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J van E

Totally inconsistent test results: how to setup P3D?

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I installed P3D 2.2 on my new PC (i7 4790K and GTX780 6 GB) and I have been testing for quite some time to see what system settings (CPU OC, GPU OC, AM yes or no) would work best. I set up a test flight with the default Bonanze on AP above San Fransisco (FTX NCA). I let the plane fly for a minute and then I check the average (!) fps. I don't use TrackIR or anything else. Fps is set to unlimited in P3D.

 

Conclusion: it's IMPOSSIBLE to benchmark P3D and to find what works best!!! No matter what I do, I always get random results between 22 and 29 fps...! :blink: :unsure:

 

For instance with the CPU @ 4.5 (HT off) and the GPU running at default I get an average fps 22.7. After a reboot I get 29.0. After another reboot I get 22.8.

 

Another example: CPU @ 4.5, GPU default. Without AM in the cfg I get 27.6. After a reboot 29.2. After another reboot 22.8.

 

Let's OC the GPU (considerably): 23.7. After a reboot 28.6.

 

And what about this one: CPU at default 4.0, GPU also at default, AM=15. Average fps is 24.5...

 

The results are totally inconsistent and seem to be completely random. How the heck can I be sure I will get the best performance??? It seems the PC decides to do whatever it wants! This way I can never be sure to get the best possible performance! How is it possible that my brand new PC with the CPU and GPU overclocked can give me worse performance than everything at default? Whenever I think I have found the best settings, the results are very poor the next time! And the settings that seem the worst, can even sometimes give me better performance!

 

Help! How can I get the most out of my new PC?

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I think you are.looling at it the wrong way. In FSX, the fps benchmark was one of the top signs of good steady performance. In P3D not so.

 

Example, I can set up at flifht at 15fps in FSX and get stutters. In P3D I get smooth until about 11fps.

I have noticed a much larger fluctuation of fps in P3D. This is because it injects textures in a different way to FSX.

I have just set up my rig with a new I7 4790k as well. Unlike FSX, with P3D you get visible results with HTC turned on, you can experiment with Affinity Mask and prove for yourself.

As for me, I have removed all AM and all tweaks from my cfg file, am not using Nvidia Inspector any more, got my frames locked at 26 inside P3D and have turned off the fps counter.

Time to fly and enjoy, find a setting you like and leave it, it is like trying to drive a car in the USA and wondering why everyone is driving in the wrong side of the road and still enjoying themselves.

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Help! How can I get the most out of my new PC?

 

I suggest stop tweaking and fly.  Set things up to be the sort of the way you want them (shadows and autogen density, for example) then just fly for a few days without worrying about tweaking.  Don't pay too much attention to the frame rate counter, just watch the screen to make sure the stutters aren't too bad and you aren't down to a slide show all the time.  Then, after a few days of JUST FLYING, change something and fly for a few more days to see if it made any difference.

 

I suspect there's something going on in the code that builds the shader caches  that can bring the system performance way down at times.  Try deleting the shader cache, rebooting, then flying for a while, a few days at least, with the same shader cache.  When you make the next change to the system, delete the shader cache again, even if there's nothing you changed that should affect it.

 

I've noticed that performance suffers initially in this case, but will build back up after a while. 

 

When you're enjoying your flying, you've gotten the most you can get out of your system.  Trust me.  :)

 

Hook

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Unlike FSX, with P3D you get visible results with HTC turned on

 

What kind of results do you mean? Better performance? Smoother?

 

I know that in the end you simply have to fly and enjoy P3D but I was just curious if there is something wrong with my setup. In the meantime I downloaded and ran 3DMark 11 and the results are good and as I would expect them to be (like a higher score with an OC'd GPU). The last score (i7 4790K without HT @ 4.5 and GTX780 6GB @ 1130) was 9852, which is better than 93% of other PC's. Sounds pretty good to me. P3D simply is an odd program, I guess...

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Help! How can I get the most out of my new PC?

