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After a week of testing and tweaking and fooling around with all the options I finally started to actually do some flights this weekend. And after spending a saturday afternoon and a sunday morning doing so, I have to say I had to change a few settings... You could say I went back to reality. ^_^

 

The main step 'backwards' is that, despite my shadow tweak, I had no other choice than to disable buildings and vegetation shadows... Although I got good results with those enabled during my tests, I came to the conclusion that during regular flights, things became sluggish, even when fps stayed above 20.

 

The main reason for this is that I installed the A2A C172 (which works fine as long as you don't change the screenmode with the plane being the active one). Now the plane itself didn't have a big impact on fps (maybe a drop of 1 fps) but the airplane really made clear that using the sim's 8x MSAA alone didn't cut it. It was awful. Shimmers all over the VC. Terrible. So I enabled SGSS in nVidia Inspector (deleted the existing P3D profile, created a new one, set AA to Enhance and that worked!). After a few tests I discovered that 1. high SGSS settings hurt performance really badly but 2. a rather low setting of 2x MSAA in the sim and 2x SGSS in NI gave me acceptable results. It was at least a LOT better than only using 8x MSAA! However, even that lows SGSS setting brought performance down a little and since I was flying 'on the edge' that 'little' was too much already.

 

I also noticed that even when fps stays around 25, the sim can get sluggish. Looking around with TrackIR (at high priority) could become a bit slow and also my inputs had some lag after a while. You only discover things like that when you actually fly a complete flight instead of loading a test flight and checking things for a few minutes. Also, when you test, you tend to be satisfied with lower results because you (or at least me) don't test too long and you are simply too excited with seeing everything performing 'okay' at high settings, But when you fly for half an hour, 'okay' isn't enough...!

 

So in the end I gave in and disabled the shadows for buildings and trees. The funny thing is that I never fly above cities: I only flew above New York to test the building shadows but I usually fly in Norway above nature! So turning building shadows off wasn't a big deal. Still a pity, of course. And while the vegetation shadows above Norway are great, you almost don't notice them after a while (and even less with FTX Global), certainly when flying at a normal altitude. So now I've only got terrain shadows on (cast and receive), still using the shadow tweak btw because even with buildings and vegetation off, the default Ultra setting hurts performance.

 

Anyway, as it is now I get a constant >30 fps (limit is at 33) and things are smooth all the time. Well, up until approach where looking down to the instruments of the A2A C172 made fps and performance drop noticably. That was a bit odd. I guess the plane does need some work to make it completely P3D 2.0 compatible.

 

Although I regret having to turn off the shadows (I will try to turn them on again when I get my new GPU, of course!) I still do have almost no autogen popping up and better loading textures. And also better looking water, more full colors, volumetric fog, great blueish horizons, etc.

 

P3D does need quite a few patches though. Like the sim locking up when you switch screenmodes which various planes but also the odd problem where autogen looks weird and you have to select another resolution for textures and then set it back again to solve the problem: that's been happening all the time lately. But it's only been 6 days since the release, so it's not a huge problem yet.

 

I really hope a new GPU (I own a GTX580 now and am thinking about a GTX780) will really make P3D perform better because although I still like what I've got, I was hoping for more. But nevertheless there is no going back to FSX for me! The improvements P3D gives me, even though not as much as I hoped, are more than worth it.

 

EDIT

Completely forgot: the advantage of turning off the building and vegetation shadows is that I've got autogen back to Extremely dense instead of Very dense! That's very nice, of course! And also Tesselation at full right! And as I said AA is better now also: couldn't get that done with those shadows enabled. So all and all it's a good compromise. ^_^

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Speaking as someone who bought a GTX 780 in anticipation of P3D v2 I must say that I sympathise and recognise your challenges and trade-offs. By this I mean that you will probably be able to move some of the sliders higher, but you will still have to make a trade-off between the performance you want (think you deserve) because of your great graphics card, and the reality when flying in mixed environments.

I have ended up with the same AA setting as you, 2x ssgs in Nvidia inspector, and 2X or 4X inside the simulator, with 16x AF. I'm running your shadow tweak.

Still, to get acceptable performance (above 30) in a simple aircraft I have LOD at the next highest setting, scenery complexity at maximum, and autogen very dense/dense. I also turned tessellation one stop down from maximum. This gives wonderful performance when flying above Norway, as shown in the video below, but as soon as I switch to a more complex aircraft like the Q 400 at ENGM, I feel I have two turned down some of the graphic settings to remain stable above 30.

So, what I'm saying is that although your graphics will probably look a bit better with a new graphics card, you won't necessarily be any happier or more satisfied ;)

 

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Good posts. Yes there are definitely improvements to be made, I seem to be getting inconsistent results with a 670, often needing a reboot to clean out the cobwebs. I haven't bothered much with tree or building shadows, u hardly notice them.

 

But it's only early days, a great START imho

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So, what I'm saying is that although your graphics will probably look a bit better with a new graphics card, you won't necessarily be any happier or more satisfied ;)

 

LOL Yeah...

 

BTW Nice vid, but you have the menu bar onscreen? Removing it should give you a lot of extra performance!

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BTW Nice vid, but you have the menu bar onscreen? Removing it should give you a lot of extra performance!

I know, but for once I was focused on flying, and not on tweaking, so I forgot about it :-)

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I know, but for once I was focused on flying, and not on tweaking, so I forgot about it :-)

 

how do i disable it? 

 

Guy Vankeer

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how do i disable it? 

 

Guy Vankeer

 

Press and hold Alt. Pressing Alt will bring it up, press and hold will remove it.

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Like I said in another post, some don't seam to realise, that we are still in beta-fase!

It's for those who already use prepar3d v2, to give the development team the information they need to make improvements and find the flaws and bugs.

You are all "pioniers" on a discovery tour.

It's the same journey as we had with fsx and pmdg.

I stay with fsx for a while yet, at least for 6 months, untill most problems are solved.

Meanwhile I would like to express my gratitude to all those of you who are doing this for me :P

 

TvD

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I simply can't give up the vegetation shadows... they add so much perceived depth to the scenery.  I had initially left them off, thinking they wouldn't do much, but one flight at dawn with tree shadows stretched out across the adjacent fields was all it took.  :Love:

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Having the menubar visible is no problem.

 

The problem is when focus is on the menubar.

If You se lower fps than You normally get, simply click somewhere on the "sim" screen, focus will shift to that and FPS should become high again.

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I found dropping tesselation down a notch or two frees up the GPU to allow denser autogen or shadows (without much noticeable viisible difference).

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I simply can't give up the vegetation shadows... they add so much perceived depth to the scenery.  I had initially left them off, thinking they wouldn't do much, but one flight at dawn with tree shadows stretched out across the adjacent fields was all it took.

 

I feel the opposite way about these shadows, because in my home area there are large areas of forests which often cover mountainous terrain.  Early morning flights with the vegetation casing shadows added tons of shadow strips across all the forested landscape, which is not at all realistic looking (and rather ugly as well).  So I guess it depends where you fly.

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So I guess it depends where you fly.

 

That's likely true.

 

My good experience with them was on flat ground with a lot of open fields and scattered woodlands.

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