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GSalden

Tuning Questions For Nickn

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Hi Nick,After having read that you are the main FS expert I thought I ask you for some advice.Since a couple of years I always used the Blackviper servics charts to shut down services.Later I had a payable session with a Flightsim expert who helped me tune my system even better. Beside that I used FsAutostart to temporairy shutdown extra servcies / background programs. This I used for Fs9 pc's and had a very stable fast system and Fs9 was completely fluid.Now I just finished a new fast high end pc :E8500 3.16 --> 4.05 ( according to PcPilot the E8500/8600 oc gives better framerates than a quadcore series ) Asus Maximus extreme mobo4 Gb DDr 1800 OCZ Platiunum memory --> 1700 , but in 1TGeforec 8800GTS 640 mb ( according to TomsHardware the 8800 GTS gives the best framerates for fSX ) 2x Raptor 36,7 in raid 0 with Vista Ultimate 64 bit2x 500 Gb Data harddisks in Raid 0 with scenery / fs programs700 Wat Thermaltake powersupplyThermaltake Kandalf liquied cooling caseI read that you advise not to follow the Blackviper's services charts.My experience was that using the before mentioned tweaks for Fs9 I was able to get at least 20% better framerates. The XP footprint was smaller so the pc was reacting faster.Also the Fs9 loading time was less than before. Now with Vista Ultimate 64 bit and FSx I want the fastest possible config for FSX without lossing stability. I use UTX / ASX / FEX / MD-11 and many good scenery like Frankfurt, Budapest , Geneva, Zurich, London VFR.My question to you is how would you tune such a Fs pc's ?Thanks in advance.

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Hi Nick,After having read that you are the main FS expert I thought I ask you for some advice.Since a couple of years I always used the Blackviper servics charts to shut down services.Later I had a payable session with a Flightsim expert who helped me tune my system even better. Beside that I used FsAutostart to temporairy shutdown extra servcies / background programs. This I used for Fs9 pc's and had a very stable fast system and Fs9 was completely fluid.Now I just finished a new fast high end pc :E8500 3.16 --> 4.05 ( according to PcPilot the E8500/8600 oc gives better framerates than a quadcore series ) Asus Maximus extreme mobo4 Gb DDr 1800 OCZ Platiunum memory --> 1700 , but in 1TGeforec 8800GTS 640 mb ( according to TomsHardware the 8800 GTS gives the best framerates for fSX ) 2x Raptor 36,7 in raid 0 with Vista Ultimate 64 bit2x 500 Gb Data harddisks in Raid 0 with scenery / fs programs700 Wat Thermaltake powersupplyThermaltake Kandalf liquied cooling caseI read that you advise not to follow the Blackviper's services charts.My experience was that using the before mentioned tweaks for Fs9 I was able to get at least 20% better framerates. The XP footprint was smaller so the pc was reacting faster.Also the Fs9 loading time was less than before. Now with Vista Ultimate 64 bit and FSx I want the fastest possible config for FSX without lossing stability. I use UTX / ASX / FEX / MD-11 and many good scenery like Frankfurt, Budapest , Geneva, Zurich, London VFR.My question to you is how would you tune such a Fs pc's ?Thanks in advance.
http://www.simviation.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/Ya...?num=1208959973Read the first page of the threadsimple as thatThen tune FSX iteselfdo read these posts and follow the instructions (follow the link in the first post to the base settings for all systems) to tune FSXhttp://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_post...=28735&PN=2http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_post...D=163716#163716 Use those posts and the supporting links should give you everything you need to know for final tuningI know people will 'swear by' shutting down services and what-not.... the results varied and it is very misleading. There were several reasons it 'may' have worked a long time ago however I wont get into them here. It has to do with 'KEY' services and startup items that were causing the perf issues and a mindless 'machine gun' routine in killing all of them simply nailed the 3-6 itmes that were REALLY creating the problemOn top of that... Black Viper DOES NOT list the right way to really disable the footprint of a service off of a computer, and, some of the services he lists for "gaming" and 'performance' can HINDER a system with modern drivers and hardware.If you manually go through the startup system and only boot the items you need to run Windows and your hardware.. and disable those items like Messenger, Real Player, Adobe Acrobat, etc, etc, etc AND programs that "call home' for "CHECK FOR UPDATES" that do NOT need to be run unless you boot that software MANUALLY then you are truely cleaning the system of the footprint and do not need any massive service list or "STOP RUN" program at all.'Call home' software can be disabled in the PROPERTIES of the software you install the first time you run that software after it is installed. I have yet to tune a system in the last 4.5 years that needed anything past what I posted in that thread above and a manual flush of the start systemThese are the only items that run with my system at ALL startups. Every one of them are related to critical hardware functions and pose no massive footprint on the systemI do not use 'hardware profiles' or any other silly method .. just optimize the computer correctlyAnd the AV is also key... NOD 32 (just the AV not their Security Suite product) will protect just fine and leave NO footprint issues on a system. It does NOT need to be shut down to fly