 

Jeroen I suspect you definitely have a problem with your PC set up. I'm running a 4770K stock with a (supposedly) lowly GTX560Ti Hawk and I can maintain 30fps (locked) with payware aircraft and ORBX scenery, FSGRW weather and cloud/scenery/water shadows turned on. Moreover it is smooth.  I do NOT have Inspector operating. There is no need for me to turn off any services either.

 

With your specs you should be experiencing similar or much better performance. 

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I suggest stop tweaking and fly.  Set things up to be the sort of the way you want them (shadows and autogen density, for example) then just fly for a few days without worrying about tweaking.  Don't pay too much attention to the frame rate counter, just watch the screen to make sure the stutters aren't too bad and you aren't down to a slide show all the time.  Then, after a few days of JUST FLYING, change something and fly for a few more days to see if it made any difference.

 

That's just my point of view. I don't use any tweaks since the release of P3Dv2, even not the AM setting. Moreover the frames are not important for me, If everything runs smoothly, and all the same how many frames I have got, everything is OK.

 

Patric

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What kind of results do you mean? Better performance? Smoother?

 

I know that in the end you simply have to fly and enjoy P3D but I was just curious if there is something wrong with my setup. In the meantime I downloaded and ran 3DMark 11 and the results are good and as I would expect them to be (like a higher score with an OC'd GPU). The last score (i7 4790K without HT @ 4.5 and GTX780 6GB @ 1130) was 9852, which is better than 93% of other PC's. Sounds pretty good to me. P3D simply is an odd program, I guess...

Sliders?

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Moreover the frames are not important for me, If everything runs smoothly, and all the same how many frames I have got, everything is OK.

True, however P3D doesn't run as smooth as it did on my old PC. I've got clear microstutters now. Even with the settings I used on my previous PC. I knew this could happen but it sucks now it does... you always have the hope that a new system won't reintroduce old problems. Obviously I can use higher settings and remain a nice fps but what's the use of 60 fps if it isn't smooth. I tried different kinds of AM, unlimited and limited, etc. etc. but I haven't find the sweet spot yet, as I did on my old PC. And the performance not being consistent but quite random doesn't help the troubleshooting!

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I've got clear microstutters now.

 

I had stutters.  I quit worrying about them and after a while, they mostly went away for no apparent reason.  Also, I noticed my frame rate went up from 20 to 30 when I finally turned the fps counter back on.  The only thing I did was stop tweaking and fly.

 

I still get stutters occasionally, but not often enough to worry about .

 

If you just fly for a few days, maybe a week, and the stutters are still a problem, THEN tweak something.

 

Hook

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Will do. ^_^ But it sucks having paid 2000 euro's to get stutters, even with the exact same medium settings as I had on my previous pc (something I just tested). Seems I paid all that money only so I could enable all reflections. B) Which looks great btw but it's a bit overpriced. :rolleyes: Anyway, I will see if I can get used to it.

 

EDIT

O, and btw, to my utter surprise I still get spikes (looks like those lines you got with bufferpools in FSX) with my 6 GB GPU...! I was really hoping never to see those stripes again!

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Anyway, I will see if I can get used to it.

 

I don't think you'll have to get used to it.  I think it will go away on its own.  That's what happened to me.

 

When I get the graphics spikes (still do occasionally) I'll toggle views:  from VC to spot to nearest tower and back to VC.  The terrain will be blurry for a while (longer than with FSX for some reason) but clears up after maybe 10 seconds.  This seems to make the spikes go away.  Also, if you haven't deleted your shader cache lately, you'll probably get more spikes.  In FSX I delete the shader cache before every flight and since I've been doing that the spikes have mostly gone away.  In P3D I only delete it if I've made a change or things seem to be getting too flaky.

 

Hook

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Jeroen - it is not unexpected behavior - you found the "balance" spot on your old system. You just have to do it again. It's a PITA but necessary. Hook's suggestion is spot on - just fly and enjoy for a while.

