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rsrandazzo

[01JAN16] New Year... New Updates for the 777 product line!

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Captains,

 

As you are no doubt aware, we are wrapping up development on the PMDG 747-400 Queen of the Skies II for beta testing.  One of the normal routines that we go through during product wrap up is to take a good solid look at optimization and efficiency improvements that we can make once the entire product is in place. 

 

This process started a few months ago, and continues today- but something happened along the way that caused a bit of a stir internally at PMDG:  We made some discoveries that allow us to exert a much greater control over how much memory our products use within FSX than was previously possible.

 

As we explored this potential, we were continually comparing the 747-400 to the 777, which is our most memory intensive product- and we were able to drive the 747's memory footprint down quite far below the 777.  We drove 747 memory use so low in fact, that we began to target getting the 747 into the same memory footprint as the much lighter NGX product line that was released back in 2011.

 

We were so pleased with our success in this arena, that we decided to take a bit of a detour out of the 747 hangar and back over to the 777 hangar, where we made a number of changes to the product using the same processes that we had developed to aid the 747-400 in minimizing memory use.

 

The results were somewhat astounding:  When we finally recompiled the entire 777 product line, we found that in both FSX, FSX-SE and Prepar3D, we were consuming about 250MB less memory than we had been in the version currently on user machines.

 

While we are generally quite protective of developer time this late in the development cycle of a new product, we felt that taking the time to build/test/release this updated version of the 777 would provide a tremendous benefit to all users of the PMDG 777-200LR/F and PMDG 777-300ER.

 

As of a few moments ago, this new version was made available to you via your download accounts in our ecommerce system

 

How To Get The Update:  Download from PMDG eCommerce if you are a PMDG download customer.  If you obtained your version from Aerosoft or on DVD, you will need to wait until Aerosoft returns from Christmas vacation and has a chance to enact their usual customer update process.  (They don't have this update as of right now- as it wasn't finished in time to get it to them earlier...)

 

How to Install the Update:  We recommend that you uninstall your previous version of the 777 and then run the new installer downloaded from your account.  You can just run the new installer if you wish and it will evaluate whether it can update your installation or not...  Follow the instructions that it gives you.

 

What You Should See:  The 777 runs much more efficiently now than the previous version, and we are able to release significantly more memory to all of those massively memory hungry scenery packages/cloud textures/traffic programs that you all love.

 

What Else Will You See?:  There are a bunch of minor changes in the product, mostly related to efficiency and functional memory improvements.  For users of Prepar3D, we have added the GMCS functionality to the Virtual Cockpit for users of v3.x or later.  (For v2.x the GMCS cannot be made functional, sorry!)  We also updated the models so that you can walk underneath them in the P3D avatar mode if you desire.

 

 

OOMs ARE CURED FOREVER!!!!!   

No.

 

No.

 

No.

 

We have given you back about 38% of the memory previously used by the 777, but that amount of memory pales in comparison to the amount of memory used by many other packages users are trying.  Let me make this as clear as I can: 

 

An OOM in FSX/FSX-SE/P3D is the computing equivalent of inviting 4 friends to the beach when you only have 3 other seats available in your car.  The last one to arrive is going to get let behind.

 

At PMDG we are alarmed by the massive growth in memory consumption being driven by high resolution texture packages and poorly optimized scenery packages- and we are doing everything we can to remain within our already small memory footprint...  but you as the user have to make smart decisions about what you want your sim to accomplish.  It cannot do everything- but it can do almost everything...  You gotta use your noggin', however!

 

Okay- so grab this update and go enjoy the addition 250MB of available memory space....  We think you will find it runs better overall.

 

Alright- now back to the 747!

 

Oh yes- I nearly forgot:  Happy New Year, everybody!

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Thank you, PMDG for your continued effort on the 777 simultaneously with the 747.  It is a very pleasant New Years surprise!

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Thanks for continued updates to the 777!

 

Thanks for the update PMDG, now 777-200ER anyone?

Oh yes a 200er info update would be lovely ;-)

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Were any fixes implemented? specifically with regards to the (potential) missed approach memory leak in P3D and the corrected VNO speed which was on the last updates change list, but never actually made it into the update itself.

Does anyone have the change list for this update?

 

Editors note:  Post edited because user incorrectly states that he has knowledge of something he does not.

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nice, waiting for the taxicam in P3D.

 

best regards

Patrick Tinner

 

Patrick-

 

If you are using v3.x the taxi camera works in the VC.

 

f you are in v2.x and you want the taxi cam...  ahahahahhahahahahahahhaha...   Oh...sorry...  You need to upgrade to x3.x  :hi:

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That's a fine update right there.

 

And I share your concerns about VAS. The two issues are Developer discipline, and user knowledge. Both are lacking, but hopefully improving.

 

64bit is not an answer to either of these issues - it's merely papering over the cracks.

 

P3D v3 at least - manages the VAS reclaim better.

 

All in all great news and thank you.

 

In our country, if we were taking 4 people to beach and only had 3 seats - the last one to the car would be piled in the boot (or trunk), and the driver would career around like a maniac to ensure max discomfort.

 

I know - as I've been the 4th man a few times :(

 

Happy new year.

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Were any fixes implemented? specifically with regards to the (potential) missed approach memory leak in P3D and the corrected VNO speed which was on the last updates change list, but never actually made it into the update itself.

 

Does anyone have the change list for this update?

 

Editors note:  Post edited because user incorrectly states that he has knowledge of something he does not.

 

Leo-

 

Edit:  Taking a second swipe that this answer since Kyle just gave me a lecture for brushing you off.  (Yes- even **I** get behavioral feedback from Kyle for posts in this forum...)

