Well, purely by accident I’ve discovered a primary factor in my high-CPU usage. It was unbelievably simple – Dual Monitors.
Last Friday I caved in and bought a 24″ monitor as an upgrade to my two existing LCD workhorses – a Dell 20″ widescreen and a Dell 19″ – which were still doing OK but had intermittent problems due to age (and both had flaws when I got them anyway). Getting to the store in question that evening is another story, but I’ll just say it took 4x longer than it should have (at least I had fun dealing with the car’s nav again)…
As for this monitor, other than two stuck pixels it appears to be running happily (which is more than I could say for the two its replacing anyway). I’ll give it another week before going for the rebate that went with it.
So, of course, the first thing I did after calibrating it for my use was to fire up Second Life. The first couple of tries was problematic, as I was still tweaking the monitor for my eyes. But when I was *really* ready, I fired up the Task Manager and started recording CPU history.
Result? Originally, I was using an average of 25-30% CPU when in background (TaskMan or some other app displaying) and over 40% CPU when it was active. This is on a Quad-Core, so it was spread amongst the various cores, but this does not sound right to me; Upgrading the video card did not help either. But dropping back to one monitor dropped the CPU use to reasonable levels – 9-10% idle and 20% or so in foreground – despite having *more* screen space available. This is now directly on-par with Craig’s system, which is using the same CPU, monitor size, and class of video card (he has an original 8800 series). So, scratch one problem; However, this is an issue that Michi Lumin has been talking about since 2005 – I’d have thought this was fixed by now!
As for memory, it appears that a couple issue IDs on LL’s P-Jira summaries this (I will update this post with the IDs later). One discussed the OpenGL Vertex Buffers (which apparently is buggy atm); That should be turned off. The second outlined a memory leak related to high amounts of memory set aside for video card pre-buffering; The workaround (as presented by Nicholaz) was to keep the card memory setting (in the ‘Advanced’ submenu) to 256 or less. This makes rezzing and texture resolving slower, but I can go for very long amounts of time without crashing again.
So, for now, I’ve got SL working again to a point that I could be a regular again – *if* I’m willing to be a regular again. Like dealing with MO:RE and the Age Building stuff, I now have RL things in priority, so my online time is rather throttled nowadays. We shall see… ;-)