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G-BANX

FSX - Scenery, Graphics and Tweaking. Is this as good as it gets?

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Hi All,

 

Ive been playing Flight sim's over the last 15 years or so and I've loved every single one. recently I found myself in a position to build a new machine dedicated to FSX.. After £1200 of my hard earned money and help from a few friends I built my first PC from scratch.. The spec is as follows

 

I am running a lot of addons

 

ORBX Global, England and Vector. Lots of the UK2000 addons. REX 4 Textures Direct and Activesky. PMDG 737NGX and Aerosoft airports (including some mega airports)

 

I have tweaked my cfg using Bojote's Tweaking and Tuning tool for FSX and im running the nvidia inspector tweaks as per Avsim's guide.. I can copy my CFG up here if anyone wishes or its required. I am using an external FPS limited to limit my frames to 40 and have the FSX limit set to unlimited

 

My main questions are... Is this as good as FSX gets in the screenshot below? Can the 'bluries' be fixed? and why is Autogen only loading a few miles around me?

(Screenshot is at Aerosoft Lisbon)

 

Untitled.png

 

I'd really love to get my FSX looking better, far fewer bluries, autogen loading more than a few miles away and mainly smoothness.... Are there any experts who can help and answer my questions

 

Many Thanks in advance, 

 

Mark

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Keeping in mind that this is a "Photograph" that is focusing on the aircraft and the "nearby" scenery.

 

Things in the background will tend to be less in focus the farther out you go, pretty much like in real

 

life photography.  You could probably tweak things till you are blue in the face and not get it much better.

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ec/Air_Force_One_photo_op_incident-_altered_by_DoD.jpg

 

I hope this picture of Air force 1 flying over the Statue of Liberty shows the same situation as yours.

 

Aircraft and close scenery looks great and the father away you go, the more blurred the textures.

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Hi Charlie, Thanks for your reply.. I understand what you mean.. The changes in blurriness are so harsh though and the autogen not loading more than a mile or two just seems crazy.. On finals to any airport i can watch autogen pop up mile on mile lol


Take this i found on goggle for example.... 101203_fsx_1.jpg

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Hard to tell from a picture but you can go to the FSX.CFG and change the LOD radius from the default of 4.5 to 5.5 or 6.5. This will increase the texture loading distance. Also check to make sure in nvidia control panel that you have it set on enhance application setting and 8x AA and 8x AF.

 

As for smoothness you do not need the external limiter anymore, go to the nvidia control panel again and set v-sync to force 1/2 refresh rate, then in FSX set it at 30FPS, you will now see great smoothness, however you must have the scenery settings dialed a little down as you cannot go below 30fps or you will get worse stutters.

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Hard to tell from a picture but you can go to the FSX.CFG and change the LOD radius from the default of 4.5 to 5.5 or 6.5. This will increase the texture loading distance. Also check to make sure in nvidia control panel that you have it set on enhance application setting and 8x AA and 8x AF.

 

As for smoothness you do not need the external limiter anymore, go to the nvidia control panel again and set v-sync to force 1/2 refresh rate, then in FSX set it at 30FPS, you will now see great smoothness, however you must have the scenery settings dialed a little down as you cannot go below 30fps or you will get worse stutters.

Thanks Turboken... Ive changed this to 6.5.. Autogen loading appears a little better.. Not tried anything else yet, just taking it one step at a time... 

 

I've attached a video ive just made, Its recorded from my phone so there are funny lines all over the monitor.. Please ignore these. You can see below the aircraft how slowly the autogen pops up.. Hopefully this will make it a bit easier for everyone to understand

 

https://youtu.be/81bwl-Rjcpc

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Try setting HT  to 'on' in the bios config and Affinity Mask to 170 in the fsx cfg, I have the i7 4790K(no OC) and Z97 MB, those are my settings and I'm getting good results in FSX and P3Dv3. I only have a R9 270X video card so your GTX 970 is a high end GPU which should give better results.

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Try setting HT  to 'on' in the bios config and Affinity Mask to 170 in the fsx cfg, I have the i7 4790K(no OC) and Z97 MB, those are my settings and I'm getting good results in FSX and P3Dv3. I only have a R9 270X video card so your GTX 970 is a high end GPU which should give better results.

 

This is not supported by many... Generally, HT off works better for FSX...  :Shame On You:

Thanks Turboken... Ive changed this to 6.5.. Autogen loading appears a little better.. Not tried anything else yet, just taking it one step at a time... 

 

 

You are going to find that there are some trade-offs... as you increase LOD, you increase workload for your CPU.. and so smoothness may suffer.  To decrease workload, you can limit traffic  (freeway traffic=0 is a good start..)  and also weather..

 

Yes, it is nice to see autogen further out, but if your CPU cannot keep up, it may not be worth the effort..

 

Popping autogen is unfortunately one of FSXs weaknesses... if it bothers you enough, it may be worth looking at P3D.

