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Rhikki

SO many viewers...

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So I've been on SL for a couple of months now and I've been using Firestorm at the advice of my roommate because she uses it.  I'm not so sure there aren't better viewers out there, though.  I mean, she lags all the time, she crashes and and avatars take forever to load and sometimes load with their legs coming out of their heads and their boobs attached to their backsides.  Yet, she insists.  It's the best.  

Is it?  Is it really?  

 

These are my specs.  I don't know how to interpret them myself to chose the best viewer.  Please somene, help me.  If I wanted these issues, I'd play Minecraft.  

 

Processor: AMD A8-5545m APU with Radeon HD Graphics 1.70 GHz
Installed Memory (RAM): 8.00 GB (7.19 GB Usable)
System Type: 64-bit Operating System, x64-based processor
Windows 10 Home

Graphics Card: AMD Radeon HD 8510G

 

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try a lighter viewer than firestorm.. your graphics card has to work hard to give at least some acceptable rendering to play SL.

Perhaps singularity is one that will work better. Or firestorm at very low settings.

Also your connection might be not optimal.. speed means not much, but a reliable connection does.

go wired if you'r on wifi.

 

 

The issues you hear from your friend also show there's not enough power on her machine, or the connection.

 

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I primarily stick with the default LL viewer and only resort to TPVs of the current update introduces any crashyness.  Firestorm is popular because it's bloated with feature upon feature.  But, given I rarely if not never use any of those additions, they're nothing more than extra fluff to me. (>_<)

So, unless you genuinely NEED the lists upon lists of 'features' like tools to stalk people who have unfriended you or flashy particle selection beams, consider something lighter like the default LL or Alchemy client. (^_^)

List of other alternative viewers here >> http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Third_Party_Viewer_Directory

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Personally, I like Firestorm because of the extra features, especially for building, that it has. I do use a lot of those extra features just for everyday things too.  However, I was lucky to be able to invest in a high end computer that I configued specifically for SL and working in various graphics and 3D modeling programs.

The choice of viewer depends on two things: What type of computer you have and what you like to do in SL. Some people even use several viewers, depending on what they are doing. 

After looking at the list of Third Party Viewers, you can Google them and read some reviews from various sources to decide which is best for you.

As Alwin has said, you would probably do best using a more light weight viewer and not using a wifi connection to the internet.

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Rhikki wrote:

So I've been on SL for a couple of months now and I've been using Firestorm at the advice of my roommate because she uses it.

Yes, lots of people in SL are absolutely convinced that their viewer is The One And Only Truth. I've heard old-timers telling stories about the Browser Wars they used to have but  there haven't been a proper one since I joined. A shame really, sounds like something that would be fun to watch.

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You can install multiple viewers so just test it.

A few remarks:

- The LL viewer is not useable for building. You can try of course but all TPV's have addons that are mandantory from my point of view.

- Firestorm has many features and some are even useful if you are not into featureism. :D

- Black Dragon has improved graphics and that does not match with your lo end graphics.

- Kokua is very close to the LL viewer but has some useful addons.

- Singularity has no Bento Update so not recommended until they update. It has the old V1 style which is even worse than the present V3. So it is mainly for people that tell me I'm wrong here and V1 is the best they can ever imagine. :D

- Alchemy is pretty nice, has quite some features but is not as overloaded as FS. Has no Bento atm so not recommended until they update. 

All of the viewers are based on the LL viewer but add more or less features so don't expect too much differences in running SL. If you have a decent computer the feature to use more than the standard amount of video memory that is offered by many TPV's can be very useful to compensate for texture overloaded areas and avatars - to a degree.

 

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Nova Convair wrote:

- The LL viewer is not useable for building. You can try of course but all TPV's have addons that are mandantory from my point of view.

I've heard some builders say similar things and I've always wondered why. I use all kinds of viewers myself under different circumstances but I never use a third party viewer for building except when I need one of those hacked prim shapes and that happens about once a year or so. The only additional feature I see any need for myself is automatic the map aligner and I simply wrote an lsl script to do that job. The other addons I only see as a nuisance.

I suppose it's all about your work method as a builder.

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The Linden made viewer is the cutting edge viewer. It has new features first. First is sometimes a matter of days and other times a metter of months. It is also the beginner's viewer. Most people start out with it. THe Lindens continuely test and work to keep it easy to use... if that is possible with SL.

Firestorm is the power users' viewer. I has way more features than the Linden viewer. It is used by 60 to 75% of SL users. So, it is popular. The Support Team for Firestorm gives classes on how to use the additional features.

The new Firestorm 5.0.1 version is better than previous versions, crashing less and being a bit faster.

Both of those viewers require some computer power and a good connection to the SL servers, which is not the same as a good Internet connection.

Your computer is going to be slow. The 1.7GHz CPU and HD graphics are going to kill your performance. So, as suggessted, use as light a weight viewer as you can f ind. Cool VL Viewer and Singularity are probably your best bets. You can find the list of available viewers here.

