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DCS 2.5 Optimisation Guide


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Update 09-02-2018: I’ve completely re-written the entire guide!

My guide is designed to be as aerodynamic as possible, omitting details. Also check out other guides:

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=202092 (Sideslip's guide for 4K users, with a lot of screenshots and details)

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=200906 (Snacko's guide, with tweaks outside of DCS that may or may not work according to specification)

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=201196 (anti-aliasing guide by Repsol2k)

 

Hey, DCS 2.5 is here and here’s my DCS 2.5 Optimisation Guide to go with it!

 

My 5-year-old computer with a 1060 graphics card runs DCS 2.5 with almost all options at maximum while maintaining an absolute minimum 30 FPS. The aim with this guide is to give you a choice of 100%, 60%, 40%, or 20% performance, which corresponds to 150 FPS, 90 FPS, 60 FPS, or 30 FPS on my own 1920x1200 machine (a 10% margin in 1920x1080). I fly the Warthog over Vegas in my performance benchmarks as I believe it is one of the most graphically cumbersome scenarios in DCS. I’ve optimised all options and created four presets. Simply set all options to the Minimum preset first and upgrade to the Low, Medium, or High preset, depending on what performance you want.

Download this guide as a PDF here:

https://ufile.io/7r3ot

 

Minimum preset: (100% performance: 167 FPS in 1920x1080, 150 FPS in 1920x1020)

Textures HIGH

Terrain Textures HIGH

Civ. Traffic LOW

Water LOW

Visib. Range LOW

Heat Blur OFF

Shadows OFF

Resolution PERSONAL PREFERENCE

Aspect Ratio PERSONAL PREFERENCE

Monitors PERSONAL PREFERENCE

Res. of Cockpit Displays 1024 EVERY FRAME

MSAA OFF

Depth of Field OFF

Lens Effects DIRT

HDR OFF

Deferred Shading ON

Clutter/Grass 750

Trees Visibility 100%

Preload Radius 100

Chimney Smoke Density PERSONAL PREFERENCE (Recommended: 0)

Gamma PERSONAL PREFERENCE (Recommended: 2)

Anisotropic Filtering OFF

Terrain Object Shadows OFF

Global Cockpit Illumination OFF

Disable Aero Interface PERSONAL PREFERENCE (Recommended: OFF)

Vsync OFF

Full Screen ON

Scale GUI PERSONAL PREFERENCE (Recommended: OFF)

 

Low Preset: (60% performance: 100 FPS in 1920x1080, 90 FPS in 1920x1020)

Minimum preset with the following changes:

Civ. Traffic HIGH

Heat Blur HIGH

Shadows FLAT ONLY

Lens Effects DIRT+FLARE

Clutter/Grass 1500

Anisotropic Filtering X2

Terrain Object Shadows FLAT

 

Medium preset: (40% performance: 67 FPS in 1920x1080, 60 FPS in 1920x1020)

Minimum preset with the following changes:

Water HIGH

Visib. Range HIGH

Shadows HIGH

 

High preset: (27% performance: 44 FPS in 1920x1080, 40 FPS in 1920x1020)

Minimum preset with the following changes:

Water HIGH

Visib. Range EXTREME

Shadows HIGH

MSAA X8

Anisotropic Filtering X4

Customisation Guide (for advanced players):

9k2RCok.png

 

 

A few points:

  • The same ideas should apply to 4K/VR users in general, but 4K users won't want excessive anti-aliasing and VR users will want higher framerates.
  • Players with a 1050, 960, 770, or equivalent cards with only 2GB VRAM may run out of VRAM in 1920x1020, which is something I've had difficulties benchmarking, but Textures, Terrain Textures, MSAA, Shadows, and Visib. Range are the options that you can probably decrease to minimize VRAM usage. I'm playing with 3GB VRAM and it works perfectly fine with 1.8-2.8GB VRAM depending on options.
  • I haven't fully benchmarked Caucasus or Normandy yet.
  • I haven't benchmarked action, with explosions and stuff.
  • I haven't fully benchmarked Res. of Cockpit Displays and Heat Blur yet.
  • I haven't fully benchmarked all minor options for the Low/Medium recommendations yet.
  • I haven't experimented with 3rd party anti-aliasing methods yet.
  • Activating MSAA X8 currently only activates MSAA X4 because of a glitch.
  • Deferred Shading should always be ON, I recommend. If it's OFF, all data in this guide becomes very wildly inaccurate. I also recommend a Gamma of 2.0, but that depends on the brightness of your monitor. How to get the right brightness? If you have an iPhone, turn the volume off, then increase it again with the button four times bringing it to 25% (4/16), then enter the control centre and use the volume bar as a reference to set the brightness to 25% and hold it out in front of your monitor. Match the monitor brightness of white on white. This will be about the same brightness that is commonly recommended for office environments around the world and with that brightness, Gamma 2.0 looks just about right.
  • Vsync is best enforced from outside of DCS.


