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Sesquashtoo

In flight FPS performance boosting tip....

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Folks, I love the water in XP...and usually have it on either Advanced, or Complete. Having said that though...you will see none of the visual benefits of those two settings much over 2,800-3,500 AGL.

 

So...here's the tip...as you climb through 4,000 feet, (assuming you are near and viewing water bodies)...take a moment in-flight, to go to Rendering, and turn off water reflections to NONE. You will instantly in most cases pick up 5-7 FPS!

 

If you are near no water bodies at all, on, or near the ground, (deserts, Midwest, blah, blah) turn off water reflections to NONE as you do your pre-flight.  

 

The reason is...that it is a FPS hit, even if you are not viewing water. It still is being crunched by the CPU, 'sniffing' for water around you.

 

On my system, I do pick up the above stated FPS gain.  Right now, I am in a Cirrus SR-20 flight at 12,000 feet heading from Michigan, to Myrtle Beach...and the water bodies look good at 12,000 AGL, with no reflective hits needed.

 

Now..back to another great XPX.41 flight above that gorgeous, broken lower deck sitting at 8,000 ft!   Lovin' it!

 

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Post Edit Screenshots:  Just took these shots...as an upper deck formed, with heavy below...this amount of cloud rendering would bring most systems to its FPS knees...but look at XPX.41 putting it out at 20 FPS sustained, through this  present cloud activity.  I can't ask better...very happy camper. As you can see, the water bodies with NONE as the reflective setting, looks just fine at 12,000.

 

SkyMaxx Pro  v3.0.

 

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Cheers,

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I just set mine to low prior to reading this post and agree it does work well.  Great shots!

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I just set mine to low prior to reading this post and agree it does work well.  Great shots!

Just took the last pic...as we settle down into Dusk....and thanks! :)  Enjoy taking them, and posting.

A beautiful sunset ahead...and a pleasant goodnight! :)

 

CirrusSR20_25.png

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How is that possible? I have I7 2600k oced to 4.4 Ghz and a gtx 770 4 gb and my system will not handle so much clouds =/

Maybe because I fly with jardesign a320 and a330?

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I always wondered why neither Laminar nor LM or MS (in their sims) is able to implement that this is automatically done "on the fly"! 

 

At over 3.000 ft you certainly do also not need any detailed shadows from trees and buildings and (as Mitch pointed out) no detailed water Settings. And I bet that from a certain altitude (over 10.000 ft?) you will hardly miss most autogen buildings or traffic. If this could be reduced or switched off (in the background and slowly "fade out") you could instead increase other things like cloud distance or cloud shadows or simply enjoy increased fps.

 

And once you descent to under 10.000 ft extended DSF or a high setting on clouds distance is not so important but you may want to see more of that shadows...

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When water reflections are on, X-Plane needs to draw the scene a second time in order to create those reflections! The render settings offer several reflection quality settings so you can choose just how detailed that reflection is, but yeah, it's an expensive effect no matter how you slice it.

 

Shadows are a similar story. Again X-Plane at least gives you a lot of control so you can choose wisely the objects you care about WRT shadows.

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Well, and it might be just me but waters without reflections look even better than with reflections on from higher altitude. 

As someone who primary flies in Norway, that really is a huge boost for me. Thanks Sesquashtoo!

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Great tip.  Even in areas where's there's no water to speak of, it boosts the fps a bit.

 

That said, each to their own, but I couldn't handle 20ish fps... I'd be turning some more stuff down.

 

On a different note, what is so different between FSX and XP in the way clouds are rendered and displayed?  More specifically, why is it so effortless to get dense cloud formations that stretch to the horizon (or at least close enough that you can't tell the difference) in FSX, and yet so difficult (and computer straining) in XP?  I'll be honest, 95% of all XP flying I do is in clear conditions or perhaps very, very sparse cloud cover,  because I just can't handle the distance limitation in cloud depiction.

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On a different note, what is so different between FSX and XP in the way clouds are rendered and displayed?  More specifically, why is it so effortless to get dense cloud formations that stretch to the horizon (or at least close enough that you can't tell the difference) in FSX, and yet so difficult (and computer straining) in XP?

 

Great question, and one I wondered myself. Apparently, there are two things going on:

 

1) MSFS developers apparently managed to do a very good optimization between the number of puffs used, the performance cost of each puff, and the final visual rendition of the complete cloud. I suspect FSX clouds achieve a better visual rendition even using less puffs compared to X-Plane. They simply managed to do a better and more effective cloud engine.

 

2) X-Plane cloud engine uses 6 different horizontal "layers" of cloud puffs, with the closest layer having a very large number of small puffs, and the farthest having a lesser number of big puffs. In theory, the reason for this was to have detailed cloud puffs only close to the aircraft, without using too much puffs far away.

 

But paradoxically, this technique had both the effect of worsening the visual rendition of clouds (the border between the different layers is visible), and of decreasing performance (due to the large number of puffs used in the closest layers). In retrospect, this technique was probably not necessary, since I think it could have been done just using a single large cloud layer (as I think MSFS does, excluding the impostors it uses for far away clouds).

 

I am surprised X-Plane developers didn't take MSFS technique as a "prototype" for developing their own cloud engine for v10. After all MSFS cloud engine is maybe the best from a visual/performance point of view.

 

The tweaks I described some time ago in a previous post, had (among the other things) the effect of removing the closest layers of clouds in order to improve both performance and visual appearence. Unfortunately, due to the way X-Plane cloud engine works, this has negative side effects that becomes more evident the more layers you remove.

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correct me if im wrong but isn't Xplanes clouds actually 3d volumetric clouds and Fsx were just 2d? 

I remember reading this because with xplane some shots of the clouds just look mighty awesome specially when the sun interacts with the clouds but the downside of this is that the clouds use much more processing power.

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Great question, and one I wondered myself. {snip}

 

Murmur, thanks for a very well thought out response.  Definitely some food for thought there.

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Yes I never liked this cloud circular layer approach of drawing default clouds, sometimes they look really good but sometimes is so evident the fade in and fade out of the clouds as you approach or leave them, is so unnatural. About water reflex I only use it at the minimum setting becasue when a cloud is reflected in water, you can see the ripples over water at low altitude, that's a fantastic effect.

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G

I am surprised X-Plane developers didn't take MSFS technique as a "prototype" for developing their own cloud engine for v10. After all MSFS cloud engine is maybe the best from a visual/performance point of view.

Well, in a way SkyMaxx Pro tries this approach.

In a way Laminar was a bit overenthusiastic with their clouds approach. While modern GPUs have a huge number of tricks to really render objects in a very good manner, objects like clouds are still only a kind of wizard truck without any real substance. They are simply to complex to really calculate them in real time.

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