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Gregg_Seipp

What do you do in order to get into VAS hungry airports

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There's been a lot of talk lately about VAS and some people are having better outcomes than others getting into VAS hungry places like Toronto and Berlin.  I thought it would be good to talk about solutions we've found and put it all in one place.

 

  • What apps do you not use or turn off when flying there?  (E.g. Vector, RAAS, FS2Crew, external ATC, GSX, Mesh, etc.)
  • What settings do you turn down?
  • What else?

If you know the VAS usage requirements of an add-on, let us know!

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I realise this might be blasphemy Gregg, but what about saving the flight close to the destination airport, exiting the sim and reloading the flight? If you're on a live ATC session with VATSIM it may not be a good idea I guess!

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Always a challenge.

1. Drop the texture resolution,

2 Shut off all road, boat traffic, and maybe dial back AI.

3. Dial back autogen one notch.

 

Leave mesh and vector. 

 

I don't have any experience with RAAS, GSX, external ATC, sorry.

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but what about saving the flight close to the destination airport, exiting the sim and reloading the flight?

 

That is what I do.  I check VAS about 100 nm before TOD and if it is below a value that depends on the aircraft, eg 750MB for NGX or 900MB for 777, I save it and close P3D. Restarting P3D and loading the flight and I resume with about 1.3GB or more of VAS I didn't have before.  Only had to start doing this with 3.4; the values I used for 3.3 were a lot lower but 3.4 sucks at VAS management.

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Reduce LOD to 4.5.

 

Make sure if you have Vector you turn of Tertiary roads and only some features of Secondary (if at all).  So you basically leave the airport alone....or tone it down a bit by removing static aircraft but turn down the surroundings.  Lastly, turn off any airports really close by.  So for example FlyTampa CYYZ....make sure you turn off FSimStudios CYTZ which is about 5 miles away.

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What I teach at OVPA is a System and Flight Sim (P3D/FSX) groom.  Since we fly commercial airlines (almost exclusively in shared cockpit, but not quite), an OOM would not only take out one person, but two, making it a double pain in the rear (more like a BOHICA).  We do not EVER suffer from VAS issues whether it be FSX or P3D - it just doesn't happen with our pilots. This includes flying at a high detailed payware airport into Aerosoft Heathrow (arguably the most extreme VAS test) with a payware aircraft such as the Aerosoft Airbus which isn't easy on the VAS.  Same goes for JFK. Since we test and demonstrate upcoming payware products on our live streams, it is doubling important that we don't suffer from any CTDs including OOMs.

 

Since many things comes into play when reducing your VAS signature, and since each system, no matter how similar, is different, all I can provide to you with are general recommendations.  The follow recommendations are for flying PAYWARE aircraft.

 

1. We run REX TD/SC (REX 4), but the same applies to earlier versions of REX textures.  We only use 1024 for our texture resolutions -  and they look terrific at that resolution.

 

2. Medium graphics settings with FSX and P3D. 

 

3. Texture Max Load  = 1024

 

4. It doesn't seem to make a difference if we run 1024 or 2048 in FSX, either in quality of any textures or VAS.  Since I personally run a 55 inch 4K TV, I use something even higher under both FSX and P3D (I run both).

 

5.  Some graphics cards (especially the ones with higher memory) benefit from using Bufferpools, though in my experience there is no measureable benefit for NVIDIA cards with 2GB or less memory.

 

6. More or less, we run the tweaks in the AVSIM guide for people who don't use Haswell or later processors.  For those who run Haswell or later, the only tweaks we use in FSX is HighMemoryFix.  We don't use any tweaks in P3D.

 

7. For FSX, use Steam. This will prevent a second process stream from processing the same data (autogen if I recall correctly). There is no way to prevent this with the disk version of FSX.

 

6.  We typically install all the scenery extras from Payware Scenery in P3D, but leave them off in FSX.

 

7.  We disable all other airport scenery other than the two airports we are flying between.  This is very important.  Scenery Config Editor (freeware) is a tremendous tool for this.

 

8.  We do not use ORBX Regional Scenery. This is very important.

 

 

The above settings provide a very scenic, realism based environment for commercial airliner flights.

 

 

I hope the above is helpful to you.

