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Train Simulator Max Performance And Visual Quality @ 4k

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dunkrez, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    This post is intended as a guide to helping others achieve the best possible framerate and graphics quality of TS2019 (soon to be TS2020! :)) at a native UltraHD 4k resolution. It's worth bearing in mind that the core engine of TS is very old, and multithreaded support is minimal - I believe it also still uses DirectX9 from what I've read so far. But here are my findings from tweaking my rig and all possible config options to achieve a solid and smooth TS20XX experience.

    Rig
    ===

    CPU: Intel i7700k overclocked to 5GHz from 4.2GHz base (good CPU cooling and appropriate motherboard are essential for this)
    GPU: NVidia GTX 1080
    RAM: 16GB DDR4
    HDD1: 120GB SSD (For the OS)
    HDD2: 2TB Hybrid drive (For Railworks/TS installation)
    VDU: LG OLED (55") via HDMI @ 4k (4096 x 2160)

    Software
    ========

    - Windows 10 64-bit (fully updated)
    - TS2019 (plus misc official DTG DLC add ons)
    - RWEnhancer (all graphics enhancement config options on, no performance enhancers on)
    - AP track and weather/skies enhancement packs
    - I highly recommend any Armstrong Powerhouse DLC enhancement packs/rolling stock packs (as these also bring performance enhancements as a general rule)
    - Just Trains route packs/locomotives
    - Alan Thompson route packs and associated dependencies

    CPU
    ===

    Due to the single threaded nature of DX9, CPU clock speed seems to be king here - the higher the stable frequency, the more frames you'll get per second, hence I settled on a stable 5GHz. This type of overclocking should only be considered if you have the kit to support it and know what you are doing. Mistakes can lead to baked processors!

    GPU and TS config
    =================

    After much testing I settled on NVidia driver 373.06 - quite an old driver but I saw gains of around 5fps when switching to this (link: https://www.nvidia.com/download/driverResults.aspx/108324/en-us). Below is the NVidia control panel config (Manage 3D settings/Program Settings/Railworks64.exe - Railworks64.exe can be found in; "*HDDhere*:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\RailWorks\RailWorks64.exe" should you need to add it):

    -= NVIDIA Control Panel =-

    <MANAGE 3D SETTINGS>
    Ambient Occlusion - N/A
    Antistropic filtering - Application Controlled
    Antialiasing - FXAA - Off
    Antialiasing Gamma correction - On
    Antialiasing Mode - Application Controlled
    Antialiasing Setting - N/A
    Antialiasing Transparency - Multisample
    CUDA - GPU's - All (Use these GPU's: select GTX 1080 checkmark)
    Maximum pre-rendered frames - Use the 3D application setting
    Multi-Frame Sampled AA (MFAA) - Off
    Multi-display/mixed-GPU acceleration: Single display performance
    Power management mode: Prefer maximum performance
    Preffered refresh rate: Application-controlled
    Shader Cache: On
    Texture filtering - Antriscopic sample optimisation: On
    Texture filtering - Negative LOD bias: Allow
    Texture filtering - Quality: High performance
    Texture filtering - Trilinear optimisation: On
    Threaded optimisation: Auto
    Triple buffering: Off
    Vertical sync: Off
    Virtual Reality pre-rendered frames: N/A

    <CHANGE RESOLUTION>
    4k x 2k, 4096 x 2160 (60Hz refresh rate)
    [Colour Depth: 32-bit/Output colour depth:8 bpc/Output colour format: RGB/Output dynamic range:Full]

    <Configure Surround, PhysX>
    PhysX settings: Processor - GTX 1080

    -= TS Config =-

    *One caveat to note here; for very CPU/GPU intensive routes, the view distance should be knocked back one notch (e.g. WCML Trent Valley, WCML South) most other routes will run at 60fps buttery smooth (aside from tile loading causing split second drops). The heavy routes will run at a decent and serviceable 30fps with the view distance setting to one below maximum.

