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#4477680 - 06/12/19 12:12 AM Need Help With Stutter Testing  
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HarryH Online content
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Hi All,

I continue to work on making my WOFF performance the best it can be. Now I need some help from this fine community to help me test and hopefully narrow down the cause of those intermittent and occasional stutters that cause the action to momentarily pause. I'm not talking about initial stutters that can be cleared with some 360 panning of the pilot view prior to takeoff. Nor am I talking about the "spawn stutters" that occur often later in missions, presumably due to more planes entering the action (via GAI or simply later missions starts).

I'm excited to announce that I have finally managed to create a completely reliable and repeatable test scenario, which at least on my system, exhibits a very obvious stutter exactly 144 seconds into the mission (see the linked video). Now this is a slightly spooky number since 144Hz happens to be my refresh rate. However, I think that's pure chance. I think this stutter and other occasional stutters of this nature that I experience (aside from the types I mentioned earlier) are related to certain textures and or 3D models or other objects loading into memory. What memory? I'm not sure. Could be main system memory or graphics card memory. They could be due to some mod(s). They could be happening with a certain combination of game settings or detail settings. Since the test seems to be repeatable, I'm hoping to get some volunteers initially to run this scenario on their systems and let me know if they seem the same stutter instance @ 144 seconds. From there I'd love to get system and settings info so that I can start looking for potential differences and areas to focus on. I figure if I can resolve this then I can share and everyone benefits. It may prove simply too elusive, but I'd like to give it a go...


.... so, if you're up for helping me, please PM me and I'll send more details along with a link to the scenario. The test uses auto pilot and is very quick to set up. Big thanks in advance!

H



Best viewed full screen. Check the counter in the Z key display. The stutter occurs 144 seconds in and is quite obvious. Any other perceived lack of smoothness is due to video encoding. You'll have to take my word for that smile


I'm "Stutter Free" At Last! God bless WOFF, and all who fly with her!
#4477681 - 06/12/19 12:20 AM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: HarryH]  
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Stache Offline
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Hi Harry,
PM Set.

BTW the video is "unavailable" for me.

Regards.


Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. A. Einstein

(System Specs:)

I7-6700k OC 4.4GHZ, 16GB DDR4 3200Mhz; Gigabyte Gaming 7 MB, G1 OC'ed GTX980ti; Three-Acer XB271HU WQHD Gsync 144Mhz; Samsung 950-512GB NVMe SSD; WD 2TB-7200rpm; Cooler Master HAF XB EVO, Nepton 240M cooler, V1000 PS; Windows 10 PRO; VKB GunfighterPro Stick; Thrustmaster TPR Pedals; Saitek Throttle; Dual TM MFD panels; TrackIR 5
#4477684 - 06/12/19 12:40 AM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: HarryH]  
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Video is now set to public. Thank you Stache! Instructions sent.


I'm "Stutter Free" At Last! God bless WOFF, and all who fly with her!
#4477685 - 06/12/19 12:56 AM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: HarryH]  
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Panama Red Offline
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Normally anytime you get a "hitch" like that is when the game is "loading" something, be it new planes or new terrain.

I normally get this "hitch" at about 1,000 ft during take-off and then it is fine till it loads some more terrain or squadrons further into the game and I have a pretty decent PC.

You will find, the higher the Scenery Detail or Regional Air Activity you have in the Workshop, the more small "hitches" you will have during the game.

But then this is a 2002 "executable" and AnKor has done wonders just getting us this far with this old CFS3.exe.


CPU = i9 9900K, GPU = RTX 2080 Ti, Monitor = 32" 4K G-sync
#4477688 - 06/12/19 01:36 AM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: HarryH]  
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Yep, agreed PR. So, from your perspective, do you think I'm on a wild goose chase, i.e this is simply not something that can be eliminated?


I'm "Stutter Free" At Last! God bless WOFF, and all who fly with her!
#4477690 - 06/12/19 01:47 AM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: HarryH]  
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Stache Offline
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Perhaps not eliminated, but at least with a test that can replicate, we can see what, if anything affects it.

On my system it does replicate but at the 200-205 second mark.
Also on my system the flight turns to the right not the left as shown in Harry's video.

