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DocBird

What settings have the highest impact on fps in P3D 2.2?

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Dear All,

 

I hope this does not sound too much like a stupid idea but I think it would be helpful for everyone in order to find the sweet spot to know what settings have most impact on the frame rate in P3D 2.2. As we all have different systems we need to differentiate between features that are hard on the CPU and features that are hard on the GPU.

 

Also: Some of the features in the P3D2 User Interface (UI – aka drop-down menu) are clearly described while other are not. I (for example) don’t understand what the “Special Effects” do or what is a “Shadow Map Count” and are they rendered by the CPU or the GPU and how do they impact fps? Certainly it would be ideal if LM would place those small “?” (help) buttons next to each option that would explain what each feature does and how it will effect the performance but I trust they have their reason not to do so.

 

We will most likely see some discussions here about the results but I assume that we will see (at least for some features) a clear outcome. And that would be very helpful for all of us to find their sweet spot for their individual use of P3D 2.2.

 

Would anybody with sound knowledge care to give some explanations?

 

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Hi,

 

i think this post should be very interesting. Also for me is very interesting understanding better all points you write above

 

Let's wait expert opinion

 

thank you

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There are so many combinations of systems, settings, addons and flying situations that the only real answer is to try out different combinations of settings yourself.  However, I agree it is useful to have some high-level info on which settings tend to have a greater impact, and whether this is on the CPU or GPU, so here are my general observations.

 

The following settings seem to have a significant impact on CPU usage (in decreasing order):

1. The aircraft.  There is a big variation in the processing cycles used by different planes; this will often correspond to system complexity, but not always (e.g. the A2A C172 is lighter on frames than the default Bonanza, despite being more complex).

2. AI traffic: the amount of traffic, and the models used.

3. Scenery objects (amount of non-autogen buildings, eg airports or custom city buildings): for me, this can sometimes have a bigger impact than autogen (which is different from FSX, where autogen seemed to add more load).  I'm guessing that this is because LM have optimized the autogen processing code, but not custom scenery objects.

4. Autogen density and amount: this has been significantly improved in v2.2, at least for vegetation.

5. Road traffic.

 

The following settings seem to have a significant impact on GPU usage (in decreasing order):

1. Terrain shadows: hit can vary from moderate on low settings, to incredibly high.

2. Cloud shadows: likewise, the hit varies significantly with distance and 'shadow map count' (I too would like to know what that actually means).

3. Anti-aliasing.  If you limit yourself to the settings available in-app, the impact is noticeable but modest.  If you enable SGSS AA in NI, then it can have a very high impact in cloudy situations, but it sure looks great.  I really hope LM add this option in-app in the future, so I can enable it and get great AA when it's not too cloudy, but disable it easily if clouds slow things down too much.

4. Internal shadows.

5. Volumetric fog.

6. Cloud distance.

7. Water quality.  Seems to have less impact than in FSX.

 

Other settings seem to have little impact on performance.  Some people claim that HDR and Tessellation settings have a significant cost, but I haven't noticed it.

 

If I run into a situation where fps is unacceptable for me, I first check the CPU & GPU load, to see which one is at 100%.  Then I go through the relevant list of settings above, adjusting the ones that are likely to have the most impact in the given situation.

 

I'm sure you'll get dozens of different answers to this question though!

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There are so many combinations of systems, settings, addons and flying situations that the only real answer is to try out different combinations of settings yourself.  However, I agree it is useful to have some high-level info on which settings tend to have a greater impact, and whether this is on the CPU or GPU, so here are my general observations.

 

The following settings seem to have a significant impact on CPU usage (in decreasing order):

1. The aircraft.  There is a big variation in the processing cycles used by different planes; this will often correspond to system complexity, but not always (e.g. the A2A C172 is lighter on frames than the default Bonanza, despite being more complex).

2. AI traffic: the amount of traffic, and the models used.

3. Scenery objects (amount of non-autogen buildings, eg airports or custom city buildings): for me, this can sometimes have a bigger impact than autogen (which is different from FSX, where autogen seemed to add more load).  I'm guessing that this is because LM have optimized the autogen processing code, but not custom scenery objects.

4. Autogen density and amount: this has been significantly improved in v2.2, at least for vegetation.

5. Road traffic.

 

The following settings seem to have a significant impact on GPU usage (in decreasing order):

1. Terrain shadows: hit can vary from moderate on low settings, to incredibly high.

2. Cloud shadows: likewise, the hit varies significantly with distance and 'shadow map count' (I too would like to know what that actually means).

