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Hawkeye4077

Horribly Low FPS When Flying Through Or Looking At Clouds (P3D v3)

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The title says it all really. Awful FPS and huge stutters with clouds in P3d v3. Even if the FPS aren't low it will stutter madly.
 
The computer I use has:
i5 3570k OC'd to 4.0 GHz
Nvida GTX 760 2gb
8gb Ram
Windows 7 64bit

P3D on a separate SSD
 
I also bought a laptop recently: Not on it at the moment so don't have exact details.
i7 4***hq 2.6GHz Boost to 3. something.
Nvidia GTX 960m
12gb Ram
Windows 8 64bit
 P3D on a separate SSD

 

I'd like to start by saying that I have used FSX for years with very high settings and never had this problem before (I know P3D is much more intensive, I just wanted to show i'm not a flight simulation noob).
I had P3D v2.5 for a month or so before v3 came out and during this time I don't think I had this problem. I think over a whole month I would have noticed this problem, surely? From day one however with P3D v3 I have noticed this very annoying, and simulation ruining problem. I have this problem with both systems I have tried it on and neither of them are exactly slouches. 
 
This problem only seems to occur when I have a fair few clouds, few and far between is fine, but if there is a big group and I look at them the FPS drop to under 10 and I get bug stutters. If i am flying though cloud in very overcast conditions it stutters. When I am on the ground however, it's as smooth as can be. In very cloudy and rainy conditions at Aerosoft Heathrow with ORBX global and PMDG 737/777 I have steady FPS between 25 and 30. That's great, and it is what makes me think its not my setup, what do you think? A problem arises when I angle my cameras so that I am looking at the clouds and it starts stuttering, I move the cameras away from the clouds and we're fine again. I take off, fine, fine, fine, hit the clouds, stutter stutter stutter, I'm through the clouds and cruising, fine. 
 
I use Active Sky Next and REX , but I have tried removing them and testing without them and if I make it overcast I get the same problem. I did a clean install and had the same problem without them. When I use Active Sky I use the default settings and I have the enhanced features turned off (in v2.5 I had them all on a seemed fine). With REX I dont use any of the HD textures, they're all set to 512. In my cfg I have the ground shadows set to 512, I read somewhere that it can make a difference,  very little in my opinion.

 

Cloud Draw Distance: 60

Cloud Coverage Density: Medium

Detailed Clouds: Checked

Volumetric Fog: Checked

Rate At Which Weather Changes: No Change

 

If I Put My settings right down to zero for everything it is flyable, but that is really rubbish. They're not exactly high at the moment. If there are any tweaks or any other ideas people have could you please help me out?

 

Does this problem only affect me? It's very strange if it does.

 

Thank you, 

Andy

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Clouds murder my GPU as well, especially when AA is enabled. I have a fairly similar setup to yours. Never had this problem occur in FSX. Their changes in the rendering code probably needs a little optimization with regard to clouds.

 

Kinda stinks because clouds are one of the great things about flying.

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You can try reducing the cloud layers in ASN and disable volumetric fog - that might help a bit. Are you using Nvidia Inspector? What are your P3D and NVidia settings, especially AA?

 

 

Vic

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Completely  agree, flying without clouds or very poor clouds takes a lot away from the experience! Sorry it's affecting you too. Lets hope they do something about it for the next update. On that subject, does anyone know when P3D is usually updated, Quarterly, random? How do you find out there is an update? I've never experienced this with P3D before.


Vic,

 

I'll give that a go! I do use Nvidia Inspector, my Anti-aliasing mode is set to 'Enhance the application settings' and Antialiasing Transparency Supersampling '8x Sparse Grid Supersampling'.

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Antialiasing Transparency Supersampling '8x Sparse Grid Supersampling'.

 

Will probably have to reduce or remove the SGSAA. It only exacerbates the performance issue. But then no SGSAA = ugly texture shimmering.

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Right, i'll also give that a go. Would it have to be all the way down or will it be a trial and error deal?

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Right, i'll also give that a go. Would it have to be all the way down or will it be a trial and error deal?

 

I would experiment.

 

However, in full overcast, I have to reduce SGSAA and AA completely to get decent performance. Which really makes the sim ugly. Ugh. Makes me frustrated just thinking about it.

