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Guest Nick_N

COMPLETE FSX INSTALL AND TUNING GUIDE

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Thanks, Nick, good to have all the info in one place.I'm confused by your chapter on fixing OOM errors, however...The heading:USING MORE THAN 2GIGS OF SYSTEM MEMORY IN WINDOWS XP x32 OR VISTA X32 with OOMimplies that this is linked to the physical memory size!Having exactly 2 GB myself and having had OOM errors that were fixed by using the /3GB switch have educatedme on the fact that the OOM errors relate to virtual memory allocations and are, in fact, independent of physical memory size. Maybe this chapter could be re-worded to remove the ambiguity..

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Thanks, Nick, good to have all the info in one place.I'm confused by your chapter on fixing OOM errors, however...The heading:USING MORE THAN 2GIGS OF SYSTEM MEMORY IN WINDOWS XP x32 OR VISTA X32 with OOMimplies that this is linked to the physical memory size!Having exactly 2 GB myself and having had OOM errors that were fixed by using the /3GB switch have educatedme on the fact that the OOM errors relate to virtual memory allocations and are, in fact, independent of physical memory size. Maybe this chapter could be re-worded to remove the ambiguity..
I titled it Bert to try and cut down on people asking what it was for... I know its about address space and I know what it is used for however those who place more memory and large memry video cards in a 32bit system are very likely to see that error and the title with the follow up do explain what it is for quite clearlyWording it the way I did does not say it deals with physical memory.. it says it deals with OOM and the follow up specifies that OOM can happen with or without >2GBWording it the way I did cuts down on support questions.. its use and tuning it are very clearIt has a follow up titleUSING MORE THAN 2GIGS OF SYSTEM MEMORY IN WINDOWS XP x32 OR VISTA X32 with OOM-OR-HOW TO PROPERLY TUNE VIRTUAL ADDRESS SPACE IN WINDOWS (x32) FOR OUT OF MEMORY ERRORSx64 operating systems do not need the following changes PLEASE NOTE: This section is for anyone who uses more (OR LESS) than 2GB of memory in XPx32 and Vistax32, and, who may see out of memory errors. It applies to BOTH circumstances.however I do see where it leaves out 'OR EQUAL TO" which I will re-edit :(

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It has a follow up titlePLEASE NOTE: This section is for anyone who uses more (OR LESS) than 2GB of memory in XPx32 and Vistax32, and, who may see out of memory errors. It applies to BOTH circumstances.x64 operating systems do not need the following changes
Fair enough... How about:PLEASE NOTE: This section is for anyone who uses XPx32 and Vistax32, and, who may see out of memory errors, regardless of memory size.That way, I with my 2GB configuration am included :-)

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Changed... USING MORE/LESS or EQUAL to 2GIGS OF SYSTEM MEMORY IN WINDOWS XP x32 OR VISTA X32 with OOM-OR-HOW TO PROPERLY TUNE VIRTUAL ADDRESS SPACE IN WINDOWS (x32) FOR OUT OF MEMORY ERRORSx64 operating systems do not need the following changes PLEASE NOTE: This section is for anyone who sees out of memory error while using FSX. It applies to ALL circumstances.thanks Bert, that actually does the same job in explaining with a bit clearer technical descriptionI try to keep things on a very 'user friendly' level.. I know that can sometime step on the technical toes :(

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Hello,thank you for your guide!I've read it completely and give it a try the next time when I set up FSX from stock....One question:Is your tuning regarding to full screen or windowed mode???I prefer windowed mode because I have two screens and can interact with other applications during flight (routing tools, flightplanner, browser) and I wouldn't run FSX in full screen.Is your guide also for windowed mode or are then any changes?

