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virginblue737

Tweaking, Needed or not needed in P3D?

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Hey guys, 

 

So just wanted to know your thoughts, within P3D what are the best tweaks / settings used to crisp up the textures and reduce the blurries but yet get good performance, or is it better to just leave everything default and not edit anything ? 

 

Keen to hear your thoughts. 

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If you are running unusual hardware like a six core processor you may have to do affinity tweaks. If you use addon scenery like ORBX you probably will need fiber fraction for those times when the ORBX scenery hampers performance in very uneven ways. If you have addons that tax the CPU you may need affinity mask to release core zero. Otherwise, play with in built settings in P3D and forget doing tweaks.

 

cheers

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Here's my experience.  Hopefully not bad advice.

 

First thing to do is decide what is higher priority for you. Crisp ground textures or high frame rates.  If you have an extremely high end system, you can probably get both, but most of us probably not.

 

If you prioritize high frame rates, set the frame rate limiter to Unlimited and just accept the fact that the ground textures will be blurry sometimes. Seems to me like many of the manually entered CFG file tweaks get ignored when frame rate limiter is set to unlimited so don't waste your time. You should be able to get very good frame rates even with a bunch of eye candy and AI traffic enabled.  Again, the trade off is blurry ground textures.

 

If you prioritize crisp ground textures, then set the frame rate limiter to the lowest number you find acceptable. For me, it's about 22 FPS. This will enable the manually entered CFG tweaks to work. You'll get better looking ground textures and less tearing, but frame rate will suffer, especially when you start turning on eye candy.  You might be able to get 2-3 extra FPS if you get lucky and find the magic combination of CFG tweaks that works best for your system, but most likely the default settings are going to be as good as it gets.

 

One other thing I've done is started using SIMstarter.  This allows you to set up tweaks and scenery addons based on the type of flight you are doing. For example, if I'm flying a GA aircraft, I have different settings than if I'm flying PMDG 737.  I have the ORBX sceneries enabled for GA, but not for 737.  If you have UT2, you can even set it up to load a different traffic configuration automatically.  When I fly GA, I have lots of GA AI aircraft and not many airliners.  When I fly 737, I have lots of airliners and minimal GA traffic.  That kind of thing.

 

I've got an old i5-2500K and GTX 970 running a 43" 4K monitor and am actually very pleased with the performance overall.  I do get some long frames when lots of detailed scenery visible, but not too bad.

 

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I stopped tweaking a long, long time ago. Also because a lot of the old tweaks are now simply part of the settings pages in P3D itself or have been added by default already in the cfg's. Imho it's not necessary to tweak anymore. I did try a few tweaks a long time ago but although they sometimes made a difference it never was for the better. Seems to me that tweaks usually unbalance the carefully designed LM balancing act. Add a tweak here and you probably screw up a few settings elsewhere without knowing what exactly is going wrong. In short: don't tweak, enjoy what you've got and everything that's not too good you will get used to in a day or two.  :wink:

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Well,

You need to goto you nvidia global setting and set two things.

Texture quality to the best setting.

Power to max performance.

 

Are they tweaks?

 

moving on,

 

Do you need tweaks in P3D v3.x, in a word NO, should you use any? YES, To be fair I only use a AM, a must if you have HT on, if OFF then no need.

Well thats not true,

I add sometimes, Texturemaxload XX is good with photo scenery. Also a swapwaittimeout tweak, both these are LM guild web pagers.

 

As for Textures being loaded better with FPS lock? well within FSX then yes I always had to run 30 locked to get good texture loading. Given I dont use Orbx regions as there so hard hitting for the high flying I do, but with Global-vector-OLC, my texture loading is as good as it gets and that with unlimited fps. It will be down to your PC. Also I have P3D on a very fast SSD. Try and see yourself. I tried both and tested with the textureMaxload and swapwaittimeout etc etc and textures still load the same without being locked. That's coming from running FPS locked at 30 for years because within FSX locked = far better texture loading.

