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FS2004 virtually unplayable on ATI 9700 Pro.

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OK I just got FS 2004 and I got less than stellar results. My system specs are at the bottom (signature). ATI has some explaining to do, as the simulator has SERIOUS issues with ATI videocards at this time.First, there's a problem with the menus and loading screen. You can work around the problem with the menus either by running the sim windowed, or setting the desktop res. To another resolution than you're running FS in. Very annoying.Next, autogen trees are not mipmapped. They flicker and sparkle like mad. No card mipmapped trees in FS2002, but from what I've heard, Nvidia cards do mipmap trees in FS2004. Can anyone confirm that?-Starting at Tacoma Narrows with these settings:High quality settings in FS20044x FSAA, 16X Quality AF, 1024x768x32 resolution, wait for Vsync.With those settings I got 12 FPS at Tacoma Narrows, and I also experienced sparodic pauses and skipped frames. The stutter issue has been a problem with ATI cards for a long time but they have almost resolved the issue, except for, apparently FS2004. I experimented a bit and found some odd things:Turning off Anisotropic filtering and using old-fahioned Tri-liniear filtering gave me more than 30 FPS (no framerate cap) at the same location and same settings, and the stutters had -almost- dissapeared. There were however, still dropped frames.Lowest/Highest framerate noted with different AF settings, while flying:16X HQ AF: 10-25 FPS8X AF: 15-30 FPSNO AF: 20-70 FPSThere's clearly an issue with AF here, as running 16X FSAA causes up to 65% loss of performance. I suspected it might have something to do with the bump-mapped water and how that gets filtered, but the framerate was low even when using multi-textured water only.Unless ATI can fix these driver issues within a few weeks, or someone finds a workaround, I'll sell my 9700 Pro and buy a GeforceFX 5900U ASAP. Bad drivers have been an issue with ATI for years (Rage Pro anyone?) and still are.So, if you have a Radeon card I don't recommend buying FS2004 yet as it's virtually unplayable unless you turn down image quality settings, but then, FS2002 with full quality settings looks better... So, to sum it up, these are the problems I have with the Radeon 9700 Pro and FS2004:-Loading screen flashes, screen flashes when pressing Alt in-flight, menus corrupted when running FS at same res as desktop-Autogen trees not mipmapped-Low framerate and stuttering when AF enabled-Skipped frames/stuttering (not caused by low FPS)Has anyone with a 9x00 found a workaround/solution to any of the above problems?

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Hi,I have a 9800Pro, but always run it in windowed mode (I always have run FS like that). I know that full-screen mode does have some issues, but also expect that ATI will produce a new driver that will address some (if not all) of the issue you raise here.I came from a GeForce 3 Ti200, and the change with the 9800 Pro and DVI feed to my LCD is stunning. I'm still playing with video settings too. :)Bruce.

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The problem with running FS in windowed is that ATI currently has another bug on their hands with regards to windowed mode - apps running in Windowed mode run like a slideshow, you can actually see the images being painted and the framerate is about 0.25FPS. I get that with Cat 3.6 and Cat 3.4, but not with Cat 3.5.I doubt ATI will fix those issues anytime soon. Neverwinter Nights is another game with serious issues with ATI cards, and they haven't fixed that yet, even though the game has been out for over a year. ATI drivers, put simply, suck, and calling them "Catalyst" won't change that. They are still the same buggy drivers that we know from the Rage Pro days.

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While I won't argue that there are some issues with FS2004 and ATI cards, I think some of the problems you are having might be more system-specific to your rig than you think. I've got a Radeon 9700 Pro, and I wouldn't classify FS2004 as unplayable at all; in fact, quite the opposite. I've got my frame rates locked at a comfortable (for me) 20fps, and they're sticking around that zone consistently. My performance has been smooth and stutter-free and very enjoyable during my first few days of flying the new sim. I'm running the sliders at or near full-right on almost everything (Mesh detail set to 70, most others set to "high" instead of "very high"). There is indeed flashing when using the menu functions to alter weather, aircraft, etc., and it's pretty annoying, but most of the other things you mentioned either aren't showing up for me or aren't enough of a problem to warrant mention. And I'm a complete freak for visuals, so don't think I'm just putting up with the problems.I tried running 2k4 in a window and didn't have any slowdowns at all, so that blows your theory about ATI and windowed mode. And it did cure my flashing on selecting menus, but I just don't like having the title bar/menus showing when I fly so I went back to the other way. Don't take any of this to mean that I don't sympathize with you and the others having problems, but you can't make a blanket statement that all ATI cards aren't working properly, because I'm just not having a lot of these problems. If we could get the flashing problem settled, I'd be pretty darned happy overall.Just another two cents. Here's to bluer skies ahead!

