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mspellman

video card question

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This is not a PMDG specific question but a question for a PMDG programmer. As they seem to be leaders in MSFS programming.A developer at X-Plane had a comment about dual video cards ( IE crossfire etc. ) and stated that as X-Plane was not currently coded to utilize dual video cards ( X-Plane9) it would be a waste of money to use 2 cards and in some instances there would actually be a performance hit.Where does FS9 andf FSX stand on this issue?Is there a way for PMDG to code their product to use crossfire technology even if MSFS does not and if so do they?

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I doubt you'll get an answer from a developer here without first adhering to forum rules by stating your full name as required in this forum.I am not a developer but am an avid reader of posts in this forum and your question has been asked and answered several times. Answer is, no. It has nothing to do with addon companies and is a limitation in the FS engine. The only advatage you might see with SLI or Crossfire is the ability to run extreme resolutions like what I am currently running at of 5040x1050. FS is a CPU intensive engine. Perhaps we'll see better functionality in a future version of FS.


i9 10920x @ 4.8 ~ MSI Creator x299 ~ 256 Gb 3600 G.Skill Trident Z Royal ~ EVGA RTX 2080ti ~ Sim drive = M.2  2-TB ~ OS drive = M.2 is 512-gb ~ 5 other Samsung Pro/Evo mix SSD's ~ EVGA 1600w ~ Win 10 Pro

Dan Prunier

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You need to sign your posts please per forum rules.Here's the issue - FSX is heavily reliant on the CPU for its graphics engine processing, not the video card. It does use the video card for certain things, but the engine is what's known as "CPU limited" in the gaming world. Dual video cards are only going to help with rendering engines that actually use the video card. (called a "GPU limited" engine) Games like Crysis, Stalker, etc are examples of engines that do this and benefit hugely from SLI or Crossfire. Essentially with FSX (and apparently XPlane too) you're throwing more graphics power at an engine that isn't even using the power of a single card, let alone two.The only benefit you'll see from dual-cards is the ability to run really high resolutions combined with really high levels of AA (like supersampling modes) because that type of processing is all done on the video card and not in the game engine itself.


Ryan Maziarz
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You need to sign your posts please per forum rules.Here's the issue - FSX is heavily reliant on the CPU for its graphics engine processing, not the video card. It does use the video card for certain things, but the engine is what's known as "CPU limited" in the gaming world. Dual video cards are only going to help with rendering engines that actually use the video card. (called a "GPU limited" engine) Games like Crysis, Stalker, etc are examples of engines that do this and benefit hugely from SLI or Crossfire. Essentially with FSX (and apparently XPlane too) you're throwing more graphics power at an engine that isn't even using the power of a single card, let alone two.The only benefit you'll see from dual-cards is the ability to run really high resolutions combined with really high levels of AA (like supersampling modes) because that type of processing is all done on the video card and not in the game engine itself.
Thanks Turbine777 and Tabs. So if I understand this correctly then if I wanted to add a matrox triple header with 3, 24" screens then crossfire technology would help considerably? Or would it be better to use 3 separate machines with something like wide view? I am somewhat familiar with X-Plane but have not tinkered much with MSFS yet, and of course Microsoft has left the building so that leaves the only X-Plane and the open source Flightgear in current development. I am not a programmer but the way a lot of the promotional material for the addons is written some would have you believe that their code makes major improvements to the Microsoft product. Again,thanks for the reply's M.Spellman

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I've never personally done the multi-screen thing, so I'm not completely sure. ATI has their own multiscreen tech (on a single card) now too called EyeFinity.