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You are going to find that there are some trade-offs... as you increase LOD, you increase workload for your CPU.. and so smoothness may suffer.  To decrease workload, you can limit traffic  (freeway traffic=0 is a good start..)  and also weather..

 

Yes, it is nice to see autogen further out, but if your CPU cannot keep up, it may not be worth the effort.

 

Absolutely right, but he has a pretty powerful system, so setting LOD to 6.500000 may be worth a try. As usual, using a Realair Lancair Legacy is very different than using the PMDG 777 or the Flight1 KingAir B200.

 

Popping autogen is unfortunately one of FSXs weaknesses... if it bothers you enough, it may be worth looking at P3D.

 

The only thing that mitigates popping, based on my experience, is 'SmallPartRejectRadius=0'. Mitigate, not eliminate. The FPS loss is pretty negligible here, but this may change based on other settings and anyone's system, configuration, ASN etc.

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This is not supported by many... Generally, HT off works better for FSX...  :Shame On You:

 

You are going to find that there are some trade-offs... as you increase LOD, you increase workload for your CPU.. and so smoothness may suffer.  To decrease workload, you can limit traffic  (freeway traffic=0 is a good start..)  and also weather..

 

Yes, it is nice to see autogen further out, but if your CPU cannot keep up, it may not be worth the effort..

 

Popping autogen is unfortunately one of FSXs weaknesses... if it bothers you enough, it may be worth looking at P3D.

 

Bert,

 

From what I've read -  HT 'on' works fine for the core i7 processors so that the 8 cores are active, and HT 'off 'for the i3-i5. I don't know about others but I've tried a lot of settings with HT on and off and a lot of combinations with AM. I do know that I get the best performance with my i7-4790K and Z97 MB with AT on in FSX and P3D. In my work, I do video post editing and I need the HT on, so for me, it's easier to leave it for convenience.

 

I read somewhere  - as far as a starting point for HT settings and core i7, HT 'on' AM 84, HT 'off' AM 14

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I recently upgraded my system to something roughtly equivalent to the OP's, and I have some questions:

 

1: Is the system overclocked (beyond the 4790K's 4.4GHz Turbo mode)?

2: Haswell's love fast memory... have you considered upgrading to at least a 2400 speed kit?

3: You designate the WD 1TB Green HDD as "Windows"... is the OS installed on that drive?

4: DX9 or DX10?

 

Finally, could you posted your FSX.cfg?

 

Greg

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G-BANX,

 

I'm going to disagree with a few folks here regarding your systems settings (tweaks) and I'm going to expand on the Hyper Threading. To qualify my advice I'd like to say that I'm a former computer engineer, I've been in flight sim for over 30 years, and I work in FS development and product testing.  As Tom Allensworth used to say, all that and a $50 will might get me a cup of coffee, but I thought you'd like to know who's giving you advice.

 

The processor your running does a far better job managing threads than any processor before it's time, so the standard advice for this processor is NOT to assign an Affinity Mask setting as you're essentially forcing the processor to operate with one hand behind it's back. If you really have to run with Affinity Mask, then I'd recommend a setting of 84 (Hyperthreaded) or 14 or 12 non HT.  Again, it's better if you don't use this setting except for special circumstances.

 

As to Hyper-threading, it really depends. If you're just running FSX, a web brower and little programs at the same time then I'd set HT to off.  If however you're streaming your flights, then depending on your stream settings (mostly the higher quality stuff) then you may see greater performance with HT turned on. If not, then  off is what I recommend.

 

With your processor, the only other tweaks I recommend are HIGHMEMFIX=1 and if you're running a rectangular monitor then WideViewAspect=True. If you're flying Intermediate Level Commercial aircraft then I'd leave my LOD at 4.5 (going higher does not increase quality, it simply helps to reduce the impression of scenery object popping.

 

With your processor, you are not going to notice anything by overclocking (your frames need only be at 30fps for a righteous experience).

 

To increase the quality of your textures, you can apply the Texture_Max_Load=XXXX setting.  The default is 1024 and can go as high as 4096, but most people use 2048 as it provides very good level of detail (don't confuse this with LOD) and the higher you go the more VAS (memory) you're going to use up.

 

You can read about the settings above and a few more important settings in the AVSIM FSX Setup Guide pinned to the upper right of most all AVSIM pages. Note please that in the GUide the LOD setting of 6.5 is recommended, but again if you're going to fly the PMDG NGX or PMDG 777 into detailed airports then I'd recommend you stay with 4.5 to avoid out of memory (OOM) errors.  Same goes for using high end weather textures.

 

NVIDIA Inspector can also help to increase your quality.  Google NVIDIA Inspector, FSX, and GTX 970.  Please let me know what you come up with.

 

Finally, I recommend getting more involved in tweaking than flying unless that's your thing. You're rig is one of the very best for FSX.  Oh, watch that water cooler if you do overclock, you'll likely need to move up an H110.  Also, inspect the radiator, lines and pump for leakage monthly. Just had a fellow tester have the radiator on the H80 develop a large bubble that weeped fluid.

