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David Roch

My "sweet spot": PC/P3D settings

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Hi folks,

 

No "magics" here, I just want to share my experience!

 

I don't play any game and my PC is clean. Just P3D 3.3 + work/internet.

I run a i6700@4.7, some good low latency DDR4 3200 RAM + SLI 2x GTX980ti, overclocking is very stable (this is crucial!).
My monitor is a BenQ @ 2560x1440.

 

Like most of us I have tried for years (decades?) to reach the "sweet spot" with my simulator since FS95.

The target is very clear: how to get a smooth and clear simulator experience?

The issue as you know is that smooth and crispy don't work together that well!

I have followed dozen of guru's recommendations or miracle tips. Some were beneficial, some not.
Today, after days and nights of serious testings (3 different test flights tested about a hundred times: 1 with the PMDG 777 in an ORBX environment (FTX Global/region/airports), 1 with same aircraft but in P3D + FTX Global env only. and 1 flight with a GA in ORBX env. compared under same conditions/after PC reboot/with and without weather engine) and despite the majority's feedback, my "ideal combo" for my PC is the following:

1) HT OFF improves FPS compared to HT ON even when using addons, and very surprizingly relieves VA usage on my rig.
2) Getting rid of all tweaks (including AM) on P3D.cfg reduced stuttering.
3) Limiting the fps (30 in my case) with Dxtory gives better results than with NI. External limiter is indeed a must have.
4) FSAA ON and MSAA @8 instead of NI's SGSS @4 reduces blurries and increases fps in cloudy environment.

5) Internal FSAA and MSAA have been significantly improved since P3D v3. Give them a try! ;--). NI is a frame killers no matter the hardware!!
6) In my case, Process Lasso is useless.
7) Since I run a second GPU in SLI, I have more room to increase graphic and scenery settings without loosing fluidity. Well, that sounds obvious but it wasn't easy to explain that to my bank!

8) For SLI users, try changing the SLI settings in NI to 0x080000F5 (Killing Floor 2, Catzilla, ...). Image should be sharper and artefacts free.

Result is not heaven but not far. 
- I am not suffering from blurries, OOMs or stuttering anymore EXCEPT during night flights or at some heavy airports but I barely fly on night environment and avoid fps killing airports.
- Fps remain stable @25-30 in all conditions of flight.
- Textures are popping up very fast and the overall sensation is very smooth for a 32 bits program fully loaded (EZCA, ORBX regions/sceneries/Global, AS2016, PrecipitFX, Night Env. Mesh + various airports....).
- Except from LOD (High), some shadows and reflections which are on the middle, and traffic road/air/sea @ 30%, all other sliders are at their maximum position.

 

Hope it helps!

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8) For SLI users, try changing the SLI settings in NI to 0x080000F5 (Killing Floor 2, Catzilla, ...). Image should be sharper and artefacts free.

 

Thanks - I run SLI and will try this. How did you come to the conclusion this one was better? 

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Pure luck!

I was trying to understand the difference between these settings when I noticed this one was the only one tailored for P3D, according to Nvidia Inspector.

It's not obvious at all but if you pay attention, you'll see it in the long list of games.

(Killing Floor 2, Catzilla, Dragon Age 2, Umbrella Corps, Ocean Demo, Mad Max, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Trainz: A New Era, Unravel, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Unigine: Tropics demo, Layers of Fear, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier, Unigine Engine, NBA 2K16, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Unigine: Sanctuary demo, Unigine: Valley demo, MotoGP 15, Fallout 4, Hard West, Hitman: Absolution, 3DMark11, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Dying Light, Prepar3D....).

 

During my tests I have found this was indeed solving some artefact problems I had, as well as reducing shimmering when not using SGSS.

If you want a good illustration of the difference between these settings, just try the demo version of FSTramp flight planner. (BTW, it's the best navigation software IMO). With the default SLI setting it will just be unusable. Change this setting and map flickering will disappear.

 

Worth trying it! ;-)

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Thanks for those explanations of your settings, I will certainly give the 8xMSAA and FXAA another try. So far, it did not reduce the shimmering of certain AI textures as good as 2xSGSSAA (which is still ok in my eyes compared to 4xSGSSAA regarding FPS loss). But to be honest: you have the fastest possible CPU today, reasonably overclocked, combined with the fastest possible RAM and one of the fastest possible GPUs in SLI. Although I like your statement regarding no tweaks etc., it is basically NO WONDER that P3D performs absolutely brilliant on such a machine, no? The only thing which seems to be different for your build compared to mine: I absolutely need this AF tweak, otherwise my P3D warps around. BTW: do you use Windows 10 or Windows 7?

