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mikelockwood

PMDG - another reason why you may have stutters

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I have read many forums over the years regarding FSX performance issues. We all want our flight sim to run as smoothly as possible with good frame rates. For me, a visit to Bojote Venetubo's web site and a couple of Nick N's tweaks pretty much sorts out most of my issues. Recently I had to install a new hard drive in my computer which resulted in a clean install of FSX together with my many add ons REX, VOXATC, GEX, UTX, PMDG etc etc. After endless nights of re-installing I reached the stage where it was time to add some liveries for my PMDG aircraft. I have the NGX 737 -600 to 900 plus the 777 and it's variants. Up to this stage I had tried a few test flights and was pleased with the performance of FSX. It seems that a clean install was worth the effort after all even though it had never been my intention.  I love to fly scheduled flights in different parts of the world using the appropriate airline so a variety of liveries is important to me. I installed a few from PMDG through their Operations Centre but discovered that FSX Liveries had an excellent choice available. These are all .ptp files and will install through the Operations Centre. I must have downloaded close to a 100 liveries altogether spread across all the PMDG aircraft. After a couple of days of flying, I noticed that FSX would hesitate for maybe a second or so every now and again. It didn't matter if I was flying in a straight line, panning around, internal view or external view, it would just happen. My immediate suspect was REX which can cause me some hesitation when loading the weather, so I took that out of the equation, then removed VOXATC and other addons until I was pretty much back to basic FSX, but still the pauses continued. I even took a spin around Friday Harbour in the trike and the still the hesitation was there albeit slightly less. I thought over exactly what I'd done over the past days and decided that the problem had only started after installing the liveries.

It was time to dig deeper, I thought I'd check out what was going on with each aircraft cfg. For those that don't know, the route to these files are:- FSX/SIM OBJECTS/AIRPLANES/PMDG e.g 737/aircraft.cfg. Now a typical aircraft.cfg file is normally 25 to 50kb in size, when I looked at the 737 files they were anything between 25000 to 30000kbs in size! up to a thousand times larger than they should have been! Now that's enough to slow anything down!  A normal file is about 25 lines long and ends in the line visual_damage=0.  After this line for every livery I had installed was written "For more PMDG liveries look at www.fsxliveries.com livery painted by Wizzardos (2013)" Now, I'm all for some advertising, but this phrase was literally repeated several thousand times, pages and pages of scrolling until I finally reached the livery below. It took me hours and hours of deleting, removing these surplus lines until each file was reduced to the size it should be. Once this was done FSX works perfectly, no more hesitation or stuttering.

Now I don't know if multiple downloads caused this to happen, or whether FSXliveries adds these lines intentionally (I wasn't aware of such a problem when I'd been adding liveries piecemeal before) but I all do know is it solved my problem. Sorry FSXliveries, I love your products and have no complaint about the quality of the liveries. I would add that liveries provided by PMDG do not cause any problems.  I did much research hoping to find an answer to my dilemma and found nothing remotely like what I've described above so I thought that it was only fair to share this in the forum in the hope that it will help some of you. Now I fully appreciate that most of you have the normal frame rate issues and are always looking for ways to improve performance, so this probably won't be of much use unless you are a livery hoarder like me! But even if you only have 10 liveries in your collection you might be surprised to find some monster files lurking in your aircraft.cfgs. Just reducing those could add a little bit more smoothness.

 I'd be interested to hear your feedback to know if this has been useful.

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Hm, gonna check this out. I'm experiencing quite a lot of stuttering with the NGX, but not other aircraft on my fairly powerful system. I tried adding small tweaks suck as BP=0 and AffinityMask, but it doesn't seem to cure the problem. Erasing shader cache to does not help. 

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What is BP=0???


I just checked my NGX cfg file and it's 29kb. You must be using some odd liveries to get the file size you're referring to, Mike. Also, please sign your full name as per forum rules. Thanks.

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What will the BP=0 tweak supposedly do?

FSX.cfg tweak

 

[bUFFERPOOLS]

Poolsize=0 / Usepools=0 (use either or, both do the same thing) – referenced as BP=0

This tweak bypasses the internal FSX bufferpool, and sends the data directly from the CPU to the GPU. Benefit: higher frames, Downside: possible artifacts. A very good balance with locked FPS is required!

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I Delete anything in the Aircraft CFG File that doesn't have to do with making the Aircraft Actually Fly and operate or the Camera Views.

 

I see in the "Descriptions" area a lot , a whole lotta unnecessary jibberish, all about the plane, when it flew, who flew it, when it was made, when it was sold, and or resold etc etc etc,,,,,,

 

I keep the Aircraft CFG Files Bare Bones, only what truly needed !!

 

Don't need an entire book wrote in the Description area of unnecessary Jibberish, all that could be put in a separate Read Me file if wanted.