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I've got a 9700 Pro and the only issues I have are the smearing text and flashing in full screen mode (and the flashing only happens when I use a menu). Other than that it's perfect - I have it locked at 20 fps and it stays there, with the occasional dip to 18 when in a lot of clouds (and that rarely happens) which I could care less about as I don't notice it.No stutters, no shimmering textures. Most sliders wedged against the right hand side.

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Hi,I was having a lot of the problems you mentioned with the 9700 pro. I found that my agp aperature size was set at 128. When I lowered it to 64, the problems were gone. I'm going to try 32 and see what happens.Ed

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I have a P4 2.4 with 512MB PC800 RAM and a RAdeon 9500 Pro.I am getting good performance, except for a big stutter problem. Even with modest settings, I get some stutters every time in the following situation:- Start on the active at KTIW (tacoma narrows) with the fair weather theme- Fly northest to KSEA, and line up for approach and land at either 34L or 34RThe stutters start about 10 miles from the airport. The system maintains the max fps (18) for most of the time, but will often pause for a half-second (or more). It's very irritating when I am in a flare, and the system chunks forward. Things like a radio message or triggering my flaps will also cause a stutter in this situation.This is driving me nuts. I've been tweaking and reducing settings constantly, and I just can't get this thing to fly smooth (like FS2002).Can any other RAdeon users try this flight (it's very short!) and see what happens? Please report your system specs and settings. I was wondering if it is related to swap file usage, but when I look at the task manager there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of writing to the page file. FS2004 does seem to be just about using max memory in my system, though.

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My experience like Bill's. I've had (5) great flights. Using some of the suggested settings posted yesterday for MipMap @ 4, Trilinear, etc. I have frames locked at 24 - superb flights and system performance. Using 6.14.1.6307 driver on my 9700Pro. Frankly, I never looked at framerates - as sim was working well above minimums - no stuttering, and very smooth; at taxi, both at departure and approach, and in flight. Using 1600x1200x32 resolution. Adds are FDC and FSUIPC 3.03. Most sliders at or above mid level.System: P4 2.8, (2) 512MB Kingston PC2700 DDR SDRam, Asus P4PE, Audigy OEM, ATI 9700 Pro 128 OEM, XP Home.Have to admit, was concerned with all the negs' posted about FS9. Decided to p/u reserved copy - expecting trouble. So far, not one issue keeping me from enjoyable flights - best FSversion yet ! I do get a flicker (not always) when going to selected sub-memus..... but only briefly, not a major concern. I would expect ATI / MS to review the driver issue, and would also expect some response or update.Again, maybe against the grain of opinion, I find scenery at cruise altitudes to be very realistic and much improved. Coastlines and views in distance are much-much improved..... Arrival few minutes ago into a very hazy / scattered Philadelphia area sky. Vis. out front was 99% haze...... but view down - you could see the ground details through the haze - Very Realistically. Clouds en route are just fantastic (imo). Modeling is super - smooth - nomore "jerks" to adjust altitude, or too rapid change into turns..... Not sure what the difference in performance is - between users - but I would not say the game is unplayable with a 9700 - I can't wait to get back up ! Back to work......Ron

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I have no problems with my 9500 Pro and my 2.8C with 1GB RAM. I just run at 1600x1200, locked at 25FPS. No need for AA and runs like a dream! The only problem I have is in the checklist mode is smears, but thats it. I can live with it.I love the ATI card.

