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JPG0809

How much can you improve on your end before you realize it’s Second Life’s problem?

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Hey there! 
 

I’m coming back from a hiatus and quickly realized an aspect of what made me stop logging on which were the technical issues.

I think I check the boxes when it comes to having a system and connection to support SL (good system specs, GPU, wired connection and not wireless) but I still bump into a noticeable amount of lag and issues whenever I log in. 

A while ago I think I ran into someone saying that SL can only do so much with the specs you have even if you have the most expensive GPU and greatest connection, but it ultimately depends on SL’s system and the engine it uses.

So, I would like to know how much can I do to improve and notice when I’m the problem or if it’s SL.  I love the potential of SL but the lag frustrates me so much. I can turn down graphics but it really breaks my immersion personally and I feel like it’s watering down what people create

What are your thoughts?

 

 

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I will adjust my settings based on where I am and what I'm doing.

Hope you figure it out and can enjoy your return! 😀

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I've found you hardly need the most expensive system to run SL well, outside extremely elaborate builds or very crowded venues.

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SL runs on anything, but it runs well on nothing. The engine just doesnt utilize modern hardware that well, i think the core of the game is still from 2006-ish? Correct me if im wrong.

It barely uses multiple CPU cores for anything important, it still uses CPU based lighting rendering, half your games textures are still in cache and not in gpu video memory. On top of that theres no real content restrictions on what users can upload, and we have a lot of stuff that looks really pretty but its obscene complex geometry and regardless of what you have, when youre rendering a single chair that has more triangles than entire AAA videogame main characters do, youre gonna lag.

I play secondlife on a Thinkpad X220 from 2011, its a 100$ laptop in 2020, and this gets me more than playable results pretty much everywhere. I dont have ALM on, if im around a lot of people then i turn most avatars into imposers, but it runs fairly smooth, double digit framerates most places, upwards of 30-40fps in less complex places.

But it shouldnt, this is a business laptop with integrated graphics from 9 years ago. This laptop should not be able to play SL at all. But ive played on even lower end hardware, a Z61t from 2006 for example was my daily use machine up until a few months ago.

speccy2.png.e1be5751cd5e417c07b4dc676f7531ef.png

Tldr no, theres only so much you can do. If you have any decently specced machine from the last 10 years you can play SL fine. Moving to current gen super high end stuff will only do so much for you, and its not worth it.

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Only so much you can do, sure, but the point of diminishing returns is far beyond 2.6ghz.  I used to get 10-15 fps in my favorite crowded club. Bought a current gen Nvidia card, now I get closer to 30. How much $$ that bump is worth, I can only say for myself. 

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1 minute ago, missyrideout said:

Only so much you can do, sure, but the point of diminishing returns is far beyond 2.6ghz.

Clock speed is not the only indicator of cpu performance.

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Couple of things I tell people,.  Draw distance, get it low, you do not have a need for a 128/256/512 draw.   Shadows,  turn them off and watch your fps jump big time.

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Most video games...If you have a beast of a computer you crank the settings up.

In SL *shakes head* you don’t want to do that. That’s probably the last thing you want to do. Turn your draw distance down, limit your complexity, etc etc. I have a great graphics card and I still have my graphics set between high and ultra. 
 

People like to brag “I run everything on ultra!!” While they’re doing that and we end up in a crowded sim. Everything’s rendered for me and I’m looking around and they’re saying “still rezzing”. I only use ultra when I’m taking pictures.

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There are 4 areas to look at.  First is your computer.  If it is bad, nothing else matters.  If it's good, then the next thing to consider is your internet connection.  People assume because they pay for high end internet that means it will all be good.  But, it may not be consistent at all times, and if you have 6 people running 11 devices, that broadband becomes a narrow pipe quickly, and then, regardless of SL's performance, your experience will be subpar.  Third is the management of whatever sim you are on.  Badly managed sims, which are not the Lab's fault, but the owners'.  Bad sim design, overload of scripty objects, too many people and scripts, etc. This is somewhat an "SL problem" but no matter how good the hardware, bad use is going to create a bad experience. 