LM http://www.prepar3d.com/SDKv2/LearningCenter/getting_started/performance/tuning_guide.html

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Like Jeroen, I have stopped tweaking my P3D (2.x and 3.x) since all the tweaks that others praised so much had no significant impact on my system (W7 64, i7-3930K @3.2GHz, GTX Titan, SSD for System and P3D).

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Can a CPU @ 3.2 keep a Titan supplied?

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You need to goto you nvidia global setting and set two things.

Texture quality to the best setting.

Power to max performance

I don't even do that anymore: I wonder if anyone actually noticed ANY difference with these settings? I didn't. ;) For quite some time I made a habit of tweaking as little as possible so that also goes for Windows 10. I frequently reinstall my OS (a few times a year) and while I tweaked the hell out of everything a few years back I don't do that anymore. I only do 'cosmetic' changes, so I change a few things because they look better of work more convenient. With nowadays hardware I am done tweaking in ALL regards, sims, OS, nVidia, whatever. The more default, the better.

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I found less is more with my setup.  No Nvidia Inspector, no Hyper Threading, No Affinity Mask.  Heck I don't even use vsync.  Just set unlimited....

 

 

The only "tweak" I added in the config file was to add more buildings and trees to the max.

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Minimal tweaks, but I still use 2XSSGA in NVI, because despite having the optimum display settings in P3D, the addon stuff like PMDG and some addon airports still have jaggies. NVI helps reduce those a bit. However, I think they improved the graphic engine in 3.1 because I get very little FPS loss in clouds now using NVI. I've tried the increased resolutions with NCP, but it makes all the instruments too small and too hard to read. I do lock my frames at 41 and it rarely moves from there. Maybe into the 30s and upper 20s in some very dense addon airports, but it is still smooth.

 

i4770k OC 4.4 and a 980ti

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I think what's been happening over time is that tweaking is dying a slow death due to two related factors. First, P3d continues to be improved and optimized by LM to make better use of the GPU. Second, people are retiring old GPUs and some are even buying brand new systems to take advantage of item number 1.

 

Tweaking was a logical response to combat the outdated code in FSX combined with substandard hardware. In most cases, it accomplished nothing and sometimes made performance and/or stability worse.

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I add sometimes, Texturemaxload XX is good with photo scenery

 

Hi David-

 

Do you notice a significant increase in distant PS textures with this? Also, any additional stuttering?

 

Are you using a different TBM setting too?

 

Thanks,

Mark

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P3D is a complex simulation with hundreds of possibilities for alterations and adjustments. As such there will be many tweaks possible, but the fact is, there are very few that could be said to be essential.

 

1. Depending on the CPU and Hyperthreading setting, an affinity mask *will be required* since the sim operates most effectively with 4 LPs allocated, and other processes should be kept clear of the main P3D thread. P3D works without that, just it's less efficient. P3D will split itself up over as many LPs (logical processors) as it finds. With a four core HT disabled, that's not an issue, but with HT enabled presents 8 LPs, twice as many as needed. With 6, 8, and especially 10 core CPU's and no AM, OOMs will start to plague the sim since each LP allocated eats into available VAS, especially on a 64bit O/S, and the threadpool becomes overpopulated beyond 6 LPs anyway.

 

2. Depending on the aircraft used, or scenery, Sparse Grid supersampling may be required with the NVidia cards (enabled in NI). Example; check out the difference between the B58 instruments (no SG required) and the A36 (SG needed). Since with some aircraft regular supersampling won't work, we can use SGSSAA, but DSR or FXAA may work well as an alternative.

 

3. Setup. Make all performance adjustments without AA enabled. Once a satisfactory performance is maintained, then bring in AA until it starts to cap the fps.

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I am going to have to agree to disagree with some folks here.  The usage of tweaks and other settings changes outside of what is shown in the settings panels in P3D are going to vary for everyone.  We could go on and on about what is best, what works, my tweaks are better than yours, nyah nyah, but in the end, everyone's systems will react differently.

