Second Life Texture Thrashing

Second Life™ users have been seeing textures load in blurry and progress toward a new crisp image. That is where things are supposed to stop. But, quit often people are seeing them repeatedly load blurry and re-render to a nice crisp image and then repeat and repeat and repeat…

The video card for some reason is discarding the texture already in memory, and redoing it. Some think the video cache is more than full and just cycling through textures in your field of view.

There are HUD’s that which are known to cause the problem. So, if you are seeing the problem, remove you HUD’s and relog. Then watch to see if it happens again. If not add your HUD’s back 1 by 1. You’ll figure out which HUD triggers the problem, or possibly the sum of a set of HUD’s triggers the problem.

There are a couple of HUD’s reported to always cause the problem. But, I can’t confirm that. So, ratting them out would be unjust.

The textures in a region likely contribute to the problem too. So, do your HUD testing in an empty region.

Mac Fix

Over on SLUniverse there is a post telling how to solve the problem with some video cards running in a Mac OS. (Post)

The reason it’s probably worse with the LL viewer is because they set the texture memory multiple to 0.5 by default for Mac which means if you have a 256 card like in your case it will lock the [Preferences-Graphics-Hardware] slider maximum to 128. This can be remedied by setting the RenderTextureMemoryMultiple Debug Setting to 1.0 and then setting the texture memory slider as high as you want it. Some of the TPVs like FS automatically do this for the Mac version so it might seem better since its utilizing more of the available video memory.

I don’t have a Mac, so I can’t test it. You are on your own.


On the Windows side, typically the value for RenderTextureMemoryMultiple is already set to 1. I can’t find any way to get my Preferences slider above 512mb of graphics memory. I have 2gb of video ram.

If your slider is maxing at something less than 512, this Debug Setting might help you clear the problem. It hasn’t helped me get it past 512.


I can’t get a sense of how many people are having this problem. I am hearing people bring it up more often. Some are saying they have been living with it on and off since 2007/2008.

If you are having this problem, please file a JIRA. The Lindens seem totally oblivious to this problem. That usually happens when JIRA on a problem are being filed.

Also, we see a bunch of new viewer versions coming out as release candidates and probably will for the rest of the year. So, if you see the problem again, after your viewer updates, make an addition to your JIRA report or file a new JIRA.

This problem is not going to go away until the Lindens fix it. They won’t fix anything they haven’t heard about or that is not an issue for a significant number of people. They have lots of things to fix plus the new stuff they want to add.

11 thoughts on “Second Life Texture Thrashing

  1. I moaned about this to the lab back in May. while not actually fixing the issue, they did appear to improve things by having the texture your curser was hovering over load and stay loaded. That did not last long, so maybe it was all in my head

  2. Those HUDs are probably made by “experts” who use 1024px textures for buttons on the HUD – for each of the 25 or so – and suddenly 100 MB texture memory (about a quarter of what is available at most if you have a card with enough memory) is gone. Now own a card with relativ few memory, go to a place with lots of textures and enjoy texture thrashing!

  3. Pingback: MeshMaxConcurrentRequests, TextureFetchConcurrency, HTTP Textures, Texture Thrashing, and Why isn’t my stuff rezzing yet? | Pussycat Catnap's thoughts

  4. I can comfirm that Linden Lab-viewer dont regognize Mac-graphic card corectly.
    “we have set your graphic pref for best performance” is the message and the settings is set to low. It´s the same if I use my iMac with 512 or my MacPro with 3GB videomemory.
    I use to have at least high without any problems(fps below 16fps/sec)
    I have also found something very curios, it seems like the whole cache-folder can be corupt. It´s no enough to trow the content in trash to solve video problems. I have to trow folder and content to solve problems

  5. I’m having this issue and can’t seem to get any help with fixing this issue I’ve tried everything even listed here and still no luck ! Have any fixed this?

    • They tell you to turn off UseHTTPBakedTextureFetch and HTTPInventory. That is now out of date. Those must be enabled to work with AISv3.

      I suggest you install the SL Viewer as a debugging tool. If it works, that means the problem is in FS. Since FS is working for me, that suggests it is in your settings.

      It is best to ask these questions in the SL Forums ANSWERS section. More people respond and you may find the answer when you search. Also ask in Firestorm Support in-world. The quality of answers varies in both of these arenas, but you often get the best answers from them.

      Also, I have to make a lot of assumptions since you didn’t supply info on your computer, software, OS, and drivers.

      these typesa of problems are

  6. What worked for me, although some computers may not have the graphics to support it is going in the Developer>Rendering>Full Res Textures. Also Clear your cache and restart the client. Once everything loads the texture will either be full res or gray. So once it loads it doesn’t have the in between.

    • That throws lots of extra work on the servers, network, and work station… Clearing the cache is always a bad choice unless you know it is corrupted.

      I doubt the process you describe fixed your texture thrashing. The restart is the most likely reason for seeing less thrashing. Images remaining gray is almost always a network issue and a couple of viewer bugs have aggravated the problem. But, those should be fixed now leaving just the network issues.

      JPG2000 never downloads just the high-rez version of the image without some special effort. Going to full rez textures means the viewer can never use the smaller versions of the image, thus forcing it to use up memory faster. Nor will you get the benefit of seeing the lower rez versions sooner while the hi-rez parts download.

      I recommend you do way more experimenting to see what is really happening with your thrashing. In most cases thrashing is triggered by lots of chat images having to load. So, the time when thrashing starts is highly dependent on an inconsistent cause, group chat, and a number of other variables.

    • No. This is a problem with the video card running out of texture memory. All textures being rendered contribute to the problem.

      In older versions of Firestorm, the problem was the tiny Profile Pictures in local and group chat. You could turn those off and greatly reduce the problem.

      The Firestorm Viewer tells you if you are wearing a HUD with high texture use, which can push you into thrashing.

      So, it isn’t just avatar textures. However, avatars with high ACI can push one into thrashing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *