Wednesday, September 1, 2010

SecondLife Viewer 2 Standard - vs.- SnowGlobe & Snowstorm - Quick Performance Comparision

  After yesterdays post  Kirsten S(20)-(35), I decided it was time to take a look at the official LL versions of the nefarious Viewer2. This is not intended to be an in depth review, just some general performance measurements. I will be using the standard SL-V2 2-1-1-208043, SnowGlobe- and SnowStorm-2-1-2-208809.
  The testbed computer is an Intel based P4 3.4GHz -1023 MB, Nvidia GeForce 8400 GS/PCI/SSE2 512 MB the Video Driver is a tweaked version of 258.96   I have the Nvidia Control Panel set to the performance mode, Antialiasing - Mode is set to application controlled. The internet connection is via cable modem at 1GBs. I have adjusted all 3 viewer's network connection  maximum bandwidth to 200kbps and custom port #13004. The Viewers Graphics, quality and speed to Mid with Atmospheric Shaders ON, draw distance is 96m. Hardware Options has Antialiasing at 8x. The Operating System is WinXP SP3. The test Simm has 7297 objects, active objects 447 - 450, active scripts 4240 - 4275, script events 325 - 375eps. In other words a relatively average mainland simm with a number of structures and virtually no avatar activity.
  Each viewer took 1 re-log to finish loading 11,544 inventory items.Here are the basic performance specs

Viewer 2
  Bandwith               17 - 118kps typical average 14kps
  FPS                       11 - 17 typical average 12fps
  Packet Loss           0.8 - 6.2% typical average 1.6%

  Bandwith               25 - 120kps typical average 42kps                 
  FPS                       8 - 45 typical average 19fps
  Packet Loss          0.0 - 6.3% typical average 1.9%

  Bandwith              35 - 250kps typical average 17kps 
  FPS                      19 - 29 typical average 24fps
  Packet Loss          0,0 - 9-5% typical average 1.6%

  Ok so what do these numbers mean to me, and I stress this is only my opinion. The first figures represent how the viewer uses available bandwith and its abilitty to deal with, and distribute the load. If thats the case then SnowStorm is the hands down winner, it retains a relativaly steady 17kps to the server, yet is able to reach quick bursts of speed up to 250kps when needed in order to maintain a realitively consistent Frame Rate of 24fps.  
  SnowGlobe on the other hand seems to prefer to keep a more consistant load on the bandwith channel, in order to do its job. Viewer 2 is typical, and does not seem to have been optimized to react accordingly to various loads. Packet loss seems to be consistent between the 3 viewers, with SnowGlobe slightly higher. As  it should be, considering the fact it has a greater amount of constant communication between the client and server. My guess would be the SnowStorm team has recognized this, and tweaked the code to react more intelligently to varying loads.
  The main number to look at is the FPS. SnowStorm maintains a fairly consistent 24fps, and on 5 year old mid range hardware, this is pretty darn good. The Motion Picture and Television Broadcast Industry use 29.97fps as the defacto standard in the U.S.A. A high end computer with more available bandwith will be capable of achieving near movie like quality.
  Now the final note to this post.
The UI of all 3 of these viewers is absolutely horrible, In all my days of working with computers, since 1984 and the first GUI's. I have never encountered, a more poorly designed, ill concieved, worst implemented, user unfriendly human to computer interface to date! 
  I'll be dealing with this issue tomorrow. Stay Tuned !!

JayR Cela :_)


Hitomi Tiponi said...

Many of the quick win features of Snowglobe are being rolled over into Snowstorm in the next two weeks - see

JayR Cela said...

Thanks Hitomi / I was talking to Tigg's Linden today, supposedly the stuffed corporate shirts at LL, have insisted that the V2 UI be used so far :(


Judi Newall said...

I have 2 main hates against viewer 2 Firstly it takes MUCH longer to rez, I'm stuck as a cloud which never happens under the old viewer. Secondly, the screen is so cluttered, especially with that damn sidebar that I can't keep mini-map open and out of the way. The only option I can find is bottom centre where it impedes my view, top right under old viewer was ideal!

Suella Ember said...

I'm guessing SnowGLOBE will end soon right?

I mean SnowSTORM should essentially become SnowGLOBE but with a fast release cycle into the main viewer shouldn't it?

My assumption would be that a SnowSTORM beta viewer will be available for testing prior to its code getting moved into the official viewer. Or am I completely misunderstanding the way this works (which is perfectly possible! lol)

Dragger Lok said...

I'm finding the Emergence viewer to be a streamlined Emerald viewer- in that it loads with lightning speed.

JayR Cela said...

Hi there Judi
thanks for your comment, I agree with you 100% the rezz time seems to be a bit slow with V2, and the UI is horrible, I believe these issues will all soon be addressed with the SnowStorm project. I was talking with a Linden yesterday (un-named) everyone at LL hates the V2 UI, but the corporate stuffed shirts want their money's worth that has been wasted on this abonamation. From what I have been told, SnowStorm's next release will feature all tear off menu's that you can re-size.
Yaaayyy !! / LOL :_)
Thank you so very much for your comment, and I hope you will continue to return here for the latest breaking news on the SL viewer

JayR Cela :_)

JayR Cela said...

Hi there Suella
I just got done talking with OZ Linden, he could use all the support he can get. V2 has lots of potential, just has a horrible UI. So in my opinion it is up to us the SL users to get involved, put our 2 cents worth in, and support the SnowStorm project. I'll post something later on today or tomorrow on how to get involved

thank you for your comment *bigg huggs*

JayR Cela :_)

Anonymous said...

What do you expect? Didn't Kapor put his legendary spreadsheet UI war losers from Lotus 123 into LL to keep them employed because nobody else wanted them? And now we see them losing the virtual world viewer war.

Did you expect loser spreadsheet coders to make a virtual 3D world UI? Really?

JayR Cela said...

Way to funny / I had forgotten all about Lotus 1-2-3 / good one. I love your sense of humor :_)
Has anyone else noticed a problem with antialiasing / seems I cant get rid of the jaggies no matter what setting I choose.