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Two things will kill you when it comes to clouds;  SGSS and Number of Layers.    I run with 4 layers, max detailed and coverage at 83 mile cloud spawn distance with an 80 mile visible distance and see next to no FPS loss in even moderately bad weather.   Extreme conditions still drags me down a few pegs.

 

I use Rex 4 Softclouds and have absolutely NO SGSS turned on.  I don't need it with soft clouds.   My clouds are also set as 1k for high level and 512 pixels for low level.    If you are ramming 4k cloud textures down your computer's throat it is absolutely not necessary.   4k is for screen capping.   1k and less is for flying unless you have a godlike PC setup like Rob does all his P3D testing on.

 

SGSS is a well known destroyer of FPS.   You combine that with 2k or 4k cloud textures and lots of details cranked and you are begging for FPS disaster.

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I use 3 layers which compares favorably with my real life flying. Clouds are never a FPS issue with me and I don't have a high end system. 

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Here 4 cloudlayers and 93 mile coverage with 90 mile max visibility.

 

I only use SGSS when I fly with sunny weather and almost no clouds...

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Like others already suggested SGSS although looking very nice is a real FPS killer even with a powerful rig.

 

I worked around the bad AA issue when not having SGSS enabled by buying a 4K screen. Running at 4K will reduce the experienced bad AA quite a bit and at the same time giving you a much better FPS vs having SGSS enabled when flying through dense clouds.

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Running P3D/ASN with Nick's .cfg settings...and turfed NVI for P3D...

 

Try it...and your problems should go away...

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On my 2-way 980 SLI setup, SGSS AA in heavy clouds (with max coverage, and 4 layers in ASNext) is able to absolutely murder both cards, in 1440p resolution! Pretty astonishing...! Must have something to do with that all the cloud objects is being treated to a vast amount of AA, not really needed (at least not to this extent). I have no idea what LM did to cause this, as I never had this problem i FSX, although it has always been around since P3D v2. AFAIK. 

 

I do hope LM is able to fix this performance hog, as it seems it´s lust for hardware has no bounds. (Hope they improve the entire cloud system, but that´s a different subject all together).

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Interesting. I run 4sgss, mainly because it cleans up the piano keys on the runway and I also have my FPS locked at 20 and my in sim setting at 4 samples to match the sgss. Using ASN at 3 layers with REX soft clouds, I get a little fps hit UNLESS I am in really dense clouds with rain and lightning. Only then can I notice the fps drop without looking at a counter.

 

I'm just wondering aloud if setting FPS Unlimited or high fixed ( 30,60) etc makes it more visible.

 

Might be interesting to see if you see the same problems starting off with a lower FPS setting.

 

Vic

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Andy,

 

For comparison I am running P3D V3 on Win 8.1 with an AMD FX-6300 and Nvidia GTX 970, Active Sky Next, REX4 TD with the PMDG NGX737, standard scenery with UTX 2.1.Frame rates average in cockpit 20 fps and the exterior 35-40's. My cpu is low end but performance is not that bad to rush out right away for an upgrade.I did have some concern about it maybe not being up to par but overall I was surprised it did well the first time out.Have not had any stuttering or frame rate loss up to this point in clear air or within clouds and precip.This was a clean install from a few weeks ago on dedicated SSD.

 

P3D graphic settings FXAA off, 4 samples, 16x, 2048x2048

Terrain high, high, 1m, 7cm

Scenery dense

Reflections on

Special effects high

 

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I just started running P3D 2 days ago. I fly for a VA that records all my FPS on every flight, and so far I am seeing no better FPS with everything else, scenery, weather, routes, settings  the same as I had with 2.5, in fact V3 is a bit lower in FPS. In addition, I am seeing microstutters which I never had in 2.5. So far, not very impressed. 

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I just started running P3D 2 days ago. I fly for a VA that records all my FPS on every flight, and so far I am seeing no better FPS with everything else, scenery, weather, routes, settings  the same as I had with 2.5, in fact V3 is a bit lower in FPS. In addition, I am seeing microstutters which I never had in 2.5. So far, not very impressed. 

You might just need to adjust the sim, slowly...try Nick's suggestions...and see where that gets you.  I can't imagine V3.0 being worse than either my v2.4, or your recent v2.5, Bob.  There really is no monumental changes from 2.5 to 3.0, other than a memory management rework.

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You might just need to adjust the sim, slowly...try Nick's suggestions...and see where that gets you.  I can't imagine V3.0 being worse than either my v2.4, or your recent v2.5, Bob.  There really is no monumental changes from 2.5 to 3.0, other than a memory management rework.

