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Author Topic: Get Back to Flying  (Read 202 times)
Gary Summons
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« on: November 24, 2017, 10:35:45 AM »

Now the I7-8700K is available, I thought Id share my experiences with you as I take the plunge into getting back to using FS for leisure.

First some back history

As soon as I got my HTC Vive in May 2016, that was it for flat screen 3D games, apps or simulations. Once your 'in the game' you no longer want to go back to being outside looking at a flat screen. It's like you have been watching black and white telly at 320lines and suddenly go to colour at 4k, it's just a massive leap. So I gave up using FS for leisure as it was just not believable any more and hoped there would be a VR option with acceptable frame rates. Up to this point there wasn't Sad, Fly Inside was available for FSX, but I cant go back to FSX, I just love the cloud shadow in P3D too much.

So my FSVR quest was on hold.


I must admit, I'm annoyed at the current state of Flightsim. I'm not sure who it was, but reading some thred on Avism talked about Lockheed Martin were designing P3D for future hardware and not to expect fast performance with todays hardware and users were accepting this stance. Sorry we have been here before with FSX, it was designed in 2006 with future hardware in mind, but that hardware never came and we spend the following 10years with poor FPS, and it seams nothing has changed. On the my new I7-8700 P3D was only using 17% of all performance CPU available to it (I7 8700K is 6 Core CPU). So the question is what is this 'future hardware' that LM are looking forward to?, they dont use the CPUs and they dont use the GPU fully, maybe its some special fairy dust that will be invented next year.


You can forget the inbuild VR in P3DV4 and P3DV3.5 as it directly half's the FPS. Thanksfully 'Fly Inside' is now available for P3DV3 and P3DV4 it does its magic with minimum hit on FPS.


I have ruled out P3dV4, its slower than V3 and I dont need the Dynamic lights and I also dont need the greater ram usage 64bit brings. I'm very disciplined it what I add to FS and can stay well within the limits of P3Dv3

My starting point to attempt this is:
I7-8700K
Samsung 1TB M.2 drive (2000MB/s)
16GB DD4 3000mhz
Asus Z370-A M/B
Water cooler

This was setup with a overclock to 5.1Mhz giving a 10% FPS increase over the stock 4.7Ghz, remember FS is mainly CPU speed dependent, anything you can do to increase the raw CPU0 speed will directly result in the same percentage FPS increase.


I already have a GTX1080TI in my VR Games machine and GTX1070 in my Unity PC, a HTC Vive and yet unboxed Oculus rift. My plan was to test all these parts and see what performed the best.

Test1: GTX1080TI Vs GTX1070 with Flat Monitor. The result is as expected EXACTLY THE SAME FPS, proving yet again FS is CPU0 throttled program.
Ref FPS was 105FPS at default Heathrow 27R, Mooney Aircraft, no AI

Test2: Using Oculus Rift, Flyside and GTX1070 93FPS

Test3: Using Oculus Rift, Flyside and GTX1080TI 105FPS.  So yes in VR the 1080TI does make a difference, mainly due the massive Supersampling image sent to the HMD

Test4: Using HTC Vive, Flyside and GTX1070 75FPS


Test5: Using HTC Vive, Flyside and GTX1080TI 87FPS

As you can see the Oculus performs better than the Vive, so I should use the Oculus yes?

No!
Both the Oculus and Vive were set to the highest supersample available in the Fly Inside settings, I have never tried the Oculus until last night, and I'll be honest after using the VIVE for nearly 2 years, the Oculus was  in comparison was a big disappointment. I heard many people say that the VIVE and Oculus are equal, one may have a certain advantages in some areas,(Oculus touch controllers are excellent) but overall they are equal.

Well I could not disagree more, let's ignore that fact VIVE people can move around there room and turn 360' and Oculus users do it mostly sitting down and cant turn around, lets just talk about the image, the Oculus is dull, the VIVE is bright, the Oculus has weak colours the VIVE is vibrate and strong, the Oculus is blury, the VIVE is sharp. (yes that also means the 'screen door' effect is more noticeable on the VIVE, but you get use to it) The worse part is I can see the edges of the HMD screen in the Oculus, but you dont get that in the VIVE,  this really breaks the immersion a lot! and finally (This is specific to me) the Oculus just does not fit my big head well enough, no comments please, I'm talking physical head size Smiley and the head phones don't reach my actual ears.

