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himmelhorse

Networking with P3D

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Hello to all,

 

I am very new to P3D and have only just got the Academic version 3.3 up and running.  I am not really using the programme due to the fact that I am using 6 monitors (and AMD GPUs) ((also see my Signature below for system Specifications)) which has the result of very very poor performance in P3D using sliders which are placed about three meters to the left of my computer LOL. I have absolutely no Add-ons installed.  I tried the Feelthere Phenom100 but I only get a cockpit with no electrics or avionics at all. Those who follow my threads will know that I am an FS2004 man with a yen to upgrade mainly due to the lack of new aircraft, sceneries or in fact, any significant Third Party development at all.  This is understandable and not a complaint.

 

All the above is for background and I will get to my questions/discussions momentarily.

 

I am starting this topic in preparation for a significant hardware upgrade and below is what I am trying to achieve. Please bear in mind that I very much wish to continue with the multiple monitor theme with P3D and/or the new DTG Flight sim.

Also please bear in mind (and be patient with me) that this upgrade will be utilised in conjunction with P3D and/or other Sims going to 64bit, as, being a pensioner, I cannot afford to invest in any add-ons for both 32 and 64bit.  So, again, this is preparation work only but with a real purpose in mind.

 

Here we go.

 

I am seriously looking at buying a new computer with the following specs (not cast in stone)

1. Core i7 6700K (or Intel equivalent at time of upgrade)

2. Z170 (Brand not yet decided)

3. RAM 32GB 3300

4. PSU 1200 watts

5. 2 x GTX 1080 (NOT SLI'D)

6. 2 x 512GB SSD and 1 x 2TB HDD

 

OS. Most likely Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

 

I intend to network this computer with my current system, using the new one to drive the Sim and the old one to drive  Add-ons and sceneries etc. and sincerely hope to get reasonable frame rates with my 6 monitors.  Just for the sake of interest my monitor set up is as follows

 

For Boeing 737 (IFLY)

1 x 40inch 1080p LED TV for Overhead (portrait)

1 x 60inch 1080p LED TV VC cockpit and forward view

2 x 32inch 1080p LED TV side views

1 x 22inch LED Monitor 1980 x 1080 For FMS/Lower CDU

1 x 24inch led Monitor 1980 x 1200 for Pedestal  (portrait)

 

I would like to point out at this stage, that I have absolutely no idea how to do this, or the best way to go about it. This whole process would be completely new to me and I am unlikely here in Indonesia, to get any competant advice/help.

 

As I fly mainly in Australia and Indonesia at the moment I would be looking all the ORBX Aussie Scenery/airports, Global textures, GEX, PMDG aircraft I would love to add the Carenado Phenom 300 including the not included outdated and expensive Navigraph add-on (unbelievable) and the GTN750  My beloved Eaglesoft CitationX and the new yummy looking Challenger.  I am not really looking at any addon ATC  at the moment but I am open to suggestions for further addon software.

 

To summarize, I would be seeking advice on, what can be achieved with the networking, particularly in regard to the multiple displays, and:

a. Best system to buy,

b, Ways and means to Network the two computers,

c. Best way to configure the network (ie What software to put on what computer)

d. Best add-ons Sceneries/airports/aircraft/utilities etc

 

 Lastly,  what exactly is going to 64bit really going to achieve for us and what are the benefits?

 

I also apologise for the brief "teaser" which was accidently submitted and which I have had to edit.  I hope everyone now has the full version..

 

Looking forward to any input anyone has to offer.

 

Thanks and regards to all.

 

Tony Chilcott

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Hello all,

 

With this level of response I am wondering if I am in the right forum.  Can someone, (politely) direct me to where I perhaps should be with these questions.

 

I would note, however,  that a similar response was elicited from many attempts to get this information on the FSX forum throughout the years.

 

It may well be that nobody is actually running multiple monitors and/or networking FSX. FSX-SE or P3D so this information is going to be hard to find anywhere.

 

Would in fact, going directly to Lockheed Martin for this advice be the best way to pursue it.  I know that Microsoft was never forthcoming when I pursued it with them in the old days and they were actually half heartedly supporting this product.

