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Cruachan

VULKAN for Prepar3D v5?

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Hi,

After watching Rob’s amazing videos demonstrating the power of the Vulkan API in Aerofly FS2 I felt compelled to investigate and learn more about this worthy ‘successor’ to OpenGL. 

It seems we may be on the brink of a revolution in Graphics rendering technology and also the prospect of a welcome release from Microsoft’s stranglehold on users of their operating systems. Not only does Vulkan offer everything currently supported by DirectX 12 but it is cross-platform compatible unlike the competition which is restricted to the Xbox (‘X’ from DirectX) cash cow and Windows 10.

Any doubters need to read this Wikipedia entry:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulkan_(API)

Look at the list of video games and rendering engines currently supporting Vulkan. I fired up Steam this morning to update my Aerofly FS2 installation only to find that somehow it had happened already! I can now make a choice between OpenGL and Vulkan (beta!). All Graphics and Quality settings hard right and I went for a flight over New York. Those of you who have flown over the Big Apple under OpenGL will know that, despite the incredible density of the scenery below, the performance is pretty good. Under Vulkan it’s outstanding! I climbed into the F-15E Strike Eagle and wound up those twin turbofans until I was hurtling alone at >800kts. Smooth as silk throughout and not a single stutter!

Surely this must be the future. Yes, there is still a lot to add to the AF2 simulator before it can be said to be complete. I have no idea what the frame rates were during my flights. FRAPS wasn’t displaying the frame rate counter for some reason but my gut feeling is that this sim, as it stands, has plenty overhead available to cope with future enhancements.

This brings me back to the question asked in the thread title. The attractiveness of switching to this API must now be beyond doubt. I, for one, am hoping that LM will be giving this serious consideration as they decide on the desired architecture of their new engine which, I’m assuming, will be driving Prepar3D v5. This could be the holy grail that banishes all those performance issues experienced with a fully loaded v4.x. Also, those of us who elected to remain on Windows 7, at least until EOL Support in January 2020, can relax in the knowledge that Vulkan is fully compatible and the feature set matches, if not exceeds, those currently provided by DirectX 12.

I noted after testing that my GPU (1080Ti) usage rose to and maintained a max of 99% for an extended period whereas the temp (air cooled) never exceeded 62C. I must say that all this is making me wonder whether we will be needing the 1100 GPU series, certainly not in the short term.

Regards,

Mike

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My rig: ASUS ROG Rampage V Extreme, i7-5960X (Dynamic OC 4.6 GHz - all cores, HT=ON, AM=21845), Corsair Hydro Series H110i GT Cooler with 2xNoctua NF-A14 PWM 140mm fans, G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4 3000, ASUS GTX 1080Ti ROG STRIX 11GB, GDDR5X (Driver versions: 441.66 (Win7), 452.06 (Win10)), Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD x4, Samsung 970 EVO 2TB V-NAND M.2, LG BH16NS40 16x SATA Internal BDRW, EVGA 1200 P2 Watt PSU, Cooler Master HAF X, ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q (G-Sync) monitor at 120Hz. Oculus Rift. Dual Boot: Windows 10 Pro 64bit (2004) / Prepar3D v5.0.31.35253, Windows 7 Pro 64bit / Prepar3D v4.5.12.30293.

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One can hope this would happen, but I won’t be holding my breath! 


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3 hours ago, Cruachan said:

Hi,

After watching Rob’s amazing videos demonstrating the power of the Vulkan API in Aerofly FS2 I felt compelled to investigate and learn more about this worthy ‘successor’ to OpenGL. 

It seems we may be on the brink of a revolution in Graphics rendering technology and also the prospect of a welcome release from Microsoft’s stranglehold on users of their operating systems. Not only does Vulkan offer everything currently supported by DirectX 12 but it is cross-platform compatible unlike the competition which is restricted to the Xbox (‘X’ from DirectX) cash cow and Windows 10.

Any doubters need to read this Wikipedia entry:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulkan_(API)

Look at the list of video games and rendering engines currently supporting Vulkan. I fired up Steam this morning to update my Aerofly FS2 installation only to find that somehow it had happened already! I can now make a choice between OpenGL and Vulkan (beta!). All Graphics and Quality settings hard right and I went for a flight over New York. Those of you who have flown over the Big Apple under OpenGL will know that, despite the incredible density of the scenery below, the performance is pretty good. Under Vulkan it’s outstanding! I climbed into the F-15E Strike Eagle and wound up those twin turbofans until I was hurtling alone at >800kts. Smooth as silk throughout and not a single stutter!

