Cameron

Saab 340A Performance and What to Expect in 1.1

108 posts in this topic

Hi, Folks!,

 

Let me just start out by saying the next update will give all of you some considerable FPS improvements. Read on!

 

I wanted to give you an idea of where we're at for the forthcoming update. There's quite a bit going into this, and I'm not sure exactly when we'll get it out, but I would really like it to be within the next few days.
 
Some of you have had concerns with performance, the combination of HDR, and comparing the Saab to other aircraft in these situations. I'm going to touch on that below, but first, here's a quick list of things you can expect to be included in the 1.1 update:
 
• Fixed typo on GUI walkaround checklist
• Added GPU sound
• Fixed bug in Condition Lever joystick assignment
• Desensitized joystick assignment
• Changed animation of flap handle for joystick users
• Fixed bug causing an error when CTOT was on and engines overheated.
• Fixed bug in Anti-Skid system causing no CWP annunciation
• Reverted to default sounds on Dot-Dash radio code
• Fixed bug in window anti-ice system

• Fixed bug in wing anti-ice system
• Fixed bug in volume control GUI on "RESET ALL"
• Fixed "pop" in prop sound
• Adjusted generator cut-out parameter

• Fixed avionics blackout when making abrupt moves with the throttle
• Memory leak plugged - fixed ;)
 
 
There's a bit more included as well, but that's the main list of things to expect. We'll be sure to detail every little thing in your update e-mails when they go out and the update is available! :)
 
 
Okay, so lets talk about performance. I know this has been a hot subject for some of you, and while majority of our customers are very happy, we really do want to work towards making everyone happy. The Saab 340A was a 3.5 year long endeavour and we set out to accomplish three things in the process:

  • Create the most detailed and accurate 3D model for X-Plane
  • Create a true study level simulation that mimics the real aircraft in essentially every aspect (really, the first aircraft to do this for X-Plane)
  • Make the texture detail and sounds as accurate as possible

Now, I believe we successfully checked off all three of these tasks, however, with it came some consequences. The first had to do with HDR. The Saab simulates so many systems and has so much number crunching going on behind the scenes that the CPU is always working for you to run this. Adding in HDR places more burden on the CPU, and not just the GPU. Believe it or not, majority of your FPS hit is coming from the actual system simulation and NOT the geometry or textures in use. In fact, X-Plane can chew through quite a number of 3D geometry without a lot of consequence. Because of these two factors at play, HDR has been taking a pretty tough hit with the Saab. We also look forward to improvements in the future with Laminar working on HDR as the version 10 series continues to develop.
 
There were also reports of a memory leak which we are happy to say we have fixed. This doesn't necessarily improve performance from the start, but it WILL solve the out of memory errors and the sudden slow downs later into a flight, so we're definitely happy to report that!
 
With all the above said, and now that the Saab has been out, we have had a little breather, and gained our lost sleep back, we've been back at working on optimizing the Saab. By this I mean that we are going over every aspect of the Saab 340A code and looking at ways we can improve the time it takes the CPU to munch on our code and spit out results. With programming there can be 10 different ways to get the same result, but one of those ways can be much more efficient. Think of it like a highway vs. city streets. In most cases, the highway is always going to be the most efficient route to your destination, even if there's 10 different ways to get there through city streets! With the help of Ben Russell's new profiler we have been able to analyze every aspect of the code and have begun the work of cutting down heavy hitting code to run more efficiently on everyone's machines. So far the results have turned out to be quite promising. I don't know how far we'll get with this optimization before 1.1 is released, but rest assured 1.1 will contain some pretty nice optimizations none-the-less. You WILL see FPS increases in the forthcoming update, and over time I'm sure we'll continue to refine and optimize till we have squeezed every last ounce of optimizations out.
 
For now, I'd like to show you test results of the current 1.0 build of the Saab that you all have, vs our 1.1 optimized code of the Saab as it stands now. I have ran various tests and setting changes in X-Plane across three different computers to give you an idea of what to expect. At this time I'm just posting one machine but will followup with the next two machines soon after. I will say that in EVERY instance, on EVERY system tested thus far (Mac and Windows) we are seeing considerable FPS increases.
 
