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Rockliffe

Massive hit on performance

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This seems like an odd one and rather unsure what to make of it. Yesterday I was on a 45 minute flight from Redding in Nocal across to Lake Tahoe in my A2A Cherokee. I mostly fly with AS16 and this was no exception. The flight plan was loaded both into the FSX-SE and automatically into AS, the flight went well for the first fifteen minutes, after which I switched on AP and left the sim for about 15 minutes. On my return, I noticed the fps had dropped massively from 30+ down to a stuttering of 20 or less. What's more, there were increasing blurries making an appearance, to a point on landing when the entire scenery was a blur and the fps had dropped to well below 15. I looked at process explorer to see if something had 'kicked in' in the background, but couldn't find anything. However, when I switched off AS, I found it to be the culprit, as the frames went back up to 30 and the scenery lost all the blurries. Has anyone got any ideas what might have happened?

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do you have ASCA too? There was a problem with update 6194. If you installed it, you need to uninstall and reinstall 6195 full version(ASCA only, AS16 is still 6194)

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do you have ASCA too? There was a problem with update 6194. If you installed it, you need to uninstall and reinstall 6195 full version(ASCA only, AS16 is still 6194)

 

Ah no, I don't have cloud art installed, as I use REX.

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To many things could cause this.

 

Does not necessarily mean that AS16 is the culprit, it could be just overload - you removed one factor and FPS went back. 

 

FSX or P3D? Some ORBX stuff installed? I had a fps hit yesterday after installing ORBX OpenLC update and ASCA + Nvidia driver update, so i don't know what was causing this and if that is related. I selected DXT textures in ASCA and reinstalled ORBX libraries, reboot, and that seems to fixed it. 

 

If this still happens, i would look at CPU usage by processes, what GPU is doing and HDD / SSD performance.

 

What helped me a lot with scenery loading  - in scenery config editor, there is a option(under "actions" menu) to "reset area and layer numbers and reorder the file" + changing Windows Update service from automatic to manual start

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What are your AA settings?  Running any type of SGSS in combination with ASN/AS2016 in high cloud density weather is asking for FPS trouble.

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Guys, with respect, your suggestions are very much appreciated but are unrealistic. We are not talking about a few stutters or fps, we are talking of  a massive hit on performance where the sim becomes unflyable, with cpu resources hitting 100%! I am in contact with guys at AS, so I hope to have a resolution soon. I will post my findings. Thanks again for your suggestions, appreciated.

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Hi Howard,

 

Please let us know.  My personal thoughts is that the rendering of complex clouds adds a lot more 'scenery' to where you are.  Imagine if you had a fairly complex city above your head in the sim...might be like that.  One thing I do, sometimes, is reduce the layers in AS to 1 (not as bad as you think)...so I don't have 2+ cities up there and something that can be done on the fly without pausing the sim.  When I'm at a tough airport, I'll reduce coverage down to 60% in P3D settings.  Again, not as bad as you think.  One or the other setting at night is even better since you can't really see the clouds as much.  I'd think the AS folks might be able to improve, at least, the stratus clouds performance since they're smooth and a long thick, relatively boring layer.  I know there are some challenges there with 'cells' but, perhaps there's a way.  Often, when flying in UK, those stratus clouds are all over the place and it would help when flying at tough places like Heathrow and, a little further away, Amsterdam.

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Howard - I've had a similar thing happen to me but I don't even have As16/ASCA. I was running a saved flight at the time.

 

Is it possible that Windows was updating in the background?

 

There may be just an issue with not providing human input to the sim for too long and Windows decides it can lower the priority while it does what it thinks is more important.

 

EDIT: actually, since I don't even have active sky, im not sure what im doing posting here... it could be AS. I have no idea. Mrry Christmas, howard!