    <ADVANCED SECTION>
    Master Detail: Custom
    Anti-Aliasing: Off (Not needed at 4k! :))
    Texture Filtering: Anistropic x 8
    Scenery Quality: Max
    Scenery Density: Max
    View Distance: Max* - see caveat above
    Shadow Quality: Max
    Water Quality: Max
    Procedural Flora: On
    Adaptive Bloom: On
    Depth of Field: On
    Headlight Flares: On

    <BASIC SECTION>
    Master Detail: Custom
    Resolution: 4096 x 2160
    Full Screen: Full screen
    Dynamic Lighting: On
    Dyncamic Clouds: On
    Brightness: Default

    Frame Limiting
    ==============

    As Railworks64 can't possibly run faster than 60fps due to our display constraints (60Hz), a shortcut to Railworks64 should be created on the desktop. Under properties of the shortcut (right click/properties/shortcut) <Target:> should be modified to <"*HDD*:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\RailWorks\RailWorks64.exe" -FPSLimit=61> - be sure to include eveything between <> as is! :)

    Railworks64 will now be limited to 60Hz/60fps in sync with the display device.

    Windows Graphic Settings
    ========================

    1. Right click desktop - Display Settings
    2. Click Graphics Settings
    3. Choose an app to set preference -> Classic App
    4. Browse to *HDD*:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\RailWorks\RailWorks64.exe
    5. Set to GTX 1080 and High Performance
    6. Save & Exit

    The Result
    ==========

    TS20XX will now run 64-bit Railworks64.exe at a maximum (and mostly constant) 60 frames per second with a graphic quality to rival Train Sim World (particularly with the loco DLC enhancement packs). West Coast Mainline routes such as Trent Valley and South will run at approximately 30fps provided that the view distance is knocked back one notch - I think this may be due to the complex OHLE rendering.

    As an aside, it would be amazing if DTG would remove the headlamp/marker lighting effects for daytime running on all locomotives - fingers crossed.

    I felt this two weeks of tweaking was entirely needed for me to get the most out of Train Simulator and I'm very pleased with the results. Sega Rally smoothness driving a Class 66 over the York to Peterborough line, and finally I can use the Class 390 on Trent Valley without having an aneurysm - albeit at 30 frames per second, which to me is acceptable (much improved from 15-25fps!). The older classic routes look and feel stunning, and while the newer routes really push the hardware, they are at last enjoyable for me to use.

    I hope someone else finds this guide useful :)
     
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  2. mrsandman

    mrsandman New Member

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    Thanks for sharing, seems a very thorough guide, too bad I'm not running 4K graphics :( Would you say most of your info is valid for 1080 playing?
     
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  3. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    It's definitely worth a try, I found that changing resolution didn't make much difference to overall performance, maybe a few fps here and there, it's mostly config and cpu clock speed that make the difference.

    -= EDIT =-
    One edit I must advise is to turn off dynamic clouds in TS settings, so the Armstrong Powerhouse weather and skies pack can do its thing.

    I also highly recommend upgrading RWenhancer to the Pro edition. I have a config available for it - anyone wants it, give me a shout and I'll post it here for download. See attached screenshots :)
     

    Attached Files:

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  4. mrsandman

    mrsandman New Member

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    I'd be most appreciative if you'd post your config for RWE, TIA
     
  5. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    No worries, see attached :)

    I tweaked this so for daytime running all train marker/head lights produce no visible illumination reflections - because it looks daft when they do. For night runs, the spot light intensity multiplier and spot light specular intensity multiplier will need adjusting back to normal.

    Just unzip and install using RWEnhancer Pro and install shaders, then run game.
     

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  6. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    -= UPDATE =-

    The core temps for the 7700k run quite hot, and as hyperthreading is of no benefit to TS it can be turned off via the system BIOS. This can save 10 - 20 Celsius enabling a stable 5GHz overclock at a very low vcore (1.3248v). In my case scenario, I haven't seen a core reach above 70 Celsius and mean average running under the load of TS gives temps of about 40 - 60 Celsius. Memory frequency needs to be considered as does avx offset.

    All helps squeeze the absolute most out of the cpu for a very smooth and stable TS framerate experience.
     
  7. zzw1983

    zzw1983 New Member

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    Good config but some interior and dial lights don't work with it like the class 142 by AP
     
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  8. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, and yeah, I noticed that late last night - here's the fix. Lights will work now (including 142 dials) without the daylight reflections from headlamps.
     

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  9. zzw1983

    zzw1983 New Member

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    Awesome. Thanks. Looks great. :)
     
  10. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    -= UPDATE =-

    Minor tweaks to spot and point lighting and their specular levels, and also global lighting.
     

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  11. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    More...
     

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  12. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    Last few...
     

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  13. PlatChap

    PlatChap Well-Known Member

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    Very impressive stuff dunkrez! Makes me wish I had a 4k setup. Enjoy it! Kudos for sharing this with the community as well.
     