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Hello,thank you for your guide!I've read it completely and give it a try the next time when I set up FSX from stock....One question:Is your tuning regarding to full screen or windowed mode???I prefer windowed mode because I have two screens and can interact with other applications during flight (routing tools, flightplanner, browser) and I wouldn't run FSX in full screen.Is your guide also for windowed mode or are then any changes?
Im afraid Window mode is problematical in FSX. I always run full screen however tuning should be done full screen first to make sure you have properly set up the application... after that if Window Mode presents issues you will know what the problem isWindow mode WILL NOT ALLOW Vsync to work in FSX which means you can get tears and jitters in Window mode you wont get in full screenOnce tuned then try your flights the way you normally fly FSX and observe the results.. you may need to tweak a bit more or you may find you can raise a slider

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Nick you might add that the BUFFERPOOL entry should be avoided with DX10.Thanks for this very useful document :--)

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I am adding to this guide as I get time and there is a dated change/addition list at the end of the posthttp://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=29041Everyone is welcome to use the information without duplication and please do back up your current FSX.cfg file should you wish to experiment with settings
You sometimes mention the phrase 'a very low system'. What is that? For example I haveAMD 64 4000+2 Gb PC3200 RAMNVIDIA 7950GT 512M DDR3 AGPWD Raptor 150 Gb 10000 rpm SATAIWin XP Homeis that a very low system?

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Nick you might add that the BUFFERPOOL entry should be avoided with DX10.Thanks for this very useful document :--)
Thanks DavidEven when I was running Vista I di dot play around in DX10 that much but when I did, I did not notice any issues with bufferpools in Vista as my card and the edit in the config file remained the same for bith DX9 and DX10. Perhaps I missed something.I do know that those on 512 cards will most likely not want that edit in the config file (DX9/10) simple because the 512 card has very little to spare in that areaBufferpools even in DX9 is a trial and error setting and adjustment. Some may find use and others may not
You sometimes mention the phrase 'a very low system'. What is that? For example I haveAMD 64 4000+2 Gb PC3200 RAMNVIDIA 7950GT 512M DDR3 AGPWD Raptor 150 Gb 10000 rpm SATAIWin XP Homeis that a very low system?
I would consider that a medium to med-low system in terms of what FSX really needs in CPU and video card horsepower on higher settings but not 'very low' by any means. It would also depend on the clock too and if you were clocking the card and the processor at all.Some people run FSX on hardware even FS9 would probably struggle with and laptops that have very restricted video card and CPU abilities.

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Nick, you might consider also that any installation of FSX on Vista 64 should be made outside of the standard "\Program Files (x86)" folder. When FSX is placed there the OS moves some files into something like 'protective custody' that causes a performance hit. As you suggested moving FSX to another drive all its own that would be more then adequate, but in the case someone is forced to use the same drive as the OS they would be best off to install FSX to another folder.

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Nick, you might consider also that any installation of FSX on Vista 64 should be made outside of the standard "\Program Files (x86)" folder. When FSX is placed there the OS moves some files into something like 'protective custody' that causes a performance hit. As you suggested moving FSX to another drive all its own that would be more then adequate, but in the case someone is forced to use the same drive as the OS they would be best off to install FSX to another folder.
I always install FSX on another drive and I posted that in the thread under storage considerations (I think)If I didnt I will add it in

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Yeah, I'm not looking forward to paying for the upgrade to Vista Service Pack 3 (windows 7) myself. Still, people would be best advised not to install into the default folder on Vista 64.

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Yeah, I'm not looking forward to paying for the upgrade to Vista Service Pack 3 (windows 7) myself. Still, people would be best advised not to install into the default folder on Vista 64.
LOLI got the threads mixed up.. I thought I was posting in the W7 thread hereI will edit the list tomorrow about FSX install locations

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Nick, you say NEVER install more than 2 sticks of memory. I've not heard this before, I have 2 1024 sticks and two 512 sticks in XP SP3 32 bit on an ASUS P5K-E, is this self defeating in some way then? Or have I misunderstood?John

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Nick,Thank you for the article. However, I have a few different opinions:1. What's the use of rebooting before installing Acceleration? I don't think it is necessary.2. The autogen tweak (trees and buildings) did work, at least for me. I will suggest those who have FPS problems, or those who don't like to see too many trees or buildings to test it themself.3. "Mesh Resolution" will affect the ground. So when you set it to 10m for a 76m mesh (most areas in FSX), the ground will have more bumps. 4. Set "Texture Resolution" to 7cm will increase loading time and have no effect unless if you have a scenery supporting it

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Nick, you might consider also that any installation of FSX on Vista 64 should be made outside of the standard "\Program Files (x86)" folder. When FSX is placed there the OS moves some files into something like 'protective custody' that causes a performance hit. As you suggested moving FSX to another drive all its own that would be more then adequate, but in the case someone is forced to use the same drive as the OS they would be best off to install FSX to another folder.
Sorry to be asking what might seem obvious, but does this mean I should install to \Program Files instead of \Program Files (x86)?

