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The Perfect Settings - At least for me!

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Like many of you, I have tweaked both FS2K2 and Nvidia driver settings until I was blue in the face. I have tried every Nvidia Geforce driver released in an attempt to make FS2K2 perform and display at its best. Finally, it appears that my system has reached its optimum for FS2K2 in every respect. I will share with you what I have learned in this process, and perhaps if you have a comparable system, you will also experience "nirvana" with FS2K2. THE SYSTEMProcessor / MB: AMD XP Duron 1700+ on a SOYO DRAGON Plus MB with 512 MB DDRAM, 80 Gig 7200 RPM Seagate hard driveGraphics: GeForce 4 Ti4600 128 MBOperating Sys: Windows 2000 Professional with NTFS formating on the hard drive.Overclocking: Not in use on the system or on the graphics cardNividia Driver 30.82 WHQL for Win2KNividia Driver Settings: Antialising: 4xS LOD: -.75 AF: 8X Vsync: OFFFS2K2 SETTINGS:Resolution: 1280 X 1024 X 32Frame rate: Locked at 16 (There is a way to tell the best setting for your system)Texture Quality: MaxTerrain Mesh Cpmplexity 95Terrain Tex Size: HighAutogen Density Extremely DenseScenery Complexity: Extremely DenseDynamic Scenery: ON /Very DenseTransform & Lighting: 8Aircraft Cast Shadows OFFLanding Lights ONResize Panel: ONEffects Detail: HighMax Visibility: 70 milesWater Effects: DetailGround Scenery Shadows OFFDawn/Dusk Smoothing: ONExt Terrain Textures ONTerrain Detail ONExt Hardware Accel ONTri-Linear Filtering ONT&L ONMipMap ONAnti-Aliasing ONMultiTexturing ONSound Quality HIGHCloud Density: 60%Antialiasing: ONMipMapping: ONSound: FULLATC: 100%GRAPHIC DRIVER: I settled on the 30.82 drivers because I could not get 40.XX to work at 8X AF. It may weird things happen in the visuals (e.g.lights were flashing with Black boxes behind them, propellers were just black circles, etc). So I went back to 30.82 and made the settings indicated, and low and behold, everthing worked great. Visually, the scenery and clouds are stunning and super clear. I see no blurriness in the ground detail except far, far away which is what it should look like anyway.FRAME RATE: Although my system is locked at 16 fps, I recommend starting at 25 locked. Use a standard FS2K2 airport (KSTL), takeoff and fly around the area. Observe your framerate while flying (Shift-Z twice). You should see no more than around 3 frames per second variance from your locked rate. My system varies from 17.8 to 18.1 (a .3 variance) while up in the air. Landing or taking off should not be more than 3 fps variance. If yours is greater, start decreasing the locked value until your framerate appears to be stabilized. Having the lower framerate, according to many other posts, allows the system to devote more resources to other FS2K2 processing. I have little to no stuttering whatsoever at 18 fps.TEST AIRCRAFT: What I have discovered throughout this whole tweaking process is that the plane you fly affects both your fps and smoothness of flight. My primary test aircraft is now the Dash-7 (freeware). It is a tremendously stunning aircraft with a great panel, and has little impact on fps. I typically get the highest framerate going down the runway in the Dash-7 no matter the airport. I experience similar results using the pay-ware sceneries (SimFlight, Lago, etc). The Dash-7 continues to be one of my primary "constants" throughout the variable testing process.BOTTOM LINE: Detonator driver 30.82 has provided me the best results with many features selected. Unless I start seeing some rave reports that a flight simmer can not live without a certain driver, I will stick with this proven commodity. I equate the Detonator 30.82 drivers to the Coca Cola formula. It's hard to improve on something that already works so great, at least until next week I guess! Keith

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Keith -I have a very similar system to yours (altho Ti4200 overclocked) and very similar settings (I don't use 4xS AA just AA in sim, have 40.72 drivers and fps locked and almost always maxed at 20 but rest about the same). I've also made a few tweaks to the cfg file. I too have settled on my particular settings, at least until I break down and try the next set of drivers or DX8.2! :-)One question though....I've read in previous posts that 1280x1024x32 is a "non-standard" resolution.....to keep perspective correct on panels you should use 1280x960x32, which is a standard multiple. I have noticed a difference on gauge accuracy in some panels.Any comments on 960 vs 1024? Thanks, Steve J.

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I have tried 1280x960x32 and I guess it just seems too "rectangular" looking for me. The 1280x1024x32 just appears more appealing to me for viewing purposes. This is probably just one of those "visual preference" things that one gets used to viewing.One thing I failed to mention in my original post is that I did disable AGP in the DirectX options for whatever that is worth. I have my AGP aperture window size set to 32 on the motherboard. I have not seen any major improvement one way or another through the use of AGP so I just disabled it.I do know that after a was able to set the Antialiasing to 4xS and the AF to 8, the scenery visuals became much sharper and distinct compared to any other combination I've used. Thanks for your feedback!KeithBTW: Steve, I thought I saw a previous reference somewhere that you live in Virginia? I reside in Lorton!

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>>One question though....I've read in previous posts that >1280x1024x32 is a "non-standard" resolution.....to keep >perspective correct on panels you should use 1280x960x32, >which is a standard multiple. I have noticed a difference >on gauge accuracy in some panels. >Any comments on 960 vs 1024? Thanks, Steve J. Steve,I don't notice the aspect ratio change on the panels as much as I see it in the shape of the A/C from the outside. Your right that 1280x1024 is "non-standard". Just divide the first number by the second to come up with the aspect ratio. 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, 1280x960 and 1600x1200 all yield a 1.33 aspect ratio. Other resolutions yield different ratios.

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Steve,You should use a resolution that has the same ratio of width to height as your monitor does. Most CRT monitors have a ratio of 4:3, while most LCD monitors have a ratio of 5:4. You could measure yours to be sure.1280x1024 is a 5:4 ratio; 1280x960 is a 4:3 ratio.What exactly happens to the panel depends on the way the panel is designed. If the bitmap comes in two parts, one of which is aligned with the top of the screen and one with the bottom, then running 1280x1024 on a 4:3 monitor will cause it to squash both the top and bottom sections vertically and leave more space between them; it thinks your monitor is taller than it actually is. With a 1-piece bitmap that automatically stretches to fill the screen, it makes no difference what setting you use. If the bitmap is designed 4:3, it will look normal no matter what on a 4:3 monitor, and it will look stretched no matter what on a 5:4 monitor, and vice versa.Aside from the panel, though, FS will assume that a 10x10 pixel box, for example, is square. If you use 1280x1024 on a 4:3 monitor, that square box that FS tries to draw outside your window will not be square.Of course, you're free to use whatever resolution you like best...try everything, and see what you think looks good.Matt

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Dean, Matt -Thanks for explaining so clearly the width/height ratio.......Keith --<>I'm retired USAF and now teach/coach in Manassas, VA. You probably saw my recent post about charges for flying time... I took that 172 flight today in the Shenandoahs and did some pattern work at Winchester Regional.....hadn't flown since the 70's and had an absolutely great time. When I get some time I plan to describe some of the details in a separate post. Steve J.

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