Benjamin J

Advice needed with trouble shooting

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"Don't fix what ain't broke"

I probably should have listened to that. I was running an i5-8600k, and it ran P3Dv4 quite happily. However, at areas like NYC and LA, it would struggle bigtime. And so I decided to upgrade to an i7-9700k. I popped it in this afternoon. THis was a little painful but otherwise not particularly hard. Turning on the computer gave me some sort of error related to a USB connection; I've had this sometimes on startup or shutdown, but the computer otherwise works fine. At any rate, restarting the computer booted just fine, both into BIOS and Windows 10. I decided to leave all BIOS settings at their default, and did some Prime95, which went by fine. Turbo boost set itself to 4.6GHz on all cores. Temps got  alittle high in the small FFT test, but the results seemed reasonable compared to the 8600k, as the 9700k has two more cores.

Then I decided to take to the skies in NYC. To my sadness, the FPS were pretty much exactly the same. Didn't seem I gained even one extra frame.

I then decided to try EHAM in the PMDG 747. I use FT's EHAM and Orbx TE NL. This combination was a struggle for the 8600k, but it was generally okay. With the 9700k stuff started happening that I'd never seen before. First of, laoding seems to take forever. I can't remember it being quite this slow, but I don't have any numbers to back that up. For all I know it was always horrendously slow to load. Setting up for takeoff and taxiing everything is fine. Core0 is at 100%, and all the others are dwindling around 15%, as is usually the case. However, as I takeoff and climb out, the overall CPU usage becomes very high. Core0 is at 100%, as expected, but a couple others are suddenly in the 80% range, sometimes going up to 100%. Eventually, when I switch views, some 5 of the 8 cores are at 100%, and the fuselage is missing half its skin, the wings are black. Ground textures are not being loaded anymore, it seems. I will add that these problems didn't appear over NYC.

I decided to take the default flight for a spin and see what's going on there. Despite the lack of any detailed addons, I see the same activity of the cores: Core0 and several others are at 100% or close to it. The FPS stay locked at 30FPS, though, and I do not get the graphical anomalies I see over Amsterdam.

In summary, this is quite a bad regression and I'm not sure what might be causing it. I have half a heart to pop the 8600k back in and send the 9700k back to Amazon, but before I do that it'd be nice if somebody ahs any idea what might be going on?

I gotta say, I vaguely remember some forum members describing similar issues, but I can't for the life of me remember who they were or where they posted. A search turned up nothing.

So far I tried deleting the Prepar3D.cfg file and have P3D rebuild it. Also tried reinstall just the client. I'm not using any affinity mask, process lasso etc. I currently only have an OC at 4.6GHz. Temps etc appear fine.

I use OrbX's Global, Vector and have all their OpenLC addons. Other than that I don't really have any global addons, rather than texture replacement stuff such as EnvTex.

UPDATE: The blurriness issue appears to be specific to OrbX TE NL. It does not actually occur anywhere else, unless I fly very fast with the F22. I will add that I never saw these blurrines under v4.4, regardless of locations or speed of flying, so this seems to be something new with the 9700k...

 

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Did you delete your P3D config and let it build a new one?  Are you using a affinity mask?

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Is your motherboard using BIOS 3.20 or later ? (required for 9700K support I believe)

It might help re-installing the Intel Chipset software for your MB if you did not do that after installing the 9700K.

 

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25 minutes ago, NBouc said:

Is your motherboard using BIOS 3.20 or later ? (required for 9700K support I believe)

It might help re-installing the Intel Chipset software for your MB if you did not do that after installing the 9700K.

 

I have it at 3.30, so the BIOS version should be vine for sue with the 9700k. I'd rather not reinstall, frankly, not if there's a different thing I could try first...

 

1 hour ago, exeodus said:

Did you delete your P3D config and let it build a new one?  Are you using a affinity mask?

I did do that, and I do not use affinity mask. also I tried reinstalling the client, but without luck.

 

So, I can now confirm that the blurriness seems to be specific to OrbX's TE NL... If I take the default flight and change to the PMDG 747 and takeoff and fly for another 10-15 minutes or so, everything seems to be okay. The terrain remains sharp and the textures load fine. The CPU stays sub-100%, though at still rather high usage. From what I read on the FSDT forum, however, this may be related to OrbX Vector, which appears to put CPU usage higher than it would normally be. I have not done any tests about this myself, so can't really confirm this either way... If I take the PMDG 747 in TE NL, I get the 100% CPU usage and blurry textures within 5 minutes or so after taking off. I'm not sure why this is starting now, as I'd never had it before with my 8600k...

