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Hi, A Century Of Flight News,http://www.flightsim.com/cgi/kds?$=main/review/acof1.htm"The clouds in FS-ACOF are mind-boggling. Niniane Wang is the Microsoft software design engineer responsible for the breakthrough technology that builds dynamic clouds with complex volumetric textures that actually perform the way real clouds do. This technology is so advanced a technical achievement that Ms. Wang is preparing a technical paper to be presented at the Seybold Computer Graphics Conference. It's truly a blend of science and art."-Read the atc section about the weatherBTW: alpha means, first phase, feature are not finished, tweaked only tested, many feature are not implemented yet. ThanksChris Willis[link:fsw.simflight.com/FSWMenuFsSim.html]Clouds And Addons For MsFs

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Good stuff !And this is the quote that answered one of my questions whether Pentium 4's hyper** will be utilized:The new graphics engine, along with the entire FS-ACOF application, make extensive use of Intel's new Hyperthreading Technology to produce eye-popping realism while squeezing out every nanosecond ... Michael J.

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True. But don't forget, that means you need a P4 at 3.06Ghz, or better, AND a motherboard/bios that has Intel chips that support HyperThreading, AND WinXP. That leaves me out :-)...again :-)...Trip

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I'm a smidgen less enthusiastic today about FS9 than I was before, after reading hyperthreading bit. I guess I am just a bit less certain it will run OK on my existing hardware. It is a concern when a piece of software is developed on technology that is 50% faster than what I have.That said, I don't have the anxiety about this release that I had when FS2002 was released. Back then, all I had to use was a horrible, obese, stuttering jumble of code that was no fun at all to use. It went by the name of FS2000. So if FS2002 turned had out to be a dud, I would have had to find another simulator franchise to become acquainted with.In the case of FS9, at least if it does choke my current machine, I can always go back to FS2002 and not be *too* upset.

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>It is a concern when a piece of software is developed on >technology that is 50% faster than what I have. From all the reading I have done the HyperThreading will boost performance by 20% in the best scenario.Michael J.

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I wonder how good/bad MSFS 9 will run on non hyperthread machines...?I have a Pentium 4 w/ plenty of memory, and it current runs MSFS and Fly! II very well...Just wondering...hope v9 lives up to the hype. I would love to see these atmospherics in a simulator.[h3]Ken Salter (aka SaltyDog)[/h3]Fly! Forum Moderator[link:members.ud.com/services/teams/team.htm?id=5E79C613-0A60-4A3B-BDC1-F9EE49F2D4FE]Join the AVSIM Online Cancer Fight!!

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They say they are going to make extensive use of HT. They didn't say that it would be required. A lot of people complained when FS2002 was released without multiprocessor capabilities. Well, now they are releasing FSCOF with a similar ability. If you've got an HT processor (and more are supposed to be released at slower than 3.06 GHz speed), then you will benefit. It doesn't mean FSCOF will run 2X as fast, just that it will utilize that capability.The way I look at it, FSCOF will probably run fine without HT. However, those with HT chips will actually get some benefit. If they implement the feature, people complain that they don't have the hardware to support it so will suffer. If MS do not implement a feature, people complain that MS are not supporting the latest hardware technologies. They just can't win.I'm sure it will run fine on non-HT chips, just not has fast as HT chips.

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Hi, "If MS do not implement a feature, people complain that MS are not supporting the latest hardware technologies. They just can't win."Amen, Some user want same performance like the previous version they use from 2 years ago technologie and previous processor released at the same time AND want the new feature included in the package, it's impossible to do.This is how games and computer market is, if you can 'tfollow the computer market, you will have problem. Ms and others good company will not build any new game from old stuff and restict them to basic feature implemented.Imagine Ms did not have the autogen, Ai traffic,32bit cloud, atc and others stuff in fs2k2 whats will happend? Instead to remove the feature, there is the slider for user preference, and still, there is complain...Specialy when the release is at 6 month from now, whats will be the mid processor 2.5gz ?As for fs9.0 if avsim preview was stated the 2ghz with gforce 4 ti4600 in alpha phase was smooth and good, I think near 2.5 ghz/3ghz will be fine with geforce or ATI 3d card for the final release ( I hope)BTW: I am not satisfied with battlefield with an 2ghz and geforce 4 128mg. Why Ms can't use better processor capability? even worst, flight sim is much more complex then all others games.ThanksChris Willis[link:fsw.simflight.com/FSWMenuFsSim.html]Clouds And Addons For MsFs

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Logic dictates there will be nothing in the game engine that will make use of hyperthreading. Rather, it will be the synchronous video and interractive help files that will make use of it. Not really an issue for non-hyperthread owners. And the speed advantage of hyperthreading is only a matter of a few percentage points, not 20 as stated earlier. About the same as a good defrag.There is NO application currently released or planned that will see a 20% increase via hyperthreading. It requires a complete change of programming protocols to achieve that, and FSCOF is just a cleaned up, maxxed out version of FS2002, not even running on DX9 features. So it wont have it. Where HT really scores is running multiple apps at the same time. If someone can show me that you can install 2 FSCOF folders at the same time and then link them synchronously to run them via HT then I'll be happy to believe the `extensive` use claim. Otherwise it's just the usual hype of being able to run WMP (for the videos) and FSCOF at once, with less of a performance hit than before.However, users of addon packages such as FSMeteo, whcih run outside of FS, should notice a performance improvement, but how much is too early to say. ChasW