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David, without HT and AM on my pc, with 4 Prosim modules, OpusFSI and SIOC some cores get totally maxed out while others are having not even a half load...

 

Therefore I use HT on with AM , to have P3D use other cores than my addons...

 

Good to see you have a very smooth and stable system...

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Agree with Gerard. Points 1 and 2 give HT a bad name as usual. Running HT enabled without an appropriate Affinity Mask and managing exe addons correctly is a problem made for the sim.

 

Turning off HT is a quick fix for those unwilling to configure the system to suit Hyperthreading, and does actually produce good performance, especially in four core CPUs, simply because the sim doesn't gang up two jobs onto each core and keeps to just one job per core. As core counts increase this will no longer hold up as a good fix at some stage beyond 8 cores.

 

Remember too that HT improves the overall performance of the PC as well. I wouldn't scupper my PC performance by turning off the expensive HT mode.

 

Imagine going to the garage reporting brake fade when pulling up from speeds over 70Mph and expecting some kind of fix, only to get the car back and find it no longer goes faster than 70mph.

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This is very strange.... and by the sounds of it, im the only person that is having this issue with HT=off. If I turn the HT off in my BIOS and remove the AF mask (I use 85), my CPU core 0 is 100% and i get lots of stutters and a get unstable FPS between 20-32 (i have mine locked at 33). If i have HT on and AF tweak runs like a dream. I'm i doing something wrong? 

My CPU is a i7 4790k, no OC. GTX 970FTW+. 

 

thanks guys. 

 

Edit: Does anyone else here experience the same problems? I really feel that I'm missing something.... . 

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Especially because if you turn HT off you could have easily saved some money by buying the 6600K instead of the 6700K. IF you only use the computer for P3D. In my case, I also use it for other games where HT sometimes is a plus and turning HT on and off only for the sake of P3D would be waaaay to cumbersome, that's why I go with the AM "trick". Same same but different :wink:

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When I see problems after changing AM that usually means the way addon exe's start up has changed, for the worse, OR, maybe the relationship between the GPU and the Monitor has changed, with respect to timings.

 

When setting an AM for HT enabled first go for the like-for-like setting. So for a four core HT off No AM you get four jobs one per core. So if HT is enabled go first for an AM of 85 enabling one job per core as before. It doesn't change the sim and it runs exactly the same. The difference is where the other processes end up. Now most stuff will be dormant when the sim is running, except for addon exe apps, they run alongside the sim. If they are started after the sim there's a better chance the system will find lesser used cores for them. These processes spawned by the addon exe apps end up getting in the way of the main sim thread. Use the .bat methods to start addons with affinity above core zero. A .bat can have a shortcut on the desktop and can even be run from exe.xml like an addon.exe is started.

 

With the screen setup check first that there's no NVidia profile issues, Restore, Apply, all those in NCP. Then set the sim to No AA, Unlimited, VSync Off to start with and *note the fps capability here*.

 

If the monitor is 60Hz and set VSync On it will get choppy if the sim output capability is near 45, but less so nearer 30 or 60.

 

When adding AA and options in the sim bring down the result fps to nearer 30 the relationship with the 60Hz refresh yields a smoother sim, irrespective of performance capacity.

 

...Just to re-iterate that on the four core leaving HT disabled and No AM presents a very good setup for the sim and can only be beaten by a few percent with HT enabled. If you are an overclocker remember that HT enabled does more work in the same time so gets slightly hotter. No AM on the sim can mean extra hot during scenario loading.

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If i have HT on and AF tweak runs like a dream. I'm i doing something wrong?
My CPU is a i7 4790k, no OC. GTX 970FTW+.
thanks guys.
Edit: Does anyone else here experience the same problems? I really feel that I'm missing something.... .

 

If it's running like a dream with HT on..... what else are you looking for?    :)

 

gb.

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My biggest tweak for smoothness was to simply disable SLI. I removed my second 980 Ti, as I only play P3D these days anyway and during summer, I don't need two cards pumping out heat -- Which it does even when disabled. SLI, for me, always had an inherent problem with windowed / borderless windowed games, it just doesn't feel smooth. Always have this noticeable stutter, like frame hiccups. Think the frametimes or something else gets messed up. Usually it's cured by going exclusive fullscreen but alas, that is not an option in P3D.

