Special Thanks to @RTFM, @Camera, and @Mr. Builder for sending this info to us and sharing their group results on the VR4DCS Discord!
Do you have a lot of in-cockpit stutter in VR and can’t seem to smooth it out?
At this time, around the end of June 2020 into July 2020, there has been a significant amount of in-cockpit stutter in DCS World VR, not easily attributed to CPU or GPU stress.
What is proposed is a DX11 reinstall with the theory that there may be graphic engine transitional issues in DCS World, corruption from an Nvidia install, or some other touch of DX12 corrupting the compatibility mode. It could be that DX12 compatibility mode just isn’t what it needs to be for DCS.
It’s unlikely this procedure holds significant risk for your Rig.
You should have already completed the Rig Tuning in this blog, or you likely have other issues before getting to this!
It is possible you may need to repeat this after a Microsoft update.
You may need to reset some controls in-game after running this, though this isn’t proven.
Running DXDIAG.exe prior can tell you which DX is currently the default in your system.
Running this procedure will not remove DX12.
Where is the Software
ED distributes the DX11 Runtime Installer with the installation of DCS World.
(drive):\Program Files\Eagle Dynamics\DCS World OpenBeta\distr\DirectX
*REBOOT YOUR PC
Use the SteamVR FORCE DX11 MODE for possible added benefit.
As usual, Your Mileage May Vary – test with it on and with it off
4.27.2020 by Thud. Is it becoming obvious that Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 will not be the beautiful VFR/IFR capable high-fidelity simulator we were hoping for in this massive re-do of the classic Flight Simulator family?
MSFS 2020 is without a doubt the most visually stunning representation of the land, sea, air and weather ever depicted in a flying simulation. The beautiful part is spot on.
It is also clear the sim community is somewhat on hold pending the release of this product. Some, including me, surmised the death of the venerable Prepar3D, X-Plane and their add-on product cousins shortly after this stellar product is to be released. I no longer think this will happen. I think they will be around (perhaps in a consolidated form) for some time to come. The recently released P3D v5 with DX12 support is the smoothest VR experience in my Reverb that I have ever had in a flight sim. It is stunning. It doesn’t have the visuals of MSFS 2020, not yet anyway.
What this exercise in game creation really is, will be the beginning of new technologies and ways to create, update, expand a genre in need of a restart. This technology showcases what is truly possible with today’s technology. The individual Azure Cloud-based tools and engines being brought together to create the visually stunning product will be at the heart of the next generation of study level flight simulation.
No, it won’t be “MSFS 2020 Combat Sim”. It will be the next “Eagle Dynamics” type company subscribing to the AI, Graphics Engine, Weather Mapping tools available in the Azure Cloud to create something entirely new. Taking advantage of not needing to create those parts from scratch, adding their own genius in systems design and bringing it all together in ways we hadn’t thought possible.
Subscription is a powerful force in computing. Microsoft stands to make billions of dollars with subscription to the individual technologies by companies creating new products. Far more than the millions they would make selling a high-fidelity flight simulator to a decreasing population of enthusiasts. Well played Microsoft, well played.
The consolidated information here is made possible by the pilots in JTF-1 and in the DCS World community whose curiosity and dedication to our hobby lead the way to the best experiences. This is their effort consolidated into a workable document.
We hope you can benefit from the collective brainpower.
Carry On! -= Thud =-
Scroll down a bit until you see Windows Specifications and the info, you need at LEAST 1903.
Which Settings Matter – A Primer
[NOTE SteamVR Screenshots have NOT been updated to the latest version. There are changes to the GUI. BUT, the info is the same]
Anything other than native resolution is a degraded picture.
If you want all the pixels, then you cannot add the eye candy. But we don’t like the jitter and sparkle around the edges that fit together. We compromise and we have good tools to strike a balance of pixels to see things at a distance and pixels mushed together to see circles and stop the sparkly things. This in-game tool suite was built for flat screens before 4K or 8K and 2080ti cards to push pixels through the pipe.
We don’t need much of it in VR, though some for fine-tuning.
GPU and CPU are keys to Frametime
You can use the built-in Steam Frametime display to show you how much you are degrading your smoothness. However, using the 3rd party “fpsVR” tool available in the Steam Store gives you a better display and more info.
“Lower Frametime is greater smoothness.”
