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Cruachan

Hell's teeth..... NO STUTTERS ...... another find?!

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Yes I know, I know, many of you profess to be utterly free of stutters so this post may not be for you. However, what I am about to describe may prove useful in the future, even to you lucky people, so read on.A while back there was an interesting thread whereby many contributors were experiencing improved performance by simply lifting a generic entry from display.cfg that seemed the closest match for their graphic card and pasting it in place of the Display entry in the FS9.cfg file. My current entry as written by FS9 is:(DISPLAY.Device.RADEON 9800 PRO.0)Mode=1280x1024x32TriLinear=1PanelAsTexture=0 :)It would certainly be interesting to hear of the experience of others who are currently experiencing the stuttering phenomenon. It may be this has just been a one off and I am not putting this forward as being in any way a major or miraculous discovery. However, it may help some and that's what's important.Mike :-waveMy System Spec:Gigabyte GA-8IRXP MoBo (FSB 400Mhz)Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz1GB Crucial PC2100 DDR RamSaphire ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB (Catalyst 3.7 drivers)Hyundai ImageQuest Q17 17" Monitor (1280x1024x32)- Fantastic quality - you haven't experienced this sim as the designers intended you to see it until you've experienced it on an LCD screen.SB Audigy Player (Drivers version 5.12.01.0253 Signed)Deskstar 120GXP UDMA100 HDs x 2 (60 and 40 Gig)CH Products USB Yoke, Pedals and FighterstickPlantronics Headset and Mike comboPlexWriter 40/12/40APioneer DVD-106SWindows XP Home Edition (SP1)DirectX 9.0bAGP Aperture = 128MBNo overclocking of CPU or GPU

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Hi Mike,Well, when you update your drivers it's been observed that FS2004 leaves a reference to your older diver in the FS9.cfg file. After updating the drivers you can go in and manually remove the reference to the older driver. I'm thinking that you could have achieved the same result as you did by just doing that instead of what you did. But hey, who knows? Maybe by doing what you got rid of some other extraneous stuff in the FS9.cfg too. Although you did say all you did was updated your video card driver. So I really don't know. Just thought I'd point out what had been observed in that older thread you refer to though. In the end, sounds like you are in good shape now, which is what counts. :)Cheers,Jim

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Hi Jim,Thanks for your input."when you update your drivers it's been observed that FS2004 leaves a reference to your older driver in the FS9.cfg"Where exactly? I'm interested.With reference to the previous thread we are both referring to: I tried, at the time, the effect of simply removing the Display entry (DISPLAY.Device.RADEON 9800 PRO.0 ...etc) in fs9.cfg to see what would happen (I had the 3.5 Cats installed). The sim wasn't fooled and simply returned to the default installation settings throughout and this of course included the fs9.cfg configuration file. However, I did note that eventually after all my user 'tweaks' had been re-eastablished, both in the sim and in its fs9.cfg configuration file, the sim seemed to be running much more smoothly. I just left it at that as I was just happy to get it running the way I wanted - which is also why I didn't rush to update to the 3.6 Cats.What was needed was a way to force the sim to look again at your graphics card/drivers AND allow the user to re-establish all the config file/sim user changes with the minimum of effort. The method, as described, appears to achieve just that.So, this has happened twice in my experience from two experiments. Statistically valid? I doubt it, but the 100% success rate does appear encouraging which is why I posted in the hope others might care to give it a try. It is non-destructive in that the worst that can happen is that at the end you would be no worse off.All I am suggesting is that when a graphic driver update is installed FS9 may not always fully recreate the interface links between driver, software and DirectX. Deleting the fs9.cfg forces it to do just that and the subsequent substitution of your previously configured fs9.cfg does not seem to negate these gains. Presumably this means that the fresh interface info is stored somewhere other than in fs9.cfg. If all this is true then is there a difference in the success rate of full detection between ATI and NVIDA when updating their drivers?Could it simply be a problem that is system specific?As I said, I really don't know but it is surely worth investigating a little further, don't you agree?If it turns out that there is some validity in what I am suggesting then it may be users of FS2004 should be advised to introduce a further couple of steps in the installation procedure of new graphic drivers. This would be the deletion of the fs9.cfg (after making a backup) and forcing FS2004 to take a fresh look at the new driver set. After making basic adjustments, as described in my original post, the user's previous fs9.cfg file is then reinstated. In that way we achieve the best of both worlds with the minimum of effort.Just a suggestion but, so far, the apparent luke warm interest leaves me feeling a little discouraged. Perhaps it is a phenomenon unique to my system and mine alone. Again, I just don't know.Mike

