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Lighting and Shadows = Kills Performance?


Tommy Rampal
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Hey all,

So playing around with lighting and shadows; depth of field doesn't want to work for some reason... But does anyone get a near crippling frame rate, even on a high-end machine? I have 2 GTX 580s in SLI, 16gb of RAM and a Sandy Bridge i7 processor; and get no better than 22FPS on average (while I am in a skybox with a simple house), compared to 170fps.

I also crash without fail when trying to set Lighting and Shadows with AA... "you can turn anti-aliasing on with lighting and shadows, but your mileage may vary as far as its efficacy and performance impact. " http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Antialiasing 

Is there something I'm doing wrong? How is it for everyone else?

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Hello Tommy. I have Intel® Core2 Quad CPU Q8300  @ 2.50GHz (2493.78 MHz), 4GB RAM and GeForce GT 240/PCI/SSE2. At my land my FPS is 18 when i disable both "Depth of Field" and "Ambient Occlusion", 16 when i disalbe only "Depth of Field" and 13 when i have all options enabled. When i disable "Lighting and Shadows" it is arround 35. Indeed always graphics is to Ultra.

Lets note that "Lighting and Shadows", "Ambient Occlusion" and "Depth of Field" are available only with graphics to High or Utlra, so users who play with medium or low quality i feel that it is useless to download the new version.

This moment i press so bad my computer wanting to check it and i teleport in regions with 50-80 ppl. To be honest i have problems to teleport by one region full of people to another one also with full of people and i crash. No problem when i teleport from a "quiet" and no laggy sim to another.

I will continue to test my computer.

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Yes and no and sort of. You will always get lower performance, but it depends on the version and settings as to how low. Some version run well, some don't for some unknown reason. My GTX 560 Ti is getting 40fps at ground level on the main land with shadows, SSAO, DoF, and 4x AA running 2.7.1. (performance varies quite a bit depending on the sim)

My first guess as to why you're getting low performance is SLI, my second guess is update your drivers.

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I've had anti-aliasing on for a long time now... set to 4x, anistropic filtering and Open GL VBO has been on too.  No crashing yet.. just laggier than normal.  But shadows aren't working at all.  Why I don't know. :matte-motes-not-entertained:

 

Edit: yikes... I'm getting 12 FPS... normally is 50-60 fps

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Prim build + unprofessional textures + real time shadows = lag.  (^_^)

That said, this most recent client is one of the fastest shadow rendering client I've ever seen.  (^_^)

I basically jack up my settings to the point I'm still able to see motion without observing it jitter frame-by-frame.  For the human eye, this can be anywere between 20 and 40 FPS.  LCD monitors refresh at generally 60fps.  So, processing any faster simply means the remainder of the frames get dumped to a null output.  (^_^)

Given that would be optimum, there's still a matter of taste.  FPS gamers probably want things as smooth as possible.  FPS games deliver this by having as much optimized artwork as possible.  Often coming in with 1/4th of the tris used to render a single scene in SL.  Properly created mesh work will achieve this, but, we remain in prim land.  It's polygon count through the roof. (^_^)

That said, I'm an Anime nut, so 15FPS is plenty fine for me. (^_^)

And, yes... Shadows + AA = crash.  It's an old bug with no good solid solution yet. (._.)

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Imnotgoing Sideways wrote:

And, yes... Shadows + AA = crash.  It's an old bug with no good solid solution yet. (._.)

Shadows and AA have worked for me (for the most part) for a long time now. I'm starting to think I'm the only one and I'm just lucky or something.

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I long had hardware skinning enabled also.  Basically I have SL set a ultra.  I did customize setting though to half the draw distance and particles plus turned off avatar cloth setting.  Still no shadows.  No idea why and starting to think LL just wants me to have no shadows. :matte-motes-frown:

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22 frames a second should be perfectly useable. Consider the standard frame rate of a normal movie is 24 frames a second. The absolute highest real frame rate you can get in SL is 45 FPS. That's the most the servers will feed. Anything higher and all you're doing is rendering the same information multiple times, but you aren't getting any more video information at 170 than somebody else is at 50.

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Crim Mip wrote:

22 frames a second should be perfectly useable. Consider the standard frame rate of a normal movie is 24 frames a second. 

This comparision doesn't work here as you got a constant frame rate in movies. When SL tells you 22 fps, it is the average rate which means that you'll get sometimes 40 fps but, what's important here, sometimes only 10 fps. That's why you usually need about 40 fps (guessed), being an indication that your card is strong enough to not let 10 fps downtimes happen. You can press ctrl+shift+1 to see what I mean.

 

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Im using a gtx580, 8 gigs of ram, and a core i7 920 @3ghz. I get solid 60 FPS in my home sim, but it drops to 30ish running shadows. Enabling the DoF effect just makes the GPU go bat**bleep** and i can hear the fan start to howl like crazy.

Imho, the renderer feels poorly optimized still, but im no expert by far. CPU load still is VERY low on multicores, but its nice to see it makes better use of the GPU now. Still, now that the renderer can do per-pixel lighting, they should drop the extra tesselations on prims to bring down the global triangle count of certain builds a fair bit. That is only a small thing, but would still have some effect im quite sure.

I hope that subsequent releases see more of a performance improvement, Im quite certain it can be done with more work put into it. But again, wishful thinking, im not an expert by any means in this field.

 

That, and i would much like them to optimize their ambient occlusion shader, its quite grainy for me, especially on the water.

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I was stating 'near crippling' as a comparison towards the huge performance spike that those who do not have higher tier hardware would notice more, and for the price I paid on hardware I am in no case happy with a 22 frame rate; It is noticeably more choppy for me as I am normally used to above peak. Think of it as going back to a 56kbps connection after all those years, you lived with it back then and it still (over time) fulfills its use - but now you just won't acept it.

