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A better viewer than the recent Firestorm? (March21)


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Hi, please,what viewer is a good alternative to the recent Firestorm 6.4.12/13?  I mean better FPS and similar layout, but a bit lighter.I don't care with RLV and photos,I need more performance for general purpose (try to avoid saying "depends of each case...etc"..LOL).My PC is just fine and not so old, Acer gx783br11, i5-7400 3.0ghz,8gb ram, gforce gtx1050ti.Windows 10.Thank you.

Edited by RicDelMoro
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13 minutes ago, RicDelMoro said:

Hi, please,what viewer is a good alternative to the recent Firestorm 6.4.12/13?  I mean better FPS and similar layout, but a bit lighter.I don't care with RLV and photos,I need more performance for general purpose (try to avoid saying "depends of each case...etc"..LOL).My PC is just fine and not so old, Acer gx783br11, i5-7400 3.0ghz,8gb ram, gforce gtx1050ti.Windows 10.Thank you.

Roll back to a non-EEP firestorm viewer

https://www.firestormviewer.org/firestorm-update-6-3-9-58205/

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That's a reasonable spec for a computer to use SL. You really ought to be getting acceptable fps with it.

What fps* are you getting now, and what are you trying to achieve? Remember, SL works ok at 15 fps, although you need 20 + to get a smooth experience. I never really understand this clamour for very high fps; it's just not needed for SL**. The latency is likely to have much more derogitory effect if your "trigger fingure" needs to be a microsecond or two ahead of somebody else. Which elements of SL are suffering because of low frame rates? (If your fps are very low, i.e. <15, I know the answer to that will be "everything"!)

Additionally, I'm assuming that you've already taken all steps possible, by setting appropriate values in Preferrences, to maximise your fps.

If you copy/paste the information from your viewer's Help- About [viewer name] into a post here, we might spot some common problem areas that may exist.

 

* fps will be very dependent on location and surroundings, and will vary widely. Just indicate a typical range.

** General question: do 4k displays need high fps rates?

Edited by Odaks
grammar!
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Posted (edited)

Thx for the answers, folks.I'm just a regular user, not so clever,so it's hard for me to take much measures of what the viewer is doing...but I know FPS can be very variable depending on many factors,in messy places it drops to 15 fps,in calm places 45 fps or better,but what drives me crazy it's the excess of RAM that Firestorm takes : other day I was jumping around in some sims,when I noticed FS was taking 5 Gb of my RAM.I had to restart etc.The regular Linden viewer never takes this huge amount of RAM.So what "we" need ( I guess many others think like me) is a kind of intermediate viewer,not primitive as SL official,but not so heavy as Firestorm . (PS , I returned to FS 6.3.9, but they ll kill it next update...so..).

I'll give you the example of an airplane: if the plane is too difficult to control we will not enjoy the travel and landscape,we'll be more worried with not falling down, the controls take more attention than the travel. Maybe a good soul can make this kind of "intermediate viewer" some day, because there's a difference between nice geek fun and sad headache.

Edited by RicDelMoro
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53 minutes ago, RicDelMoro said:

it's the excess of RAM that Firestorm takes

Two ways around this:

Use the 32-bit FS viewer, it's less greedy witth RAM

Use Catznip, it's much less greedy with RAM and seems to do a better job of clearing way what isn't needed after you've left a region for a new one.

From what I've seen of FS it's not so good at emptying RAM: relogging always works, obviously, but even going to a new region and shooting up to the sky with nothing else around doesn't seem to unload whatever it's put in RAM after visiting places.

Edited by Profaitchikenz Haiku
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My record is 7.6 GB of ram with FS. (that is no problem for me)

A place full of avatars - plastered with many hundred 1024-textures and I have maxed out the texture caching of the viewer. So of course the ram usage skyrockets here and 8GB are nothing for that. 😎

Don't use a 32bit viewer, that will be limited to less than 4GB and increase your crashing change tremendously. In FS you can limit the texture cache - do that. Impostors - maybe set a lower number? View range - maybe adapt it to the location?

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5 hours ago, RicDelMoro said:

but what drives me crazy it's the excess of RAM that Firestorm takes : other day I was jumping around in some sims,when I noticed FS was taking 5 Gb of my RAM.I had to restart etc.The regular Linden viewer never takes this huge amount of RAM.So what "we" need ( I guess many others think like me) is a kind of intermediate viewer,not primitive as SL official,but not so heavy as Firestorm . (PS , I returned to FS 6.3.9, but they ll kill it next update...so..).

I have noticed this too, and I have 16 GB system RAM and 8 GB RAM on my video card. In certain texture heavy locations, Firestorm will, depending on the direction of the camera, start to use more and more system RAM until it begins to stutter. [Edit: And since I use Singularity at clubs/events, it isn't due to the presence of avatars on these occasions. These are usually regions with lots of objects and textures with materials.] If I then open my System Monitor (on Linux), Firestorm is using over 12 GB RAM and going into swap space on the hard drive. I believe the problem has to do with the new 'dynamic' texture memory code. Try disabling it in Preferences > Graphics > Hardware Settings: "Enable Dynamic Texture Memory" and see if that helps.

