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Empathica

New Player of FSX from Scratch! Advice wanted

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Hi there,

 

Newbie here - sorry if this post is in the wrong place - there's so many forums!

Basically, I've had FS9 and FSX before and played them, but I want to start up again from scratch now I've had a new PC and I'm basically asking for your advice to help me get set up based on my specifications and wants from the game.

 

I'm not a huge pilot enthusiast and don't really understand the technicalities of everything, but I have a reasonable joy stick and have learnt to fly properly over time. I am basically a fan of aviation and planes but only for leisure really.

 

My computer specs:

 

Windows 7

Processor: Intel® Core i7-2600K CPU @ 3.40GHz

8.00GB Memory

64-bit OS

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580

 

I have FSX but no add ons as of yet.

I'm looking for a decent traffic package (unsure between UT2 and MyTraffic 5.4 or 2013)

Some scenery settings and maybe some realistic settings for ground services etc.

 

And then some planes to download and fly myself which I have seen on the AVSIM Library but I have trouble getting them to work sometimes and appear as aircraft for me.

 

Any basic advice to get me set up would be much appreciated.

If you need any more specs let me know and I'll post them, but that's what I'm looking for out of the game really.

And if anyone has recommendations for joysticks that would be great (but nothing too technical)

 

I'm basically starting out to learn to play the game properly now and do some real flights, so I need to teach myself properly too.

 

Thanks so much in advance

.

Mark

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For setting up look up my guide, its stickied and in my sig.

 

2nd, do overclock that 2600k, with an aftermarket cooler!

 

Third, fsdt, utx, megasceneryx, orbx, ut2, aerosoft airports, pmdg, realair... Good luck!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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For recommendations on add-ons, other than the basic few that improve your overall environment, it really depends on where your aviation interests lie. Big iron vs. small GA planes results in two completely different sets of recommendations, as you'll find out.

 

Of course, if you get interested in everything like me, then it becomes hard on your pocketbook!

 

Regardless, you should really look at improving a few key areas such as the weather (REX, FEX, AS), the terrain mesh (FSGlobal, FSGenesis), general autogen, textures and landclass (GEX & UTX). You might find you need very little else at this stage. Some addons such as OrbX scenery make many of the prior things unneccesary, but only in certain regions. There's a ton of beautiful big addon airports out there, but if you only fly small planes, they might not be of as much interest. Photoreal scenery has it's place as well, especially in areas without many trees or houses, such as the US southwest. Bluesky Scenery is easy to recommend in that catagory since it's free, and it also comes with a terrain mesh.

 

Planes are another thing altogether. I personally gravitate towards smaller planes, and there are a lot of gems out there (anything RealAir, most Carenado). I'm not as familiar with some of the bigger stuff, but I fo know it ranges from extremely complex, to easy to fly. Some of the complex stuff like PMDG is simply amazing.

 

I'd highly recommend searching this forum. Topics like this come up often, and several dozen people usually chime in with their favorites.


Jim Stewart

Platforms: X-Plane 11 | P3Dv4 | DCS
System: i7-6700K o/c @ 4.4GHz | EVGA GTX 980ti | 32GB RAM | BenQ 32" @ 2560x1440 | Oculus Rift | W10 Pro

Other Sim Interests: Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, Dirt Rally, Euro Truck Simulator 2, American Truck Simulator

 

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Hi Mark!

 

You're gonna have so much fun B) Trust me..

 

I don't want to scare you right off the bat, but the finer points of tweaking FSX is more or less a science on its own. But you have a high end PC, and that will make it a lot easier.

 

The benchmarking number that all things boils down to is your framerate, FPS. Hit Shift-Z (you must hit it more than once cycling through a number of FSX parameters until you see FRAMES/SEC) and you will see line of red text on top of your FSX window. There is your FPS. it should be more than 20-25. But you can get away with a FPS as low as 15 before the stutter become noticeable. (make sure you have set the target framerate to unlimited in the settings)

 

As a newbie I'll recommend brute force tweaking, just open up the option screen graphics settings and put all your sliders to full! Tick all the checkboxes pertaining to different visual enhancements, lensflare, shadows etc. DO NOT tick DX10 Preview! Your Computer is new and most likely you have newer version of DirectX. Ticking DX10 Preview will crash FSX, and make it unloadable. Same with AI Traffic

 

Then fire up your bird on an airport that is fairly complex. On the top of my head I think Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris France is one of the more complex stock scenery that comes with FSX. Also O'Hare Chicago and Narita Tokyo Japan.

 

Now start taxiing around and look at your FPS, is it holding steady above 20-25, you're in good shape.

