P3DAssist 1.00
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Welcome to P3DAssist
P3DAssist is a flexible P3D tweaking that is based on the core logic of FSXAssist with special handling of some P3D specific settings.  In a nutshell P3DAssist provides 4 core functions.   First and foremost P3DAssist is a P3D loader program providing for a flexible way to run P3D and any addon applications. Second, P3DAssist provides a way to dynamically set Affinity Masks (core usage) and OS priorities between P3D and any addon applications.  Third, with P3DAssist you have a simple way to assign the most common P3D settings that have the most effect on performance and finally, with P3DAssist you have a great tool for testing to achieve the best P3D configuration for your system.  The best part is when you have found your best settings they can be used every time you run P3D!

Requirements
In order to run P3DAssist you must have the following: Getting Started
Download the P3DAssist installer program from P3DAssist_Setup.exe.  Run it as Administrator and confirm all installer prompts.  After installation you will have 2 shortcuts - One is to run the P3DAssist configurator (P3DAssist) and the other is to run P3DAssist in unattended mode (P3DAssist_Run).  Note that you can re-run the configurator after selecting 'Run P3DAssist' from the UI or after running 'P3DAssist_Run' if you would like to do further testing.

Addon Applications
P3DAssist knows about 2 classes of addon applications - those in the P3D registered exe.xml file and those that you add manually through the UI.  Both types are treated the same during the P3DAssist loading process as far as Affinity Mask and OS Priority goes.  The main difference is when you remove an application in the UI.  The exe.xml apps are marked as disabled while the manually added apps are simply removed.  Note that the applications are not deleted but just removed from the list of applications to run.

Now the thing to remember is if you removed an exe.xml application and want to get it back you have 3 options. 1) edit the exe.xml file and set the disabled attribute to 'False', 2) add it maually with the P3DAssist UI add addon button or 3) restore your original P3D configuration files using the restore original configuration button.  

Controller Dropout Fix
P3DAssist will use Simconnect to restablish the startup controller at 1 second intervals. This has worked well on Windows 8+ in testing. While we cannot gaurantee that this fix will work for you we suggest that you enable the SimConnect and Messaging options and check your power axis movement to confirm.

AutoRestarts
P3DAssist will determine if P3D is no longer responding and will initiate a restart with the following: 1) all Addon applications will be terminated, 2) P3D will be terminated, 3) all P3D crash messages will be suppressed, and 4) an P3D restart will occur with the last saved flight and with a subsequent reload of any Addon applications.

AutoSave
AutoSave was added to P3DAssist to facilitate the AutoRestart feature but is a nice thing to have in most situations. To enable make sure that the SimConnect option is selected and then set the number of minutes that your want to use for AutoSaving. The default / recommended setting is 3 minutes. With AutoSave enabled you may notice a small bump in external view but usually nothing in cockpit view. The importent thing is to set Enroute.flt as your default flight in P3D.

RealTime Priority Revisted
With the caution regarding RealTime Priorities stated above, further testing has shown that a nice FPS increase is possible when using it.  Research into OS priority also states that RealTime mode can be safe if used on a strong system.  A weaker system may exhibit strange behaviors like sound and input device issues but so far I have not seen these on a SB running at @4.8ghz. If you do decide to try RealTime Priority then pay attention to how your system is behaving and go to a lower setting (High or Above Normal) as needed.

Interface Options (see image below)


Can I run P3DAssist after P3D is loaded
Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with Affinity Mask and Priority settings after P3D and applications are running. If P3D is running and P3D settings are changed then you will be prompted to reload P3D when 'Run P3DAssist' is clicked.  Make sure to save your current flight first.

Real Life Results
Since P3D Version 2.0 is relatively new with some known issues with addon applications a complete evaluation of it is currently not known. On the other hand we believe that P3DAssist offers some real performance gains through the Affinity Mask and OS Priority settings that P3DAssist offers. Stay tuned for more results.

As far as Affinity Masks, I'm still a fan of keeping all addons on their separate core so I force all addons to core 1 (Affinity Mask = 1) and leave all other cores to P3D. This lead me to another discovery to use HyperThreading with an LOD of 7.5 (with unlimited for testing) which eliminated any blurries. 

Otherwise everything works great using the settings in the P3DAssist screen shot in this help.

Finally
If for some reason you find that your Affinity Mask or Priority settings are not taking (using task manager) then make sure that the P3DAssist.exe properties are set to 'Run As Administrator' for all users.

I hope that P3DAssist turns out to be a great tool for you!  It has been a fun project for the team.

Please direct all comments to jallen@skypilot.biz

Jim Allen
SkyPilot Software



Change Log
    Build 1.00 (Initial Release)