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What monitor is suitable for flight sims?

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Hi there,

My post's title is very vague and I will elaborate on it, but before I do that, let me provide some background information.

I use a 5K iMac (I know - only an word not allowed would try to use an apple product to run high-performance-requirement software designed for windows on a mac) for all of my computing tasks, including Flight Simulation where I run Microsoft FSX-Steam Edition (Only to run the Coolsky DC-9) and Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D v3. (which runs all PMDG compatible addons, FlyTampa YSSY, ORBX AU+A few Aussie airports, TFDi 717, MJC Q400 and the FSL Aircraft). I run this software via Apple's BootCamp Assistant software (Apple's software that essentially partitions your drive and allows you to dual boot into windows instead of OS-X) which is mostly, trouble free. (except when the P3D tells me that my GPU has stopped responding...) 

My problem is that when using these simulators (as well as XP on the Mac side) I get abysmal performance with medium settings. When displaying clouds, my frame rate goes from mid teens to single digits, which, as you can imagine, is pretty horrible for a sim.  In FSX, I get really good performance but opening 2D panels just kills my sim and the frame rate dies, as well as having many other issues that I attribute to using a 5K display with 2006 software. I have spent ages trying to troubleshoot these performance issues and I believe I have found the answer to them; (No, I am not going to turn down my settings, I know that works but it destroys the realism of *my* sim)

Please Note that I am NOT a computer expert!  I am probably wrong with my Assumption, please don't slam me for my stupidity. :happy:

The 5K display is really sapping a lot of performance from the computer.  I have "backed up" my theory by projecting my sim onto a 1080p (and 720p) tv and it instantly alleviated all of my performance issues and the FSX 2D panel/other similar issues.  I would use this screen but, with it being very close to me and being a (very, very large) 1080p screen, it is quite easy to see how distorted the image looks compared to the display on my Mac. (I know you will be saying DUH! the resolution is different and you are correct, but being able to see faint black gaps between each pixel doesn't make for a pleasing experience. I recognise that that doesn't mean distortion - I was lacking a better word.)

As a result, I am planning on purchasing a lower resolution monitor to be able to get better performance, but I do not want to go out and purchase a monitor and then see that I was wrong and blew a few hundred dollars on a spare screen or if I am correct, get one that has the same issue (That probably isn't the right word) as the monitor I tested.

 

So, my request to you is; 1; tell me if I am correct or if I'm an word not allowed and secondly, if I am correct, advise me on a reasonably priced (preferably on the less expensive side) monitor that I can use. I am assuming that 1440p would be the sweet spot?

 

Kind Regards and thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

744er.

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Sowhy don't you dial back the resolution in P3D to 1080p/1440p? :-)

Why a new monitor? Maybe I just don't understand the request.

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I also do not really get this question. Simply select a lower resolution than 5k in your P3D menue and no new monitor needed. Yes, you will lose some image quality due to the fact that you do not use the native resolution anymore, but if it helps for the FPS... And maybe you can compensate a little bit for the lower resolution by using MSAA (4x max.).

Another thing you can check: be sure that you do not use any antialiasing mode inside P3D when running on 5k. Especially SGSSAA would instantly kill the performance if used with 5k. What kind of GPU does this iMac use?

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Hi There,

This was one of the first things I tried. I have used different resolutions in all sims and do not use any form of Anti aliasing in either sim. But changing the resolution does not seem to have an effect on my issues.

If that was all that I needed then trust me, I wouldn’t be looking at a new monitor. :)

The Mac uses an AMD Radeon R395X with 4 GB of VRAM.

Edited by Guest
Added GPU

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Mine is a Dell 34" curved I've had for about a year. I'm totally happy with it.

Dave

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But a new monitor won't help when dialing down the resolution on your existing monitor does not help.

 

The only thing that helps is buying a "real" PC :-)

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Could be that even when selecting a lower resolution inside P3D, your iMac still calculates the full 5K and then adapts it to the lower resolution. Otherwise this behaviour is impossible. So, you would need to lower the resolution in the operating system as well to see an effect on your built-in monitor...

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4 hours ago, VHOEI said:

But changing the resolution does not seem to have an effect on my issues.

Then I suspect replacing the monitor won't either. Maybe your performance issues are for other reasons.

(P.S. Please don't tell me AVSIM is censoring the word 'i d i o t' :blink:)

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8 hours ago, AnkH said:

Could be that even when selecting a lower resolution inside P3D, your iMac still calculates the full 5K and then adapts it to the lower resolution. Otherwise this behaviour is impossible. So, you would need to lower the resolution in the operating system as well to see an effect on your built-in monitor...

Hmmm… I think you may be right. I’ll try to lower the resolution in Windows as well. Thanks!

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BTW: this discussion here will nicely illustrate why such all in one computers and Macs are simply not appropriate for FSX and/or P3D...

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25 minutes ago, AnkH said:

BTW: this discussion here will nicely illustrate why such all in one computers and Macs are simply not appropriate for FSX and/or P3D...

It does show that quite well. :biggrin:

 

17 hours ago, AnkH said:

Could be that even when selecting a lower resolution inside P3D, your iMac still calculates the full 5K and then adapts it to the lower resolution. Otherwise this behaviour is impossible. So, you would need to lower the resolution in the operating system as well to see an effect on your built-in monitor...

I just tried this on my mac and it worked! Well, 80% of it did after mucking around with resolutions (I decided to stay at 4K for XP and 3200x1800 for P3D/FSX SE) and disabling vc mipmapping, I made the cockpit look the same as it did before with crisp text but I now have a frame rate that is around 22-23 fps (it is at 30 for XP) and that is fine by me.  But, I am now getting weird texture effects on exterior of the PMDG 737 NGX, where no level of MSAA or Anti Aliasing will remove it. I don't spend much time in the outside view though and I'm sure some tinkering around will fix it though!

Thanks for everyone's input and AnkH for saving me $300+!

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I would recommend that you delete your shaders now. After messing around like this I usually do this. No clue about the "weird texture effects" you mentioned, do you have a picture?

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