Talk:Choosing a computer
In response to "Does the Viewer run faster on Mac OS X or Windows?", I knew one way of getting close is to have a similar setup on the OS X and Windows (Boot Camp) sides with same Mac hardware. I had previously done anecdotal comparisons, but decided to followup with something more in-depth. Usual disclaimer applies that this is only my experience — YMMV! — but I've observed similar results on four Macs now. Keep in mind Second Life is ever-evolving and my conditions can't exactly be replicated because of how content changes. Even avatars move in and out of a scene, but between reboots, I got similar enough situations to make this a more worthwhile comparison than nothing at all. Preemptively, don't use this as a reason to hate on Macs (I adore 'em). But do use this as a non-scientific basis for your experiments!
- Heh, I post this and Apple announces new iMacs (and other models) less than a day later. That's the tech industry for ya. - on 2010-07-27 @ 6:40 AM Pacific
- Various mixed objects in a wide open area, plus Shared Media
- Windows - 17 FPS
- Disabling Shared Media raised to 18 FPS
- OS X - 16 FPS
- Disabling Shared Media raised to 19 FPS
- Windows - 14 FPS
- OS X - 14 FPS
- Typical crowd scene with lots of avatars (about 30 main, 30 child, ~20 directly visible)
- Varied Linden content, including particles and animated objects
- Windows - 20 FPS
- OS X - 20 FPS
- Heavy sculpties, transparent textures, avatars occasionally coming into view. A very "meaty" scene.
- Windows - 9 FPS
- OS X - 2 FPS
- Interestingly, sustained at 9 FPS for awhile before dropping. Relogging was able to repro this. Not sure what in the scene is causing it, but it's taxing to render.
- OS X seems to get a lot more jerky (the FPS drops sharply) when you navigate your avatar through builds that are mid-rez. Someone with more graphics expertise should take a close look at Fast Timers' breakdown and deduce why.
- Second Life 2.1.0 (207030) Jul 16 2010 12:08:58 (Second Life Release)
- CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 860 @ 2.80GHz (2793.03 MHz)
- Memory: 8182 MB
- OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit (Build 7600) and
- OS Version: Darwin 10.2.0 Darwin Kernel Version 10.2.0: Tue Nov 3 23:08:29 PST 2009; root:xnu-1486.2.11~3/RELEASE_I386 i386
- Graphics Card Vendor: ATI Technologies Inc.
- Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 4850
- Windows Graphics Driver Version: 8.14.0010.0700
- OpenGL Version: 2.1.9026
- On OS X, OpenGL Version: 2.1 ATI-1.6.6
- Screen resolution is 2560x1440, iMac running in a maximized window.
- Tests done using fresh user settings.
- In Preferences - Graphics, Quality and speed slider set to Ultra.
- In Preferences - Graphics - Hardware Settings, Anisotropic Filtering enabled, Antialiasing set to 4x. These have a noticeable effect on performance.
- In Preferences - Setup, Maximum bandwidth set to
10000kbps for faster rezzing.
- On Windows 7, I installed Catalyst 10.7 drivers but had to roll back the Boot Camp 3.1 graphics drivers due to a color banding issue.
- The iMac is still on 10.6.2 because 10.6.3 and 10.6.4 have reported sporadic freezing issues. This may actually be a hardware defect, I need more time to weigh that out.
- I waited 5-10 min. for a scene to rez and the Statistics to stabilize. Then took the average FPS. There's the known issue that textures don't always rez unless you move your cursor over them, but I didn't do the "wiggle cursor game" and just waited for the scene to mostly rez.
- Camera view always reset ( ) in a scene.
- I chose the City Female Avatar from the Library.
The usual recommendation is to use nVidia hardware for the best OpenGL support. This is a combination of the actual OpenGL functions, and the utilities to adjust the display. The DirectX labelling is mostly a guide to the available GPU power for the purposes of OpenGL use.
Many motherboards have built-in graphics hardware, which is, frankly, barely adequate. If your cash-flow is a problem, it's good enough to run SL, and you can add a graphics card later. Don't expect to get a high frame rate. The Viewer 2.x family seem to be setting graphics to get a higher frame rate, and if you're following this approach, you could find detail settings are low enough to be ugly--circles appearing as hexagons--and trading frame rate for a slightly higher detail setting may be worth it.
WolfBaginski Bearsfoot 07:44, 25 July 2010 (UTC)