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Hi all,


First of all, thanks for second life, it is great!

Below questions are both relevant for the SL viewer as well for firestorm.

On my MacBook pro, 2017, i5 2.3 GHz, 8 GB Ram, AMD Radeon Pro 580 OpenGL Engine (eGpu, temporarily borrowed), i have bad frame rate. Typical fr is below 10 with settings reset to default.

Apperently, the openGl implementation on the mac is sub-optimal, so maybe there is a fundamental cause that is difficult to solve.

The eGpu works, MacBook air cooling is almost always off now and fr is independent of screen size, even 4K works with the same fr as VGA. So something is right.

However, if I use reasonable graphics quality setting, fr is below par. If I go to Iow graphics I maybe get 20 to 40 fps outside crowds, but rendering is bad, my own av looks very flaky then.

In all settings, if I am in a ‘crowd’ of > 5 av’s, fr drastically reduces to very low levels. In default (mid / high) to 3 or 4, in low to below 10 fps. Strange is that reducing the max complexity does not help, looks like jellies take up as much time as fully rendered av’s. Sometimes, in low settings, I get 10 fps, but the av’s only update once a second (which may be a local problem at the PC of this av).

Which brings me to my network. I think network is OK, I have a fiberglass connection and also tested the bandwidth. But I did not look into this deeper, the firestorm lag meter is almost always green for network, although in crowds I sometimes get a warning about large ping times.

I need a new desktop for linux, so I’m thinking to get a more high-end config with also windows and use that for SL. But that will set me back a couple of bucks extra and I would like to know if that is worth the money.

So first, I would like to further trouble-shoot my MacBook, but I’m clueless at the moment on how to proceed. Would it be possible to use Mac steam? I saw something about SL also being released for steam, but if not for the Mac it would not help.

Sorry for the long post, tried to keep it as short as possible.

Thanks! Bart.

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It is because 2017 MacBook Pro... the newerr 2018 and newer run SL as good or better than most Windows machines (I have both) unless it is a newer Gamer PC within the last year.

Best peromrance on macBook pro is LL Virewer (Firestom is pig-in-a-poke) Best on Windows is Catznip - and I speak about performance specifically.

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you might want to also look at some sort of auxiliary cooling for that macbook as well. Apple has this bad habit of shoving a powerful chip that gives off a lot of heat into a small box. This causes both CPU and GPU to throttle under moderate loads.  and running second life is a perfect storm for system loading. 

 

you can see a video from Linus tech tips where they includes some suggestions as to what to do about heat here

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for your feed-back!

Re heat: after using the eGpu the vents of the macBook are mostly not on. But this is probably not an issue that is unique to Apple, right? All high performance notebooks have to deal with this.

@Alyona Su, what is the problem with the 2017 macBook?

Some more testing: it seems that it is NOT entirely a Gpu limiting issue after I started using the eGpu. Screen resolution does not affect FPS at all. 4K, resized or native display, it is all the same. Native being somewhat worse.

I noticed, FS is using old openGl version, OpenGL Version: 2.1 ATI-2.8.38, not 4.1.
Apple is stopping openGl support, but 2.1 is realy ancient and using that is not an Apple problem I guess ... Is it someting I can influence or is it a decision of FS developers?

 

Kind regards, Bart.

Edited by BartPitcher
typo

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I'm late to this topic, but if you still want information, here is my take on it:

The reason for the poor performance is the CPU.

That i5 chip in the 2017 MBP only has two cores and a rather "low" single core frequency. As someone already mentioned in this thread, there are also limitations due to thermal constraints. The poor, little CPU can't boost for very long in the tiny 13" chassis. Once it gets to 99°C it might throttle the frequency below its base clock speed, resulting in a MBP that isn't necessarily hot and noisy, but slow af.

You probably wouldn't have that issue on a 2018/19 13" MBP with 4 cores, and definitely wouldn't have that issue on a 2019 15" MBP.

For many users Firestorm runs great on Ubuntu with a decent desktop i5 CPU and an entry level GPU.

I'd order a 27" iMac with SSD upgrade (you can stick more RAM inside on your own), if you have the money go for the high-end model, skip the Vega GPU upgrade (you run better and cheaper with an eGPU), and test the heck out of it before the return window runs out.

