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Are these stutters ''normal" for dcs?


blayas
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After trying many different configurations and adjustments in the last 3 years, including running dcs on a new set of hardweare, I realized that some stutters appear to be apart from hardware and any configuration that I try, are not directly related to performance and can be considered punctual and can be reproduced with great consistency.

 

Maybe I'm just very neurotic with the stutters, but I decided to bring some examples to demonstrate and if others decide to test.

 

 

(f-14) Mission Hormuz rocket run, When flying over targets and making a break to the left or right, I can always get 1 or 2 considerable stutters, sometimes with small ones during the dive. They 'seem' to happen due to the static weather clouds disappearing over the horizon.

 

 

 

(f-14) Mission Bfm lion and sun, considerable Stutter that happens in a consistent way that happens when passing the mig-21 regardless of whether it is firing or not. An interesting thing to note is the increased consumption of ram after the stutter.

 

 

 

(f-18 ) BVR 8v8 mission, here the stutter seems to always occur between 1:10 ~ 1:20 after the start of the mission, in addition to the peak in the frametime it is also possible to observe the momentary drop in the use of gpu

 

 

 

(f-18 ) Strike fighter mission, this mission alone is considerably unstable '' stutter wise '' with several small random stutters occurring along it, but one of the most noticeable is the large stutter that occurs when the allied f18 fires an aim-7 for the first time.

 

 

These tests were performed on openbeta 2.5.6, but I found results with the same meaning in all previous versions.

 

These are just a few examples of stutters that seem simply inevitable to me, would they be a result of the way the dcs engine works? do other people find similar results?

 

Edit: ´´I already tried: cpu affinity settings, cpu priority settings, testing with hypertheading / smt disabled, disable w10 fullscreen optimization, eliminate the max fps line, disable hot plug in, disabling anti virus or whitelist the folder, disabling the network device, reinstallations, installation on another ssd, the most diverse configurations in nvcp and ingame(low to high/custom), fast sync, adaptive, integrated vsync, scanline vsync, fps cap, no sync/cap, with different pagefile sizes, pagefile on different disks, without pagefile, disabling w10 game mode, running on my old i7-4790k /ddr3 16gb 1600 hardware kit, excluding metashaders, fxo and log, performance mode preferences for w10/ nvcp, overclocked cpu/vga, no overclocked cpu/vga, saved games folder placed on another ssd / same ssd, MSI mode for vga, disabled track recording``

DxDiag.txt

Logs.zip


Edited by blayas
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Absent information about hardware or settings , one can only make the most general of observations .

In my experience , the occasional micro-stutter is to be expected . However , one can gain a generally very smooth experience by a framerate cap , and adjusting settings to provide a decent amount of headroom over that level .

This works particularly well with 60hz monitors as you can check vsync in the DCS settings , and adjust settings as stated . You can also cap the framerate in Nvidea settings (and presumably AMD) or Rivatuner .

The basic idea is to lower settings to provide headroom over the frame-cap sufficient to allow ai , clouds , cities weapon firing etc .

I assume you are running on an ssd ?

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Absent information about hardware or settings , one can only make the most general of observations .

In my experience , the occasional micro-stutter is to be expected . However , one can gain a generally very smooth experience by a framerate cap , and adjusting settings to provide a decent amount of headroom over that level .

This works particularly well with 60hz monitors as you can check vsync in the DCS settings , and adjust settings as stated . You can also cap the framerate in Nvidea settings (and presumably AMD) or Rivatuner .

The basic idea is to lower settings to provide headroom over the frame-cap sufficient to allow ai , clouds , cities weapon firing etc .

I assume you are running on an ssd ?

 

 

As I said at the beginning of the post, these punctual stutters seem to be independent of any configuration, seem simply inherent in the way the dcs engine manages resources

As you can see I have no problem with the performance, I am using it with the internal vsync since it presented itself as the most stable and does not cause jitter in the trackir system.

 

I currently run the dcs on: r7 3700x / 32gb 3600 / gtx1070 / nvme ssd, but I found it irrelevant to bring the settings and hardware information per hour given the nature I described of these stutters, if necessary I will bring more information later,.

 

 

if someone can test the stability of frametime under any of these conditions that i demonstrated it would be interesting.

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Well since we are leaving the door wide open. I ran similar test as in “example 1”? On my old pentium 1 and yes, it stutters. Will randomly pick some other machines and configurations later to assist with your well documented research...


