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Guest Kurt

FS2004 Tweaks

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I just wanted to start a brief post stating what I have observed with this software.1) 3D Clouds can and do kill your FPS. Anything less than the machine I have, and your FPS will be completely unacceptable, at least to me. In fact, even on my machine(not the greatest I know), I am considering turning off 3D clouds all together, if I can.2) 3D Mesh affects FPS very little. The difference between my 100% mesh settings and 50% was only 1-3 FPS even in places like Alaska where the mesh is pretty dense.3) Water. Good 'ole h20. I wonder what M$ was thinking with this. Two sliders for settings? I have found that on the terrain detail slider, you can put the slider all the way to the right (detail water and land) with minimal FPS hit. I have found that the next slider, water effects, gives an unacceptable FPS hit if it is all the way to the right(high), so I have it in the middle(low). This gives the nifty little things like reflections, I think, and waves. Not real sure what happens when you stick the slider all the way to the right, I couldn't see an obvious difference.4) Extended Detail Textures. I saw no hit in FPS when this was engaged, and remarkedly, little difference in texture quality when it was on as opposed to off.5) One of the more amazing things, I checked 'ground scenery casts shadows' with no apparent FPS hit. Very interesting.6) Autogen. Again, very little FPS hit when the slider is all the way to the right.7) Scenery Complexity. No real difference between 'dense' and 'uber dense' ;-) This, of course, will be a factor in 3rd party addons.8) Dawn Dush Texture Blending. Nice, with no apparent hit. Boy, I am saying that alot :-hah9) VC Gauge quality. No problems on the max setting, but I was not able to test this suffciently because I don't have active camera to pan around the cockpit, and my joystick lacks a hat button. So I am not sure what the hit of gauges in the VC is.10) Reflections. No problem, but I would suspect that many low end cards will have trouble with this.11) Hardware lights. I put it to 8, but I cannot tell the difference between 4 and 8. Who knows....12) Anti-aliasing. I leave this unchecked and allow my drivers to AA for me. Much better that way :)13) T&L. I have this on, with no effects in FPS.In summary, it seems to me that there is *very* *little* (said with much emphasis) effect on FPS when you tinker around with settings. The one and only thing that brought my system to its knees where the 3D clouds. Bootyful things, but killer. Nice try M$, but no go. The water slider was a hit, but not as bad as clouds.Anyway care to comment on my findings? Keep in mind that I have played with this sim for a day, so I could be wrong :)

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Hi, Use the Ms setting ultra high, than, The clouds set the clouds draw distant to 40 mil and the clouds percentage to 90 or 100%.My system, P4 2.53 GHZ, 512 RAM, ASUS P4P800 8X, Gforce4 Ti 4200 8x 128 meg, I get everything set to max except shadows,mesh to 85% I get 20 fps most of the time.**12Anti-aliasing. I leave this unchecked and allow my drivers to AA for me. Much better that way :)***only use 2x AA, never higher, your frame rate will decrease because of the clouds render each edge one by one.**13) T&L. I have this on, with no effects in FPS.***always enabled, your will get more fpssee this post also:http://forums.avsim.com/dcboard.php?az=sho...d=128193&page=4ThanksChris Willis[link:fsw.simflight.com/FSWMenuFsSim.html]Clouds And Addons For MsFs

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Chris,Did what you suggested and moved my AA down to 2x(from quincux), and I gained 3 or 4 FPS, so now I get ~ 16 FPS looking at the clouds. Not quite what I want but I suppose I can get used to it :)

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FS2004 is running very well on my Athlon 1700XP, 768MB DDR, GeForce3 Ti 200. Framerates are consistently in the high-20s, low-30s, with occasional dips into the mid- to high-teens depending on weather and density of ground objects/AI. Running at 1280x960x16 with 3D clouds at 100%, cloud density at maximum, draw distance and clouds at 60 miles, scenery/autogen at dense, mesh at 100%. After 3 days of playing around with the various settings, I've found that the largest impact on framerate are the cloud density, cloud percentage (both within FS2004) and anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering (both in the video card driver settings). Rather than tone down the new clouds, I have disabled both anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering entirely. When they're both enabled, even at just 2x, I see roughly a 50% impact on framerates.