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Hi Howard,

 

Please let us know.  My personal thoughts is that the rendering of complex clouds adds a lot more 'scenery' to where you are.  Imagine if you had a fairly complex city above your head in the sim...might be like that.  One thing I do, sometimes, is reduce the layers in AS to 1 (not as bad as you think)...so I don't have 2+ cities up there and something that can be done on the fly without pausing the sim.  When I'm at a tough airport, I'll reduce coverage down to 60% in P3D settings.  Again, not as bad as you think.  One or the other setting at night is even better since you can't really see the clouds as much.  I'd think the AS folks might be able to improve, at least, the stratus clouds performance since they're smooth and a long thick, relatively boring layer.  I know there are some challenges there with 'cells' but, perhaps there's a way.  Often, when flying in UK, those stratus clouds are all over the place and it would help when flying at tough places like Heathrow and, a little further away, Amsterdam.

Hi Gregg, sure, I hear what you're saying, just that I have never experienced anything like this before, only since moving to FSX-SE.

 

Howard - I've had a similar thing happen to me but I don't even have As16/ASCA. I was running a saved flight at the time.Is it possible that Windows was updating in the background?There may be just an issue with not providing human input to the sim for too long and Windows decides it can lower the priority while it does what it thinks is more important.EDIT: actually, since I don't even have active sky, im not sure what im doing posting here... it could be AS. I have no idea. Mrry Christmas, howard!

Hi Dave, sure, normally the kind of resource hog running in the background with this kind of hit would be something like Windows update. However, I have Windows update, Acronis update in fact all updates switched off, as I have with the firewall and AV.

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Hi Dave, sure, normally the kind of resource hog running in the background with this kind of hit would be something like Windows update. However, I have Windows update, Acronis update in fact all updates switched off, as I have with the firewall and AV.

 

Simply turning off Windows Update isn't always enough to stop the service associated with it (wauaserv) from running in the background.  At least with Win 7, some significant changes were made in Oct 2016 which altered the way it operates...I found the service will run in the background for hours if not days, even with automatic windows updates set to "never" in the control panel.  When running, it is using enough CPU that it will slow the sim way down, cause blurries etc.  Leave the PC in an idle state for ~30 min, then look at the CPU utilization in the performance tab in task manager...if you see a lot of activity across the cores when it should be idle, open the resource monitor, CPU tab, and look for wauaserv in the services area...if it's using over 2-3% of your CPU (typically 12-25% when it runs on a quad core machine) then you have this issue.  I set the service to stop if the computer ceases to be idle in the task scheduler -> conditions tab, and that seems to have fixed it for now.

 

When FSX is running, it saturates one core of the computer, leaves another for housekeeping, and uses the rest as needed for texture loading.  Those cores are where the update service will run under those conditions, so when terrain/texture loading threads are spawned, they are competing and being swapped with the windows update threads, which slows terrain and texture handing way down and blurries and frame rate hits can result.

 

Regards

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One thing I noticed with AS16 (at least the P3D version) is that it defaults to the old ASN "enhanced overcast" setting so if the weather is overcast, it pumps a *ton* of clouds into the sim. If you're using a high res cloud texture, the associated cloud shadows will absolutely *kill* your framerate. Personally I solved it by switching to a lower-res cloud texture (REX Soft Clouds) but you can also try setting the global shadow quality to a lower setting, or modify the cloud shadow texture size setting in prepar3d.cfg to something lower like 256.

 

edit: Sorry, I missed you were in FSX. Still, it could be related to cloud number/draw distance and switching cloud textures might help you.

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Simply turning off Windows Update isn't always enough to stop the service associated with it (wauaserv) from running in the background.  At least with Win 7, some significant changes were made in Oct 2016 which altered the way it operates...I found the service will run in the background for hours if not days, even with automatic windows updates set to "never" in the control panel.  When running, it is using enough CPU that it will slow the sim way down, cause blurries etc.  Leave the PC in an idle state for ~30 min, then look at the CPU utilization in the performance tab in task manager...if you see a lot of activity across the cores when it should be idle, open the resource monitor, CPU tab, and look for wauaserv in the services area...if it's using over 2-3% of your CPU (typically 12-25% when it runs on a quad core machine) then you have this issue.  I set the service to stop if the computer ceases to be idle in the task scheduler -> conditions tab, and that seems to have fixed it for now.

