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Noel

How does PMDG 747-400X perform on higher end systems?

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I have the 737NG and 747-400 for FS9, but wondered how the 747-400X does in terms of smoothness first, fps next. How lean does one need to set up FSX to enable this plane to perform well? Still flying them in FS2004, but I do like FSX's nicer scenery, so it would be nice to do this.Noel


Noel

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Guest D17S

1st, above 10K it doesn't matter. PMDG frames are all about approach and departures. One of my test flights starts about 10 miles south of Manhattan at 4000', then turns right (directly over Manhattan) for an ILS13L approach to JFK. Set up for landing immediately as the flight loads. Arm approach and just let it hang there at 150kts. This is about as bad as it gets. Tweak it here. With your current the default airplane settings, expect a choppy 10-15FPS. To dial it in, set AI (Traffic, et al) and a the 3 Scenery Object sliders to Off. In the V-Cockpit, that'll get you 30FPS with a Q6600@3.6Ghz. You'll get 10% more (to 33) with that QX@4. Now start bring stuff back in. Scenery Complexity to 100% (Manhattan reappears) plus one notch of AG "spends" my extra CPU capacity down into the low 20s (will maintain 20 with locked at 20) all the way through rollout. That's as low as I can tolerate. With that QX @ 4Ghz you might get this, plus an additional notch of AG, or 10% airline traffic, or, or. . . . From this point, it's about trading one notch of this for a notch of that. In other words, it becomes the old 'trade-off.' This is where I saw that extra $1000, 10% comes into play. It's quite a costy 'ittle bit.That's how it will go with the PMDG 744.

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My specs are listed below- I get frames consistently in the mid 20s- locked at 26. I do not use AI- as I fly only online with Vatsim. The other traffic sliders are at 10% and I am toying with the idea of moving them to 0. I really do not bother with the "candy" aspect, but the environmental visuals and airframe modeling are quite wonderful. Like Sam, I am much more interested in the flight modeling as I fly the Canarsie turn, rather than worry about how realistic the traffic on the outfield roads look. I guess that is the answer- trade-off the unimportant (for you) to favor the important (for you).I still use FS9 for most flights (i suspect that will change very shortly ;) ), but I find myself turning to FSX more often than I have in the past. Once Sandy Bridge gets here- FSX ought to really "fly".Best-Carl F. Avari-Cooper BAW0225http://online.vatsimindicators.net/980091/523.png| XP Pro SP3 - FSGS System Unification | 2 x APC UPS | Coolermaster Stacker 830 SE | Gigabyte P35 DS3R | e8500 @ 4gHz | Tuniq Tower 120 | EVGA 8800GT 512MB | Sony 40" Bravia XBR | Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty | Bose Companion 5 | 2 x 1 GB Corsair XMS2 | 2 x 320GB WD Caviar RAID 0 | Corsair HX620W PS | CH Products Yoke-Pedals-Throttle Quadrant | Aerosoft 747MCP-EFIS-EICAS |


Best-

Carl Avari-Cooper

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To add to the already excellent response I would strongly suggest that you wait until Intel's Nehalem cpu with X58 motherboards come out in Q4 2008 before making the switch from FS9 to FSX. Pricing should be pretty reasonable right off the bat. DDR3 will be significantly more affordable by then too. As you can see from my sig I am running no slouch of a rig but with any complex add on (PMDG 744X, Dornier Do-27, ATR 72-500 etc) I have to limit my settings pretty severely to achieve smooth framerates (25+) on takeoff and landing. Add some scenery add-ons (UTX, GEX etc) to this and things only get worse. If you want some weather this will have further negative impact. I always have all AI traffic (cars included) set at 0% when flying the 747. Screen resolution is another important factor - the higher the resolution the lower your frame rates. SLI/Crossfire has no real world benefit (unless you run a 30 inch monitor perhaps but this is arguable).The reality is that current generation high-end hardware is NOT up to running FSX with complex add-on's using even medium autogen settings, AI, and weather. Next gen architecture should be anywhere from 15 to 30% quicker at similar price points (which is great!) but it will still not be possible to SMOOTHLY land the queen at Mega Airport Heathrow with high settings, weather and AI without some compromise.Just want to add for comparison purposes that I get an even 14,000 in 3DMark06 (on XP obviously with no overclock at all on any components) which is way above average. Crysis runs very smoothly at 1680x1050 on all high settings on my rig. This should give you an idea of how extremely system intensive FSX with complex add-ons is!Hope that helps someKonrad