 

Should I be tackling the networking issue separately from the multiple monitors 

Any information would be appreciated.

 

Thanks

 

Tony

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Hi,

 

IMHO each of your questions should have it's own thread. And it will probably be a long one.

 

- Multi monitor: if you are running a setup like this, then you are limited to those aircraft models that still have 2D instrument panels. These are not very common anymore.

 

- Networking: if and what is possible depends on what you want to do. There is no clear answer. Basically, if you build a computer with the specs that you mentioned, there will probably not be any need to network anything.

 

- Best addons and sceneries to start with. There is a myriad of threads about this on the forums. As this is very much a matter of personal taste, again, there is no single clear-cut answer. And it is tied to the first item - if you need 2D panels it doesn't make much sense to recommend an all-VC aircraft addon.

 

- Going directly to Lockheed Martin: by all means. Still, they cannot advise you about addons (as they don't make any themselves), only about the core sim.

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I agree with the above response from Oliver - networking two Prepar3D computers calls for some tricky setups and the cost of two Prepar3D licenses - though it can be done. Most folks use either Wideview (http://www.wideview.it/wideview.htm) or OpusFSI (http://www.opussoftware.co.uk/opusfsi/downloads.htm) - but I would study their forums looking for recent entries to see if they are able to keep up with all the Prepar3D updates and will they provide all the features that you want (traffic/weather,etc).

 

A single highend PC (get a 6 core if you can afford it as long as you find forums that say it can easily be overclocked to at least 4.4Ghz) as you have listed - with two Nvidia 1080s (not SLI'd - the second card could just be a 1070) should be able to drive all the monitors using four ports (along with Display Port to DVI (or whatever) adapters plus the HDMI) per video card for a total of eight. With reductions of settings (reduced shadows, reduced traffic, and medium water and such), and the CPUs at 4.4Ghz or so, you should be able to get about 30 to 40 fps even with all the 2D displays and 3 separate scenery views.

 

As mentioned by Oliver, only some of the aircraft that you may be interested in will provide the 2D display windows you want, but for aircraft like 737/777 you could use SimAvionics (http://www.sim-avionics.com/) or equivalent.

 

Be very careful as to the choice of terrain scenery addons looking for high performance products - always study the forums looking for multimonitor user complaints first. Some eye candy will just slow you down.

 

Make sure you search the various forums (this one especially) for multimonitor setups - there is always the issue of getting the horizon and zoom alignments correct on multiple view out-the-window setups. 

 

There are several companies that provide part task trainers that use setups like you are trying to build - and most of them use a single PC - example (http://www.platinumsimulators.com/)

 

Best of luck

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Oliver and Whitav8, 

 

Thanks for your replies.

 

I am somewhat nonplussed regarding the 2d panels.  Are you referring to the shift 1-9 panel views?

To expand on this, what I am doing is (in the case of Ifly737) click on the icon which brings up the panel. I then undock that screen and move it to one of my displays.  Same with Eaglesoft, except that this is incorporated in the 2d screen and clicking on enter brings up the icons which I can then undock and move. once all is set up, in all my aircraft, I then change my main screen to Virtual cockpit (with 60 inch screen, there is no requirement  to use my hatswitch to scroll up, down or sideways).  All instruments and switches are displayed on the various screens as are my side views. I can then save this scenario and then use again in "select flight" Are you telling me that the new aircraft can no longer display larger versions of anything ie PFD, MFD etc.  Is this actually, being replaced by Trackir devices and or VR.?

 

You and Whiteav8, have, I think effectively turned me off the networking route. You actually have introduced a modicum of reality into my reasoning.

 

Regarding scenery.  I am not really looking at sceneries as such.  I would  be happy with a good global terrain and concentrate on payware airports.  Mostly because I am flying at above 30,000ft  and I love looking at good quality clouds. So it would be mainly airports and airport environment aspects that I would be looking at.

