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NJMike

Texture Thrashing

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There is an issue that happens at some places on Second Life where the textures (whether on avatars or mesh/prims) juggle themselves around blurring in and out of focus. If I set "full res textures", it stables out all of the textures and fixes it, but at the cost of making my FPS unstable and choppy if I make any movements, and I sometimes crash.

It does not matter which viewer I use, because either 512 MB or 1,024 MB are the max texture bandwidth settings any viewer I've tried can go up to, and that doesn't seem like it's enough and I am thinking it's the reason to the texture thrashing.

For those that may need the information, thes are my specs:


CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6400 CPU @ 2.70GHz (2712 MHz)
Memory: 16314 MB
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 10  (Build 14393)
Graphics Card Vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 970/PCIe/SSE2 (4GB of VRAM)

Windows Graphics Driver Version: 21.21.0013.7849
OpenGL Version: 4.5.0 NVIDIA 378.49

RestrainedLove API: (disabled)
J2C Decoder Version: OpenJPEG: 1.5.2
Audio Driver Version: FMOD Ex 4.44.61
LLCEFLib/CEF Version: 1.5.3-(CEF-WIN-3.2526.1347-32)
LibVLC Version: 2.2.4
Voice Server Version: Vivox 4.6.0017.22050

Packets Lost: 82/708,083 (0.0%)

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NJMike wrote:

There is an issue that happens at some places on Second Life where the textures (whether on avatars or mesh/prims) juggle themselves around blurring in and out of focus. If I set "full res textures", it stables out all of the textures and fixes it, but at the cost of making my FPS unstable and choppy if I make any movements, and I sometimes crash.

It does not matter which viewer I use, because either 512 MB or 1,024 MB are the max texture bandwidth settings any viewer I've tried can go up to, and that doesn't seem like it's enough and I am thinking it's the reason to the texture thrashing.

You say "texture bandwidth" and state max value is 1024, that makes me think you are actually refering to the texture memory setting in preferences, which isn't a bandwidth setting at all, set it to 75-80% of max and and ignore it.

 

You should alsy have a viewer bandwisth setting,  that can go well above 1024, but realistically works best between 500 and 1000.

 

You list your 'specs' but your hardware is more than good enough to  run SL, and the specs tell us nothing really useful, what yoiu didnt mention is cache size, 'texture thrashing' can mean that your cache size is way way too small, OR way way too large.

 

With modern internet connections, and the HTTP/CDN systems SL now uses, it is often FASTER to download a texture fresh from the server than thrash your hard drive looking for the previous copy in an overbloated cache file

 

Iyt sounds counter-intuitive but, viewer bandwidth 500 kb/cache size 2 gb, can improve performance on some peoples systems quite noticibly.

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RE: 1 & 2 -- I should apologise, I meant actually "Texture Memory (MB)" under "Hardware" in my preferences (I am using the Catznip viewer by the way) and the slider only goes up to 512 MB; some other viewers, like Singularity, allow up to 1,024 MB with the slider, but no higher, and even that is not enough to stop the thrashing.

RE: 3 -- My cache size is at max at 9,984 MB. Since you said it could be too large or too small, I'm guessing that's too large, so I went ahead and set it to 2,048 MB, but I have not seen any improvement, unless I need to cleear my cache (which I've never once done in the few months I've been using Catznip) and restart it with the new cache size?

RE: 4 -- I have always used HTTP textures, so that should avoid my hard drive for that, right?

Also, if this helps, here are my current graphics settings:

 

 

 

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I've not seen this problem since I bumped my texture memory up to 2048, but when I was down at 1024 it was shocking. I am surprised you only have a 1GB video card memory?

Can you bump your texture emmory up to 2G or 4G like all the rest of us? If not, have you thought of a better card, maybe the cheap NVidia 1050?

 

Edit: Oh I see why! you are using a viewer that doesnt allow 4GB of video memory. Seriously, kick catznip to the kerb. Use Firestorm and bump the video ram right to the maximum.

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NJMike wrote:

RE: 1 & 2 -- I should apologise, I meant actually "Texture Memory (MB)" under "Hardware" in my preferences (I am using the Catznip viewer by the way) and the slider only goes up to 512 MB; some other viewers, like Singularity, allow up to 1,024 MB with the slider, but no higher, and even that is not enough to stop the thrashing.

RE: 3 -- My cache size is at max at 9,984 MB. Since you said it could be too large or too small, I'm guessing that's too large, so I went ahead and set it to 2,048 MB, but I have not seen any improvement, unless I need to cleear my cache (which I've never once done in the few months I've been using Catznip) and restart it with the new cache size?

RE: 4 -- I have always used HTTP textures, so that should avoid my hard drive for that, right?

