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What type of hardware does Second Life favor?


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Hello, I'm about to sell my current PC build, and in Second Life it suffers from insanely inconsistent framerates, graphics settings and random crashing in addition to freezing when I walk outside of a 200 meter area.

 

I am sadly not too knowlegable with Second Life's engine, but as of right now, does Second Life favor more, slower CPU cores, or perhaps, dual CPU workstations, or does it favor fewer, faster CPU cores?

 

As for GPU, yeah I figured I will just grab a GTX 1060 6GB.

 

Finally, while I notice that Second Life doesn't exceed 1.50GB of RAM ussage, will it thrive off of faster RAM distributed in more RAM slots, or more RAM in fewer RAM slots?

 

Finally, I notice that most of the cause of Second Life crashing and freezing is it maxes out my hard drive ussage (somehow), would Second Life improve in performance while running on an SSD, or will that not matter?

 

Thank you for your input, I love this community. <3

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A typical old application - 1 core high load, 1 core medium load and the other cores look pretty bored, so an 8 core or multi cpu will not give you any advantage. So that leads to Intel or maybe one of the shiny, new, not released yet amd's.

The fastest Nvidia GPU you can afford. But SL cant make fully use of the GPU so you will always be dissapointed - more or less. AMD has driver issues for years so I would not take them into consideration. (For the AMD-Fans: It doesnt matter who's fault it is - they dont work well. Point.)
No multi GPU support.

The LL viewer can grab up to 2.5-3 GB of memory at busy places then usually crashes. :D With a 64 bit Firestorm my record is 4.7 GB (without crash, but I think SL isn't designed for that :) )

Setting up the viewer cache on a SSD speeds SL up alot! Very recommended.

 

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A multi core CPU is nice if you plan on running other multiple applications with multiple windows open, at the same time as SL.  Same with RAM.  I run usually run several applications on an 8 core CPU with 32mb of RAM, along with SL on Ultra High graphics with no problem. But if you aren't going to be doing that, no or in the forseeable future, and will only run SL, a single core would just be fine.  A 64bit OS is best now too.

Definitely a Nvidia graphics card, the higher the better.  I had a high end AMD on this computer and was very pleased with it to start with, but then driver updates became a problem with SL and I replaced it with a top of the line Nvidia.

The SL System Requiremens show that 4MB of RAM or more is recommended.  Although someone told me SL presently can use a max of 8MB.

 

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Regarding the memory, the speed (“frequency”) of the RAM will not make much of a difference.  As long as you get any one of the speeds specified by the motherboard, which one you choose will have little effect on the performance.  That is to say, they all perform well.  This is why RAM speed is not mentioned in the system requirements page.   

As to how much RAM, 4 GB is the minimum.  8 GB would be more than sufficient, even for light multitasking.  If you like to be able to perform heavier tasks in the background with ease, such as work with graphics programs like Blender or Gimp, then 16GB.   If you do work in Gimp or Blender, more RAM will also let you to increase the number of undos in those programs. 

Using fewer or more RAM slots will also not affect performance.  If you have 4 RAM slots to fill (dual channel memory), you can use 2 sticks (recommended), one for each channel, or all 4 (only for maxing out the 32 or 64GB).   Less sticks is less strain on the memory controller and it’s what is usually recommended.     

“Would Second Life improve in performance while running on an SSD, or will that not matter?”

An SSD will improve the SL experience tremendously.  It’s the single best upgrade for any system. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great question! kind of an old thread.... I just recently tested the latest (2017) Singularity & Firestorm viewers on W/10 Home x64 & latest Debian Linux x64 distros too. Based upon my testings this is what I'd advise:

A- A 64 bit operating system (software I know, but I thought I'd toss this in) since it use lots of RAM unlke a 32 bit Windows OS that can only use up to approx. 3.25 GB RAM

B- At least 10-12GB system RAM (make sure your motherboard will hold it & has at least *2 system fan headers)

C- Use a Nvidia graphics card for the least amount of issues bare min. GT 740 128 bit although I'd use a GTX 750/750ti/GTX 1050ti on a budget build.... any GPU with over 2GB DDR5 memory is overkill *solely* for SL use

D- IF I were on a tight budget an Intel i3 with hyperthreading; however a quadcore CPU will work better

E- A SSD (solid state drive) PNY makes good/affordable SSDs

F- IF you plan on spending long sessions in SL do not cheap out on the power supply . EVGA, Thermaltake & some Antecs are your best bet. Outer vision, an online power supply calculator can help you figure out the wattage/amperage power supply requirememts of your system. Use a psu with a single +12v rail for better system stability.