 

 

Best wishes.

 

 

EDIT:  I run Vector with everything checked.

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The VAS issue has been hashed over and over and there has been NOTHING new about it for quite a while.  SO to stop this getting to be a long thread saying essentially the same thing - I'm shutting it down.

 

When there is something NEW to be said about VAS or when LM makes significant code adjustments, we can revisit but until then let's stop the VAS discussions.

 

Thanx,

 

Vic

 

EDIT: I'm reopening this because several people have indicated an interest in what specifically others do to combat VAS issues. Perhaps we can all learn something new but let's not et this get down to criticizing LM or complaing about lack of support etc.

 

Let's please keep it on the topic - what do YOU do to combat VAS issues at "heavy" airports.

 

Vic

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I optimised the textures at some airports, greatly reducing their size. Same with AI aircraft. Can't see any visual difference if I am careful and test as I go along. Many devs go for hi res over footprint and for the majority of the time the difference is minimal but it looks good on the advertising to have "Hi Res Textures" on the blurb.

Almost forgot, I never use 4K textures like McPhat on my payware.

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EDIT: I'm reopening this because several people have indicated an interest in what specifically others do to combat VAS issues. Perhaps we can all learn something new but let's not et this get down to criticizing LM or complaing about lack of support etc.

Let's please keep it on the topic - what do YOU do to combat VAS issues at "heavy" airports.

Vic

 

Thank you!  Was never my intent to criticize...we could learn from each other how to deal with the limits we have.  Dave's point above about disabling all airports other than the one you're flying into is good advice.  (I was flying over NYC at FL300 and got an OOM because of NYC below).  Turning off Orbx regions is an intersting thought.  Mark's point about setting LOD radius to 4.5 is good because with jets you're going to be up high and won't see stuff anyway.

 

Right now, for me (at big airports with a complex airplane):

  • Turn vector off completely.
  • Run ASCA 512 textures.  Not sure if 1024 costs much but 512 look good enough.
  • I never run HD textures. 

I do run AI but turn it and road traffic down.  Not sure if it helps with VAS much but it helps with framerates.  I read in the other recent thread that RAAS uses 150MB of VAS...interesting.  Also, if you're having trouble at one particular airport, check to make sure you only have one scenery set there.  (Yesterday I found an ORBX EGLL below my UK2000 EGLL).

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I'm no expert in area of VAS management but I can tell you what allows me to survive simming in p3d 3.4 world without necessity to low important settings like autogen density or traffic. 

 

1. Never, ever use 4K textures - this is a real killer and I noticed that when I set TML to 2048 it's absolutely enough to make sim look great. Programmes like ASCA, REX4 or WAHD do not need anything more to look stunning really and they can impact VAS a LOT. 

 

2. Never use LOD radius higher than 4.5 - it's universal for FSX and P3D. 4.5 is marked in P3D as "High" and in fact - IT IS HIGH. You do not need more in VAS heavy flights (which are usually IFR in large jets) 

 

3. Traffic - It is a VAS killer. I use MT6.0a and due to that I never go over 15% Jet and 5% GA. 

 

4. Road traffic, boats, ships - just disable it. You need to understand - P3D/FSX is NOT ground traffic sim or boat traffic sim - it's a flight sim and such extras are much less important than addon airports or complex planes. 

 

5. Last, but not least -> water settings. I noticed that going from Ultra to Medium (basically switching off 3D waves and some reflections) saves me around 200-300 MB of VAS - which is a LOT. 

 

Disclaimer: 

 

If you are using FTX Vector, make sure to disable all options except highways and primary roads and beaches/coastlines. You really do not need more and there is some serious VAS leak issue with FTX Vector which never got resolved and can kill your sim. 

 

anything else in my sim is pretty much maxed out and I can tell you - I'm not hitting VAS wall even with 3.4 which tends to be a bit worse with VAS mangement than 3.3.5 

 

I don't have a magic pill to resolve VAS issues, but sticking with above rules allows me to fly in and out of most aiports in triple 7 from PMDG and IMO - this is enough to say I have no VAS issues AT ALL. 