Second Life performance is very much enfluenced by CPU speed. Since you are using HD graphics you have your CPU doing double duty, calc's and graphics. You're taking a couple of hits with a slow CPU that has to also do graphics. Don't expect good performance. It isn't the viewer that is your problem.

 

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ChinRey wrote:


Nova Convair wrote:

- The LL viewer is not useable for building. You can try of course but all TPV's have addons that are mandantory from my point of view.

I've heard some builders say similar things and I've always wondered why. I use all kinds of viewers myself under different circumstances but I never use a third party viewer for building except when I need one of those hacked prim shapes and that happens about once a year or so. The only additional feature I see any need for myself is automatic the map aligner and I simply wrote an lsl script to do that job. The other addons I only see as a nuisance.

I suppose it's all about your work method as a builder.

For me, building as I do in mesh means being able to copy rotation, size, and location. I use those functions daily, and it is unthinkable now for me to do without. 

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ethan Renfold wrote:

For me, building as I do in mesh means being able to copy rotation, size, and location. I use those functions daily, and it is unthinkable now for me to do without.

Oh, in that case I can assure you that although the standard viewer doesn't have fancy buttons for it, ctrl+C works just as well.

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ChinRey wrote:


ethan Renfold wrote:

For me, building as I do in mesh means being able to copy rotation, size, and location. I use those functions daily, and it is unthinkable now for me to do without.

Oh, in that case I can assure you that although the standard viewer doesn't have fancy buttons for it, ctrl+C works just as well.

No it does NOT work just as well. Selecting a number, hitting ctrl-c, switching to target, selecting a number, hitting ctrl-v and repeat all this for Y and Z works not as well as copy/paste the whole position/rotation/size with a single click.

Building wth a TPV is alot faster than with the LL viewer - for me and the builders I know. 

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Well, as I said it's probably all about working styles and perhaps habits. Those copy/paste buttons are actually one of the the main reason why I won't use Firestorm to build sicne they mean I can't tab directly between the entry fields. It may actually be a question whether you prefer to use keyboard or mouse button for operations that can be done both ways. (Except to me it's not really a question of preferences but necessity, I spend so much time in front of the computer I had to make it a habit to minimize mouse use to keep my arm from falling off from fatigue. ;) )

Anyway, go for whatever floats your boat but do not for a minute think that your preferences is the right for everybody else.

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Nova Convair wrote:


ChinRey wrote:


ethan Renfold wrote:

For me, building as I do in mesh means being able to copy rotation, size, and location. I use those functions daily, and it is unthinkable now for me to do without.

Oh, in that case I can assure you that although the standard viewer doesn't have fancy buttons for it, ctrl+C works just as well.

No it does NOT work just as well. Selecting a number, hitting ctrl-c, switching to target, selecting a number, hitting ctrl-v and repeat all this for Y and Z works not as well as copy/paste the whole position/rotation/size with a single click.

Building wth a TPV is alot faster than with the LL viewer - for me and the builders I know. 

Agree, for my purposes doing without this function would be like trying to build a house without a hammer. A brick may get the job done but not like a hammer.

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ChinRey wrote:

Well, as I said it's probably all about working styles and perhaps habits. Those copy/paste buttons are actually one of the the main reason why I won't use Firestorm to build sicne they mean I can't tab directly between the entry fields. It may actually be a question whether you prefer to use keyboard or mouse button for operations that can be done both ways. (Except to me it's not really a question of preferences but necessity, I spend so much time in front of the computer I had to make it a habit to minimize mouse use to keep my arm from falling off from fatigue.
;)
)

Anyway, go for whatever floats your boat but do not for a minute think that your preferences is the right for everybody else.

I don't see any indication that she is saying anything other than what her preferences are. 

I do agree that anyone coming to the forum and saying that everyone should build in the same way he does, is off base.

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OP: Notice how this is very much like a Holden vs Ford vs Hyundi sort of argument :D

The nice thing is you have the choice. Install a few others and see what you like. There is no need to take the word of your friend, or of anyone here.

  • Haha 1

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ChinRey wrote:

Well, as I said it's probably all about working styles and perhaps habits. Those copy/paste buttons are actually one of the the main reason why I won't use Firestorm to build sicne they mean
I can't tab directly between the entry fields
. It may actually be a question whether you prefer to use keyboard or mouse button for operations that can be done both ways. (Except to me it's not really a question of preferences but necessity, I spend so much time in front of the computer I had to make it a habit to minimize mouse use to keep my arm from falling off from fatigue.
;)
)

Anyway, go for whatever floats your boat but do not for a minute think that your preferences is the right for everybody else.

I'm not sure what you mean by this.  You can tab between the entry fields in Firestorm, I do that all the time when I am not copying the x,y,z of another prim.  The buttons don't prevent this.

I do agree that it's mostly about styles and habits, but Firestorm makes building much faster for me too.  However everyone should use the viewer that is the most comfortable for them for and that runs best on their computer.  As I pointed out earlier, some people use several viewers depending on the task at hand.

