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Something odd? FILEMON

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While running filemon today for the heck of it, I noticed that even when flying around in east texas, FSX was loading scenery for Las Vegas and st.maarten while also of course loading scenery around me. Does anyone else notice this, or is it just me.....???I just can't keep from thinking perhaps one of the major problems with FPS might be because this software is working harder than it needs to, to load things that are not quite relavent, or are not quite relavent to me at least.Danon -

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>While running filemon today for the heck of it, I noticed>that even when flying around in east texas, FSX was loading>scenery for Las Vegas and st.maarten while also of course>loading scenery around me. Does anyone else notice this, or>is it just me.....???>>I just can't keep from thinking perhaps one of the major>problems with FPS might be because this software is working>harder than it needs to, to load things that are not quite>relavent, or are not quite relavent to me at least.>>Danon - I have seen similar behavior. When flying in Nova Scotia,FSX was loading scenery for Tallinn, Estonia.Methinks there are some serious problems with the way FSXattempts to deal with scenery. Hopefully these problemswill be corrected with the update. This is just one of many inconsistancies I've seen whilelooking at the way FSX functions..... Paul

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Hello Danon,In an effort to improve performance, FS X will pre-load scenery, particularly the default flight. Even if the user never flies in the location of the default flight.Unfortunately, this can lead to longer loading times. Perhaps there are some solutions: - create a default flight in the area where you normally fly, and this will be the only area to be pre-loaded; - if you do not fly in only one area, create a default flight in a very sparse area, such as the middle of the desert or the ocean, where there is not much to load; - do away with pre-loading altogether by adding the following flag to the Main section of the fsx.cfg: DisablePreload=1Best regards.Luis

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Hi, thanks for the advice on disabling preloading.The flight that I loaded up was the East Texas area I was flying and this is my custom default flight, however it was still loading Vegas scenery for some odd reason along with St. Maarten which I have not flown since the demo. I don't remember the last time I flew in Vegas either, or if I have at all.Thanks though.Danon -

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Just for grins, check and see if you have .FSSAVE files for the areasthat are loading in your My Docs...FSX folder

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>Just for grins, check and see if you have .FSSAVE files for>the areas>that are loading in your My Docs...FSX folderHummm...I do have ( did, now ) a Tallinn flight saved, alongwith a bunch of others. Saved them mostly when testing things.I just deleted all of them except my default flight and "previous".Dp you have some reason to suspect that these entries would/could becausing FSX to load those areas even though they have no relationto the current flight? Paul

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> - do away with pre-loading altogether by adding the following>flag to the Main section of the fsx.cfg: DisablePreload=1Has anyone tried that yet? Does it solve the problem?Thanks.

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Yes the disable preload is VERY useful and will speed up the boot up to flying time.Why load a default flight when you have no intention of using it?What really ticks me off with fsx is this. After loading a flight take a look in top down mode and zoom out so that you can see what scenery tiles are loaded. Outside of the 60 or so mile radius that has been loaded I see a patchwork quilt ( chess board effect ) of tiles not loaded or loaded at a different level of detail. This cannot be efficient.I fly mostly around the UK using Horizons VFR photographic scenery.B