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If it's running like a dream with HT on..... what else are you looking for?    :)

 

gb.

 

But it can always run better :)

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 BTW: do you use Windows 10 or Windows 7?

Win 10.

(Didn't notice any significant difference between both OS)

 

Agree with Gerard. Points 1 and 2 give HT a bad name as usual. Running HT enabled without an appropriate Affinity Mask and managing exe addons correctly is a problem made for the sim.

 

Turning off HT is a quick fix for those unwilling to configure the system to suit Hyperthreading, and does actually produce good performance, especially in four core CPUs, simply because the sim doesn't gang up two jobs onto each core and keeps to just one job per core. As core counts increase this will no longer hold up as a good fix at some stage beyond 8 cores.

 

Remember too that HT improves the overall performance of the PC as well. I wouldn't scupper my PC performance by turning off the expensive HT mode.

 

Imagine going to the garage reporting brake fade when pulling up from speeds over 70Mph and expecting some kind of fix, only to get the car back and find it no longer goes faster than 70mph.

I know Steve and I've learned a lot thanks to you about AM and HT.

Thanks a lot for your patience BTW!

But I'm fine with my 70Mph car, as long as the road (aka 32bit application) doesn't allow me to run faster.

Believe me, I've used HT for years because it was obvious to use it.

Until I made the tests in several conditions of flight/environment/ CPU loading and no HT.

My only tool to judge are my eyes and they clearly tell me I'm getting a smoother experience without HT, even though one of the cores is working harder.

 

But again, this is not a magic bullet, it just work better on my computer with 10 USB Saitek flight controllers plugged in and > 2Tb of various sceneries and addons.

 

 

Good to see you have a very smooth and stable system...

 

Thanks Gerard ;-)

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However, your eyes are telling you there's a difference in the way the screen updates, not in the underlying performance capacity of the setup. Remember that many have found increasing load on the sim or adding AA can effectively smooth over things especially when the output is nearer a monitor refresh division. I've not seen any system perform better with HT Off, that's for sure. I insist with HT On the system is not set right if it makes your sim look worse.

 

What I'm saying is that HT off is less performance by maybe as much as a few percent, there's no chance big changes in visuals is down to that.

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Following this thread. What is Dxtory? NVI replacement I would guess?

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Just to re-iterate that on the four core leaving HT disabled and No AM presents a very good setup for the sim and can only be beaten by a few percent with HT enabled.

 

Hi, Steve.  Just wanted to clarify something.  I normally run with AM=116, HT on.  It so happens that on my particular Asus MB, Maximus VIII Hero, I can't turn off HT in the BIOS (I probably would have chosen another MB for the purpose of experimentation if I had known this first).  So, as I understand it AM=85 (and AM=14, I believe) are like having HT turned off.  My question is:  Is this exactly like turning off HT in the BIOS or just a "reasonable facsimile"  workaround?

 

Thanks,

Jeff

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Yes Jeff, looking at four core HT enabled with AM=85=01,01,01,01 there's a one (unmasked) in each comma separated pair (core). With P3D the sim starts up and counts these ones, makes a fixed thread on each of the corresponding Logical Processors. Each to do a particular job, underlying these jobs P3D spawns over 50 threads across these unmasked LPs. More work is done on these as SimConnect clients are handled, and when more dlls are loaded.

If there are four available LPs the sim will split into its optimum number of parts, where the main job of rendering is concerned is at its leanest. They do other stuff but I'm dumbing it down a little. We can add more ones to the mask and the sim splits into more parts, these extra parts go toward boosting the loading speed of scenarios up to a point. If they are on cores already with a sim job, a one in the pair, they share that core and run into each other eventually, so more physical cores is better.

With AM=85 or some value representing one unmasked LP per core, i.e. 170, the sim works exactly the same as it does with four straight HT disabled cores and no NoAM=AM=0=15=1111 in this case. (How the AM is interpreted is up to the sim, after then it passes its desired affinity setup to the jobscheduler for it then assigns threads to LPs as these processes spawn new threads.)

With your 116 it is interesting because it leaves the first core free, LP0 and LP1 of core zero, like a hole for addon activity to fall into. AM=116=01,11,01,00 core zero on right. This unmasks one LP of core 1, and one LP of core 3. But the pair unmasked on core 2 happen to be different types of job and they don't ask for maximum throughput together, most of the time, remember that these share a core. So 116 is kind of a magic number that helps avoid issues, but in the end it does only use three cores.

