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Thread: X-Plane 8,9

  1. #21
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    vicwind,
    I started to write down all of the Rendering Options and then decided to take a screenshot. Dumbing it down proved fruitless because can't read all of the info. I'm using a 23" Apple Cinema HD Display set 1920x1200, Millions.
    http://homepage.mac.com/kaye_yum/.Pu...derOptions.jpg
    As you can see I have the X-Plane window set 1600x1200 so I can see the instruments without glasses on. Plus I have the field of view set 60.0 degrees which puts much more load on the VRAM.

    According to the author Austin Meyer, texture resolution has a huge effect on VRAM requirement. Anti-alias level, while it won't show on VRAM requirement according to Austin, will put a huge workload on the X800XT, as the Rendering Options pane sez.

    Another possibility, look at the bottom of the Rendering Options pane where it describes the video card extension in use. Then go to System Profiler here:
    http://homepage.mac.com/kaye_yum/.Pu...emProfiler.jpg
    and check that you have the proper extension and that it is loaded, Valid: Yes, Authentic: Yes, Dependencies: Satisfied, Integrity: Correct.

    If you like I can email you some screenshots of a 747-400 approach to KSFO 28R so you can see what it looks like and what the fps is. They will be large in order to see the fps window. k

  2. #22
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    thanks, Kaye. I've lowered the field of view to 45 deg. I'm going to restart and see how that works. It looks like I need a faster video card to really crank things up.

  3. #23
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    Aren't we running the same video card? ATI X800XT ME with 256MB of VRAM?
    Running Tiger 10.4.8? Does Rendering Options show 256MB?

    Open Activity Monitor (Utilities folder), select Memory, and drag the window over to the side so that you can see it while running X-Plane. With the airplane you are using at the airport you have selected on the runway for takeoff, what does Activity Monitor show for how much real RAM is being used and how much is free. I'm wondering if you have something running that is hogging real RAM.

    In my case I have twice the RAM you have, 8GB, and with the normal background stuff running plus X-Plane I show in Activity Monitor using 1.77GB and free 6.23GB. Keep in mind that if you have a cluttered desktop, each of those folders/files takes up real RAM, so I only have the two hard drives and an alias to a folder where I put items that are on the desktop. k

  4. #24
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    thanks again, kaye. some excellent advice. and yes, my desktop is a real mess! i'm cleaning that up right now. as far as the video card, it's the x800xt as well and shows 256 MB of vram. lowering my feild of view to 45 made no difference in performance. strangely, i can only set isotropic filtering as either on or off; there's no other option next to the checkbox like you have pictured. i'm using 8.50 on 10.4.8 with my G5 dual 2, 4gig ram. the rendering specs all check out in profiler. considering the g5 bus speed is nearly 10 times my old g4, i'm still amazed at how small the performance increase is in xplane. i must be doing something wrong. are you running the app and scenery/data on seperate drives? thanks again. btw, why are we needing to run the radeon 9700 extension for the x800xt? is that the last driver that ati wrote?
    Last edited by vicwind; 10-26-2006 at 01:32 PM. Reason: afterthought

  5. #25
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    I am running X-Plane and scenery/data on my boot drive, a SATA 300GB Maxtor 7L300S0, 279.4GB after initializing, 107.3GB used. It is a fast hard drive.

    That 9700 extension on a Mac works for some version of the 9700, 2 versions of the 9800 as far as I know, and the X800XT.

    Your comment about setting the isotropic filtering turned on a light bulb in my head. Go to System prefs, under Other near the bottom there should be an ATI Displays control panel. Launch it, select 3D on the left, Add Xbench.app, preset High Performance.

    Now you should get:
    Performance checked and set for Speed
    FSAA (Multi) checked and set Off
    Anisotropic Filtering checked and set Off
    Vertical Sync checked and Off

    My version of ATI Displays is 4.5.5 which is most likely not the latest. If I recall there is a 4.5.6.

    Try that and let me know. k

  6. #26
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    Holy Kaye. I must need the driver from ati then, because it does not appear in the sys pref pane at all. i'm going to grab the driver from the net and install it. i just assumed that if i could see ANYTHING, the graphics card must be fully functioning. i'm happy to hear that there's more to this card than i've yet found. thanks for you help. i'll let you know how this works.

  7. #27
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    Not sure if this link will work but here goes:
    https://support.ati.com/ics/support/...e&folderID=299
    Then select Mac OS Drivers and Software. k

  8. #28
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    I have taken some screenshots of the takeoff postition on 28R as well as an approach to 28R. X-Plane has a screenshot keyboard command on the fly but it only takes the shot at 1024x768 and 45 degrees field of view. So I pause the approach and take a Mac screenshot at 1600x1200 and 60 degrees. Had to run 2 approaches to get it all. fps is in the upper left corner.