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Danon, this is a very important point. It became an issue with the release of the Horizon England & Wales photoreal scenery. Many people noticed that, with this scenery installed, startup times (both loading FSX and starting the first flight) could become quite long - in some cases, up to 25 minutes! Amazingly, this was true if the flight was, say, in Japan! By the way, the thread 'Long loading times with VFR scenery' recently re-appeared.I used Filemon to try to understand how this could be. What I - and others - found was surprising, to say the least. By the way, my observations apply to the situation with the disable preload cfg change, which I would strongly recommend to everyone. With the fix, FSX startup is normal, and all the strange effects are confined to the flight itself (more specifically, the first flight; clearly FSX (and Windows caches a lot of stuff, so subsequent flights may be better in some respects).This is what I found:I start a flight in Japan. The load time is several minutes longer if my VFR scenery is enabled. It actually stops for about two minutes at 5% before continuing. The next 20 or 30 percent are very slow.During this period Filemon shows very intensive accessing of the VFR scenery, despite the fact that it is thousands of miles away! Because the VFR files are enormous (the textures are included in the bgl files), this is probably why these files have a big effect. FSX is also accessing lots of other unrelated scenery files, but their effects would be smaller. I also note that at least one user of the more recently released Just Flight photoreal scenery has also reported these loading time problems.During the flight in Japan I continued to monitor with Filemon. Very regularly, there are bursts of intense VFR access. When this occurs I see stuttering and a sharp fall in frame rates. Sometimes these bursts of VFR access occur at regular intervals, as regular as clockwork, but the period may be different on different flights.This makes no sense at all. And, worse, it can affect performance during the flight and not just loading times. There had been a lot of discussion of this at the Horizon forums and I started the thread I mentioned here partly with the hope that Microsoft would reply. They did, in the shape of Adam Szofram!Adam gave us that very useful cfg change. He did say he would look into it when he had installed the Horizon scenery but sadly he hasn't responded for a long time, at least on that thread.But we can be sure that Microsoft are well aware of this problem, particularly as it does affect performance and not just loading times. I think there's a reasonable chance that the problem will be fixed in the upcoming service pack. I can think of no rational explanation as to why FSX should repeatedly access scenery files from thousands of miles away. By the way, it does the same when the aircraft is stationary.Best regards, Chris

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"Do you have some reason to suspect that these entries would/could becausing FSX to load those areas even though they have no relationto the current flight?"The St. Martin is the default flight in an original install and it was mentioned a couple of times.So I made a SWAG.

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Well, I tried it. I still get random calls for Las Vegas and St. Maarten scenery when flying in East Texas. I have not tried flying anywhere else, as this is my local flight area in real life.Also, I love seeing how many thousands of times FSX feels the need to check and make sure it is licensed to me. Im not sure if there is any fixing this, in fact I am a little tired of trying to...Danon -

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>>What really ticks me off with fsx is this. After loading a>flight take a look in top down mode and zoom out so that you>can see what scenery tiles are loaded. Outside of the 60 or>so mile radius that has been loaded I see a patchwork quilt (>chess board effect ) of tiles not loaded or loaded at a>different level of detail. This cannot be efficient.>Your statement confuses me. How can it not be efficient? Isn't FSX doing exactly what you say you want?I mean, to me it seems like it would be very efficient to only load "tiles" in your immediate area, and not load (or load at a lower LOD) "tiles" further away from your aircraft.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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>>But we can be sure that Microsoft are well aware of this>problem, particularly as it does affect performance and not>just loading times. I think there's a reasonable chance that>the problem will be fixed in the upcoming service pack. I can>think of no rational explanation as to why FSX should>repeatedly access scenery files from thousands of miles away.>By the way, it does the same when the aircraft is stationary.>>Best regards,> Chris>Thanks for the info Chris.Related to these "random file searches" is the issue of FSX looking for Sim.cfg before aircraft.cfg.By itself, a file search doesn't take much cpu resources. But lump together HUNDREDS of file searches, and now you're talking a real fps-robber. I would think anyway.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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Hi Rhett,You said "Your statement confuses me. How can it not be efficient? Isn't FSX doing exactly what you say you want?"IMHO FSX should load tiles according to the Level of Detail Radius that the user defines before runtime. As the aircraft moves forward tiles are discarded behind the plane and aquired at the front. What FSX infact does is to aquire additional tiles not directly linked to the main LOD seamingly at random. OK it may well happen that the ones in front of the plane will be used but the ones to the sides and rear will not, and this is inefficient. Loading them takes up time and resources which could be better used elsewhere.Have a look in top down mode (F12 then zoom out with the minus key) and see what I mean.B

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Just for the heck of it I loaded up a flight from Tokyo Japan. From selecting the flight "Fly Now" it took 2 minutes 10 secs to load.This was from a cold start, I have never flown in Japan before and all my scenery was enabled. My default flight is from Carlisle though with the preload tweak it was not actually loaded.As I fly along every few minutes FSX aquires tiles in front of the aircraft and discards ones behind and this causes the hesitations (fps drops to 3 or 4). I cannot comment about reading scenery at a great distance.B