 

It seems that in recent years, tweaking FSX, FSX:SE and P3D has become more of a hobby than actually using the simulators.

 

I use minimal changes with v3.1.  As Jay stated, P3D is evolving constantly and consistently, which is a good thing for those folks who are faithful P3D users.  I found that a lot of the tweaks I once used as "biblical settings" are no longer needed.  I can even run my fps at unlimited and get better performance, which I found odd, but I won't look that proverbial gifthorse in the mouth.

 

-Jim

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Can a CPU @ 3.2 keep a Titan supplied?

 

1. It is not a Titan X

 

2. The clock frequency is only one of the parameters that determines the power of a CPU. Why is a i7-5960X @3.5GHz regarded as more powerful than for example a i7-6700K @4.2GHz or a i7-4790S @4.0GHz?

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2. The clock frequency is only one of the parameters that determines the power of a CPU. Why is a i7-5960X @3.5GHz regarded as more powerful than for example a i7-6700K @4.2GHz or a i7-4790S @4.0GHz?

 

And "more powerful" always depends on the use case / benchmark / software ;-)

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And "more powerful" always depends on the use case / benchmark / software ;-)

In principal I do agree. That is the reason why I wrote: "The clock frequency is only one of the parameters that determines the power of a CPU."

 

Unfortunately most magazines do not use FSX or in my case P3Dv3.1 to benchmark the various CPUs. They use other programmes or special benchmark programmes to compare. A long time ago CPUs and Graphics Cards were compared at Flightsim (if I remember correctly) using the simulators of that time. The results tallied somehow with other tests that used "modern" test programmes.

 

Anyways, looking at the results of those tests I do not think that the i7-6700K or the i7-4790s will beat the i75960X when using them in FSX or P3D. Do you?

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In principal I do agree. That is the reason why I wrote: "The clock frequency is only one of the parameters that determines the power of a CPU."

 

Unfortunately most magazines do not use FSX or in my case P3Dv3.1 to benchmark the various CPUs. They use other programmes or special benchmark programmes to compare. A long time ago CPUs and Graphics Cards were compared at Flightsim (if I remember correctly) using the simulators of that time. The results tallied somehow with other tests that used "modern" test programmes.

 

Anyways, looking at the results of those tests I do not think that the i7-6700K or the i7-4790s will beat the i75960X when using them in FSX or P3D. Do you?

 

I am completely with you.

It always depends on the architecture of the processor, the clock speed, cache size and a million other factors....

 

I personally would alwys go for the newer architecture which would be Skylake in this comparison:

http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i7-6700K-vs-Intel-Core-i7-5960X

 

I do not think that P3D or FSX are highly threaded and therefore there are not really much performance gains by the additional cores.

And when you look at the price..... Well....

 

Here it is clear: Single core performance: 6700k, Multicore usage: 5960k

http://www.technikaffe.de/cpu_vergleich-intel_core_i7_6700k-518-vs-intel_core_i7_5960x-438

 

For FSX / P3D I would always go for the 6700k.

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Comparing 5960x in single thread to the 6700K may be a mistake, unless compared at the same heat. The bigger chip with more cores will get hotter, and so sports a slower turbo speed. Consider that at 4GHz the 4790K is 2530, the 6700K is 2325, but the 3960x is 1992 at 3.3 GHz but runs all day at 4GHz with out specialist cooling. So at 4Ghz that puts out 2414. 4960x is 2074 at 3.6GHz, 4GHz is childs play for that and puts out 2304.

 

cpubenchmark singleThread

 

The big improvements in real throughput have been in motherboards, memory, GPU, and hard disk.

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Except most of those benchmarks mean squat in real world performance... and even less when thrown in with other factors such as different motherboards, ram, video cards, etc., etc.,etc..

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In reality, benchmarks do actually provide a basis for understanding the performance of a chip.

