262: A Hardware Fix to GPS Dragging

After the two DVI ports and Display port on my graphics card had each been taken by a monitor, my newly added VRinsight GPS-5 was naturally connected to the remaining HDMI port on my GTX 780 via a VGA-HDMI converter in the first place.GPS5-Card-03

Surprisingly, while my FSX system continues to run smoothly, my P3Dv2 responds with serious stutters as framerates dropped momentarily under the same setup with the external GPS attached.  Feedbacks to such framerate dropping issues in the last post reveal that the phenomenon is common regardless of platform and monitor setup.

Based on the presumption that an additional graphics card should help relieve the loading from the existing graphics card that already processes three monitors, another GTX 780 card was therefore plugged into the system and connected to the GPS-5.

GPS5-Card-01

Bingo!   With the second graphics card in place, P3Dv2 now runs as smooth as it used to be.   No anomalies were found after hours of running.   Simulator performance was also not affected by the extra card — neither improved nor degraded.

Indeed, using a GTX 780 for such a scenario is an overkill.   I just happened to have an extra graphics card on hand that was left over from my last mistaken SLI setup.  Of course the cards now runs individually.

GPS5-Card-02

I believe similar results could be achieved by replacing the GTX 780 with a lower end graphics card because the GPS-5 requires only 1024 x 768 VGA resolution that needs limited video and computer resources.

Nevertheless, it’s still not a real solution to systems that run on a single card.

Run Your System in Full Power

In response to the above stutter issue, Peter Howie in the Comment section of the last post mentioned that disabling CPU core parking might have of some help to the situation.

Core parking is an OS algorithm which puts CPU cores into sleep state under certain circumstances in order to save power.

In other words, by disabling this function, CPU cores will run 100% full power at all time. This should in theory bring positive improvements to both P3D and FSX as both games rely on CPU processing power intensively.

The stopping doesn’t bring any harm to my computer.  Unfortunately, neither does it help the GPS dragging issue in my case.

GPS5-Card-05
ParkControl from bitsum shown above is just one of the many utilities out there that could simplify this configuration change.  Do a Google search will give you plenty of them.

Thank you Peter.

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8 thoughts on “262: A Hardware Fix to GPS Dragging

  1. Thanks for the information about parking the cores. I don’t have as powerful computer as most (intel i7-4770 CPU @ 3.50 GHz). You can see my setup in Cockpits (David Marsden). I had huge lags when changing the GPS scale and a very bumpy sim all round even though I had turned some details down.

    Disabling the core parking and making them all run at 100% all the time makes a massive difference to my FSX. It now runs really smooth with no lags (even when changing GPS scale). It was particularly bad going into big Airports such as Paris Orly. It now runs completely smooth.

    Thank you very much for posting this information. It has really transformed my sim for the better.

    Regards,

    David.

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  2. 3 quick questions Tom,

    I am giving serious thought to buying myself one of these for Christmas; well may Santa will buy it.

    1. Do you think this device would work satisfactorily off the integral Motherboard HDMI port of a ASUS ROG Maximus VII Formula MB / i7-4790k@4.9GHz / GTX-780Ti-sc combination rather than a second video card? I do have old GTX-280; 480 and 680 cards laying around that could be used along with some really older ones.

    2. Are you still happy with it’s performance and integration?

    2. You mentioned P3D, did you get all of your Saitek gear working with that software? Last I remember there were issues. I keep thinking I should do this but wonder if it’s time yet? Maybe the x64 version will be out in the next year or so? v1 was a big disappointment that i don’t want to relive. Not to mention the time and aggravation.

    Thanks
    Rick S.

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    1. Hi Rick,
      Not quite sure about the new Maximus VII motherboard, I am using Maximus VI which doesn’t allow to use integral HDMI or Display Port simultaneously while I am using external card for 3-monitor setup. I believe the case would be very much the same due to BIOS requirement. You’d better check.
      Of course, the new board is a good one. Also, the faster the CPU, the more improvement you’ll get in FSX. However, if your current system is already a good one, I would suggest to hold the upgrade for the next or next next generation. Surely, since it will be a Xmas gift, you can go ahead with it without a second thought.
      Yes, so far the second card performs satisfactorily with the external GPS. Since you have old generations, should try it out yourself. Do remember NOT to set it in SLI mode.
      Regarding graphics card, would suggest to get the 980 if you have intention to go to P3D.
      Yes, all my Saitek gears work correctly in P3Dv2.4 without any issue.
      Is it time to go P3D? Same answer:
      Pros
      1. a future-proof upgrade
      2. nicer graphics
      Cons
      1. Price is a lot more expensive
      2. You may sacrifice many FSX-compatible only addons, including, missions, scenery and utilities, etc. (This affects me a lot frankly speaking)
      Anyway, if you are going to get a new computer and you don’t mind the P3D price-tag, you could probably set it up for P3D, while keeping the old FSX computer. Then you have the chance to decide if P3D is the one you want to go after.
      Tom

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      1. Good, glad to hear the GPS is living up to your expectations. I believe I will let Santa know.

        I have already set aside the $ for the 980 upgrade; waiting on the GTX-980Ti-sc to come available.

        Yes, I have seen all of the threads warning users away from SLI in FSX, I won’t do that.

        FYI; I am also running in Surround mode and had not seen anything about surround and Internal HDMI not playing well together. I am glad you gave me that heads up.

        I don’t know of anything, other than maybe a plane or two, that would be incompatible with P3D. I have all the basics; FSUIPC4; FTX-most everything; FS Global-all; ASN Next; REX4-TD; UTx 2.0; Accufeel; EZdok; Steve’s DX10-fixer, etc. Everything in FSX maxed except ground shadows=0 water=2.0. thinking about FFFA and Track-iR.

        FYI, after a, just completed, FSX reinstall; I do have everything running buttery smooth at my stock 4.4GHz settings (a little gas left in the tank). That was a lot of work! I have made a complete BU this time!

        Thanks
        Rick S.

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      2. So look like you are ready for the P3D. Then go for it. But again, install it onto your new computer rather than the existing FSX one. It will take a while and probably a long while to config the new simulator properly.
        Tom

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  3. Hi Tom,

    I have some questions.

    ParkControl seems an interesting utility, but the same effect is achieved by using the tweak ‘affinity mask’ in the .cfg ?.

    With respect to a system with two graphics cards in SLI, what settings to use nvidia inspector for FSX?

    regards

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    1. Hi Ignacio,
      ParkControl does something differently. It prevents cores to go into “parking” (power saving) state so that the cores can use full (electricity) power all the time.
      AffinityMask just defines which cores are active (on or off). It doesn’t disable the power saving feature of the CPU.
      Hope above clarify your question.
      Nvidia inspector didn’t support SLI for FSX when I was having two graphics cards in SLI. Since then, I stopped using nvidia inspector. So, I have no idea if it has come up a newer version supporting SLI.
      Tom

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