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Viewers freezing and going unresponsive for several seconds on ends at random intervals. Looks to be connected to having Shadows on?


LilithServil
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First of all my specs are as follows:

Intel Core 17-9750H CPU @ 2.60GHz

32 GB RAM

64-bit OS, Windows 10 Pro

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660ti

1 TB SSD + 1 TB HDD

Firestorm ran just fine on my older laptop with a GTX 1050ti and half as much storage space. This laptop I've ALWAYS had problems with-- the view just freezes/locks up at random when I'm running high-ultra with shadows on. No shadows seems to be smoother but... I mean... I want to be able to use shadows. ūüėí

I considered it could just be a Firestorm thing so I tried another viewer. I've heard good things about Alchemy performance-wise so I downloaded it, loaded it up aaand... Immediate lockup upon turning my quality to Ultra. The freezing isn't permanent and it does unfreeze after 30 sec or so on both viewers. It also locks my mouse into the viewer while "Not Responding" is showing and I can't navigate to my start menu/taskbar unless I alt tab out or it unsticks.

 

Anyone know what could be up with this that's causing two different viewers to freeze and go unresponsive with shadows enabled? Whereas a worse overall laptop with a worse GPU, graphics card and storage space was able to run it without said hitches? It's a bummer I can't even stand around in an empty skybox without freezing from time to time and makes me not want to really explore.

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A couple of possibilities occur to me.  One is that you may be hitting memory limits on the graphics card itself.  You didn't say how many Gb of memory are on it now, but the standard configuration of the GTX 1660ti is 6 Gb.  Linden Lab generally recommends that you have at least 8 Gb of GPU memory available.  It's possible that trying to run on Ultra with shadows is just too much for the card.

The other possibility, closely related, is that you may have a temperature issue.  The GTX 1060ti specs say that its maximum operating temperature is 95C.  If you get close to that or over it, the card will shut down to save itself from self-destruction.  I suggest running a temperature monitor program while you are in SL to see how hot your card is getting.  You'll find several good free programs on line if you do a Google search.  Unfortunately, laptops have a hard time getting rid of heat.  Everything is jammed into a very small space.  If your fans are not running well, or if the machine has much dust and cat hair in it, it can overheat quickly. You'll have to take the machine to a repair shop to have them open and clean it.  Don't just blow canned air into the fan ports, because that won't necessarily do much more than move the dust around. Meanwhile, always prop the machine up well off the table top when you are using it, preferably with a pad under it that contains its own fan to increase air flow.  You can get a decent pad at places like Best Buy for $25 or so.

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

A couple of possibilities occur to me.  One is that you may be hitting memory limits on the graphics card itself.  You didn't say how many Gb of memory are on it now, but the standard configuration of the GTX 1660ti is 6 Gb.  Linden Lab generally recommends that you have at least 8 Gb of GPU memory available.  It's possible that trying to run on Ultra with shadows is just too much for the card.

The other possibility, closely related, is that you may have a temperature issue.  The GTX 1060ti specs say that its maximum operating temperature is 95C.  If you get close to that or over it, the card will shut down to save itself from self-destruction.  I suggest running a temperature monitor program while you are in SL to see how hot your card is getting.  You'll find several good free programs on line if you do a Google search.  Unfortunately, laptops have a hard time getting rid of heat.  Everything is jammed into a very small space.  If your fans are not running well, or if the machine has much dust and cat hair in it, it can overheat quickly. You'll have to take the machine to a repair shop to have them open and clean it.  Don't just blow canned air into the fan ports, because that won't necessarily do much more than move the dust around. Meanwhile, always prop the machine up well off the table top when you are using it, preferably with a pad under it that contains its own fan to increase air flow.  You can get a decent pad at places like Best Buy for $25 or so.

 

image.png.c5c2932e99755f7baa95cbbb74daef67.png

Temps are fine, I'm able to run more intensive things on this laptop with no issue as well. The highest temps its ever hit have been spikes up to 85 when the casing has felt hot to the touch and prompted me to take a break haha.