Edited by Mr. Big.”Biggs”

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Well since we are leaving the door wide open. I ran similar test as in “example 1”? On my old pentium 1 and yes, it stutters. Will randomly pick some other machines and configurations later to assist with your well documented research...

 

Sorry friend, but I didn't understand the irony, if you found the post irrelevant or inconvenient you could just ignore it

 

 

 

Yes,

I already tried: cpu affinity settings, cpu priority settings, testing with hypertheading / smt disabled, disable w10 fullscreen optimization, eliminate the max fps line, disable hot plug in, disabling anti virus or whitelist the folder, disabling the network device, reinstallations, installation on another ssd, the most diverse configurations in nvcp and ingame(low to high/custom), fast sync, adaptive, integrated vsync, scanline vsync, fps cap, no sync/cap, with different pagefile sizes, pagefile on different disks, without pagefile, disabling w10 game mode, running on my old i7-4790k /ddr3 16gb 1600 hardware kit, excluding metashaders, fxo and log, performance mode preferences for w10/ nvcp, overclocked cpu/vga, no overclocked cpu/vga, saved games folder placed on another ssd / same ssd, MSI mode for vga,....

 

Sorry if it was a mess but that's what came to mind at the time hehe


Edited by blayas
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Great initial post as you had your info's setup nicely with the videos, you can also add your storage disk into the on screen graphs, because this is the hot thing right now to correlate disk-reads with stutters.

Make sure you select the correct one in the "instance" number so that you really pick the correct disk that has the DCS installed, and I've recently found out too that, depending on circmustances if there's some stuff paged out to pagefile, DCS will load from that too when it needs it, so you may add both a disk that contains a pagefile plus the installation disk.

 

Not saying this is the case in your case, but this is good to see what's going on so you can rule this thing out if it isn't the problem.

 

Stuttering as in interruption of the executuion of the core engine should never happen in and kind of circumstances when it comes to streaming or dynamic loading non-essential assets such as textures and terrain data, that is the whole point of streaming, that the play continues while things the streaming is built for gradually loads in, and that logic includes it should work smoothly even on HDDs but this is just easier said than done and we all sincer upgraded to SSDs as well as the minimal official requirements have been raised and so we fought this problem with throwing raw horsepower at it.

 

I have recently discovered it may not just be necessairly tied to the speed of the storage, but also to the who else other than the CPU, and that one is more sophisticated, I've did a thread about it but I had to cut the continuation short because I just have to deal with some non-DCS stuff first, I'll get back to it later, and it looked like that the I/O asset loading threads may be fighting for CPU time and at momemts taking too much away from the main thread which causes the interruption (stutter), hopefully it may be an easy fix of thread priorities but I haven't tried that myself yet manually.

 

I haven't tried the latest Beta patch, I planned to take a few days for DCS again this week kind of an intermission so not the full return to beta testing yet, and so I'll do a comparison first, that's why I want ot keep the previous version on.

 

 

Also all of this could just be some specific HW/SW thing ... because we don't see these kind of suttering on trailers and there's probably a bunch of players that never seem to complain about this, many youtubers don't have this stuttering thing, to my recollection, or they don't notice, and I didn't notice coincidentially, perhaps I don't watch it too much, well I do, I just don't watch every single long hour video, but I do 30% at least but I think that's enough to be able to catch some of them.

Getting back in action!

1st.: PC Specs WIP: Win10P 2004 (20H1), 1440p@75"32 - MB: Asus ROG Strix X-570E - CPU: AMD Ryzen ... - GPU: AMD Radeon ... - RAM: 64 GB - SSD: Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB NVMe

2nd.: PC Specs: Win10P 2004 (20H1), 1440p@75"32 - MB: Asus P9X79 - CPU: Intel i7 3820 - RAM: 32GB - GPU: AMD Radeon RX480 8GB - SSD Samsung 870 EVO 250GB (DCS), Input: Saitek Cyborg X/FLY5

Modules: A-10C I/II, F/A-18C, Mig-21Bis, M-2000C, AJS-37, Spitfire LF Mk. IX, P-47, FC3, SC, CA, WW2AP.

Terrains: NTTR, Normandy, Persian Gulf, Syria.

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Great initial post as you had your info's setup nicely with the videos, you can also add your storage disk into the on screen graphs, because this is the hot thing right now to correlate disk-reads with stutters.