Ryan Maziarz
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Hi M, If you have a single powerful card then you could run FSX on the Matrox Triplehead2Go at max res of 5040x1050. ATI's EyeFinity actually goes a step above that @ 5760x1080. Again, a newer single card will handle either at max res with 0 fps hit. I run 3 - 25.5" screens on the Matrox unit and love it. It has been the biggest improvement to my flight simming ever.If you want to build more machines, then do, but not for wide view. Use one of the methods above and you will get better performance, unless of course your system you plan to run it from blows. I prefer a two system network for FSX. One would have some addons and includes FSX, all of my scenery etc... the other would have other addons such as my weather engine (ASE), FSWidgets, Super Traffic Board, all of my pdf charts, route planners etc... etc... Basically anything that can be networked without loss of performance, gets networked. It saves hard drive space and fragmentation, search times and cuts down cpu workload.I have no idea what you're asking (or if your asking anything) in the last part of your last post about promotional material etc... but yes, some addons do increase the performance of FS. 99% don't and the 1% does by microscopic scales, but seems to. Most of the others I have don't decrease performance which is the more important one for me, however I will of course trade a couple fsp if the addon is worth it any day.


i9 10920x @ 4.8 ~ MSI Creator x299 ~ 256 Gb 3600 G.Skill Trident Z Royal ~ EVGA RTX 2080ti ~ Sim drive = M.2  2-TB ~ OS drive = M.2 is 512-gb ~ 5 other Samsung Pro/Evo mix SSD's ~ EVGA 1600w ~ Win 10 Pro

Dan Prunier

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Thanks Turbine777 and Tabs. So if I understand this correctly then if I wanted to add a matrox triple header with 3, 24" screens then crossfire technology would help considerably? Or would it be better to use 3 separate machines with something like wide view? I am somewhat familiar with X-Plane but have not tinkered much with MSFS yet, and of course Microsoft has left the building so that leaves the only X-Plane and the open source Flightgear in current development. I am not a programmer but the way a lot of the promotional material for the addons is written some would have you believe that their code makes major improvements to the Microsoft product. Again,thanks for the reply's M.Spellman
Dual video cards can certainly be used to drive multiple monitors- no extra hardware, software or processors needed. My old AMD XP2200 & two Geforce FX 5200 GPUs powers triple unified views (146

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Yeah there is that, if you want to have all 2D panels with various window frames around everything you have open, or using the eyfinity or matrox unit you could have this:wide_false_maxzoomoutt.jpgClick the above pic for a full size image @ 5040x1050Of course you can also map key to have individual popups in 2D such as radio stack, overhead, throttle quadrant etc... (again, without the window frame :( )Note to Alex: I hope our little run-ins on each of our own prefered method of multi screen simming is as fun for you as it is me :(I think we're both after the same thing which is to try and show others what they're missing. Multi screen simming has added more to my simming experience than anything by far since I first started simming.


i9 10920x @ 4.8 ~ MSI Creator x299 ~ 256 Gb 3600 G.Skill Trident Z Royal ~ EVGA RTX 2080ti ~ Sim drive = M.2  2-TB ~ OS drive = M.2 is 512-gb ~ 5 other Samsung Pro/Evo mix SSD's ~ EVGA 1600w ~ Win 10 Pro

Dan Prunier

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Yeah there is that, if you want to have all 2D panels with various window frames around everything you have open, or using the eyfinity or matrox unit Of course you can also map key to have individual popups in 2D such as radio stack, overhead, throttle quadrant etc... (again, without the window frame :( )Note to Alex: I hope our little run-ins on each of our own prefered method of multi screen simming is as fun for you as it is me :(I think we're both after the same thing which is to try and show others what they're missing. Multi screen simming has added more to my simming experience than anything by far since I first started simming.
Hi Dan- Yes- I enjoy the debate! Always interesting to challenge each other with different ideas and approaches. That's how we learn.And I agree- multi view or wide horizon simming is without doubt the #1 addon. Simming comes alive when your vision approximates real life. And your flying skills- espec. landings- also greatly improve.If you are using default planes it is possible to remove window frames in 2D views with a hex editor. But all the addon planes I've seen do not show window frames etc in their 2D views. I have "before and after" pics of the default KingAir showing the dramatic improvement by eliminating frames.Cheers Alex Reid

