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Performance Improvements

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The performance improvements are REAL, and the'yre reproducible all over the grid, and they dramatically affect user experience in a very positive way.

The combination of CDN and HTTP Pipelining, better caching, Interest List processing, and Server Side Avatar baking have all combined to move SL closer to state of the art than they've ever been. In fact when you consider that all the content is user-generated and streaming into the scene... a really significant achievement.

I still stlll smile when I tp into a sim that used to take a ridiculous amount of time to even start rezzing, and it "snaps" into place (as someone else said) - Exploring is fun again!!!!!

It is the biggest Improvement I've seen since I joined SL 5 years ago. The group chat improvements are noticeable and appreciated as well.

Thanks.

 

 

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I am afraid today I started to see failures to create assets (black popup box in upper right corner of viewer) when unpacking purchased boxes. Two items in the packing box out of 7 failed to be copied to inventory after opening the box.. which did not use a give inventory script. I was about to tell the vendor there was a problem, but thought to retry the unpacking again. Worked on THIRD attempt. Just as well items in this case allowed for copy. Items involved were sculpts I believe, not linked prims or meshes. The box rezz was on the vendors in world store location as it was allowed ther and that may be a factor.

 

AAfter thT, I aso in one case I had a simple attachment from the same unpack on left forearm that was stuck on, not removed when another size was worn from inventory (not "added"). Trying to detach the attachment gave a black pop up warning something like asset does not exist... yet I could see it on the avatar in the viewer. I had to relog to get the attachment off.

 

I also had some clothing layers stuck on visually, but not indicated as worn. Advanced - Rebake Textures had no effect. I had to "edit outfit" to correct this.

 

These issues are ones I have not seen for a long time.. not in last few years anyway. With more time next week, I will log properly the context and any message text I see. But this is just a heads up on this in case others start to report these issues. They started as soon as I upgraded the viewer form 3.7.18 to 3.7.19.

 

In UK. LL 3.7.19 latest release viewer. System is PC Windows 8.1 i7 processor, 32GB RAM, GTX 680 GPU, fast University network connected system.

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I mentioned trying an HTTP pipeline compatible viewer to a few people and they asked me how it was working with CDN.  My response was generally "It's faster until it isn't."

It's an interesting effect.  Things load in with blazing speed and the experience is altogether better.  But as you wander through areas, particularly batteries of sims with a lot of high resolution textures (anything with a lot of shops is a major offender, shop keepers love their banks of 1024X1024 texture) you'll hit a brick wall.  The viewer just loses all will to load any additional texture beyond the most base of blurriness, and you need to adopt plan "rub pointer all over it to indicate to the viewer that you want to view that texture".  Since I tend to roll in first person view that adds the annoyance of having to pop in and out of first person (I would rather like the crosshairs in First person mode to have a similar effect as drifting the pointer over something).

I believe this effect may be tied to the fact that everyone loves their ultra-high-resolution textures.  SL has unique woes compared to triple A games in that Triple A games have designers that have efficiency on the mind.  They use real low impact meshes they use preciesly the amount of texture required to get the point accross, they recycle assets, they get the most out of their KB of ram.  SL builders are a lot of people who haven't had the same background and training.  You see a lot of tendancy towards trying to get the highest detail possible out of the closest LOD at the expense of other LODS, real high resolution textures.  The later has got to be adding up and killing texture ram by accretion.

I'd love to allocate more ram to SL, but the viewer seems to be capped at 512.  Some investigation into this found a Jira from 2008 stating that this was due to the fact that higher limits caused issues with some video drivers.  I wonder if this is still the case in the year 2014.

However, for the MCM Combat sim I hang out in the textures may not be the most optimized, but it's under the bar enough that I generally don't see any blurry textures in it and it all loads up fast whenever I visit, so long a I stay out of the vendor-rooms.  Vendors are the devil for texture memory!

I was getting some oddness in projectile loading in the latest Firestorm viewer in the MCM Combat sim I code for.  I swapped off to Alchemy though and evyerhing is working perfect with it in that regard. 

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I can see there are improvements in perfomance since last servers upgrade. I live in Argentina and new CDN proyect impact very positive for me when load textures and mesh, even when i cleared cache manually.

