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moggel

Need A Little Push Here

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Captains,After two years of "standing beside" watching everyone enjoying themselves with FSX I've finally got myself a box that can handle it. Or at least that's what I thought...As a christmas present to myself I bought and built a core i7 920 based system (4 cores) with 6Gb of DDR3 and the most powerful GPU in the world: The Radeon 4870 x2 with 1Gb of video memory. On top of this little monster I installed Vista Utimate x64, FSX (SP2). In FSX I added GEX Enhanced, UTX and REX. I then installed the Aerosoft Cheyenne X as a sort of reference model (that's one of the models I've been wanting to fly but couldn't in my old rig). I then took it for a spin from Dillingham Hawaii and later from Princess Juliana. Both of these flights gave ~20 FPS (I maxed FPS to 25) which was far below my expectations. I then tried the the Cheyenne X from La Guardia, NY. The frame rate now dropped to ~7!Well, actually, I'm not really dissappointed because the performance is so lousy I suspect something very basic must be very wrong here. Admittedly, my settings are pretty high with everything on/maxed except: Water = high 2.x; Mesh resolution = 10m; Texture resolution=60cm; Cloud draw distance=80mi; Airline traffic=70%, GA traffic=9%; Airport traffic density=Medium; Road vehicles=7%; Ships 'n' ferries=10%; Leisure boats=15%So, with (amost) the most powerful machine imaginable I'm still seeing a slide show here. Could someone please point me in the right direction? Is there something I need to do in FSX or Vista to get decent FPS? Are there any "mandatory" tweaks I need to perform? Any forum threads I need to visit?Cheers/Jonas

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Captains,After two years of "standing beside" watching everyone enjoying themselves with FSX I've finally got myself a box that can handle it. Or at least that's what I thought...As a christmas present to myself I bought and built a core i7 920 based system (4 cores) with 6Gb of DDR3 and the most powerful GPU in the world: The Radeon 4870 x2 with 1Gb of video memory. On top of this little monster I installed Vista Utimate x64, FSX (SP2). In FSX I added GEX Enhanced, UTX and REX. I then installed the Aerosoft Cheyenne X as a sort of reference model (that's one of the models I've been wanting to fly but couldn't in my old rig). I then took it for a spin from Dillingham Hawaii and later from Princess Juliana. Both of these flights gave ~20 FPS (I maxed FPS to 25) which was far below my expectations. I then tried the the Cheyenne X from La Guardia, NY. The frame rate now dropped to ~7!Well, actually, I'm not really dissappointed because the performance is so lousy I suspect something very basic must be very wrong here. Admittedly, my settings are pretty high with everything on/maxed except: Water = high 2.x; Mesh resolution = 10m; Texture resolution=60cm; Cloud draw distance=80mi; Airline traffic=70%, GA traffic=9%; Airport traffic density=Medium; Road vehicles=7%; Ships 'n' ferries=10%; Leisure boats=15%So, with (amost) the most powerful machine imaginable I'm still seeing a slide show here. Could someone please point me in the right direction? Is there something I need to do in FSX or Vista to get decent FPS? Are there any "mandatory" tweaks I need to perform? Any forum threads I need to visit?Cheers/Jonas
I just got FS-X Saturday (12/27). My specs are at the end of the post. I can average 20-30 fps with your settings, but I found one item which will cause fps to tank (possibly due to my graphics card): Aircraft cast shadows on self. When I turn that off, FS-X performs beautifully and that's with all the AI, boat, vehicle and airport ground traffic maxed. As for Autogen, I generally turn it off because I still don't find it that realistic (for instance, it places trees at SFO).Just finished a flight with the P-51 and F-18 over Mexico, it was absolutely breathtaking (especially gazing at those rivets on the P-51). Also, I don't know if you have Acceleration pack and the DX-10 preview set. I found improvements with both.Hope this helps, here are my specs:Gateway DX4710-05Intel

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I would say your main issue is the 70% AI then your water then your cloud draw setting. This is what I would try: Set your AI to 25% set water to 2x low and clowd draw at 60 miles. In heavy areas try setting your FPS to unlimited. The other thing to make sure of is have you defragged you HD. If not your drive is a complete mess and will need to be cleaned up. The defrag using O&O 8.6 (what I use) will take 2-6 hrs depending on your setup. Good Luck

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Water 2X low is a must, also use WOAI as the default have a high FPS hit, There are also resized, replacement cloud textures i think avaliable on here in file library it too will help.