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Nick,Thank you for the article. However, I have a few different opinions:1. What's the use of rebooting before installing Acceleration? I don't think it is necessary.2. The autogen tweak (trees and buildings) did work, at least for me. I will suggest those who have FPS problems, or those who don't like to see too many trees or buildings to test it themself.3. "Mesh Resolution" will affect the ground. So when you set it to 10m for a 76m mesh (most areas in FSX), the ground will have more bumps. 4. Set "Texture Resolution" to 7cm will increase loading time and have no effect unless if you have a scenery supporting it
Sounds like you have it all figured out for your system :(By the way.. the launch of FSX after installing any patch is to make sure the FSX files/folder register properly to the system as Phil and Tim from Aces have posted many times.... the reboots are to clear the system for the next patch or in the case of Acceleration to clear the system before starting a flight since you are moving well over a gig of data around in that Accel patch and afterwards you would want to start with a clean system to defragment properly before ever starting up FSXMost people run some kind of mesh product in FSX and most of the better products are 10m. FSGenesis is fixing the plateau issues around airports which is a MSFS issue more than a mesh problem in the way the title is designed. Regardless, 7cm texture resolution tends to help keep things sharper in appearance, especially vector roads which ARE 7cm based. There is no perf loss in running that unless you are on hardware much better suited for FS9
Sorry to be asking what might seem obvious, but does this mean I should install to \Program Files instead of \Program Files (x86)?
No.. Hes just saying that moving the install outside of the program files folder in Vista keeps a few nags from happening. If you shut down UAC and indexing I really dont see a reason to do that but then again I never install directly to the OS drive anyway and always place FSX on its own driveAn 32bit program in a 64biot OS installs to Program Files (x86) and not Program Files

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This is a useful article and thanks for for spending the time to put it together. It does however seem weighted much toward performance than value. A good example is your storage recommendations.

Due too the file size increases from FS9 to FSX the use of motherboard based software solutions actually REDUCE the number of CPU cycles available to FSX and increases latency in calling file chunks from such arrays. The ONLY RAID that will enhance FSX is HARDWARD RAID on the RIGHT professional PCIe solution which allows a 256K BLOCK OR STRIPE with the RIGHT controller card settings to eliminate features such as NCQ
Is this really a significant problem for multi cores? Is FSX making such good use of multi cores that stealing a few CPU cycles to support a RAID array actually outweighs increased transfer rates? Plus, CPU utilization varies based on a number of factors. Consider the recent Intel ICH10R motherboard solution:http://www.smartdevicecentral.com/print_ar...ets/234161.aspx
MOTHERBOARD SOLUTIONS based on highest to lowest perfa. A single VelociRapor on Motherboard SATAII b. 2 VelociRapor in RAID0 on Motherboard RAID ... NOTE: Due to the Vrap design the single and RAID version of motherboard based storage is about equal c. A single 1st Generation Raptor on Motherboard SATAII d. A single 32MB cache large platter hard drive on SATAIIe. 2 1st Generation Raptors in RAID0 on motherboard RAIDf. 2 of any other drive in RAID0 on motherboard RAID
I'm not really feeling this. The assumption here seems to be inexpensive motherboard RAID solutions are entirely deficient, when actually the new chipsets, such as Intel ICH10R, rival more expensive hardware RAID performance:http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?re...9&t=1363331Based on the above two articles, I doubt that a single 32MB cache large platter drive would outperform two 32MB cache large platter drivers on a ICH10R RAID 0 array on a quad-core running FSX.