 

When FSX is running, it saturates one core of the computer, leaves another for housekeeping, and uses the rest as needed for texture loading.  Those cores are where the update service will run under those conditions, so when terrain/texture loading threads are spawned, they are competing and being swapped with the windows update threads, which slows terrain and texture handing way down and blurries and frame rate hits can result.

 

Regards

Very interesting Bob. But how does anyone explain the second I stopped AS, then the 100% CPU useage immediately drops back down to about 25%?

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Limit as16 via affinity in task manager to only one core (last one). ASN and AS16 are using significant cpu resources after some time. I followed cpu usage on as16 via task manager and saw that the usage is 2-3% on the start of the flight and it can go over 20-25% after an hour of flight, lowering fps and inducing stutters.

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Very interesting Bob. But how does anyone explain the second I stopped AS, then the 100% CPU useage immediately drops back down to about 25%?

 

It doesn't necessarily...just wanted to make it clear that just because you have Windows Update "switched off" does not guarantee it's really not still churning away in the background.  Lots of folks getting surprised by this one lately.

 

I've concluded that AS16 is a really good candidate for use on a secondary networked PC, along with most/all of the ATC add-ons.

 

Cheers

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It doesn't necessarily...just wanted to make it clear that just because you have Windows Update "switched off" does not guarantee it's really not still churning away in the background.  Lots of folks getting surprised by this one lately.

 

I've concluded that AS16 is a really good candidate for use on a secondary networked PC, along with most/all of the ATC add-ons.

 

Cheers

Ah,interesting. Then I will install it onto my second PC. Cheers.

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Actually, as an update, it appears there is some issue at hand with AS in my setup. It has crashed the sim three times now. it has also thrown up an error, so I think there is definitely something wrong somewhere. Unsure what it is though as I've tried two installs, one residing inside the FSX-SE root folder and the other alongsdie FSX-SE in it's own folder but separate from the OS. I'm really disappointed, because with my previous FSX install it worked flawlessly.

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Many are having performance issues with the latest version of AS16 and ASCA. If you go to the dev's forum you will see this. Something is going on that only the dev's can fix.

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Many are having performance issues with the latest version of AS16 and ASCA. If you go to the dev's forum you will see this. Something is going on that only the dev's can fix.

 

That's sad Eric, although good to know it's not just me. However, I have mad a boo boob, as I fly with AS Next and not AS16!

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Actually, as an update, it appears there is some issue at hand with AS in my setup. It has crashed the sim three times now. it has also thrown up an error, so I think there is definitely something wrong somewhere. Unsure what it is though as I've tried two installs, one residing inside the FSX-SE root folder and the other alongsdie FSX-SE in it's own folder but separate from the OS. I'm really disappointed, because with my previous FSX install it worked flawlessly.

Hi Howard, i had some fps drop recently and bluries, it happened in areas with lot of autogen. So i searched for what could be the problem and i found new entry in my fsx.CFG - under Terrain section - IMAGE_PIXELS_FOR_AUTOGEN_POLYGONS=2048. Some addon increased this number from default 16 to 2048. This can impact both performance and VAS. I deleted it, and i see fps improvement - from arround 20 to max 30(i have fps locked at 30)in dense areas. Just another suggestion. I'm going to rebuild my fsx.CFG, set it to my taste and keep a copy on desktop to replace it every time i install something. I hate when developers do this!

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Hi Howard, i had some fps drop recently and bluries, it happened in areas with lot of autogen. So i searched for what could be the problem and i found new entry in my fsx.CFG - under Terrain section - IMAGE_PIXELS_FOR_AUTOGEN_POLYGONS=2048. Some addon increased this number from default 16 to 2048. This can impact both performance and VAS. I deleted it, and i see fps improvement - from arround 20 to max 30(i have fps locked at 30)in dense areas. Just another suggestion. I'm going to rebuild my fsx.CFG, set it to my taste and keep a copy on desktop to replace it every time i install something. I hate when developers do this!

Hi Zeljko, thanks for the information. I know Aerosoft changes the cfg file with each of their sceneries, but I can't think this is the culprit. However, I will follow your suggestion and take a closer look at what you say. Thanks again.

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