Realistic expectations on FPS on high end rig

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pijnackerpilot
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Realistic expectations on FPS on high end rig

Postby pijnackerpilot » Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:32 pm

Hello all,

I am fortunate enough to be able to afford a high end rig which I had assembled last week. This week I am in the process of transfering the sim to the new rig and after some tests I was a bit disappointed with the resulting FPS. I know that high FPS means something different when it comes to the average PC-games in comparison to P3D so I would like to have some feedback on what a realistic range of FPS I should expect from my system and I would also welcome some advice when it comes to squeeze a few more out.

First of all hardware specs:
CPU: i9 9900K @ 3,6 GHz (turboboost function on: auto OC to approx 4.8 GHz)
MoBo: Gigabyte Z390 Gaming X
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32 (2x16) Gb DDR4 3200 Mhz
GPU: Gigabyte RTX 2080 Super
SSD: Samsung EVO m.2 1Tb
Cooler: Scythe Mugen 5 aircooler

P3Dv4.5 installed with following settings:
Texture settings: ultra 4096x
Tex filt: 16x anisotropic
AA: 8x MSAA
Res: 3440X1440
Vsync: On
Frames: unlimited
Wide Aspect: On
Mipmap VC: Off
LOD radius: Ultra (one left from max)
Tess. fact: max (full right)
Mesh res: 5m
Tex res.: 30 cm
High res text.: Off
scen complex: very dense
Autogen draw dist: high
Autogen vegetation dens: dense
Autogen building density: normal (this really dents performance unfortunately)
Water detail: medium
Reflections: clouds and user vehicle ticked
HDR lighting: On
Dyn. Light: ticked
Land lights: ticked
Lens flare: off
Shadow quality: high
Draw dist: max
Shadows cast ticked: user vehicle internal and external, terrain, vegetation, buildings and clouds
Shadows receive: user vehicle internal and external, vegetation and buildings
Cloud draw distance: 100 nm (via Activesky between 60-100)
Cloud cov. density: max

Skyforce: Cloud textures at 2048

I run quite some addons. The list includes the following:
- FTX Global range: global, OpenLC NA and EU, Vector, buildings HD
- Skyforce
- Environment force
- Worldwide airport HD
- Activesky P3Dv4
- Chaseplane
- SPAD.next
- FSUIPC5
- UTlive for AI traffic (density set to 55% for commercial aviation).

When it comes to add on airports, I have only installed one so far:
- EHAM by FlyTampa

The birds I fly:
- PMDG 737 NGX base and expansion
- QW787

Performance (FPS)
I loaded the 787 at one of the F gates at EHAM and entered the VC. I get about 30-40 FPS which I find a bit disappointing. My CPU and GPU should be able to take on quite some load than this. According to MSI afterburner, the GPU has a loadfactor of roughly 50-60% with temps around the 55. The CPU has a general load of approximately 35-40% with temps around the 40%.
When I go outside into tower view of fixed view around the aircraft FPS go up to the mid 50's (which I find quite acceptable).
I turned Hyperthreading off in the bios and that seems to give me a few more frames, but only a few around 3-5.

What I cannot understand is why it is so difficult to get such a beast of a rig produce a higher frame rate. Are these normal framerates and am I being picky or is there something I can do to get my performance on the simm higher than that.

I have not been able to take her up into the air. I am looking forward to that. First I need to reassign flight controls and all of that.

As said before, I don't know what to expect. I would definitely appreciate some insights when it comes to this matter. I am looking forward to reading your comments.

Thanks for reading all the info

Cheers,

Daniel W.

Martyson
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Re: Realistic expectations on FPS on high end rig

Postby Martyson » Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:52 pm

Daniel W,

"As said before, I don't know what to expect. I would definitely appreciate some insights when it comes to this matter. I am looking forward to reading your comments."

My thoughts are.
1. You are doing well with your setup.
2. What have our add-on providers said?
3. What was your performance data when P3D was newly installed and still in a default state?
Best Regards,
Vaughan Martell (KDTW)

JorgenSA
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Location: 5 NM NE of EDXF

Re: Realistic expectations on FPS on high end rig

Postby JorgenSA » Tue Oct 22, 2019 6:34 am

Daniel,

Why on earth are you chasing fame rates? That is for first-person shooter games, but for a simulation you want a smooth, life-like experience, which is something totally different, and of which the frame rate is only part of the picture.

Your eyes cannot perceive more than 25-30 FPS anyway, that is why frame rates in movie theaters are 24 FPS, on TV where the AC line frequency is 50 Hz 25 FPS, and where the AC line frequency is 60 Hz 30 FPS.

