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ExtremeTech FS2004 Test

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Below is a rather interesting clip from the article "3D Graphics: Quality Matters" on www.extremetech.com.I was pleased to learn that FS2004 will play a part in future benchmarks, and I think that the article will be of interest to those who are considering purchasing a new graphics card for FS2004. Robert---------------------------------------------------------------"Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 Test Results Target Frame Rate: 30fps ATI Radeon 9800 Pro: 31fps @ 800x600x32 with 2X AA and 2X AF 31fps @ 1280x960 with 2X AA and no AF nVidia GeForceFX 5900 Ultra: 30.9fps @ 1600x1200 2X AA/2X AF This is one of our new games which will be a part of our next release of 3D GameGuage. We worked with Microsoft to expose some of their existing performance analysis tools already inside the game to allow us to benchmark its performance. We're still working on our final demo loop, though. Expect it to feature dramatic maneuvers that require fast rendering of terrain, and provide a good mix of terrain in-view and out of view. That will help us study how much frame rate tanks and spikes during each of these conditions. nVidia clearly outgunned ATI here. We were surprised just how far down we had to push the Radeon 9800 Pro's settings to hit our target of 30fps. We found that if we opted for 2X AA and no AF, then the Radeon 9800 Pro ran at 1280x960. But because of the expansive nature of 3D scenes in flight simulators, AF is a must-have feature to help curb texture artifacts on further out parts of the terrain. GeForceFX 5900 Ultra delivered a very nice balance of features (2X AA/2X AF) and pixel resolution, and clearly delivered better performance on this particular app. "

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The test is intresting, but meaningless.ATI know that there is a problem with the current drivers (the one they use to test) and the next driver release is schedulded for the end of this month. After that the test could show other results.If you look at all the test they do, you see that most times both cards are very near together. So lets wait a few weeks and this would be the same for FS2004.Altough I have my Ati Radeon 9800 non Pro run at 1024x768 with 4xAA and 8xAF and get a good steady framerates of 20 (locked at this).Currently no one could do this test to verify their results, and the current 3.6 drivers are not optimal for FS2004, I suggest to wait before you buy a new graphic card.ByeMarkus

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That article only proves what I discovered when I initially got FS2004 - ATI currently have a driver problem with FS2004. If you set the Mipmap slider in FS2004 to more than about 5, and use Anisotropic, performance AND image quality will begin to suffer. The first few days, I indeed had to run the sim at 800x600 to get acceptable performance with AF enabled. I found that after decreasing the mipmap slider to 4 my framerate trippled.Also, the article is supposed to be about image QUALITY but I saw not one single SCREENSHOT?! Quality can be different on different cards. 2x FSAA on one card can look as good as 4x FSAA on another etc. Same with AF.Also I think they should allow one to download the tools to perform the tests, so that the results can be verified. I will try their settings when I get home and see what I get.

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