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March Hare

Whole Lotta RAM

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I've said in a couple of other posts that I fixed my PC crashes by manually setting virtual memory in Windows to effectively double my 16GB RAM. This was true, because when I first tried to fly in New York, I couldn't get near Manhattan without the sim stuttering and crashing out. Increasing virtual memory did indeed fix both stuttering and crashes, and I made numerous flights without issue since.

Until Friday, when I tried a live weather nighttime flight in NYC for the first time. It was stuttering quite a lot, and got worse as I lowered the altitude. Then it crashed out. I tried a different location at night with live weather, which was going okay until I opened the VFR map and ATC control panel at the same time, then it crashed out. I went back to NYC at night, live weather to start with, VFR map and ATC open, and stuttering was worse. When I switched over to a storm it was awful, and the sim froze for a while as if it were about to crash out, but somehow it recovered. I switched back to live weather and dropped in altitude even more, at which point it was really unplayable.

At the same time, I had performance monitors open. The OS was, to begin the flight, committing over 22GB of memory, so dipping into virtual memory. I was getting hundreds of hard faults a second (accessing page files in virtual memory), although these did seem to settle to a few hard faults/sec. At the point where it became unplayable, close to the ground, the OS was committing just over 30GB of memory to processes, out of 31GB available (bearing in mind I only had MSFS running on my PC, so there really would be no headroom for any other software).

So I finally conceded. I ordered 32GB physical RAM, which arrived yesterday morning. Having installed it, I also increased VM to make my effective system memory 64GB. I made the same live weather nighttime flight over NYC, with overlays open, and apart from one little stutter as I passed over Central Park, the experience was smooth the whole time. And I'm running the sim on ultra settings, at 1080p on a GTX 1070 Mini, i7-8700 CPU.

Well, I've finally seen the light of day and realised that, even though virtual memory worked for most of my flight scenarios, it clearly isn't as efficient as physical RAM. So I would now advise anyone that this sim really does need the 32GB of physical RAM (although I would still advise setting VM manually as an overflow, as the sim gets extremely close to the limit of 32GB physical RAM, leaving no leeway for other processes).

It sounds like Asobo are working on optimisation, but I would still highly recommend upgrading RAM if you can.

These, of course, are only my experiences, with my PC. I do wonder, from what I've seen of people with a RTX 2080 GPU and 32GB RAM describing performance as unacceptable, whether there is an issue with RTX cards... Or some other component of the PC.

EDIT: I should have also noted that my live weather nighttime flights, where performance dropped and crashes occurred, were also my first time doing these with HDR10 enabled, which could also be a performance factor.

Edited by March Hare
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I believe your RAM was faulty, the sim doesn't crash to desktop with 16 GB.

As for HDR, I use it and it doesn't cause crashes either.

Agree on the fact that the sim runs better with 32 GB anyway. Good that you solved your issues eventually 🙂

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Please provide evidence that doubling the ram to 32 makes a significant and visible difference in performance. There was a video posted here recently that showed minor to miniscule differences. 

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21 minutes ago, March Hare said:

I've said in a couple of other posts that I fixed my PC crashes by manually setting virtual memory in Windows to effectively double my 16GB RAM. This was true, because when I first tried to fly in New York, I couldn't get near Manhattan without the sim stuttering and crashing out. Increasing virtual memory did indeed fix both stuttering and crashes, and I made numerous flights without issue since.

Until Friday, when I tried a live weather nighttime flight in NYC for the first time. It was stuttering quite a lot, and got worse as I lowered the altitude. Then it crashed out. I tried a different location at night with live weather, which was going okay until I opened the VFR map and ATC control panel at the same time, then it crashed out. I went back to NYC at night, live weather to start with, VFR map and ATC open, and stuttering was worse. When I switched over to a storm it was awful, and the sim froze for a while as if it were about to crash out, but somehow it recovered. I switched back to live weather and dropped in altitude even more, at which point it was really unplayable.

