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FPS degradation, possibly related to sound

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I’m trying to debug an apparent sound-activated frame rate problem I’ve been having for weeks now. I’m not sure if it’s a problem with a specific aircraft, a traffic program, or a larger FSX/Windows problem related to sound.

The main problem is that when flying the Feelthere Embraer jets (both ERJ 135/145 and EMB 175/195), I find my FPS declines from 30-40 to 10-15 when on final approach. But when I hit the ‘Q’ button to disable sound within FSX, my FPS jump back to over 30-40. 

 

2 further oddities: The FPS loss seems to increase as flight duration goes on (this is multiple repetitions of a ~45 minute test flight from KMEM to KATL via RW 8L, though I have found it occurs at other airports as well), and the FPS loss is more pronounced in spot view than in VC view. At about 1200 feet AGL on final, FPS rapidly declines – only to jump back up if sound is disabled.

 

This doesn’t seem to happen on other payware addons like the CS727 or PMDG JS41.  So my initial thought was that it was a Feelthere issue, but I’ve had no luck with an inquiry on their forum.  Nor did I find other users reporting a similar issue.

 

After much trial and error (AC re-install, sound driver updates, new sound card, NVidia driver updates/rollbacks), I’ve had no success fixing the problem.  During this testing though, I did discover my traffic program, MyTrafficX 5.4, seemed to produce a similar effect on any of the above AC: turning off sound with the ‘Q’ button seemed to increase frames by 10ish. But the original problem described above occurs even with all traffic level sliders set to zero.

 

However, this made me wonder if this FPS loss issue was really related to FSX or other specific programs, or  more about Win7 processing of sound files.  My searches through Google and these forums seem to turn up periodic reports of similar issues over the years, but no clear fix.  Monitoring Process Explorer shows no other resource taking CPU time.  Win7 tells me it believes my sound drivers are the most recent available. I’ve not updated the mobo BIOS; nervous that might create more problems that it might solve.

 

Sorry for the long post.  Any quick thought on this?  System specs: Asus P8Z77-V, Win7 64bit, I2700K at 4.7 gig, 8GB RAM, FSX on dedicated SSD with about 18% free space, 2 monitors (one for FSX, one for addons, etc), GTX580 with 3GB, have tried various NVidia rivers but currently on latest.  Antivirus = MS Security Essentials. I have a dedicated Soundblaster card, but it doesn’t seem to matter whether I use that or mobo sound, nor if mobo sound is enabled or disabled. 


Hans Soule

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Good luck on your investigations of the causes.  I certainly have no clue but wanted to say that I ran a freeware program called RealTemp while running FSX today.  Interesting to see what happened when I started up FSX and got everything loaded from my flight (PMDG737, ProATC-X, MSE v2 Texas, AS2012, and XPAX).  I'm overclocked at 4.4GHz and almost immediately, my CPU load went from about 1% without FSX running to a 85% load.  The Max temp on the CPU went from about 106 degrees to a 145 degrees (Fahrenheit).  The temps on each core varied from a low of 115 degrees on Core 1  to a max of 145 degrees on Cores 2 and 3.  As I recall Core 4 had a temp of 129 degrees.  The temperatures all remained like that throughout the flight.  The CPU load changed frequently depending on what was happening.  If there was ATC sound for instance, the CPU load would shoot up to 100% but my fps stayed at 40 fps.  There were many times when the CPU load stayed at 100% and would go no lower than 85%.  I completed the flight successfully and the fps went no lower than around 14 during the flight.  When I shut FSX down, the CPU load went from 85% to less than 1%. 

 

I own the FeelThere ERJ's and have not reinstalled them and will probably leave them out of the hangar.  I did buy some of the McPhat repaints too.  I do not recall having any sound issue with the aircraft though and recall pretty good fps.  The ERJ has a bit more difficult learning curve and I currently have no time to study the operations so will leave them out of the hangar for now. 

 

Maybe there are better sound files for the ERJ somewhere on the Internet that you can use.

 

Best regards,

Jim


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Yes, I see the same CPU loading running on cores 1,2,3 (affinity=14). I'm watercooled so temps rarely exceed 65C. I'll try some alternate sound files as you suggest. My gut tells me this is a Windows or driver update issue, because I don't recall this problem in months past - except once, just after installing FSX on this new rig, and that prompted a re-install. But I can't reconcile that feeling with the fact that my other AC don't exhibit this behavior.

 

EDIT: In the throes of despair I actually did alias sounds to the default CRJ to see if that solved the problem - no luck, though it was apparent that some sounds were replaced (flaps, engines) and others weren't (various cockpit sounds)


Hans Soule

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The sound-FPS thing is actually true. Have you updated the driver for your sound card? About 6 months ago (maybe more, I dont know) creative came out with updated drivers that supposedly solved this. If memory serves, I think this was a problem with the Xi-Fi series - but I could be completely wrong. 

 

I know I haven't noticed the issue since I downloaded the driver but to be honest it wasn't something that was a huge deal so I may not have noticed either way. 


Noah Bryant
 

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Solved it. Found a post from 2010 which noted problems caused by checking the Compatibility box for the FSX startup icon. Mine was set to Windows 7, though it appears perhaps the Feelthere jets don't want any compatibility option checked at all. Anyway, I cleared the box, and all is well. So sick of these test flights, I'm going to go fly something else now.


Hans Soule

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I was suffering this problem with certain aircraft, particularly those by JustFlight, and the solution above solved the issue of the FPS droping with sound on for me (FSXA, Win10 Home 64bit). I had it also set on compatibility for Win7.

Thought this comment although late, would be useful for future troubleshooters.

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