Christopher Low

ORBx TrueEarth Netherlands and FlyTampa Amsterdam

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Posted (edited)

I decided to purchase ORBx TrueEarth Netherlands at the Christmas 45% discount price. I did not know if my current PC would be capable of running this at high detail levels (since I only have a 2GB GTX 770 graphics card), but that did not matter because the TrueEarth products are part of my "flight simulation upgrade plan" for 2019 and beyond.

Firstly, I had to get FlyTampa Amsterdam Schiphol working with TrueEarth Netherlands, but thankfully there is a thread on the ORBx forum that provides the necessary information. Having said that, the method given strips the entire surrounding area of FlyTampa's terrain tiles/autogen/3D objects etc. Now, this may well be necessary for full compatibility, but I noticed the difference. Bearing that in mind, I decided to reinstate those files because the FlyTampa stuff provides a more realistic background for the airport (some bespoke 3D buildings, better autogen, and better quality terrain textures). It is quite probable that there are some conflicts between the two scenery packages further away from the airport, but if I do not see them, then i ain't going to worry about them. I just wanted the nice FlyTampa scenery around the airport to be restored.

Another issue that I noticed (before restoring the surrounding FlyTampa scenery) was that ORBx trees were covering parts of the airport roads and flyovers. It looked a bit ugly, but restoring those FlyTampa files eliminated that problem aswell.

The "compatibility" instructions on the ORBx forum also state that the three EHAM files in ORBx TrueEarth Netherlands should not need to be disabled, so long as the FlyTampa files are above the ORBx files in the Scenery Library. Well, I discovered that this caused problems on my PC. In short, the 3D airport building models in TrueEarth Netherlands were "appearing and disappearing" depending on where I was at the airport, and in which direction I was looking. Disabling those three files (the EHAM objects BGL file is the most likely culprit) solved this problem.

So, on to the performance. As expected, framerates at FlyTampa Amsterdam Schiphol on my PC (at reasonably high detail levels) are a bit of a struggle, but I was expecting that. They were a struggle in P3D v3, so I was not surprised. Nevertheless, when I levelled out at 4000 feet during my circuit of the airport (in the PMDG 747 no less), framerates were surprisingly smooth (by that, I mean up to 25fps).

To be honest, after all of the chatter about P3D v4 "needing" 8GB+ of VRAM, I was not expecting my system to be capable of handling scenery of this complexity at all. FlyTampa Amsterdam on its own is a serious piece of kit, but not only was I running ORBx TrueEarth Netherlands at significantly high detail levels (although stuff like car parks and animated vehicles were set to sparse), I also had a full suite of high quality 3D AI airliners operating at the airport (many of them sporting 32bit textures)......and when I say "full suite", I mean well over one hundred of them sat at the gates (in addition to a handful of others on approach). It is also worth noting that, even though my LOD Radius is set at mid range level for P3D v4 (4.5), the Scenery Complexity, Autogen Tree Density, and Autogen Building Density are set to Extremely Dense. Anyone who uses these scenery packages will know that means a lot of objects! Of course, I run @ 1920x1080 resolution on a single monitor (and in calm weather with relatively clear skies), but there are limits.....even for my hero GTX 770 :smile:

Please note that Dynamic Lighting is disabled on my PC. I suppose that VRAM requirements and/or claims may be linked with this feature being active, but I just wanted to let potential users of "heavy hitter" packages like ORBx TrueEarth Netherlands know that it may just perform that little bit better than you think. For the record, my PC specification is listed below:-

  • Intel i5 4690k Haswell CPU @ 4.3Ghz
  • 16GB DDR3-1600 RAM
  • 2GB GeForce GTX 770 GPU
  • SoundBlaster X-Fi sound card
  • 2x2TB 7200rpm HDD
  • Windows 7 64bit Home Edition

On a side note, I see that the product information for JustSim EBBR Brussels at SimMarket states "4GB VRAM required". I would be interested to test that statement......

Edited by Christopher Low
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Posted (edited)

Thanks Chris, the information has reassured me about a potential purchase of TrueEarth GB P3D running well on my system (which is a little faster but I do have my sliders more rightwards).

I do tire of some who seem to continually spout "you must have a GTX1080Ti [substitute expensive card of your choice]" unfortunately some of us can only afford £1000 on a whole system, not a single component!

Edited by ckyliu
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For your info. I have removed ORBX TrueEarth Netherland and installed the NL 2000 scenery Version5 (free of charge). I downloaded only the the 50cm/pixel parts i like.

Regards

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Right.... but what difference did you notice? Both in terms of visuals and performance. Presumably you've lost seasons and almost all 3D objects and autogen?

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Yes, it's the 3D landmarks and dense autogen that I would miss. That (for me) is the entire point of TrueEarth. I am so looking forward to the day when I can enjoy a realistic detailed 3D landscape spread out below me as I am on final approach to airports like London Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh.

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54 minutes ago, Christopher Low said:

I am so looking forward to the day when I can enjoy a realistic detailed 3D landscape spread out below me as I am on final approach to airports like London Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh.

I and a lot of others have been looking forward to that day for 30+ years...

I think the key may lie in some sort of conditional shader-based layer on top of a base photo.  This conditional layer would allow the base photo to be modded for time-of-year/vegetation color, day/night, snow, and visibility.   That or something similar might be revolutionary.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, ckyliu said:

I do tire of some who seem to continually spout "you must have a GTX1080Ti [substitute expensive card of your choice]" unfortunately some of us can only afford £1000 on a whole system, not a single component!

I think this is the result of two factors - the developers showing off their skills as new technology evolves to allow them to, and also the demands of simmers for ultimate realism that exceeds that available in Level-D sims in products and add-ons you can buy for less than $150 each - there's a debate going on at PMDG about the behaviour of raindrops at various speeds and how it is "unrealistic" 🙄

Edited by DavidP

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Let's not forget wing flex and apu start up times. 

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Thanks for posting Chris. I have been in 2 minds about this one, not knowing if it would be worth it at the expense of frames. You've convinced me to pull the trigger........ at the next sale 😋

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I also purchased true earth Netherlands. I have a 4700K cpu and 1060T 6 gig video card. I run at 1280x1024 resolution. I am very happy with the product. I average 30fps in country an  drop to 14-20 in cities. I know some people would choke at that low fps, but it is flyable and fun low and slow. My video card runs around 3 gig memory used and 30-50% power usage. I have distance and special effects sliders maxed. auto gens I keep at dense in the cities. I have plenty of ground traffic and air traffic going, and wildlife running as well.

I think the lower resolution is what allows me to get away with success, where other people are struggling with brand new systems twice as powerful as mine.

-Stampee

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