 

This was not a global product update to bring in lots of fixes- it was an update that we felt was worth pushing to customers because it so significantly enhanced the operation of the simulator and would immediately benefit all users.

 

We have continued to evaluate the rare individual report of "memory leaks" but we have yet to find any that lead to an actual result that can be debugged and corrected.  Our primary mission focus is on the 747 at the moment, and will continue to be so- and it is unlikely that we would assert the entire development team to chase individual customer reports of problems not seen in wide circulation.

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Is there any FPS improvement that resulted from this VAS optimization?

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Is there any FPS improvement that resulted from this VAS optimization?

 

For me there is. I've just upgraded and tested at T5 EGLL with full scenery.

 

Used to be 3.2Gb VAS use at the start. Now its 2.9Gb.

 

The combination of this update and p3d 3.1 is dynamite.

 

Frames feel better (no science to back that up, just my impression) - however logically they would be better (certainly if you were nearing the VAS limit - the sim grinds in general at that point).

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Thanks very much Michael for the feedback, would be interesting to see feedbacks of other platform users as well :)

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Is there any FPS improvement that resulted from this VAS optimization?

 

Arsian-

 

It will depend on a number of factors.  In THEORY you should see improved performance because the computer itself is less stressed by the process/memory load...  but if you are running a really impressive machine that was already performing well- you will see less gain than if you are running a weak machine that was struggling to keep up....

 

It will also vary a bit depending upon what else you have the sim doing...  etc etc.

 

This is just my way of saying "if it improves- then yes- that was precisely what we did for you- but if it doesn't... then... uh... we never intended it to...."  :hi:

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Its obviously true like you said its gonna depend on every computer, also yeah I agree less stress equals little gain which is always good.

 

Thanks very much and happy new year by the way! ;)

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Robert,

 

Thank you so very much for this unexpected update of the already fantastic 777 product.

 

Let my shyly ask if this performance tweak is going to touch our beloved NGX too? Somebody had to ask it sooner or later, lol.

Not that it has performance problems but, you know, every step towards beter memory management is welcome.

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Leo-

 

This was not a global product update to bring in lots of fixes- it was an update that we felt was worth pushing to customers because it so significantly enhanced the operation of the simulator.

 

I recognize that this is a stunning disappointment to you- and the fact that we won't halt our entire development process in order to satisfy your individual curiosities is hard to grapple with- but you are just going to have to trust me that we know what we are doing. 

 

As has been stated a number of times- our goal right now is the release of the 744- and chasing our tail for unconfirmed and poorly documented problems experienced by a user or possibly another isn't a wise investment of our time at the moment.  As we ALWAYS do- we keep an eye out for such things- and as we find problems we own them and we fix them. 

 

Again- I apologize profusely for not putting the entire developmental agenda on hold to chase phantoms in the dark- but I'm just sort of insensitive that way...

 

Thank you for your reply Rob,

 

I was asking because you typically included the change list to your update threads, which made me wonder if this time around if any additional changes were made in addition to the VAS decrease. I am of course very happy to read in your reply above that you have also included the taxi-cam. (I don't have access to my sim PC so I cannot see the change list myself in the ops center).

 

 

When I first encountered the VAS leak in P3D I of course submitted a tixket and updated that with any additional information I could provide. In addition to that and together with some of the users who were involved in identifying and documenting the previous VAS leak on the B777, I was able to confirm that I was not the only user suffering from guaranteed OOM's when selecting specific approaches. I have spent countless hours attempting to understand what may be causing this leak (as other users did for the previous leak).

 

I understand that you are running a business and that there is always going to be priorities and that you can't immediately devote time and resources to identifying and solving a potential issue when it is reported, however II don't quite understand why you would see this as a curiosity of mine?

 

I believe I have done everything I can to provide as much information on what I am experiencing on my end, and what some other users are experiencing on their end. I also have no problem waiting for a fix (however frustrating that may be when I see the dreaded OOM), because I know you have priorities and a process to identifying and solving potential issues, the result of which is your second to none products.

 

Ryan was very quick and replying to my initial ticket and of course said that the team would look into it, my only concern has been that I have yet to find out if you have been able to replicate what I and a few others are seeing on our systems.

 

Can I correctly assume that as long as a support ticket is open, that this is something you will eventually come around to look into? When time, resources etc. make that possible.

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Rafal,

 

We do not plan to roll it backward into the NGX, as that already performs exceptionally well.


Thank you for your reply Rob,


Can I correctly assume that as long as a support ticket is open, that this is something you will eventually come around to look into? When time, resources etc. make that possible.

 

Leo-

 

Go back and read my reply to you- as I went back and changed it to be a bit less caustic and a bit more informative.  (Thank Kyle... his insistence...)

 

Keep in mind that we can take your feedback and run it through the debug process and watch what is happening in real time.  We aren't guessing when we tell you that we can/cannot duplicate something- we are giving feedback based upon real-time-data.

 

If we find a way to duplicate your results- we can dig further.  Until then, it remains open and we continue to collect data.  That is about all we can be expected to do.

 

In your case- I slapped at you fairly hard- probably a bit unfairly- because we are all working very hard to give the community at large something that took a tremendous amount of effort and work- and you appeared to leap right into my face to express your displeasure that your personal priority was not placed first.  As I said- Kyle asked me to rewrite my answer as he felt I was being unfair.  (For which I will probably fire him on Monday... we will see.  :Tounge: )

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Rafal,

 

We do not plan to roll it backward into the NGX, as that already performs exceptionally well.

 

 

Rob,

First of all, hats off to you and the PMDG team for an exceptional update. i am logging into my account to download now.

 

Question - In regards to the NGX, although the VAS footprint is already great, will you guys be updating the model in a similar way to allow better interaction with the Avatar? Thank you! 

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