G- Pick a pc case with good ventilation one that will use a 120mm rear exhaust case fan. & at least one front mount for a 120mm case fan

H- Liquid cool your processor if you login SL for hours at a time... prevent your CPU for overheating-losing performance....Corsair makes great CPU liquid cooling systems

"I Love Simplicity"

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  • 1 month later...

Linuxgod4u is right on the money for the most part but I would recommend no less than a dual core CPU, four is better and anything else is overkill just for SL. The key here is the CPU single thread speed as SL is not optimized for multiple cores. A $3000 multi-core processor will not run SL anywhere as well as a $180 one with just two cores.  i3 7350K or i7 7700K  CPU's are the fastest available right now with single thread speeds and they are on the lower end of the price range. They tend to overclock easily so a 7700K overclocked to 4.7 or better would make SL run very well.

Another point is ram, and SL needs it and the more you can cram in, the better. SL was horrible in the past with crashes due to memory leaks so the rule of thumb was the more ram you had, the longer between crashes. This is still somewhat true today so anything over 8 gigs on a 64 bit system will mean a better experience. I had 64 gigs on my old machine and it never crashed. Ever.

A super fast SSD is not that important so you don't need an expensive one, if you can get one that has read and write speeds over 400 you are golden. At less than 30 megs, SL loads pretty quick even on an old platter HD but dealing with the cashe means a faster drive matters. 5 tenths of a second versus 7 tenths of a second is not perceptible in load times but the faster the cashe is read, the faster it loads. 

Graphics cards probably only matter if you need eye candy. Any Nvidia card with a number XX50 or better will run SL well enough to get most of the high end effects like an Nvidia 970 or 1060. Of course you are building a gaming machine in essence so it will run other games quite well if you put in a high end card like a 980 or 1080 Ti but sadly, SL will not take much advantage of the power. My 1080 runs at idle with all of the settings on high and shadows enabled on a 4k monitor yet only does 30 fps in a crowded club. I've run SL on a cheap Chinese Windows tablet and it was quite playable. 

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On 3/15/2017 at 4:22 AM, bigmoe Whitfield said:

I'm on a 5820k with 32gb ram, oc'd to 4.5ghz on liquid cooling,  the video card is still an issue for me,  I'm running a 980 ftw 4gb card and even I still choke hard. 

I'm on a 5820K with 32gigs of ram running 4.7ghz on liquid as well and the 980 should not even come off idle unless you have AA filtering maxed out or something. SL doesn't tax a graphics card much at all. Now, that being said, you need to realize SL can't use the extra power the card offers. A 960 or 1060 or better card is more horsepower than SL can draw on. SL can run quite well on a higher end laptop and even better with discrete graphics onboard so a mega monster card and rockin' CPU should make SL run 200fps but it doesn't. When I started SL in 2004, everyone said SL runs best on computers made 5 years in the future. In 2017 it can be said that SL runs best on computers 5 years in the past.

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sl also loves ramspeed the higher your ramspeed the faster your sl runs  

so go for the highest ramspeed as far the cost is reasonable for example if it is only 5-10 extra bucks to go from 2133 to 3000 or 3200 go for the high speed ram ! 

Edited by d0n4
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On 3/16/2017 at 9:03 PM, d0n4 said:

sl also loves ramspeed the higher your ramspeed the faster your sl runs  

so go for the highest ramspeed as far the cost is reasonable for example if it is only 5-10 extra bucks to go from 2133 to 3000 or 3200 go for the high speed ram ! 