Also, if this helps, here are my current graphics settings:

Video Memory settings in SL... For most of SL's history, video memory has been limited to 512, because thats what LL set in their viewer, if your card only had 512 mb, you could improve things by setting that slider to 384 for example. These days some viewers allow you to push that to 1024, and if your card has more ram than that, 1024 is fine. It has very little effect on 'thrashing'.

It's worth noting that the viewer that allows more than this is a laggy piece of bloatware with a track record for innefficient coding, and a tendancy to cover for this by misinforming users about hardware requirements for SL.

Cache settings, yeah if you change the size of your cache, you shoud restart to make sure the viewer notices.

Settings, you dont need 'avatar cloth' it's for backward compatibility with system skirts that people had already stopped wearing 5 years ago in favor of flexi prims. Ambient occlusion? I'd turn it off, it doesn't make things look better truth be told, and in heavy builds the extra calculations between large numbers of objects can pole axe fps even on fast systems with good gpu's, I'd drop the antialiasing substantially, that is actively trying to blur your textures on the fly, to 'smooth out the jagglies' that may not be there, setting the value to x16 as you have is basically ORDERING your gpu to waste framerate trying to mess with texture quality.

 

 

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Callum Meriman wrote:

I've not seen this problem since I bumped my texture memory up to 2048, but when I was down at 1024 it was shocking. I am surprised you only have a 1GB video card memory?

Can you bump your texture emmory up to 2G or 4G like all the rest of us? If not, have you thought of a better card, maybe the cheap NVidia 1050?

 

Edit: Oh I see why! you are using a viewer that doesnt allow 4GB of video memory. Seriously, kick catznip to the kerb. Use Firestorm and bump the video ram right to the maximum.

I strongly suspect that Kitty Barnett, who creates Catznip, knows a damn sight more about video memory usage in SL viewers than you, and it's worth remembering that HER viewer doesn't need to release emergency hot fix "bug of the week" removal patches every damn week, AND that your viewers RLVa code is written by Kitty because RLVa code is too difficult for the FS devs, AND that most Catznip users do not suffer 'constant texture thrashing'.

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I haven't had any texture thrashing since I've set my texture memory to 2048 MB. I suggest you try Firestorm, Alchemy Beta, Kokua or whatever and try if the 2048 setting solves your problem or not.

I tested a few viewers and the actual versions have no performance issues for me, nor did I need any hot fix, so you can try them and shouldn't encounter any big differences that aren't related to the settings.

1024 MB should be sufficient for most cases but there are over-textured locations and avatars. Have you set your ARC setting to a limit? You should and block resource excessive avatars that way.

The cache is very inefficient. If you set it too high it will become significantly slower. I wouldn't go over 4096 MB. If you move it to a SSD it will speed up alot.

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I never said I had 1GB VRAM, I even had it listed in the specs I listed that I had 4GB of it.

The reason I use Catznip is because it gives me the best performance out of any other viewer, in FPS and stability. Singularity is my second choice, as it's only a tiny bit worse in FPS than Catznip for me. Firestorm is a nice viewer but it's too bloated and I think that is why it's the laggiest out of all viewers I've tried.

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I tweaked my graphics preferences to every thing that you had suggested, and saw no improvements at all than with them all on.

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NJMike wrote:

I tweaked my graphics preferences to every thing that you had suggested, and saw no improvements at all than with them all on.

Hmmm, I can only suggest two things at this point, a) kill ansiotropic filtering AND antialiasing completely, and see if that does anything, and if not, then b) look for a non SL cause, such as checking the background process list in task manager, see what cpu/mem/net wasting bloatware is running.

You know, unwanted unneeded autoupdate chekers, customer satisfaction spyware, the help-wizard for the auto-watermelon peeler that Microbloat assume every body has but nobody does.

 

Could be that while you normally see dropped packets 0%, that theres some damn awful crud running in stealth mode thats grabbing your net bandwidth periodically and causing SL to stutter, I know mine suffers everytime my antivirus phones home for update checks and the latest AV adverts for addons.

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I look through my processes quite a bit regardless so I can see if I can free up anything, but there isn't really anything I can think of that I need to remove at this time.

Well I do use a wifi connection, and we use an Xfinity dual-band ac router/modem, and my computer also has an ac wireless adapter as well; could the limitations of wireless be what's causing me not being able to receive sufficient information for texture loading?

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Update: I retract everything said below; t seems whether I switch between 512 MB and 1,024 MB in Singularity does not affect the texture thrashing at all, so back to square one again with all of this. I'm still open to help if anyone can figure this out. Thanks.

