[ANSWERED] Multiple Display Documentation

Any issues, problems or troubleshooting topics related to computer hardware and the Prepar3D client application
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Postby FSMP » Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:44 pm

Viewing post http://www.prepar3d.com/forum-5/?mingleforumaction=viewtopic&t=1915 and others, it strikes me there is very little practical information on "Multiple Display" system configurations and their performances.

This is unexpected, as it seems that most of the work on P3D has been to support Multiple Screen display systems.

Yes, there is some documentation on how to configure the software for these systems, but what is clearly missing is any sort of practical guidelines, on what equipment configuration works best, and typical system performance.

For example, consider a 6 projector system.

What are the options, and what sort of performance vs cost can be expected from theses options.

ie. 1 display per PC.

2 displays per PC, on a single dual card.

2 displays per PC, on separate cards.

3 displays per PC, on 3 separate single video cards. (Pc with triple PCIe slots)

3 displays per PC, using a Triple head to go.

etc etc

By now, those developing such system, should be getting some measurable performances, and determining that some configurations are better than others.

It would be "wonderful" if some of there finding could be shared. (at least from LM )

My personal experience, is on a single display system, and it is a struggle to get smooth and reasonably high frame rates, with a powerful I7, and a high end video card.

Putting an additional displays on the single display system would seem to be significantly detrimental to performance, which makes me think that the only way to go must be to limit each PC to just a single display ... EXPENSIVE -- but you get what you pay for.

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Postby jimcooper1 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:21 am


I don't believe there is a definitive answer as there are so many variables within P3D that affect performance. Also the complexity of the aircraft, the scenery objects and weather settings all have a massive impact on performance. Scenarios are also a factor, if you're flying a helicopter low and slow or a fast jet low and fast, complexity of scenery and speed at which objects have to be rendered are different. Experimentation seems to be the only way: if framerates are too low then throw another PC at it. I have personally managed to get decent results (>30fps) with a single PC driving 5 monitors: 3 HD outside views, one HD instrument view and a touch-screen Instructor Operating Station(1280x1024). http://www.m2news.com.au/tools/View.php?id=12216

You're correct the 'safe' way is to have 1 PC for each display, not really that expensive in the world of professional simulation, but 2 monitors per PC is generally very good too.

My advice: Best Motherboard and CPU you can afford, SSD (or fast HDD with large SSD cache), 8MB RAM is plenty, single GPU with 1GB VRAM is sufficient for 2 monitor setup. If you need more monitors use better (and/or multiple) graphics card(s) but limit the Address load by using VideoMemoryOverride.


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Postby FSMP » Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:23 am


Quote from jimcooper1 on November 11, 2012, 06:21

Experimentation seems to be the only way:

That is my point.. everyone is "Experimenting" ( EXPENSIVE in a Commercial Environment ).

I would have thought by now, there would be something in place to Measure Performance, in a standardized benchmark, and thus be able to compare performance of varying setup.

Agreed, in a Commercial Environment, the cost of adding hardware (another PC) is almost insignificant, compared with the total project cost. In fact, taken to the extreme, it's probably cheaper (and technically safer), to just budget for One PC per Display, and know you can't get better than that, rather than to spend days/weeks, "experimenting" and messing about with less powerful configurations.

You might save a few thousand on hardware & software, but you will have spent far more money and time, than that, and potentially end up with a less powerful solution.

Of course, it depends for what purpose you are using P3D.

Someone, messing about at weekends, building their own "Dream" Cockpit ( Cost to individual/day $0 !!)

or someone working within a commercial organization, (Cost to organization/day $1000+ )

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Postby cliff » Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:31 pm

One thing I would like to see is better documentation for this area, we have three PC in our set-up but only use two as we are yet to get the sharing of visual data to work over the network. I have read and re-read the documentation many times and tried lots of times but nothing seems to work with and reliable success.

Currently the sim is running with One pc via a Matrox card to 3 projects and also another to 3 instrument screens and the other is running bespoke instructor station software I wrote to control the whole thing via SimConnect. This works well with rates >20fps most of the time and it's just the fact that to keep this the details are turned down a bit and there is a very slight lag in the controls which is just noticeable.

I would like to get the other spare PC to take the load of one matrox card and say the 3 instrument screens but as I say it's been a fight to get it working and we always return to the current working solution for our events.

If anyone has any documentation of ideas on the best way to get this kind of set-up working I would be very greatful.


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Postby WBard » Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:07 pm

Because there are so many different use cases for a platform like Prepar3D, it's tough to put out documentation or recommended settings for everything at a system level. Like you all have mentioned, use cases, requirements, are all different per project, so it's best at the user level to experiment and come up with a solution for your project that best meets yours or your customers needs. We've added features over time to Prepar3D to allow it to be more customizable (panel only mode to disable 3d visuals for large cockpits, multichannel to better distribute 3d visuals when needed, etc) - and will continue to add or enhance features when requested. We've been asked before to make the multichannel setup and display process and documentation easier, and we'll look at that. If there are any other areas that you all request additional documentation on, please let us know. Have a great day,

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