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Time for a reality check.

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I have read the constant back and forth arguments about MS9, and it's so called "performance" or lack thereof. And I really do think it's time for all of us to perform a little Reality Check.- Flight Simulator was developed and designed to run on a current system today. As most even the most inexpensive computers being sold today are of the varieity of 2.0Ghz, I think it is reasonable to deduce that a 2.0 Ghz machine can be considered "current"- Despite the early hype from some of the Beta Testers, FS2004 will not outperform FS2002 on most computers. Nor should it be expected to.- Like every release before it. Many users will have to face a choice between upgrading their system, or going back to the previous version. This is not an indictment, but a simple statement of fact.- The existance of a slider does not gurarantee that a person should expect a full slider right condition in their computer. GeoffA mentioned how the sliders really killed FU3 because people caught slideritis. The same thing happens here. The people who are the happiest with this sim, are the ones who realize the limitations of their software, and work to find a happy medium. For example, I have an FX5200 Nvidia card. I know that Anti-Ailiasing is not it's strong point. I need to either A. Upgrade the card, or B. Choose not to use 4xs Anti-Aliasing.However, it's not Microsoft's fault that the card takes a huge hit when I use 4X Ailiasing, nor should Microsoft limit their Anti-Aliasing to 2X so that I can render it.- Because of sliders, we are ALL probably running our systems out side the norm. Reset to defaults. That is what Microsoft determines your satisfactory settings are. PERIOD!!!! If you go right on the slider more than what your factory defaults are, you are going beyond what is expected for your system.There is slop built into the sliders to allow for perefernce. That is, if you decide that you like more Scenery Complexity, and less dense mesh, the sliders are there to provide a new balance. But remember, it is always a trade off.FINALLY. If a person decides to go back to FS2002, fine. Let them. When I had my 600Mhz Celeron, (that went to the kids), I did not like FS2004 on it. I chose to reinstall FS2002 and enjoyed it for several weeks. Now that I have a system capable of running FS2004, I can't live without some of the things that FS2004 brings, (persistant 3d clouds, enroute IFR filing, and multiple runways, just to name a few)After every new release it is always the same. Calls for patches. Well, FS2000 was the last one to have a patch, and that was because there were very reproducable performance problems across ALL processors and ALL OS'es. And it was due primarily, to an incorrect assumption by Microsoft. With Fly! and their super rich panels, Microsoft thought that the community wanted ultra smooth and detailed panels, and thus the priority on the program was to update guages first and foremost. And this priority of guage motion caused the out of the window view to have many stops and stutters. The patch helped a little, but the flaw was within the design of the program. FS2002 was optimized for out of window view and it shows.The point is, there are no winners and losers here, just decide which one you like better and enjoy yourselves. Luckily FS2002 is a FINE substitute. At least it's not the choice we had to made between FS2000 and FS98......That was a tough one....

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The only possible criticisim I can think of is that - "I paid the same for FS2004 as the guy with the 3ghz system". Some truth to that. If you have the minimum system recommended by the vendor then you should be able to enjoy all of the functionality you paid for. Unfortunately, that is not reality. From the beginning we have seen simulators and games that force you to pay for functionality that in reality costs several hundreds of additional dollars to achieve. They specify minimum systems but usually never specify the specifics of the resulting minimum functionality. No use complaining here. This will happen on every release of FSxxx and probably many other products as well. Most here have some knowledge. However, Joe Six Pack that buys this off of the shelf may be in for a rude awakening. While the CPU runs at 2ghz on his store bought system, the cheap builtin sound and video fail to provide an enjoyable activity. Microsoft knows this but a dollar in the till is better than scaring dollars awy by telling them that their nice new PC will not do everything shown on the box and a few more dollars are needed. Will not happen!Dick KLBEPS: I fully agree with the fixation on sliders. I wore mine out...

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>And it was due>primarily, to an incorrect assumption by Microsoft. With Fly!>and their super rich panels, Microsoft thought Forgive me because this deduction seems to me to have little merit. If Microsoft really thought people were after FLY-like panels they would have provided something equivalent. Instead to this very day they provide anything but rich and detailed panels. Clearly Microsoft chose their own panel developement path that has little to do with FLY!. Michael J.http://www.reality-xp.com/community/nr/rsc/rxp-higher.jpg

