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scottp

Systematic approach to see how features affect FPS

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I did a complete reinstall of my FSX system but this time I took a more systematic approach. For each change, I played back the exact same flight meausured for exactly 300 second by FRAPs to get the average FPS. I verified that I got back the exact same avg FPS each time I started FSX and played back the flight given that nothing changed.Main system components:Core 2 Duo E8400 @ 3.83 GHz4 MB of DDR2 @ 800 MHzHD 5870 Video CardWin 7 64 bitI downloaded FSMark from flightsim by Gary Dunne. He has a 5 minute flight over Seattle that hits water, city, airport and clouds flying a CRJ700 @ 250 KIAS at 1500 feet. He has instructions how to set up FRAPS to measure the flight. Each test is cumulative so once I keep an addition/tweak, it carries over to the next test as well. This way I only ever change one thing at a time.Test 1Just FSX + SP2 installed w/default settings. Result = 16.26 FPSTest 2Kill all unneeded services and processes. I was able to get Windows 7 down to 680 MB. Result = 16.42 FPS. The 0.16 FPS gain for me was not worth the trouble.Test 3Use FPS Limiter w/target frame rate = unlimited. Result = 23.54 FPS. Huge 7.1 FPS increase. This utility is endorsed by NickN as well. If you don't have it get it! Test 4Set Mesh Complexity from 75 to 100, and Mesh Resolution from 38 to 10. Result = 21.85 FPS. This 1.7 FPS drop is too big a hit for me so pulling back sliders.Test 5Set Mesh Complexity back to 75 but keep Mesh Resolution at 10. Result = 22.91 FPS. This is better. So I am keeping MC=75 and MR=10.Test 6Set AutoGen from Dense to Very Dense. Result = 19.53 FPS. Drop of 3.4 FPS. Too big a hit so not keeping it. Keep default setting of Dense.Test 7Install FSGenesis mesh. Result = 21.77 FPS. Drop of 1.2 FPS but well worth it.Test 8Install UTX USA. Result = 19.12 FPS. Drop of 2.6 FPS. Keeping product but need to make back up FPS somewhere.Test 9Reduce Water from High 2x to Mid 2x. Result = 22.90 FPS. Gain of 3.8 FPS so switch to Mid 2x. Got my frames back!Test 10I am really annoyed by the shimmering water. For NVidia you can use clamp and MipBias to reduce the effect. For ATI, you use Super Sampling (SS) AA mode. Works like a charm. Result = 19.60 FPS. Drop of 3.3 FPS. Big hit but worth it though to get rid of shimmering.Test 11Install Flight Environment with Super High Definition 4096kb cloud textures. Result = 18.14 FPS. That is a 1.5 FPS hit. Too rich for me.Test 12Install Flight Environment with 2048kb cloud textures. Result = 18.76 FPS. Drop of 0.8 FPS. Worth it for the great clouds. Tried 1024kb and got about the same FPS so sticking with 2048kb.Test 13Bumped up regular AA, AF and MipMap detail. Result = 12.27 FPS. Way too big a hit. Not keeping these changes.Test 14Set TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT from 200 to 40. Result = 18.92 FPS. Gain of 0.2 FPS. Sticking with 200 because only slight gain and I think textures fill in better at 200.Test 15Set TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT from 200 to 400. Result = 17.26 FPS. Drop of 1.5 FPS. Sticking with 200.Test 16Set PoolSize from 6000000 (6M) to 1M. Result = 17.40 FPS. Drop of 1.4 FPS. Keeping it at 6M.Test 17Set Pool Size from 6M to 4M. Result = 17.59 FPS. Drop of 1.2 FPS. Keeping it at 6M.Test 18Set Pool Size from 6M to 10M. Result = 18.38 FPS. Drop of 0.4 FPS. Keeping it at 6M. Seems to be the sweet spot for me.Test 19Set FIBER_FRAME_TIME_FRACTION from 0.33 to 0.10. Result = 19.70 FPS. Nice 0.9 FPS pickup but textures not given enough time to be rendered. Looks bad to me. Keeping it at 0.33.Test 20Set FIBER_FRAME_TIME_FRACTION from 0.33 to 0.50. Result = 17.50. Drop of 1.2 FPS. Keeping it at 0.33.So my final changes that I changed from the default settings are:Use FPS LimiterMesh Complexity = 75Mesh Resolution = 10AutoGen = DenseUse FSGenesis, UTX USA, and FEX w/ 2048kb cloud texturesAA=4X, AA Mode = Super-sample, AF=8x, Mipmap=QualityWater = Mid 2xTEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT = 200PoolSize = 6000000FIBER_FRAME_TIME_FRACTION = 0.33Hopefully this information will be useful to others as well. At least now I don't need to tweak anymore and I can just fly (unless I want to test the effect of the traffic sliders).Thanks,Scott

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I dont go off frame rate. I look for smoothness, no blurries, clear textures etcNo point in having 100fps if there are stutters every 3 seconds and the texture loading is so bad that you can't tell if you are flying over land or sea! :(

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Yeah I took part in the FSMark07 when Gary made that test flight. It was a good thing, too bad not a lot of people used it though. The most beneficial tweak for me so far has been the FPS limiter. It's smoothed out flight a bunch!


