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Is SL Getting Slower?


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Server-side, or viewer-side? If server, it's going to depend on region, the other regions on its simhost, and (especially) the number of other avatars in the vicinity. The overall performance of regions has been pretty steady. For a while after "Uplift" to the AWS cloud it seemed things got very much faster but that seems to have been an artifact of the migration in progress; stuff is mostly back to the same old pre-cloud performance, generally, so if the frame of reference happened to be during that migration, stuff will seem slower now.

A gradual but steady decline in viewer performance is often due to accumulating attachments of increasing total rendering complexity.

There's also download performance, especially how long it takes textures to wend their tortuous way through the network. That should be stable but I find it fluctuates day to day, and on a bad day I'll swear it's been getting steadily worse for a decade or more.

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Another source is in the cache: whereas pre-ALM your viewer only had to search for and locate the diffuse textures for all the surfaces, now is has to search for and locate a displacement and specular texture as well, and since thee will have distinct UUIDs that means two more searches to locate in cache and assemble those textures.

I'm not sure if the viewer is smart enough to not search for and load those textures if you have turned ALM off, this would be a question for any TPV devs to answer.

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58 minutes ago, Profaitchikenz Haiku said:

Another source is in the cache: whereas pre-ALM your viewer only had to search for and locate the diffuse textures for all the surfaces, now is has to search for and locate a displacement and specular texture as well, and since thee will have distinct UUIDs that means two more searches to locate in cache and assemble those textures.

I'm not sure if the viewer is smart enough to not search for and load those textures if you have turned ALM off, this would be a question for any TPV devs to answer.

I keep ALM turned off unless I'm taking a photo.  I also keep water at a minimum in prefs.  You can go to the advanced menu>rendering types>and turn off water completely.   This does a lot to cut down on the strain on the graphics required to render SL. Yes it affects the experience but if you're like me, and spend a lot of time in clubs, what does it matter?

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I'm fortunate in having a good computer and fast internet connection these days. I do think SL had been getting slower and slower over the last year or so. For me the slowness is mostly to do with other avatars rezzing in busy places. That can take ages or sometimes some avs don't rez at all. The environment rezzes quickly, while FPS is not bad and movement lag isn't terrible.

Anyway, the point I'm getting to is that I was just thinking that SL has got a bit quicker again in the last week or two, reversing the trend described above. This is just my subjective impression though.

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That's because all of lovely high-poly absolutely zero optimized mesh stuff that mostly every well-known "famous" big brand sells to you. They are lagging sl to death because of profit. Doing good mesh takes time, but, uh oh, they have to take part in 10 events per month, so there is no time, because time is money.

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I don't know if SL is or I am getting slower. 😆 Seriously though I just bought a new pc in December and things were lightening fast now everything but SL runs lightening fast and my viewer is mainly FS.

I logged in this morning and every thing was grayish, avatars were red puffs of fluff. 

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2 hours ago, Profaitchikenz Haiku said:

 

I'm not sure if the viewer is smart enough to not search for and load those textures if you have turned ALM off, this would be a question for any TPV devs to answer.

In the PAST that was correct --- some folks ran tests and posted here.  No real reason to think that has changed. When I was crashing all the time (apparently do to heavy textures) turning of ALM helped a lot.   The "materials" downloading issue is one reason that I seldom use them in the things I make :D.   

 

Turning on "Show Friends Only" will help a LOT also -- simply because there will often times be MUCH less to render. 

 

In general my instinct ( due to lots of testing trying to figure out what was wrong with my computer or software etc) is that it isn't the server so much as the heavy mesh and especially heavy textures.  I will say that I have had NO ISSUES at all with my new computer.  Now "new computer" could mean all sorts of things and my new one is a hefty little thing so not the normal computer used in SL.  Still, with THAT much power SL runs fantastically --- even at Fantasy Faire which is an excellent test.  I can't remember seeing GRAY ever with this new computer.  

 

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800 8-Core Processor               (3393.63 MHz)
Memory: 16310 MB
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit (Build 19042.928)
Graphics Card Vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
Graphics Card: GeForce RTX 3070/PCIe/SSE2

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4 hours ago, Damian Glendullen said:

Is it my imagination, or is Second Life getting slower and slower?

