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Chris Willis

FS9 -- I'm about to give up

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I've tried to tweek FS9 and it is working better than when I began but I can't seem to get past the stutters. By stutters I mean that it goes to 1 fps seemingly ramdomly. I've added the average frame rate reading to the FS9.cfg file and here's what I get: {1.0 20.5 24.9} When it's good it's really, really good. When it's bad it's ****. It took me a good 15 minutes to complete a 10 mile final into KCLE with Shez's scenery (gMax) last evening. I was also using Bill Grabowski's ERJ panel and Nick Botamer's FSDSv2 ERJ. These pauses didn't even show up on the fps reading. These pauses were approximately 5 seconds in length. I've tried the fake clouds and that helps some but they look worse than the new FS Sky World 2.4 clouds in FS2002. My PC set up is as follows: Pentium P4 2.4 Ghz, 533 FSB, with 512 Mb PC2100 (266 Mhz) SDRAM GeForce 4200 w/ 128 Mb SDRAM with 43.45 drivers installed Windows 98 Second Edition My FS9 set up is shown in the three attachments. I desperately need some help here.

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SteveDon't give up :-)My system is a P4 2.6 Mhz, 64 Mb GeForce 4, 32.xx drivers and Windows XP. The following alterations to your setup in FS9 gives me FPS's in the 30s:Terrain Mesh Complexity = 0Scenery Complexity = DenseAutogen = Off (real performance killer)Also, try lowering Cloud Coverage Density.I also run FS9 in windowed mode rather than full screen mode. Yes, it's a pain having the menu bar at the top of the screen but it makes the sim a lot smoother.Hope this helps.David

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Holy cow! Running in windowed mode got rid of my stutters completely! I was about to give up on FS2k4 as well but I tried running it in windowed mode and that made all the difference. Now I just have to figure out a way to get my distant textures sharpened up... I'm running 8x AF and -0.1 LOD and the distant textures are just a blur... Any thoughts?-Max Cowgill

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8x AF should give you excellent distant textures. Try swapping back and forth between window mode and full screen and see if the AF shows up on one or the other. You may also want to try a reboot after making a change to your AF setting, just to make sure it "sticks" (esp. in windowed mode). I like to take a screenshot from the same vantage point when making AF changes, and then review them to see the difference. There should, of course, be a dramatic difference between 0xAF and 8xAF.If you get it working, you might want to try 4xAF as a good compromise between cost/performance (especially with clouds!). I acutally prefer 4xAF over 8xAF on my Radeon, because it blends better with the autogen.

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Steve,This is yet another bug in FS9. I know exactly what you mean. When you get those random 1 fps thing, if you are using XP then do ctrl-alt-del and in the process window you'll be shocked to find fs9.exe using 10% and processor idle time 85%!!! Thats why the drop in fps. The sad part is you cannot do anything about it...atleast I dont know a way.It happens randomly but it does happen pretty often. I tried giving fs9 process highest priority and even real time...nothing changes. The only solution is to restart FS.Something has really changed at MS. They had two great gaming products: Age of Empire Series and Flight Simulator Series. Stable leading age products and then they changed the graphics team...What did we get? FS9 and Rise of Empires. If you have played RoN then you'll be surprised to find to the extent MS has messed up the lovely graphic engine of AoE and in the process you'll realize why fs9 stinks big time as far as graphics and speed goes.You see, there will be some "know all" elements in the forum who'll argue endlessly on behalf of MS for a simple reason they put their foot in the mouth and declared prematurely that its a great product. The sad part is FS9 is not a product expected from MS. Imagine MS having engineers who do not know to write a AA routine?? Need I say more?

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Max,How does your FX5200 compare to your pre-fried GeForce 4 in performance. I am contemplating a new FX5600 as a replacement for my GeForce 2 Ti, but am still mulling it over. Thanks,Den

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I keep getting asked this question... Oh well, no big deal. I hate this card. It is a complete piece of crap. My old GF4 was much better, and I wasn't even all that happy with that card. If you're going to get a Geforce FX, make sure you get an Ultra model, don't stick with the plain jane model or you'll regret it. If I had the money, I'd get a Radeon 9800 Pro (or a 9900 pro when it comes out in a month or so) and just skip the current FX cards altogether.-Max Cowgill