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I thought that the Frame Limiter was to be set at "30" or some other smaller figure. Like to LIMIT the frames. So what gives here with the UNLIMITED setting?Also, how would you rate your overall smoothness and stutters, Scott? ... as the post above mentioned. Also wonder if you used 32 bit system before Win7 64? If so did that help the smoothness? ... and ... I'm assuming two drives ... one for FSX and one for the OS?I appreciate the time you spent on this testing and sharing it with us. Many other vaiables could be considered as you intimated ... such as traffic, etc., but I find what you have given helpful to me.Thanks much,Steve

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Test 3Use FPS Limiter w/target frame rate = unlimited. Result = 23.54 FPS. Huge 7.1 FPS increase. This utility is endorsed by NickN as well. If you don't have it get it!
Scott,Couple of questions about FPS Limiter.Your goal was to maximize Frames Per Second. Why would you use a program to limit frames per second, but then set it to "unlimited."Secondly, FSX already allows you to set unlimited frames per second (or to limit frames). Why is third-party software necessary?The largest gain you reported - by far - was using this piece of third-party software, and yet it seems so counter-intuitive.Also, I can't find a website for this software (and that seems odd to me). The only place I can find this software is on rapidshare or filefront.(Forgive me for saying this, but my experience with software distributed on these two sites causes me to have some hesitation to go there ... but this could just be my experience. YMMV. Not suggesting anything here ... just seems dodgy.)Can you link me to the website of the company or person who produced this software?Cheers,

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I should have titled the post differently because actually I was concerned with three things: - smoothness of flight - high visual quality - maximizing FPSI believe all should be considered when tweaking settings/installing add ons. Obviously if you are getting 5 FPS, no matter what you won't have a smooth flight. I found the settings that acheived the best result for me. In some cases I did get a higher FPS but threw the result out because the visual quality or smoothness decreased. In other cases, I got a lower FPS but accepted the result.Regarding FPS Limiter, this is a way to make your flying smoother (and increase frame rates for me at least). It reduces the FPS fluctuation. You set unlimited in FSX but tell FPS Limiter to limit to 30 FPS. Here is the link to NickN's excellent installation guide (very extensive):http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=29041Here is the link to the discussion on FPS Limiter (there are lots of posts actually):http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?showtop...&hl=limiterHere is a link to download FPS Limiter:http://www.filecrop.com/24317415/index.htmlHere is how I use FPS Limiter in a bat file:start D:\Data\FSX\FPSLimiter\FPS_Limiter.exe /r:D3D9 /f:30 /x:OFF /l:OFF D:\FSX\fsx.exeScott

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Guest j0nx

yeah i too don't understand why using a 3rd party app is necessary when a frame limiter is built into fsx already. without having to read through 11 pages of year old posts can you quickly explain why not just use what's already built into fsx? i too get nasty 30-100fps jumps in rural areas when there are a lot of trees around. I really noticed this problem in the freeware orbx tasmania scenery. it was unbearable for me when trees and autogen were set to anything more than normal on the slider.

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yeah i too don't understand why using a 3rd party app is necessary when a frame limiter is built into fsx already
Because as a rule of thumb default Microsoft stuff rarely delivers what it promises. If you want to take FSX anywhere, you practically need 3rd party EVERYTHING. FSUIPC to handle controllers, you may need 3rd party terrain, textures, planes, sounds, wheather, traffic etc. etc. You deliver your own 3rd party patch as you edit your fsx.cfg.A year old post... well FSX is a handfull of years old now. So, concider it a new developement still, and it has helped quite a few people

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According to NickN from this link regarding why FPS Limiter works http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=29685This may be one of the all-time best tweaks to use however at this point testing is limited to a small number of usersThis fix is working perfectly here. What I can see at this point is people on lesser hardware, or, those who are not tuning FSX correctly, or, those who have very high overhead such as i7 clocked on 285 cards, may not get any advantage with this because a. A slow system lacks the overhead higher end systems have and with the higher resources better systems run they are not being properly governed by the application where the slower system never displayed the issue to begin with.b. A very high end i7 clocked may or may not see advantage with this. I am seeing some positive and some neutral results. Because i7 clocked places a huge overhead on the system, moreso that DDR3 QX, using the frame lock in FSX may accomplish the same goal as this app. I am seeing scenery areas where the app does help with i7 and others where there is no difference.c. A system which is not set up right for settings as outlined will be so out of balance with the hardware this will produce no result, or, a worse result.This fix changes definitely the priority to autogen and terrain and appears it may throttle some threads through the Windows service csrss.exe. Those on faster systems that have the overhead and are getting thread collisions.. this fix eliminates those. Those on slower system that do not have the overhead to begin with and their stutters are related to perf based on hardware limits, this will probably have none or little effect.Regarding the other questions: - I run on Win7 64 bit. I did not compare with any other system - I have OS and FSX on separate drives to always keep FSX defraggedScott

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Scott,Many thanks for the details you listed here. Interesting to read and much appreciated.I have recently switched to using the frame rate limiter with my i7-920@4Ghz, 1GB GTX 285 and Win7 64-bit machine. I have it set to 35fps and it seems to be working pretty well so far. I might bump it up to 40fps soon.

