Monday, February 4, 2013

How to make your SL faster! Part 1: FPS and Bandwidth

Today i am going to explain some simple basics that may help you, in speeding up your Second Life. Maybe i will do it in chapters, through several days. If you find links in this article, you are encouraged to follow them, if you want to get the full picture of what i am talking about.

Also, please note: i am not a techie. SL is for me a creative outlet. I am not an IT experienced person. So, what i am doing here, is summarizing what works best for me. And the background in-formations that i can give about these topics, are exactly those background info, that you can find in the web yourself, because that is, where I found them too.

Before we optimize the speed of our SL, we need first to identify, how slow or fast it is. For that, we have the so called "Statistics Bar". Press on your computer the keys CTRL - SHIFT - 1 and you will see something similar to this:

the appearance can be a bit different. Because the words that you see there are like "chapters". If you click on "Basic", it will unfold the Basic-section. And if you click "Basic" again, it will hide the Basic-section again.

And many of the listed entries you see, once a "main chapter" opened, are again able to unfold details or to hide them, on click. Play a bit with it. And when done, try to bring the window to somewhat like this:

We are for now interested to see these details:
Basics - FPS
Basics - Bandwidth
Basics - Packet Loss
Basics - Ping Sim

When you have setup these.. try then the following steps:
TP to a really crowded spot. like a club, a Info-Hub, something with many people around. Watch the statics window.
Expected results that you can observe:
FPS going down, Bandwidth going up, maybe you will even see some packet loss. If you stay in this region a bit and do not move your cam or yourself, these values change again, FPS slowly increasing, Bandwidth decreasing, Packet Loss should go to 0.

Afterwards open the map and TP to some place that is really empty, Like, an underwater region, a spot where nobody is.
Expected results that you can observe:
You will see the same like before, but the impact a lot less, and the "normalizing" occurring very fast.

Here is now the explanation:
FPS is "Frames per second" and gives you a value how often your complete screen has been redrawn by your viewer. FPS higher than 24 are usually received as "fluid" motions. If your FPS is lower than 20, you will feel a bit like in "jelly", moves come with delay, and all is less fluid.
If you arrive in an area with a lot of other people or a lot of other buildings, trees, plants, shopping signs - any - a place with "whatever" really, your viewer needs to fetch that information first. And compute it. The more details are there to fetch, the more computation is needed. In the result, your FPS goes down.

The Bandwidth is the graph that tells you how many in formations are at this moment transported between your viewer and SL. And of course, as soon as you arrive somewhere, the flow of in-formations rises strongly. Because there is a lot of new detail to take in. The more there is, the longer this "higher bandwidth graph" will last. And in return, the FPS will stay lower too.

A packet loss can occur of these in formations simply come in way too fast over a longer time. WiFi is more prone to packet loss than wired connections. And lost packets are not always a catastrophe. But if you suffer from it permanently, even when all other values are normal, you should check your connection. The more packet loss, the more likely you will experience a lot of other errors, starting from poor appearance (cloud), up to inventory loss.

The above mentioned topics affect your SL experience. that mans, if you feel "Laggy" because of the two above mentioned things, then *you* are slowed down. The person standing nearby you can be perfectly fine.

For now, play with the statistics bar and TP around and observe the behaviors  On a later chapter, we will examine how we can adjust our settings for a better experience.


  1. Yay! At last someone explaining it in normal words, not tech language. Thank you. You rock YT!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...