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I don't have any issues with my system. In fact, I'm on a clean install only a few days old. I have had no issues with AGP and I've been using AGP 8X with fastwrites and 256MB aperture with no problems at all until now.However, there may of course be system-specific bugs, rather than user error or a problem with the system.I've found the sim extremely sensitive to Anisotropic filtering settings. Shimmering, low framerate, stuttering etc. are all related to the AF settings and Mipmap quality setting within FS2004.Under AF settings in the driver, I found that using 16X AF means slideshow mode no matter what. You simply can not max out everything with this sim, like I'm used to doing with FS2002.8X AF and below work better especially in Performance mode.In FS2004, I set the Mipmap quality slider to about halfway. The slider seems a bit too agressive and is probably not meant go be set above ~6 no matter what card you're using since the sharpness is then extremely exaggerated.4 gives great performance and removes shimmering almost completely, but it also causes the terrain textures to get blurry. 5 has almost no shimmering and sharper ground textures. Framerate is only 2-3 FPS lower.It's a balancing act between AF level and Mipmap detail. Both have a huge effect on texture sharpness, texture shimmering as well as framerate. A setting of 5 for the Mipmap quality slider in FS2004, 4x FSAA and 8X Performance AF in the ATI control panel gave me 26 FPS over Tacoma Narrows. The textures are not as sharp as they were in FS2002 with full 16X AF and highest mipmap quality, but overall they don't look that bad and the sim actually runs smoother than FS2002.Here are two screenshots with the two extreme cases - 16X Quality AF and NO AF both with Mipmap detail in FS set to 8. You will notice that the 16X AF picture is actually less sharp than the no AF picture. This is normal and only means that AF is doing what it's there for. As you can see, the framerate is three times higher without AF.16X AFhttp://forums.avsim.com/user_files/26883.jpgNo AFhttp://forums.avsim.com/user_files/26884.jpg

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The problem with running FS in windowed is that ATI currently has another bug on their hands with regards to windowed mode - apps running in Windowed mode run like a slideshow, you can actually see the images being painted and the framerate is about 0.25FPS. I get that with Cat 3.6 and Cat 3.4, but not with Cat 3.5.***************************************************************Where do you come up with these "Bugs?" Maybe bugs on your system, but not mine...Radeon 9800 running in windowed mode 4x AA and 8x AF frame rates around 20 even in 3d clouds.Maybe you should look at your system and not blame the card manufacturer.

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I didn't get the pauses, running max detail settings in FS2004, Mip detail at 5 and 8X performance AF/4x FSAA. However, I only got 14 FPS on final.With the Mipmap quality slider turned up to 8, I also get the pauses/stutters.

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There's nothing wrong with my system! The windowed bug could be system-specific in that it only happens with certain configurations, but that doesn't mean there's something wrong with my system.Any framerate indicators stay normal in windowed but the screen refreshes slowly and I'm not the only one who have experienced this problem, though many claim it doesn't happen on their rig."Maybe you should look at your system and not blame the card manufacturer."It's well known that ATI has driver problems. Ask anyone who has used on of the following cards:Rage ProRage 128Rage MaxxRadeon "256"Radeon 8500They are improving with the 9x00 series but they still have a long way to go.

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I found the following to be a good balance on 9500 Pro:4x AA4x AFPerformance modeI used to run 6x AA, 16x AF, Quality and had to turn down 3D clouds to 20%. With 4x AA, 4x AF, Performance, I can now use 90% clouds and still have higher frame rates. The AA has to work really hard with 3D clouds. If you can run at 1600x1200, you might be able to turn off AA altogether (as many have reported doing).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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JimmiG,You are full of it....there is nothing wrong with ATi's recent driver sets. FS2004 has just been developed...you mean to tell me that no beta testers picked up on this? This is more a MS problem than an ATi one. You harping on about Ati in the past isnt going to help any.Everbody knows about the old Ati driver problems but this has been rectified with the new Catalyst series (regardless of what you think) By all means go and get yourself your FX card and waste your money. Once MS and Ati sort this problem out, its you that will have lost out.

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I actually get better performance from Windowed mode, with the identical settings as in Full-screen. I get around 20 FPS (which I've limited my settigs at), other than when at an airport with much AI traffic, which for me becomes jerky. But still flyable.Thanks,Bruce.

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"It's well known that ATI has driver problems. Ask anyone who has used on of the following cards:Rage ProRage 128Rage MaxxRadeon "256"Radeon 8500They are improving with the 9x00 series but they still have a long way to go."Look how far back you are going.....the latest Catalyst drivers are at least equal to if not better than the detonator drivers. ATi USED to have problems (note the word USED) not anymore. These issues should have been picked up in Beta testing by MS! Anyway....Nvidia cards seem to be having there fair share of problems in FS04 anyway.