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I can say without any hesitation that Firestorm is definitly not the best SL viewer, not by a long shot, in my opinion. In my opinion Catznip is the best viewer, followed by the current release LL viewer. It is all about opinion though. A few things to keep in mind when it comes to viewer selection:

 

  1. Viewer choice comes down to personal preference and nothing more. Each has its own special features and functions that sets it apart from the others. You should try them out and see what works best for you and not simply go with what someone tells you.
  2. Most viewers are simpy derivatives of the LL viewer. Many of the "features" in third party viewers are actually available to everyone, but are simply exposed in an easier to access setting than you might find in the default viewer.
  3. Some viewers do seem to perform better of individual machines, so it can be in your interest to try a variety.

As to performance. The amount of RAM you have and your CPU make almost as much difference in perfomance as the GPU you have. HD graphics are very problematic for SL. Your RAM is good as I think 8 is really the bare minumum for good performace these days.

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I do see the advantage of the FIrestorm build features, but I often forget to use them because I spend so much time on one or another LL project viewer, playing with whatever Next New Thing is just around the corner.

That does nothing to reduce crashiness, of course. (Although it's usually just fine.)

For that machine configuration, whatever viewer you choose, keep the graphics preferences to a minimum. In particular, reduce the draw distance to as short as you can tolerate: The less stuff there is to draw, the less time it takes to download over a crappy network and the fewer opportunities for a crappy GPU to screw it up or get lagged by some hunk of over-complicated geometry. Also, avoid crowded locations or tweak your settings to minimize the number and complexity of avatars drawn.

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Unfortunately the Linden-made viewer for Linux appears to still be an unsupported beta. And it doesn't succeed on loading on my system. Why, I don't know, and other viewers have no problems, both 32-bit and 64-bit code.

I am a bit wary of recommending an unsupported beta

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The OP said WIndows 10 Home, though, so... 

But on the topic of exotic platform viewers: Did folks notice that Lumiya now supports the Daydream controller? Now, when I sit on Santa's lap, I'll know what to ask for.

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seanabrady wrote:

...Most viewers are simpy derivatives of the LL viewer. Many of the "features" in third party viewers are actually available to everyone, but are simply exposed in an easier to access setting than you might find in the default viewer.

This is very true as ALL third party viewers get their basic viewer code from the viewer code that LL releases to them and use it as a base for thier's.  Many of them though go through that code and eliminate bugs before releasing theirs and, as you say, make some features in the user interface much more user friendly.  This is another reason TPVs are so popular.

At one time viewers were listed by the most stable to the least stable (crash rate) and for a long time Firestorm consistently was the listed as the most stable, beating the SL viewer.  Now with the additional features it has, your results may vary depending on light weight a viewer you need.  However, it probably is still true for many users, as significantly more people use it than the SL viewer.

I will point out too that many of the features and code in the SL viewers originally were developed and introduced in third party viewers first and only then adopted by LL and included in the SL viewer. 

 

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AMD GPUs do not work as well in SL. I had my fill approx. 1 year ago of Linux-AMD drivers causing unstable distro issues along with mesh rezzing problems. On the other hand using W/10 and Linux I have no issues whatsoever with Nvidia graphics. Nvidia cards perform better in SL, Although your CPU is a little weak I have a neighbor/SL resident using an Intel LGA 1155 socket G1620 dual core 2.7GHz Celeron in his desktop and works fairly well. Some AMD GPU  owners using SL have had fairly good luck with Singularity viewers. Here is their latest Windows offering Build 6915:


http://alpha.singularityviewer.org/alpha/


"I Love Simplicity"

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LinuxGod4u wrote:

A-
AMD graphics do not work well with SL; especially loading (rezzing) mesh

I'm tempted to remark that the quoted prejudice is rather fiction than fact. 

Both AMD and NVidia can have their own set of problems when new drivers are released and both screwed up on pretty equal terms. However, at the moment, neither are known to have any gamebreaking issues with their software.

The problem here is quite simple: a weak CPU and its theoretically advanded integrated graphic unit aren't up to the demands of the SL environment.

 

Back to the original topic:

It's probably not a bad idea to run the same viewer as your room mate to quickly get help and hints. The menu structure and the user interface differ quite a lot.

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ATI/AMD has had a long history of what I'll call "Microsofting" OpenGL implementations.  That is, getting most of the open standard right and applying their own ideas which often break from said standard.  

Older issues such as the black-star-sky were a matter of LL following OpenGL as a set standard and ATI's drivers dictating skewed functionality. 

Mind you, that's becoming less of a problem lately.  But, more thanks to the Lab and others scrutinizing configurations and following the skew accordingly.  So, while all GPUs have their issues, AMD remains guilty of intentionally breaking content.  (>_<)

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I am beyond angry right now, Both my Firestorm and SL viewer have updated and they both are messing up! I can't see my Maitreya mesh body or my mesh hair unless my graphics are on the LOWEST possible. How do i fix this?! 

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