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Guest JimBrown

Single Disk Setup For Fsx

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I have read Nick's posts concerning various hard drive configurations as they relate to FSX. Good information.With regards to a single hard drive configuration, I read that the disk should not be partitioned, or if it is, that the first partition be used for the OS and programs, including FSX.My question(s):Since Vista (and XP) can be installed and booted from any partition, and since we want FSX to be as close to the outer edge of the platters, would this work:Create three partitions - partition one for FSX, partition two for OS, partition three for other data. Each sized appropriately. Each defragged as per Nick's recommendations (perhaps partition three not so important.)If this is not going to improve FSX perf as far as the HD is concerned, and the recommendation is still to install the OS and FSX on the first partition, how about this:Create two partitions, first for the OS and FSX, second for other data. Each sized appropriately. First partition defragged as per Nick's recommendations. But, with one change. When installing FSX, install to a folder with a name that will put it at the beginning of the folder list, such as "C:\!FlightSimX" (Note the exclamation mark. When the folders are sorted by name, that will put it at the top of the list. When the disk is defragged by name, that should put all the FSX files at the beginning of the drive. I'm assuming that the beginning of the drive is the outside edge.)Comments?Thanks,...jim

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Hi JimI just want to point out that partitioning a single hard drive is really not such a great idea. There are many reasons not to do this, though primarily the biggest potential issue is that you have all your eggs as it were in one single basket. If the drive packs up say cheers to everything, irrespective of how many partitions you may or may not have. Considering how cheap hard drives are nowadays I would strongly recommend that you pick up another one specifically for FSX, or pick up two new drives with the third being for everything besides your OS, apps and FSX. This way you can rest assured that if anything goes south with one drive then all the rest of your stuff is safe.This advice has been learnt the hard way!

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Sharrow,I appreciate the advise. While I have not learned the hard way, I do know the value of a backup. To that end, I have an external HD to which my internal HD is copied every night.While my job is third level support for a large government department network (currently focused on Exchange servers and BlackBerry Enterprise servers) I no longer get to play at the workstation level, hence some of my questions. Sort of a case of knowing a lot, but not quite in the right area. :-)I'd appreciate it if you could educate me on the other reasons why it is not a good idea to partition a hard drive as it relates to FSX, taking into consideration what I've mentioned in my original post.Regards,...jim

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I have read Nick's posts concerning various hard drive configurations as they relate to FSX. Good information.With regards to a single hard drive configuration, I read that the disk should not be partitioned, or if it is, that the first partition be used for the OS and programs, including FSX.My question(s):Since Vista (and XP) can be installed and booted from any partition, and since we want FSX to be as close to the outer edge of the platters, would this work:Create three partitions - partition one for FSX, partition two for OS, partition three for other data. Each sized appropriately. Each defragged as per Nick's recommendations (perhaps partition three not so important.)If this is not going to improve FSX perf as far as the HD is concerned, and the recommendation is still to install the OS and FSX on the first partition, how about this:Create two partitions, first for the OS and FSX, second for other data. Each sized appropriately. First partition defragged as per Nick's recommendations. But, with one change. When installing FSX, install to a folder with a name that will put it at the beginning of the folder list, such as "C:\!FlightSimX" (Note the exclamation mark. When the folders are sorted by name, that will put it at the top of the list. When the disk is defragged by name, that should put all the FSX files at the beginning of the drive. I'm assuming that the beginning of the drive is the outside edge.)Comments?Thanks,...jim
Option 1 is outOption 2 is possible however renaming the folder and having it moved to the edge of the platter is not necessary unless you plan on installing a lot of programs beforeProgram Files\Microsoft GamesIf not I really do not see any 'huge' advantage to placing it on the C partition as suggested and just let it install where it wants toBut do be aware, probably one of the best tweaks you can do is buy a single VelociRaptor and make it a dedicated FSX drive. The money spent on that drive (150GB or 300GB) is worth every penny to FSX

