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So...what's the best viewer to use these days?


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I've been out of the SL loop for a few years now. Is Firestorm still considered the best? I downloaded it to my PC and it feels pretty crappy. I don't remember it feeling this way, which is odd because my computer today is better than the one I had a few years back. Is there currently a better 3rd party viewer to use? Or, is there a way to reduce lag on Firestorm? Please note that I do have FS set to the highest graphical setting and am hard pressed to turn it down any. If my PC can handle major AAA titles with little to no issues I find it ridiculous that Second Life tanks its performance so drastically. Of course, I know there's a difference between, let's say Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Second Life, like from the ground up, but I'm a graphics junkie and need the prettiest graphics setting possible. 

Any help, be it some things I can do on Firestorm, or you pointing me in the direction of a better view, would be much appreciated. 

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34 minutes ago, annahmara said:

 If my PC can handle major AAA titles with little to no issues I find it ridiculous that Second Life tanks its performance so drastically.

you compare apples and pears
SL is in no way to comparable to a fully optimised computer game.

As you don't mention anything about your specs :
Lower your settings. At max doesn;t mean you have the best experience.
Try different viewers, some others might perform better on your machine.

If you copy the info from Help/about we would have a little more to go on.

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There is a huge difference between the fully-optimised, static secenery and buildings of a computer game (which can all be downloaded onto your computer at start-up) and the often non-optimised assets made by users which are all dynamic, and can change at any time, and therefore have to be downloaded on the fly, as you move around in the Second Life world.

As @Alwin Alcottpoints out above, you cannot compare the two. It matters not how well you can play an off-the-shelf computer game. It's how well you can handle the Second Life challenge (which is both its joy and its downfall!).

Post your specs from Help -> About Firestorm (top bar menu of your viewer, as suggested); we might be able to help you when we can see what we're dealing with.. 

 

Edited by Odaks
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3 hours ago, annahmara said:

I'm a graphics junkie and need the prettiest graphics setting possible. 

Like people in this thread already mentioned you cannot expect that any Second Life viewer, be it official or third party one, will run at full computational power of your computer. Game designers often have the luxury to know where every object in the scene would be, what is the shape of the landscape, can optimize (finite) amount of game objects, textures and mesh entities in the final product - so the game runs relatively smoothly on a machine that is defined within system requirements. For Second Life platform it's vastly different, as - as mentioned above by the posters - creators sometimes upload non-optimized pieces of furniture, accessories, building items, clothing... graphics cards have a lot, lot more to do in SL that in any other AAA title. Even if you're in an empty sandbox you can wear three HUDs that can fill up your VRAM pretty quickly, by using tons of 1024x1024 textures where as small as 256x256 or smaller would be totally sufficient (or one 1024x1024 along with using sprite/offset technique). You also must take into account that Second Life clients use OpenGL instead of DirectX and generally run on a single thread of your processor (you can check related thread here), so supplying too much data at once may decrease the system's performance. If you want to run ALM with shadows - all right! But you need to lower the draw distance. And if there are 10-15 avatars in sight you need to use avatar imposters / max complexity functionality or just lower avatars amount that can be drawn at once. You also need to remember that Second Life viewers and servers did evolve during the time you were absent and they're more demanding on the hardware nowadays, especially with EEP that in the current state taxes computers a bit too much for a large portion of users (Enhanced Environment Project, see this thread, you may also want to take a peek at BUG-226381, BUG-227339, BUG-229031 or BUG-229490).

You can continue to use Firestorm and tweak the settings, you may also try other viewers from the official directory in order to pick the viewer that both suits your needs and runs acceptable for you at the same time: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Third_Party_Viewer_Directory

Edited by panterapolnocy
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I would say it depends. Depends on your usage. For all around utility for pictures and video Id say Firestorm. For photos and posing (posing on your own avi) no doubt Black Dragon. For general exploring with all the pretty Id say Alchemy

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