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Fred, I have noticed that Autogen affects the frames. So do the Shadows of Ground Scenery. But then this difference in observations could be due to the way we fly: I fly mostly low altitude; if you fly high up, then the results will be different.Chris, I've tried using 2xAA, but the shimmering in the textures remains high, so I use 6xAA and 2x-4x AF on my machine: P4 3.06GHZ, 1024MB RAM, Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB, WinXP Home. The shimmering, especially in the trees, doesn't disappear still, but it is much better. These settings force me to limit the cloud settings to their default values, everything else at max.

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Fred, I noticed we have about the same hardware specs. I find it really odd that with the same settings in FS9 more or less you describe, I can only get single digits with 3D clouds unless i put 3D cover to about 20-30%Also when its really thick thunderstorm clouds my sound gets really really choppy when in both cockpit and spotview.I run with 2xAA and 2xAF by the way (and get same results with both OFF also)Something else concerning tweaking; In the FS9 cfg file I noticed a line saying "auto LOD=0" Anyone know what this is for - I use Rivatuner to put the LOD into negative numbers but doesnt seem to help much. Would it make difference to put it to =1 ?

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Fred adding to what Chris Willis has already told you, lower your viewable distance to say 100 miles out and see what you get then. The less ground you view in the distance the better frames are with clouds. Seems to be a different concept than FS2002 when it comes to what FS2k4 will allow to get displayed all at once. If the sim detects your PC resources are at it's limits, FS2k4 decreases your cloud coverage. I refuse to go down any further than 100 miles (viewable distance), that's just unacceptable with my rig. I'm still testing to see if storms and fronts display correctly.Dell P4 8300 2.6gig 800fsbATI Radeon9700pro100gig SDRAM100gig HD

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1) 3D Clouds can and do kill your FPS. Anything less than the machine I have, and your FPS will be completely unacceptable, at least to me. In fact, even on my machine(not the greatest I know), I am considering turning off 3D clouds all together, if I can.Interesting, I have 3d clouds enabled about 70% I think (will double check tonight) and was surprised that they actually didn't hit my framerates at all (a very slight drop is all i noticed about 3 frames). In FS2002 It got so bad that voice (VATSIM) was also choppy, I'd drop to 2 frames per second in 2002 where as in 2004, I stay around 16-20 frames/sec in dense clouds.My system: P4 2.4G 768 Ram, 9800 Pro.

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Interesting. I have my Sight distance to the absolute minimum, 60 mi(in real life this is too high, but what can I do), with 3D cloud coverage at 100%, and cloud draw distance at 40 nm. I tried lowering the cloud coverage but I didn't like what happened to the look(the clouds looks too sparse...), and the FPS didn't go up that much.BTW, my AA is 2x (down from Quincux) and I refuse to go any lower. I must have my AA or else I will go crazy :) Has anyone tried different ansioscropic settings? Does that give you precious FPS?

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Naji,Interesting. I will have to play around some with the autogen settings. But I am reluctant to give up my high density autogen, it looks so cool as it is right now :-coolAlso, I too get shimmering in the trees. I found to get rid of it(I never messed with AF and AA settings) lower the mip map settings in the FS Display - hardware page. At least, that worked for me :)

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Cargomun,Interesting. The clouds are killing your system that much? :-hmmmAfter looking in my fs9.cfg file, I am noticing some very interesting entries, such as: see_self, performance_mode, image_quality, and auto_lod.

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"100gig SDRAM"WOW!!!! How the heck do you have 100 GB of RAM!!??!?! FS should be flying on that machine.