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Sounds like you have it all figured out for your system :(By the way.. the launch of FSX after installing any patch is to make sure the FSX files/folder register properly to the system as Phil and Tim from Aces have posted many times.... the reboots are to clear the system for the next patch or in the case of Acceleration to clear the system before starting a flight since you are moving well over a gig of data around in that Accel patch and afterwards you would want to start with a clean system to defragment properly before ever starting up FSXMost people run some kind of mesh product in FSX and most of the better products are 10m. FSGenesis is fixing the plateau issues around airports which is a MSFS issue more than a mesh problem in the way the title is designed. Regardless, 7cm texture resolution tends to help keep things sharper in appearance, especially vector roads which ARE 7cm based. There is no perf loss in running that unless you are on hardware much better suited for FS9No.. Hes just saying that moving the install outside of the program files folder in Vista keeps a few nags from happening. If you shut down UAC and indexing I really dont see a reason to do that but then again I never install directly to the OS drive anyway and always place FSX on its own driveAn 32bit program in a 64biot OS installs to Program Files (x86) and not Program Files
Ok, thanks.

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This is a useful article and thanks for for spending the time to put it together. It does however seem weighted much toward performance than value. A good example is your storage recommendations.Is this really a significant problem for multi cores? Is FSX making such good use of multi cores that stealing a few CPU cycles to support a RAID array actually outweighs increased transfer rates? Plus, CPU utilization varies based on a number of factors. Consider the recent Intel ICH10R motherboard solution:http://www.smartdevicecentral.com/print_ar...ets/234161.aspxI'm not really feeling this. The assumption here seems to be inexpensive motherboard RAID solutions are entirely deficient, when actually the new chipsets, such as Intel ICH10R, rival more expensive hardware RAID performance:http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?re...9&t=1363331Based on the above two articles, I doubt that a single 32MB cache large platter drive would outperform two 32MB cache large platter drivers on a ICH10R RAID 0 array on a quad-core running FSX.
If the ICH10R system allows a 256K STRIPE then I can see some benefit to FSX however lower (typical motherboards are restricted to 128K, far too small for FSX) and the user is INCREASING the number of file calls to the system from the array, effectively doubling the amount of operations being performed in seek and processCouple that with the primary core dealing with file calls the reduced STRIPE RAID is causing. FSX is primary to core0 and part of core 1 with most of core1 and the rest of the available cores only paying attention to autogen and terrain calcs.Regardless, motherboards do not have the same ability as PCIe hardware cards with memory buffers. 32MB cache drives are only faster than single 1st generation 10K Raptors in a RAID or multivolume hardware card environment (or in a Sequential Access use) assuming that RAID system is in fact optimized for the file size calls in chunks. The more drives in the array, a lower STRIPE is possibleThere is more to RAID than just the hardware. The Admin must make the proper calcs for STRIPE based on the application in use and the number of drives in the array in order for any such solution to provide benefit to the applicationThere are 2 types of files called by such arrays.. Sequential and RandomFSX is a random access and file read application with average file sizes in the 700K to 1MB+ range and therefore a larger STRIPE is required (256K or higher). Sequential access/read such as in audio and video work which use very large single file read and writes dictates a small STRIPE be used in the 4-16K range. FS9 had an average file size of 256K (FSX files average 3-4 times that size) and therefore a 64-128K STRIPE was sufficient to do the job and overcome the software motherboard solutions, which are software and not true hardware RAID. On the same 64-128K STRIPE in FSX you have very effectively increased the number of times the head must seek on each drive in the array and taken that CPU time off the application.With PCIe hardware RAID cards and drives such as the VelociRaptor you do get what you pay forAnd disk benchmarks such as HDTach use a SEQUENTIAL method of test (read the top of the test GUI) and guess what.. FSX does not present sequential read file calls to the system, it presents random read file calls, therefore what you see in HDTach is a complete farce to FSX performance on that drive. The result of that HDTach 'speed' test other than CPU useage and Access Time, will have absolutlely no bearing on how fast FSX will run on the drive or array being tested... If one was testing for speed of a video editing system, then HDTach speed results have meritThe only way a stoarge solution can be properly evaluated for a FSX system is in the use of professional software such as IO Meter when correctly set up to log the throughput of the storage system in real time and in real use.I will however add this.. Once SATAIII is released SSD drives will have the bandwidth they need on motherboard solutions and all of the above will be moot at that point. The primary problem is the mechanical latency placed on the system and the CPU needed to support it. With the Intel SSD drives and SATAIII that will not longer be an issueOn motherboard SATAII you do not get 3Gb/s per port you get 3Gb/s total for the entire SATA system which is why SSD needs the SATAIII standard or 6Gb/s as multi drive SSD completely saturates the SATAII bandwidth. On PCIe SATAII hardware cards you get 3Gb/s for each port without restrictionRegardless, the full use of the 3Gb/s 32MB cache drives are quite useless to a random access application and perform no faster than a SATA 1.5 in such apps on motherboard solutions as single drives. The combination of the software RAID without buffers, reduced STRIPE and restricted bandwidth along with CPU required to handle motherboard SATA RAID effectively reduces any gains very quickly.You are much better off on a single 32MB cache large platter drive with FSX on it by itself than running it on motherboard RAID and a single Raptor reduces access time and increases rotation speed effectively overtaking those 32MB drives unless they are on a card in RAID. The best single drive solution is the WD VelociRaptor on either motherboard SATA or PCIe SATA and worth every penny they cost to FSXthe math is simple

