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Guest Glenn

Stutters - ATI vs. NVidia

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I'm currently using a Radeon 9800 Pro with the latest (Catalyst 3.6) drivers. I've read and tried just about all the "fixes" for bad stuttering, with nothing helping. My fps' are outstanding for the most part, but even with them locked at 35 fps (and showing that value constantly), I get severe stutters when on and near an airport (note again, this is a stutter, not an fps issue). Due to various factors, I'm beginning to wonder if this is partly an ATI-FS9 issue. Has there been any consensus yet as to whether ATI or NVidia is better/worse in terms of stutter problems in the vicinity of an airport?Please note - I'm not trying to start a mini-war here on which card is better overall, nor do I want to get into bashing one or the other. I'm simply trying to nail down whether one card has this issue over the other. If not, I'll look elsewhere in the system. My system is very high end, with a tonne of memory, so I'm (for the time being) concentrating on just the graphics portion.Thanks for the info.Glenn

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Glenn - I don't believe there is a issue with either video chipset as regards stuttering. Many of us, myself included, are using a 9800 Pro and experience no stutter at all. Others, using a variety of nVidia as well as ATI chips, also see no stutter anywhere in the sim. The issue seems to lie with the specific system, i.e., some systems stutter, and some systems don't. And, likewise, the causes are likely to vary widely depending on the pecularities of individual hardware/software configurations. We would all be fortunate indeed it such issues could be pinned to one particular type of the video card. Then we wouldn't see any more of the "Which card should I buy?" posts :-) . Doug

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I also have a 9800 pro and no stutters whatsoever. The biggest difference is I keep my fps locked at 20. It doesn't makse sense that you are getting stutters without the fps number jumping around. Stutters usually show up when the fps number is jumping all over the place. Anyway other places to look would be memory or processor (or both). You didn't post specs, but you need to look for bottlenecks in your system. For example, you can't just add an ATI 9800 pro to a 1ghz processor and expect it to run. I'm not saying that is what you have, but just to show an extreme example. Also, check to see if the computer is using a lot of virtual memory. No matter how good the video card is, the performance will suffer if virtual memory is used to heavily.Also, look at your sliders and return them all to default position. Then turn them up one at a time and see which effect each has on fps. Even with my current system listed below, I cannot "crank the sliders to max".Another tip, did you defragment your hard drive both before and after installing fs2004? That can really make a difference in the long run. I defragment rather regularly to keep things running smoothly, since fs2004 takes up soo much drive space. P4 3.06 ghz1 gig ramati 9800 pro

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I also experience (light) stutters when around airports. I too have applied most fixes found here at this forum. I did noticed however that stuttering in my case is lead in by heavy harddisk usage. Is this happening in your case too?

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Hi guys, thanks for the feedback. Sounds like it could be any number of things, includng "that's just my system", which is a pain :-). My system is a 3.0 GHz 800 FSB H/T (enabled), 1 Gig DDR Kingston RAM, Radeon 9800 Pro 256 and the SB Audigy Gamer and 80 Gig 7200 RPM Western Digital HD (only used about 20 gigs max). So, if there is a bottleneck there, I'm not sure exactly where it would be. I check for HD useage but it doesn't seem to be abnormal during periods near the airports. However, I'll have another look. VM is being handled by Windows XP Pro, and there's lots of space as you can see. I don't have my sliders maxed by any means. In fact, my 3D clouds are at a minimum setting, but most of those sliders don't seem to have too much effect for my issues at airports, except for the Autogen. Autogen's at Normal, and to be honest, with my system, if I have to pull it back further than that, I'll forget FS9 and go back to FS2002 because it will have more goodies running than FS9 :-).Appreciate the feedback once again. That helps in my troubleshooting (which is soon coming to an end).Glenn

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Okey gentlemen, LISTEN UP!If money is not a problem, here is what I would do for a no hassle flight experience:Install a second Hard Disk (preferrably 7200 RPM but slower 5K RPM ok) make shure it is ATA 66 or 100, the instal only windows OS and flight sim. Make Boot disk (allows you to choose which OS/HD to start up) then light the fires, kick the tires and off you go.This will make a great improvement in your FS experience.

