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Amazing tweak for FS9 on WinXP+Intel HT CPU

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Folks; For those of you running MS Flight Sim on Win XP and an Intel Hyperthreading CPU, here's a truly amazing performance booster:After starting FS, go into task manager (CTRL_ALT_DEL)Select Processes tabRight click on FS9.exe, select "Set Affinity"Disable one of the two check boxes so that FS9 only runs on one virtual CPU (I use CPU 0).Do the same on any other running utilities (i.e. FDC, RC) and select the other virtual processor.I see better than a doubling in frame rates. This, of course, assumes that hyperthreading is supported and enabled on your motherboard and BIOS settings.Thanks to Sean McLeod for this one.RegardsBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Washington, D.C

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An even better way of constraining FS9 to run on a single virtual CPU on an HT CPU is using the Microsoft IMAGECFG utility (an older NT/2000 utility that works fine in XP -- do a google search). Command syntax (in a Command window):IMAGECFG -a 0x1 fs9.exeThis writes a processor affinity mask into the executable. 0x1 specifies virtual CPU 0, 0x2 specifies vCPU 1, and 0x3 uses both 0 & 1 (default). FS will always run on the specified virtual CPU(s) from that point on.I have done the same to the other utilities I run on the machine while FS is running, only restricting them to the opposite vCPU.Bob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Washington, D.C

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Wow Bob, this is amazing I just doubled my performance, I'm getting steady 50-60 FPS in worst conditions.Thankyou for this great tip.My Simulator system:PC # 1P4 2.8 GHZ 800 FSB HTMotherboard MSI NEO 465PE1 GB PC3500 DDR Corsair XMS RAMHard Drive 80 MB 7200 RPM IDEATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128 MB 4X AA 8X AFVideo Projector Proxima LX1 100" ScreenFlight Simualaror 2004 "Century of Flight"Windows XP Pro SP1.PC # 2P4 1.7 GHZ 768 MB RAMBUS PC-800GeForce 2 GTS Pro 32 MBGeForce 2 MMX 64 MBMonitor # 1 Sony 17" FlatMonitor # 2 Acerview 15"Project Magenta (PFD & EICAS)Windows XP Pro SP1.PC # 3AMD Athlon 1300 XP 512 MB SDRAM PC133GeForce 2 MMX 64 MBMonitor HP 15"Project Magenta (CDU & MCP)Windows XP Pro SP1PC # 4Toshiba Satellite P3 Celeron 1.1 GHZ 256 RAMFsMeteo 6.01, Active Sky 1.9, PM Sounds, FliteStar 8.1 & Jeeppveiw(Jeppesen), SquawkBox 2.3 and Roger Wilco.All PC's are networked with a registered FSIUPC 3.03 & Wide FS.Additional hardware:PFC Jetliner YokeSafeline Jet throttle consoleSaitek Cyborge force feedback JoystickAerosoft MCP

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Bob,This is a great find for us with hyperthreading enabled!My performance is MUCH better with this tweak!!Thank YouPaul Cartier

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Could you do an additional test? Try disabling HT and see how your performance as you have it now compares with no HT. One might guess that HT enabled machines set up without the tweak may have been way underperforming vs their frequency matched non-HT cousins, since they are dedicating all on one processor all the time anywho.Noel

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Bob,>Right click on FS9.exe, select "Set Affinity">>Disable one of the two check boxes so that FS9 only runs on>one virtual CPU (I use CPU 0).I'm running my P4 2.4@2.82 GB on an ASUS P4PE.When i right click on FS9.exe task cannot find any "set affinity" tab :-( maybe my MoBo doesn't support that awesome feature? Wich setting should i eventually modify in BIOS to enable that feature?ThanksLuigi ;-)

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Luigi,The P4PE is able to make use of HT, but only supports 400/533Mhz P4s CPUs. The only 533Mhz CPU that makes use of HT is the 3.06, you probably have a 533Mhz P4 2.4B, this doesn't support HT.

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John,>I tried it, didn't do anything for meso a CPU upgrade from my actual P4 2.4@2.8 to 3.2 should be useless?BTW, how did you push your CPU to 3.2gb?Every time i try something beyond 2.8 WinXP or FS9 freeze :-( do i need something special?ThanksLuigi ;-)

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Ive tried this on a Dell 8300 3.0 h/t, theres no effect at all here.OHN

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Thank you!P4 3.2GB can wait..........................In meantime i'm planning to upgrade my TI4200 128mb with a brand new ASUS FX5600 ULTRA 256mb.Now i can run with most slider full right from 25-50 fps (1152x864x32, AA=0, AF=4); only at big airports like EHAM with dense traffic, especially at dusk (STUNNING!!!), my fps go down and also reach 8-9.Should an upgrade worth it?My rig: P4 2.4GB@2.8GB, ASUS P4PE, 1MB ram PCI 2100, ASUS V8420 GeForce4 TI4200 128MB.Luigi ;-)

