Rounding-up DCS community experiences with multi-threading

We’re not quite 24-hours into the DCS World open beta release that features multi-threading but its kicked up a ton of content from community and content creators and I wanted to highlight some of the responses – most of them are extremely positive but I’ve sought to highlight some challenges too. I also have my own little test that I’ve run to highlight my own experiences thrown in.

My own experience

I’m going to join the cacophony of community members who have had an overwhelmingly positive experience with the latest update. Eagle Dynamics push to make use of more cores of the CPU to boost performance has been ultimately an overwhelmingly positive experience for me. My new system, now a year old, is a Core i7 12700KF with 64GB of DDR4 RAM and a RTX 3080Ti. It was a system built to power the latest sims, DCS included, and even before the update things were running well.

In some instances, my frame rate was similar between multi-threading and non-multi-threading instances of DCS with the frame rate hovering around 55-60fps on the ground at Incirlik Air Base while at other times my frame rate was up another 20-30fps. Particularly in the air where I saw the greatest gains. This all while rendering at 4K.

Even the DCS: AH-64D which always felt a little frame rate heavy seems to have smoothed out considerably.

Multiplayer remains a more demanding experience and there are still more frequent frame drops on high action servers. This may be caused by something else in the multiplayer code or perhaps even caused on the server side (which hasn’t seen a multi-threaded update yet) which then filters down to individual players.

I spent a bit of time on Rotorheads and Persian Gulf at War servers with overall good results despite these performance hiccups. Both are busy servers with high player counts and even higher AI unit counts and represent DCS at its most demanding.

My overall thought? For me on this current system, DCS World is running better than it ever has and in single player the experience has been propelled forward while multiplayer remains a bit more challenging to smooth out. Nonetheless, this is a big step forward and for those who were under 60fps previously, the enhanced performance for even older systems is undoubtedly welcome!

Community response

With so many PCs and so many configurations out there, it’s good to have the perspective of many people who can provide feedback on what the update has done for them. Eagle Dynamics is now at the point of being able to evaluate that response and it has been overwhelming positive.

Check out some of these comments on r/Hoggit, a place that traditionally has been a source of critique (or more) for DCS World, and the comments are almost entirely positive. Such as this one.

Or this one.

Those are just two of many happy voices that I’m seeing.

But not everyone is pressing forward without trouble such as this person who is having jittery issues with their VR setup.

Some of the issues already being found such as ASW not working with multi-threading enabled with this user. Others may have more positive experiences but its worth pointing out that its not a universal positive – though it is for most!

I’m also encouraged by people who are doing benchmarking and seeing big gains. Benchmark 2 in particular sounds impressive with a 15fps mission on this user’s system now running at 62! A big jump forward there.

Still others are polling to see what the performance impact has been on a wider basis.

The top result*, as of writing, is people reporting a large improvement of over 20% gains with 354 responding in that way. On the flip side, the lowest polled number is 28 people with worse performance under multi-threading.

*Note: the actual top result is people voting to see what the poll results are.

Content creators are busy creating comparisons as well. RedKite did this one below showing off same scenes with performance comparions.

DCS YouTuber deephack did a multi-threading benchmark as well with comparisons of similar scenes and showing off different levels of performance. Really nice!

Growling Sidewinder also did a cool video utilizing a complex naval battle with missiles and close in weapons flying everywhere to show off the performance. It’s less comparison and more eye candy but hey I appreciate it just the same.

A big step

This is a big step! It’s one of several that DCS World needs to move itself forward into some of the big items that the team has been planning for years but this is a big one. Using more multi-threaded processing has clearly already benefited performance with the potential for more to come as the team work on faster rendering with Vulkan graphics API.

There will undoubtedly be bug fixes, challenges to overcome and tweaks to the overall system that will come in future open beta releases. But for now, this is a big leap forward for DCS World and a very welcome one at that.


11 Comments Add yours

  1. CanadaOne says:

    Happy to read about this, and Deephack’s podcast today was 99% about MT. Interesting stuff.

    For my part, it’s a huge win. Depending on the scenario it 10% or 30% or even 100% more FPS. Absolutely outstanding on ED’s part. Like a CPU or GPU upgrade, except for free and no need to change hardware.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gretsch_Man says:

    Well, after doing some more testing, I guess I will switch back to ST mode for the time been. 😢

    While MT mode does give me a minor fps increase in VR, it also introduces some stuttering, which is not so great to say the least.

    From what I can tell I’m CPU bound (i7-8700 & RTX 4070ti), so I guess my CPU somehow been pushed to its limits by this new MT mode (I was expecting the opposite to happen, oh well…).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. SimDegen says:

      My experience has been the same. ST was smooth.
      I’d hoped MT changes would be enough to turn Tacview on.
      Unfortunately the function Tacview uses GetWorldObjects() wasn’t moved to a new thread so it still kills performance of the main bottleneck thread by 40% when you turn tacview on for a heavy dynamic multiplayer mission.
      Add to that MFD Exports are on acid in MT I can only look at this beta as a step toward the future but still a long way to go for those of us with high requirements like MP + Tacview + MFD Exports.


  3. Robert Haynes says:

    My experience has been amazing. I run a dedicated server for a small group of people every Friday, and things were significantly smoother. The lighting also looks better?

    The only issue I ran into was my tooltips not working. But I have enough time in the Hornet to have everything I need memorized.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Snowy says:

    Initially I had problems but they were fixed by turning of Motion Blur and doing a repair process. After tgat I’m getting the best performance I have ever experienced. What a great leap forward. Well done ED.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I have heard that motion blur is causing some other folks trouble too.

      Sounds like a great step forward for so many. Glad its working really well for you!


  5. CAP says:

    You never stated what default res/monitor you’re using.


    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      End of the second paragraph under ‘My own experience.’

      It does seem that regardless of rendering resolution most people are seeing double digit frame rate increases, particularly where they were CPU bound in the past.


      1. CAP says:

        Guess I glossed over that part. I’d say performance is certainly improved.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ShamrockOneFive says:

        It’s definitely much better!


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