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Hi,I agree with your post. I can run FS2004 with almost all sliders maxed because I have what is still a pretty powerful system(it's not the latest and greatest anymore). Scenery Complexity is down one notch and Autogen is down one notch. Everything else is maxed in my FS2004. One thing that I recalled a while back is someone saying that their FS2004 ran best with their APG aperture set at 256. I hadn't tried that but never forgot about it. Since I have a 1 GB of ram I recently decided to go ahead and try it. I found that my performance was smoother and I my framerate increased a little from it. One thing for sure is that my frame rate doesn't jump around as much. So speaking for myself, I'm really enjoying it! :)Now, with all that said, I think there is one area in the FS2004 engine that has a flaw and could use a patch. It is with the Autogen. Ever since FS2004 came out this is they area that I have said should be patched, because of missing bridges and missing/misplaced other Autogen objects. Now, one thing about FS2004 performance wise that I could never quite figure out was why I had framerates that were fine when I first passed over a city and then turned to crap when I turned back around to pass over the city from the way I just came. A test that JimmiG came up with points to a problem in Autogen. And after performing the test myself and seeing other peoples results, I think there is a problem with it besides just the missing bridges problem, and it relates directly to a significant performance problem. This and the missing/misplaced Autogen objects points to a definite flaw in the Autogen that in my mind deserves a fix. I have always said from the beginning that the most glaring issue in FS2004 should get a patch. I have not complained about any other aspect of FS2004, thank you. If you feel like it, take a look at the test results and/or perform the test yourself and tell me what you think. Do I think we'll see a patch? No, not unless maybe enough of us tell MS about this exact reproducible problem. And even then it might not be considered a big enough problem for them to consider fixing. I don't know. Here is the thread on JimmiG's test...http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...&mesg_id=140303The only other minor issue(but I have never complained about it) that I have with FS2004, is something to do with the changes to the Flight Dynamics. Two things, try putting say, the default DC-3 into a banking turn. Then return your joystick to center. What happens? The aircraft begins to come back to level flight(it unbanks the turn) on it's own. The other is try a full wing stall with a the default 747 at say FL300. I dare ya! :-lol And when I say full wing stall, I mean full wing stall. Don't try to recover as soon as you get the stall warning, stall that baby all the way. What happens? It's crazy. The stall is completey unrecoverable(unless you get real lucky) and the plane goes all over the place doing all kinds of wierd gyrations. This should NOT happen. And it was what a reviewer said about the PMDG 737 in a review on www.flightsim.com It was obvious to me that they had not tried the Full Wing stall on a default jet in FS2004 because what they said happens is exactly what happens a default jet in FS2004! In other words, it's a a defect in the PMDG 737 but a defect in the FS2004 FDE.Now, all the above was not meant to be a rant. Just some observations and what I feel to be some legitmate complaints. Complaints aside, I go back to my first paragraph an reiterate what I said about FS2004 there, I'm enjoying FS2004 very much thank you. :DCheers, :-waveJim Richards

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I disagree. Fly was showcasing all their detailed panels in the space between FS98 and FS2000. Look at the difference in the panels between FS98 and FS2000. It's night and day. It is also the first time FS offered a full IFR panel. (for the mooney).I was working as a contractor for MS games (the action side) just prior to the FS2000 release, one of the BIGGEST issues in the Flight Sim community was the poor quality of the FS98 panels, and the inability to do serious IFR procedures with them. The other issue was the use of DEM "MESH" for scenery. Both Pro Pilot 99 and Fly! were using "Mesh" to generate terrain, Microsoft could ill afford to fall back on the "Pyramid Mountains" again. Also, there were whispers about submitting FS2000 to be a systems simulator and asking to be approved for IFR hours. To achieve this, they were required to have ULTRA SMOOTH gauge updates. (FAA would not allow any jitters in the panel updates to be certified). When FS2000 was released, it was released with the smoothest panels ever seen. However the out of the view updates had been compromised. As reviews and reaction to Fly as a VFR simulation became more critical, and calls to Microsoft for a patch became more evident, Microsoft released an update to the sim which allowed the user to turn of the gauge priority that was built in, and it was after this update that the Sim at least gained a bit of 'respectability'. It was also evident that the vast majority of the users wanted to use the sim for "VFR" flying and that IFR procedures training was clearly a lower priority amongst most mainstream users.During development, Microsoft had listened to a very VOCAL minority of users who claimed that IFR was the wave of the future. They learned that the loudest is not necessarily the majority. Since then, all releases have focused primarily on the "out of the window" experience. Even if other compromises must be made.

