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Guest Kingfish_42

Catalyst 3.9 + RTool = Performance!

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A while back I posted about how the use of the utility "RTool" really improved the performance of FS9 on my system. I never got a chance to reply to some of the people who posted on my topic, because by the time I was about to post, ATI released the official Cat 3.9's. So I installed the 3.9's, and although a marked improvement over all of the previous drivers, including Omegas, I still was not happy with the overall performance. There was still stuttering, some shimmer and I was getting low FPS in some areas. I used New York City as my test area. I had AA set to 4x and Aniso to 4x with Performance checked in the 3D tab. Most of my sliders to the right. I have an XP2700 CPU, Radeon 9600 Pro, 768 GB PC2700 DDR RAM, WinXP. With just Cat 3.9, I was getting around 7-9 FPS over the city in building storms, and 13-15 in clear skies and had a lot of stuttering. I then installed RTool. Again as with the Omega 3.8, the performance difference was very notable. This time it was even more astounding when used with the Cat 3.9's. The sim runs smooth as silk. There is very little stuttering, and shimmering. Pushing the limits, I changed the 3D control panel setting to Quality instead of performance, AA at 4x, Aniso at 4x, and everything still ran very smooth. I consistantly get 18-25 FPS (locked at 25) in New York City during building storms preset weather, and the same with real world weather with clouds. The FPS do still sometimes drop to the 8-10 range, but it does not get jerky at this speed like before, it is much more fluid, and you dont really notice the FPS drop as much unless you look at the counter.If you are unhappy with the way FS9 runs on your rig, I highly recommend that you try RTool. It really worked wonders for me! It is available at http://www.3dcenter.de. It is a german site, but I just use a google search for 3dcenter and have it translate the site.A few things to note if you do use RTool, is to uncheck "use DCC info" in the Monitor tab in the ATI control panel. Set your refreshrate overide to whatever you wish, and set the maximum refresh rate to the same. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR MONITORS MAXIMUM REFRESH RATE IS BEFORE YOU DO THIS! If you set it to a rate higher then your monitor can support, you can screw your monitor. If you are English, remember to check the Install in English block when you install the program. The RTool control panel is pretty straight forward, and the settings you put in here will be the same as the ATI control panel. Setting the slider to Trilinear Anisofiltering (TS) will give you "Quality" Aniso, and the Bilinear will give you "Performance". In the Compatibility tab, I dont have any of the blocks checked. I found it slowed things down when I had anything enabled here. In the Additional Settings, I have the refresh fix for games set to my desired refresh rate(85 hz)This should be the same as the refresh rate override you set in the ATI control panel. I think this is the setting that has the most impact, and is the major key to my success with this tool.I hope this info can help some of you to improve the performance of FS9. If it doesn't, RTool can be easily removed in the windows control panel, Add & Remove programs.

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Hi there,could you explain the settings you are using? I mean, what standard settings did you change in r_tool? Or did the performance boost come out of no-where, after you had installed r_tool?-Daniel

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The performance boost basically comes from RTool forcing WinXP to use the refresh rate, AA and Aniso values that you assign in the ATI and RTool control panels. There is a well known bug in WinXP that causes the refresh rate to default to somewhere around 60-70 hz depending upon whether it is an OpenGL or Direct3D game in full screen. When you have a refresh rate this low, performance is really bad, and no matter what your AA and Aniso settings are, the visuals are really lousy. There is another way around this, and that is to set the refresh rate overide to whatever you wish in DXdiag, but for some reason it didnt make any difference on my system. Some people have this problem, and some do not. RTool is only locking in your video card settings that you set in the ATI control panel. The settings for AA, Aniso, and refresh rate are specific to what your system, monitor, and video card can handle. You just experiment untill you get the right mix.

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Hi,I just wanted to let everyone know that this really works great.I switched from a GF4 4400 TI to a radeon 9800 pro 128 mb and was really disappointed by the resukts. at LAX I would still drop to the low teens. Now with this utility installed I'm not dropping below 20 FPS.Thanks for the tip on this great tool.

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I would like to set up multiple monitors on the same computer using 9800 Pro.19" 1280x1024 @ 75 Hzand21" 1280x1024 @ 60 Hz 1024x768 @ 76 HzFirst, what is the best set up for Flight sim 1024 or 1280 ?and, if I go with 1280 on the 19" monitor @ 75 Hz will I then ruin the other monitor or does the monitor self regulate and protect itself ??Mark.