Last edited by Stache; 06/12/19 01:49 AM.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. A. Einstein

(System Specs:)

I7-6700k OC 4.4GHZ, 16GB DDR4 3200Mhz; Gigabyte Gaming 7 MB, G1 OC'ed GTX980ti; Three-Acer XB271HU WQHD Gsync 144Mhz; Samsung 950-512GB NVMe SSD; WD 2TB-7200rpm; Cooler Master HAF XB EVO, Nepton 240M cooler, V1000 PS; Windows 10 PRO; VKB GunfighterPro Stick; Thrustmaster TPR Pedals; Saitek Throttle; Dual TM MFD panels; TrackIR 5
#4477692 - 06/12/19 02:44 AM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: HarryH]  
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OK thanks Stache. Perhaps if both you and PR can send me details of your AI settings for enemy aircraft I might see some similarities? UPDATE: NVM... you already did, thanks!

However, if we can't get similar results then it feels like a wild goose chase smile

Last edited by HarryH; 06/12/19 02:46 AM.

I'm "Stutter Free" At Last! God bless WOFF, and all who fly with her!
#4477694 - 06/12/19 02:55 AM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: HarryH]  
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I just set my settings the same as yours Stache, and they still turn left and the stutter is in exactly the same place for me. I wonder what the variable is that causes your AI to turn right instead?

Last edited by HarryH; 06/12/19 02:57 AM.

I'm "Stutter Free" At Last! God bless WOFF, and all who fly with her!
#4477696 - 06/12/19 03:13 AM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: HarryH]  
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OK without a truly repeatable test, this exercise is futile IMO. I'm going to go back to the drawing board and see if I can improve the scenario's ability to be consistent on different systems. Thank you Stache and PR for your help!

No more volunteers needed at this time

H oops


I'm "Stutter Free" At Last! God bless WOFF, and all who fly with her!
#4477699 - 06/12/19 03:31 AM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: HarryH]  
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The relatively "long" stutter that occurs in your video at the 3:24 mark is caused by new scenery being loaded by the sim in response to the game engine and the compositebudgetscenery.xml file. In your video, most of the horizon is not quite far enough away to see the new scenery being loaded, but if you look very closely at the horizon on the very far right hand side of your video at the 3:23 mark, you just might be able to see some new scenery being loaded, just before the stutter occurs.

I have seen this effect quite clearly during testing of the blue triangles mod. Make sure you get up to at least 4000 feet with no clouds and a clear horizon, preferably a flat area over a big city or a heavily forested area, and then focus on the area between where you can see the last bit of detailed scenery and the horizon. Eventually, you should be able to see new scenery detail being added, followed just after by a fairly long stutter. I would attach a video showing you this, but I am an old coot and I haven't mastered Shadowplay/Youtube, so you will have to take my word for it. You may also notice slightly shorter stutters as new scenery is added to the "rings" nearer to your aircraft, but the worst stutter seems to occur in the most distant ring (probably because it has the largest circumference and takes longer to draw). Unfortunately, at this time I don't have a clear solution to this problem. Even reducing the object densities in the compositebudgetscenery.xml file doesn't eliminate this type of stutter. (There are other sources of stutters, too, unfortunately, but that is another matter). frown

#4477701 - 06/12/19 04:22 AM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: HarryH]  
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Thanks for this explanation, BB. It certainly rings true to me, but I agree with your emoticon - that's too bad. In return, I'll send you a PM with step by steps to set up an easy way for you to capture video of the last 5 minutes of whatever you were doing. It's a pretty cool feature. I'd also be happy to run you through the process of uploading to YT smile


I'm "Stutter Free" At Last! God bless WOFF, and all who fly with her!
#4477796 - 06/12/19 08:44 PM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: HarryH]  
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HarryH, do you have WoFF on a conventional hard drive or on a Solid State Drive? If your stutter is really related to stuff being loaded, an SSD should help, and they are neither expensive to buy nor difficult to install.

Following an ATAG forum suggestion, I recently eliminated horrible pauses in Cliffs of Dover every time a radio message was being played, by using a Steam function simply to move CloD from the HDD I had it on, to an SSD. Likewise, an SSD has long been known to reduce the regular hiccups you would get playing routes with denser than stock scenery in MS Train Simulator, which loaded the terrain and scenery in quite small chunks as you moved along the line; not seen since I moved to playing MSTS content in Open Rails AND moving it onto an SSD.

#4477815 - 06/12/19 10:09 PM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: 33lima]  
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Originally Posted by 33lima
HarryH, do you have WoFF on a conventional hard drive or on a Solid State Drive? If your stutter is really related to stuff being loaded, an SSD should help, and they are neither expensive to buy nor difficult to install.

