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Pilatus Matt

Obtaining smooth frames below 60FPS

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To start off, my P3D is set up on triple monitors (through Nvidia surround) on a GTX 980 and I use TrackIR as well.

 

I keep reading posts where people are getting smooth frames below 60 FPS, and various advice about Vsync on/Vsync off, locked vs. unlocked.

 

The only way I ever get a truly smooth experience is running unlocked frames and Vsync on within P3D, and only if the FPS is at least 60. If it dips below that, even 50 creates a stutter fest, especially when looking around with the TrackIR.

 

Am I missing something? I used to use the 1/2 refresh rate in FSX and wish that that was a viable option in P3D, but as I understand it, that is not possible due to Nvidia's drivers not hooking to P3D due to the lack of true full screen mode.

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Are you running Nvidia Inspector and adjusting the settings there?

Without changing the settings under the Nvidia Inspector tool, I'm not sure it's even possible to obtain smooth anything to be honest. I guess there are a few other places to change the settings, but inspector is where everyone does it.

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No, I am not using NI. I was under the impression that it wasn't necessary with P3D. All of my settings are through the Nvidia CP.

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No, I am not using NI. I was under the impression that it wasn't necessary with P3D. All of my settings are through the Nvidia CP.

 

It's not necessary at all.   In fact in NickN's new P3D guide it recommends resetting your P3D profile in NI to default and leaving it alone.   After doing this and seeing the results I concur, at least on my system.   The fact that you are running in 5760x1080 (Assuming triple monitor like I have) means you are already taxing the system though.   If you are flying GA aircraft you'll be fine most likely but I can't fly heavy hitters like the PMDG 737/777 on a triple monitor and expect anything good.   I run on one monitor and use the other two for all my utilities while I am flying for my VA and I do get 33FPS locked at 33 with V-Sync On and Triple Buffering even in bad weather conditions at payware airports.  I don't fly with 4k textures.  I am quite content with 1k textures and I fly with Normal Autogen and max custom scenery with almost everything else maxed out.

 

I also run a GTX 980 and it is powerful but it won't solve all your flightsim woes.   Remember that one setting does not fit all unless you are flying one airplane and no other but every scenario and every airplane has slightly different (and sometimes majorly different) settings that need to be setup prior to launch.  I use SIMSTARTER for this as it allows for 9 launch profiles so I can program a profile for my GA flights, Aerosoft Axx flights and my PMDG 7xxx flights.  They all have different settings.

 

TrackIR is presenting another problem in your equation as it will enhance the stutter and jerky feel if the FPS is not sufficient.   I don't use it myself as I think having a triple wide monitor is more than enough immersion.  I already have to turn my head for real to see all the cockpit.  Good enough for me but if you have to use it, my question is, at what recommended FPS does TrackIR want for smooth head panning?  If you need more than 30 FPS and you are flying a Big Pig as I like to call them, good luck on a triple wide monitor setup.   If you figure it out let me know!   I am not willing to compromise my graphics any further personally to get the superwide screen.

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Thanks for the reply K, and some good info in there as well. I don't normally use the bigger airliners, most of my time is spent in Iris' Pilatus PC-9 and PC-21s, which are demanding in their own right.

 

I am by no means a beginner with flight simulator, and know my way around the sim better than most. I have been doing this long enough to remember launching with a DOS prompt.

 

That being said, I am new with triple monitor gaming, and figured some of my issues stem from that. TrackIR is a must for me as well, I can't imagine flying without it. It seems like it requires 60FPS to be smooth. As I was saying earlier, even just a few frames below that and it jerks and stutters as I pan my head across the view.

 

I might have to deal with lowering settings, weather conditions, and sticking with simpler aircraft for the time being, because when it is running smooth, it is absolutely a great experience.

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It's not necessary at all.   In fact in NickN's new P3D guide it recommends resetting your P3D profile in NI to default and leaving it alone.

 

I tried Nick's setting last night.

 

Nothing that I have not already found out on my own. Also, sparse grid super sampling (4x) is required thru NI for shimmering airports, fences, runway lines and the PMDG NGX.