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Captains,After two years of "standing beside" watching everyone enjoying themselves with FSX I've finally got myself a box that can handle it. Or at least that's what I thought...As a christmas present to myself I bought and built a core i7 920 based system (4 cores) with 6Gb of DDR3 and the most powerful GPU in the world: The Radeon 4870 x2 with 1Gb of video memory. On top of this little monster I installed Vista Utimate x64, FSX (SP2). In FSX I added GEX Enhanced, UTX and REX. I then installed the Aerosoft Cheyenne X as a sort of reference model (that's one of the models I've been wanting to fly but couldn't in my old rig). I then took it for a spin from Dillingham Hawaii and later from Princess Juliana. Both of these flights gave ~20 FPS (I maxed FPS to 25) which was far below my expectations. I then tried the the Cheyenne X from La Guardia, NY. The frame rate now dropped to ~7!Well, actually, I'm not really dissappointed because the performance is so lousy I suspect something very basic must be very wrong here. Admittedly, my settings are pretty high with everything on/maxed except: Water = high 2.x; Mesh resolution = 10m; Texture resolution=60cm; Cloud draw distance=80mi; Airline traffic=70%, GA traffic=9%; Airport traffic density=Medium; Road vehicles=7%; Ships 'n' ferries=10%; Leisure boats=15%So, with (amost) the most powerful machine imaginable I'm still seeing a slide show here. Could someone please point me in the right direction? Is there something I need to do in FSX or Vista to get decent FPS? Are there any "mandatory" tweaks I need to perform? Any forum threads I need to visit?Cheers/Jonas
Just an FYIThe 4870 x2 will run FSX worse than the 2+ year old 8800GTX 768 especially in heavy weather... be aware of thatand a 920 NOT CLOCKED is not going to deliver anything special.. you need to get that clocked up or if you did not intend to clock you should have gone with a 940 at minimum. A 920 on the right HSF will do 4GHz and on the factory Intel HSF about 3.2-3.4GHzHere is everything you need to know about FSX tuning:FSX TUNINGhttp://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_post...=28735&PN=2http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_post...D=163716#163716FOLLOW THE LINK(s) IN THE FIRST POSTSET UP FSX EXACTLY AS I POSTED THEN...READ BOTH POSTS AND TUNE BY REDUCING SLIDERS AND EDITING THE FSX.CFG BASED ON WHAT I MENTION IN SETTINGS CHANGES FOR FASTER/SLOWER SYSTEMSI would look at your AV and Vista installed security... its going to trash perfLook at this thread.. http://www.simviation.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/Ya...?num=1208959973the first 5-6 posts should get you set up however you do need to look at the START system and make sure your not booting a bunch og garbage with WindowsNOD32 is the ONLY thing you need for security software... Defender KILLS perf!

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Nick, first of all, thanks for the links and explanations! Iv'e seen some of your other replies (to others) and they're always very extensive and good to read. I don't understand how you find the time to be that helpful; it's absolutely amazing! Thanks!Now, qbout the "HD Radeon 4870 x2" delivering less than older/cheaper cards: Is there a good reason for this? Can I do something about it or should I simply get over it and replace it with an older (and considerably cheaper) nVidia card?I will clock the 920 in a couple of weeks when the "bolt-thru-kit" arrives for my Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme" cooler but until then I'm stuck with the Intel default cooler. However, seeing the currently lousy (unclocked) FPS I'd need far more than a 100% performance gain from overclocking. I'm hoping to 'clock it to 4.2 GHz but this won't give me that kind of boost so tweaking is obviously needed.Other than that I'll shut down the Vista defender (I've already terminated AV/firewall etc), tweak the FSX.cfg file as per your recomendations and we'll see what that gives me.[EDIT]I checked the number of running services in Vista and was close to 60 differents ones chewing away on my resources! Problem is: How do I know which ones can be shut down? Is there a list somewhere?[/EDIT]Thanks!/Jonas

