometimes this works wonders sometimes not. I have also found another anomaly most likely not a problem with SL but the quality of the path to the server. Log in get a wonderful 10 fps where I normally get 40  re log and if by magic 40 fps.

Another observation when the log in screen sits on the VFS it is time to strip the viewer and reload it seems to be a barometer at least for me

Occasionally I also run an external bandwith indicator which matches very closely the SL meter

 

BTW by removing the viewer from your computer  includes searching and eliminating all registry entries then running a registry cleaner prior to re installation, well unless you are on Linux ))

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  • 2 weeks later...

That is not entirely true. If you have a lot of cache and it is fragmented all over the hard drive, it can in fact take longer for your PC to find it than to just reload those textures etc.

 

One thing that can often speed up SL is to defragment your hard drive, especially using a defragmenter that resorts individual applications contiguously on the disk.

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Verena Vuckovic wrote:

That is not entirely true. If you have a lot of cache and it is fragmented all over the hard drive, it can in fact take longer for your PC to find it than to just reload those textures etc.

 

One thing that can often speed up SL is to defragment your hard drive, especially using a defragmenter that resorts individual applications contiguously on the disk.

just going by what the FS team has said over and over in the group chat.

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