Graphics settings changes after updates? Why do I have to lower my settings every update?!

I read your rant. And I cited you… your text…

… which is of course bogus. Third party developers should solve their own issues before releasing something. And when some addon causes issues after an MSFS update, third parties should release updates for it ! MSFS 2020 cannot check “likely to cause issues” because MSFS has no cristal ball at load time. It will just load the image and initialize it. When it is malformed, it does not load, ok… But when it “likely causes issues” you are fried… and the maker of the product should solve your issue. MSFS will not be adjusted to addons, it is the other way around.

Well, we’re just going to disagree. If an add on hasn’t caused any major problem while loading scenery and flying in it, but then MSFS just freezes forever at a point when it just needs to return to it’s default state???

That’s not just an add on problem, that’s a flaw in the software design.

Do I wish commerical developers and particularly the unpaid community developers who’s add ons tend to cause more problems would improve the quality of their add ons to not cause these things?? Of course!!! But I do computer graphics for a living and some graphics applications crash and freeze often if a script or plugin, or data file is less than ideal. Other ones, the ones I like using are robust and not only don’t crash or freeze forever when plugins or data isn’t ideal, they help you debug those issues!!

If MSFS was hanging while an add on was being loaded or being used, I’d be more forgiving. But on exiting the flight, all it should be doing beyond writing a tiny bit of data to record the flight’s time, starting point, end point, etc. is ending any extra processes and loading the main screen again. It shouldn’t be accessing, using any add ons at that point, or especially crashing/freezing due to anything external to the main program itself when simply closing the flight and loading it’s main user interface again.

It takes two to tango. You should direct your complaint to the developer of the addin as well. Why does it only happen with that addin ? MSFS should not crash, we agree on that, but apparently the addin does cause the issue. It must be solved on both sides. MSFS is not a standard library like .NET which they took 15 years to fine tune. You can’t expect MSFS to always keep stable with any addin. MSFS opened up specific actions for third party developers. You’re very lucky they don’t allow DLL’s ! The CTD’s I saw sofar were clean exits. I could restart MSFS without problem, no memory leaks… with errors in DLL’s your PC would go into reboot and find some invalid state on returning, and worst case you find yourself reinstalling Windows.

Why would a state change like end-of-flight be less code or less riskfull than the load stage ? When invalid memory is released by the addon, all kinds of unpredictable things could happen. You have the MSFS source code ? You have the addin source code ? What is the basis of this claim of yours, that only MS/Asobo is to blame for your CTD ?

Arguing with you over this is NOT why I posted this topic, nor are any of your replies helping answering my question. If you would like to comment on topic, any perceived or measured changes in fps after the last few updates and how you’ve adapted your settings to compensate, please do. If you want to keep arguing with me about whether or not Asobo could do a better job with handling problematic add on files, please don’t. I am not blaming Asobo for problematic add ons existing. I only suggest the more robust softwares in my experience do a much better job of not freezing or crashing when problematic files are used.
Your comments show you are not even paying attention to what I’ve written. If I find a particular add on is problematic OF COURSE I will contact the maker of that add on. Doesn’t change my opinion MSFS could be more robust in handling misbehaving add ons, or at least provide better debugging information when one does cause a major interruption of the sim’s functionality.

Hopefully I’ll have enough time to keep my trial and error search for the add on causing my freeze later tonight. Other than mentioning that if I do find it, I’d love to get this thread back onto the original topic.

Back to the original question of this thread

I find with the new CPU I can run at 150 lod for terrain and objects and stay at 35-45 fps over a lot or most scenery. But there are still places over cities or big airports I need to go to 100. And over certain very dense cities I need to drop as low as 60 lod to keep from dropping well below 30gps, sometimes into the mid teans.

Here’s the thing. 60 lod used to give me tons of obvious, ugly popping of noticably low res buildings and terrain, with only quite close scenery having full detail. Even with my old CPU and pretty bad fps I hated going below 100 lod because of how bad it looked. But now?? I swear 60 or even 50 lod doesn’t look all that bad? The more distant scenery is noticably less detailed and I can still see some not so bad lod switching, but not the very noticable popping I had in earlier versions. So I see MANY complaints after updates that MSFS has gotten slower, and at the same settings I have found this to be the case. But after adjusting settings I can get it to be faster AND look better than before the updates??

Anyone else find this to be the case? Could some of the outrage and hair pulling be avoided if people tried retesting their settings after updates visually rather than assuming all the old settings still give the same details, visual quality??

PS (I’ve solved the freezing on exiting flights, but there’s a dozen or so add ons I still haven’t put back, they aren’t important me and I got tired of narrowing it down further. So, I still can’t say exactly why that was happening.)