At the same time, I had performance monitors open. The OS was, to begin the flight, committing over 22GB of memory, so dipping into virtual memory. I was getting hundreds of hard faults a second (accessing page files in virtual memory), although these did seem to settle to a few hard faults/sec. At the point where it became unplayable, close to the ground, the OS was committing just over 30GB of memory to processes, out of 31GB available (bearing in mind I only had MSFS running on my PC, so there really would be no headroom for any other software).

So I finally conceded. I ordered 32GB physical RAM, which arrived yesterday morning. Having installed it, I also increased VM to make my effective system memory 64GB. I made the same live weather nighttime flight over NYC, with overlays open, and apart from one little stutter as I passed over Central Park, the experience was smooth the whole time. And I'm running the sim on ultra settings, at 1080p on a GTX 1070 Mini, i7-8700 CPU.

Well, I've finally seen the light of day and realised that, even though virtual memory worked for most of my flight scenarios, it clearly isn't as efficient as physical RAM. So I would now advise anyone that this sim really does need the 32GB of physical RAM (although I would still advise setting VM manually as an overflow, as the sim gets extremely close to the limit of 32GB physical RAM, leaving no leeway for other processes).

It sounds like Asobo are working on optimisation, but I would still highly recommend upgrading RAM if you can.

These, of course, are only my experiences, with my PC. I do wonder, from what I've seen of people with a RTX 2080 GPU and 32GB RAM describing performance as unacceptable, whether there is an issue with RTX cards... Or some other component of the PC.

EDIT: I should have also noted that my live weather nighttime flights, where performance dropped and crashes occurred, were also my first time doing these with HDR10 enabled, which could also be a performance factor.

Glad I have 64 gb

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Wayne such

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3 minutes ago, Ricardo41 said:

Please provide evidence that doubling the ram to 32 makes a significant and visible difference in performance. There was a video posted here recently that showed minor to miniscule differences. 

I don't need to provide evidence to anyone -- and don't know how I could possibly provide evidence of performance pre-installation of new RAM vs post-installation, as I'm certainly not going to reinstall my old RAM and take videos. I've literally stated in my post that this is my experience with my PC, and that I'm well aware that others seem to have issues even with 32GB, but using different GPUs, etc. I don't know why that is, but I do know that the sim is requesting 22-30GB memory at times, which meant that it was dipping into my virtual memory when I had 16GB physical (which is factually less efficient than having physical RAM for software to utilise). VM worked fine for me for most scenarios, but I eventually ran into flight situations where relying on VM wasn't good enough. I have installed my 32GB RAM, recreated the same flights, no crashes and smooth performance. That's that. You are welcome to accept my experience or not. It makes no difference to the truth of my personal experience.

Nobody is going to lose out on increasing physical RAM if they can afford to.

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21 minutes ago, Ricardo41 said:

Please provide evidence that doubling the ram to 32 makes a significant and visible difference in performance. There was a video posted here recently that showed minor to miniscule differences. 

I went from 16 to 32 this week. MSFS runs great on 16GB, but it will thankfully use up to 18GB (my observation) when you have it (while it never used more than 13GB while I has 16GB installed). There's no real performance increase (there never is by adding RAM), however there are less stutters and pauses. Frametime is more stable, as the sim doesn't have to manage RAM usage in the background, and you notice that effect. 

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12 minutes ago, March Hare said:

but I do know that the sim is requesting 22-30GB memory at times

What plane and location? What are your settings for Terrain and Object LOD? I never saw it use more than 16-18GB, even in NYC with the Airbus.

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30 minutes ago, Colonel X said:

What plane and location? What are your settings for Terrain and Object LOD? I never saw it use more than 16-18GB, even in NYC with the Airbus.

Cessna 152, ultra settings. Live weather, VFR map and ATC overlays open when testing, high AI traffic levels... HDR10 enabled. Not sure on other settings.

Again, though, without changing settings, I have increased physical RAM and improved performance significantly. I can't speak for anyone else's experience.

