Flight Simulator 2020 Perfomance on Shadow

  • 19 August 2020
  • 9 replies
  • 2772 views

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I have been playing the new Flight Simulator since it came out and I love it, however, I was expecting better FPS (I have Shadow Ultra). 

 

When I first loaded into the game, it set the graphics automatically to medium, but I thought that was not correct so I tried with High-End instead. I went into a flight on a medium-sized airport with a propeller aircraft and the FPS were really not good. I had around 15-20 fps in or out of the cockpit.

 

So I changed back to medium and things got a tiny bit better, but not much. Now in the cockpit I had around 20-25 fps, and outside I had a bit more, roughly 30 fps. I decided to watch a series of videos from Squirrel about setting up the sim, I spent many hours tweaking graphics, figuring out what degraded the perfomance and all that.

 

I came to this conclusion: I can not play on High-End graphics, only Medium. The factors that contribute the most to the FPS are the airport, the plane you’re using, and whether or not you are in the cockpit. So, let’s say that I use an A320, in London Heathrow and in the cockpit with all the instruments on. Then I will have around 15-20 fps. If I get out of the cockpit, I will have around 25-30 fps. The point here is, the planes with screens reduce the FPS drastically when you’re in the cockpit (I have also seen this being said in several videos). When I was flying at around 35000ft outside of the cockpit with an A320, I had 60 fps, but when I was in that same situation but in the cockpit, I had 20 fps.

 

For more comparison, I tried flying a propeller plane, with no digital or screen instruments and on a small airport with Medium graphics, and I had an average of 50-60 fps while on the ground, in the air, or in the cockpit, always.

 

It seems like the game has optimization issues for sure, but I have seen many people with very similar pcs to what Ultra offers, having a lot better fps than apparently many people do in Shadow. So, I’m really wondering why that is. Also, important to point out that I played always on 1080p and that my CPU usage was always around 50% and GPU usage never went above 40%. I think this is very relevant as I have seen people using 2080Tis Overclocked that when they put their game to High-End, their GPU usage was around 70-80%. I’m no expert, but it feels weird that the usage is so low, it feels like it’s giving me space to increase the graphics but I can’t as the fps will just die. 

 

I made this thread because I want to compare with others using Shadow, no matter what configuration, and see what fps you guys are getting and see if we can figure out if this is how it should be or not. 

 

Thank you for reading! ^^

 

Edit: All this was tested with the GPU Drivers version 451.77


9 replies

I confirm with you completely. Emotionally, I have the same fps, same resolution, with similar situations, but ……… I use Shadow Boost. So am wondering that, obviously there is no better performance with Shadow Ultra.

I planned to upgrade, but now I’m not sure if it makes sense

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I'm on Boost, and the sim is relatively playable. As has probably been said many times before: 30fps in flightsim is perfectly fine to enjoy it. But I agree that on Shadow the game is maxing out too early to fully utilise the GPU.

The issue lies within the fact that in sims, the CPU is mostly the defining factor in fps and not the GPU. MSFS is not different to this and because Shadow uses relatively low powered CPUs the fps we're getting is below what you see online. The same applies to FSX or X-Plane 11… playable, but not what you'd expect from a gaming rig (yes I ran these too on Shadow prior to MSFS).

So outside of Shadow upgrading the CPUs and some minor tweaks from Asobo there's not much that will increase the fps in MSFS. There are however a couple of tips:

  • Do not use vsync in MSFS
  • Make sure you set render scaling to 100 (if this is at 200 effectively you're rendering 4k which then gets reduced to 1080p on screen)
  • Turn on generic models for AI and multiplayer
  • All else should be fine maxed out on ultra.
  • Do not run MSFS on anything above 60hz. There seems to be an issue with glass cockpits where it tries to update the screens at screen refresh rates, causing a huge hit on fps.
  • In task manager, set the priority of the exe to low (strangely you'll see that the game becomes smoother, as well as CPU percentage going up)

With the above settings I'm getting 30-32fps in 1080p on Gibraltar airport, clear skies, C152, RW09.

