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Very low FPS when looking into clouds


Ifikratis
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I experience very low FPS most of the times with SMP v5. Let me first say that I have re-installed X-Plane 11 with the latest beta update to an empty Samsung 1TB 970 Pru Plus nvme drive. My GPU is a 2080 TI and my CPU an overclocked at 5GHz i9 10900K. I also have 32 DDR4 RAM. So, I guess my system should be able to run this scenario good enough.

Scenario:

Gaya Kos airport 
HotStart TBM900 on the ramp
ASXP and RWC

SMP and XP settings in the screenshots. 

When I pan my view looking down in the cockpit, I get stable 60 FPS. As soon as I move the viewpoint to the sky and clouds, FPS drops to 10-15 FPS. This has happend using either 5.0.4 or 5.0.5 versions. Of course I have similar performance issues on other airports and with other aircraft, i just gave an example. I attach screenshots so you can see with your own eyes the FPS difference. When I uninstalled SMP I get stable 60 FPS wherever I look (clours/sky or cockpit). 

I also attach screens of my settings. 

In this state SMP seems unusable to me. Looking forward for your repy / @sundog

 

Screenshot 2021-01-25 205353.jpg

Screenshot 2021-01-25 205437.jpg

2089580806_TBM900-2021-01-258_56_38PM.png

1730753055_TBM900-2021-01-258_56_42PM.png

242527737_TBM900-2021-01-258_56_51PM.png

1511304759_TBM900-2021-01-258_56_54PM.png

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That's a known effect and expected. When you are inside a cloud looking out, volumetric clouds must compute every pixel on your screen along a very long ray. It's basically the worst case scenario.

Reducing the cloud draw area setting can help, but generally speaking framerates are less important inside a cloud anyhow. You don't need 60 FPS to see a gray wall in front of you :)

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@sundog I don't get exactly your reply. As you can see I am not inside a cloud, but on the ground at the apron. As you can see I have reduced the cloud draw area, it is not maxed out, its less than 50%. Also, I don't find it convenient to go and adjust it all the time during a flight as I risk a CTD and lose my flight. 

Also, what do you mean framerates are less important inside a cloud?? If I get 10-15 fps the whole plane stutters, the roll/pitch/yaw, the displays, the mouse, the view panning..its a mess. Even if I am in a cloud I still need to fly the plane at good fps. And again the issue above is on the apron, so taxing and takeoff is also impossible. 

For 60 USD I would expect something more realistic, especially when you advertise that the volumetric clouds bring increased performance in your product page. 

Looking forward for your reply. 

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I saw "looking into the clouds" in the post title and assumed that's what you meant.

Volumetric clouds work by performing expensive calculations for every pixel fragment of your screen where clouds might be visible. If you're looking down, it does nothing because we know there are no clouds there. But when you look into the sky you incur the performance cost of volumetric clouds.

To mitigate it, your best bet is probably to lower your resolution or anti-aliasing settings. On my own GTX1080 system it does perform better than non-volumetric clouds, but this is at 1920x1080 resolution. We've never promised that it would outperform them on every system or under every setting.

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I already have reduced my AA setting from 4x SGSS to 2x SGSS and already hating the shimmering and displays resolution and now you ask me on top of that to reduce my 3440x1440 resolution to 1080 ?? No, I am not going to fly on 1080. I bought my screen to enjoy good resolution and its not even 4K.  With all respect @sundog but I with this purchase I feel I literary lost 60 USD. I hope you can see why. Cameron informed me that X-Aviation does not give refunds so I am feeling disappointed and deceived by your product page promises for "increased performance" and "optimized for balanced CPU/GPU load" promises. 

13 minutes ago, sundog said:

We've never promised that it would outperform them on every system or under every setting.

Well, you did. This is what was on the announcement thread: 

"With that said, SkyMaxx Pro v5 brings GPU ray-casted clouds. Internally, we attempted GPU ray-casted clouds many versions ago, but the performance was just not there. However, they will now be the fastest clouds we offer (you read that right...faster than v4!)".

