Honored Resident
Posts: 39
NVidia 240 v AMD (ATI) 6670?
[ Edited ]

I've rebuilt my PC, and in the process had to move to Windows 7 64 bit, and now if I enable shadows I get a driver error report and the viewer (mostly trying Firestorm mesh) crashes. Without shadows, or on V1 clients, things are stable, but I didn't mess around with this PC to never have eye candy!

It appears some Nvidia cards, with some Nvidia drivers, with some SL viewer code, can have this problem (actually, it appears many things can have this problem, but I'm not ruling out my card itself also being duff). So I'm looking for a sub £50 card, with low energy consumption, that will match or better the 240. And ideally, I think, AMD/ ATI, becasue I'm really quite miffed by this - Had the 240 less than a year, and it fails where my ancient 8600GS succeeds (albeit too slowly).


So, given I can get roughly 14 fps in a fairly quiet sim, with shadows etc on (for 4 seconds before the driver crash..), what's out there that works with Win7 64 bit, V3 based viewers, with the pretties and shinies turned on, and without god knows what level of faffery just to make things not fall over every other footstep? I'm really liking the look of the 6670, but I'm aware ATI and SL can be a bit unhappy together, but can it at least match what the 240 would offer if it managed to not crash all the time?



Edit to add (how the hell do I reply on these pages?)..

"Hello Shambolic. You can't enable lightings and shadows  with Nvidia GT 240"


Erm, I can, and I have - And on my old XP install, I could also use both fine, aside from it being a bit (expectedly) slow! And I can also enable both on this new build, the problem is I only get a few seconds before a driver crash, but the option to enable, and teh ability to see shadows, most definitely exists. And if I go to pre-mesh viewers, I can even not completely crash out (at least, using an old Firestorm beta I had, which was V2.something based). Hell, I *can* actually enable lighting, shadows, etc, and not crash with my old Nvidia 8600GS (not even GT), but it's painfully slow, to say the least. So from experience prior to V3 code base and Win7 64 bit, I know this card *can*, or at least *should* manage without crashing, Isn't the 525 a laptop chip? The 5 series cards might have features the 240 doesn't (DirectX11 is the main one as far as i can tell), but SL isn't Directx based, so.. Yeah, not convinced that ought to be holding me back.


I'd had a look at that thread, but aside from someone mentioning VBO, it didn't seem to really have much info, or at least, I know my problem isn't packet loss or memory related.. Smiley Happy


I've got an AMD 255 (dual 3.1G) CPU, 12 gig of ddr3 memory, and the Nvidia 240. On my old dual core 2.3G CPU< 3 gig of ram, and XP 32 bit, using the self same card, I *could* have shadows, lighting, goodness knows what! Maybe only 8 or 9 fps, but the point is it *could* whereas now, on faster hardware, and maybe updated viewer code, I *can't*. Tat to me says the card *can*, but something software (or driver) is the glitch. And I really want to resolve it as it's frightfully irritating to have what to me is a bit of a supercomputer, and actually have less eye candy SL than on a much slower, older, PC Smiley Sad


I've also tried the latest drivers, the lated beta drivers, the oldest easy to find drivers, and many in between! I'm not going to rule out the card being faulty, but whether it's faulty or simply having an SL hissy fit, I think it's time to bite the bullet and replace it.. But I'm not seeing many cards better in the low power draw end of the market, and the idea of replacing a 240 with a 240, if it turns out to be an OS/ driver/ SL conflict, causing me to have the same trouble again.. Does not thrill me..


(thanks for the answers thus far though, always appreciated! And if I knew how to reply and quote properly..... Smiley Happy )


Other Answers: 4
Posts: 5,560
Registered: ‎09-09-2010

Hello Shambolic. You can't enable lightings and shadows  with Nvidia GT 240 (i have it on my pc). However is a reliable graphics card with which you can run SL in High Graphics without problems. For shadows you need at least a Nvidia GT 500 series (525 is a good choice) although you will force it to overwork and overheighting is very possible. GTX series is the best option but they are expensive. About Amd 6670 you can read opinions at this thread.

