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.
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.
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.