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imageDownload file (complete log, default F4 Phantom EGGP-EGNS)

imageDownload file (rendering settings)

Update

I happened to turn down "number of aircraft" to 1 while reproducing this again to get the above complete log (default F4 Phantom EGGP-EGNS). The time from overhead EGNS (paused) to EGNS fully loaded was 81 seconds (probably plenty fast enough when you're not doing ~500 KIAS!), rather than ~312 seconds in the screenshots below. Do AI aircraft and incremental scenery loading compete for any resources I wonder? The only other difference I can think of is in the set below I used the third-party T-38 Talon.

imageDownload file 08:55:58 field in sight

imageDownload file 08:57:10 overhead EGNS, paused

imageDownload file 08:58:31 EGNS fully loaded

 

Original description

When I fly to any airport outside the initially loaded area (the green region shown in Local Map / Sectional), typically very little of the airport has loaded by the time I get there, and it fills in very slowly over the next several minutes, whether simulation is paused or not. Tarmac, especially runways, load last of all, which is frustrating in a multiplayer environment (VATSIM) where I can't pause to wait for it and wasn't expecting a grass strip landing.

Any airport that I start at is always complete, and the incompleteness/slow loading happens reliably to any destination airport outside the initially loaded area (tried at least 10 airports) whether from default Global Airports or third party. Complex airports like Aerosoft Heathrow are a bit slower, maybe 10+ mins after field-in-sight rather than 5. The same two airports will display opposite behaviour if I make a new flight in the other direction. Performance is otherwise fine, and you can see that the NVIDIA driver is in use.

Things I have tried:

  • default preferences (renamed "X-Plane.prf" and "X-Plane Binary.prf"), all custom plugins removed and all custom scenery disabled
  • Extended DSF on/off, world detail distance / airport detail increased/decreased (to try to start the loading earlier)
  • runway follows terrain on/off
  • texture res high vs very high (can't read some instruments below "high")
  • compress textures on/off
  • 32-bit - crashes failing to setup OpenGL; I have reported this
  • turning flight models per frame down from 3 to 2 (default)
  • turning off net data send

Happy to try anything else trading off graphics quality/FPS if it will make landing/taxiing possible promptly.

This is the current Steam release 10.45r2 (64-bit build 104503) on Linux. Everything is on an SSD. The VRAM in use amount at the bottom of the rendering settings window usually goes up slowly while the airport is slowly loading, and is always under 2GB, usually under 1GB depending on extended DSF setting (video card has 4GB).

Reproduction notes

  • With extended DSF off, try EGGP to EGNS (Liverpool to Isle of Man).
  • With extended DSF on, try EGGP to EIDW (Dublin).
  • Default F4 Phantom will get you there quickly, but with any airliner I will quite reliably see at least the runway is missing.
  • Don't open Local Map after takeoff, because when closing it you get a scenery reload (blue screen and progress bar), taking maybe 2 mins. That would be a fine workaround if I wasn't flying online.
  • You can pause overhead the destination, look down and watch the airport load over the course of several minutes (runway segments filling in one after the other).

Screenshots arriving EGNS (all default scenery incl. Global Airports)

imageDownload file 18:47:53 field in sight

imageDownload file 18:49:21 approx. overhead, very little loaded

imageDownload file 18:51:32 still no runway

imageDownload file 18:54:33 loading the final pieces of runway

Screenshots from VATSIM with third-party scenery

imageDownload file EDSS: that hollow piece on the left is the runway

imageDownload file EGGP: (in this instance there was photo scenery underlying providing the image of a runway, but the physics were still bumpy grass)

 

1 Answer

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answered by (127 points)
 
Best answer

I'm going to put this down to this line in the logs:

Disabling threaded OGL - we need pbuffer support for this.

That feature is missing because I was using primusrun. My machine has an Nvidia Optimus dual graphics card setup, and primusrun, which allows process-specific GPU switching, is one of several possible ways to use it. I don't know why primusrun prevents threaded GL, but in discussion with Ben Supnik, he pointed out that this is the reason X-Plane 11 beta wouldn't start a flight at all for me, and (paraphrasing) that it is very limiting for X-Plane's performance. After switching to Prime, in which the whole Xorg session is routed to one GPU or the other, XP11 works perfectly for me and does not have this slow scenery loading issue.

If I get time I will run XP10 under Prime to confirm it, but it seems very likely to me that primusrun's lack of threaded GL was the cause, and in any case, I have a solution in the form of XP11 with Prime.

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