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Don't obsess over your CPU loading.   P3D is designed to use 100% of core 0.

Orbx TE products are photorealistic, and you have to be using high resolution terrain textures with the terrain exp =10 tweak  to see 1024x1024 resolution in photo scenery.

I always get terrain blurries when the HT is on.  For some this isn't an issue but for my 8700K it really is.

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16 minutes ago, downscc said:

Don't obsess over your CPU loading.   P3D is designed to use 100% of core 0.

Orbx TE products are photorealistic, and you have to be using high resolution terrain textures with the terrain exp =10 tweak  to see 1024x1024 resolution in photo scenery.

I always get terrain blurries when the HT is on.  For some this isn't an issue but for my 8700K it really is.

Thanks for your post. The problem is not core0, it's the other ones. Save for core1, all other cores end up getting to 100% over OrbX TE NL, and that's when the blurries start. I don't think increasing TEXTURE_SIZE_EXP to 10 will make it better to be honest... The fact is that none of this ever happened with my 8600k, it all started with the 9700k for as far as I know.

The 9700k does not do HT.

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High usage on the "other cores" is related to scenery loading.. (as you know, I am sure)..

Suggest reducing your scenery settings a bit until you can fly without maxing out those cores..

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My settings, as a test..

World
LOD radius:  high
Tesselation factor: high
mesh resolution:  5m
texture resolution:  1m
high resolution terrain: on

Scenery complexity: extremely dense
autogen draw distance:  medium
autogen vegetation density: normal
autogen building density: dense
Dynamic vegetation: unticked

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3 hours ago, Bert Pieke said:

My settings, as a test..

World
LOD radius:  high
Tesselation factor: high
mesh resolution:  5m
texture resolution:  1m
high resolution terrain: on

Scenery complexity: extremely dense
autogen draw distance:  medium
autogen vegetation density: normal
autogen building density: dense
Dynamic vegetation: unticked

Thanks for offering advice Bert! But that’s a quick test to do, as I already did it: these are basically my settings, and they have been my settings for months 😉 it used to work fine under the 8600k...

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I would never swap to a different CPU type and try to use it with a pre-existing Windows installation that was set up using a different CPU and BIOS.  I would rebuild from the ground up, starting with the BIOS, then a complete overclocking and stability test drill with that BIOS to ensure that the voltage and freq settings are all good with the new BIOS in place, then a fresh install of the latest version of Windows and the latest drivers for everything, most especially the motherboard chipset.  I know that MS' intent is to allow a swap of hardware on an existing install, but I just don't trust that to work very well given all that I've read about it.  I prefer to know that my OS was installed using the target chip and a BIOS designed to support it, so that the proper driver support is installed at the outset for a good system foundation.  How many of us have had a system go wonky because video drivers installed over other video drivers left behind remnants from the old install that caused problems?  It just seems to follow that low-level chipset drivers could also suffer the same kinds of problems when upgraded.

A system rebuild is a real PIA, I know, but for something like a CPU upgrade I view it as a necessary evil.

Regards

 

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8 hours ago, w6kd said:

I would never swap to a different CPU type and try to use it with a pre-existing Windows installation that was set up using a different CPU and BIOS.  I would rebuild from the ground up, starting with the BIOS, then a complete overclocking and stability test drill with that BIOS to ensure that the voltage and freq settings are all good with the new BIOS in place, then a fresh install of the latest version of Windows and the latest drivers for everything, most especially the motherboard chipset.  I know that MS' intent is to allow a swap of hardware on an existing install, but I just don't trust that to work very well given all that I've read about it.  I prefer to know that my OS was installed using the target chip and a BIOS designed to support it, so that the proper driver support is installed at the outset for a good system foundation.  How many of us have had a system go wonky because video drivers installed over other video drivers left behind remnants from the old install that caused problems?  It just seems to follow that low-level chipset drivers could also suffer the same kinds of problems when upgraded.

A system rebuild is a real PIA, I know, but for something like a CPU upgrade I view it as a necessary evil.