Do you have 32GB RAM? Were you running live weather? Did you try it with a storm active? Are you running in HDR10? What are your settings when you see that kind of RAM usage in the Airbus? Were you at low altitude? Did you also check committed memory usage, rather than just current physical RAM allocation? I believe, from what I've seen, that the OS will always like to leave a certain amount of physical RAM free and still dip into virtual memory if it can (or it could be to do with the sim's software engine doing that), but it will still help by increasing physical RAM so it's dipping into VM less.

Edited by March Hare

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I'm strongly thinking of upgrading my RAM to save wear and tear on my SSD, as it feels like I'm getting VM "thrashing" in certain spots. Performance is still very acceptable for me (it's NMVe) but I just don't want to toast my drive!

 

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7 minutes ago, March Hare said:

Cessna 152, ultra settings. Live weather, VFR map and ATC overlays open when testing, high AI traffic levels... HDR10 enabled. Not sure on other settings.

Again, though, without changing settings, I have increased physical RAM and improved performance significantly. I can't speak for anyone else's experience.

Do you have 32GB RAM? Were you running live weather? Did you try it with a storm active? Are you running in HDR10? What are your settings when you see that kind of RAM usage in the Airbus? Were you at low altitude? Did you also check committed memory usage, rather than just current physical RAM allocation? I believe, from what I've seen, that the OS will always like to leave a certain amount of physical RAM free and still dip into virtual memory if it can (or it could be to do with the sim's software engine doing that), but it will still help by increasing physical RAM so it's dipping into VM less.

All I can say is that I am doing Airbus short haul IFR flight with live weather and traffic, a whole bunch of these flights, and MSFS never took more than 18GB, but typically around 12GB.

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45 minutes ago, Colonel X said:

I went from 16 to 32 this week. MSFS runs great on 16GB, but it will thankfully use up to 18GB (my observation) when you have it (while it never used more than 13GB while I has 16GB installed). There's no real performance increase (there never is by adding RAM), however there are less stutters and pauses. Frametime is more stable, as the sim doesn't have to manage RAM usage in the background, and you notice that effect. 

I would class all of those things as a performance increase, effected by increasing RAM.

Mine ran great with 16GB, too (with enough virtual memory set) -- until I encountered more memory-hungry scenarios, at which point the access speed limitations of virtual memory showed up, with bad stuttering/decreased frame rates and crashing out a couple of times.

Edited by March Hare

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29 minutes ago, March Hare said:

I would class all of those things as a performance increase, effected by increasing RAM.

Mine ran great with 16GB, too (with enough virtual memory set) -- until I encountered more memory-hungry scenarios, at which point the access speed limitations of virtual memory showed up, with bad stuttering/decreased frame rates and crashing out a couple of times.

Sure they are, but the common "RAM gave me more FPS" is still somewhat a misconception.

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13 minutes ago, Colonel X said:

Sure they are, but the common "RAM gave me more FPS" is still somewhat a misconception.

Oh, definitely. I can't say that it gave me more FPS, because I've never once even used a FPS monitor for any game, but the sim was struggling to run, stuttering to unplayable levels and starting to crash out in these particular, intensive scenarios, which is more -- I presume -- to do with it struggling to juggle memory fast enough in and out of VM for all of its processes.

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For those wanting video proof:

Video:

Spoiler:

5vOV7vt.png

You can have the same AVERAGE fps but totally different frametime consistency, which make the sim stutter.

Edited by MrFuzzy
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2 minutes ago, MrFuzzy said:

For those wanting video proof:

Video:

Spoiler:

5vOV7vt.png

You can have the same AVERAGE fps but totally different frametimes, which make the sim stutter.

Exactly. As you clearly know, Mr Fuzzy, I didn't say in my post that the RAM increase had improved FPS (something I've never even checked), I said that it had stopped the unplayable stuttering and crashing out that I started to experience in more memory-intensive situations, which I hadn't flown in previously. It seems there's a misunderstanding that I was talking about an increase in FPS, which is a different thing and not a claim I would make.

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