Thursday, May 26, 2011

SecondLife "Using The Correct Video Driver" "Unexpected and Surprising Results Regarding FPS"

By Avatar JayR Cela

    About a week ago I managed to trash my main Window's Based computer. It is a 6 year old P4 / 3 gig's of ram and a NVIDIA 8400GS w/512mb. Hardly state of the art, but more than adequate to accommodate a pleasurable experience in SL. So after a week of reinstalling everything I decided to give SL a whirl. ( 90% of the time I am on Linux )

    Now I have always been a firm believer in having the latest video driver installed, that is until yesterday. My 4 year old video card worked well with the most current Nvidia driver for normal everyday use, but when it came to SL, UGHHH !!!!

     I was barely able to move, things took forever to rezz, and my FPS dropped to a dismal 2 - 4 frames per second. Hardly an enjoyable experience to say the least.

     I logged into  / the website I usually goto for my windows based tweaked video drivers, and downloaded 12 versions of  Nvidia Forceware. The most current being 275.x the oldest 177.x

    My results were surprising, with FPS performance in SL jumping all over the map depending upon which driver I was using. 266.x ~ 258.x ~195.x all faired pretty decently. 270.x ~ 260.x ~ 197.x ~ 185.x ~ 180.x were all dismal performers. Now mind you all of these video drivers worked just fine while using normal application's, but when it came to using SL there was a huge difference.

    So surprise, surprise, at least to me, the best performance I was able to achieve was with Forceware 177.92

    This video driver is approximately 3 or 4 years old, the same age as my video card. Other peoples result's may vary, at least I know if need be, and I have to update to a newer driver in order to use SL, 266.x and 258.x will give me acceptable result's. But for now, or at least until I am forced to upgrade for some reason I'm sticking with 177.92

JayR Cela :_)

P.S. I used a brute force approach during my testing, all variable parameters remained as static as possible. But this was by no means a scientific testing procedure. If you wish to attempt a similar test for yourself, I highly recommend that you are familiar with removing all traces of the previous video driver before proceeding with another's installation.

     For that purpose, I use IoBit Software's  "Iobituninstaller.exe" it will completely uninstall any piece of software from a Windows machine much better than the standard uninstall procedures currently available either via control panel or the vendors uninstall routine.

1 comment:

Hitomi Tiponi said...

One reason is that the later drivers tend to be tweaks for Nvidia features not supported in SecondLife, and they may affect features that SL does use.