MS Flight Sim 2020 Pimax Setup Guide

Many requests have been made about how

to optimize MS FlightSim 2020 for Pimax

headsets and achieve the best frame rates

and quality.

In most cases this guide will considerably increase

your frame rates while maintaining visual quality.
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It’s important to note that MS Flight Sim 2020 is among the most challenging VR titles to run efficiently. The title is largely unoptimized for VR and even older, lower resolution headsets often struggle to achieve over 35 FPS with the latest hardware.
Getting Started

Useful VR Utilities
FpsVR on SteamVR. This simple application will allow you to measure your performance and accurately optimize it. It’s quite inexpensive and can be used to quickly optimize your entire library of VR software.

Process Lasso for Windows. This app will make sure MSFS2020 and SteamVR are not operating on the same CPU. This can provide a 5-10% FPS improvement in some cases.

THOUGHTS ON HARDWARE
(if you don’t plan to upgrade your hardware or alter your components and just want to optimize MSFS2020’s settings skip to the software section of this document. If FS is your primary use then this might act as a guide for some of your future hardware considerations.)

CPU settings and considerations
The first consideration is CPU hyperthreading. If you have hyperthreading enabled this will negatively affect the performance of MSFS2020. You typically disable hyperthreading in your PC’s BIOS setup menu.

CPU selection is especially important for this title. This title is considered to be CPU Bound. This means the FPS “ceiling” is determined by your CPU. Therefore, if you have a top of the line 3090 video card but only a Core-I7 7700 this will very negatively affect your maximum frame rate.

Low end CPU’s such as the Core i3-9100 will cut the graphics card performance in half on this title so lower end cpu’s will not function well in VR (on any VR headset) with MSFS2020.

Other Hardware Considerations

For the hardware enthusiast motherboard memory timings can make a considerable difference. For example, DDR4-3600 CL17 (and DDR4-4000 CL17) will yield about an 18% FPS improvement over DDR4-2667 CL16. Memory with lower timings than 2667 CL16 will yield very poor performance in FS2020.

Graphics Card hardware considerations
Your graphics card hardware is quite important to this title – however you must match it with a CPU that is single thread optimized. The most single thread optimized CPU recently available is the Intel Core i9-11900K.

Provided you have a high-end CPU the general rule for MSFS2020 the more powerful the graphics card the better. An RTX 3090 paired with a Core i9-11900k in most cases will produce the highest frame rate. (March 2021).

Laptop Considerations

As a general rule the performance of a laptop version of the same hardware will be heat, power and frequency throttled. Even the best gaming laptops will considerably underperform their desktop counterparts. Laptops are not recommended for VR use with MSFS2020.

Optimizing Software Settings for MSFS2020

Pitool Settings

FOV: Normal
Render Quality: 1.25
Parallel Projections: Enabled
Optional: Smart Smoothing Enabled – this creates some visual artifacts but it’s subjective as some find it noticeable and some are bothered by it.
Important Note on Understanding Smart Smoothing: This setting only enables if your sustained FPS in the game is 50% or higher for the target rate. So in Pitool if you have your headset frequency set to 90Hz then SS will only enable at a sustained 46 FPS and if you set the frequency to 60Hz then SS will enable at a sustained 31FPS. If you are not sustaining 50% of your headset frequency setting SS will not function.

Therefore, in most cases for an 8KX you will need to set your headset to 60Hz native mode with Smart Smoothing enabled. If you are not hitting 31FPS then you can disable SS.

SteamVR Settings
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(this image is just to show where to find this menu, please use the settings shown below)

In-App Custom SS Resolution:
For a 2080ti+ use Vertical Resolution: 2700
For a 3080 or better you can try Vertical Resolution: 3375

MSFS2020 In-Game Settings

Global Rendering Quality = Medium
Terrain Level of Detail (LOD) = 65
Volumetric Clouds = Low (this yields a large FPS improvement)
Terrain Shadows = Off
Ambient Occlusion = Off
Lights Shafts = Off
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(this image is just to show where to find the menu, please use the settings shown in this section)

Other Software Settings

Coming Soon – more tips and tricks!!

10 Likes

Thanks for collating this information into one post for new users.

However when will Pimax address the community with a response to the below thread - it is literally circa ~30% wasted performance and if it was fixed this would have as much impact as say switching from a 2080ti to a 3090 for no cost to the user. Lets be honest, even 5k+ owners need all the optimisations we can get (this includes me even with a 3090 and Zen 3 chip), never mind 8KX owners!!

I just cant understand why this question seems to be flat out ignored, even a Pimax response of “No we are not working to resolve it” would be better than just ignoring it.

We’re actually thinking about it, so stay tuned please

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My steamvr settings page does not include the category ‘applications’. Where do I find the steam VR settings page that is shown in this guide?
Thanks
finn

I just received my 8KX monday and found that the only way to get an acceptably smooth stable experience without a rapid vibrating effect is to untick everything in the Pitool, No Parallel Proj, no smart smoothing etc when using DCS and MSFS. Parallel Projection is poison on my pc for some unknown reason… Running an AMD RX6800XT. Anyone have an understanding of what GPU settings could impact parallel projection?

Process Lasso for Windows. This app will make sure MSFS2020 and SteamVR are not operating on the same CPU. This can provide a 5-10% FPS improvement in some cases.

@hammerhead_gal How do you do this ?

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Unfortunately parallel projection has about a 30% impact on framerates so it should always be avoided unless a game requires it. You will know if a game requires it because you will see double vision in the game. Some games like MSFS can be played without it but you will notice graphic issues. For instance in MSFS the rendering in your peripheral vision is not correct and you will see items rendered incorrectly in the corners. Turning on parallel projection resolves this, but as you found out it has a huge hit on framerate. I personally just accepted the rendering issue and played without it also. Thankfully most newer VR games don’t require it but every now and then you get one that will.

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Process Lasso for Windows. This app will make sure MSFS2020 and SteamVR are not operating on the same CPU. This can provide a 5-10% FPS improvement in some cases.

Can anyone explain how to use Process Lasso this way please ???

Install and assign the MSFS enough cores exclusively. thats all

I never used this software and I don’t find where you assign what you said. Can you please explain ?

manual.pdf (bitsum.com)

Is that so hard to say “go to x, click on y” instead of linking a 66 pages pdf to someone whose english is not his main language ? Or maybe the laziness of Pimax has rubbed off on the community …?

i am also not an english speaker. And have never read this manuall. As i say, install, and you can route every programm to specific cores. thats all

Well, for me, I’ve done the job and looked at how it works xD

Sry but I don’t have time to read this whole block, so if someone with a little more sympathy and a better mood could explain how to do it, I’m interested.

btw, lasso is in french

I’m not stupid, I have french version and I DON’T find the fcking option you’re talking about.

ONE FU***ING RIGHT MOUSECLICK on specific threads!

I dont know how cores you have. For me, i use 8 Cores without Hypertreading only for MSFS, all other processes runs on the over cores.

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hallelujah ! you see : it’s not so hard to help people properly !!!

I don’t sit at the game computer all day. my smartphone has no lasso.

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Jesus, learn how to help yourself before going off on other people who you think aren’t ‘helping you enough’??? Simple internet searches show exactly how to do what you wanted to do.

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