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RoudyRaccoon Hand

Graphics optimizations, and why Linden Labs needs to make it a top priority.

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Not a gaming rig by any measure. Decoupled two out of three SLI'd cards, running in single GPU/Multiple Display modes, bone stock application nVidia control panel entry for "Secondlife.exe". Ran it full screen on one display panel, rather than spanned across two. Basically, representing an "Average Joe" computer built within the last year, year and a half. No tweaks. No fuss....

...No problem. :matte-motes-big-grin-squint:

Now if I brought it up to speed and spread processing across all GPU's, LCD's w/full shadows, light and magic turned on? Well, likely someone will still never believe me. Not fanboy-ism I see....general lack of user-end optimizations and tweaks one can manage on their own.

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You know .. for what you're actually seeing in that screenshot. Some walls, a floor, and a couch. That's like .. what 10 textures? At very low resolution. And SL's engine can only produce that image at 66 fps? That just .. blows my mind. With how little is actually in that scene we should seriously be seeing like 300-400fps.

Saying that people use a lot of 1024x1024 images is what's slowing it down. Yeah, it does slow the game down. But it shouldn't be as much as it does. Games these days use textures that are SO much bigger than that. They're able to render scene with just as many textures as SL.

You could say, that yeah, SL is a dynamic world and thusso has an increased need for processing .. you're right. If it's horribly optimized. A prim should be 100% static, until the server tells my client that it needs to change, render the change(s), then return to being fully static. 

The OpenGL vs DirectX argument kind of bothers me, too. Yeah DirectX only works on windows .. so make the client able to use both. WoW does this, and runs on pretty much any machine. It, also isn't that optimized, but moreso than SL. They added shadows, and it doesn't 1/5th my framerate like it does in SL.

I think it just really comes down to how much time, work, and money LL is willing to put into their viewer. I understand these things can be costly and time consuming but .. I think it's just something that's going to be necessary to happen, and fairly soon. The renderer, as it is, worked decently years and years ago, but now that we have much more taxing thigns, like a much more complex UI, mesh, sculpts, updated physics, avatar physics, etc, there's just an increasing need to start optimizing and/or a complete rewrite of the renderer, and how threads are handled. 

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Kirsten was the only person able to produce a properly functioning viewer with fully working graphics. LL has moved to the model of customers must fund viewer development in addition to tier. The crowd funding project to further fund Kirsten's efforts has but less than 3 weeks to go and it only got to 20%. Therefore graphics development for secondlife is going to be cancelled forever. LL has not the professional 3D graphics skills to do what Kirsten could do single handedly. SL will die.

Sorry but that is the bloody truth.

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To Danny & all interested:

Hate to revisit old threads but I have been a tad busy with tinkering and other 1st life issues far too serious to go into here...

But yes, SL's *implementation* is terrible, but there is no issues with OpenGL or Driect-X. In fact, OGL is an industry standard that Microsoft "borrowed" and integrated into their own API. Hence why if there is just no silicon present to actually render OpenGL properly, it then defaults through a driver wrapper then onto CPU as a last ditch effort at some sort of visual accuracy and speed. Current "fixes" and implementation of LL release code's a bit dodgy hence it's poor performance on nearly any hardware.

 

Fix the pipeline and OpenGL code and tweak for specific hardware enhancements and it's amazing to behold. As for being where I was when I took that snapshot?Does not matter - I could be on the ground level in Ahern and still get a flat 60 FPS until I start winding out the draw distance on my particular hardware. By the time it starts to chug, the app's run itself out of 32-bit protected RAM footprint and shells out.

 

The lab, I am certain is aware of the performance issues. But when the majority of users login with the equivalent of desktop calculators and cannot support a shader class above bare minimum of "0" - there is no incentive to update the engine, hardware optimize or in essence restrict access to "elite" hardware owners.

The right engine, render pipe optimizations on native OpenGL hardware with a transistor for every in hardware function call of OpenGL acceleration... It. Is. Breathtaking. The Laptop w/nidia 555m GT chipset spanks SL @ 100+ FPS, easily on "Ultra" settings, without tweaking. I am not going to get into a description of what happens when you rip it apart and put it back together with native 64-bit help compiled in and capable of performing FXAA, Hardware Alpha Transparency and a few other tweaks to support shaders and shadow rendering for even particles.... again, nobody would believe me.

 

So in short, I agree and disagree. OpenGL for what it does and what it GIVES SL as a community and an industry is golden, neigh untouchable. Going to Direct-X is hardly a solution, nor comes with the appropriate price tag to implement, (*cough-cough* Free*cough*) and licensing alone would tie up negotiations and force SL to be paid for software. Do not blame the API, blame the shoddy implementation so that everyone, frankly has a lackluster experience that they can all enjoy....or kvetch about. ;> If ya got some elite hardware, there are 3rd party viewers that have these little problems already fixed. Kirsten's was mentioned but no longer, sadly, viable as a solution due to developer's withdrawal from the playing field. But they exist, and if you are that hell bent on getting something out of the box w/no tweaking to maximize hardware and visual performance, you already know where to look .;>

(I will not personally endorse any one viewer over another - it's a subjective experience based on tastes and individual hardware configurations and abilities - that which works miracles for me, will more than likely crash the hell out of someone's HP laptop, Dell XPS desktop or (fill in your hardware maker/vendor here) in a heartbeat.)

(Emphasis mine for the TL;DR crowd - and no worries - performance issues are being looked into and "fixed" - these things take time so they work for *everyone* and not just a handful of folks with rendering cores rated in the realm of PetaFLOPs)

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