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  14. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    [Looks at his 144hz monitor] :)
     
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  15. marcus.o.key

    marcus.o.key New Member

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    When I set it to 4k and full screen I get like a green tinge to the screen. Any tips to get rid if this?
     
  16. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    Could it be caused by the colour balance being slightly out of whack? I'm not at my dev pc, so I can't check RW Enhancer's config options, but I have a sneaky feeling that you might be able to alter the colour balance that way - I think the settings are at the bottom of the config page. Alternatively, the only other thing I can think is, is it your display causing the issue? If I set my LG to technicolor, then the colour balance alters significantly. Let me know what you find, or post some screenshots and config details here so I can help further.
     
  17. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    Just noticed that this is one of the most viewed threads in the General Discussion forum with 8,781 views so far.

    I hope that loads of folk found this useful :)
     
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  18. marcus.o.key

    marcus.o.key New Member

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    I've tried messing with the colour setting on both my PC and TV with no luck, but if I put it from full screen to borderless the colour goes back to normal, also If I take a screen shot the green tinge isn't there any longer.
     
  19. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    That does sound like a proper edge case problem, do you have the option of testing a different display? If that does the same thing, that's one thing ruled out.
     
  20. marcus.o.key

    marcus.o.key New Member

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    Looks like my TV has a native resolution of 3840x2160 and I had the in-game setting at 4096x2160 so just changed the in-game setting and it's been mended ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Am I still ok not running anti-aliasing at that resolution?
     
  21. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    Have an experiment, and see what works for you (shift + z to bring up the fps counter). These days I hammer TS with post processing and I'm satisfied at 30fps+, so long as the experience is as smooth as possible to aid immersion.
     
  22. marcus.o.key

    marcus.o.key New Member

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    Will do mate. Thank you so much for the help! Cheers. :cool:
     
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  23. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    No worries, happy driving! :)
     
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  24. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    Just adding the latest RailPunk RW Enhancer Pro config file. Please see attached.
     

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  25. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    If your fps is shocking, be sure to go over this guide.

    It can't work miracles, but it can help you achieve a flowing TS experience.

    Any questions, give me a shout.
     
  26. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    Happy Tuesday dudes, this thread has now reached 10,000 views :D

    I'd be much happier if I could improve the core engine, but hopefully this thread has helped loads of people.
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  27. matt_harrison85

    matt_harrison85 New Member

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    Hi,
    I installed your latest config but now it stutters terribly e.g. every 2 seconds.
    Any suggestions what I should look at??

    Cheers.
     
  28. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    Hi mate, sorry to hear you are having issues - you could try disabling some of the more demanding features with RW Enhancer Pro, some of them are very expensive. I get just over 30fps on a 5GHz rig for context.

    Some of the more demanding ReShade post processing effects can really hammer performance too. Failing that, lower your anti aliasing settings and see what performance gains you get.

    Let me know how you get on.

    Edit: I'll be uploading a new RailPunk config at some point soon, with adjustments to reflections, point and spot light settings.
     
  29. matt_harrison85

    matt_harrison85 New Member

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    Thanks dunkrez
    I have changed the anti-aliasing within TS to max (it was on none previously). Funnily enough, that has stopped the stutter.
    The only thing I'm struggling with now is the textures within the cab and outside, it's not 'smooth' e.g more noticeable on the yellow section.

    Any idea which setting would be effecting this? Screenshot_Just Trains - Midland Main Line_52.89790--1.34712_07-39-26.jpg Screenshot_Just Trains - Midland Main Line_52.90112--1.37659_07-38-31.jpg Screenshot_Just Trains - Midland Main Line_52.90373--1.38385_07-38-14.jpg Screenshot_Just Trains - Midland Main Line_52.90927--1.45105_07-35-10.jpg Screenshot_Just Trains - Midland Main Line_52.90982--1.45418_07-34-49.jpg
     
  30. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    I did a freebie for the HST cab a while back purely to sort those texture issues, you can get it here:

    https://alanthomsonsim.com/?download=hst-cab-enhancement-pack-hd-1080p-ultrahd-4k-v4-0

    It's supposed to compliment the AP HST enhancement packs, but with the right amount of messing about it will probably work with the Kuju models so long as the .ap archives are unpacked in their respective folders.

    It goes some way to sorting out the horrific textures, feedback is pretty positive, and I have more loco's on the way on the back of that.