Keep in mind that everyone runs different settings. Higher resolutions require more VRAM, etc. I have tried to give you a relatively wide array of examples to get an idea:
 


Computer Specs - Windows Desktop Machine

CPU = i5 2500k @ stock speed
RAM = 8GB
GPU = GTX 680 4GB @ stock speed (2GB version will get similar performance. VRAM only helps on big monitors)

 
X-Plane Settings

  • Screen Resolution = Full-screen @ 2560 x 1440
  • Texture Resolution = Extreme
  • Trees = Populated
  • Number of objects = Tons
  • Number of roads = Tons 
  • Number of cars = Kansas Residential
  • World detail distance = Medium
  • Airport detail = Default
  • Anti Aliasing = 16x
  • Anisotropic Filter = 8x
  • Per Pixel Lighting = On

When HDR is shown, the following settings are applied

  • Atmospheric Scattering = On
  • HDR Anti Aliasing = 4x SSAA+FXAA
  • Anisotropic Filter = 8x

The following test was conducted sitting at the default runway location at KIAH.

You will see that best case scenario with these settings we have gained 11 fps in the 1.1 update.

Saab1%20.png
 

In the next example rendering settings have been toned down as indicated below:
 
X-Plane Settings

  • Screen Resolution = Full-screen @ 2560 x 1440
  • Texture Resolution = Extreme
  • Trees = Sparse
  • Number of objects = Default
  • Number of roads = Default 
  • Number of cars = Siberian Winter
  • World detail distance = Medium
  • Airport detail = Low
  • Anti Aliasing = 16x
  • Anisotropic Filter = 8x
  • Per Pixel Lighting = On

When HDR is shown, the following settings are applied

  • Atmospheric Scattering = On
  • HDR Anti Aliasing = 4x SSAA+FXAA
  • Anisotropic Filter = 8x

The following test was conducted sitting at the default runway location at KIAH.
You will see that best case scenario with these settings we have gained 16 fps in the 1.1 update.

Screen%20Shot%202013-10-04%20at%207.45.1

 

 

All FPS listed are from f-act (actual FPS), and not the often higher number from f-sim.

 

The other guys on the team are reporting roughly a 14 fps increase with version 1.1. The biggest point being here that there will be quite a bit of room for you guys to work, tweak, adjust and see improvements over 1.0. One other thing to note...these stats are taken at the airport. It is my experience that once off the ground and flying, X-Plane's FPS tend to increase, so these stats would be slightly higher in such scenarios.

 

I'll be back soon with more stats from the Mac side! :)

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Splendid news! Thanks to all the team for your efforts and dedication! I'm a ver happy customer!

Sent from my GT-I9500 using Tapatalk 4

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After being probably the best aircraft ever developed for XP, this sounds to be the best customer support and product " looking after " I've ever seen, pretty impressive ... :o

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Thanks! Fantastic news! I really admire your dedication on this project, no money can buy that! :)

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Sounds great. FPS are already good for me but having more is always better. I'm running an i7 extreme over clocked to 4.5 GHz, 12 gigs of RAM and two Titans in Sli. I have 3 x 27 inch monitors running in 3d surround.

 

Oops - fixed bad spelling (was using a cellphone)

Edited by cabnz1
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Sounds great. FPS are already good for me but having moreis alwa ys better. I'mr unning an i7 extreme over clocked to 4.5 GHz, 12 gigs of RAM and two Titans in Sli. I have 3 x 27 inch monitors running in 3d surround.

 

Sounds like a pretty nice rig for X-Plane! :)

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Sounds like a pretty nice rig for X-Plane! :)

Thanks Cameron,

 

Sometimes for even better performance I'll cut down to one screen with Trackir.

 

PS: Oops I fixed spelling errors :)

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This is fantastic news. Looking much forward to the update. Thanks a lot for for all the work and dedication you have put into this wonderfull aircraft.  :)

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Thank you, you have made a very nice plane!  

