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Christopher Low

I am gobsmacked!

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Some of you will know that I recently decided to reinstall FSX and all of my addons because of a serious stuttering issue. Some of you will also know that the reinstall solved the problem. This was a fantastic result, but there is more. I decided to stress test the reinstall by running a test that would have previously resulted in an OOM before I had even made it to the downwind leg.......and yet I have just completed that test without a CTD. Frankly, I am sitting here in astonishment  :huh:

 

Before I post the settings and addons that I used for the test, I would like to point out that there were signs towards the end that indicated that the VAS limit was close (flashing MFD on the Cessna Citation Mustang panel, some AI plane textures slow to load etc), but the point is that I parked up and shut down the engines before anything happened.

 

The test was this.......I started from a GATE parking spot at EGKK London Gatwick in the Flight1 Cessna Citation Mustang (yes, I know that I shouldn't have been using an airliner spot, but there are a heck of a lot available at Gatwick, and I sneaked out quickly without being seen) with the engines running. I contacted ATC, listened to the instructions, and then made my way to the runway. I departed when given clearance, flew in a straight line until asked to contact Gatwick Approach, turned 180 degrees to left downwind, contacted Gatwick Tower for landing instructions, turned 180 degrees onto final approach, landed, made my way to the designated parking spot, and shut down.

 

You might think that this was a rather simple test (and indeed it was), but I can guarantee you that it would have been a complete failure prior to reinstalling FSX.

 

Anyway, here are the settings that I used for the test.....

 

1280x1024x32bit resolution

8xS AA

2x SGSS

16x AF

All sliders to maximum (apart from water at Mid 2.x)

 

...and here are the relevant addons that I used (all active in the Scenery Menu).....

 

Flight1 Cessna Citation Mustang

REX Essential Plus (clear skies, but just before dawn to get those beautiful colours)

GenX UK VFR Photographic Scenery

UK2000 Gatwick Xtreme (GO Xtreme mode)

UK2000 Heathrow Xtreme (GO Xtreme mode)

UK2000 London City Xtreme

UK2000 VFR Airfields Volume 1 Version 2

VFR London X

Earth Simulations Treescapes (maximum autogen density)

Freeware FSX Power Project (electricity pylons and wind turbines in abundance)

Ultimate Traffic 2 @ 100%

 

There were at least 80 AI planes active at Gatwick alone, and many of those have 32bit textures. Prior to the reinstall, I could have disabled Heathrow Xtreme and VFR London X in this test, and still suffered an OOM.

 

It's also worth noting that every single one of my other addons was active in the Scenery Menu during this test. That includes all GenX photographic scenery volumes (England, Scotland and Wales), Scotflight, all three volumes of VFR Airfields, all UK2000 Xtreme airports (I have every one of them), four SIM720 airports, Earth Simulations Alderney, Guernsey, Isles of Scilly, and Shawbury Fields, ORBx Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, EGHI Southampton, EGKA Shoreham, and EGTR Elstree, and Eiresim EICK Cork.

 

In other words, a serious amount of stress on the VAS.

 

Oh, and this was in DX9 mode.

 

I am starting to suspect that something serious happened to my FSX installation quite some time ago, and that it started getting progressively worse over time. Of course, I will need to do further tests (including flights between two or more high density scenery regions in the UK) to prove conclusively that my OOM problems have been significantly reduced, but this test alone has really surprised me.

Edited by Christopher Low

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What's your VAS at now? I bet it's pretty high still... In the 3.5-3.7 GB range.

 

I use Process Explorer to view.

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I would say 90% of OOM's are caused by bad settings of some sort or loading the sim with heavy textures such as 32bit 4096x4096 clouds which I think will almost always kill the sim. I personally don't think FSX OOM's are caused by the amount of sceneries etc but rather the exponential increase in VAS usage once you crank up texture sizes. The worst performing sceneries for me are coincidentally also the ones with the highest texture size footprint and the graphics card can only be loaded so much with it's memory limit. If a scenery is pushing 500MB then for someone with a 1GB card I cannot justify how it should take that amount of memory on my GPU so I usually reduce texture sizes and convert them to DXT's because once that is coupled with for example the T7, some AI and moderate clouds, FSX is bound to die eventually or be strangled into poor performance by the inevitable CPU/GPU bottleneck.

 

I think by accepting a certain level of compromise in FSX is the best way to prevent OOM's, to me clouds look awful no matter what because they are not volumetric and are essentially a floating texture that spins with the aircraft, to me there is no point in having them set to a crippling level. I've not had any OOM's for a very long time with this approach, it is just a case of balancing your sim so that it doesn't get heavily loaded in the heaviest situations.

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FSX and it's issues are still a mystery to some degree, and you just proved that! I did not see that you changed video drivers or mentioned any software update(s) to the OS. If everything is the same, then it would seem the order in which stuff was installed might be an issues. Maybe something that uses a newer/older version off a dll or the like.

