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"RTool" solved my Shimmer, Sparkle,Stutter problems

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After weeks of frustration with really crappy FS9 performance, and doing the driver shuffle numerous times with no improvements, I discovered that the root cause of my problems was the windows XP refresh rate. I set the refresh rate overide in DxDiag to 85, but it still made no difference in FS9. I run at 1280x1024x32 on my desktop and in FS9. I had severe shimmer, sparkle, and stuttering no matter what I set AA and Ansio too. I have an XP2700 CPU, ATI Radeon 9600 Pro, and 768 GB PC2700 DDR Ram, so I knew that I should be getting reasonably good performance. I tried the ATI Cat 3.7, and 3.8 official drivers, and the Omega 3.7, and 3.8 leaked Dell drivers. The result was still the same. The readme in the leaked Dell Omega 3.8 drivers states that the refresh rate problem was corrected, and the 3D tab in the control panel not sticking was supposed to be fixed, but on my system this was not so. When you have a second monitor set up, the 3d tab disappears, and your AA and Ansio settings revert back to application preference. I disabled DCC information and VPU recovery as it stated in the readme, but that made no difference. I even downloaded the drivers from a few different sites thinking I may have had a bad download, but that was not the case. I finally ended up using the Omega 3.7 drivers, because they allowed me to use my second monitor and retain the 3d tab and keep the settings. Then I discovered that with the Omega 3.7 drivers, you get a utility called "RTool". I never paid much attention to this utility in my previous driver dance routines, but this time around I opened it, and had a look. It allows you to set the level of AA and Ansio, the level of trilinear filtering, and your refresh rate. After setting AA to 4x, Ansio to 8x, trilinear filtering on, and refresh rate at 85, I fired up FS9, and was absolutely amazed at the difference! The shimmering was completely gone, the sparkle was 95% gone, and the stuttering was greatly reduced, and my frame rates were markedly better. I got 25-30 FPS(frames set to unlimited) today in completely overcast, with a major snowstorm in the rockies. Then I thought, what would happen if I install the Omega 3.8 leaked Dell drivers so I can fix the flashing problem while I was at it, and then use RTool? In the read me for the Omega 3.8 leaked Dell drivers, it says that RTool was no longer included because the refresh problem was supposed to be fixed, so I saved it from the Omega 3.7. I just installed the 3.8's overtop of the 3.7's. I set my 3D settings before I activated my second monitor. The same thing happened as before, the 3D tab vanished, and the settings reverted to back to application preference. Then I set everything up in RTool, and fired up FS9. This time, all my settings stayed, and I have the same excellent graphics as with the 3.7 Omega's, and now the flashing is gone as well. I have noticed though, that the stuttering is a little more with the 3.8's than with the 3.7's. I hope this can help anyone that is having the same problems as I was.

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I'm glad you've found the video sweet spot for your system. I've found that changing AA and/or Ansio settings with my Radeon 9800 that they don't actually lock in until the next reboot. I'm back with the Omega 3.8's again (long story) and it's now all sweetness for me too!Gary

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Any recourse for folks with the GeForce4 Ti4600 experiencing the same problems?

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Are we pretty certain that shimmer on buildings and textures is related to refresh rate? I tried using the tool Refresh Force from Omega drivers program group on my xp box, also set the refresh at 85 on my dxdiag tool, and did what omega requested in the readme file. Not sure if Refresh Force does the same. Im still getting shimmer on buildings and textures. Its not bad, and overall the sim runs well. Just wondering if that *IS* what actually causes the shimmering effect on the ground and buildings.

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