Board index FlightGear Support Graphics

Low Frame Rate Bug?

Graphics issues like: bad framerates, weird colors, OpenGL errors etc. Bad graphics ar usually the result of bad graphics cards or drivers.
Forum rules
In order to help you, we need to know a lot of information. Make sure to include answers to at least the following questions in your initial post.

- what OS (Windows Xp/Vista, Mac etc.) are you running?
- what FlightGear version do you use?
- what graphics card do you have?
- does the problem occur with any aircraft, at any airport?
- is there any output printed to the console (black window)?
- copy&paste your commandline (tick the "Show commandline box on the last page of FGRun or the "Others" section on the Mac launcher).
- please upload a screenshot of the problem.

If you experience FlightGear crashes, please report a bug using the issue tracker (can be also used for feature requests).
To run FlightGear on old computers with bad OpenGL support, please take a look at this wiki article. If you are seeing corrupted/broken textures, please see this article.

Note: If you did not get a reponse, even after 7 days, you may want to check out the FlightGear mailing lists to ask your question there.

Low Frame Rate Bug?

Postby redneck » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:27 pm

Hey guys. It's been a while. I managed to get a virus about a year or so ago, and couldn't quite get rid of it. It made it impossible for me to run FG without getting a BSOD, so I had to quit for a while. Then, my SSD crashed, and it took me six months to solve that problem. Anyway, before then, I had no problems running FG version 2.4.0 with max shaders, atmospheric scattering, random objects and vegetation, 3D clouds, particles, and precipitation enabled, while at 1024 X 720 resolution. Even with FRAPS recording in force lossless RGB, I could still manage at least 25 - 30 fps. Actually, I remember having similar performance with version 2.8.0, and for a short while with 2.12.0 before things went bad. Now, I've finally gotten a new, faster SSD (yeah, I know read/write speeds won't have much, if any, effect on framerate but the boot speed is amazing), and I went and installed FG 3.2.0. I am so happy that I can finally use the scroll wheel in the dialogs now, but I'm barely pushing 12 fps with all of the shaders turned all the way down and with 3D clouds disabled. Disabling random objects and vegetation didn't make much difference, either. Dropping the resolution back to its default setting gave me about 2 extra fps to work with. In older versions, just dropping the resolution to its default setting doubled the framerate. What was worse, was that, while trying to find a solution in the wiki, I somehow got onto the article on Rembrandt, and found out how to enable it.

Image
As beautiful as that is, I know the framerate is gonna drop more as soon as I move, and then the aircraft is gonna be uncontrollable. I'm pretty sure my PC should be able to handle this. I've already discussed this issue with whoever is managing FG's FB page, and that person said that this sounds like a bug. Also, yes, I have tried with different aircraft at different locations with Rembrandt turned off. I seriously hope this is a bug or something that can be fixed, and that my PC hasn't become obsolete yet. It will be turning five this X-mas.

System Specs
Model: Alienware M15x
OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
RAM: 3 GB (If I have to, I can probably upgrade it to 6 or 8 GB)
CPU: Intel i3 quad core at 2.4 GHz (Yes, I enabled multi-threading support in preferences.xml)
GPU: Nvidea GeForce GTX 460M (Not exactly sure how much VRAM it has. I was originally supposed to get the 240M with 1.5 GB of GDDR5, but ended up with this one instead. I think it's supposed to be more powerful though.)
Call Signs: redneck, ATCredn (unspecified freq atc)
FGFSCopilot
FGFSCopilotATCEdition
System Specs
Model: Alienware M15x, OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, RAM: 3 GB, CPU: Intel i3 quad core at 2.4 GHz, GPU: Nvidea GeForce GTX 460M 1.5 GB GDDR5
redneck
 
Posts: 3630
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:17 am
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Version: 240

Re: Low Frame Rate Bug?

Postby Hooray » Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:43 pm

Try the minimal startup profile detailed on the wiki, if that doesn't work as expected (blazingly fast and incredibly ugly/plain), something else is going on - in which case, you'd have to check if you are able to run other OpenGL software/simulators (e.g. FurMark3D). Equally, you should use the HELP/ABOUT dialog to post your specs here, especially in terms of what FG recognizes - i.e. when/if software/CPU rendering is working, that should show up there, too.
In general, troubleshooting such things may be tedious, but not necessarily difficult - it's a pretty simple process involving straightforward steps once you proceed step by step, i.e. starting off with the bare mimimum of settings, and progressing slowly one by one to re-enable features - while looking at overall performance.

