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Benjamin J

Hunting good performance at LAX and SFO

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Hello all,

I've pretty much always had OrbX's Northern and Southern California packages installed, and usually this has lead to rather bad performance around SFO and especially LAX. Currently I have the entire state of California covered with MegaScenery Earth's California package, plus Nuvecta's autogen on top. I still have OrbX's California regions activated, as they provide POIs, as well as vector data for roads to enable vehicular traffic on all major roads.

The other day I was testing performance in this new setup around both LAX and SFO using the Carenado Seneca. This will not compare too well with the liked of the PMDG NGX, but as a firts try I figured it was fine. I found that performance at SFO is actually really, really good, except when looking at the Oakland harbor. I assumed it had to do with the harbor objects, and hence OrbX gives you the option of turning those off. I have not tested if performance has since improved.

For LAX, the situation has remained rather abysmal, with or without MegaScenery Earth. Now, LAX is notorious for being heavy, what with five busy airports in close proximity of one another, plus the sheer size of the city with all of its roads, traffic and houses. Now, it's been a while since I've tried LAX without OrbX's SoCal - I'd rather not shut it off completely because it does bring a ton of POIs all around the state, evcen if it does not really appear to improve the Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills etc skylines.

So here's my questions:
1) Given that I have installed MegaScenery Earth, OrbX Vector and FreeMesh X, is there any point (besides the POIs) to keep OrbX's Northern and Southern California regions active? I should add I pretty much only fly to payware OrbX airports and essentially don't use any of their 'spruced up' region-included airfields. Besides, if I do GA flying, I tend to stick with PNW anyway.
2) And if it is worthwhile to keep them active, what can I do to increase performance? Somebody (can't remember who) suggested to manually turn off all airfield-related objects of airfields I might not care about, citing that this was something that the team over at OrbX's had suggested - but I can't find where this was suggested.

Any suggestions would be welcome - or any links to whatever topics specifically deal with this, for I seem to have some trouble finding threads that specifically deal with general performance tuning. The LA area is an important area for me and I'd like it to work as well as I can without sacrificing too much in the realm of scenery objects and autogen - meaning that if there's 'unnecessary' airfields or other such things around that I can get rid off, then I'd love to know how to do this!

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Yes, LAX and surrounding area is a tuff nut to crack.  You have a lot of different add-on pieces there I see.

For me, when we tested LAX I found better performance using either FSDT's version or even a freeware version provided better performance than using the default LAX.  Since you like Orbx's POIs, is it possible to create a file with just those?  And then use MSE and whatever agn you have found?

All I can suggest is break it down into useable "pieces" and try different combinations for the best results for your system.

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Some time back I wrote a batch file that sequesters hundreds of the smaller airfield files and their associated object files, and it helps some.  Standard techniques like dialing back autogen density and LOD distance, traffic limiters etc also help.

Ultimately, though, I found that if I am going to operate to/from/over the west end of the LA basin...from Soviet Monica south to Long Beach, and LAX east to the 605 freeway, I turn off the ORBX SoCal region and rely instead on the combination of OpenLC NA, FTX Global, and UTX USA, which does a good job without the performance hits and the hassle of changing settings that work just about everywhere else.  Outside the LAX "dead zone" SoCal works OK.

Regards

 

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Posted (edited)

I don't think there's more than the POIs that you gain from the FTX regions when using MSE. But that alone would be worth it for me because the Orbx POIs bring the MSE regions really to life.

Furthermore I don't think you need OrbxVector when you use MSE. All the roads and rivers are in the photoscenery. Not sure if something of Orbx Vector gets loaded below the photoscenery and costs performance even though you don't see anything of it. Maybe give it a try without Vector. The only problem might be the coastlines where the photoscenery ends and the ocean landclass begins. You might get anomalies there depending on the Vector product you use if the photoscenery does not extend far enough (thats why for example I have to keep parts of the GEN08_Custom folder active for the islands at the northern coast of Germany because I get landclass/vector anomalies there without it). 

If you still have road traffic, turn it off completely. It makes a great difference for performance particularly in the LAX area (which literally mainly consists of roads...). You won't miss it because you have road traffic in the photoscenery. Static of course but you won't notice that too much when flying unless you take a closer look. Even more it's kind of weird to see the static cars in the photos get run over by moving traffic. And fortunately many payware airports these days come with their own road traffic to enhance the final approach.

I always deactivate all airport related files in the FTX_..._SCENERY folder, i.e. all files with an ICAO code in its name (I never fly there but only use payware addon airports). It helps a lot not only with FPS in general but even more regarding the regular long frames common in FTX regions.

 

Edited by RALF9636

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2 hours ago, w6kd said:

Some time back I wrote a batch file that sequesters hundreds of the smaller airfield files and their associated object files, and it helps some.  Standard techniques like dialing back autogen density and LOD distance, traffic limiters etc also help.

