I just noticed a post from a couple of months back on the difference between Catznip Viewer and Firestorm Viewer. Alyona Su provides a good comparison based on her experience. She switched and is now using Catznip as her primary viewer. Not my experience.
Those switching to Catznip experience it being faster and less crashy than Firestorm. Remember. Viewers are very sensitive to the computer they run on. What is crashy on one machine may not be on another. Viewer speed in FPS and render time is also sensitive to your hardware and connection. So, Catznip may crash more and be slower on your hardware. But, try it and know. Hopefully the chance is you’ll have good results. If not, well no one will make you use it.
The release of Catznip I last used was Catznip R12 – Dec 31 2017 12:50:12 (64bit) (Catznip Release). Visiting the Catznip website you’ll find R12.0 is still the main release, Catznip R12 – Dec 31 2017 12:50:12 (64bit) (Catznip Release). OR version 126.96.36.199160035. No update since then.
The beta versions of Catznip are often implied as being only available to Catznip’s Patreon supporters. But, reading carefully, you can apparently find your way through the web site and get to the beta versions… all eight. But, it is unclear which of the 8 is what version or why there are 8. The Beta 1 installs as Catznip R12.1.1 – Mar 29 2018 17:54:26 (64bit) (Catznip Beta). As do 2 thru 8. So, why 8? No clue on my part.
The size of the beta file and name are different than the main version. But, all 8-beta links lead to apparently the same file, Catznip_Beta_R12_1_1_x64_Setup.exe. All are the same size, 96,972KB. On Kitty’s Patreon page an RC version 12.1 August 2018 is mentioned. In group chat and forums later non-specific beta/RC versions are mentioned. So, I suspect only Patreon members are getting an email with links to and information about the latest RC versions. There may be an RC 12.2 that I cannot get to.
The generally available beta 12.1.1 installs in a separate folder. The beta has its own icon labeled Catznip Beta. You can have both versions installed.
The stats… using R12.1.1… DD 256m
- 56 FPS – My porch
- 126 FPS – My green room at 1500m
- 23 FPS – Nelsonia w/26 avatars ACI limit 150k
Versus Firestorm 5.1.7 DD 256m
- 46 FPS – My porch
- 140 FPS – My green room at 1500m
- 36 FPS – Nelsonia w/19 avatars ACI limit 151k
I can’t honestly compare my January 2018 Catznip tests with these September results. My neighbor has changed a few times in that time. There is currently a way more lag inducing build next to me now. :/ In my green room, which doesn’t seem affected by my neighbors, the January result was 122 FPS. So, basically no performance change.
As to render speed… first time into a place, I can’t say either is faster rendering the scene than the other. Catznip had rendering problems in January. I wrote about them here, Catznip Viewer R12 – Awesome or Not? It still has problems. Scene render is incomplete. Cam shopping with my SpaceNavigator in January was too painful and still is. Better… but not good.
So, while they initially render things at about the same speed, Catznip does not complete the scene. The picture above shows what I see in Eden after 3 visits and a couple relogs in the process. I think I could stand there all day and not see the render finish.
Catznip and Firestorm both have features I really like. Unfortunately neither has all the features I like.
I consider Firestorm to be the power user’s viewer of choice. But, I had to think about that for a bit for a comparison with Catnzip. It is probably more accurate to say builders, movie makers, and photographers are likely to prefer Firestorm.
Those doing fashion and shopping, anything inventory intense, are likely going to prefer Catznip.
Recently I have been into flying and sailing. These activities generate a lot of region crossings. Crashes and disconnects are common. So, is Catznip better for these activities? Not that I can tell. This is one of things where so many factors affect the result you need someone flying beside you with all the same stuff, scripts, ACI, copter, etc. and just a different viewer. Things can change drastically from logging in with one viewer to logging in with another. Then switch places and try again and again and again… then one can get an idea if it is the viewer or one of the multitude of other things.
However, the mini map in Catznip shows parcel boundaries. This is WAY handy when flying. I can avoid those regions I know are at prim max, entry banned, or security orb instant return. Hitting those is like a fly hitting a windshield.
However, the Catznip draw distance is limited to 512m. That is OK for me when flying. I use 512 Draw Distance (DD). But, when taking pictures, often when sailing, I use 1024. So, that limit is a problem for me.
So, is Catznip or Firestorm better? No. It is still a matter of personal choice and what you prefer. On a performance basis, it is very much a matter of what hardware you run.
Kitty Barnett is the brain and brawn behind the Catznip viewer. Her code is in all the various viewers, Linden and third-party. So, regardless of which viewer you use, you are benefitting from her efforts and thinking. I am most thankful for her coding the viewers’ spell checker.
Picture Location: Eden Cygnet (NSFW adult) – Visit and check your viewer’s scene render time.