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1. Never, ever use 4K textures - this is a real killer and I noticed that when I set TML to 2048 it's absolutely enough to make sim look great. Programmes like ASCA, REX4 or WAHD do not need anything more to look stunning really and they can impact VAS a LOT.

2. Never use LOD radius higher than 4.5 - it's universal for FSX and P3D. 4.5 is marked in P3D as "High" and in fact - IT IS HIGH. You do not need more in VAS heavy flights (which are usually IFR in large jets)

3. Traffic - It is a VAS killer. I use MT6.0a and due to that I never go over 15% Jet and 5% GA.

4. Road traffic, boats, ships - just disable it. You need to understand - P3D/FSX is NOT ground traffic sim or boat traffic sim - it's a flight sim and such extras are much less important than addon airports or complex planes.

5. Last, but not least -> water settings. I noticed that going from Ultra to Medium (basically switching off 3D waves and some reflections) saves me around 200-300 MB of VAS - which is a LOT.

 

Good advice. 

 

I tried a flight from a cloudy Zurich (Aerosoft) to a cloudy Heathrow (UK2000) today in the A320 and ran out of VAS 15 miles southeast of the airport.  Pretty rare for me to have VAS issues but I didn't even get close.  It may have been downtown London that blew me out.  I'm going to try these and some of the other suggestions tomorrow.

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Along the line of which scenery is loaded, I know that many users use Aerosoft's SimstarterNG to set up different scenery "sets" depending on the flight. 

 

 

 

Vic

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Along the line of which scenery is loaded, I know that many users use Aerosoft's SimstarterNG to set up different scenery "sets" depending on the flight.

 

That's what I do.  I slice up scenery into sections and only load the sections I want.  England is tough.  Gotta come up with a solution.  When I run into areas tight on VAS or that require long load times I break them up.

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I use SimStarter and only load the scenery I really need:

  • Base scenery Set, for example 'Base Europe'. This includes the P3D base set, + FTX Global/EUR Regions, mesh, FTX Vector and several libraries (ORBX, UK2000, etc)
  • Route Set, contains only departure and destination airport. This way en route no other (payware) airport scenery is loaded.

Besides above:

  • AI aircraft mostly 20% or off
  • Autogen at medium setting
  • FTX Vector: only high way and primary roads

I never had an OOM in P3D so far.

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I use SimStarter and only load the scenery I really need:

  • Base scenery Set, for example 'Base Europe'. This includes the P3D base set, + FTX Global/EUR Regions, mesh, FTX Vector and several libraries (ORBX, UK2000, etc)
  • Route Set, contains only departure and destination airport. This way en route no other (payware) airport scenery is loaded.

Besides above:

  • AI aircraft mostly 20% or off
  • Autogen at medium setting
  • FTX Vector: only high way and primary roads

I never had an OOM in P3D so far

 

Hmmm.  So, you keep the regions active.  What airplanes do you fly with that?

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Hmmm.  So, you keep the regions active.  What airplanes do you fly with that?

 

You mean the FTX regions?

Yes I do, but in the not-so-distant past Orbx changed the region loading logic. As far as I know it is loaded automatically now.

I only fly PMDG like aircraft, like NGX, 777, Q400, etc.

Normally when departing I have beween 1.4GB-1.7GB VAS free and after landing between 0.4GB-0.7GB free, depending on dep/dest and route length.

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You mean the FTX regions?

Yes I do, but in the not-so-distant past Orbx changed the region loading logic. As far as I know it is loaded automatically now.

I only fly PMDG like aircraft, like NGX, 777, Q400, etc.

Normally when departing I have beween 1.4GB-1.7GB VAS free and after landing between 0.4GB-0.7GB free, depending on dep/dest and route length.

 

Interesting.  I'd have thought London downtown might have been the issue with my flight.  Landing west I was on Big4B coming up on it.  I've done some adjustments based on the other comments but haven't disabled the regions just yet.  I'll do another test today and see what happens.

