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livb89

SL frame rate drop on 27" iMac

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Hello :) I am running Firestorm 6.2.4  on an iMac. This is my computer information from the 'about' tab in Firestorm...

CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6500 CPU @ 3.20GHz (3200 MHz)
Memory: 32768 MB
OS Version: Mac OS X 10.14.5 Darwin 18.6.0 Darwin Kernel Version 18.6.0: Thu Apr 25 23:16:27 PDT 2019; root:xnu-4903.261.4~2/RELEASE_X86_64 x86_64
Graphics Card Vendor: ATI Technologies Inc.
Graphics Card: AMD Radeon R9 M390 OpenGL Engine

This graphics card has 2GB memory. I know that is not not the best for 'gaming' stuff, but it's a fast computer.

I have attached screen shots of the graphics settings I use most of the time when I am alone at home or not in a busy place.

 

In summary I am finding that the frame rate will start from a lovely 60-70 fps as a scene loads then settle at about 40 fps once loaded. Then, with the camera fixed on that view, a few minutes later the rate will usually fall down to about 5 fps.

This is despite no avatars having entered the scene, and when I am (say) looking at a an area of my living room about the width of a sofa.

Then a minute or so later it will climb up to about 40fps again. Or... if I cam around to a different angle that usually triggers it to speed up again too.

....

Something that seems weird is that it is running faster when it has having to load lots of stuff in. For example I went on walk along a path next to all the houseboats in Belliseria and the whole time it is loading in the houseboats as i approach them, and during this walk the frame rate would be very high, say about 40fps. But then if i stop for a few minutes in one place, after everything has loaded the frame rate will quickly fall to about 4-5 fps

This seems back to front – on my old laptop it was always slower when things were loading in, and faster once stuff was cached.

When it has these slow down events the lag meter shows red for Client and says Possible cause: Images loading

I have tried looking at the statistics bar but I can't really make much sense of it. However I have attached one screenshot of when it is fine then one from a minute taken in the same place after it dropped down.

The other thing to mention is that this never happens with Advanced Lighting Model turned off.

 

But just to reiterate - I can even walk around with the settings on Ultra and get about 25-30 fps. It is only when I stop in one place that it gets slow again.

...

- I am wondering if there is something I could try changing in the settings? It seems like maybe a problem with the cache getting too full but I have cleared it and also tried setting it to the maximum size of 9984MB.

- I have also done a complete reinstall which involved wiping the cache folders out but the problem is still here.

Is there anything I can try? 

Screenshot-2019-09-03-15.50.15.png

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Screenshot 2019-09-03 23.02.31.png

Screenshot 2019-09-03 23.03.58.png

Edited by livb89
fixed a typo

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14 hours ago, livb89 said:

Is there anything I can try? 

Sometimes i experience the same problem on my laptop. Its like the focus is not any longer set on Firestorm, because if i minimize firestorm or changing for a second to another openened program, and then back to Firestorm, the framerate goes back to "normal".

Edited by Resi Pfeffer
typo
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I've been experiencing FPS degradation on my iMac Pro for some time, and I haven't located the cause. Though my Mac has a Vega 56 GPU and eight core CPU, I routinely experience frame rates as low as 1FPS, in both Firestorm and the SL Viewer. Curiously, graphics setting doesn't have a huge effect. Low and Ultra produce the same behavior and my Activity Monitor shows only modest energy usage (the only way to gauge both CPU and GPU usage).

I really started noticing this behavior after crafting a particle system avatar. I now routinely watch myself vanish for approximately 14 seconds, then reappear for 30. It's as if the particle count slider is being moved from 0 to 8192 and back again, every 44 seconds.

I will try Resi's idea of switching out of the viewer and back again, as this doesn't seem to be an issue of SL overloading the viewer, but more that the viewer is being throttled by MacOS.

 

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I've always suspect there is a memory leak with Firestorm on macOS version. Unless you need RLVa I strongly recommend the official LL viewer, or even Kokua as both get better performance on macOS (for me, at least). I will say this though: If you are on a 2015-2017 Mac - your best bet is windowed mode (don't do a full screen, because Retina Display quadruples the number of pixels - GORGEOUS-BUT-DEADLY to FPS). Though on a 2018 PowerBook Pro (four-core) and iMac (4-core) Even Firestorm runs respectably, but LL still outperforms it.

Just some feedback from a fellow macOS user.

Once OpenGL or whatever it is is GONE, if they (LL or TPV devs) use Metal system for Graphics, the Mac version of SL will outperform the Windows version easily 3 or 4-to1 if not more. Here's to wishful thinking.

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9 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

as this doesn't seem to be an issue of SL overloading the viewer, but more that the viewer is being throttled by MacOS.