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Steve....Since you have an almost identical setup to mine, and I'm not getting hit with such stutters, let me suggest a couple of things:First, try the 30.82 drivers. I seem to have avoided a lot of headaches mentioned in some of the threads.Second, it's possible your vcache, if you've never tweaked it, could be gobbling up too much memory. It happened often in Win 95/98/ME...Try adding these settings to your system.ini:In the vcache section (add it if it isn't there):minfilecache=32767maxfilecache=32767In the 386enh section:ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1My Rivatuner settings are 2x aniso, and a LOD of -.5 I'm using the default AA in FS2004 vs. forcing it with Rivatuner. I also have limited my res. to 800x600x32. I can run at 1280x1024x32, but I find that AA should be dropped once you start getting to resolutions that high.Note: Sometimes Windowed mode may seem to yield spectacular benefits, but watch out. If your desktop is set for 16-bit color, some of that benefit is a result of FS2004 switching to that color depth while in windowed mode. In 32bit mode, I have no difference between windowed or full screen. With a cpu like yours, your system should scream...Other key settings I adjust:I max all sliders except:~Cloud distance I keep at 30~Shadows and Water detail/reflection I keep off, unless I'm snapping screenshots~Autogen I keep at normal--that approximates FS2002's maxed setting~AI I keep at 50pct or less. ~I do not allow the gps to stay displayed. If a panel displays it full time, I edit out the guage. The gps is good for a 4-5 fps drop when it's in view.

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"You see, there will be some "know all" elements in the forum who'll argue endlessly on behalf of MS for a simple reason they put their foot in the mouth and declared prematurely that its a great product. "You are soooo right!

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Max, thanks for the info... If your 5200 is as slow as the ATI 9000Pro that I bought, we both have something to either curse or cry over! Slow molasses would leave that 9000 Pro in the dust laughing!Oh well, I hope that you enjoy that 9900 :)Den

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Thanks, everyone. I'll try all of the suggested tweeks -- especially running in windowed mode.As for the 30.82 drivers: I went to guru3d.com and downloaded the 30.82 drivers for Windows 98 (etc) and when I went to install it, I received the following message: Setup was unable to locate a detected device's PCI ID in NVAML.inf. The installation will be terminated. At guru3d I downloaded the inf files for the 4300s (I've got a 43.45) and installed it into the system.inf folder overwriting the old copy. Attempted to install again and received the same message as above. I guess I don't know where to go from here on the drivers. I also downloaded and installed the Riva Tuner but I can not figure out how it works. I surely don't want to mess anything up. Steve

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Steve, I'm also telling you to not give up, I have the EXACT same problem as you are having, and I'm still trying, but it doesnt look good for me.Sorry I couldnt help, but just some words of confidence.

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I just tried everything except the 30.82 drivers. Didn't help much. I did get higher top end fps in windowed mode but I still had the hesitation (stutters). The average numbers were more like {1.5 21.5 28.5} My video card is a MSI Ti4200-VTD8X which is also listed as aG4Ti4200-8X, AGP8X, 128M, DDR, DVI-I.I flew a flight today in FS2002 with the new FS Sky World 2.4 clouds and ActiveSky 1.9. I flew an Ariane 737-300 and was getting 48 fps + at altitude. At KCLE (also Shez's scenery) I was only getting 8-15 fps on the ground but never hesitated or hiccupped. I'm really confused and disappointed. You'd think that FS9 was supposed to be an improvement over FS2002. So far, the only improvement I've seen is the clouds. I took off from Cleveland this afternoon with a thunderstorm on the southern horizon. The lightning was awesome. However, until I can get some frames out of FS9 I'll limit my time to the Lear and maybe some other default aircraft to test out everything. I have been trying to use Shez's gMax Cleveland scenery and Bill Grabowski's ERJ panel both in FS9. Maybe they're the frame hog. I'll fly a short Learjet flight and see what I get.Steve

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I guess at altitude, you can set up any 'ol system to get 40fps or over.... Doesn't solve your issue... Did you apply the system.ini edits I mentioned (and did you do a subsequent reboot?)Also, to install the 30.82 driver, download Det. Destroyer, then follow these steps:~Uninstall Nvidia drivers from control panel Add/Remove Programs, but don't reboot~Use Det. Destroyer, to clean up the bits 'n pieces~Reboot, install 30.82's~If they install, then go to Start/Run, then type: dxdiag /ghost~In the More Help tab, click Inactive.~Backup any inactive devices you see....And, here's my Mirage alt altitude....Edit: I've added a second shot, just show you can see that thicker cloud layers can impact the sim. Sometimes subtle adjustments to the weather settings can improve performance by a third or more at altitude...http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/29810.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/29811.jpg

