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Pete Dowson

P3D3.2 looks really good, but hesitations are really bad!

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I have successfully installed 3.2.2 plus Orbx FTX Base, OLC Europe, England and Vector, and I must admit it all looks superb. The performance isn't as good as FSX-SE (nowhere near in fact), but I thought P3D should make up for this in the ability to put sliders up for better visuals, and above all, in smoothness.

 

I changed from a 780 video card with 3Gb up to a 980Ti "Strix" overclocked card with 6Gb, on the understanding that P3D would make good use of the GPU, even though it may still be just as limited as FSX by my 4770K processor (running at 4.4GHz).

 

What I have found is that, yes, this allows me to turn sliders up without noticeable detriment to the frame rate -- which is pegged at 30fps in NVI, as per recommendations I've read, with VS and triple buffering enabled -- dropping to 20fps at really dense and busy airports. (Realistic levels of AI Traffic are a must for me).

 

Well, the performance, at 20 or 30 fps is adequate. But I simply cannot abide the hesitations. There are little microstutters which tend to go unnoticed unless you observe the edges of the display,  I'm not so much concerned with those. It is the longer, up to 1 second or so, hesitations now and then which I really cannot abide and which will certainly drive me back to FSX-SE unless I can find a solution.

 

I have tried many things:

 

1. Disabled all of the FTX Vector layers -- no change

2. Turned off Autogen completely -- no change

3. Turned scenery density to "sparse" -- no change

4. Turned down texture resolutions to 1024 (ie "medium) -- no change

5. Turned each of the upper scenery sliders don a few notches -- no change

6. Turned HDR off -- no change

7. Turned all reflections off -- no change

8. Turned water quality down to "low" -- no change

 

I'm starting to run out of things to turn down. The only things I can thing of doing now are to avoid all add-ins like DLLs for GSX, etc. (not running any of the programs I actually need to run) and trying a default scenery.cfg. I can appreciate that might get the frame rate up (to the lock), but smoothness? And what's the point of flying it then when I can have all those things in FSX-SE without the hesitations?

 

I've avoided doing any tweaks in the P3D CFG file as the general advice seems to be that it doesn't need any. I did try adding the AfflinityMask 14 and even Bufferpools=0, but those didn't make any different so I took them out again. I've not fiddled with any of the other things like TextureMaxLoad, and FFTF.

 

Do any of the experts out there have any advice for me, please?

 

Pete

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Are you talking about 3.1 or 3.2?   

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Are you talking about 3.1 or 3.2?   

 

As stated at the beginning of my post, it is 3.2.2, the latest build.

 

Pete

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I had the same problem.  The cure for me was to completely disable road traffics and use FFTF at 0.12.

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Pete, I have the same observation as you, so I will be following this thread closely. Skip

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I used to have the same symptoms with my relatively powerful machine (i7-6700k-4.7OC + 980Ti/6GB) and I found during one of the random tests that moving tessellation to the left (minimum) cures the stutters especially during approaches. Maybe it's me or my specific set-up, but that's my experience.

 

Also, if you use other external add-ones (PROATC, RC4, AFB, ASN (especially ASN)) I would suggest to move them exclusively to the core 0, leaving cores 1-2-3 for P3D alone (assuming that you use AF=14) 

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I had the same problem.  The cure for me was to completely disable road traffics and use FFTF at 0.12.

 

Road traffic is only on 5, but I'll try these tips. Thanks.

I used to have the same symptoms with my relatively powerful machine (i7-6700k-4.7OC + 980Ti/6GB) and I found during one of the random tests that moving tessellation to the left (minimum) cures the stutters especially during approaches. Maybe it's me or my specific set-up, but that's my experience.

 

Is turning it down better than turning it off on the previous option page? I'll try that. Thanks.

 

 
Also, if you use other external add-ones (PROATC, RC4, AFB, ASN (especially ASN)) I would suggest to move them exclusively to the core 0, leaving cores 1-2-3 for P3D alone (assuming that you use AF=14) 

 

 

 

OK, so I should add AF=14 back. Of those you list I only have ASN running, but I have in addition (normally) UT2, OPusFSI (for camera views only weather disabled) and Aivlasoft's EFB data provider -- except for my tests reported earlier that wasn't running in any case. I'm just about to do another test with none of them running.