That leaves the Second Life itself, which, certainly, could improve things, but most users who complain a lot, in my experience, have a lot they could do to improve.

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46 minutes ago, janetosilio said:

Most video games...If you have a beast of a computer you crank the settings up.

In SL *shakes head* you don’t want to do that. That’s probably the last thing you want to do. Turn your draw distance down, limit your complexity, etc etc. I have a great graphics card and I still have my graphics set between high and ultra. 
 

People like to brag “I run everything on ultra!!” While they’re doing that and we end up in a crowded sim. Everything’s rendered for me and I’m looking around and they’re saying “still rezzing”. I only use ultra when I’m taking pictures.

Then what’s the point of ultra settings if even the heavy system users can’t use it unless that don’t move an inch

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1 minute ago, JPG0809 said:

Then what’s the point of ultra settings if even the heavy system users can’t use it unless that don’t move an inch

You can use it, I can use it no problem. A lot of sims are so unoptimized it actually can become a hinderance to use it sometimes. 

I find it’s better to turn the graphics down a notch and tweak a few things that are really set unnecessarily high by default. Still looks as good.

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17 minutes ago, JPG0809 said:

Then what’s the point of ultra settings if even the heavy system users can’t use it unless that don’t move an inch

A lot of it depends where you are, how crowded it is, the texture use of the build, and then your graphical settings and the viewer that are using.  I generally don't run at full ultra - I try to remember to do so for picture taking. Sometimes I forget to set it back to my normal settings, so I may be traveling around, doing what ever, still at ultra but without an immediately noticeable drop in performance.  

Generally, the types of places I go to I don't have a lot of issues with lag (as in not being able to move around).  Generally that only happens at very crowded shopping events, and I have a special graphics setting for the situation.  Other places I have no problems moving around at all, but it just takes a little longer for everything to fully rez,. Once it's rezzed everything is fine.

There are different things that cause different types of lag, so there may be different graphical adjustments needed for different situations.  Play around not just with the low, high, mid, ultra slider, but pay attention to what settings are getting set at those different levels,  and also play around with adjusting some of the individual settings.  Some times you may not need as much draw distances as at other places, maybe some places are OK without shadows, or with different shadow properties, or with more imposters, or only rendering friends...   There are a lot of things you can fine tune, and then you can save a group of settings with a name, so that you can easily switch back and forth between different graphics settings depending on the circumstances of what's going on around you. 

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46 minutes ago, JPG0809 said:

Then what’s the point of ultra settings if even the heavy system users can’t use it unless that don’t move an inch

SL can look and run like this if you know what you’re doing.

 

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1 hour ago, JPG0809 said:

Then what’s the point of ultra settings if even the heavy system users can’t use it unless that don’t move an inch

I think the answer is that the ultra settings were added back when SL was less laggy. Five years ago even my modest not-at-all-gamer home desktop could handle ultra graphics with a smile. Today, not a chance.

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2 hours ago, JPG0809 said:

Then what’s the point of ultra settings if even the heavy system users can’t use it unless that don’t move an inch

I've always considered the defaults and presets to be more like suggestions. They're a starting point, not the destination.Relying on them tends to result in a sub-optimal experience. As long as you have a CPU with relatively good single core performance and an Nvidia GTX video card that's not old enough to get a driver's license, you should be able to get a good looking and performing SL experience.

Edited by Lyssa Greymoon
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49465613116_fdf768680b_k.jpg

Sailing with all the whistles and bangs on. No one around, near edge of continent, so everything running fine on my GForce 1060 with settings on Ultra and everything enabled.

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Yeah so I'm one of those people who runs on ultra settings all the time and usually has between 30-60 fps.

Ok, so not the 100+ fps I can get in MMOs...

But still pretty good.

Only thing I have to turn down to get things to rez is draw distance.

 

You actually CAN get SL to run very well on good hardware once you're past the limits of SL...

The limits of SL are hit hit way before where my current PC is at:

AMD Ryzen 2700
32gb ram
2080 nVidia GeForce RTX GPU
etc...


