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FS9 Test Results -- Big Problems Here

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Ran some final tests with FS9 tonight just to benchmark where I am with my Windows 98Se set up. FS9 FAILED terribly. Read on. My test PC is: P4 2.4Ghz 533Mhz FSB w/ 512 Mb DDR333 Ram 80Ghz 7200 Rpm FAT32 HD MSI GeForce4 Ti 4200 w/ 8X AGP Windows 98Se Soundblaster Live! I defragged my PC last night. I ran a virus scan last night. I made sure my virus scan was inactive prior to these tests.My test proceedure was as follows: 1) All background programs were closed. System set to run only Systray and Explorer. 2) Anti Aliasing on video card to OFF 3) Anisotropic Filtering on video card to OFF Start FS9 and set up default 737-400 at Seattle. Set FS9 settings/sliders as follows: 1) Scenery a) Terrain Mesh 31% :( Terrain Texture Size: High c) Terrain Detail: Land Only d) Water Effects: NONE e) Dawn/Dusk texture blending: ON f) Extended Terrain Textures: ON g) Scenery Complexity: Very Dense h) Autogen: NONE i) Ground Scenery Casts Shadows: Off j) Sun Glare: OFF k) Lens Flare: OFF l) Special Effects Detail: Medium 2) Aircraft Settings a) Reflections: OFF :( Aircraft Shadows: OFF c) Landing Lights: ON 3) Weather a) Sight Distance: 40 miles :( Cloud Draw Distance: 40 miles c) 3-D Cloud %: 60% d) Cloud Coverage: Medium 4) Hardware Settings a) Target Frame Rate: 21 B) 1024 X 768 X 32 c) Render to Texture: OFF d) Transform & Lighting: ON e) Anti Aliasing: OFF f) Mip Mapping: 4 g) Hardware Rendered Lights: 6 h) Global Max Texture Size: Massive 5) Other hardware settings a) AGP Aperture in BIOS: 64 MB 6) AI Traffic: OFF 7) On Line MS Weather Few clouds today only. a) Rate of Change: NONE RESULTS Began t/o roll and rotated at 141 kts. PAUSES began immediately upon rotation. Sim ran 2 seconds and paused for one to two seconds continuously until reaching an altitude of 3,500 ft where the pauses ceased.....SECOND TEST As a second test, I maxxed out everything. Checked all the boxes except AA. Put Traffic to 100%, Weather Rate of Change to Extreme, and Autogen to it's highest setting.Results Began t/o roll and rotated at 141 kts. PAUSES began immediately upon rotation. Sim ran 2 seconds and paused for two to four seconds continuously until reaching an altitude of 3,500 ft where the pauses ceased..... The differences between hardly any sliders/functions on and fully on was a difference in fps of 12 with everything maxxed vs 20.5 with the first test.......CONCLUSIONS Assuming that my system is sound (it's only 6 months old), something is TERRIBLY wrong with FS2004/FS9 at least with Windows98Se. I can not believe that others are reporting No problems with a similar set up. Doesn't make any sense at all to me. I will be upgrading to Windows XP Home this weekend assumint that my order comes before then. I will repeat the tests at that time but I'm not looking for much change. The pauses and stutters have been reported from guys with XP systems also. This may be a 8X AGP video issue IMHOSteve Lewis in Cleveland,Good Night :-wave

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When you say pauses, do you mean that the sim is at a standstill for 1-2 seconds?It's exasperating... I'm running 98SE and the only thing that caused me pauses like that was low RAM. Doesn't solve the panel issues, but I think that's a symptom of my slower MB and cpu. Why don't you set up SYSMON to track RAM and swapfile usage during your flight? I'd be curious to see what you're running with....XP may solve your problem--then again, it may not. What's really crazy is given your settings, my slower system is very similar in performance.I can tell you that since my MB didn't support AGP 8X, I went with the cheaper 4x version of the 4200.... So if AGP 8X is the issue, can you use a tweaking tool to lock your card to AGP 2X? I know that's an old, old tip that was used when some issues surfaced vs. FS2002....

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Steve,I don't think it is a 8xAGP problem.I have just changed to a MSI GF4 Ti4800SE which is the first time I have used 8x and do not get the pauses you see, nor did I with a GF3 Ti200 4x card. Mind you I am running an Athlon and not a Pentium and ma running XP.Three things I would suggestTurn down Scenery Complexity to DenseGlobal Max texture Size to High.Extended Terrain Textures to Off.You might also try different AGP apature sizes.

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Got Xp same results! In a previous thread I pointed these things out. my system is 8 months old and is maitained in a top notch condition..my fs is completly default and the same probs..I hope ms addreses these!