 

I used to know about these things but I forget (getting too old). What's the easiest / best way of restricting processes to a specific core?

 

Thanks,

Pete

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As stated at the beginning of my post, it is 3.2.2, the latest build.

 

Pete

 

OK, the thread title had me confused. 

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.1. Yes, turning Tessellation down (full left in the menu) should help. HOWEVER, do NOT turn it off completely.

 

2. There are many utilities that automatically assign individual cores to the individual programs, but I still assign cores manually. Perhaps other users could recommend specific software to automate the cores assignment.


And yes, ASN is badly famous for its stutters if utilizes the same cores as P3D does. Strongly recommend to allocate an individual core for it. I had very bad simming times until HiFi support helped me with that issue  

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.1. Yes, turning Tessellation down (full left in the menu) should help. HOWEVER, do NOT turn it off completely.

 

2. There are many utilities that automatically assign individual cores to the individual programs, but I still assign cores manually. Perhaps other users could recommend specific software to automate the cores assignment.

And yes, ASN is badly famous for its stutters if utilizes the same cores as P3D does. Strongly recommend to allocate an individual core for it. I had very bad simming times until HiFi support helped me with that issue  

 

I use ASN with Version 3.1 and get no stutters, and didn't with V3 and V 2.5 either. I have no core assignments at all, I just let windows handle that. 

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I use ASN with Version 3.1 and get no stutters, and didn't with V3 and V 2.5 either. I have no core assignments at all, I just let windows handle that. 

 

Depends on lot of things - a number of cloud layers, clouds' software (REX/FEX/OPUS), texture resolution, cloud draw distance, visibility, P3D in-game resolution, weather suppression radius, NI settings, use SGSAA or lack of thereof...that's just for the start. 

 

Yes, some folks don't have issues with ASN, others do. Also, some folks feel that they have stutters, others don't care at all. Fully subjective stuff we're talking here.

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OK, the thread title had me confused. 

 

Ah, sorry, yes -- typo in title. Didn't notice. Fixed that now. Thanks.

 

.1. Yes, turning Tessellation down (full left in the menu) should help. HOWEVER, do NOT turn it off completely.  

 

Okay, wilco.

 

2. There are many utilities that automatically assign individual cores to the individual programs, but I still assign cores manually. Perhaps other users could recommend specific software to automate the cores assignment.
 
All my EXE's are started and stopped via FSUIPC, not the EXE.XML, so I might investigate how to program that and add it as an FSUIPC Run/RunIF option.
And yes, ASN is badly famous for its stutters if utilizes the same cores as P3D does. Strongly recommend to allocate an individual core for it. I had very bad simming times until HiFi support helped me with that issue
 
Hmm. Odd. Never had the problem with FSX or FSX-SE all these years.
 
Thanks
Pete

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Process Lasso is a good utility for limiting which cores programmes run on. I use Hyper Threading on my CPU so this may not be suitable for you but I set the Affinity Mask in the P3D.cfg to 85 and then run ASN and TrackIR on logical threads(?) 3,4,5,6 and 7. Process Lasso starts up automatically with Windows and  applies the right cores whenever I start ASN and TrackIR. I went into more detail about this here:

http://www.avsim.com/topic/484333-blurries/

 

I got all my info from SteveW and Nyxx pretty much.

 

Hope that helps.

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Definitely something unique to some users and not others.  3.1 and especially 3.2 are the most free of hesitations/micro-stutters yet to date--stay with it as it is clearly for myself and others what we might have hoped P3D would be.

 

I am using a 3930K at 4.43Ghz and had always used AM=4290.  SteveW suggested using a completely different approach, AM=21760, and I must say my HT enabled 6 core is working much less but producing the same result, and I can't quite explain that except that apparently it was unnecessarily 'busy' as manifested by considerably more heat at the same core voltage.

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I have successfully installed 3.2.2 plus Orbx FTX Base, OLC Europe, England and Vector, and I must admit it all looks superb. The performance isn't as good as FSX-SE (nowhere near in fact), but I thought P3D should make up for this in the ability to put sliders up for better visuals, and above all, in smoothness.

