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kolaf

Help with settings and performance

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Hi guys,

 

I thought I was pretty good at configuring p3d, but I'm stumped getting it to work smoothly on my new system. Maybe I'm expecting too much, in that case I am sure you will let me know ;-).

 

My system is a new build with a 6700k@4.5 GHz, 32 GB RAM at 2400 GHz,a MSI GTX 9700, a few SSDs, and so on.

 

I have a completely fresh installation of p3d, and the only tweak I am running is affinityMask = 85 since I am running with HT on. The scenario I am testing is pmdg 737 NGX at aerosoft ENGM with FTX Norway. I have connected three screens to my main GPU and I have dragged the window to fill the three screens using Nvidia surround (using the new view groups functionality in 3.3 seems to have an even greater hit on performance than simply stretching the screen, even though it looks much better). The total screen resolution is thus 5900*1080. I should note that reducing the size of the window does not significantly affect the frame rate. The CPU utilisation remains more or less the same, while the GPU utilisation decreases drastically. This probably indicates a CPU bottleneck, but I will get back to that further down.

 

The settings are not too demanding, I would think. I think I have a lot to go on on GPU, but I need to be careful with CPU management. Level of detail range is high, all scenery complexity and density is "dense", special effects are medium both, fxaa = off,msaa = 8, anisotropic 16x, HDR off, and some cloud shadows. Full settings can be viewed in this album:  https://goo.gl/photos/8S36VhdrnrHUUaZP8

 

Running this on a rainy day I get between 14 and 20 FPS on the ground. This would have been fine if the system was working hard to give me this. However, the GPU load is less than 50%, and the load on the main CPU core is around 80%, while the other three (logical cores) that are assigned to p3d hover around 20 to 30% (presumably because I am not moving so little texture loading is required). A snapshot of these numbers are also visible in the album above.

 

So, what to do. Why is not the CPU working full tilt? If both the CPU and GPU are running at less than 100%, then what is the bottleneck? I am assuming it is probably still the CPU, so what are the most CPU intensive settings?

 

Has anyone ever produced an overview of the CPU and GPU impact of the different settings? This would be quite invaluable when trying to tune the performance of a specific system.

 

I'm sorry that my questions are all over the place, but as I said, I'm not entirely sure how to proceed. Obviously I have to reduce some settings, but I don't want to do that :-). In the worst-case, though, which settings should go first?

 

Thanks for listening.

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After some more googling and reading (apparently you have never read enough) I realised that it might be my docked 2D panels placed on a fourth monitor that are causing the problems. Sure enough, starting the simulator without the panels undocked (I had a saved flight with the undocked panels so I never saw the change myself) I immediately had much better performance.

 

It appears that undocking even a single panel to a secondary monitor significantly reduces my simulator performance. Both CPU and GPU usage is drastically reduced, leading to the symptoms I described above. The weird thing was that removing the undocked panel did not restore the performance. I had to restart the simulator to achieve the performance I had before undocking the panel.

 

I found a thread on the p3d for from 2013 that discussed this issue, but it was also claimed to be solved in version 2.1. Maybe it has been reintroduced? Anyway, I will head over to that forum to describe measures and see what the Masters say. A link to the thread discussing and apparently fixing the issue: http://www.prepar3d.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6312&t=9630&start=30

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Submitted on P3d forum today.

We found and fixed this issue (and a few others in the process). ...

Beau,

 

First let me offer a wayyyyyy belated thank you for your technical and terrific customer conscious work!

 

 

A. I just found these over on Avsim...

 

1.

Hi guys,

 

I thought I was pretty good at configuring p3d, but I'm stumped getting it to work smoothly on my new system. Maybe I'm expecting too much, in that case I am sure you will let me know ;-).

 

My system is a new build with a 6700k@4.5 GHz, 32 GB RAM at 2400 GHz,a MSI GTX 9700, a few SSDs, and so on.

 

I have a completely fresh installation of p3d, and the only tweak I am running is affinityMask = 85 since I am running with HT on. The scenario I am testing is pmdg 737 NGX at aerosoft ENGM with FTX Norway. I have connected three screens to my main GPU and I have dragged the window to fill the three screens using Nvidia surround (using the new view groups functionality in 3.3 seems to have an even greater hit on performance than simply stretching the screen, even though it looks much better). The total screen resolution is thus 5900*1080. I should note that reducing the size of the window does not significantly affect the frame rate. The CPU utilisation remains more or less the same, while the GPU utilisation decreases drastically. This probably indicates a CPU bottleneck, but I will get back to that further down.

 

The settings are not too demanding, I would think. I think I have a lot to go on on GPU, but I need to be careful with CPU management. Level of detail range is high, all scenery complexity and density is "dense", special effects are medium both, fxaa = off,msaa = 8, anisotropic 16x, HDR off, and some cloud shadows. Full settings can be viewed in this album:  https://goo.gl/photos/8S36VhdrnrHUUaZP8

 

Running this on a rainy day I get between 14 and 20 FPS on the ground. This would have been fine if the system was working hard to give me this. However, the GPU load is less than 50%, and the load on the main CPU core is around 80%, while the other three (logical cores) that are assigned to p3d hover around 20 to 30% (presumably because I am not moving so little texture loading is required). A snapshot of these numbers are also visible in the album above.

 

So, what to do. Why is not the CPU working full tilt? If both the CPU and GPU are running at less than 100%, then what is the bottleneck? I am assuming it is probably still the CPU, so what are the most CPU intensive settings?

 

Has anyone ever produced an overview of the CPU and GPU impact of the different settings? This would be quite invaluable when trying to tune the performance of a specific system.

 

I'm sorry that my questions are all over the place, but as I said, I'm not entirely sure how to proceed. Obviously I have to reduce some settings, but I don't want to do that :-). In the worst-case, though, which settings should go first?

 

Thanks for listening.

2.

After some more googling and reading (apparently you have never read enough) I realised that it might be my docked 2D panels placed on a fourth monitor that are causing the problems. Sure enough, starting the simulator without the panels undocked (I had a saved flight with the undocked panels so I never saw the change myself) I immediately had much better performance.

 

It appears that undocking even a single panel to a secondary monitor significantly reduces my simulator performance. Both CPU and GPU usage is drastically reduced, leading to the symptoms I described above. The weird thing was that removing the undocked panel did not restore the performance. I had to restart the simulator to achieve the performance I had before undocking the panel.

 

I found a thread on the p3d for from 2013 that discussed this issue, but it was also claimed to be solved in version 2.1. Maybe it has been reintroduced? Anyway, I will head over to that forum to describe measures and see what the Masters say. A link to the thread discussing and apparently fixing the issue: http://www.prepar3d.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6312&t=9630&start=30

3. it seems to have cropped up again in 3.35....any possibility old code versions might have crept back in the revision chain?

 

C. Can you give us some idea when we can expect the implementation of Dx12?

 

Thanks,

Chas

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