And with your computer, it should perform above 20-25. If not, skip the next section about AI and look at the section underneath.

 

AI traffic is a major FPS killer and you want to find out how it will impact your FPS. But you have to wait 10-20 minutes before things start shaking. As more and more aircrafts starts to move, watch you FPS. Holding steady? Yes? Well, excellent! If not, you have to make some choices. And what you decide is very personal, and other simmers will probably have other preferences than you. So don't be alarmed if someone else answer this thread and claim that my advice is bogus. There's a lot of myths and misunderstandings out there, and I might be slightly off target in others view!

 

But anyway, If you like a lot of aircrafts moving around in your virtual world, you imply that this is what you want. (it is a great reality enhancer, making it "As real as it gets"). And that you are going to purchase an AI package. Installing such a package WILL affect your framerate if you want ALL the traffic moving.

 

Now things become both a little complicated and personal. None of the things I suggest is written in stone. But the key issue is to focus on is your FPS. If it drops below 15 you must go back to the drawing board. Don't expect to find the perfect balance in your setup right away. This will take days depending on how meticulous you are. and it is all about personal preference. Don't believe anything else.

 

However there are some things that you must do, such as having the latest drivers and service packs etc. I not going to mention any of this here. There are so many posts out there on this subject, a simple search here on AVSIM will produce what you need to know. What I'm going to do is to give you a general approach to your goal:

 

Highest possible FPS

Highest level of AI TFC

Highest level of detail

 

And what to focus on when you have to compromise, as you most certainly will have to, as you get deeper and deeper into this fascinating world of aviation.

 

There are two distinct groups of simmers out there (with variations of course): Those who fly small-props below 10000ft, and those who fly jetliners above 10000ft. And how they approach tweaking and what third party addons they prefer is in general a little different. The first group generally have to make more compromises when it comes to tweaking. When flying VFR below 10000 they want the scenery to be as detailed as possible. I.e. Sliders to full. And when they are out shopping for addons they look for scenery (UTX etc) and mesh with the highest level of details. Weather (WX) is important too, so they also want a WX engine that can depict WX closest to reality (Active Sky etc). A lot of AI traffic will affect the FPS, no question about. So they bring down AI Traffic intensity The other group generally want more AI traffic, and they do not focus the highest level of detail. Most of the time they are 35000ft above the earth and there isn't much "detail" to be had at this altitude. For them it is acceptable to bring the sliders down until they get a decent FPS. They also focus on large third party airports with a high level of detail, and have to compromise on how much detail they can get. It is quite annoying to have perfect flight until you get close to an commercial third party airport that you have purchased. And as you get closer the FPS starts to drop below 15, ruining you flight. They also want their aircraft to be as realistic as possible and most them fly commercial third party aircrafts from developer such as PMDG etc. These birds also take a toll on FPS and forces them to bring down the sliders. A good WX engine is important to them too, simulating high altitude winds is an important reality enhancer when you fly long haul legs (+1000nm). And if I am to recommend a commercial addon, the first one you buy, it must be a WX engine regardless of what group you belong to. I use Active Sky 2012, but look around there are others out there.

 

There it is. The basics. If you get hooked, then in 6-12 months you will be ready to understand the complex stuff, where you edit configuration files directly. Terms such polygons, shaders, texture etc. will have some meaning and you feel comfortable doing more dangerous things.

 

Because it is danger out there, FSX is one the most complex and diversified software out there. At some point your installation WILL crash. And you WILL have to do a complete reinstall. Every one of us have experienced this. Forums post where the desperation and anger jumps off the screen are numerous, experts that have no clue what is wrong, are also present. It is daunting, but try to keep calm, there's always an answer.

 

Happy flying Mark

 

Morten

 

Your Computer is new and most likely you have newer version of DirectX. Ticking DX10 Preview will crash FSX, and make it unloadable. Same with AI Traffic

 

Was unable to edit this mistake. It should read:

 

Your Computer is new and most likely you have newer version of DirectX. Ticking DX10 Preview will crash FSX, and make it unloadable. Same with AI Traffic, put the sliders to full.


-----------------------------------------------

Morten Haughom

Greetings from the sticks!

N70° 22' 23 - E031° 06' 02

Vardø, Norway

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I'm basically starting out to learn to play the game properly

 

Not to be a stickler, but we prefer to use the term simulator, even if it is labeled a game B)

 

Nothing major, just a friendly correction...


-----------------------------------------------

Morten Haughom

Greetings from the sticks!

N70° 22' 23 - E031° 06' 02

Vardø, Norway

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Hey Mark, welcome back to the fold. Lot's of good suggestions above. If it were me I would want to make sure I've got a good clean install and running smoothly before adding a single addon (easier said than done!). My tips:

 

1. Do NOT install FSX in the default directory. Use a separate hard disk or create a separate partition solely for FSX use.

