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skymax pro 3 soaking up vram in 4k compared to pro 2

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I have to agree.  My system is down to a crawl even on "normal" resolution.  I'm seeing f-act below 1 and have to force quit the XP to get my system back.  Might have to do with 10.41.  I'm stepping back the 10.36 to see if that makes a difference.

Edited by Nano
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My monitor is single Dell Ultra Sharp 2560 x 1440. Set up in XP rendering as ;-


Compress textures

texture res High

frame rate lock to monitor, as refresh rate of monitor

run at full screen

screen resolution Default Monitor Settings


 I have reduced my XP rendering settings down to where I see a texture load of 1227Mb (used).


Stuff to draw down to default.

World detail medium

airport detail high

3d on aircraft

water default

HDR anti aliasing, FXAA

Aniso 2x

Extended DSF on

clouds minimum 10%


Skymaxx set at;-


Cloud detail minimum

Cloud draw distance centre slider

Minimum cloud size

Max cloud size middle slider

Puff rotation minimum

God Rays Off

Cirrus Med

Cirrus texture 2

Force cirrus on

Sky colour True Blue Medium

Cloud reflections off

Solid Strati form

Lens flare off

Cloud shadows Minimum

Terrain Blend softness 1/4 slider from minimum.



This resulted in, I got the Skymax down to 752 MB free? (which jumps about, +- 50, BTW!)

However, what I don't understand is if we have 4000 (4Gb on a NVidia 980) VRAM, then 4000 - 1227 = 2773? (Available)

Where does Skymaxx get the number 752 (Available) from?


So far with a short flight over w2xp Europe in the FJ Sim 737, I am stable at about 30 fps.


Weather downloaded by FSGRW and the clouds look amazing!


I have herd some can run ok with 200 Mb VRAM available, but I just wonder where Skymaxx is obtaining its VRAM number from?


I will fly some more and hope XP hold up.





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However, what I don't understand is if we have 4000 (4Gb on a NVidia 980) VRAM, then 4000 - 1227 = 2773? (Available)

Where does Skymaxx get the number 752 (Available) from?


X-Plane's VRAM numbers in the rendering window are NOTHING to go by. SkyMaxx Pro actually does API calls TO your video card to get true numbers. Rendering settings numbers are essentially junk, so what SMP 3 says you have...is what you have.

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SkyMaxx Pro reports the actual amount of free VRAM your video driver says the card has available to it.


There are many things other than textures that consume VRAM, for example the video buffers needed for X-Plane to draw the scene. If you're using HDR mode on a 4K monitor, that's likely to be the biggest consumer of VRAM.

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Like we're trying to explain, there are lots of things other than textures (and SkyMaxx Pro) that consume video memory, especially when you're running at high resolutions with HDR on.


But to answer your question directly, you can disable the "SilverLining" plugin from the plugin admin menu to temporarily disable SMP for testing purposes. You could also just fly in a scene with clear skies as a test.

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I have read many reports about X-Plane misbehaving in different ways and I can not resist the feeling that most of these problems were reported after version 10.40.

I do not think SkymaxPro has anything to do with it.

Last night I installed one of these monitors for GPU RAM usage and I got some very interesting result.

I was flying 3 payware aircraft for more than 4 hours.

What I observed was the constant increase in my available 3 GB or GPU RAM when it was only couple hundred MB left but the frame rate was great in 40+ range.

I can not resist the feeling that the XP 10.40 is the case here.

What are your thoughts?

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry for the late replay. I wanted to write this for future post readers like me.


NOTE: I am a Win10-PC user.

Always check your hardware from drivers, for example do not take xplane data as reference (skymax 3.0 show correct ram amounts as stated).

According to my  limit tests for my hardware  skymaxx show same amount of available ram with MSI Afterburner and EVGA Precision. Also if you see "NOT RESPONDING"  on the title do not shut down immediately, wait a little and let system to do what it is doing. 


TL DR;  use MSI Afterburner or EVGA Precision for VRAM,  use HWinfo for System Ram and CPU usage (Task manager is also ok).

Edit: My system for xplane is 3770@4.2,  16gb ram,  980GTX (oc), 850 pro ssd

Edited by Ayki
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To no one in general:


Disable SMP3, crank cloud detail up to 40% and see the performance then. I've had zero issues with SMP3 looking at performance. It's been better in most cases.




HD Mesh

Complex airports

High settings

Incorrect NVidia settings...

That's where you take the hit.


If you think that because I got xGb Vram and I can work my way towards the limit, you are in for a bumpy ride. If XPX tells you it's using 1GB, you can be sure that real usage is 2x or more. When VRAM is full, you will slow down while old ram is loaded out and new ones are loaded in. While your PC is running, XPX is not the only thing consuming VRAM too.


I set my sim up with the following steps looking at performance at each step:

1.) XPX with standard world scenery


3.) NV settings

4.) Airports (aka non library dependent airports)

5.) Adjust ingame settings

5.) SMP3.0 plus weather injector

6.) Word2XP and Orthophoto.

7.) Adjust ingame settings.


I've attached three screenshots from KSFO - no World2XP. I'm running a 4GB orthophoto tile with custom 3.2 million triangle mesh, SMP3.0 and Skymax Audio. 4.6GB VRAM use. Notice my in game settings - I don't want more than 4.5GB VRAM use and I'm edging over it even though there's 6GB.


Edit: I run 1440p resolution even though I have a 4K monitor. If XPX supported SLi, two 980Ti' might come close to rendering 4k and high levels of intensity (Mesh / Ortho / W2XP). We're still some time away from 4K performance on a single GPU.




In game with all the above




If I disable SMP3.0, go up to 40% clouds I drop 100mb in VRAM and the FPS goes down 10fps.




Edited by ckZA
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After a lot of trial and error-testing and some reading up on vram the whole matter seems to me a very, very complex one.


Laminar advises users to set their rendering settings so the size of loaded textures is about the size of the vram on the card (http://www.x-plane.com/?article=setting-the-rendering-options-for-best-performance). That means the total ram demanded by the driver will be much higher. And actually I found that sometimes I can run just fine (stable 30 FPS) with a vdrivers' ram usage that is much higher than the vram on my card (3.5GB / 4GB, GTX 970).

Obviously not all the stuff that the driver loads is needed to be kept in the card's vram to maintain performance. Some might sit on the "slower" system ram without harm. (This is part of the explanation that NVIDIA gave for it's 3.5 GB (fast) + 0.5 GB (slower) vram-design on the GTX 970).


So while it is mandatory not to exceed the card's vram in terms of loaded textures this is not true for the total ram usage of the driver. That means you actually have to test different resolutions in order to find the sweet spot. Don't go by the numbers, neither those of the total texture size that x-plane reports, nor by those the driver reports.

Check the real FPS/frametimes instead and see what difference the different textures resolution make (don't forget to restart the sim!).

At least this is the bottom line for me.



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