DCS multi-threading is here! Plus a ton of other updates!

Every so often we have these big moments in flight simming that set products off on a new course. This might be one of those moments that is potentially as big as some of the point releases for DCS World in the past. This time around its the initial introduction to multi-threading and the potential for some impressive performance gains. There’s also a ton of other feature updates for other aircraft and, on top of that, we have some new details about the DCS: F-16C, F/A-18C, and AH-64D from the DCS World Weekend News Update. No time to waste, let’s dig in.

Multi-threading is here

Calls for enhanced multi-threading support have been ongoing for several years and the quest for both better and smoother performance from DCS World have consumed many a discussion forum from time to time. To get to that point, a lot has to be re-written, and its taken years for this to emerge but I am very pleased to report that it has.

This is, its worth pointing out, the beginning and Eagle Dynamics stresses that in their update.

With the latest Open Beta updates, you too can now get your first glimpse at the initial iteration of our multithreaded version of DCS. Whilst in an early stage, we are confident that this will be a vast improvement in the long term.

DCS World Weekend News update

Released to open beta, we already know of several caveats. The current implementation is currently not compatible with the Garmin NS340 Navigation System that is available for some aircraft. People with systems that have 32 or more threads are having issues with it working and Eagle Dynamics recommends that hyper-threading be disabled on systems with that configuration.

Fortunately, choosing multi-threading is an option right now. That means two things. First, if you do the normal open beta update and load up as you normally would, you will not be using the multi-threading update and will still be running on the conventional system. Second, you will need to follow the instructions to enable it.

A FAQ has been released by community manager BIGNEWY with information on how to enable multi-threading. There are separate instructions for standalone and Steam users so be sure to follow the right set of instructions.

The initial reactions

Although its only the first few hours, a quick scan of the DCS World forums, r/Hoggit, and the DCS World Facebook group have revealed that most people are seeing performance gains. Some are seeing small improvements while others are reporting a doubling of frame rates in some instances.

Testing, benchmarking, and finding bugs in the system will undoubtedly be a process that will consume weeks and months ahead but it is really good to see this first step.

Hornet, Viper get radar update and more

Eagle Dynamics reports that both DCS: F-16C Viper and DCS: F/A-18C Hornet are approaching a feature complete status. Roadmaps for the Hornet and Viper lay out some of the remaining todo list items and the one that Eagle Dynamics is featuring today is additional work on both jet’s radar systems as well as some other long awaited features. Here’s what they said:

Both the Hornet and Viper will benefit from a refactoring of the radar that will provide more realistic behavior with noticeable improvement in the time between detected and tracking, look-down performance, and the effect of azimuth and bar settings. In addition, both will be receiving new 3D pilot models with lifelike animations, associated Mission Editor and Planners Digital Transfer Cards, as well as new bomb fuze support including; programmable fuzes and air burst options.

DCS World Weekend News

All of that sounds good to me. Particularly the mention of the Digital Transfer Cards which I hope at long last will let us pre-load some key pieces into the jet and save some time setting things up on multiplayer servers in particular.

The Viper is also specifically seeing some updates with additions that include the Velocity Search radar mode, new datalink functions, and a RWR handoff mode.

Eagle Dynamics ends the section saying that development will continue even after both exit Early Access. To add, as I commented a few days ago about my DCS: F/A-18C Hornet review, DCS World modules are never truly done but some are more mature than others and these both are approaching that mark.

AH-64D updates too

Eagle Dynamics reports that a lot of their recent efforts on the AH-64D have been focused on ‘bug fixes and polishing.’ These efforts have taken a front seat over the addition of new features. Several were mentioned today including tuning the damage model, fixing engine start issues, and improving the flight model as well as the stability augmentation system and hold modes.

There are, however, new features on the way too with Eagle Dynamics highlighting the following:

  • AGM-114L radar-guided Hellfire
  • Improved Data Link Modem (IDM) and Longbow Net
  • Fire Control Radar (FCR)
  • Laser Spot Tracker (LST)
  • Animated engine nacelle cooling doors
  • Wipers to remove rain drops

DCS: AH-64D has its own mini-updates section like other modules do and Matt Wagner has posted just in the last few days with a much longer list of things that the team are currently working on. Its worth a read if you’re an AH-64D fan!