Frame rate-wise you are doing pretty good, but you might want to go here to optimize P3D for your particular system:

https://www.prepar3d.com/SDKv4/prepar3d ... ation.html

Jorgen

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downscc
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Re: Realistic expectations on FPS on high end rig

Postby downscc » Tue Oct 22, 2019 4:02 pm

Jorgen said exactly what I was thinking when I read your post. Frame rate only has meaning when it's too low. On the other hand, the higher the frame rate the less time available to render each frame.

This is not a shooter game, which only has to render one stage or setting at a time whereas in flight simulation there is a constantly change stage and lots of stuff happening to render the next frame.

You have a chip that should easily go to 5 GHz on at least two cores and given you only have air the 4.8 turbo boost might be your limit but CPU clock speed is more important than core count.

By the way, my 8700K 4.8GHz works very smoothly at a locked frame rate of 24 fps.
Dan Downs
KCRP

KevinKaessmann
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Re: Realistic expectations on FPS on high end rig

Postby KevinKaessmann » Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:23 pm

You have a chip that should easily go to 5 GHz on at least two cores and given you only have air the 4.8 turbo boost might be your limit but CPU clock speed is more important than core count.
As stated at anandtech and other internet sources, the 9900K is specified with 95 Watt TDP. If the mainboard is setup according to Intel specifications, it keeps the high clock frequencies just for some seconds and it throttles down the clock frequency the more cores are active.

So if your mainboard hasn't an increased default power specification setting (with a good cooler) and P3D runs with its default affinity mask (use all cores), the clock frequency may drop down in steps to 3.6 GHz if P3D uses more and more cores for scenery rendering.

Just to validate with a monitor tool (hwmonitor, hwinfo64, Intel XTU) to look at the clock frequency of the individual cores while running P3D.

Possible solutions:
- Multicore Enhancement/Sync all Cores/... however it is named: BIOS setting that keeps all cores at the highest clock frequency even if all cores are running full load. Danger ! Good cooling solution required !
- P3D AFFINITYMASK setting to reduce the load distribution to just 4-5 cores (or with HT just 4-5 threads, each on a separate core), so these cores could run at a higher clock frequency instead of loading all cores but getting less frequency.

As stated in the post above, you should look at the mentioned P3D Advanced Configuration chapter, especially the setting of TextureMaxLoad (default=6) can be set to 9 or 12 with a high performance graphics card as yours. In addition, I recommend FIBER_FRAME_TIME_FRACTION=0.1 to move texture rendering load away from the primary thread in a strong multiprocessor system.

Just my thoughts...

pijnackerpilot
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Re: Realistic expectations on FPS on high end rig

Postby pijnackerpilot » Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:18 am

Hello all,

First of all, the 'fixation' on FPS is not because I want to drive the FPS through the roof, it was more a measure/benchmark for comparing overall performance and rigidity of the system to others. I, of course, agree that when it comes to flight simming, a smoonth life-like experience is to be preferred.
What I am worried about most is when I add in (a lot more) scenery that the FPS become so low that the experience is no longer smooth. This happened to my in my last system, which was significantly less powerful than this.

After some more testing, this is what I get now:

1) Default airfield (EHRD), default aircraft (Mooney Bravo), no activesky, no ultimate traffic live (with full FTX suite, skyforce textures and environment force shading)
outside view: 55/65 FPS
VC view: 60/80 FPS

There is little difference to FPS when I load in Activesky and UTlive

2) Same field, all addons loaded and PMDG NGX
outside view: 55/70 FPS
VC view: 50/55 FPS

3) Same as above with QW 787
outside view: 55/60
VC view: 45/60

4) Back to PMDG on EHAM
outside view: 50/60 FPS
VC view: around 45 FPS

5) QW 787 on EHAM
outside view: around 45-50 FPD
VC view: anything between 31-50 (depending on weather and angle of view)

Yesterday I did my first test flight on this system. Did a round trip around The Netherlands with take off and landing at before mentioned EHAM. I got around 30-40 FPS on take off and around 30 on approach. During the entirety of the flight around 60 FPS, save for the part where some extensive weather rendering had to take place. GPU load during flight approximated the 100% and core load was pretty constant at 4,7 GHz with loads around 70-80% and temps around the 60-65%.
Experience wise it was wonderful. Especially when compared to the previous system which had a mere i5 6500. Despite of the unlocked framerates, pretty constant and smooth. Because of the dynamic shading of Environment force (automation mode) I got some black screen stutters when shaders were modified in certain views but other than that I am pretty satisfied.

I acknowledge the fact that in certain moments, like on approach, the system has a lot to render which can impact frames significantly. The good side is that it was the first time that I was able to conduct a smooth approach on EHAM. I really had to adjust my landing techniques because of it.

