Does Sol work with VR? (PC)

vicdip2002

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I am completely new to AC so I will have some newbie questions.

Just downloaded AC and I am blown away with this sim, absolutely incredible in the HP Reverb, runs at a solid 90fps and the ffb is fantastic.

Anyway before I go through trying to install sol I figured I would ask if it works ok, and if it does are there any pointers to installing it easily?
 

EsxPaul

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Authense

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It "works" but it really doesn't give me a visual advantage over non-pp mode but running all the other settings at max. With SOL + max graphics settings I can even drive my 2080ti over the limits plus I can't find that it looks better in any way.
 

Andrew_WOT

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I tried vanilla AC recently, pretty poor visual experience, surprised how much CSP and SOL could squeeze out of that flat, bland looking engine where races are open only 8-6.
 

vicdip2002

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Thanks guys I got it working and its incredible. I find myself pointing to the sun as its shining through the trees like there is someone in the car with me. Really adds immersion, this mod!
 

Authense

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Good video, thx for sharing. However, my issue with SOL are not the FPS, it is that in my case it looks shitty. I run 2080ti and I9900k overclocked. My CPU is pretty much idle with 20 cars, rocking around 15-25% occupancy max. The GPU has no issue with AA 8x, world max, 2048 shadows, 2048 reflections and 4 frames, high quality mirrors and smart mirrors and general settings enabled in CSP. I still get 120 FPS with Valve Index under all circumstances.

Its' obvious to me that with these settings and then switching on SOL, even my gear cannot keep up with the requirements, however, still the CPU doesn't care at all. The GPU goes into the high 80% then and cannot keep 120 FPS or 90FPS:

But that is not my point. If I lower the settings to what the video recommends, I seriously hurt overall image quality for the sake of SOL set to low quality?

What is the gain? What for? I don't need night races or rain or better cockpit effects and such, I am only interested in SOL if AC looks better.

What do you think? What am I doing wrong?
 

Raf Nix

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Same here. Experienced overdone glare n flare effects and a following lightsource aura.
Meanest thing was I couldn't go back to vanilla as I wasn't able to undo what content manager + SOL changed to the installation, so had to delete AC and reinstall everything.

This process reminds me at my very same experience with the big aftermarket patches for GTR2 n GTL, where the common opinion is pushing it as an overall improvement which in my eyes isn't.

So it might be possible to be one of very few that don't like as for now.
 

Authense

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I believe, that a lot of people have advantages from being able to see rear lights, they like night races, better cockpit instruments and such. For me, as I am only racing open wheelers, these are improvements from PP that are irrelevant to me.

Regarding sunlight, track and environmental "beauty", maybe also sharpness tweaks with CSP (tried all of which I found), I cannot see any gain with SOL in comparison to my pretty much maxed out settings without SOL. It is worse to be frank.

This is strange and keeps me thinking, because many people say that AC looks so much better with SOL and it would be a must have - even when they use VR. I own three different VR headsets plus a very fast machine, but I cannot replicate the experience others seem to make - not even close.

The guy in the video sets a lot of the general AC video stuff to low settings to get it working. No deal for me. But maybe someone knows the real tricks?
 

Andrew_WOT

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Get latest SOL alpha and CSP from discord, use _Sol_VR pp filter, follow the settings in pinned message on dicsord channel posted earlier. Reset SOL Config app to default.
If that still looks bad to you, well, may be it is not your cup of tea after all.
As far as cleanly uninstalling stuff, just copy both CSP and SOL into MODs folder and activate as mod from CM, this way clean uninstall is just deactivate step.
Good luck, hope that helps, if the help is what you were seeking.
Post on discord if you have further questions.
 
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Authense

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Hi Andrew, thx for your advise. I have done exactly as you suggested. It looks a lot better now. Only visual issue is that the mechanics faces are way too bright.

