Arasaka

G-sync monitors vs fixed 60 Hz monitos vs fixed 30 Hz 4k TV with or without frame interpolation. How to achieve ultimate fluidity? Please give you feedback.

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Hi folks,

 

I'm considering a major upgrade from my ancient PC to a custom build X-plane 11 simulator rig and thinking about investing into a G-sync monitor.

My ultimate goal is immersive, stutter free flying with no "judder". With my previous experience with flight sims, I was able to achieve desired level of smoothness and fluidity only with 60 FPS locked on a 60 Hz monitor with V-sync ON. If FPS went below 60, I was getting stuttering OR screen tearing when V-sync was OFF. Obviously I had to dial back some of the settings in order to achieve 60 fps.

I have tried locking my FPS at half of the refresh rate  - (30 fps) to avoid stutters and tearing, but to me it feels significantly worse than 60 fps on 60 Hz. I feel that constant judder and it's definitely not as fluid as 60 fps / 60 Hz.

I have seen some folks advise to try a 4k TV instead of PC monitor and set it to 30 Hz to get 30 FPS smooth motion, have anyone tried it? There are few YouTube videos, but I can't really asses it without seeing in myself. 

Also, I might be all wrong here, but many TV's have built in frame interpolation mode which can make 25 FPS DVD feel like it's 50 FPS for example. But I'm not sure if it will work for the flight sim. Again, I would love to hear any real life feedback if all above can actually provide fluid flight sim experience.

To summarize: my plan is to build such a system so I can have 50-60 FPS (ideally 60) with believable world and weather outside of cockpit.

here's my questions:

 

1) Is G-sync monitor worth it for a flight sim?

2) Is 45-50 FPS (as example) on a G-sync monitor noticeably less fluid than 60 FPS on a monitor without G-sync?

3) How does 45 FPS (G-sync) compares to 30 FPS / 30 Hz 4k TV? What is more fluid?

4) You opinion on modern TV frame interpolation for gaming / simming.

 

Thank you all in advance.

Best regards,

Arasaka

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In its current state, 60 or even 45 FPS are out of the question in XP11, if you consider flying in dense areas such as NYC including traffic and maxed out settings, custom scenery ect. Even on the very latest hardware. In 2018, I think 45 will become a realistic goal, sort of a byproduct of optimizations for VR support.

That said, a perfectly fluid 30 FPS experience is achievable, and you wont need any fancy synced monitor for that. It requires two things basically.

1. Your rig being able to sustain 30 FPS with your chosen settings. And I mean sustain. A drop to 29 will cause stutters. On latest Intel (8700K) and NVIDIA hardware, this should be possible on highest settings minus scenery shadows and reflections (the possible reflection update rates introduced in XP11 may very well be the greatest waste of CPU time since the invention of flight simulation), even including loads of traffic via WT3 and basically all available payware airports that are up to date. When I say highest settings, keep in mind that you have to keep your GPU in check, on a 1080ti, using 8x AA, you will probably be able to run 1600x900 maximum (if you want to be prepared for any given weather situation - obviously you can push XP a lot harder when flying in clear skies). The image quality will however be better compared to running say 1080p with less AA. It depends on how well your monitor will upscale the image, YMMV. It is also a matter of personal preference, like how much you are willing to deal with jaggies and shimmering, to me, these are a real immersion killer in the sim. I prefer running at 720p using extreme AA settings (only available through datarefs). 720p gets upscaled extremely well on HDTVs. Just forget about running high settings at high resolutions, let alone 4K - if you believe in the ludicrous resolution race, you will need to dial down visual effects, XP is just too demanding. Try P3D or any other legacy sim in that case.

2. Set the NVIDIA control panel to VSYNC / half refresh rate.

Done. You might get an occasional stutter from scenery loading, but other than that, XP11 runs perfectly smooth with clean 33ms frame times.

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I get around 25 -> 35 fps in XP11.10b7 with Rotate MD80 & IXEG 737 @ most large airports and I have Ortho4XP installed at z16 & z17 around the airports.

i7 6700k overclocked by 10%

GTX 1080ti

32 RAM

50" 4k Samsung KS8000 TV 

With the default aircraft my fps rises to about 45 on the ground and 60 fps @ around 1000ft , heavy cloud and rain etc will also drop my frames by about 10 to 15 fps.

 

Running X-Plane on my 32" Full HD Monitor that I have next to my TV I can easily get 60 fps in all scenario's which is the limit of my 32" monitor.

