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Guest jshyluk

Frame rates with payware heavies

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I'm getting 22 fps with my small GA aircraft, but only 6 fps with my LDS 767 and 5 fps with my feelthere 737. Yes, my system is 4 years old and not the best. I'd like to know what kind of frames I could expect with these addons on a new first rate computer. Any replies would be much appreciated.Curt

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I'm in a comparable situation. Because of that, FSX is unusable for me (only the LDS gives me "acceptable" frame rates, but the price I need to pay is to reduce all sliders to minimum and switch off any AI and effects etc.; nothing I want to live with).To the best I know, FSX currently won't run fast enough to allow for some eye candy (who wants to fly in a wire frame world?) and complex airliners.The stepping stone are the processors available which don't deliver enough power yet (maybe except the fast Xeons and Opterons consting thousends of Euros). Graphics adapters don't seem to be the big hurdle here, an 8800 GT should do...I guess things will get a little better once higer clocked Penryns come out (Q2 2008?). But to be honest, I doubt even they'll be fast enough to handle FSX. Maybe the next generation after Penryn...So, in the end, I suppose anyone claiming today to be able to run any of the new airliners fluently in FSX together with airport add-ons, AI, hires mesh and a weather engine is either a liar, an overclocker (risky, risky...) or victim of severe compromises in terms of reducing FSX features (FS10 alone eats several FPS).Today, I can only recommend to use FSX if you're a GA pilot. I cannot imagine how anyone with an average but new PC can be happy with let's say the PMDG MD-11 once it comes out...But that's only my opinion...Andreas

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If you do upgrade get the fastest processor you can with the video card being secondary. I upgraded my 7600GT to and 8800GT and literally saw a 0% increase in framerates though I can run better AA and Aniso settings.With the PMDG 747 I get around 15FPS at YSSY on the runway facing the terminal buildings. The Level-D 767 gives me about 5FPS more. The Realair SF260 gives my around 55 to 60FPS. The only way I can get better FPS is if remove the AI traffic, dropping the 3d clouds can help a little to in some situations. These are minimum numbers when flying around YSSY.The heavies on my rig are usable but a fast Intel it would be 'nice'.I am tossing up getting the new AMD Phenom quad core chip because it will fit my motherboard. The chip is no faster but the 2 extra cores might help. I hope.Steven

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>I am tossing up getting the new AMD Phenom quad core chip>because it will fit my motherboard. The chip is no faster but>the 2 extra cores might help. I hope.My observations are that to "feel" and "see" a remarkable difference in processing speed in FS, a huge amount of additional CPU power needs to be available.IMHO the current roadmap of Phenoms and Penryns by far will not provide this.Sure, one will possibly see a 1-8 FPS increase, but what does this help if the lowest _continuous_ FPS rate (to avoid stutters etc.) needs to be well over 20 and you currently have only 8-12 with sliders well reduced (again, 8 FPS more doesn't mean FSX will yield this _all the time_, 8FPS more can mean 0 FPS more at some points).Nice clouds, a little AI (how much is a little? Will 50% prevent my home airport to get filled at all?), high-res mesh, ASX and the PMDG-MD11 on a 1600x1200 screen (maybe with a 2nd monitor in 1280x1024) with 4xAF&AA, and I bet it will still be unflyable even with the fastest Penryn (except you're a fan of slideshows)...Currently, for airliner fans like me, I see no light at the end of the tunnel...Andreas

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The one positive for those desiring airline flight is that >=20 fps is not needed. I can fly the feelthere 737 or ERJ145 at 8-14 fps without any stutters, that's at KCLE or KBOS with 30% mytrafficx, GEX, ASX, RC, UTX, STLC and FEX. The only sliders I turn down are autogen to sparse, global to medium and detail radius to small.This is not ideal of course but very flyable. When flying airliners I lock at 15 with the above settings and once in the air I maintain 15 fps, GA is of course a different story because of the areas being flown and the minimal complexity of the aircraft, but I still only lock at 20 fps because it's very smooth.FSX handles rendering differently than FS9 thus the lower frame rate/smoothness factor, so the need to run at 30 fps is no longer needed. Many have reported running smooth at 15-20 and 10-15 is now flyable in the sim albeit not optimal.

