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acmech

Current secrets to tweak fs2004?

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Hello,:-waveI wanted to start a thread that would be helpful to all fs2004 users.Feeling, now we can get our hands on some pretty powerful:-ufo2 hardware .The need to fine tune or tweak these systems to get the most out of our new rigs would be a good idea.The prices have dropped so much :-outtathat increasing your system cpu power :-madis almost cheaper then getting a new state of the art video card. Currnetly,:-kewl I am running fs2004 on my main pc which uses windows xp.My laptop which is running vista home edition seems to run with fairly good frame rates considering it is a lower end system.I perfer windows xp over vista because many of fs2004 programs will not :~Peven work on vista.(example fs repaint)My fs9 config file is set up as listed below.[DISPLAY]UPPER_FRAMERATE_LIMIT=0TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT=400RUNWAY_LIGHTS_SURFACE_SCALAR=1.67RUNWAY_LIGHTS_VASI_SCALAR=1.57 RUNWAY_LIGHTS_APPROACH_SCALAR=1.49 RUNWAY_LIGHTS_STROBE_SCALAR=1.09[TERRAIN]TERRAIN_ERROR_FACTOR=100.000000TERRAIN_MIN_DEM_AREA=10.000000TERRAIN_MAX_DEM_AREA=100.000000TERRAIN_MAX_VERTEX_LEVEL=20TERRAIN_TEXTURE_SIZE_EXP=8TERRAIN_AUTOGEN_DENSITY=5TERRAIN_USE_GRADIENT_MAP=1TERRAIN_EXTENDED_TEXTURES=1TERRAIN_DEFAULT_RADIUS=9.500000TERRAIN_EXTENDED_RADIUS=9.0000TERRAIN_EXTENDED_LEVELS=232Current main sim set up for fs9.intel 2.4 6600 dual core overclocked 3.0 mhz 8800 gt 768mb evga video card3 gigs ramSystem runs smooth 90% of the time with 100% traffic and detailed payware/freeware scenery areas. AI traffic used. Everysingle world of AI that I could find and also UltimateTraffic for FS2004 with new UTSS-07-Schedule.I use clouds,auto gen and tree textures that only use mip maps.Ground enviorment for default ground areas .I use all mega scenery for usa areas inwhich it covers.Ultimate terrain for all usa.Real sky pro edition for sky and water. Knowing that many past posted tweaks were done on single core:-boom systems, I am hoping someone can bring new light :-abductthis subject.Looking foward to learning your tweaks and ideas!:-beerchug

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I'm curious too, since my new system is at UPS waiting to be delivered Monday, then built. I wonder which tweaks are no longer needed or will possibly reduce performance? I know I'll have to spend plenty of time messing with certain settings no matter what, but some prior tweaks might be a waste of time.My new build is an E6850, 8800GTS 640MB, 4GB RAM machine. I'll be putting Win XP on it, but went with the option of 4BG RAM in case I ever switch to Vista on it.

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I got a new system, e6600 8800gts etc etc and I did all the tweaks. Very few of them actually did anything, and none of them fixed the inherent flaw in FS9 in that it doesn't know how to load textures on time. I don't mean to discourage you but most of those tweaks, especially these days mean squat. It'll still run great and is pretty awesome being able to fly the PMDG 747 smoothly on approach in PDX with traffic and scenery high, but the blurries are still there for me at least.

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The whole blurry thing is pretty annoying, that's for sure. Do you have your Anisotropic Filtering set real high? I recently read that AF will help the higher you can get it. I didn't realize that and bumped it up last night, but I couldn't really tell since the arrival was a hazy one. Also, I know that tweaking the FS9.cfg helped a little, but you have to play with different numbers. I found that the TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD setting under the Graphics section worked the best. Mine defaults to 512, and I've seen others recommend 1024. However, I read a tweak someone posted about multiplying your video RAM by your system RAM, and it actually worked the best. I have 1024 MB of RAM now in this machine and my video RAM is 128 MB, so 128 times 1024 equals 131072, and that's the number I placed in the TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD line. I'm sure some believe this does nothing, and I've seen all kinds of theories for these various numbers, but this one is very noticable. If I do something that switches it back to 512 or 1024 even, when I reboot after fixing it back to 131072, the difference is huge.I'll see when my new Duo Core system comes in and gets built what kind of effect these tweaks have, but some of them I'm sure I won't even try. Basically, just make sure to slim down XP (e.g., turn off unnecessary Services, Indexing, recourse hogging Themes, System Restore). Then mess around a little with the FS9.cfg and that's all really. I know the most helpful is the replacement cloud textures from FE or maybe AG, although I think FE look way better.

