Reducing Lag and Crashes on Laptops with V2.0

Are you a consistent crasher? Love the 2.0 Viewer but hate the lag on your laptop? There is help!

This was specifically written for laptops running Windows software on the 2.0 viewer, but many of the techniques can be used for other viewers or Mac's.

Keep in mind that everything you do to reduce lag or crashes will affect your Second Life experience. Try things out. If they don't work for you, or diminish your experience, don't do them. Lag happens and cannot be totally avoided, however, it can be reduced.

Before you start, make sure your Advanced Menu is open by typing CNTL-ALT-DELETE, if you see two graphs on the CPU Usage History under the Performance tab, you have a dual core processor.

There are a few things you can do to help:

If you have a dual core processor, you have two choices to reduce the lag.

  • Every time you start Second Life, use the CNTL-ALT-DELETE and go to Processes, find the SecondLife.exe file, right click, set affinity and select 1 or 0.

  • Go to the Advance Menu and select Run Multiple Threads. (Personally this does not help me, but give it a try as it's an easier one time fix.)

One of the easiest fixes is to adjust your graphics settings. Go to: Me/Preferences/Graphics. Open the advanced menu and slide everything to the left. Personally, I leave my Max particle count at 256 and my Avatars just a bit more to the right.

Changing your bandwidth, cache size and clearing your cache now and then will help as well. Go to: Me/Preferences/Setup. Try different settings in the maximum bandwidth until you find one that is comfortable for you. I like a maximum bandwidth of 500 kbps and a cache size of 1024. You can clear your cache by clicking on the reset button and it will clear the next time you log. If things are not rendering quickly enough, the first thing I do is try upping my maximum bandwidth for a while.

If the lag is really bad there are some temporary fixes you can try. These settings will, in some cases, dramatically affect your viewing. Go to: Advanced/Rendering Types. You can click off any of these and it will reduce lag. I see almost no difference if i click off ground and clouds. The rest will definitely change your view. You can also go to: Advanced/Rendering Features. If you turn off the Foot shadows and Fog, you will see little difference in your view, but a slight difference in your performance.

The cost of running scripts is high and causes problems, especially in areas that are already laggy. Try to remove as many scripted items as possible. You can always remove re-size scripts as follows (you will also find that this makes your ability to teleport easier and smoother):

  1. Make a copy of the item. I create a new folder within the item folder and call it Scripted Boots for example.

  2. Wear the original pair and re-size them as you require them.

  3. Click the item and choose All Prims... then choose delete. This will permanently remove the script and make it unable to re-size them. Should you ever need to, simply revert back to the scripted copies and repeat.

Last, but hardly least, is your personal rendering cost and constant updates. The more stuff you have on, the slower you will run. All of your clothes, Huds, AOs, Hair, etc. create lag. Obviously, we all want to look good and have certain information at our fingertips. You start out with a render cost of around 525 to 600. There are avatars running around out there with render costs as high as 18,000. To see your render cost go to: Advanced/Performance Tools/Show Avatar Rendering Cost. If your avatar is in red (most are) you might want to try taking off things you don't need. Yellow is good and green is excellent but usually not attainable after a few shopping trips. To check and see how much the server is updating objects you go to: Develop/Show Info/Show updates to Objects. Green = good/no lag, Blue = okay/medium lag, red = bad/heavy lag. Try and remove some of your items (titlers are notorious lag makers) and see if it improves.

If you have any additional tips or suggestions, please pass them on to any London Staff Member.

by Evie Falconer and Ciaran Fanbridge
edited by Jami Titanium
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