I don't know about slower and then slower again as in a process.  But, with EEP viewer yes slower.  The prior BOM version of the viewer was marvelous for me.  Now, it's terrible and EEP is a hassle because most EEP lightings are no modify and cannot be re-named so I cannot find them in my inventory because they were never named EEP nor Windlight nor anything sensible.  The names may be "Jane's Magical Twilight" or "Burt's Terrific Summer Day" or all kinds of weird names I will never remember.  Now I need to get re-deliveries of them all and write the names down on notecards as these are no modify so I cannot re-name them sensible names as I said.  EEP is a drain on yours and my system and it's a hassle too.  I prefer to just click on windlights like before.  I don't want to dig through my inventory for each EEP light.  I hope they re-consider and make both a non-EEP and an EEP viewer because most people don't even use materials even with the best of computers as they say it's too slow with materials.  Turn your materials off and click on 'show friends only' and you should be somewhat better.  

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5 hours ago, Damian Glendullen said:

Is it my imagination, or is Second Life getting slower and slower?

The hamsters are not as organized as they used to be, so there are engine problems.

 

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For me SL is reasonably lag free, as always.
Only when I TP in or out of Bellisseria, there is most of the time a lot of grey.
The moles use a lot of 1024 x 1024 textures in their decorations where it is not really needed IMHO.

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It's very difficult to objectively benchmark SL.

There're many factors that can influence SL performance, some of them in SL, some on the servers, some on your PC and some beyond your control.

There's equally many different measurements of performance, some of them provide counter intuitive feelings about performance (eg - a super high frame rate can make SL's input latency feel far more noticeable than a low one)

Human perception is not objective. So unless SL is markedly different one way or the other, it's a glass half empty/full judgement call.

SL can feel slow for reasons that have nothing to do with computers and everything to do with a users experience on the day.

This is real -> Bob didn't message me for ages today. SL is performing terribly.

So is this -> I spent all day on the forums. I didn't even log in. I blame script memory.

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21 hours ago, Chic Aeon said:

 The "materials" downloading issue is one reason that I seldom use them in the things I make :D.   

 

 

That's a bit of a shame. Materials are one of the first things I look for when considering a purchase. I'm the type of nerd that shops with a night time setting and a flash light to see how well the materials are done. Hopefully SL can resolve this somehow. Not really a good thing to deter creators from utilizing materials. 

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18 hours ago, Coffee Pancake said:

Human perception is not objective. So unless SL is markedly different one way or the other, it's a glass half empty/full judgement call.

I've a colleague who claims, and I don't doubt him, that the fastest way to speed up your perception of anything is to empty three full glasses of beer.

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8 minutes ago, Finite said:

That's a bit of a shame. Materials are one of the first things I look for when considering a purchase. I'm the type of nerd that shops with a night time setting and a flash light to see how well the materials are done. Hopefully SL can resolve this somehow. Not really a good thing to deter creators from utilizing materials. 

Agreed, and it would help if creators learned how to use materials. More than half the time, a special specularmap is simply not worth the download, instead just use the already loaded BLANK texture. Normalmaps are often huge wins over the cost of downloading extra mesh complexity, but they often don't need the same resolution. So properly used, materials can greatly improve rendering speed (and save LI) compared to adding geometry to the model... but it absolutely depends on viewers having ALM turned on.

And that creates something like a vicious cycle of moral hazard here: creators build stupidly complex models to appeal to users with ALM turned off, and the users have to turn off ALM to get acceptable performance because so many models are stupidly complex. Sometimes I wish viewers could only run with ALM enabled so creators could rely on material properties as an alternative to all these damned tris.

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3 hours ago, Finite said:

That's a bit of a shame. Materials are one of the first things I look for when considering a purchase. I'm the type of nerd that shops with a night time setting and a flash light to see how well the materials are done. Hopefully SL can resolve this somehow. Not really a good thing to deter creators from utilizing materials. 

Each creator makes their own choices and there are PLENTY of folks using materials. There are also plenty of people who always have ALM off :D.  I bake the materials into the base texture so while the material settings don't change with the atmosphere, there are ambient shadows and shine that don't conflict with inworld shadows.  We each have our part to play. 

So my creations load much faster and are less laggy. COULD I make them with materials and the extra textures and server calls?  You betcha.  I think the folks at the middle to low end of the viewer capabilities chart deserve to have "good stuff" too -- things that won't halt their  computers :D.   Just my decision long ago. 

 

 

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On 4/29/2021 at 6:44 AM, Damian Glendullen said:

Is it my imagination, or is Second Life getting slower and slower?

It seems to be hit or miss for me inworld -- sometimes slower, sometimes no different.

I can say that these forums have been much slower for me this week than usual.  That is from my work network and my home network.

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4 hours ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I've a colleague who claims, and I don't doubt him, that the fastest way to speed up your perception of anything is to empty three full glasses of beer.

Does it work with root beer?

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