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Actually, what I was saying is that Vista 'protects' users from themselves by moving files that are created during use into a virtualstore (for example) instead of the programs default areas. So, if you need to access a file from one of those directories (and I'm not sure FSX does this) the calling program will make a call for it and then Vista steps in and redirects it to the virtualstore. I learned this in testing Vista 64 early on, so I have never had FSX in the '\Program Files (x86)' folder, but I do know that in other games I did test that the default program folder/virtualstore approach will cause game stutters. So, with FSX I have it on a separate drive altogether and that way avoid the UAC as well.

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Actually, what I was saying is that Vista 'protects' users from themselves by moving files that are created during use into a virtualstore (for example) instead of the programs default areas. So, if you need to access a file from one of those directories (and I'm not sure FSX does this) the calling program will make a call for it and then Vista steps in and redirects it to the virtualstore. I learned this in testing Vista 64 early on, so I have never had FSX in the '\Program Files (x86)' folder, but I do know that in other games I did test that the default program folder/virtualstore approach will cause game stutters. So, with FSX I have it on a separate drive altogether and that way avoid the UAC as well.
I very much agree with this approach.. the myth that moving FSX onto another volume creates perf issues is just that.. a mythHaving the app on another drive on its own partition not only removes it from UAC issues but more important it not subjected to a expanding and contracting OS volume, is safe in the event of a OS crash or drive loss. The FSX on another drive remains much cleaner and can be installed to a 64K cluster format which significantly reduces fragmentation and maintenanceIts own volume places the application on the disk for optimal geometric disk performance with respect to file calls

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You are much better off on a single 32MB cache large platter drive with FSX on it by itself than running it on motherboard RAID and a single Raptor reduces access time and increases rotation speed effectively overtaking those 32MB drives unless they are on a card in RAID. The best single drive solution is the WD VelociRaptor on either motherboard SATA or PCIe SATA and worth every penny they cost to FSXI had the opportunity to try with 2 Velociraptors : 150Gb for Vista 64 bit and 300Gb for FSX + addons.After that I tried with a 1Tb 32mb cache drive with Vista / FSX / addons all on one drive.In theory the first setup would be much more fluid and have better performance, but in reality I had the same fps and observed no difference in perfromance / fluidness.Therefor I returned the 2 Velociraptors.Knowing that there will be more and more large photoreal scenery I choose the 1 Tb drive over the 300GB Velociraptor. I do all my tests in the Amsterdam region :- lots of canals / waters / highways / residential roads / Schiphol Airport with MT 5.2 AI Aircraft / REX clouds ( Building storms ) within the surrounding of the aircraft.If I have my system smooth running there , than I will have it running smooth everywhere. My system :E8500 3.15Ghz --> 4.05GhzMaxumus Extreme mobo4 Gb OCZ Platium DDR 1800XFX 260 Black Edition Graphics CardThermaltake 700W Power SupplyThermaltake Kandalf LCS

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