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Guest ponyboy

jerky picture approaching clouds

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Hi,I'm new to both pc's and msfs2004 and would be grateful for help with a graphics problem.With the sliders etc on even lowish settings,I'm getting short regular on off pauses with the graphics on approaching clouds most noticeable by the engine noise cutting on /off.It was suggested that I had a sound problem,and should upgrade to an Audigy 2 to solve the problem.I switched off the Soundmax system to see if that was the problem,but the graphics again began to very slightly jerk on and off approaching clouds so I assume that sound is not the problem.My system is:Dell Dimension 8400 P4 540 ht 3.40ghz 800fsb 1mb cache 1024 pc4200 dual channel 533mhz 250gb sata 7200 rpm hard drive 256mb nvidia ge force 6800 Dell 19" ultra sharp fpm Windows xp sp2 homeAm I expecting too much of my system or is there something I need to do to rid myself of this annoying problem.Any help would be most welcome, bearing in mind pc's are a new science to me, and very technical stuff is likely to completely miss my limited brain!!Thanks...

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The problem is the clouds by Microsoft. You need to replace them with the high performance clouds available at:http://simflight.com/fsw/Or you might find them here on AVSIM. Search under Chris WillisGo for the DXT3 textures and the highest performance clouds. Use FSUIPC to reduce long range visibility and change cloud draw to a lower number say 40-60 miles and reduce the percentage to around 60-70%. I too have a high performance machine but I use every trick in the book to soak performance out of my machine, especially since I like real weather, AI and addon airports. Also, read the tips here on this forum. Very helpful.Lee

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Let me add some cloud tips...The advice offered so far is good. I don't suggest using "imposter" or 2-d clouds. I use 100pct 3-d clouds, and also keep my cloud coverage density at 100pct. I have a slower system, so I keep the cloud draw distance at the minimum 30 miles. While that may seem low, when you run with a 30 mile vis, the clouds blend right in with the vis. limit. And even at unlimited visibility, I don't mind that much since the fluidity in flight is worth it.Remember that each 10 mile increase in cloud draw distance really increases the clouds drawn. Going from 30 to 40 increases cloud coverage from 700 square miles to over 1200. Going from 40 to 50 increases the coverage to 1900 square miles--more than doubling the draw load vs. a 30 mile draw distance. A 60 mile draw distance spreads clouds over 2800 square miles--FOUR TIMES the draw load vs. a 30 mile draw distance.The next thing is cloud layers and coverage. If you use real weather or dynamic weather, it can really load on the layers and increase the coverage. Lowering cloud density is a hedge against real weather hitting your system due to a high coverage--say 6/8 or higher. But you could still get hit with multiple cloud layers.Because I have a slower system, I've learned to compromise, but I still find the cloud visuals stunning. Yours is faster, so you'd have to compromise much less. I suggest playing with the draw distance and getting the peformance cloud textures.Last item to note--as you move through the "circle" of clouds drawn by MSFS, it will delete those behind you and build new ones ahead. Depending on the aircraft and speed, this may happen once a minute to never. But when it happens, you may notice a drop in fluidity while the clouds are built. That never lasts more than a second or two, and I hardly notice unless it happens while I am on final. So I wouldn't be too concerned about it, but be aware that it happens.Regards,John

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Hello,You are a perfect, I mean perfect, candidate for a pay-for service designed to maximize both your knowledge of PC tuning AND MSFS2004 tuning for maximum performance and enjoyment. You DO NOT need new, lesser clouds whatsoever (IMHO, based on performance I get), but DO need to set up your machine properly. I now have perfect performance in clouds of any type using the awesome payware ActiveSky weather product (uses default MSFS cloud textures), and my machine is less than yours (except maybe video card slightly faster).Do yourself a favor and contact Michael Greenblatt at:http://www.fs-gs.com/I was very skeptical of their service, as I had 12y of PC tuning building and tuning experience. I learned enough to justify the cost, and got FS working better. Really, do consider it. It will be well worth your $$--it is PERFECT for someone just learning, and using FS. I guarantee it. Further, you won't pay a nickle unless you are satisfied.Cheers,Noel

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I also say take the advice given by the others first. If your Soundmax system is based on an onboard soundcard (mine was but I never used it other than to try it out), this may be taking resources from your system and you may eventually decide to add a separate soundcard. If you do, you must then disable the onboard sound card in your BIOS to stop it from using resources. Also once the system is disabled you should preferably uninstall the Soundmax drivers.

