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Possible FSX autogen performance fix

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Guest cschmokel

Hello everyone,We all know that autogen causes a tremendous performance drop in FSX. Here's a post over at www.fs2004.com which might have a solution: http://www.fs2004.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=90965Basically, autogen texture files are stored as DXT5 .dds files, and this guy suggests converting them to smaller DXT1 .dds files to improve performance. Some people who have tried it have reported significant performance gains. So, it looks like the autogen performance issue might not be primarily linked to polygons, but to textures. Personally I'd like to see this go one step further and reduce the .dds texture sizes down to practically nothing, because my hunch is that the detail lost wouldn't be recognized unless you're bush flying.

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I turned off bloom and reduced water settings from max to 2.0 low, now i can run FSX with most on high settings with good FPS.

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Sounds like an interesting fix. I've found turning the texture resolution down a notch from 2m to 5m allows smooth frames with sparse autogen, although the ground textures loose some resolution, I can live with it on my old system. I'm sure within a week of release there will be workarounds (fingers crossed).AMD Athlon 3000+ 2.2ghz1 gb mem6600 GTIan.

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I've tried it and, yes, it does help quite a bit. Framerates here are basically doubled after the conversion to DXT1 and I see little, if any, difference in visible quality. But, that said, the autogen "issue" is still there. I'm beginning to think that the trees are the problem but more testing is needed.Doug

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At the conference, Adam mentioned that there was an issue with the new version. I don't remember the exact details, but it had to do with batch loading. Basically, I believe the tree textures are more detailed now so there are fewer trees types/texture. The way the system is now, you can only batch load objects that are from a single texture at a time. So, whereas before there were 12 different trees which could be batch loaded all at the same time, it takes more operations to build a scene with the same number of different types of trees because there are now only 4 trees/texture or something like that. It's no big deal when there is only a single tree type in the scene, but when you are looking at a mixed forest, it has an impact because it now takes multiple batch loads.So I guess the trick here would be to replace the autogen trees with the old style design so you can fit more different types on a texture.It is possible the real solution would be to have the software combine textures into a larger texture that then allows batch loading of the objects of the larger texture, but FS is not yet designed to do this according to Adam.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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Adam said at the conference that features like bloom and the 2x water features and I think shadows, too, require each frame to be rendered twice. Turn these features off and you should get much better performance.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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Guest BOPrey

Bloom is a 2D effect. Should be easily done on the gpu. Whether current cards support that or not is a different story.

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>Bloom is a 2D effect. Should be easily done on the gpu.>Whether current cards support that or not is a different>story.You know this how? It's my understanding that bloom (HDR) effects use the pixel shader just the same as any other 3D effect, hence the slow down...

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Guest BOPrey

"Bloom became very popular after Tron 2.0 and is used in many games and modifications. Ico was one of the earliest games to use the bloom effect"Tron 2.0 was released in 2003.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom_(shader_effect)Personally, I don't really care about bloom at all. It kind of blind the eyes.On another note. If MS took the time to model bloom, I want a pair of sun glasses modelled as well. LoL.

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Good points. I think also that the texture loading may be the only thing that is helped by a dual-core processor (which I don't have). I just wish I had the full version here to try things out. Grrrrr....:-) .DougDoug

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"I turned off bloom and reduced water settings from max to 2.0 low, now i can run FSX with most on high settings with good FPS.system specs:Dell XPSGEN4 3.73EE 2mb cache, 1066 mhz fsb, 2gb pc4200 533mhz ram, ATI x1800xt."I have just about everything on low to mid and can't get good performance unless autogen is completly 100% off which doesn't look very good. I can't believe the hit on my rig. How can it be that some users here with half the machine I have, report good performance??? It makes no sense to me. EX: If I run the water at 2.0 setting like quoted above, forget about it. The testing I did was at KSEA. I hope there are some tweaks soon or I guess I will stay with FS9 until then. I might try the autogen conversions as long as it can be done without the upside down tree syndrome. FSX has nice potential if we can get by the initial performace issues. I am sure in time things will get better just as they did with FS9. Have a great night everyone.

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Guest archtx

From DXTBmp help file:"This will attempt to load DDS images in 565, 555-1, 444-4, DXT1, DXT3 and DXT5 formats. Note that DDS images are stored upside down (compared with Bmp) so may need flipping once loaded if you are going to save them again in Bmp formats."

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Guest cschmokel

My instinct tells me that the autogen performance issue is more of a bug than anything. There wasn't nearly this much of a hit with FS2004 autogen, even at max density. I'm hoping there is a simple performance tweak/patch for this coming down the pipe.As a sidenote, using FSX with autogen off still yields incredible visuals as well as smooth-as-butter performance. The terrain mesh and textures are so detailed now that in many areas you forget that autogen is turned off.

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Or just use the texconv.exe that is available in the DirectX SDK. It's the most powerfull tool that I know. To batch convert these filestexconv.exe -f DXT1 *.ddsAnd of course no upside down since the convertion is direct.Jos

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I seem to remember somebody saying that they changed the graphics memory aperture in their computer's BIOS and it fixed their problems. It had been too small and was choking the graphics card.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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How exactly do you install texconv.exe? I keep getting a message: Failed to create D3D device.First, I downloaded the SDK and installed the utilities and Library. Then I copied texconv.exe to the texture directory (backing up the texture directory first). Then I opened a command window and tried to run the command you listed above. And got the above error.I also tried to run the texture tool from the SDK and it said the same thing and added that d3dref.dll must be installed. So I found that and copied it to the Windowssystem32 directory. No go.I'm going to try to reboot my machine.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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I figured out my problem. I had to install the DirectX runtime as well from the SDK (August '06). Upon running the conversion, it saved about 12 MB of disk space on the fs x demotexture directory.I'll see if I notice any difference in running. As I've noted before, the biggest hit on my system for the new demo has come from the autombiles. Running that at 100% KILLED my system. Different Autogen settings did not seem to have much of an effect (sparse vs. high). I was changing that setting mid-flight, so perhaps that might be why there was little effect. Weird.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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Guest BrianC

In Demo 1, on my Athlon XP 3200+/Radeon 9800 Pro system, one time I managed to turn autogen on max and I was getting 24 FPS! I could not believe it. Indeed, I have not been able to reproduce that in any version (demo 1, 2, or retail).I have found as others have that if I put autogen on sparse or max I get the same FPS hit on my system.Brian

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I should have mentioned that i only have the latest demo, not the retail version. So thats where i get good performance now, i am a little worried how it will go when i start up at KSEA :).

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