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HappyHaddock

Graphics mods. & their related performance hit

Graphics mods. & their related performance hit  

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  1. 1. We all accept that mods. improving graphics tend to slow down performance, but what percentage drop in frame-rate would/could you tolerate in order to run a great looking graphics mod?

    • I already have to turn the graphics settings right down just to run the stock game so I could not tolerate any further drop in FPS.
      11
    • If a mod looked good enough I could tolerate up to a 15% drop in FPS in order to run it.
      21
    • If a mod looked good enough I could tolerate up to a 30% drop in FPS in order to run it.
      10
    • If a mod looked good enough I could tolerate up to a 45% drop in FPS in order to run it.
      1
    • If a mod looked good enough I could tolerate up to a 60% drop in FPS in order to run it.
      0
    • I'd rather throw money at upgrading my PC than miss out on a great looking mod. irrespective of how GPU intensive it is.
      20


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A while a go I posted a poll asking people's attitudes about "eye candy" and my long term WIP project to overhaul the look of the natural world in IL-2.

 

Given the somewhat naturally self biasing nature of such polls only attracting responses from those sufficiently interested in the subject of the specific poll, about the only meaningful thing learned was from the number of respondents; even the most trivial and obscure topics tend to get at least a couple of  dozen responses from forum members, whereas topics the whole community tend to be interested in tend to gain at least one hundred votes. Unsurprisingly the general response from my poll was that the majority of people who voted felt that "eye candy" is very important to them and that there would need to be a significant hit to performance to stop them "maxing out" the graphics settings or running new mods.

 

I'd therefore like to dig a little deeper into what constitutes a "significant" enough a hit to frame rates to stop people using a mod. Obviously there is a degree of subjectivity to such things in that the better looking a mod. is and the more it improves game play the more people may be willing to accept a drop in frame rate or turn down other graphics settings in order to run it. So for the sake of argument let me continue the theme started with my last poll looking at grass effects and ground foliage, something which serves no practical function in a flight sim other than making the game look better.

 

I'd previously mentioned that first person shooter type console games running through the unreal or crysis game engines tend to deliver much better looking ground foliage than is seen in IL-2, so I'm asking what sort of drop in frame rate would people consider it worth tolerating if it were possible to get this flight sim to deliver graphics at ground level which looked like the following.

 

Cheers

 

HappyHaddock

 

woodalnd 1.jpg

grass 1.jpg

grass 2.jpg

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I guess many user can't answer the question by giving a percentage. The users with 120hz or 144hz monitor or even more (maybe with gsync/freesync) are still a minority. So they are more likely bound to the magic 60fps mark. Those will not care about getting 80 or 90fps, if their monitors cant handle more than 60fps anyway.
So the question is: "Are you willing to accept less than 60fps for a graphical improvement?" And... no, I am not! 🙂
Microstuttering between the rendered frames and the monitor refresh rate or tearing, caused by disabling vsync, are unacceptable.
Edit: But on the other hand, a mod can be that good, that its worth to decrease some other graphical features as resolution or AA.

Edited by PicksKing
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On 9/27/2019 at 5:01 PM, PicksKing said:

I guess many user can't answer the question by giving a percentage. The users with 120hz or 144hz monitor or even more (maybe with gsync/freesync) are still a minority. So they are more likely bound to the magic 60fps mark. Those will not care about getting 80 or 90fps, if their monitors cant handle more than 60fps anyway.
So the question is: "Are you willing to accept less than 60fps for a graphical improvement?" And... no, I am not! 🙂

 

That's a fair point and one I considered when phrasing the question. However the other alternative of asking what is the minimum frame rate you would accept doesn't really provide any useful information without knowing the various specifications of PC different people are running and the graphics settings they choose in order to achieve that frame rate on their own PC. It might be that for one person to achieve a target of 60FPS they need the stock game simplifying, whilst another may wish that the devs had been more adventurous in order to better utilise all the performance of their own PC.

 

Ultimately I am hoping to get a sense of what scope people have to tolerate the demands of a more or  a less GPU intensive mod.  The percentage things seemed the best way to ask as it allows scope for various approaches and/or re-adjusting other things if needed to re-compensate for the drop.