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Lets not forget what HT is... Its simply an "inexpensive" way to impliment some of the features of a dual-processor setup without having a dual-processor box. When they say they are optimizing for HT, all they mean is they are optimizing FS9 to have multiple concurrent execution threads (in places where it can really help).No matter if your box is AMD or Intel, you can always take advantage of multiple threads - even on a single CPU (your computer is doing it right now through time slicing). Remember, a much better option on either platform than HT is running a true dual-processor system that takes full advantage (which is far cheaper to do on AMD than Intel). But, even with single processors, running a true multi-threaded app is much better than single. Having HT on your single processor is better than not when multiple threads are executing (as Michael pointed out, up to 20%, usually less), but its not a requirement.In that light, no matter what you run, the news that multiple threads is a priority is a great thing for all platforms.One other thing to keep in mind: hopefully they are optimizing for SSE2 instructions as well as HT. If so, even AMD users will benefit one they upgrade to the Athlon-64... All that Intel optimized code will run great on the A64 since it'll finally support the full SSE2 instruction set. Just something to keep in mind for your next upgrade.Take care,Elrond

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>There is NO application currently released or planned that >will see a 20% increase via hyperthreading. I am not sure what is the basis of your information. According to Intel: Users running multithreaded applications, such as Photoshop, will see up to a 25 percent to 30 percent boost in performance.I am not going to look for it again but I have seen recently some benchmarks that showed "noticable" performance boost from using HT in some existing applications - way over 5%.Michael J.

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Hi ChasW,Unfortunately and respectfully, theres a lot of items in your statement that are incorrect. I don't have time to list them all, but I would recommend doing some more research on the improvement HT and dual-processors can provide for optimized apps, the improvement a game with many concurrent execution paths like FS can see (air simulation, cloud simulation, texture updates, etc, etc) and more....Sorry for not being complete here, but I have to run.Take care,Elrond

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Hi Elrond,I feel a bit better after reading your post. I could deduce from what you say that there is no *technical* reason why FS9 could not run just as well as FS2002 on a reasonably up to date Athlon XP or non-HT P4. By that I mean on a feature for feature basis and maintaining similar image quality and functionality settings. (I do, however, expect the new weather engine and new GPS will require more grunt than the FS2002 versions). In other words the HT optimisation is not really a cause for concern for the non HT CPU owner. Or, to put it another way, if I find FS9 runs like an obese slug on my Athlon XP, I can't blame this HT business. Please correct me if I am wrong here.

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I just wonder how those clouds are gonna be when we fly into them. Are they gonna have that wrap around effect? If in total over cast, are we going to just pop out of it while climbing instead of gradually leaving it like in the real world? Time will tell.

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:-lol :-lolHoly schmokes! Number o' the beast and 13! I'm the devil fo' sho - gotta run and go check my scalp...:-wink2Great to see you around Ken. I hope all is well with you, the wife and the little one. Take care.Elrond

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Hey Jon,Well, there's really no way to predict what FS9 will run like until it arrives. That it is based on the same graphics engine as FS2K2 means absolutely nothing because: who knows what advancements have been added to the engine in all that time. Let alone their hopefully improved air modeling, the new weather system, the new GPS, etc. It is good to hear they've added a specific optimization stage to the beta, as well as planned ahead of time for multiple threads.The most important thing off the top of my head that HT optimization *might* mean for single CPU, non-HT users: it should be less "stuttery" than it might have been without multiple threads - while updating terrain textures faster. With an HT CPU or a true dual-processor setup, it should run faster overall. In either case, its an improvement. What areas of the sim improve depends on where they have decided to implement multiple threads.So, no. If FS9 ends up running like a slug on your system, HT definitely won't be the reason - quite the reverse. Without HT optimization, it'd run even sluggier (is that a word?) no matter what the CPU(s) :-).Take care,Elrond

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If their claim remains true in the shipping product, true volumetric clouds should behave almost exactly like the real thing (but you don't get wet sitting at your chair :-)).A project I was privy to a couple years ago running on an SGI station allowed me to see what true volumetric clouds are like - it was simply stunning. I have no doubt we're that far along now on the PC... FS9 should be amazing in that regard (again, if their publicly stated claims pan out - no reason to doubt it).Take care,Elrond

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Thanks Elrond. Let's just hope, then, that the slugs stay in the garden where they belong!

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>should be less "stuttery" than it might have been without >multiple threads - while updating terrain textures faster. >With an HT CPU or a true dual-processor setup, it should run >faster overall. I literally had about a minute of one-on-one time with Ken L. (head of the FS team) at the Tahoe conference last September. The only thing I managed to ask him was a chance to offload the terrain engine to another thread - his reply was that it was a real possibility. Maybe I planted some idea in his head ;-)Michael J.

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>The synchronization between the threads ought to be an >interesting problem to work out! Not sure it applies to this case. Terrain engine should be in its own thread - aircraft should Not have to wait on terrain (like in FLY) but updated aircraft position should drive the other thread. I don't see any big problem with synchronization here - at least not in this specific case. Aircraft should be able to fly whether there is any terrain (or wrong one) or not. I once was working on a radar simulation software for a B-52 (it was ground mapping radar - this work was unclassified) and this is exactly how it worked. At that time (26+ years ago) threads were not exactly known yet but this Perkin-Elmer Interdata computer had foreground and background processes. The terrain update engine was in the background (lower priority) process. Michael J.

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