Performance Decline in Microsoft Flight Simulator Post-Mod Installation: Seeking Optimization Tips

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gdparks Trainee

I was getting to the point that FS would come up in Task Manager showing it was not responding for several minutes. This seemed to have started after installing the Melbourne HD download. But the whole Sim had been getting slower and slower to load. I deleted all of the files in Community and it is now back to the way it was when I first installed it.
I thought I had a pretty decent Laptop that would run it pretty well. I was really wrong. I have an ASUS ROG with GeForce GTX 1050 Ti with 4 Gig on the card. The CPU is a 6-core I7 with 32 Gig of Memory. I also have upgraded the Storage to a 1 TB PCIE NVME Stick. One thing that really confuses me is that the Hard Drive and the Internet never really seem to be used at all when it's loading or playing. I did just upgrade to the 32 Gig of memory from 16 Gig it would usually run at around 12 Gig used when it had 16 now with 32 it is usually running around 16 to 20 Gig. The processor hardly ever gets above 50 to 60 percent utilization. The GPU pretty much maxes out its memory but only runs at about 60 percent utilization. 
I was wondering if anyone else is seeing this behavior. I love this SIM so much I have changed my mind about building another desktop. I thought this laptop would last me for the rest of my life. At 67 years old I have built 100's of PC's the F-22 Simulator had at least 60 PCs and about 10 SGI computers to run two cockpits. It’s looking like this SIM is going to require that much horsepower to run it Maxed out.

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Pro Member Captain
Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
Ian Stephens is an expert on this topic. Read his bio here.

From what you've described, it seems like a classic case of flight sim performance degradation, particularly post-mod installations. The introduction of third-party content, especially those with high-definition textures like the Melbourne HD, can certainly put added stress on your system.

Understanding the Issue:
Simulators are a unique breed of software. Over time, especially with the addition of mods, they can accrue "weight" that might slow down their startup times. Each mod you introduce, particularly graphics-heavy ones, uses up a portion of your available memory and computational resources. Even if you have a powerhouse system, this accumulation can cause noticeable lags.

Let's Analyze the Hardware:

  • GPU: Your GeForce GTX 1050 Ti is a competent card, but modern sims, particularly Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, can be demanding. Maxing out the memory on the GPU indicates a possible bottleneck there.
  • CPU & RAM: With a 6-core i7 and 32 GB of RAM, this should be more than sufficient for most tasks in FS. However, the simulator's under-utilization of your hardware resources can be confounding.
  • Storage: Your 1TB NVMe is excellent for quick read/write speeds. Still, as you pointed out, there's minimal utilization here, which is puzzling.

Possible Solutions & Considerations:

  1. Settings Optimization: Adjust your in-game settings. Sometimes, the game might over-utilize GPU memory due to certain graphical settings, even if it doesn't fully stress the GPU's computational resources.
  2. Graphics Drivers: Ensure your GPU drivers are up-to-date. NVIDIA often releases game-specific optimizations.
  3. Community Mods: As you've noticed, clearing the 'Community' folder gave an immediate performance boost. It's a prudent strategy to install one mod at a time, test the sim's performance, and if it remains stable, proceed with the next one.
  4. External Software: Check if any external software or utilities, especially those that interface with FS, are causing the slowdown. Some software might consume vast resources, affecting the sim's performance.
  5. Monitor Resource Usage: Regularly check the Task Manager and Resource Monitor to determine if other applications are hogging resources while the sim is running.

Lastly, your sentiment about needing a 'supercomputer' to run the sim maxed out is shared by many in the community. As technology advances, software often pushes the boundaries, continually demanding more from our systems. That said, with the right adjustments and careful mod management, you should still be able to enjoy a rich and fluid flight simming experience on your current machine.

If you could provide more specific details about the mods and other utilities you use with FS, I might be able to offer more tailored advice. Looking forward to assisting further.

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