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Best cach settings?


Christin73
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Cache size used to be a serious performance consideration. Not so much any more. But, generally larger is better.

Several years ago the cache changed and the Lab switched to an indexed cache. This means even in a large cache the computer can quickly find a cached file. 

At the same time the cache was changed to use multiple threads. This means the viewer can be retriving a file and deleting old files without either process having to wait.

A year or so ago the Lab begin using a Caching Delivery Network system. What this means is the assets of SL are stored in a delivery server near you. The viewer figures out which system is closest to you and asks that system for whatever files you need; mesh items and textures. This year they plan to add sound and animation files into that mix. The point is to reduce server load at the Lab and improve your download speed.

The problem is the Viewer's cache is not very efficient... I mean efficient at doing its caching job. Log into you home, tp somewhere, then later come back to your home. You'll find your home, probably a place you visit every day or several tiems a day, appears to have to reload the textures and takes surprising long time to render for a place that should have everything cached in your computer. But, it takes almost as long to render as a place you have never visited before. Sucks.

So, while a large cache does measurably reduce the download quantity and network load, we don't see much performance improvement. 

Another factor being depreciated is the Max Bandwidth setting. It tells the server how to throttle the UDP protocol. For a couple of years the recommendation is to never set it above 1500. If you have a slow connection then it should only be 80% of your max download speed or 1500, whichever is smaller.

As more of the SL information is deleivered by HTTP protocol the setting has less and less effect.

The most performance improvement comes from using a SSD drive for the cache, as Nova suggests. A RAM drive is good too. But, you need a ram drive that saves the cache at computer shut down. Also, using a drive other than the one Windows uses for its cache will help performance.

It is also smart to white list the cache so your anti-virus ignores it. That is a matter of how paranoid you are verses performance oriented. I've had mine white listed for years.

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