I wouldn't think running SLI would barely touch on SL, but I haven't noticed many changes when installing the second GPU.. Though I just installed it, set 'SLI' in the Nvidia control panel, and, well, that's it. I will see if there are driver updates when I get back home. But its bizarre that one of you have an earlier release model to mine (GTX 560 vs. 580), and I can't touch AA with the Lighting and Shadow settings enabled. Bare in mind I run SL at 2560x1440 resolution.

It'd be great if LL really worked on optimizing everything to work best on the minimal of hardware, like a game developer optimizes a game to work best on a game console. That way they could work faster to bring a (watered down) version to tablets.

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I run SL on a 3.3Ghz i5, with 8MB RAM and a 560ti that I recently bought. When first i fired up SL I was shocked to see that I could only get 12-15 frames/sec no matter what I did with my graphics settings. In desperation I tried EVERYTHING to figure out what was cripling my machine.

The culprit was my ANTIVIRUS programme. I was running Bitdefender at first but now i have gone over to AVAST (free edition) which protectionwise should be sufficient for most normal users/gamers. After I switched I went from the afore mentioned low framerate to 25+ depending on the region I am in with EVERYTHING at MAX!

So, try removing your existing antivirus programme and installing something lightweight instead.

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  • 2 months later...

Dear LL and anyone that might be able to help me I just bought an i5 and have allot of ram and memory

As well I went in for the radeon hd 5570 graphics card. Since I installed sl viewer 2 and phoenix firestorm both

Able to run a mesh format. Well I have not been able to get anything to rez the av to an antire sim remains grey and the performance level is extremely slow. I've ran other games outside of sl and the graphics are stunning so what's wrong with

Sl? It expensive enough getting a decent pc and such. I would really appreciate some help here.

 

Missing sl already

Sy

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  • 7 months later...

So to resurrect the thread,

I have been having performance issues with my iMac when I enable lighting and shadows. Well, mostly shadows. Here are my specs:

2.5 GHz Intel Core i5

4 GB DDR3 RAM

AMD Radeon HD 6750M, 512 MB

SL Viewer 3 OR Firestorm running on Mac OS X Lion 10.7.3

If I enable shadows and lighting somewhere that I normally get 80+ FPS, my FPS drops to ~15. If I change shadows to nothing, then I can get around 30. Also, I should point out that I can run games like Modern Warfare 3 and Saints Row the Third (both use DirectX on Windows) on FULL graphics settings, on the same hardware, with no problem(e.g. ~60 to ~30 FPS, respectively). Therefore, I believe, it is a problem either with the rendering engine, OpenGL, or both.

I haven't ran SL on Windows on my Mac, so I'm going to update this post after I test SL on Windows, just to make sure the OS isn't the problem (Which I highly doubt that it is).

 

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one thing you can try is to turn off all unnecessary processes while your game viewer is running (assume you just want to play and not do anything else at the same time)

is a number of programs you can get that will do that for you

the one i use is: http://www.iobit.com/gamebooster.html

is free to use

basically you use to configure your computer. it will work out what you need and dont need to run your game. once you done that then it can launch your game/viewer and turn off all the processes not needed. when you quit the game/viewer it turns them all back on again

on windows 7 can free up about 25-50% of your CPU and low level RAM most times

 

 

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Crim Mip wrote:

The absolute highest real frame rate you can get in SL is 45 FPS. That's the most the servers will feed. Anything higher and all you're doing is rendering the same information multiple times, but you aren't getting any more video information at 170 than somebody else is at 50.

 

This is not correct. It's true that viewers will never receive more than 45 updates per second about anything that happens on the simulator, but that doesn't mean 45 fps is the maximum you see on screen. For example, BVH animations on avatars happen only on the client, and although they usually contain no more than 30 fps of information, the client does interpolate between those frames, so what you see on screen may be much smoother than that. The client also predicts avatar and object motion between status updates, which is why server-side or network lag frequently causes an effect called "rubberbanding" (i.e. avatars walking off-sim, objects falling through floors etc.). And, last but not least, camera motion including alt-cam and mouselook is independent of sim FPS. You can literally turn around your field of view faster than your avatar. All these things will be updated at your client's frame rate, which is why you'll want that as high as your monitor can support, i.e. usually 60 fps in the case of an LCD/TFT panel, possibly more in the case of a CRT.

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I get about the same performance no matter how many applications are running in the background on my Mac. Although, usually, I only have Safari, Mail, and occasionally, Photoshop running. Have yet to test SL in Windows on that Mac, and I will try it with and without Game Booster when I do.

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is like most things that work on my computer. can be different experience depending on your setup

like mine is a pretty low power laptop. is not a gamer rig. adsl internet as well. so is quite slow compared to other people

usual i have all kinds off things turned on. like Windows update, Flash, Quicktime, NVidia update, anti-virus, etc. most other people like me have them turned on as well. just bc is easier and you dont have to worry about it. updaters can really impact me bc of my slowish internet connection

also i turn off things like the touchpad. i dont use it to play games. so turn that off as well. same file indexing service. etc. etc. some of it is only tiny improvements. just fre's up a few CPU clock cycles and thats about it. on a slowish rig though it all adds up

on mine i turn off 17 windows services. and 10 others. it reduce my CPU clock cycles by about 40%. so is more cycles available for the game

on my laptop the game speed though is mostly dictated by how fast the GPU can process and the internet connection. most of the time the CPU is just idling and waiting for the GPU. i just rather it do that than do other stuff at the same time

 

 

 

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