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2004 is a completely different sim on a high end machine...

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I installed 2004 to my brother's brand new Athlon 3200+, Radeon 9700, 1GB DDR machine and I've been messing around with it for the past hour or so. (Got my wisdom teeth pulled this morning - nothing better to do ;) ) This is a COMPLETELY different sim when it's running on cutting edge hardware. I'm totally stunned by how good it looks and I thought I had it looking pretty good on my 1.4, GF3 system.I've got it locked at 20FPS, nearly every slider full right (visibility and cloud draw distance are the only two that aren't maxed I think), 1280X1024X32 4X AA, 8X AF and it's pretty much pinning at 20 the whole time. It's incredibly smooth and fluid. No blurries, no shimmering etc... The ATI menu issue is annoying but it's not affecting the sim at all once it flashes a few times and gets you back into the cockpit.Maxing the autogen absolutely transforms a big city like Phoenix from what it looks like with a low level on the slider. It looks pretty much real now.If you're not happy with how the sim looks on your system and have the opportunity to see it on a high end one, do it - you'll be amazed!Ryan

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That's good. I'm intending to upgrade to a P4 3GHz with dual channel PC3200 memory and hoping that I can increase my 3D-Cloud percentage a significant amount.

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If you are upgrading from the specs in your sig, it isn't that much, so good luck with a significant increase!I am running an Athlon 1.0 with a Radeon 7200 64 mb card and the ONLY thing holding me back are the 3 D clouds and AI, everything else maxed, looks very nice still!Regards, Michaelhttp://mysite.verizon.net/res052cd/mybannercva1.jpgCalVirAir International VAwww.calvirair.comCougar Mountain Helicopters & Aviationwww.cgrmtnhelos.com

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You sure can!! :-hahI am running that system myself with 1 GB DDR PC3200 Kingston RAM, 800 FSB H/T and the 9800 Pro 256 on a 21" Viewsonic monitor. I have my autogen and complexity sliders maxed, cloud density at 100%, max vis and draw distance at 80 and 80, AA 2 x's AF 4x's at 1152 x 968 (??) res (get much better fps at this res and with the AA on I don't get the jaggies). On the ATI it looks really incredible, and in a whole flight with clouds that varied from undercast to broken (superbly broken!!), the lowest I saw was one or 2 dips to 18. The rest was between 25 and my locked 30, in an hour long flight at sunset. Pretty nice!Glenn

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Must be nice....I will have to go break my piggy bank and see if I have enough to get me one of them high end machines. It just doesnt fly on my P4/1.9 :-(It really makes the true cost of FS2004 something close to $3000??JealousBill

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You can build a cutting edge cof machine for a lot less than $3k. Do some looking at some of the suppliers like myaopen, directron, and so on. They sell the parts, you put them together. It is not that big a deal and it will put you in a new machine for a fairly low price. I have a PIII 1ghz that I built some months ago and before I added the new drives, I had less than $1k in it, not counting win2kpro. Now even with the new drives it is still under $1.5kAntec box - 350 watt p/s 3 case fans, 768MB RAM, PIII 1Ghz, Aopen mobo, 2 80GB Maxtors, 19" monitor, MSI Geforce Ti 4200(128MB), CD/RW, miss mousie, kbd, floppy, 56k ext modem, running win2kproSP4.Given the prices I've seen you could do something similar with a P4 3Ghz and a gig of ram and the cost should not be much more than $1.5k at the most. For instance, I just looked at a 533Mhz FSB Intel P4 3.06Ghz chip for $390, a good Intel 533Mhz FSB mobo for $114, and two Micron 512MB PC2700 sticks for 180. That right there is only $684 and that is most of the expensive stuff. In fact if you have an AXT case now, you wouldn't even have to buy a new case - all of that stuff will go right in.