 

I'm running a Haswell and Titan.

 

Cheers,

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Thanks for the reply K, and some good info in there as well. I don't normally use the bigger airliners, most of my time is spent in Iris' Pilatus PC-9 and PC-21s, which are demanding in their own right.

 

I am by no means a beginner with flight simulator, and know my way around the sim better than most. I have been doing this long enough to remember launching with a DOS prompt.

 

That being said, I am new with triple monitor gaming, and figured some of my issues stem from that. TrackIR is a must for me as well, I can't imagine flying without it. It seems like it requires 60FPS to be smooth. As I was saying earlier, even just a few frames below that and it jerks and stutters as I pan my head across the view.

 

I might have to deal with lowering settings, weather conditions, and sticking with simpler aircraft for the time being, because when it is running smooth, it is absolutely a great experience.

I looked at your set up. If you are trying to run all that with a 560 I just don't think any tweaking is going to help much and especially with 3 monitors. Not sure even a Titan X would solve all your problems.

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Wow, I should update that. That was about 3 GPUs ago. I'm actually running a 980, as referenced in my first post. And again, it's not being able to maintain high FPS that I was asking about, it was about high FPS and smoothness. I can push everything up to max and still be above 40, but it's only above 60 that I get the really smooth panning with trackir.

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When your fps is above 60, and your monitor is 60Hz, you only ever see 60 of those frames. This means that your time between frames is very short, and consistent. When your fps drops below 60, and you have Unlimited fps setting, the time between frames is determined by the time to draw each frame. You will notice the panning of Track IR, and also the panning of views, speeds up and slows down in time with the draw time, or image complexity.

 

If you have not studied the way panning works, do it now; set Unlimited and find a scenario that sits between 20 and 50 fps, say at an airport, and with an outside view pan and keep panning. The speed of rotation increases and decreases.

 

Now try fixing the fps below the worst fps seen with that scenario, and pan horizontally in the outside view, and keep panning.

 

Even though the updates are less, you notice two things; the time between frames is consistent so the panning rotation speed is consistent, and most importantly movement appears detached from the frame rate, as if in a separate process. This is designed in with FSX/P3D to improve the physics, and improve the handling of the aircraft, and response of the controls. To achieve this, the sim generates look ahead frames, and computes sim physics, and control throughput, based on a consistent time period. This results in a more accurate simulation and consistent aircraft handling.

 

The problem with fixed is that the look ahead frames eat into the maximum available fps, since it has to do work ahead of time. Remember the reserve of look ahead frames (usually 3) are used up keeping things smooth when the image complexity increases.

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What Steve said.   He is the master of getting simulators Smooth.   You don't need 60 FPS to make TrackIR appear smooth but you do have to balance the load to be consistent between frames so you won't notice the stuttering when you look around with TrackIR.

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When using a fixed frame rate, the cameras config settings make sense:


"C:\Users\<you>\AppData\Roaming\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v2\cameras.cfg"
"C:\Users\<you>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\FSX\Cameras.CFG"

[CameraDefinition.004]
Title = Locked Spot
..
PitchPanRate=10
HeadingPanRate=40
PanAcceleratorTime=0
..


HeadingPanRate=40 = at 20fps panning takes 10 Seconds to rotate 1 full turn
PanAcceleratorTime=0.5 = increases the panning speed by a factor of 2 for each continuous rotation
PanAcceleratorTime=1 = increases the panning speed by a factor of 1 for each continuous rotation
PanAcceleratorTime=2 = increases the panning speed by a factor of 1/2 for each continuous rotation

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the panning rate is a fraction of 360, so setting 36 actually takes 10 seconds, 40=9s.

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Thanks Steve, some great info in there and interesting stuff.

 

Up until I upgraded to P3D, I was using FSX DX10 and found that using 1/2 refresh rate (on a 60Hz single monitor), and locking frames to 30, produced a result whereby everything was synced up perfectly; refresh rate, time between frames, and TrackIR panning, to the point where the result was almost as good as when I can achieve 60FPS with Vsync on in P3d. I mean smooth, with barely as much as a single visible micro-stutter.

