UK update - photogrammetry performance / quality

Yeah allready lot’s of topics about this with many comments. It’s a legit question though. But agree with the above that thus isn’t hard to find with the seqrch function.

People have very different performance and graphics in london.

Watch: The absolute state of London

If you are experiencing performance issues since the UK Update please jump to the linked thread and participate.

You tell him to use the search function and then add that he’s gotta read all the threads as well in case there’s a comment that addresses what he’s looking for?


And come on, be nice dude. It’s Friday! Cheer up will ya.


It literally brings my mediocre rig to its knees. Got a bit more performance by dropping buildings to high.Mine looks decent just a performance hog.

to my eye, the photogrammetry is on par with google Earth VR photogrammetry … its not great, but large scale photogrammetry never is… i think the idea is to have it enabled if you fly high… like +1500ft…

i m not a hardcore "proper " simmer and tend to fly low in light aircraft, im a sightseer, so i just turn off the photogrammetry as it looks like post WW3 close up…
its too much of a hit on my rig anyway… and London has WAY too many POIs so i struggle with london since the update, it was fine before , BTW i fly in VR.

Photogrammetry for London is a lot of data, a lot more than NY.

I did some tests to figure out how much data there is

London City airport to Heathrow, 500ft altitude, Autopilot, noon, clear skies
Slowing down to give the game ample time to keep up (25% sim rate at max terrain with PG data)
8 test flights, identical conditions, checking data usage before and after the flight

         No PG Data   vs   PG Data            

Terrain 200 0.32 GiB 6.2 mbps / 4.38 GiB 85 mbps
Terrain 150 0.29 GiB 5.7 mbps / 3.49 GiB 68 mbps
Terrain 100 0.19 GiB 3.7 mbps / 2.73 GiB 53 mbps
Terrain 50 0.13 GiB 2.5 mbps / 1.58 GiB 31 mbps

Total data usage and converted to average mbps needed for a full speed 7 minute flight (In a Beechcraft Bonanza). The avg is just an avg though The PG area stops a ways before Heathrow. You likely need well over 100 mbps for the dense middle part over London at max terrain detail, regular flying speed.

I did the same tests for NY not all that long ago

NY LaGuardia to JFK straight line, low flight, 5 minute flight all PG data

Terrain 200 1.63 GiB 45 mbps
Terrain 150 1.42 GiB 39 mbps
Terrain 100 1.12 GiB 31 mbps

Without PG data (terrain at 200) it was 0.30 GiB 8.2 mbps

If I fly slow enough (30 knots, using quarter sim rate) it looks like this

If I fly at regular speed I have to pause for the game to catch up

Even though I have 100 mbps down, the server mostly stays under 40 mbps

And even fully resolved, it’s all still very crude source data

It needs some cleaning up, is this a large bird for example?

It’s amazing technology and I’m very grateful Asobo lets us sit at the forefront enjoying this new technology inside a game!


Nicely done @SvenZ.
This is the kind of data that helps immensely.
I have been working a hunch that a number of issues that have appeared recently are related to bandwidth. This is very well put together and reinforces that theory.
Thanks again.

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Thanks. It’s not just bandwidth though. Bandwidth is the biggest bottleneck, however after I had gotten all that data in the rolling cache (those tests were done without any cache) I still quickly flew into ‘blob’ land.

I confirmed it was not downloading any more data, and my SSD wasn’t stressed either. The game had no trouble getting the data, but it still needs to process that vast amount of data before the GPU gets its hands on it. And when this sim starts falling behind, it goes into a downward spiral.

It’s mostly due to my low specs, ps4 pro level gaming laptop. 2.2 ghz CPU, 16 GB 2667 mhz ram, 1060 6 GB, 2.8 GB/s SSD (only thing fast in it really) I’m scratching my head how it can produce these kinds of visuals (at max 10 fps, moving at 30 knots over the map) :smile: That it works is a small miracle (and thanks to a 30GB page file on fast SSD)

Anyway, from cache I can maybe fly at half speed instead of 25% speed without the game falling behind. Full speed, 1080p render resolution, terrain 100, still can’t keep up and the scenery degrades. CPU and RAM are the bottlenecks after bandwidth.

It’s pretty crazy that you need to be able to stream data about 3x faster than 4k60 gaming on Google Stadia to fly at 170 knots over London.

To me answers a lot of questions about why the update is get a lot of adverse comments, including plenty from me.

We just do not have those internet speed here in the UK.

Mine has a minimum of 50 mbps and that is the top of options with BT, as I cannot get faster.

None of the actual requirements for a fast internet is anywhere readily accessible on the purchase page of the MSFS website.

Through Virgin Media I get 100 Mbps for £37 per month.

Yep, and I’m on 120mbps with Virgin.


I tried Virgin Media, was not impressed, they could not find the cable so all I got from them was a “to bad, bye”.

It all depends on circumstances. My 100 mbps connection isn’t enough to keep up with the bursts it needs in the middle of London.

However it also depends on server load and data congestion. The tests I posted were from Sunday, network usage from FS2020 rarely went over 40 mbps. (Ookla speedtest reported 97 mbps down available) When I tried again on Monday, it mostly got up to 80-90 mbps, yet still with frequent pauses. Very different from the day before.

I pinged the 3 different servers it was grabbing data from during the flight and the ping times were all under 20ms. Just a few ms more than ping times to my nearest speed test server (13ms)

Today’s test, fill the rolling cache with London City to Heathrow, to find where the next bottleneck is.