The startup profile that I mentioned above can be found at: http://wiki.flightgear.org/Troubleshoot ... up_profile
Like I said, this MUST be really FAST (in terms of FPS and low frame spacing/frame time latencies).
Otherwise, you'd have to check the integrated OSG stats and/or the system monitor: http://wiki.flightgear.org/Howto:Use_the_system_monitor

There is really just a handful potential culprits if the minimal profile is not working as expected, such as e.g.:

  • OpenGL hardware acceleration not working as expected (e.g. due to driver/GPU or OS/BIOS misconfiguration issues)
  • rogue scripts/Nasal code running somewhere


Once you start using the tools mentioned above, you should be able to check what's going on.

A system like your's should definitely work well enough - I've got FlightGear working on hardware much older and much less powerful, including even a 7+ year old laptop and a 2-year old netbook with Intel GMA graphics.

But first of all, you should check if the problem is specific to FlightGear or not, i.e. if it also affects other OpenGL programs or not, if it doesn't, I'd work through the wiki articles - otherwise, I'd carefully check my system, i.e. in terms of running processes, drivers or remaining malware issues - another possible troubleshooting step might involve booting Linux from a USB stick and checking if the system performs equally bad, or better/worse - distros like Lubuntu can be booted without installing anything to disk, and you can even use the proper drivers for your hardware.
Please don't send support requests by PM, instead post your questions on the forum so that all users can contribute and benefit
Thanks & all the best,
Hooray
Help write next month's newsletter !
pui2canvas | MapStructure | Canvas Development | Programming resources
Hooray
 
Posts: 11329
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:40 am

Re: Low Frame Rate Bug?

Postby Thorsten » Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:31 pm

Actually, I remember having similar performance with version 2.8.0, and for a short while with 2.12.0 before things went bad


Framerate okay in 2.12 but dropped suddenly in 3.2 makes scenery the prime suspect - since 3.0, World Scenery 2.0 is shipped as base scenery and via terrasync, so most likely that's what you got.

If you have 2.0 scenery, you have ~100 times (dependent on where you are) the vertex density in the mesh, and if you're using the visibility range you're used to, you have a solidly choking vertex shader.

Dropping the resolution back to its default setting gave me about 2 extra fps to work with.


... and that pretty much confirms it - resolution affects framerate only of the fragment shader is the bottleneck, but not when it's the vertex shader.

With 3GB of RAM, you may even run into swapping and additional framerate loss, as the new scenery is also memory hungry.

As beautiful as that is, I know the framerate is gonna drop more as soon as I move, and then the aircraft is gonna be uncontrollable. I'm pretty sure my PC should be able to handle this.


Well, mine can't - I have a gaming laptop with 8 CPU cores, 8 GB of memory + 3 GB on the GPU (GeForce 670M) and I get 15 fps with Rembrandt once I configure it such that I don't get a headache from flickering shadows, so it's not a given. It has odd response to different hardware. It runs apparently fine on some low performance rigs, but is also observed to be dead slow on high-end gaming machines. It's not really understood, so for the purpose of establishing the cause of your observations, I suggest you leave Rembrandt off.

Try reverting to old scenery or change visibility/LOD range to a lower value to establish if that's indeed the cause.
Thorsten
 
Posts: 10965
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:33 am

Re: Low Frame Rate Bug?

Postby hvengel » Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:34 pm

Your GPU (GTX460M) is about the same as a GTX640 so about three steps down from Thorsten's video card in terms of performance. This makes it a mid range GPU and it is a big step up from the 240M (about like a 610). The second digit is an indication of how many GPU processing units are available (higher = more processing units) and the first digit is the generation of the GPU. Current generation GPUs are 9XX so the 460 is four generations behind current latest generation NVidia GPUs (they skipped the 8XX generation) but the 460 will have a fairly high processing unit count for that generation. Still a GTX460 should be an OK GPU for FlightGear particularly at 1024 X 720 resolution with Rembrandt turned off. In other words with things configured for your hardware FG 3.2 should run nicely.

I think Thorsten is correct about the 2.0 scenery being a big issue for you. You are likely running into swap issues with main memory at only 3G and depending on how much VRAM you have this may also be contributing to you frame rate issue as well. When running FG with lighter aircraft with scenery 2.0 I see GPU memory usage slightly > 2G and with heavy aircraft it can be close to 4G. Before scenery 2.0 I almost never was above 1G VRAM usage with a light aircraft. So scenery 2.0 has a significant impact on how much VRAM you need and also on how much main RAM you need.
hvengel
Retired
 
Posts: 1128
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 4:35 am
Location: Minden Nevada

Re: Low Frame Rate Bug?

