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Need to optimize Second Life client performance using a dual core, openGL system

Posted on 2009-07-09
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With a decent PC, I seem to have less-than-optimal graphics performance in Second Life -- looking for experienced advice.  Using the most current SL browser (1.23). Client is an Intel, dual core 2.13 GHz, 4 Mb RAM, on-board S965 chip (Intel Extreme Graphics) (current drivers) (yes, I know the chip has gotten bad reviews).  

Per "older" KB advice I set the processor affinity down to one.  Hard drive is new, relatively empty, and kept defragmented.  Unnecessary processes have been killed.  Network is cable but business-class (telecommute grade upload).  I suspect I don't have the openGL optimized, in my ignorance of what to do.  The game graphics are set to to minimal load, with minimum draw distance, etc.

Symptoms basically that the av responds in a jerking manner, or freeze framed.  In worst-case lag, the image refresh appears to be no better than once a second.  Clearing group cache doesn't seem to provide relief.  Seen using either Ubuntu LINUX or XP Home.

Thanks in advance, fellow gurus.
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Question by:David
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by:Anthony Russo
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Second Life is notorious for bad framerates and "lag" on good computers. The reason for this is the nature of Second Life itself. The service allows users to do virtually anything they choose. This opens the door for scripts running poorly, or in-world models created using too many polygons or "prims" as the game refers to them.

A check of this to to try different areas. As you go from areas with little activity or detailed modeling, to active complex areas you will notice that is where the slowdown is. Users of the service pushing the boundaries is what is going to cause slowdown on many computers that otherwise should run fine.

If in moderate areas you are even having these slowdowns then it can be optimization of your machine is needed. The best thing your system could use is a Dedicated Graphics Card. The Intel graphics will not perform nearly as well as any modern dedicated video card in the $50 price range or above. Obviously, the more powerful card you install, the better the game will run, and the more complex areas you will be able to handle.

Good luck,

Anthony
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by:David
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My bad for the delay in responding, Anthony.  Two follow-up questions to clarify your answer.  How does a supplimental card work with (or, in place of) the onboard integrated graphics?  Secondly, I've read of soe going to two identical cards in tandem.  Again, how does this work?
 
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Anthony Russo earned 500 total points
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A suplplemental card will replace your Integrated Graphics and will alleviate the lag considerably. When you install the card and drivers it will become the primary display device. You will plug your monitor into the port on the card rather than the port on the PC.

Noit sure what you refer to 'soe'. Having 2 graphics cards in tandem will give you more of a boost but usually not enough to jusdtify the cost of both cards togerther. Better to just get one stronger single card. Also your computer motherboard has to support either SLI (Nvidia) or Crossfire (ATI) configuration.

Good luck,

Anthony
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