 

It might be that  you aim for and can easily achieve  60FPS in normal play. A mod that cause this to drop to just above 40FPS would be more or less  a 30% drop. Some might just accept that slower frame rate to run the mod , some might turn down other graphics settings in order to run that mod whilst bringing the frame rate back up to 60FPS, others might just say it is not worth running the mod.

 

Myself I have a 60HZ monitor and much of the time even with all graphics maxed out my GPU delivers in excess of 100FPS, so personally I have spare GPU capacity effectively going to waste, so I tend to use this spare performance on high DSR settings and scaling down higher resolution images to fit my monitor. Consequently most of the time if I were to turn off DSR I could handle a 30% drop in frame rate without needing to adjust anything else to compensate. I might be in minority but I can't be alone in being able to cope with a more demanding sim, after all my PC is no longer state of the art.

 

Ultimately my question is not about the actual frame rate experienced, but relative changes in performance and how willing people are to work around/with a potentially more demanding mod in order to run it.

 

Cheers

 

HH

Edited by HappyHaddock

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49 minutes ago, PicksKing said:

IThe users with 120hz or 144hz monitor or even more (maybe with gsync/freesync) are still a minority.

 

I disagree with this, I would say more and more people have higher refresh rate monitors.

I run il2 at around 140~ fps but could probably tolerate a drop down to 100~fps however that drop is waaaay less noticeable than 60>20fps  which would be game breaking imo. 

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I have chosen the last item. But FPS is below 100, I do not really like it. Ideal when it is 120-144. At 165, under the full capacity of the monitor, I don’t have enough money for such hardware. :) 

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I’m happy at 4K/60fps right now.

 

Higher (140 etc) to me looks hyper-real, like I have vision/clarity beyond what I normally see. That said I’d probably get used to it.

 

Anyway, no tolerance here for drops below 60.

 

 

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It's easier for an FPS to supply those framerates, of course, because you aren't moving very quickly. The engine doesn't have to draw them so fast. At least that's the way I understand it. How important is it, to you, to take a framerate hit so that you can look at pretty flowers and trees while sitting on the runway? To me, it isn't. I'd rather not experience slowdowns in a dogfight so that the grass can look nice. My two cents. Two and half bucks by now, I guess, allowing for inflation.

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Exactly...I don't need flowers thanks.

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I'm all for any improvement to the game, especially visual.  I'm lucky as I have a AMD Ryzen 7 1700 Eight-Core Processor @ 3.0GHz with 16Gb of RAM so the game runs very, very smooth.

But  as for tolerating framerate drop, I could tolerate quite a bit since anything above 24 FPS is fluid to the human eye.  I realize that 60FPS is much smooter and polls better for joysticks but on the rare occasion that my FPS does drop below 60FPS momentarily I seldom notice.  I have the Grass mods installed and yes, I only see them when I crash into a field (LOL) but when I do, I like seeing the little flowers and HD grass as I die.   It's a peaceful resting place. 

Still if it became troublesome to view I would rather upgrade my system than not use a graphic improvement.  So far only the Pre-Alpha footage of MSFS2020 looks better than IL-2.

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Though it may require additional work, perhaps several versions of the same mod to satisfy a modest number of varying system configurations represents the best solution.  Of course, if a mod demands system resources greater than what is necessary to enjoy the game, the reasonable expectation is simply not to install it.  As both a design engineer and artist myself, I  personally love the emersion of painstakingly detailed environments, and my rig reflects that.  Keep up the good work, Happy, and thank you for bringing your obvious talent to IL2.           

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On 10/4/2019 at 8:54 PM, spladapuss said:

Though it may require additional work, perhaps several versions of the same mod to satisfy a modest number of varying system configurations represents the best solution. 

 

Thanks, at the moment I'm still amassing a vast amount of test data and pages of scribbled notes (yes I know it might be weird but I do surprisingly large amount of my modding work with out a PC) for all sorts of things relating to the sky, lighting, plants and other stuff relating to the natural world.

