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Cactus521

Odd stutter -- found and fixed

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Flying the Carenado 182Q into Santa Ana the other day, I noticed something I hadn't seen before--I would get a stutter of a second or two on final. Since I had time to kill, I tried reducing settings one by one to see what the cause was--first building density, then autogen, traffic, etc. I was surprised to find that the stutter seemed to come from the ground textures. FS2002 never had the issue, so I looked at my old FS2002.cfg to see what the difference was. I tracked the difference to TERRAIN_EXTENDED_LEVELS.In FS2004 I had it set to 4, a popular tweak floating around. I reduced it to 1 which is where I had it kept in FS2002 and saw an immediate improvement. The impact on texture clarity was pretty small compared to the improvement in smoothness around Santa Ana.Anyway, I thought this would be useful to share for those who run into stutters other tweaks or display reductions don't seem to fix.-John

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John, are you sure about the setting? In my FS9.CFG, its TERRAIN_EXTENDED_LEVELS=232 ??? Seems a bit of a drastic difference from 232 to 1 (or even 4).Thanks for a sanity check :)

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"John, are you sure about the setting? In my FS9.CFG, its TERRAIN_EXTENDED_LEVELS=232 ??? Seems a bit of a drastic difference from 232 to 1 (or even 4)."FS9 seems to have an issue (bug) and sets this cfg entry to some crazy level on install. Mine was also a similar number originally, but FS2002 defaulted the same value to 1. Visually I've noticed a slight difference in sharpness (with 4 being a bit sharper) at a distance, but I wouldn't trade sharpness for stutters and many of these tweaks tend to exaggerate sharpness beyond what we see in the real world anyway.-John

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Man I'll take fuzzyness over smoothness any day. Most of the times my head is burried in the instruments anyway :)Thanks for the tip.

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John, Out of curiousity I checked my setting in FS9.cfg for this particular perameter. It was at 1307992! I reset it to 5 and tried a short flight. I could not tell any difference in either the stutters or the way the scenery looked. I have reset it now to the original figure...reasoning that the program knows better than I do. But what a drastic difference in settings!

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"Out of curiousity I checked my setting in FS9.cfg for this particular perameter. It was at 1307992! I reset it to 5 and tried a short flight. I could not tell any difference in either the stutters or the way the scenery looked. I have reset it now to the original figure...reasoning that the program knows better than I do. But what a drastic difference in settings!"That's why I suspect it's a bug--1307992 is a pretty meaningless number and my original install had something similar, whereas FS2002 defaulted the parameter to 1. From what I understand, the number supposedly controls the mip level of the extended terrain textures, with 1 being the lowest. But that may be wrong--I've never seen any Microsoft documentation on this parameter, just anecdotal reports from experimenters and tweakers.-John

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"Just checked mine and it was at 0 "Zero" Hmmmm?"Ditto

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John,an odd stutter? I actually laughed out loud when I read that. :) It's nice to know that for some FS9 is running smoothly! Gives me hope.I've long ago gave up on getting rid of stutters. I've tweaked my heart out, had a session with Michael, changed motherboard, RAM, sound card, had a RAID0 crash and started from scratch, etc., etc., but those pesky stutters are always with me. I will try your tip, thanks for sharing! I am also willing to try anything at this point (and still deciding whether or not I should only get an FX57 processor or build a new machine entirely)BTW, the "magic" TextureMaxLoad tweak did nothing substantial for me...Regards,JureAthlon 64 3500+2Gb Corsair RAMATI X850XT PECreative X-Fi Xtreme music2x 160Gb Barracuda SATA drivesThermaltake water coolingetc....

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John, thanks for the tip. I changed mine from 232 to 1. I see no difference in ground texture quality in the distance. Nearby textures seem to load with more ease. I guess I'll keep it at 1.Jason

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"Just checked mine and it was at 0 "Zero" Hmmmm?"I tried changing mine to 0 last night and no real difference--maybe stutter a tad less or maybe my imagination. But there's a very profound difference between 4 and 1 or 4 and 0. Sorry to say this isn't a cure all. Some stutters are unavoidable--any time the sim has to go out and fetch data from the hard drive, or depending on any number of other factors stutters may happen. Add to that other applications--for instance, many are unaware but Zonealarm is constantly querying IE files and content even when one isn't web surfing. I've seen this by running Filemon and looking at HD activity. You can use Filemon to help reduce this traffic by finding and halting programs that access data on your HD prior to running a MSFS session. Unless I am flying Multiplayer, I usually stop Zonealarm and suspend my cable modem to stop TCP/IP traffic in the absence of my firewall. It helps my simming experience and frees up the resources that ZoneAlarm and/or most firewalls take up.-John

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