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Now, qbout the "HD Radeon 4870 x2" delivering less than older/cheaper cards: Is there a good reason for this? Can I do something about it or should I simply get over it and replace it with an older (and considerably cheaper) nVidia card?
The 4870 x2 is only firing on one card in FSX. That means you arer only using a single 4870 card.FSX is based on an year 2000 triangle rendering engine. It got some upgrades with SP1/SP2 but its still basically a very primitive rendering engine which requires raw horsepower over shader engine ability like Crysis. A 4780x2 will pretty much destroy a Nvidia card in Crysis performance due to the 4870 core design which also addresses AA differently from Nvidia, and, both sides of the card are recognized and used, however, in FSX the AA processing and shader engine ability are nothing the FSX rendering engine will take advantage of, therefore in heavy scenery and especially weather that card will choke where a card like the 280 GTX or a 8800GTX Ultra will whoop the 4870.Also.. FSX will use NO MORE than 512MB unless you run very high resolution and use the BUFFERPOOLS tweak which reserves video memory for scenery geometry (NOT TEXUTRES) around the aircraft. In that. I would estimate the most the tilte can really EVER use is about 800MB of VM, MAX and that assumes a 80-100MB bufferpool reserve on a HUGE resolution monitor (2xxx and above). Without the bufferpool entry I would drop than to 640 and without the massive resolution, 512, no more
I will clock the 920 in a couple of weeks when the "bolt-thru-kit" arrives for my Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme" cooler but until then I'm stuck with the Intel default cooler. However, seeing the currently lousy (unclocked) FPS I'd need far more than a 100% performance gain from overclocking. I'm hoping to 'clock it to 4.2 GHz but this won't give me that kind of boost so tweaking is obviously needed.
It seems you are trying to relate performance in FSX to a linear value in CPU speed... don't... that does not work. FSX is not about frames its about resources to carry out the instructions that old triangle rendering engine slams a system with. The advantages to clocking are seen in FPS but what you are doing (IF properly TUNED) is giving the priority system the resources to deliver the 'entire show' over FPS. You can have 24-30 smooth as silk frames or 60 choppy and nasty ones. In that frames are worthless in judging FSX or an MSFS perf past FS2004. Hopefully that will change with FS11 however its too early to even guess at what they may do to change the rendering engine.Getting the system parts correct, getting Windows resources in line, getting the storage system correctly optimized and then tuning FSX for the resources/hardware/clock are the keys to FSX success
I checked the number of running services in Vista and was close to 60 differents ones chewing away on my resources! Problem is: How do I know which ones can be shut down? Is there a list somewhere
I do not use VISTA. I use XP x64. When I was playing with Vista I managed to get processes down to about 37 but it took some doing to figure that out. I never adopted Vista as my OS simply because I saw absolutely no reason to use it. There were advantages and disadvantages to the OS however in FSX I always found consisitant stable results with XP so I chose to remain on XP x64 till Windows 7 proves itself and just skip the entire Vista dance.Your mileage may vary and I am not saying you should dump Vista. In XP I run 30 processes at boot and do not have any problems tuning it easily for max performance as my list outlines. Running programs at boot must be looked at in XP the same as Vista and the user needs to clean out those items which are not needed at boot or can be enabled by a shortcut manually as needed. As for a list of do's and don