 

OH! That's an idea I haven't thought of, thanks for mentioning it. I'm also running SL (once in a while) on a 2019 Mac Mini and still get decent performance, though I tend to stick with LL viewer and stay with defaults - it seems to run pretty well. Though it's always a good idea to look at how ham-fisted the OS is being . (I will protect myself whether you want it or not, dammit!) LOL

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Someome on Twitter has suggested that in my case I try lowering that Viewer Texture Memory Buffer setting. They said:

Quote

 

That slider tells the client how much GPU memory it can use. If your system is using a lot of GPU memory already, SL may not have much to work with.

Trying to use too much memory will mean having to swap data between system memory and GPU memory, which slows things down.

 

On my iMac this Viewer Texture Memory Buffer setting only goes up to 1024 which is weird because on my MacBook Pro it goes to 2048. But the MacBook pro has a much worse integrated graphics device and also has half the RAM. The laptop is much slower overall for SL but it does not have the slowdown problem. It is just consistently struggling with the fans whirring away like jet engines a lot of the time!

Anyway, I did a test earlier with this setting reduced from its 1024 maximum to about 640, and over about 30 minutes I did not notice any slowdowns. But I did notice problems like a picture on my wall had to load again after I cammed away from it and back again. Still.. this is better than the frame rate dropping down.

I will see how it goes and write back here if it seems to be a fix or not.

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3 hours ago, Alyona Su said:

If you are on a 2015-2017 Mac - your best bet is windowed mode

Interestingly I am finding Firestorm gives me a few more FPS when in full screen compared to being windowed (unless the window is really small). Mayne the system gives more resources to full screen apps.

I have not tested this with HiDPI support switched on because there is a bug with it. But in the next release that seems to be fixed (I was one of the people who reported the bug, and they sent me a nightly on Jira with a fix)

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2 hours ago, livb89 said:

Interestingly I am finding Firestorm gives me a few more FPS when in full screen compared to being windowed (unless the window is really small). Mayne the system gives more resources to full screen apps.

I have not tested this with HiDPI support switched on because there is a bug with it. But in the next release that seems to be fixed (I was one of the people who reported the bug, and they sent me a nightly on Jira with a fix)

Yes on the window-size thing. LL Viewer (and Kokua, I think) has the HDPI thing fixed, but remember if you turn that on you're quadrupling (at least) the number of pixels to draw - I keep mine turned off because with the Retina display already looking amazing, I'm not seeing as much performance hit. Though Snapshots can be at RL Building-Sized Mural size! and I mean stupidly-high resolutions (I've experimented and we're talking gigantic resolutions here.)

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7 hours ago, Alyona Su said:

Once OpenGL or whatever it is is GONE, if they (LL or TPV devs) use Metal system for Graphics, the Mac version of SL will outperform the Windows version easily 3 or 4-to1 if not more. Here's to wishful thinking.

Wishful thinking is an understatement. An API won't make up for the problems caused by the OS and mediocre hardware.

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17 hours ago, cheesecurd said:

Wishful thinking is an understatement. An API won't make up for the problems caused by the OS and mediocre hardware.

Hahaha! "Problems" and "Mediocre hardware" - yes, "wishful thinking" of the negative. LOL How about we run a "real" app, same app, for example Adobe Premiere rendering the exact same content on comparably-priced hardware running any version of MS Windows versus macOS. I need not say any more because those that have actually run these benchmarks have already proven the result.

I have no intention to make any attempt to persuade you as what you think you know or what angst you may hold agains any brand name, etc, is no skin off my nose. Though the fact of the matter is Linden Lab either adapts with technologies as necessary in one way or another or lose a big chunk of their clientele, a big chunk of those contributing to their bottom-line in one way or another.

Edited by Alyona Su

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On 9/4/2019 at 7:24 PM, livb89 said:

I will see how it goes and write back here if it seems to be a fix or not.

Just to update on this... I have found the problem is a lot better with the Viewer Texture Memory Buffer reduced to about 2/3 of its maximum. In my case it is now set to about 680 out of 1024. With is set like this I am finding that those arbitrary drops in frame rate in situations like the one I shared in my original post are no longer happening.

The frame rate still drops of course with too much complexity but it is not doing it in situations where I would not expect it to (like above). So this is a good outcome!

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On 9/4/2019 at 9:50 PM, Alyona Su said:

LL Viewer (and Kokua, I think) has the HDPI thing fixed

It has been working fine for some weeks in the LL viewer. There is a bug in the current version of Firestorm (6.2.4) but it should be fixed in the next release because the issue has been resolved in Jira – see here https://jira.firestormviewer.org/browse/FIRE-24013 . I tested a 6.2.5 nightly release a few weeks ago and it was working well.

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