My personal view on this that, since launch, there have been subtle changes to the graphics, but nothing material and life changing. I read a lot about graphical dumbing down or downgrades - pretty much none of which is accompanied by any evidence, screenshots or anythign else. I’ve been on a world tour since the sim launched, and have been documenting my travels here:

As a result, it turns out that I have a lot of screenshots going back to August and September last year. A couple of days ago, I did a little experiment and recreated some of the shots from back then to do a “then and now” comparison. You can see them here.

I should say that, other than turning motion blur off :grin: I’ve made no changes since launch to my graphical settings. I play on Ultra, with everything turned up - so 200 LOD on both sliders, 100 on render scaling, everything else maxed out. Motion blur and lens flare off.

It’s possible that Asobo are changing the scale on the sliders etc. They have talked about allowing them to extend beyond the current 200/Ultra for higher end PCs or for people wanting that quality and prepared to sacrifice FPS for it. Personally, I’ve not really seen that.

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What an amazing trip!!! That’s dedication! Retired? :slight_smile: How many hours did that take all together?

And thanks for providing some visual data. The differences are not generally very noticeable. The only thing that stands out is the distant tree density has gone up considerably. Funny, many complain they are getting less distant trees? I haven’t noticed that in recent updates. It seems like way back an update did kill off a lot of the distant trees at any given LOD setting. But that seemed to have been corrected again in another update since then.

What would make this test more interesting/useful would be if it was done at 200 as you have, but again at 100 and then, say, 50 or even 25 LOD. I have never run 200 LOD other than once for a few minutes to find it gave me unusably slow fps. Though I could try again now with my new CPU in places/altitudes where my FPS is high enough I could lose some.

My thinking and theorizing about LOD changes are more in the 50-100 LOD range. It’s the below 100 LOD that seems to have improved considerably in visual quality and extended range before noticeable degradation of the poly count of photogrammetry and terrain. Used to be 50 would give me huge and unmistakable popping of the poly density in the mid ground. Now the details in the mid ground are better and much less prone to visually obvious shifting from low to higher detail. Also, would have been telling to see your tests conducted with the dev mode fps counter displayed to see how the changes have effected that. Perhaps now, 200 has denser distant trees than it used to, but low LOD has gotten sparser? But I haven’t noticed it being sparser at around 100. And only recently have I tried below 100 LOD a bit, so I’d have to pay more attention to distant trees at those settings. But I do know I’ve noticed less LOD shifting in the mid ground. Those shifts now happen at much more distant and a lot less noticeable distances.

With all due, CRANK THOSE SETTINGS UP Asobo!!! I’m ready for LOD to be better, 4k ULTRA needs to look ultra, especially past the 2-mile radius of an airliner. PLEASE!!!

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I don’t know how you folks are running at 200 LOD and want even more?! I got a darn high end rig and 200 LOD is pretty unflyable to me. I can’t imagine wanting it higher. Granted cruising at airliner altitudes fps are much better than down low and fps are not critical when you aren’t using fast changes in pitch/roll, yaw and scenery isn’t rushing by below as it does at low altitudes. Also granted, I insist on 4k and 100 render scaling.

But I see no downside to making the maximum LOD denser. But I guess I’d prefer if they left the numbers the same and allowed higher numbers. So 150 would still give the same results, but you could go to 300, not just 200 an have 200 be denser.

Changing the low LOD behavior would require shifts in the results at a given LOD unless they added negative, or fractions below 1 LOD values.

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Yep I wonder the same thing. I can get away with 200 LOD if flying a GA plane in the desert.
200 and have f-15 buzzing low over a photogrammetry city and my sim stutters.
There is certainly a performance difference on my system on 150 compared to 200.There is a lot less stutters.

Yeah, I do next to no IFR flying and the ground rushing beneath me is a favorite sensation in this sim! I do a lot of bush flying nap of the Earth in the small STOL aircraft options. (Xcub, Zenith, Zlinn, etc) and I do love caving up mountain passes in the F-15, or MB339 if I’m feeling a bit mellower and want the more expansive views the better visibility from the MB339 cockpit. Enjoy the G.91 and T-45 as well.

I’m on 4k ultra at 200 and it needs to go way higher. A sim, to me, is not about getting 60 FPS… if I get a manageable 30 FPS at 4k HDR, I’m fine. But LOD isn’t good in the sim, especially with airliners.

Hence why the LOD/Photogrammetry bug is #4 on the entire bugs list. :wink:

And I’d like to see a “Urban LOD factor” or something like that. Some adjustment to LODs based on scenery density. Because I really wish I didn’t have to keep changing LOD when I 'm out in the boonies vs flying into a huge detailed airport in a dense urban area. Some factor to say, as scenery density is growing, reduce the LODs by X amount, etc.