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I still can't shake the feeling something must be terribly wrong with my system. Since I last wrote here I've seen more than one simmer with rigs that's pretty similar to mine but that's producing 5-7 times more FPS than mine. For instance, in this thread at the ORBX forums the guy has a rig pretty much like mine (from what I can tell). The difference is his CPU is a Core 2 Extreme QX9775 Quad Core, the motherboard is (naturally) different and he's got more RAM but the GPU and hard drives are the same. In the thread he tested it out flying over ORBX's YMML scenery and reports an avaregare of ~70 FPS. I decided to try the same scenery, using the simplest possible aircraft model (the trike) and experienced an average of ~10 FPS.Sure enough, the computer in that thread runs in 3.2GHz while mine (which I'm still waiting to be overclocked) runs in 2.6GHz but I have a hard time believing those additional 0.6 GHz can actually explain 7 times better performance, or can it? :( Just to try and isolate any bottlenecks I tried to...Disable my second monitor: No differenceRun in Windowed mode, maximized: Slightly worse performance (-1-3 FPS in average).Run in Windowed mode but smaller window: Slightly better performance (+3-4 FPS in average)Lower resolution, in full screen as well as windowed mode: No differenceI've now tried fiddling with most settings/configurations in FSX. In Vista I've cleaned out all "unessecary" services, leaving 43 alive. Could there be some BIOS setting that's totally killing the machine perhaps? I haven't looked into that but, to be honest, I'm not sure what to look for either...

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In Vista I've cleaned out all "unessecary" services, leaving 43 alive.
what other programs do you use the computer for? it is all these other programs that just love to load a process 'just in case' you may use them that can further reduce performance.i built an FS only computer (winXPsp3 as VISTA gives no extra 'magic' no matter what MS says) and the machine boots in about 15 seconds and runs 25 processes.--

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Remember with simming computers you can have 2 100% identical computers that will run the sim different. Especially when you start to add the different combinations of parts, drives, windows tweaks, fsx tweaks, addon running in the sim, how the sim is setup, how windows is setup ect.

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One simple thing to try - don't set a maximum limit on your FPS - it can make a big difference on some systems.

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what other programs do you use the computer for? it is all these other programs that just love to load a process 'just in case' you may use them that can further reduce performance.i built an FS only computer (winXPsp3 as VISTA gives no extra 'magic' no matter what MS says) and the machine boots in about 15 seconds and runs 25 processes.--
I do believe he is using a the 64 bit Version of Vista Ultimate. A 64-bit OS is superior to a standard WinXP 32-bit setup. OOM errors should never be an issue on a 64-bit OS, while it can be a problem on a 32-bit. He can also utilize FAR more ram than he could with a 32-bit OS. Personally, I would ONLY buy a 64-bit OS. Whether it be Vista 64 or XP64, either one is better, IMO, than XP32.

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I still can't shake the feeling something must be terribly wrong with my system. Since I last wrote here I've seen more than one simmer with rigs that's pretty similar to mine but that's producing 5-7 times more FPS than mine. For instance, in this thread at the ORBX forums the guy has a rig pretty much like mine (from what I can tell). The difference is his CPU is a Core 2 Extreme QX9775 Quad Core, the motherboard is (naturally) different and he's got more RAM but the GPU and hard drives are the same. In the thread he tested it out flying over ORBX's YMML scenery and reports an avaregare of ~70 FPS. I decided to try the same scenery, using the simplest possible aircraft model (the trike) and experienced an average of ~10 FPS.Sure enough, the computer in that thread runs in 3.2GHz while mine (which I'm still waiting to be overclocked) runs in 2.6GHz but I have a hard time believing those additional 0.6 GHz can actually explain 7 times better performance, or can it? :( Just to try and isolate any bottlenecks I tried to...Disable my second monitor: No differenceRun in Windowed mode, maximized: Slightly worse performance (-1-3 FPS in average).Run in Windowed mode but smaller window: Slightly better performance (+3-4 FPS in average)Lower resolution, in full screen as well as windowed mode: No differenceI've now tried fiddling with most settings/configurations in FSX. In Vista I've cleaned out all "unessecary" services, leaving 43 alive. Could there be some BIOS setting that's totally killing the machine perhaps? I haven't looked into that but, to be honest, I'm not sure what to look for either...
You need to look a little closer at what he is running...he has over 3000 US dollars in the CPU's alone!! He is ruining 2 quad cores on a dual CPU board. I have an i7 920...it works great after doing Nicks tweaks.....but it can in no way compare to that mans rig. He is using a full 8 cores!!! I have all the FTX scenery and it is great and I can run it very fluid and smooth locked at 30 and will get around 20 on the ground....but it is smooth. YMML is a great piece of work but it will tax a computer. My 920 is clocked to 3.4 right now and I have a decent cooler...but I am afraid to push it to the 4ghz. I don't have the money to replace this if it goes out.....even though the Asus P6T deluxe board is pretty safe and idiot proof from doing harm....at least I think so. I was involved with another guy over at the FTX forum who after removing one of his video cards saw his frame rates more than double. Keep at it...you have a rig that will run FSX really good if you do the right things but take a look at NewEgg at what is in that super rig. Regards