Surely this must be the future. Yes, there is still a lot to add to the AF2 simulator before it can be said to be complete. I have no idea what the frame rates were during my flights. FRAPS wasn’t displaying the frame rate counter for some reason but my gut feeling is that this sim, as it stands, has plenty overhead available to cope with future enhancements.

This brings me back to the question asked in the thread title. The attractiveness of switching to this API must now be beyond doubt. I, for one, am hoping that LM will be giving this serious consideration as they decide on the desired architecture of their new engine which, I’m assuming, will be driving Prepar3D v5. This could be the holy grail that banishes all those performance issues experienced with a fully loaded v4.x. Also, those of us who elected to remain on Windows 7, at least until EOL Support in January 2020, can relax in the knowledge that Vulkan is fully compatible and the feature set matches, if not exceeds, those currently provided by DirectX 12.

I noted after testing that my GPU (1080Ti) usage rose to and maintained a max of 99% for an extended period whereas the temp (air cooled) never exceeded 62C. I must say that all this is making me wonder whether we will be needing the 1100 GPU series, certainly not in the short term.

Regards,

Mike

The 1100 series gpu’s will most likely be rebranded 1000 series gpu anyway, so it will not matter much.

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Not to start a debate but I believe XP11 said they are hoping to use the Vulkan API by the end of 2018.  I think this would be a great indicator of the potential in a more complex simulator if they are able to get it done.

I hope P3D gets a new rendering engine sooner than later but I can't imagine anything happens before Fall 2019.

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2 hours ago, TravelRunner404 said:

I hope P3D gets a new rendering engine sooner than later but I can't imagine anything happens before Fall 2019.

That’s perfectly fine by me so long as they can make the correct decision 😉 The competition is growing stronger by the day and moving to Vulkan could turn out to be the vital ingredient that helps ensure the long term popularity of Prepar3D and the legions of 3rd Party Product Developer support. Also, harking back to Rob’s superlative demo videos, we can’t ignore the fact that ORBX is already on board. Sweet!

Regards,

Mike

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My rig: ASUS ROG Rampage V Extreme, i7-5960X (Dynamic OC 4.6 GHz - all cores, HT=ON, AM=21845), Corsair Hydro Series H110i GT Cooler with 2xNoctua NF-A14 PWM 140mm fans, G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4 3000, ASUS GTX 1080Ti ROG STRIX 11GB, GDDR5X (Driver versions: 441.66 (Win7), 452.06 (Win10)), Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD x4, Samsung 970 EVO 2TB V-NAND M.2, LG BH16NS40 16x SATA Internal BDRW, EVGA 1200 P2 Watt PSU, Cooler Master HAF X, ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q (G-Sync) monitor at 120Hz. Oculus Rift. Dual Boot: Windows 10 Pro 64bit (2004) / Prepar3D v5.0.31.35253, Windows 7 Pro 64bit / Prepar3D v4.5.12.30293.

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It's interesting Rob flew from an Orbx airport.  Did they have to update it for the new Vulkan engine? Or did it work without updates?  Or maybe AeroflyFS' original rendering engine was closer to Vulkan so possible to simply use a different rendering engine?

 

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I certainly hope Prepar3D V5 goes with Vulkan and not DX12 for obvious reasons but I cannot help but think that DX12 is the easier route given it seems the logical progression from DX11.

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11 hours ago, Avidean said:

I certainly hope Prepar3D V5 goes with Vulkan and not DX12 for obvious reasons but I cannot help but think that DX12 is the easier route given it seems the logical progression from DX11.

Hi Dave,

Doubtless the decision has been made and, at this stage, there will be little we can do to influence it. We are left to speculate, cross our fingers and toes and hope for the best outcome.

This move towards the adoption of the VULKAN API will have implications regarding the levelling of the competitive playing field between NVIDIA and AMD. This is long overdue and we, as customers, surely must benefit. As with MICROSOFT, NVIDIA’s domination in the market is coming under threat and both will need to react positively to maintain their respective user base and fiscal shares.