3. Anti-aliasing.  If you limit yourself to the settings available in-app, the impact is noticeable but modest.  If you enable SGSS AA in NI, then it can have a very high impact in cloudy situations, but it sure looks great.  I really hope LM add this option in-app in the future, so I can enable it and get great AA when it's not too cloudy, but disable it easily if clouds slow things down too much.

4. Internal shadows.

5. Volumetric fog.

6. Cloud distance.

7. Water quality.  Seems to have less impact than in FSX.

 

Other settings seem to have little impact on performance.  Some people claim that HDR and Tessellation settings have a significant cost, but I haven't noticed it.

 

If I run into a situation where fps is unacceptable for me, I first check the CPU & GPU load, to see which one is at 100%.  Then I go through the relevant list of settings above, adjusting the ones that are likely to have the most impact in the given situation.

 

I'm sure you'll get dozens of different answers to this question though!

Thanks Loge!

 

That is a good start for this thread!

 

I always thought that autogen would be handled on the GPU in P3D 2.x (unlike in FSX where it was handled by the CPU) but I may be wrong...

 

I also noticed that the water settings are of far less impact then in FSX.

 

AI traffic (aircrafts) have a massive impact and are obviously handled by the GPU.

 

I didn't notice so far that the Volumetric fog has a high impact but that may only be the case for the GTX 780 I use.

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I beg to differ on tesselation. I found disabling tesselation increased my frames significantly in 2.2 in most situations, however to the detrement of terrible night textures. I have since re-enabled tesselation and dialed back the slider from Ultra. Generally v2.2 is running quite well but I still find heavy urban areas and heavy cloud cover quite taxing on my system with moderate/high settings. I seem to have a much smoother experience in those same conditions in FSX at the moment with many more addons present. That factor alone worries me a little. Generally though, P3D simply feels more stable overall, because it is.  

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If I try and get a rough 'apples to apples' setting between FSX and P3D 2.2 im getting better performance in FSX, especially in Orbx urban areas like SFO in NCA.

 

Also, I cannot get the AA like FSX no matter what I do. The shimmering and jaggies in P3D drive me crazy compared to FSX.

 

I still think P3D is the future. Its still going to take some time. If Nvidia actually decide to support LM in the driver releases we might see some big gains too.

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Prepar3d is Mr. Stutter. It comes from FSX. So, what did you expect?.

 

If you don't like stutters, just try X-Plane.

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Don't start with X-Plane please. This is about P3Dv2. See the forum subject? Pepar3d version 2....

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There are so many combinations of systems, settings, addons and flying situations that the only real answer is to try out different combinations of settings yourself.  However, I agree it is useful to have some high-level info on which settings tend to have a greater impact, and whether this is on the CPU or GPU, so here are my general observations.

 

The following settings seem to have a significant impact on CPU usage (in decreasing order):

1. The aircraft.  There is a big variation in the processing cycles used by different planes; this will often correspond to system complexity, but not always (e.g. the A2A C172 is lighter on frames than the default Bonanza, despite being more complex).

2. AI traffic: the amount of traffic, and the models used.

3. Scenery objects (amount of non-autogen buildings, eg airports or custom city buildings): for me, this can sometimes have a bigger impact than autogen (which is different from FSX, where autogen seemed to add more load).  I'm guessing that this is because LM have optimized the autogen processing code, but not custom scenery objects.

4. Autogen density and amount: this has been significantly improved in v2.2, at least for vegetation.

5. Road traffic.

 

The following settings seem to have a significant impact on GPU usage (in decreasing order):

1. Terrain shadows: hit can vary from moderate on low settings, to incredibly high.

2. Cloud shadows: likewise, the hit varies significantly with distance and 'shadow map count' (I too would like to know what that actually means).

3. Anti-aliasing.  If you limit yourself to the settings available in-app, the impact is noticeable but modest.  If you enable SGSS AA in NI, then it can have a very high impact in cloudy situations, but it sure looks great.  I really hope LM add this option in-app in the future, so I can enable it and get great AA when it's not too cloudy, but disable it easily if clouds slow things down too much.

4. Internal shadows.

5. Volumetric fog.

6. Cloud distance.

7. Water quality.  Seems to have less impact than in FSX.

 

Other settings seem to have little impact on performance.  Some people claim that HDR and Tessellation settings have a significant cost, but I haven't noticed it.

 

If I run into a situation where fps is unacceptable for me, I first check the CPU & GPU load, to see which one is at 100%.  Then I go through the relevant list of settings above, adjusting the ones that are likely to have the most impact in the given situation.

