Second Life: Nvidia Driver 516.40 Issues

Update: June 28th, 2022: this issue has been resolved with the release of driver version 516.59 – see: FIXED: Nvidia 516.59 drivers correct SL rendering issues.

Update: the issues described blow have also been noted on Nvidia drivers 512.95 and 515.48. If you encounter similar issues please check for driver version (go to Help → About in the viewer and then look for the line “OpenGL Version: X.X.X NVIDIA YYY.YY”,  where Nvidia YYY.YY is your installed driver); if you note a different driver to 51.6.40, please consider adding a note to the two official Jira linked to below, and in a comment on Beq’s NvidIa forum report, so other can see potentially affected drivers. Thanks. 

It is being reported that the latest Nvidia driver version 516.40, issued on June 15th, 2022, is causing issues for Second Life Users running either Windows or Linux who have updated to use it. As a result, the general advice is not to update to this driver for the time being.

In summary:

  • The issues are apparent when running the viewer with Advanced Lighting Model (ALM) enabled.
  • They can cause objects to flash or blink in and out, or can display rings or lines across in-world objects (as shown in the image below).
Image showing some of the artefacts created during scene rendering following an update to the Nivida 516.40 driver. Image courtesy of ermanart / BUG-232264

The following bug reports provide further information on the problems reported thus far:

  • Firestorm:
    • FIRE-31746 – “Updated nVidia Drivers now ambient occlusion causes graphic issues”.
    • FIRE-31747 – “Graphical Glitch that’s too distracting to ignore”.
  • Official Jira:
    • BUG-232264 – “Nvidia driver update causes rough lines in Second Life rendering”.
    • BUG-232268 – “NVidia driver 516.40 causes visual issues on latest viewers with ALM enabled”

In addition, Beq Janus of the Firestorm team has reported the issue via the Nvidia forums – see: Driver 516.40 Causing visual artefacts on Windows and Linux for Second Life viewers (OpenGL).

For those who have updated to driver 516.40, two courses of action are currently available to try to correct:

  • Minimum: disable ALM (Preferences → Graphics → uncheck Advanced Lighting Model. Note that this may not work when under Linden Water in Second Life, per BUG-232268 (above).
  • Recommended: revert to an earlier driver version or use the Nvidia Studio Drivers instead.

Again, please note that the issues are driver-related, and so not something either Linden Lab nor TPVs can address themselves.

16 thoughts on “Second Life: Nvidia Driver 516.40 Issues

  1. Nvidia doesn’t upgrade Linux drivers as often as it does for Windows, and you may be thinking “Linux” is the same sort of monolith as “Windows” is. Some of the many Linux versions may be using the problem driver version, others are not. Some people download such updates direct from Nvidia, others use their system’s native update software and this new driver is not yet available to them.

    Thanks for spreading the word. I can now avoid that driver version. But my Linux is not your Linux. And I know that some of the TPV teams, producing Linux versions, make strange choices that may be translated Windows thinking. On my Linux system, only one program ignores the global mouse-pointer settings—it’s one of those TPVs.

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  2. I had the same issue yesterday, occurred with bright bands, with the Nvidia 512.95 driver. I have not installed yet the 516.40 driver.

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    1. Thanks! Could you add a comment to the two official Jiras linked in the article to pass on this info to the Lab (if you haven’t already done so!).

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    2. i was wondering if the hands was something to do with the people edit or a script bug thanks now i know its a driver bug

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  3. Turn off atmospheric shaders, fixes the lines and the underwater issue if you don’t want to revert. You’ll still lose most of your shadows, but, it still looks okay.

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  4. I took a step back to series 512 and will keep it for a while. It works fine and since I don’t do a lot of gaming, I won’t miss the upgrades. Meh…things happen.

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  5. I also reverted back to the old Nvidea driver. Had the same issues with this one: turning off Advanced Light Model (ALM) did help, but I saw people with advanced mesh clothing incorrect. So had no option to revert.

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  6. Thank you Inara! I just updated today and wondered what was going on. Your blog was the first result in my Google search. I went back to 512.95 and all is good now for me. ^^

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  7. I had this issue without ALM enable. I was able to fix it by just dropping my graphics down from Ultra to High ,

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