 

One thing that has helped me - I cretaed a text file call configs - I set up my system the way I *thought* it should be - copied the cfg file and made a starting entry in my text file. Flew for a week or so - noted little things I didn't like - made ONE or TWO changes - noted them in the file - flew for another week or so - repeat as necessary.

 

SO far the only setting that has any major impact is AM=15.

 

IMHO there are many times when the OS is doing cleanup or some forgotten program is checking for an update that creates a minor glitch - they we scurry around tying t fix something that isn't broken - just a single glitch.

 

One thing I do for sure though - delete the shaders after EVERY change - that DOES make a difference.

 

Vic

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Until nvidia support 1/2 refresh rate at driver level, micro stutters are inevitable compared to fsx.

 

I'm done with p3d until it gets this support.

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One thing that has helped me - I cretaed a text file call configs - I set up my system the way I *thought* it should be - copied the cfg file and made a starting entry in my text file. Flew for a week or so - noted little things I didn't like - made ONE or TWO changes - noted them in the file - flew for another week or so - repeat as necessary.

 

That's really the way it should be done, but P3D has an additional oddity that FSX didn't:  it takes time for changes to stabilize in the system.  I don't know why this happens, but it didn't seem to happen in FSX and it's pretty obvious in P3D.  This is why you "just fly" for a while after making a change.

 

Hook

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  it takes time for changes to stabilize in the system.  I don't know why this happens, but it didn't seem to happen in FSX and it's pretty obvious in P3D.  This is why you "just fly" for a while after making a change.

 

That's the main thing.  Don't know why it's different but it is. 

 

Vic

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Are you overclocked on your card?

 

I get the feeling OC'ing causes microstutters and some lower FPS. After getting anywhere between 20-30fps in the city (KPDX) OC'ing my card may have made it worse.

 

The proper way to benchmark in my opinion, is to load a flight path (you can do that right?) and run the same one everytime. Do not use the ingame FPS, but fraps or whatever your graphics tweaking software has.

 

One thing about P3D is that I know I can get a lot of good framerates, but I'm trying to squeeze out every graphic feature I can. I've gotten it picture perfect, but it's still running at 20-30 fps. Trying to get that more consistent.

 

Also for those that say they are having no problems with ORBX or whatever. We need to see your settings please! If you are running it with default settings, it's no wonder you are getting good FPS (and not nearly as much ORBX on your terrain)

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Well Jeroen, it's been a week.  Did you try just flying without additional tweaks for a while, and if you did, what was your experience?

 

Hook

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My experience is the sim still (micro)stutters more than it did on my old PC. For now I have no other option that to learn to live with it. Maybe 2.3 will improve things a little... I did spend all saturday testing things again to see what works and doesn't work (learned a lot from doing so!!!) but the microstutters remain, even when I use the best possible set of settings I could find.

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I'm not saying this will help as it is one of those "when all else fails" kind of approaches, but it might be worth a try. First download Process Explorer (the MS Task Manager replacement):

 

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx

 

Next run P3d as you always would, but before  taking off (but in VC mode), pause the sim and Alt-TAB out to the desktop and run Process Explorer. Right click on the Prepar3d.exe file and check the affinity mask. If you have core 0 enabled, disable it. Do this again, but now, enable core 0 for P3d. For some people with high end systems, toggling the AM for core 0 with P3d running fixes things like stutters and irregular frame rates.

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True, however P3D doesn't run as smooth as it did on my old PC. I've got clear microstutters now. Even with the settings I used on my previous PC. I knew this could happen but it sucks now it does... you always have the hope that a new system won't reintroduce old problems. Obviously I can use higher settings and remain a nice fps but what's the use of 60 fps if it isn't smooth. I tried different kinds of AM, unlimited and limited, etc. etc. but I haven't find the sweet spot yet, as I did on my old PC. And the performance not being consistent but quite random doesn't help the troubleshooting!