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>The only possible criticisim I can think of is that - "I paid>the same for FS2004 as the guy with the 3ghz system". Some>truth to that. If you have the minimum system recommended by>the vendor then you should be able to enjoy all of the>functionality you paid for. No offense, but that logic is flawed on so many different levels.Say I have a Black and White TV with a 4 inch speaker on the side.Both me and the guy with the $3000 52" Projection TV with Surround Sound 5.2 Dolby decoder built in.Now when I look at the Star Wars DVD and see that it has stunning color, great effects, and super sound, is it Fox's problem that I am running it on a B&W TV? Do I even have a valid complaint? Should the movie had been shot in Black and White to suit my TV, or maybe using Monorual sound because I have one speaker.Of course that is ridiculous, and I feel silly even typing it, yet some people with sub standard computers feel that they should have the same functionality as someone who has a system that is many times more capable.If we followed that argument, we would still be pushing out a sim with 256 color VGA and flat terrain so that the guy with the 20386 doesn't feel left out.

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FS9 is just like life. Everything is a trade off. I can live with having to turn down some sliders to get the performance I want but what bothers me is some of the programming errors they made.In my opinion FS2002 was the best program in the whole series. For me at least it ran bug free from day one. I spent several hours moving the sliders the first day and after that I just started it up and went flying. FS9 reminds me of FS2000 which I never used much because of the bugs. Some examples are the flat clouds. I start my flight and look up in the sky and the clouds all have flat bottoms. Not very realistic. Another problem is the redraw of the scenery when you look out the window. I had this problem when I first installed it and found a fix. Then I installed the FSGenesis landlcass and the problem came back. the point is the problem shouldn't be there to begin with. They got the sequence wrong. First they open a new window and then they redraw the scenery. They should redraw the scenery and then open the window. I have never seen this problem in a flight sim from any other company and I own all of the GA sims released in the past ten years. I could go on but I won't because you can see all of the errors they made just by reading the posts in all of the forums. Did someone say missing bridges? This post sounds like I'm a Microsoft basher and maybe I am although I really like Windows xp and I always thought FS2002 was a great piece of software.Having said all of the above I still like FS9 and would find it hard to go back to Fs2002. I just think it's too bad they didn't polish the little things that makes the difference between a good product and great product.Richard

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>I disagree. Disgaree with what ? To this date I don't see decent panels from Microsoft unless you think that what's included rivals FLY panels. Forget the "smooth" factor. This was never a differentiating factor for FLY panels. I never owned FS98 or FS2000 but even despite alleged "improvemnts" MS still doesn't have a clue how to build a detailed panel and frankly they probably don't even care.Michael J.

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It doesn't matter what you "see". The emphesis on FS2000 was the first use of Mesh and panel quality. Whether they succeeded or not is a matter of opinion, and is not what at stake here.The FS2xxx panels are night and day from FS98. The read me for the patch even discusses the additions of the new switches. Since you never owned FS98, you don't know the HUGE improvement made in FS2xxx over FS98.And this improvement was primarily motivated by improvements made by Fly and Pro Pilot 99 and Flight Unlimited.These are matters of fact, and not open to interpretationThe point of all this, is that Microsoft DID at one time really focus on Panels, at the degrading of the out of the window view. It was by their accounts a horrible mistake. It is clear, that most people want a VFR simulator and that is where Microsoft will continue to concentrate. I really don't see how YOUR opinion of their panel quality comes into this.

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You are absolutely right. I remember reading a post on Lago's forum by one of their developers how 2002 and 2004 compare stability-wise. He said that with 02 they measured stability in days, with 04 it's in hours. Single-digit hours! I believe the context was simply complex scenery without custom code.Of course, the politically correct explanation for this is that fs9 is more complex... and so you have to expect that your system is taxed heavier. But obviously that's a load of marketing BS, fs9 is less stable because it has more bugs (introduced with its new, unpolished features) than fs8 had.One thing I just can't understand is the violent opposition you sometimes see in the forums when somebody even mentions the possibility of a patch. I mean patches are good things, aren't they? They're also free, so that's even better. (Interestingly, some addon developers have recently, one could even say, ever since fs9's release, failed to appreciate that notion.) Most other games I have, not SO many, had patches, I can't remember a single company that went broke or a single game that got delayed because of a patch. And I would guess that some MS developers were working on fixing problems or just making things more efficient but needed a few more weeks to finish that management wouldn't give them.