 

My plan is to eventually replace my cockpit and side views with 4k TVs and I would be hoping to drive three of these with the 1080 (I already have the adapters and or cables to convert from DVI-I  or HDMI) my other instrument/panel screens could remain as is (1920 x 1080) and be used on the second card. If I can achieve anywhere near 40FPS with that set up I would be a happy man. As for settings, I would hope to be able to run everything at extremely dense except for water and I keep traffic down to about forty percent..

 

Overclocking.  Is going to be a huge problem here.  I cannot find anyone here in my part of  Indonesia with that sort of expertise.  They struggle just to maintain basic computers here and very few of them can do that.  Most  maintenance consists of changing boards (at my expense) until they find the right one. for example a flicker problem starts with replacement of RAM followed by replacement of PSU followed by replacement of Motherboard.  This can be an expensive process LOL The good thing is that I get to keep all the replaced bits.  At one stage I had 3 identical working motherboards.  LOL ... Not really funny but you can see what I mean.

The solution is to obviously go for the best and fastest CPU (K) ((just in case)) and not overclock unless I can find someone who is confident of doing the job.

 

However, I would like to say that your comments have been very constructive and will have a huge bearing on my decisions in the future.  I would appreciate, however some more advice regarding the 2d/3d cockpits/panels. Can you, for instance, list some of the VC only aircraft available for P3D?

 

Any comments on what 64bit will do for us?

 

Thanks again guys

 

Regards

 

Tony 

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Hi,

 

Shift 1-9 are 2D panels too, but you can have many more than that. Every instrument that can be displayed in a 2D window (and undocked + dragged around) is a 2D panel. 3D panels are those in the virtual cockpit, they cannot "just" be displayed in a 2D window - the developer has to make an additional 2D version of it.

 

I'm not aware that someone compiled a list of VC only aircraft. You would have to check for every model that you are interested in. For example, the PMDG 777 doesn't have them and many other developers put only "helper" functions in 2D panels, no flight instruments. Or they make the flight instruments to pop out in 2D, but not the button panels controlling them nor the overhead.

 

The shift to VC-only happend quite a few years ago already, making TrackIR and EZDOK popular. I am using multiple screens with a deskpit too, but aligned to form a large canvas for a single VC covering my field of view. I am using the aforementioned tools to navigate it. I always contemplated a setup like yours, but abandoned the idea. It just seemed so much extra work to make everything display correctly for my rather large collection of aircraft, plus the frustration when the model cannot work with it anyhow (=when there are no 2D panels, or only the wrong ones (for example no PFD, only FMC as 2D)).

 

A modern alternative to these multi-screen setups is VR. All things considered, it is a lot more practical just having the one headset than a deskpit with a ton of external controllers, displays and instruments. But it is a different experience altogether.

 

"What exactly is 64 bit going to do for us": It will reduce the risk of running out of available memory, which is quite common now with all those high-profile addons. That's it. That being said, it depends a lot on how it is done. If the existing code is ported over to 64 bit, then the memory expansion is the only thing that will happen. But if the developers change the simulator core or the aircraft and scenery loading and display mechanisms along the way, then all bets are off. We might end up with the simulator core in 64 bit, but not being compatible to any of the known addons - as it is with DTG Flight School. As matters stand, it already is a risk to run native FSX addons in P3D V3. They can have a very negative effect on performance.

 

TBCH with a setup like yours, I would think more than twice about changing the simulator core. Especially when you have it running to your satisfaction. It is the "new and pretty but uncertain" against the "well known and working well".

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Oliver,

 

Thanks again for your extremely informative reply.

 

If I understand you correctly, I believe that if the aircraft can display a 2d popup then it can in fact be undocked and moved to another display.  To my knowledge, an undocked popup is fully functional on another screen, as it is on the main screen, in the case of a single monitor. As I said before, I always fly in Virtual cockpit and utilise the other screens in 2d popup mode.

 

As an example, and I do not know if this is relevant to what we are talking about, I flew the default Baron 58 in

P3D and was able to undock and use various screens(like the GPS for instance) as I normally do.  However I concede that this is an ancient aircraft and may be totally different  to aircraft like the PMDG.  