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Selecting Vsync to 1/2 refresh rate in Nvidia Control Panel (or Inspector) is the key to fluid motion at 30 fps on a 60 Hz monitor.  Unlike P3D, X-plane can take advantage of this feature in native full-screen mode... so no need to reduce the monitor refresh rate to 30 Hz.  If you turn down the graphics settings, X-plane can certainly maintain 60 fps; but 30 fps is a good trade-off to gain much better visuals.

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On 11/12/2017 at 4:11 AM, Colonel X said:

2. Set the NVIDIA control panel to VSYNC / half refresh rate.

 

Does it mean locking my FPS to 30 if my monitor is 60 Hz?

I'm currently on my laptop with no Nvidia equipment. I definitely tried that approach on my previous system. Yes,  there's no tearing or really bad stuttering in this case, however, fixed 30 FPS on 60 Hz monitor feels significantly less smooth and has some sort of perceivable judders compared to 60 fps / 60 Hz. At least this is how I see it.

On 11/12/2017 at 4:11 AM, Colonel X said:

Just forget about running high settings at high resolutions, let alone 4K - if you believe in the ludicrous resolution race, you will need to dial down visual effects, XP is just too demanding.

I agree with all that. I'm totally happy to stay with Full HD and dial back some settings in order to get fluid motion.

The only reason I mentioned 4k TVs - is that their latest models can natively have 30 Hz without image quality detirioration. As far as I understand, 30 fps / 30 Hz combo provides smoother experience than 30 fps (half refresh rate method) on 60 Hz panels. 

I think that 100% match between FPS and TV / monitor refresh rate is a lot more important than is seems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 11/12/2017 at 11:52 AM, Glenn_C said:

Running X-Plane on my 32" Full HD Monitor that I have next to my TV I can easily get 60 fps in all scenario's which is the limit of my 32" monitor.

 

Is it a G-sync monitor? I just wanna hear some feedback on how does it feel in terms of fluidity if fps are fluctuating between 40 - 45.

Does it feel as fluid as 60 fps? Can you feel when FPS go to 40 - 45?

 

 

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As I stated above, using the NVIDIA panel to lock to 30fps will give you perfect fluidity on a 60hz monitor. The art is configuring X-Plane to never drop below 30 FPS.

Of course, nothing feels as fluid as 60fps, but it's not practical in X-Plane (right now) unless you compromise detail / effects. 45 FPS will also feel better than 30, but it's a marginal difference as long as your 30 FPS are delivered with perfect frame timing - which works as described. There's no way to lock XP to 45 FPS, so there will always be fluctuating frame times, thus making that approach pretty much useless.

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51 minutes ago, Arasaka said:

As far as I understand, 30 fps / 30 Hz combo provides smoother experience than 30 fps (half refresh rate method) on 60 Hz panels. 

Based on my experience, this is absolutely NOT the case.  In full screen mode, using half-refresh vsync on a 60 Hz panel is every bit as fluid as using standard vsync on a 30 Hz panel.  Input lag also appears less pronounced at 60 Hz.

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17 hours ago, Arasaka said:

Is it a G-sync monitor? I just wanna hear some feedback on how does it feel in terms of fluidity if fps are fluctuating between 40 - 45.

Does it feel as fluid as 60 fps? Can you feel when FPS go to 40 - 45?

 

 

No it's not G-Sync it's a cheap 32" LG Full HD monitor that I have on a wall mount tilted downwards 30 degree's above my 50" 4K TV.  I use my TV for all my gaming and computer work. For comparison I play Battlefield 4 & BF1 and can game at 60 fps on my 4k TV no problems with my GTX1080ti. I am not a pro gamer so 60 fps is fine. 

X-Plane on my TV at 30 to 40 fps feels fluid for me and once you have X-Plane'd on a large 4k TV you really would not want to go back to anything smaller, it's just more immersible on a larger screen. I would imagine the only thing better would be using a VR headset.

 

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16 minutes ago, Glenn_C said:

 I am not a pro gamer so 60 fps is fine. 

Pro gamers need more than 60 FPS? Preferences seem to shift once you don't have a job.

I have found that it's not the raw screen size that determines immersion. It's just the amount of screen within your field of view. For example, I use XP on my 27" Apple Cinema Display and my Sony 55" TV. Since I sit a lot closer to the Apple display, even if it's (a lot) smaller, it fills more of my FOV, thus subjectively resulting in a better immersion, or at least equal.

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5 minutes ago, Colonel X said:

Pro gamers need more than 60 FPS? 