 

I guess my question is, is that even possible at frames below 60, given my setup (triple screen 60hz/TrackIR), with the current state of P3d and Nvidia drivers and how they hook to the sim? Or am I wasting my time trying to achieve such a thing? It seems like no matter what combination of things I try, I can not achieve anything that I would consider to be acceptable.

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I tried Nick's setting last night.
 
Nothing that I have not already found out on my own. Also, sparse grid super sampling (4x) is required thru NI for shimmering airports, fences, runway lines

 

couldn't agree more - I can't see how anyone can put up without some form of SGSS in NI, unless using DSR which is a reasonable compromise IMO.

 

Matt - have you tried EzDok? It has a smoothing setting that works really well with Track-IR, I found it helped to smooth things out for me. However the best solution I found for smoothness was running unlimited fps and reducing the monitor refresh rate to 30hz (through NVidia Control Panel) - I get a really good solid consistent frame rate that way. Unfortunately not all monitors will allow you to set the refresh rate, although the NV control panel might allow you to override (with some caution). Presently I am only running a single monitor having reverted back from a triple monitor setup a few months ago, but I wasn't having any stuttering problems with Track-IR.

 

Even with the monitor at 60hz and a locked frame rate of 30 I find Track-IR to be smooth - as long as the sim is maintaining 30fps of course. Sure, it' not ultra-fluid like you get at 40,50,60 fps, but it's not stuttering. I have Vsync off as no matter what the frame rate is (with unlimited or locked at any value) I never see any tearing and it doesn't seem to make any difference on or off in terms of smoothness for me.

 

I think your best bet is to lock at 30fps to get the consistency of frames, unlimited jumps around too much - I only use unlimited when I switch my monitor to 30Hz. In Track-IR have you set smoothness to the max? I think that's 50 off the top of my head. I use max smoothness and a speed of 1.5 - I expect you might use less speed with a triple monitor setup.

 

Hope you find a solution.

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Matt - have you tried EzDok? It has a smoothing setting that works really well with Track-IR, I found it helped to smooth things out for me. However the best solution I found for smoothness was running unlimited fps and reducing the monitor refresh rate to 30hz (through NVidia Control Panel) - I get a really good solid consistent frame rate that way. Unfortunately not all monitors will allow you to set the refresh rate, although the NV control panel might allow you to override (with some caution). Presently I am only running a single monitor having reverted back from a triple monitor setup a few months ago, but I wasn't having any stuttering problems with Track-IR.

 

Even with the monitor at 60hz and a locked frame rate of 30 I find Track-IR to be smooth - as long as the sim is maintaining 30fps of course. Sure, it' not ultra-fluid like you get at 40,50,60 fps, but it's not stuttering. I have Vsync off as no matter what the frame rate is (with unlimited or locked at any value) I never see any tearing and it doesn't seem to make any difference on or off in terms of smoothness for me.

 

I think your best bet is to lock at 30fps to get the consistency of frames, unlimited jumps around too much - I only use unlimited when I switch my monitor to 30Hz. In Track-IR have you set smoothness to the max? I think that's 50 off the top of my head. I use max smoothness and a speed of 1.5 - I expect you might use less speed with a triple monitor setup.

 

Hope you find a solution.

Yes I do use EzDok and will look in to your suggestion. Regarding the refresh rate on the monitor, my choices are 50 and 60 default, I tried to override 30hz, but the monitors won't take it. For TrackIR I have the smoothness setting to max and use precision mode with the speed set at 0.6. I think the combination of all that stuff running together is what's giving me headaches, but I'll do some more testing tonight and try your suggestions. I appreciate the suggestions.

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P3D devs have recommend to not even use Vsync unless you have tearing. Mostly you will not get tearing anyways unless you consistently run above 60 FPS - which is hard to do. On my system it causes the framerates to jump all over the place in heavy scenery/aircraft.

 

As far as limited vs unlimited - my observation is that unlimited is great...until you load the sim down either from too much autogen, too high of settings or an aircraft like a PMDG. once you get an overload either on the CPU or GPU the stutters will start.