Ultimately, though, I found that if I am going to operate to/from/over the west end of the LA basin...from Soviet Monica south to Long Beach, and LAX east to the 605 freeway, I turn off the ORBX SoCal region and rely instead on the combination of OpenLC NA, FTX Global, and UTX USA, which does a good job without the performance hits and the hassle of changing settings that work just about everywhere else.  Outside the LAX "dead zone" SoCal works OK.

Regards

 

How do you use UTX USA for vector and how do you layer it in the scenery config? I have a pretty beefy new system and with the ORBX sale I was thinking about getting SoCal just to make that harbor area to the north of LAX look better. I currently run FTX Global and OpenLC NA as well. I'd be interested though to hear about using UTX for vector ( I currently have ORBX Vector but removed it due to all the elevation problems seemingly everywhere).

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Posted (edited)

SFO has always been a challenge with Unlimited II.  Sitting around 20 FPS ever since the FSX days at GA spot 21.  LOL I luv this hobby.  You could own a computer that could power China and it would still register 20 FPS

 

Cheers
bs

Edited by bean_sprout

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Thanks for the postings so far! 

 

9 hours ago, Clutch Cargo said:

Yes, LAX and surrounding area is a tuff nut to crack.  You have a lot of different add-on pieces there I see.

For me, when we tested LAX I found better performance using either FSDT's version or even a freeware version provided better performance than using the default LAX.  Since you like Orbx's POIs, is it possible to create a file with just those?  And then use MSE and whatever agn you have found?

All I can suggest is break it down into useable "pieces" and try different combinations for the best results for your system.

Interesting that the default LAX performs so badly for you. I do have FSDT's KLAX, and it is pretty heavy on my rig. I use FFTF Dynamic and can get about 20FPS with the carenado Seneca just sitting at one end of the runway looking at downtown LA. Not a bad idea to sequester those OrbX POIs, separate them, then deactivate the rest of SoCal. I'll give it a try!

 

8 hours ago, w6kd said:

Some time back I wrote a batch file that sequesters hundreds of the smaller airfield files and their associated object files, and it helps some.  Standard techniques like dialing back autogen density and LOD distance, traffic limiters etc also help.

Ultimately, though, I found that if I am going to operate to/from/over the west end of the LA basin...from Soviet Monica south to Long Beach, and LAX east to the 605 freeway, I turn off the ORBX SoCal region and rely instead on the combination of OpenLC NA, FTX Global, and UTX USA, which does a good job without the performance hits and the hassle of changing settings that work just about everywhere else.  Outside the LAX "dead zone" SoCal works OK.

Regards

 

Would you be able to share that batch file? it sounds like ti could be very helpful! I'm not particularly interested in those smaller airfield - no way I would ever use them, so not having them around would be wonderful!

But you hit the nail on the head: I was wondering what the benefit is over SoCal if I also have Vector and MSE enabled. It seems SoCal comes with a ton of stuff that complicates matters that I'm probably not going to see, owing to the MSE coverage. In that sense, @Clutch Cargo's suggestion would probably be helpful: to collect all those POIs in a separate file, and then deactivate SoCal and rely on OrbX Vector instead.

 

7 hours ago, RALF9636 said:

I don't think there's more than the POIs that you gain from the FTX regions when using MSE. But that alone would be worth it for me because the Orbx POIs bring the MSE regions really to life.

Furthermore I don't think you need OrbxVector when you use MSE. All the roads and rivers are in the photoscenery. Not sure if something of Orbx Vector gets loaded below the photoscenery and costs performance even though you don't see anything of it. Maybe give it a try without Vector. The only problem might be the coastlines where the photoscenery ends and the ocean landclass begins. You might get anomalies there depending on the Vector product you use if the photoscenery does not extend far enough (thats why for example I have to keep parts of the GEN08_Custom folder active for the islands at the northern coast of Germany because I get landclass/vector anomalies there without it). 

If you still have road traffic, turn it off completely. It makes a great difference for performance particularly in the LAX area (which literally mainly consists of roads...). You won't miss it because you have road traffic in the photoscenery. Static of course but you won't notice that too much when flying unless you take a closer look. Even more it's kind of weird to see the static cars in the photos get run over by moving traffic. And fortunately many payware airports these days come with their own road traffic to enhance the final approach.

I always deactivate all airport related files in the FTX_..._SCENERY folder, i.e. all files with an ICAO code in its name (I never fly there but only use payware addon airports). It helps a lot not only with FPS in general but even more regarding the regular long frames common in FTX regions.