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John, Thanks. Yes, I did the system.ini edits you suggested. Might have helped but I still had the stutters. I tried the start of my flight at KCLE in the windowed mode and still had the stutters. Thanks for the help on how to install the 30.82 drivers. Although, when you say if they install.... What if they don't? :-eek I have Roxio's Go Back so I think I can revert to an earlier time so I'll try your suggestion. If you don't see me back at the Forum, you'll know I killed off my PC. *:-* Just kidding.Steve

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Thanks, Chris. I've downloaded them and am about to install. I can't wait until you work your cloud magic on FS2004's weather engine. Wow. That'll be something to behold.Steve

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Hi Steve,Well, this is no fun. It really is a great sim. As others have said, don't give up.Some things I'd recommend:1) Your stutters may have something to do with the computer accessing the hard drive more than it needs to. Try setting the swap file to a fixed size. With the amount of memory you have, a swap file fixed at 768 MB's might be worth a try.2) In your BIOS should be a setting that's called something like "Graphics Aperature Size". Check it... the best starting point for a video card like yours (w/ 128 MB's) is probably 128. But there are no hard and fast rules here. Try various settings (32, 64, 128, 256) and see if any of the settings makes a difference.3) As another test, in the DXDIAG Display section you can DISABLE "AGP Texture Acceleration". This makes a difference for some folks.4) You don't say what motherboard is in your computer, but I would visit the MB's manufacturer's site and download the most recent chipset drivers.Press on,

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Well, I attempted to follow your directions to the letter. I uninstalled my NVIDIA drivers from the Control Panel. I had downloaded the Detonator Destroyer file and got the following: Unknown Card or non-NVidia Drivers I rebooted and attempted to install the 30.82 drivers and got(again): Setup was unable to locate a detected device's PCI ID in NVAML.inf Now I was screwed. I rebooted and my PC asked Please insert the disk labeled NVIDIA Compatable Display Driver Disk 1 I did so and ended up with the 30.00 stock drivers. What a mess. Luckily, I had Go Back and rebooted and used it. The PC only went to Safe mode twice and locked up three times but I'm finally back where I was two hours ago. I do not understand why I am currently using the 43.45 drivers but can't change them to anything else... :-hmmm Steve

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It's sure strange that your card is coming up as unknown trying to load the drivers.... What i can say for certain is it sounds like this is certainly related to the 1fps issue... Have you tried the dxdiag /ghost command? Anything odd there? If you can't change drivers, I'd lay odds that the problem isn't with FS2004, but something gone wrong a fair ways in the past on your system. And those are sometimes impossible to fix... Only other thing might be your card reporting the wrong device id....-John