 

Unlimited is great though as it gives you a way to see potentially how fast your sim can pump out the FPS - if you cannot achieve what you want on unlimited you need to start reducing settings.

 

Some aircraft will not run at 60 FPS no matter what you do, so look for an average FPS number that you see using shift z

 

Once you find a FPS target you with your chosen aircraft and scenery ( I recommend to use your heaviest scenery that you normally fly in with heavy weather) then go back in and turn off unlimited at set your FPS to approximately 2 FPS lower than the average you saw running in unlimited.

 

This will give your sim the headroom it needs for smooth flight, no stuttering and no blurry textures.

 

Now once you have done this , save a profile in the graphics settings. You can now choose this on the setup screen when you set your flight. IMO there is no shortcut or one for all settings for anything but default aircraft. So it is good to use multiple profiles.

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So I'm not sure what exactly I did to help with the problem, but I narrowed it down to two things. It's by no means buttery smooth, but 30-40 FPS is now tolerable, rather than the sickening mess that it was before. At some point, I had disabled the Nvidia processes that run in the background, like the Nvidia helper service. I re-enabled those and let them run. I also ran a full virus scanner, which located a number of issues. I'm not sure which one to give credit to, but I'm thinking it's the Nvidia thing.

 

I also discovered that I am still very bottlenecked by my CPU. I can up many of the non-cpu-dependent graphics options, and see little or no FPS impact, even at 5900x1800 resolution. The frames I get are really limited based on the complexity of the aircraft I'm flying. Was tempted to chuck some more cash at a 4790K, but that would take a complete rebuild from my 3770K, and I'm not ready for that yet.

 

Thanks to everyone for the suggestions, it always helps to get some new knowledge and fresh ideas.

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 Intel has no interest in substantially improving the single thread capabilities of their CPUs, so as long as FSX and P3d are CPU-limited, these performance limitations will continue. Offloading work to the GPU is even more important than going to 64 bit.

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Was tempted to chuck some more cash at a 4790K, but that would take a complete rebuild from my 3770K, and I'm not ready for that yet.

 

Bigger and faster does not equal better. I've owned two Jetline systems (excellent) with the most current being a 4770 with a Titan.

 

CPU speed has limits. I've settled at 4.2gHz which gives me the best smoothness.

 

This hobby is a game of well planned inches and increments. It's about managing those two variables with the hardware you have to attain the smoothest flow of data thru your entire system. I used to have an Ivy Bridge at 3.9gHz running FSX. Dialing everything in made for a very enjoyable sim experience.

 

I've not found it any other way.

 

Cheers,

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Bigger and faster does not equal better. I've owned two Jetline systems (excellent) with the most current being a 4770 with a Titan.

 

CPU speed has limits. I've settled at 4.2gHz which gives me the best smoothness.

 

This hobby is a game of well planned inches and increments. It's about managing those two variables with the hardware you have to attain the smoothest flow of data thru your entire system. I used to have an Ivy Bridge at 3.9gHz running FSX. Dialing everything in made for a very enjoyable sim experience.

 

I've not found it any other way.

 

Cheers,

Trust me, I'm well aware of this. Every upgrade I've done for the last 20 years or so has been due to me wanting better performance from flight Simulator in one way or another.

 

Edit: Try this on - I remember that first upgrade was to add 4MB of ram at the price of about $100. Yes, you younger guys read that correctly - 4 MEGABYTES!

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Edit: Try this on - I remember that first upgrade was to add 4MB of ram at the price of about $100. Yes, you younger guys read that correctly - 4 MEGABYTES!

How about a 4K yes K s100 bus ram card and a 192K 8" floppy drive?

 

Yup - I'm that old.

 

Vic

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How about running PhotoShop on an AppleII GS with 8mb of ram!

:Big Grin:

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How about a 4K yes K s100 bus ram card and a 192K 8" floppy drive?

 

Yup - I'm that old.

 

Vic

You have me beat there Vic. 8" floppy were gone by the time I entered the scene.

 

We're dating ourselves here, but as I always say, it's better to date yourself than to date no one at all.

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