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(Edit-Nick, thanks for your quick response to this question on another forum. I couldn't delete this so figured it might still be useful to others here. I included your response at the bottom to save you the trouble. Sorry for the confusion.) Nick, I don't mean to hijack this thread, but since we are on the subject I thought I'd throw this question to you. I'm just now getting to installing all of my software and wanted to check to see if this looks correct to you (this is more software-title specific than we've discussed before). Like you said, I'm putting UTX on the drive with FSX, but not always sure where the other stuff goes. I thought about just putting ANYTHING related to FSX on that drive to keep it simple, but don't know if that will hurt performance.Anyway, here's what I'm thinking of doing:On OS/Misc Drive: Vista, Real Temp, CPU-Z, O&O 11.1, Nhancer, CH Control Manager, Prime 95, Driver Cleaner, O&O Disk Image 3.1.808, Crysis, Memtest86, GEX, FEX, FS Genesis, Falcon 4 Allied Force, Blackhawk, Flight Deck 5On FSX Drive (Velociraptor): FSX, Acceleration Pack, UTX, Co-Pilot Pro, My TrafficX, FSUIPC 4.4, PMDG MD-11, DC-10 CollectionThird drive: Backups and other misc. data filesDoes this allocation seem reasonable? Thanks, JeffThis was Nick's response:FS Genesis goes into FSX not on the OS driveOtherwise everything else looks fineFEX and GEX you must boot and SEND the textures to FSX then close the interfaces so they can go on the OS drivemake sure GEX is installed LAST after everything else and make sure you UPDATE UTX and GEX as you install them and before sending GEX textures to FSX

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Hi, Nick. Hope you had a good holiday season. I don't mean to hijack this thread, but since we are on the subject I thought I'd throw this question to you and it might be of some value to others. I

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Thank you for your response, Nick. Much appreciated.If I may bug you a bit more. Can you explain a bit why option 1 is not an, er, option?Oh, wait. I think the light bulb in my brain just lit up. Even while FSX is running, the OS files still need to be accessed. Having them in a different partition on the same disk means that the average seek times to those OS files and back to FSX files will be greater, thereby reducing disk performance. Am I close?And, if this is the case, that does mean having FSX on its own separate disk would certainly improve disk performance, as the seeks to OS files and FSX files can occur concurrently, and there is less seeking going on overall. Are disk read/writes to two separate disks concurrent as well?Amazing what happens when some bit of information finally sinks in. :-) I'm starting a savings plan for a vrap now.Regards,...jim

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Thank you for your response, Nick. Much appreciated.If I may bug you a bit more. Can you explain a bit why option 1 is not an, er, option?Oh, wait. I think the light bulb in my brain just lit up. Even while FSX is running, the OS files still need to be accessed. Having them in a different partition on the same disk means that the average seek times to those OS files and back to FSX files will be greater, thereby reducing disk performance. Am I close?And, if this is the case, that does mean having FSX on its own separate disk would certainly improve disk performance, as the seeks to OS files and FSX files can occur concurrently, and there is less seeking going on overall. Are disk read/writes to two separate disks concurrent as well?Amazing what happens when some bit of information finally sinks in. :-) I'm starting a savings plan for a vrap now.Regards,...jim
now you're getting "it"Not only is it of benefit to have 2 channels running for OS and FSX, your FSX install will not be subjected to the constant fragmentation that goes with a constantly expanding/contracting OS install. I can also install large 'database' type addons like FEX and GEX to the OS or another drive since they simply 'send' textures to FSX by selections which keeps the FSX disk leanerI have 5 drives in most of my systems including one external. The external is eSATA which means its just as fast as the internal drives on an external SATAII port. The OS is on one, FSX on another, one is used as a project disk where I sometime partition it and put a test OS on the first physical partition using the 2nd partition as storage and working area for projects like GEX, one for backups and the external is used as a redundant backup and as a scratch drive for Photoshop and A/V editingWith the redundant backup I would have to lose 2 drives at the same time to lose my backup data and I do keep very critical data on DVD's as well.The more freespace a drive or 1st physical partition has the faster it will be so its better to have no partitions on a 300GB hard drive and just use folders with a naming stradegy that partitioning. The only time I would consider partitions if if I wanted to use a OS and a data partition (behind it) but I would never do that with the FSX drive unless it was a last resort

