The performance of the application may vary significantly depending on the characteristics of your system. This chapter describes what are the factors that have an impact in a greater or lesser degree in the performance of the Gaia Sky and explains how to tweak them. It is organised in two parts, namely GPU performance (graphics performance) and CPU performance.

Graphics performance

Refer to the Graphics performance chapter.

CPU performance

The CPU also plays an obvious role in updating the scene state (positions, orientations, etc.), managing the input and events, executing the scripts and calling and running the rendering subsystem, which streams all the texturing and geometrical information to the GPU for rendering. This section describes what are the elements that can cause a major impact in CPU performance and explains how to tune them.

Limiting magnitude

You can modify the magnitude limit by setting the property data.limit.mag in the configuration file. This will prevent the loading of stars whose magnitude is higher (they are fainter) than the specified magnitude, thus relieving the CPU of some processing. Also, take a look at the Data properties section.

Levels of Detail (LOD)

These settings apply only when using a catalog with levels of detail like TGAS. We can configure whether we want smooth transitions between the levels (fade-outs and fade-ins) and also the draw distance, which is represented by a range slider. The left knob represents the view angle above which octants are rendered.

Levels of Detail slider

Levels of detail slider in preferences dialog

The right knob only matters if Smooth LOD transitions is checked and sets a higher boundary for the angle for the fade-out and fade-in of octant particles.

  • Set the knobs to the right to lower the draw distance and increase performance.

  • Set the knobs to the left to higher the draw distance at the expense of performance.

Octree and levels of detail

Octree and levels of detail. Image: Wikipedia.