So, for now, I agreed with LL work.

PS: I'm on Linux Kubuntu 14.04 usin singularity (last Alpha version) and work fast, same as Linden Lab Viewer.

SaludOS/2

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Whirly Fizzle wrote:

 

Funny you brought that up Austin, we had a shoe creator contact Firestorm support today who reported her customers suddenly complaining about the textures taking a long time to change or just remaining grey and never loading when changed via her texture HUD.

I did some testing with her and I can reproduce the problem with the textures staying stuck grey and never loading, or taking a loooong time to load (as long as 5 mins in some cases) on both Firestorm and the default Linden viewer, Second Life 3.7.19 (295700) Oct 20 2014 13:37:20 (Second Life Release).

Her shoes have been on sale a long time and the complaints just started recently and she has had 10 complaints since Tuesday.

I have no idea yet if this is connected with CDN rolling out grid wide but I'm going to get those assets onto Aditi and test on one of the non-CDN regions to see if there is any different behaviour.

I'll file a JIRA issue once I have more info.

JIRA filed at BUG-7665

CDN is off the hook - we reproduced the same issue on a test Aditi region with CDN turned off.

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Hi Oz

I live in Australia, and have ADSL2 internet (pretty standard for a lot of people here). My download speed at the absolute best (severely optimised file connection) is 1.6Mbps. My average speed for most everything is between 500-800kbps. My latency ranges from 220ish to over 300ms. (again pretty standard here).

I was away from SL for a few weeks due to illness, and prior to having to take time off I was a model and blogger...so had to be able to rez in quickly, and clearly.

On coming back to SL, I noticed my Firestorm was running very poorly.....texture load times, and mesh rez times were now abysmal. I contacted the Firestorm group, and was given a link to your blog about the changes made. Also given links to improve rez times. Rebooted PC, and modem just in case and then downloaded the latest official viewer (as suggested in this thread and on the blog).

Logged in at my home, and everything took ages to load, despite being on a platform in the air with very little around me. Figured that was most likely as it was a completely fresh login so things had to cache, I waited. Once that was finally done, I decided to head over to one of the worst shopping places for rez-times.......Collabor88. I arrived there at 1.43am SLT, and gave up at 2.25am SLT. At that point barely half the place was rezzed, and as can be seen from the photos here on Flickr things not only took quite a while to show, but the grey lasted well......until I gave up for some things. This was despite there being at most 4-5 others on the sim at any time.

I do not see the improvements you mention, in fact for me it is so much worse as to make SL pretty unplayable. I suspect that if there is high latency, and slow internet then the data just gets choked and barely trickles through.

 

PS: My son and I have no issues playing any other online game, even ArcheAge which is very demanding as it is to a certain extent user defined, and 85% client side. We also have no issues with streaming movies. So despite having "slow" internet, it is absolutely fast enough to do most everything we could want.

 

My specs:

Second Life 3.7.19 (295700) Oct 20 2014 13:37:20 (Second Life Release)
Release Notes

You are at 218.2, 220.9, 501.7 in Coral dAlliez located at sim10384.agni.lindenlab.com (216.82.51.34:13007)
SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Coral%20dAlliez/218/221/502
(global coordinates 251,354.0, 255,709.0, 501.7)
Second Life Server 14.10.17.295641
Release Notes

CPU: Intel® Core i5-3570K CPU @ 3.40GHz (3392.33 MHz)
Memory: 8132 MB
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit Service Pack 1 (Build 7601)
Graphics Card Vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 750/PCIe/SSE2

Windows Graphics Driver Version: 9.18.0013.4411
OpenGL Version: 4.4.0 NVIDIA 344.11

libcurl Version: libcurl/7.38.0 OpenSSL/1.0.1h zlib/1.2.8
J2C Decoder Version: KDU v7.0
Audio Driver Version: FMOD Ex 4.44.31
Qt Webkit Version: 4.7.1 (version number hard-coded)
Voice Server Version: Not Connected
Built with MSVC version 1600
Packets Lost: 33/83,530 (0.0%)

 

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Excellent performance improvements using both firestorm and the HTTP pipeline viewer. Of the places that I normally hang out one is the main grid and the other is Blue Steel so I have been making comparisons in those locations with both viewers and both have seen improvements.