Edited by D.Va
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Read my DCS 2.5 Optimisation Guide (version 2.5.4):

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?p=3828073

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OP> good man.

Hopefully people with issues will read this first, as against simply open another "my frame rate is naff" thread.

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Thanks for this. Great work!

 

Sent from my BTV-W09 using Tapatalk

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Great post!

One remark though: why do you enforce Cockpit Screen Res at 1024 every frame?

It eats a lot of performance and isnt really neccessary imo.

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

 

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”Pilots do not get paid for what they do daily, but they get paid for what they are capable of doing.

However, if pilots would need to do daily what they are capable of doing, nobody would dare to fly anymore.”

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I don't try it at 2.5, but at olders versions:

 

Civ. Traffic HIGH <-- it's a CPU eater, unnecesary on most missions.

Visib. Range LOW <-- you should see targets earlier, maybe you want this at HIGH, unless you only fly helos, and maybe MEDIUM will be a average range...

Heat Blur HIGH <-- unnecesary. for low-ends PCs, fps killer.

Lens Effects DIRT+FLARE <-- same as last one.

 

That's my config

 

large.config1.jpg.11d2daefb75212d194a1330e1576efe9.jpg

 

My PC is a 4690k, 970gtx and 16Gb ram. I got >50fts parked and >60fts fliyng every mission I tried (most defaults ones)

 

EDIT: I marked FXAA forced ON at Nvidia CP

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A few more notes:

  • I might also write a computer guide, since a lot of people are upgrading for DCS 2.5.
  • As I probably mentioned, I benchmarked in the Warthog over Vegas, which I believe to be the most graphically challenging place in DCS 2.5. However, my runs probably didn't adequately benchmark all options, such as Water, which was never on-screen, and I will have to make more benchmarks with action and benchmarks in Caucasus and Normandy.
  • I will have more time to test over the coming months; however, I'm not in any immediate hurry. DCS 2.5. is here to stay!
  • Civ. Traffic: I've never had any performance problems with this at maximum.
  • Water: probably not adequately benchmarked.
  • Heat Blur: also probably not adequately benchmarked.
  • Res. of Cockpit Displays: I've never had any performance problems with this.
  • Lens DIRT+FLARE: isn't this an overlay that shouldn't affect performance at all?
  • Deferred shading sucks performance, but for 2.5.0 I recommend keeping it ON in all circumstances until the vegetation is fixed when it is OFF.
  • Vsync: in most games, Vsync locks your maximum framerate to 60 FPS, but a few (including DCS) will also limit it to 30 FPS, if your framerate falls under 60 FPS. That's why it should always be OFF in DCS.

Got 1/2 way through that before I realized it was not about how to use Mavericks on the Harrier.

Did you try turning the Maverick off and on again?

Read my DCS 2.5 Optimisation Guide (version 2.5.4):

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?p=3828073

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What's the better way?

Setting MSAA on 2x or turning it off but turning on FXAA on Nvidia CP?

 

MSAA 2x looks better visually but costs more performance. FXAA is too blurry (especially with text). Also, FXAA affects the DCS GUI too, which is very annoying. IMHO, of course.

 

But you should really try for yourself, YMMV or you may disagree.


Edited by bolek
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[*]Vsync: in most games, Vsync locks your maximum framerate to 60 FPS, but a few (including DCS) will also limit it to 30 FPS, if your framerate falls under 60 FPS. That's why it should always be OFF in DCS

 

I had that problem with v-sync unless i hit Alt+Enter a couple of times, a solution for me was disabling vsync ingame and enabling via NCP along with triple buffering. It really smoothed the sim for me and holds steady 60fps.

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What's the better way?

Setting MSAA on 2x or turning it off but turning on FXAA on Nvidia CP?

 

I noticed that turning MSAA off gives me about 15 frames.

Can you show me the difference between off and 2x? I took a few photo but I don't see difference.

I haven't experimented with anti-aliasing outside of DCS, because as someone else mentioned, it currently anti-aliases the entire user interface, including text, as well.

 

I had that problem with v-sync unless i hit Alt+Enter a couple of times, a solution for me was disabling vsync ingame and enabling via NCP along with triple buffering. It really smoothed the sim for me and holds steady 60fps.

I use MSI Afterburner (works with any graphics card) to monitor my CPU and GPU usage and temperatures, as well as my RAM and VRAM, and with the RivaTuner Statistics Server add-on (which used to be a part of Afterburner, but I’ve had to download it individually recently) you can universally limit your framerate to 60 FPS in all games, which kills screen tearing.

Read my DCS 2.5 Optimisation Guide (version 2.5.4):

https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?p=3828073

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I went from 100+ fps without MSAA-2x to 75+ fps with MSAA-4x, while using Def.Shading.

 

It looks nicer but comes with a price


Edited by BitMaster

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