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The question is only when the necessity to reduce sliders considerably will be obsolete because a powerful enough CPU is available...Though I agree it is possible to get a complex airliner to a flyable state in FSX, I don't think I'd like what price I'd have to pay for it (reduced slider settings, that is).It's clear that airliner operations don't need all that fancy stuff, but frankly, who likes to fly in a badly rendered, empty picture of what the world should be? And here's where I begin to doubt we'll have the CPUs needed for things to work that way during the next year.But, convince me, and I'll be the first to get me a Penryn and fly the MD-11 in a wonderful simulated FSX world...Andrea

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SNIP: "... who likes to fly in a badly rendered, empty picture of what the world should be?"I have to disagree with this sentiment somewhat.There are certain situations when I don't really need or want the world to be hyperaccurate when I'm flying. For example ... when I'm racing in the sim, I'm not going for realworld accuracy - primarily because I'm not flying around in the world. I'm flying around a track.In this situation, I'm interested in the sim getting the heck out of my way and letting me go as fast as possible. So, I have saved a settings configuration that I load when racing that eliminates unnecessary parts of the sim that I'm not currently interested in ... such as boats, cargo ships, trees, other aircraft. These are frame consumers that have no use in this situation.I think the same holds true for folks who want to experience aircraft such as the LDS 767. If you purchase this aircraft, what you are buying is fundamentally different than a default FSX aircraft. The developers have given you an aircraft that very closely mimics what an actual 767 would be like to fly from a systems viewpoint.To get that level of sophistication requires processing power - and so the tradeoff is that if you want to experience a hyperaccurate aircraft from a systems perspective - you have to give up some of the real-world realism that otherwise exists in the sim.That's not necessarily a bad thing: Who needs Yugo's travelling the highway, eating frames, when you're at 40,000 feet with a working 767 under your butt?It would certainly be nice if we could have our cake and eat it too ... and if you have enough money, of course, you can have both. Asking that of the developers of FSX and LevelD - for $49.95 I think is unrealistic.Just my two cents.

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Wow, I guess it is as bad as I thought. If Ian can only get 15 fps with his system, than it will be another year or two before CPU's are powerful enough to handle payware heavies and the FSX enhancements. I guess I'm limited to GA flying in FSX; I'll keep using FS9 for my heavies. Thanks for the responses, guys.Curt

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From what I understand, the sdk provides the technical capability to add more bones (for example) than desireable for maintaining good frame rates. Similarly, the designers can alter the number of draw calls by choices made during texture design and material application. Vertex count can also be exponentially incresed by decisions made during design. Some of this is new since fsx...so designers may have innocently hurt performance in fsx simply by using fs9 basic modelling habits.All this information is available on Torgo3000 blog.Because of the length of time needed to design these fantastic addons, it could be the developer was unaware of some of the interactions between performances and modelling techniques.. I was unaware myself of these factors until reading the dev blogs.I wouldn't be surprised if one of the main devs could redesign their product, reduce the bone count, relayout the uvw plans to avoid fracturing vertexes, alter the texture designs to reduce draw calls to the minimum, and deliver a far better performing product.It would be a lot of work...but I don't think that fsx inherently disallows a good performing heavy.Bob

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Just for the record, I stated I lock at 15. Once I'm in the air the fps goes up substantially, I stay locked at 15 to keep resources free and laziness really, once I'm in the air.I will agree though, FS9 and a good system, although not as pretty is probably best for those running mainly airliners and want to land in NYC and other large metro areas.

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'Pefectly flyable' and '8FPS' don't belong in the same sentance together!It's impossible to have smooth control inputs and responses at that low a frame rate.As for overclocking being risky....well, I couldn't disagree more, at least with the Core 2 Duo's.I have a motherboard designed for it and a CPU that overclocks more than 1GHz over its rated speed with a ZERO increase in volts from stock and an operating temperature well withing the thermal design limits. In fact, it only runs 5 degrees warmer at 1600MHz FSB than it does at 1066MHz FSBNo risk there at all as far as I am concerned.Glenn

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>Vertex count can also be>exponentially incresed by decisions made during design. Some>of this is new since fsx...so designers may have innocently>hurt performance in fsx simply by using fs9 basic modelling>habits.Bob, that was an excellent summary of what is required now for efficient, optimized FSX models. The new pardigm simply will not tolerate "sloppy modeling" any longer.Depending on the complexity of the project, in some cases it would be quicker and easier to simply start from scratch rather than spending the enormous number of hours necessary to rework the existing mesh, and totally redesign and UVW map the textures.

