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16 versus 32 bit color

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Is there any difference in the image quality in fs2002 when using 16 bit or 32 bit color. My frame rates really improve when I'm in 16 bit color and I notice no difference in the imagery.

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That's gonna depend on your rig. I run a PIII800 with a GF2HercGTS64 card and run at 1600x1200 res 2xAGP full FSAA with no frame problems. Locked at 20. Beautiful Picture. I run at 16 color simply because my video card doesn't have enough power to run at 32 bit color. At 32 color, the framerate drops to around 12 to 15 and I suffer the stutters on occasion. I notice an improvement in cloud textures at 32 color and the shadows are transparent in 32 color. Other than that no noticeable difference. That may not be the case at all though if running a state of the art processor and 4xAGP on a GF3Ti500 or GF4Ti4600. Then, I'd expect to see a hugh difference in quality in 32 bit color.

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William,There certainly is a noticeable difference between 16 and 32 bit colour. One of the most obvious differences is in the sky. With 16 bit, there is quite a lot of "banding", meaning that the colour variations are not completely smooth and the sky appears as bands of various shades of blue. 32 bit significantly reduces this problem, but even then it is still noticeable. Also, I have noticed that on my Geforce 3 card, turning on FSAA makes the sky even worse unless I enable 32 bit colour. In general, the perception of colour depth also improves as do clouds, terrain, water, objects, etc. The better your monitor and graphics card, the bigger the difference is between 16 and 32 bit.

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I have no sky banding on the monitor and noticed only a slight color difference in the sky between 16 and 32. Just a tad bit bluer in 32 color. The only time I see sky banding is when I convert an image to jpg. Then it shows up on the pic. So, it's obviously there, just not noticeable when flying the sim. That could be a function of video card and drivers. Like I said, I run the GTS64 and am using the original manufacturer driver from the CD. Hercules 5.16 drivers. They work perfect.

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You might notice few texture issues in 16 bit. From the external view, as you get farther from the aircraft you might see parts starting to show through each other. I've only ever seen this happen in 16 bit colour.

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Thanks everyone. Now that you'all have mentioned it I do see the bands in the sky (they are pretty faint though) and have seen the sky color on the mountains also. I guess there is always a compromise to get those extra fps.

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You will also have pitch dark object shadows instead of transparent ones. There are in fact some strange glitches in 16 bit. However you have to look closely to see them.Rgds,Alex

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While we're on the subject...Does anyone have any ideas why I'm getting this strange effect in 16-bit colour?It only occurs on the 2D panel and it seems to be different on each plane. It's like a wierd band of 256 colour running across the panel!?After reading this thread, I changed my settings down from 32-bit and it gives me incredible frame rates... so I tohught I'd stick with it a while and see what difference it makes to my flying. Only, I'm not gonna leave it in 16-bit if it destroys my panels!!!Any ideas?Cheers,Si.

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Certainly some people get different effects from running 16 vs 32 bit than others. I think I have seen all the 16 bit "symptoms" mentioned in this thread. I am currently running in 16 bit because of performance considerations. If it is any consolation to people wanting to run 32 bit all the time, the next batch of graphics cards around the corner should be fast enough to run 4 x FSAA, 8 x aniso and high res 32 bit colour without any (or many) problems in FS2002. Well, at least I hope that's the case.btw, emergency_pants, I have seen your problem as well, but I don't think I ever got it in 32 bit colour. I think I sometimes get it if I use that Quincunx anti-aliasing thingy in 16 bit with my Geforce 3. Not that I run things that way normally - I just noticed it when I was experimenting a while back. And to make matters more difficult, it only happened on some 2D panels, not others.

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Si"Does anyone have any ideas why I'm getting this strange effect in 16-bit colour?"I get this on panels when I have anti-aliasing on, change my view and then return to the cockpit. However, it always goes away after about 5 or 6 seconds. I don't get it at all if I turn anti-aliasing off.David

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Try this: insert this line; render_3d_window=1 as the last entry under [Window00] in each aircrafts panel.cfg file. It should appear as below: [Window00] file=Main_640.bmpfile_1024=Main_1024.bmpsize_mm=640position=7visible=1ident=MAIN_PANELrender_3d_window=1I run FS2002 in 16 bit color (1024x768) as my computer is a bit slow (700mhz Celeron) and this enables me to enjoy higher frame rates, (locked at 21 and never lower than 14 even in large metropolitan areas and airports) and the slight reduction in graphics quality is more than acceptable to me. The banding and discoloration of the 2d panels made them almost unusable with anti-aliasing enabled. I noticed the P-38F Lightning from CFS2 which I fly in FS2002 had no such problem so a little investigation revealed the render_3d_window=1 line in the P_38F panel.cfg but not in any FS2002 default panel.cfg files (incuding the F4U Corsair!) insertion of the missing line into the default aircrafts panel.cfg files cured the problem and i can now run with 4x anti-aliasing enabled on my GeForce 4 MX420. Hope this works for you!

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