    Maybe have a play with your bloom, ambient light, brightness and contrast settings in the game too, only reason I say that is I notice your sun looks like it should be blasting out light instead of being a glowing small circle. Might help with the dull yellow texture issue a little.

    Good news about your aa settings though mate, nice one.
     
  31. matt_harrison85

    matt_harrison85 New Member

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    Absolute legend dunkrez. Thank you so much for your help.
     
  32. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    No worries mate, happy driving :)
     
  33. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    Over 10,000 views and no sticky :D

    Well, this thread is buried here should you need it.

    Don't give up on smooth framerates in Train Simulator, you are probably just a couple of settings away from a great experience.
     
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  34. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea how some of the people I see on YouTube actually manage to get Train Sim looking so crap! Some of them should know better too, but I'm not naming names. What are they doing?

    My CPU: i7 3960X (nearly 10 years old).. yes, it may be a 6 core processor, but TS only uses one core, so we're talking about a single Sandybridge i7 core from 10 years ago running at a crappy 3.3GHz.
    My GPU: GTX980 (6 years old, and only 4GB)
    My RAM: 16GB DDR3

    My machine is a piece of crap!

    The only fast thing in my PC at the moment are the hard drives, and they're only SATA3 SSDs not M.2 drives or anything... as I only have PCI-E 2.0 on this motherboard... not even 3.0.. let alone 4.0

    I run Train Simulator at 2560x1600 (1600P) and I get a minimum of 25fps, and an average of around 30 - not brilliant, sure, but come on... how many of you have a 10 year old PC with a 6 year old GPU in it? Seriously... what are some people using to run it? Where did it get this reputation for needing a beastly PC? LOL... mine's an asthmatic heap that needs putting out of its misery, and Train Sim runs perfectly playable, and looks fabulous! If I ran it at 1080p like most do, I'd be getting between 35 and 40fps I reckon.

    Here's an absolute worse case scenario - this is on the most demanding route I have, with an AP enhanced 90/MK3DVT, AP weather & Sky... Reshade (8 shaders active), and RWEnhancer Pro... on a single 3.3GHz Sandybridge core and a 3 generations old 4GB GPU.

     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
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  35. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    Oh forget to say also.. that's every slider on max.
     
  36. Peter Hayes

    Peter Hayes Active Member

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    PH
    TS has been multi-core capable since around TS 2013 (not true multicore) [In the early menus you could select that option or deselect if you had a single core PC] - and Windows makes use of all 4 cores on my quad core rig. :love:
    You want to see how well TS performs on a single core - Open TS - alt tab to task manager and
    In the Task Manager, switch to the Details tab. It will show a list of running programs.
    Right-click on railworks64.exe or railworks.exe file,
    Choose Set affinity from the menu. It will open the Processor affinity window.
    Choose which core the process can use, and deselect the rest of them - set it to (tick just) Core 0
    Click OK to complete the task. Once done, TS20XX will only use that CPU core.
    Sit back and watch the ensuing slide show!
     
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  37. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    Yeah right... LOL. Meanwhile, in real life....



    So that was all cores active... only one doing any work... yeah.. multi-core capable... sure it is... ;)

    Switching affinity to a single core makes almost no difference... perhaps 1 or 2 fps less for me. I think your machine must be even worse than mine!
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2020
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  38. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    Incidentally, the use of the final thread at the bottom right was NVidia Shadowplay doing that. When not recording, it's as low as all the other threads in terms of usage.
     
  39. Peter Hayes

    Peter Hayes Active Member

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    PH
    Does that video really show that you are only using Core 0 - they all looked ticked to me???
     
  40. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    They are all ticked, yes. That's the point of the video - despite all threads active, only one core doing any real work. TS is about as multi-threaded as my arse.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2020
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  41. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    Nice work Pookeyhead :) I find it astounding that this is the state of play. Nice challenge for IT types though.
     
  42. Peter Hayes

    Peter Hayes Active Member

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    PH
    Fair enough we agree to disagree!!!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2020
  43. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    I remember you explaining what they had offloaded to other cores on another thread Peter, though I've slept since then.
     
  44. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    I can only report what happens here Peter. Maybe your CPU is so stressed, that dumping the tiny amount of work it assigns to other threads is removing the straw from the camel's back. Setting affinity to one core makes very little difference here, and as you can see, with all threads active, core 0 is still being hammered at 100% while all 11 other threads are just loafing along with extremely light workloads. Only thread 11 is doing any work, and that appears to be NVidia Shadowplay doing that.
     
