I conducted an experiment with ScenProc today that may be of some interest to some of you.
It occurred to me that some of the issues being reported concerning FPS reduction and occasional stutters could possibly be connected with the extra load cultivation is putting on the system, even though it is not supposed to hurt performance that much. Personally, I've been on the fence with regards to adding thousands of residential houses to the scenery, though I do prefer having POI's, bridges, industrial buildings, full airport scenery, etc. Today, in my home area, I eliminated all residential buildings (houses), and kept industrial buildings as well as whatever trees would be cultivated with ScenProc based on my OSM data. My theory was that houses show up well with a 3D look anyway when geoconverted at 1m resolution when flying, with the benefit of different shapes and roof colors done naturally at high resolution, and when making approaches or taking off enough industrial buildings would be visible to provide that populated feeling that enhances the sensation of flying and provides that extra bit of realism.
I couldn't be more pleased with how this turned out; residential houses still look good at 1m res and there are hundreds of industrial buildings everywhere in my scenery providing that 3d look that enhances the photoreal scenery. In addition, I also cultivated lights but cut out several sections of road lighting (tertiary, residential, and living street) and still maintained a pleasing atmosphere of night lighting.
Performance impact? My cultivated area is approx. 25 x 30 miles and with all data cultivated my FPS in certain areas was dropping down into the 70's in the cockpit view vs. a locked 120 without cultivation at all. With today's experiment? Steady 160's in cockpit view and 200-250 in outside views with unlimited frames selected. Now, with the FPS counter turned off you probably would not even notice what your frame rate is even with full cultivation, depending on your area and it's size, so I'm not sure what the real relevance of this is for most users, but there are some who are experiencing some performance issues that IPACS is currently trying to solve in regards to the latest update. I did this mostly for my own benefit to see what the result would be and whether or not I would be pleased with it, and I can say most definitely I like the result visually and performance wise was pretty surprised to see the resulting impact on FPS.
Here are a few screenshots to show the visual impact:
I don't promise this adjustment to your cultivation file(s) is for everyone; I would guess most users would prefer to have residential houses as well as all the available lighting in your own scenery areas. But if you've been wondering if you could remove some of the buildings like I did or reduce the lighting somewhat and what the result would be, well here you go.