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The_Black_Knight

Increasing OFF Performance

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All,

 

I know this has been discussed several times, but after various levels of testing, I have found that several settings in the use of nVidia cards continue to make signifiicant improvement in framerate and visual quality. To give reference, here is the computer specifications I use for gaming:

 

Gateway FX P-97805u laptop:

 

OS Name Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Home Premium

Version 6.0.6002 Service Pack 2 Build 6002

Other OS Description: System Manufacturer Gateway

System Model P-7805u

System Type x64-based PC

Processor Intel® Core™2 Duo CPU P8400 @ 2.26GHz, 2267 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 2 Logical Processor(s) (NO Overclock)

BIOS Version/Date Phoenix Technologies LTD 9C.17.00, 12/16/2008

SMBIOS Version 2.5

Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB

Video Card: Single GeForce 9800M GTS

Video Memory: 1 GB

 

Now, as far as settings for OFF, normal visual quality is 5-4-4-4-2 (I will explain why later)

Antialiasing set at 8X

Framerate max setting = 32 (CF3.cfg override)

Remaining settings are at OFF default levels along with memory settings.

 

Inside the nVidia Control Panel, I normally turn off AF completely, but leave AA to the application.

I maximize everything else towards performance, and I TURN OFF Physx processing (it makes a difference here, folks, trust me)

 

Ultimately, I have been able to stabilize the framerate with mimimal stutter at 1920X1080 32 bit at 32 FPS or 1792X992 32 bit at 41 fps (changing CF3.cfg again)

The planes and scenery look smooth and no jaggies, without that framerate hit.

 

I have found that when I start to push the envelope with clouds at OFF 3 setting, I begin to lose ~5 FPS

Cranking terrain to OFF 5 setting, has then same effect with a larger ~10 FPS hit (especially near the ground).

I don't try to drive the sceneary to 5 anymore, because eventually the game normally crashes after 15 minutes or so of play due to a video memory dump.

Maybe someday when we have 8 GB of video memory and a bigger PCi/AGP pipeline this might not be a problem......

 

The key to performance is this case is tradeoff in AF, which based on the speed of flight is really insignificant, unless you a really close to the ground all the time!

I prefer to be able to "see the wires" on aeroplanes from a distance along with my own plane, especially when constantly looking over my virtual shoulder.

What is most important is making sure you adjust the maximum framerate to stay steady state, and use the resources for additional video processing.

 

Hope these tips help!

 

The_Black_Knight

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Uncleal: drinks.gif Just a note to say Thanks.( about Ur advice on cleaning the heat sink) Seems to help a lot. But I was wondering The graphics seem to be more detailed after the cleaning. Am I seeing things? Thanks for ur help.bye.gif

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This is a straightforward process, that came out of earlier days from this simulation (and I do mean WAY BACK!)

It basically "locks" the maximum framerate that the game uses as a benchmark.

Reduces stuttering predominantly. It was never anticipated when the game came out, that it would be required to change this function, but I am glad it was included!

 

I made a small error in the name of the file, it should have been CFS3.xml

Edit it using notepad or wordpad.

Make sure you make a copy, and don't lock the file as read only after editing because CFS3 really does not like this.......

 

The file can be found here:

 

C:\\XXX\OBDSoftware\CFSWWI Over Flanders Fields\default

 

Actual file details in edit mode (from my file, yours will probably say MaxFPS="0", because it sets no limit):

 

<CFS3>

<Debugger DefaultDebugLevel="alerts" DisplayFileLine="No" DisplayLevel="No" Watson="Yes" DebugLog="cfs3debug.log" ExitOnAssert="No" OnlyLogMsg="No" UseDebugWindow="Yes" EnableAsserts="Yes" SingleAssert="No"/>

<Timer DefaultPeriod="0" Log="cfs3timer.log" OnlyLog="No" UseDebugWindow="Yes"/>

<Counter DefaultPeriod="0"/>

<Graphics OldAircraftRender="No" MaxFPS="32"/> <-------------CHANGE THIS TO 30-32 FPS!

<ModuleDebugLevels>

<SampleModule PrintLevel="Normal" AssertLevel="alert"/>

</ModuleDebugLevels>

<TopicDebugLevels>

<SampleTopic PrintLevel="Normal" AssertLevel="alert"/>

</TopicDebugLevels>

</CFS3>

 

Make sure you save the file.

 

You will see change immediately, on next startup.

The easy way to test this is to use the Z key during flight. The maximum framerate should stay at 32 FPS, except under the most stressful times, such as around airfields, but if you computer is powerful enough, it should not dip below 30 FPS.

Without this tweak it will bounce from 60+ FPS to less than 20+ dependent on the conditions.

It is really handy when you have 20-30 planes flying all around at the same time.....

 

The_Black_Knight

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Not having much luck with CFS3 / OFF myself, tried the graphics tweaks for ATI cards and setting to run on one core, still very slow and stuttery.

 

Had to switch to using one core of quad or its like a slow Powerpoint presentation.

 

Can the sound be a factor as big pauses seem to occur with gunfire shell explosions etc, already tried lowering acceleration but still same.

 

Are there any other tweaks you know of that can help, otherwise it will be shelved, and i will carry on with First Eagles and Rise of Flight which run great.

I have had CFS3 since it came out but not run for ages, got OFF because of the campaigns and great looking videos i had seen, at present its a bit of disappointment.

 

ASUS P5K mobo

Intel Q6600 Quad at 2.4

4Gb ram

ATI HD4890 1Gb

Creative X-FI souncard

XP SP3

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Already done that and not a massive improvement, I think it just does not like my PC.

If i dont limit the CFS3.exe to one core as soon as it starts, I may as well be looking at a still photo.

Thanks for the link anyway.

 

Del

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ive always recommened these for slower computers....http://forum.combatace.com/index.php?showtopic=44430&hl=

 

but dont consider yours a slow computer by any means...

 

if you do try them, the disable write only index and write only vertex buffers for ati still applies...

 

and,,,while your in overides...disable sound,,,and see if that improve anything,,,,

 

and make sure your resolution in cfs3configs is set as high as your monitor will take

 

 

but that system should play bhah fine,,,

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Thanks for the tips, settings looked much the same as those on the thread after i had put sliders at 1, disabled sound.

Still the same.

 

May try full uninstall of OFF and CFS3, Reinstall CFS3 and see if i can get that running right before even trying OFF.

At the moment they are both the same, basically unflyable with the micro pauses.

 

Good job i have Rise of Flight to keep me going.

 

Got an old PC ( 2-3 years) here as well, cannot remember whats in it but may give that a go over the weekend, cannot be any worse than it is on my normal games machine.

 

May just give the Game to my Dad, hes got an older lower spec machine and CFS3 anyway.

 

Del

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Saw mention on Kentcols not running thread of using disk 2 of CFS3, as far as I have tried it does not matter, it works with both.

 

Another issue I have apart from slow stuttering is the memory usage even after the CFS3.exe is exited.

Is it normal to have to close the ~fd055.tmp file manually using Task Manager to get over 2Gb of memory back.

If it is left it just stays there sucking resources, and game is restarted another .tmp file is created and starts increasing memory usage.

 

Will let you know how i get on with complete clear out of CFS3 and OFF followed by a re-install.

And will try my old machine which has been unused for a couple of years.

 

Del

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Black Knight,

 

Thanks for the informaion on were and how to change the MaxFPS setting. I have an older machine and have had various versions of the Microsoft Flight Simulator for over twenty years. MFS9 placed huge demands on my computer with all the add-ons that I ahd aded to the game. I found that if a I locked the framrate of the simulator to 20 FPS and reduced AI traffic to 60-70% I had better than average performance from the sim. I believe that by reducing the FPS it allows the processor to better handle such things as ground textures and clouds.

 

I reduced my MaxFPS to 20 and I am having a much better experience with the game.

 

Thanks again

 

Tom

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Saw mention on Kentcols not running thread of using disk 2 of CFS3, as far as I have tried it does not matter, it works with both.

 

Another issue I have apart from slow stuttering is the memory usage even after the CFS3.exe is exited.

Is it normal to have to close the ~fd055.tmp file manually using Task Manager to get over 2Gb of memory back.

If it is left it just stays there sucking resources, and game is restarted another .tmp file is created and starts increasing memory usage.

 

Will let you know how i get on with complete clear out of CFS3 and OFF followed by a re-install.

And will try my old machine which has been unused for a couple of years.

 

Del

 

 

ok,,,getting into areas that i dont know tooo much about,,but, does not sound right that off is chewing up that much ram........

 

when you close that temp file/application (not sure what it is), are you doing that under applications, or under processes?.

 

i have never seen a ~xxxxx.tmp running in my taks manager, that i can remeber. lol,,if i have,,im sure i stopped it right away...

 

would be interested in seeing if anyone else has noticed that type of application in thier task manager...

 

i would run msconfig,,,and see whats in your startup,,,

 

as far as the disk1 disk2 goes,,,seems like you are correct,,,,it works with either. lol..thats throwing me a little, cause i am almost positive way back when, it only worked with disk2...

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To squeeze the most performance out of your pc, you'll also need to address what services are running and what their impact is on memory resources.

 

BlackViper is probably the "holy grail" as to what services do and how they impact performance. I'm currently down to 17, I believe HomeBoy is down to 15. You'll need to do some studying and not just jump in; that can lead to a "borked" pc!

 

Go to: http://www.blackviper.com/ and be prepared to study. It's worth it.

 

To make the changes automatic whenever you start up BHaH or any other cpu intensive game, you'll want to use AlacrityPC. With it you'll be able setup profile(s) and restart any of the services that were temporarily stopped.

 

BHaH is cpu intensive and memory demanding. I was running XP32 SP3 with 2gb of ram with my proc (X6800) at 3.45 without fsb bump. Sliders were 5-4-3-3-1, capped at 35fps. I'm now running XP64 with 8gb of ram, same proc setup and sliders are now at 5-5-4-4-2 capped at 50fps. If I go to "3" on the clouds, she'll drop to 46fps. And I'm still using my venerable 8800GTX w/o overclocking it.

 

If you do nothing else, just be sure to turn off your A.V program, and if you're not flying online, disable your your internet connection (Network Connections). You'll pickup fps without having to go deep inside your pc.

 

There are other "tricks" like moving the swap file to the middle of the platter or adding a dedicated second hd with the swap file loaded on the backend of the first hd. Since ram is so inexpensive now, you can increase ram in a 32bit o.s. to 4gb. The o.s will only be able to access 3.5gb of it due to its limitations, but you'll have an additional 1.5gb to use and that'll make a difference as well.

 

plug_nickel (Al)

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Not having much luck with CFS3 / OFF myself, tried the graphics tweaks for ATI cards and setting to run on one core, still very slow and stuttery.

 

Had to switch to using one core of quad or its like a slow Powerpoint presentation.

 

Can the sound be a factor as big pauses seem to occur with gunfire shell explosions etc, already tried lowering acceleration but still same.

 

Are there any other tweaks you know of that can help, otherwise it will be shelved, and i will carry on with First Eagles and Rise of Flight which run great.

I have had CFS3 since it came out but not run for ages, got OFF because of the campaigns and great looking videos i had seen, at present its a bit of disappointment.

 

ASUS P5K mobo

Intel Q6600 Quad at 2.4

4Gb ram

ATI HD4890 1Gb

Creative X-FI souncard

XP SP3

This shouldn't be happening. Running CFS3/BHaH on AMD multiple cores has been a problem depending on the mobo, its bios and o.s., thus having to set Affinity to single core. It should not be happening with any Intel quad or core 2 duo.

 

I'd suggest you look into this more deeply. This is the first time, at least for me, where someone has had to set Affinity on an Intel quad in order to run BHaH. BHaH wants frequency and memory, not cores, but you shouldn't have to manually limit the proc.

 

plug_nickel (Al)

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Thanks for all the tips, never got round to uninstalling or trying other machine, to busy doing other stuff and flying my Radio Control planes.

Will have a good look this weekend though.

 

That .tmp file i mentioned shows up in Task Manager Processes and only starts when CFS3.exe for OFF starts, problem is it does not stop when CFS3 quits.

If you start another mission from OFF manager another .tmp is created.

I thought it was storing the mission data or something.

 

Del

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No edit option on posts ?

 

The .tmp file is mission data etc, if you stop the process from Task Manager CFS3 exits and you go back to OFF Manager screen.

 

Del

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Hi all,

 

I've been meaning to post on here for some time.

 

Basically, I've been looking enviously at screenshots that other people have posted who have (allegedly) less capable rigs than mine, but whose graphical output seems to be somewhat better than what I see when I'm flying.

 

Here are the pertinent bits:

 

Processor: 2 X intel pentium D820s (2.8mhz x 2)

 

2048 mb DDR-SDRAM

 

ATI Radeon HD2400 Pro AGP (512mb)

 

3D settings (via the ATI menu - I've not buggered about with these (yet)):

 

Anti aliasing - application managed (on), 2x, 4x

Anisotropic filtering - application managed (on), 2x, 4x, 8x, 16x

Catalyst AI - disabled, standard, advanced (on)

Mipmap detail level - High performance, performance (on), quality, high quality

Wait for vertical refresh - Always off (on), off unless application specifies, on unless application specifies, always on

Adaptive anti aliasing - Disabled (on), enabled

Direct3D settings - Support DXT texture formats, alternate pixel centre (<- none of these are selected)

OpenGL settings - triple buffering, force 24-bit 2-buffer depth (<- none of these are selected)

 

Aside from that, I've capped my FPS at 30, and I'm running all the recommended settings for ATI cards as specified in the OFF help notes.

 

Can anyone suggest useful, sure fire changes for increased graphical beauty? In particular, I'd love to get rid of the ugly vertical join in the top wing of aircraft (Alb DIIs in particular) which resembles some odd paint job join.

 

TIA,

 

Simon

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Simon,

 

I'm running a similar setup, as far as processor speed goes. Your performance appears to be limited some by your AGP card. I originally had a X1950XTX, but upgraded to a 4870, and have had good luck. The ATI tweaks are mandatory, especially index and vertex buffer settings. I also turn all messages off in the overrides...I had serious lags until I turned them off.

 

Your Catalyst settings could be changed a little. Start by setting your cfsconfig.exe setting to 8XAA, then use Catalyst to set your AA and AF where you like them. I use 4XAA (12 Samples) with Edge Detect and 8X AF. I also turn off Catalyst AI and Adaptive AF. Have you upgraded to the latest Catalyst 9.9 drivers? Most report FPS improvement. (BTW, ATI has improved the process for installing new drivers...their FAQ is a bit unclear, but I had the best luck by not uninstalling the old drivers first, and let the new install program take care of that for me.)

 

Other than that, I prefer to max out sliders for aircraft, but use lower settings (2 or 3) for terrain and scenery. I had a big FPS hit from the clouds setting with the 1950, but haven't noticed it with the 4870. You can also reduce regional air traffic, ground object density, and in cloud fog.

 

Hope this helps.

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Hi BirdDog,

 

thanks for those hints - I suspect you're right about the AGP card. Damn those mobo makers who didn't fit PCI-Express! A must for my next rig...and a f*** off Nvidia card to, methinks.

 

I'll try mucking about with the ATI settings - I only found them very recently (doh!) so I'll see what delivers improvements. Checked on all the other stuff, and I think our setups are similar in respect to vertex and messages (all dealt with). I'll let you know how I get on.

 

Cheers,

Si

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