Konrad

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>To add to the already excellent response I would strongly>suggest that you wait until Intel's Nehalem cpu with X58>motherboards come out in Q4 2008 before making the switch from>FS9 to FSX. Pricing should be pretty reasonable right off the>bat. DDR3 will be significantly more affordable by then too. >KonradThanks Konrad. I'm already using FSX and enjoy it, so won't be waiting til Nehalem. I made the decision to unload my 5y/o P4 3.06 when Penryn arrived, and I absolutely have no interest in upgrading again to cope with FSX's inherent load. From what I've heard about Nelly, I kinda doubt it will be more than just another jump better, which as you know, isn't going to be sufficient to overcome FSX + PMDG's inherent processing overhead. I am running Flight1's Cessna 441 Conquest pretty close to maxed out in all areas with all addons, and FSX runs super smooth and with plenty of frames in all but the most testy areas, at which point I may have to do some trade offs to accomplish frames over 22. But all in all, it's common where I fly that she will hover between 30 and 40, when frames are locked at 40. At 30, she stays right on it except in the super dense terminals with lotsa high res clouds. I run my QX at 4.20 of late, which is both stable, and doesn't require too much vCore. My cooling solution is very effective. I've had my QX well above that, but never have bothered to find the high end max.I'm not the keenest 747 fan, mainly cuz of shorter routes I prefer to play with, so I am kinda thinking of waiting for the MD-11 or 737NG, though I may become impulsive with the 747 just because I love flying the larger birds, using the FMC, etc. I am inclined to keep my QX until, and hopefully, the next iteration of FS ends up somehow becoming more efficient, more able to use multicore platforms, etc. If that does become the case, there's hope I could have another 4-5y service life on this platform too, as I have with most other machines since day one.I am also looking at other features to offset the boredom that I get with lighter aircraft. I'm looking at PFE proflight 2000. Pricey now, with the weak USD.NoelQX9650 w/ Retail HSF|ASUS P5E3 Premium WiFi|4GB Muskin Ascent 7-6-6-18 1T DDR3-1600|EVGA 8800GT|Seagate SATA 2 x 2|Seagate Cheetah 15K.x|XP Pro SP2|Vista 64--maybe never to be installed


Noel

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Thanks Sam. This sounds highly acceptable to me. I don't mind losing a few things to be able to process the PMDG planes. I see Nick's practice of setting frames at unlimited when the load gets severe is certainly effective at auto-downturning image complexity. Have you tried this?NoelQX9650 w/ Retail HSF|ASUS P5E3 Premium WiFi|4GB Muskin Ascent 7-6-6-18 1T DDR3-1600|EVGA 8800GT|Seagate SATA 2 x 2|Seagate Cheetah 15K.x|XP Pro SP2|Vista 64--maybe never to be installed


Noel

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Once Sandy Bridge gets here- FSX>ought to really "fly".>>Best->Carl F. Avari-Cooper BAW0225Great Carl. Sounds like I should be ok fine. I'm planning on holding out for about 4y or so before upgrading my current, new platform. QX9650 w/ Retail HSF|ASUS P5E3 Premium WiFi|4GB Muskin Ascent 7-6-6-18 1T DDR3-1600|EVGA 8800GT|Seagate SATA 2 x 2|Seagate Cheetah 15K.x|XP Pro SP2|Vista 64--maybe never to be installed


Noel

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I always fly for effect with frames locked. Unlocked lets a tweaker see how much headroom is left. The trick is to load it up 'til it just touches your frame lock point on a dip. Then back off a notch, lock it down and GoFly.