Following an ATAG forum suggestion, I recently eliminated horrible pauses in Cliffs of Dover every time a radio message was being played, by using a Steam function simply to move CloD from the HDD I had it on, to an SSD. Likewise, an SSD has long been known to reduce the regular hiccups you would get playing routes with denser than stock scenery in MS Train Simulator, which loaded the terrain and scenery in quite small chunks as you moved along the line; not seen since I moved to playing MSTS content in Open Rails AND moving it onto an SSD.


Of course, everything you've said about SSDs is correct. And they have been known to work wonders when eliminating this type of stutter from most any other game I can think of.

However - don't get me started about this game and (this specific) stutter - let me tell you this: Not only have I tried (what I call) "stupid fast" storage; that is to say a Samsung 950 Pro NVMe drive with a read speed in excess of 2200 Mbit/s...but I've also gone as far as creating a RAMdrive to load the entire sim to...

...and it makes absolutely. No. Difference. (And we're talking RAM that is easily many, many times faster than even a 'stupid fast' SSD.) Years ago, I tried 4 SSDs in a RAID 0 array (hardware based, not a crappy motherboard software implementation.) Nothing changed.

This game is plagued with (this specific) stutter. There is no solution, IMHO. It has nothing to do with settings, or how much someone spends on hardware, what FPS they claim to have, overclocking (really?), or anything else. CFS3 was known for this issue long ago, and it seems to be going nowhere, in spite of decades of technological improvement in hardware (like SSDs). People who have insisted they have no stutter, but then post videos which show this exact issue...or claiming they never drop below x FPS, but turn around and say they have the same recognizable hitch or glitch or whatever...

I build lots of gaming machines for 'competitive gamers'. Already done several this year. Every one comes with a 100% absolute money-back guarantee, yet no one's ever brought one back. They're out there, every single one of them, playing all sorts of different games, usually in some sort of competitive environment by some very picky players. Many of them overclocked to within an inch of their bloody little silicon lives...

...and no one has any complaints about stutter, or any performance issues at all. I must have some idea what I'm doing. At least they seem to think so...every single one this year so far was a referral from other people I've built for.

Unfortunately, as accurate and well-founded as your mention of faster storage may be...it doesn't solve this issue. TBH, I'm not even sure it improves the issue at all; where, as you pointed out, other games are often improved substantially. Even with the RAMdrive, the stutter I've tested repeatedly is unchanged.

People often don't see the stutter simply because they're not encountering the condition(s) which would trigger the stutter. This is why a repeatable test is important. I tried to do the same thing a long time ago and was blasted for it, by people who just couldn't admit this problem exists. Yet, somehow, oddly enough, it is the one subject that still comes up after all this time, and the one thing that (most) people do acknowledge, and the one thing there's been no solution for (well, maybe the cloud 'popping' issues, as well).

If there are no stutters, then why's it still coming up?

My observations, for whatever it's worth.

HH - best of luck, in all sincerity. But, as you have so accurately observed: A test that can be reliably duplicated is paramount, first and foremost.

#4477856 - 06/13/19 03:38 AM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: 33lima]  
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HarryH Online content
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Originally Posted by 33lima
HarryH, do you have WoFF on a conventional hard drive or on a Solid State Drive? If your stutter is really related to stuff being loaded, an SSD should help, and they are neither expensive to buy nor difficult to install.

Following an ATAG forum suggestion, I recently eliminated horrible pauses in Cliffs of Dover every time a radio message was being played, by using a Steam function simply to move CloD from the HDD I had it on, to an SSD. Likewise, an SSD has long been known to reduce the regular hiccups you would get playing routes with denser than stock scenery in MS Train Simulator, which loaded the terrain and scenery in quite small chunks as you moved along the line; not seen since I moved to playing MSTS content in Open Rails AND moving it onto an SSD.


Thanks for the suggestion 33lima. Yes I have an SSD. Don't think that's the issue, though it's wonderful for speeding up the launch of the game itself smile


I'm "Stutter Free" At Last! God bless WOFF, and all who fly with her!
#4477857 - 06/13/19 03:52 AM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: kksnowbear]  
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HarryH Online content
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Originally Posted by kksnowbear

If there are no stutters, then why's it still coming up?

My observations, for whatever it's worth.

HH - best of luck, in all sincerity. But, as you have so accurately observed: A test that can be reliably duplicated is paramount, first and foremost.


