Darling, You Are the Lag

Second Life

My low-lag outfit.

I went to the Vanity Universe Skin Fair 2011 today. I knew it would be busy and I’d heard residents say they’ve been having trouble getting in and complaints about the lag. Popular events like this are always going to be laggy, but residents can do a lot to minimize the lag.

We all want to look fabulous, but an event like the Skin Fair isn’t the right place to show off runway fashions. Leave your high-prim hair and scripted shoes at home. Discover what your ARC is and try to reduce it.

ARC (avatar rendering cost) refers to how expensive it is to render an avatar. The more detailed the avatar is, the costlier to render it, increasing processing time. Most of the time, a high ARC probably isn’t a big deal, but a lower ARC can make a difference at a high-traffic event like the Skin Fair. In the official viewer, you can turn on ARC under Me > My Useful Features > Show Avatar Rendering Cost.

Scripts are the worst offenders so opt for simple hair (or better yet, just a hairbase), simple shoes, and detach heavily scripted items and HUDs. One great tool to weigh your scripts is this excellent (and free!) Weight Scale Script Counter by Beebo Brink of Brazen Women. I never leave home without weighing in.

You can look good with a low ARC.  My low-ARC outfit is just 100 including my AO. Some residents are wonderfully creative with low-ARC looks. Yet I saw some avatars with ARCs over 10k! I hope they look good to themselves because the rest of us probably can’t see much more than clouds and grey prim blobs. On the bright side, you can block these avatars from rendering to you altogether. Just right-click on the avatar and choose Annoyance > Block.

Another thing that may help your performance is to temporarily adjust your graphics settings while you’re at the event. Normally, mine are set at Ultra, but for events like this, I’ll tweak them lower.

In the end, I managed to get into the Skin Fair on the second try and I could walk easily with minimal lag, but I was unable to do any shopping. Although I was able to preview some demos before coming to the fair, most of the signs never rendered so I couldn’t see what I was shopping for. Maybe I’ll try again later.

Second Life


  • Skin: Gina, Sunkissed, 01 Bare by Tuli
  • Hairbase Tattoo: Dark Brown by Amacci
  • Eyes: Mynerva for the Geekgasm Hunt
  • Top: Vest over Tank in Maroon by Dernier Cri
  • Leggings: Ducknipple
  • Shoes: System shoes textured and colored
  • Pose: Desire
  • Location: Vanity Universe Skin Fair 2011
  • Viewer: Linden Lab 2.5.0
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  1. s

     /  05/31/2016

    You’ve written some great little posts – I’m surprised no one else has complimented you on it (don’t mean to necro an old blog post, but I’ve only been back in SL a month after a 10 year absence, so I still search and look out for helpful info that isn’t always provided in a way I can understand by SL wiki).

    It’s such a pity LL keep removing simple, helpful, functions and controls, like being able to check your avi’s complexity (it’s not called ARC anymore – it’s all about ‘complexity’ now).

    The only way to know what the complexity value is anymore, is to either take something off or put something on, and then a little notification pops up to tell you what your complexity is but outside of that, there’s no way to check for yourself unless you take the time to go through that annoying little bother. Sigh.

    Sometimes, by ‘simplifying’, they just complicate.

    • Hi and thanks for your comment! I haven’t been in SL in over four years now, but I miss it and I always think I’ll go back, which is why I’ve left this blog up. I imagine the info is outdated, but I’m glad you found some value in it.


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