How to reduce lag

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What causes lag?

A number of factors contribute to what we all know as 'lag':

  • Your computer spec
  • Your broadband/internet connection speed and busy-ness
  • The internet (in general) busy-ness
  • SL busy-ness
  • How much is going on in the sim you are in, e.g.
    • how many avatars are nearby
    • how many textures are visible
    • how many scripts are running in the sim

You can't do much about how many people are using the internet or SL at the same time as you, but what you can do is help your computer to work 'smarter'.

Steps to reduce lag

Graphics Preferences

  1. Edit Preferences (CTRL+P)
  2. Select the "Graphics" tab
  3. If you are running at 'high' or 'ultra' settings, try reducing it to 'medium' or 'low'

If this doesn't help enough:

  1. If "custom" isn't selected (checked), tick the checkbox to show the extra settings and sliders
  2. Reduce the "Draw Distance" slider to minimum (64m)
  3. Reduce the "Particles" to near minimum (eg 256 or 512) - you will still see some particles, just not all
  4. Ensure "Avatar Impostors" is on (checked) - this makes avatars further away from you appear in less detail
  5. Reduce any other sliders that you aren't using right now
  • e.g. when building or shopping you might turn up "Objects" and turn everything else down
  • when editing appearance or trying on clothes you would turn "Avatar" and perhaps "Objects" and "Flexi" up, everything else down
  • when terraforming you can turn "Terrain" up
  • when exploring, turn "Terrain", "Trees", "Flexi" and "Objects" up

The checkbox for "local lights" will display any localised light sources (such as 'spotlights' or face lights). Turning this off may also slightly improve lag, but it is a personal preference.

Other possible steps to reduce lag

  1. Remove any render-intensive objects your avatar is wearing (such as sculptie hair, objects with 'bling', very detailed objects) or change them for simpler accessories More information

NOTE: The following struck-out text was written in 2009 or before and is no longer helpful

  1. Edit Preferences (CTRL+P)
  2. Select the "Network" tab, then "Clear Cache"
  3. Re-log (log out and log back in)

Turning off any music or media playing in your SL browser may also help.

Computer enhancements to improve SL performance/reduce lag

Some small adjustments or spend on your computer may improve SL performance:

  1. Turn off any other CPU-intensive packages such as Microsoft Word or PhotoShop
  2. Turn off any other internet-intensive programs such as internet radio or online games
  3. Add more RAM - 4Gb is the minimum 8GB is recommended for Window 7, 8, and 10
    1. 16GB or more if RAMDrives are used for cache.
  4. Change your graphics card to a better one, 512 MB Minimum
  5. Change your motherboard and CPU to a newer higher-performance components
    1. Faster cores are better than more cores
    2. HyperThreading helps
  6. Faster memory chips for system memory
  7. Faster Hard Drive or change to a SDD drive for program storage
    1. Change to a motherboard that can support the SSD's max transfer rate
  8. Add a Software RAMDrive that saves contents at power off and restores at power on for caches