2. Read up on the Word Not Allowed Tweaks - simple, easy to follow, but packs a punch of performance.

3. Even if not a PC nerd, consider OC that CPU to over 4GHz. You got a good system there - I too have a 2600k that I am OC to 4.8GHz. Gives me tons of extra FPS to play around with. Also got the 580 - winning combination.

 

After that... enjoy! Explore what FSX has in its native setup. You would be surprised. Go through the Learning Center as you say you want to learn. It has some very valuable info there. FSX can be overwhelming as where to start. Well, do some missions and let FSX decide for you. That will get you back up in the air quickly.

 

Plus it may give you time to consider what, if any, addons you want to install. Depending on your budget, there are tons of freeware that can liven up your simworld. If you are considering purchases, which can add up quickly, do your research - read reviews - scan the forums. This is where simmers are your friends. Simmers never seem to be tongue-tied when it comes to expressing their views, ha! :lol:

 

 

Welcome Aboard,

 

Clutch


socal-realinto-450.jpg

simwestFOTOREAL series
Photoreal scenery you'll want to fly thru, not over

 

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Hey guys - thank you so much for all of the information.

It does all seem quite complex and daunting at the moment - some of the advice you have given is great but I have to admit even some of that sounds foreign to me. (i.e. Consider OC that CPU to over 4GHZ?)

 

The PC I have is specifically developed for Gaming.

This is the PC I actually have if you want to see more details specs that I haven't provided:

 

http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/pcs/pc-1584.html

 

It looks as though there's an awful lot of tweaking to be done before you can get started properly which is worrying me a little. As someone mentioned above, it itself is a science.

 

In terms of my goals from FSX.

I am very much into commercial airliners so the jetliners are my main interest. Commercial flights from big airports such as CDG, JFK, Heathrow etc.

I would also like quite a bit of traffic too because that's something I want to experience with the simulation.

Basically 'as real as in gets' in terms of commercial flying.

 

I will install the main game this evening and consider add ons afterwards.

As I am interested in main jetliners etc. are there any recommendations for freeware aircraft to get me started before purchasing other addons?

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....all the above mentioned payware can be found on torrents; that way you can try before you buy.

 

That's the worst advice i've seen posted in a while. Wouldn't be surprised if you get banned just for suggesting it since Avsim and most people here dont condone piracy evem with the intent to buy the product after trying it.

 

Plus, its a good way to pick up a nasty virus and ruin your OS.


Avsim Board of Directors | Avsim Forums Moderator

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Is that dude joking? Please tell me He is.

 

He really just suggested stealing software didn't He?!?!


William Sequeira

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Hello, Mark,

 

I hope, after some time tweaking, that you enjoy FSX. Whilst forums like this can help you immensely - they have done for me only moments ago - they also contain a lot of personal opinion and experience, obviously.

 

I have a similar rig to you, comparable enough within the realms of FSX, and my experience differs from others, especially regarding DX10. After many, many hours tweaking/modding/adding, my FSX (and it's many add-ons) is running superb in DX10 mode. DX9 may be the version of DirectX that FSX was coded for, but for me it runs badly. With the fixes available from Steve and others, DX10 is now more than a viable option, and for me, the only option. You definitely need to OC your CPU if you want the Autogen sliders at the best end. FSX will eat up whatever you feed it in terms of processor speeds.

 

I know I may of added another big slab of time to your, no doubt, already large tweaking session, but with FSX performance it's basically a case of try and see for yourself. What works perfectly for Mr A doesn't work at all for Mr B. Ruling out DX10 without spending a bit of time taking a look at it would be foolish. My frame rates are far higher and smoother in DX10 and apart from the lovely looking DX9 bloom effects (which on my rig [i7 @ 4.2 / 12GB RAM / GTX 680] still kills performance) it looks better too.

 

If you find you're not getting what you want from DX9 and you want to try DX10 then PM, I'll be glad to share what I've learnt.

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Mark

 

As a recent newb myself, I have one overall suggestion.

 

You're going to come across a lot of suggestions for things to tweak or optimise or add-ons to try. Many of them will, of course, be mutually contradictory.

 

Don't get too focused on tinkering and tweaking in order to get FSX "As Real As It Gets".

 

Get FSX running "good enough". Then fly! It's terribly easy to get yourself lost in an endless cycle of tinkering and testing. Tinkering can be fun, and if that's what you want your hobby to be, then fill yer boots. But if you want to simulate flying, then you have to know when to stop the tinkering and just enjoy the actual flying.