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Thanks once again, Nick. It's all starting to make sense.I've also been reading your install and tuning guides for the OS and FSX, and will be using them when my new computer gets here (with adjustments for Vista Ultimate 64bit). I'm not going to bother with them on the old computer, as its life is limited (although the computer will live on at my Dad's place. But, he's not a simmer. :-) ) However, I did do your nHancer guide on this old computer just for giggles. While I could not use AA at all (just not enough omph with this vcard and pc) I did get a very nice increase in image quality. I've still got jaggies (which I can live with), but the shimmer is gone! Once again, thank you for taking the time to post all that excellent information.That should keep me going until the new one is ready.All the best,...jim

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Thanks once again, Nick. It's all starting to make sense.I've also been reading your install and tuning guides for the OS and FSX, and will be using them when my new computer gets here (with adjustments for Vista Ultimate 64bit). I'm not going to bother with them on the old computer, as its life is limited (although the computer will live on at my Dad's place. But, he's not a simmer. :-) ) However, I did do your nHancer guide on this old computer just for giggles. While I could not use AA at all (just not enough omph with this vcard and pc) I did get a very nice increase in image quality. I've still got jaggies (which I can live with), but the shimmer is gone! Once again, thank you for taking the time to post all that excellent information.That should keep me going until the new one is ready.All the best,...jim
AA should enable with Nhancer What OS, what video card and driver revision, and is this FSX?Make SURE 'Enhance ingame AA" is UNCHECKED in Nhancer for both global and the FSX profile and AA is unchecked in FSXor did you mean the system was just so old you cant use 'AA' without a perf hit?

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or did you mean the system was just so old you cant use 'AA' without a perf hit?
That would be what I meant. :-)With this old system, AA is not as important to me as seeing at least some eye candy. It's a trade off I'm willing to live with.It is a P4 3.2ghz, with 2gb ram, 7600GT vc. I prefer high resolution textures, so Global Texture is very high, High-res VC is on, all shadows are off, Water is none, Autogen is none, Texture res is 1m, mesh is 10m (have FSGenesis), Traffic is 30% (using TrafficX), GA is 14%, no vehicles or boats, labels are off, Cloud draw is 60, Cloud coverage is high.With these settings, using FSMark07, I get about 7fps over downtown Seattle, and reaching 20fps rural. After loading up the flight and sitting there waiting to press the P key, it's at about 8 to 9. These are flyable for me. If I enable AA, it is less than 1 fps. So yeah, my old system just doesn't have the omph for AA.But, the other settings in nHancer really did improve IQ. No more shimmers!Anyway, like I said, the new parts (i7 920, Asus P6T Deluxe, GTX 260 maxcore, 6gb Mushkin 7 8 7 20, TRUE 120) should be arriving end of next week. I'm sure I'll be able to use AA then.I also ordered a TripleHead2Go from another store. It has already arrived, so decided to give it a try on the old system. Interestingly, I saw little to no loss in perf, going from two independent monitors each at 1280 x 1024 (outside view on one monitor only, using Vista 32) to three integrated monitors at 3840 x 1024 (outside view across all monitors.) But boy oh boy, what a view!Regards,...jim

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I also ordered a TripleHead2Go from another store. It has already arrived, so decided to give it a try on the old system. Interestingly, I saw little to no loss in perf, going from two independent monitors each at 1280 x 1024 (outside view on one monitor only, using Vista 32) to three integrated monitors at 3840 x 1024 (outside view across all monitors.) But boy oh boy, what a view!Regards,...jim
The TH2G is going to hit you... hardYou did not see that hit on the older system because you are not running AA but you WILL see it on the new onebe ready for thatYou may not like the loss to gain the screen widthThere is NO such thing as a free lunch

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TANSTAFL is one of my mantras. :-)In addition to benchmarking the old and new systems, I'll also benchmark with and without the TH2G. (With FSMark07, of course.)I'll be posting the results in this forum.Best,...jim

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