FSX and multiple cores

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FSX and multiple cores

Postby Speed of flight » Mon Aug 12, 2013 12:37 am

I have a question for a knowledgeable FSX tweaker.

I read about the "AffinityMask" tweak that seems to fix the multi core capacity of a newer processor, even with FSX lack of programming.
Apparently, the way FSX divides its workload across the CPU with this tweak is to run weather on one, scenery on another, so forth. That's not all "entirely correct", but that was the concept I gathered. The workload is divided by task, and it sounded like up to 4 "threads".
Question: does anybody know how to perhaps assign what tasks get defined and/or where? More directly, I want to separate the avionics to a separate core.
Anybody perhaps have a better understanding of how this tweak works?
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Re: FSX and multiple cores

Postby Hestntonpms » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:47 pm

I don't know if there is a way to break it down into files working off of the Infinity Mask but I know for sure there is a program that will let you set programs to certain cores , let's say you wanted to run REX on one core and PMDG on another core and Fraps on another, but to break it down where FSX runs certain files within the program that way, I am unsure .
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Re: FSX and multiple cores

Postby Hestntonpms » Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:53 pm

Now I don't know if this is going to help you at all but if you bring up your task manager {On my pc it is CTRL/ALT/Del} then click on processes then you can click right click on a program, you can set affinity through that, Ummmm just thinking anything further than that would most likely have to be done through the Registry to break it down farther and strictly for me at this present time, I just am not confident enough to make swooping changes to my registry . . .but that's just me, some of you guys forgot more about computers than I'll ever know .
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Re: FSX and multiple cores

Postby Speed of flight » Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:32 am

Wow! In the infinite of the internet, I forgot I even started this thread.
Thank you for your response.
I figured it was kind of a longshot, as we're lucky enough to have the tweaks we've got now. There is a history of really knowledgeable folks in here, and I was wondering if somebody had tried something like this before. I had never heard of such a tweak, but it never hurts to ask...
Thanks anyway, though. I think that maybe that's breaking it down too far.

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Re: FSX and multiple cores

Postby Speed of flight » Thu May 22, 2014 5:43 pm

For anyone else that it may help, I've just read another thread for using the [JOBSCHEDULER] tweak that may yield the desired result. Turns out, the tweak can certainly be used to assign work to only certain cores. Here's how:

[JOBSCHEDULER]
Affinitymask=1111

That's how I had it in the cfg file. I am using an 8-core CPU. If I change it for only certain cores, like this:

[JOBSCHEDULER]
Affinitymask=10101010

only certain cores are used. One could use all 8, I think, but I'm not sure FSX will like it. This is how I tried it, and testing now. I'll also try alternating 1s and 0s to see which cores are best for use. I don't know what order AMD numbers them, or how FSX will choose them using this tweak, but we'll just see if it helps.
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Re: FSX and multiple cores

Postby Sprocket » Fri May 23, 2014 9:48 am

Speed of flight wrote:For anyone else that it may help, I've just read another thread for using the [JOBSCHEDULER] tweak that may yield the desired result. Turns out, the tweak can certainly be used to assign work to only certain cores. Here's how:


That's how I had it in the cfg file. I am using an 8-core CPU. If I change it for only certain cores, like this:

[JOBSCHEDULER]
Affinitymask=10101010
[JOBSCHEDULER]
Affinitymask=1111

only certain cores are used. One could use all 8, I think, but I'm not sure FSX will like it. This is how I tried it, and testing now. I'll also try alternating 1s and 0s to see which cores are best for use. I don't know what order AMD numbers them, or how FSX will choose them using this tweak, but we'll just see if it helps.


Got time on the hands, so lets discuss this some more...
:think:

You are correct when it comes to adding the line
[JOBSCHEDULER]
Affinitymask = xxxx

The sequence of "0" and "1" you put in, ie 10101010 as you refer to here, has nothing to do with FSX or Intel or AMD.
It is binary, the language that your computer understands. (You have 8 digits (bits) in your "string", and that makes it a "byte")

However, whilst you can with the "Affinitymask" point FSX to the available cores you want it to use, you cannot specify specific "jobs" to specific cores.

If you are going to input a whole byte, then you need to be sure that all 8 cores are running.
For those whose PC is most likely not a true 8 core machine, but rather a 4 core machine with Hyperthreading, then you need to be sure that hyperthreading is activated in the bios.
An easy way to check is as follows:

Go CTR+ALT+DEL and click on task manager, then on "performance"
Under "CPU Usage History", you will see 8 "minigraphs", one for each running core.
(If you only have 4 minigraphs, then your hyperthreading is not running.)

The Intel i5 is a true 4 core CPU, with no hyper threading..
i7 is 4 core +hyperthreading

Image


Now the bad news:

Whether FSX can utilize hyperthreading is much debated...General consensus is that it DOES NOT. This means FSX will only schedule to the 4 "true" cores, at best.
Remember now that FSX and its forerunners where originally compiled for single core machines.
To help take advantage of the newer dual cores launching at the time, Microsoft put out some patches, ie SP1 and SP2 and acceleration.
These patches are not the full rescue...and I would imagine that this is the area that Prepar3d is working on as we speak..true utilizing of multicores

So back to the Affinitymask.

The "value" you ascribe to the affinitymask should be a decimal number and not a binary value.. FSX will read and then translate the value to binary.
ie, binary value "11111111" should be written as 255 - the decimal equivalent.
The value 10101010 should then be written as 170

However, since we don't believe that hyperthreading is useful, or if we run an i5 CPU, we can limit ourselves to four digits.

We can use all four cores 1111, written as 15.
Or, as is my preference, use three cores 1110, written as 14. (Note here that the "0" here is CPU core number 1.. followed by core 2, 3 and 4.)
So now we have:
[JOBSCHEDULER]
Affinitymask=14

And that is about as far as the "Affinitymask" can help you..

How to convert binary to decimal?
Launch your calculator and select the programmer option.
Select Word and Bin, then input the binary you want.
Image

Click on the Dec, and your decimal will be displayed


Image

This remains a critical tweak for FSX and it is important that it is added to the cfg.sys

Jan
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Re: FSX and multiple cores

Postby hyaxasa » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:21 pm

Anybody perhaps have a better understanding of how this tweak works?
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