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macwino

4-core, 6-core, 8-core - What’s best for P3D v3?

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I’m looking at the new Broadwell E-series Intel CPUs and wondering whether there will be any benefit to investing in a 6-core or 8-core CPU. Right now I’m running an i7 4790K at 4.7 MHz and have little to complain about, even running a 55-inch 4K monitor. 

 

It is my understanding that the Broadwell E-series CPUs are not likely to overclock as high as my 4790K.

 

Consequently, am I better off sticking with the 4790K at 4.7 MHz, or upgrading to a 6- or 8-core CPU with a lower overclock? And are there other issues that I ought to be concerned about?

 

My machine is dedicated solely to P3D (and soon XP10), and no video processing is involved, so I don’t believe I have any need for more cores unless it will benefit P3D or XP10.

 

Thanks for your input.

Robert

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....and have little to complain about, .... 

 

 

Is this a rhetorical question?  :wink:

 

From what I know (but I'm not an expert) P3D utilizes mostly 4 cores. Adding/using more cores doesn't add much (if any) performance gain.

Also the higher clock-frequency, the better. So your 4790 is already doing a good job.

 

Finally, the 4970 runs on a 1150 socket and the newer CPU's on a 1151 socket, so you would also need to invest in a new mobo (and most likely DDR4 memory).

So if you already have little to complain about.....

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Stick with the 4790K. It is a brilliant CPU and you aren't likely to see any improvements going with Broadwell E (which will be an expensive upgrade). Quad core processors with fast IPC and high overclocks rule in P3D. You have one of the best processors for P3D available right now.

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Rob Ainscough,

 

Keeping in mind that while we revel in the smoothness of your YouTube videos, but, and this is the biggest "BUT" of all…

 

...We all can't afford SLI'd TitanXs and I7-5960Xs, would you please chime in here.

 

Chas

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Whatever you choose, I recommend Process Lasso https://bitsum.com/?inproduct so that you can decide what runs on what core. It is a great tool and it has made my 3770K perform brilliantly.

absolutely!

 

And we should get the Developer to chime in on this formum and offer tips for various set ups…

 

Chas

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Yes, it would be great if Rob could provide his input on this question. He's the expert.

 

And I think it's a great idea to seek LM's input, so I'll post this same question on its forum in a moment.

 

As far as using Process Lasso is concerned, I've read about it but not explored how one decides what to put on which core. The answer is probably to be found in these forums and I'll be sure and research it.

 

Finally, I'm aware of the need to also upgrade my motherboard and RAM if I were to go with a Broadwell E-series CPU, but if these upgrades would provide some performance improvements then I don't see this as a disadvantage.

 

Thanks for the input.

Robert

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Stick with what you have! The best upgrade you could get is a monitor that supports 30hz refresh rate if the one you already have doesn't. Again the key to great silky smooth performance and tons of eye candy is 30fps at 30hz. I was running an i7 4770k @ 4.8ghz with 2 GTX 780's in sli (with only 3gb of vram) and my performance in the end was just as smooth as Robs. (granted I was not running 4K just 1080p). I think that if your hardware is the same or better than mine (now almost 3 year old hardware) then spending money on hardware upgraded for P3D is like flushing it down the toilet.

 

I'll probably get banned for posting this video again but I cannot emphasis enough that the key to getting smooth game play with P3D is having your FPS limited by your display refresh rate. 25 years a simming and I have never seen smoother game play in a flight sim than with this method. Its even better than the old 1/2 refresh rate we used in NI and works in a similiar way. Note the FPS counter in the bottom left corner. Nearly, always nailed to 30fps:

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Jim (Young) has asked me to do a P3D guide which I'll include performance tips ... I will get to this soon I hope.  But to clarify I'd rather not be considered an "expert" ... I offer what works for me and I'm constantly in a cycle of learning.

 

As far as "real" core count goes, 4 cores is fine, 6 cores if you do a lot of recording or run other products in the same PC in the backgroud (like ASN).  The only reason to move to more cores is that they often come with a much larger L3 cache, in the case of my 5960X it's 20MB.  CPU frequency is also important, my 5960X works better with HT OFF at 4.6Ghz ... so overclocking does help, BUT it can also hinder stability.

 

But why my vidoes are so smooth with high grahics settings and 3rd party content really does boil down to monitor refresh rate, my Sony 4K works and looks the same at both 30Hz and 60Hz.  I prefer using unlimited frame rate and have vsync control the FPS (no software limiter).  I can turn up many more graphics settings because my target FPS is locked to my monitor refresh so I only need to sustain minimum 30 FPS to get fluid motion.

 

Another huge factor in smoothness is configuration and selection of add-ons ... you need to balance this.  This balance will vary from location to location across the globe.  For example KDEN I can get away with very high graphics settings, but KLAX with Orbx SoCal I can NOT.  There is no "one solution for all situations" ... and in some cases the scenery is just not optimized well enough and no amount of "adjustments" will work with it.

 

In the mean time here are some of the adjustments I make to 3rd party:

 

Orbx Vector 

ASN

REX TD

 

Don't use SGSS AA unless you run multi-GPU (SLI), cloud performance will plummet with a single GPU

 

Graphics settings that can hurt performance more significantly (especially at dusk/dawn times):

Terrain Shadows

SimObject Shadows (cast/receive)

Dynamic Reflections

AI traffic with AI add-ons

 

Pending your add-ons, other items that might impact performance is:

Road/Boat traffic (this is also somewhat more CPU dependent)

 

Keep in mind I have ZERO tweaks in my Prepar3D.cfg (I have tried many but ultimately remove them all).

 

But in many cases it's just a matter of configuring add-ons and finding the balance for the locations you fly.  I keep 4 graphics settings for my system (Medium, High, Very High, and Extreme - P3D lets you save/load sets).

 

Hopefully this will get you going, I'll update some of my info and in the form of a guide and publish on AVSIM when I have some time, but that maybe a few weeks away.

 

Cheers, Rob.

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Thanks to all for your input. The consensus is to stick with the 4790k—and that is what I will do. 

 

For anyone who's interested, here's the link to my similar post on the Lockheed Martin forum. 

 

http://www.prepar3d.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6315&t=119630

 

Thanks again.

Robert

 

P.S.: Avidean, I finally gave 30Hz a try last night, which has also been recommended by Rob, and except for some stutters during the first minutes after takeoff, seemed to work just fine. I will have to do some more testing tonight to be sure.

 

P.P.S.: Rob, I'm looking forward to your guide, as I'm sure everyone else is as well.

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except for some stutters during the first minutes after takeoff

 

I would suggest that you keep your frame counter on during testing to diagnose the cause of those stutters. I am willing to beat that if you have everything setup correctly for 30hz that when you see those stutters you will also see the FPS drop below 30fps. I find that the frame counter seems to lag a bit behind what you see on screen which kinda makes sense. When you see stutters glance at the FPS counter and you will see it drop from 30 to 28, 26 then 29 and then 30 again. something like that. It simple means that what ever is going on in that sim at that time is to much for your hardware to keep the FPS above 30fps. You need to make the appropriate adjustments to your setting. However, not all stutters are created equal. They are not all V-sync stutters. I think long frame stutters are far less common in P3D than they are in FSX but you still occasionally will get them. So if you see stutters and no corresponding FPS drop I think that is a visible disparity between adjacent frame times.

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