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I made some changes to my sim before I ran my next test, pretty much the same scenario (A320 Zurich to Heathrow), AS16 BKN clouds:

  • Changed LOD_RADIUS to 4.5.  I'd been running it a notch higher.
  • Changed TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD to 1024 (had been 2048).
  • Loaded Zurich low resolution textures (Aerosoft).
  • Disabled RAAS (word is it uses 150MB of VAS or so)
  • Disabled London City Airport for the destination side.  Two close airports with large VAS footprints is going to cause problems.
  • I kept FTX England turned on.
  • Reduced airline traffic to 14% (from low 20s) and car traffic to 2% (from about 5).  I also cut boats down a bit.
  • I run 512 AS16 clouds and they look just fine.  The weather was exactly the same as the first flight.

Departure end observations:

  • VAS sitting in the VC was 2667MB.  Panning around outside with lots of vehicles it went up to 2753MB.
  • Enabling FS2Crew cost a little less than 100MB
  • Started GSX cost 50MB
  • When I departed VAS was about 3050 and dropped back to 2985 at cruise.

Arrival observations:

  • VAS stayed steady at 3000MB until I crossed over the English Channel and then began a slow increase (got worse) by about 200MB.
  • As London City and Heathrow appeared I think I lost another 200MB.  I was flying past the west side of the city on BIG4B on my way to the initial approach fix 27R.
  • I lost another 250 by the time I landed and had 350MB left on final and through taxi.

When I landed I had 350 MB VAS left.  Now, I have to say the changes didn't seem to take away much enjoyment...I still had plenty out in front of me.  I think the LOD_RADIUS of 4.5 makes sense.  I'll have a better sense of it on my second flight.  All in all, these changes made the difference between OOM 15 miles out and a successful approach and landing.  None of this is surprising.  All it does is give some ideas to people about what settings might be needed to make flights into and out of the tougher airports.

 

To be continued.  I'm going to do another flight from Frankfurt to Heathrow in the 777 to see what happens.

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I'm going to do another flight from Frankfurt to Heathrow in the 777 to see what happens.

 

I did a flight from Aerosoft EGLL to Aerosoft EDDF v2 in the PMDG 777 in P3D v3.4 a couple of weeks ago. Managed to land with around 300 Mb of free VAS. This was with LOD 5.5 but FTX England deactivated. So it is possible. But it is a pain that we have to worry about VAS again. In P3D v3.3 there was always so much headroom that one could just fly with high settings and not worry about VAS...

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I did a flight from Aerosoft EGLL to Aerosoft EDDF v2 in the PMDG 777 in P3D v3.4 a couple of weeks ago. Managed to land with around 300 Mb of free VAS. This was with LOD 5.5 but FTX England deactivated. So it is possible. But it is a pain that we have to worry about VAS again. In P3D v3.3 there was always so much headroom that one could just fly with high settings and not worry about VAS...

 

I'm running 3.35 and still having to pair things down.  I'm wondering if something I added might have made it worse.  In any case I flew the 777 from Aerosoft EDDF to UK2000 Heathrow.  FTX Germany was on (3,200MB VAS on the ground), FTX UK off.  I squeaked in with a little over 100MB of VAS left with 14% AI.  You're right...9% AI would have been better.  The sim didn't seem to ever let go of much VAS.  I'm going to do some experiments.

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I'm running 3.35 and still having to pair things down.  I'm wondering if something I added might have made it worse.  In any case I flew the 777 from Aerosoft EDDF to UK2000 Heathrow.  FTX Germany was on (3,200MB VAS on the ground), FTX UK off.  I squeaked in with a little over 100MB of VAS left with 14% AI.  You're right...9% AI would have been better.  The sim didn't seem to ever let go of much VAS.  I'm going to do some experiments.

How did EDDF perform in the past?  I only ask because I had serious issues with EDDF, primarily an OOM prior to approach.  No issues with par, taxi and takeoff from EDDF, but VAS was on the high side to start.

 

There is a very lengthy thread at Aerosoft's forums about EDDF and VAS, with nothing concrete from Aerosoft on how to combat the problem, yet some users have found some workarounds pertaining to the very same things we are discussing here.

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How did EDDF perform in the past?

 

Seemed okay for me.  I've heard Tegel is worse.  I'll load it up without FTX Germany and see what I get.

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Sorry May be a silly question. but how do you measure VAS,  is there a add on program to run in the background?

It hasn't effected me  for quite a while, but my flights tend to be less than an hour at present.

Regards

Steve

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