Hi Jeroen,

 

I feel your pain. However, I see no mention of your having tried running with Adaptive VSync:

 

http://forum.avsim.net/topic/443715-stutter-adaptive-vsync-could-offer-a-solution/

 

Worth a shot. It sure worked for me and, it seems, for many others as well.

 

That's the only 'tweak' I employ other than resisting the temptation to achieve over ambitious settings within the sim.

 

Good luck!

 

Regards,

Mike

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For some people with high end systems, toggling the AM for core 0 with P3d running fixes things like stutters and irregular frame rates.

 

I will give that a try!

 

 

 


I see no mention of your having tried running with Adaptive VSync

 

I didn't mention it but I did try it, with and without Vsync enabled in P3D and with and without buffering etc. etc. No luck. Thanks for the heads up anyway!

 

I have to say that I am on the edge of giving up on P3D... Who would expect a high end system to perform worse than a almost 4 year old PC...? It's completely impossible to get smooth performance, even with low settings. If I hadn't paid 2000 euro's for my new PC, I would have given up already but after paying such an amount of money, you simply want to get it working well. It's very frustrating though. I'm already looking at other sims to pass the time with...

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I'm already looking at other sims to pass the time with...

Have you tried FSX? :P

 

I would not give up just yet.. I think it takes time to find a balance of software/drivers and hardware with a new set-up and getting it to work well with P3D or FSX. My current PC is similar to your old one, and get superb performance and decent smoothness with P3D but I've had a few years to get this one honed to be the best it can.

 

I've said it a few times, but I think constant deleting of the Shaders folder can cause stutters as it seems to take ages to build, unlike FSX. The number of files slowly increases over weeks, so if you delete it it need to start again... I leave mine alone, unless I have a specific issues, and then I only rename, so I can revert to the old files.

 

Plus 2.3 can't be far off, and that will hopefully take a few steps forward... and maybe we'll get some nV driver support too :huh:

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Jeroen,

  If P3D worked OK on your older system but not so well on the new one, it isn't that there is something wrong with P3D but something not optimized on your new rig--yet. I haven't seen mention that you have tried HT on and if I missed that, my apologies. I have HT on with a AM of 255 to have all eight threads working. On my system, HT on is far better - smoother- than with HT off. I also run Game Booster 3.4 to shut down any program that does not need to be running while I am flying. It seems to help, again on my system as we are all keenly aware that what is gold on one system can be garbage on another system.

 

Anyway, just trying to help you get that powerhouse of yours to run smoothly.

 

Lyn

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I've said it a few times, but I think constant deleting of the Shaders folder can cause stutters as it seems to take ages to build, unlike FSX. The number of files slowly increases over weeks, so if you delete it it need to start again... I leave mine alone, unless I have a specific issues, and then I only rename, so I can revert to the old files.

 

Yes, I am done testing (again) so I will leave that folder alone and see what happens over time.  ^_^

 

 

 


On my system, HT on is far better

 

I tried HT on with various AM settings but everything was worse with HT on on my PC. Yeah, computers........... :huh: Thanks for the tip anyway!  ^_^

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  If P3D worked OK on your older system but not so well on the new one, it isn't that there is something wrong with P3D but something not optimized on your new rig--yet.

 

 

There are enough negative posts by P3d users with high end systems to warrant caution about that statement. My PC was "high end" three years ago and it runs P3d just fine, unless I go nuts and put every slider at Ultra. But there are people with a 780 TI GPU combined with an OCed top of the line Intel i7 who get stutters and erratic frame rates. To me that indicates that there are other explanations than "something not being optimized". It could be the nVidia drivers. It could be the way people are OCing their CPU. It could be some combination of 3rd party add-ons. But it's also possible that P3d just doesn't play well with certain combinations of hardware and add-ons. That's the drawback of running an open architecture (in the sense that there are a large possibility of 3rd party modifications) sim on various implementations of an OS with a variety of hardware possibilities.

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