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Tony, what link should I use at the site? I don't speak german, hehe. And do english instructions come with it or do I just install it? Doh, as if I've ever read instructions...billg

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Just click the link available on this page and the dowload starts.(3DCenter (HTTP))Peter

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Hm ... I've been using the tool since it came with the omega drivers, but I could make out such a big difference...but I guess that's due to my ATI9000.Thanks anyways.-Daniel

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Your welcome guys! Glad I could help.Mark,I am using two monitors. I have a 19" set at 1280x1024x32 @85hz, and a 17" set at 1024x768x32 @85hz. Check in the ATI control panel under the monitor tab and make sure that the box "Hide modes that this monitor cannot display" is checked, and see what refresh rate is available for each of your monitors in the different resolutions. You can also find that information in your monitor manuals. Mine for instance are as follows: 19"-1280x1024x32 max refresh is 85hz 1600x1200x32 max refresh is 75hz 17"-1024x768x32 max refresh is 85hz 1280x1024x32 max refresh rate is 60hz As you can see, I am using the resolutions that can support the highest refresh rate on each monitor. My primary monitor is the 19", and I find that 1280x1024x32 works best for FS9, because that is the best resolution for my monitor. the same goes for my 17". I am not sure of this, but I think some 21" monitors are capable of running 1600x1200x32 @ 85hz, and have at least one higher resolution at a lower refresh rate. Remember though, this is also dependent on your video card. If this is the case with your monitor, then I would run FS9 at 1600x1200x32. I would set your 21" at 1600x1200x32 @ 85hz, and your 19" at 1280x1024x32 @85hz. THESE ARE ONLY RECOMMENDED RESOLUTIONS IF YOUR MONITOR CAN SUPPORT THEM. MAKE SURE YOU CHECK FIRST! I would set the refresh rate for games in the RTool control panel to 85hz. If your monitors cannot support the refresh rates I have recommended, then drop them down accordingly. You can set different refresh rates for each monitor in the ATI control panel, but you can only set one refresh rate for games in the RTool control panel, so I would try to set up refresh rates that match as I have done with my system. The resolution of each monitor can be different. If you can't match the refresh rates of the two monitors, I would set the refresh rate in RTool to the resolution of your lowest monitor. Im not sure what would happen if you had a higher refresh rate set in RTOOL than your monitor can support, as I have not tried it. Remember the bottom line here is to achieve the highest supported refresh rate for each monitor, and to set the resolutions accordingly. Usually, but not always, that is the second highest resolution that your monitor is capable of. The higher you go in resolutions, the supported refresh rates go lower.

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Hi All,Just to echo Boris' endorsement of the R-tool; after reading his post,I downloaded the file and it has had a significant impact on the smoothness that I see within MSFS2004. My setup is sort of at the top end; Intel 875 MB with 2GB RAM at 800mhz for the FSB. Intel 3.0 processor and a SATA raid 0 disc environment. ATI 9800 Pro 256mb and a SB Audigy 2 sound card. Not trying to brag or tell you all of the specs, but it is a pretty fast machine. (3dMark2003 is 5800 last time I checked)What I have experienced so far with MSFS2004 are frame rates (limited at 25fps) around 24-25 with most sliders to max right. I have visibity at 80 miles, clouds @ 60 miles, 3d @ 90%, and cloud density at "medium". 1600 X 1200 aa @ 4, ansio @4, and hi quality sound. Also "traffic" at max.Have installed Omega 3.9 drivers for the ATI and all has been OK. Then Ultimate Traffic 2004 came along and I began experienceing some significant slowdown and jerkiness around JFK (fully populated AFCAD 2). It was really a problem. Racked the traffic setting back to 50 % and the slowdowns to 11-15 fps stopped, but there was still jerkiness.I downloaded R-tool and used Boris' settings, and I am back to normal. Don't know why but it works.Many of you with high end machines may have had experiences similar to mine, i.e. I have not had a problem with frame rates up to now because the computer has been able to keep up. With the addition of the new traffic level created by an AI traffic manager (I chose Ultimate Traffic because it seemed the most automated to me.) and fully populated parking spaces (Because of the release of AFACAD 2)I began taking the hits that lesser machines have been experiencing since the release of FS2004. This new software has got me back up to "normal". "Whew!!" (A sigh of relief)

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