Previously I tough I can hardly see the difference over 60 fps (my X-plane runs around 30, so it's just my general observation from other titles). Then my friend bought a 120Hz monitor, and well... I could really feel the difference when certain titles run around 100-120 fps, it was a really cool experience. I've heard some claims that in first-person-shooters the higher your framerate is, the better you can aim/hit people, but for me that sounds unsubstantiated. And everything is relative. For example, I can really feel the difference between a normal 24 fps movie, a 48 fps one, or even a behind-the-scenes film shot at 30 fps (soap opera effect). But on the other hand, some people I know barely see any difference, like my girlfriend, who has no idea what I'm talking about. Anyway, it maybe a bit off topic, but I tough I share this, (it ties into the framerate question) in case there is someone who doesn't know what I'm talking about. So, for me, this video feels totally wrong, epic movie feeling is completely ruined. But I'm sure that some people watch this trailer, and they will go like 'So what is so special about this? This is just a normal trailer. I don't see anything. What are you talking about?'. And to back to X-plane, I'm quite happy as long as I can sustain 30 fps and don't fall any lower. But pro gamers carving over 60 fps is something I can relate to and understand.

 

 

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Don't want to get too offtopic but indeed the higher the refresh rate the more fluid things look. There are countless video's on you tube about this, here is one of them. You can see this type of thing yourself. If you move your mouse in a circular motion on a 30Hz screen you will probably see for example 4 mouse pointers. If you do the same on a 60 Hz screen you would see 8 mouse pointers etc... so on a 240Hz screen you would see a fluid motion of a single mouse pointer. Now translate that to say a game like BF4 where characters are moving fast if your screen refresh has a high refresh rate you will have more chance of hitting them. Video's can explain it better than me though.

In short the higher the refresh rate the more fluid things become.

 

 

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In a fast shooter, more than 30fps are indeed very noticable.

However, in X-Plane don't feel the need for more than 30, unless I'm using TrackIR. With TrackIR, head movements definitely feel less jerky with 60fps, and I guess that's alos the case with VR euipment.

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I would never doubt the increased fluidity of 120 FPS and what it can do to fast paced games. But it just seems crazy for anything outside of competitive first person shooter gameplay. The reason X-Plane works so well with 30 FPS is that most times, movement is relatively slow (that is also why in VR, 45 FPS is sufficent in flight simulation [of course interpolated to 90] where as in other games, such as racing simulators, it should always be natively 90 FPS) - that is not to say it wouldn't be a lot cooler in 60 FPS. As for movies, I believe the 48 FPS movement has failed, I haven't heard anything about it outside of Peter Jacksons midget movies.

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19 hours ago, MadDog said:

Based on my experience, this is absolutely NOT the case.  In full screen mode, using half-refresh vsync on a 60 Hz panel is every bit as fluid as using standard vsync on a 30 Hz panel.  Input lag also appears less pronounced at 60 Hz.

OK thanks. I think I confused myself based of some opinions then. You definitely can be right that 30 fps on 30 Hz is equal to 30 fps on 60 Hz in terms of fluidity, UNLESS there's huge difference in response time (motion blur and thus perception of fluidity in this way) on some modern TVs compared to PC monitors.

 

20 hours ago, Colonel X said:

45 FPS will also feel better than 30, but it's a marginal difference as long as your 30 FPS are delivered with perfect frame timing - which works as described.

That's the thing, I perceive it as a big difference, even in a relatively slow animation as flight sim.

To better illustrate 30 fps vs 60 fps on a typical 60 Hz screen here’s 2 links where we compare side by side the fluidity between two. This is not exactly 3D graphics comparison, but IMO, pretty representative. I have tested it at relatively slow speed of 120 pps.

https://www.testufo.com/framerates#count=2&background=stars&pps=120

https://boallen.com/fps-compare.html

The first link is really cool. It detects your monitor refresh rate and gives you 60 fps and 30 fps motion side by side.

Since my Dell monitor can be switched to 50 Hz, I also performed 50 fps / 50 Hz testing  in and I can say that I'm totally happy with 50 FPS / 50 Hz combo as well. However, there is HUGE difference between 30 FPS and 60 FPS or 25 FPS and 50 FPS. I see tons of small juddering in 30 fps.

I have a feeling that 45 fps is the threshold, below which the fluidity greatly deteriorates. And the folks who fly in Aerofly FS2 constantly praise it for exact same reason - high FPS.

My main takeaway from all this. G-sync can be a game changer if you can't hit 60 FPS in s flight sim, but really want to have 40-45 fps motion without tearing or stuttering.

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