In addition, there may be very good grounds to expect a slowing down of that invariably premature and irresistible recurring compulsion to replace hardware that is far from being obsolete since VULKAN, quite demonstrably, is unleashing the true capabilities of the currently available GPUs (in single and multiple configurations) while lowering CPU usage. 

Dare we anticipate exciting and thrifty times ahead?

Regards,

Mike


My rig: ASUS ROG Rampage V Extreme, i7-5960X (Dynamic OC 4.6 GHz - all cores, HT=ON, AM=21845), Corsair Hydro Series H110i GT Cooler with 2xNoctua NF-A14 PWM 140mm fans, G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4 3000, ASUS GTX 1080Ti ROG STRIX 11GB, GDDR5X (Driver versions: 441.66 (Win7), 452.06 (Win10)), Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD x4, Samsung 970 EVO 2TB V-NAND M.2, LG BH16NS40 16x SATA Internal BDRW, EVGA 1200 P2 Watt PSU, Cooler Master HAF X, ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q (G-Sync) monitor at 120Hz. Oculus Rift. Dual Boot: Windows 10 Pro 64bit (2004) / Prepar3D v5.0.31.35253, Windows 7 Pro 64bit / Prepar3D v4.5.12.30293.

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16 minutes ago, Cruachan said:

Hi Dave,

Doubtless the decision has been made and, at this stage, there will be little we can do to influence it. We are left to speculate, cross our fingers and toes and hope for the best outcome.

This move towards the adoption of the VULKAN API will have implications regarding the levelling of the competitive playing field between NVIDIA and AMD. This is long overdue and we, as customers, surely must benefit. As with MICROSOFT, NVIDIA’s domination in the market is coming under threat and both will need to react positively to maintain their respective user base and fiscal shares.

In addition, there may be very good grounds to expect a slowing down of that invariably premature and irresistible recurring compulsion to replace hardware that is far from being obsolete since VULKAN, quite demonstrably, is unleashing the true capabilities of the currently available GPUs (in single and multiple configurations) while lowering CPU usage. 

Dare we anticipate exciting times ahead?

Regards,

Mike

fAgKFmR.png

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35 minutes ago, mwilk said:

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Hi Mike,

Well, it’s starting to happen already - I refer you back to that Wikipedia entry. Many highly-respected software houses appear convinced that this is the way to go. It seems very likely that more will follow. VULKAN has been around for a while and is now at the point of reaching maturity. There is no reason why both APIs (Vulkan and DirectX 12) should not be present on the same system. However, and as I have stated previously, Vulkan is cross-platform compatible and delivers everything, and more, provided by DirectX 12, The latter currently locks us into using Windows 10. Also, it is debatable as to what extent Microsoft are genuinely supportive of the Desktop PC gaming community.

Regards,

Mike

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My rig: ASUS ROG Rampage V Extreme, i7-5960X (Dynamic OC 4.6 GHz - all cores, HT=ON, AM=21845), Corsair Hydro Series H110i GT Cooler with 2xNoctua NF-A14 PWM 140mm fans, G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4 3000, ASUS GTX 1080Ti ROG STRIX 11GB, GDDR5X (Driver versions: 441.66 (Win7), 452.06 (Win10)), Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD x4, Samsung 970 EVO 2TB V-NAND M.2, LG BH16NS40 16x SATA Internal BDRW, EVGA 1200 P2 Watt PSU, Cooler Master HAF X, ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q (G-Sync) monitor at 120Hz. Oculus Rift. Dual Boot: Windows 10 Pro 64bit (2004) / Prepar3D v5.0.31.35253, Windows 7 Pro 64bit / Prepar3D v4.5.12.30293.

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I hope Vulkan gets widespread adoption because I can't stand Windows 10 and it's constant updating breaking things; I was dreading I'd be forced there by DX10.


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1 hour ago, Cruachan said:

Hi Mike,

Well, it’s starting to happen already - I refer you back to that Wikipedia entry. Many highly-respected software houses appear convinced that this is the way to go. It seems very likely that more will follow. VULKAN has been around for a while and is now at the point of reaching maturity. There is no reason why both APIs (Vulkan and DirectX 12) should not be present on the same system. However, and as I have stated previously, Vulkan is cross-platform compatible and delivers everything, and more, provided by DirectX 12, The latter currently locks us into using Windows 10. Also, it is debatable as to what extent Microsoft are genuinely supportive of the Desktop PC gaming community.