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>feelthere 737.use the configuration utility to reduce the refresh rate of the instruments.don't use the weather radar.fly in 2D cockpit only model.reduce some of your FS complexity settings (shadows, AI%, secenery, clouds)--

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The amount of negativity is all over these boards about FSX. It is true that it takes some tweaking and computer power to run it well but let me tell you my experience.AMD 64x2 3800, 2 Gig of PC 3200 Memory, ATI 3870 video card driving an 1050x1650 LCD. Vista Home 32. CH Yoke and pedals.Using the PMDG 747X which is the big frame rate killer. I use Ultimate Traffic about 25% and fly primarily out of large airports such as Heathrow, Atlanta, Hong Kong, etc. Most sliders are to the right although not all. I always fly with Radar Contact and an ACARS program.The taxi out can be a little choppy but not always. Usually 11-15 FPS but generally smooth. Once I hit the takeoff runway it is smooth and stays that way until I leave the runway at my destination. Depending on the destination, it usually stays smooth and the frame rates run about 15 up to 20. Enroute will usually be up to the mid 30's.Fixation on frame rates is a disease. The SIM seems smooth all the way and I find it at least as satisfying as FS9. The visuals are great especially with the wonderful clouds from FEX.Come on folks, quit complaining and start flying. Its a wonderful simulator.If your computer is truly awful, then you should stay with FS9. After all the whole Flight Simulator series has always been a very demanding computer program. Heck, we used to test for compatibility in the old days by seeing if the computer would even run it.

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>From what I understand, the sdk provides the technical>capability to add more bones (for example) than desireable for>maintaining good frame rates. Similarly, the designers can>alter the number of draw calls by choices made during texture>design and material application. Vertex count can also be>exponentially incresed by decisions made during design. Some>of this is new since fsx...so designers may have innocently>hurt performance in fsx simply by using fs9 basic modelling>habits.>Because of the length of time needed to design these fantastic>addons, it could be the developer was unaware of some of the>interactions between performances and modelling techniques.. I>was unaware myself of these factors until reading the dev>blogs.>>I wouldn't be surprised if one of the main devs could redesign>their product, reduce the bone count, relayout the uvw plans>to avoid fracturing vertexes, alter the texture designs to>reduce draw calls to the minimum, and deliver a far better>performing product.UH......uh.....what'd he say????

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@ V-4:The way the three-dimensional models are put together in FS9 and FSX requires different techniques, kind of like some aircraft might be happy with one kind of fuel but won't work with another. To take the analogy further, FS9 requires low-octane models, but FSX only runs on high-octane models. You can load FSX with the low-octane stuff, but if you put too much in, it gunks up the engine.The important things are the geometry of the models. With models, you have polygons, which are the most basic shapes, vertexes, which are more or less alignment hard-points, and you have bones, which provide anchors for animations to pivot around. That's it, very basically.In FS9, the limitation was polygons. Polygons are kind of old-school now. You used to have limits as to how many polys you could have on screen at once. Nowadays, that limit is approaching infinity. It's like saying, before all you could fly were Tiger Moths, but now you can fly GlobeMasters. In FSX the limit is based on vertexes (real plural: "vertices"). if you fill up the vertex "hard-points", your processor will bog down. The good news is that a disciplined artist can get rid of vertexes and still have a model that looks exactly the same. The bad news is that this kind of modelling is time-consuming and very technical. It's easier to plop down a house or an elephant that has a million vertices because it's fast to do. The trouble is that if you have a thousand models on screen at once, you multiply the verticies accordingly: in my (facetious) example, that would be a billion vertexes. Somebody has to go in and clean up the models, and that's not fun. Swabbing an aircraft carrier deck looking for FOD would be fifty times more fun. SP2 gives a performance bonus to modellers that use low-vertex techniques. That's why you can boost the autogen in some situations. If the model is created using standard, high-end technique, then SP2 is happy, and will crank out extra models. If the models are all slightly different, they all have non-standard numbers of vertexes or some such, then SP2 gets cranky. Old-style add-ons for FS9 are expecially notorious for this kind of thing. We just didn't know any better back then. Now, FSX is calling those old-style modelling practises to account. Oh, yeah, I forgot about bones. Well, FSX doesn't like a lot of bones, either. Fortunately, you don't need very many for a good model, but if you have an artist who is fresh out of school, or is used to doing crazy anime fantasy animation, they might get sloppy with their bone count. I hope this makes things clearer, and I hope I haven't goofed in my explaination.Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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>In FSX the limit is based on vertexes (real plural:>"vertices"). if you fill up the vertex "hard-points", your>processor will bog down. The good news is that a disciplined>artist can get rid of vertexes and still have a model that>looks exactly the same. The bad news is that this kind of>modelling is time-consuming and very technical. Jeff just curious what is the very time consuming technical way?As for the vertices it's great because we can have a lot more faces(Polygons)in the model know...Thanks,http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y156/awf1/sign.jpg