Make sure you select the correct one in the "instance" number so that you really pick the correct disk that has the DCS installed, and I've recently found out too that, depending on circmustances if there's some stuff paged out to pagefile, DCS will load from that too when it needs it, so you may add both a disk that contains a pagefile plus the installation disk.

 

Not saying this is the case in your case, but this is good to see what's going on so you can rule this thing out if it isn't the problem.

 

Stuttering as in interruption of the executuion of the core engine should never happen in and kind of circumstances when it comes to streaming or dynamic loading non-essential assets such as textures and terrain data, that is the whole point of streaming, that the play continues while things the streaming is built for gradually loads in, and that logic includes it should work smoothly even on HDDs but this is just easier said than done and we all sincer upgraded to SSDs as well as the minimal official requirements have been raised and so we fought this problem with throwing raw horsepower at it.

 

I have recently discovered it may not just be necessairly tied to the speed of the storage, but also to the who else other than the CPU, and that one is more sophisticated, I've did a thread about it but I had to cut the continuation short because I just have to deal with some non-DCS stuff first, I'll get back to it later, and it looked like that the I/O asset loading threads may be fighting for CPU time and at momemts taking too much away from the main thread which causes the interruption (stutter), hopefully it may be an easy fix of thread priorities but I haven't tried that myself yet manually.

 

I haven't tried the latest Beta patch, I planned to take a few days for DCS again this week kind of an intermission so not the full return to beta testing yet, and so I'll do a comparison first, that's why I want ot keep the previous version on.

 

 

Also all of this could just be some specific HW/SW thing ... because we don't see these kind of suttering on trailers and there's probably a bunch of players that never seem to complain about this, many youtubers don't have this stuttering thing, to my recollection, or they don't notice, and I didn't notice coincidentially, perhaps I don't watch it too much, well I do, I just don't watch every single long hour video, but I do 30% at least but I think that's enough to be able to catch some of them.

 

 

Hello friend, thanks for your attention, yes, it is certainly something related to the stream engine and dcs management of resources, for next tests I will try to enable the graphical display of the disk usage where the dcs is installed and where the saved games folder is also located. (I currently have the pagefile disabled)

 

Regarding youtubers and other people, I'm sure that a large number of them have these stutters, only they don't realize or don't care or just don't report them, as an example there is this video from Redkite in which at least 3 moments occur stutters quite heavy and noticeable, although there is no frametime line confirming it.

 


Edited by blayas
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Blayas,

 

Are you using Adaptive Refresh? As in, a G-Sync or FreeSync monitor, with it enabled in your graphics driver?

 

It's the only thing I've ever tried that really improved the performance of DCS with regards to stuttering.

 

When running a fixed refresh rate (usually 60Hz), you'll always get some stuttering because DCS produces somewhat irregular frame times, due to the complex nature of the sim.

 

When the frame time changes, the monitor loses sync with the graphics card output, and skips a bunch of frames, leading to obvious stutter. The higher your framerates, the more obvious it is.

 

The only cure is adaptive refresh. If you have a G-Sync or FreeSync monitor, now's the time to enable it. Nvidia graphics card drivers now work very well with AMD FreeSync monitors, so it isn't a problem anymore--you don't need an expensive G-Sync display.

 

I've messed around with hardware and system settings and it's the only thing that's ever made a significant difference for me.

 

Also, DCS does tend to stutter a bit, and possibly always will unless there's a major simulation engine re-write coming along that makes better use of modern PC system resources. Frankly, the DCS core engine is rather old and was written for 2-core processors. But, constant stuttering should not be a problem.

 

AD

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Hello friend, thanks for your attention, yes, it is certainly something related to the stream engine and dcs management of resources, for next tests I will try to enable the graphical display of the disk usage where the dcs is installed and where the saved games folder is also located. (I currently have the pagefile disabled)

 

Regarding youtubers and other people, I'm sure that a large number of them have these stutters, only they don't realize or don't care or just don't report them, as an example there is this video from Redkite in which at least 3 moments occur stutters quite heavy and noticeable, although there is no frametime line confirming it.

 

 

 

Indeed I have to remind myself of the psychological aspect, because even I wasn't looking for the stutters when I just wanted to relax and watch the primary content/story of these videos and I think so do most of the watcher and the makers, but that's normal and that's actually correct, otherwise nobody would enjoy anything in any game/sim/product, so the third option is that they know but they just disable their beta-test sensors aka ignore it, I do exactly the same when I decide I want to have a serious experience flying the campaign missions for example.

