Minor updates 2022/04
Calla Cela got settings for her NVIDIA card, specifically her 970, from NVIDIA tech support. She made this handy video. Using it I decided to check my settings it has been forever since I looked at them. zOMG! When the Lindens changed the install folder name, (like L O N G ago) my SL setup apparently went away…
There are some gotcha’s in her video. Nothing wrong. Just some places where you are likely to hit a wall.
First, where she selects Firestorm (Manage 3D Settings->Tab: Program Settings->#1. Select a program to customize) you may have to ADD Second Life to the list. If you do, navigate to your viewer’s program directory (usually in C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86)). If you can sort by TYPE and find the applications (usually ending in .exe on Windows).
The Application you want is:
- Linden: C:\Program Files (x86)\SecondLifeViewer\SecondLifeViewer.exe
- Firestorm 64: C:\Program Files\Firestorm-Releasex64\Firestorm-Releasex64.exe
- Black Dragon: C:\Program Files (x86)\Black Dragon\Black Dragon.exe
- Catznip: C:\Program Files (x86)\CatznipViewer\CatznipViewer.exe
- Kokua: C:\Program Files (x86)\KokuaViewer\KokuaViewer.exe
- UKando: C:\Program Files (x86)\UKanDoViewer\UKanDoViewer.exe (Last update 2016)
Next Anisotropic Filtering should probably be Application Controlled, this will let you control the setting from within the viewer. She is told to use 4x with a 970. If you have a lesser card or are having performance problems, try 2x or Application Controlled.
Also, don’t count on the NVIDIA techs to be all that knowledgeable about the best settings for Second Life.
The Antialiasing Mode should probably also be Application Controlled. She is told to use Override any application setting. You can control this in the viewer. Also, there is a major problem when controlling AA from outside the viewer. If you use AA from outside the viewer, everything in the application’s window is aliased and that includes the text, which can make a mess of things… well… a fuzzy reading experience. So, if you use any AA let it be from within the viewer where it knows what to apply aliasing to and what not to.
The Antialiasing Setting most definitely should be Application Controlled. See above. Also, those with lesser video cards should consider using 2x from within the viewer. 970 users have the horsepower to drive at 4x.
The AA setting is a quality verse performance setting, meaning personal preference. If you don’t mind losing FPS and like crisp images rendered, crank it up. You are using video power to achieve higher quality.
If you have ever wondered how some people get those photo-realistic razor-sharp images for Flickr. there are a couple of ways, one of which is cranking up the AA.
Antialiasing Transparency is another quality of render setting, I consider it a personal preference. The 2X is higher than MultiSample and of course, 4X, 8x, etc are all higher quality settings. For lower power video cards you want a low setting or turn off the feature.
Don’t be afraid to play with these settings. If you want to know more about what these settings do, see my old Graphics Tweaking for Second Life.
Change the settings, start the viewer, and look at the performance (Ctrl-Alt-1 a toggle, again to turn off). Use the setting that works best for your computer. All the parts make for a complex balancing act. Slow RAM and fast video require a different setup than fast RAM and limited video RAM.
You aren’t going to break anything by changing the NVIDIA or viewer settings. You may have more or fewer viewer crashes and better or worse performance.
Also, you have to do this for each viewer on your system. So, if you run Linden Main, Bento, and others you have to do this for each viewer.
If you are running a laptop on battery, these settings will eat the battery. They are designed for being connected to the power grid. If you need to extend battery time, change the power setting away from Performance to power saving.
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Your best bet is to set your graphics driver to “let the application decide” and *not* force *any* setting on *any* viewer.
The only system-wide setting that you might want to try (and which is not managed by viewers) is multi-threading (it used to be buggy and crashy, but it now works very well for NVIDIA cards/graphics drivers on multi-core CPUs); this will typically eat up one more CPU core, but may bring nice FPS gains (up to 30% or so).
Also, avoid the new fancy anti-aliasing methods and always prefer plain AA; for a start, the viewer is not loading enough any GPU (even old ones) to notice a real difference in FPS rates with 2x or 4x AA (the latter providing the best results, IMO, even better than 8x or 16x !); also, the new anti-aliasing methods are full screen AA and, unless the viewer was specially coded to recognize them (and exclude the UI drawing from that: may be Singularity can do that, not too sure any more), you will get a blurry UI /blurry fonts, and a result for the 3D render which is, anyway, far inferior to true AA for an anecdotal FPS gain (if any).
Thanks for the advice. 🙂
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Thank you for posting this. I have one of the advanced models, and was scratching my head over how others graphics looked better than mine. I called and got great support🙂✋
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