I moaned because i had no shoes until i met a girl who had no feet...
Posts: 2,738
Kudos: 411
Solutions: 167
Registered: ‎10-05-2009

I can say that I have a Radeon HD6950 (older card) that works with everything and swimmingly (I film). Depth of Field is iffy as there is a line in the middle of the page (seems to happen to lots of folks and may be fixed eventually) but I don't like Depth of Field all that much so not a biggie for me. I rarely crash and when I do it is usually on a week when the new server codes didn't agree and it gets back to normal the next week.


It is very true that for a long while the Linden Labs codes "favored" Nvidia cards. Then something changed several months ago and tons of folks with Nvidia cards couldn't get into SL at all (don't know the details, just the chatter, but sure someone affected can clue you in on that.). So NOW it seems that the two brands are on a fairly level playing field.

I just installed the new Firestorm 3.3 viewer and that doesn't seem to be working quite as well for me as 3. 2.2. Not as smooth although some folks are reporting remarkably smooth. Too early to tell really. More testing needed.


Good luck.  And there is a way (or used to be) to reply to comments but I can't figure it out so you are not alone Smiley Very Happy.

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love..
Posts: 4,087
Kudos: 754
Solutions: 172
Registered: ‎03-26-2009
[ Edited ]

I guess the developers of the forum software never considered a person asking a question might have follow up. Its a PITA, but you figured it out. Yea!

I did not see where you gave us your viewer version. Use the viewer's Help->About to paste the SL related info we need into your post.

The viewer versioning with Third Party Viewers (TPV) gets complex. A number of bugs in the Lab's code have mode it into TPV's. The Phoenix/Firestorm folks will tell you so. The trick is knowing which version of the Lab's code a TPV is using in its version. There is no clean cut way to know. A TPV Developer may use all the code from one version of the Lab's development or cherry pick the fixes they think are ready.

The Lab has a branch of viewer development called Shining. It is possible to get Shining branch project viewer, not recommended but possible, for chasing down problems like yours. Shining has been fixing OpenGL problems and improving performance. In the Lab's code along about 3.2.6 or 7 all the OpenGL compatibility issues were incorporated into the viewer from Shining. Several people are using nVidia 240 and have good luck with them. See: How Fast is Your Viewer? - Second Life where people have posted their info. Add yours if you would, both while you have the problem and after you figure it out.

You may need to shift back and forth between Firestorm and the Lab's viewer. There are some problems to changing back and forth. Changing clothes in BOTH viewers is not a good idea. Change only in one or the other. Also, if you don't have much experience running lots of viewers read my Second Life Clean Install. You don't necessarily need to do a clean install, but understanding how some things, like the order they are installed, interact will help you avoid problems.

The shift between the viewers will tell you if it is the viewer version that is the problem or you computer. I suggest you use the Lab's Development Viewer for testing (3.3.0 (?)). It has all the fixes the Lindens think are ready for testing. If you want to go all geeky on us, you can try some of the project viewers with what I'll call alpha fixes.

I've been using FS 3.3.0(24880). I have random crashing issues (nVidia 560). The Lab's 3.2.8 and 9 versions have memory leaks the Lab is working to fix. These are driving up crash rates. January saw way high session crash rates. Some of the problem code may be in FS.

The point is, no matter what video card and driver you get, you may have a problem. As you change video cards they are changing code. Unless you carefully test you won't know if you have a video card and driver that handles a problem in old code and crashes with new code. All you will know is you still have a problem.

Its like you're on a ship that is pitching and rolling as you try to walk. So, I suggest you try several different versions of the viewer before you start buying and changing hardware. Assuming there is hardware that just works is a mistake.

Posts: 3,582

From what I've seen on the forums and JIRA's and my own limited experience with my ATI-driven laptob vs. my Nvidia-driven desktop, any viewer glitch that makes a Nvidia card sneeze will give an ATI somewhere between pneumonia and tuberculosis. Translation: ATI cards HAAATE the updated viewers. It appears to be problems with OpenGL usually. Do you have the latest video drivers for your card? THe OpenGL calls in the new viewers were recently re-written to work better with newer video cards and drivers.

I have Nvidia GT 430 that's very happy with the latest viewers. I typically run my graphics on "High" without lighting and shadows but I haven't had probems with lighting and shadows when I turn it on.

How much system RAM do you have? The current generation of mesh viewrers have problems releasing memory so in a crowded area they will gradually use more and more memory until they crash at about (for me) 1.5 gigabites of memory used by SL. The higher my graphics are set the faster this point is reached.