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I do believe he is using a the 64 bit Version of Vista Ultimate. A 64-bit OS is superior to a standard WinXP 32-bit setup. OOM errors should never be an issue on a 64-bit OS, while it can be a problem on a 32-bit. He can also utilize FAR more ram than he could with a 32-bit OS. Personally, I would ONLY buy a 64-bit OS. Whether it be Vista 64 or XP64, either one is better, IMO, than XP32.
Correct, I have Vista Ultimate x64 installed on a partition that's that's completely dedicated to FSX. Other than FSX and software related to it there's just some system monitoring stuff (core temperatures etc.), Adobe Reader (for FSX related manuals etc.) and TrackIR. I have 6GB of DDR3 RAM. FSX and everything relating to it is installed on a separate hard drive (300GB, 10,000rpm "Velociraptor") to avoid fragmentation and optimize load times.Since my last reply I have overclocked the CPU to 3.2GHz. This did give a slight performance increase but nothing dramatic really. I can't even begin to understand how some guys can achieve 100+ FPS unless there's come terrible bottleneck in my rig somewhere! I'll overclock more (4.2GHz) when I get the stuff needed to attach a better CPU cooler to the 1366 socket. However, I doubt I'll see anything near 70 FPS even on 4.2GHz.I'll also go through Nick N

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You need to look a little closer at what he is running...he has over 3000 US dollars in the CPU's alone!! He is ruining 2 quad cores on a dual CPU board. I have an i7 920...it works great after doing Nicks tweaks.....but it can in no way compare to that mans rig. He is using a full 8 cores!!! I have all the FTX scenery and it is great and I can run it very fluid and smooth locked at 30 and will get around 20 on the ground....but it is smooth. YMML is a great piece of work but it will tax a computer. My 920 is clocked to 3.4 right now and I have a decent cooler...but I am afraid to push it to the 4ghz. I don't have the money to replace this if it goes out.....even though the Asus P6T deluxe board is pretty safe and idiot proof from doing harm....at least I think so. I was involved with another guy over at the FTX forum who after removing one of his video cards saw his frame rates more than double. Keep at it...you have a rig that will run FSX really good if you do the right things but take a look at NewEgg at what is in that super rig.
Yeah, I did miss the fact he's running 2 quads (didn't think that was possible) so I guess that comparison falls pretty flat then. Well, back to tweaking then I guess... :( Cheers/Jonas

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Yeah, I did miss the fact he's running 2 quads (didn't think that was possible) so I guess that comparison falls pretty flat then. Well, back to tweaking then I guess... :( Cheers/Jonas
Jonas, Got to admit he has got one heck of a rig and the screen shot....looks like a photo. Trust me...you can get the i7 920 to run FSX...I am thinking of going to Vista to get the 64 bit system...which a lot of folks tell me runs it even better than XP. I don't know anything about Vista but I followed Nicks guide to the letter and it did wonders for me. FSX takes all of 5 seconds to load once a I click it now. I have just about all maxed out and yet I feel I have room for some weather engine or some more adons...time will tell.....good luck.