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Hi Scott, First, thanks for your post. It is very helpful to see systematic results like that. Second, I wondered if you'd tried the autogen tweak:Set your AGN on dense, then add in the [TERRAIN] section of your FSX.cfgTERRAIN_MAX_AUTOGEN_TREES_PER_CELL=1500TERRAIN_MAX_AUTOGEN_BUILDINGS_PER_CELL=1000This worked very well for me as autogen has a huge effect on frames and the impact on image quality is acceptable.Cheers,Noel.


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Thanks for the feedback. I did not try the autogen tweak. From what I understand, this just places fewer autogen objects. Thus I believe the same result can be achieved by just lowering the slider. The only difference is that with the tweak, you can control the ratio of trees to buildings.Scott

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Hi Scott,Ever flown in the country with high frames, even with dense autogen, then sneaked a peak in the direction of a nearby city and had your frames tank? Well, this tweak fixes that problem and only has an effect when the scenery has too many buildings or trees than the preset limit. This means that the load on your system is more even.For me, smoothness is all important and this tweak gives you that in spades!Cheers,Noel.


11th Gen i9-11900K @ 3.5GHz | nVidia GeForce RTX 3080 | Corsair 64 GB RAM | Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB | Asus 27" RoG G-Sync

Track IR5 | Thrustmaster Warthog | CH Products Pedals

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Given the suggestions, I ran tests with the TERRAIN tweak. Here are the results in FPS (1st # is TREES, 2nd # is BUILDINGS):Sparse - no tweak - 18.89Dense - no tweak - 18.05Dense - 1500/1000 - 17.83Dense - 4500/3000 - 17.59Very Dense - no tweak - 17.39Very Dense - 450/300 - 17.56Very Dense - 1500/1000 - 17.00Extremely Dense - no tweak - 15.38Extremely Dense - 450/300 - 17.65Extremely Dense - 1500/1000 - 17.18I agree that 1500/1000 seems a good spot if you want to run at Extremely Dense. Notice that I lost 0.83 FPS going from Dense to Very Dense with this tweak. But going from Very Dense to Extremely Dense, I actually gained back 0.18 FPS. So definitely at the Extremely Dense level we are hitting a ceiling regarding maximum objects placed (remember I am flying South through Seattle).Interestingly I lost 0.39 FPS when adding this tweak at the Very Dense level but I gained 0.17 FPS when I went down to 450/300 at this level. This makes sense because less objects are placed.So given this info, I will use Extremely Dense at 1500/1000.Thanks for the feedback,Scott

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Couple of questions about FPS Limiter.Your goal was to maximize Frames Per Second. Why would you use a program to limit frames per second, but then set it to "unlimited."Secondly, FSX already allows you to set unlimited frames per second (or to limit frames). Why is third-party software necessary?Cheers,
Don't know if your specific question was answered, but if not . . . I like to take credit for recognizing FPS_Limiter's value in FSX. I actually asked if anyone had heard of a utility which could limit frames in video games, and was turned on to it from that party: http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?showtopic=245251&hl=Here's my take on how this utility works: there are certain optimizations built in to running FSX in UNLIMITED mode within the sim. When you limit frames in FSX by using the slider in the sim, you lose the benefits of these optimizations. FPS Limiter allows one to apply a frame limit to FSX, but retain the optimizations gained from leaving frames UNLIMITED in the sim. So you question becomes, why not just run FSX in UNLIMITED mode and scrap the limit outright? I began seeking a utility that could do this when I noticed in UNLIMITED mode, in certain situations the video would 'slip' or surge. I interpreted this as being a result of big fluctuations in video processing, going from a steady baseline load to one of relative ease of processing, during which frames would surge up to 100 or what have you momentarily. Apply a frame lock AFTER the output from the sim would stop those surges/slips. It turned out better than I had imagined, and many though not all have benefited.Noel

Noel

System:  9900K@5.0gHz@1.215v all cores, MSI MPG Z390M GAMING EDGE AC, Noctua NH-D15S w/ steady supply of 40-60F ambient air intake, Corsair Vengeance 32Gb LPX 3200mHz DDR4, Sabrent NVMe 2Tb x 2, RTX 3080 Ti FE, Corsair RM 850W PSU, Win10 Pro, LG Ultra Curved Gsync Ultimate 3440x1440, TCA Boeing Edition Yoke & TQ, Cessna Trim Wheel, RTSS Framerate Limiter w/ Edge Sync for near zero Frametime Variance achieving ultra-fluid animation at lower frame rates.

 

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