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Nick, The last sentence in your post above, you write:"And the AV is also key... NOD 32 (just the AV not their Security Suite product) will protect just fine and leave NO footprint issues on a system. It does NOT need to be shut down to fly"What is this "AV" that you are referring to? Is it this:http://free.avg.com/download-avg-anti-virus-free-edition ?What do you use for Internet Security (if anything)?Regards, Robert

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Nick, The last sentence in your post above, you write:"And the AV is also key... NOD 32 (just the AV not their Security Suite product) will protect just fine and leave NO footprint issues on a system. It does NOT need to be shut down to fly"What is this "AV" that you are referring to? Is it this:http://free.avg.com/download-avg-anti-virus-free-edition ?What do you use for Internet Security (if anything)?Regards, Robert
As he said: NOD32. http://www.eset.com/products/nod32.php

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Thanks Nick.You are real a great help.What is your advice towards the drives : using the 1 tb Raid 0 for Vista + FSX + scenery + fs programs or split it up like I did now : Vista + FSX on the Raptors Raid 0 and all scenery + fs programs on the 1Tb Raid 0 ?I remember reading somewhere that FSX likes it best when everything is together on the same drive.Also that the cache ( 16 / 32 ) is best when being at least 32.Two years ago I choose for putting the scenery on a different Raid 0 setup because all those photo scenery was getting large in size.I know that for searching data a Raid 0 setup is very fast, but it also leads to more fragmentation.Do you feel that I can benefit from the Raid 0 setups or is FSX having difficulties when everything is split up between the drives ?Also I sometimes have doubts that a Raid 0 gives any benefit at all , since these are 128kb stripes. Nick , what is your opinion about graphics cards ; I now have an 8800GTS and according to Toms Hardware ( http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/charts/gamin...-X-SP2,785.html ) that card is way faster in FSX than a 260 or 280 ! ? Any idea how this could be ? I almost sold my 8800 card and bought a XFX 260 Black Edition.Last question :The services you advise to shut down are xp services. Just 4 of them exist in Vista also.Are there extra services that need to shut down in Vista ?

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What is your advice towards the drives : using the 1 tb Raid 0 for Vista + FSX + scenery + fs programs or split it up like I did now : Vista + FSX on the Raptors Raid 0 and all scenery + fs programs on the 1Tb Raid 0 ?I remember reading somewhere that FSX likes it best when everything is together on the same drive.Also that the cache ( 16 / 32 ) is best when being at least 32.Two years ago I choose for putting the scenery on a different Raid 0 setup because all those photo scenery was getting large in size.I know that for searching data a Raid 0 setup is very fast, but it also leads to more fragmentation.Do you feel that I can benefit from the Raid 0 setups or is FSX having difficulties when everything is split up between the drives ?Also I sometimes have doubts that a Raid 0 gives any benefit at all , since these are 128kb stripes.With FS9 a 128K STRIPE was fine.. with FSX it will mean scenery stutters. If you want a storage system that is faster than 2 1st Gen Raptors in RAID on your board without buying a 300+ dollar controller to overcome the cheap motherboard RAID issues you can not go wrong on a WD VelociRaptor

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Nick, somehow I had the impression that i7 processors required Vista so that's why I had it installed. I was aware that it had a somewhat bad reputation, but went with it anyway. Would it be worth my time and dollars to get rid of Vista and go XP 64 or just stay with Vista, cross my fingers, and see what happens? It seems there are quite a few people having good luck with it (or maybe that's a wrong assumption on my part) so I'm confused now.It wasn't until I got all of this setup that I started reading where you run XP and don't like Vista. Just my luck.Jeff

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Nick, somehow I had the impression that i7 processors required Vista so that's why I had it installed. I was aware that it had a somewhat bad reputation, but went with it anyway. Would it be worth my time and dollars to get rid of Vista and go XP 64 or just stay with Vista, cross my fingers, and see what happens? It seems there are quite a few people having good luck with it (or maybe that's a wrong assumption on my part) so I'm confused now.It wasn't until I got all of this setup that I started reading where you run XP and don't like Vista. Just my luck.Jeff
There were problems with running FSX under Vista initially. But since SP1 (and a lot of other updates) most reports from users with Vista 64 are now positive, with some people claiming they get better performance than with XP. I haven't made a comparison for myself. But I can confirm that in my own experience Vista 64 is a perfectly stable platform for FSX provided (i) you do not install FSX into the default "Program Files (x86)" folder (otherwise you might run into write errors because of Vista's User Account Control, depending on how you use FSX) and (ii) you run FSX and any related applications with "Administrator" privileges (also for UAC reasons and also depending on how you use FSX). You can turn off UAC completely if you want, but there is no need to do so.Additionally, Vista 64 is positively advantageous if you aspire to run combinations of the big add-ons (such as running the PMDG models out of detailed airports such as Aerosoft EGLL). Provided you have at least 4GB of RAM, Vista 64 reduces the chances that you will encounter out of memory errors. XP 64-bit should in theory be just as good - but driver support for XP64 is (I believe) worse than for Vista 64.Just to be clear: I'm not advocating a swap from XP to Vista: but if Vista's what you've got, I shouldn't bother trying to get XP just for the sake of FSX.Tim