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I am curious about your statement:"Two things, try putting say, the default DC-3 into a banking turn. Then return your joystick to center. What happens? The aircraft begins to come back to level flight(it unbanks the turn) "Are you aware of lateral stability the dc3 had? Some light aircraft exhibit this with a shallow bank-called positive lateral stability. I have no knowledge what a DC3 exhibited.http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/Geofdog2.jpg

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I completely agree that a patch is a good thing, but I think Microsoft sees patches as something like a plant manager would look on to the assembly line final product as "unfinished" if it needs fixing after production.They may also see patches as confusing to "average" users who may not know what patches are are what to do if presented with them. If its one or the other, there are still ways around it. Why not include an "unseen behind the scenes" type of download that automatically downloads patches and applies them upon startup of the sim? Of course this would'nt work for dialup users who aren't on line at the time of execution of the program, but there are ways around that too- maybe a button or link in the sim like "Updates here"? I see that they have included a nifty little NEWS area in this version that basically presents live data from their website. Thats a nice addition, how about a patch link?

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>Yep, the clouds have flat bottoms.>>Frenchy -- Out.Hey, Flat bottom clouds make the rocking world go roun...Sorry, sorry. Sorry Eddie! RIP!Yep I for one am for an FS9 update and if it does come I think it will come this month. Not saying I know something, just putting some peices together and it smells like patch.

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>>Yep, the clouds have flat bottoms.>>>>Frenchy -- Out.>>Hey, Flat bottom clouds make the rocking world go>roun...Sorry, sorry. Sorry Eddie! RIP!Now Paul you really dissapoint me :( It's Freddie Mercury....Not Eddie !!>>Yep I for one am for an FS9 update and if it does come I think>it will come this month. >>Not saying I know something, just putting some peices together>and it smells like patch.Better than smellin' like somethin' else ;)Bobby

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I am not against patches, for the most part, they are improvements. What I am against is the undisiplined call of some of our more vocal members who make generic claims about "performance" but fail to mention exactly what the cause is. Bugs in code, need to be explained, qualified, and if possible placed in easy to reproduce steps. Calling on the developer to see what the user see's as "obvious performance issues" is really useless and generally gets ignored. Thus it is nothing but a rant.An example of a good bug, is a report of a missing scenery segment, or if it is performance related, setup a scenario and make qualified statements and use facts. For example, the GPS eats 4 frames when active. This can be reproducable on most all systems and can be qualified.There is another thread in which people are doing "test" runs to give substance to the performance issues. I have not chimed in on that thread, as it is a very productive activity.What is not productive is consitent complaints by people who are unwilling to troubleshoot their own systems, unwilling to make reasonable upgrades to existing equipment, or unwilling to move the sliders a bit to the left because they are convinced that if their 1Ghz Thunderbird with Geforce 2 MX440 card can't run this sim like a bat out of Hades, then something is obviously wrong in Redmond.This coming from a group of people who claim that they are more savy then the "average" users. If so, then I expect them to understand the nature of the computer industry, and apply some good ol' common sense, not some tired ol' Anti-Microsoft rhetoric.

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Performance isn't the only reason people should be vocal about any shortcomings in Fs9. In that respect, I chose neither to upgrade my system, nor go back to FS2002. I simply reduced the slider settings even further than the MS default settings, and performance is quite good considering. But as I get deeper into FS9 I'm finding a few issues, which unexplained or unresolved, are to me quite serious. They have nothing to do with performance.

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>You will never see a>patch for cosmetic visual/scenery visual improvement/ or new>scenery added.Then how is it that we got a patch for FS2k that gave us back Aircraft and scenery shaddows? besides a coastline switch and a gauge switch...

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There is a bug in FS2004 with regards to how Autogen data is handled. This results in slowdowns after flying for a while (you can find countless topics about this here and at Flightsim.com). This bug NEEDS to be fixed since it wold improve performance significantly. If it were not for this bug (or whatever you want to call it), FS2004 would perform only slightly slower than FS2002 did.

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>I start my flight>and look up in the sky and the clouds all have flat bottoms.>Not very realistic.Richard, when I first ran FS2004 I was disappointed by the clouds - because of the flat bottoms. But after a couple of adjustments they look great. Check the cloud percentage setting (under options/settings/display). The default setting was low, maybe 30%, but after increasing to 60% they look - well, great! Also check you have detailed clouds selected. I get excellent results with the three other sliders - sight distance, cloud draw distance and cloud coverage density - fully to the left. Overall the new clouds are a huge improvement. The fair weather theme looks beautiful but with a minimal frame rate impact. Best regards, Chris Wright

