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Alistair Logie

Secondary PC to run ActiveSky, EFB2, PF3

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I bought a new PC a couple of months ago and i’ve Kept my old PC running to offload some add-ons (EFB2, Pro-ATC X, PF3, FSi Panel, ActiveSky P3D, ASCA). That seems to be working well, but it does mean my relatively small office now has two tower PCs taking up space, generating heat & noise. 

What are your thoughts on;

a) whether offloading add-ons to a second PC is worth it in terms of improving performance of P3D 4 on the primary

b) if it’s worthwhile, can I replace the old PC with something relatively low-powered e.g. i3, 8GB Ram, on-board graphics, spinning disk, maybe even fanless?

Thanks,

Alistair

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It's not worthwhile. Any modern CPU has got billions of unused cycles per second.

Cheers!

Luke

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Luke Kolin

I make simFDR, the most advanced flight data recorder for FSX, Prepar3D and X-Plane.

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13 minutes ago, Luke said:

It's not worthwhile. Any modern CPU has got billions of unused cycles per second.

Cheers!

Luke

I strongly disagree. Every addon running in the background will effect P3D performance. There is a reason why power user have a client system to off set the workload from the main PC. The client doesn't have to be a power house. I use to an old laptop as my client until I built a new flight box and moved the old PC to client position. 

On my FlightSim PC I run P3D, VPilot Host, Aivlasoft EFB Server and sometimes VAInterface. 

On my client I run WideFS, ActiveSky, Vpilot Remote, Avlisoft EFB Client, VatSpy, ProjectFly, SmartCARS, etc, etc

Edited by Wise87

Dan

dvazj5-2.png

 

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46 minutes ago, Wise87 said:

I strongly disagree. Every addon running in the background will effect P3D performance. There is a reason why power user have a client system to off set the workload from the main PC.

It won't affect P3D performance unless there's resource saturation ... I've got a 9700K that's running around 33% total utilization across the cores. Sure one core is at 100% and several others are around 30-50%, but there's still plenty of CPU cycles to be had. Just how much work do you think AS16 or data recorder clients consume? P3D/FSX use more in a minute than they do in a day.

As an example, I'm right now in the middle of a flight in P3D v3.4 in the LDS 767, with AS16 and Delta Virtual's ACARS, Google Chrome and some other programs. I'm capped at 45fps, and staying around 43-45 right now (in cruise).

I fired up Handbrake and encoded a video - for about 60 seconds all of my cores went to 100%. My system didn't blue screen, didn't overheat, or anything.... and my frame rates stayed absolutely the same. In that 60 seconds Handbrake consumed more CPU than all of my add-ons will for the entire flight. With no effect.

The people who write the thread schedulers in Windows, OSX and Linux are really, really smart. There are very few such people in the world, but they absolutely know their stuff and their handiwork is tested and validated by millions of technical experts. To think that the flight sim community (many of whose members struggle to compute an AffinityMask bitmask) know more about CPU scheduling is just plain wrong.

Sorry, but it's true. Do you have data that contradicts my experiment? I'd love to compare.

Cheers!

 

Edited by Luke
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Luke Kolin

I make simFDR, the most advanced flight data recorder for FSX, Prepar3D and X-Plane.

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And it's a heck of alot easier using Little navmap on a seperate computer to interact with. Plus Active sky interface.

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51 minutes ago, Adrian123 said:

And it's a heck of alot easier using Little navmap on a seperate computer to interact with. Plus Active sky interface.

I agree with Luke. I use a second monitor to get the display you are talking about. A small part of the fallacy about offloading to a second system for some of these addons is that you now have the overhead of networking using up those cycles you saved. As far as AS goes, depending on your settings, it uses a few cycles to get the weather and inject it every 5 - 15 minutes - and then essentially idles.

Now, if you are talking about a home cockpit with multiple screens and controllers - that's different but just Active Sky and EFB, etc?  No real benefit on a properly configured system.