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Tim, I myself can confirm too that Vista 64 bit is perfect for FSX.I know by now that FSX wants all addon scenery / aircraft on the same harddisk to eleminate stutters as much as possible.At the moment I am wondering what would be smarter to do :1 Vista 64 bit on a fast small harddisk + FSX and all related scenery / programs on a 750 Gb harddisk.2 Vista 64 bit + FSX and all related scenery / programs on a 1 Tb harddisk.3 Vista 64 bit + FSX and all related scenery / programs on a Raid 0 ( 2x 500 Gb ) setup connected through a seperate Raid controller. 4 Vista 64 bit on a fast small harddisk + all related scenery / programs on a Raid 0 ( 2x 500 Gb ) setup connected through a seperate Raid controller instead of the motherboards controller.Suggestions are welcome.

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Nick, somehow I had the impression that i7 processors required Vista so that's why I had it installed. I was aware that it had a somewhat bad reputation, but went with it anyway. Would it be worth my time and dollars to get rid of Vista and go XP 64 or just stay with Vista, cross my fingers, and see what happens? It seems there are quite a few people having good luck with it (or maybe that's a wrong assumption on my part) so I'm confused now.It wasn't until I got all of this setup that I started reading where you run XP and don't like Vista. Just my luck.Jeff
JeffYou do need to be on a 64bit OS.. Vista or XP either oneHowever I made a personal choice to no run Vista simply becasue I went through all the initial growing pains with it and simply decided I would just stick with XP x64That does not mean you should or that Vista runs FSX worse than XP. So if you already have Vista x64 just stay with it. A 64bit OS is much better suited for FSX becasue FSX SP2 is >2GB aware and newer video cards with larger memory will map to VM in a 64bit OS without issues.And by the way... They changed O&O v11 in the latest release. It now functions just like v8.6 in XP and presents no perf issues in using the SPACE defrag after the NAME defrag.. Vista I do not know becasue I have not tested it in Vista. However it would appear they fixed the problems v10 presented.

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Tim, I myself can confirm too that Vista 64 bit is perfect for FSX.I know by now that FSX wants all addon scenery / aircraft on the same harddisk to eleminate stutters as much as possible.At the moment I am wondering what would be smarter to do :1 Vista 64 bit on a fast small harddisk + FSX and all related scenery / programs on a 750 Gb harddisk.2 Vista 64 bit + FSX and all related scenery / programs on a 1 Tb harddisk.3 Vista 64 bit + FSX and all related scenery / programs on a Raid 0 ( 2x 500 Gb ) setup connected through a seperate Raid controller. 4 Vista 64 bit on a fast small harddisk + all related scenery / programs on a Raid 0 ( 2x 500 Gb ) setup connected through a seperate Raid controller instead of the motherboards controller.Suggstions are welcome.
If your even suggestiong the last option then I must assume you are willing to spend the moneyOKSo the last option is the best with the following information understood2 Velociraptors in RAID0 (256K STRIPE) on the right card are very close to SCSI performance 2 Velociraptors in RAID0 (or SCSI/SAS) on the right card are overkill for todays processors and memory susbsystems in conjuntion with the video adapter in FSX and will deliver very large amounts of data faster than the system can process/render itTherefore the best solution for FSX isa. 2 VelociRaptors on RAID0 on a SATAII PCIe 256-512MB card b. A single VelociRapor on a SATAII PCIe 256-512MB cardBoth of which will do the job but the RAID0 configuration on the right card with those drives will do the job and then some.. LOLThe OS drive should be on another single drive connected to the same card.. does not have to be RAID0 and does not have to be a VRap but should be a decent spec cache SATAII driveThe next step down is A single VelociRapor on Motherboard SATAII The next step down is 2 VelociRaporin RAID0 on Motherboard RAID ... NOTE: Due to the Vrap design the single and RAID version of motherboard based storage is about equal The next step down is A single 1st Generation Raptor on Motherboard SATAII The next step down is A single 32MB cache large platter hard drive on SATAIIThe next step down is 2 1st Generation Raptors in RAID0 on motherboard RAIDThe next step down is 2 of any other drive in RAID0 on motherboard RAIDSo there is your list3ware makes a great card for under 400 bucks. They have them in 256 or 512MB onboard DDR2 PCIe and you must use the battery backup for the card to ensure safe operation in 'high performance' mode as I assisted someone in this threas set up correctly on the 256MB model cardhttp://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=28350You must have a motherboard with a 2nd PCIe x8 or x16 slot to use those cards as I recallSo if you are looking for the best performance and are willing to pay for it... which will also provide a based for which to grow for some years and not require an upgrade to keep up with the processor/memory and video card changes, the best solution is posted above and you can decide from the list what you wish to do.Assuming you maintenance it properly you will never see a scenery or file call releated stutter or performance drop on that storage system design, ever