Postby redneck » Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:01 am

Thanks guys. I've had a pretty busy day today, so I still haven't had the chance to actually do some of the things that you guys have advised me to do just yet. Anyway, I was wondering how I can check to see how much VRAM I'm using. I know how to check RAM through Task Manager>Performance, but I've never seen any sort of performance monitor either through Windows or the Nvidea control panel that would let me see that. I kinda think that would help me to better confirm that it is indeed the scenery. I guess reverting back to the old scenery would remove those nicely-detailed taxiway layouts and highways and stuff, right? I'm kinda on the fence now as to whether I should lower my LOD ranges, and just have a limited viewing range, or revert to the old scenery, and lose some of the new visual references. I'll try messing with the LOD ranges before I decide if it makes sense to switch scenery versions. I'll also have to look into the things that Hooray posted for me as well.
Call Signs: redneck, ATCredn (unspecified freq atc)
FGFSCopilot
FGFSCopilotATCEdition
System Specs
Model: Alienware M15x, OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, RAM: 3 GB, CPU: Intel i3 quad core at 2.4 GHz, GPU: Nvidea GeForce GTX 460M 1.5 GB GDDR5
redneck
 
Posts: 3630
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:17 am
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Version: 240

Re: Low Frame Rate Bug?

Postby redneck » Thu Nov 20, 2014 5:08 pm

Finally managed to run the minimal startup profile. Um, here it is:

Image

That's maybe 1 or 2 fps better than when running FG normally. I used the BAT file from the wiki. I tried adjusting some settings in the Nvidia control panel. In that image, I had power management set to "prefer maximum performance". It turns out that leaving it on the default "Adaptive" allows me to hit 18 fps. I guess I'll see what the system monitor can do for me now. Oh, and here's the info from the Help>About dialog:
Image

Btw, when I get prompted to send an error report, does that actually go to the devs? I'm just asking b/c it looks very similar to the generic error report prompt that Windows uses when a program crashes, but this looks a bit different.

EDIT: I have also updated my anti-virus, and run a full system scan in safe mode. All it picked up was a few tracking cookies. So, I'm hoping I can rule out malware on this one. I just installed this SSD a couple months ago, and then installed the anti-virus right after I installed all of my drivers. It would really suck if I picked something up that fast.
Call Signs: redneck, ATCredn (unspecified freq atc)
FGFSCopilot
FGFSCopilotATCEdition
System Specs
Model: Alienware M15x, OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, RAM: 3 GB, CPU: Intel i3 quad core at 2.4 GHz, GPU: Nvidea GeForce GTX 460M 1.5 GB GDDR5
redneck
 
Posts: 3630
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:17 am
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Version: 240

Re: Low Frame Rate Bug?

Postby Hooray » Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:11 pm

Assuming that this is indeed the full "minimal startup profile" as detailed on the wiki (without rembrandt), 16 fps is way too low - which would suggest that your OpenGL setup isn't working properly, either for just FG or in general. I'd suggest to run an OpenGL benchmark suite like Furmark3D to check this first - alternatively, you can run other OpenGL software (e.g. X-Plane).
Given what I've seen so far, I'd guess that the problem might not be specific to FG currently - thus, I'd check this first and take it from there.

Like I previously said, I can easily run FG on really old hardware using said startup profile, while still providing perfectly acceptable performance - i.e. usually several 100 fps, and even rock-solid 60 fps on a Intel GMA netbook.
Please don't send support requests by PM, instead post your questions on the forum so that all users can contribute and benefit
Thanks & all the best,
Hooray
Help write next month's newsletter !
pui2canvas | MapStructure | Canvas Development | Programming resources
Hooray
 
Posts: 11329
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:40 am

Re: Low Frame Rate Bug?

Postby legoboyvdlp » Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:41 pm

I got exactly 24 when testing, so its not only you redneck ;)
User avatar
legoboyvdlp
 
Posts: 7003
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:28 am
Callsign: YV-LEGO
Version: 2018.3.1
OS: Windows 10 HP

Re: Low Frame Rate Bug?

Postby hvengel » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:38 pm

Your GTX460 should be considerably faster than Hooray's GMA netbook for a given configuration. So there is definitely something wrong some where.

I use an external monitoring software named Open Hardware Monitor (it's free) to see what is happening with my computer. It reads out VRAM usage, GPU temperatures, GPU clock frequency and GPU utilization. So it gives a good overview of what is going on with the GPU. It also tracks the peak values of each of these so you don't have to watch it to see what is going on.

