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Old 01-12-2014, 10:09 AM   #31
PhantomCruiser
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My $0.00.

I'm as much of a fan of the awesome visuals that are available o a high end machine as anybody, but there are some things that strain my system. When I discovered Orbiter 2006 I was elated that a really nice (and free, did we mention free?) space simulator would run on my system (and run well!). I'm middle class, had a kid in school, bills, commitments, etc. I can't run out and get the latest graphics card on a whim. Some of those graphics cards cost as much as the car I bought my kid when she started driving.

Everybody is in a different place financially, and this should not turn into a treatise on socioeconomics.

Also, Orbiter (free again, thanks Dr. Martin!!!) isn't "held back" at all. It's a project of the good Dr. that he elected to share with us, and he works on it in his own time. He's also made it easy to modify to our hearts desire, as I'm sure none of us has a copy of Orbiter with the same mods as the next guy.

The "repository" over at the 'Hangar, last I looked had all the previous incarnations of Orbiter. If a 15 year old computer donated to a school in country X runs Orbiter 2005 causes a little boy or girl to get hot about science, physics and spaceflight (manned or otherwise); man, I'm all for it.

If it inspires anyone to reach and rise beyond, I'm all for it. Orbiter (for me) is so much more than pretty visuals, they help with the immersion and imagination, but it's beyond that for me. I can't describe it exactly... There was a time not so very long ago, that I would trade everything (and I mean everything) to be in the astronaut corp. Even not, given the the opportunity, I'd have to give it serious thought. Orbiter lets me imagine, and imagination can be powerful.

end of my $0.00
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:57 PM   #32
Glider
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It can't require 8 Gb of RAM because it means it has to become 64bit and that means that every 32bit addon will not work with that new 64 bit version. So this will probably never happen because one of the best things about Orbiter is it's addons and noone wants to make them incompatible.

Don't know why everyone thinks that terrain require some huge amounts of RAM... it only does if u have really bad memory management so that textures stay in memory when they r not needed anymore or if u load entire 1-4 gb file into RAM which is not necessary as well. For example u can look at Outerra which is 32bit, require about 600 mb of RAM and can render terrain of a very good quality... or SpaceEngine which doesn't require Gbs of RAM for its terrain too.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:11 PM   #33
Pablo49
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Originally Posted by Glider View Post
 Don't know why everyone thinks that terrain require some huge amounts of RAM...
Probably peeps who don't understand the difference between RAM and HDD space.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:37 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Pablo49 View Post
 Probably peeps who don't understand the difference between RAM and HDD space.
I think we have two concerns here:
1st: HDD space. We all probably need a few hundred GBs for the new terrain (which is optional, yeah. But seriously: It's like THE thing about a whole new version, isn't it.). Some guys already have that storage, some are willing to invest a few bucks into a new HDD (special Orbiter HDD) and some will have trouble.
And then you have to download that HDD space which might turn out a problem for some, too. At least my machine is currently set up in my old flat in the middle of nowhere with a great downstream of 300 kB/s. That might take a while for 600 GBs. On the other hand I'd have a work laptop at my new flat with 18 MB/s.
And that whole thing might be an issue for the Doctor, too. Hosting a few hundred GBs? I'd like to see that stuff torrented.

2nd: RAM. Yes, some of us might still be running 4 GBs of RAM. Probably a lot, at least IIRC my change from 4 to 8 was in 2011. And other stuff might use up RAM too, so if Orbiter uses >3 it might actually become close.

Then again this is all speculation and IMO the new version will probably take its time. I'd be happy if there's still an Orbiter 2014 but would be totally OK with Orbiter 2016. It's one guy in his free time working on it, not a dozen guys as their jobs.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:44 PM   #35
Glider
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Originally Posted by MattBaker View Post
 I think we have two concerns here:
1st: HDD space. We all probably need a few hundred GBs for the new terrain
LOL. Entire SRTM heightmap with resolution of 90m has abouf 40 Gb size uncompressed. And this is the most detailed global heightmap today AFAIK. Compression can reduce it twice or more (water areas compressed almost into 0). Best visible textures have size of 12 Gb for Earth at 250m. Again compression can reduce it 8 times or more (water areas have same texture repeated many times). No way u will ever need few hundred Gb for orbiter terrain - maybe 50-75 Gb for all planets.

EDIT: I've seen somewhere a heightmap data for Earth with 25m resolution and ~100 gb size but the next version of orbiter will probly have something much simplier anyway

Last edited by Glider; 01-12-2014 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:59 PM   #36
Quick_Nick
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I'm not worried about hard drive space or RAM. I'm assuming multiple resolutions of terrain will be available.
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Old 01-12-2014, 03:23 PM   #37
Artlav
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Gentlemen, big HDDs can only do 20-50Mb per second read speed.
If your terrain was to be 100s of GBs, then it simply would not have worked.
Therefore, it won't need that much space.

And AFAIK, terrain would be optional - if you don't want it, you don't turn it on and don't buy a gaming rig to run it.
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Old 01-12-2014, 04:39 PM   #38
Matias Saibene
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 Gentlemen, big HDDs can only do 20-50Mb per second read speed.
If your terrain was to be 100s of GBs, then it simply would not have worked.
Therefore, it won't need that much space.