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Tim, I myself can confirm too that Vista 64 bit is perfect for FSX.I know by now that FSX wants all addon scenery / aircraft on the same harddisk to eleminate stutters as much as possible.At the moment I am wondering what would be smarter to do :1 Vista 64 bit on a fast small harddisk + FSX and all related scenery / programs on a 750 Gb harddisk.2 Vista 64 bit + FSX and all related scenery / programs on a 1 Tb harddisk.3 Vista 64 bit + FSX and all related scenery / programs on a Raid 0 ( 2x 500 Gb ) setup connected through a seperate Raid controller. 4 Vista 64 bit on a fast small harddisk + all related scenery / programs on a Raid 0 ( 2x 500 Gb ) setup connected through a seperate Raid controller instead of the motherboards controller.Suggstions are welcome.
By a combination of muddle and bargain hunting, I have ended up with a rather "over the top" hard disk setup in my main computer. I now have a 3ware 9690SA card with 4x 300Gb SAS drives spinning at 15k RPM. One of them holds Vista 64 and other applications/data; the other 3 are configured as a single RAID0 unit and hold FSX and the add-ons: nothing else. That is about as far as it is practical to go with magnetic hard disks in a standard-sized PC case. As with all these things, I wouldn't happily go back to a less sophisticated system. But, to be honest, the extra performance really is not anything to write home about. The difference between 1 HD and RAID0 with 2 disks is noticeable especially at load time. But the difference between RAID0 with 2 disks and RAID0 with 3 disks is nugatory (except in benchmarks). You will get a good compromise if you put the OS on one Velociraptor and FSX + addons on another. RAID0 for FSX is a nice extra, but - and this is just my impression: I haven't tried to measure it - the main boost during gameplay SEEMS to come more from faster access times (ie, fast SAS drives, with Velociraptors being the next best thing) than from higher transfer rates (ie, RAID0).So I think this is a vote for your option 1, except that I suggest you sacrifice capacity for speed on your FSX drive. If you have so many add-ons that you cannot fit them all onto a 300Gb Velociraptor then, sure, go for bigger capacity: but in this case, ideally you would get the extra capacity by setting up a RAID0 so that you don't lose too much speed.Tim

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By a combination of muddle and bargain hunting, I have ended up with a rather "over the top" hard disk setup in my main computer. I now have a 3ware 9690SA card with 4x 300Gb SAS drives spinning at 15k RPM. One of them holds Vista 64 and other applications/data; the other 3 are configured as a single RAID0 unit and hold FSX and the add-ons: nothing else. That is about as far as it is practical to go with magnetic hard disks in a standard-sized PC case. As with all these things, I wouldn't happily go back to a less sophisticated system. But, to be honest, the extra performance really is not anything to write home about. The difference between 1 HD and RAID0 with 2 disks is noticeable especially at load time. But the difference between RAID0 with 2 disks and RAID0 with 3 disks is nugatory (except in benchmarks). You will get a good compromise if you put the OS on one Velociraptor and FSX + addons on another. RAID0 for FSX is a nice extra, but - and this is just my impression: I haven't tried to measure it - the main boost during gameplay SEEMS to come more from faster access times (ie, fast SAS drives, with Velociraptors being the next best thing) than from higher transfer rates (ie, RAID0).So I think this is a vote for your option 1, except that I suggest you sacrifice capacity for speed on your FSX drive. If you have so many add-ons that you cannot fit them all onto a 300Gb Velociraptor then, sure, go for bigger capacity: but in this case, ideally you would get the extra capacity by setting up a RAID0 so that you don't lose too much speed.Tim
Just an FYIIts not the storage system that makes flight load faster... its the combination of all CPU/MEMORY/VC/BUSS/STORAGE that increases flight load time as well as in-game loadsat the same time most cant tell the difference in-game because they put a better hard drive in and assume any stutter they see is the sameStutters are not created equalToo many around here (not you Tim) claim there is no difference between the storage systems and that is the primary reason why.. they judge based on putting a drive in and using a stopwatch on a flight loadthat test is utterly... utterly flawedbut look at it this way Tim.. I know you are running totally overkill, like me LOL but we are not upgrading storage every year or every other year and never, ever have to question: "where did that stutter come from?"We know it is not the storage system which many do suffer from in combination... we have eliminated a major source of stutters so when we see them we know just by looking at the screen... it aint storage, and we will most likley be using the same storage through FS11LOL!Money well spentThat single Vrap is the best perf drive money can buy when you take into consideration its ability compared to SASEven on a motherboard port that drive will cream anything on the market in SATAII