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Dear Geofa,Well I can't say I was aware of "positive lateral stability" nor am I familiar with the lateral stability the dc3 had. I'm no expert pilot and am not even a incredibly experienced MSFS pilot. Nevertheless, I do have some experieince. ;) But I think there is some differences in behavior between FS2002 and FS2004 in this regard that should not be happening. I was making my observations about default FS2004 aircraft behavior based up the posts of another person in another forum whom I believe to be pretty knowledgable about such things. This guys makes and post MSFS files, does reivews for www.simflight.com, was an official FS2004 Beta tester, and apparently knows how to edit .air files, ect, ect. From his posts I noticed what he said was true. He has also been lucky enough to actually have time behind the yoke of the real thing in real life, as in, a real DC-3! His name is Trev Morson. After reading his posts and then seeing/experiencing the differences between FS2002 and FS2004 for myself I happened to think he is correct. Here are quotes from the thread...-----------------Reading this thread with interest. But there are some *serious* fundamental flight dynamic problems with some of the aircraft in FS2004.Aircraft levels out on its own during a turn and bank.. this is a fundamental parameter that poses a severe problem. It's a basic parameter that was obviously overlooked and not fixed during Beta. For anyone, even the most inexperienced of simmers, this would be a noticable bug and most certainly an issue with regard to the term 'as real as it gets'There is no drag with the use of Cowl flaps, perhaps not fundamental on this issue, bot nonetheless, it needs to be fixed in the FDE.. I think the question is 'how' are they to be fixed?.Iv'e been tinkering around with the FDE using FS2002's FS Edit or manual entry direct into the aircraft.cfg and yet I still cannot fix the most fundamental and basics of flight that are apparant in some FS2004 aircraft.I will tinker some more._________________Regards.. Trev.Trev,You had cowl flaps simulated, but the FDE dont have a seperate cowl flap drag entry. Only by using the spoilers for example can simulate them.The leveling out issue: I tried some airplanes from default COF, and when I turn they do not level out by them self. Unless the a/p is on. You can set the wingleveler on or off in the cfg section, so it doesnt let the a/p work as a 747 a/p does.use_no_default_bank=1 // 0 = Default to Wing Leveler mode, 1 = No default bank mode.The actual finetuning is in the airfile itself, see section 451.Johan_________________Phoenix Simulation Software PSSok thanks..Try the DC-3, no ap. Do a 30 degree bank and turn, tell me if it stays in the turn please.Thanks!_________________Regards.. Trev. That was the last post in the thread. There was no response after that. Check out the entire thread here if you want. It was actually started by him and is titled "FDE tweaking not easy"http://forums.simflight.com/viewtopic.php?t=10008Regards,Jim

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You might want to check this out:http://142.26.194.131/aerodynamics1/Stability/Page3.htmlhttp://142.26.194.131/aerodynamics1/Stability/Page5.htmlI am going back to 15 years ago in my primary training in a C152-but I recall my instructor demonstrated that if you did a bank of less than 12 or so degrees the plane would gradually right itself back to zero-postive lateral stability. Past 30 degrees or so-the plane would go into a a steeper bank-negative lateral stability. If an aircraft stays at the bank without increasing or decreasing it is called neutral lateral stability. Stability of all types of course affects the other axis's other than lateral, and is different from aircraft to aircraft depending on design/designer and faa regulations.It is my understanding that most light aircraft in general exhibit neutral lateral stability. I don't think however one can make a generalization that applies to every aircraft.The lateral stability is all influenced and helped by: Dihedral High Wings Swept Wings What a dc3 does-I don't frankly know. I am not an engineer, and I have never flown a dc3 -but my question is before calling the positive lateral stability you report for the dc3 a bug is has it in fact been verified that a dc3 does not have postitive lateral stability? By the way fs2002 did exhibit this-xplane never has(at least up to version 6.0)-and I always complained myself about the lack of stability in any of the axis's in any of the xplane flight models which felt wrong to me.Is it a bug or more likely an incorrect design parameter-perhaps? But I have been around long enough to see many improvements or added reality called bugs that really are not.The wing leveler on the autopilot which is still being disabled by many is probably the biggest example of oneimho....http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/Geofdog2.jpg

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JonPO1, I am curious about what you are seeing, I too have noticed some pretty glaring things that have not one thing to do with performance of the sim. The weather while looking great seems to have some pretty big problems with how it is SUPPOSED to work. Just one issue I am seeing. Seems a lot of things with ATC did NOT get changed with this version also.Hornit

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Hi Again Geof,>Is it a bug or more likely an incorrect design>parameter-perhaps? But I have been around long enough to see>many improvements or added reality called bugs that really are>not.>>The wing leveler on the autopilot which is still being>disabled by many is probably the biggest example of>oneimho....Ok. Thanks for that info. That helps clear some of my observations as to what I felt was incorrect behavior, espcially when making the 30 bank as suggested. There's just so many variables to take into consideration that it boggles my mind a little! At any rate I really appreciate your reply and and helping me to understand the behavior here. ;)Cheers,Jim

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