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>>-SNIP->>Thanks for the info Chris.>>Related to these "random file searches" is the issue of FSX>looking for Sim.cfg before aircraft.cfg.>>By itself, a file search doesn't take much cpu resources. But>lump together HUNDREDS of file searches, and now you're>talking a real fps-robber. I would think anyway.>>>>Rhett I changed all my "aircraft.cfg" files to "sim.cfg" long ago when I first noticed this, uh, irregularity of FSX. Unfortunately, programs like aisort that look for "aircraft.cfg" folders will need to be dealt with :( FSX will also look for a lot of .CAB files before going on to find the correct file. And these are files that are never normally CAB's, like .mdl files. FSX is really VERY poorly optimized IMO, and could benefit by eliminating much of this inefficient file system access. Then there is the 30-minute, 1-hour, 2-hour, 3-hour, ... "re-validation"disk accesses as FSX goes through thousands of operations in the CryptoRSA directories....these definately cause a performance hit at those times and is especially noticable if you have a old DMA 133 hard drives, such as I do. Even though FSX is on my #2 drive and Windows is on the #1 drive, these disk accesses cause severe stuttering for 4-5 seconds at the 30 minute mark and 10-15 seconds at the 1 houtr and multiples thereof marks. As an old, litterally, assembly language programmer from the days when every CPU cycle "counted", I find M$'s coding to be an abysmal, inefficient patchwork of "eye candy centric" -expletive witheld- ! And don't get me started on "TrafficDataBaseBuilder"... Paul

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>>IMHO FSX should load tiles according to the Level of Detail>Radius that the user defines before runtime.That would be an interesting option...>As the aircraft>moves forward tiles are discarded behind the plane and aquired>at the front. This is what FSX appears to be doing, when I'm looking at my F12 top down. ??>What FSX infact does is to aquire additional>tiles not directly linked to the main LOD seamingly at random.How do you figure? I haven't noticed this.I mean, if I'm flying around Manchester, Uk, and I'm in F12 view, I see the "tile" around manchester loaded...and I see a "tile" to the N, S, E, and W loaded in pretty high detail. Then further out in the cardinal directions I see less detail, and so on.If I move, slew, fly, whatever due North from Manchester, at some point, the "tile" to my North will pop into detail. I *do not* notice in FSX, that a tile way off my path, for say, Yarmouth (on the North Sea) is being loaded in. Are you seeing things like the latter? 'cause I'm not. But then I haven't been too observant.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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> I changed all my "aircraft.cfg" files to "sim.cfg" long ago> when I first noticed this, uh, irregularity of FSX.> Unfortunately, programs like aisort that look for>"aircraft.cfg"> folders will need to be dealt with :(>I'm glad you mentioned that compatibility issue. I guess I will have to keep mine named "aircraft.cfg" for now.Begs the question as to why a person would even program it to look for something that is not there (sim.cfg) before what is known to be there (aircraft.cfg). Just seems like a SIMPLE, and I mean simple optimization thing. There must have been a reason for it...but I've yet to hear it.> FSX will also look for a lot of .CAB files before going> on to find the correct file. And these are files that are> never normally CAB's, like .mdl files. > FSX is really VERY poorly optimized IMO, and could benefit> by eliminating much of this inefficient file system access.>Let's hope and pray that SP1 addresses this issue...potentially it's like getting FREE fps. And I am sure the team would love to breathe free fps into their sim. FPS for nothing = the Dire Straights song "Money for Nothing"If SP1 does not address this issue, I am going study it in more detail with filemon and some other things, and then make sure the FS team knows about it...again. You see, it was brought to their attn last fall. I think it was determined that there were bigger optimization issues to work out. Perhaps at the time, yes. Maybe after SP1 this issue can be revisited. From what they said, (and I could be reading into this wrongly) it seemed to be somewhat of a surprise to the team, that FSX was looking at japan bgl's when one was flying in the midlands.> As an old, litterally, assembly language programmer from the> days when every CPU cycle "counted", I find M$'s coding to> be an abysmal, inefficient patchwork of "eye candy centric"> -expletive witheld- !>When I first started programming, the instructors drummed into us to be efficient regarding cpu and mem use. We didn't have much to use, we had to be.But later, and I specifically remember this moment, an instructor said, "Well, we are not really as concerned about memory usage anymore, as machines are getting faster and have more memory these days."I said blah to that. I always want to be efficient. (If you know about assembly lang then you know all about that. Some of the best performing programs I've ever seen were assembler.)> And don't get me started on "TrafficDataBaseBuilder"...>Nah it's not too bad, it just has too strict limitations built in to checking every aspect of a flight plan. Other than that it's great. :)Too bad I can't modify the 45-minute thing between flights. In real life sometimes commuter planes take off 20 minutes after landing.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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>Then there is the 30-minute, 1-hour, 2-hour, 3-hour, ... >"re-validation"disk accesses as FSX goes through thousands >of operations in the CryptoRSA directories....these definately>cause a performance hit at those times and is especially >noticable if you have a old DMA 133 hard drives, such as>I do. Even though FSX is on my #2 drive and Windows is on>the #1 drive, these disk accesses cause severe stuttering >for 4-5 seconds at the 30 minute mark and 10-15 seconds at>the 1 houtr and multiples thereof marks.We have notifed the owner of those APIs, and they are investigating. A fix for that is not under our control, but we are trying to drive this. Estimated time is past SP1, I am not sure how far past.