I see most stuff instantly when I log in or TP, sometimes there are some bits that are not instant but it is much much quicker than it was.

I went to London Victoria yesterday, it's a busy sim with many visitors, lots of scripted things, London buses and cabs, particle systems, texture changes and so on. Draw distance 300. Most stuff was visible as soon as I TP'd in, right across town, my mesh hat took a while to rez for some reason. I checked the sim stats and there was a little bit of Spare Time. That's unusual for London Victoria, normally there is no spare time and the sim FPS is degraded. It's a double whammy for the lag monster!!

The only thing that is a bit disappointing is that using flycam is still a bit juddery.

Well done everyone. I hope that the Firestorm guys are working out how to cherry pick the HTTP pipeline and get it into their next release. That would make my happy Christmas.

 

 

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Yes, improvements are visible and big, with official viewer. Maybe is more good add this info to post, because many people use other viewers and this changes are not so visible. But with official viewer is really WOW.

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I can't see I am noticing any huge improvements on the new SL viewer. When I tried it this morning it took more than a minute for my avatar to appear and 5 minutes later the surroundings still hadn't rezzed. In fact some things that had rezzed had derezzed again. Firestorm in the same location my avi was rezzed in about 10 secs and the surroundings in the same time.

As I was testing it riding around the SL Viewer prompted for another update (up to Life 3.7.20 (296094)) It identified my graphics card slightly differently to what it was before NVidea - GTX 650/PCIe/SSE2.

That seems to have improved things alot and things are rezzing now and staying rezzed, but Firestorm remains faster for me. And SL Viewer has the horrizon flickering at me now.

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I can confirm the improvements.

CDN gives a noticeable performance boost to all viewers I have installed. I'm in europe so that's what you expected I think.

The new LL viewer gives an addidional performance boost - high enough to be very noticeable.

I tried to have the same settings on all viewers but I see 10-20% better FPS in the LL viewer. The renderer is improved or the clean install gave me better settings or I overlooked something - don't know.

 

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Nova,

it must depend on your set up.The update today made some improvements for me.

But my skybox is still half invisble to me, and whilst i get that in firestorm too sometimes, clicking it resolves it. I have just gone to Coldlogic and things are rezzing and then vanishing again. And its rezz times are no improvement on firestorms.

There are still some bugs with the SL Viewer at the moment that make it unusable and no performance increases at all.

I am europe too (UK)

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I see quite a few Europeans say they see improvements, which is great.

I would however be very curious to see what internet speeds and what latency those seeing improvements have. Compared to those that are very much worse off like me. So if you don't mind could you post those figures too please?

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I am sure rezz time has improved greatly. I am using the viewer with pipelining and when I teleport into a sim in which I have never been before everything on sight rezzes in about 15 seconds. I don't know how much it took to load everything before, but my impression is that it needed a much longer time. Perhaps I'm seeing these big difference because I am not logging in from North America, but I have to say that Linden Lab has done a very good work for us logging in from abroad. Well done! :matte-motes-grin:

 

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CDN delivers textures/meshes differently now, not through the sim you`re on so ping sim isn`t as relevant.

You can ping your local CDN cache by typing "ping asset-cdn.agni.lindenlab.com" in windows cmd.exe.

I got 13ms last time I tried.

CDN and http are all about texture/mesh download, how they`re then rendered is gonna vary depending on a users computer and viewer settings.

You can see whats going on by using the texture console.

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Texture_Console

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Hellishly Gothly wrote:

I see quite a few Europeans say they see improvements, which is great.

I would however be very curious to see what internet speeds and what latency those seeing improvements have. Compared to those that are very much worse off like me. So if you don't mind could you post those figures too please?

You're going to see very slow loading until the after regions are cached on the CDS server closest to you (Iprobably Sydney, possibly Singapore.) If nobody near you in RL had visited those regions before you there will be a long pause before you'll see things loading. but after you've visited once them they should start rezzing much faster even if you clear your viewer cache.

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I use a connection with 50 Mbps downstream here in Central Europe. The distance to next CDN server is about 250 miles (400 km). I can connect to the city where that server is located with 47 Mbps down and 9 upstream and a 25 ms ping time. I checked that on a speedtest site.