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>Fred, I have noticed that Autogen affects the frames. So do>the Shadows of Ground Scenery. But then this difference in>observations could be due to the way we fly: I fly mostly low>altitude; if you fly high up, then the results will be>different.Naji,Your right about the Scenery Shadows. I turned those things off and, in the same testing scenario where I was getting ~ 13 fps(KJFK, weather theme 'building fronts'), I am now getting 20 FPS. Right now I am a very pleased camper, because I can stick with those amazing clouds and enjoy little FPS hit :-cool

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I also saw little or no effect from clouds. And I spent some time in a C172 playing hide and seek in them... :)Oddly, the only thing that really had a dramatic impact on performance seemed to be the terminal at KIND. During my circuit and landing, whenever the terminal was visible my frames dropped to 8 or 9 but if I looked in a different direction they shot right back up. And the terminals at KSEA and TNCM didn't have the same effect.Overall, I've been VERY happy with the sim. The clouds are FAR better than in FS2002 and the new ATC features are outstanding. The water texture is a bit odd, and (as noted in other posts) most of the aircraft models aren't that great, but from the cockpit... who cares? ;) My only real complaint is that the new taxiway signs are virtually impossible to read (at least during the day).

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I've found a good balanced setting on my system: P4-2.4, 512 MB PC2700, ATi Radeon 9500 Pro.SceneryMesh: 75%Terrain texture size: HighDetailed terrain: Land & WaterDawn/dusk texture blending: EnabledExtended terrain textures: EnabledSpecial effects detail: HighScenery complexity: Very denseAutogen density: Very denseSun glare: DisabledLens flare: Disabled (unless you're flying your plane via remote camera :-hah)AircraftVirtual cockpit gauge quality: High (and I get better frame rates in VC than in 2D cockpit)Reflections: EnabledAircraft cast shadows: EnabledLanding lights: EnabledResize panel: EnabledWeatherSight distance: 60 miCloud draw distance: 40 mi3D cloud percentage: 90Cloud coverage density: MediumHardwareLock: 20Resolution: 1152x864x32Render to texture: EnabledT&L: EnabledAnti-aliasing: Enabled (doesn't matter since the driver is set to override)Filtering: TrilinearMIP map quality: 4Hardware lights: 6ATi Direct3D settingsAnti-aliasing: 4xPerformance/Quality: PerformanceAnisotropic filtering: 4xTexture preference: High QualityMipmap Detail Level: High QualityUnbounded, I get around 30 fps with the Fair Weather theme, 17-20 fps with the Major Thunderstorm theme. So, I lock it at 20 fps. I used to have the card set at 6x AA and 16x AF but that was too much with lots of 3D clouds. 4xAA and 4x AF is good enough and I can have nice clouds.I haven't tried to fix the shimmering trees yet. They were there when I was using 6x AA so lots of AA doesn't seem to help. Maybe turning down the mipmap detail level in the driver will.Peter http://bfu.avsim.net/sigpics/PeterR.gifBFU Forums ModeratorRenegade/Seawolf Design Group (RSDG)[table border=2 cellpadding=0 cellspacing=1][tr][td][table border=0 cellpadding=8 cellspacing=0][tr][td bgcolor=#540000]http://bfu.avsim.net/sigpics/logo75t.gif[/td][td align="center" bgcolor=#FFFFF6]Bush Flying Unlimited"At home in the wild"Looking for adventure? Come join us! * [link:bfu.avsim.net|Web Site] * [link:www.cafepress.com/bfu,bfu2,bfu3,bfu4|BFU Store] * [link:bfu.avsim.net/join.htm]Join!][/td][/tr][/table][/td][/tr][/table

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-"I haven't tried to fix the shimmering trees yet. They were there when I was using 6x AA so lots of AA doesn't seem to help. Maybe turning down the mipmap detail level in the driver will.-"Have you tried setting theATi Direct3D settings for AF from Performance/Quality: Performanceto Quality or Application Preference ?Kurt M

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Yes, I originally had everything set to Quality or High Quality (whatever was the highest) with 6x AA and 16x AF. Everything set to override the application. That's when I first discovered the shimmering. So there wasn't anymore to give it. "I've given her all she can take, Captain!" ;-)Peter http://bfu.avsim.net/sigpics/PeterR.gifBFU Forums ModeratorRenegade/Seawolf Design Group (RSDG)

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