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Steve, are you doing any tweaks in the config file? or are you at defaults there? Also turn OFF terrain textures and try. I had an issue with stutters with my old GF4 and 2002. If any terain ext radius etc tweaks put those back to zero and give it a try. I am feeling your pain man, something is very wrong with the sim and how it interacts with your hardware. I have been following this and cant seem to put a finger on anything that could be causing you these problems. Have you tried re-instaling windows over itself? 98 does this just fine, and all your programs will remain. I just reinstall all my drivers and redo all shortcuts and it usually works great. Everything will remain, but you may have to reinstall some proggies for the registry entries. Also reinstall DX9 give it a try, only takes about a half an hour. What you got to lose?? :) hang in there, you'll get it.Hornit

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First, where can I Get SYSMON? Second, yes, the sim actually pauses; i.e., it stops for a second or two then proceeds. run, pause, run, pause.... once over 3,000 ft no pauses..... :-hmmm My MB sets my video card at 4X and it can't be changed to 8X or 2X....I added a 256 Mb stick of RAM but the system.ini set it up so I couldn't use over 512.....Steve

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>First, where can I Get SYSMON? Steve,Sysmon is part of the W98 operating system's system tools. If you can't get there through "start" "programs" "accessories" "system tools" "system monitor," try "run" "sysmon."Don S.I hope to try your flight later tonight or tomorrow.

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Okay, I tried a flight using your settings. You didn't say where you were flying and with what airplane, but I remember you saying something about flying out of KSEA with the default 737-400. So, that's what I tried - runway 34R.Had no problems, that is, no stutters. Went back to my normal settings of (for those settings different from your minimum test settings):Terrain mesh: 80Scenery complexity: Extremely denseAutogen: NormalSun Glare and Lens Flare: OnAdd-on dynamic scenery: OffAircraft shadows: OnSight Distance: 70 miles 3-D Clouds: 80%Cloud Coverage: MaximumTarget frame rate: 20Render to texture: OnMip Mapping: 5Hardware rendered lights: 8Filtering: TrilinearI use FS Genesis 38.2m mesh (for the whole U.S.) as well as FS Genesis Landclass scenery. I'm also using Chris Wills' replacement clouds at the moment.My system is pretty ancient: I'm using a 1.4 GHz Celeron by way of a PowerLeap adaptor on an old Abit BM6 motherboard. I have 512 MB of old SDRAM, a GeForce4 Ti4200 64 MB video card with the 45.23 drivers, and a Soundblaster Audigy sound card. The AGP aperture in my BIOS is set to 128 MB.Don S.

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After reading Steve's post ,I thought I'd try to conduct a fair test between WinME and Win XP.I have dual boot ME/XP so the hardware config is identical to both OS.Each OS has a full copy of FS9 totally independant of each other.Each copy of FS9 was set to the default display/weather setting except bothe were set to 1024 screen resolution.Used the same aircraft and location as Steve(B737-400 at SeaTac)No background programs were turned of so in ME I had Webshots Screensaver ,Powerquest 2Nd Chance ,CMedia Control Center,Broadband Modem controller and Ramidle Memory Manager running(set to keep 100mb free).In XP the same except no RamIdle.In other words , I made no special allowances for running FS9.System-AMD Athlon 2000XP (@133/133)ECS K7S5A Mobo 3.1 :04/29/02 Rev BiosSiS 735 Chipset Rev 12 x 256mb DDR RAMGeforce4 Ti-4200-8x 128mb DDR AGPAGP 1.16 WHQL . 4403 Detonator XP Drivers2 x Maxtor 40GB HDD (7200rpm)LG 8x4x32 BurnerLG 52xDirect X 9.0 final Windows ME/ Windows XP dual bootBIOS Settings- DRAM Timing Ultra. CAS Latency 3T,RAS ACtive 6T,RAS Precharge 3TL1 Cache Enabled.L2 Cache Enabled.Sys BIOS Cache Disabled.DRAM Drive Slew Rating - Fast The Test flights-WinME /Full screen-take off run 14 - 16 fps.Climbing to 3500ft 21-25 fps(locked)WinME/Windowedtake off run 16 - 17 fps.climb 23- 25 fps(locked)WinXP/Full Screentake off run 14-18 fps.climb 25 -30 fps(locked)WinXP/Windowedtake off run 16 - 17 .climb 27 - 30 fps(locked)No stops ,stutters or pauses anytimeMy conclusion- XP gives a better performance by a factor of approx 10 percent.WinME can run this with no problems but I think the memory management helps.Comments??Dave

