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Guest Joshieca

Fs2k2 GF3 vs. GF4 and other neat benchmarks...

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Sorry that this has been taking so much longer than promised but here is a peak of my review, there is a lot more data that

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Paul,It was interesting to note that the Geforce 4 performance was actually below that of the Geforce 3 in some parts of the playback. Do you have a theory as to why?Also with regard to the mesh observations upon performance. This would depend a lot on what country you fly in and whether you use aftermarket scenery. For example, in Australia, the default terrain mesh accuracy seems to be below that of the US. With my Geforce 3, I see negligible performance hit between having terrain mesh complexity at 0 and terrain mesh complexity at 95% (I run it at 95%). However, when I go to 100%, I start to lose smoothness. If I fly in the US, however, the performance impact of mesh settings is quite obvious.I actually notice that if I don't set the terrain mesh complexity to 100% when flying in Australia, I get ocassional texture "popping", where the shape of the terrain suddenly changes. I just wonder whether this is a function of the game engine, graphics card, CPU or some combination thereof.Incidentally, when I still had my old Voodoo 5, increasing terrain complexity settings had a huge impact on performance - so much that with that card I left it set at 1! This made VFR flight very difficult because the terrain wasn't even remotely accurate. Would this mean terrain mesh calculations are mainly performed by the GPU? I know that when I upgraded from the Voodoo 5500 to the Geforce 3, I made 4 fundamental changes that improved the looks of the sim - terrain complexity, resolution, texture sizes and anisotropic filtering. In fact, anisotropic filtering has made such a huge difference to the image quality, that I now rate it as far more important than AA.So when I changed from a Voodoo 5500 to a Geforce 3, I didn't get better performance speedwise, even if I ran the Geforce 3 at the same graphics settings as the Voodoo 5500. What I could do, however, was turn things up (or on) and not lose performance. Perhaps, therefore I'd also like to see some opinion as to whether the later cards enable visual quality to be further improved without actually losing performance - but great work so far.

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Hi Jon,>It was interesting to note that the Geforce 4 performance >was actually below that of the Geforce 3 in some parts of >the playback. Do you have a theory as to why? I did have a problem keeping some things separate when I first began and had to re-install the GF3 and re-run some test and I'm pretty sure its all good now, but I'll go back and check it again. >Also with regard to the mesh observations upon performance. >This would depend a lot on what country you fly in and >whether you use aftermarket scenery. For example, in >Australia, the default terrain mesh accuracy seems to be >below that of the US. With my Geforce 3, I see negligible >performance hit between having terrain mesh complexity at 0 >and terrain mesh complexity at 95% (I run it at 95%). >However, when I go to 100%, I start to lose smoothness. If I >fly in the US, however, the performance impact of mesh >settings is quite obvious. The "obvious" part really is that the more mesh there is, the more Triangles you have that have to be calculated by the CPU and textured not to mention Shading/Shadows, so if its near flat to begin with then it really doesn't matter to much...That

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Hey Paul thanx for that review it is really helpful to me also because I am wanting to upggrade my system. I noticed that in your specs at the bottom you have XP 2300+ im sure thats implicating towards the AMD Athlon XP 2300+..? I thought they weren't out yet all they had at this time were the XP 2200+..? Also Paul one more thing would you happen to know anything about the new nvidia cards that are suppose to be out in about 3 months, if you have some information on that i would love to hear about it. Thank you Paul, and I know you are a busy man, so just respond whenever you have the time, also what type of case do you have, i am looking for one with a 400w ps or more, and does it have a good cooling system? Thanx in advance. Pedro ;-)

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Well I guess I would have the following expectations for my next graphics card: It gives me the same fps as my Geforce 3 Ti 200, but at two resolutions higher, with 4 x FSAA and 8 x aniso (instead of no FSAA and 4 x aniso). Oh and also I can turn all the effects up in FS2002 without any performance penalty. I get this terrible feeling no card will be able to do this unless I turf my mainboard and upgrade my OS. It seems a bit pie in the sky that I could stick an NV30/31 in my CUSL2-C mainboard and run Win98. Maybe Paul or Elrond could speculate on my ambitions.

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> Hey Paul thanx for that review it is really helpful to me >also because I am wanting to upggrade my system. I noticed >that in your specs at the bottom you have XP 2300+ im sure >thats implicating towards the AMD Athlon XP 2300+..? I >thought they weren't out yet all they had at this time were >the XP 2200+..? Mine is overclocked and running at 50mhz above an XP2200 so its not quite an XP2300 but close, as in 16mhz to go. :)>Also Paul one more thing would you happen to >know anything about the new nvidia cards that are suppose to >be out in about 3 months,There is not much new to report, 120 million transistors, full DX9 supprort Much better AA quality and performance, but we will have to just wait and see, you can however read all the details about ATI's new RV300 card as that news should be released today and the card will be shipping much sooner.I use the Antec PLUS1080 case w/truepower-430W.Take care Pedro,

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Great stuff Paul. No more guessing. That helps a lot.Thx,Alex

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Paul,Thanks for all of the work you have done on this project!! I have set many of the settings on my Ti-4600, based on what I see here, and the graphics looks very good with a minimum FPS of 25 with everything maxed.Again, thanksRick

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Thank you very much, Paul. This is very interesting stuff. I have a very similar setup (AMD Athlon 2100+ OC'@ fsb 143 (1859 Mhz) but still using my old 512 Mb PC2100 CAS 2 memory, and GF3 @ 240/500) so your findings are quite relevant to me.I was contemplating the move to GF4, but unsure about its benefits for Flight Simulator. I'm looking forward to the rest of the article.Right now, I think I will skip GF4 (just as I have skipped the GF2 generation...) and wait until the next round of GPU's comes along...

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>Thank you very much, Paul. This is very interesting stuff. I >have a very similar setup (AMD Athlon 2100+ OC'@ fsb 143 >(1859 Mhz) but still using my old 512 Mb PC2100 CAS 2 >memory, and GF3 @ 240/500) so your findings are quite >relevant to me. >>I was contemplating the move to GF4, but unsure about its >benefits for Flight Simulator. I'm looking forward to the >rest of the article. >>Right now, I think I will skip GF4 (just as I have skipped >the GF2 generation...) and wait until the next round of >GPU's comes along... Hi Martin,I will get the quincunx AA, 4x AA and 1600x1200 charts up latter today and that should put to rest just what an upgrade like that can achieve.Later,

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Super job Paul! This is exactly the sort of thing we need. I am so surprised that all the flight sim sites rarely give useful information about hardware issues and flight sim, and none recently (2-3 years) as good as what you have provided here. This is so surprising since every other post and most people's headaches about FS revolve around hareware issues. There once was a site called flightbench.com that gave excellent information on the hardware and FS2000, but that was almost three years ago, and the site is gone now. Keep it up. Pull out some old video cards if you have them and maybe some older computers (CPUs) and give results. If we have enough, we can run a regression line and make mathematical predictions of hardware requirements and FS2002 for the future.Keep up the good work and I will be looking for your reports.Robbie

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Interesting...never noticed you had an Antec case... I have an Antec Gemstone case--3 years old...I was curious about something.... I've never seen a good side by side comparison of the various anisotropy settings in 2k2... My GeF/2 can only go so far, obviously. I'm wondering if you could post a few small comparison shots at different levels (using whatever LOD you usually run with), perhaps cropping a small 640x480 section..... I can see myself upgrading from a GeF/2 if the better Anisotropy settings in the GeF 3/4 really make a notable difference in the display.-John

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They make a huge difference John and that will be the focus of my nest project. :)

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