Desktop computer with Windows and ugly PC peripherals isn't something I'd be willing to put up with just to run Second Life. Surround yourself with beautiful things, mate, and you will have a better experience in any case. Linden Lab needs to deliver a proper, native Mac client that runs on Metal 2.

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On 5/31/2019 at 12:04 PM, BartPitcher said:

On my MacBook pro, 2017, i5 2.3 GHz, 8 GB Ram, AMD Radeon Pro 580 OpenGL Engine (eGpu, temporarily borrowed), i have bad frame rate. Typical fr is below 10 with settings reset to default.

Install windows. You can expect up to a 40% increase in frame rate.

Sorry .. but that's what our alpha osx viewer testing has shown when running the same code, on the same hardware, on windows vs osx. I'm not happy about it either.

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I just had an idea! 💡 🤔

What if we could stream Second Life from an ugly Desktop gaming PC that is hidden away (similar to the rubber gimp I keep in my basement), to our pretty Apple computers? Teamviewer might do that, and I think it can also transfer files?

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5 hours ago, Wendy Starfall said:

I just had an idea! 💡 🤔

What if we could stream Second Life from an ugly Desktop gaming PC that is hidden away (similar to the rubber gimp I keep in my basement), to our pretty Apple computers? Teamviewer might do that, and I think it can also transfer files?

As SL is an opengl app, add it as a custom game to steam and use that to stream it about your house.

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Maybe I should open a new thread for this, but I often think it's a bad idea to buy a MacBook Pro unless you really need that amount of power on the go.

When I compare prices at Apple, I end up paying less for a MacBook Air + 27" iMac than I would pay for a specced out MacBook Pro, and I would pay a whole lot less for a MacBook Air + Gaming PC (including a decent 1080p UltraSharp screen from Dell that can double-up as "screen for SL" for the MBA).

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You have to keep in mind MacBook Air's are intended for use when you need a short burst of power, they're not designed to run full bore all day every day.

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Posted (edited)

Yes, I was just saying that for a mobile computer (like I would use for school and as my daily computing companion), a MacBook Air may be better because it had much better battery compared to the MacBook Pro - but Apple just released a new MacBook Pro on the day we were writing here. 😮

Now there is a little (13") MacBook Pro with a quad-core CPU also for the entry level models, and I believe when opting in for the 256GB SSD and 16GB of memory, it will be only €250ish more expensive than the a MacBook Air with the same memory specs, but with only a dual-core CPU.

Let me check prices first doe, and then compare an entry level MacBook Pro + 27" iMac bundle to a big MacBook Pro that is specced up high enough so it could run at least a little bit of (creator level) SL.

With creator level I mean that you can spend an extended period of time inside of SL for product assemblies, performing uploads, and ramping up graphics temporarily to be able making great looking screenshots.

UPDATE:

Okay, pricing looks a bit different now:

US$ 3,149 for big (15") MacBook Pro that's specced up to handle a bit of (creator level) SL

US$ 3,498 for a MacBook Air and a 27" iMac that's specced up to handle (creator level) SL very nicely.

US$ 3,698 for a little (13") MacBook Pro and also a 27" iMac that's specced up to handle (creator level) SL very nicely.

In my opinion, these US$ 549 more for the little MBP + iMac are well spent if you carry your MBP around all day long.

See, when you lose or drop a MBP that costs US$ 1,299 to 1,499 it hurts terribly bad, but when that happens to a MBP that costs over 3,000 freedom dollars, it doesn't just hurt, it's a loss-of-a-limb level of painful. 🙊

Applying that to a little MBP + Gaming PC scenario, you would end up with a kickass setup in the US$ 2,500 range, and if that really works out as well as I imagine it, you can still stream SL from your gaming desktop PC to little MBP while sitting in bed when spending quality time with your SL waifu! 😁✌️

Edited by Wendy Starfall
updated prices after research

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Apple prices aren't high for the hardware you get .. but they don't necessarily make the same hardware choices you might. They do tend to favour stupid high screen resolutions paired with underwhelming GPUs (further let down by poor drivers).

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On 6/3/2019 at 4:43 AM, Arduenn Schwartzman said:

After 30 years of Apple (Lisa and) Mac use, I switched to a PC and Windows for exactly that.