The transatlantic connection was much slower. Ping time to Phoenix server is about 190 ms and the bandwidth varied in a wide range.

I tried the CDN improvement with Second Life viewer, Firestorm, Singularity and Alchemy,  it works great on all of them. I didn't have any of the issues mentioned in this thread.

Second Life and Alchemy viewer already support http pipelining feature and that makes them even a bit faster, but the CDN improvement also works on viewers without http pipelining.

 

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I myself have experienced lagging, and sometimes crashing. So if the performance improvements are there, I am not seeing it.

 

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Aethelwine wrote:

Nova,

it must depend on your set up.The update today made some improvements for me.

But my skybox is still half invisble to me, and whilst i get that in firestorm too sometimes, clicking it resolves it. I have just gone to Coldlogic and things are rezzing and then vanishing again. And its rezz times are no improvement on firestorms.

There are still some bugs with the SL Viewer at the moment that make it unusable and no performance increases at all.

I am europe too (UK)

My remark about the setup was only aimed at the FPS. (frames per second) The texture/mesh loading and scene rezzing is more as 2 times faster than before the changes. And I have no missing objects.

I get missing prims from time to time if I tp out and back in or move my camera a far distance and back but a click or a selection frame or the wireframe mode fixes it. It fixes itself too if I give it time. That behaviour didnt change by the new viewer. Is same for me in LL and Firestorm and all other viewers.

The missing prims are obviously still not fixed, just depend on unknown circumstances.

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SaraCarena wrote:

CDN delivers textures/meshes differently now, not through the sim you`re on so ping sim isn`t as relevant.

You can ping your local CDN cache by typing "ping asset-cdn.agni.lindenlab.com" in windows cmd.exe.

I got 13ms last time I tried.

CDN and http are all about texture/mesh download, how they`re then rendered is gonna vary depending on a users computer and viewer settings.

You can see whats going on by using the texture console.


I get 13ms for asset-cdn.agni.lindenlab.com and it seems to be in the Netherlands. What exactly do I ping and trace here?

 

 

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Nova Convair wrote:


The missing prims are obviously still not fixed, just depend on unknown circumstances.


The "missing prims" problem isn't affected by the recent improvements and it isn't fixed yet.

Ton of JIRA issues filed about this, heres a selection:

 

  • BUG-6299 - SCENES WILL NEVER LOAD COMPLETELY IF CHANGING ACTIVE GROUP TAG TO A DIFFERENT GROUP WHILE A SCENE IS LOADING
  • BUG-4752 - Specific Objects do not Rez until relog
  • BUG-7547 - Objects that derender when camera is zoomed out do not rerender when camera view is reset to default - only happens on Interesting based viewers.
  • BUG-5978 - Rendering problems with Project Interesting viewer
  • BUG-7084 - Prim properties visually revert to an earlier state since Interesting

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Nova Convair wrote:



I get 13ms for asset-cdn.agni.lindenlab.com and it seems to be in the Netherlands. What exactly do I ping and trace here?

 

 

Quoted From Nalates blog;

"You can check your PING time to your CDN servers using the command: ping asset-cdn.agni.lindenlab.com"

http://blog.nalates.net/2014/09/27/second-life-news-2014-39-3/

Was also tested at a TPV meeting by a few people when CDN was just on snack channel. Results will vary, it`s just coincidence that you get the same figure as me.

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Curious. I went back to test and get some numbers.

Doing the ping I get 26ms

Looking at same scene of me seating with a friend in firestorm and the SL Viewer advances tools are reporting a considerable improvement in the sl viewer. In Firestorm it is reporting just over 10 frames per sec, and in SL Viewer over 40 frames per second. It is weird because camming around it doesn't look or feel improved to me. In fact the SL viewer seems to spike alot more than firestorm even if numbers are higher. But the numbers are what they are and on basis of the numbers i should be feeling an improvement. (I think those readings from firestorm must have been taken whilst it was in a background window to me typing on the forum, because they don't fit at all with any measurements I am taking now.)

I will try some more but I wasn't actually experiencing the feel of the level of improvement the numbers would suggest when riding my motorbike around.