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Thanks guys for helping.The velociraptor has 16mb cache and has very fast acces times. There are also regular harddisks with 32mb cache and have fast acces times.Won't the extra cache be better against stutters in FSX ?A capacity of 300GB is not enough when using lots of addons.Around 500 Gb would be fine.Buying 2 300Gb Velociraptors is a bit to much right now.I could buy a 150Gb regular Raptor for the OS and put the 2 500Gb drives ( each 16mb cache ) in Raid 0 to get a total of 32mb cache or even connect them to a hardware Sata II Raid controllerThe following puzzles me :The next step down is A single VelociRapor on Motherboard SATAII The next step down is 2 VelociRaporin RAID0 on Motherboard RAID ... NOTE: Due to the Vrap design the single and RAID version of motherboard based storage is about equal The next step down is A single 1st Generation Raptor on Motherboard SATAII ------ This is fasterThe next step down is A single 32MB cache large platter hard drive on SATAIIThe next step down is 2 1st Generation Raptors in RAID0 on motherboard RAID ------ than this ?The next step down is 2 of any other drive in RAID0 on motherboard RAID

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Thanks guys for helping.The velociraptor has 16mb cache and has very fast acces times. There are also regular harddisks with 32mb cache and have fast acces times.Won't the extra cache be better against stutters in FSX ?
NO.. NOT ONE SINGLE BIT on a single drive!Marketing game.. I can explain but do not have timeThat cache ONLY HELPS when a SATAII 32MB cache drive is used in ENTERPRISE STORAGE system... or RAID0. 2 32MB cache drives WILL beat 2 ist Gen Raptors in RAID0 (hardware card) they will NOT BEAT a pair of Vraps in any head to head storage solution unless you go 4 32MB cache drives agains 2 Vraps.. and then its probably about a tie with the 32 drive 'just squeeking past.Gotta love the marketing BS
A capacity of 300GB is not enough when using lots of addons.Around 500 Gb would be fine.Buying 2 300Gb Velociraptors is a bit to much right now.I could buy a 150Gb regular Raptor for the OS and put the 2 500Gb drives ( each 16mb cache ) in Raid 0 to get a total of 32mb cache or even connect them to a hardware Sata II Raid controller
The Vrap is dropping in price... they come in 150 and 300GB size... and are now about the same as the 1st Gen Raps use to be here in the states
The following puzzles me :The next step down is A single VelociRapor on Motherboard SATAII The next step down is 2 VelociRaporin RAID0 on Motherboard RAID ... NOTE: Due to the Vrap design the single and RAID version of motherboard based storage is about equal The next step down is A single 1st Generation Raptor on Motherboard SATAII ------ This is fasterThe next step down is A single 32MB cache large platter hard drive on SATAIIThe next step down is 2 1st Generation Raptors in RAID0 on motherboard RAID ------ than this ?The next step down is 2 of any other drive in RAID0 on motherboard RAID
YES~!Thats why a lot of people have trouble .. they do not understand what they are doing and use the marketing data to make a choice in storage instead of understanding how/why storage systems WORK.Motherboard RAID is TRASH for FSX.. and to tell you the truth the only reason it slipped by for FS9 was the average file size in FS9 was tiny compared to FSX ...:)

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NO.. NOT ONE SINGLE BIT on a single drive!Marketing game.. I can explain but do not have timeThat cache ONLY HELPS when a SATAII 32MB cache drive is used in ENTERPRISE STORAGE system... or RAID0. 2 32MB cache drives WILL beat 2 ist Gen Raptors in RAID0 (hardware card) they will NOT BEAT a pair of Vraps in any head to head storage solution unless you go 4 32MB cache drives agains 2 Vraps.. and then its probably about a tie with the 32 drive 'just squeeking past.Gotta love the marketing BSThe Vrap is dropping in price... they come in 150 and 300GB size... and are now about the same as the 1st Gen Raps use to be here in the statesYES~!Thats why a lot of people have trouble .. they do not understand what they are doing and use the marketing data to make a choice in storage instead of understanding how/why storage systems WORK.Motherboard RAID is TRASH for FSX.. and to tell you the truth the only reason it slipped by for FS9 was the average file size in FS9 was tiny compared to FSX ...:)
Boy, you all make it tough for a guy in here. :( Looks like I'm going to be pulling one of my three 500G SATA II Barracudas and replacing it with a 300G Velociraptor for FSX. And I haven't even had the new system fired up yet. Oh, well, I guess it's the best time to do it.Thanks ( I think :( )Jeff