Vic


 

P3D#1 - 7700K 5.0g ROG X270F 3600 15-15-15 - EVGA RTX 2080ti 1000W PSU 1- 850G EVO SSD, 2-256G OCZ SSD, 1TB,HAF942-H100 Water W1064Pro
40" 4K Monitor 3840x2160 - AS16, ASCA, GEP3D, UTX, Toposim, ORBX Regions, TrackIR
P3D#2 - 3770K 4.7g Asus Z77 1600 7-8-7 GTX1080ti DH14 850W 2-1TB WD HDD,1tb VRap, Armor+ W10 Pro 2 - HannsG 28" Monitors
 

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1 minute ago, vgbaron said:

I agree with Luke. I use a second monitor to get the display you are talking about. A small part of the fallacy about offloading to a second system for some of these addons is that you now have the overhead of networking using up those cycles you saved. As far as AS goes, depending on your settings, it uses a few cycles to get the weather and inject it every 5 - 15 minutes - and then essentially idles.

Now, if you are talking about a home cockpit with multiple screens and controllers - that's different but just Active Sky and EFB, etc?  No real benefit on a properly configured system.

Vic

I use a second monitor on a dedicated flight computer to display popups. networked computer frees up displays for accessories and saves on CPU cycles on the dedicated computer. No antivirus programs, no windows defender etc! NO CRASHES.

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2 hours ago, Luke said:

Sorry, but it's true. Do you have data that contradicts my experiment? I'd love to compare.

Cheers!

 

I'm basing my experience on the fact that I have been running a client system since the introduction of WideFS back in the day. Personally I get smooth performance and FPS running all my apps externally on a client with today faster networks compared to slower ones of the past. Especially when your in a dense area like FSDT LAX. Your theory is also correct and I won't question it. I've been using Flight Simulator since FS1 for Apple II so I'm no newbie to this hobby. 

The OP asked a simple question and I provided my feedback. I will just leave it to the professionals to answer the big questions. I learned a few things today 

Edited by Wise87

Dan

dvazj5-2.png

 

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22 minutes ago, Wise87 said:

I'm basing my experience on the fact that I have been running a client system since the introduction of WideFS back in the day. Personally I get smooth performance and FPS running all my apps externally on a client with today faster networks compared to slower ones of the past.

That's fair. I'll just suggest that others may be able to skip some complexity on modern CPUs.... and I'll also emphatically agree with you that a few years ago we really were CPU-starved. My first "real" flight sim rig was in 2003 with a Northwood Pentium 4 that ran at 2.4Ghz, you could overclock it to 3.0 and it had hyperthreading so I had a second 'core'. It ran FS9 OK but FSX was a real bear even after SP1 where we could offload some work onto the second virtual core when the first one was blocked.

Just to provide a little data, here's a snapshot of task manager after I landed (at FSDT LAX, of all places) on the flight I was talking about. Notice how much higher P3D is than other processes, but also how much higher idle is compared to everything else. It's a little inflated since this is total time since boot and I spent the first 2 hours working on some software so Idle may be 16 hours higher than it should be, but the point remains - modern CPUs have tons and tons and tons of spare cycles. It's why Microsoft abandoned hardware accelerated sound after XP; there was enough horsepower to do it all in software and keep things simple.

taskmgr.png

Cheers!

 


Luke Kolin

I make simFDR, the most advanced flight data recorder for FSX, Prepar3D and X-Plane.

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Hello all,

I am really glad someone has brought this subject up.

Adrian123 said,

"I use a second monitor on a dedicated flight computer to display popups. networked computer frees up displays for accessories and saves on CPU cycles on the dedicated computer. No antivirus programs, no windows defender etc! NO CRASHES".

I say "

I use a second monitor on a dedicated flight computer to display popups .... CONSTANT CRASHES."

This, I believe can be attributable to many causes ... age and capability of my system .... the way I have installed and configured P3Dv4, or something I have installed which has a conflict. The fact remains though, that I very very rarely complete a flight in P3D without a CTD and if I really want to fly from A to B in Australia (silly me) I do so in FS2004 which for me is unstoppable, smooth and satisfying. But so help me, I love my Duke 60Turbo, my iFly 737 and 747 including the new 8, my QW146/RJs and, when I could fly it, my Emb Phenom300 with GTN750),  I covet so many more aircraft available in P3D too ... QW787. Vertx DA62 FSL/Aerosoft Airbuses etc which are simply not available in FS2004. This plus the fact, that it  really is time to move on and make the FS2004 an alternative, rather than my "go to" Sim.

