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***New Radeon 9800XT- I am dissapointed - Need Guidance***

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HiI have done a rebuild of my Pc and re-installed everything because i bought a Radeon 9800XT, Asus A7N8X-E Deluxe M/B and Athlon XP 3000+ 333FSB CPU to replace my Ti4600 and other old components, BUT i am a bit dissapointed with it's performance.......I have all the cloud fixes installed from Chris Williams, I have the PanelAsTexture=0, renamed Autogen.xml, run at 2xFSAA and 8XAF etc etc ......and most sliders arn't even open fully,...now ....FPS are not what i expected for this supposedly HIGH END Card ( I get about 9-14fps )with more than two layers of cloud, i also experience quite alot of stutters especially when i taxi and make turns on the ground. I don't know if my HDD is maybe not up to the job since it's a 80GB ATA100@7200RPM and i heard this might cause a problem if it can't keep up...... I have now even suspected the PMDG panel in 2D view because in spot view the FPS increases.The Radeon XT 256MB has the CAT 4.1 drivers installed now.I even tried the new Omega drivers but the performance was even worse.Is there anything else i can do with the RADEON to improve things with FS9I have heard MANY people saying that since they went from NVIDIA to ATI graphics FS9 improved DRAMATICALLY, but i sat last night thinking - well this looks almost exacly the same as before !Please help if you canThanks

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Backup your fs9.cfg and restart FS. Should make some difference. FS is known to keep records of your former display settings and stick to them... lolHope it helps,EDIT: Spelling

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HiI checked and there is only ONE entry for the display driver, so is the FS9.cfg still a problem ?Thanks

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Running with the specs in my signature, I have most scenery sliders at least 3/4 of the way to max in FS2004 and I run at a locked 20 FPS. It drags down in areas of high-AI. Off the top of my head...ATI:Anti-Aliasing - 4xAnsiotropic - 8x (PERFORMANCE quality setting)FS2004:Anti-Aliasing = OFF! (Lets ATI do it)Filtering = Trilinear (Works with the ansiotropic to make good textures)MIPs = Set at "5" (no shimmers this way)Terrain Mesh = 90%Texture Size = MassiveExtended Textures = OnWater Effects = NoneAutogen and Scenery Detail = Very High (One notch below max)AI Traffic = 40% (w/ Ultimate Traffic)Clouds = 100% 3D and maximum coverage (Chris' cloudset - slowdowns decending through overcast and multi-layers - down as low as 10-15 FPS)Autogen.xml = removed--Being at work, I can't recite all of the settings--The new video cards don't to a heck of a lot to improve general framerates, but what they are sucessful in doing is improving framerates with additional features! The 9700/9800 Pro series cards allow you to run the full AA and AS Filtering with minimal impact on the system's performance. This lends itself to greatly increased image quality. Flight Simulator 2004 is, like all it's predecessors, very PROCESSOR intensive - and there isn't a processor for sale that will allow the user to max out their sliders and get any sort of usable performance yet. Your experience with the card is odd - I upgraded from a Ti4200 to a Radeon 9800 Pro and noticed an immediate improvement on the image quality.If what you are working with is a brand-new fresh install of both the OS and FS2004, your system is tweaked OK. You *may* want to try the Detonator 3.10 drivers (the ones just prior to the 4.1), as a very small number of users indicated a drop in performace with the 4.1's. The only tip I can give you is to INSURE your Anti-Aliasing is NOT TURNED ON within the simulator itself, and *IS* turned on via the ATI control panel. If you turn on the AA inside MSFS, it appears that it starts using some software to assist the AA, thus slowing down the system considerably.Otherwise, I have to welcome you to the club of users hamstrung by our processors!-Greg

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Pieter,If you're still running the same Windows install with the new card that you were with the old one, don't. Reformat and reinstall XP totally clean. It is very difficult to get rid of all the remnants of the Nvidia driver and it's very possible that you're seeing a conflict between them somehow. My system is very comparable to yours (2500+ OC'ed to 3200+, 1GB PC3200, Radeon 9800 Pro) and I'm seeing FPS pinned at 25 almost the whole time using 4XAA/8XAF, AS2004 weather, and 100% UT - something isn't right with your drivers or configuration. Also make sure you're getting the full AGP 8X with fast writes by looking at the SmartGART tab in the ATI control panel - if not, you need to fiddle with the BIOS settings to get those to where they should be.

