[extropy-chat] SECOND LIFE info from a seasoned veteran

Randall Randall randall at randallsquared.com
Tue Dec 12 04:44:56 UTC 2006

On Dec 11, 2006, at 11:01 PM, artillo at comcast.net wrote:
> There are many things one can do to reduce lag/frame rates to an  
> acceptable level, in the preferences menu some of the largest   
> culprits are having local lighting turned on, having draw distance  
> set very high (I leave mine between 64 and 128m and it's usually a  
> very manageable 20-30fps with my system), having certain detail  
> levels set very high versus what your gpu can handle, and also  
> having particle effects set high (I usually have my particles set  
> to less than 1024). There are lots and lots of useful suggestions  
> by longtime users about how to reduce lag and what are it's causes  
> if you look in the SL forums. http://forums.secondlife.com  .   
> Unfortunately, a sim that has 35 people in it will DEFINITELY run  
> much slower than a sim that has 3 people in it, and also private  
> islands tend to be run on slightly better servers so they also  
> perform better even with a lot of people around, primarily because  
> they dont have to bring in data from adjacent servers that comes  
> within draw !
>  distanc
> e.
> My system is about 3 years old and handles SL very well, even when  
> I am running several other programs at the same time. My system is  
> an ASUS P4P800 motherboard (800mhz bus) with a Pentium 4 2.4GHz  
> processor, 1GB of PC3200 RAM, an ATI Radeon 9600 pro 128mb AGP  
> graphics card and a 5 megabit cable connection. SL supposedly runs  
> better with Nvidia based cards, but other than not rendering waves  
> on water correctly for my ATI card, I don't see much difference.

I wonder if that 2MB difference in our connections can really be
so important?  I suppose it could be.

> As far as comparing SL to a game such as WoW... that's not  
> comparing apples to apples at all. The entire world of Warcraft is  
> prerendered and resides in the client's computer. A relatively  
> small amount of data is actually exchanged between the player's  
> client machine and the game servers (such as avatar location,  
> combat stats, IM's, etc.) as compared with Second Life which is  
> streaming in an enormous amount of data to be rendered/handled by  
> the client. SL does some little tricks to help things along, such  
> as having all of it's prims as parametrically created objects that  
> are generated by the client's computer rather than having large  
> polygon meshes downloaded.
> The fact that you can BUILD in realtime and create all of your own  
> unique content in SL (scripts, animations, textures, guestures,  
> sounds, and composite objects etc.) even further separates it from  
> the MMO gaming world, which uses preexisting libraries of objects  
> and predetermined animation sequences for its characters.

I agree that SL is far more ambitious in scope than games
like WoW, and I'm not seriously comparing SL as a whole to
WoW.  Rather, I'm just saying that WoW is *so* much smoother
and faster than SL (on my computer; I guess this is really
uncommon), that it points out how well SL could run on this

If you watched the movie I made, you'll note that the textures
of everything are already pretty basic.  However, I just logged
in again to look, and sure enough, I had many of the graphics
settings in the upper range.  Turning them all down didn't
seem to have much effect.

Maybe what I'm seeing is a really crappy video card in this
iMac model.

Randall Randall <randall at randallsquared.com>
"You don't help someone by looking at their list of options and
  eliminating the one they chose!" -- David Henderson

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