 

I always assumed that the vector scenery is also used to display car traffic, which I absolutely want to keep around. Seeing the cars move around as I come over the many freeways that LA is rich, is a wonderful experience that I'd rather not part with! But, I can try without once to see what the difference is. From my experience around NYC, though, I did miss the 3D moving car traffic. even if, as you say, it's kind of weird seeing the 3D cars move on top of flat 2D cars...

Hah, so you say that the offending airport scenery file are the ICAO-coded files in the SCENERY folder of the FTX region. Good to know! Might as well go and move them all out of there. I imagine it might speed up loading in those areas as well.

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I uninstalled Orbx Nor Cal scenery the other day and my sim to SFO has been great since. I was not happy with mid 17-18 FPS and that was with  FFTF Dynamic. I still have Global FTX so ill just live with that. Im now back to 25-30 FPS in SFO with Imaginesim SJC also installed. Because of my bad experience with Norcal I wont purchase the SoCal Orbx as  im already at 18-20 FPS with FSDT LAX installed. I can only imagine it will get worse. Sorry I know Im not adding much but I feel like theres nothing much I can do with these areas and I fly to SFO/LAX regularly mostly in the Aerosoft A32X

 

Windows 10 64bit - i7-9800X @ 3.8Ghz  32GB RAM

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 - 8GB GDDR6

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Thanks for the thoughts @Redwood! Your observations are interesting - I think that, no matter what, the downtown SFO with Oakland's harbor right across is still a major drain on FPS. But I will say this: I went ahead and removed all airports, including any objects pertaining to those airports, and my FPS at Flightbeam KSFO is now at my locked 30FPS! Then went ahead and loaded up KLAX. It would seem FSDT KLAX is still very hard on my system, but climbing out, my FPS over at LA settled at, or around, 25FPS, and would even reach my locked 30FPS as well on numerous occasions!

So, it would seem that getting rid of OrbX's airfields did the trick. Performance has massively increased, to the point that I could scale up autogen draw distance another notch. Flying over LA or SF with these settings, with MSE and Nuvecta, and then sceneries for LAX, LGB, SNA and BUR is truly wonderful! Now of course I wish that Flightbeam would do KLAX... Given the magic they apparently did at SFO, I can only wonder what sort of a performance beauty they would manage to cook up for KLAX. But of course IS is doing KLAX, and I have to say I'm not particularly confident they can give us a KLAX that's as well optimized as it might need to be...

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9 minutes ago, Benjamin J said:

Thanks for the thoughts @Redwood! Your observations are interesting - I think that, no matter what, the downtown SFO with Oakland's harbor right across is still a major drain on FPS. But I will say this: I went ahead and removed all airports, including any objects pertaining to those airports, and my FPS at Flightbeam KSFO is now at my locked 30FPS! Then went ahead and loaded up KLAX. It would seem FSDT KLAX is still very hard on my system, but climbing out, my FPS over at LA settled at, or around, 25FPS, and would even reach my locked 30FPS as well on numerous occasions!

So, it would seem that getting rid of OrbX's airfields did the trick. Performance has massively increased, to the point that I could scale up autogen draw distance another notch. Flying over LA or SF with these settings, with MSE and Nuvecta, and then sceneries for LAX, LGB, SNA and BUR is truly wonderful! Now of course I wish that Flightbeam would do KLAX... Given the magic they apparently did at SFO, I can only wonder what sort of a performance beauty they would manage to cook up for KLAX. But of course IS is doing KLAX, and I have to say I'm not particularly confident they can give us a KLAX that's as well optimized as it might need to be...

I'm going to purchase Southern California today or tomorrow. How did you remove the airfields? I'll only be flying into/out of KLAX, KSNA, and KSAN and I have sceneries for all those locations. I would like to get rid of any of the extra touched up airfields that come in the region if it boosts performance.

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47 minutes ago, Bigt said:

I'm going to purchase Southern California today or tomorrow. How did you remove the airfields? I'll only be flying into/out of KLAX, KSNA, and KSAN and I have sceneries for all those locations. I would like to get rid of any of the extra touched up airfields that come in the region if it boosts performance.

The OrbX regions all have a folder with SCENERY in the name. Go in there and find all the files with a ICAO code in the name - those are the airfields included with that region (AFCAD, objects, everything). Disable those by moving them elsewhere, and that's it!

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"I'm going to purchase Southern California today or tomorrow"Might I suggest to wait a couple of weeks...

Clutch

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51 minutes ago, Benjamin J said:

The OrbX regions all have a folder with SCENERY in the name. Go in there and find all the files with a ICAO code in the name - those are the airfields included with that region (AFCAD, objects, everything). Disable those by moving them elsewhere, and that's it!

Thank you!

 

50 minutes ago, Clutch Cargo said:

"I'm going to purchase Southern California today or tomorrow"Might I suggest to wait a couple of weeks...

Clutch

Any particular reason for this or can you say nothing further?

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