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I think he is a perfect candidate as a member here where he can get the same help for FREE. :-lolHe was given two posts of Free advice which will help him out, and in very good detail as well.And if he has more questions, they most likely can be answered here in this thread, or he can search, or start a new thread.That is what this community at Avsim is for, IMHO, to help others out, instead of referring them to Payware support.BTW- I also concur with the suggestion about visibility and cloud draw distance as that has made a good improvement on my machine as well.Regards,Joe****************Grab My FREEWARE Voice recognition Profiles here:[a href=http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=fs2004misc&DLID=58334]Cessna 172 Voice Profile[/a][a href=http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=fs2004misc&DLID=60740]FSD Avanti Voice Profile[/a].You will need the main FREEWARE Flight Assistant program to use it, get it here:[a href=http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=genutils&DLID=39661]Flight Assistant 2.2[/a]

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Well, I think there are pros n cons. If you want to be optimized in 4-5 hours, then go with the fee for service. If you want to try this and that, and maybe learn as you go over potentially several days, weeks or months, then I would agree with spending time sorting through good and bad advice here. Both options have their benefits and costs (time is money to some).I think this forum is also to "refer them out" as much as it is a place to find other payware that people found worth the price of admission. You can find plenty of freeware here too, but that should not discourage people from "referring" people to this or that company to pay for payware products that often exceed what you get for free.Cheers,Noel

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Noel,You make some good points--we refer people to payware add-ons without a blink of the eye, the sum of which add up to a lot more than the service would. The flip side to that is we also share freeware alternatives. Take Veneaviones' recent 690B. If someone wanted to try their hand at a nice Turbo, I'd suggest they try it first before trying payware.Also, from what I've seen, many have been very dodgy about giving specifics about how their performance has improved. They say "it's not about fps, it's about smoothness". "Smoothness" is too subjective a word to sell a service--not when I see people in here saying that 12 fps is so buttery smooth, etc... I haven't seen any visual quality exceeding what I have on my old 4200TI card, but that's also subjective--anyone can post a screenshot, but a screenshot doesn't show visuals in a dynamic environment.I guess what I am trying to say is that anyone serious about having control of their hobby should learn as much as they can. Sometimes I even suspect those with a good amount of systems experience get more from this service because they get blinders on over time and get set in their ways--very much like the MCSE bootcamps where I would hear an instructor say--"fix your virtual RAM at XX times your physical RAM". Times change and that's where sometimes services can help--to teach all of us "old dogs" new tricks.But there's nothing wrong with learning if someone has the time, especially if their new. Otherwise, every MSFS release they are helpless and won't be able to figure out how to get up and running.You gave a good response Noel--I won't see any more in this thread, as I'm flying in a few hours to California and will be there the rest of the week. Regards,John

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Hi jnr641802,and welcome to the forums. :)As you will see many well meaning people will be very happy to give you advice on just about any subject you can think of about Flight Simulator or PC's in general. Some is very good, other advice may not work for you. Three things I see right off in your message:1. You are new to FS20042. You are new to PC's3. This is your very first post.So for you to just go into the program and start messing around with clouds, dtx, .bmps, .cfg files, etc., is I think would be diving in over your head. Plus I don't believe the clouds are the problem... may be an symptom. I think your issue has to do with proper drivers, Vid card setup, background apps... things of that nature.You have a 3.4 Ghz CPU so clouds should not be an issue. You may be getting great framerates (FPS), but as you said there are slight pauses which sounds like it's not smooth. Hence, people talking about "FPS" and "smoothness"... both which you ultimately strive for.I think the person who suggested the FS consultant is actually a very good idea. Or you can hammer away and start learning about the "innards' of FS2004 and PC's... it really depends on where you put your interest.Again this is just advice (like everyone else).good luck

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