In the long term, I want to upgrade my hardware, but am waiting for cash and also the new AMD processors to marry to my GTX1080ti which will probably be the only item in this system I want to keep but I will retain this set up for my second computer to replace the computer which I mention next. In the meantime, I do have a spare computer 2006 vintage (core2duo) and a spare GTX1050ti and a 2TB HDD running on Win 7 Ultimate. 

I am estimating that the new computer is going to cost in the region of AUD6000.00 .. a lot of money and I want to spend that sort of money as wisely as possible.

What I would really like to do is 

a. Install Win 10,

b. reinstall P3Dv4.4 or latest version, and

c. reinstall ALL possible addons(EFB, AI Traffic, ORBX Sceneries, Flight planners, REX Skyforce and future Active Sky etc) and  including my P3Dv4 addons folder, to my second computer, in lieu of drive C which is where P3D Addons is currently installed.

This will leave drive C just for Windows and drive D  for P3D (both 256gb SSDs) hopefully.

What I need is advice on which is the best way to go for the immediate future ie what exactly can I load into the networked computer (hard cable connection) and to ease the load for P3D to the maximum.

So, if anyone can help me and in order to not hijack this thread, I would prefer a PM or, many PMs as the case may be.

Regards to all and a very happy New Year

Tony

 


Tony Chilcott.

 

My System. Motherboard. ASRock Taichi X570 CPU Ryzen 9 3900x (not yet overclocked). RAM 32gb Corsair Vengeance (2x16) 3200mhz. 1 x Gigabyte Aorus GTX1080ti Extreme and a 1200watt PSU.

1 x 1tb SSD 3 x 240BG SSD and 4 x 2TB HDD

OS Win 10 Pro 64bit. Simulators ... FS2004/P3Dv4.5/Xplane.DCS/Aeroflyfs2...MSFS to come for sure.

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3 hours ago, Adrian123 said:

I use a second monitor on a dedicated flight computer to display popups. networked computer frees up displays for accessories and saves on CPU cycles on the dedicated computer. No antivirus programs, no windows defender etc! NO CRASHES.

Glad it appears to work for you but you are now talking apples and oranges.  AV, windows defender and a second computer have no real relevance to NO CRASHES (your emphasis). 

If you are satisfied then all is good but to answer the op again, on a properly set up system it really doesn't make much difference. Meaning, if one's cpu is so overloaded that one needs to free up cycles to run the sim properly, something is really screwed up.

Vic

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P3D#1 - 7700K 5.0g ROG X270F 3600 15-15-15 - EVGA RTX 2080ti 1000W PSU 1- 850G EVO SSD, 2-256G OCZ SSD, 1TB,HAF942-H100 Water W1064Pro
40" 4K Monitor 3840x2160 - AS16, ASCA, GEP3D, UTX, Toposim, ORBX Regions, TrackIR
P3D#2 - 3770K 4.7g Asus Z77 1600 7-8-7 GTX1080ti DH14 850W 2-1TB WD HDD,1tb VRap, Armor+ W10 Pro 2 - HannsG 28" Monitors
 

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To the OP. Give it a try. Can't hurt anything. No sense in having any more apps running at the same time as sim if you don't have to not to mention disk space. Pm me, be glad to help you. Alot easier theses days than 20 yrs ago. Activesky has an excellent written explanation

 

Edited by Adrian123

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22 minutes ago, Adrian123 said:

To the OP. Give it a try. Can't hurt anything.

Good advice.

 

Vic


 

P3D#1 - 7700K 5.0g ROG X270F 3600 15-15-15 - EVGA RTX 2080ti 1000W PSU 1- 850G EVO SSD, 2-256G OCZ SSD, 1TB,HAF942-H100 Water W1064Pro
40" 4K Monitor 3840x2160 - AS16, ASCA, GEP3D, UTX, Toposim, ORBX Regions, TrackIR
P3D#2 - 3770K 4.7g Asus Z77 1600 7-8-7 GTX1080ti DH14 850W 2-1TB WD HDD,1tb VRap, Armor+ W10 Pro 2 - HannsG 28" Monitors
 

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