Also what version of the video driver are you running? If it's not fairly new might be worthwhile to upgrade to the latest.
hvengel
Retired
 
Posts: 1128
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 4:35 am
Location: Minden Nevada

Re: Low Frame Rate Bug?

Postby redneck » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:54 am

@Hooray: I'm pretty sure Rembrandt was off. I ran it from the batch file I found on the wiki page you directed me to. I'll paste the contents here just to be sure, but I'm pretty sure that opens FG using only the specified commands in the batch file itself.

Code: Select all
@echo off
"C:\Program Files\FlightGear 3.2.0\bin\fgfs.exe" --fg-root="C:\Program Files\FlightGear 3.2.0\data" --ignore-autosave --airport=ksfo --offset-distance=4000 --offset-azimuth=90 --altitude=500 --heading=0 --model-hz=60 --disable-random-objects --prop:/sim/rendering/texture-compression=off --prop:/sim/rendering/quality-level=0 --prop:/sim/rendering/shaders/quality-level=0 --disable-ai-traffic --prop:/sim/ai/enabled=0 --aircraft=ufo --disable-sound --prop:/sim/rendering/random-vegetation=0 --prop:/sim/rendering/random-buildings=0 --disable-specular-highlight --disable-ai-models --disable-clouds --disable-clouds3d --fog-fastest --visibility=5000 --disable-distance-attenuation --disable-enhanced-lighting --disable-real-weather-fetch --prop:/sim/rendering/particles=0 --prop:/sim/rendering/multi-sample-buffers=1 --prop:/sim/rendering/multi-samples=2


I'll have to see what I find with FurMark about my OpenGL rendering. I was a bit surprised when I saw on their website that it is designed to overheat your GPU. Apparently, that's only for the overclocking features. I'll just stay away from those features.

@hvengel: I've read so many horror stories of people updating their GPU driver and finding that it no longer functions properly, and then they have to re-download the old version and install it again. So, my driver is from Sept 5, 2010. I have never updated it.

EDIT: I'm guessing these results are bad.
Image
During the process, I noticed that my GPU load was at 99 percent. I thought this thing was going to heat the GPU up, but the temp only increased by one or two degrees from the time that I started the test. I guess it's a good thing I got the exhaust vents cleaned out when I installed the new SSD.
Call Signs: redneck, ATCredn (unspecified freq atc)
FGFSCopilot
FGFSCopilotATCEdition
System Specs
Model: Alienware M15x, OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit, RAM: 3 GB, CPU: Intel i3 quad core at 2.4 GHz, GPU: Nvidea GeForce GTX 460M 1.5 GB GDDR5
redneck
 
Posts: 3630
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:17 am
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Version: 240

Re: Low Frame Rate Bug?

Postby Hooray » Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:28 am

Indeed, these results would seem to confirm my earlier suggestion that something completely unrelated to FG, aka your whole OpenGL setup, may be the culprit here.
I am surprised learning that you have never updated your drivers though - I don't think there's much of a chance for breaking a system by getting the latest drivers.
But to be completely honest, not even your 4-year old drivers seem to be working properly. Your best bet might be downloading the latest drivers, then booting into "safe mode" and removing the hardware and all its drivers to install the downloaded set of drivers.
Honestly, the process is much more involved on Linux, but works even there without problems usually..
If in doubt, you could also set up a fresh Windows/Linux OS next to your current one to reduce the chances of breaking anything.
Personally, I'd just remove unnecessary stuff though, including the existing set of drivers and try the latest version - like hvengel suggested.
Finally, I find it unfortunate that people only mention such obscure "details" of their setup after having been explicitly asked over and over again - in my opinion, the instructions at the top of the support forum (red box) are pretty clear about it.
And providing good/fast support is becoming unnecessarily difficult this way, too.
Please don't send support requests by PM, instead post your questions on the forum so that all users can contribute and benefit
Thanks & all the best,
Hooray
Help write next month's newsletter !
pui2canvas | MapStructure | Canvas Development | Programming resources
Hooray
 
Posts: 11329
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:40 am

Re: Low Frame Rate Bug?

Postby hvengel » Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:58 am

Your driver version is very old. I get nvidia updates for drivers almost monthly and the installer software has a "What's new" section where they say what has improved (IE. "Many games will run 30% faster than the previous version"). Their driver team are very busy improving these and I wouldn't even consider using a version that is 4 years old. In addition the only issue I have had with an nvidia upgrade ever (in perhaps 15 years) is with ShadowPlay where they changed how the system needs to be configured with a recent version and I had to change some system settings to get it working again (IE. a minor issue). ShadowPlay will not work with a GTX460 (has to be at least a GTX640) so this is a non-issue for you. I suspect that current drivers would be at least 50% faster than what you are running.