    In the takeoff position. About 6 miles to the top of the hills directly ahead:
    http://homepage.mac.com/kaye_yum/.Pu...Rthreshold.jpg
    fps = 25.5

    About 9 miles to the 28R threshold so about 15 miles to scenery at the far hilltops:
    http://homepage.mac.com/kaye_yum/.Public/App28R9mi.jpg
    fps = 37.3

    About 7 miles to the 28R threshold:
    http://homepage.mac.com/kaye_yum/.Public/App28R7mi.jpg
    fps = 30.4

    Over the BRIJJ NDB Outer Marker (San Mateo Bridge):
    http://homepage.mac.com/kaye_yum/.Pu...28RBRIJJom.jpg
    fps = 34.1

    1000 feet:
    http://homepage.mac.com/kaye_yum/.Pu...p28R1000ft.jpg
    fps = 33.2

    500 feet:
    http://homepage.mac.com/kaye_yum/.Pu...pp28R500ft.jpg
    fps = 30.8

    Flock of Birds and a balloon (which do not show up on TCAS):
    http://homepage.mac.com/kaye_yum/.Pu...flockBirds.jpg
    fps = 30.5
    Not sure what happened to the runway threshold lights that extend out into the water. Were there in v8.4. Will have to see if they show up at night. k

  9. #29
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    wow! those are great shots and very helpful with the fps in there. i have installed the ati v4.5.7 utility but cannot find Xbench.app, and so can't add it to the 3d overrides. still not getting variable options for anti-iso filtering (on/off check-box only). i'll take some shots if i can get nice ones. thanks for all your help, kaye. your advice has really helped get a smooth operation here. one more thing: is the purchased scenery much more of a burdon on system reqs? i now want better canadian scenery (vancouver is underwater).

  10. #30
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    My bad, forget Xbench.app, sorry. You can just either leave the 3D settings as is or Add X-Plane 850.app which should be in your X-Plane folder inside your Applications folder. k

  11. #31
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    Going back to standard time has me out of sync and getting up late. So I was up at 6:30 and running X-Plane. The fps was a bit lower because while lights were on such as building lights, cars going across the San Mateo Bridge, and taxiway lights, I could also see the buildings, bridge, taxiways, and so forth.

    So fps was down 1-6fps depending on where in the approach I was. However the approach lights were visible from start of approach. Close in, the approach light structures for 28L and R are no longer there, just as in the daytime. But the lights are obviously there and I suppose they would be there on a CAT II or CATIII approach at minimum visibility in the daytime.

    Anyway, at 500 feet:
    http://homepage.mac.com/kaye_yum/.Pu...night500.1.jpg

    And at 280 feet:
    http://homepage.mac.com/kaye_yum/.Pu...night280.1.jpg
    k

  12. #32
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    vicwind,

    I have the ATI Displays panel set thus:

    k

  13. #33
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    ok. i have the ati panel set like yours. very smooth.

  14. #34
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    still no anti-iso options. oh well, i'm lovin' it. also, my mac runs waaaaay quieter now. before the driver, my machine was running the gpu fan constantly. now i almost never hear it. (which is great for my audio recording purposes!!!) btw, do you run the ati app while running xplane?

  15. #35
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    Glad its working well but I am at a loss why you are not getting the 8x anisotropic filter textures in X-Plane prefs. One of the ATI installers requires you to do a Safe Boot before installation. Did you do that? I think it was the ROM installer.

    I don't run the ATI control panel while running X-Plane. My recollection is that the control panel modifies something in the system, perhaps another extension or extensions but not the 9700 extension. As far as I know, the settings are stored somewhere for use with X-Plane. You might try it and see if there is a difference. I have not tried launching the ATI control panel then launching X-Plane in a long time. Last I did, there was no difference. k

  16. #36
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    Last night and early this morning I did some more experimenting with X-Plane 8.50. First, in Rendering Options I upped texture resolution from very high to extreme res! which requires, like the other options, you must quit X-Plane and relaunch.

    Now Rendering Options showed VRAM used 386.39MB. Huh? 256MB card using 386MB? Last night, while the fps was mostly a little less, I ran the approach without a hitch, never getting down to my minimum frame rate setting (default) of 19.0fps. So I upped the number of objects from mega tons to the next level. Ran thru another approach and at touchdown the approach stopped and I got a window that my fps was below 19.0fps and X-Plane was reducing my Rendering Options. Clicked Understood and completed the rollout. So I went back to mega tons and maintained extreme res!

