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Tips to improve performance on a bad computer

Graphics issues like: bad framerates, weird colors, OpenGL errors etc. Bad graphics ar usually the result of bad graphics cards or drivers.
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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.

Tips to improve performance on a bad computer

Postby john_winchester » Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:08 pm

I installed FGFS 3.2.0 on my laptop,
It's a low end computer, with the following specs:

Computer: HP ProBook.
CPU: Intel Core i3 2310M@2.1GHz.
Graphics: Intel HD graphics 3000.
OS: Windows 8.1 Pro (x64).

As you see, this isn't really a gaming computer.
But anyway, i cannot add a new graphics card as this is a laptop, is there a way to improve performance by changing game settings or some other Windows settings or anything?
The simulation is smooth once I'm up in the sky, but when I'm close to the ground, it's like watching a PowerPoint slideshow lol :P

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Re: Tips to improve performance on a bad computer

Postby Johan G » Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:54 pm

The most efficient way to give FlightGear a higher framerate is to open the rendering dialog (Main menu > View > Rendering) turn of as many features as possible and move the shader slider to the least value and decrease the view distance. In particular the view distance can make a significant difference.

You could then turn on a feature or move a slider up a notch at a time experimenting with combinations till you find one that you can accept.

On my much weaker computer (click my name to see my profile and specs) I am able to get 10 to 30 fps @ 1024x768 depending on where I am, with the exception of in vicinity of very detailed or busy airports and some of the aircraft.
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Re: Tips to improve performance on a bad computer

Postby Hooray » Sat Feb 07, 2015 4:15 pm

  • revert to WS 1.0 instead of 2.0
  • use a less complex aircraft (or a 2D cockpit panel)
  • disable all eye candy
  • use the hard-coded "basic weather" engine
  • disable/don't use optional modules (think AI traffic, multiplayer)
  • if you have the bandwidth, you might want to consider using the osgEarth overlay/patchset provided by poweroftwo instead of the default scenery engine

Overall, you might want to consider using the "minimal startup profile" detailed on the wiki to come up with settings that work well enough for you (i.e. using trial & error) - you'll get a really bare looking FG setup with maximum performance, where most stuff is entirely disabled or configured in a way to reduce your system load

The wiki should have articles covering all of this

PS: Your computer is actually pretty good, it's just your GPU (graphics card) that isn't exactly intended for gaming. And stay away from anything named "Rembrandt" :D
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Re: Tips to improve performance on a bad computer

Postby Kabuki » Sat Feb 07, 2015 6:34 pm

One thing I don't really like to do, but it works wonders, is to reduce my screen resolution.
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Re: Tips to improve performance on a bad computer

Postby john_winchester » Sat Feb 07, 2015 7:07 pm

Thanks both of you. :)
I'll start disabling features in rendering one by one, and see how that goes...
Not selecting a best answer, as both the answers are equally great :)
Got another question, posting in "Support ‹ Flying", please take a look if you've got some time :)
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