As for the GPU stats, yeah it's 6 GB-- however something still doesn't seem quite right. If it was just frames dropping that'd be fine, but I sit at an average fps rate of 80-

image.png.f6d15de970206e270f4a77d85f529484.png

With the highest fps I've hit being 120. Wouldn't I be getting lower fps if the GPU was struggling? Instead I'm getting occasional hitches with no obvious trigger. Sometimes panning the camera around or walking causes it a bit more frequently... I'm assuming from loading in more assets, but the fps counter never takes a visual dip despite dropping frames and occasionally freezing.

 

Edit: Also adding again that my 1050ti which is 2 GB less than 1660ti ran smoothly (i.e at a lower frame rate of course, around 30 fps, but with no freezing/lockups/not responding) so that still doesn't entirely add up that it's my card being an issue.

Edited by LilithServil
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Thanks for that extra information. So, not a temperature issue, at least at the instant you took that screen shot.  It's remarkable that you are getting 80 fps (unless you are in a skybox). For most residents, the average fps is closer to half of that.  I get 75 to 90 fps in my skybox but it drops to about 35 fps on the ground, depending on where I am, and I am running with a 1080 with 16 GB on the card.

For the moment, I'm at a loss to explain your stalling problem, then.  I assume that you've checked to be sure that your Internet connection is stable -- not just fast, which is a different question -- and that you don't have programs running in the background that might be messing with SL.

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Just because you can run ultra high doesn't always mean you should have all those sliders to max.  Draw distance and LOD will make a big difference as well as having shadows on.

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Rolig Loon said:

Thanks for that extra information. So, not a temperature issue, at least at the instant you took that screen shot.  It's remarkable that you are getting 80 fps (unless you are in a skybox). For most residents, the average fps is closer to half of that.  I get 75 to 90 fps in my skybox but it drops to about 35 fps on the ground, depending on where I am, and I am running with a 1080 with 16 GB on the card.

For the moment, I'm at a loss to explain your stalling problem, then.  I assume that you've checked to be sure that your Internet connection is stable -- not just fast, which is a different question -- and that you don't have programs running in the background that might be messing with SL.

 

41 minutes ago, Rowan Amore said:

Just because you can run ultra high doesn't always mean you should have all those sliders to max.  Draw distance and LOD will make a big difference as well as having shadows on.

 

I actually have a super low draw distance which is probably where my extra fps comes from! I use the lowest possible draw distance on my ultra quality saved preset. I boost the draw distance to a couple hundred (iirc) on my no shadows preset with the other settings otherwise intact.

The only other things I run in the bg are chrome or discord usually, but even with chrome closed there's no difference in performance. My older laptop with the 1050ti actually used to be able to run entire games alongside SL-- there were a couple times I'd forget to close SL when running Overwatch and lost no performance in either program (70 for ovw, 30 for SL). With the terrible performance my 1660ti laptop gets I don't think I'd be able to even consider doing the same thing without SL crashing hard. (Not that I'd necessarily want to again haha I felt dumb realizing I left the viewer open back then)

My connection is also stable, yeah. It's a really confusing problem... It sucks to be doing something like the interactive pictionary blackboard I've got in my house with my friends only for SL to stall so long I lose my turn or crash entirely. Turning shadows off seems to help in a lot of situations but doesn't 100% prevent the stalling either, just makes it way more infrequent.

I've also tried completely uninstalling firestorm and installing a new version fresh with no success, and the problem started happening before the EEP build came out-- I just finally got fed up enough to mention it lol

Edited by LilithServil
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my approach to finding out what may be the problem is to start rolling back to previous driver versions for the graphics card

i have a 1050TI. I used to autoupdate to latest driver version. Then one day with the new updated driver, my viewer started doing  things like you mention. So I rolled back to the previous graphics driver version 456.71 which continued to work as I wanted

i never updated since. On the basis that when something is not broken then don't fix it

it may be that NVidia subsequent versions have fixed their broken fix (they are up to version 466.11 now), but I never bothered to find out, because SL Viewer + 456.71 is not broken. And I don't play enough other games that might take advantage of the newer drivers to warrant slogging my way thru trying different drivers. With 3D applications SL is my main and being my main then this comes before any other 3D app

 

so suggest that you try rolling back the driver, til you find one that works, and if all of them don't change your situation then can t least know that it is something else other than the driver

 

Edited by Mollymews
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