OSGrid president Michael Emory Cerquoni — also known as Nebadon Izumi in-world — set a new world record today by putting a million cubes on a single OpenSim region.
The previous record, of 576,000 cubes was set earlier today by Ener Hax., using her Sim-on-a-Stick distribution of OpenSim. She had been aiming to surpass the previous record of 500,000 cubes set in 2009 by Germany’s Talentraspel virtual worlds Ltd., an OpenSim hosting company and owners of the Neuland grid.
It took a few tries for Cerquoni to hit this record, as he detailed on Ener Hax’s blog, I Live in Science Land.
“The viewer keeps poofing on me now,” he wrote. “OpenSimulator is running just fine, unfortunately the viewer is now the weak link, it’s just using way to much memory.”
He finally achieved his goal, without using any scripts — the million cubes were set by hand, in blocks of 2,000 cubes each.
A few hours later, he explained his secret. Unlike his competitors, who were using “primitive” cubes that are the basic building blocks of OpenSim, he used a different kind of cube, instead.
“What I did was substitute the standard viewer cube primitive with a less complex mesh cube I made in Blender,” he wrote, “thus substantially cutting down on the number of vertices per cube. I was expecting massive boost by doing this, but surprisingly I was only able to get to around 950,000 before the viewer started poofing on me again. But after reducing some of the settings on the viewer a bit more, I was finally able to arive at 1 million mesh cubes.”
Cerquoni provided the hardware details, as well. He used an Intel i5-3550 CPU with ASUS Z77 motherboard using DDR3-1600 16gb RAM, an Nvidia GTX 560ti 448 Core 1.28gb. He was running the 64-bit Windows 7 operating system.
He used Niran’s Viewer to access the OpenSim region.
Niran’s Viewer is a V3 viewer, meaning it can show mesh and media-on-a-prim. It is known for its speed and graphics quality, and is descended from the no-longer-supported Kirsten’s Viewer.
“I did actually make it to 850,000 regular prims before I switched to mesh cubes,” Cerquoni added.
This means that he now holds the prim record as well as the mesh record for OpenSim.
Out-of-the-box OpenSim doesn’t actually have any limits on how many objects it can hold on one region.
However, there are hardware limits, since computers have only so much memory and processing power.
It is likely that someone with a more powerful computer will soon be able to pass the million prim mark.
This does not mean, however, that OpenSim users should expect this kind of performance from commercial vendors. Kitely has a limit of 100,000 prims on its regions. A typical maximum for premium hosting providers is 45,000 prims. Many grids limit their regions to 15,000 prims, which is how Second Life regions are configured. In addition, many vendors offer discounted hosting for regions that can hold fewer prims.
In addition, a densely-packed region takes time to load, especially if the objects all have different textures on them. As a result, owners of high-traffic regions will often reduce the number of different textures and total prims on their regions in order to improve performance.