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>I always fly for effect with frames locked. Unlocked lets a>tweaker see how much headroom is left. The trick is to load it>up 'til it just touches your frame lock point on a dip. Then>back off a notch, lock it down and GoFly.I tell you what I'd like to see: a few realtime switches to control for example, bloom on/off and autogen density. This way you could get the best IQ until you needed to thin it out a little. That would be so cool to hit a few keys and be able to manipulate this during flight time. Kinda a bummer to have to stop and turn off bloom as the rest of the scenery thickens. I'll have to play with unlimited frames n see if the tweaker does this very well. Perhaps in the end it's really the best overall plug n play solution :()I've always locked frames, pretty much in the same fashion as you describe Sam. It's the unlocked one I haven't tried much.


Noel

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Hi NoelYour high-end specs were not in your initial post and it certainly makes no sense to upgrade at the end of the year to nehalem/x58 from your current setup. Your rig, like mine, will probably be fine until FS11 comes out.As far as I know FSX post SP2 will use as many cores as you can throw at it so doubt this aspect of FSX will be any better in FS11. Nehalem, however, re-introduces Hyper Threading so a quad core Nehalem will be seen as having 8 cores by your OS (can only be good!). Furthermore Nehalem has support for triple channel DDR3 and with no FSB as such the data transfer speeds will be a lot quicker as well. Bandwidth is the key issue here - like with 256 vs 512 bit GPU memory.I reckon Q3 2009 will finally see hardware fit for FSX with complex addons (where FS9 is today). FS11 (in late 2010) is going to be the same story as FSX is now I suspect. It may be more efficient sure, but the resolutions, autogen quality etc are all going to be much higher as well so even though it may look a lot better the same hardware constraints are going to be in effect.TrackIR could go a long way to offset some of that boredom with GA aircraft you mention! Konrad


Konrad

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Thanks Konrad, yeah I've looked at track IR, it looks very interesting. What is the best Track IR? Noel


Noel

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Noel, you have about as high end of a system complete with DDR3 memory, as it is possible to have now and it should run the PMDG with FSX without any problems. If you are familiar with NickN, then you know about his system optimizations and his FSX philosophy. I have an old HP P4 3.2GHz HT 2 GB RAM with an AGP nVidia 6800 GT video card, WinXP MCE2004 SP3, 32bit, UTX, GEX, ST, FSG world mesh, FSINN, FSX SP2, and I consistently get 10-20 fps (locked at 24) and absolutely smooth performance most of the time, even in "testy" areas, even with heavy clouds (see almost no frame rate reduction). I have applied basically all his recomendations step by step word for word. Performance immediately doubled. Any frame rates higher than 11 gives me stutter free and smooth performance. My textures do sometimes lag a bit when low to the ground due to my AGP graphics card but this does not affect aircraft performance in any significant way. As said before, at any altitude above about 10,000' (I would say above about 2000'), FSX and the PMDG performs wonderfully.I find it hard to believe that people have these high powered quad core systems and report the kind of performance they are getting which seems not much better than mine, including reporting that they have 25+ fps and getting bad performance. I should also say that most of my scenery settings are maxed, however traffic is zero (my AI pacakge is either 0 or 100% and I fly mostly on VATSIM also), bloom is off as are shadows and autogen is sparse. Most everything else is either maxed or one notch below max, including weather, which is maxed. So I really haven't sacrificed much in the way of eye candy. I get 30+ fps with the LDS737 and the Wilco 737 if fps is unlimited (I prefer to run it locked sa it helps load the scenery faster). I have flown the PMDG 747 many wonderful hundreds of hours with this system.Also remember that with FSX, fps by itself really doesn't mean anything like it does with FS9; performance is what matters. I don't even pay attention to fps any more. If I am getting acceptable performance with my setup, the higher end systems like yours should just smoke with the PMDG 747X.NickN's signature reads "FSX runs fine... the problem is you or your system". I have found this to be entirely true with respect to FSX and my own system, and I halfway think it applies to some of the people with high end systems posting about lousy performance in FSX.Get your system optimized ala NickN or others (if there are any others as good as him), if you haven't already and the PMDG747 should run great in FSX with your very high end system. You should be able to run high scenery settings, high AG, high weather, and maybe 30-50% traffic and still get excellent performance. I myself am waiting for the new Nehalems to come out and thereby bypass the whole duo/quad core systems with one leap.If you haven't seen these, then check them out http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=26951 and http://www.simviation.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/Ya...?num=1208959973 and http://www.simviation.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/Ya...um=1197380641#1Take a look at how many times these have been read.Good luck.Bill Barrette


i7 3770K HT, 8GB RAM, nVidia 980GTX, Win7, P3D 3.4, FSG mesh, UTX, GEX, ST, ASA16/ASCA, NickN optimized

