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Fixing FS2004 stutters

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Here's my system:Dell 1.4ghz 8100256mb RDRAMnVidia3 Ti500Soundblaster 512WinMEI bought the system new to run fs2002, so it's 2 years old. I installed FS2004 today and after playing with it (thanks to the tip on Provantage!), I've noticed a progressive slowdown in the game to the point the frames begin to stutter.Anyway, after playing with the sliders, I see that most of the settings do not equate to the settings in FS2002. You have to move most settings back to the left to get decent frame rates (I have mine locked at 15).There are two types of stutters going on. The first freezes my sim for about 1 to 2 seconds and it appears the computer is locked up. I think it has to do with the 15 minute weather download. I haven't experimented enough yet to know for sure. The second type of stutter starts occurring about 10 to 15 minutes into the flight, or sooner if I do a lot of view switching, and it's a continuous stutter. I see it in turns, level flight, and it's in all views(cockpit, outside, virtual, tower). My frames are dropping into the 3 to 4 range and then jumping back to 8 or 10, but never getting back to 15. At first I thought it had to do with the autogen scenery, so I set autogen back to the minimum and I also flew in some remote areas with no autogen scenery. Still had the stuttering problem with the frame rate.I've found that the progressive stutter is related to the sound acceleration in DX9. If I move the sound slider to unaccelerated in the DX9 setup screen, the studders take longer to show up and they are not as bad. But the downside is the sound in FS2004 is now clipped and ATC is very hard to understand. When I return to accelerated sound, the clipping goes away, but the studders return.I've also gone into the /Windows/Applications/Microsoft/FS9 folder and editted the FS9.CFG file. I've played with the Cache_wav_files setting and doesn't seem to help.I did find that using my FS2002 settings in the graphics section of FS9.CFG helped to clean up the textures. The textures are much sharper now even though my global textures are still set to moderate.I also discovered the FS9.CFG has a section that lets you add more AI labels than are found on the AI options screen. It's pretty cool to see the flight plan, flight number, direction & speed flashing in addition to the make, model and altitude on the AI aircraft.I'll keep playing with this pesky studder problem. If I want the auto update weather, it appears I just have to be patient while the sim freezes and then comes back in a few seconds. But the progressive stutters are becoming annoying and I end up shutting down the sim and restarting to get rid of them. The unaccelerated DX9 sound setting is a big help, but the studders still seem to be there, just not as bad and it takes longer for them to show up.When I run FS2002, everything is very smooth, so I know I don't have a memory problem. I'll try upgrading to DX9b and see if it helps. I'd be interested to know if anyone else with a lower-end machine is having this problem and what they are doing to fix it. In the meantime, I'm going to load FS2004 on my P3-800 with XP to see if it runs better on XP, even if it's a slower machine.I love this new sim; the scenery is awesome, the weather is spectacular, but I gotta fix these studders!Bruce

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Hi!You should get more RAM, absolute minimum is 512mb best is 768 and ideal is 1Gb. Once you get the ram,turn off virtual memory, you should notice an improvement, later in time a new processor could't hurt ;) and in a more distant future a new graphic card...The main problem now as I've sayd, seems to be the RAM or the lack of it.Santos(LPAV)

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Maybe you RAM is too low.Fs2004 may be more demanding than 2002 in this regard.

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Just read this regarding fs2004 on another forum:"good fps, locked at 30, stays at 30, except inside clouds of course. goes down to 15-20 thenloads fast, and menus and dialogs seem to respond faster than 2002. RAM memory peaked at 416, but I have 1 GIG, so it could be my system trying to use as much as possible."

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Thanks for the advice Santos.It seems each new version of Flight Sim gets me to buy a new system. At least it's only every other year and not each year! :)

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HI Bruce, Windows Me is the problem for stutters and clearly add problems. Recommended to install windows Xp.You will get more stutters with the Ati 9800 Pro than the Gforce4 TI, we have tested this in depht.Normal slider value scenery/autogen in fs2004, is the max slider in fs2002, be aware of this. ThanksChris Willis[link:fsw.simflight.com/FSWMenuFsSim.html]Clouds And Addons For MsFs

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MORE RAM!!!! Seriously, I'd try that first before any other upgrade. It's cheap and the single easiest upgrade that one can do.Dave

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Hey, No complaining till the rest of us get FS2004. That looks to be the 29th, and I know many of our friends oversees have to wait longer.;)Tony

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After installing FS2004 on a lowly P3-800 with WinXP Pro and 256mb DIMM, the sim does not have the progressive stutters, but still exhibits the 2 sec freeze when updating the weather.It appears it's not necessarily the amount of memory that's the problem, but the operating system. WinME seems to have a problem with memory management. I've monitored the memory usage on WinXP vs. WinME when using FS2004 and WinME is not only depleting the memory pool faster than XP, but it's not releasing it!!I added MemoryMax (freeware tool) to the WinME system and while FS is running, I've recovered the used memory from the heap. The sim again runs smoothly after the memory is recovered.The max memory usable on WinME is 512mb, so it appears FS2004 is going to make all the holdouts step up to WinXP for better performance.For those people running WinME with 256mb or less, be prepared for some issues when using FS2004.Bruce

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Im using Win98 still, I hope that will not cause any problems for me with FS2004!

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Tony,I did mention that the sim is FANTASTIC! So many improvements in nearly all aspects of the sim.I really am impressed with it, but wanted to mention the problem to get confirmation that memory was the issue so others could take immediate steps if they are in a similar configuration and enjoy the sim right out of the tin (or box). :-) Bruce

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No problem Bruce, I was just teasing. I hope you get things sorted out. I run a Windows ME machine as well, though I upgraded from 256MB to 512MB Ram long ago. I noticed a pronounced improvement in FS2002 with the additional RAM. It made things smoother, decreased load times, and cut down on delays when changing views. Give it a try.I am intersted in upgrading to XP anyway, but everything works pretty good for me now, and as they say, if it ain't broke. . . I don't want to format and reinstall everything to upgrade to XP, with over 60GB of stuff on my drives, but from what I read, a direct upgrade to XP over ME can lead to problems.Tony

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Hi Bruce,I had the same problem with WinME. It was either the os or my sound card, Audigy2. I found that by turning the sound quality to "medium", under options, settings, sound, that this eliminated the stutters.Ed

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