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kerosene31

FS2004 3d cloud observation/solution(?)

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I picked up FS2004 today and have been really happy with it.However, as some people have commented, the 3d clouds can be an incredible drain on fps. I get consistently smooth frame rates except when there is heavy layers of scattered clouds. Real weather, which can add several layers, seems to add to the problem.As we all know, FS2002 is mostly CPU intensive. This is why--if you've got a decent video card--you can run it a high resolutions without a big loss in frame rate. The CPU is usually the bottleneck.However, it seems that the 3d clouds in FS2004 might be limited primarily by the graphic card, more so than any other specific setting. I was running at 1280x960 with 2xAA and 4xanisotropic, and getting some pretty low fps (10-14) when flying into a layer of scattered clouds. All of the sliders had very little effect one way or another (unless I completely eliminated the 3d clouds).On a whim, I tried 1024x768, and the fps leveled off at or near 20 (which is where I had it locked). Flying was noticeably smoother and stutter-free. This was a pretty big change for 1 resolution "step"Next, I played around with my anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering settings. With FS2002, I could max out Anisotropic with nary a change in fps. Now, surprisingly, each step in anisotropic has a performance cost as long as there is 3d clouds in the air. Same goes for AA.So ... bottom line. The glory days of running at 1600x1200 with 2xAA and 8xanisotropic might be at an end. Even on a fairly fast video card (mine is a Radeon 9500 pro), it seems like we might need to do some careful optimizations to achieve a balance of speed and quality when we want to have 3d clouds. The CPU does not seem to be the limiter for this. As with all things, YMMV.UPDATE: At 1280x960, flying at 8000 feet above Everett Washington using the current weather, (which included a layer of overcast) I was only getting about 12fps. I changed to 2xAA instead of 4xAA, and dropped anisotropic filtering down to 2:1 instead of 4:1. This gave me a solid 19-20 fps in the same situation. Sinced I used the presets in my Rage3d tweak application, I was able to toggle back and forth to see the clear performance improvement.

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Hey there,I made a bet to myself with FS2004; yes the clouds are going to kill your framerate.Look at it this way, from what I understand they are modelling the clouds in gmax; which is the same way they model the aircraft. So by doing this, its effectively a whole crapload of slow moving AI that looks like clouds in the air killing your framerare.Just my 2 cents.

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I highly doubt the clouds are a "whole crapload of slow moving AI that looks like clouds" - GMAX is a multipurpose 3D modelling tool (it was the full-blown 3D Studio Max they were using by the way) and isn't used just to make AI aircraft.I don't have the sim yet, but my guess might be that the video card is trying to do AA/AF on the clouds, which it really shouldn't have to do because they're not actually polygons.Ryan

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Mackenson I have to agree with you on this, I had to lower my display settings and it did make a difference. One thing I noticed however is, there is no framerate problem flying below or through the clouds. Framerate problems occur only when you are well above the clouds, I can't understand this. One thing I hope MS fixes is overcast. There is absolutely no overcast in this sim....

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Hi dilloll0, I wish you have seen my post before and I have post this many time, the AA 2x compare to 4x, destroy the frame rate, specialy when there is many clouds. I always use 1024x768 32 bits, do not use the Antialasing built in fs2004, only external.Clouds can be steady at 20 fps above of them, ultra high setting ms, and clouds percentage to 100%http://forums.avsim.com/dcboard.php?az=sho..._id=69828&page=ThanksChris Willis[link:fsw.simflight.com/FSWMenuFsSim.html]Clouds And Addons For MsFs

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Chris I read your post and I turned my AA off in the sim. Framerates are still a problem (not near as before but it's still noticable).Thanks for your suggestions Chris there very helpful.

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this works for mei turn all aa of, both internal and externalthen i run it at 1280x1024x32 and have been getting really good results 12-19 80& of the timehere are my system specs:CPU = amd athlon 2400+ running at 2gigsMOBO = gigabyte 7vaxpMOBO MEM. = 512 megs ddrVID CARD = geforce 4 ti 4200 128 with 44.03 certified nvidia driverswin xp homeoops, i should add, that i have all sliders cranked to max, except:no dynamic scenery (key word being dynamic this is not autogen, that is maxed out)also, max vis=60nmmax cloud draw dist. = 60100% 3d cloudsciao!Brian S

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I don't have the game yet (tomorrow :) ), but it makes sense that antialiasing + clouds would kill frames. AA smoothes out edges of any curved surface. So if you are looking at a partly cloudy sky, your vid card has to smooth every edge of every cloud. It is a lot bigger hit that just looking at AI aircraft of the simple 2d clouds of fs2002. That is a lot to ask of even the latest video cards.

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