 

Well when I have 2 versions of software on the same  PC running the exact same content, and the new version doesn't perform quite as well as it's predecessor, something isn't right.   

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Well when I have 2 versions of software on the same  PC running the exact same content, and the new version doesn't perform quite as well as it's predecessor, something isn't right.   

Noted...hope you get it to your satisfaction!

 

Bob...afterthought ....what about a system defrag, or at least the v3.0 folder?

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Another thread on this topic gave the impression V3 significantly improved AA such that one could get  by w/o SGAA.  If that's not the case why hasn't someone, LM, REX or someone come up w/ cloud textures that don't respond to SGAA commands?  Isn't that fundamentally the issue?  It seems bizarre this ginormous elephant in the sim of massive bottlenecking has been definitively solved yet.  Sounds like Gerard has come up w/ a reasonable way to cope w/ this sad engineering defect.

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I see in the p3d v3 cfg, under [WEATHER], there is an "OPTIMIZE_DENSE_CLOUDS = 0" entry. I wonder if this has the same effect as the "OPTIMIZE_PARTS" discovery?

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Thank you very much to everyone that has commented! I have taken everything on board and given everything a go.

 

I have tried the optimise_dense_clouds tweak and didn't notice any change visually or performance wise.

 

I turned SGSS off in NVI and it's running perfectly through the thickest clouds imaginable! Thank you! However, the shimmering looks horrible. I then tried just 2x SGSSand it was straight back to stuttering.

 

Does anyone know of any other ways to either get rid or subdue this shimmering?

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Thank you very much to everyone that has commented! I have taken everything on board and given everything a go.

 

I have tried the optimise_dense_clouds tweak and didn't notice any change visually or performance wise.

 

I turned SGSS off in NVI and it's running perfectly through the thickest clouds imaginable! Thank you! However, the shimmering looks horrible. I then tried just 2x SGSSand it was straight back to stuttering.

 

Does anyone know of any other ways to either get rid or subdue this shimmering?

You can use Supersampling 4x or even Multisampling as a compromise where swimming textures are lessened but so is image quality and have little to no impact on frame rate performance in dense clouds.  

 

Let's see, pay another $200 to get a little better VAS management + a semitransparent ATC popup, yet still put up with either heinous swimming textures or eliminate that and have heinous, show stopping performance in clouds?  Pathetic...

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Noted...hope you get it to your satisfaction!

 

Bob...afterthought ....what about a system defrag, or at least the v3.0 folder?

 

I always keep my HD defragged, running a scheduler every week, but looked at it this morning and it showed 2%.  I decided to run the defrag again, because when I was installing V3 and the add ons, many things were reinstalled and patched with the new installers, like Ezdok and FSUPIC. I just finished a duplicate V3 VA flight that I had done a week ago in 2.5 with all the same exact settings and weather, and this time the FPS average for the entire flight, that my VA records, were exactly the same as I had in 2.5.  Frankly I didn't expect V3 to be a FPS booster, since the company did not advertise it as such, but I am happy that at least the performance isn't worse than 2.5  .   I am going to keep my 2.5 for awhile to see if these V3 results are consistent. 

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I always keep my HD defragged, running a scheduler every week, but looked at it this morning and it showed 2%.  I decided to run the defrag again, because when I was installing V3 and the add ons, many things were reinstalled and patched with the new installers, like Ezdok and FSUPIC. I just finished a duplicate V3 VA flight that I had done a week ago in 2.5 with all the same exact settings and weather, and this time the FPS average for the entire flight, that my VA records, were exactly the same as I had in 2.5.  Frankly I didn't expect V3 to be a FPS booster, since the company did not advertise it as such, but I am happy that at least the performance isn't worse than 2.5  .   I am going to keep my 2.5 for awhile to see if these V3 results are consistent. 

Well, good go...I have a defrag program (O & O Defrag, latest version) that I can set up to run each boot, before W7 Ultimate starts loading.  It has done wonders for housekeeping, and keeps any new sim installation defraged with the next boot-up. A most useful and equipped defrag program. It defrags between BIOS load-in, and W7 run-up, then monitors (if you wish it to) and house-keeps in the background. You can tell it to stop all back-ground defragging, the moment a sim x.exe is started. That is how I have it set up...

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