The Manual Cache Should Be Redesigned From the Ground Up, Possibly Connecting Designing a Flight Plan With Manual Caching if Desired

The basic interface and the way in which areas are selected and at what detail should be totally redone for the Manual Cache.

I don’t know if the person(s) who designed the manual cache interface ever used a Garmin GPS device and Garmin software and maps but the folks designing the Manual Cache should have to go take a look at how Garmin does it.

One should be able to select map regions from a Bird’s Eye View, even when one wants high detail. Select a region at some zoom resolution, click the level of detail desired, have the Manual Cache interface calculate your download size. Right now it appears there is no way at any point before or during the download to know how big your prospective download will be and if it fits in the cache size that you’ve allotted. Maybe if you knew how big the download was going to be, you’d not do it or be happy with a different level of detail. Instead one has to zoom in very close and laboriously walk up and down the map to select regions and the software spends forever fixing the addition to your download. Then you download completely in the dark as to what it’s going to cost you in Gb.

Rather than have just itsy-bitsy little blocks, regions should be nested within each other. I think Garmin uses U.S. counties, then states, then regions of the U.S., then countries. But maybe you want all of a county so you don’t have to go little block by little block. When you find a neighboring county that you don’t want all of, then you could go block by block selecting only the smaller regions that you wanted- or maybe you drop down to the level of townships or what not in the U.S.

Then comes the download. The PLEASE WAIT screen (how appropriate!) flashes up a number like 02:32. I thought, “O Boy! Just two minutes and 32 seconds!” It’s either meaningless or the first digit is in hours (I have 100 Mbps actual everyday download speed, cf. to advertised 200 Mbps) but the server(s) must be pegged with other requests or I’m eventually going to overflow my 100 Gb manual cache.

Try pausing the manual download. Once paused, the manual cache interface becomes extremely unresponsive to resuming the download. It takes just the right timing of clicks, almost like dancing, now we step, a-1-and-a-2-and-a-3-and-a-4, etc., before the software responds by resuming the download.

If the download is so slow, taking hours, why does my i9-9900K have to be cooking, CPU, GPU, and target SSD for the download the whole TWO plus hours? My CPU’s are 79 to 85 deg C, my GPU is 82 deg C (it’s normal temp when running the SIM full blast), and the SSD has gone as high as 63 deg C (and it’s in the path of the air intake!). Why does the computer have to be running full blast during the download unless the GPU has to process the download data but why not let the computer do that later so you can go away during a long, slow download and not worry you’re going to fry your machine while you’re not watching it???

There are quite a few threads on how bad the manual cache is. It’s so bad, it makes me think the Microsoft Flight Simulator had to be rushed out the door to build enthusiasm to sell Xbox Series X and VR headsets for the holiday season or something like that before the software was really finished and fully ready to go.

If you want to do your own demo, just try selecting and downloading Manhattan and the areas immediately bordering on Long Island and New Jersey in high detail and see how it goes. Try pausing and resuming the download (or even try quitting the sim once it’s paused - I couldn’t do it (don’t have a good REAL SLOW dance step cadence). IMHO, it really reflects badly on Microsoft and Asobo.

Search the forum for lots of other posts complaining about the same sort of outcome. Not too many are calling for completely redoing the Manual Cache interface (and software behind it) from the ground up - but I am. That is why I started a new topic - to call for the complete reworking, not just tweaking, the manual cache interface and guts to make it actually useable in a comfortable, not a tortuous way.

Edit_Update - 2020-09-05: Based on another poster’s suggestion in this thread, I’ve at least temporarily changed the title of the thread and am asking the moderators if they want the suggestion of optionally allowing a flight to be connected with (better working) manual caching, if desired by a user. That suggestion has garnered a number of upvotes. I’ll let the moderators decide what to do with that add-on suggestion for redesigning the manual cache.