Before I had this machine, I got by with medium low settings and low draw distance on a 2013 Macbook. Some locations would lag me, I learned to avoid them. There are some popular venues in SL with things rezzed out that will flat out instant crash the Mac client of SL, both official viewer and Firestorm. Certain gatcha items... The same Mac, formatted with Windows 10 instead, can handle those places with minimal lag...

That noted, if your hardware can run modern video games at 30+ fps, you've most likely got enough that any major lag in SL is going to be due to the settings you're using, and what you or those around you are wearing... In other words; factors you can control without buying a new computer.

 

What having a machine that is absurdly past the limits of SL does give me, is the ability to have 3-4 alts all logged in at the same time, all in ultra settings, all getting 30-50 fps, while also watching youtube, and maybe having an MMO running as well in ultra...
- which is to say... a machine a lot less than a basic new rig will run SL to it's best possible ability, and anything beyond that is just stacking the deck...

BUT this does point out one thing you can do that will help a LOT that a lot of people forget: close that web-browser that has 100 tabs open, and don't watch Netflix at the same time... unless you're machine is something pretty new.

 

 

Edited by Pussycat Catnap
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Not sure if it's a fix or just a workaround but I've changed my settings from the Geforce experience app itself from app-controlled by firestorm to manual overwritten settings.

I used to get 60fps+ on a 1080ti before it fainted and died on me (chipset needs resoldering), now i'm on an overclocked 960m with 40fps+ in non crowded regions with everything at ultra, nearly 1k draw distance and max compelxity and all that. The only setting i have off is shadows. I even went as far as to set up the Lifelike feature on and 12x antialising. Besides heavily overclocking my i7 AND gpu, the key is to have your game profile controlled by geforce exp. As soon as I turn those settings back to app controlled I'm lucky to get 10fps.. it's honestly that big of a difference. Can't say which configuration works for you since it took me days and days of trial and error and a bunch of bluescreens but it's the workaround I found until I fix my 1080ti. 

gosh i hope all that can help. 

Edited by ErukaVonD
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12 hours ago, JPG0809 said:

How much can you improve on your end before you realize it’s Second Life’s problem?

most of what you realize is still at your side, not SL or LL

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Just now, Alwin Alcott said:

most of what you realize is still at your side, not SL or LL

I would honestly advise contacting nvidia to help you set up gaming profiles through geforce experience. They are usually very patient. At least they helped me.

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35 minutes ago, ErukaVonD said:

... nearly 1k draw distance and max compelxity and all that. The only setting i have off is shadows. I even went as far as to set up the Lifelike feature on and 12x antialising.

Try and set antialising to 16! GForce drivers for the GTX 10XX-20XX seem optimized for this. I get higher FPS with antialising set to 16 than with lower values.

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Quick Prefs is a great tool for easing lag, and as stated above, lowering draw distance is the quickest fix of all. The quick prefs button is hopefully sat in the bottom right corner of your viewer,  if using firestorm, pic attatched. Good luck ! 

quickprefs.jpg

Edited by rasterscan

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40 minutes ago, Rachel1206 said:

Try and set antialising to 16! GForce drivers for the GTX 10XX-20XX seem optimized for this. I get higher FPS with antialising set to 16 than with lower values.

i tried. i know what you mean and thanks for the tip. it works weird for me lol probably because of the overclock. i'm just grinding this machine until i fix my main, but you may be right it can work for some. 

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Pro tip: don't rely on complexity limits to improve performance. Complexity is near useless at measuring actual performance impact in the days of mesh, and allows high-impact avatars to have a deceptively low complexity. Over-reliance on complexity is a reliable indicator of when someone has idea what they are talking about.

So instead of relying on a flawed metric to produce ugly jellydolls; simply set a non-imposter avatars limit. An imposter avatars will look like a low-rez 1 fps copy of the actual avatar, and the selection of imposters dynamically changes based on your camera view. There's no reason to have this above 10 in most situations, and will dramatically reduce the rendering cost of avatars you aren't even looking at.

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