From your product page:

"Extended Draw Distance

With the increased performance of volumetric clouds…”

"Better Optimization

- Techniques used to lessen the load between your GPU and CPU with proper distribution between the two.”

When you say "Better" optimization, better from what? I guess from previous methods. When you say "faster than v4!" it can't be more specific Frank. You promise it would be faster, and now I get 10 fps when looking at a cloud.  Refunds exist for a reason. If you can't give refunds you are forcing me to not use my 60 USD. Because what you ask me to lower my resolution to 1080 is not a solution in 2021 Frank.

 

 

Edited by Ifikratis
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10 minutes ago, Ifikratis said:

I already have reduced my AA setting from 4x SGSS to 2x SGSS and already hating the shimmering and displays resolution and now you ask me on top of that to reduce my 3440x1440 resolution to 1080 ?? No, I am not going to fly on 1080. I bought my screen to enjoy good resolution and its not even 4K.  With all respect @sundog but I with this purchase I feel I literary lost 60 USD. I hope you can see why. Cameron informed me that X-Aviation does not give refunds so I am feeling disappointed and deceived by your product page promises for "increased performance" and "optimized for balanced CPU/GPU load" promises. 

Well, you did. This is what was on the announcement thread: 

"With that said, SkyMaxx Pro v5 brings GPU ray-casted clouds. Internally, we attempted GPU ray-casted clouds many versions ago, but the performance was just not there. However, they will now be the fastest clouds we offer (you read that right...faster than v4!)".

From your product page:

"Extended Draw Distance

With the increased performance of volumetric clouds…”

"Better Optimization

- Techniques used to lessen the load between your GPU and CPU with proper distribution between the two.”

When you say "Better" optimization, better from what? I guess from previous methods. When you say "faster than v4!" it can't be more specific Frank. You promise it would be faster, and now I get 10 fps when looking at a cloud.  Refunds exist for a reason. If you can't give refunds you are forcing me to not use my 60 USD. Because what you ask me to lower my resolution to 1080 is not a solution in 2021 Frank.

 

 

I'm not going to comment on claims made by X-Aviation; I just know what I've said personally.

If you paid full price for v5 then you must be a new customer. Try setting the cumulus and overcast options to non-volumetric options and you should regain performance at higher resolutions. They look pretty good too.

Unfortunately it is the nature of volumetric rendering that higher resolutions come at higher performance costs. There's nothing we can do about that.

But for typical 1080 resolutions they do perform quite well, and we did do some novel things to squeeze some extra performance from them.

 

Edited by sundog
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7 minutes ago, sundog said:

Try setting the cumulus and overcast options to non-volumetric options and you should regain performance at higher resolutions. They look pretty good too.

Frank, I did not paid 60 USD to use the 2D clouds. I paid 60 USD for your new a volumetric voxel GPU traced clouds that as I mentioned above you advertised as faster than v4 with increased performance and optimized. 

Edited by Ifikratis
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11 minutes ago, Ifikratis said:

Frank, I did not paid 60 USD to use the 2D clouds. I paid 60 USD for your new a volumetric voxel GPU traced clouds that as I mentioned above you advertised as faster than v4 with increased performance and optimized. 

They are fast and optimized, but 4K with anti-aliasing is just too much for them on today's hardware. Volumetric clouds work by doing heavy computations for every pixel fragment. At the resolution and AA settings you want to run at, you're asking SkyMaxx Pro to compute clouds at 20 MILLION pixel fragments every frame. Computer graphics and flight simming has always been a game of choosing tradeoffs between quality and performance, and no piece of software can promise good performance on any system and any configuration you want to run at.

Non-volumetric clouds compute lighting at a much coarser level and so are a better fit at the resolution you want.

I do not work for X-Aviation and have no access to their payment systems. You're barking up the wrong tree here.

Edited by sundog
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4 hours ago, Ifikratis said:

Frank, I did not paid 60 USD to use the 2D clouds. I paid 60 USD for your new a volumetric voxel GPU traced clouds that as I mentioned above you advertised as faster than v4 with increased performance and optimized. 

