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Thread: Long stutters, freezes -- SSD as a fix?

  1. #1
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    Default Long stutters, freezes -- SSD as a fix?

    This has been kinda-sorta discussed elsewhere, but many of the threads are old or don't describe this exact problem that I'm experiencing. In P3dv4.5 (this also occurred in v4.4), I consistently run into screen freezes that last for up to 4 seconds. They are always in the same places as I'm flying and can happen every couple of minutes. They aren't stutters, but rather individual screen freezes. I know this isn't a new thing as I've read about others experiencing this. But I've yet to find a solution.

    I experienced the same kind of thing in a video game not long ago and the solution was to run the video game off of a SSD drive. I wonder if anyone thinks that might be a viable solution. My rig has a 500gb SSD that I use only for the OS. I run P3d off of a 2000TB 7200rpm regular HD that is also in my computer. But I think I have enough room on the SSD to reinstall P3d and all supporting stuff onto it... and will gladly do so if it will fix this screen freeze problem.

    Any thoughts?

    I'm running:
    i7 8700K @ 3.7GHz
    GTX 1080 Ti
    16 GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM
    "Fight for the centerline," they say. I'm fighting! I'm fighting!

  2. #2

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    NEVER use an SSD in expectation of fixing hardware.

    SSD can improve an optimised system. I would suggest yours is not. Find out what is slowing your rig, and fix that. THEN adding an SSD might show some improvement but only in launching time NOT fps.

    First thing is speed up your hard drive - defrag with an advanced (i.e. not Windows in-house) defragmentation device.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Curiously, a friend and I used to experience this in multiplayer (I rarely flew single player) in P3D V2. 4 & 5. Everything was smooth running, decent frame rate, then a pause at a specific location -- whichever of us was in the lead hit it first, then the other would at the same spot. His system was faster than mine, so paused for a bit shorter time than mine, but both at the same spot.

    We never found a solution, just calling it a scenery pause. But it didn't happen everywhere, and we might go two or three sessions (or more) without an occurrence, then hit it twice in another session. We generally just considered it a minor nuisance and, since we really had little clue we just accepted it.

    Had it been all the time, we might have looked further, but it wasn't worth the effort.

    Oh, yes, we were both running SSDs, so that's unlikely to be a solution, if I understand your description properly. It does sound as if you're hitting it more frequently than we did, though.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  4. #4
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    For starters, to optimize P3D to your specific computer, go here:

    https://www.prepar3d.com/SDKv4/prepa...iguration.html

    Jorgen

  5. #5
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    Default

    Thank you Jorgen. I'm going to apply some, maybe all, of those changes today and see how it goes. I'm also going to reduce my setup to one monitor as a test. I usually run a 3 monitor setup. Sometimes with my instruments on a fourth.

    I also noticed the following text in one of the optimization suggestions from that list:

    This will vary depending on disk speed as well as the type of flying, as well as the selected scenery options.
    It looks like disk speed can be important. That's why I wondered about using an SSD.

    Anyway, I've got some work to do today to try and nail this down. Thanks again to everyone for your suggestions and encouragement.
    "Fight for the centerline," they say. I'm fighting! I'm fighting!

  6. #6
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    Disk speeds do have an impact on stutters, but it is minimal compared to

    1. raw CPU power, and

    2. processing speed in your GPU engine.

    But with a SSD your load times will be reduced significantly.

    When you come to the tweaking, here's a handy-dandy tool for calculating the AffinityMask values:

    http://www.gatwick-fsg.org.uk/affini...uItem=utilties

    Note that the current consensus says to turn Hyperthreading off - you do that in your motherboard's BIOS. And while on the topic of that BIOS, you might want to check with the manufacturer of your motherboard for a BIOS update.

    Jorgen

  7. #7
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    That affinity mask calculator looks very useful! Thanks for that.

    I tried the single monitor test yesterday, and that did nothing to help. I also doinked around with the V-Sync/Triple buffering settings, also without any change. I'm going to try the Advanced Configuration and Affinity Mask Calculator tonight.

    If none of that helps I'm going to end up reformatting my SSD, reinstalling Windows 10, and reinstalling everything from scratch. Probably on the SSD. I have a bunch of other games and stuff on this computer that shouldn't really be there... I bought it to use as my flight sim only, and over time I've used it for other stuff too. I want to go back to having it dedicated to just flight simming.