DCS Open Beta

Against the backdrop of all of these big items are the nitty gritty and that’s where the latest Open Beta release and associated patch notes come in. As with most open beta updates for DCS, there’s an absolutely massive list of items associated with the core of DCS, DCS: F/A-18C, F-16C, AH-64D, Mi-24P Hind, A-10C (which finally gets the ARC-210 radio), Mirage F1, AJS-37 Viggen, F-14 Tomcat, JF-17, AV-8B, M2000C and on the list goes.

This open beta also brings in the launch of the V for Victory Campaign by Reflected Simulations, Kerman Campaign by Ground Pounder Sim, and Inherent Resolve Campaign by Looking Glass.

Check out the change log for DCS Open Beta here.


16 Comments Add yours

  1. I am looking at my 3/4 year old hardware and being incredibly impressed at how well it is performing with DCS’ multithreading. I think I can finally go about making some vids, if time allows, without my system grinding to a halt AND I also have my x2 SSAA back which I love so very much!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. CanadaOne says:

    Okay, you wrote something. You are now allowed to eat and sleep. 🙂

    With my very unscientific testing, I saw from a 5% to 10% FPS increase in solo flight to 100% in a giant WWII furball. 100%! That’s freaky impressive. And this is just the first step. Imagine what we might see when this gets refined. I can definitely see a few more percentage points getting squeezed out in time. I’d say the last improvement this important was the new clouds

    Also, the TGP pod in the Hornet now gets out to about 80 miles, twice the previous 40 mile limit. Again, very impressive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Oh good! Yes I have dinner on the way, wine in hand, and my driveway has been shoveled out after yet another large winter storm.

      That’s interesting about the render distance with the targeting pod. That could be quite something!

      I’ve got the update running but I haven’t had time to check it out myself yet.


  3. CanadaOne says:

    @Shamrock, could you find out and post, please, if you can, which settings in DCS are most affected by MT?

    Thank you in advance.


    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I’m not sure if I understand the question. Which settings are most affected? So far as I understand, this is a core rewrite of the way that the sim works to better utilize the CPU so its not sitting around as much as it was. I assume that graphics settings will continue to have similar effects just with higher frame rates and potentially fewer frame drops due to CPU issue.


      1. CanadaOne says:

        Sorry, I meant the settings in the graphics screen. Does it help with clouds but not water, MSAA but not load distance, that sort of thing.


      2. ShamrockOneFive says:

        I have no idea if I’d be able to make that. It’s going to be very machine dependent.


    2. Picon says:

      As mentioned by the FAQ, if you are limited by the GPU, any CPU side change does not make a difference. That is, the same API commands ends up on the GPU in the same order, and the GPU execution doesn’t chang. So things like changing resolutions, enabling msaa or ssaa shouldn’t behave any different. Changing draw distances or number of objects, like enabling mirrors and the like, should improve.

      However, it is not clear to me if this change includes Vulkan (which could change how things are rendered and thus have GPU impact). The FAQ talks about multiple rendering threads, which implies Vulkan, but I would have expected such a thing to be pointed out clearly…


      1. ShamrockOneFive says:

        It’s not Vulkan. This is an update to the core processing for DCS but is not a graphics API change.

        I suspect the switch to Vulkan will be a slightly painful process too as it is a deep overhaul of the visual rendering pipeline. We still have some folks struggling with it on X-Plane (although the benefit has been huge).


  4. harryvoyager says:

    Minor correction. ED had an error in the initial FAQ. 32 threads is ok. It is only when it has more than 32 threads that the game won’t start.

    So 16 core Zen and the 13900KS are good to go. Just not Threadripper or Sapphire Rapids.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Ahh ok, I will update the article as soon as possible. Thanks for that!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. tatsukoa says:

    I have a 1390K that has 32 threads and I can’t get it to launch.


    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Did you follow the suggestion about hyper threading?


  6. Gretsch_Man says:

    I also got about the same 5% – 10% fps increase as Canadaone with some quick missions. Haven’t checked any “heavy” missions yet.

    One issue that I have noticed is cockpit illumination/shadowing in VR, which now looks quite a bit off. I have set shadows to Low, but in MT mode the cockpit now is either almost completely bright or dark, without much shadowing going on. Switching back to ST mode, the cockpits look all right.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Stele says:

    I was going from about 30fps to now about 60-70fps. Quite a game changer


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