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ZooNamedGames

How to improve FPS with high part count crafts

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ZooNamedGames    2355

Simply to say, I'm working with a community space station that is at 396 parts and is still due another 4 more modules and even more refuels to complete my portion.

screenshot51.png

(outdated image by a few modules)

So I'm curious, what I can do to ease my play quality and improve FPS. Any mods? Any patches?

Technical Specifications:

Spoiler

Running on minimal settings, and computer specs are-

AMD A4-5000 APU with 4GB of RAM

 

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Ty Tan Tu    231

Well, in the settings there is 'Max Physics Delta-Time per Frame'. It basically slows down the game clock, so if you have it all the way to the right, 1 second in game time can take as much as 15 seconds in real time. But people with high count vessels do sometime use it to make the game smoother.

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ZooNamedGames    2355
42 minutes ago, Ty Tan Tu said:

Well, in the settings there is 'Max Physics Delta-Time per Frame'. It basically slows down the game clock, so if you have it all the way to the right, 1 second in game time can take as much as 15 seconds in real time. But people with high count vessels do sometime use it to make the game smoother.

Hm. But wouldn't that be apparent as lag?

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1 hour ago, ZooNamedGames said:

Hm. But wouldn't that be apparent as lag?

Control lag? No.

More like slow motion really.

Give it a try, personally I hardly notice it anymore. Only happens when it needs to also, not like the whole game will be in slow mo all the time.

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ZooNamedGames    2355
1 hour ago, Rocket In My Pocket said:

Control lag? No.

More like slow motion really.

Give it a try, personally I hardly notice it anymore. Only happens when it needs to also, not like the whole game will be in slow mo all the time.

So I will.

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The Aziz    458

Finally someone explained it in simple words. I couldn't understand it for years. Now it becomes useful.

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Gargamel    296

LIke Aziz said, I never understood that one either.   I just got used to slow mo game play.

But, Zoo, you've been around long enough to know there's a search feature ;).  There's been a bunch of these threads that will also give you some good tips.

The one I use is the welding mod.  If you have a bunch of parts that don't have any functions to them, just structural parts, use the mod to weld all the parts into one new part that is available in the VAB/SPH.  That will drastically reduce the part count.  And no, I don't have the link. 

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Kerbal101    451

Decreasing max physics delta will cause more physics imprecision, so you probably want to install KJR.
Reduce light sources.
Replace different parts with same parts to get advantage of instancing.
Remove mods that do calculations per time unit, this includes contract mods checking conditions.
Reduce amount of open docking ports - they all do scans.
Replace parts with high polygon count.
And yes, wielding, like wieldable ports from USI Konstruction, will help too.

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Gargamel    296
6 hours ago, Kerbal101 said:


And yes, wielding, like wieldable ports from USI Konstruction, will help too.

I'm not talking about that, but that is a good one, and I do use it myself.  I'm talking about taking structures that contain like 30-40 parts, and welding them into one big part.  So you can reduce say a 200 part ship down to 50-75.

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Kerbal101    451

@Gargamel Hm, I was not referencing that way actually. I know the mod you mean, but the possible underwater stone is that parts loose identity. But good to have it mentioned too!
Wieldable docking ports change node type, so its easier on fps than having/keeping several vehicles docked into one. :)

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Gargamel    296
3 minutes ago, Kerbal101 said:

the possible underwater stone is that parts loose identity. B

Please explain the stone thing...

And it's ok if some parts lose identity if you plan for it.  A bunch of station parts made from intersections and hitchhiker tubes being fused, doesn't matter as the capacity count wouldn't change, they'd just get lumped into one part (Not sure about IVA's though).  Batteries, I don't need batteries as a separate part, so if the get lumped into a bigger part, cool.   Docking ports, Lights, Solar panels, anything that has to move or fire, those I want separate.  Just gotta plan ahead, and test thoroughly. 

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regex    8867

Something else that helps part count, in the same vein as welding, is procedural tanks that can handle multiple fuel types at once and replace multiple tanks. My RO craft are generally lower part count than my stock craft, as a rule.

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something    328
Quote

AMD A4-5000 APU with 4GB of RAM

Do you use integrated graphics or are you using some video card? Because, if you're thinking about buying a graphics card, I'd advise to wait until the Ethereum mining craze is over. GPU prices are really inflated at the moment, but are apparently in the process of stabilizing at least....

 

Will activating the unsupported legacy shaders help in this case? I guess @regex might know. I had the impression, that I gained a couple of FPS in LKO, after doing so.

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regex    8867
2 minutes ago, something said:

Will activating the unsupported legacy shaders help in this case? I guess @regex might know. I had the impression, that I gained a couple of FPS in LKO, after doing so.

It will help in LKO and low Duna orbit, that I know, but high part counts are their own issue.

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Kerbal101    451
15 minutes ago, Gargamel said:

Please explain the stone thing...

