Second Life Viewer Benchmarks Part Deux – Macbook Pro

I have run another set of benchmarks running the Second Life™ viewer on my Apple Macbook Pro™ under both Microsoft Windows XP™ and OS X.

Hardware/Network Environment:

  • Apple Macbook Pro with Core 2 Duo processor at 2.4GHZ (Santa Rosa)
  • 2GB of Ram
  • Nvidia GeForce™ 8600M GT w/256MB
  •  (1) 150GB 5400RPM SATA drive
  • Gigabit Ethernet connection
  • Internet connection via Verizon FIOS 50Mbps/15Mbps (bridged business class w/static IPs)

Operating Systems (Dual Boot using Boot camp – each OS in seperate partition on same drive):

  • OS X 10.5.2 (Leopard) w/all updates as of 13-May-2008
  • Windows XP w/SP2 32-bit and all updates as of 13-May-2008
    • Boot camp drivers upgraded to Version 2.1
    • Nvidia driver version (from Boot camp)

Second Life Viewer:

  • Second Life Release Candidate 1.20.6 (86925)
  • All testing done in full screen mode
  • Settings:
    • Maximum Bandwidth: 1500 kbps
    • Disk Cache Size: 1000 MB
    • Disk Cache Location: <same partition as OS Boot>
    • Graphics: <clicked Recommended Settings – no changes otherwise>
    • Voice chat: Not enabled

Testing methodolgy:

  • Teleported to 8 distinct locations in-world w/varying object/texture views
  • Stood in same position (via landmark) at each location and faced a predetermined direction
  • Monitored Statistics window to wait for network utilization to drop to approximately 20-50kbps to indicate texture/object downloads were complete
  • Ensured that no other avatars were in the field of view when noting fps numbers
  • All tests were completed within 30 minutes of each other


FPS Results:

Location FPS under OS X FPS Under Windows XP
1 30-32 53-56
2 19-21  15-16
3 41-43  53-57
4 34-36 47-50
5 34-36 48-53
6 50 56
7 15-16 15-16
8 30 56


These results are still fairly consistent (though slightly less profound) with the Mac Pro results – in almost all cases the Windows XP environment/drivers outperformed the OS X environment. 


Virtual Remembrance Day

On April 17, 2008 some residents of the virtual world of Second Life™ (SL) put together a Day of Remembrance to celebrate the lives of their friends in the virtual world who had died in real life.  The event was very well organized and seemed to be well attended by a few thousand people that passed in and out of the regions throughout the day.  There were a number of live performers and DJs that utilized the ability to stream audio into the virutal world to entertain the crowds that gathered. In the early morning I had the pleasure of dropping in on a group of live musicians located somewhere in Asia. Various DJs played music throughout the day and several other live musicians and performers shared their amazing talents with the many folks around the real world who chose to come together in a virtual world to enjoy these events.

I know that some people see virtual worlds as “just a game” or view them as “not real” but to many they are a place where they can interact with other real people and build real friendships, business collaborations and all kinds of relationships.  Do we view sites like as stores that are “not real” just because they’re made of bits instead of bricks and mortar?  It is unfortunate that much of the mainstream press often prefers to focus on the seedier parts of SL, including sex and “marginal activity” when in fact I rarely see this kind of thing going on out in the open in my virtual travels.   Thats not to say these things don’t happen in SL – it happens there just like the real world but it certainly doesn’t seem to be the predominant thing that the mainstream press makes it out to be. I think the Remembrance Day event showed the humanity and the real power of the technology to bring people together.

In any event, Corey and I decided to create a small video to document the Remembrance Day event.  There are both a low-res/quality Youtube version and a higher quality quicktime version below. Hope you enjoy it!