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Jimmy Angel

The Black Art of FSX Tweaking

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I've been flying FS9 up until a week ago. The dumping of the Aces team finnaly got me into the FSX fold, even though I've had a decent machine for a few months. Why was I waiting? It's the tweaking.I'm completely ridiculous with the tweaking. I tweaked and tweaked with FS9 and really never got anywhere, except for some major things like lower resolution clouds. The big change came when I had a machine which could push it at great FPS in nearly every situation. Only then could I sit back and relax without freaking out about every little stutter or blurry scenery.So now here I am with FSX, tweaking away. And I've discovered it's even more than a black art than it used to be. Why? FPS no longer tells the whole story. With FS9 you could tweak for better frame rates and chances are the flight will feel smoother. In FSX you might get better FPS but all of the sudden you've got jitters in turns.I've also discovered, again, that every bit of advice out there has a big caveat: your system is unique. IN DX9 my system runs better in full screen. In DX10 it runs better overall (MUCH better than DX9, even when zeroing out AA and AF settings in my Nhancer) but only in a window. It's nearly impossible to benchmark this thing. You have to FEEL it, which makes tweaking all the more like some jar of medicine you'd buy out of the back of a wagon. I've been through all of the guides. Some things seem to work, but that's probably just a temporary quirk or placebo. Most things don't make a lick of difference, and some seem to make it worse.I have discovered a few things:* The higher resolution textures in products like REX look awesome, but my system ain't ready for them.* Apparently I'll be flying in Australia for a while, because ORBX FTX has left me unable to fly over default scenery. * Carenado has apprently mastered the ability to create really high detail planes which don't impact performance one bit.* I love bloom lighting. Sue me.So, that's what it comes down to me for me. Establish a sensible baseline that seems to work, and then choose addons which don't muck it up.But, I've got a sickness. I'm sure I'll be clicking on every one of those threads with titles like "At last! Great fps solution found!".....

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In DX10 it runs better overall (MUCH better than DX9, even when zeroing out AA and AF settings in my Nhancer) but only in a window.
When running FSX under DX10 preview nHancer has ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT on the configuration of your graphics driver. In DX10 Preview FSX is under direct control of Vsync, AA, and AF and there is nothing that can be done to override those settings.Do not get yourself fixated with FPS in FSX. As you said its a whole different animal than FS9. In certain situations, if the framerate counter were to be displayed you could see as low as 15FPS and experience fluid flight. I would highly recommend that you tune your system for fluid flight and leave the FPS counter OFF else you will wind up chasing your tailORBX should not screw up your default scenery. Simply turn FTX mode OFF (with FSX not running). If you have FTX mode OFF and you still have problems with your default scenery then your scenery configuration file as well as some other files are more than likely out of wack. ORBX offers great technical support for their products to registered users in their forums at www.fullterrain.com

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ORBX should not screw up your default scenery. Simply turn FTX mode OFF (with FSX not running).
Oops. It does sound like I meant that, doesn't it?What I actually meant was that FTX is so awesome that flying over the default is just too disappointing to bother.And, yeah, they've got great support and a ton of free stuff.

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Nick Needham's posts are the ones youre looking for, to get successful tweaking, with things explained - he takes some of the 'black' out of the art of it.http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?showtopic=239962
Yeah, Nick's guides are good, but he's the first one to tell you that mileage may vary. Much of his advice is keyed to a DX9 install, but I get much better performance with DX10. Go figure....