When it comes to getting more performance:
I am very sceptical to affinity masks. At this time I have all cores (no hyperthreading) at a pretty constant 4.7 with decent temps so I am inclined to leave it at that. Perhaps some testing with OCing to 5 GHz to see if the cooler can get the job done.
I had good and bad experiences with the fiber frame rate tweak on my previous system. That significantly boosted framerates but at a high price: faster scenery rending causing a lot of blurries. It might be worth to investigate if finding the sweet spot here on this system might give me an edge.

Good suggestion regarding the advanced configuration chapter. I will look into it.

Thanks all for your elaborate replies. It is very much appreciated. Still, any other tips and advice is very welcome.]

Cheers,

JorgenSA
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Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:17 am
Location: 5 NM NE of EDXF

Re: Realistic expectations on FPS on high end rig

Postby JorgenSA » Wed Oct 23, 2019 7:27 am

Good to hear about your experience - sounds like just the thing we all are looking for.

When you look into the advanced configuration settings, you'll see the AffinityMask mentioned there. You can always experiment with that (and of course also with all the other settings), and here's a handy-dandy tool for calculating the AffinityMask values:

http://www.gatwick-fsg.org.uk/affinitym ... m=utilties

Jorgen

Martyson
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Re: Realistic expectations on FPS on high end rig

Postby Martyson » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:03 am

Daniel W,,

Based on you last post / tests / tests results:

"1) Default airfield (EHRD), default aircraft (Mooney Bravo), no activesky, no ultimate traffic live (with full FTX suite, skyforce textures and environment force shading)
outside view: 55/65 FPS
VC view: 60/80 FPS"

"4) Back to PMDG on EHAM
outside view: 50/60 FPS
VC view: around 45 FPS"


You are doing well with your setup.


The additional test results you posted are normal for your setup.
Best Regards,
Vaughan Martell (KDTW)

pijnackerpilot
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Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:19 pm

Re: Realistic expectations on FPS on high end rig

Postby pijnackerpilot » Sat Oct 26, 2019 5:24 am

I figure as much. I did some flying in the QW787 and with a demanding Dubai at night (Flytampa) I still get about 50 FPS while EHAM at night drops well below 30. I think that EHAM isn’t that well optimized.

No time yet to check the advanced config. Will do that later.

Thanks.

pijnackerpilot
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:19 pm

Re: Realistic expectations on FPS on high end rig

Postby pijnackerpilot » Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:47 pm

Now that we are a few weeks of testing further, I thought it was a good idea to report in again. I noticed a couple of things

1) Low core usage on airports (except for core 0)
A common p3d issue is the extensive use of core 0 when the aircraft is parked at the gate at an airport. When the airport is near a large city (with a lot of autogen) and if this airport is a demanding 3rd party add on, this particularly strains core 0 of the processor. It seems that the load on the other cores is negligible. GPU load seems to be okay at approx 50%-60%. In this situation I get around 30-40 fps at FlyTampa's EHAM (Activesky, Environment force, FTX Global, vector, buildings, Open LC Europe, Track IR, ultimate traffic live with ai set to 50% commercial traffic).

Is the extensive use of core 0 bottlenecking the performance here? If so, would could effectively be done about this?

2) Ultimate traffic is a performance killer
With the ai traffic running at 50%, frames drop between 10-15 frames! Scaling the percentage down seems to help a little but it doesn't do a lot of magic.

3) Tokyo Haneda (Technobrain) is a performance killer
I know, downtown Tokyo is autogen extensive. This add on is not optimized very well as I understood that this add on is not natively written for P3D. With AI traffic on, I get around 20-25 frames on an approach on 34L at RJTT.

I find 20 FPS on a high end rig like this rather poor. Is p3d (and these add ons) so demanding that even a high end rig like this can't properly run this?

4) Playing around with the P3D settings doesn't influence performance except for autogen settings
Toying with sliders doesn't do a lot of magic. Of course performance is better when all settings are set to low but the loss of performance when all settings are set to the far right are not that bad. The thing that really influences performance are the autogen sliders (mostly the buildings.)

Am I correct to assume that this is mostly CPU rendering that is needed to generate autogen? If so, it's quite shocking to realize that even an i9-9900K (@4,8 GHz) is have loads of trouble with this.

5) The higher you get, the better performance

Performance is at its worst when the aircraft is on the ground on an extensive airport, as said before. Once airborne, performance gets progressively better as the aircraft ascends. The funny thing is that performance increases while the load on the cores and GPU increases as well. There are times that the core loads averages around 80% with a similar GPU load but the performance is a lot better than when the aircraft is on the ground with the cores (except for 0) are basically idling (GPU load is around 60% then).

What is bottlenecking performance when the aircraft is on the ground and is there anything that can be done?

Things I have done so far:
Hyperthreading on or off: There is not much difference in performance (if any at all) when I disable HT in the bios.