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Boy, you all make it tough for a guy in here. :( Looks like I'm going to be pulling one of my three 500G SATA II Barracudas and replacing it with a 300G Velociraptor for FSX. And I haven't even had the new system fired up yet. Oh, well, I guess it's the best time to do it.Thanks ( I think :( )Jeff
its the best value/performance FSX storage solution! its the right decision!Use the other drive for backup storage or you could put the OS on it and use the rest of its slack space for backups making sure the OS and installed software end up on the outer tracks by the defrag softwareIf you do that, dont split the drive with partitions,.. just install windows and your software to it and then make a folder named XXBACKUPS (use the XX) and it will be placed at the END of the data after the OS (WINDOWS folder) and installed programs by the defrag software in a NAME defragIts a stradegy.. and it works very well

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Just an FYIIts not the storage system that makes flight load faster... its the combination of all CPU/MEMORY/VC/BUSS/STORAGE that increases flight load time as well as in-game loadsat the same time most cant tell the difference in-game because they put a better hard drive in and assume any stutter they see is the sameStutters are not created equalToo many around here (not you Tim) claim there is no difference between the storage systems and that is the primary reason why.. they judge based on putting a drive in and using a stopwatch on a flight loadthat test is utterly... utterly flawedbut look at it this way Tim.. I know you are running totally overkill, like me LOL but we are not upgrading storage every year or every other year and never, ever have to question: "where did that stutter come from?"We know it is not the storage system which many do suffer from in combination... we have eliminated a major source of stutters so when we see them we know just by looking at the screen... it aint storage, and we will most likley be using the same storage through FS11LOL!Money well spentThat single Vrap is the best perf drive money can buy when you take into consideration its ability compared to SASEven on a motherboard port that drive will cream anything on the market in SATAII
In fact one of the few good decisions I ever made with technology was about 5 years ago when I invested in a decent SCSI array (which I'd still be using if I hadn't set it on fire - literally - during my first attempt at overclocking this summer: this was the "muddle" I mentioned in my first post!). My thinking was that I could migrate the kit to later PCs. And it worked out very well (until my little mistake in the summer). The improvement to the overall responsiveness of my PCs was quite striking, even without RAID0. Over time, of course, one gets used to the extra "boost" and starts to take it for granted. But I wouldn't want to go back. That's why I stepped up to SAS (the bargain-hunting mentioned in my first post) when I bust my SCSIs.Also, as you say, confidence that I've now got the HD side of things optimised means I can simply forget about this bit of the performance equation. But on the other hand, I wouldn't want anyone reading anything I've posted to think that HDs, or any other single component, are a "silver bullet" for FSX. I completely agree with you that to get the best out of FSX all the components need to play nicely together.By the way Nick, Happy Christmas - in case we don't cross posts before then.Tim

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its the best value/performance FSX storage solution! its the right decision!Use the other drive for backup storage or you could put the OS on it and use the rest of its slack space for backups making sure the OS and installed software end up on the outer tracks by the defrag softwareIf you do that, dont split the drive with partitions,.. just install windows and your software to it and then make a folder named XXBACKUPS (use the XX) and it will be placed at the END of the data after the OS (WINDOWS folder) and installed programs by the defrag software in a NAME defragIts a stradegy.. and it works very well
Thanks for the instructions, Nick. I'm getting ready to order one of those suckers from New Egg right now.And Merry Christmas to you in case I miss you on here before Christmas.Jeff

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In fact one of the few good decisions I ever made with technology was about 5 years ago when I invested in a decent SCSI array (which I'd still be using if I hadn't set it on fire - literally - during my first attempt at overclocking this summer: this was the "muddle" I mentioned in my first post!). My thinking was that I could migrate the kit to later PCs. And it worked out very well (until my little mistake in the summer). The improvement to the overall responsiveness of my PCs was quite striking, even without RAID0. Over time, of course, one gets used to the extra "boost" and starts to take it for granted. But I wouldn't want to go back. That's why I stepped up to SAS (the bargain-hunting mentioned in my first post) when I bust my SCSIs.Also, as you say, confidence that I've now got the HD side of things optimised means I can simply forget about this bit of the performance equation. But on the other hand, I wouldn't want anyone reading anything I've posted to think that HDs, or any other single component, are a "silver bullet" for FSX. I completely agree with you that to get the best out of FSX all the components need to play nicely together.By the way Nick, Happy Christmas - in case we don't cross posts before then.Tim
and a Happy Christmas to you and your family as well Tim!I understand not wanting people to think something like storage is a 'silver bullet' which is why is said... its the combination of all CPU/MEMORY/VC/BUSS/STORAGE that increases flight load time as well as in-game loadsThere is no 'silver bullet' however with MSFS there is such a thing as 'silver ammunition'. Its the combination of hardware in use and its setup which deliversUnfortunately Aces decided to try and remarket a year 2000 -old school- triangle rendering engine and not bother to at the very least bring it into the multicore age by taking full advantage of multicore use. Because of that the title brings even very overclocked flagship CPUs to their knees under the right scenery conditions.The storage solution is only one aspect of perf however when we start talking about a title that needs every last free CPU cycle and especially those lost on motherboard RAID and slower SATAI/II hard drives the use of better storage solutions becomes very apparent. Getting the drives on a real SATA/SAS card and completely offloading the motherboard does make a difference even if not running RAID and even if not using Rap, VRap and SAS drives.They are making changes in FS11 but my primary concern around that is they will get multicore fully implemented and fix other issues, but then instead of GIVING that perf to the user they will suck it up for themselves to make features (typical MS mentality.. Visa and FSX is a prime example) and we are right back to the same old .... needing a CPU from 3 years in the future to run a current game titleI hope they get the message this time and make sure that every single feature added has a true "OFF" switch so all users can enjoy clear and well defined scenery with smooth flight and not need a degree in CS to make it work.