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Ok turbine777. That's a pretty impressive view but now I am confused again. ( Us old folks get like that ) It appears by the width to be 3 monitors but I don't see that in the picture. Is that an actual photo of the setup or a stitched picture just to show the actual field of view?And since there seem to be many of you who have the knowledge and experience may I ask?On the video card issue if I was to have 3 video cards (not crossfire ) driving 3 separate monitors I would get the same cpu performance I get with 1 card and 1 monitor with a whole lot more screen real estate?The articles I have read seem to indicate that if an addon is coded with a 2d cockpit,a virtual cockpit,cabin and wing views and a high definition exterior etc. there is a performance hit because even though you have only one view on the screen all are rendered in the background irregardless, I notice that one vendor,CLS I think,makes a provision to turn off the functions that you are not going to use with cockpit icons. They seem to indicate that will improve performance. Is that fact or hype?And lastly for now. All the reviews seem to indicate that PMDG is the quality leader for Boeing addons. In your opinion, would that be correct and who would hold that position for Airbus addons? The Wilco reviews lead me to believe they are just O.K.Again,thanks to all of you for all the information.M.Spellman

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The picture is from doing a normal screen capture, no stitching. I have three screens side by side and have the bezels of course obstructing some of my view, but never notice. As mentioned above, you can run seperate monitors from each port on your video cards, most video cards have 2 ports for video out. I use Matrox Triplehead2go so there is only one connection from my video card to it, then each of my three monitors plugs into the matrox box.Here are a couple slightly older pictures of my setup in its last location (and less toys hooked up), but you get the idea.Picture 1Picture 2In both of these pictures I have not set the bezzle management (a utility to align each screen perfectly) but you can hardly notice. There are plenty of videos also on youtube to watch of see.

is one of many.As for the other stuff you read about, no idea. I don't think that's true. Perhaps when switching views back and forth it takes up more ram, and possibly helps saturate the buss faster, but doubt it. I never had issues with changing my views except a couple second lag maybe when switching to outside. It doesn't hold onto that info, it is overwritten unless you happen to switch views often then it may still be available in your ram, but that's only because it hasn't yet been replaced.Yes, 200% to the question about PMDG being the leader in Boeing addons. No one else comes close in my opinion.In this forum we sign are full name for a couple reasons. One it is the rules so the PMDG support staff can look up orders for those having issues and the other is to keep things more cordial around here (friendly). I would prefer it if you called me Dan if possible like my signature states, rather than Turbine777,,, only my girlfriend calls me Turbine :(

i9 10920x @ 4.8 ~ MSI Creator x299 ~ 256 Gb 3600 G.Skill Trident Z Royal ~ EVGA RTX 2080ti ~ Sim drive = M.2  2-TB ~ OS drive = M.2 is 512-gb ~ 5 other Samsung Pro/Evo mix SSD's ~ EVGA 1600w ~ Win 10 Pro

Dan Prunier

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Ok turbine777. That's a pretty impressive view but now I am confused again. ( Us old folks get like that ) It appears by the width to be 3 monitors but I don't see that in the picture. Is that an actual photo of the setup or a stitched picture just to show the actual field of view?And since there seem to be many of you who have the knowledge and experience may I ask?On the video card issue if I was to have 3 video cards (not crossfire ) driving 3 separate monitors I would get the same cpu performance I get with 1 card and 1 monitor with a whole lot more screen real estate?The articles I have read seem to indicate that if an addon is coded with a 2d cockpit,a virtual cockpit,cabin and wing views and a high definition exterior etc. there is a performance hit because even though you have only one view on the screen all are rendered in the background irregardless, I notice that one vendor,CLS I think,makes a provision to turn off the functions that you are not going to use with cockpit icons. They seem to indicate that will improve performance. Is that fact or hype?And lastly for now. All the reviews seem to indicate that PMDG is the quality leader for Boeing addons. In your opinion, would that be correct and who would hold that position for Airbus addons? The Wilco reviews lead me to believe they are just O.K.Again,thanks to all of you for all the information.M.Spellman
As Dan noted, you can have a monitor for each GPU port- hence 2 cards can drive 3 monitors. However, while TH2Go offers a generic or universal Bezel Mgmt.- to achieve a true adjustment for the separation of views caused by monitor bezels- there must be a capability to adjust according to the specific monitor SCREEN and BEZEL WIDTHS. Using multiple cards/views, you can do this adjustment in Panel Cfg in FS9 or in Camera settings in FSX.The eye/ brain combo is very shrewd in judging whether it is seeing 3 separate pictures or one very wide pic. Only when you do this adjustment precisely, will the 3 views truly seem to become one wide view.Re performance: With 3 different views (LFwd,Fwd,RFwd)- each must be computed one at a time through the CPU. Hence the Frame Rate will be affected accordingly. In my case with a 6 yr old machine, frame rate drops about 50%. But there is also some magic that comes into play. Since only one view is being computed at any moment, the other two views or 66% of the whole, are stationary or have an infinitely high frame rate! As long as the posted frame rate stays above 15-16, the whole image appears to be as smooth as a single monitor running at 30+.Lots more on this topic in the Hardware and/or Video Card forums. Search for "multiple monitors'. Probably this theme should be carried on there, rather than here in the PMDG forum..Alex Reid