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Jeff,I was being sorta funny , BUT you did make it very understandable.> Swabbing an aircraft carrier deck>looking for FOD would be fifty times more fun. Uh, Been there, Done That. Aint Fun!

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I am using MyTraffix X so there are quite a few aircraft that look decent in those framerates. Ther only reason I don't like flying at 15 FPS is because TrackIR isn't so smooth when looking sideways (yes, I am picky). As for stutters, I dunno what really causes them but I have had them at 60FPS (and blurries) so I don't think it is FPS related. The only time I get blurries and stuttering is when I use an external view to check a landing, it doesn't matter if I am getting 15FPS or 60FPS so for me it has nothing to do with FPS. Since I rarely use external views that is very infrequent Anyway for those of us that just want to fly, todays high end machines are fine, if you arn't happy unless your cities look a lot like they do in real life then maybe FS11... I am in both camps personally. Come on ORBX, ya killin me here! :-)Steven.

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I would save your money. The new AMD Phenom has some hang-ups. I was considering buying one, but am staying away from it for now. To me, FSX is a lost cause, and the released has bombed. FS9 runs smooth without any hick-ups. I think MS should have just forgone using the old scenery engine and platform and began developing a new platform after FS9 when that engine reached the end of it's useful life. I myself am not going to be feeding any money into FSX, it's addons, or a new system for it; it's throwing good money after bad IMHO, it's just not worth it at this point, if at all. You're right about the latest cutting edge CPU's and hardware not being able to run it decently; I've yet to see someone running the heavies with it and getting acceptable performance. Even developers are cautious of FSX; you surely don't see many addons coming out these days, and if they do, they're real system hogs.

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I figured that your question wasn't totally serious, but on the other hand nobody here should underestimate my compulsive need to seem clever while online. I don't miss many opportunities to show off. Here's some more (yay!):Cleaning out extra vertices is an important job for a modeller, but it isn't glamorous. Modelling programs like to build models using triangles. Triangles are flat and straight. To make curves, you need many, many tiny triangles to approximate the curve. Basically, you are looking at differential calculus, but that's beyond the scope of my cleverness.I can give you a concrete example of having too many vertices. You need a piece of paper and a pencil and maybe a ruler.Draw a square. Every point that has two straight lines coming out of it is a vertex. The square has four vertices.Recall that computers like drawing with triangles. A square is not a triangle. But you can make a square out of triangles. Take your ruler, and draw a big X inside the square by drawing two diagonal lines from corner to corner. Now you've got 4 triangles, each triangle with 3 vertices for a total of, what? 12 vertices. Same shape, more vertices. You can split each triangle in half. Take your ruler and draw a big + inside the square, so that the center of the + is in the center of the X and so that the vertical and horizontal lines reach the edges of the square. Now you have a square made of 8 triangles. 8 polys with 3 vertices apiece = 24 vertices total. We started with 4 vertices, now we have 24. It's very, very easy to keep adding vertices. It's harder to get rid of them. If we clean out the wrong ones, the shape will fall apart. In my day, it was pretty tough to get rid of extra vertices, but it could be done by deleting polys and running smoother algorythms. Today, there's probably more automation. Still, if you are an artist, and you are completely trusting your career to what your computer is doing, then I say you are playing the fool. Even automated systems make mistakes: GIGO. The computer doesn't care what your model of a Tiger Moth looks like, so what if it has 5 wings and a 30-foot spike emerging from the passenger seat? Sooner or later, cleaning up vertices requires human interaction at the meanest, lowest, most monkey-like level possible. If monkeys aren't available to do the work, interns will do, except that often monkeys are treated better.Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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