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>>Then there is the 30-minute, 1-hour, 2-hour, 3-hour, ... >>"re-validation"disk accesses as FSX goes through thousands >>of operations in the CryptoRSA directories....these>definately>>cause a performance hit at those times and is especially >>noticable if you have a old DMA 133 hard drives, such as>>I do. Even though FSX is on my #2 drive and Windows is on>>the #1 drive, these disk accesses cause severe stuttering >>for 4-5 seconds at the 30 minute mark and 10-15 seconds at>>the 1 houtr and multiples thereof marks.>>We have notifed the owner of those APIs, and they are>investigating. A fix for that is not under our control, but we>are trying to drive this. Estimated time is past SP1, I am not>sure how far past.Thanks for the feedback. Paul

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This was discussed back in December as well, regarding long load times. Adam said:"The FSX texture file loader is not operating as intended. We are, in fact, reading the entire file contents even when we only want a small portion of the file. We're investigating to see what went wrong and hopefully we can fix it." I'm hoping that means it's already been addressed and will be in SP1.That topic is here: http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...76193&mode=fullAs for more on the continual file searching, we discussed that in alot more detail here: (lots of reading)http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...77060&mode=fullI can only speak from my own results, but moving the files so they could be found resulted in the gain I posted in the topic. I rarely have any repeating files "not found" in filemon - and I have ZERO studders anymore. I guess it effects each system differently ?Regards'Garett

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>>Then there is the 30-minute, 1-hour, 2-hour, 3-hour, ... >>"re-validation"disk accesses as FSX goes through thousands >>of operations in the CryptoRSA directories....these>definately>>cause a performance hit at those times and is especially >>noticable if you have a old DMA 133 hard drives, such as>>I do. Even though FSX is on my #2 drive and Windows is on>>the #1 drive, these disk accesses cause severe stuttering >>for 4-5 seconds at the 30 minute mark and 10-15 seconds at>>the 1 houtr and multiples thereof marks.>>We have notifed the owner of those APIs, and they are>investigating. A fix for that is not under our control, but we>are trying to drive this. Estimated time is past SP1, I am not>sure how far past.Now that is quite disappointing to hear, seeing as how one of the other things that is happening when these validation checks occur is that some parts of the panel system are getting clobbered badly, as are the mouse routines. Too often, after the sim has passed the 30 minute mark, previously functioning "mouse points" are no longer reactive. It's as though the last clicked button on a gauge is "frozen" and cannot be changed... ;(

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>I can only speak from my own results, but moving the files so>they could be found resulted in the gain I posted in the>topic. I rarely have any repeating files "not found" in>filemon - and I have ZERO studders anymore. I guess it effects>each system differently ?>>Regards'>>Garett>Can you expound on what it was you did, renaming wise?? Or just point me to the thread so I can figure it out. Anything to get this mess slightly settled would make me a bit happier. Thanks in advance for your time.Danon -

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Hi Garrett:Could you post a tutorial on how to implement the changes to FSX you describe?Thanks!:-) GaryGB

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It's in the thread/link he posted. :) But you do have a point, that the info could be place or presented in a more concise fashion.I won't be doing any file moving mods until after SP1. I don't want any problems installing SP1.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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