 

To date , I have 4,992 Aircraft in my FSX Gold / Acceleration , most I injected them myself manually, only took 2 years.  

 

I have very few problems so far with my FSX Sim, 

 

I also take out and Delete any and all PDF Files and all DIZ Files and read me files out of all Aircraft folders, if its a PDF File in regards to operation of the Aircraft for reference , I create a separate Folder outside of FSX for those to refer back to later if needed.

 

Jetranger

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I had Hyper threading turned on in Win 7 and FSX was fine.  Changed to Win 8.1 and had to turn it off.  Stuttering was horrendous.  Go figure!

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McBellette, I can assure you that the liveries that I download are no different to anyone else. I am just as puzzled as you are by the size of my aircraft.cfg files. As I said in my original post, possibly doing multiple downloads caused the extra lines to be added. Perhaps someone with more computer knowledge may be able to throw some light on this. Sorry about the signature, I am new to forums, I think that I've just added mine, I'll know once I press the post button.

Jetranger, I think that you have given some good advice. There is no doubt that aircraft.cfg files with unnecessary information definitely affect performance, as I found out to my peril. I honestly believe that this an under discussed topic. Everyone tries to make improvements in the fsx.cfg file  but there is very little mention of aircraft files.


There you go :rolleyes:

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Hello everyone.

 

I'm sorry for late answer but I just found this topic accidentally.

 

The reason of such a big aircraft.cfg file (I'm talking about PMDG's 737 series) is actually caused by my mistake.

During a painting a new repaints I've added ONE line into description and used it as a template for any new project. However, I wasn't aware that if I do not close this line, it will copy itself one by one. Insane but true.
I have already received a feedback from many pilots about this matter and this is something what I'm going to fix for each plane from 800WL and 900WL version. From info what I have it happen only with this planes. All others - 600,700 and 777-200/300 - don't have this problem.

 

I'm sorry that this things happened to you, it was not my intention to mess up with this files. :/

Like I said, I'm going to fix all planes where this problem occur. It is going to take a while since I will have to edit and recompile all repaints.

 

One more thing - some people found that this big files have something to do with performance. Some other (including me) not. But I think it's a matter of individual spec like it has a place with fsx.cfg tweaking. :/

 

Best Regards,

Wizzardos
 

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Hi Wizzardos,

I was very pleased to receive your reply. I don't for one minute think that it was your intention to mess with my files, I'm only glad that this has been brought to light so that it may help others and also that you are rectifying it. I think your liveries are excellent and recommend them to anyone reading this.

 

Regards, Mike

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finally I have found enough time to investigate and try to fix this problem.
Please, let me paste here my today's entry from my www/blog about this situation.
I've explained there everything, including (partial) fix for this problem.
http://www.fsxliveri...issue-737-900wl

 

Even that link (to your blog) results in a web page laden with pop-ups and the site disappeared twice and turned to an "adfly" advertising page ...........  <_<

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Oh yes. I forgot... I hope I will be able to turn ads completely off soon.

Let me paste copy of this entry here then:

Hi guys!
I have very important message to all of you who downloaded any of my 737-900WL repaints.

First of all, I would like to apologize for it and thank those who drew my attention to this problem.
I spent more than 40 hours already to find a problem and solution and it's not over yet.

I would like also to ask you to help me spread this information in Facebook groups, forums, etc; so more people who downloaded my repaints will know about this situation. Besides of this, I will pin this post for a while so it will be on top of the blog.

Ok, so what's the problem?
Unfortunately, at the beginning of my adventure with making repaints, I've have edited "aircraft.cfg" file, which is used to save all informations about texture, reference to model folders, reg number, repaint version, etc.
I've added two lines which includes info that I did this repaint and address of my www.
Information from this file is used by livery manager to write down and add it to main "aircraft.cfg" file in each plane (not texture) folder. In this main file are all textures listed, some camera and plane settings.

However, I didn't know that somehow, PMDG's Livery Manager generated this two lines approximately ...25.000 times per texture!
Yes, ~25.000 of useless text lines for each repaint, which is in my case around 2.000.000 lines in main "aircraft.cfg" file in 737-900WL main folder. What does it mean? It mean that this aircraft.cfg file (in plane main folder) grown up to...42MB(!). Is it abnormal? Yes, because this file should not be bigger than 100KB.
Normally, new repaint makes this file bigger by ~1KB, not more.

That's why I've decided to edit all my 737-900 repaints and re-upload them to www so anyone who has this problem, can remove old ones and install new version again. I do not know why but there is only one way to make it correct.


------------------------------------
How to fix it on your side? Just follow all steps. Make sure that you don't miss anything.