I've been considering it. How is that working out for you? 

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40 minutes ago, Landa Crystal said:

How is that working out for you? 

Up to a hundred-fold increase in Frames Per Second from my 2012 iMac with 1080p screen to a 2017 i7-7740X + GTX 1080 Ti with 1440p screen on ultra graphics settings. One other motivation was that I didn't want to waste graphics power on a retina screen.

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On 7/12/2019 at 5:48 PM, Wendy Starfall said:

 a 27" iMac that's specced up to handle (creator level) SL very nicely.
 

What specs would be better for an iMac to increase SL performance? I'm thinking of getting an iMac for my home office and am not so happy running SL on my Macbook Air.

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6 hours ago, Rhiannon108 said:

What specs would be better for an iMac to increase SL performance? I'm thinking of getting an iMac for my home office and am not so happy running SL on my Macbook Air.

I would go to a Apple store and bluntly ask them if you can try running SL, just make sure to use a throwaway avi and not your main.

27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display: $2,399

  • 3.7GHz 6-core 9th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz
  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
  • Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory
  • 512GB SSD storage
  • Magic Mouse 2
  • Magic Keyboard - US English

Crucial 16GB DDR4-2666 SODIMM Memory for Mac: $74.99

The memory you can add yourself, it's just a little door at the back of your iMac that you can open without tools:

If would buy an iMac for work right now, and already had a laptop, it would be one with this spec:

27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display: $2,999

  • 3.6GHz 8-core 9th-generation Intel Core i9 processor, Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz
  • 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
  • Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory
  • 1TB SSD storage
  • Magic Mouse 2
  • Magic Keyboard - German

If iMac lives happily for 5 years it costs you about $1.70 a day, already with memory upgrade included. 😊✌️

These specs will run SL with nice visual quality when you play it on Mac OS, and if that doesn't work for you, you can install Windows on it too, and play SL and other games inside of Windows, but if you are planning on that I would rather buy a Gaming PC instead.

A 15" Alienware Gaming Laptop that runs SL with nice visuals will cost you around $1,500.

Many people will tell you that a Desktop PC is so much more powerful, and so much better to upgrade, blah, blah, blah, but keep in mind that for this you need to keep a screen around (one with comparable quality to an Alienware Laptop screen costs a lot of money), you have crappy-pants PC peripherals, you need speakers to hear things, a webcam, a mic, and, well, a desk that has enough space.

PS: I never understood how people with Desktop PC manage if they want to do adult thing 😳 on SL. Uncomfy².

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On 8/21/2019 at 1:20 PM, Wendy Starfall said:

Many people will tell you that a Desktop PC is so much more powerful, and so much better to upgrade, blah, blah, blah, but keep in mind that for this you need to keep a screen around (one with comparable quality to an Alienware Laptop screen costs a lot of money), you have crappy-pants PC peripherals, you need speakers to hear things, a webcam, a mic, and, well, a desk that has enough space.

A similar specced PC with no corners cut is about a grand.

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/LxqLWD

Matching the specs, 9600k, 8gb of ram, gold rated power supply, decent cooler/motherboard/drive/etc.

And this a terrible PC overall btw, like just do not buy either the mac or a custom PC built with these specs, its god awful. 2666mhz DDR4 in 2019? Going intel at all rn? 8gb of ram, really?

And a 5k screen is about another 700-900$ depending on the specific one you want. Obviously this isnt identical to a mac, you lose the all in one form factor, but if youre looking for performance there is absolutely no reason to buy a mac. If OSX is an environment you prefer, you can get compatible hardware and use hackintosh without issue.

"crappy-pants pc peripherals" this i will never understand, ill leave it at that. Apple magic keyboards are just regular bluetooth keyboards with an aluminum body, theyre island chiclets and really not the greatest typing experience, though that is more down to personal preference than anything.

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25 minutes ago, cheesecurd said:

"crappy-pants pc peripherals" this i will never understand, ill leave it at that. Apple magic keyboards are just regular bluetooth keyboards with an aluminum body, theyre island chiclets and really not the greatest typing experience, though that is more down to personal preference than anything.

