Trying Out Alchemy – Second Life

Alchemy Viewer Logo

Alchemy Viewer Logo

Download size is 42mb that uses 159mb of disk when installed. The install was error free. Recently I get errors with the Linden installs. Some times a retry fixes it. Others times I have to ignore to continue. The Crash Logger seems to be the problem with the install. I am almost always installing just after running the viewer. The Linden Viewers still seem to work OK in spite of the errors. But, it is reassuring to not have errors.

The install places the viewer in C:\Program Files\AlchemyBeta.

The cache installs in C:\Users\[Win_login_ID]\AppData\Local\Alchemy64. You can set that to be any location you want. I usually move it off my C drive for better performance. Windows uses my C drive for its swapping and temp files. Moving it saves the viewer having to compete for hard drive bandwidth.

It seems the cache for the 32 and 64 bit version are different. I’m not sure why they would do that.

The logs are installed in C:\Users\[Win_login_ID]\AppData\Roaming\Alchemy. So, it seems the 32 bit and 64 bit version use the same logs and chat files. There is a setting that will allow you to place the chat logs wherever you want. 

Login In

The login screen used is the older at the bottom of the screen login. I am getting to like the Linden change to the top of the screen and visible choices.

Next I notice the notices are different. The preview section of the notice is removed.

Alchemy Viewer Notices

Alchemy Viewer Notices

The chat panel goes transparent when not selected. That is nice.

I can’t find a panel for my SpaceNavigator, the joystick setup panel. That really sucks. I use the SN a lot now. The current values suck. I am assuming they just haven’t gotten to the joystick panel yet. The SN works with Alchemy, just not the way I want it to. Also when teleporting the viewer does not snap me out of flycam mode or may be it just doesn’t reset the camera location to where my avatar is, which is confusing on arrival. Pressing ESC fixes things.

I did find lots of features seen in other third party viewers. But, no Photo Tools.

In general the UI appearance is nice. It tends toward the newer Windows 8 style where things are flat rather than 3D shaded. It works for me.

There are only a small number of Windlight settings. I’ll have to add my set. I didn’t find any settings good for portraits. This is a unique set with setting by Nacon, [NB], and [Tnx]. I didn’t have most of them. I haven’t decided if I’ll add them to my collection of not. So many Windlight settings are near duplicates of others…


I’ll say mixed. I run a Core 2 Quad 2.66 ghz, Win7 64-bit, 6gb PC2-6400 with a GTX560 and running full screen today (1920×1080). Of course the cache is mostly empty on this viewer. So, I really appreciate CDN. It also makes it hard for me to compare viewer to viewer performance now that we have CDN.

In my little house I get 30-35 FPS. Jumping up to my build/photo platform at 1,500m I jump to the low 60’s.

I get frame rates in the 30’s and 40’s in many places. On arrival in a new region, like KittyCatS!, it drops to 10 FPS and things are slow to render. As long as the UDP rate is in 100k+ range the viewer is slow to render things and FPS stays low, 10 – 20 FPS, mostly nearer to 10.

There were only 9 or 10 people there. Still performance never climbed above 20 for me. They are rolling the RC Regions as I am trying this. That probably accounts for some of the slow processing.

I tried the viewer over at Smokin’ ACE’s. This time of day I expected to be the only one there. I was. My frame rates were in the 15-25 range most of the time. There are lots of textures to download. But, even when the Texture Console (Ctrl-Shift-3) showed everything had loaded, I wasn’t breaking 25 FPS (average from Stats Panel).


I tried the new search UI. It is nice. One image here shows one of the absurdities of SL Search. But, in general it is nice to use. The ability to select an item and have its detail panel open in the right-side pane is really nice (second image).


Build Tools

Firestorm wins here. Alchemy has the Object Position, Size, and Rotation Copy/Paste buttons and in Preferences you can change your default object attributes. Otherwise it is pretty much the SL Viewer’s build panel.

Login Attachments

For a time now all the viewers have been suffering from attachments not attaching correctly at login. A relog normally fixes the problem.

Over All

I like the viewer. It ran well for the hour+ that I used it. I didn’t find anything to blow me away. But, it does seem stable. Memory use stayed around 1.3gb for the 64-bit version. I could watch memory use increase and decrease, which tends to indicate no memory leaks. So, I expect this to be a stable viewer.

I did not have any black screen mini-freezes. I have run into a few of these with the SL Viewer. After an hour+ with the Firestorm Viewer I start getting them and have to relog to stop them. So, if I knew I was going to need to be on for a long time for something important, this would probably be my choice of viewers. But, it is a little early in my experience with Alchemy to swear this would be the best choice.

I can say comfortably that this is a viewer worth trying.

6 thoughts on “Trying Out Alchemy – Second Life

  1. “I can’t find a panel for my SpaceNavigator, the joystick setup panel. That really sucks.”

    It is there and works very well.

  2. The space navigator stuff is under the ‘move & view’ tab in prefferences.
    It’s called ‘Joystick/Freecam configuration’ (

  3. Totally unrelated to the article but succinct to SpaceNav; Has anyone noticed a drifting of the cam counterclockwise? I’m not sure how to correct that in settings but having had a SpaceNav for years and I’ve only noticed this anomaly in the last year. I can correct it by camming back to clockwise a hair and it stops the drift. (I use FS exclusively but it is also present in the other TPV’s as well as SL’s.)

    • I haven’t… not recently. When I initially set up my SN I did have some drift issues. In the viewer’s SN setup increase the values in X, Y, Z dead zones. By default those are 0.01. I increased all mine to 0.02 and the Z Dead Zone to 0.04.

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