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Don, For some reason, SYSMON is not present on my system anywhere. I've looked as you directed and it just isn't there.I'm going to try two things further: > Someone mentioned re-installing Win98Se over itself. The guy who built my PC gave me a copy of his Win98Se disc. I don't know why he installed Se since I gave him my 98 disc to use. :-hmmm > Second, I'll remove and reinstall FS9. After those reinstalls, I'll try once again. I did reinstall DirectX9.0b over itself but haven't tried a flight since I did that. (Was working on my wife's PC.....) DxDiag says I have no problems.Steve

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Further to the above - before anyone shouts "WinME isn't Win98SE"- I know but I thought the comparison between ME and XP worthwhile as it would show the advantages of a " modern" OS over one that is based on the original 98 OS

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Hornit, The only tweeks remaining in my .cfg file are the terrain ext radius ones (@ 8.5 and 4.5). I tried to put them back to 0 & 0 in an earlier test but still had the problem :-hmmm. That was a few tests ago. I'm going to remove and reinstall FS9 tonight and see what happens. I will also try the Sysmon install along with RamIdle which was suggested also. After that, if I still have the problem, I'll just wait until my copy of WinXP Home comes and I'll install it and FS9 alone on a new HD. (Along with the extra stick of 512Mb DDR333....) After all of that, if it still has the problem with pauses, I'll just go back to FS2002 permanently. I Flew the PMDG 737-700 last night in FS2002 with all sliders maxxed. The only problem I had was with some of the views (side views, overhead panel, etc.) remaining behind my main panel when I went back. I could correct this by changing my Transform & Lighting setting (either on or off). Everything else with the flight went great. With Ruud's textures and Chris Willis' new cloud textures, I swear it looked just like FS9 is supposed to look!Steve

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Steve,Could the sound card have any effect on the performance of the sim? I have a P4 1.8Mhz, GeForce 3 64Meg, 512mg PC800 RAM, XP Home, Sound Blaster Live, and I am using the 40.52 drivers. I have given up on FS9 on my system. I have stutter problems and sound problems. When I run with the sound off I pick up about 5 FPS, why???? My system runs FS2002 great, all sliders maxed and it still is very smooth with 100% AI, except around LAX or ORD. I don't have anymore ideas. I have tried most of the tweaks mentioned in the forum and they don't help. I feel like there is a hardware conflict somewhere. Just my thoughts...

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Arthur, I've considered that. But, there are people who are saying that they are using SoundBlaster Live cards successfully with FS9. I downloaded the latest drivers from SoundBlaster but they didn't help me at all. I tried my test with the sound off and it still paused just like when it was ON. I guess I could remove the sound card and set up my onboard AC97 sound on my Mother board to be sure. Think I'll try that tonight. If I could just find the culprit for the pauses, I'd be very happy with FS9. There's only so many parts of the PC that could cause them: 1) Operating System: Win98S3 2) CPU: P4 2.4Ghz, 533 FSB 3) RAM: 512 Mb DDR333 4) Video Card: GeForce 4200 Ti 128Mb DDR 8X AGP 5) Sound Card: Sound Blaster Live!Steve

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What kind of install did you do with FS9? I had read somewhere that if you do the default install it doesn't decompress all files...but then again this may be completely wrong...Using sysmon (or perfmon on XP) you should be able to monitor the fs9 executable and see what it does during the pauses - i.e. CPU spikes to 100%...during the pauses do you notice hard drive usage?http://saltydogfly2.avsim.net/images/avsim_sig.jpg"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams."

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Ken, I did the custom one which is the full install, I believe. I am going to delete FS9 and reinstall it tonight.

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Also going to remove my SoundBlaster Live card and use the onboard AC97 sound to see if it's my sound card.

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Steve,If you do install XP this weekend and want to use the Soundblaster cardmake sure you download the latest drivers for it because XP did have an issue with the Soundblaster cards. I hope that XP cures your ills. I have not run Win98Se in ages always worked well for me except for the Porked USB support. That is the only reason I moved up to WinME at least the USB worked well and that is about all.I love my WinXP!Good luck.Tony

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Steve - Couple of things come to mind - the AGP aperture should be set to match the ram on your video card, assuming the mobo supports it. I think the TI4200 has 128 so I would definately change the AGP Aperture to 128.In addition to removing the SB Live card - go into DXDIAG and move the acceleration slider to none and see what happens.HTH,Vic

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Here are my 2c Steve:If you have dx9.0b then there will be pause or infamous 1 frame issue with some joysticks...i got it on MS sidewinder1 and heard somebody having that in CH Pro yoke too. I resolved my problem by disabling FFB. You'll also have the problem if u have 2 joysticks connected.

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