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Thanks for the instructions, Nick. I'm getting ready to order one of those suckers from New Egg right now.And Merry Christmas to you in case I miss you on here before Christmas.Jeff
Merry Christmas to you Jeff!You know.. the best storage solution to include backups is a 3 drive system. One for the OS and installed programs, one for FSX and addons and one for storage and backup. If the backup disk is large enough you can even keep images of the OS and FSX drive as quick restore backups which is what I do. I have 4 drives + 1 external SATAII backup unit Keeping in mind that being 'Windows' the OS is volatile and may need to be wiped and reinstalled at some point its best to keep backups on another drive away from the OS for safetyWhat I do is get everything installed, updated, tweaked and run it for a number of weeks. Once I confirm all is running perfectly I make a full image backup of the OS drive and another of the FSX drive and store them for emergencies. Over time I may update those image files as I may add/change drivers/software/addons and find everything working perfectly By doing so if the system crashes or anything goes wrong I can restore in about an hour and then run the defrag passes, and, all my regular backup data is always safe.There are many different ways to skin a cat but the best strategy is to keep the OS, FSX and backups on their own drivesRemember when installing you need to make sure you get all the Windows SPs/updates for your version of Windows... and when installing addons to FSX, if the addon is 'database' in nature like FEX, REX, and GEX you do not need to install those into FSX. Those can be installed to the OS drive keeping the FSX drive as clean as possible becasue they only send texture selections to FSX on user input. UTX MUST be installed into FSX.'Massive' photo scenery addons can also go on another drive and referenced by the scenery library. In the case where one may have 100's of gigs of photo scenery addons another Raptor in the system dedicated to scenery only is not a bad idea... just for future referenceanyway... happy holidays to you and your family!

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Merry Christmas to you Jeff!You know.. the best storage solution to include backups is a 3 drive system. One for the OS and installed programs, one for FSX and addons and one for storage and backup. If the backup disk is large enough you can even keep images of the OS and FSX drive as quick restore backups which is what I do. I have 4 drives + 1 external SATAII backup unit Keeping in mind that being 'Windows' the OS is volatile and may need to be wiped and reinstalled at some point its best to keep backups on another drive away from the OS for safetyWhat I do is get everything installed, updated, tweaked and run it for a number of weeks. Once I confirm all is running perfectly I make a full image backup of the OS drive and another of the FSX drive and store them for emergencies. Over time I may update those image files as I may add/change drivers/software/addons and find everything working perfectly By doing so if the system crashes or anything goes wrong I can restore in about an hour and then run the defrag passes, and, all my regular backup data is always safe.There are many different ways to skin a cat but the best strategy is to keep the OS, FSX and backups on their own drivesRemember when installing you need to make sure you get all the Windows SPs/updates for your version of Windows... and when installing addons to FSX, if the addon is 'database' in nature like FEX, REX, and GEX you do not need to install those into FSX. Those can be installed to the OS drive keeping the FSX drive as clean as possible becasue they only send texture selections to FSX on user input. UTX MUST be installed into FSX.'Massive' photo scenery addons can also go on another drive and referenced by the scenery library. In the case where one may have 100's of gigs of photo scenery addons another Raptor in the system dedicated to scenery only is not a bad idea... just for future referenceanyway... happy holidays to you and your family!
Yes, I agree. I'm familiar with the routine as I have a commercial recording studio and have a disk image of my main OS/digital audio system stored in a couple of places. This is on a Mac system, though. In fact, I've already got 3 500G drives (one will be replaced by the newly-ordered Velociraptor) in the new FSX system and planned to use them exactly as you mentioned. Of course a couple of days ago I started thinking about the disk image thing and realized that my 500G "backup" drive probably wouldn't hold the image of my OS (at least not with any space left at all) unless I partitioned the OS drive which is apparently not recommended. So I may use a 1T SATA HD for my images. At the studio I have my OS/digital audio program drive partitioned so I don't need a whole lot of space for the image. BTW, what software do you recommend for making a disk image in Vista or is it included in the OS?Also, are you saying I shouldn't use the onboard SATA network for these drives? Hopefully, it will be OK. I'm using a P6T mobo w/6G 1600 RAM.And you are definitely correct about almost needing a CS degree to make the program work. I just always think of the poor guy/girl that buys a program like this for themself or a gift and doesn't even have a clue how to make it run halfway decently, doesn't know about forums like this, and doesn't have or want to take the time to screw around with all of the tweaks needed, not to mention the expense. I think Microsoft is doing a great disservice in this regard. But, then again, I'm just a paying customer so what do I know? :)Thanks, Jeff

