tonywob

X-Plane at FlightSimExpo 2018

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Tomorrow at the expo in Las Vegas, Laminar Research (Austin) are hopefully going to give a talk and show off/discuss Vulkan. 

Fingers crossed that this is going to be as hyped as many people think it will be, and we'll see some good improvements in performance and smoothness. Even if it still is early days.

Besides that, we also have demos from ORBX with their increasing X-Plane catalogue, and perhaps PMDG will surprise us 🙂

P.S. If anyone is going, please take pictures and report

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Isn't it Vulkan? Anyway, here's nVidia's take on it:

https://developer.nvidia.com/Vulkan

Considering that Intel can barely improve CPU performance these days, any tech that minimizes the importance of the CPU will be a welcome relief.

But hyped technology has a habit of turning into background white noise once introduced. Consider Gsync, SLI and DX12 as examples.

 

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Yep thanks, I've fixed the typo 🙂

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2 hours ago, jabloomf1230 said:

Considering that Intel can barely improve CPU performance these days, any tech that minimizes the importance of the CPU will be a welcome relief.

But hyped technology has a habit of turning into background white noise once introduced. Consider Gsync, SLI and DX12 as examples.

As I understand it (and I'm not GPU geek), Vulkan is on a different level; basically the "next" version of OpenGL that X-Plane already uses.

It may not be a night-and-day difference when it arrives, so we should probably be cautious about getting our hopes up too high. Apparently it's mostly about making things more efficient for the developers. But we still may see some frame rate improvement (keeping fingers crossed). I don't think Ben and Co. would be doing all this work to roll out an additional API (along with Metal, and still supporting OpenGL for backwards compatibility), if it didn't mean good things for X-Plane.

Here's a dev blog post from 2016 explaining why they're doing this:

https://developer.x-plane.com/2016/03/what-vulkan-means-to-developers/

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From Ben's blog:

Quote

The biggest single feature of Vulkan is its new multi-core friendly threading model. Vulkan is “externally” synchronized, which basically means applications can do whatever they want, but have to talk to different parts of the driver from different threads.

So in other words, if they code it better to use Vulkan then it means they can make better use of the CPU and stop it being such a bottleneck. I'm sure it's going to take time.. but exciting none-the-less. My understanding of it is very rudimentary, but when I see bad performance in the sim and check what is going on, it is almost always the CPU.

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Vulkan works amazing in the game doom very high frame rates and works great on low end hardware hopefully they take advantage of the tech.

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7 hours ago, jabloomf1230 said:

Isn't it Vulkan? Anyway, here's nVidia's take on it:

https://developer.nvidia.com/Vulkan

Considering that Intel can barely improve CPU performance these days, any tech that minimizes the importance of the CPU will be a welcome relief.

But hyped technology has a habit of turning into background white noise once introduced. Consider Gsync, SLI and DX12 as examples.

 

Gysnc is probably one of the best technologies to come around in the past decade.  It has no effect if your sim is running 30 fps, but for 40-120 fps it has completely eliminated screen tearing and latency.

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Hi,

Vulkan/Metal are new APIs designed to remove a layer of 'abstraction' between the program and the video card.

Traditional APIs like OpenGL consists in a series of functions to tell the video card what and how to draw, then, the video card drivers takes the list of high level commands, transform these to internal low level rendering data, and process the data for rendering basically triangles with textures. Each of your CPU core has to take its turn to send its instructions to the video card.

Vulkan on the other hand consists in a series of functions to build the internal data the video card will process directly for rendering. In other words, instead of basically saying draw a triangle with a red color, you build the internal video card data needed to represent a red triangle into a 'command buffer', then send the entire buffer to the video card for nearly 'direct' rendering as-is.

The advantages are many: you directly talk to the video card in its native language, you can have each of your CPU core work in parallel to build up the command buffers. Also, since you do know what your data consists of, you can optimize the way you build up the command buffers in a way to 'pack' drawing commands using the same resources together more easily (2 triangles with the same texture). The drawback is that this puts more work to be done in the program itself.

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Posted (edited)

I checked today on my linux box and find already that the workload is much better spread over the cpu, one core being at 100%, the other three at 50%, bringing the total cpu occupation at around 75%. The complaint used to be that the processor was used only 25%. I hope laminar is able to squeeze more out of my aging system. But I can not complain already , I have typically around 30fps and super smooth.

I am wondering what they're bringing to the table today.

Edited by jh71
Corrected Franglais

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Excellent! Can't watch it just now though  what are the main points anyone?

Chris

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Posted (edited)

Cool lots of great things coming

 

Edited by Silverbird
error

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Highlites.

 

Particles for more realistic . fires, smoke contrails, easy to edit on t he fly, Great demo including ligting of teh ground by fires and heat haze.

Improved fuselage effects by prop wash.

Improved down wash seems the fuselage effects they had where wrong and affecting this too. So hopefully less thumping onto the ground when developers implement it.

More stuff for lego bricks airports, more clutter fences etc.

11.25 is in beta and out there with new airports and a couple of better modeled us cities. Vegas and cat remember teh other one

New lights with different colours to light your buildings

Vulcan might make 11,3 but its a long road. I think thats what they said, but opengl will remain

 

Oteh rbits  I cant remeber but its getting so much better

 

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Great to see Las Vegas getting more love again from Laminar!

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