    This morning, still curious about the 386.39MB VRAM, I launched Activity Monitor set to System Memory. Difficult for my pea brain to see any difference. So I have given up figuring it out. Will email the author.

    Some approach screenshots this morning with X-Plane set at extreme res! and all of the other Rendering Options the same as my previous settings screenshot before. At all of the points below, Activity Monitor said System Memory Used varied from 1.93GB to 1.99GB.

    Takeoff position:
    http://homepage.mac.com/kaye_yum/.Public/XPpic1.jpg
    fps = 23.0

    Start of Approach:
    http://homepage.mac.com/kaye_yum/.Public/XPpic2.jpg
    fps = 30.0

    Continuing approach:
    http://homepage.mac.com/kaye_yum/.Public/XPpic3.jpg
    fps = 24.6

    Over the BRIJJ NDB Outer Marker (San Mateo Bridge):
    http://homepage.mac.com/kaye_yum/.Public/XPpic4.jpg
    fps = 26.7

    1000 feet:
    http://homepage.mac.com/kaye_yum/.Public/XPpic5.jpg
    fps = 26.8

    About 480 feet:
    http://homepage.mac.com/kaye_yum/.Public/XPpic6.jpg
    fps = 26.0

    Rollout end of 28R. It is now morning so the red cockpit lighting is extinguished. You can see the red tail lights of cars heading North on what used to be called the Bayshore Freeway:
    http://homepage.mac.com/kaye_yum/.Public/XPpic7.jpg
    fps = 24.5
    k

  17. #37
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    Dang this X - Plane looks really fun. I would most probably crash on take off.

  18. #38
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    Nah Randy. Maybe a little more complex in a 747-400 but the prop airplanes would be easier. Years ago, I got a friend who lives in Evergreen, CO into a 737 simulator. He had never flown at all but learned quickly and could do it himself in about 4 hours. Of course that was clear skies, no weather or wind, just takeoff, flying around the airport, and landing on the runway. And no problems with the simulator airplane. We did that 737 several times and he ended up with about 50 hours and a lot of landings, got real good.

    Da Boss wanted to do it so I scheduled a 4 hour period in a 727 sim with an instructor who looked like John Wayne, hat, boots, belt buckle and all. She was in the left seat, I was in the right seat, and John Wayne was seated right behind her whispering in her ear. Before the period was up she was making CAT II approaches to minimums in fog at night with manual landings. Afterwards she told me that wasn't difficult and why was I complaining so much after returning from several days of flying? k

  19. #39
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    sorry, kaye, i still have yet to take those screenshots...i'm having so much fun with actually flying and looking around that i keep forgetting. well now something else is wrong. I downloaded a couple of aircraft and also installed a custom airport (abbottsford). [very nice airport]. The problem is now that's the ONLY airport that will load from either Quickflight setup or Select global airport. Any other airports will fail to load, ending in an unexpected quit. Also, since installing the new planes, all the airfoils are wrong for anything BUT those new planes. The ai says something about the files being missing and that it will go ahead and use the defaults (which may be incorrect for this plane). I MUST HAVE INSTALLED THESE THINGS INCORRECTLY! i thought one merely needs to drag the new planes and/or scenery into the aircraft and scenery folders. That, i guess, is my problem. Also i have these settings: where are the filter options? also, i cannot find anywhere to output the framerate on the screen. i used to be able to do this under rendering options. BTW, i'm running x-plane 8.50 RC-1. OS 10.4.8
    Last edited by vicwind; 11-03-2006 at 02:11 AM.

  20. #40
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    vicwind,
    The very last item you mentioned, RC-1 is where we need to start. The RCs go from -1 thru -5. Some like RC-1 were still buggy and slow as Austin tweaked things. Going from 8.40 to 8.50 was a major change to make things easier for future updates. RC-5 and the final 8.50 are the same, anything earlier is not what you want.

    Some scenery such as airports or particular downtown buildings like the Sears Tower or Transamerica Building or bridges need to be installed the way that the developer sez. Should be on an installation web page or an included ReadMe in the download. My guess would be in the Custom Scenery folder but then again maybe not. I got the distinct feeling that either the betas or perhaps an early RC would not allow or play well with custom scenery so I went back to 8.40 and waited for the final 8.50 to install.

    New airplanes, you mean custom new airplanes? If so, they must AFAIK list 8.5 compatibility. Earlier v8 airplanes may work but the whole method that Austin uses now in 8.50 to describe aircraft has changed since 8.40.

    Framerate, you are correct that it is not in Rendering Options. At the moment I forget where. Will have to look. k

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