Regards

 

Thanks for your post, even if it's not what I want to hear 😉 It is what I was afraid of. No way I will do this now... Simply no time or patience. I figure it would take a full week of work to bring me back to where I was. So, I'll likely put the old i5 back in place and pray that everything is restored and the blurries go away... if not, well... Not sure 🙂

That said, if I were to do this in the future, I would have some questions.

1) You mention starting with a new BIOS: What does that mean? Can you 'reinstall' a BIOS? I flashed mine to update it to one compatible with the 9700k. Is that enough or do you envision additional steps?

2) Regarding the chipset: does this need to be updated every so often regardless of swapping the CPU?

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2 hours ago, Benjamin J said:

Thanks for your post, even if it's not what I want to hear 😉 It is what I was afraid of. No way I will do this now... Simply no time or patience. I figure it would take a full week of work to bring me back to where I was. So, I'll likely put the old i5 back in place and pray that everything is restored and the blurries go away... if not, well... Not sure 🙂

That said, if I were to do this in the future, I would have some questions.

1) You mention starting with a new BIOS: What does that mean? Can you 'reinstall' a BIOS? I flashed mine to update it to one compatible with the 9700k. Is that enough or do you envision additional steps?

2) Regarding the chipset: does this need to be updated every so often regardless of swapping the CPU?

I understand--it took me close to 80 man-hours to rebuild last time I did it.  I think I average a full rebuild every couple of years, usually spurred by either a new major version of P3D or a hardware change.

By new BIOS I mean flashing the new firmware as you had to do before you put the new chip in.  Often enough, the new BIOS code makes changes to the low-level hardware interface that can render a previously-stable overclock unstable, requiring voltages, timings etc to be readjusted.

I do not update the chipset drivers unless it fixes a problem I'm having, or incident to a rebuild being done for other reasons.  Which means very, very rarely.

Regards

 

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Agree with Bob on this one but my last two builds made a new mobo necessary because either there was a change in socket or a new chipset for that new CPU.  I have already forgot the days when I could just update the CPU.  Current build is a year old 8700K and I'm waiting for Ice Lake 10 nm architecture.

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Before installing everything from scratch, I would do it for P3D only. I changed CPU twice, from a 3570K to a 3770K and now to a 8700K including new MoBo and RAM and never installed Win 10 new. Only the sim. Worked perfectly each time...

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Thanks for the additional replies everybody!

The irony is that the biggest part of reinstalling would, in fact, be Prepar3D and the SDK... Windows isn't actually too big a deal. I have some 1.5TB of addons, all highly customized to my liking, plus my P3D development environment. That includes manually installed freeware sceneries, as well as additional liveries for all my addon aircraft (even if developers include livery managers, their liveries tend to include wrong call signs and they tend to lack parking codes - it's a huge hassle to have to fix those every time). The one bonus being that I've been very diligent in using Lorby's addon manager, and so pretty much all of those sceneries are installed outside the sim and would be plug-n-play. But, there' a host of older FSX-era freewares that do not do that, and that's where the agony begins.

So here's my plan:

  • I'll pop in the old i5 and see if it fixes the issues I have over OrbX TE NL. If it does - yay. I'll stick with the i5 until P3Dv5 comes around, and I'll start anew at that point with an i7, reinstall Windows and configure everything cleanly and from scratch.
  • If the i5 does not save OrbX TE NL, then I'll probably pop the i7 back in and do what Chris suggested: reinstaling P3Dv4 completely, together with OrbX TE NL, FlyTampa EHAM and the PMDG 747. If all is well - great. If not, I'll probably just do it the right way and start from scratch.

Does that sound like an okay way to go?

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Before you go plugging and unplugging hardware..

For your TE NL tests, try setting fps=30 in the sim.

We have all been saying that for maximum fluidity, unlimited fps settings are best, but I am finding that TE NL puts such a scenery load on my system, that I get blurries north of Rotterdam.  With fps limited in P3D, however, more CPU resource is dedicated to scenery loading, and my system can keep up.. no blurries!  :cool:

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Thanks for your contribution Bert! Though I've always had my FPS locked to 30 😉 If I don't, it becomes a gigantic stutter fest, as, like you say, the computer can't keep up.