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Completely agree! So frustrating that you can’t select high quality areas to download using a Bird’s Eye View

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Totally agree! They missed this one… hope they fixed or ASAP

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Manhattan from Battery Park to Mid-town is 1.8GB. Mid-Town to Harlem is about 1.4GB. In HQ, there’s no way to capture the entire “scenic part” of the island in one map segment. It took about a half hour to just get those two areas mapped and cached.

I’m one of the ones demanding a fix. I have a 100GB set aside area for manual caches. So far I have a little over 18GB in caches of varying quality size and areas, mostly Eastern Seaboard and parts of the Carrib. The interface is now down to 1-2FPS when launched. It’s a useless slideshow. Everything is latent. Clicking buttons, trying to right-click and paint an area, all of it. Frustrating. Why is your CPU and GPU pegged? Because my suspicion is they’re streaming the raw map data and making ALL the rendering burden local to the machine. Yes, the overhead map view itself when you launch the Manual Cache is being rendered in real time while streaming the data over your BB connection. Aren’t you glad you paid for this privilege?

No one commented on this in Bets/Alpha testing? Bueller?

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On my system I cached all of Manhattan also catching the shoreline of the other side of the rivers. It ended up being 8.5 GB. It didn’t take that long but the small squares was kind of a pain. My point for responding is that even with the area cached, I see no performance difference from when I was streaming it. Zero.

System Specs:
asrock z390 phantom gaming mobo
I7-9700k @ 4.9 GHz
32 GB Ram
Geforce RTX 2070 running 1440p Acer monitor
FS is on dedicated 500gb M.2
Internet download speed average 450 Mbps

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That’s my suspicion, too. I have nothing against that. I doubt the money we paid to buy a FS 2020 license would cover the “lifetime” cost of all the data processing if it were done on servers. I just think that the interface ought to be more intelligent to let us do it at a pace that is not going to cook our computers. If we’re cooking at “100% download processing,” they ought to let us dial back the download and processing rate to a level that we feel comfortable with for the health of our computers.

The other thing that would be nice, just as with video games, is that it would be nice to be able to offload and save manual caches to another drive. Obviously as the years go by, the data will get stale and new downloads and new processing will be needed (if it’s actually worthwhile to have locally cached data). The only thing against swapping it in or out of the active manual cache that I can see is that Microsoft might worry that someone might hack a way to use the data with X-Plane or something else!

I agree. It’s a disgrace. I can’t stop shaking my head at how bad, just bad, quite a lot of things have been designed in this “sim”. Overhauling all this cr4p will take months.

I’m one of the poor sods with a very bad internet connection so I have to download every single region I’d like to fly in beforehand. I have now downloaded 5 of these ranging from 1 to 3 MiB (whatever that means), so nothing too crazy I reckon, and since the last addition the manual cache interface is unusable. It lags massively; I’m getting 4 fps and can hardly click on anything because it just won’t react. Cheers for that.

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Pls remember Asobo members have nothing to do with planes not to mention with Garmin stuff. Until one year ago they even ignored planes existed IRL therefore please be gentle with them, they are still learning.

I understand your concern - but it’s not the Garmin G1000 plane instrument panels. Garmin is (or was) big on selling GPS devices for recreational use and selling relatively high-resolution maps for the devices. I am referring to various Garmin software interfaces for selecting map regions, for example, to download onto a handheld device with limited memory space. The Manual Cache programmers might benefit from studying how Garmin built a pretty useable human interface for selecting and “caching” map regions to their handheld devices. I don’t know whether it was Microsoft or Asobo who made the choices in designing the current Manual Cache. All I’m saying is that we shouldn’t have to live with it for “the rest of time.” It really needs to be thoroughly redone. I don’t know if you’ve actually tried to manually cache a substantial region. It’s pretty painful and also stressful to one’s computer. And then many folks have posted that once you get a cache, it actually doesn’t do you much good, to top it all off as icing on the cake.

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Have you checked how much downstream FS actually uses, like in your router? I have 100 Mbps and it uses maaaybe 1.5 of that.