I was really hoping my days of changing my LOD all the time were over when I got the 5900x, but while it’s not nearly as bad now compared to on my ancient old CPU before. I still want higher settings out in the wilderness compared to a dense city. I can just leave it set to 100 most of the time, but I still like 150 more over all natural terrain and more like 50 on approach at a big urban area.

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That’s fair and understandable. I only fly airliners, and the LOD and draw distance is just not good, especially over cities. Buildings are just melted triangles/pyramids until you literally get 1 mile from them, then they look great. Just want that improved as it’s a complete immersion killer for me.

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Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately not retired yet - been doing about a leg a week, sometimes two. I do use some sim rate acceleration, especially over water. Flying time is about 320 hours at the moment - but that’s not counting all the set up, flight planning time etc. I love it though - gives me a real sense of purpose to my flying. Got most of Europe to zig zag across - helpfully including Norway, Sweden etc, so I’m concentrating on Southern Europe just now so that I’ll get there in tiem for the next World Update. Happy coincidence.

Unfortunately I don’t have shots with diferent LOD settings. You’re right about the distant trees though. I think one of the recent sim updates improved that, around about the time when the famous tree LOD mod stopped working. I must admit, when flying along keeping an eye on the AP etc, I tend not to be zooming in to distant scenery to see if trees are spawning! Other people do say the trees don’t go as far, but I don’t see it.

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Yeah, I guess airliner folks and bush fliers or Mach Loop addicts have very different ideas about LOD and fps. And that’s fine. Ideal there’d be settings for every taste and there’s no real problem making the higher LODs completely unflyable on today’s hardware. Then we are good to go for future hardware (or maybe DX12 speed improvements) and that would let people get right to the edge of scenery density and the lowest fps they feel like tollerating.

I certainly don’t need (or ever really see) 60fps. Generally I’m happy at 30 or above with a occasional drop below 30 fps, but above 24. I really don’t like going below 24fps.


I never saw the tree issue, either! Just the buildings in downtowns (major US cities) not fully being “drawn” has been the biggest issue for me. Or things popping in once you get closer to them.

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Yes! The building popping low over cities used be pretty horrible. Even at 100 it was there, if not too bad. Below 100 and it used to get really bad. With only the closest buildings getting high detail and the transitions being very noticable/distracting and mid ground details being pretty ugly. Now even at 50 the LOD is ok and I don’t see bad shifting or especially low poly geometry until reasonably off in the distance. This is the biggest thing that seems to have changed. Everyone seems to be crying about the visuals or fps getting worse after updates and while that has happened to me, it hasn’t been the case in several updates. And also, seems that stale caches after updates may have been a factor. At least once I saw my post update low fps go away after deleting and remaking my rolling cache.

The other issues I see a fair bit of is terrain morphin as you approach at low altitude

Mulling over the thread, I found that developers like ORBX (and some of their partners) uodate sceneries soon after an Asobo update. For example, EKCH airport, Sydney city scape, WSSS and Singapore city, EGLC (here they added a configuration tool) were all addressed soon after sim/world updates. I only buy addons from 2 places- ORBX direct and Marketplace. I don’t like license keys hidden in hard to find places or updates that require them. It can become as messy as my old FSX was. No thanks.
My system is i9 10900k with 64Gb 3200 RAM, 2 X Samsung 500Gb NAND SSD’s - one for win 10 20H2 and the other for FS2020 Premium Deluxe. There’s also a 2 Tb WD spinner for storage and backup. My graphics card is ‘only’ a RTX 2080 Ti. Running 1440 (basically 2k). Having turned off CPU cores 0 and 1 using a batch file that also launces the sim has worked magic by ridding my sim of all stuttering. I stopped overclocking too - made my sim unstable. I do plan to upgrade the card to 3080 soon. I kind of doubt that will improve much on my current ~ 60 fps but might allow using more ultra settings here and there. The last update(s) changed my graphic settings lower than they had been, not higher. I only realised this today when having a look at why my clouds and vegetation looked lousy. They were set to low and medium without my knowledge. I pumped them to high with little to no fps hit but much prettier visuals. The sim now has low, medium, high and ultra compared to just 3 levels earlier. My LOD was 120 to 150 in places so I bought them all down to 100 and I’m having a tough time noticing the difference in qualify probably because I’m flying high altitude 7 to 8 hour hauls most of the time with the FBW 320. I don’t bother with the Asobo 787 or 747. They’ve never impressed me with their limited MCDU’s/FMS’s, poor VNAV functionality without the ability to input constraints and a host of other data. Definitely looking fwd to PMDG 737 and 777 though.

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