 

I have no payware or freeware additional aircraft or sceneries on my P3D as it just will not handle anything other than the defaults and even those are very painful to fly due to frame rates.  Nor do I intend to add to the fleet or sceneries until P3D is 64bit and settled down.  As a pensioner, I simply cannot afford to invest in aircraft or other add-ons which are largely going to be obsolete for 64bit, and then have to convert them or buy again for 64bit.

 

 I would like to point out that it is comparatively easy to set up each aircraft for multiple screens.  Each aircraft takes approximately 5 minutes to set up (in FS2004) and I simply save it with the Aircraft name and colour or type, ie IFly737 BBJ3  ... Phenom100 Blue etc. I then select the aircraft I want and it is all set up.  The one downside is that I cannot save a set up side view in VC as it always goes back to the default view. The same applies to the mainscreen cockpit view and they have to be set up each time which takes a couple of minutes.

It is slightly annoying but I do not think I can do anything about it. 

 

I also guess that an email to the developer prior to purchase to ascertain the 2d dockability(?) is not exactly onerous and in fact, is probably a wise move.

 

I have in the past, seriously considered Trackir but the fact remains that I really do love the multiple screen factor and knowing where everything is, what is clickable is incredibly magnetic for me and going to a single screen again (with or without trackir) simply does not appeal.  The sad fact is that apart from the Eaglesoft CitationX 2.0 and the IFly737, there are really no other "in depth systems" aircraft available for FS2004 and I do not believe that many or even any, new aircraft of this nature are being contemplated.  Airport sceneries are also well below the standard of FSX-SE, P3D, Aerofly FS2 or even XPlane, and again, I am unaware of any significant developments in this area.  Aerofly and Xplane do not support multiple monitors and I don't think they intend to in the future so the field is further depleted.

 

64, 128 or even higher is the future here in the very long term. It will be interesting for the younger generation to watch that develop.  For me, at my age, the best I believe I can hope for is 64bit and if it only achieves better utilistion of more RAM then maybe I am deluding myself with even that.  I guess that it is going to be a case of  "suck it and see" and this will be an interesting wait.

 

TBCH (???) I have not the faintest idea what this is but your comments following it are pretty much the state of the nation for me.  Envy is a very cruel partner for me though. I cringe and dribble copiously over my keyboard when I see what other people have  in the form of screenshots etc. so I live in hope and scheme endlessly for a better system.

 

Again, thanks for your comments and advice.  Long live multi screens.

 

Regards,

 

Tony 

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@Tony,

       Just a quick point for the future. Driving THREE 4K displays at 4K (not 2K) with a single Nviidia 1080 will not work very well performance wise - maybe at 30Hz - but still that will drag down the GPU - that is a LOT of pixels. Just stick with three HD (1080 monitors/HDTVs) for now.

 

      You need to build and test and iterate. Get your new PC - whatever you can afford - order it from some company who will deliver it already overclocked at 4.4Ghz then install Win10 and Prepar3D. with a SINGLE 1920x1080 monitor, load up an airport scene and an aircraft that will be your first test (start with default scenery and default aircraft at the start of a runway) and adjust (usually reduce) Prepar3D graphic settings until you get about 100 FPS. That will be the best you can hope to achieve. Now add in the other two monitors for the side views and add the new views - at that point you should see an average frame rate (FPS) of 30 to 40. Now you can try your first particular addon scenery and aircraft to make sure you don't lose very much performance and make sure that it seems smooth - minimal stutter. Now you can add the other monitors and bring up the 2D panels. Instead of actual flying, I use the slew keys and set up a forward speed of maybe 100 knots, a little bit of bank, and then some yaw at about 200 feet so I can watch the frame rate and smoothness without needing to concentrate on flying.

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TBCH = "to be completely honest"

 

There is a lot of unnecessary myth surrounding 64 bit, but that IMHO does not warrant any anxiety. The first 64 bit computers were built in the 1970s (remember the "Cray"?), but of course these were "supercomputers" back then. Still, 64bit is not a new technology by a long shot, and it's capabilities and implications are quite well known. It is just relatively recent on the consumer market (13 years now since the first AMD Athlon 64 and Apple G5).

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