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Hi Mike,I JUST now updated my ATI driver from Omega 2.4.74a to Catalyst 3.7's so I could show you what I'm talking about.[sOUND]SOUND=1SOUND_FADER1=0.500000SOUND_FADER2=0.460000SOUND_FADER3=0.620000SOUND_FADER4=0.800000SOUND_FADER5=0.810000SOUND_FADER6=1.000000SOUND_QUALITY=2Channels=4SamplesPerSec=44100BitsPerSample=16{DISPLAY.Device.RADEON 9700 PRO (Omega 2.4.74a).0}Mode=1600x1200x32TriLinear=1{DISPLAY}UPPER_FRAMERATE_LIMIT=24TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT=200{TERRAIN}TERRAIN_ERROR_FACTOR=85.000000TERRAIN_MIN_DEM_AREA=10.000000TERRAIN_MAX_DEM_AREA=100.000000TERRAIN_MAX_VERTEX_LEVEL=19TERRAIN_TEXTURE_SIZE_EXP=8TERRAIN_AUTOGEN_DENSITY=4--- snip ---SHOW_TERRAIN=1show_waypoints=1show_airways=1show_markers=1show_volume_boundaries=1show_ac_twr=1{DISPLAY.Device.RADEON 9700 PRO.0}Mode=1600x1200x32TriLinear=1{JOYSTICK_MAIN {B30D0F10-ABA5-11D7-8002-444553540000}}AXIS_EVENT_00=AXIS_AILERONS_SETAXIS_SCALE_00=64AXIS_NULL_00=36--- snip ---That is my current FS9.cfg file. Obviously not the entire thing as I just copied the portions of it that are relavent to explain what I am talking about. As you can now see, I have 2 DISPLAY.Device sections instead of just 1. Just 1 is all I had, the Omega section, before I upgraded to the Catalyst 3.7 driver. You see what I'm talking about now when I said that "when you update your drivers it's been observed that FS2004 leaves a reference to your older diver in the FS9.cfg file"? As was observed in the older thread you referred to. :) I hope that clearly demonstrates what I was trying to say.Regards,Jim

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Okay Jim, I see what you are getting at.Does this mean that everytime you update your drivers you would expect to see a new entry? Except in the case of changing as you have done from the Omegas to the latest Cats I can't for the life of me see the logic as the display entry in the configuration file would not change visibly.All I am suggesting, and I know I am repeating myself and at grave risk of boring the reader..LOL...is that by either deleting said entry or, better still, deleting fs9.cfg in its entirety you actively force FS9 to look afresh at the newly installed driver set. My other point, and here I go again, refers to the fact that my recent experience appears to suggest that the subsequent substitution of your original fs9.cfg with all your hard won tweaks seems to have no negative effects on the fresh driver set detection that has occurred. This in turn leads me to believe that something else is going on behind the scenes whereby the info relating to the re-established interfaces is stored elsewhere.The fact that you are the only respondent now strongly suggests to me that either,1. I'm up the proverbial gum tree without a paddle, which does seem unlikely as the effect is very real, on my system at any rate.2. Nobody has experienced this 'problem' or feels the need to experiment. Judging by the number of posts relating to stuttering and presumably these include simmers who have updated driver sets along the way, this also seems highly unlikely.3. It's a full moon - nope, last night it was gibbous.4. I've bored the 800 odd viewers bar one to death!Regards,Mike :-wave

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Mike,Sounds like a good tip, I'm going to try it tonight as I noticed a similar problem after upgrading to the 3.7's... I'll post results tomorrow.Best,Joel

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You kidding? I recently updated my Nvidia drivers AFTER my purchase/installation of FS9. That means, I'm going to give your tip a shot as well. The great thing about your idea = it's a possible solution with little strings attached. (No lost settings, redos, reinstalls, etc.)Possibly better performance, safe, and easy to do. Sounds good to me. :)

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MikeI have not updated my drivers since FS9 came out and have had to tweak until it is relatively stutter free. Even now I still ocassionally get stutters with the frame rate at the locked target of 18 fps.I will try your method as I am using an ATI card (7200) but do you think it will "cure" stutters or just return your system to a stutter free state (assuming it was stutter free before)?RegardsColin