There are freeware volumetric clouds and the ydo cause a hit, using this version gave me some of my FPS back till it was broke, But they will fix the issue, But than I only run 1080, have no reason to go higher, as was put to you every thing comes at a cost, you want pretty some thing has to go.

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I too upgraded from v4 because of a promised better performance. I have i9 10900k and rtx 3090 and when I use volumetric clouds I get 19fps with default skymaxx pro settings. I even tried lowering XP setting and there was no difference. Memory is not the issue because max vram usage is 50% so 12gb out of 24gb. 

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3 minutes ago, Jsid87 said:

I too upgraded from v4 because of a promised better performance. I have i9 10900k and rtx 3090 and when I use volumetric clouds I get 19fps with default skymaxx pro settings. I even tried lowering XP setting and there was no difference. Memory is not the issue because max vram usage is 50% so 12gb out of 24gb. 

Try reducing your anti-aliasing setting and/or resolution. Volumetric clouds are very sensitive to these settings because they are computed per-pixel-fragment.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Everybody !

Got the same bad fps issues with 5.06 (i6790-rtx2070), and try Sundog advice to reduce from 4x to 2x anti-aliasing : fps raised from 19 to 28 !!

That framerate is ok for me , as i can land my Zibo 737 in LSGG with 25fps smoothly ;-)

Well, i think there is still some dev work to do to achieve correct fps for everyone...

Enjoy XP-Flying

Pascal (from Nantes, France)

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There are many people complaining about the performance drop they are experiencing with volumetric clouds. And whilst it appears that even one of the fastest systems around can’t even handle it without dropping the settings normally used, Sundog’s responses regarding a likely software update to address performance don’t sound promising. 

 Ifikratis’ point appears to be that it is not clear in the advertising of this product that you will need to reduce your settings significantly to use this product effectively even with a top-notch system (or that it is still a Beta release). I suspect that he would not have  bought this product had he known. 

We all appear to be experiencing CTDs and poor performance using V5, but would love to hear from anyone who is having success with volumetric clouds without reducing settings. 

Edited by Cam
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4 hours ago, Cam said:

There are many people complaining about the performance drop they are experiencing with volumetric clouds. And whilst it appears that even one of the fastest systems around can’t even handle it without dropping the settings normally used, Sundog’s responses regarding a likely software update to address performance don’t sound promising. 

 Ifikratis’ point appears to be that it is not clear in the advertising of this product that you will need to reduce your settings significantly to use this product effectively even with a top-notch system (or that it is still a Beta release). I suspect that he would not have  bought this product had he known. 

We all appear to be experiencing CTDs and poor performance using V5, but would love to hear from anyone who is having success with volumetric clouds without reducing settings. 

What did you expect, you could just do as I said above, its a new thing, even the guy who has being doing the freeware is struggling with performance issues, Now it is here it can get sorted, that is usually what happens when new things are tried,if Laminar are involved it will improve as they do want better weather.

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I get that it is a new thing (I was a software developer and fully understanding the development process). What I expected was some disclosure of the issues and the fact that it is still in Beta release - maybe some advice that a reduction in settings is required. I’m not sure that a suitable solution can be developed by Sundog, given his responses to date - not a criticism, just an observation from reading all the various comments. I am hoping that a solution is found as I love the product and continue to use it without volumetric clouds. 

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6 hours ago, Cam said:

What I expected was some disclosure of the issues and the fact that it is still in Beta release - maybe some advice that a reduction in settings is required

Than you as a software developer would also know that most issues get out when the software is released into the wild and on the general user machines. I simply found a way that works and will live with it till it gets better. I guess I am just old and patient.

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11 minutes ago, Cam said:

I’m old and retired too. I don’t have a problem with software having bugs per se, but I do have a problem with a lack of disclosure and beta testing by paying customers. 

Ive never known software declared beta or not, to not be beta. There is always bugs to fix and improvements to be made at least is not costing us $80 000 to fix  which it is costing our company to do a firmware upgrade, on some hardware we spent millions on.

