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JerryG

My 2004 upgrade story

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I am a happy man!It was a bit of an ordeal - but I have finally completed the necessary upgrades and tweaked everything as much as I could - and now FS2004 is running as well on my system as FS2002 once did.Here are my original specs which worked well enough for FS2002:AMD Duron 850 / Win ME / 256MB Ram / Geforce 2 MX 400 32MBWhen I first ran FS2004 last Wednesday, I had mixed feelings.I started with the settings FS2004 chose for my system and it was terrible. Mip mapping was set to low, so everything had a washed out look. 3D clouds were turned off and the 2D clouds looked worse than in FS2002. Frame rates were a low 9-12 fps in rural areas and a slideshow in cities and there was lots of stuttering.When I played around with the settings I discovered that FS2004 can look incredible, but I realized that I needed to do some upgrades or shelf FS2004 until I could afford a brand new system.Encouraged by posts of others running FS2004 on machines with 800 - 1200 MHz processors, I went out the next day and spent $99US on a Geforce FX5200 128mb video card. While the new video card did make a difference, I still was not satisfied with how the sim was running. With the higher video memory I was able to max out the texture sliders and effects, set mip mapping to 5 and got better framerates (10-13 rural; 6-9 in cities), but there was still stuttering and jerkiness.A helpful post on this forum made me aware that I might be running my video card in PCI mode instead of AGP, and sure enough I did. After installing new drivers for my motherboard's chipset and running in AGP X4 mode I gained and average of 2fps but the sim was still jerky.After reading more posts I went out today and upgraded to 512MB Ram for $50US and now I AM FINALLY HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!No more stutters, frame rates pushing 15fps in the country and averaging a flyable 10 in built up areas.Menus and flights load much quicker and my computer has a more zippy feel to it.Sure I made some compromises in my settings, but FS2004 looks much, much , much better than FS2002, not to mention improved ATC, weather engine and clickable VC.There is only one small outstanding issue with the WIN ME drivers for my new GeForce FX - the 2d cockpits won't draw - but I hope NVidia will address this. If not, I may have to upgrade to XP. At least now I have the RAM for itMy new system after upgrades:AMD Duron 850 / Win ME / 512MB PC133 Ram / Asus Geforce FX 5200 128mbTotal upgrade cost: $149 USHappy Flightsimming everyone and let's start saving for that new system for when FS2006 comes out!Daniel , CYCW

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Hi Daniel,That's great news- not only your better FS9 performance, but that you took the "bull by the thorns" and tried to get it to run better.Bruce.

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What has also helped imrove framerates and visuals is to reduce visibility to 20miles in the weather menu (under user defined weather)while having your mip mapping adjusted to 5 in the display settings menu.That way detailed textures are only drawn out to the limits of visibility. For some reasons MS chose unlimted visibility for its default fair weather scenario and it is a huge draw on framerates and looks unrealistic to boot.If anyone knows how to permanently reduce the value for unlimited visibility in the fs config file, please let me know!Good Tailwinds,Daniel, CYCW

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// 2 next are new, help pop-up display?TextureAGP=0PanelAsTexture=0put that under DSPLAY in FS9.cfg"C:WINDOWSApplication DataMicrosoftFS9"and dont use any AA anywhere, but anisotrope set in NView ok to 4Xsame set up as yours, same story too ...Allen

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