That is far more dependent on what the motherboard can support. Rule of thumb I use is put in the fastest memory in the fastest configuration the motherboard and CPU can handle without overclocking. Unless you are advanced enough to overclock your memory and willing to cope with the instability that may induce, it isn't worth the bother or expense. There are lots of vendors out there that sell "Superwhamadyne Doucheinator Memory, DD4 3200 (oc)." That usually means no motherboard supports that RAM natively at that speed without overclocking so save yourself some bux and buy the memory your board supports without it. Also, to be honest here, RAM speed isn't a huge factor in the overall scheme of things. You cannot perceive the difference between 2133 and 3000 or 3200. System memory moves data at 4 to 7 gigs per second and at less than 30 megs, SL loads to memory in thousandths of a second and the cashe in tenths of a second if it didn't have to wait on the hard drive. I've run SL on RAM drives and on SSDs and on old fashioned hard drives and the difference is not really perceivable. A fast SSD make a huge difference in the overall responsiveness of the computer though and is well worth the investment. Swapping out 2133 for 3200 will only change benchmark scores.     

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my ram is ddr3 is at 1866 mhz  i just had to load the xmp profile and worked out of the box  i was curious and dropped my ram speed down to 800 ((not 800x2 so 1600))  yes set my ram to run on 800mhz i had 20% drop on average on fps ... i know what you are saying kathmandu but trust me sl ... loves ram speed do the test your self clock your ram to 1000 or something close to that and then set it to full speed  of your ram you will see it makes big difference in sl , i do not say is the only thing that matters but in general sl just loves it a lot more than other applications would 

Edited by d0n4
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  • 5 months later...

Thanks for all of the input guys, I forgot about this post actually. :P

 

I sold my entire last gaming/second life system for a GTX 1080. Worth it.

Right now I'm using the painfully dated Core 2 quad Q6700, a massive downgrade from the FX-6300 I had when I made this post.

 

I'm going to aim for a dual-quad (yes, two or four physical processors) Xeon setup, as I multitask like crazy, Blender open here, TF2 open there, Second Life open there, I haven't been able to do that much multitasking in a while sadly since I have been stuck with 5GB of DDR2 RAM and this Q6700.

 

As for what I mean by Xeons, specifically, I'm talking about the most modern ones at the time I have $9000 to spend. Man that's going to be expensive, but worth it. I would just get something older but SL other applications thrive off of single core performance, and I will have an absurd amount of cores due to my multitasking insanity. Not because I leave 10000 Firefox tabs open, I will have one or two at most, but because as a film director/video editor/animator and gamer, it's far more effective for me to have a machine that can quickly swap tasks.

 

I'm still not entirely sold on an SSD due to their limited lifespan and VERY inconsistent reliability.

 

Thanks again guys.

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So you want to spend insane sums of money on an excessive rig with 2 to 4 CPUs, but SSDs are the pure evil and not worth their money? 
And did I get that right, you are running a GTX 1080 combined with a Q6700? 

I strongly recommend to re-read current setup guides and look at benchmarks of current Ryzen, Threadripper or some of Intel's CPUs.
You might be well better off and spend much less if you get two seperate setups, one for rendering tasks, one for "gaming".

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i am doin an experiment  i will be putin my results here the components il be using are these 

 

1. AMD RYZEN Threadripper 1950X 16-Core  CPU

2. Ballistix Elite 64GB Kit (16GB x 4) DDR4 3200

3. AMD Radeon Vega Frontier Edition 16GB 2048-Bit (Liquid Cooled Model)

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On 8/21/2017 at 3:36 AM, Callum Meriman said:

They've come a long way in the last 5 years. If you buy a decent brand, such as Intel, you won't have issues.

thats outdated  now AMD is better faster  stonger but you need a ryzen cpu  even better if you get a threadripper

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For my liking, these days' Ryzen 5 1600(x) has much potential to become a CPU like the 7 years old i5-2500(K) during its primetime. 
Very steady performance over years, great OC capabilities and reserves for years.