 

Nice catches there, this may indeed be more prevalent and I just wasn't looking for them, it would need a few sample videos from each of the youtubers and go frame-by-frame to get an idea how many of them have this bug. It doesn't seem like much but it does matter if those HW configurations have the bug it can mean we can talk more freely around the scope and also more confidence that our results are on point and not some edge cases on our systems.

Getting back in action!

1st.: PC Specs WIP: Win10P 2004 (20H1), 1440p@75"32 - MB: Asus ROG Strix X-570E - CPU: AMD Ryzen ... - GPU: AMD Radeon ... - RAM: 64 GB - SSD: Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB NVMe

2nd.: PC Specs: Win10P 2004 (20H1), 1440p@75"32 - MB: Asus P9X79 - CPU: Intel i7 3820 - RAM: 32GB - GPU: AMD Radeon RX480 8GB - SSD Samsung 870 EVO 250GB (DCS), Input: Saitek Cyborg X/FLY5

Modules: A-10C I/II, F/A-18C, Mig-21Bis, M-2000C, AJS-37, Spitfire LF Mk. IX, P-47, FC3, SC, CA, WW2AP.

Terrains: NTTR, Normandy, Persian Gulf, Syria.

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Blayas,

 

Are you using Adaptive Refresh? As in, a G-Sync or FreeSync monitor, with it enabled in your graphics driver?

 

It's the only thing I've ever tried that really improved the performance of DCS with regards to stuttering.

 

AD

 

Hello, unfortunately my monitor does not support f/g sync, I am using the internal vsync of dcs because it gives me the most stable frametime and no jitter on the track ir to go to all forms of vsync, fps cap or not sync at all that I tested.

 

 

What leads me to report this situation waiting an answer from the ED, is that I can reproduce these stutters consistently, and a problem that can be reproduced with consistency = bug, no? (although I hope that a possible solution for these reproducible stutters would help with random ones too) just taking as an example, the stutter that occurs in test 4 at the merge with mig21 will generate a stutter even though of varying magnitude 10/10 times that I test.

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Do you have track recording enabled?

 

I found the best way to fix random stuttering is to disable track recording with an autoexec file with the config file in the saved games folder.

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Do you have track recording enabled?

 

I found the best way to fix random stuttering is to disable track recording with an autoexec file with the config file in the saved games folder.

 

 

It's one of the things I've tried, I added this to the list in the initial post now, thanks.

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It's one of the things I've tried, I added this to the list in the initial post now, thanks.

 

No worries, sorry I missed that one.

 

I'll try the examples you posted and see if the stutters are repeated.

Intel Core i3 8350K 4GHz, MSI RTX 2080 Super, AS Rock Z370 Pro4 Motherboard, Samsung SSD, 32G DDR4 RAM, Windows 10 PRO 64 Bit

 

Rift-S, Tripple Samsung 27" C27F Display, Hotas Warthog, Saitek Pro Flight rudder pedals, EDtracker, Track IR.

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Okay then try this:

 

  1. Install the nightly version of Process Hacker - https://processhacker.sourceforge.io/nightly.php
  2. Reboot cleanly so that you get rid of all other programs, but reboot into BIOS and preferrably disable HT/SMT for your CPU.
  3. Start DCS and get into your test mission until you get into the cockpit pause screen, alt-tab out and start Process Hacker.
  4. Click on the private bytes column so that DCS is at the top, double click on the DCS process and in the new dialog window go to the Threads tab.
  5. Click on the Start Address column to sort it alphabetically, then multi-select all the threads that have the Start Address begin with "ucrtbase" and "ntdll" and right click and select "Affinity..." and a new dialog will open showing a list of CPU checkboxes, only select the last two or the last 4, leaving at least 2 or more unselected.
  6. Now select the main thread, "DCS.exe!" and put it to only CPU0, NOTHING else should be on CPU0, the main thread should have a core all for it self.
  7. Now select all the threads that begin with "webrtc", "combase", "gdiplus", "amd", "ati", "nv", "dinput", "ed_sound" or any other name and put them to one CPU, that's not either of the ones you previously chose.
  8. If you closed all the other programs down then you don't need to worry about any other process affinity taking CPU0 resources, if it's all off it shouldn't, but make sure to disable anti-virus and close down updaters and the rest.
  9. Then click the View tab on the main Process Hacker window and disable "Refresh Automatically", polling all those numbers all the time may cause stutters in DCS (DPC latency), sometimes but I found it inconclusive, depend on version, Process Explorer tends to do it a lot sometimes, sometimes not.