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So just to circle back and provide an update. I put the i5 back in, but this has also not resolved the issue over TE NL. The computer appears to run fine, as does the sim essentially everywhere besides OrbX TE NL. What's especially infuriating is that I get a solid 30FPS despite the blurries. So I checked back to see when I last flew over TE NL, and found that I was still using v4.3 at the time, and with 4.4 came high quality textures as well as PBR. So I thought that perhaps this is related to the use of high quality textures, so I unchecked that... still no dice. If I pause the sim and sit around waiting, eventually the computer catches up and everything looks fine. Thne I fly for 10 secodns and CPU cores go back to 100% utilization and the blurries start again. I find that I'm having to dumb down my settings more and more, but am not really seeing much improvement, and it's starting to drive me nuts. I have no idea what happened that makes TE NL be such a disaster after it used to run pretty well. Of course, I haven't flown here for perhaps 4 or 5 months and I installed many additional sceneries in the meantime, so of course it's possible one of those sceneries is messing up TE NL.

One last thing I can try is not use the PMDG 747 around this area, and see if simpler aircraft will work, such as one of my (slow) GA aircraft, and possibly the PMDG 737NGX.

All to say that, in the end, it doesn't seem like the i7 had anything to do with it after all. But at this point I'm at a loss at how to go forward, other than simply removing TE NL altogether. I'm wondering if a reinstall of P3D will fix this, but than  might as well pop the i7 back in...

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Last thing you can try: go into your TE Netherlands config within FTX Central and untick "sheds". Does this change anything for good?

Besides that: can you post the content of your prepar3d.cfg here? Somewhere you have an issue that is not "normal", as I do not have any issues with TE Netherlands when using locked FPS.

Next guess: do you have Acronis Active Protection installed? (Comes with Acronis True Image 2019)

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If you're not already doing it this way, try using a hardware frame rate limiter--either your display and GPU set to 30Hz refresh rate (if the display will support that), or the RivaTuner RTSS set to Scanline Sync X/2 with 60Hz refresh rate.  Hardware (external) frame rate limiting works much better than the internal software limiter for freeing up the CPU from workload beyond what's required to produce the target 30 FPS frame rate.

I also use the Dynamic FFTF utility set to 0.4 at altitudes above 5000 ft to give my CPU a bigger slice of the processing time pie for scenery loading. 0.33 is the default, and if you set 0.4 statically in the config, it can cause issues on/near the ground when the CPU is getting hammered with airport scenery and AI workload.  So I have FFTF Dynamic set to range from 0.01 on the ground with an increase to 0.4 at/above 5000 ft AGL.  It helps keep the CPU gainfully employed at altitude when it has a lot more headroom available for scenery loading.

w/r/t your hardware changes, reverting from the 9700K back to your 8600K did not undo the driver changes that were made when the 9700K was installed...it overwrote them (again).  So you're not necessarily back to where you started in software as a result of going back to where you started in hardware.  That said, it's definitely not clear that this is a hardware issue now...before it appeared that this behavior change was incident to your hardware upgrade, now it turns out that your software platform changed as well.

Regards

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3 hours ago, Benjamin J said:

 I have no idea what happened that makes TE NL be such a disaster after it used to run pretty well. Of course, I haven't flown here for perhaps 4 or 5 months and I installed many additional sceneries in the meantime, so of course it's possible one of those sceneries is messing up TE NL.

 

TE NL was updated recently and more complex scenery objects added..

I had to uncheck a number of items in the FTX Config app for this scenery to get back my earlier performance, maybe this happened to you also..

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Thanks all for the comments and suggestions. Much appreciated! Truth be told, it's because of constrictive discussions like this that I keep coming back to Avsim!

 

13 hours ago, AnkH said:

Last thing you can try: go into your TE Netherlands config within FTX Central and untick "sheds". Does this change anything for good?

Besides that: can you post the content of your prepar3d.cfg here? Somewhere you have an issue that is not "normal", as I do not have any issues with TE Netherlands when using locked FPS.

Next guess: do you have Acronis Active Protection installed? (Comes with Acronis True Image 2019)

Let me disable the sheds and get back to you... If things don't change for the better I'll post my prepar3d.cfg, though I deleted my original one and had P3D generate a new one, so there shouldn't be anything weird in it.

 

12 hours ago, w6kd said:

If you're not already doing it this way, try using a hardware frame rate limiter--either your display and GPU set to 30Hz refresh rate (if the display will support that), or the RivaTuner RTSS set to Scanline Sync X/2 with 60Hz refresh rate.  Hardware (external) frame rate limiting works much better than the internal software limiter for freeing up the CPU from workload beyond what's required to produce the target 30 FPS frame rate.