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Comparing 5960x in single thread to the 6700K may be a mistake, unless compared at the same heat. The bigger chip with more cores will get hotter, and so sports a slower turbo speed. Consider that at 4GHz the 4790K is 2530, the 6700K is 2325, but the 3960x is 1992 at 3.3 GHz but runs all day at 4GHz with out specialist cooling. So at 4Ghz that puts out 2414. 4960x is 2074 at 3.6GHz, 4GHz is childs play for that and puts out 2304.

 

cpubenchmark singleThread

 

The big improvements in real throughput have been in motherboards, memory, GPU, and hard disk.

 

Still no big gains by more cores in gaming, especially non-multithreaded applications like FSX / P3D.

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Still no big gains by more cores in gaming, especially non-multithreaded applications like FSX / P3D.

That's why we consider the single threaded throughput so important.

 

 

However, P3D and FSX run best on 4 cores, add in some addons and the next 6 core is looking very tasty.

 

 

 

In terms of tweaks, these simulators have scope for hundreds of settings but are set up fairly well to work out of the box. Even so, there will always be a few things that can affect certain circumstances and require tweaks, or rather could be deemed necessary settings. I've collated a few notes for P3D:

 

Frame Rate and VSync settings with NI:

For regular PC systems, to obtain reasonably high fps combined with smoothness, try this; a standard setup of P3D v3.1 frame control on a typical 59/60Hz dvi-d monitor. Possibly the closest we'll get with P3D to the beloved 1/2 refresh FSX exclusive mode:

 

Using Nvidia Inspector (NI) choose 29 fps or 30 fps for the "Frame Rate Limiter" item. Setting the frame rate limiter with 3.1 in NI is like having a lower refresh monitor mode. However, the limiter settings don't all work on all systems, so check you get fps showing near to the setting you choose in NI.

 

Now run P3D v 3.1 and in Display settings we have two options;

 

1. Set VSync=On and set Triple Buffer=On, set Unlimited frame rate,

or

2. VSync=Off and TP=Off, set Locked Frame Rate to 29/30.

 

Using example 2, the pre-emptive setting. requires unlimited frame rates showing in the region of at least 45-90fps to be reasonably successful. Seems counter-intuitive, but just when look ahead frames are needed, the sim is running too slow to build them up again. Example 1 can be utilised by less powerful systems and still maintain a reasonably smooth 30fps.

 

 

The Prepar3D tuning guide:

 

The Prepar3D tuning guide

 

In the guide the Affinity mask of 14=(1110) is recommended. However this is perfect for Dual Core with HT enabled (HT=On), or Four core systems with Hyperthreading disabled (HT=Off).

 

If we enable Hyperthreading (HT=On) with no AM in use with Prepar3D, the JobSheduler will be assigning another major simulator thread to a logical processor on the same core occupied by the primary simulator thread. That results in the main thread sharing throughput of the core unnecessarily with one of its secondary threads. Note that FSX is the same. The simulator will count the available LPs and split itself over those running threads on every LP. This will use also use up considerable VAS. If more than four are available, only the first four are meaningful. Jobs beyond 4 are discarded unless they finish first, they can only serve benefit if something interrupts the others. Sweet spot is four jobs, on a 4GHz CPU, 3 or 5 jobs perform worse, 4 is best.

 

Systems with 4 core HT=On should use AffinityMask=116=(01,11,01,00) with addons on core 0

Systems with 4 core HT=On should use AffinityMask=85=(01,01,01,01) or 170=(10,10,10,10).

Systems with 6 core HT=On can use AM=340=(00,01,01,01,01,00).

Systems with 8 core HT=On can use AM=5440=(00,01,01,01,01,00,00,00).

 

Dual core CPUs should have HT enabled if they support it, and an AffinityMask of 13, or 14 specified.