I guess I was more ambitious. My cache download turned out to be 45 Gb at HIGH detail. I started from the east north/south boundary of KJFK on Long Island and went west past Manhattan into New Jersey about as far as I’d come from JFK to Manhattan. And for that width, I went north just past the upper tip of Manhattan. Originally I aspired to go as far north as the new Tappan Zee bridge but for the length of time it took just to get above Manhattan and the uncertainty as to what the download size would be (and whether it would be worth it), I decided to give up and see what I got from the effort described above (took me about an hour of panning, selecting, mostly waiting for the Manual Cache interface to signal it recognized each selection).

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As for the original question, while much of the manual cache UI looks very rushed (like built quickly as a mockup and then fell off the priority list), I do like how it’s forcing me to think about what I really need. Otherwise people would just draw a big square over Manhattan and click “highest” and then complain their drive is full.

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Could someone help me understand why after having flown up the east coast through NYC , up the North shore of Long Island and on wards why my cache is not full ? I mean I have not even looked at it , yet. Maybe I need to educated myself a bit more,

I’d like to extend my suggestion further. If a Manual Cache is really worth doing, there ought to be a way to file a flight plan and have the flight plan calculate what sort of manual cache you’d need to see the scenery consistent with the type of resolution that you’ve opted for in your basic rig hardware and your graphics settings. And perhaps you could even tag various parts of your route with the type of resolution you want on each leg, on takeoff and landing, etc. Maybe you just want the cockpit view the whole flight or something and don’t plan to look around - but basically have the software do all the calculation of what you need given your altitude, speed, predicted or chosen weather conditions, etc. Maybe the software already does this for the rolling cache in real time as you’re flying? But there ought to be a way ahead of time to input the type of flight we’d like to do and have a more automated, interactive way of selecting the size of manual cache download that would be appropriate for the type of flying we want to do in an area. I’m sure this suggestion falls in the category of ideas are a dime a dozen but making them happen is something else.

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Your rolling cache should be full pretty quickly unless you’ve deactivated it in the Data settings

I have actually monitored it while flying and it is surprisely low. On average 2 Mbps. 20 Mbps at the very high end and only for an occasional short burst. It just seems to trickle in. Everything looks great, I don’t see a bunch of scenery popping in and it runs smooth. Probably why I personally am not seeing a benefit from caching.

I don’t think it really lets you think because it doesn’t tell you the size of a prospective download. If the design were like the Garmin mapping software for auto, marine, and handheld GPS devices, as soon as you drew your prospective download, you’d know its size and how long it would take. Garmin advises you of that and whether it will even fit on your device. Would be great if the Manual Cache software were as smart - it could even tell you similar to Garmin whether you need to make your cache bigger. As it is, the manual cache doesn’t give you much info to cogitate about - it’s literally a “no-brainer” - I wish it would get some smarts, e.g., The Manual Cache Is TERRIBLE and Should Be Redesigned From the Ground Up but it would only be worth being so smart if it really delivers on the FPS and detail of only the scenery that you care to see and would even have come into view, given your style of flying and your flight plan.

Well one of our questions seems to be answered in another thread. Someone with an Alpha Tester badge claims that during testing, they were 100 percent online. No manual caching. This is such a bad joke from a QA view if true.

hi guys,

talking about caching, when I play the game the high res textures are not loading. which ever is the graphic setting.

for example if I go to bora bora lagoon I can not see the water details… only a flatish blue color like super low res.
If I try to manually load the cash, it will display properly the data and I can download the cash (files came up on 800kb for high res which seems lower than it should). any idea what is going on? I tried to delete and rebuild also the cash, nothing…

it’s like if the game was always stuck at low res…

ah and one morething, every time I start the game I get an 128mb update mesage that clear instantly after click start…

I would really like a more detailed map view as well. Sometimes it is really hard to find a specific region, city or airport.