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Captains,After two years of "standing beside" watching everyone enjoying themselves with FSX I've finally got myself a box that can handle it. Or at least that's what I thought...As a christmas present to myself I bought and built a core i7 920 based system (4 cores) with 6Gb of DDR3 and the most powerful GPU in the world: The Radeon 4870 x2 with 1Gb of video memory. On top of this little monster I installed Vista Utimate x64, FSX (SP2). In FSX I added GEX Enhanced, UTX and REX. I then installed the Aerosoft Cheyenne X as a sort of reference model (that's one of the models I've been wanting to fly but couldn't in my old rig). I then took it for a spin from Dillingham Hawaii and later from Princess Juliana. Both of these flights gave ~20 FPS (I maxed FPS to 25) which was far below my expectations. I then tried the the Cheyenne X from La Guardia, NY. The frame rate now dropped to ~7!Well, actually, I'm not really dissappointed because the performance is so lousy I suspect something very basic must be very wrong here. Admittedly, my settings are pretty high with everything on/maxed except: Water = high 2.x; Mesh resolution = 10m; Texture resolution=60cm; Cloud draw distance=80mi; Airline traffic=70%, GA traffic=9%; Airport traffic density=Medium; Road vehicles=7%; Ships 'n' ferries=10%; Leisure boats=15%So, with (amost) the most powerful machine imaginable I'm still seeing a slide show here. Could someone please point me in the right direction? Is there something I need to do in FSX or Vista to get decent FPS? Are there any "mandatory" tweaks I need to perform? Any forum threads I need to visit?Cheers/Jonas
How are your FPS when you return your settings to default? (Your can save your current settings w/i FSX then go back and customize and return all settings to default. Name this config default.cfg so you can return to it if need be). If they are low at default, then you have a problem other than FSX settings. I do agree with another responder that your aircraft AI is set a little too high though....Jim

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... Admittedly, my settings are pretty high with everything on/maxed except: Water = high 2.x; Mesh resolution = 10m; Texture resolution=60cm; Cloud draw distance=80mi; Airline traffic=70%, GA traffic=9%; Airport traffic density=Medium; Road vehicles=7%; Ships 'n' ferries=10%; Leisure boats=15%So, with (amost) the most powerful machine imaginable I'm still seeing a slide show here. ...
Jonas,Sorry if I'm stating the obvious: but you don't mention whether you use light bloom. It is, of course, essential to turn this OFF when running under DX9. Otherwise, as others have said, your results don't actually look very surprising for an un-overclocked PC with a 4870x2 card. As Nick has said, the CPU cannot do everything on its own: it needs a strong supporting act from the other components. But as a rule of thumb, most of the people satisfied with FSX performance are running quads at AT LEAST 3.6GHz or duals at AT LEAST 4GHz. The new i7 gives a slight clock-per-clock advantage over the Wolfdale CPUs, but not enough to justify sacrificing significant Hz. And your 4870x2 card - while very good for most purposes - is a bit of a handicap for FSX. Fiddling around with your installation (separate hard disk drive/partition, different operating system, new settings in the .CFG file etc) can help with different issues - such as stuttering or slow texture loading. But it is unlikely to deliver significant improvements in raw "baseline" FPS.From the experience reported by others who have bought the i920, I suspect you could do really well from your kit: but you'd have to spend some time tuning it - not only the CPU but the RAM, for best results.TimTim

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I do agree with another responder that your aircraft AI is set a little too high though....Jim
That all depends on whether or which traffic package is being used. Based upon the relative size of the traffic.bgl files the packages use, and hence the number of planes they spawn, I would have thought that default FSX AI would be no problem at all for this system, Ultimate Traffic would also be OK, but MyTraffic would start to present a problem. With WOAI, it's a matter of personal choice how big to make it.