Regards,

Mike

Trust me. I support any platform that will increase performance, especially if it means that I don't have to empty my bank account on new hardware. I'm not even married to one sim over the other. I use P3Dv4 and XP11 almost interchangeably so either, or both, of them moving to Vulcan would be great. Let's hope that we see the performance improvements with those two that we've seen from AF2.

Edited by mwilk

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I can't see why Prepar3d would move to VULKAN from Direct X.  I agree that the VULCAN API is better than OpenGL but the Prepar3d platform runs on Windows and Windows comes with Direct X (Windows 10 with DX12); whilst the OP calls it a "cash cow" it's a good O/S, but more to the point, people cannot stay forever on Windows 7, MS at some point will entirely end support including security updates.  The only reason this may change is if LM decide to support another platform such as Linux, i can confirm that Prepar3Dv4 does not run well under WINE.

Also AF2 isn't a great comparison with either XPlane or P3D, it only deals with comparatively small areas and simple Aircraft.

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Ian R Tyldesley

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It is hard to tell who is going to do what anymore. The entire situation is beginning to reach the point of being silly. It is hard to even look forward to the forums at this point. All the Developers for hardware and software are just playing a game of "I've got a secret". Ever since that DTG scam showed up in the forums making out like they were going to save the Flight Sim world, it seems everyone is at ods. Has anyone else noticed that for the last year or more there has really not be a major release of flight models other than PDMG type tube liners (nothing wrong with them at all). Hardware is pretty much at a stand still. Nothing really new from Flight 1, A2A, Milviz. They don't even bother to come to the forums to pretend to be working hard for us anymore.

I would really like to be excited about Vulcan or DX12 but even if they come to XP or P3d then One group of Dev's will drag their feet or even refuse to make products for this or that because of one thing or another. If that don't happen then we will spend a year or two debating on whether it is even legal to down load product A or B. Then we will hear from all the members who are married to a woman who had a cousin that once dated a guy who almost finished law school.

The sad truth is that we can not even buy a computer that will run P3d with sliders at or near the max. You most likely could fill a 1000 page book from the post from AVSIM members about the dreams and hope for the next release of something. It has been true for FS 2000, 2002, 2004, and FSX release number do da and then FSX-se and P3d 1,2,3,4 and now 5.

 

 


Sam

Prepar3D V5.0/8086K@5.0/EVGA 1080TI SC Black/850W PSU/Windows 10/40" 4K Samsung Monitor@3840x2160/ASP4/ASCA/ORBX/ChasePlane/General Aviation/Vertx DA-62/

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AFS2 is in fact a great GRAPHICS comparison with Xplane or P3D. As far as the imagery that is being seen on the monitor/VR HMD - both as far as cockpit instrument panels from complex aircraft like the Q400, external aircraft views, and detailed terrain + many. many buildings + trees + airports..., AFS2 has a newly designed graphics engine that is about twice the performance of DCS, P3D, and XP. Yes, in AFS2 there are major pieces of background/other-core calculations missing like ATC and AI + other stuff but that can be handled nicely without slowing the main graphics engine down. I will admit that AFS2 does need some high performance cloud graphics to be coded as yet.

Unfortunately, the choice of rendering API (OpenGL, DirectX, or Vulcan) may not have a truly major effect on graphics speed of execution since this level of API is still at a lower level of the overall engine - the level above which in the case of P3D was written in 2006 or so at Microsoft and was a great effort then but isn't as streamlined as Aerofly/IPACS has accomplished. This higher performance for fluid flight sim is really required to make best use of both Virtual Reality or fully feature-optioned P3D/DCS/XP on three 4K monitors. This goal can be met if these graphic engines can be updated with best performance in mind - maybe Aerofly/IPACS could help them out?? This issue is critical since we can't seem to get CPU's that execute the higher level part of the graphics engine on a single core to run any faster than 5 Ghz.

 


PC=9700K@5Ghz+RTX2070  VR=HP Reverb|   Software = Windows 10 | Flight SIms = P3D, CAP2, DCS World, IL-2,  Aerofly FS2

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