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>I actually get better performance from Windowed mode, with>the identical settings as in Full-screen. I get around 20 FPS>(which I've limited my settigs at), other than when at an>airport with much AI traffic, which for me becomes jerky. But>still flyable.>>Thanks,>>Bruce.>Oddly enough, I get better performance in VC than 2D cockpit.If you want to run in Windowed mode, you can get rid of most of the title bar by dragging it up past the top of the screen. Of course, you'll have to have the mouse cursor as low as possible to get the most hiding.Peter http://bfu.avsim.net/sigpics/PeterR.gifBFU Forums ModeratorRenegade/Seawolf Design Group (RSDG)

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Developers still consider Detonator the "gold standard"."Catalyst" is just marketing. They used to call them just "drivers". Now that they call them "Catalyst" they are suddenly completely different?I can't believe noone reported these problems, especially the smearing text in checklists and other texts. Didn't any of the MS beta testers use ATI cards?

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Jimmy,1The Autogen trees are mipped, and by your settings you are telling the your Videocard to display the highest res mip even though mathamaticly all those pixels cant fit on the screen all at the same time in the same space, hence the shimmering, turn your mipmap slider down a bit! :)2-However, you still will get some shimering with your ATI card as compared to the NV cards because the ATI's do not Antialias alpha textures, Antialiasing the trees gets helps get read of most of the shimmering. (the poor image quality as a result of this is the main reason I wont be investing in an ATI card and cant reccomend one for use with FS along with the still naging driver short commings, but NV is not perfect here either) So you will be a little stuck there and everywhere else FS uses Alpha Textures with your ATI card. :(3As far as AF goes, Of course there will be a FPS hit, your asking the card to do some extra work hence the hit- (just the think what the hit would be if the ATI card AF the whole scene like the NV instead of just a few degrees past verticle and horizontal) :-eeks-And with AF on you will be >gaining:)

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>>"Catalyst" is just marketing. They used to call them just>"drivers". Now that they call them "Catalyst" they are>suddenly completely different?>And your point is?Replace the word "catalyst" with "detonator" and it's just as true.FS2004 looks great on my Radeon 9500, and frame rates are fine. I'm sure the small, nagging problems will be taken care of in a future driver release, but it's irresponsible to tell everyone with Radeon 9xxx cards not to use FS2004 just because of your problems.Dan

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>>>>"Catalyst" is just marketing. They used to call them just>>"drivers". Now that they call them "Catalyst" they are>>suddenly completely different?>>>>>And your point is?>>Replace the word "catalyst" with "detonator" and it's just as>true.>>FS2004 looks great on my Radeon 9500, and frame rates are>fine. I'm sure the small, nagging problems will be taken care>of in a future driver release, but it's irresponsible to tell>everyone with Radeon 9xxx cards not to use FS2004 just because>of your problems.>>DanHi Dan,I agree with you on the driver issue, Detalyst! :) But as far as FS2k2-4 goes it is true that ATI does not and will not support the game very well since the ATI cards do not and will not Antialias Alpha textures as well as AF the whole scene. It is a shame, because that cards are great and priced right. :(#%$$# Hardware! (I was going to use the word Stinken, but I didn't want to offend anyone. :)

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"I found that my agp aperature size was set at 128. When I lowered it to 64, the problems were gone. I'm going to try 32 and see what happens."Hi, I'm eager to try this- where are these settings found?Thanks,Joel

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I don't know what you all are talking about. I have the menu flicker but that's it. Cured that by setting desktop to 16x12x32 and run in window mode with taskbar hidden. I'm running everything mostly maxed out. Autogen, etc. on very dense. Terrain mesh at 90 percent. Max frames set at 22 and she's pegged at 22 except during heavy thunderstorms and then it's not bad at all. Everything is absolutely beautiful. Ground, trees, buildings and everything is completely quiet. No shimmers at all. Way better than FS2k2. Running 4xAA & 16xPerformanceAF using trilinear filtering with mipmaps slider in game settings at 4. Texture quality and mipmaps in card menu maxed. Visibility at 90; 3d clouds maxed; with cloud density at 50 percent (that's the sky trick) Clouds all the way to the horizon and set on high. When I fly through the clouds she drops to 21.6 frames. She's screaming and I'm extremely happy. Global texture quality maxed. Dynamic scenery maxed. Aircraft on ultra-high. This sim is frigging awesome with my PIV2.53 9700 Pro. I did have to install the latest omega drivers cause my old beloved Cat 2.3 drivers wouldn't work. The new ones are great. Even FS2k2 looks better. Everything is completely stable too.

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