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Luigi,I don't think the extra 400Mhz would make any real difference right now. Upgrading to the 5600Ultra wouldn't be a bad move ;) Or you could even try and find a Radeon 9700 Non Pro if you can (and wouldn't mind moving to ATI)These P4 2.4C CPUs seem to overclock quite well (All though its pure luck), the FSB does 250Mhz @ default voltage, little more and I pushed it to 270Mhz. I've got some new PC3700 memory that does 270Mhz 1:1 but my board won't give it mem voltage :(

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>Do the same on any other running utilities (i.e. FDC, RC) and>select the other virtual processor.In the processes window there are a lot of processes running (over 20); however, the only application listed in the applications window is fs9. Is this normal or do I need to be running End it All?If I need End it All, the only version I can find (end it all2) does not list that it supports XP. Will this version still work with XP or is there another version that I should be looking for?Now, if it is normal that all of these other processes should be running, which ones should I set to run on the other virtual processor? When I was reading up on the IMAGECFG utility, I read a few warnings about permantly changing the affinity of certain process.Sorry, I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to this stuff.

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Your motherboard and RAM is the same as mine. To go hyperthreading you need the 3.06Ghz P4 with 533 bus. You also need the correct bios from ASUS. Early versions did not recognise hyperthreading CPU's.RegardsHoward

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Hi Bob,Thanks for a great tip! I put ACOF on CPU 0 and wxRE on CPU 1 and I can't believe the difference. I've got frames locked at 25 but now it never budges from that, even in fairly heavy cloud cover. Still get a sizeable drop in overcast but my new video card should help with that.Thanks, again for a great idea!My system:PIV 2.6 HT 800mhz FSB512 PC2700 RAMGF4 MX440 (I know, I know, replacement ordered)80gb 7200 HDBest,

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Hi thereThis is an interesting tip - but surprisingly it does nothing for my system at all. I'm changing the affinity of FS9 to use CPU0 only instead of 0 and 1. Is that correct?Hyperthreading is enabled in my bios.Is it just the luck of the draw??regards:-waveP4 2.8 800MhzAopen AX4SG-N1028Mb PC3200 @ 400Radeon 9800pro 128Mb

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>Wow Bob, this is amazing I just doubled my performance, I'm>getting steady 50-60 FPS in worst conditions.UHHMM!!! :-eek Holy cow, lucky boy!!I still have to stick with my poor old P4 1.8... :-(

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Yep, that's what I did. Not sure why this doesn't work for all. I really see a difference when wxRE is running and there are clouds up to about 58 broken. After that, the overcast slowdown kicks in. I'm not getting anything like a 50% increase, but easily am getting 4-8fps higher across the board.I locked at 25fps so that I can kick the scenery and autogen density to max. I already had terrain at 100% and almost everything else maxed except mip-mapping at 4 and local textures at high, instead of maxed. I run traffic at 56% because I find this still to be the biggest drain on performance, next to overcast.Sorry this didn't work for you...:( Best,

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Try this:Fire up FS9, but do not change the processor affinity yet. Start task manager, select performance tab. You should see two side-by-side moving charts under the top heading "CPU Usage History." First, do you see two, and second, are they both maxxed out at 100% with FS9 running?If there is only one CPU load graph, most likely you don't have HT on...either it' deselected in BIOS, or you have a mobo or older BIOS that doesn't support HT.If only one of the graphs is firewalled to 100% with FS9 running, something in your config already has FS9 constrained to a single vCPU, so this tweak would have no effect.CheersBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Washington, D.C.

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No...I don't see any drawbacks whatsoever. All you're doing is telling FS9 to confine itself to running on only one virtual CPU. It tells XP "leave me here", and XP deals with everything else normally.Bob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Washington, D.C.

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Bob, thanks again. I cannot locate imagecfg.exe. Do you have any suggestions, or could you please post it?Regards,Howard

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Two quick questions here please.1) I see that my HT is enabled. If I select the Affinity as described in the inital post here, when I shut the machine down and boot back up again later, will all the settings be reset to the way it was before making the changes (my preference)?2) I find I have really good frame rates now except when over a complete undercast. However, even when I'm displaying fps' in the hundreds, I get very noticeable stutters as others have reported (yup, looked at all the tweaks and have most of them employed, including reducing the sound acceleration). Does this "mod" affect the stuttering problem, or does it only act on frame rates?Thanks very much for this, and for the initial suggestion!GlennP4 3.0 GHz, 800 FSB, H/T1 GB DDR RAM (Kingston)ATI9800 Pro 256Soundblaster Audigy Gamer

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