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I've been flying FS9 up until a week ago. The dumping of the Aces team finnaly got me into the FSX fold, even though I've had a decent machine for a few months. Why was I waiting? It's the tweaking.I'm completely ridiculous with the tweaking. I tweaked and tweaked with FS9 and really never got anywhere, except for some major things like lower resolution clouds. The big change came when I had a machine which could push it at great FPS in nearly every situation. Only then could I sit back and relax without freaking out about every little stutter or blurry scenery.So now here I am with FSX, tweaking away. And I've discovered it's even more than a black art than it used to be. Why? FPS no longer tells the whole story. With FS9 you could tweak for better frame rates and chances are the flight will feel smoother. In FSX you might get better FPS but all of the sudden you've got jitters in turns.I've also discovered, again, that every bit of advice out there has a big caveat: your system is unique. IN DX9 my system runs better in full screen. In DX10 it runs better overall (MUCH better than DX9, even when zeroing out AA and AF settings in my Nhancer) but only in a window. It's nearly impossible to benchmark this thing. You have to FEEL it, which makes tweaking all the more like some jar of medicine you'd buy out of the back of a wagon. I've been through all of the guides. Some things seem to work, but that's probably just a temporary quirk or placebo. Most things don't make a lick of difference, and some seem to make it worse.I have discovered a few things:* The higher resolution textures in products like REX look awesome, but my system ain't ready for them.* Apparently I'll be flying in Australia for a while, because ORBX FTX has left me unable to fly over default scenery. * Carenado has apprently mastered the ability to create really high detail planes which don't impact performance one bit.* I love bloom lighting. Sue me.So, that's what it comes down to me for me. Establish a sensible baseline that seems to work, and then choose addons which don't muck it up.But, I've got a sickness. I'm sure I'll be clicking on every one of those threads with titles like "At last! Great fps solution found!".....
I completely agree on being fixated with the FPS. You must turn it off and search for fluidity Grasshopper! I agree in part concerning "Black Art" but I must say that there are some entries that do/have made a difference for me with XP-DX9 and FSX SP2. Nick_N's tuning guide was incredible! The OS tuning especially as it definately made a hugh difference. Now that I have my tuning in order, I must choose between photo scenery and GEX - UTX. I find myself switching back and forth between the two landscapes like a fickle pregnant bride (no offense intended). I switch back and I get a grin from ear to ear, then...... back to the other with a grin from ear to ear.... Hmmm, cmon I say to myself, make up your dang mind! I am driving myself crazy! Personally I think most are not happy unless they are tweaking and changing. It reminds me of some of past and current civilizations that are not happy unless they have a war. Anyway, the quest for the perfect flight sim experience continues.........RegardsBob G

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The "your system is unique" bit is especially valid. I've read time and again how SLI does nothing to help FSX, yet on my particular rig FSX runs noticeably faster and smoother with SLI turned on. I also recently read a thread here on avsim in which there was talk that running FSX on two or three cores, as opposed to my available four might in fact make for an increase in smoothness. I tried it, and unsurprisingly on my rig all four cores is the way to go. I've seen this countless times, and in fact went through NickN's now famous post(s) about tweaking and had entirely mixed results. In the end I had to pick and choose what worked for MY system, and ignore the rest.

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The "your system is unique" bit is especially valid. I've read time and again how SLI does nothing to help FSX, yet on my particular rig FSX runs noticeably faster and smoother with SLI turned on. I also recently read a thread here on avsim in which there was talk that running FSX on two or three cores, as opposed to my available four might in fact make for an increase in smoothness. I tried it, and unsurprisingly on my rig all four cores is the way to go. I've seen this countless times, and in fact went through NickN's now famous post(s) about tweaking and had entirely mixed results. In the end I had to pick and choose what worked for MY system, and ignore the rest.
I think there is a good reason for this. Depending on where the bottleneck is in your system, speeding up or slowing down specific parts may help or hinder overall throughput.I was just reading a book on evolution theory where the interesting statement was made, that if you slow down traffic, you may actually get more cars through a certain chokepoint than if you allow a higher speed. This is because you then get drivers braking and accelerating which creates traffic jams. Sounds a lot like the discussion we are having here! :(

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Tweaking is necessary to make the best use of your HW/SW combination. We are not only looking for a higher FPS, but also smoothness and good looking. The compromise makes tweaking complex. However, the purpose is to enjoy the flight, we should not waste too much time for tweaking than flying.

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I been around FS for decades: what "tweak" is there to make FSX stable??? My Gawd what a mess it is.

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I been around FS for decades: what "tweak" is there to make FSX stable??? My Gawd what a mess it is.
Yep, whatever you do/try, there will always be a drawback somewhere. Mess - Moles exist somewhere somehow :(

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Being single core is a MAJOR MAJOR problem for this sim: with the add-ons,a single core simply cannot keep up.A properly coded sim, however, like Black Shark, doubles FPS with 2 cores over one.Until, if ever, FSX uses more than one core, I am through with this damned sim...toobad, considering I have hundreds of dollars of add-ons invested in it.

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Until, if ever, FSX uses more than one core, I am through with this damned sim...toobad, considering I have hundreds of dollars of add-ons invested in it.
Some people do make me laugh! Just%20Kidding.gifFSX does use more than one core, ever since SP1. Using the AffinityMask entry in your fsx.cfg, you can also 'choose' which cores of your multi-core CPU it uses, or doesn't use.

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Nick Needham's posts are the ones youre looking for, to get successful tweaking, with things explained - he takes some of the 'black' out of the art of it.http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?showtopic=239962
Nick's work is good, but (admittedly) is very nVidia-oriented. I've found some of his settings to have adverse effects with an ATI card.

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