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I have a similar system and it absolutely _rocks_, with most settings set to maximum.You don't mention how much RAM you have. FS9 + PMDG is a memory _HOG_. If you don't have enough RAM, what happens is that Windows starts to swap to disk. When this happens, you get stutters. (There are many other reasons for stutters, but this is a primary one).I recommend a minimum of 512MB of RAM, but 1GB is preferred.- Bill

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First yes, if you did not reformat the HD before installing the new 9800XT you must do it. If you did then make sure you have the latest bios from ASUS. There is a known issue with this motherboard and the 9800XT. Look at www.rage3d.com for many other people having your same problem. I will look for a paticular thread I read weeks back and post the link when/if I find it. I just built my system 3 months ago and it shred's FS9, no tweaking required. Jay

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If you haven't already tried it and before you reinstall your whole PC, DO try to backup your FS9.CFG file first and let MSFS recreate it. Had the same problem with very poor framrates no matter how much I changed all settings and after having MSFS recreating my FS9.CFG the PFS went up from 10-15 -> 20-25.Good luck!

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I see alot of statements that reformatting HD's is a requirement to get good performance from Radeon-over-nVidia install. This is simply not an option for most people and is absolutely _not_ necessary. There are other, less disruptive ways to clear old drivers from your installation. I replaced a GF4 with a 9600 Pro and have had an awesome performance increase and no glitches whatsoever. I only removed all of the old/irrelevant nVidia software later on when I had the time.I'm sure a reformant will "work" ok; but it's a bit like slicing bread with a chainsaw.

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You forgot to mention what these less disruptive ways are :-)I changed a Ti4400 to a 9800 pro and had awful performance problems. I tried many things that didn't work so I re-installed. I now have all the FPS I want and smooth.I recommend a re-install wjen going from one card to anotherP4 3GHz1 Gb RamATI 9800 ProAudigy sound120Gb driveRay Keattch

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I would go to driverheaven.net and download drivecleaner, also redownload the lastest ati drivers. Go to add and remove programs and uninstall you ati drivers and reboot in safe mode. Run driver clean and chose to remove ati drivers and Nvidia drivers. Driveclean removes left over files the uninstall does not remove this way you will have a fresh install of new drivers always. Reboot and reinstall your ati drivers reboot again. Next thing to do is turn off v-sync and get the refresh rate of your montior to decent level. For 1024x768 85 is proboly good enough. I run mine at 1152x864@ 120mhz. Iam not sure how ati unlocks the refresh rates in d3d the lastest nvidia drivers will do it from control panel now. I think if you do all this you will see alot of improvments. I have the same setup as you except i use a A7N8X-X. Do you have the lastest Nforce drivers and the lastest Asus bios 1007? Richard

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HiI have just rebuilt my pc, and i'm in the process of installing everything again....will let u know what i discover !

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Don't reformat anything. I'd like to know how your Athlon XP 3000 compares to say a P4 2.8 ghz 533 FSB system (mine). As well you don't indicate how much memory you have. Main processor and main memory are your first priorities with FS9.With this card though I'd suggest you run it at 1600x1200. The ATI 9700 forward series of cards like the high resolution. Good idea to run low AA but this you can particularly get away with if you run in high resolution. I've actually bumped up my AF to 16 and on the ATI panel main settings running quality over performance. With FSW 32 bit cloud textures looks beautiful and get nice performance.P4, 2.8 ghz, 533 fsb, 1 gig ddr ram, Radeon 9700TX 128 mb

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HiI have done the rebuild, added all the cloud fixes and other tweaks i could....My specs are :Athlon XP 3000+ running at 3200+ overclocked speed @2,21Ghz512MB Corsair XMS 2700 DDR RamAsus A7N8X-E Deluxe MB - Bios 1008 (latest from asus website)Radeon 9800XT 256MB -> ATI Catalyst 3.10 installed ( 4.1 too slow )Samsung 191T 19" TFT Monitor 1280x1024@70Hz (maximum it will go)WD ATA100 80GB HDD ( This might be the guilty component i.e bottleneck)Since the re-install, it actually seems like the stutters are worse even though the FPS are relatively constant at 22FPS (locked)I don't know what else to do :( - i was so confident that this Graphics card would smooth things out for me, but to no avail ! I have to say it is better than my old GF4 Ti4600 though...What else can i do to relieve the stutters - is it down the the HARD DRIVE not being able to keep up with the Card ?? Or is it my RAM ? Or what ?Thanks !