Today riding my bike around the linden lab viewer is giving me frame rates of 30-40, whilst firestorm is giving me frame rates of 40-70.

Frankly, I don't know what is going on, but I am not seeing the big improvements on the Second life viewer. THE CDN server thing seems to have made some improvement for both viewers, but until the linden lab viewer rezzes everything more reliably I think I will be sticking with firestorm.

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A ping to Phoeix gives me 149ms, while asset-cdn.agni.lindenlab.com gives me an average of 20ms. I am located in Milan, Italy.

Where do you get the location of the CDN server?

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Nalates Urriah wrote:

The problem is those making things for SL tend to use large textures that are not needed. Many do not understand how to optimize texture use. Many buyers do not know about the technical complications of what they are buying and so there is limited market pressure on builders to optimize.

I'm not sure there is anyway for the Lab to compensate for builder's poor design... at least any more than they have.

This might be helpful for comparing texture size and the memory used. For the life of me I don't remember where I got it from but whoever created it made a nicer version of this Texture Sizes SL Wiki

 

texture-sizes.png

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MG Canonmill wrote:


Nalates Urriah wrote:

The problem is those making things for SL tend to use large textures that are not needed. Many do not understand how to optimize texture use. Many buyers do not know about the technical complications of what they are buying and so there is limited market pressure on builders to optimize.

I'm not sure there is anyway for the Lab to compensate for builder's poor design... at least any more than they have.

This might be helpful for comparing texture size and the memory used. For the life of me I don't remember where I got it from but whoever created it made a nicer version of this 

 

 

That is an awesome chart.  And I know I am about to go off on a tangent here but it is relative to the subject at hand.

All of these Improvements are great but they still will only be of minimal benefit without better building practices in SL.  Because after all those 1024 textures load I'm still going to lag or even crash because I run out of texture memory.

Consider this exchange between Monty & Torley Linden:

"Monty Linden added a comment - 17/Oct/14 11:32 AM - edited

So, in something like game development where one hierarchical team would make resource decisions, a resource target would be set (say 256MB resident textures) and content would be adapted to fit in it. Doesn't work for us where content is designed without foreknowledge of its target environment. Better tools for the content creators is certainly desperately needed. Has been, is now, will be tomorrow.

But it's not enough. That centralized feedback loop within a design team doesn't have a direct analog in SL. Instead, there are many independent possible feedback loops. Estate owners/managers and event/build organizers might want the resource allocation and enforcement role. Renters, visitors, fabricators, etc. are directly and indirectly consuming it. The piece that is missing is the communication/advice/enforcement/review network so that everything can be brought into balance. Prim/rendering cost doesn't quite cover it.

Recent changes are probably going to aggravate it. Mesh and texture behavior just became a whole lot more permissive. I'm expecting overbuilding to become more common.

 
Torley Linden added a comment - 17/Oct/14 4:07 PM - edited

That's a great way to put it, Monty — the "communication/advice/enforcement/review network" is the social-cultural piece of the puzzle. I have always advocated for this in SL and am more than happy to help if we (Linden Lab) are going to raise awareness, especially at a broad level that sets a good example of content creation practices. It's incredibly important to teach our community how to get the most out of any tools and to be aware that resource usage needs to be balanced for optimized experiences."

https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/BUG-2514?

Both Monty and Torley recognise the need to better educate people.

But what has happened is Linden Lab has left this education in the hands of its users.  And it isn't working.  Certainly there is the Knowledge Base and the Wiki but people don't even know to search for this info.

I know this is not just my opinion, it's come up many times in this Forum:

Linden Lab needs to be more proactive in getting this information in front of people, they need to be more proactive in this education process.

Here in the U.S. our energy companies spend a small fortune on educating people on how to "Save Energy."  One of the reasons why is because it is LESS EXPENSIVE to educate people and reduce energy needs than it is to build (or rebuild) new infrastructure.

Just for an example, we do have a Tips & Tricks section of the Blog.  When was the last time anything was added to it?  Take a look for yourself.

http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Tips-and-Tricks/bg-p/blog_tips_and_tricks

My personal opinion is that there is something wrong with that picture.

</soap box>

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