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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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