I have a huge FPS issue with your settings though. This should not be the case given my gear. To start, I had to reduce Valve Index from 120 FPS to 90 FPS, which is ok with me. But I can still not run your 4096 shadow settings. My issue with your advise on Content Manager settings is, that it does not clearly speak about other settings and their effect on FPS. For instance, I need to run smart mirrors. This is the best part of CSP to me. Maybe there is a hidden culprit in that section that I must not active or alter? I have
- deactived smart shadows, which gave me some FPS
- windscreen FX activated as it was said that it helps FPS
- taskbar activated
- new loading screen activated
- general patch settings default activated, tried "optimize draw order" with no effect
- graphics adjustments activated with your suggested changes
- smart mirrors activated with real mirrors, stereo reflections, update single frame
- weather FX with default settings and set to SOL
- SOL (no clouds) weather at daytime set in Content Manager
- adjusted Nvidia settings according to your suggestions
- overall Supersampling is down to 225 (1,5 standard and 1,5 Assetto Corsa)

I run CSP preview205 and latest SOL Alpha from discord and latest Nvidia driver.
With these settings I get 60-80% GPU occupancy in single car testing at Spa, but that does not leave enough headroom for a full grid and I am already lowering Valve Index to 90 FPS, AC shadows specs to 2048 against your 4096 and AA from 8x to 4x, as well as reflection to static.

Where would you search, what could be the culprit? With AC settings and full CSP modules I can do trial and error, but I think it is one or two single settings within one of the modules that are killing my FPS.

Thx,
Chris

P.S. I will post this on Discord also...not to double post with you but to have more reach for a potential solution.
 

Andrew_WOT

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Glad some of it helped.
If it's not mentioned in the guide, it's at default, except performance options on generic patch settings page, they are all on.
There are 3 different presets from Ultra to Low, pick one your system can handle.
Plus SS translation to resolution can be different, pay attention to reported resolution numbers and scale based on your GPU performance.
Figure out what botlenecks, CPU or GPU using fpsVR, and adjust CPU or GPU heavy graphics options accordingly. There is no one size fits all.
But in general, 120fps on modern sim with good visuals is a pipe dream. May be a few years from now on a better hardware, or when sims start utilizing more cores.
P.S.
I think in AC SS settings for Oculus only, should have no effect on SteamVR or WMR. Check in fpsVR.
 

Authense

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Yes, I am using SOL-VR pp. I also use fpsVR, bottleneck is GPU and only! GPU.

120fps and max settings works today, but without SOL and with all the CSP options enabled that we have discussed. SOL is clearing tolling on GPU ressources a lot. I can see that when I reduce SOL quality from maximum to high.

It's a shame, that AC looks so much sharper with max settings and 120 FPS enabled, but with SOL lighting is simply better, looks more realistic but overall less crisp because I have to reduce graphic settings so much in order to use SOL.

I agree with you, there does not seem to be solution given todays hardware.
 

Authense

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To conclude, back to the main question: Does SOL work with VR?
The answer is: "yes, but the price is too high if you have a high end system"

"Price being too high" in my case means, that my system offers an alternative setting that is just so much better and with SOL enabled I cannot even get close to the visual quality I use to have. With SOL I would have to reduce Valve Index to 90hz / FPS to even start with - no big deal, not a show stopper, just to mention.

But without SOL I can run Valve Index at 120hz/FPS with 20 cars at Spa, starting from the end of the grid, clear sky. I have zero FPS drops, but the following settings enabled:
- AA: 8x
- AF: 16 (thx. to Andew, disable in AC and enabled in NVIDIA settings)
- World: Maximum
- Shadows: 4096
- Smoke: Minimum and no smoke in mirrors
- Reflections: 2048, static or 1024 with up to 4 frames
- high quality mirrors
- Steam VR SS: 300 (yes, it is sharper than 200 or 250)
- CSP: Graphics adjustments, smart shadows, smart mirrors
- CSP: LOD multiplier at 180%

Switching forth and back, the latter looks a hell lot better on my system. A lot sharper, smallest amount of flickering, superb shadows, superb looking cars (even in a distance) and no frame drops at all.

Overclocking:
I have now - and for the purpose of this test - enabled overclocking on my 2080ti, however the above settings had been working before, OC just lowers the GPU occupancy from average 86% to av. 75%, which gives me more headroom for more cars on the track (which is largely a CPU topic acc. to this forum. I can observe my CPU toggling between 15% and 25%, so al lot of headroom there for anything coming), but most importantly OC gives me more headroom for tracks like Baku, that are more demanding on the GPU than Spa.

