Monday Meme: me and my system

Jacob's Pond; Inara Pey, Feb 2014, on FlickrJacob’s Pond, February 2014 (Flickr) – blog post

Berry has offered-up another Monday Meme, this one on system specs and viewers. As my “new” PC has just reached its first anniversary (and is already starting to look a tad long in the tooth compared to some), I thought I’d give one of my intermittent replies.

The instructions are simple: share your computer specs and answer the following questions.

  1. Share any of your computer specs (video card, memory, etc..) Click here if you don’t know any of those things or just share the year you bought it. The specifications of my primary system, and default viewer settings are on my system specifications page, together with those of my laptop and tablet. Additional points on the primary system: motherboard: Asus P8-Z77-V LX2; PSU – Corsair RM 850W Gold; Cooling – air (water capable), with front, rear and dual side fans + CPU fans; monitor: HP 1440×900 19-inch flat panel. Currently on my wish list is a Space Navigator; I’d like to give “proper” machinima a go
  2. Which viewer do you use most often? Firestorm, although just about every current TPV installed  as well as several of the SL viewer RC’s and project viewers, all for review purposes, and I do swap and change between them on occasion
  3. What is your FPS (Frames Per Second) when you have your graphics on Ultra? No idea. I find High sufficient for most things and push to High-Ultra for reviews / photographs. FPS is a very subjective figure, given the number of factors that can impact it. On my home region, with all the graphics bells and whistles enabled, I can average an FPS in the 50s with the neighbours around, and tends to be around the same in most “quiet” regions. Elsewhere it can bottom-out in the teens.
  4. How often does Second Life crash for you? Is it usually just a viewer crash or your whole system crashes? What are you usually doing at the moment of the crash? Rarely, and on those occasions when it does, it’s usually just the viewer. I used to suffer crashes when flying / sailing in SL, but since swapping my service to fibre, those instances have ceased (crosses fingers). I do occasionally hit a graphics memory issue when being overly ambitious taking photos at really high resolutions (e.g. 4000 px across or greater. I now tend to keep to 3000 across as my upper limit).
  5. Do you know of any tips or tricks in the settings that could improve performance?
    Just as a short general list of viewer-focused suggestions for daily use:

    • Don’t ramp-up up your bandwidth, follow Firestorm’s recommendations; don’t ramp your LOD ridiculously high 3-4 should be sufficient for most things (I think this is actually capped, but can’t remember); keep your draw distance reasonable; don’t ramp-up the number of concurrent mesh requests the viewer is making, it won’t improve things, but could end-up hurting you and others (LL have done a lot of work in this area, but viewers opening 100s of HTTP connections to a server are still a problem); don’t clear cache as a first resort when hitting an issue
    • Drop your particle count down unless you specifically need it high. Particles are all viewer-side, so it’s just extra work for the GPU if you’re not taking any notice of them.
    • Use the Max. No. of Non-impostor Avatars slider (Preferences > Graphics) to reduce the number of avatars your GPU has to completely render when in busy regions (e.g. set to 0 or just above – unless you’re taking photos, of course!)
    • If you have a system with limited memory, don’t have dozens of tabs open in your web browser when running SL; you’ll just have the browser and the viewer vying for resources.

One day, I might even get one of these out the day Berry actually posts a meme, particularly given I actually started this one on Monday before things started distracting me!

6 thoughts on “Monday Meme: me and my system

  1. Thank you for sharing your specs and tips. I usually have my LOD much higher than that so I’ll make sure to lower it and also take look at Firestorm’s recommendations. I’ve been using the 64 bit version the past week and it’s been running so well for me, I’m thinking of just using that from now on.


    1. You’re welcome!

      I need to look-up the LOD side of things myself; a small voice at the back of my head says it’s capped at around 8.0; but I cannot for the life of me remember where I might have heard that, or if it is actually correct.

      I need to add an addendum to this article as I’ve had a moest monitor update, and am now running SL in glorious HDMI at 1920 x1080 on a 22-in monitor. I’m actually quite stunned at the difference over the 19-in HP I was using.


        1. A high LOD isn’t causing issues per se (as far as I’m aware), it’s just not achieving anything (assuming 14 is above the maximum).


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