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In a month or two im going to get a 3200+ for like 80 bucks! :D If you didn't know, the 2500+ Barton is almost exactly the same as the 3200+ but has a Front Side Bus speed of 166 instead of 200. Change it to 200 in the bios (ive heard people have done it with stock cooling) and you've got a 3200+! The computer even recognizes it as that. Then if your really serious about it (like I am ;P) then you can even get your system up to 2.7ghz! Thats 500mhz HIGHER than a 3200+ for 80 bucks :) You gotta have some good RAM though (for higher than 200mhz bus speeds), but make sure its PC3200 (since the bus is 200mhz now :()That and hopefully with a super-overclocked ATi Radeon 9700np and things will be good :D

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I just got my Athlon 2400+ tonight from Wal-Mart for only $498 for the complete system, bought a 512Meg stick to put in next to the 128Meg in there, and transferred my old GEForce MX420Yes, I know, that card is not DX9 compliant, but the sim still gives solid 15 to 20 FPS in most areas with 100% Clouds and density set to low or medium. The building storms does start to wear on the unit, but I am having a ball with it. The difference between that and my 600MHz celeron is night and day.So, if you don't have $3k to shove, 500 bucks will still get you nice little rig. And with FS2002, it REALLY rocks. Though after 3d Clouds now running smooth, it's hard to justify going back.

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It does NOT make the total cost of FS $3000. And even if it did that's still a lot less than renting a full motion sim or a real aircraft for 2 years and using it for several hours a day on average.People should stop complaining about having to have the latest hardware to run the latest software at full capability.It's only to be expected. What do you expect, FS2004 should run as well as or better than FS4 on a 286? Because that's the logical conclusion if you want hardware requirements for full capability of the software to not increase over times.

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>You can build a cutting edge cof machine for a lot less than>$3k. Do some looking at some of the suppliers like myaopen,>directron, and so on. They sell the parts, you put them>together. It is not that big a deal and it will put you in a>new machine for a fairly low price. I have a PIII 1ghz that I>built some months ago and before I added the new drives, I had>less than $1k in it, not counting win2kpro. Now even with the>new drives it is still under $1.5k>I know, 3k was a little on the high side. Truth is I am not much into building/assembling stuff like this so buying a retail PC with top of the line specs isnt cheap. I was trying to emphasize the point that 2004 left a lot of decent systems in the dust. Like the P4/2.x and Athlon equivalents.I also know that thats progress etc etc, but I am not convinced that MS could not have made the 3D clouds less CPU intensive. Thats the killer!Just my two cents.Bill

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Ryan,That's a nice system and flying must be a joy. However, one thing in your message caught my attention...<<1280X1024X32 4X AA,>>I'm surprised you have enabled AA at such a high resolution and it must be having a negative effect on frame rates. Have you tried turning it off?You don't say if the display is a CRT or TFT. If it's the former then the card should be capable of 1600*1200 which would definitely negate the need for AA. Even at 1280*960 (the correct resolution for CRTs) I've never felt the need for AA. If it's a TFT then 1280*1024 is the correct resolution.Cheers,

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>It does NOT make the total cost of FS $3000. And even if it>did that's still a lot less than renting a full motion sim or>a real aircraft for 2 years and using it for several hours a>day on average.>>People should stop complaining about having to have the latest>hardware to run the latest software at full capability.>It's only to be expected. What do you expect, FS2004 should>run as well as or better than FS4 on a 286? Because that's the>logical conclusion if you want hardware requirements for full>capability of the software to not increase over times.Complaining??? Cant someone have an opinion without you always jumping down their throats like some dictator.Want to hear a complaint??? Stop being so boorish..Bill

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>If it's the>former then the card should be capable of 1600*1200 which>would definitely negate the need for AA. Even at 1280*960 (the>correct resolution for CRTs) I've never felt the need for AA.>If it's a TFT then 1280*1024 is the correct resolution.Personally, I can't stand the look of the terrain without AA, even at 1600x1200. The moving lines make me insane. Maybe it's a function of being on a 21" monitor. I'm not sure.On my system, I can run at 1280x960 with 4xAA and the fps is comparable to 1600x1200 without fps (and it looks 10x as good, to me). The RAdeon cards are supposed to be a bit better at pushing AA and AF than the Nvidia cards.I hear a lot of people saying "turn off AA" (and of course AA is a problem with the new clouds), but I suspect there are a lot of folks like me who'd just as soon shoot themselves in the knee.

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Jimmy,I understand fully. It's a very personal thing. We all have different perceptions of what looks okay and what doesn't. I activated AA once but such was the frame rate hit I wasn't prepared to accept the performance drop.Cheers,

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