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Tobei

Another way of making your framerates hum

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With my modest system (AMD1700+) I have now got 41fps locked and experience a minimum of 16fps at the worst airports.I now also have autogen 100%,Scenery complexity 100%, Texture size 100%, Texture 100%, Cloud density 100%, Terrain mesh 50%, Effects 50%,and shadows on aircraft - no reflections though.Like many of you, I read about some amazing framerates, I try new drivers, but my results with my modest homebuilt system (AMD 1700+, 512MB Ram, GE4 MX440 64MbDDR with 29.42 drivers , 6.4GB and 60GB HDDs with eight partitions, Win2000) I have had to fly around with 23FPS locked and watch in horror as the framerates plunge in some intensive airports. I am in no position to purchase that lovely mouth-watering new technology that I could die for.What I have done instead is examine the effects of AI aircraft on the frame rates. It has been astonishing and most revealing and so I thought I might assist you in having a really good simming experience without any cost (other than time and some agonizing decisions).Last year just after ProjectAI was established, I used their installers to create new flightplans. When flying in Europe and reaching France my framerate plunged to 1FPS. It was hopeless for my previous Pentium II system. I restored my original flightplans but then decided to remove all the aircraft I was using (MS default and other authors) and instead use PAI aircraft. Then along came Aardvark, so I have been using PAI and Aardvark only aircraft for all my AI aircraft.For my test bed I use tower view (300') positioned between the two runways (one runway for landings and other for departures), removed some distance from the control tower area and viewing most of the parking bays and the aircraft movement area [screenshot below].But using tower view (tower_view.zip at Avsim) at Changi International Airport, Singapore (WSSS) with 60 parking bays that I installed (med and large mixed) with AFCAD, I found that by having a saved flight in that configuration I could establish a constant position and measure FPS on my test bed. The main purpose at the time was to test new nvidia drivers and the best I could get was 6.5FPS with tweaking and using Riva Tuner. Thanks to Andrew Tingle and his very useful PDF document (bgttv1.zip at Avsim) on tuning nVidia drivers. It was while doing this and thinking that I would never have a decent powerful system, that I decided to examine the AI aircraft as I didn't know which aircraft were possibly making the FPS so slow at that opening point. I actually even wondered if it was the buildings themselves having an effect on the FPS (not so!).I extracted from my flightplans all my flights in and out of WSSS and have a default test flightplans.txt which has 412 flights ( 824 movements) in and out in an 24 hour period. Because I have it as a saved flight then the time is the same, and so are the aircraft movements and it established a usefully stable test bed. All 60 parking bays are occupied.First test - no aircraft. 41FPS easy, no problem. I simply selected 41 because it was so much greater than 23. No logic, just pleasure.Then I worked systematically through all my AI aircraft, one type at a time. I use Excel to manipulate my flightplans.txt dataTo give an eye-opener example, I loaded all 412 slots with PAI Saab 340B. Frame rate plunged from 41 down to 4.3FPS. I was onto something. The worst offender was the PAI A320 with 3.1FPS, one of my favourite aircraft!Each time I loaded just the one aircraft type for all flights. The latest Aardvark EMB-120 is top of the pops with me. It displays at 37.0 - 41.5FPS on my test bed. Brilliant.The best performers which now constitute my fleet are:All Aardvark modelsall PAI B737 aircraft (all 737 models really hum), BAe 146-200, B1900D, BAeATP, ERJ 135, ERJ140 and ERJ145, CRJ200, F70, F100, B712, A319, A321,plus marginal range (12-19FPS): B772, B773, ATR423, ATR722, ATR725, MD80, B707, A340 plus for sentimental reasons I have included the DC10 (9.3FPS). The MS default B747 runs at 12FPS so I included that as well. Of these latter aircraft I have only a few slots on my flightplans for each one.I finally decided to remove all the offenders (and this hurt because I have also painted textures for them and uploaded them to PAI ). I have taken out the PAI B747, B743, DH8A, DH8B, DH8C, CRJ100, F50, MD11, B722, A300, A310, A320, B752, B763 all of which perform below 10FPS on my system.I tested other authors' B747s and A320s. Even worse results. I have not yet found an A320 that will give even 12FPS on my test bed. One that I downloaded was described as AI friendly but it gave a result of 1.0FPS!The latest PAI aircraft BAe JS-41 has displayed at 10-14FPS so I have decided to pass on it.I now have 600+ aircraft/textures flying, (having trimmed out many as a result of the above exercise) 29000 flightplans and now using the default test bed at WSSS I get 28FPS instead of 6.5FPS. Swing the view in tower view and it zooms up to 41FPS. Go flying at 41FPS and lowest is 16FPS at places like KLAX and EGLL.A wonderful new experience for me with great scenery that I have never been able to see before. Establish your own test bed and try for yourself. You will be surprised at how poorly many AI aircraft perform in FPS.I hope this helps you too. CheersMikehttp://forums.avsim.com/user_files/6930.jpg