Thanks Kks, yes, I really thought I finally had a reliably repeatable test... and actually I think I kind of do. It's just that the obvious stutter occurs at different points in time for people due to a whole slew of factors - graphics settings, machine specs, etc. I am now convinced that this particular type of stutter is scenery related (as I think you also had surmised) and I am leaning toward the theory that PR and BB have proposed - it's down to the ancient CFS3 engine and it ain't going to be fixable. Ever.

I don't think anyone doubts your expertise, Kks. I certainly don't, and I'm sorry you got fried for raising the issue originally. These stutters are a real thing, no question. As players of this wonderful OBD enhancement to the original CFS3 we can either choose to live with it or walk away. For me. WOFF is still overwhelmingly an amazing experience, even with the occasional stutter. Much as I have hoped to find a fix for it though, it seems OBD have done the best they possibly can with the constraints of the old MS game engine. I will now choose to just live with it as-is. It's already hugely better than I've ever had it running before. Onward and upward smile

Thanks all.

Devs: feel free to close this thread if you want to smile


I'm "Stutter Free" At Last! God bless WOFF, and all who fly with her!
#4477866 - 06/13/19 04:57 AM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: HarryH]  
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BuckeyeBob Offline
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Originally Posted by HarryH
Thanks for this explanation, BB. It certainly rings true to me, but I agree with your emoticon - that's too bad. In return, I'll send you a PM with step by steps to set up an easy way for you to capture video of the last 5 minutes of whatever you were doing. It's a pretty cool feature. I'd also be happy to run you through the process of uploading to YT smile


Please go ahead and send me the information. I have a little test flight over the city of London that clearly illustrates the scenery stutter, if you would like to see it. In the meantime, I will poke around in the compositescenerybudget.xml file to see if I can reduce the stutter effect at all, but I am not very optimistic.

#4477868 - 06/13/19 05:07 AM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: BuckeyeBob]  
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Originally Posted by BuckeyeBob
Originally Posted by HarryH
Thanks for this explanation, BB. It certainly rings true to me, but I agree with your emoticon - that's too bad. In return, I'll send you a PM with step by steps to set up an easy way for you to capture video of the last 5 minutes of whatever you were doing. It's a pretty cool feature. I'd also be happy to run you through the process of uploading to YT smile


Please go ahead and send me the information. I have a little test flight over the city of London that clearly illustrates the scenery stutter, if you would like to see it. In the meantime, I will poke around in the compositescenerybudget.xml file to see if I can reduce the stutter effect at all, but I am not very optimistic.


Happy to do so BB. Will get to it this weekend. Stand by...


I'm "Stutter Free" At Last! God bless WOFF, and all who fly with her!
#4477893 - 06/13/19 10:19 AM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: HarryH]  
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Panama Red Offline
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Since this is a WOFF topic and not a WOTR topic, I wonder why the Forum Moderators moved it to WOTR instead of leaving it in WOFF ?????????????


CPU = i9 9900K, GPU = RTX 2080 Ti, Monitor = 32" 4K G-sync
#4477904 - 06/13/19 11:51 AM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: Panama Red]  
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Originally Posted by Panama Red
Since this is a WOFF topic and not a WOTR topic, I wonder why the Forum Moderators moved it to WOTR instead of leaving it in WOFF ?????????????


Interesting. Can't speak to why it was moved, but it bears mentioning that, as far as I can tell, this issue is no different in WOTR than in WOFF. There are videos posted that show it in WOTR just like in WOFF. And, actually, it may even be worse in WOTR, given the increased graphics load (this is not given, just a guess).

Also, to be clear: There's no doubt AnKor's efforts have really been helpful to these sims, and it is most appreciated I'm sure. However, I don't think that effort has changed this particular issue at all, and I have serious reservations about whether more DirectX work/DX11 is going to help with this specific issue. This is based on conversation with him directly.

As I've said many times, though: This is an area where I would genuinely love to be wrong.

#4477941 - 06/13/19 04:41 PM Re: Need Help With Stutter Testing [Re: HarryH]  
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Sorry, I moved it to the wrong forum - human error. Not sure it needed quite so many question marks, stuff happens wink

WOFF/WOTR switching between them does not help and there's the proof. Now moved to the WOFF Technical.

Last edited by Polovski; 06/13/19 04:41 PM.

Regards,

Polovski,
OBD Software, developers of immersive flight sims;
Wings Over Flanders Fields and Wings Over The Reich
http://www.overflandersfields.com
http://www.wingsoverthereich.com
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