1. Go to your aircraft folder, e.g:
x:\{your_fsx_main_folder}\SimObjects\Airplanes\PMDG 737-900NGX WL
2. Take a look how big is "aircraft.cfg" file. If you have installed ~80-100 repaints and a size of this file is below 100KB, then everything is ok. You don't have to do anything. If it takes more than 1MB, go further to next step.
3. Open Livery manager or PMDG Operations Center and delete all of mine 900WL repaints.
4. Close livery manager (or Operations Center)
5. Check size of "aircraft.cfg" file again. It should be very small now. If not, make sure that you deleted all my repaints.
6. Download fixed version of any repaint you need. (CHECK LIST BELOW THIS POST)
7. Open Livery Manager (or Operations Center) again
8. Install each repaint one by one.
Do not choose multiply repaints in Livery Manager (or Operations Center) to install them all at the same time.
You must install each repaint separately, one by one. Why? I've explained it in next paragraph.

9. Check size of "aircraft.cfg" again. It should be OK now.



If you choose 2 or 40 repaints - it doesn't matter - to be installed automatically, this problem will occur again, even if install fixed repaint with no extra text in this texture's config. Where is the logic? I have no idea, but it is so.
I tried even to remove backup file, removed a plane, cleaned manually HDD and registry from all files and entries referring to this plane, but without positive results.


I've tested these fixed repaints and so far everything is correct (if installed one by one) on my side. After installing them via Livery Manager, a main "aircraft.cfg' file has size <100KB and there is no useless text entries.

At this moment, I've fixed most of the textures and already re-uploaded them to www so you can download them again.
Below, I'm giving you a list of fixed repaints. They are marked with green colour. The red ones are not fixed yet and download links to them were removed from "Download" section. As soon as I make them correct, I will inform you.

This issue refers for sure to 900WL version of 737, but to 800WL as well.
At this moment only 900WL is fixed.
With all other my liveries (600, 700/700WL and all of 777 versions) everything looks good.

 

 LIST OF 900WL REPAINTS (in spoiler):


Adam Air    ................................................................YES
Aer Lingus.................................................................YES
Aero Mexico..............................................................YES
Air Austral.................................................................YES
Air Berlin....................................................................YES
Air Berlin "Christmas"................................................YES    
Air Canada 1971......................................................YES      
Air Disaster Investigation Team................................YES
Air Disaster Investigation Team ver.2.......................YES  
Air France.................................................................YES
 
Air India......................................................................NO
Airgovia....................................................................YES
Air Zurich ver.1........................................................YES
Air Zurich ver.2........................................................YES
Arik Air......................................................................YES

Austrian.....................................................................NO
Avianca...................................................................YES
Braniff.....................................................................YES
CanJet....................................................................YES
Cathay Pacific........................................................YES
Delta Airlines..........................................................YES
Delta Airlines US....................................................YES
easyJet Virtual.......................................................YES
Egypt Air................................................................YES
EL AL....................................................................YES
FedEX Express.....................................................YES
FlyNiki...................................................................YES
Garuda Indonesia (new)........................................YES
Germanwings ver.1a.............................................YES
Germanwings ver.2...............................................YES
Go Airlines ver.1...................................................YES
Go Airlines ver.2...................................................YES
Gulf Air..................................................................YES
Hongkong Airlines.................................................YES
Iberia.....................................................................YES
Inter Airlines..........................................................YES
JAL Yokoso Japan................................................YES
Jet Airways............................................................YES
jetBlue (barcode)..................................................YES
jetBlue (mosaic)....................................................YES

KLM Cityhopper....................................................NO
KLM Retro...........................................................YES
LAC (Lineas).......................................................YES

LOT Polish Airlines 2012 ver.1a............................NO
LOT Polish AIrlines 2012 ver.2a............................NO

LuxAir..................................................................YES
Maersk Air..........................................................YES
Malindo Air..........................................................YES
Meridiana............................................................YES
Oman Air.............................................................YES
Pan Am...............................................................YES
Qatar Airways......................................................YES
Rainier Airlines....................................................YES
REX Game Studios ver.1.....................................YES
REX Game Studios ver.2.....................................YES
SAS....................................................................YES
Sky Dream.........................................................YES
SkyBlue..............................................................YES
Small Planet.....................................................YES
Spirit Airlines 2014...........................................YES
Sunrise.Fly........................................................YES
Sunrise.Fly Joey..............................................YES
TAROM..............................................................YES

TNT Airways......................................................NO
Transavia...........................................................NO
Transavia CB.....................................................NO
Travel Jet Airways...........................................NO
TUIfly Haribo......................................................NO
Turkish Airlines 2012-1a................................NO
Turkish Airlines Sky Team.............................NO
Turkish Airlines ver.3......................................NO
UPS.....................................................................NO
Virgin Atlantic...................................................NO

Virtuala.............................................................YES
Western Pacific Simpsons..........................NO
WestJet............................................................NO
Wizzair..............................................................NO

 

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