And it's ok if some parts lose identity if you plan for it.  (snip)

You, basically, explained it :)

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monstah    2233

One graphical setting I don't see mentioned is Anti-aliasing. It's on by default, and sometimes I forget to change it after a clean install and wonder why such performance hit. Turning it off does wonders on my system!

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ZooNamedGames    2355
1 hour ago, monstah said:

One graphical setting I don't see mentioned is Anti-aliasing. It's on by default, and sometimes I forget to change it after a clean install and wonder why such performance hit. Turning it off does wonders on my system!

Already disabled.

3 hours ago, something said:

Do you use integrated graphics or are you using some video card? Because, if you're thinking about buying a graphics card, I'd advise to wait until the Ethereum mining craze is over. GPU prices are really inflated at the moment, but are apparently in the process of stabilizing at least....

 

Will activating the unsupported legacy shaders help in this case? I guess @regex might know. I had the impression, that I gained a couple of FPS in LKO, after doing so.

I'm saving for a whole new computer instead.

13 hours ago, Gargamel said:

LIke Aziz said, I never understood that one either.   I just got used to slow mo game play.

But, Zoo, you've been around long enough to know there's a search feature ;).  There's been a bunch of these threads that will also give you some good tips.

The one I use is the welding mod.  If you have a bunch of parts that don't have any functions to them, just structural parts, use the mod to weld all the parts into one new part that is available in the VAB/SPH.  That will drastically reduce the part count.  And no, I don't have the link. 

It's a stock station so I can't use part altering mods.

10 hours ago, Kerbal101 said:

Decreasing max physics delta will cause more physics imprecision, so you probably want to install KJR.
Reduce light sources.
Replace different parts with same parts to get advantage of instancing.
Remove mods that do calculations per time unit, this includes contract mods checking conditions.
Reduce amount of open docking ports - they all do scans.
Replace parts with high polygon count.
And yes, wielding, like wieldable ports from USI Konstruction, will help too.

Is KJR updated yet since CKAN doesn't show it.

Theres only the sun so far.

Can't pick and choose parts here but I'll aim to keep the same ones for new modules.

Its a mostly stock save minus KER and a few others.

Its a space station. It's going to have open docking ports.

Again, can't do anything about existing parts but I'll choose low poly counting parts from here on.

Refer to previous reply.

3 hours ago, regex said:

It will help in LKO and low Duna orbit, that I know, but high part counts are their own issue.

I'm at 250,000m orbit so that should be LKO. Any help is wanted.

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regex    8867
10 minutes ago, ZooNamedGames said:

I'm at 250,000m orbit so that should be LKO. Any help is wanted.

If you're using the on-board graphics card then setting

UNSUPPORTED_LEGACY_SHADER_TERRAIN = True

in settings.cfg may help, especially when you are looking at the planet. It will definitely look worse but it helps performance immensely. My i7 w/ 8GB Gazelle Pro laptop on an Intel 4K GPU can run a full RO install with 8K Earth and 4K planets with that setting enabled, and it runs it pretty smoothly. With that disabled it runs like total garbage, slideshow style. The difference is very noticeable in a bone-stock KSP on that computer as well.

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DMagic    2924
Posted (edited)

Polygon count on parts generally shouldn't affect performance (the little Kerbal portraits in the corner probably have a higher polygon count than a lot of moderately-sized vessels), any GPU should be able to handle high poly-counts fine. The only area where polygon count will really directly affect performance is when you are experience aero-effects, or re-entry flames, those are calculated based on a part's mesh, not its collider, like most things. But then that primarily affects parts only on the leading edge of a craft.

The real answer to why performance is bad is that AMD CPUs are kind of garbage for KSP. They always seem to underperform the Intel counterparts. Ryzen CPUs might be different, but I doubt it will be a huge gain, I've heard lots of reports that those underperform in games, too. If you're going to get a new computer either try to look for a deal on a newer Intel CPU, or find a good used deal (assuming this is for a desktop).

You can make some improvements here and there, like limiting the number of docking ports, as was mentioned before, or limiting solar panels. Some mods can have a big effect, KER might cause some slow down, depending on how many readouts you have active. You can try turning off anything that requires the vessel simulator (DeltaV, burn time, ISP, thrust, etc...).

Also, regarding terrain shaders, at any altitude above a certain cutoff the terrain will be turned off and the planet replaced by its simpler, scaled space counterpart (the same as what is shown in the map view). I think that cutoff is below 250km for Kerbin; the transition should be obvious if you are looking at the surface when you pass through it.

Edited by DMagic

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ZooNamedGames    2355
1 hour ago, DMagic said:

Polygon count on parts generally shouldn't affect performance (the little Kerbal portraits in the corner probably have a higher polygon count than a lot of moderately-sized vessels), any GPU should be able to handle high poly-counts fine. The only area where polygon count will really directly affect performance is when you are experience aero-effects, or re-entry flames, those are calculated based on a part's mesh, not its collider, like most things. But then that primarily affects parts only on the leading edge of a craft.