 

For add-ons, I'm rather partial to Multi Crew Experience, primarily for voice comms with the FSX ATC, but also for a virtual co-pilot, purser and ground mechanic. When flying a jetliner, ground services are an entirely frivolous but immensely fun thing to have. Since I mainly use default or freeware airports, I use Ground Services X from FSDreamTeam, which is a one-payment for all airports deal. Other users swear by Aerosoft's AES, but that only supports specific payware airports and has a license cost where you basically pay on a per-airport basis. MCE can also tie into both of these, allowing you voice comms with a ramp co-ordinator who can then activate the GSX or AES options. I've found these two add-ons (MCE and GSX) between them have really added to my jetliner sim experience.

 

Finally if you want to "play the game" properly :P I'd propose doing what pretty much every real pilot does - forgo the heavy metal at first and (re)learn the basics on the Cessna 172. I found the built-in lessons in the learning centre to be absolutely pants, so I ran through the free lessons from Aviator90. I must confess though, when I was really confident in the Cessna I skipped the multi-engine props and went straight to the default CRJ-700, which I think is a great aircraft for a beginner to cut their airliner teeth on. Build up your sim-experience in small steps, rather than leaping into a complex payware 747 and struggling with it. Maybe someday I'll be in the market for a PMDG aircraft, but at the level I am now, I'd rather be (pretend) flying a simpler default or freeware aircraft from A to B, rather than sitting on the (pretend) tarmac scratching my head over a 500 page manual.

 

That's just my preference, your mileage may vary. But I honestly think "As real as it gets" should be replaced by "As real as it needs to be" as the FSX mantra.

 

Dr V


The Couch Aviator's Diary - a newbie's journey into flight simming

http://couchaviator.blogspot.co.uk/

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It looks as though there's an awful lot of tweaking to be done before you can get started properly which is worrying me a little. As someone mentioned above, it itself is a science.

 

I believe we all made an incorrect assumption of what you know. And instead of helping you, we are discouraging you. On behalf of all, I apologize.

 

The best advice in this thread is from Clutch:

 

After that... enjoy! Explore what FSX has in its native setup. You would be surprised. Go through the Learning Center as you say you want to learn. It has some very valuable info there. FSX can be overwhelming as where to start. Well, do some missions and let FSX decide for you. That will get you back up in the air quickly.

 

Take it slow, and use your time to FLY! Not tweak!

 

You will get there, I promise B)

 

Morten


-----------------------------------------------

Morten Haughom

Greetings from the sticks!

N70° 22' 23 - E031° 06' 02

Vardø, Norway

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You definitely need to OC your CPU if you want the Autogen sliders at the best end. FSX will eat up whatever you feed it in terms of processor speeds.

 

Thank you for your response - but again, I'm struggling to know what this means and how I will be able to do that.

I'm unsure also of how I can choose to run DX9 or 10..

 

It's true that I don't want to spend my time tweaking everything, but at the same time I'd really like a smoothly running simulation.

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It's true that I don't want to spend my time tweaking everything, but at the same time I'd really like a smoothly running simulation.

 

Maybe it's only me, but it seems to me you want fruit without labor.

FSX ain't your typical install&run game. This is a highly sophisticated and badly optimized simulator with virtually hundreds of things you can change.

You want this? You are going to have to put some working hours in it, sorry to say.

 

About struggling to understand what is overclocking? A simple search on the google with reveal hundreds of websites and tutorials about this. Even do it a bit closer and type overclocking 2600K...

 

I can tell you only that you have pretty much the same machine like mine, at least same GPU and CPU, and you can read the FPS meter in my shots, and see what is possible.

 

One thing is sure: I spent years testing and doing my guide, to make guys like you your life easier. Couple of days of work, including overclocking your chip and getting it to highest possible performance, then properly tweaking the FSX and your machine, and you'll be enjoying the sim as much as it's possible.

 

I currently love my performance and am actually only flying, not tweaking one bit. I love it. What I had to "suffer" for years, you will be done in days. Think you can do it?

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I will read through the tutorials carefully. It was the abbreviation OC I was unaware of - I'm sorry I don't have the technical lingo like you do.

Like I said, I'm not really very technical when it comes to computers, hence the thread to give me an idea on what I have to do in order to get a smooth operating simulation.

It's very easy to make those suggestions when you're in a position of hind sight having done it all and the guides. I understand it is not easy to do, but if I am struggling to grasp certains ways of tweaking things "overclocking your chip" sounds a lot simpler to you you than it does to me, even when looking at the guides.

 

I will have a read through them tonight and try to get a better understanding of everything.

I won't be installing FSX until my separate 2TB hard drive is here and installed.

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