Tuesday, February 08, 2011

"Hello, I must be going..."

Lately I've been signing on and shortly afterward apologizing and signing off before I crash. Basically, KirstenLee Cinquetti's SL client is unusable, at least for me. It sucks down all available RAM like a Hoover and the frame rate plummets to around 1.5 fps. Minimizing and unminimizing the window, or moving it to another workspace, brings only short-lived relief to the frame rate.

It's a darned shame; that client can't be beat for graphics... but that doesn't do any good if I can't use it.

Imprudence is fast, and there's a 64-bit version of it, which means that streaming audio works! (Attention Linden Lab and some of the folks commenting in Kirsten's forum: ia32libs doesn't include 32-bit versions of every library.) Unfortunately, the current Imprudence still has an old bug with alpha textures and deferred rendering.

I'm now trying out the 2.5 beta. So far, it looks good.

UPDATE: It's looking even better. Found the knob to twist to turn on "global illumination", and nothing bad happened; still getting 20+fps on the beach in the Minoan Empire, and the client's only using a bit over 500 MB of RAM. (It's a sign of my age that I shudder at seeing "only 500 MB".)

UPDATE: It's not that simple. Started up the 2.5 beta, and it promptly sucked down 3 GB of RAM and crashed. Twice in a row. So, is it code common to both clients, or is it something about my computer? Perhaps it's time to fire up memtest86+ and let it run all day.

UPDATE: I did. Came home just as it was finishing pass #10 over all 4GB. Zero errors; it's not RAM problems.

UPDATE: OK, I tried a 32-bit Sabayon Linux Live CD (since it comes with the proprietary nVidia driver). It made no difference; Kirsten's client grabbed all available RAM, the frame rate slowed way down, and it crashed. So it's not something about running 64-bit Linux. Now, I do have an applet that shows the CPU frequency (at least one of them, anyway); it's set to slow down if it's not doing very much. Maybe that affects the frame rate, but no way would it cause the client to leak RAM like a sieve.

Sigh. If I run 2.5 beta over and over again until it crashes, do you suppose it will get the problem a little more attention?

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