Typical Frame Rate Performance by Graphics Card/GPU

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To help Residents determine the cause of slower frame rates (the rate at which the Second Life viewer draws objects), we take periodic samples of Second Life viewer performance statistics.

While there are a number of factors that influence frame rates (see I have a lot of lag; how do I stop it? for more information and troubleshooting tips), the the GPU (graphics processing unit) on your computer can definitely affect your viewing performance, since it does most of the work in drawing the objects you see. On many computers, this is part of your graphics card, but it could also be a graphics chip built directly into your computer's motherboard.

The chart below represents the average frame rates (in frames per second, or FPS) for a sample taken of the 100 most popular GPUs using Second Life, which makes up 99.5% of our current user base. This should give you a sense of the kind of performance other users who have the same GPU are seeing.


If you're seeing substantially worse performance than the average above, try the troubleshooting steps listed below, or in the related topics. If none of these steps help improve your performance, you may want to consider upgrading your graphics card. Note that some of the GPUs listed above, while common, are not on the supported GPU list on our System Requirements page, but we still see people trying to use them, which is likely to be frustrating for those users.

Other possible factors that could affect viewer frame rates:

  • How busy your location is -- try teleporting to an area with less activity or fewer objects. Note that frame rates can vary greatly over the course of a session!
  • Viewer Preference settings -- you might have the settings too high for what you computer can easily handle. Try adjusting settings in the Graphics tab of the Preferences window:
  • Graphics card driver support for OpenGL functions (make sure you have the most recent update of your graphics card drivers).
  • Available memory.
  • Network issues (more commonly referred to as "lag").

Useful information may be found in the following related topics: