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New Sim Computer

Started by sagrada737, May 19, 2021, 09:02:04 AM

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sagrada737

May 19, 2021, 09:02:04 AM Last Edit: July 12, 2021, 12:01:34 PM by sagrada737
Hello All,

I have been testing my Sim in various operating modes with the new Optoma ZH406ST Laser projectors.  I finally settled on some settings that allow inputting 4K (3840 x 2160 each of three projector)resolution, for a 11,520 x 2160 total resolution for the NVIDIA Surround Display that is processed by Pixelwix for use with P3D v4.5.

The 4k display data is downscaled by each projector to HD quality, resulting in a really nice HD 210 degree wrap-around display.  However, this is a lot of graphics data for my single i7 Sim computer to process -- even with the new  NVIDIA RTX-3090 GPU installed.

As a result, I am seeing an occasional and random disengagement of one of the projected displays, which results in an image shift of about 1" on the projection screen.  This "glitch" typically occurs during a turn on the ground or in flight.  It does quickly correct itself, and comes back into proper warp/blend alignment.  If you are not looking for this glitch, it is easy to miss.

However, this behavior was a little disappointing.  Having tested this setup in different configuration modes, I now have it where this display glitch is minimized, but not good enough...    What's the solution?  Spend more money... :)

I have wanted to upgrade my Sim Computer, so this was the excuse I needed.  My single i7 Sim Computer has been a limiting part of the Sim system, considering everything I am running -- hence the computer upgrade.

Here are the specs of the new Sim Computer for those interested:

- Intel Core i9-11900KF 5.3GHz 8-Core CPU
- CPU with Turbo Boost Max
- 32 GB DDR4 4600 MHz RAM
- 2 TB WD SN850 NVMe SSD (very fast read/write)
- 4 TB Seagate IronWolf HD (for VEEAM Backups)
- 8TG WD HD for scenery and other Sim apps
- GigaByte Z590 Vision D Motherboard with WiFi 6
- EK 360 Liquid CPU Cooler
- NVIDIA RTX-3090 GPU
- 1000 Watt Power Supply
- Windows 10 Pro Operating System

This CPU will allow me to run at 5.3 GHz single core under Temp control, with some cooling assist from the IP Cooler I have near the Sim, located in front of the 6dof Motion Platform.  Benchmarks on this CPU setup show that I should see about a 40% speed improvement over my current Sim computer.  In addition, the RTX-3090 was designed to preform best with the newer processors/motherborads, so there may be some improvements there as well.

I should have this new computer installed in the Sim in a couple of weeks.  Hopefully I will be able to report some good news on the actual performance of this new Sim computer setup.

Mike

Full-scale 737-800 Sim; P3d v4.5x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP,  FlightIllusion hardware.  3-Optoma ZH406ST Laser HD projectors, with 4K inputs from a single Nvidia RTX-3090 GPU, resulting in a 210 deg wrap-around display.  6dof Motion Platform using BFF 6dof motion software, driven by a Thanos Servo Controller to 6.2 KW Servos, Lever type actuators.

FredK

Mike...

You are in the search for the Holy Grail!

But I wish you luck and sincerely hope it makes a step-function difference.  I'll be the first one to duplicate it all if it does!

Fred K
Boeing 737NG-800, Prepar3D v4.5, Sim-Avionics 1.964, SimSync multi-channel (curved screen), Optoma 1080GTDarbee projectors (3), Fly Elise warping, FSGRW weather, FDS OH panels and CDUs, SimParts MIP, FDS SysBoards (OH), CPFlight MCPPro and pedestal panels, FI Gauges, PFC controls, converted motorized TQ (SIOC), Weber seats

blueskydriver

May 19, 2021, 10:03:26 AM #2 Last Edit: May 19, 2021, 10:06:43 AM by blueskydriver Reason: Typo
Awesome new system Mike, and looking forward to you letting us know how things turn out.

My favorite thought, you gotta "Love the White Rabbit"! ;D

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

sagrada737

July 05, 2021, 03:59:07 PM #3 Last Edit: July 05, 2021, 04:13:42 PM by sagrada737
Hello All,

I finally have the new Sim Computer completed and integrated into my 737-800 Sim and its 6dof Motion Platform.

I changed the specs slightly on the CPU and installed an Intel i9-11900K CPU instead of the KF version.  This allowed better support of the graphics, which included using a 4th monitor off the Motherboard.

I expected an improvement in performance, and I was not disappointed.  The entire system is new, which allows for a cleaner integration of the systems, eg. CPU, RAM, SSD Storage, GPU, etc.

I ended up running the Intel i9-11900K at 5.1 GHz, which when running P3D v4.5x utilizes about 60% of the CPU, with temps well within acceptable range.  The Nvidia RTX-3090 GPU is running at about 38% utilization, with temps around 46 deg C.

During actual flight tests with, and without the Motion Platform operational, there were significant performance improvements.

The 6dof Motion Platform software has a great deal of operational interaction with P3D, and seems to place a moderate load on system performance.  In any case, compared to my previous i7 computer system, the new computer seems to be running everything smoother.

I'm running some HD airports and some of ORBX TrueEarth scenery, all of which run smoother than before.  If I shut-down the Motion Platform, performance further improves.

As I mentioned, I am using the Optoma ZH406HD projectors for a 3-projector 210 degree wrap around display.  The strategy of feeding P3D 4k display resolution and allowing the projectors down-scale the display to true 1080p HD resolution has worked out nicely.  I am very pleased with the display quality.  Below are a couple of photos taken with my phone camera to give you an idea of the projection quality as seen from the cockpit.  Of course, the display is much more dynamic when sitting in the cockpit.

Now, it is back to working on the AFT part of the flight Deck.

By the way...   The 6dof Motion Platform is robust and powerful enough to allow four adults to sit in the cockpit during a full-motion flight.   This makes it kind of nice to share the Sim with others.  The motion cues are fairly well refined at this point, and I have yet to have anyone get "Sim Motion Sickness".  Once the AFT part of the flight Deck is completed, access will be cramp and somewhat restrictive.  The main isle Observer Seat blocks the exit to cockpit door.  When all this is completed, I'll have to take a fresh look at how best to populate the cockpit.

Mike
Full-scale 737-800 Sim; P3d v4.5x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP,  FlightIllusion hardware.  3-Optoma ZH406ST Laser HD projectors, with 4K inputs from a single Nvidia RTX-3090 GPU, resulting in a 210 deg wrap-around display.  6dof Motion Platform using BFF 6dof motion software, driven by a Thanos Servo Controller to 6.2 KW Servos, Lever type actuators.

sagrada737

A follow up to my previous post on the new computer status.

After talking with Fred about Affinity Masks (AM), I decided to play around with AM settings with the new Intel i9 11900K CPU.  My efforts did not yield any improvement in performance.  I subsequently read a post by one of developers on the P3D team.  He stated that with P3D versions 4.4 and higher, that they did not see a need for any use of AM, and that it did not make too much difference if Hyper-Threading was enabled or disabled.

I also tried selective assignment of certain apps to specific Threads.  That did not work well at all, resulting in significant Display stuttering.

At this point, I am not using any Affinity Masks, and I have Hyper-Threading disabled.

To be quite honest, I am not an expert with applying AM to the Sim Computer now running P3D v4.5x, so it may be that there is a combination of AM settings and P3D settings that will help to improve overall performance.  In this regard, I will continue to "tweak" P3D settings.  Like all custom computer/Sim setups, there is no cookie cutter solution, with trial and error the best course of action.

Having said all that, The Sim is fundamentally running very stable with Sim-Avionics as the 737-800 flight model.  I do however notice that the 1080p HD display performance is slightly affected whenever I have the 6dof Motion Platform operational.  In the near future, I am planning on installing P3D v5, which I am told offers performance improvements.

A note on having the Motion Platform operational on a flight...   There is no doubt that the 6dof Motion Platform adds significantly to the Sim Immersion experience.  I must state however, that when flying in turbulent weather conditions, the Motion Platform is true to form, and it can be a rather bumpy flight.  This is not too bad with mild turbulence, but in or near a thunderstorm, much like in the real world, it is a bit too much movement and wears on one's senses during the flight.  Fortunately, I can place the Motion Platform at any time in its "HOLD" position and spare the flight crew during the rough part of the flight.

Lastly...   Any constructive comments on Affinity Masks and Hyper-Threading with Intel's 11th generation CPUs would be appreciated.

Mike

Full-scale 737-800 Sim; P3d v4.5x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP,  FlightIllusion hardware.  3-Optoma ZH406ST Laser HD projectors, with 4K inputs from a single Nvidia RTX-3090 GPU, resulting in a 210 deg wrap-around display.  6dof Motion Platform using BFF 6dof motion software, driven by a Thanos Servo Controller to 6.2 KW Servos, Lever type actuators.

n4208t

I have not verified this but a friend of mine who runs a computer store building custom machines said his research showed that these settings make no difference in P3D because P3D essentially only uses a single core.

I personally found that P3dv5 does have some performance improvement but, at least for me, the scenery in v4 and all of the add-ons I have still make 4.5 preferable.

I pretty much fly exclusively in VR these days and VR is definitely the weakest compared to X-plane and FS2020.  At least for me, I cannot get rid of stuttering and CTD's in P3D using an HP Reverb, i9, 3080 and 64 gb of ram.  FS2020 is smooth, stable and the graphics are gorgeous in VR.  I still get a bit of momentary stuttering with some head movement but I think that is due to the head tracking of the Reverb and not the sim.

Steve

Neil Hewitt

Quote from: n4208t on July 13, 2021, 03:50:09 AMI have not verified this but a friend of mine who runs a computer store building custom machines said his research showed that these settings make no difference in P3D because P3D essentially only uses a single core.

No. P3D uses all the cores in your system, or at least up to 6 cores. Yes, the 'main thread' which is where most of the work and in particular the rendering gets done is on a single thread and therefore a single core, which is why you'll generally see one core at 100% all the time, but the other cores are used for some other tasks, primarily loading terrain and textures.

AM is a dark art that some claim can transform your sim. That's not my experience. But if you have Hyper Threading on, the main thread (usually on Core 0) can get blocked by threads running on the second Logical Processor on Physical Core 0 and this can slow the sim down. So, with HT on, it makes sense to use an AM to keep P3D off the second LP. But it makes more sense to use something like Process Lasso to keep *all* work off both LPs on Core 0 so that P3D can have the core to itself.

If you have six physical cores or more, then some people believe it makes sense to turn HT off altogether, as P3D will gain no benefit from running on more than six cores (supposedly; apparently beyond six terrain-loading threads the main thread can get blocked), and six physical cores are better than six LPs on three physical cores, if you see what I mean.

Personally I have HT off on the CPU I have that supports it, and my other CPU is a 6-core without HT support. In neither case do I use an AM or Process Lasso any more, and I am seeing just as good performance as I was when I used both.

But of course YMMV.

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