Respect for SOL:
So, no critic on the great work that the developers of SOL have done and are doing. I can see all that when running the game on my Samsung TV. But as I am on VR, my settings are clearly way ahead regarding the visual quality and I would recommend that anyone with a high end systems compares SOL + reduced graphics settings to No SOL + maximized graphics settings.

I appreciate Andrews work and thoughtful comments and his contribution to the community. I would however disagree with him, that to SOL or not to SOL is a question of taste ("may be it is not your cup of tea"), if I understood correctly, otherwise pls give me the benefit of doubt as I am not a native.

Decision making:
To me, it is a question of if you must have SOL for the purpose of night races, backlights and such, but otherwise it can be observed and replicated, that with a highend system AC will look a lot better with my current settings than with SOL enabled including the downsides you will have to accept and mentioned above.

Current limits of technology:
I have learned and totally agree with Andrew that even with a 2080ti hybrid and maximum overclocking (2,1Ghz), eliminating any CPU bootleneck possible in AC with an overclocked 9900k, todays highend GPUs are still at least 30-60 FPS away from being able to handle both (SOL+max settings) at the same time. It is kind of funny, as AC is many years old...and yes, was never programmed for VR in the first place, still hardware has yet to find a way around...

Just for a reference: If I enable SOL on top of my max. settings and leave everything else as is (I know, which is a crazy setting), my frame rate goes in half, from 120 to 60, and I get hundreds of reprojections and stuttering through corners - even when setting Valve to 90hz it goes in half. No way this could work as of today, not even close.

Best
Chris
 

Andrew_WOT

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When you say SOL, do you literally mean SOL weather control only or the whole CSP.
My tests in the past showed similar performance with CSP optimization options enabled, it was definitely not the case when it got first introduced. Will try to give another run today to see if anything changed.
Myself even with some performance hit, just can't go back to vanilla AC, it just looks flat and barren to my eyes even with higher AA and SS, but if someone sees it other way, it's their taste and choice, we all like different things.
Yesterday I was running ACC and AC with CSP and SOL side by side, and they looked almost identical on flat screen, of course AC looks tons better in VR due to higher settings AC performance allows.
 

Andrew_WOT

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Just ran AC benchmark test on flat screen 4k, easier to compare than VR as VSync can be disabled, not apples to apples but gives an idea on performance impact.

Plain vanilla AC, no SOL or CSP, natural Kunos OEM PP filter
upload_2019-10-27_10-8-29.png

Code:
AC VERSION: 1.16.3 (x64)
POINTS: 15696
FPS: AVG=107 MIN=59 MAX=125 VARIANCE=2 CPU=31%

LOADING TIME: 11s
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (3840x2160)
OS-Version: 6.2.9200 () 0x300-0x1
CPU CORES: 16
FULLSCREEN: ON
AA:4X AF:0X SHDW:4096 BLUR:0
WORLD DETAIL: 5 SMOKE:1
PP: QLT:5 HDR:1 FXAA:0 GLR:5 DOF:0 RAYS:1 HEAT:1
CSP 0.1.25-preview205, Sol 1.4 alpha 18, __Sol_Extra PP filter
Same settings as last run except PP filter
upload_2019-10-27_10-12-19.png

Code:
AC VERSION: 1.16.3 (x64)
POINTS: 19635
FPS: AVG=134 MIN=22 MAX=187 VARIANCE=1 CPU=51%

LOADING TIME: 18s
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (3840x2160)
OS-Version: 6.2.9200 () 0x300-0x1
CPU CORES: 16
FULLSCREEN: ON
AA:4X AF:0X SHDW:4096 BLUR:0
WORLD DETAIL: 5 SMOKE:1
PP: QLT:5 HDR:1 FXAA:0 GLR:5 DOF:0 RAYS:1 HEAT:1
Seems like I was able to gain better look AND 27 fps with CSP and SOL, not too shabby. :)
 
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