What to do if Planet is slow

Right-click on the floor and select the menu TOOLS > GRAPHICS

"images/second" indicates how many images per second are displayed. A value below 30 indicates you're lagging. The first thing to do then is to enable the option "compute avatars in the graphic card" to see if the value increases. On some AMD graphics cards this can however display weird triangles instead of the avatars, if this is the case do not check this option.

Here the other options:

"images/second" indicates how many images per second are displayed. This value is limited to 60 because your screen can't display more anyway. By checking the 'unlimited' option you can measure how much your PC could display without this limitation.

"max viewing distance" indicates how far you can see. By default 256 meters. If the display is too slow you can decrease this value.

"textures loaded in GPU" indicates how much memory the graphics card uses to store textures. If this value increases beyond 2000 MB your PC may slow down or DirectX may give an error. Reduce then "maximum texture resolution", which will reduce the memory consumption but can make some textures a little blurry. For example, a large texture of 4096 x 4096 pixels consumes 64 MB.

"lights active" indicates the maximum number of lights displayed. Some graphic cards slow down the display significantly at night when many lights are on, in that case decrease the value "max lights" to display only the lights near you.

"particles active" indicates how many particles (snow, smoke) are displayed at most. If the display is too slow you can try to decrease the value "max nb of particles" or reduce the distance at which particles are displayed "max particle distance".

"use graphic card" indicates if Planet uses your graphic processor (GPU). If this option is not selected, Planet will use only your main processor (CPU). On some older PCs this option is not available. This option should always be selected because it speeds up the display a lot. If you change this option you have to restart Planet to see the effets.

"compute avatars in the graphic card" should be checked because on some PCs it speeds up a lot the display. On some AMD graphics cards this can however display weird triangles instead of avatars, if this is the case do not check this option.

"sun and moon shadows" displays shadows for all objects and avatars. This can however seriously reduce the number of images per second.

"video/audio streams" allows you to watch video or hear audio streamed from the internet. If you enable "decoded by GPU", Planet will process video/audio fully in your graphic card (GPU); if this causes Planet to crash, disable this to process video/audio on your main processor (CPU).

You can check "defragment cache" from time to time if you have a non-SSD hard disk. The next time you start Planet, the large cache file on your hard disk will then be defragmented (it will take 5 min). This has no effect if you have an SSD hard disk, so electronic.

The "Reset to default values" button resets default values that are normally suitable for everyone.

For high-performance graphics cards

If you have a high-speed graphics card and your display is still jerky and doesn't reach 60 frames per second :
- for RADEON / AMD, check the RAL (Radeon Anti-Lag) option in the Windows control panel, Radeon Icon.
- for NVIDIA, set the "Low Latency Mode" option to "On" or "Ultra" in the Windows control panel, Nvidia Icon.

Refresh rate of your screen

If the CPU of your PC indicates 60% or more and you have a brand new laptop, you can check this:

click on the Windows desktop, Display Settings, Advanced Display Settings, and see how many Hz your screen is set to. On some new laptops it's set to 144 Hz. We changed it to 60 Hz, no difference and it is much faster (the PC has to calculate much less frames per second, of course)

Distinguish between different types of lag

When you arrive at a new location where you have not been recently, the objects are first loaded into the cache on your hard drive. This takes a little while, it's normal. When everything is loaded, however, you can have several kinds of lag:

  1. Your avatar has trouble moving, it's shaky, you can't turn the camera properly.

    check in the menu Tools > Graphics how many frames per second are displayed. If it is below 20, reduce your viewing distance, check that the option 'compute avatars in the graphics card' is checked. If this does not improve things, be aware that your CPU (processor) is probably too slow (an i5 or equivalent is recommended for Planet).

  2. Your avatar is frequently stuck in flight or while driving

    This is probably because your PC has a HDD disk designed for archiving instead of a new SSD that allows for fast random read. Check the performance of your drive in 4k random reading. Installing Planet on an SSD can speed it up to 8 times compared to an HDD.

    If you are unlucky enough to have an HDD, you can improve performance slightly by defragmenting the disk (in Windows, click on C: Properties, Tools, Improve Performance) and by defragmenting the Planet cache (in Planet menu Tools / Graphics / Defragment Cache).

    You can buy an external SSD hard drive, connect it to your PC via USB cable and install Planet on it, you will also see a very significant improvement over a HDD hard drive.

  3. When you click on a chair, it takes several seconds for your avatar to sit down.

    It is the planet server that is overloaded and does not execute the scripts fast enough.

Which PC do you recommend for Planet ?

So in summary: Windows, i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, SSD disk.
In 2021, the average price of such a PC (without monitor and keyboard) is about 600-800€.

To chat well, we recommend a separate comfortable keyboard (test it in the store beforehand or buy it online for example at https://keyboardco.com/ if you want a mechanical typing keyboard for 200€).

Also essential if you want to build on Planet without damaging your eyes: a large desktop monitor.

The speed of your internet connection is not important for Planet, because after all the 3D world is loaded on your hard drive, Planet uses very little internet.