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Halfway-done thoughts on FS2004--what works for me ....and not

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On balance, the sim is interesting and subtly different from FS2002. I am struck by its remarkable range of color intensity compared with FS2002. The clouds in 2004 are really marvellous and they make a significant visual difference; the effects like lightning are excellent and exciting. The heavy rain is super. Haven't tried snow yet. Water effects are a disaster and the light green ocean is disgusting so I've turned them off completely, preferring plain deep blue ocean anyway. Scenery generally is grand, more lifelike than anything before. It looks awful realistic to me from the ground, at 500 feet, 5000' and higher. It's a paradise sim for VFR which is what I am doing mostly at this time and enjoying the heck out of it.I've tweaked a lot using only default aircraft, carefully avoiding any add-ons so far. I felt it was important to get the system tested and working in this "native" mode first before I add on 155 aircraft and 32 panels (like FS2002). I've settled on an fps cap of 22 which it generally achieves all the time except for dense cumulus when it's down to a range of 14 to 20 depending on thickness/density, etc. (With no fps cap, and most sliders set 3/4 right and some full right, I was getting max fps of up to 35 at times at altitudes where lots of cumulus clouds clearly visible around me.) No FSAA now at all (!!) but res is 1600x1200x32 @ 85 Hz on 21" TRINITRON so not so necessary anyway.I don't know what I'm gonna do about lack of undocking in full screen mode. That is not good since windows mode visuals stink.We always rave about a new sim and then go crashing down as we realize it doesn't work with everything set max right. So we test and compromise; test and compromise. But by now, I am a lot more hopeful than I was 2 weeks ago when I was impatient and emotional. FS2004 has promise. I'm sticking with it--but for the next 3 to 5 months I am also keeping FS2002 as a backup and because I can potentially cut and past a lot of a/c from there into 2004.JSDELL P4 2.53 Ghz - Factory standard1024 RDRAM (I'm sure this helps)Ti-4600DirectX 9.0b45.20 leaked nVidia drivers21" TRINITRON CRT19" DELL Ultrasharp LCDMS FFB2 stick

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