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Nice post Mike.... It ties to a question I asked yesterday as well. Sounds like the EMB-120 is the shape of things to come. When you look at it, it compares to some of the best of the FS2000 aircraft I've seen.I have a favor to ask. I recently released a Microlight in the library. I kept it very low in poly count. I'd be curious to see what your results would be with it.... If you get a chance, can you let me know?Regards,John

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While we're on the subject, have you any idea if Default MS GA affects the FPS in a noticeable way? My guess is yes, and if so, are there some GA AI planes out there? I haven't been able to find any...

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Very good post Mike.. I with my pretty highend system sometimes get unacceptable FPS.. will try to work with some of my A/C see what I can improve only tHat I started using MyTraffic so it will be much harder to get to the bottom of things.Andy

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Hi JohnI had seen your post recently about making a microlight, so I will download the aircraft and test it for you. If it is low poly then I suspect it will perform very well.Well let you know later on.CheersMike

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Excellent post Mike. It is great to see someone who really went into checking things we all take for granted!!!In my part of the world there is no use for the default AI, so I built my own traffic for some of my favorite airports, but it never crossed my mind to check the effect of different a/c on frame rate. The only thing I did is try to get G-max a/c whenever I could find them.Upon your post I looked into AARDVARK's site and POP!!! a light went on, it is not only G-max. It is mainly the polygon count for the basic a/c and the repaints. Less detail but more frame rate!!!Now, here is my question: is there a way to know how efficient a repaint is in terms of polygons beside the file size? and next, what about g/a aircraft. It seems that this part is neglacted in the creation of repaints.Thanks again Mike for you post.Seev

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"is there a way to know how efficient a repaint is in terms of polygons beside the file size? "look at the mdl file size : low the size high the fps.chris

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Great post, Mike. I have not done the kind of extensive testing you have, but I've done enough to also conclude that ai planes are the #1 frame rate killer. It's nice to know that it's possible to improve frame rates through better design of ai planes. I'm currently using MyTraffic and am looking forward to trying Ultimate Traffic.Sidney Schwartz [KPDX]MyTraffic/Radar Contact/FSMeteo/FSSE/FSassist/FDC

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Hi!Very interesting post on a topic that really seems to pop up in the last few days/weeks. I also was very disappointed about how my system performs with all this AI, but I don't want to give it up. I finally decided last friday to give the FSP models a try. It really was a hard work to find all those planes and to fix the up as I like. I also got rid of the alpha channel on the AI planes. The result is very surprising to me. Those models look brilliant and my frames improved very much. For the first time it runs like silk on my P4 2,53, Radeon 9500Pro. I reach very stable 20fps on approach even with my beloved Simflyers frame rate killers.To be more exact, the frames still drop sometimes under 10 during taxi in but they doubled to ~20 on approach which is in my eyes the important thing.Conclusion, for me the FSP models perform very well and it definatelly was worth the work. Only the Airbus heavies and the RR powered models of the 767/747 are a bit hard but they are going to be updated sometime this summer.Toby

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