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Hey guys, you also have to understand with this system that I only run FSX on it.. nothing more, nothing less, it is a dedicated FS computer, I have hardly any processes running but why I am posting here.... the setting of the slider to unlimited is a magic item on this rig, if I would leave it to limited I get slight stutters and sometimes even blurries and lower FPS than what I set it to at various locations... go figure

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Hey guys, you also have to understand with this system that I only run FSX on it.. nothing more, nothing less, it is a dedicated FS computer, I have hardly any processes running but why I am posting here.... the setting of the slider to unlimited is a magic item on this rig, if I would leave it to limited I get slight stutters and sometimes even blurries and lower FPS than what I set it to at various locations... go figure
My rig is just the opposite.....keep it locked or it stutters badly...jumping from 14 to 80 Fps and everywhere in between. I keep it locked at 25 and all runs well. I have noticed this same problem with identical configured rigs....has to be FSX is sensitive to the impedance of hardware..I don't know....not a programer. But saw this a lot with military processors where all is the same and even though the equipment was functional the digital checks might check out on one radar and not another but they both were fully operstional for combat using a set of alternative checks.. We just eliminated certian digital checks that never made a difference anyway.

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Sorry if I'm stating the obvious: but you don't mention whether you use light bloom. It is, of course, essential to turn this OFF when running under DX9. ...
Sorry if I was unclear. Everything is "maxed" except what I stated in that list. By that I mean I'm running DX10 Preview and bloom. I've tried going back to DX9 of course to see if there was any difference and I also discovered that bloom was both very costly and also not very good looking in DX9 so I prefer DX10 wherever the textures allow it (alot of payware scenery uses textures that's not DX10 compliant unfortunately).

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This thread has some "Old wives tales" creeping in.FSX is not about the speed of a CPU or how many cores you have.FSX not about how many other applications you have on your PC.FSX is not about where you have your data stored or if it is defragmented.FSX is not about the graphics card.FSX is not about how much memory you have or how fast it is.FSX is not about how overclocked the graphics card(s), cpu, disks, Northdridge, Southbridge, bus or memory is.FSX is about all of the above. FSX is basically about moving data from a storage location, processing it and displaying the results.Moving data from storage location = i/o path lengthProcessing the data = slider postions and dataDisplaying it = Graphics sub system including CPU & memoryThis means FSX performance is derived from a broad spectrum of potential bottlenecks that will vary from machine to machine.Experience with FSX should have taught us all that FSX is performance is bound by CPU rather than graphics card performance, the CPU is bound by its speed and being fed data to process without waiting. As for the OS, I have used XP SP3 and now Vista 64 with the same hardware and there is little if any performance difference between the two (on my machine at least). Buying the biggest and best is only the start to FSX performance tuning, it buys potential and that is all, it is not in itself a shortcut to good or best FSX performance. Each user must then find a way to make the most of this potential.My PC is locked at 35FPS for FSX (most sliders on or near max) and I can exceed that in most places except big and busy airports in busy areas. My answer is simple I don't fly into big airports in busy areas, there are plenty of others to choose from. Whatever your hardware at this point in time and with FSX as it is, no one is going to get good performance everywhere especially with some of the "Eye Candy" add-ons. The best performance tip for me was Nick's Name Defrag (reduces the i/o path length) and the least salubrious remark was that a particular PC is used for FSX only. But its only entertainment after all.

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Very well said John (specially that you buy potential) - not much to add. Well, at a certain CPU speed (i would say 3.8 to 4 GHz) and a 1920x1200 or higher resolution, you will find the GPU starting to bottleneck. Very noticeable at more demanding weather conditions. I replaced my 8800 GTX with a highly overclocked 280 GTX and saw a nice improvement.

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Very well said John (specially that you buy potential) - not much to add. Well, at a certain CPU speed (i would say 3.8 to 4 GHz) and a 1920x1200 or higher resolution, you will find the GPU starting to bottleneck. Very noticeable at more demanding weather conditions. I replaced my 8800 GTX with a highly overclocked 280 GTX and saw a nice improvement.
That is interesting Mango. I shall have to think about a replacement for my venerable 8800GTX although I normally run at 3.7GHZ @ 1920 x 1200. So I am on the cusp so to speak.

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