 

Strictly speaking I haven't yet started building any form of mod I'm just running lots of  tests to help assess what is possible and what to prioritise in terms of what I do and don't include now I'm starting to think about how to  amalgamate all these tests (or fragments of micro-mods) together. However I was already of the opinion that I was going to produce a basic version optimised to run at more or less the same speed as the stock game so that everybody should be able to benefit from it, and a more "full on" version for those that like as much eye candy as is possible. It's just a matter of how "full on" I go . Clearly a stress test that drops frame rates from 90FPS to just3FPS is never going to be the basis of any useful mod however educational  running that test proved for a modder like me. Nevertheless it is true that there are lots of improvements that can be made without having any significant hit on performance by, in effect, doing "better" rather than doing "more".

 

My gut feeling was that sim enthusiasts tended to fall into two camps; a majority who want  their mid-range computers to deliver smooth fast game play without feeling they are missing out on a lot by having to turn down all the graphics settings, and a minority (albeit a significant minority)  who want the absolute best visuals that are  possible and who will keep throwing money at frequently up-grading their hardware in order to cope with massively demanding software where even its lowest graphics settings may still be more demanding than other tiles "ultra" settings. The only "fly in the ointment" to such a theory would be the extent to which high refresh rate super high resolution display equipment might temper the ability of those with state of the art computers to tolerate further hits to frame rate.... If everybody played on a 60Hz 1920x1080 screen using a 2080ti GPU  then I could seriously wring a lot more content out of IL-2, but so could the devs. if they solely targeted the miniscule number of people who are currently using  only a tiny fraction of the potential of their existing GPU. I suppose you've got to assume that as professionals the devs. have done some sort of market research to establish the level to pitch their work at in order to satisfy the greatest number of their customers.

 

Whilst far from an exhaustive or rigourous study the initial results of the above poll do seem to be more or less supporting this theory of two very different groups of simmers with results falling at either end of the spectrum with not a lot in the mid ground.

 

HH

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S!

 

 Graphical mods are nice if they serve the game and are not just some pretty but useless visuals. Tank Crew suffers from opaque grass and it being as tall as a tank. Trees have these "grids" on them etc. Grass causes some stuttering while rendering, at least on higher settings than normal. Something to do with the requirement of drawing something graphically intensive fast? 

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21 hours ago, LLv34_Flanker said:

Grass causes some stuttering while rendering, at least on higher settings than normal. Something to do with the requirement of drawing something graphically intensive fast? 

 

I find it interesting the people who claim that the grass causes stuttering as many of these seem to have state of the art computers, you yourself list a 2080Ti GPU and top spec Ryzen CPU. Myself I run a second hand GTX1070 I was recently donated to upgrade a PC that was only mid range when it was built in 2012, yet I actually end up manually editing a lot of  graphics settings to run way beyond "ultra" simply because I find that rendering the stock grass doesn't utilise anywhere near the full potential of my old rig. My default setting for grass equates to four times the amount of ground cover of "ultra" and still renders smoothly at faster rates than my monitor can keep up with. Alternatively I experiment with x4 DSR essentially downscaling 4k resolution where I can still run decent settings for grass without perceptible stutter.

 

Perhaps what looks fine and runs smoothly for me on my 60hz HD screen would show as stuttering with the extra demands of keeping up with a 144Hz 4k screen?

 

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S!

 

 Good points there Haddock :) I run my screen at 2560x1080 / 200Hz, it is a 35" wide screen. In-game VSync is Off, in nVidia Control panel I have the Fast option enabled. Just wanted to say that Grass on higher than Normal was not worth it to me, at least when flying as you see grass only while on ground or at very low altitude. At some point the grass setting caused the stutter or FPS hit just at the edge when it was about not to be rendered anymore due altitude. Should test now if the case is still the same.

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@LLv34_Flanker 

In my experience the fast mode instead of vsync looked horrible. Small lag but stuttering in many situations.

All monitors with 200hz and at least 2560x1080 resolution have gsync or adaptive sync. You should activate it. Since a recent nvidia update, nvidia cards can handle adaptive sync.

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S!

 

 My problem is that the screen is a FreeSync one as I had a Vega64 before and nVidia does not support this screen yet in drivers for adaptive :(

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