UK update - photogrammetry performance / quality

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


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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It does not

Try moving at 200 mph through google maps, see how it keeps up.

Just holding up arrow down for 10 seconds.

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Hello, since version I have a lot of errors on water surfaces? it disappears when you approach the scene


Try deleting the rolling cache first, maybe there is still old data in there. It looks like water polygon issues.

it’s a widespread problem and persistent without cache. The London update sunk London a bit creating an interesting transition with the rest of the data.

Perhaps where you are the terrain height was adjusted and most of the water polygons stayed at the old height. Where is that exactly?

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that’s because the web site isn’t very optimized

I have a 100Mbs connection which was peaking at 99Mbs just now and mostly sitting at 97Mbs over the London Eye. It wasn’t really keeping up with rendering while in a Cessna 172S at low altitude, no rolling cache.

Flying at two thousand ft it seems fine though and was using about 75Mbs. I was getting framerates around 40 - 50fps, all ultra except trees at medium at 1440p resolution.

Ryzen 5600X
Radeon 6800X
32MB 3200MHz RAM
2 * 1TB M.2 drives, 1 * 2TB Sata SSD

Oh thank you for the answer! I emptied the cache, I still have a lot of level error

It’s in the north of France, where everything is flat! LoL !

PG quality is almost always only mediocre in many cities, either with default BingMaps coverage or World Update coverage as in Tokyo and London.

My problem with it is actually the coverage, which is with the World Update very limited extending across downtown Tokyo and London only, considering the stretch of the urban areas of those two hubs. Google Earth coverage for both of the cities is just jaw dropping though.

I mentioned it in other post but I distinctly remember the whole streaming graphics on the fly for gaming has been tried and abandoned in the past. If memory serves it may have been as far back as the late 90s. The internet has come a long way since then but judging by this thread perhaps not far enough.

If they cant get this worked out it is likely to be a deal killer for a lot of people given other sims being better at flight dynamics, auto pilot etc.

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Well there are PG cities / areas outside of the UK which do work fine so it is not impossible I assume?

It’s all relative, I’ve been stress testing the game to find the extremes. Just now I did a flight from Southend to Heathrow at 2,000 ft altitude. Much more reasonable height. 185 knots TAS, the sim had no trouble keeping up, network usage stayed just under 50 mbps over London.

I’m running on a very modest setup, slow CPU, 16 GB ram, wi-fi, 1060, it’s a laptop.

This is on high settings with a couple things turned up to Ultra (trees, texture synthesis, windshield, 8x8 texture supersampling, 16x anisotropic, high cockpit refresh rate) Terrain detail 200, object detail 150, and it completes the flight without any issues. Fly high and fast, no problem. Low and slow works as well. Low and fast is no go with my avg gaming laptop. But good to test the limits an find the bottlenecks.

This flight consumed 1.24 GiB with most of that over London, way less than the 4.38 Gib needed when flying at 500ft at terrain 200. What the game can use is smarter LOD. At 500 ft altitude, it pretty much looks the same with terrain at 100 or 200, the only difference, 1.65 GiB extra data you can’t see from that height. At 2,000 ft terrain 200 is still on the short side, the horizon looks rather bare.

One thing comes out in every test flight, need more RAM! 16GB just doesn’t cut it.

Comparison with Tokyo, 500ft altitude, sim can keep up on my system

(Switched to 150 render scale to get GPU limited again, 2880x1620 render resolution)
It’s far less data. Even after crashing into those buildings (500 ft is too low) picking the plane back up, doing a circle and finishing the 12 minute flight from RJTL to RJTA, data consumption was 1.36 GiB, only slightly more than London at 2000ft and less than 1/3rd of London at 500ft.

London has an unprecedented level of detail in this sim in the largest continuous PG area yet. Sure, it could use a lot of refinement, but very impressive nonetheless.

There is another issue affecting terrain LOD and this might also be a factor with PG areas if the expected and the computer LOD are different:

LOD Problems - Distances revisited

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I agree, there are not only bugs in the mesh:

[World Update 3] London Photogrammetry Mesh Holes - Bugs & Issues / Scenery - Microsoft Flight Simulator Forums

But it is far from being optimized at all:

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Quiet true. :laughing:

It will be interesting to see when Asobo fix the manual cache how big a file this scenery location actually is when cached to a local drive at high resolution.