The real answer to why performance is bad is that AMD CPUs are kind of garbage for KSP. They always seem to underperform the Intel counterparts. Ryzen CPUs might be different, but I doubt it will be a huge gain, I've heard lots of reports that those underperform in games, too. If you're going to get a new computer either try to look for a deal on a newer Intel CPU, or find a good used deal (assuming this is for a desktop).

You can make some improvements here and there, like limiting the number of docking ports, as was mentioned before, or limiting solar panels. Some mods can have a big effect, KER might cause some slow down, depending on how many readouts you have active. You can try turning off anything that requires the vessel simulator (DeltaV, burn time, ISP, thrust, etc...).

Also, regarding terrain shaders, at any altitude above a certain cutoff the terrain will be turned off and the planet replaced by its simpler, scaled space counterpart (the same as what is shown in the map view). I think that cutoff is below 250km for Kerbin; the transition should be obvious if you are looking at the surface when you pass through it.

Noted. Granted a large portion of your suggestions are either unavailable (processor selection) or out of question due to it being a space station. But your advise is kept.

As to the terrain model, I've gotten some odd events here in the last few months with 1.3. Any thoughts?

Spoiler

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This is where the KSC should be

 

 

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Coming down above the invisible KSC.

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That thing above the Mission Control building is a rover that's actually on the surface.

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I thought 1.3 was supposed to solve terrain seam issues? Now they're worse than ever!

 

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ZooNamedGames    2355
1 hour ago, regex said:

If you're using the on-board graphics card then setting


UNSUPPORTED_LEGACY_SHADER_TERRAIN = True

in settings.cfg may help, especially when you are looking at the planet. It will definitely look worse but it helps performance immensely. My i7 w/ 8GB Gazelle Pro laptop on an Intel 4K GPU can run a full RO install with 8K Earth and 4K planets with that setting enabled, and it runs it pretty smoothly. With that disabled it runs like total garbage, slideshow style. The difference is very noticeable in a bone-stock KSP on that computer as well.

Hm. Odd. This causes the KSC to become a black mass and Kerbin to look blobby, like jelly.

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fourfa    795
3 hours ago, DMagic said:

Also, regarding terrain shaders, at any altitude above a certain cutoff the terrain will be turned off and the planet replaced by its simpler, scaled space counterpart (the same as what is shown in the map view). I think that cutoff is below 250km for Kerbin; the transition should be obvious if you are looking at the surface when you pass through it.

It's 160km for stock Kerbin. I always put my stations at ~165km for that reason.  It also means that you can launch to an efficient phasing orbit at 80km without having to worry about a launch to rendezvous (I've never been good at those) or wasting dV boosting both up and back down to phase with a station in really low Kerbin orbit.  Plus the extra bonus of being similar to how IRL spacecraft approach the ISS :)

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KerbMav    918

@DMagic@Kerbal101

Was there ever a way to temporarily deactivate docking ports (apart from using the covered stock one)?

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Kerbal101    451

@KerbMav This is only the information, which I got from other members about what can affect performance. I assume the docking ports are only the problem when there is very many of them, for the most time its light sources and physics running on part count. Yes, you can detach are reattach docking ports with KIS/KAS, but I have no data how severe it is actually affecting the performance.

What I know for sure, is that active contracts are also constantly scanning for conditions, so you may want prevent having an excessive number of these.

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DMagic    2924
Posted (edited)

You could make a mod to do so, I think, docking ports use a state machine to which makes them a little hard to deal with. But stock doesn't have any method to do so. In any event I don't think docking ports would really drag down on performance enough to notice unless you have a ridiculous number of them and none of them are docked (docked ports are basically inactive).

@Kerbal101 The performance impact of docking ports comes from each port looking up every other open port in the scene and checking things like distance, orientation, rotation (there are lots of unused config options to limit docking port connections), size, etc...

The performance impact of solar panels, I think, used to be mostly related to the inefficient way that resource producers and consumers were handled pre-1.2. Now I think it's mostly just the light tracking and checking if the panel is in the shadows. This, again, probably isn't an issue unless you use dozens of tiny panels, a handful of big panels probably won't effect much.

Contracts in general shouldn't be much of a drain. Most of them are based on events, not constantly checking conditions (so an event is fired when you plant a flag, vs the specific orbit contracts that have to constantly track orbit parameters). Contract generation can be a drag, but it only triggers at infrequent intervals. Again, though, if you increase the active contract limit you can run into problems. Mod contracts can also be inefficient or not based what they are trying to track.

My only real advice, if have already taken things like graphics settings, and being in orbit above the terrain cutoff altitude, is to be very stingy with part count. High part count, regardless of which type of parts, will always drag performance down. Doing things like using tugs to put station components together, so that the station itself doesn't have any unneeded RCS or reaction wheel parts. Or cutting down on adapters, cosmetic parts, etc...

Edited by DMagic

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