 

Pretty much sums up my conclusions. It looks pretty, but performance gets very rough and gets nowhere near as good as FSX:SE if I load in a tubeliner.

 

So the microstuttering issue bothered me as well. I did lots of testing and found that a few tweaks helped alleviate the microstuttering. I documented it in a post http://www.avsim.com/topic/477057-a-frame-time-analysis-of-p3d-v3-effects-of-cpu-affinity-frame-lock-and-ht/#entry3315905. My findings are in the first two pages, while others chime in for the rest.

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After (full) upgrading from 3.1 to 3.2 P3D seems to be more stuttery as before in certain situations. I am still exploring what might be the cause of it. Will try some settings beeing suggested here. Thanks.

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Hello Pete,

 

take a look at your Windows services too. For example GSX sound output is based on OpenAL and I have a lot of trouble with that one and my sound hardware. Some Licensing Service from Creative Labs is contantly running-and-failing at regular intervals. I can see these errors in the Eventlog and I could swear that these coincide with the longer stutters. In some instances it even crashes the sim (of that I am sure, the timestamps match exactly). IIRC I had this problem in V2 too, there even was an error message about it. I am starting to think that P3D is especially susceptible to issues in the underlying Windows system. I kept the simulator installation free of any other software not sim related, so it has to be some addon, driver or service problem methinks. And that is why some people have it and some don't - we would have to compile a comprehensive table of how users have their system set up and if they experience these stutters or not. The similarities and discrepancies then should point to probable culprits.

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Process Lasso is a good utility for limiting which cores programmes run on. I use Hyper Threading on my CPU so this may not be suitable for you but I set the Affinity Mask in the P3D.cfg to 85 and then run ASN and TrackIR on logical threads(?) 3,4,5,6 and 7. Process Lasso starts up automatically with Windows and  applies the right cores whenever I start ASN and TrackIR. I went into more detail about this here:

 

http://www.avsim.com/topic/484333-blurries/

 

I got all my info from SteveW and Nyxx pretty much.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Thanks. I'll look into doing this sort of thing, maybe in FSUIPC instead though. However, I've now eliminated all the other processes -- with nothing else running except P3D the stuttering / hesitating is the same.

 

So the microstuttering issue bothered me as well. I did lots of testing and found that a few tweaks helped alleviate the microstuttering. I documented it in a post http://www.avsim.com/topic/477057-a-frame-time-analysis-of-p3d-v3-effects-of-cpu-affinity-frame-lock-and-ht/#entry3315905. My findings are in the first two pages, while others chime in for the rest.

 

I'll check that out too. Thanks.

 

take a look at your Windows services too. For example GSX sound output is based on OpenAL and I have a lot of trouble with that one. Some Licensing Service from Creative Labs is contantly running-and-failing at regular intervals. I can see these errors in the Eventlog and I could swear that these coincide with the longer stutters. In some instances it even crashes the sim (of that I am sure, the timestamps match exactly). IIRC I had this problem in V2 too, there even was an error message about it. I am starting to think that P3D is especially susceptible to issues in the underlying Windows system.

 

Another area for me to look at, for sure. Thanks.

 

Pete

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Heya Pete, 

 

A simple thing that helped for my micro-stutters (which admittedly don't bother me as much as blurries) was turning my monitor frame rate down to 29, and locking frames as 24. Fortunately, turning your monitor rates down is a simple test.

 

I also use Process Lasso to get all non-P3D V3.2.2 threads off of logical processors 0 and 1.

 

For whatever reason it is smooth as silk unless I get into highly congested areas. Orbx SCA over metropolitan LA is a slide show, no matter what. 

 

Good luck!

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Does it go away if you set texture resolution to 1m?

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A simple thing that helped for my micro-stutters (which admittedly don't bother me as much as blurries) was turning my monitor frame rate down to 29, and locking frames as 24. Fortunately, turning your monitor rates down is a simple test.

Good luck!

 

I use a projector, and I don't think that's an option, but I'll check. I'll try frame rate limit lower, though. I've been using 35 in NVI and now 30 in P3D -- the latter seems to give better results.