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Hi Colin,"Even now I still ocassionally get stutters with the frame rate at the locked target of 18 fps.I will try your method as I am using an ATI card (7200) but do you think it will "cure" stutters or just return your system to a stutter free state (assuming it was stutter free before)?"I would not be so bold as to suggest that you will be free of stutters in every situation. I think a lot depends on where you fly and the complexity/density of the scenery, whether or not the scenery is 3rd Party and has been 'gMaxed', the complexity of your chosen a/c (again 'gMaxed or not) and last, but far from being least, autogen density.I have installed Chris Willis's frame rate friendly cloud set and disabled the default.xml in the autogen folder and found at least one of these measures helped noticeably. It may be those with ATI cards cope better than their nVidia counterparts simply because their owners can set AA and AF to x4 and x8 respectively without significant hit in sim performance. To be honest I kept Chris's clouds because I preferred their appearance over the defaults, good as they are, and not because of any perceived positive impact on frame rates.Last night I re-explored Canyonlands National Park, Utah with the recently uploaded highly detailed terrain mesh which is based on USGS SRTM30 1 arc-second digital elevation models, resampled to LOD10 (38.2 meters)- Andreas Trawny. I was flying the DC-3 using the VC and looking in every direction over some very complex terrain. The sense of realism of flight was uncanny as the sim felt so smooth. This had not been the case prior to my posted measures. The performance had been fine while flying straight and level and looking ahead, but, as soon as I attempted a steep bank the stutters revealed themselves. Not so now.Another example: Flying from the Grand Canyon over Hoover Dam again the sim performed better than before but on getting close to the Strip (Las Vegas) at low levels the density of the scenery soon began to tell and while the sim remained much smoother than before and frame rates were maintained around the 20fps level there was evidence of what I term 'micro stuttering' - very slight irregular hesitations, not jumps or pauses. I am of the opinion, and I think this is shared by many others, that the majority of the stuttering phenomenon is relating to the sims handling of certain scenery objects rather than the complexity of the terrain elevation mesh, clouds, effects, etc. Try this further experiment:1. Set your Scenery Complexity sliders and Autogen to Very Dense - my usual setting.2. Take off from McCarran Intl. in the King Air 350 and fly down the Strip banking left and right as you go.3. Pause the sim and turn off the Autogen (there are quite a lot of autogen objects scattered around Las Vegas)and then resume your flight. On my system the difference is very noticeable.4. Pause the sim again and put the autogen slider back to its original setting. Fly again and this time observe how that smoothness noted with the autogen off is maintained - assuming this effect is not system specific, that is, and I'm the only one observing it.It's almost as if by turning off the autogen you are forcing the emptying of a scenery 'cache' which has become full of certain autogen objects that are not being released when they are no longer needed. Normally, as this 'cache' is filling and files are being added/used/replaced, fragmentation of files needed at any moment in any particular situation occurs and, just as a fragmented HD leads to degradation in overall system performance, within the sim it takes longer to find the appropriate autogen objects for each particular view. Just my theory ;)Go ahead and experiment, Colin. No harm will come from doing so and, you never know, the results will speak for themselves!Mike :-wave

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I certainly intend to experiment a little more and try your tip, but I am getting a bit weary of treating each flight as an "experiment". I have disabled the autogen xml file as previously noted and together with disabling my virus checker, this did indeed make a difference. The most annoying thing about this is that if I reduce the visibilty, the sim flies beautifully, but I then have this unlimited visibility layer at ground level that spoils it.Colin

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I don't know whether this helps you but my settings in the sim are as follows:{Please keep in mind my system spec/capabilities as detailed in my original post}Sight Distance - 80 milesCloud Draw Distance - 60 miles3-D Cloud percentage - 100Detailed CloudsClouds Coverage Density - maximumIn FSUIPC:Under Visibility -Clear - 4000Cloudy - 3000O/cast - 2000Rainy - 1000Stop visibility going below - 5000Override upper altitude by - box checkedUpper altitude of restricted visibility layer (feet) - 4000I do sympathize but I suppose it's a measure of our love for the sim and, like most hobbies, the enthusiast does tend to obsess over detail. However, like you, I do sometimes stop and wonder whether it is in danger of taking over my life ;)Mike