Threadripper... well, if you have any needs for its performance, sure, it is amazing. However, for your average gaming rig, it is quite likely overkill.

We'll see what Intel will come up with with their next release.

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1 hour ago, Quinn Lysette said:

thats outdated  now AMD is better faster  stonger but you need a ryzen cpu  even better if you get a threadripper

This is misleading info.

Your 1950x only outscores the i9 in multi core performance on synthetic benches. The i9 outscores it in single core and quad core tests and that is only the 10 core 7900x as the 16 core i9 hasn't been released yet. And as Lillith says, if you need 16 cores fine but for most games and SL specifically it is over kill and a non factor because SL uses only single core. Not to mention that there are other variables at work on performance for games generally and SL specifically that contribute to "performance", which can be measured in any one of a number of ways.

And that Vega card is barely equivalent to a GTX 1080. But if you do mining then maybe the superior compute score will be preferable but for gaming purposes, meh.

Edited by Derek Torvalar
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I should probably mention that I actually thought along the lines of "let's see what Intel comes up with and point and laugh at them". But well.

In general, I suppose there is a good percentage of users, namely creators, who will profit from a setup with numerous cores. Simply because they do multitask. One or two or more SL viewers running, the tools they are working with ... in case of rendering, multicores will quite likely be profitable. 

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Just saying, SL runs smoothly for me on the high preset in 1080p, and all ive got is pic related. Its more than enough for SL, it aint that demanding. It also handles GTA V and some other older AAA's like BF3 very well.

Dual xeons is gonna be way beyond wasted on SL.

If youre looking for a new system to handle SL at its best, even in very high resolutions, something like an i5 6500, gtx 1060 and 8gb of ddr4 is great. An alternative on the red side is an R5 1500x and an RX 580 (though miners are kinda ruining GPU prices rn). You can also drop back a few generations to an i5 4460 + 760, FX 8300 + R9 270, etc. I use to play SL at general medium settings on a Core2duo E6700, gt 710, 3gb of ddr2 running windows xp.

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  • 3 months later...

Insanely late response incoming;

 

cykarushb,

how the heck does SL run decently at all on that CPU? I've tried an Ahtlon 5150 and it CRIPPLES to a halt if there are ANY other avis nearby. Perhaps your SSD DOES help, I dunno.

Even my FX-4100, 16GB DDR3 RAM (with my GTX 1080) suffers hard with non-standard avis, I go from 90FPS WAY down to 5-10 in a room of people regardless of settings.

 

Since it appears SL favors single-core performance like games do, I've decided to go with Intel's new Core i5 8400, or equivalent of money isn't as tight as it is now.

I'm seriously contemplating buying Ryzen since I'm a VERY heavy multi-tasker, but I'm also attempting to transition to competitive, high-framerate gaming. Of course Ryzen will handle that and even moreso in the future, but GTA V is the only game holding me back as I play it religiously, and it is NOT optimized for AMD very well at all. Ryzen gets about 50-100FPS, with an average of 65-70 on ultra settings, but I'd like to be in the 100s at all times to eliminate as much input lag as possible.

Regardless I recommend Ryzen to everyone, the price to performance ratio is just insane, beginning with the motherboards.

Edited by EjeFief
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Its not too bad at all, honestly even with the integrated R3 graphics it runs SL fine, though i do drop ALM and lower my AA down. But its smooth still in the majority of places. Like, its not great, its not on par with people with decent intel i series stuff, but its very playable and still looks good.

I wouldnt buy anything Coffee Lake, its a dead end platform with next to no upgrade path. If you're a heavy multitasker than the better multi threaded performance of Ryzen stuff would favor you much better, and AM4 is supposedly supported for a second generation of Zen2 chips as well.

GTA V will have no problem with literally any modern AMD processor, heres a Ryzen 3 1200 + GTX 1050 holding over 60fps on max settings. Dont forget, the game is from 2013. There are benchmarks from back in the FX era, and FX series processors were complete garbage from AMD. Ryzen is much more on the same bar as intel.

 

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