I know the VIVE costs a lot more than the Oculus, but the difference is reflected it what you get. So for me it's the Vive, and I will accept the 10% less performance hit. If you have a Oculus and have never tried a VIVE, than chances are you are happy with your Oculus, so best to keep to the Oculus and have better FPS.

Now I will not get 87FPS once I have some AI, REX and GSX running, but I should if I'm carfull get 45FPS in most situations, this may mean using default FSX 737-800 and not the PMDG 737, yes the PMDG is better, but to be honest I can hack the default 737 to be within 90% of the PMDG, I then have seperate App running the Flight management software, that way it's on a different CPU thred and should not effect the P3D, same applies to Charts ect.  I've also recently learnt how to use the P3D Simmconnect DLL in Unity, so I can in theory make my own programs to dynamic change settings "on the fly" to maintain FPS and to inject AI and remove AI  

So I'm confident my quest can continue,now I know I can get 87FPS as a base starting point and I 'll let you know how it goes in real usage.

Dont Worry Im stll working on your airports Smiley

« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 07:39:48 PM by Gary Summons » Logged

Gary Summons
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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2017, 09:51:59 AM »

Update 1:

The next stage was to try various tweaks to improve on the 75FPS using my GTX1070 and HTC Vive in my text situation.
Most of the classic FSX Tweaks made no difference at all in P3DV3.(I tried them all) The only Exception is the

AffinityMask=84

This makes P3D Not use CPU0, and it gives a 10% increase in FPS so well worth it.
As a side note , the AffinityMask is a 8bit binary number related to 8cores(real or vitual), 0=OFF, 1=ON. But I have no idea what you do on 6/12 Core CPU, but the value of 84 works well.

Another change was one of the "FlyInside" settings.
Changing the "Asynchronous timewarp mode" to "HighSpeeed/possible Artifacts" yields another 8% improvement.

I also made one mistake in my initial P3D Settings, I have forgoten to turn ON cloud Shadows, this is essential for me, so turning that on droped it by 5%

After all those changes my new value was 91FPS (same graphics card)



I thought that would be it, but no I had discoverded a new problem Sad

My weather was set to a few clouds, but when I selected overcase and raining, the FS FPS went down a bit to 85FPS (not bad at all!), but the VR FPS drop to 57FPS and was missing frames and juddering.

It turns out that high Sumpersample value of  3840*2133 (per eye) was do much my GTX1070, turning it down to 3024*1680 stoped the Juddering and went back to 90FPS in VR. So although the GTX1080ti made little difference to the FS FPS, it does make a difference to the VR Side of it in these demanding Hi Super-sampling conditions.

For now I will live with the GTX1070 using 3024*1680, the visual difference is there and I do prefer the sharper 3840*2133, so it's something I would like to change in the future.


Now I have Good initial setup, my next stage is installing the addons and compromise on these.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 09:53:41 AM by Gary Summons » Logged

Gary Summons
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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2017, 07:52:03 PM »

After some flying tests, I can see the GTX1070 is really not going to work here, except at the lower resolutions which is not acceptable to me. The FS FPS is not an issue, as long its' above 30fps your good, but the VR Headset FPS must maintain 90FPS or else you get Juddering. The 1070 is regularly dips below 90 (82-88fps) so when you turn your head it judders and you will soon get a headache and feel sick. The GTX1080Ti can maintain 90fps at Max supersampling, so my conclusion is,  you really need a 1080Ti if you are anyone is thinking about VR flightsim i, it may be ok on a standard 1080, but I dont have one to confirm that or not.

With a 1080TI,  I turned on AI to  80% (default), Car traffic to 30%, set Overcast and heavy snow flying around London (bad area for FPS in FS), lowest FS FPS was 26, typical was 37, Headset FPS maintained 90FPS, and it all works fine. If it can handle the London area, it can handle anything.
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