 

Ohh and just to point out: I'm on Boost, with the GTX1080, newest Game Ready drivers, and the Xeon E5-2667 v3 @ 3.2GHz.

Wow, good tips. I’ll try it in the evening…...Thanks

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I'm on Boost, and the sim is relatively playable. As has probably been said many times before: 30fps in flightsim is perfectly fine to enjoy it. But I agree that on Shadow the game is maxing out too early to fully utilise the GPU.

The issue lies within the fact that in sims, the CPU is mostly the defining factor in fps and not the GPU. MSFS is not different to this and because Shadow uses relatively low powered CPUs the fps we're getting is below what you see online. The same applies to FSX or X-Plane 11… playable, but not what you'd expect from a gaming rig (yes I ran these too on Shadow prior to MSFS).

So outside of Shadow upgrading the CPUs and some minor tweaks from Asobo there's not much that will increase the fps in MSFS. There are however a couple of tips:

  • Do not use vsync in MSFS
  • Make sure you set render scaling to 100 (if this is at 200 effectively you're rendering 4k which then gets reduced to 1080p on screen)
  • Turn on generic models for AI and multiplayer
  • All else should be fine maxed out on ultra.
  • Do not run MSFS on anything above 60hz. There seems to be an issue with glass cockpits where it tries to update the screens at screen refresh rates, causing a huge hit on fps.
  • In task manager, set the priority of the exe to low (strangely you'll see that the game becomes smoother, as well as CPU percentage going up)

With the above settings I'm getting 30-32fps in 1080p on Gibraltar airport, clear skies, C152, RW09.

 

Ohh and just to point out: I'm on Boost, with the GTX1080, newest Game Ready drivers, and the Xeon E5-2667 v3 @ 3.2GHz.

hey bdacier my friend. After reading your post is has given me the confidence i need to get back into flying sims again.  I havent flown since FS 2000........ye im old 🤣

 

Would you say Xplane runs smoother than MSFS in your opinion.

To compare XPlane and Flight simulator with nearly the same impression, I think it’s enough to set the graphic in flight simulator to “middle”. Then I would say the fps are comparable.

But this is not what you want in FS, you want more, you want to activate “ultra” to enjoy approximate reality. ;-) Because FS is able to play so.

 

We’re forgetting that these are ultimately virtual machines, although the graphics card might be passed directly trough to the VM, the CPU is most likely virtualised via QEMU with it shared with other Shadow customers, as such you’re contending with overhead.

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It’s disappointing to hear the trouble on shadow Ultra with this game that’s pretty pathetic. I’m on boost and yes it’s pretty bad due to the processor, I was hoping it would be a lot better on infinite but now I’m not so sure based on above. Strange enough lowering the processor to low does improve performance. Also changing to 60hz I think helped. It’s at least playable on the 787 now for me.  

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 hey bdacier my friend. After reading your post is has given me the confidence i need to get back into flying sims again.  I havent flown since FS 2000........ye im old 🤣

 

Would you say Xplane runs smoother than MSFS in your opinion.

 

Welcome back! Yes I am definitely thoroughly enjoying MSFS! You really don't need more than 30 FPS in a flightsim. And to your question: Xplane11 with Ortho Scenery was already really good, but MSFS just blows it away. Smoothness wise I think there's not much difference between the two, even though with Xplane11 (Vulkan) you can run higher FPS. I have both, but I've just moved away from Xplane11 as I don't see any reason to stay on that platform (except for maybe Zibo).

Another tip to get more smoothness out of MSFS:

Use Nvidia profile inspector to set vsync to ½ refresh rate on a 60Hz panel. That way you will get a constant 30FPS which feels as smooth as can be!

(Ohhh and I've been flying digitally since MSFS4.0)

I’m enjoying 30fps out of the box, running an older Optiplex with only 1GB GPU but have optimized the virtual system as much as possible and have only one glitch: no joystick detected. Anyone else having USB issues, is there a workaround?

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