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Zeiss Ikon

Game slows to a crawl with a 30-part vessel?

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Okay, I asked this once in Tech Support, and got no response over several days.  I then concluded that the issue was probably a performance setting on my computer, but it turned out I'm already optimized on that front.  So I'll try again here.

I'm running KSP 1.3.0 on Ubuntu MATE 16.04.3 LTS on my Thinkpad T430, with Core i7 (dual core, 2.9 GHz nominal, turbo up to 3.5 GHz), 8 GB RAM, platter hard disk, and on-board Intel graphics.  I have more than 100 GB free space in the Ubuntu partition on the hard disk.  I'm playing on AC power, and have the system's clock management set to "performance" (the only other alternative is "power saving", and changing this seems to have little effect, since both do on-demand clock management; "power saving" is just more aggressive in slowing down the cores when demand drops).

What I've read says this computer should nicely outperform my desktop machine, Kubuntu 14.04.5 LTS (with alternative XFCE desktop installed), Core2Quad 2.7 GHz, 8 GB RAM, and SSD with ~50 GB free.  My experience since installing KSP on the laptop contradicts this; overall performance is about the same.  I'll get a yellow clock when flying any vessel with more than 20 or so parts.

I've had the laptop since October.  Over the past couple weeks, however, I've been running into serious lag.  What used to be an intermittent yellow clock with a 20 part vessel is now a solid yellow clock, proceeding at close to half actual time rate, with the same vessel size.  Worse, when flying an aerospace vessel (glide reentry orbiter or HOTOL spaceplane) I'll get near-freezes, where engine sounds continue to play and altimeter and velocity displays update, but there's no response to control inputs for several seconds.  If this occurs at low altitude when attempting to land, it's prone to cause a crash, and if at high altitude, it can lead to overcontrol.

I'm running essentially stock: the only mod I have is Better Burn Time, which ought to be completely quiescent unless I have a maneuver node set, or am close to entering or leaving atmosphere, to a rendezvous with a set target, or to impact with a body like the Mun.  Even when active, it's not demanding; it does calculations I could have done in real time in BASIC on a 1986 Tandy Color Computer.  I have one other flight in progress, a Kerbal day or so from a maneuver, but that vessel ought to be on rails when I'm not flying it, so shouldn't take machine time comparable to a vessel in focus.

I'd welcome any suggestions how I could improve performance, short of buying a faster computer.  I regularly see my cores stepping up to as high as 3.4 GHz, and given modern Ivy Bridge or Sandy Bridge architecture, this ought to handle more than twenty parts, and reasonably should do so without the long "almost freeze" effect.

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On 12/4/2017 at 3:32 PM, Zeiss Ikon said:

I'm running KSP 1.3.0 on Ubuntu MATE 16.04.3 LTS on my Thinkpad T430, with Core i7 (dual core, 2.9 GHz nominal, turbo up to 3.5 GHz), 8 GB RAM, platter hard disk, and on-board Intel graphics. 

I played the game on a similar System76 Gazelle with Mint/Ubuntu/Slackware (at various times) for years and the biggest problem was the terrain shaders on the Intel 4K graphics. You used to be able to toggle the legacy terrain shaders from within the settings menu but they removed that in 1.0 which is when I began experiencing incredible lag compared to older versions. With the legacy shaders enabled I was able to run a full RO/RSS setup with as many part mods as the memory could handle and still remain in the green for the most part.

There's a setting in the config file, you might want to try changing

UNSUPPORTED_LEGACY_SHADER_TERRAIN = False

to

UNSUPPORTED_LEGACY_SHADER_TERRAIN = True

The game won't look any prettier (not like it was to begin with) but it might help with the lag near the surface.

Edited by regex

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