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Can't say for sure, but my guess would be that it's your CPU and amount of memory that is the problem rather than your graphics card.I have a P4 2,6 GHz @ 3,0 GHz, 1 GB RAM and a GF4 4800Ti and my FPS is locked to 25 and stays there unless I go to a very busy airport (I'm using Ultimate Traffic).All the best,

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Pieter: The stutters you describe can easily be caused by Windows background tasks running every so often. An example would be stock tickers, real-time weather updates, etc. Take a look at Windows tweak guides to get rid of unnecessary services. On the main FS forum here, Version 2 of someone's tweaking guide has recently been posted.Good luck.

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You guys are freaking me out....... I just bought an ATI 9800XT 256mb card and was planning on installing it this weekend. I currently have an older nVidia card. I spent MONTHS installing FS2004 and dozens of add-ons (AI aircraft, scenery, PMDG 737, etc). PLEASE tell me I don't have to re-install FS.... I think that's more than this poor soul could handle!Flightsim Phil

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Well, thanks for the suggestions, but i make sure the MINIMUNM of things run in the background....only thing i didn't mention was....The stutters are usually worse if there are clouds about, but then again it is very intermittent... coz sometimes there are NO stutters with quite a bit of cloud about ???Ah well, guess i'll just have to live with it !Thanks anyway !

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If you haven't already done so, try to defragment your harddrive. Part from that I think like I said in my previous post that more memory and maybe a faster CPU as well would cure your problem.Good luck!

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Just curious, you have installed whatever disk controller drivers are required to get your hard disk running in DMA mode right?Sometimes hardware changes mess up settings, and PIO mode on an IDE drive is not going to keep up with FS9.I have the same card running just dandy on a P4 but there is no point comparing Intel bandwidth to AMD bandwidth anymore.Check AI traffic, it can crater ANY machine's frame rate. Also check any utilities that are reading map type data such as FS Navigator. That extra read activity can cause just enough to do the drive stutter.Other thing to find out. Does the stutter go away when you turn DOWN detail? Does the stutter happen with just FS9 installed by itself?Ray

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Can someone tell me how to check and see if my hard drive is in DME? Is there a tutorial anywhere or can someone post a quick one for me please?

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Yeah mate, i run in UDMA mode 5, which is the fastest for an ATA100 disk.Also, i have nothing else installed in FS9 except for PMDG 737NG............Also to verify , the stutters are especially bad in the external spot view if you circle around the plane........but insside (2d panel) the stutters are very very brief , but constant non the less......, and usually it gets worse as you make turns left or right !!!With Details (sliders) UP or DOWN.......FPS stay at 22FPS but no matter what detail i add or take away...those little stutters remain ( on turns that is)So i'm kind of starting to rule out the Graphics card by now !Cheers

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If my memory serves me right the sound card can mess up things pretty well too, have you tried modifying the settings for sound or even better made sure you're running the latest version of drivers for your soundcard?

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Yep, done all that !Have an Audigy Player SoundCard, has the latest driver installed.Guess I'm just to fussy....will get used to it i think ! If you guys saw the performance you would probably say "THATS NOT BAD AT ALL !!!"Would have been nice to know what actually causes these little annoying stutters though !Try and see if you also get them........look for* Just before takeoff ( as the wheels lift- there is a slight pause)* As you turn left or right ( even in clear wheather)....little pauses about 1/4 of a second, but in quick succession as if something is trying to catch up.And as i said...it is there no matter what quality, no matter what resolution, no matter what plane at all...they are there ALL the time. But in straight and level flight....well they seem to not be there....it seems very smooth then !Cheers !

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Well, I'm quite fussy myself and I for sure would have noticed if I had those kind of stutters. Very strange considering you have reinstalled everything from scratch and still have the very same problem! Makes you belive (if your Windows installation is totally clean) that it must be your hardware that's causing the problem somehow. Trying another CPU might be tricky, but what you maybe could try is if you have some friend with the same kind of memory as you have and then borrow another 512 MB RAM and see if your problem vanish with 1 GB RAM installed.Another thing you could try is having a look at this site. Lots of tips about tuning your Windows system for maximum performance.http://www.sanx.org/tips.asp?action=performanceThe two most important ones mentioned would be:1. Turn the 'System Restore' functionality OFF (in case you don't absolutly think you need it of course)2. Turn the 'Indexing Service' OFF on your HDD(s) (same as above)Also go through all your running processes (using Task Manager) and make sure you don't have any unfamiliar ones running or any processes that simply don't need to be started. At the site mentioned above you will among lots of other tips find a list of services that are running by default that don't really need to be started on an ordinary home PC.I know how annoying it can be when you have these kind of problems and don't know how to solve them. Said it before and say it again - good luck getting rid of your stutters!!Cheers,

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