 

Bob

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 I did not see that you changed video drivers or mentioned any software update(s) to the OS.

 

No changes to the graphics drivers, or any software updates, Bob. As you indicated, FSX is one of the greatest mysteries of our time! :smile:

 

 

I've not had any OOM's for a very long time with this approach, it is just a case of balancing your sim so that it doesn't get heavily loaded in the heaviest situations.

 

 

I don't think it is as simple as that. I have (essentially) proved with this test that there is more going on with respect to OOMs than just overloading the system. Something clearly happened to my previous FSX installation that resulted in the VAS becoming more unstable than normal, but identifying the cause is probably impossible. I just think that this is the nature of today's computers. I suspect that you could have two identical PCs with identical components and identical software installed, and yet get two different results when testing.

Edited by Christopher Low

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I am not really bothered about the actual figures. I am more concerned with whether it works or not.

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I just disagree about the "it could be something else" causing OOM's. You're right we don't know exactly what causes them but it's not a hardware instability - it's all related to FSX rendering... Because we know it's a physical limit of the virtual address due to FSX's 32bit architecture. Textures are a large portion, autogen settings, video card settings (in my testing - Ryan from PMDG said he didn't notice any changes), AI traffic, clouds, and of course LOD radius - all compounded by huge/complex sceneries and aircraft.

 

I'm just surprised that you're loading your sim the exact same way as before (or I hope?) and now you're not getting them.

 

For instance I can fly with the NGX and in Orbx areas for about an hour (with standard LOD settings) then I generally get an OOM. If I bump up my LOD to say 6.5 - I might last 30min if I just fly around PNW.

 

Reinstalling FSX won't help because I've done it before and the same airplanes/scenery are affected by the same OOM problem.

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I wish I knew why this was the case, Ryan. In fact, part of the reason for starting this thread was to indicate to others that reinstalling may possibly be a solution if they are suffering from similar problems. I can confirm that I am using exactly the same loading method as I used previously to start my flights. This is.....

 

* Load a saved Mustang flight

* Load the required airport

* Set the time and date

 

I do it this way because I need to load the airport first before I can set the required time at which I want to start. I have used this method (that's three separate loads by the way) since I started using FSX, and it works fine for me.

 

I made the decision to reinstall because of that incredibly annoying stutter problem that had appeared from nowhere (one "hard" stutter every second with anything more than four or five AI planes active at a large airport; now I can have 100 AI planes active at Heathrow with no detectable stutter at all). The (apparent) improvements with respect to the VAS are just an added bonus. What caused the stutter remains a mystery, although I have a deep suspicion that it had something to do with switching to DX10 mode, and then (possibly) switching back to DX9.....

 

By the way, I forgot to add that I use a LOD setting of 4.5.

Edited by Christopher Low

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With sliders at max your frame rate must of been horrible even if you didn't OOM.

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The framerate was acceptable to me, which is all that matters.

 

I have since tried the same test at EGLL London Heathrow, and it was a total failure. The screen froze just as I levelled out on left downwind! Mind you, I expected that, because Heathrow is itself in a very dense scenery area with VFR London X and lots of VFR airfields active. I disabled VFR London X, Gatwick Xtreme and London City Xtreme, and I completed the test without incident.

 

Both tests were done with the FULL VFR London X scenery active. I have since removed the Extremely Dense and Very Dense elements of the VFR London X package (which is what I had done before the reinstall), so I will try the Heathrow test again with this active, but with the FSX Power Project electricity pylon network disabled (which I had previously identified as a possible workaround).

 

@Ryan......the CTDs were definitely OOMs. The "your computer has run out of available memory" error message was on the desktop each time this happened.

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The framerate was acceptable to me, which is all that matters.

 

I have since tried the same test at EGLL London Heathrow, and it was a total failure. The screen froze just as I levelled out on left downwind! Mind you, I expected that, because Heathrow is itself in a very dense scenery area with VFR London X and lots of VFR airfields active. I disabled VFR London X, Gatwick Xtreme and London City Xtreme, and I completed the test without incident.

 

Both tests were done with the FULL VFR London X scenery active. I have since removed the Extremely Dense and Very Dense elements of the VFR London X package (which is what I had done before the reinstall), so I will try the Heathrow test again with this active, but with the FSX Power Project electricity pylon network disabled (which I had previously identified as a possible workaround).

 

@Ryan......the CTDs were definitely OOMs. The "your computer has run out of available memory" error message was on the desktop each time this happened.

 

I too have VFR London and had to delete BGL's because it was so intensive on the system rendering so many things with their own texture, it is also in a good range of LHR so takes even more memory. I think FlyTampa approach to development is best because of their use of repeat textures which is why performance at OMDB for example is so good.

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I had my first OOM meltdown today. System is a lenovo laptop with 8GB memory.

Never had any issues before. 

My destination of Pyongyang must have hit the panic button at the NSA! :ph34r:

 

Briefly tried another flight which seemed OK.

 

Going to spool her up again in a bit, see what happens.

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