 

example added to Prepar3D.cfg:

[JOBSCHEDULER]

AffinityMask=170

 

Those without HyperThreading CPUs (or HT disabled) need not apply an Affinity Mask. Even so, an AM can be applied to partition the chip, perhaps reserving one core free of the simulator and it's multi-threaded resources, so that other processes starting up can have a core free, although Windows JobSheduler will do a good job distributing work away from the main simulator thread once it's up and fully running.

 

Systems with 4 core HT=Off should use AffinityMask=0=(1111) or

Systems with 4 core HT=Off should use AffinityMask=14=(1110) with addons on core 0.

Systems with 6 core HT=Off can use AM=30=(011110).

Systems with 8 core HT=Off can use AM=120=(01111000).

 

AffinityMask=0 is equivalent to no [JOBSCHEDULER] section specified in the cfg.

 

Overclockers: Reducing the amount of ones "1" in the mask decreases heat. 4 core HT enabled - how about AM=52=(00,11,01,00). With the four core, if we want to go cooler than 116 try 52=(00,11,01,00). This only uses two cores, but splits into three jobs, and performs very well, not much less that 116, but better fps at higher GHz at the expense of loading textures. Slightly lower fps, slightly more heat, for increased texture loading AM=60=(00,11,11,00) which splits the sim into four jobs, moving the second job onto the main thread core.

 

 

Prepar3D.cfg:

 

Tessellation set low in the Display Settings is 60, but can be set around 50-20 for better performance, even 20 should be better than no Tessellation at all.

[GRAPHICS]

TESSELLATION=1

[TERRAIN]

TESSELLATION_FACTOR=25 (50% or below for performance, above for quality.)

 

[Display]

TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT=180 (Smoother texture handling with medium+ autogen.)

TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT=10 (Smoother frame rate with very low or no autogen.)

UPPER_FRAMERATE_LIMIT=20 (Or use 0, zero=Unlimited fps, when testing frame rates and performance. With Locked frames we need to see unlimited frame rate 2x - 4x the locked rate setting.)

TEXTURE_FILTERING=8

MSAA=4 (set Transparency 4xSGSS AA with NI or...

MSAA=2 ...set Transparency 2xSGSS AA with NI.)

Adding SGSSAA is only required for certain aircraft so always turn it off to check if your aircraft is affected. Otherwise, only use MSAA in P3D Display Settings.

 

Not a recommendation, but for experimentation with shadows, cascade count and texture size:

[GRAPHICS]

SHADOW_NUM_CASCADES_LOW=3

SHADOW_NUM_CASCADES_MID=4

SHADOW_NUM_CASCADES_HIGH=5

SHADOW_NUM_CASCADES_ULTRA=6 (Decrease cascades and...

GROUND_SHADOW_TEXTURE_SIZE=4096 ...increase texture size = fps boost with similar shadow quality.)

 

[Weather]

OPTIMIZE_DENSE_CLOUDS=1 (Discussed on Prepar3D forums. May help with some clouds.)

 

[sIM]

OPTIMIZE_PARTS=1 (Discussed on Prepar3D forums. May help with complex aircraft and other objects.)

 

[uSERINTERFACE]

SITUATION=C:\Users\[you]\AppData\Local\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v2\Prepar3D_Default (The default flight file.)

 

 

Prepar3D Learning Center.chm

 

For more tuning tips run the P3D Learning Center:

 

C:\Program Files (x86)\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3\Learning Center.chm

 

Open (double-click) Learning Center.chm, in the left panel go to: Performance, Tuning Guide.

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I only use the Affinitymask tweak to free up core 0 when using TrackIR and several simconnect apps. P3D runs OK with relatively high settings on my i7 2700K & GTX580 combo - as long as I keep shadow settings to a minimum. Compared to FSX it is a dream come true!

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I did away with AffinityMask and FFTF, and now my P3Dv3 is running much smoother and sharper. Not sure why I thought I needed those tweaks, but I guess after so many years with FSX, all I did back then was tweak, tweak, and more tweak. Less is more when it comes to P3Dv3, at least for me.

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