Edited by Worrazen

Getting back in action!

1st.: PC Specs WIP: Win10P 2004 (20H1), 1440p@75"32 - MB: Asus ROG Strix X-570E - CPU: AMD Ryzen ... - GPU: AMD Radeon ... - RAM: 64 GB - SSD: Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB NVMe

2nd.: PC Specs: Win10P 2004 (20H1), 1440p@75"32 - MB: Asus P9X79 - CPU: Intel i7 3820 - RAM: 32GB - GPU: AMD Radeon RX480 8GB - SSD Samsung 870 EVO 250GB (DCS), Input: Saitek Cyborg X/FLY5

Modules: A-10C I/II, F/A-18C, Mig-21Bis, M-2000C, AJS-37, Spitfire LF Mk. IX, P-47, FC3, SC, CA, WW2AP.

Terrains: NTTR, Normandy, Persian Gulf, Syria.

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Update:

 

testing the .50321 version, there seems to have been a change from the second test scenario in which the mig-21 merge no longer appears to cause a stutter.

For the rest of the 1st, 3rd and 4th test scenarios, the behavior and stutters presented remain the same

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Tests on .50321

 

The overall performance seems reduced, some heavier areas cause drops below 60fps which did not happen previously in the same configuration.

 

The stutters caused by the merge with mig-21 don't seem to happen anymore.

 

For the rest of the scenarios the stutters are still present, now I have performed the tests with the disk reading graphic.

 

(f-14) Mission Hormuz rocket run

 

(f-18 ) BVR 8v8 mission

 

(f-18 ) Strike fighter mission

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Okay then try this:

 

  1. Install the nightly version of Process Hacker - https://processhacker.sourceforge.io/nightly.php
  2. Reboot cleanly so that you get rid of all other programs, but reboot into BIOS and preferrably disable HT/SMT for your CPU.
  3. Start DCS and get into your test mission until you get into the cockpit pause screen, alt-tab out and start Process Hacker.
  4. Click on the private bytes column so that DCS is at the top, double click on the DCS process and in the new dialog window go to the Threads tab.
  5. Click on the Start Address column to sort it alphabetically, then multi-select all the threads that have the Start Address begin with "ucrtbase" and "ntdll" and right click and select "Affinity..." and a new dialog will open showing a list of CPU checkboxes, only select the last two or the last 4, leaving at least 2 or more unselected.
  6. Now select the main thread, "DCS.exe!" and put it to only CPU0, NOTHING else should be on CPU0, the main thread should have a core all for it self.
  7. Now select all the threads that begin with "webrtc", "combase", "gdiplus", "amd", "ati", "nv", "dinput", "ed_sound" or any other name and put them to one CPU, that's not either of the ones you previously chose.
  8. If you closed all the other programs down then you don't need to worry about any other process affinity taking CPU0 resources, if it's all off it shouldn't, but make sure to disable anti-virus and close down updaters and the rest.
  9. Then click the View tab on the main Process Hacker window and disable "Refresh Automatically", polling all those numbers all the time may cause stutters in DCS (DPC latency), sometimes but I found it inconclusive, depend on version, Process Explorer tends to do it a lot sometimes, sometimes not.

 

This isn't a fix though it's a bandaid for something that shouldn't be happening or required, DCS shouldn't need manual 'thread - core' babysitting full stop

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just got a new machine and the first thing I noticed after installing DCS software was the stutters caused by Track IR and DCS. If I try running DCS with Track IR turned off or just put my hand over the receiver the stutters go away. Is there no fix for this?

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I just got a new machine and the first thing I noticed after installing DCS software was the stutters caused by Track IR and DCS. If I try running DCS with Track IR turned off or just put my hand over the receiver the stutters go away. Is there no fix for this?

 

What’s your PC specs? TrackIR will only be smooth when the frames are locked to 120fps or 60fps. Since it’s pretty much impossible for any PC to maintain 120fps it’s best to lock the frames to 60.

I have a pretty good monitor and i run it at 144hz but locked to 60fps and the TrackIR experience is perfect as my PC will run it at 60fps all day long.

i7 8700k @ 5.0ghz. Strix GTX1080Ti. 32GB RAM @ 3600. 2x Hyper X SSD’s with DCS on one. Oculus Rift S. Asus PG278-QR. Liquid Series PC with liquid CPU and GPU cooling.

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