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Steve, Im having the same problems, had them with the press copy and have them with this version also. I did some major testing tonight with my system. First my box: P4 at 2.94ghz(slightly OC 2.8) 512mb DDR PC2100 Gigabyte mobo intel chipset (845E) Gainward GF4 Ti4200 128mb ram (Golden sample) WIN 98SE 30.82 Detonators I have my settings on something a bit above medium. Terrain mesh slider is at 70%. I have autogen and scenery complexity at normalno land or water detail textures or reflections. Dynamic scenery is off. I have the weather set for testing at 20 miles vis and light cirrus, custom set. I am using the default Baron. I have some tweaks as per others results in my config, namely the Terain extended radius and one or two others for better textures farther out. I also have Chris Willis latest clouds, but its not a factor for these tests. What I am trying to duplicate is the stutter and how to stop it. My frame rate is set at 28 right now. I have 2XFSAA set in Rivatuner along with -4 LOD. I run the sim at 1024 res and also 1152. For these tests I used 1024. Frame rates can easily stay at 28 for a good while. However, it doesn't stay this way. After flying for just a few minutes I start the stutter. I could not figure out what triggers it. My stutters are only for a second or so and the frame rate will go from 28 down to 14 one time, 19 another and I occasionally see single digits too. It makes flying quite annoying and this should not be happening on my system. 2002 runs fluidly at about 25-30 frames with a lot of detail and FS Skyworld clouds plus scenery and AI. So I tried things one at a time, to make a long story short, I think I have found the culprit and want you to give this a shot. Set your Terrain texture slider full left and see what happens. Guess What? No stutter here, I do get an occasional very slight slip in frame rates, but that is usually due to autogen I believe. I tried this with NO autogen, and mesh to 0 and scenery complexity to 0. As long as I had the terrain textures set above 0, I would get stutter. Try this and let me know how it goes. Personally Im dissapointed. My system should run this sim a good bit better I believe, I dont mind low frame rates, but the burp every 5-8 seconds is almost unflyable and very annoying. Something is going on differently with the way textures are loaded or with thier structure. I looked but dont see anything yet with the types of bitmaps and how they are set up. I havent done a lot of work in this area yet and may not pursue it further at this point. While the flying and fluidity is there, I guess this is going to be an IFR sim for me now, as the ground just looks like crap with this slider set like this. I hope someone else can come up with a fix for this but Im not holding a lot of hope right now. I am trying different settings for AGP etc and will get back If I find anything earth shattering, but I wouldn't hold your breath. So far I have tried 128mb, 64, and 32 for AGP aperture in my BIOS and nothing seems to help. I will try disabling agp in dxdiag also. Good luck and please let us know if this helps at all. There sure seem to be a good bit of problems with this sim as it stands. This is a big issue for me, the bridge issue is larger than I thought too. most bridges are just screwed up, I think more than half of the ones I have seen are dorked. 3D clouds cause WAY too much of a fps hit with anything other than scatterd conditions. Trim seems a bit messed up for all aircraft too, seems there is a very sensitive area in the mid range, and outside this range there is little or no effect, then wham, your overtrimmed one way or another. 2002's trim was smooth and normal for me. Again, Im dissapointed with this,I expected my rig to run this a WHOLE lot better. My review over at SIMHQ was probably not the most accurate I guess. I gave too much credence to the fact that improvements would be seen with the gold release. I think I was wrong in doing that.Hornit

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John, Haven't tried the dxdiag/ghost thing yet. I have one question on that, however. When you say: ~If they install, then go to Start/Run, then type: dxdiag /ghost ~In the More Help tab, click Inactive. ~Backup any inactive devices you see.... where/how do I back them up? Is it easy/obvious or do I have to know something? I only ask that because I still can't make sense of the Riva Tuner. I don't understand why my PC is having trouble identifying my card as a NVIDIA. When I upgraded to the 43.45 drivers the install went perfectly (at least I thought it did). According to the Control Panel/Display I have the 4345 drivers installed. :-hmmm Thanks for your help.Steve

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Hornit, I'll give it (Texture slider far left) a try. Might be Tuesday night, however. If this is the culprit I'll stay with FS2002. I loaded up Ruud's textures in FS9 thinking that the textures would look as good as, if not better, than they do in FS2002. Guess what? They actually look better in FS2002. There are only two improvements that I see in FS9 over FS2002: One is the ATC using multiple runways and the other is the clouds/weather. Other than that, everything else went backwards IMHO.I'm glad that I still have FS2002 and all the add-ons I've accumulated over the past two years. MS had better patch/fix this release. I can't believe that the Beta Testers didn't have some thoughts on these issues. I've beta tested for some freeware developers and every little quirk I saw I reported.

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Geof A: I didn't mean to bash the beta testers. My PC is only 6 months old and was bought with FS9 in mind. I still use Win98Se and didn't opt for the upgrade to XP so my memory is limited to 512 Mb. With everything I've read on this (and other) forums I just wish that someone would explain why some people (like you and others) have no problems what so ever with FS9 and others have tons of problems. I have a MSI GeF4200Ti 128 Mb RAM video card and, frankly, my system runs fantastic on FS2002. Is FS9 that much different from FS2002 that you have to re-configure your entire PC? That doesn't make sense to me. I'm no PC wiz. I originally thought that if I just upgraded to Win XP Home and added 512 Mb more ram that maybe my problems would disappear. Seems that others have my same problem with XP so that probably wouldn't solve anything. My issue with the driver for my video card I will eventually work out. Maybe the 30.82 drivers will do it for me. Maybe it's a P4 heat problem. My multi-speed fan runs pretty fast when I'm in FS9. As to all the other improvements: I just can't see them yet for all the stutters, hesitation, etc. If I have to turn down all my sliders to make it run, why is it then still better than FS2002? That only leaves the weather and ATC -- and I use Radar Contact, anyway.

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