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>Hi guys, thanks for the feedback. Sounds like it could be>any number of things, includng "that's just my system", which>is a pain :-). My system is a 3.0 GHz 800 FSB H/T (enabled),>1 Gig DDR Kingston RAM, Radeon 9800 Pro 256 and the SB Audigy>Gamer and 80 Gig 7200 RPM Western Digital HD (only used about>20 gigs max). So, if there is a bottleneck there, I'm not>sure exactly where it would be.*snip*Well, that system should handle fs2004. :) As I said, check your hard drive defragmentation if you haven't already. I know it is a pain, but you may want to consider uninstalling, defragging, re-installing, and defragging again. Also, if you haven't already try turning down the sound quality in fs and/or in dxdiag. I think I have mine set to medium in fs and it sounds the same and seems to have less problems. With a similar system, I leave autogen on normal and it causes no problems. Oh one last thing, turn OFF antialiasing if you have it on. Just to compare.

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IMHO most people neglect the motherboard factor! Performance is not just a combination of massive memory, huge processor and insane graphic board, these things are assembled in a motherboard who then conects the components and provides bus speed, bandwith, and control over each of the items. It's better to save a few $ in the processor in order to acquire a better MB than to spend all on the above and buy a MB with pocket money.... Also a good MD must be taken care of in order to obtain maximum performance! The bios is there for a reason, deactivate the port's and periferals that you don't use, always use an updated BIOS and always use up to date MB drivers.Note: A good motherboard doensn't necessary mean a brand one with a "performance" name on the box! It's the chipset that makes the difference, there are various exemples showing that two equal systemsdifering only in the chipset have significant performance diferences...Jos

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Thanks Craig - yeah I knew I forgot to address one or two issues in my last post :-). Yup, I defrag a couple of times a day actually, and I did have my sound backed off to Basic. I must admit though - I balk at having to start reducing stuff like that. The sim should run on a high-end system without having to go into settings like acceleration and switching them off. The AA is set to 2x's on my video card and off in the sim itself, while AF is at 8x's. It's beginning to look like just a combination of hardware perhaps, and no one thing in particular. Thanks again Craig,Glenn

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Well, that's something I hadn't thought of to be honest. I may at least try the boot-disk idea to eliminate the rest of the stuff from being a problem (assuming I can figure out how to load the video, sound and other devices I use along with FS). However my friend, I have to be honest - these ideas are the types of things I was fiddling with back in the days of FS5. The reason I bought a heavy-weight machine was so that I could run stuff like FS without having to resort to extraordinary means in order to get a smooth ride, as it were. FS2002 was very smooth on my "old" 2.5 Gig machine with half the memory and a "lesser"(??) video card. As much as I have enjoyed FS since the days of SubLOGIC's ATP, I'm just not willing to resort to these old techniques with a high end system, and if I find that I have to start messing with boot disks, adjusting the registry or adopting other unusual means, then (for me - this is only my personal viewpoint here and I'm not imposing this on anyone else) it is time to move on to something else. By nature I'm not a gamer, but I do have 2 other games on that run beautifully "as is". They took about 10 minutes of tweaking to set up, whereas I've been at FS9 now for 5 weeks and still have problems. If it's my system, then that's life (even heavy-weight machines can have the "wrong combination" of items), but I've been reading a lot of posts that suggest others are having similar problems. That might indicate that there are issues with the sim itself, but doesn't explain why some are totally fine and others are having headaches. Luck of the draw I guess.Thanks for your suggestion, and I'll certainly look at the boot disk idea. Beyond that though, if it doesn't work, I think I'll just go beat up the Patriots with the Bills in NFL2004 instead of flying :-).Glenn

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Glenn, What motherboard do you have? Most of the old issues with stuttering dealt with motherboard problems. I say old issues because it doesn't come up much anymore. Most all stutter problems have been resolved. Sometimes, those having the issue cure it by switching to 4xAGP and sometimes cure by using the latest chipset drivers. Have you checked that?

