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Lack of frames per second

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.

Lack of frames per second

Postby Adrenaline-Rush » Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:49 pm

Lack of fps
Will my fps increase if i recover my computer to factory settings?


Hi,
I am new to this forum,in fact,this is my very first forum i have ever been on.
I am now running on a Toshiba satellite L450D 13u laptop.I have had this laptop for over 5 months.When i installed flightgear 2.0 i noticed my framerates were
very low,lower than i expected.I get 15-18 fps on Flightgear 2.0.When my PC came out of the box,Flight Simulator 2004 was the first game to be installed.I got 60 fps on maximum settings at the time,but then too,i have noticed my framerates quickly decreasing as the time went on and on.I am suspecting this is because my hardrive is clogged up,since this is a 32 bit system,that is even worse when it comes to having a clogged up hardrive.I have downloaded,experimented and "deleted" alot of files and programs,however since them files are not perminanltey deleted,and can be recovered by a program,my hardrive is pretty stuffed.So,to get to the point,if I run a recovery operation and restore my computer to factory settings,will i get an increase of fps and would my pc be able to run just as fast as it was when it came out of the box?
My computer specifications are:

AMD Athlon 64x2 2.1 ghz dual core,
2GB RAM,
ATI Radeon 3200 HD graphics card.
Windows 7 64 bit (i think)
320Gb hardrive.

Thanks! i would appreciate your comments and your support.
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Re: Lack of frames per second

Postby redneck » Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:21 pm

From what I've read ATI graphics cards don't agree too well with FGFS. I doubt restoring your computer to factory settings will make a difference.
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Re: Lack of frames per second

Postby someguy » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:16 pm

With FG 2.0, the video card is everything. If it doesn't support the OpenGL functions required by the shaders, you're dead in the water. CPU doesn't matter, RAM doesn't matter.
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Re: Lack of frames per second

Postby Adrenaline-Rush » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:37 pm

I see.I have heard alot of people have this problem,my problem is that my gpu is soldered and theres no other gpu compatible with my model,i have heard alot of people have this problem and i see why now.Thanks for informing me this,although im a little damned now.However the same goes for fs9,i had sudden frame rate decrease in that too so i am not to sure.
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Re: Lack of frames per second

Postby Hooray » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:44 pm

- I would not reset the machine to factory settings just for FlightGear
- is your machine generally slow?

- do you have any applications or services runnings (antivirus, firewalls)?
- how much free RAM do you actually have?
- you will need about 500-1000 MB FREE RAM for running fgfs 2.0

- do you intend to upgrade RAM anytime soon?
- if your machine can handle more RAM and you can afford it, I would consider upgrading your RAM to at least 4 GB (or preferably more)
- BUT: if you don't intend to run more than 3 gb of RAM, I would not run Vista 7, but instead XP which is less resource hungry
- that will leave more resources to user space applications like fgfs

- if you are running a shared memory card, how much RAM have you allocated?
- have you tried allocating additional shared RAM?

- FlightGear 2.0 requires a powerful graphics card that is OpenGL capable
- you will most probably require the latest drivers for your card
- if however you are running the latest catalyst drivers already, you may need to downgrade due to issues with those (search the forum for details)
- Microsoft FS works with DirectX instead of OpenGL, i.e. the performances cannot be compared

- you can try to reduce the size of the window to see if that improves the framerate, if it does you are "fillrate limited" (google!)
- you should disable all fancy rendering settings, especially shaders and see how your performance is then
- you should also try starting up at different airports (non KSFO), or even in non-scenery areas (i.e. ocean)
- you should try using a simple aircraft, like the ufo for example
- when running FlightGear without any eye candy, in non scenery area, with simple aircraft, that will give you your maximum framerate
- that should be much higher than 100 fps normally, because FlightGear would not really draw much at all.
- this is where you can start adding settings one by one to see if/how they affect your framerate

- you should make sure that you can generally run other OpenGL software (simulators, games)
- there is lots of freely available software available, like for example UrbanTerror or Wolfenstein Enemy Territory
- if those programs do not work with sufficient performance, FlightGear most likely won't neither...