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Yes, I agree. I'm familiar with the routine as I have a commercial recording studio and have a disk image of my main OS/digital audio system stored in a couple of places. This is on a Mac system, though. In fact, I've already got 3 500G drives (one will be replaced by the newly-ordered Velociraptor) in the new FSX system and planned to use them exactly as you mentioned. Of course a couple of days ago I started thinking about the disk image thing and realized that my 500G "backup" drive probably wouldn't hold the image of my OS (at least not with any space left at all) unless I partitioned the OS drive which is apparently not recommended. So I may use a 1T SATA HD for my images. At the studio I have my OS/digital audio program drive partitioned so I don't need a whole lot of space for the image. BTW, what software do you recommend for making a disk image in Vista or is it included in the OS?Also, are you saying I shouldn't use the onboard SATA network for these drives? Hopefully, it will be OK. I'm using a P6T mobo w/6G 1600 RAM.And you are definitely correct about almost needing a CS degree to make the program work. I just always think of the poor guy/girl that buys a program like this for themself or a gift and doesn't even have a clue how to make it run halfway decently, doesn't know about forums like this, and doesn't have or want to take the time to screw around with all of the tweaks needed, not to mention the expense. I think Microsoft is doing a great disservice in this regard. But, then again, I'm just a paying customer so what do I know? :)Thanks, Jeff
Jeff you can add a card later if its something you wish to explore. You are buying the better drive for FSX so you are fine for now.If you are into A/V prodution thats where a SATAII PCIe 8x RAID card can really shine. A RAID array off of a card strictly for AV production is the only way to go in my opinion. Real time rendering and development work off the array goes sooooo much smoother and on i7 video encoding and other production work of that nature is just drop dead fast as long as hyperthread is enabled. FSX does not need hyperthread enabled and hyperthread enabled in the BIOS can increase temps somewhatAs for partitioning the OS drive.. That can be done as long as the OS is ALWAYS on the 1st partition (2nd partition/data behind the first in 3rd party disk tool) which is designed in size to hold the OS and all installed programs and still have 50% or greater freespace, and, the 2nd parition is never used for ANY read/write performance application but just storage. You can use 3rd party disk software to make such changes and tweeks to the freespace as time goes on however I do not know their full ability and limitations in Vista since Vista tends to lock partition elements. Someone else hear may have better advice for you on software for such jobs. I bet Tim would be an excellent source for that info.I use Acronis Disk Director

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I have to chime in because I can reinforce how good the Velociraptors are. I have 2 of them, 300Gb each. They are simply beautiful pieces of HD tech. Not only are they noticibly faster than the 150Gb Gen1 raptors I used to have, They use a lot less power. I saw the wattage go down by 20 or so watts on my UPS from what my Gen1 raptors were using. And they run about 7 deg C cooler too. They're awesome. Now if they could only come in a 500Gb or even 1Tb? :( -jk

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Jeff you can add a card later if its something you wish to explore. You are buying the better drive for FSX so you are fine for now.If you are into A/V prodution thats where a SATAII PCIe 8x RAID card can really shine. A RAID array off of a card strictly for AV production is the only way to go in my opinion. Real time rendering and development work off the array goes sooooo much smoother and on i7 video encoding and other production work of that nature is just drop dead fast as long as hyperthread is enabled. FSX does not need hyperthread enabled and hyperthread enabled in the BIOS can increase temps somewhatAs for partitioning the OS drive.. That can be done as long as the OS is ALWAYS on the 1st partition (2nd partition/data behind the first in 3rd party disk tool) which is designed in size to hold the OS and all installed programs and still have 50% or greater freespace, and, the 2nd parition is never used for ANY read/write performance application but just storage. You can use 3rd party disk software to make such changes and tweeks to the freespace as time goes on however I do not know their full ability and limitations in Vista since Vista tends to lock partition elements. Someone else hear may have better advice for you on software for such jobs. I bet Tim would be an excellent source for that info.I use Acronis Disk Director
Nick, ever used Partition Magic to shrink a partition size? My OS is installed on a single 500G partition and I want to shrink it for purposes of making a more maneageable-sized partition for a disk image.Jeff

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