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  45. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    Just as an aside, here's a little snippet of the latest of the ballast tamper:



    Back onto CPU threads and Train Simulator :)
     
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  46. mattdsoares

    mattdsoares Well-Known Member

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    I'm with Peter on this. I have an 8 core i7-9700k and TS utilizes all 8 cores and does not seem to overload or prefer any single one.

    Here is a screenshot that shows my Afterburner/Rivatuner overal. The top CPU number is the overall CPU utilization. The 2nd CPU number down through the 9th are cores 1-8 in order. The number showing is the utilization % of each core at that moment. I took this just now on the terribly optimized WCML South as I figured that would stress the CPU the most. Honestly this was surprising as I had heard the crap performance of the sim was due to its limitations on CPU core usage, but that seems to be demonstrably false. Also, the WCML South is so terribly optimized that my GPU usage is 52 % and CPU is 26% using all cores, yet I only get 19fps.

    My rig is:

    Windows 10
    i7-9700k @ 5.0gHz
    RTX 2080 Ti
    32GB Ram @ 3200mHz

    upload_2020-10-5_16-4-13.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2020
  47. Peter Hayes

    Peter Hayes Active Member

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    PH

    Interesting results, around 2015 I had tried allocating a single core to TS2014/15 and it ran very badly, performance increased when I used all 4 cores again. Aah! I remember I used Process Lasso for setting core affinity.

    One of the issues I see with your test is that when TS starts it will be running in "multicore mode", and then setting it to use one core via task manager – may not change the allocation of cores. I have just set TS to run on a single core before it starts via Process Lasso and performance is significantly lower than using all 4 cores (no HT and Core Parking off). Used the MML as the test route with a scenario that utilises mucho RAM.

    TS20XX does seem to use all 4 cores on my quad core system because Windows 10, is good at managing the processor cores and allocating resources where it is needed. It is windows and not the CPU or software that allocates CPU cores to the software being run.

    I use the Logitech ARX system to measure CPU core usage (in real time) and that shows all 4 cores being used albeit with one core using the most resources – in my case Core 1, followed by Core 3. Using the Logitech ARX app – I started TS2020 then used task manager to just use Core 0 for TS, but the ARX app was still showing 4 core usage.

    However, even TRUE multicore apps using parallel computing code do not use the CPU cores evenly (but probably better than TS) – nor is there any guarantee that parallel computing code (wrt gaming) performs better than serial computation based code (i.e. TS). Mind you I am grateful that they use parallel computing for MRI scans.

    Your tests show that TS may not be using all cores efficiently as when 'possibly restricted to a single core' (via Task Manager) there is no significant drop in performance. It would be interesting to run a whole long scenario on a single core and then compare it to running on multicore with or without hyperthreading and core parking on/off.

    I do have an iPhone video showing 4 core usage when running TS – but being handheld it is too shaky to upload to YouTube – so I will try to construct a rig to see if that improves things.
    It is an interesting topic that IMO will generate some interest for the foreseeable future.
    pH
     
  48. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    My results differ (shrug). ...and my rig seems to work perfectly as expected with truly threaded apps... just not Train Sim.


    there's "even" and then there's the video I uploaded the other day :) Besides... Handbrake above seems to be doing a good job of utilising every core/logical thread quite well :)

    I have no idea why people are surprised that a DX9 game sucks at multi-threading though. :) Personally I'd be more inclined to worry about why mattdsoares' 2080Ti is only giving him 17fps :) Was that WCML South? LOL

    I've no idea if this is a peculiarity with my rig or not... but all the other apps I use regularly make use of all 12 threads perfectly. I'll see what happens with the new rig when I build it... just waiting to see what is happening with Ryzen Zen 3 and Big Navi before I invest.
     
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  49. mattdsoares

    mattdsoares Well-Known Member

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    YES! That was WCML South. I am also running at 4K with SSAA set to 2x2. Add in the chosen route, plus the general crappy performance of TS, and there you go!
     
  50. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    LOL.. it kind of had to be. :)

    I get around 30fps (25 or so on the most demanding routes) @ 2560x1600 with everything on max from a 4GB GTX980. I can't wait to throw a RTX3080 at it to see what happens. For a DX9 game it does remarkably well I think. You don't need super high FPS with a sim any way. Anything over 25 is perfectly playable, and once past 40 or so, you're into diminishing returns territory.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
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