Edited by KjartanEno
moar clarifying
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8gb system ram in today's world, is not going to work well.  "but I can play my games fine"  yeah. that's games, SL is not a game and has fully user created content.      I'm VR built on my end here,   64gb ram,  dual 980ti's OC.     i7 5820k 4.5ghz on water,   all ssd's.   I still have fps issues and that's with all viewers, but  some things you should know,  I'm not even kidding or pulling your leg,    more than 64m draw is causing you to load more than is needed,   in heavy populated area's,  turn off shadows, you'll get an fps boost,    make sure you are not more than 1500kbps on the bandwidth too,  "but HIGH SPEEDS" yeah no, there is a bug in the viewer... all of them still.  anything above 1500 and it does nada cept bottle neck.    

if I think of anything else, I'll edit this.

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19 hours ago, RicDelMoro said:

i5-7400 3.0ghz

Well, there's your problem! Your processor is a bit on the slow side, and for good SL performance at higher settings, you pretty much need to have the latest processor you can get (SL is almost entirely single threaded, so it is almost always bottlenecked by your CPU)

Regardless, Firestorm is not the best viewer if you want more FPS. Give Alchemy or CoolVL a try.

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As noted by others, 8GB of RAM is going to be a problem, especially if you are running anything else.

One of the reasons that the 32 bit viewer has low RAM is that we force the max texture size to be 512, you can choose to do this in the 64 bit viewer too.

6d93b785fb1a4b70fbfd6c2950767581.png

32bit viewers by definition cannot have more than 4GB RAM (that's the maximum limit of 32bit machines)

Your GPU is listed as a 1050TI, as noted by @KjartanEno if you are using the advanced vram controls then this will try to use more of the GPU RAM. This is a feature long requested by many users, but it puts a lot more pressure on your system RAM too because of the way that OpenGL and the viewer works. Switching back to the basic mode and reducing the amount of texture memory will help release system RAM use.

e7b3eb003076f63adf5eb56cc9003e41.png

Keeping your Draw distance to a reasonable level will help reduce the number of textures being pulled into your RAM too.

Remove HUDs that you do not need to have immediate access too. People frequently walk around wearing the HUDs that are used to change the alpha overlays of their mesh body. These are generally a massive hog of texture RAM and removing these will further ease the pressure. 

The thing to keep in mind is that every texture that has to get to your graphics card has to go through your system RAM to get there. The fewer and smaller textures that you try to draw on screen the less your viewer will have to load.

Of course, as a Firestorm person my advice is FS-centric (though some of it extends to other viewers as well, removing HUDs is just a good habit to get into) but do try other viewers too, the TPV directory is the safest place to find these. The great advantage of having TPVs is the choice it gives us. 

For anyone on less than 16GB RAM, I highly recommend trying the 512 limit, far too many creators slap a 1024 pixel texture on something without justification. In the example you give of flying a plane I would expect you to barely notice the quality change as most things are far away anyway, but as texture are limited to 512x512 all of those 1024x1024 images will be restricted to a quarter of their former size.

 

 

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I'm not a noob ( since 2013 in SL ) and I've tried to mitigate the usage of Ram in many ways, I have saved some very poor set-ups for crowded places, but I agree with most of tech comments.Although we can notice that the EEP version of FS is not running smoothly like LL viewer or even Kokua for ex. ( Yes, I'm trying Kokua viewer WITHOUT RLV and it seems to be lighter than FS ).Maybe there's something wrong with the Firestorm EEP versions, otherwise we wouldn't see so many people complaining. 

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Posted (edited)

 I bet most of  SL users can't buy new PCs every update they release ( and we really shouldn't, that sounds like consumer slavery ) or spend all day long testing and trying everything. SL should be just fun , not " a work". As I said before comparing the viewer with an aircraft and the SL with the travel and landscape, if you spend too much time just trying to control it to avoid a crash, there's something wrong with the viewer.And maybe Linden Lab gone too far with EEP , I bet they wanted to please the photographers and at the end of day they harmed the majority of ordinary users. "The forefront of technical development is like an elastic that if pulled too far can break".

Edited by RicDelMoro
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2 hours ago, RicDelMoro said:

As I said before comparing the viewer with an aircraft and the SL with the travel and landscape, if you spend too much time just trying to control it to avoid a crash, there's something wrong with the viewer.

I suspect you're starting out with high ambitions. I did this way back in 2010/12 when all my hardware was new and almost SOTA; graphics quality was ULTRA,  All shadows , draw distance 192 to 256, ... because I could :) Subsequent "enhancements" to SL have meant that those settings are a real killer now.