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>I find it hard to believe that people have these high powered>quad core systems and report the kind of performance they are>getting which seems not much better than mine, including>reporting that they have 25+ fps and getting bad performance. Hi Bill,Thank you for the detailed and thoughtful reply. I have not followed NickN's detailed guide because it is so onerus I simply won't take the time to go thru every step, and in saying this I am in no way dissing it. I think my higher end hardware allows me to do this. As far as comparing "performance" amongst various systems: this is exceedingly subjective IMO. There are just too many variables to control to speak really authoritatively on this topic I believe. Sure, you can try to control variables and do a decent job if that is your purpose, but when people banter around with comments about how this tweak helped x amount, these comments really are to be taken with a grain of salt, since so many situations affect performance in any given flight, it's just hard to make absolute statements.Kewl, it sounds like the 747X will be fine. I'm getting very nice performance with my rig now, and as I say, I have it set up reasonably close to NickN's guide. Here's where we may be similar:1. All non-critical services are prevented from running at start up using Windows hardware profile feature. I have 26 processes running at start up, and some of these are apps I run all the time electively.2. I use PerfectDisk, and run it frequently, and whenever I make any changes to FSX's scenery files.3. I have my memory timings reasonably optimized and stable. I am getting Everest latency of around 47.8ns now, and am barely in the CALWI zone. I run the QX at 4.2Ghz, and it runs cool 'nuf. I run my 8800GT at 700Mhz, for what it's worth.4. I have FSX running on a separate drive, and it is a 15K SCSI, so it gets very quick access times and low CPU hit. I have my swap drive on a 3rd drive, which is also a high end SCSI. I am using FEX, ASX, GSX, Cessna 441 Conquest II, FSG Mesh.I use this definition of "performance" in FSX: frame rate x image quality x smoothness. On a scale of 0 to 100, I give my current setup with the awesome Cessna 441 Conquest a good 95%. So, I'm guessing, the 747X might bring that down to 88% or so? I do have an issue with clouds sometimes, where I get too much of a performance hit (frame rate mostly), but smoothness is decent. On a rare occasion, it has gotten choppy, with frames around 15. Once I saw a 13. Normally, runs at around 36 average with a frame lock on 40. I do use Nick's unlimited setting when the goin' gets rough, which I guess gets the application to start downturning detail/intensity settings. Seems to work well when in dense urban areas with traffic, etc.


Noel

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>I use this definition of "performance" in FSX: frame rate x>image quality x smoothness. On a scale of 0 to 100, I give my>current setup with the awesome Cessna 441 Conquest a good 95%.> So, I'm guessing, the 747X might bring that down to 88% or>so? This is a bit optimistic given the relative simplicity of the 441 (which was my first ever add on) compared to the 744X. Given all settings being equal I reckon you will see much more than a 7% decrease in performance. More like 40%. A final comment about NickN's system set up guide: This is an all or nothing approach to optimising your system - OS/config file tweaks + O&O Defrag + nHancer. All 3 are needed to deliver the required results and my understanding is that if you are not prepared to implement all 3 then you should not try it at all as you will most probably see an overall reduction in framerates. As good as NickN's guide is the inflexibility of it is a issue, not to mention how complicated it all is for anyone not pretty familiar with their systems. Editing config files, regedit, all sorts of very, very specific settings etc etc. Furthermore, O&O Defrag must be purchased (I for one run Diskeeper Pro Premier and have done for years) which adds to the complication for some. If you are prepared to implement it to the letter then it is the best set-up guide out there by far but if you are not then best leave it be.Noel, at the end of the day your 744X will run just fine on your rig, with or without NickN's guide. Just be prepared to turn down some settings and loose some visual eye candy and all will be well! If you want all settings maxed out to enjoy the visuals to their full then strap on a GA aircraft - not the 744X. Simple as that.Give us a shout once you have it installed and running - keen to hear how it goes!Konrad


Konrad

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