warbirds

Using two pc's?

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I keep reading post about guys using another pc to run some flight sim programs  and have some questions:

- Why?

- What type of pc is needed for the second one? Can I just buy a 5 year old gamer or even standard pc off Craig's List to use.

- Does it need the same operating program as your main pc (win 10 or?) or can you use an older one such as win 7 or even xp on the 2nd one ?

- How to you hook this all up?(I am not network literate - or is there a Networking for Dummies book?)

- How many fps will I gain if this happens?

- Is it really worth the expense and trouble?

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I cant see it saving much at all in the way of FPS unless your sim is a hung of crap.

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I have read where some are using the second pc for weather software and ai software and such and saving fps. I really would like more info on this and can get a small older pc for free to try. 

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Well okay.

 

I tried running ASN on a second pc and saw no improvement in FPS at all in FSX:SE.  But then my simming rig is a beast and I didnt really expect any improvement.

 

As to how, the application in question usually says how in the user guide, EG AS16 tells how.

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Thanks Boomer that is the input I am looking for. 

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What is nice about running a second PC is the ability so have the weather apps interface available as well as a moving map such as FSCommander, It's also nice to be able to pull up your charts and also browse the web during long flights.

If you fly online with Vatsim then having vPilot running and displaying its interface on another machine is also well worth it.

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There's no measurable performance benefit to running secondary programs on another machine. It is mainly for convenience. Any processing time you might save (nanoseconds at most) would be given back with the network processing the connection. I find it easier to have a second monitor.

 

Vic

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Do any of the sims allow dividing the sim in 2?  1 system for the Sim Host and 1 system for the Image Generator?  I know P3D will talk on CIGI so not sure if it will allow this, maybe only on the Pro software?

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40 minutes ago, Glynn said:

What is nice about running a second PC is the ability so have the weather apps interface available as well as a moving map such as FSCommander, It's also nice to be able to pull up your charts and also browse the web during long flights.

Yes but a better method is to run more thna 1 monitor on the simming pc.

I run 3 monitors on my EVGA 960GTX.

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Using a second monitor and accessing running apps on the same computer can deteriorate performance. always have used networked computers to run moving maps,weather apps . Never had an OOM. Flight computer ONLY runs the Sim, No network connections!

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- Why?

Biggest benefit would be to run programs that you'd like to see while flying(vPilot, moving maps, charts, etc) as stated already.

- What type of pc is needed for the second one? Can I just buy a 5 year old gamer or even standard pc off Craig's List to use.

As long as it can run the programs you want to run, any pc will be fine.  5 year old pc would work I think.

- Does it need the same operating program as your main pc (win 10 or?) or can you use an older one such as win 7 or even xp on the 2nd one ?

No.  Does not need to be the same.  My second pc is Win10.  My flight sim pc is Win7.  Works fine.

- How to you hook this all up?(I am not network literate - or is there a Networking for Dummies book?)

Yeah, Google how to set up a simple home network.  There are a bunch of different ways to do it from just connecting the two pc's with a crossover cable to connecting to the same WiFi network and more.  But this would be a complete topic/tutorial in and of itself.

- How many fps will I gain if this happens?

Probably not much, if any.  But that all would depend I suppose.

- Is it really worth the expense and trouble?

That's up to you.  I wouldn't do it any other way.  I can't imagine having to toggle to my other apps while running flight sim.  Nor do I want to connect another monitor to my main sim and deal with that.  So for me, it is totally worth it.  Plus, I used to be a network engineer, so it was easy for me.  :)

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3 minutes ago, Adrian123 said:

Using a second monitor and accessing running apps on the same computer can deteriorate performance. always have used networked computers to run moving maps,weather apps . Never had an OOM. Flight computer ONLY runs the Sim, No network connections!

I use two monitors and one not very powerful PC, and have moving maps, weather, browse the web, and never had an OOM. 

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I've been running a networked system since the early FSX days. Just to give you an idea I run the following addon programs under P3D on the Networked PC. 

AS2016

ASCA

vPilot

WideFS

Rex Textures

Rex Soft Clouds

2 VAs ACARS programs.

Not sure if it makes any difference memory wise but I like to have my sim window totally clean and much prefer not having separate windows for those addons popping up on my main P3D PC.  

 

Regards

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Adrian123 said:

Never had an OOM.

OOM would not be something to be concerned with in this scenario.  FSX/P3D will have a ~4G limit no matter what other applications are running on your flight sim pc.  "External" apps to the sim do not count towards that limit of the flight sim application itself.

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If you have a fast pc and not many addons that are cpu intensive in usage then you can try with 1 pc.

Otherwise an extra pc is the way to go.

eg : no jittering when AS is downloading weather updates while flying

And network processing time is way less taxing on a pc than downloading/calculating a weather program...

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With FSX was a pain for me to not have 2nd PC really - exclusive full screen was good, and using 2nd monitor, you would black it out if using exclusive full and not borderless.

With P3D, as Vic said, it is more of a convenience, but since P3D doesn't have exclusive full screen, you can also run 2nd monitor as well.

