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Jimmy Angel

A bit of advice on Tweaking....

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Quick story....I tried the VIRTUAL_COCKPIT_TEXTURES_SCALE=2.0 (discussed in the "READ ME FIRST" post) out this evening, and I was happy with the resultant sharpening of the VC gauges. However, my default FS9 benchmark flight showed a widly fluctuating fps after enabling this tweak. The final result of the benchmark was a loss of about 9fps on average.If I hadn't set up a standard benchmark routine using an autopilot flight and FRAPS, I may not have noticed the problem until a couple of days later, and by then I may not have been able to track down the culprit as easily. It does make me wonder how many of the people complaining about inconsistent fps have enabled this tweak.Now, I understand that for many people this tweak might have all of the benefits with none of the drawbacks .. it is probably system-dependent. But, The entry in the "READ ME FIRST" says that it may not work on all video cards, but it doesn't warn about the potential drawbacks if it does work.The morale of the story is to give due diligence any time you are making tweaks. Even the ones that seem fairly harmless might have a signifigant impact on performance. Make one tweak at a time, and check the result using a standardized bechmarking routine. You can set up a paused flight with a default view that is approprite for screenshots (take a screenshot before the tweak and then after to see the visual difference), and you can create another flight that measures average fps using the FRAPS utility. Just create a short autopilot flight in a visually complex situation (such as on finals at a busy airport), and use the benchmarking function in FRAPS to find your average fps.By being systematic about tweaking and slider adjustments, I've managed to increase my fps in my standard benchmark from 21 to 29, while actually INCREASING my detail sliders and traffic density. Every time I make an adjustment, I use my benchmark to see the effect.Too many times, I think we have people lauding one fps tweak or another, when in fact any improvement is often a placebo.The most important bit of advice .... find a good balance of looks/performance, leave it the heck alone, turn off that fps display, and have some fun flying.

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