FurMark is a good OpenGL test for your GPU. Just keep an eye on your temps while it is running and stop it if things get hot. Your GPU has fairly low clock speeds (perhaps because it is a mobile unit - the clock is about 1/4 the GPU clock of my desktop unit) so I don't think you will get it very hot. The fact that you are getting 1FPS at 800x600 when running FurMark is a strong indication that there is something really wrong with OpenGL rendering in general on your machine. I get over 50FPS at 2560x1600 in FurMark. You should be seeing around 20FPS at 800x600 with your hardware based on what I am seeing on-line for similar hardware. Your FurMark score is 106 and you should be seeing scores closer to 2500 at that resolution with your clock speeds (IE. about 25 times as fast) and there are people out there with over clocked 460s seeing scores of close to 11000 (about 100 times as fast - don't try to do that it will likely set your machine on fire). The low FurMark score clearly says this is NOT a FlightGear issue.
hvengel
Retired
 
Posts: 1128
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 4:35 am
Location: Minden Nevada

Re: Low Frame Rate Bug?

Postby legoboyvdlp » Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:20 am

Does INTEL provide updates for Intel HD graphics? How do I know what my exact model of GPU is?

Also wow. really could set it on fire?
User avatar
legoboyvdlp
 
Posts: 7003
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:28 am
Callsign: YV-LEGO
Version: 2018.3.1
OS: Windows 10 HP

Re: Low Frame Rate Bug?

Postby hvengel » Fri Nov 28, 2014 5:03 pm

"set it on fire" was partly in gest but if someone is not careful when over clocking and has a GPU with poor cooling (laptop GPUs tend to not be nearly as well cooled as desktop GPUs) it is possible to damage the GPU maybe even to the point where the smoke gets out. Newer Nvidia GPUs will throttle themselves if temperatures or power levels get too high but most of the protection capabilities is also built into the drivers. Another reason to be using more recent drivers. I don't know how good the 400 series GPUs are at protecting themselves from high temps or high power levels compared to more recent GPUs which are close to bullet proof.

I hope the OP has located the cause of this issue and reports back here what was done to get things working correctly. This may prove useful to others.

I don't know a whole lot about the Intel GPUs but as you can see running furmark gave a considerable amount of info about the GPU under test including the hardware model and the driver version and date and running it for long enough to get this info is not dangerous to the GPU. I do know that Intel releases regular updates to it's GPU drivers so if your drivers are very old it may be a good idea to update them. It may not make much difference but you may see improved performance or stability with newer drivers and you can always revert the drivers if the newer version causes issues.
hvengel
Retired
 
Posts: 1128
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2006 4:35 am
Location: Minden Nevada

Re: Low Frame Rate Bug?

Postby Hooray » Fri Nov 28, 2014 5:16 pm

As previously noted already, there clearly is something wrong with the OpenGL setup (drivers, software, OS or hardware) here. A quick google search suggests that a 460M was part of gaming laptops around 2010/2011, FurMark3D benchmarks available online suggest that the (non-mobile) card should provide roughly a FurMark 1.9.2 score of ~2400 @40 fps in 1280 x 720 (fullscreen mode), the end temperature after 1 min. would then be in the 60s, not 40s: http://www.ozone3d.net/benchmarks/furma ... ?id=169570

http://www.geeks3d.com/20100712/nvidia- ... available/
Image

You'll also find a number of discussions suggesting that the GPU/graphics card can handle temperatures/overclocking up to ~70 degrees

Apparently, there are a number notebooks containing the 460M in combination with a fallback Intel GPU (Optimus), which is another thing worth checking: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Ali ... 187.0.html

Also, you'll find that the 460M seems to have a throttling issue, too: http://forum.notebookreview.com/alienwa ... rrrgh.html

Image


In other words, I'd re-iterate and suggest to leave FlightGear alone until you have confirmed that you have a full working OpenGL setup providing hardware acceleration.
Please don't send support requests by PM, instead post your questions on the forum so that all users can contribute and benefit
Thanks & all the best,
Hooray
Help write next month's newsletter !
pui2canvas | MapStructure | Canvas Development | Programming resources
Hooray
 
Posts: 11329
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:40 am


Return to Graphics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: AhrefsBot [Bot] and 4 guests