In the Frametime graphs, Green/Yellow is good. Orange is OK. Red is bad.
You’ll need to watch both CPU and GPU Frametime and adjust your Super Sampling (SS) percentage and in-game graphics settings to see what configuration keeps you in the Green/Yellow area.
You may find yourself in a lot of Orange with Red spikes, still smooth but with variable play. This is where Reprojection can smooth things out. There is a file change that allows you to turn this on and control Steam Reprojection, seen later in this doc. If your Frametimes are in the teens range you’re golden. Try not to run with lots of Red.
Important Notes & An Equation
DCS-PD x Steam Video SS x Steam App SS = A huge mush of your pixels and drag on your comp power.
HIGHLY recommend you set DCS PD t0 1.0 and leave it there. Use the settings in SteamVR to enhance your pixel density.
The current implementation of DCS-PD is a massive drain of GPU/CPU. Using SteamVR as much as you can for tuning will save you cycles for gameplay and turning on more eye candy.
SteamVR adds a multiplier factor of 1.3 or other, based on the individual HMD used, to the rendered view. See this in action as you move the SteamVR SS slider from 100 to say 150. The resolution of the rendered image it’s pushing is noted just below the slider. Get the rez display here as close to your native rez as you can. Then, using your new benchmark start tuning for clarity of view and smoothness using your tools.
You need to decide where to apply the SS factor
Adjust the SS in Video SS (Global) or in the Application SS section specific to your game in the SteamVR Application Settings. Not both. Both is a multiplier and will zap your horsepower ASAP.
Applying these settings in SteamVR seems to have less of a drag on your CPU and GPU than using the PD Slider in the DCS VR Tab. PD does essentially the same thing in DCS but not as efficiently.
GPU SCHEDULING NOTE: For beefier Simulation Rigs, GPU Scheduling shows more of an FPS loss than gain. If you’re tuning your machine for DCS World and VR, GPU Scheduling may slow you up. If you have a less powerful Rig and haven’t gone through tuning, you may see a small gain. It won’t take the place of spending the time to tune properly!
OTT gives you on-the-fly change capabilities for tuning your experience. It includes an available pop-up Visual HUD in your HMD for watching FPS and importantly FrameTime on the GPU/CPU.
Initial Oculus Tray Tool Settings
Default Super Sampling:
1.5 – 1.7 is a solid starting range. I don’t see a lot of benefit in the Rift S visually beyond a PD of 1.7
Beyond 1.7 I begin to see some performance degradation.
Your rig may be able to run up to 1.9 – 2.1.
Past 2.1 there is not any benefit being applied via the rendering, stop at 2.1 or lower as smoothness dictates.
If you want even more clarity of distance beyond this tuning, you’ll need to consider a different model VR HMD with a higher overall Pixel Per Degree rating.
Default ASW Mode:
Set ASW to 45 The Rift S runs at 80Hz,so this number is equal to 40 not 45 for you.
80Hz / 2 eyes = 40.
We’re going for a balance of a great view, good detail, and smoothness with a Rift S.
Smoothness comes from Low FrameTimes generally in the low to mid-teens. FPS is important, but really keeping low FrameTimes will enhance your experience in VR in DCS.
Application Render Timing: This is my favorite In-HMD Graph for seeing what is really going on. Using this as you adjust your in-game settings or OTT settings will show you visually what trade-offs you just made. – Switch this to NONE when you’re done tuning.
Nvidia Control Panel Settings (OPTIONAL!!)
For the Rift S testing and setup, these Nvidia Control Panel settings were used.
These are HIGHLY variable for each individual gaming Rig. Except for recommending Prefer Maximum Performance and trying VR Pre Rendered Frames to between 1 and 3, the rest are up to you!!!
Initial Oculus HMD Settings
The first thing you need to do is click the VR Buttonon the bottom right.
MSAA is EXPENSIVE in horsepower. If you can’t live with the jaggies, you’ll want to trade down in SS from the OTT app to not lose smoothness.
If things seem slow in the Caucasus Mountains – drop the TREES to below 50%
Run your PD settings from OTT not from the DCS VR Interface
Use the Visual Hud/App Rendering in OTT to watch the effects of your changes.
FrameTime in the low teens for CPU/GPU is your goal to keep the world smooth.