Second Life My Viewer Problems

So, I open my basic troubleshooting tools; GPU-Z and Open Hardware Monitor. Both are free.

With SL running my CPU was hitting 95°C… that is way too hot. When I was last checking my CPU ran at 55°C to 70°C. I had found my problem. The Hardware Monitor was showing my 2.66mhz CPU pulling back to 1.66mhz to protect itself from overheating.

Getting to the root of the problem... - Talia Tokugawa

Getting to the root of the problem… – Talia Tokugawa by Talia Tokugawa, on Flickr

Looking inside the case, my CPU heat sink and fan were still fairly clean. Blowing the dust out did not help, well not enough. Examination revealed a couple of plastic pins that hold the heat sink in place had broken. It wasn’t exactly loose, it didn’t move much. But, technically it had come loose.

Replacing the broken pins and cleaning out and replacing the old heat sink compound solved the problem.

My blunder in this process was remembering how happy I had been with my new heat sink when I put it in. Most of the time my CPU ran in the 40°C range. I kept thinking that was still true. I should have checked what I thought I knew.

Now I am seeing FPS back in the 20 to 70 FPS rates.


It is hard to know what has gone wrong when we have trouble with Second Life. Switching to a different brand of viewer is an easy way to eliminate viewer specific problems. I think having at least two viewers installed is important. Deciding which two isn’t hard. The Linden made SL Viewer has to be one of them, if you ever want to even think about getting support from the Lab. It is the basic standard from which everyone troubleshoots.

If you are like me and want to see the new stuff as soon as possible, a cutting edge viewer is a good choice. But, which is the cutting edge viewer? That is another story.

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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