Enable enhanced multicore performance (basically dynamically OCing all cores to 5 GHz): this really strains the processors to the point that temps reach 95 degrees within 2 minutes. Volts are well above 1.4 per core. Both things that scare me so I turned this off pretty quickly.

Toying around with an affinity mask: no real effect. In the past I have had bad experience with dividing the load equally over all the core (scenery rendering went down the drain, creating blurries). When you keep core 0 enabled, the load is not distributed over the other cores. Would disabling core 0 and keeping other cores active help here?

p3d.cfg tweaks like texturemaxload and fiber_frame_rate_fraction have no positive effect on performance.

'OCing' the refresh rate of the monitor from 60 to 80 Hz. This helps to increase performance when in the air and there is not a lot of complex scenery to render.

Basically the most important question that I have: what is bottlenecking performance while cores have low loads and GPU load is around 60% when the aircraft is on the ground? Is it the high load on core 0?

Looking forward to reading your opinions.

Cheers,

dornier
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Re: Realistic expectations on FPS on high end rig

Postby dornier » Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:27 am

Hi Daniel,

I'm in the same boat. I purchased an i9-9900KF, 32GB ram, 1TB M.2. drive, MSI Z390 Gaming Plus motherboard, and an RTX 2080 (non-super or TI). I was coming from a 9 year old i7 with 24GB and a regular 1080 (non-TI) and expected a smoother sim, but it really hasn't materialized. It's a new PC with nothing on it except for Windows 10, P3Dv4.5, Activesky for P3Dv4, Simsounds 3.0, ProATC/x and many scenery addons. I fly with Prosim 737 and I have a second PC for the cockpit. In either case, I think I wasted my money upgrading the primary PC. I was even running the 9 year old i7-4770 and 1080 in 4k and for the most part it was acceptable.

I haven't tried too many tweaks, just Nvidia control panel changes and P3Dv4.5 slider adjustments. One change that made a big difference was turning off VSYNC in the sim and turning it on (adaptive) in the nvidia control panel. Otherwise, most P3Dv4.5 changes within the sim have only increased the FPS by a few FPS. Still not smooth except climbing out, at cruise, and several custom airports. Today I flew into EGLC and it was smooth as I approached the city, but the closer I got to the airport you could see the stutters. It was somewhat acceptable until I started rolling out towards the end of the runway. It was stuttering quite a bit. This was with UK2000 EGLC. I decided to purchase Orbx's version and although it looks better, the stutters are still there. If I face the east it's smooth (I have my system set to 30FPS), but once I line up on runway 27, the stutters begin. I'm hoping the new FSX will fix all of these annoying issues we have with P3D, fingers crossed.

Note, I haven't overclocked my system at all. I never overclocked my previous system and didn't think I needed to do so on the new system. In the end, I agree with you Daniel. I feel as if I have a Ferrari with 150hp.

Good luck to us!

AnkH
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Re: Realistic expectations on FPS on high end rig

Postby AnkH » Mon Nov 04, 2019 7:55 am

I haven't tried too many tweaks, just Nvidia control panel changes and P3Dv4.5 slider adjustments.
Did you have tweaks active for your old 4770 build? I always struggled with the performance and for me, always got the best results with this setup:

- use an affinity mask entry inside prepar3d.cfg that mimicks HT off, in my case I have AM=1365, your 9900KF with HT on would need AM=21845 for the same setup (needs some fine tuning eventually, might be that 21844 works better).
- set VSYNC on inside P3D, but leave the triple buffering checkbox unchecked and limit the FPS to 30.
- do not use any nVIDIA control panel "tweak" except "prefer maximum performance" for the GPU.
- set your monitor refresh rate to an even multiplier of the FPS limit, e.g. 60Hz, 120Hz.

Like this, I have a very smooth sim. Not perfect, still some stutters, but I was easily able to see the increased performance when switching from a 3770K to the current 8700K

Last, you could try to overclock your 9900KF to 5GHz on all eight cores or manually disable HT in the BIOS (but then, get rid of the AM setting again, as it wont match anymore).
------------------
Chris

Hardware: i7 8700K@5.0GHz, 2x16GB DDR4 3200MHz CL14 RAM, Gigabyte Aorus GTX-1080Ti OC, Samsung SSDs (250GB for OS, 2TB for P3D), Windows 10 Home

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Blaunarwal
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Re: Realistic expectations on FPS on high end rig

Postby Blaunarwal » Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:58 pm

I have a similar mobo (ASUS Z390F Gaming) that recently got a very stable bios update (1302). This has a one click oc mode for 5 GHz. Before I could not overclock, had crashes all the times. No everything is fine and rock-stable.
Check if you can update the BIOS of your Gigabyte too.

Dan

P.S. I also have stutters on some airports and during flight, when the sim loads the scenery, very annoying after years of development of P3D!
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