I also should mention (if I didn't before) that this texture thrashing only occurs at two specific places thus far, and no where else suffers from the slightest bit of it. I have also had a few friends tlel me they had the same texture thrashing at the same place. Could it be that some sims are just too heavily-textured beyond any SL viewer's ability to render?

So I have an update for you all: I have been using Bento-capable Singularity again for a few days (my original default viewer since 2011), and so far I have been noticing a slight improvement with the texture thrashing/loading issues; not a complete improvement, but a discernable change from before. I have my texture memory set at its max at 1,024 MB since the viewer allows it; this is leading me to believe that it either is a texture memory issue (Catznip only allowing 512 MB compared to Singularity's 1 GB), or Singularity is just generally all-around programmed a bit stronger than Catznip, or perhaps both. But if anything, we at least can conclude that it is not really related to my computer hardware.

I suffer no other general performance loss as well between the two viewers, which is good because Catznip was prone to crashing sometimes, whereas Singularity never has, or if it does, extremely rarely.

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NJMike wrote:

I also should mention (if I didn't before) that this texture thrashing only occurs at two specific places thus far, and no where else suffers from the slightest bit of it. I have also had a few friends tlel me they had the same texture thrashing at the same place. Could it be that some sims are just too heavily-textured beyond any SL viewer's ability to render?


Yes.

Some creators make very unoptimized content & will slap 1024 textures on every face, even silly things like buttons & knobs on a TV. Certain house creators are really bad for this & just one of their buildings close by will produce texture thrashing for pretty much everyone - naming no names  :P

Can you give the SLURLs to the problem locations?

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Whirly Fizzle wrote:


NJMike wrote:

I also should mention (if I didn't before) that this texture thrashing only occurs at two specific places thus far, and no where else suffers from the slightest bit of it. I have also had a few friends tlel me they had the same texture thrashing at the same place. Could it be that some sims are just too heavily-textured beyond any SL viewer's ability to render?


Yes.

Some creators make very unoptimized content & will slap 1024 textures on every face, even silly things like buttons & knobs on a TV. Certain house creators are really bad for this & just one of their buildings close by will produce texture thrashing for pretty much everyone - naming no names 
:P

Can you give the SLURLs to the problem locations?

Another culprit in texture thrashing that isn't obvious is the graphical memory used by HUD's. The textures in a HUD are always loaded and using video memory that would otherwise be available for rendering your surroundings. This can include skins, etc. inside the HUD's for things like mesh heads/bodies/etc. If you typically keep a HUD like this attached see if things improve when it's detached.

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I don't know if this information helps, but using the texture console (Ctrl+Shift+3) I notice it's flooded with tons of unloaded loading bars, a lot of them are in pink or white text as well, and a lot of them are 1,024x1,024 in their size, which account for mostly all of the pink and unloaded ones. I notice a lot of them have the "Type" as "B_NONE" or something else. I then noticed when the texture thrashing stopped, the texture console also stopped flodding with quieries.

A few other people I have talked to about this that go to this same place have also told me they experience the same texture thrashing as I do, so I guess it could be that the area is too heavy in mesh.

Below is a screeenshot I took of the texture console during a moment of texture thrashing. What is not shown is the constant cylce of "INI" and "DEC" through some of the bottom-most textures. This queue is generally supposed to be empty, but at this parcel it is consantly incomplete and/or piling up with my quieries and repetative cycles.

 

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I noticed people on here posting that they use Firestorm and are able to set their Texture Memory to 2048.  I was using Alchemy and didn't experience any texture thrashing with my texture memory set to 2048 and that in fact was the only real difference in settings I had when switching to Firestorm, however I was getting absolutely horrible texture thrashing on Firestorm but I noticed I couldn't increase my texture memory past 512 but I see people on here saying that they're able to.  I was just curious if anyone could give any suggestions on why it's saying I can only set my texture quality in Firestorm to 512 as the maximum.  Right now I just have Full Res Textures on which gets rid of the problem but I'd like to be able to up texture memory and disable Full Res Textures.  Thank you.

Edited by Leah Constantine

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1 hour ago, Leah Constantine said:

Right now I just have Full Res Textures on

Turn that off unless you enjoy crippling low FPS.

Are you using a 64bit build of Firestorm?  Only the 64bit Firestorm viewers allow you to set texture memory higher then 512MB.
If you are not sure, in the top menu bar of the viewer, go to help -> About Firestorm, click the "Copy to clipboard" button & paste all your system information.

 

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Ah, it was the 32 bit version, apparently the link I downloaded from went straight to the 32 bit download instead of the actual Firestorm download page.  Although I'm curious, why do you say crippling low FPS?  I had it on Full Res Textures and I had a constant steady 120 fps the entire time and I was in rather large stores.  Either way thank you for letting me know why it was capping out, I appreciate it.

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