    Here's a short video showing exactly what I'm experiencing. (I don't know where the black flashes came from, I don't remember seeing them while recording this.) Right around :05 seconds in you'll notice the obvious freeze. And it's always in this same place (among others). I could fly around in circles for 300 miles and everything will be just peachy, but fly out over this area and I'm going to get that short freeze in the same spot every time.

    "Fight for the centerline," they say. I'm fighting! I'm fighting!

  8. #8
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    That video is exactly what my friend and I experienced with what we called "scenery pauses," where we'd both hit it in exactly the same spot (not same time, but same spot*). Using SSD, going to Win 10, sim "repair," reformatting and other such things won't fix that (don't waste your time and trouble). Nor will the "tweaking mentioned above.

    We looked for the cause for quite some time, (including all the above except Win 10), eventually just concluding that there must be something in the scenery (especially ORBX, which is where we saw most of it -- also where we usually flew#) that creates those pauses at certain spots. Every time we'd hit such a spot, we'd get the pause (it was quite repeatable, that is, location dependent), and otherwise (anywhere else) had nice smooth operation. And this was both when we had physical, spinning hard disks AND after we got SSDs where both the OS AND the sim were on SSD. Oh, yes -- this was in both P3D V2.4 and 2.5. I don't specifically recall whether it did this in FSX or not (I THINK so, not sure), though we ran that for several years (with ORBX) before our upgrade to P3D V2.

    So the cause of that particular happening is not the usual suspects that people on the forums are always recommending.



    * If he was half a second ahead of me, I hit it half a second after he did, but if I was 30 seconds ahead of him, he hit it 30 seconds after me.

    But note that we might go hours without seeing these pauses, or might find a couple of them a couple of minutes apart, ALWAYS at the same location for both of us, even though we were in multiplayer (he in Dallas, me in Denver). During our troubleshooting, we also checked these out in single player (free flight) mode, talking to each other, and we each still hit them at exactly the same spot.

    # From Southern Cal to Southern Alaska, from Pacific coast to the easternmost extent of ORBX in the U.S., we still occasionally got these "scenery pauses." And we both were computer guys, too, having flown MS sims since 1998 (he, even earlier).
    Last edited by lnuss; 08-12-2019 at 03:10 PM.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  9. #9
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    Fascinating.

    Maybe it's an Orbx thing. Did you or your friend ever try disabling your Orbx scenery to see if that was the culprit? I have tons of Orbx scenery and other stuff installed, both free and paid.

    Not long ago I decided to just go with "it is what it is". Maybe I'll just go back to simply accepting it. I know others, besides me, you, and your friend, have experienced the same thing. There are a few posts about it elsewhere on the Internets. But no solution, or even a confirmed culprit.

    I do like to hear you say "Using SSD, going to Win 10, sim "repair," reformatting and other such things won't fix that (don't waste your time and trouble)." I'm really not looking forward to doing any of those things. But still might if for no other reason than to clean up my computer.

    (Sometimes accepting a challenge like this -- finding the culprit -- can be fun too. LOL.)
    "Fight for the centerline," they say. I'm fighting! I'm fighting!

  10. #10
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    I knew I was right about an SSD fixing the problem! The sim just needed that faster SSD to read the scenery files from. Right? Wrong. Turns out mallcott was correct and I, very much, was not.

    After about $130.00, a fresh install of Windows 10, a fresh install of P3Dv4, and a fresh install of Orbx scenery, that pause is in exactly the same place and just as long and irritating as it was before. (I will say the sim loads much much faster, but not fast enough to be worth the $$$ and time.)

    ::

    I do, however, believe I have found the culprit. I believe the problem lies in the Orbx Southern California region. I was scouring the Internets again this morning and that seemed to be the consensus in a thread over on the other forum. So I uninstalled the SoCal region and flew the route without even the slightest hiccup.

    I'm not ready yet to say viola! But I am encouraged. It's too bad, though. The scenery isn't nearly as nice. But I'll take the drab over the screen freeze any day of the week.
    "Fight for the centerline," they say. I'm fighting! I'm fighting!

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