Apple's peripherals are just the worst.There's no reason I'm aware of that anyone can't use a Magic Mouse or Keyboard on a PC. I just don't know anyone who has ever wanted to.

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55 minutes ago, Lyssa Greymoon said:

Apple's peripherals are just the worst.There's no reason I'm aware of that anyone can't use a Magic Mouse or Keyboard on a PC. I just don't know anyone who has ever wanted to.

I use the magics as my daily drivers....

I always liked them for them usability but since I had the accident, there is no contender to the keyboard and especially magic mouse.

For disability there is no alternative to Mac, the performance drop is in no relation to the usability drop.

Sorry... that's the truth 😕

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I can't figure out how to edit my previous post, so I will just add another (I hope that this isn't breaking some rule).

I have to clarify what I mean with usability, so it makes real sense for somebody in a different situation:

The Magic Mouse is very flat and it accepts finger gestures at the top surface. I have to re-learn fine movement because I hurt my hand in an accident, and the Magic Mouse lets me do that. For someone else in a different situation this might be different, and they would have a better experience with a more ergonomic shape, like most Logitech mice are.

The Magic Keyboard is very flat and it has nice large keys, which also works out really well for me.

There is also the connectivity and the battery life, it seems as if it lasts forever, and there is never any connectivity issues, which is not something I can say after using bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless PC peripherals in the past, where I ran better with 2.4GHz, but that made my Wifi setup suck.

There was always some issue with my PC peripherals unless they were wired, and those wore down too quickly.

I mowed through the average keyboard within 3 months, when all the print on the keys would be gone and things started to fail. I hate the cables, no matter if soft rubber or thicc and braided, they tie me to a desk in ways that aren't alright with me. I'm very active in front of my desk and workplaces, I need to be able to move and sit the way I want.

With Apple peripherals I made due for literally years.

The print stays on, the typing stays accurate, you can wipe them down, and they seem much better fortified against cervical mucus!

The only real criticism I have is that I can't replace the battery in the newer Magic Peripherals.

PS: Also, let's not talk about the butterfly keyboard in the MacBook and MacBook Pro of the previous generation. ✌️😁

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On 8/22/2019 at 8:35 PM, Lyssa Greymoon said:

Apple's peripherals are just the worst.There's no reason I'm aware of that anyone can't use a Magic Mouse or Keyboard on a PC. I just don't know anyone who has ever wanted to.

I have several RSI problems, going from my right hand all the way to my neck, from nearly 40 years at keyboards. At my low point, I was taking half a painkiller at breakfast to tamp things down until I could get engaged enough in my work for my brain to not care about it. I tried ergonomic mice and keyboards, keyboard trays, trackballs, vertical mice, trackpads, pads with pens... you get the idea. When Apple introduced that flat, buttonless Magic Mouse, I thought it would be horrific. When I replaced my soccer ball iMac with a new aluminum model, that worrisome Magic Mouse was included, along with a very flat, low travel keyboard that looked equally evil to me.

I gave them both a try.

It's been a decade.

Today, I love my Magic Mice. I love my even flatter, even less travel keyboards. I take no painkillers. I can type all day.

RSI and workspace ergonomics are highly intertwined and highly personal. I would not recommend my setup for anyone else, even though it's working wonderfully for me. I imagine I could have found other solutions to address my RSI, but Apple dumped a pair of ergonomic nightmares on my desk that have, once again, made spending hours at the computer, interacting with people who think my setup must be the work of the devil... a pleasure.

 

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1 hour ago, Jules Catlyn said:

I don't understand the fascination with Apple products.

Let us then presume you've never used one at length.

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2 hours ago, Jules Catlyn said:

I don't understand the fascination with Apple products.

Same reason people buy fancy clothes brands. It's a nice branding kinda thing to the people who like them and the apple ecosystem.

People don't buy Macs for any reason other than "but it's a Mac". And they'll visciously try and deny this but there's just no competition in any other aspect besides brand loyalty.

There are better computers, better peripherals, and better operating systems. 

Im not gonna go seek out people to crap on them for using a Mac but when I see people recommending them as if that's a better option than anything else on the market, its clear they have no idea what they're talking about. It's a fashion accessory, if you want actual performance and value for your money then a Mac should be the last choice on the list.

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