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41 minutes ago, Cam said:

I’m old and retired too. I don’t have a problem with software having bugs per se, but I do have a problem with a lack of disclosure and beta testing by paying customers. 

You do realize just how many different permutations of hardware there are, right?

How much value do you think it would add if we listed supported platforms as those constrained to the dev machines configs only.

How many people do you think would actually read it?

 

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Yes, I am very aware of the permutations. What I am saying is to warn people that they will likely require a reduction in graphics settings to use volumetric clouds, and to advise that they are still a beta release (as noted next to the settings checkbox). 

If the person above with an overclocked 10th generation I9900K and a RTX3090 has to reduce his settings, that appears to warrant a warning to potential and upgrading customers. Not a very good commercial approach to marketing, but reasonable for a beta release. 

The volumetric cloud performance issue does not appear to be a bug, but an issue with the capability of current computer sim technology - as noted by Sundog in many of his responses , not me. 

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My sim has never performed so bad with smpv5. I’ve got an i9 9900k and a 3090 and I’m getting 10fps above the clouds in VR. Draw distance 10000. All other settings off.  I’ve tried volumetric clouds and non volumetric clouds and neither offers good performance. 
 

Not sure where to go or what to do with my sim now. It feels broken.

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2 hours ago, B738 said:

My sim has never performed so bad with smpv5. I’ve got an i9 9900k and a 3090 and I’m getting 10fps above the clouds in VR. Draw distance 10000. All other settings off.  I’ve tried volumetric clouds and non volumetric clouds and neither offers good performance. 
 

Not sure where to go or what to do with my sim now. It feels broken.

I suppose a lot is down to what people perceive as teh best hardware not knowing the limitations of the sim. The RTX cards are predominantly made for raytracing which is what Nvidia are pushing for sales. One reviewer was actually hassled by Nvidia for not playing there game, to the extent of denying them hardware to review til youtube exploded and they had to back down. I went form 1070 to RTX 2070, knowing full well I wasnt going to get huge improvements because we are still CPU limited but Volumetric clouds hammers teh GPU, so hopefully over time they with laminar will find a solution, as vulcan gets ironed out and performance improves. Its funny to watch game reviewers with 32 thread CPUS and only 10 or so doing anything.

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I'll join the chorus of those that see significant performance hits with v.5 (and v.4 for that matter).  I'm running a 5950x and 6900xt at 3440x1440 and, depending on the circumstances, I see anywhere from 10-35 fps drop in performance depending on the weather, plane location, etc.  I haven't spent a lot of time tweaking my settings.  Instead, if I'm flying on Vatsim or in a location where the weather is generally clear, I turn off the plugin.  I'm using FSGlobal, RWC and SkyMaxx -- a significant investment, and it's disappointing that I regularly have to disable SkyMaxx to keep the sim running above 20fps.  

That said, I appreciate that SunDog is taking a lot of heat and that weather is obviously a struggle for many developers in X-Plane 11.

So I ask this question: SunDog, what are the prospects of significant performance improvements based on whatever you know about X-Plane 12, or other changes you see coming on graphics engines, etc.?

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3 hours ago, Iadbound said:

So I ask this question: SunDog, what are the prospects of significant performance improvements based on whatever you know about X-Plane 12, or other changes you see coming on graphics engines, etc.?

Performance improvements will mostly come through hardware. The actual software behind ray-casted clouds has been around long enough to not have a "magic" button to change things via code.

You have a couple of options:

1. Evaluate your AA setting in the X-Plane rendering settings. Seems a lot of people with these higher end cards are trying to push sliders so far right that it's becoming too much when you add in ray-casted clouds. I'd also re-evaluate any use of max textures. It's not necessary and not a huge trade-off to lower this a notch down.

2. Switch to a different cloud type in the SkyMaxx settings that were similar to v4. In v5, these older cloud types will be getting changes and performance increases, so even if you had v4 you will be getting something different in v5 that benefits you.

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