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Re: Lack of frames per second

Postby Adrenaline-Rush » Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:00 pm

Thanks for your help,
I cannot upgrade my ram just yet,firstly i will call toshiba and tell them my issue with this model since its not even on their website.
I will recover my pc anyway because its just too clogged up with things i will never ever use.
Its sad to hear that flightgear will not run well just because of an ati card.I hope they will resolve this issue in the future.
However is there any solutions apart from upgrading?
By any chance are there any other flight simulators similar to flightgear?
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Re: Lack of frames per second

Postby Hooray » Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:20 pm

However is there any solutions apart from upgrading?


Yes, there are: Please DO re-read my response, and ask for clarification if there was anything that you didn't understand fully.
You seem to have ignored quite a lot of it:

FlightGear needs fairly powerful OpenGL cards, especially for making use of more recent features like shaders.

That doesn't however mean that you cannot run FlightGear on older or less powerful hardware, I have recently done
exactly that with an Intel GMA 4500 based netbook and it ended up working quite nicely, with some customizations-and
without shader support...

So it really depends on your needs. I am not familiar with your notebook, but more recent notebooks also provide a way
for upgrading graphics hardware using the so called MXM standard (google).

Depending on your hardware, that might be another option to pursue.
But for the time being, I would just not give up on it at all.

I provided fairly detailed instructions on running FlightGear with less complex scenery details, I would really suggest
to try this out.

Its sad to hear that flightgear will not run well just because of an ati card.I hope they will resolve this issue in the future.


ATI cards are not generally bad, at all.
This applies in particular since ATI has become AMD and the driver situation has improved greatly.

There's some very good ATI hardware available that can run FlightGear, too.
It really depends on the hardware, the drivers and the settings that you chose to enable.

I suggest to do a forum search, there are many people here who also use FG with ATI hardware.

Also, if you are interested in improving the "ATI situation", it is always a good idea to post to the ATI forums whenever
you have issues running FlightGear with ATI hardware, than in itself will raise awareness of FlightGear.

By any chance are there any other flight simulators similar to flightgear?

You could try running X-Plane, the demo of which is free and an excellent OpenGL benchmark.
Please do report back about the performance you are getting with X-Plane on your hardware!

In particular, X-Plane is much more scalable than FlightGear (multi-threading and multi-core wise)
and much better at utilizing different types of 3D hardware more efficiently.

But really, first of all make sure that you can run other OpenGL software with good framerates.
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,
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Re: Lack of frames per second

Postby Adrenaline-Rush » Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:43 pm

Alright.
I see.I do understand now.I might do a little research on that.
Thanks for the help.
Its a little annoying to hear that my card does not match.I'm just unlucky in terms of hardware then.Thanks anyway!
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Re: Lack of frames per second

Postby Adrenaline-Rush » Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:15 pm

I have ran xplane before i tried out flightgear and i got pretty good framerates,i didnt get the best fps on high settings but it was in the comfort zone.
When i first tried out flightgear i got a maximum of 18 fps.Now i have a maximum of 30.I know what the issue is.Its the ATI catalyst control center.I am not running it at this very moment,and i got better results then i did before however i still would like to research into this since its really bothering me.Thankyou for all of the advice and suggestions.Youve been really helpful!
I will do some research on this,thanks again.
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Re: Lack of frames per second

Postby Vodoun da Vinci » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:30 pm

Adrenaline-Rush wrote:IIts the ATI catalyst control center.I am not running it at this very moment,and i got better results then i did before however i still would like to research into this since its really bothering me.

I used to run ATI graphics in my last computer running FGFS and found that the individual settings in Catalyst can make huge differences in frame rates. I'm running Nvidia now and the same holds true...I would always recommend that if people are having frame rate issues that they try their computer on a "benchmark test" the evaluate OpenGL performance and then look at the settings for their particular graphics card and see which setting impact frame rates.

Please report back when you have found the culprit in your ATI/Catalyst settings as other will benefit from your pain and experience! :D

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Re: Lack of frames per second

Postby Adrenaline-Rush » Mon Aug 09, 2010 11:23 am

Sure sure.Thanks for that.I will run a benchmark test soon and will post them settings that cause the pain in the butt in FlightGear.
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Re: Lack of frames per second

Postby Adrenaline-Rush » Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:12 pm

I'm sorry,i made a mistake,ATI catalyst is not the main problem here.I didnt run ati catalyst but i was in san francisco intl and i got 10 fps,shocking.It depends were i am,but i will ask in the ATI forums,maybe i might get some help over there.
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