In terms of performance - I was long running secondary apps on a laptop. I dumped it. There is absolutely no impact if all-on-one, only work to maintain two computers and setting everything up (incl. looking for errors, if something isn't working). And even if AS is doing something, I sure am not feeling it. I have a fully blown AI, addon airports, PMDG/FSL...

That said, running 6700K at 4.8Ghz, with 3600Mhz RAM, GTX980 and an M2.SSD. So YMMV.

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I have been using for years and there are many benefits, e.g my CLIENT PC  runs AS16, Project magenta,  SimToutch plus 2 and sounds etc I have project magenta running 2 displays for instruments and a touch display for SimToutch and a separate display for map. It became a second nature to me , can't live without.

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At the moment I'm running everything on same PC, but in past I had run on two PC's. Now on 1 PC, it just not convenient to run all the things I did when running networked. It can be a real PITA to run two, but if you keep notes and backups or certain files that get overwritten during an update, I can't see how you can say a bad word against a client and server setup.

I also found it a PITA just to keep 2 monitors going, I'd rather put in the maintenance time in on a network.

 

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So is it not possible to have the SIM run on 1 PC, and offload the Out-The-Window (Visuals) to another PC?  This is with the current Sims that are available to consumers.  I know it is done on much larger commercial sims.  According to LM, P3D will talk CIGI but I just don't know if the sim is set up to operate that way.  Anyone know?

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32 minutes ago, Gavenger said:

So is it not possible to have the SIM run on 1 PC, and offload the Out-The-Window (Visuals) to another PC?  This is with the current Sims that are available to consumers.  I know it is done on much larger commercial sims.  According to LM, P3D will talk CIGI but I just don't know if the sim is set up to operate that way.  Anyone know?

On FSX it is possible to do this using a suitable networking program to synchronize two copies of FSX. The only two such programs I am aware of are Wideview and OpusFSI. OpusFSI also supports P3D, I can't speak for Wideview. That said, I have recently experimented with this (using OpusFSI) and found it to be an utterly inelegant method that introduces a host of new problems that may well outweigh the benefits. Earlier versions of P3D had similar ('multi-channel') functionality built-in but I understand it is now only available if you buy a 'Professional Plus' licence, which costs about the same as a buying a new PC that's of running P3D with decent performance.

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1 hour ago, MarkDH said:

On FSX it is possible to do this using a suitable networking program to synchronize two copies of FSX. The only two such programs I am aware of are Wideview and OpusFSI. OpusFSI also supports P3D, I can't speak for Wideview. That said, I have recently experimented with this (using OpusFSI) and found it to be an utterly inelegant method that introduces a host of new problems that may well outweigh the benefits. Earlier versions of P3D had similar ('multi-channel') functionality built-in but I understand it is now only available if you buy a 'Professional Plus' licence, which costs about the same as a buying a new PC that's of running P3D with decent performance.

 
 

Wideview also supports P3D you just have to have a P3D license for each PC, not to confuse wideserver which FSUIPC needs on the Client PC to run  Addons  such Project Magenta. 

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After setting up a nice AMD based "gaming" machine, or so I thought, for flight simulation I discovered Intel/Nvidia was the way to go.  So I assigned that PC as my 2nd PC to run follow-maps, glass and steam gauges, Super Traffic Board... all sorts of goodies that I off-loaded from my main PC.

Plus I can use it for the web when flying, doing other PC work.  I have found it quite indispensable these days.

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For a long time, I have been building a new flight sim PC every 3-4 years, and when I do, I rotate the old one into place as my secondary PC. 

I run flight planning (PFPX, FSBuild), ATC (Radar Contact, PF3, Pro/ATC-X), moving map (Aivlasoft EFB), weather (AS 2016/ASCA), and some other ancillary utilities like Quantum Leap, VASMon etc on the second PC, as well as reviewing Navigraph/FAA map products.  ActiveSky, in all of its incarnations, has been and continues to be fairly CPU-intensive at times, and having that workload moved off the sim PC prevents the stutters that occur when the wx program eats too far into the headroom between normal FS CPU load and 100% CPU utilization on a core.  Smoothness on P3D is very good when there is enough headroom between CPU utilization under FS load and max load to accomodate spikes in workload without hitting 100% on the CPU cores.  Widening that headroom gap does not result in better FPS for me (I run with vsync lock on a 30Hz monitor) but increasing that headroom gap reduces the number of stutters when those spikes do occur (most often terrain/scenery loads).

Also, having ATC audio coming from a different source than the sim PC allows me to put that on a headset or side speaker with separate control over volume/tone etc, with ambient acft surround sound from my sound system (a home theater system dedicated to the sim machine).  It's a very flexible way to configure audio.

The second PC does not need to be cutting edge, either in the processor or GPU dept.  Until recently, I was using a 2009 vintage i7-975 with a GTX480 as my secondary PC, and it was way more than enough for the job.

Finally, it's helpful to be able to look at weather, computer flight plan, maps, etc off to the side without disturbing the sim.  And I can surf AVSIM while at cruise...  ;-) 

Regards

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Can you run this other pc as a wireless connected laptop?

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Just now, warbirds said:

Can you run this other pc as a wireless connected laptop?

Yes

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