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I am now able to return to the default setting of '40' for TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT. Increasing this value, as recommended, up to a max of 400 does undoubtedly help the texture 'popping' that occurs on changing views, but the downside reveals itself in an increased tendency for the sim to stutter. I had adopted a compromise setting of 200. Now it seems the default setting of 40 is just fine and while some 'popping' does still occur it is so minor as to be hardly noticeable even while panning rapidly around an a/c. Just as the designers intended perhaps?!My current settings in fs9.cfg:(DISPLAY)UPPER_FRAMERATE_LIMIT=20TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT=40(TERRAIN)TERRAIN_ERROR_FACTOR=85.000000TERRAIN_MIN_DEM_AREA=10.000000TERRAIN_MAX_DEM_AREA=100.000000TERRAIN_MAX_VERTEX_LEVEL=19TERRAIN_TEXTURE_SIZE_EXP=8TERRAIN_AUTOGEN_DENSITY=4TERRAIN_USE_GRADIENT_MAP=1TERRAIN_EXTENDED_TEXTURES=1TERRAIN_DEFAULT_RADIUS=9.500000TERRAIN_EXTENDED_RADIUS=4.500000TERRAIN_EXTENDED_LEVELS=4Mike

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Mike,I installed the Omega 3.7 drivers today. After starting FS2004 I noticed that AA was not working even though enabled in the driver, disabled in the Sim. FS9.cfg showed entry for old and new driver. Removed both entries and restarted SIM. AA still not present. Then renamed FS9.cfg, started FS2004 again and changed video settings. With new FS9.cfg, AA was back on. Finally delted new FS9.cfg and put old FS9.cfg back in place: Now even with the old FS9.cfg, AA worked. Thus I agree with you that there must be something else going on outside of the FS9.cfg that determines how FS2004 detects and uses videocards.Best,Michael

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Hi Gosta,The first two entries are the closest to my card. The third I added myself after following the other recent thread on the topic:;----------------------------------------------------------------------; ATI Radeon DDR Win2k/XP;----------------------------------------------------------------------[00001002:00005144:ati2dvag.dll]RenderToTexture=0[00001002:00005144:ati2dvag.dll.1]MinDriverRev=6.14.0010.6343RenderToTexture=2;----------------------------------------------------------------------; ATI Radeon 9700 Pro 2k/XP;----------------------------------------------------------------------[00001002:00004E44:ati2dvag.dll]Disable=1[00001002:00004E44:ati2dvag.dll.1]MinDriverRev=6.14.0001.6307Disable=2;----------------------------------------------------------------------; ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 2k/XP;----------------------------------------------------------------------[00001002:00004E48:ati2dvag.dll]Disable=1[00001002:00004E48:ati2dvag.dll.1]MinDriverRev=6.14.0001.6307Disable=2Note: the '00001002:00004E48' bit was obtained from the PNP Device IDentry under System Information - System Summary - Components - DisplayI regret I had forgotten that I had added this entry to Display.cfg so it is possible that it could be playing a part in this scenario, I'm not sure. Perhaps somebody who hasn't fiddled with Display.cfg could try my proposals and report back. What I can say is that after trying this suggestion a week or two back I noted no obvious difference, unlike many others. For me the change only occurred following full recreation of the FS9.cfg file and subsequent substitution with the original, thus preserving all my settings.The thing is, when I first installed FS9 it correctly detected my card in the sim and the entry in FS9.cfg is:(DISPLAY.Device.RADEON 9800 PRO.0)Mode=1280x1024x32 <------ configured by me in the simTriLinear=1 <------------ dittoThe beauty of what I am now proposing is that it probably doesn't matter what additional entries appear in your tweaked fs9.cfg file following driver updates. Just note the new entry that appears, if it appears as in the case of changing between Omegas and Cats, and delete the old prior to temporarily renaming the file. Then restart FS9 to re-create the file, etc, etc.I am only guessing, as I have not seen it myself as yet, but it may be that when updating the Catalyst drivers a second section might appear with the header: (DISPLAY.Device.RADEON 9800 PRO.1)If that is so then I imagine all you need to do is delete it and any entries beneath it in that same section prior to renaming the fs9.cfg file, forcing FS to create a new one, etc, etc.I do hope folk are'nt starting to become confused by all this. It should really be quite simple.Again, to clarify matters a bit, it would be helpful to hear from anybody who has carried out my suggestions WITHOUT having fiddled with the entries in the Display.cfg file. How necessary is it to have an accurate matching entry for your card. Remember, I added that entry and noted no change at the time.Best,Mike :-wave

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