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Thanks Dan and Alex. Will continue in the video card section as suggested.In closing I went to youtube and found quite a few amazing home cockpit videos.Cannot imagine what this one cost

M.Spellman

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Thanks Dan and Alex. Will continue in the video card section as suggested.In closing I went to youtube and found quite a few amazing home cockpit videos.Cannot imagine what this one cost
M.Spellman
That's a pretty impressive sim/pit! Anyone who is sceptical of the value of a full cockpit Field of View, should watch this.The realistic, irregular shapes of the windscreens make me suspect the use projectors, possibly onto a curved screen- rather than monitors.Very nice touch!! And how many of you were busy watching the instruments and not the approach visual?Alex Reid

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Of course it's projectors, in his case (and most) 3 of them, and yes the ones in his videos are being projected on curved surfaces. I have been a subscriber to his videos for a while and he just released this

video. I was building along the lines of this years ago and the project haulted and personally I am now grateful it did. I think the biggest thing to look at before doing a sim pit is how practical it is. I am waiting for more space and better ideas before I plunge back into such a project but the main thing I think is key (at least for me) is not to get too locked to one pit.Of course if you go for actual panels, overhead, pedestal and such you will need to make somewhat of a choice, but I just don't like the idea of being locked to one model. Each FMC/CDU is about $1000.00 USD and there are some "Key" differences between the types. For the most part the 737 and the 747 are very similar but have different button placement and the NG has different options. For throttle quardrant I would build a 4 throttle system regardless of anything else so if my main pit was to be a 737, I wouldn't be locked out of a 4 engine AC later, or a 3 engine like the MD-11.The biggest jump is in the overhead where you would have to make a choice which to use and it wouldn't be as interchangable as the glareshield can be. In other words, I made my old glareshield of a 747-400 still more than workable with the 737 and 777, but the cosmetics were still just 747. For most people I'm sure doing a project like this would be to authentically duplicate their favorite AC, but for me it's just not practical since such a project runs from 10k - 30k. I still bounce some ideas around in my head on doing a custom build that would look like a boeing pit but the overhead would be like nothing ever seen and probably more of the Concorde overhead with as much intertwined functionality to where I could get the most out of the most aircraft. Again, not ideal for most, but having already gone down this road will gladly stay in the design stage before ever fully commiting to it again.Space like I said is one of my biggest concerns. Besides,,, I always found it rather awkward to explain to my overnight relationship what all the crap was in my living room :(

i9 10920x @ 4.8 ~ MSI Creator x299 ~ 256 Gb 3600 G.Skill Trident Z Royal ~ EVGA RTX 2080ti ~ Sim drive = M.2  2-TB ~ OS drive = M.2 is 512-gb ~ 5 other Samsung Pro/Evo mix SSD's ~ EVGA 1600w ~ Win 10 Pro

Dan Prunier

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