And AFAIK, terrain would be optional - if you don't want it, you don't turn it on and don't buy a gaming rig to run it.
Thanks for your explanation.
At first I thought I had to throw away my new computer, and buy a Cray Titan (that's an exaggeration).
Or I had to acquire the super-fast ultra-expensive Internet (in my country the Internet is not very fast).

Thanks for all the explanations, and I think it's great that Orbiter make better in graphics, for a (physically and graphically) more realistic simulation.

One more question is: will work the new Orbiter with D3D9?

Sorry for my bad english.

Last edited by Matias Saibene; 01-13-2014 at 04:59 AM.
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Old 01-12-2014, 04:47 PM   #39
orb
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Originally Posted by Matias Saibene View Post
 One more question is: will work the new Orbiter with D3D9?
The base requirement is still Direct3D 7 compatible card, so it will work with Direct3D 9 cards (but if you mean will the D3D9Client work, then after rebuilding it using that Orbiter's SDK).
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Old 01-12-2014, 06:08 PM   #40
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Placing files sequentially (and unfragmented) ups their transfer speed quite a bit. And the cost of a HDD should not be a barrier to anyone.

HDD's of 320-500 GB are routinely thrown out in the trash around here. And new ones go for the cost of some smokes.
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:08 PM   #41
BruceJohnJennerLawso
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Okay, I feel the need to weigh in here:

Yes, Orbiter development does need to move forward, and yes, that will be troublesome for some users, but we all know that our good Doctor is very good at creating solid, efficient software. I don't anticipate this version of Orbiter running that much slower on a typical machine than Orbiter 2010 does now.

If Orbiter 2014, 2015 or whatever is problematically slow for a lot of people, I will continue to maintain my work for the (then) outdated Orbiter 2010 version. Even if the new version of Orbiter is too slow for most computers, the latest beta version without terrain should work well on pretty much any modern machine.

I do sympathize with those who cant afford to buy new hardware just for a new version; IMHO Orbiter should always be a lightweight, fast program when run out-of-the-box. (ie without add-ons) New features shouldn't detract from its ease of use on hardware with a wide variety of performance abilities.

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Old 01-12-2014, 10:55 PM   #42
4throck
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A 4GB RAM, 32bit machine with a low end Nvidia GT640 graphics can run FSX well with all settings on high, Rome 2 decently, etc, etc.
Google Earth also runs quite well, and it has both terrain and imagery down to cm resolutions... and loads entirely online!
Don't see how the next Orbiter could have any trouble running on such a normal PC.

From my perspective, very few people have gaming rigs, and I just don't see that much people upgrading their PCs today. It's mostly laptops these days.
So there will certainly be a gap between the machines of some developers / enthusiasts and the general public.



Anyway, it's the community that decides what to use.

Now most people can use the DX9 client with no problems, but fewer use the DX11. That can certainly tell something about what hardware is used.
If the next version doesn't run, people will keep using the previous one. It has always been like that.

Last edited by 4throck; 01-12-2014 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:30 AM   #43
martins
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I don't expect the next version of Orbiter to require more RAM than the current release. 2GB usable RAM is probably plenty (although I haven't tested this specifically).

It will require considerably more hard drive space to store the elevation maps and higher resolution textures. For the Earth textures I'm currently preparing I would tentatively guess around the order of 100GB. I may split the textures into blocks so that people can selectively download only what they are interested in, although no decision has been made yet.

Edit: CPU requirements should also be similar to current version. The elevation support and higher resolution textures should not impact significantly on frame rate. However, a minimum of two cores will be more essential than in the current version, because the second thread is now not only used to load the textures, but also to construct the surface mesh patches from elevation data.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:58 AM   #44
Izack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glider View Post
 For example u can look at Outerra which is 32bit, require about 600 mb of RAM and can render terrain of a very good quality... or SpaceEngine which doesn't require Gbs of RAM for its terrain too.
I don't know about Outerra, but Space Engine doesn't need a huge space because its terrain is not based on data, but generated procedurally. Take a look at Earth in Space Engine - modest data size and fairly terrible appearance of terrain in comparison with its fictional planets.
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:10 AM   #45
Glider
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 I don't know about Outerra, but Space Engine doesn't need a huge space because its terrain is not based on data, but generated procedurally.
Doesn't change anything. The only difference is that u have texture generated by shader in case of procedural planet, while in case of Earth u have same kind of texture loaded from disk. Same size in RAM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Izack View Post
 Take a look at Earth in Space Engine - modest data size and fairly terrible appearance of terrain in comparison with its fictional planets.
Thats because it doesn't blend heightmap data with procedural data. Procedurally u can have as good resolution as u want while real heightmap data is limited by disk space, HDD speed and resolution of tools used to measure that real data. Outerra uses both real data and fractals to get much better result (but thats the engine focused only on Earth, while SpaceEngine is focused more on stuff without existing heightmaps), for example:
http://www.outerra.com/procedural/demo2.html

or

http://www.outerra.com/shots/lu10.jpg

and all this terrain uses much less than 1gb of RAM and only a 18 Gb Earth texture data for all kinds of tetxures. No need for 100s of Gbs . If u have a version of direct3d/opengl that can run fractal shaders of course, because this kind of details in realtime is possible only with GPU texture generators.

Last edited by Glider; 01-13-2014 at 04:25 AM.
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