I also use the Dynamic FFTF utility set to 0.4 at altitudes above 5000 ft to give my CPU a bigger slice of the processing time pie for scenery loading. 0.33 is the default, and if you set 0.4 statically in the config, it can cause issues on/near the ground when the CPU is getting hammered with airport scenery and AI workload.  So I have FFTF Dynamic set to range from 0.01 on the ground with an increase to 0.4 at/above 5000 ft AGL.  It helps keep the CPU gainfully employed at altitude when it has a lot more headroom available for scenery loading.

w/r/t your hardware changes, reverting from the 9700K back to your 8600K did not undo the driver changes that were made when the 9700K was installed...it overwrote them (again).  So you're not necessarily back to where you started in software as a result of going back to where you started in hardware.  That said, it's definitely not clear that this is a hardware issue now...before it appeared that this behavior change was incident to your hardware upgrade, now it turns out that your software platform changed as well.

Regards

Some very insightful comments, thanks Bob! I'm using P3D's frame limiter. I have it set to 30FPS, though my monitor is at 60Hz. I do seem to have a provision to set it to "30Hz, Interlaced", but it looks awful. The display becomes all fidgety and quite irritating to look at. I'm not too sure about a hardware frame limiter, where could I find this?

Dynamic FFTF is something I'd been thinking of acquiring for a while now. I never really went for it as I felt my computer was generally doing okay at the graphics settings that I generally went with. Like I said, OrbX TE NL used to run quite well. At this point, and especially keeping in mind areas such as LA and NYC, FFTF might be worth looking into. As it happens it's on sale now - so I ent ahead and bought it and will give it a whirl. You might need to explain to me how scenery loading and FPS are connected though, because it's not entirely clear to me how I can get 30FPS but see blurries over OrbX TE NL, but at the same time have my computer struggle at 10FPS on the canarsie approach into JFK? Does it have to do with a multithreaded approach to the former, and a unithreaded approach to the latter?

But I agree that this doesn't appear to be a hardware issue anymore. I feel somewhat stupid not to have checked OrbX TE NL performance before switching to the i7, as it would have clarified a lot. All I can say now is that there was zero difference in performance at the NYC area - not in FPS or blurries. Hence I will return the i7, as I'm not going to mes around with Windows or P3D at this point in time. Simply no time or patience. And if that's what I need to do to get the benefit out of the i7, then it can wait a while until P3Dv5 comes out...

 

10 hours ago, Bert Pieke said:

TE NL was updated recently and more complex scenery objects added..

I had to uncheck a number of items in the FTX Config app for this scenery to get back my earlier performance, maybe this happened to you also..

Bert, this is some important information that I had not considered. Last time I flew the PMDG 747 over TE NL was back in November 2018. I'm not sure when 1.1 was released (EDIT: looked it up, and it was March 1st 2019, so some four months after I last used OrbX TE NL!), but it's certainly possible that it came out after I did that flight. I'll certainly try disabling some of those options. Are there any particular ones that are dragging down performance?

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57 minutes ago, Benjamin J said:

Bert, this is some important information that I had not considered. Last time I flew the PMDG 747 over TE NL was back in November 2018. I'm not sure when 1.1 was released (EDIT: looked it up, and it was March 1st 2019, so some four months after I last used OrbX TE NL!), but it's certainly possible that it came out after I did that flight. I'll certainly try disabling some of those options. Are there any particular ones that are dragging down performance?

I did not study it, but disabled all VFR landmarks, except for:

Greenhouses, Sheds, Windmills, Bridges

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Bert, according to various reports in the ORBX forums, you basically have exactly those landmarks (especially sheds and greenhouses) still active, that result in drastically increased loading times (and I guess also in worse performance):

https://orbxsystems.com/forum/search/?q=sheds

However, to be honest, it is strange that this seems not to be uniform. I have all VFR landmarks active and no issues at all...

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9 hours ago, AnkH said:

Bert, according to various reports in the ORBX forums, you basically have exactly those landmarks (especially sheds and greenhouses) still active, that result in drastically increased loading times (and I guess also in worse performance):

https://orbxsystems.com/forum/search/?q=sheds

However, to be honest, it is strange that this seems not to be uniform. I have all VFR landmarks active and no issues at all...

My guess is that you simply have to decrease the workload/complexity.. it does not matter which straw is breaking the camel's back.. just remove some load and things improve.. :wink:

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