 

I'm sure you'll get dozens of different answers to this question though!

 

 

I'm so satisfied about P3D 2.2

 

your observations are at the moment also the mine!

 

the clouds shadows hit the frame especially from 3/8 cloud coverage, but the sim is always smooth in my system

 

i tried to use LC from scenery tech with both orbs global and vector installed, but i had some stutter especially when flying at low altitude and at high speed. i disabled the scenery tech LC and the stutter disappeared, wonderful. i'll wait orbs openLC

 

i'd like to know better about the distance shadow settings

 

Thank you so much

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I am also vety satisfied now, when i found right setting.

AffinityMask 15 for 2500k and Fiber_Frame_fraction 0.10. AffinityMask saved my sim.

 

My GPU (custom coolded, overclocked r9 290) handels cloud shadows quite well. GPU rate varies between 80-100 when clouds are visible.

Just had amazing flight with AXE, departured from thunderstorm and arrived to beautiful sun shine. Orbx and ASN and REX4.

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Very informative thread. Many thanks

 

Sent from my Mobile thing

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Prepar3d is Mr. Stutter. It comes from FSX. So, what did you expect?.

 

If you don't like stutters, just try X-Plane.

go away. thats what they have xplane forums for!

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I also use X plane and I agree is sttuter free, but Im using Prepar 3D a lot more now and its also running sttuter free on my system and better graphics than X plane.

 

Now bad weather and shadows have a big impact, but even without them looks better than X plane.

 

And with the A2A 172 Im enjoying the flight model a lot :

Its good to have someone compare it  to other sims, so dont go away.

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Well the question still remains:

 

What do those settings do and what is their impact on the frames in the application.

 

My idea was it to have a clear understanding of what settings can belowered in which situation whithout too much visual impact but with high (possitive) impact on the frames.

 

So I think this would be very helpful to all of us so I hope that one person with a good understanding of the application can step in here.

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I don't think that you're going to get a definitive answer to that question, because of the variety of CPUs, GPUs and add-ons that are being used with P3d. Then on top that, where you fly also makes a big difference in performance. And I'm saying all that within the context that I display FPS, CPU use and GPU use on screen while flying.  I could tell you how my system performs when adjusting IQ settings, but it wouldn't tell you much about how your system would behave.

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My take on this, after reading a LOT of posts and comparing other's experience with my own is that there is no clear understanding.  The problem is that the impact from settings varies greatly between systems. For some users, their GPU may be the bottleneck, while for others it may be their CPU.

 

Add to that the huge diversity of addons (that we are already using), along with all the various ways that we have each installed addon configured. For instance, if you have a 3rd party weather engine like ASN installed, and have pushed Cloud Layers higher then the default 5, and are flying in a heavy overcast, something like Prepar3D's Cloud Density is likely going to have a MUCH greater impact (than if you are using a P3D default weather theme).

 

EDITED: jabloomf1230, we were posting at about the same time (I'm just really slow at putting my thoughts into words) . .  and we pretty much stated the same thing. :)

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From my experience the hard hitters are:

 

1. Cloud shadows, especially in heavy cloud.

 

2. Shadow map. The lower the map the more "edgy" your shadows will be. Think of it as AA for your shadows. Ultra results in super smooth, very realistic looking shadows - but is an absolute fps hog. Medium is the best compromise.

 

3. Tessellation. Not 100% sure what this even does, other than it's used for night lighting and supposedly better waves. My understanding of tessellation is that it adds detail to what would normally be a very basic model by increasing polygon count when close up, but I don't think this is all it does in P3D. I couldn't notice much difference between low and ultra, other than the performance hit.

 

The rest have gradual impact. Turning down autogen for example will relieve stress on the system and give you some FPS back, but each step is quite gradual, unlike the above, where each step (or on/off) is a fairly substantial difference.

 

I find though that my processor isn't fast enough and the scenery loading tends to lag behind my flight speed, even at 140kts or so. 3 out of 4 cores seems to mostly be maxxed out (i5 @ 3.6GHz). This results in blurries and "transforming" terrain. Something that seemed to not happen as much in FSX.

 

Unless you have an absolute beast of a computer, or turn down settings to = FSX or less, then I think P3D still has some way to go. At the moment it still feels a lot like FSX bar the colour pallet. I.E. A constant struggle to balance FPS and image quality.

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and we pretty much stated the same thing.

 

Then it must be true. :lol:

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Would be helpful to include your resolution and monitor count when reporting on performance. I think this has a pretty big effect on what performance you can get out of your system, especially for lesser cards.

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