 

 

Does it go away if you set texture resolution to 1m?

 

No, it's exactly the same.

 

 

Thanks AviatorMoser. Best suggestions yet are from that thread:

 

Frame rate limit 30 in P3D, VSync off, FFTF = 0.01.

 

That's much smoother, but unfortunately some (less) of the microstuffers are there, and the up-to-1-second (or even more) hesitations are still there! :-(

 

The only thing which has worked so far is running with only default scenery -- i.e. a perfectly default SCENERY.CFG. I know that will still give me most of the FTX base textures as they go into the World or Global scenery folder I think. But with NO add-on scenery layers at all the result is as smooth as a baby's bottom with no stutters and no hesitations!

 

This was partly a relief as I was beginning to suspect a faulty video card or video driver!

 

Having found that I went through a long process or quartering the add-on layers, ony enabling 100 additional layers for each test (I have nearly 400 additional layers, and that's just for Europe!). I was hoping to narrow it down to a culiprit add-on, but alas, the elimination showed nothing -- the hesitations are still there no matter what.

 

I'm now considering trying to go back to the 3.1 Client, because some folks are saying some of this problem started when moving from 3.1 to 3.2.

 

I must admit, I'm nearing the point of giving up on P3D and going back to FSX-SE. :-(

 

Pete

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Do any of the experts out there have any advice for me, please?

 

Pete

 

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I use a projector, and I don't think that's an option, but I'll check. I'll try frame rate limit lower, though. I've been using 35 in NVI and now 30 in P3D -- the latter seems to give better results.

 

 

 

No, it's exactly the same.

 

 

Thanks AviatorMoser. Best suggestions yet are from that thread:

 

Frame rate limit 30 in P3D, VSync off, FFTF = 0.01.

 

That's much smoother, but unfortunately some (less) of the microstuffers are there, and the up-to-1-second (or even more) hesitations are still there! :-(

 

The only thing which has worked so far is running with only default scenery -- i.e. a perfectly default SCENERY.CFG. I know that will still give me most of the FTX base textures as they go into the World or Global scenery folder I think. But with NO add-on scenery layers at all the result is as smooth as a baby's bottom with no stutters and no hesitations!

 

This was partly a relief as I was beginning to suspect a faulty video card or video driver!

 

Having found that I went through a long process or quartering the add-on layers, ony enabling 100 additional layers for each test (I have nearly 400 additional layers, and that's just for Europe!). I was hoping to narrow it down to a culiprit add-on, but alas, the elimination showed nothing -- the hesitations are still there no matter what.

 

I'm now considering trying to go back to the 3.1 Client, because some folks are saying some of this problem started when moving from 3.1 to 3.2.

 

I must admit, I'm nearing the point of giving up on P3D and going back to FSX-SE. :-(

 

Pete

 

Pete,

 

Are clouds present in your tests? I've found P3D clouds to have a huge impact on fluidity and frame rates, much more so than in FSX:SE.

 

I did a comparison test here to show how P3D performs worse in cloudy conditions than FSX:SE (even when the latter has SGSAA enabled --  a no no for P3D).

 

http://www.avsim.com/topic/480642-a-frame-time-analysis-of-p3d-v3-clouds/

 

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Are clouds present in your tests? I've found P3D clouds to have a huge impact on fluidity and frame rates, much more so than in FSX:SE.

 

 

Yes. It's light scattered cumulus, just like outside today. I could test with completely clear weather, terminating ASN, but that seems a bit pointless to me -- more often than not when flying in Europe conditions will be a lot worse than this fine day, very rarely better!

 

If P3D can't handle cloud layers then I'm certainly skidaddling back to FSX-SE!

 

Pete

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Yes. It's light scattered cumulus, just like outside today. I could test with completely clear weather, terminating ASN, but that seems a bit pointless to me -- more often than not when flying in Europe conditions will be a lot worse than this fine day, very rarely better!

 

If P3D can't handle cloud layers then I'm certainly skidaddling back to FSX-SE!

 

Pete

 

Well, I don't want to mislead you. I've had P3D behave with light cumuli. It's the overcast that kills me. Could just be me.

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