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Severe performance degradation in several mods

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Hello there.

Long time Freespace player here, my current computer is about 3 years old, decently powerful (Ryzen 5 2600, RX580), and, until recently, could play most mods without any noticeable fps drops.

That has changed, I can't pinpoint when, exactly, but I think i first noticed it while replaying Solaris (fps drop to the single digits).

I've also seen it in Babylon 5 and Dimensional Eclipse.

Didn't feel any similar performance drops in other games, so it's definately Freespace related.

So, does anyone have any ideas on what might be wrong? Something I gotta install, or some setting I should change?

Appreciate any help!

Did you turn on shadows?  If so, turn them off; they can be a real performance drain, especially on older systems.

I didn't touch the settings before I started to notice issues, and by now I'm not sure how many combinations I've tried.

But my latest attempts were all with shadows turned off.

Babylon 5 had shadows turned on before, so I turned them off and tried again to no effect. FPS was constantly under 30, ocasionally below 10.

Completely at a loss at what might be causing this.

Strangely enough, I don't seem to be noticing this while playing FSPort (with MediaVPs), even while recording it with OBS at the same time.

I'm both fearing and hoping this is something driver related, we've had a number of people with AMD carts report similar things lately...

Things that might help you: the -no_vsync flag seems like it has sometimes had an impact. If it doesn't, you may also need the -no_fps_capping flag. Thinking about things that have changed relatively recently in the engine, it might be productive to try -noenv and -no_deferred as well. Either of those last two would have big visual impact when removed and it's definitely bad if they're the issue, but if either fixes it entirely it'll be suggestive about problem areas.

Things that might help us hunt this down: Definitely let us know if any or none of those flags helped, naturally.

If you have patience for more troubleshooting, debug logs would be very useful. You generate these by playing in fastdebug, which you can use via the dropdown menu button in the bottom right of mod cards. Then in the same interface there'll be an upload debug log button that'll give you a link you can post here. Simply starting the game, loading a typical mission and exiting the game immediately after should generate plenty of info. The following debug logs would be ideal...

A well-preforming mod (fsport)
A poor-preforming mod (b5?)
Check a mod that hasn't updated much recently such as DE, run it(in fastdebug) as you normally would, then again after having used modsettings to pick an older version of FS2. If an older version runs significantly better, having both debug logs would be useful.
If going back to old engine versions doesn't work, you could also try rolling back to older GPU drivers.

If you can't do all or any of that, I'd entirely understand. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be many AMD cards among the devteam, so it's hard to get any of this kind of investigation done ourselves.

Thank you for your comprehensive reply.

I wouldn't be surprised if the source of the problem is related to graphics card drivers, especially if other amd card owners have similar complaints.

In any case, I went ahead and tried out Solaris and B5 (I keep calling it that but technically it's The Babylon Project, but I'm sure you knew that) with the flags you recommended. My impression was a very slight improvement in both. Solaris started at the 60 fps range, quickly dropping into the 30s, often dipping into the 10-20 range. B5 started around the 200 fps range, drop to 30-40 range once combat started, further drop into 10-20 in some areas.

I didn't notice any drop into the single digits, which I suppose is an improvement  :lol:

Also went ahead and colected the debug logs from FSPort and B5. Just started a mission in each and exited the game.



I'll give DE a run with your recommendations later and I'll edit the post, if that's ok.

Thanks again!


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