First, filling the cache on an early (here) Tuesday morning, the server is sending data much much faster than on Sunday afternoon. Still too slow to keep up though, 100mbps is not enough. London data could use a lot of refinement, for example this is fully resolved

Also 27 GB allocated, 10.5 GB active working set. (and it keeps going up from there when the sim starts falling behing)

Some snapshots along the way, network use is mostly maxed between the pauses

~39 seconds from pause to stop receiving data

~27 seconds from pause to stop receiving data

~22 seconds from pause to stop receiving data

~26 seconds from pause to stop receiving data

~19 seconds from pause to stop receiving data

After getting it all in the rolling cache, trying a full speed flight (stress test at max terrain)

Departure 23.7 GB allocated, 12GB working set

It quickly turned into a mess, 16GB physical ram is my biggest bottleneck

30.8 GB allocated, Page file use is through the roof with 300 hard faults / sec
(Still some network use but the scale is now 0 to 10 mbps)

It does still get some decent scenes in (probably looking a lot better looking behind)

Network use very low, disk not all that stressed, 32.5 GB allocated, page file gets hammered

And then the sim completely falls behind

After leaving the PG area it can’t catch back up

And finally gives up the ghost over Heathrow over 40GB allocated

Now if my ram upgrade would finally ship I could see how much the difference to 32GB faster ram makes.


We have already seen that the published min req are inadequate. Ideal requirements are showing themselves to be pretty much the minimum.

It’s the minimum requirements (to run the sim at all).
So that’s with all settings on low, 1080p, and likely photogrammetry disabled.

I would sooner say that the ‘Ideal’ and ‘recommended’ specs are way too low.


MSFS should come with a warning.

Buy a $3000 computer and invest in a 100 Mbps minimum internet connection
you buy this product
Set you expectations way lower

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I think one of things that is often forgotten is that when streaming cloud data it begins with YOUR system requesting data and sending telemetry to the server so it knows what data to send you. You may have a 100mps internet connection but that is the ISP’s “ideal” download speed. I have seen plenty of ISP’s that advertise 100mbs when in fact it’s 100 down and 5 up. Upload speeds can be brutally slow and will have a significant effect on a two way conversation. If you were to ask me a question while sitting next to me at the bar, you would expect an answer pretty quick. If you wrote that same question on a napkin and mailed it to me, I am pretty sure our beer budget would be used up before I answered you.
Only a good quality speed test will reveal your ACTUAL connection. Not uncommon to see 65-70% of ideal download and upload speeds that require a stamp.

It’s pretty common place with PC games to set your expectations lower than trailers show, depending on your system. FS2020 is a bit of an outlier in that it sort of self destructs when it falls behind.

As you see from the screenshots I posted earlier, my system can produce beautiful scenes, if I give it enough time to keep up (about 30 knots moving speed). Scroll up a bit and you see what happens when I fly at 180 knots.

It’s a balance between bandwidth, memory, cpu speed vs draw distance, altitude and movement speed. The GPU is the last piece of the puzzle and really only matters for resolution and fps.

Now what I don’t envy Asobo for is the task to get this running on a Series X. Of course people are going to try to fly low and fast over the Thames, expecting 60 fps and visuals as seen in all the trailers. I hope it doesn’t turn into a CP2077 train wreck. Yet the tendency to self destruct when resources run low needs to be solved somehow. Series X has 13.5 GB available for games, Series S only 9 GB at most. At least the CPU speed is good at 3.6 and 3.8 Ghz. My system’s 16GB is definitely not enough to fly over London at regular speed.

Testing what terrain level might work

Terrain detail at 100

Starting with 19.8 GB allocated (down from 23.7 at terrain 200)

My CPU and RAM cannot keep up at 187 knots

But after leaving the PG area it manages to recover

Memory allocation is already up to 27.2 GB though

But the sim survived (still crashed, forgot the landing gear :joy:)

28.7 GB allocated, 150 hard faults/sec, it’s barely alive, need more ram.
Heathrow is also a resource hog of course (I have ground aircraft density at 10% to help with that)

Restarting the sim from desktop, trying terrain detail level at 50

17.8 GB allocated (down from 19.8 GB with terrain at 100)

It’s keeping up longer but still falls behind and I see it updating right in front of me

Memory allocation went up to 20.9 GB

Fine outside the PG area, memory allocation dropped a bit to 20.1GB

And another belly landing (I get it now, I’m sending the ‘g’ to the resource monitor, not the sim haha)

Heathrow drove memory use up to 21.2 GB

Can London even fit in 16GB, terrain and object detail at 50, high settings for the rest:

17.7 GB allocated, still doesn’t fit. Such a resource hog!

It runs buttery smooth, mostly, still hitches when the pagefile gets hit

Memory use up to 19.6 GB

Successful landing, heathrow drove memory use up to 20.7 GB

Btw back to my regular settings (terrain 200, object 150) without PG data starts at 22.6 GB, goes up to 25 GB allocated over London and spikes to 29 GB allocated while landing at Heathrow. Runs pretty smooth though (minor pagefile stutters) and has no problem keeping up with the AI generated scenery.

In conclusion, PG really needs 32 GB Ram minimum, or go very slow.
System requirements should be, minimum 16 GB, recommended 32 GB, ideal 64 GB

All you need to do is ping the server to find out if your lower upload speed matters.

FS2020 is, “Can I have 40 encyclopedias for these areas”. The question is only a couple bytes, the answer is a truck load of data. Lower upload speed has no effect.

You’re probably connected to different servers but you can see in the resource monitor what servers are used. Simply type ping with the server name in a cmd prompt and you have your answer.

For example “ping
That gives me avg 14 ms response time.
The data servers all seem to end in

this is pathetic google earth loads faster and looks better

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