Using all four cores means that there will be activity from addon exe processes sharing the cores of the sim. When HT is enabled that's a good start since two threads on an HT enabled core finish faster than the same two threads on a non-HT core.

How much extra can we get from four cores over three on a 4GHz class CPU? Maybe around 5% stability and 10% loading speed.


Once the sim is set up, managing where addon exe apps start, their affinity, is a good way to help the sim get along uninterrupted.
 

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Hi, Steve.  Just wanted to clarify something.  I normally run with AM=116, HT on.  It so happens that on my particular Asus MB, Maximus VIII Hero, I can't turn off HT in the BIOS (I probably would have chosen another MB for the purpose of experimentation if I had known this first).  So, as I understand it AM=85 (and AM=14, I believe) are like having HT turned off.  My question is:  Is this exactly like turning off HT in the BIOS or just a "reasonable facsimile"  workaround?

 

Thanks,

Jeff

I've got the same board and I'm sure you can turn it off/on

Cheers

Chris

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Thanks very much for the reply, Steve.  I'm probably just getting down to nitpicking, but curious all the same.

 

Chris, thanks for the reply.   I had looked everywhere I could think of in the BIOS and couldn't find anything.  Then I called Asus Tech.Supt. twice and both times they said that board did not provide for turning HT on/off in the BIOS.  Actually, a lesser Asus MB I have on another machine can turn HT on/off in the BIOS.  That's what surprised me.   If you have done this yourself, would you please let me know where the setting is and what Asus calls it?

 

Thanks,

Jeff

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Thanks very much for the reply, Steve.  I'm probably just getting down to nitpicking, but curious all the same.

 

Chris, thanks for the reply.   I had looked everywhere I could think of in the BIOS and couldn't find anything.  Then I called Asus Tech.Supt. twice and both times they said that board did not provide for turning HT on/off in the BIOS.  Actually, a lesser Asus MB I have on another machine can turn HT on/off in the BIOS.  That's what surprised me.   If you have done this yourself, would you please let me know where the setting is and what Asus calls it?

 

Thanks,

Jeff

 

If you motherboard is the one in your sig, Maximus VIII Hero, thats the one I have you certainyl can turn HT on or off.

 

It is under CPU Configuration, You will see speedstep, turbo boost, Hyper Threading. Simply select enabled or disabled. Go to your AI Tweaker page or whatever it is called. Make sure to not be in EZ mode, go to advanced.

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Well, thanks guys. i found it. I think the way things appeared on my screen I didn't see to scroll on down in the CPU Configuration. That's all I can figure. Almost missed it again this time. Of course, it didn't help when Asus people twice gave me wrong information on their product.

 

Again, thanks. I feel much better now.

Jeff

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Hi Jeff, we have more or less the same rig.

I suggest you give my settings a try.

Who knows? :-)

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Yes Jeff, looking at four core HT enabled with AM=85=01,01,01,01 there's a one (unmasked) in each comma separated pair (core). With P3D the sim starts up and counts these ones, makes a fixed thread on each of the corresponding Logical Processors. Each to do a particular job, underlying these jobs P3D spawns over 50 threads across these unmasked LPs. More work is done on these as SimConnect clients are handled, and when more dlls are loaded.

 

 

Hey Steve, you seem very knowledgeable regarding AFs. What would you recommend for a 5960x with both HT on and off? 

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What would you recommend for a 5960x with both HT on and off?

Remember that four cores gives the best rendering performance, and more than four improves the scenery loading speed.

 

So for example with HT On and utilising six cores, enable six LPs 00,00,01,01,01,01,01,01=1365 and make sure all addons are above LPs 0 and 1.

 

If you want to increase loading speed a little more you can try 01,01,01,01,01,01,01,01=21845 and make sure all addons are above LPs 0 and 1, maybe start all addons on 10,10,00,00,00,00,00,00=A000Hex.

 

Similarly with HT Off try four cores 00001111=15, six 00111111=63, or eight AM=0 and start addons on LPs 6 and 7.

 

 

If you don't pay attention to addon exe apps affinity, then start the sim above core zero instead, 11110000=240, 11111100=252. Addons should end up mostly in LPs 0 and 1.

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Folks, just a reminder, with your permission.

This thread intends to present another vision of tweaking, without HT and AM.

I don't say I am right, I just share my findings with those who have similar hardware.

:wink:

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