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Hi "Bigshot",Yup, it's an Intel bd, with the new chipset (not exactly sure what the chipset is since I'm at work). However, I asked for top of the line system (custom built) and the whole machine is only a month old, so the drivers and whatnot should be up to date. However, that is something I might want to look into.Thanks,Glenn

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Hi Glen,my sys specs are below just to give you an idea of what I have and what I use it for, it's not meant for people to gloat over,neither is it posted to rub peoples noses in it. I just thought you might like to compare,now then, as to you're stutters etc. I run FS9 with EVERYTHING maxed out except 3D clouds,they are set at half way, check that you do not have one of those nice fancy looking desktop pictures etc running in the background,(they use up a lot of sys RAM etc as it knows you might at any min want to minimise to the desktop,and so it has to be there ready to display it to you.)also, turn off 1,remote assistance,2,auto up-dates,3,if you have any antivirus/internet security progs,make sure any auto checks-up dates are turned off, just check periodicaly manualy.4,go into the advanced settings in my computor and alter you're settings for XP pro.home and set it for performance etc, those nice little sliding into view effects are very nice,but hog sys resourses etc,and just in case, check you're drivers etc, although I suspect that you do, and finaly. I wen't back to the cat 3.6 from the 3.7 as they ended up being better. the odd flicker/screen text thing is an ATI driver issue for some people and is supposed to be fixed with the next cat drivers from ATI.I hope some of this helps you out Glen,Steve.ASUS Enforce2 MB A7N8X Deluxe Rev2AMD Barton XP3200+Seagate Baracuda 160 GiG Serial ATA HDD.1024MB Corsair Extreme Low Latency CAS 2 RAM.Vantec Stealth 520W PSU.NEW Herculese 9800Pro Graphics card 128MB.NEW Hercules Digifire 7.1 Sound Card.4X Vantec Stealth Fans 120mm.Vantec Stealth CPU Cooler.Vantec Nexus Rehobus controller.Vantec Nexus Multipanel for keeping an eye on the temps and speeds etc and has another 2 USB and Firewire ports built into it.Saitek X45 Stick and Throttle Combo.Nicole SD3000 5.1 Surround Sound System.I use 2 monitors and have been doing for quite some time now and find it particularly usefull for FS, I use a 22" HP monitor in front of me for FSim and a 21" Dell just to the left of that for FS Nav, saves constantly switching screens and they are getting very cheap now as everyone seems to want the waifer thin panels,so it'a a buyers market for us now. plus it's very usefull for installing things as well,you can have the readme open on the left monitor while watching / installing on the main monitor,and it's good for web browsing too as any other windows that come with a site go to the left monitor.

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Hi Steve,MANY thanks for this! Boy, I wish I had checked this thread earlier today or late last night :-hah. I found exactly what you are referring to here in a really good mag I just picked up (Smart Computing) and instituted almost all of the changes you suggested here. I've posted to that effect in a new thread, but it looks like I "stole" your ideas in that other post and credited them to the magazine. Sorry about that if that's the way it looked. I really did read them in the mag :-). However, there's a couple of things you suggest here that I didn't try, and will give them a go this afternoon. It looks like I'm just about there though, as things are really humming along nicely now. I do appreciate the advice regarding the vid drivers too. I was thinking of getting those, but will wait now for the 3.8 version. Thanks for that. One thing I am noticing is that there is some bleed through of grass through the runway at most airports when I look down and left while actually sitting on the runway. I didn't notice that with the NVidia card, but I wasn't looking that hard for it. Have you found that as well?Anyway, looks like I'm back in business. Thanks very much to ALL who wrote back here once again. Really appreciate the input.Glenn

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