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Blurries ...The reason (also FSX + patch)Fs9 uses two processes; 1 main process does the flying, crashingand other things like that, the second process fetches the scenerytextures from disk and hands them to the GPU. Vanilla FSX runsas a single process so you get the hit on the fps rather thanblurries - that is why fs9 and FSX patch is done like it is !!.If you have a Dual (or more) processor these 2 threads can useboth CPU separately.The main flying thread has priority - so if within a step of thesimulation (ie 1 in the fps of whatever), the scenery load has runout of time - it aborts. textures are loaded from crappy -> good,so that you will get a poor texture if the texture load runs outof time rather than a hole (though in fs9 you can get purple holes).The view of crappy or blurry textures is where scenery load has not completed - or not caught up yet.What gives you blurries ?Anything that results in a large amount of loading of scenery - youchange the point of view rapidly, or use slew to somewhere completelydifferent.Anything that interferes with disk IO - anti-virus, virus, fragmentation of disk files.Data throughput rates : this is a biggy and is probably the root ofmost blurries. Poor quality mother boards, slow clock rates on memory, just bottle necks on large amounts ofdata throughput. If you want a larger area of sharp textures - usingthe fs9 TEXTURE_RADIUS (forgot the parameter exact name) parameters with large values + radius multiplier, then you will increasethe amount of data that has to be loaded. This is just hardware limiting - buy a bigger computer !!! - and you cannot upgrade yourway out since is a problem of the motherboard and bus speeds - soyou have to replace everything.Data IO blocking : This is where you try to run a big monitor withtoo higher resolution with too high AF + AA with a graphics cardwith not enough memory. Ie the graphics card throws up it hands and say wait - I cannot remember everything at once. Get a graphicscard with more memory - and try not to run very high resolutionand multiple monitors on a weak GPU. Second : AGP graphics - thebandwidth is not so good on this type of connector - you can adjustthe aperture on the port but this can cause problems elsewhere. Getpci-express or compromise.Hardware driver conflict : if you install drivers (not just graphics)then incorrect installation can result in multiple devices trying tobe driven with wrong drivers or non-existent hardware. Things slow down significantly if this is the case.Bad addon files : Some addon are just not very good, be selective,make sure you make backups before trying something, and make sureyou remove it completely if you don't like it.Finally : some addon - particularly payware - have gone to greattrouble to solve problems with data handling. GEpro is probablythe best known with blurries solution as it uses a RDMS (Access) tostore the textures resulting in more efficient lookup of the textureobjects. There are others, but GEpro is known for the blurry reduction. Of course, photo-scenery is the opposite - it generallyresults in terrible blurries due to the size of the textures andthey are all unique.Solution of blurries1) Buy a bigger computer2) Compromise3) Delete all the crap-ware on you computer4) Don't mess with it if you don't know what you are doing.5) Be very selective with addon.6) Compromise7) Oh I give up......Tom

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the best study of the FS9 parameters is in here:http://www.germany-vfr.de/Jobia/lcdokupdf/lcdokupdf.zipunfortunately (for English speakers) it is in German. At one time someone was talking about doing a translation, but nothing came of it AFAIK. The thing about this document, is that he used test sceneries to prove what the various fs9.cfg parameters actually do. I tried to do a machine translation on it, but I would say I could only figure out about 80%, and even that might have some bad assumptions.One thing I _think_ I got from it is thatTERRAIN_ERROR_FACTOR=100.000000TERRAIN_MIN_DEM_AREA=10.000000TERRAIN_MAX_DEM_AREA=100.000000controls the mesh accuracy (or perhaps a better way of saying is how mesh of different resolutions are used)WhileTERRAIN_DEFAULT_RADIUS=9.500000TERRAIN_EXTENDED_RADIUS=9.0000TERRAIN_EXTENDED_LEVELS=232affect both mesh and terrain texture mipmaps. IIUC the largest terrain default radius that produces any effect is 4, and in that case the terrain extended radius and extended levels aren't used. There seems to be some reason that people often recommend using 4.5 rather than 4 for the default radius, though I don't know why. At any rate Jobia provides some rather compelling evidence that using 9.5 does nothing.scott s..

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TERRAIN_EXTENDED_LEVELS=232I might help if you used a small integer for this parameter as itis a multiplier for the previous 2 parameters. Ie the number inTERRAIN_DEFAULT_RADIUS=9.500000 is supposed to the draw radius forhigh resolution textures from the point of view in units of banana-skins - though probably km. TERRAIN_EXTENDED_RADIUS=9.0000 is the draw distance for the nextconcentric circle of textures at lower resolution. TERRAIN_EXTENDED_LEVELS=3 : this is the multiplier to apply to theprevious 2 since they don't like values above 10. Numbers like 232are ignored. If you set higher numbers here then ....1) You get nicer ground textures - especially if LOD = 212) You make your computer work harder as it must load more texturesat full resolution MIPS. You are more likely to get blurries dueto time-out on the scenery fetch thread. You might stutters ifyou begin to hit GPU memory limits or create IO-blocks.3) You are more likely to get shimmer as you are trying to drawhigh resolution textures in the distance. You will need to reduceMIPS or increase AF to compensate.Tom

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HI Tom, So your saying to keep TERRAIN_EXTENDED_LEVELS at a number between 2-10 and it might help with blurries. Thank you , Bob

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Not quiteLegitimate values for TERRAIN_EXTENDED_LEVELS are between 1 and 10and 3 or 4 or 5 are good numbers that combine well with 9.5 and 4.5with the other 2 parameters. This gives good views.Whether you get blurries is whether your system can keep up, use alow number (2-3) if your system cannot keep up, and 5 if it can. Ieyou get blurries since the texture fetch thread cannot keep up withthe view thread - mostly due to data throughput reasons (yourcomputer is too old and slow)...I use TERRAIN_EXTENDED_LEVELS=4... / 9.5 and 4.5 for the 3 parametersdual 2.8Ghz D (prescot) architecture CPUSATA II disks (C disk for system + E: disk for FS9)PCIexpress interface667 Mhz memory, 800Mhz FSB.and I can fly at 750 knots (f14) at 1500 feet and not get blurrieswith these setting using GEpro textures.You have to try to see what your system will cope with. Tom

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Very good Tom, I'll start some trial and error. thanks again, Bob

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Hi Tom,I renamed fs9.cfg and let fs build a new one .These are the values fs put in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omments?thanks,Joe

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