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JSACKS

FS9 lingering performance impediments...it just never ends!

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I have enjoyed this journey through FS2004 mightily for the past 4 years, from a plain boxed MS sim to something that is now about as close to the Level-D system of UAL in Denver minus the 6 axis motion. I have a really great DELL XPS Gen 4 system with a ton of RAM, huge vid card, mass of peripherals including most of the GoFlight stuff and of course the MCP PRO. My cockpit is in the family music room with a piano to the left of the Captain's seat and an 8 foot high bookcase next to the F.O.'s seat--like any good professional cockpit should have.The thing is, I've gone overboard with everything. I mean, I love it, but it is excessive. I have the Triplhead2Go system with three large LCD panels including a 24" middle panel. The views are fantastic and the scaling is to die for. It's just a visual feast to be here and the sounds are rockin' Perched atop the whole lot is Track IR4 Professional. On the right is a GF pedestal crammed with the works.But here's the rub: despite an amazing set-up with great visuals, great immersion, great models, great interactive hardware, add-ons galore, years of tweaking experience, etc., the fluidity of the sim has become progressively more variable and is not exactly where I want it to be.First, I fly exclusively in the VC because it works best and the 2-D panels are out of the question for 53" of LCD screens. The 2-D scaling is a disaster and the immersion is just not there anyway. The VC requires a lot of h.p. especially across three LCD panels.I just changed the regular 32 bit clouds for the DXT3 clouds of Flight Environment -- never thought I'd "sink" to that level! But I got fed up getting frames of 7.2 or 8.6/sec in CB clouds at 19,000 feet. Now I get 13 to 19 fps in CB clouds.I just turned off the Ultimate Traffic AI Traffic (again!) because even at 30% I was getting rear-ended and in danger of rear ending those in front of me on my arrival runway which was their departure runway. And on the ground, UT's AI traffic was so rich and moving around so much that frames went down another 3-4/sec.Testing with HORNIT's KIAD, I found that my frames rose from an average of 10-11 on approach to 14-16 by chopping AI traffic and changing the cloud textures, and I had a measure of fluidity restored. I tried the new Blueprint KIAD but frames were down to an average of 8 on final and it was a hideous affair. The peripheral vision on the left side in particular was jarring and disconcerting with such poor frames.Flying in the VC and using Triplehead2Go seems to use more h.p. than I reckoned on. I'd read the frame rate hits should be minimal, but I found no way, mate, no way at all ! It eats PC hp for lunch. Triplehead is cranking out 4 million pixels. That is a LOT, no ?!All else in the default FS9 sim is heavily detailed with most sliders mid right and far right. If I fly any other non-complex add-on, the performance is generally fantastic. But it's the heavy jets with special, nonstandard autopilots and FMCs that are very demanding on the system and I figure if you can't give 'em what they need, best not to fly 'em. If I had $8,000, I would not buy a new PC for FSX because from what I've read, FSX cannot be "tamed" by mere mortals. I have tried it several times and no doubt FSX is superlative especially on a good machine ( a high-end VELOCITY, for e.g.?). But whom among us can spend the $6,000+ required for such performance? So, I wonder if my kind of bog standard DELL factory set up in as good as it can ever get in simming in terms of performance. Perhaps I should film it and post on YouTube ?!Posts appreciated!JS

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If I understand what the TripleHead2Go does, it's compositing the area of three physical monitors into what Windows sees as one gigantic monitor right? Some crazy resolution like 3840 across right?I'm really not aware of any single video card that can push that kind of fill rate and maintain what a hardcore gamer would call acceptable performance... Maybe you could do it with like Quad-SLI or something, but as far as I know even the top 8800 cards are designed with the 1600X1200 (or 1920X1200 wide) resolution in mind. With two card SLI, they can get up to 2560X1600 in games, which is the native resolution of those huge 30" Dell and Apple displays.What happens if you use just the single 24" screen? Are the FPS better - if so, that's the issue, you're just asking the card to do too much. If not, then the problem is probably elsewhere, either CPU or a configuration issue.

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Ryan:Yes, correct.Well, actually, the fact is that my DELL pushes out incredible performance in all views (i.e., 24 fps and even higher) when I am away from dense airports and dense city scapes. I get pretty fluid motion in the 747-400 VC with Triplehead2go most of the time--it looks fluid even at 14 fps if looking straight ahead out of the VC--even at a resolution of 3840x1024; I get consistently less fluid motion in the 737NG VC, but that was expected. The Level D 767 is also fluid in general.What bothers me is that I still get FS95 type performance at dense airports like KJFK or EGLL with low (say 25-30%) AI traffic and heavy clouds. I fixed the clouds using DXT3 versions by Flight Environment and regained 2-3 fps, but in order to have smoother performance for final approach and landing I have to turn off AI traffic completely or else I get rather low frames.But for everyday simming, the general performance is good. It is not cinematographic quality but it is impressive and satisfying visually and mentally. I have 2GB of RAM, a 3.80 P4 processor and a 512MB eVGA GTO card so that helps it move along. And my GPU temps rarely exceed 53C.I am just looking for that little extra "oomph" to put the icing on the cake, so that it would be fluid all the time in all views all over the world. But perhaps this is impossible for any PC with any version of MS Flightsim ?!Jonathan

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Using the 24" screen alone does provide better performance than the triple screen set-up with Triplehead2go. I do not recall the frames exactly but they were able to rise generally to the 60s and 70s as compared with a maximum of around 30s to 40s with the triple screens. Very roughly, you have to divide those numbers by about 3 to get an estimate of frames at dense airports and cities on my system (running VERY DENSE everything and 25% AI traffic).I guess I've reached the very outer limit of performance with my rig. Jonathan

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