Second Life My Viewer Problems

Every so often I hit a point where my Second Life™ experience sucks from poor viewer performance. When that happens I start changing viewer brands in hope of an improvement. I troubleshoot starting with the easy and work to the hard. But, this time I over looked an obvious problem.

I Still Remember

I Still Remember by Thurkearan of Darrath, on Flickr

These days I mostly use the Linden made viewer and it is almost always one of the RC versions. I like being on the cutting edge. Over the years Imprudence, Emerald/Phoenex, Exodus, Kirsten’s, and Niran’s were the viewers to use, at various times, to be on the cutting edge. That has changed. 

My Problem

I have been having viewer problems in any crowded areas and some not so crowded areas. Both Firestorm and the Linden viewers are giving me problems. I often find the viewers making only 3 or 4 FPS when 3 to 6 avatars are around and the more avatars the worse it gets. The longer the viewer runs the worse it gets. Longer in this case is 15 to 20 minutes.

Over the last couple of weeks the problem was getting worse. It seemed with each new update, it was worse.

Checking memory use I found it slowly climbing. Once over 2gb Firestorm got ridiculously slow. PING times went over 1,000ms, but bounced around. During long ping time in the viewer, my Windows ping would stay in the 50 to 80ms range. So, it was not a network problem.

A teleport to a new region seems to reset memory. Memory use dropped below 2gb and frames rates jumped back into the 20’s to 50’s.

I have the new NIVIA 352.86 driver with OpenGL Version: 4.5.0. But, the previous driver version was showing the same problems. Upgrading the NVIDIA driver had made no change.

Kernal Crash Firestorm – I got this error once. The viewer died and the computer recovered. Relog and I am good for another 15 to 20 minutes. So far, about 45 to 60 minutes is all I can stay on if I am in an area with 10 or more avatars.

Reading the log file for Firestorm I see this error repeating:

newview/llmeshrepository.cpp(2877) : 2015-05-18T18:17:12Z WARNING: LLMeshLODHandler::processFailure: Error during mesh LOD handling.  ID:  595cadf8-696d-00cb-8820-daf5bb0e5f0a, Reason:  Invalid Content-Range header encountered (Core_4).  Not retrying.

But, I couldn’t definitively say this error is related to my problems. I suspected it was. But, turns out it wasn’t.


I had been dealing with this problem for far too  long. I was seeing some complaints in the SL Forum. But, if everyone were seeing these problems it would be a major topic. It wasn’t/isn’t. Even if only the RC Viewer users were seeing it, there would be way more complaints.

I wanted this problem gone. So, I started looking for the problem. First, it only happens when running a viewer, so it is SL related. Running SL and a browser and other tools I started to notice when the viewer was having trouble everything else was too. But in a few seconds after switching to a browser or word processor all was well.

Viewer memory was still at 2gb+. There weren’t any spikes in Page Faults… The SL Viewer in the background does drag things down, but not much… usually. And it wasn’t a problem except at switch over.

10 thoughts on “Second Life My Viewer Problems

  1. You are lucky — most people don’t have the knowledge to check this kind of thing, and I doubt LL support does either. We would just have to buy a new computer and hope for the best.

    Someone could make some money being a SL troubleshooting consultant!

  2. Good detective work. Also shows that high cpu performance is a benefit for SL. I upgraded from a i7 930 to a Xeon 5650 with a small overclock and it seems to benefit. Also runs cooler. It’s a six core but SL seems to only use one.

    • You can use System Explorer (free) and Open Hardware Monitor (free) to see what each core is doing. Windows built-in Task Manager and the Resource Monitor will also show you what the individual cores are doing to some extent.

      The viewer is multi-threaded and will use whatever number of cores are available. I can only see it using my 4 in this Quad core. But, it uses them. It is possible to force/restrict an application to one core. Look to see if the viewer is actually only using one core. If true a setting somewhere needs to change.

  3. I’ve read \The Fix\ several times and didn’t catch it; what exactly was the fix for your problem?

  4. I’m familiar with task manager and SL. In the old days I used to to have all cores working. Now 1 to 2 threads depending on setting with 3 different viewers (FS, LL, and Niran). So I went to the FS Forum in SL and asked how many threads is it designed to use and they said 1-2 depending on settings. So the question is why are you using more threads? Cpu or OS accounts for that? Using a different version? Do you get 4 threads with all the viewers you use? I changed affinity option in task manager and enabled 4 threads and only 2 are ramped up with the other 2 minimal so seems the viewer is designed to use 2. With 12 threads, 0 and 5 seem to be the ones used by default in all viewers I tested. I’m not losing performance that I can tell.

  5. Her cpu heatsink was loose so was not cooling properly so the cpu was being reduce in speed by the OS to save itself. A slower cpu reduces SL performance so she fixed the fitting of her heatsink so the cpu would again be cooler and run at higher speeds. Did you read the second page of her post?

  6. Coincidentally my PC started to run hot last week. Cpu was getting close on 100 degrees C. when in SL. No other issues were apparent so I reckoned a look-see inside was needed pretty quick. I had to look twice in there for the cpu assembly. There was so much dirt and dust on the heatsink I could barely see it. A thorough clean up did the trick. Temp is back down to a comfortable 45-50. (Note to self – clean the darn computer more often!).

    • I keep the CPU/Tower on my desk, off the floor, to keep it cleaner. I also have two plastic filters on the intakes. The filter I have to clean every 2 or 3 months.

  7. Did you try and run the Cool VL Viewer ?… If the answer is no, then give it a try and let us know how it fares when compared to others when dealing with high memory usage…

    • I’ll install a copy and play with it. I like your work, but I’m not a V1 user interface type girl.

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