 

A nice improvement would be in being able to change charts during flight (those displayed on the yoke):  now it's possible to prepare only those needed for a departure or an arrival and, flying with real weather, it could happens than at destination airport the active runway could change, so the arrival procedure.

Edited by Mkiii
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You can have up to 5 charts to choose from and they can be changed at any time during the flight using the charts pop-up panel.  Just put a check mark in the chart you want displayed at any time.

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Thanks Cameron! I really appreciate this. The Saab is absolutely amazing and the FPS-impact was the only reason why i had problems with it (as you know). So I am really looking forward to the V1.1! :)

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Wow!. This is fantastic news. Thank you guys. I have a laptop and the performance reports had me holding back the impulse to just get it. I will definitely purchase as soon as the update arrives : )

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Exciting news!  Never had any doubt you would keep pushing the envelope.

 

Many thanks to the entire team!   :)

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Okay, back with some more. This time I'm going to show results on a 2011 iMac 27-inch. Given these have mobile GPUs they don't perform as well with HDR almost ever, but they are MORE than suitable to run the Saab under 1.1 as is shown below. Alternatively, if you run at a lower monitor resolution than what Apple gives you on this big display, you will also receive gains. That said, I wanted to show you full res results. Yet again, in every aspect there is a FPS increase using 1.1!
 
If you have one of the newer iMac models you can expect even better performance, especially with the latest gen 4GB models. These tests below are just me making quick adjustments. Given you can see the iMac is capable of getting 40fps in my quick test, I'd say there's plenty of room to find your "happy" place here. :) Keep in mind also that I elected to do the Seattle area in this test, which has some rather heavy hitting objects around it, but still quite good results!
 
Computer Specs - Mid 2011 iMac 27-inch
 
CPU = i7 @ 3.4 GHz
RAM = 8GB
GPU = AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB
 
X-Plane Settings

  • Screen Resolution = Full-screen @ 2560x1440
  • Texture Resolution = Very High
  • Trees = Populated
  • Number of objects = Default
  • Number of roads = Default
  • Number of cars = Siberia Winter
  • World detail distance = Medium
  • Airport detail = Default
  • Anti Aliasing = 8x
  • Anisotropic Filter = 4x
  • Per Pixel Lighting = On

When HDR is shown, the following settings are applied

  • Atmospheric Scattering = On
  • HDR Anti Aliasing = 2x SSAA+FXAA
  • Anisotropic Filter = 4x

The following test was conducted sitting at the default runway location at KBFI.
You will see that best case scenario with these settings we have gained 8 fps in the 1.1 update.
Screen%20Shot%202013-10-05%20at%206.26.2
 
 
In the next example rendering settings have been toned down as indicated below:
 
X-Plane Settings

  • Screen Resolution = Full-screen @ 2560x1440
  • Texture Resolution = Very High
  • Trees = Sparse
  • Number of objects = None
  • Number of roads = None
  • Number of cars = Siberia Winter
  • World detail distance = Medium
  • Airport detail = Low
  • Anti Aliasing = 4x
  • Anisotropic Filter = 4x
  • Per Pixel Lighting = On

When HDR is shown, the following settings are applied

  • Atmospheric Scattering = Off
  • HDR Anti Aliasing = 2x SSAA+FXAA
  • Anisotropic Filter = 4x

The following test was conducted sitting at the default runway location at KBFI.

You will see that best case scenario with these settings we have gained 16 fps in the 1.1 update.
Screen%20Shot%202013-10-05%20at%206.31.1

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MORE GRIT!

 

You're going to have to fight tooth and nail with Leen on that one.  :D

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The second one is pretty much exactly my specs, except I have a bit lower VRAM.

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The second one is pretty much exactly my specs, except I have a bit lower VRAM.

I assume you have the 1GB video card then? These tests were with the 2GB selection in the installer, so as long as you selected the 1GB version in your installer you should expect similar increases. :)

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