What I now do it set things so that just about everywhere I go they are comfortable, so this means medium graphics, mimimum shadows if it's daytime, 96m draw distance. I can breeze in and out of most sims with no problems on 8 to 10 year old hardware limited to 4G Ram. If necessary, (very rarely in fact),  I'll turn on shadows or up the quality if a particular region seems to merit it, but then I'll go back to a preset as soon as I leave that region. 

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4 hours ago, RicDelMoro said:

if you spend too much time just trying to control it to avoid a crash, there's something wrong with the viewer.

...or the server, the network, your hardware, your settings (and we still don't know what they are), and probably the phase of the moon as well!

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until april 5 i was using Firestorm, an old version that allowed me to setup my texture memory buffer to 2048, i had no blurry textures at all. But on april 5 the version i used was blocked and i was forced to update, now it limits my settings to 768 and i have blurry textures everywhere. I tried other viewers and could not adapt to it.

I wonder why they set such a limit, my system is not so good, pretty old i have to say ( Acer notebook with intel HD graphics 5500, core i5 and 16 gb ram) but what annoys me is that i had no problem with textures at all until FS updates (not only the latest, but since the animesh version).

Someone knows what can be happening? since it doesnt sounds like the issue is the hardware, that worked so well until 3 days ago.

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  • 5 months later...

I'm back to this topic because Firestorm blocked its non-EEP version and forced me to update : now it's really bad to play. In places with more than 10 people the PC starts to freeze,even using a very modest setup.I don't blame EEP because I have Linden and Kokua viewers with EEP and they run fine on my machine.So these days I'm playing with KOKUA VIEWER, it runs much better and faster than Firestorm.I saw some comments of people that was almost leaving SL because the FS viewer updates...wow...I need to say: Don't leave SL, leave Firestorm !

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1 hour ago, Lyssa Greymoon said:

In the graphics settings change water reflections to none, opaque water. You should get a significant performance boost.

Question:  Why is that a big help on Firestorm?  I do not experience a significant speed-up when I try it on Second Life Viewer.

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1 hour ago, Ardy Lay said:

Question:  Why is that a big help on Firestorm?  I do not experience a significant speed-up when I try it on Second Life Viewer.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I didn't realize it was an option in the Linden viewer until just now. I get a significant performance boost from it in both viewers.

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This topic is of great interest to me since my system has a 1660Ti GPU (6GB vram) and 16GB system  ram, an AMD Ryzen 9 CPU and yet some scenes slow my viewer to sub 10 FPS crawl.  I use Firestorm 6.4.21 and I notice that this viewer is noticeably faster than the previous two EEP releases, water gives me no significant FPS hit (the previous two did), and while the viewer eats ram in crowded scenes, generally it runs well.  One issue I do find is that if I am in a crowded location, even with reduced draw distance and quality, as low as mid, occasionally to get good FPS (above 25, say), I get micro-stutters regularly.

I have "whitelisted" all the folders and .exe files I can, so I do not believe my AV is causing this.  What IS causing this, I wonder and is Firestorm's EEP renderer significantly different to the LL viewer?

As a 10 year FS user (or however long it is since Phoenix evolved into Firestorm), I am puzzled at what happens.  EEP is a step-change in rendering, just as Windlight was all those years ago, but I did not expect it to hamstring my system as it does. So what am I doing wrong?

Edited by Aishagain
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15 minutes ago, Lyssa Greymoon said:

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I didn't realize it was an option in the Linden viewer until just now. I get a significant performance boost from it in both viewers.

It became an option in the official viewer and Kokua sometime earlier this year, but Firestorm doesn't update as often as those viewers. The framerate boost is quite noticeable on the mainland, unless perhaps one spends most of their time in skyboxes.

On my operating system (Linux based) and hardware (Ryzen, Radeon), I have no problems with the performance of Firestorm with one minor caveat: I have VRAM manually set to 2048 MB. Even with 16 GB system RAM and an 8 GB video card, I have on a few occasions experienced excessive system memory consumption into swap space when using the Dynamic Texture Memory (DTM). This never happens in other viewers or in Firestorm when I disable DTM. Other than that, it's a great viewer release.

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I've been playing around with the latest CoolVL release for a few days. Definitely a great option for lower end PC's, I'm using it on a GTX 1050 based system with a 8th Gen Intel i7. Works great, and is tolerable if you want to tackle crowded spaces with mid-high settings and shadows turned on. My only niggle with the viewer is that it doesn't implement separate profiles for graphic settings. Otherwise it's great, though its UI is based on the older style V1/Singularity viewers. 

I think it also renders well. Here's a photo I took with CoolVL recently. Facelight is a CG Facelight, no PP... should have made the light brighter but I like the result. I used an Ultra setting, and cranked up the shadows and environmental settings. Shot in London City.

img2.jpg

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