 

I hope this advice has helped you.

 

I wish you well, and happy flying!

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I see you have your operating system installed on an economy 5400rpm drive. That is very slow, to be honest I think you have shot yourself in the foot a little bit with that awesome set-up and then slowing it all down like that.

 

If I were you I would grab a cheap SSD off ebay, only needs to be small and migrate your windows onto that and use the mechanical purely for file storage and applications that don't need speed.

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I wonder why people still use this Bojote Tweak tool which was last updated in 2010. I mean, it should be obvious that a system from 2015 is better off NOT using tweaks from 2010, no? In my case, I realized that using W10, the only tweaks relevant in my FSX.cfg are the classic HIGHMEMFIX, the FFTF and the buffer pools. That's it. And setting the TBM to the highest acceptable FSX value that is "120". Nothing more, everything else has either no effect or makes things worse. I even deleted the AffinitMask entry out of my config, as it has little to no effect under W10 on my build (while it certainly helped under W7). And, surprise, surprise, I run with HT on.

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I wonder why people still use this Bojote Tweak tool which was last updated in 2010. I mean, it should be obvious that a system from 2015 is better off NOT using tweaks from 2010, no? In my case, I realized that using W10, the only tweaks relevant in my FSX.cfg are the classic HIGHMEMFIX, the FFTF and the buffer pools. That's it. And setting the TBM to the highest acceptable FSX value that is "120". Nothing more, everything else has either no effect or makes things worse. I even deleted the AffinitMask entry out of my config, as it has little to no effect under W10 on my build (while it certainly helped under W7). And, surprise, surprise, I run with HT on.

 

Thanks so much for your input.

 

The vast majority of our community still run first generation i7s, with a fair amount of people still running Pentiums.

 

To my knowledge, Windows 10 architecture does not increase the performance or have any other real affect on running FSX (maybe a sliver on the Direct X side, though the libraries are updated on Windows 7/8 by addons which require it) as FSX / FSX-SE is still based on older architecture (even with the Dove Tail Games updates).

 

It's the hardware and Bios that makes the biggest difference.

 

By the way, I personally believe you're correct about Hyper threading FSX with a Haswell or later processor, however the heavy hitting Beta Testers for P3Dv3 tell me that HT off is still preferred. That is based on formal testing, but as a engineer I'll have to test it myself under various loads and conditions.

 

Now let's all stop tweaking and go flying!  LOL

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Well, I was basically only mentioning the HT story due to the fact that I also disabled the AffinityMask entry. Usually, people using the AffinityMask, do nothing else than circumventing the HT of their processors by disabling all logical cores. So, to my surprise, having the AffinityMask entry in my config or not did not change anything after switching to W10. Besides that, I anyway have the impression that my FSX runs smoother under W10, and this even without a new installation (I simply upgraded my W7 to W10 and FSX instantly worked, the same old installation I have now for more than three years).

 

P3D might be a completely different story...

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G-BANX, on 19 Oct 2015 - 6:20 PM, said:

Not tried anything else yet, just taking it one step at a time...

If you applied Bojote's online tweak tool, you're definitely not "just taking it one step at a time"....

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Hi All,

 

I've been away with work and not had a chance to get on-line, thanks all for the posts. I'm going to sit down properly and start another 'tweaking session' this Friday evening :)  There is lots of really useful info here and I'm grateful for the community's response :) To everyone who's post I haven't quoted thank you also.. I literally have 10 mins so only had a brief scan and quick reply :)

 

To answer only a few posts... Please see quotes below..

 

Try setting HT  to 'on' in the bios config and Affinity Mask to 170 in the fsx cfg, I have the i7 4790K(no OC) and Z97 MB, those are my settings and I'm getting good results in FSX and P3Dv3. I only have a R9 270X video card so your GTX 970 is a high end GPU which should give better results.

I already have HT on and Affinity mask to 84. I'm also running No Overclock

 

I recently upgraded my system to something roughtly equivalent to the OP's, and I have some questions:

 

1: Is the system overclocked (beyond the 4790K's 4.4GHz Turbo mode)?

2: Haswell's love fast memory... have you considered upgrading to at least a 2400 speed kit?

3: You designate the WD 1TB Green HDD as "Windows"... is the OS installed on that drive?

4: DX9 or DX10?

 

Finally, could you posted your FSX.cfg?

 

Greg

No Overclock, Just the default turbo to 4.4

Unfortunately my budget wont allow me to spend any more

'Windows' is my HDD for my operating system - Win 7 64bit.. FSX is installed on my SSD on its own

DX9

Yes I will post it now :)

 

G-BANX,

 

I'm going to disagree with a few folks here regarding your systems settings (tweaks) and I'm going to expand on the Hyper Threading. To qualify my advice I'd like to say that I'm a former computer engineer, I've been in flight sim for over 30 years, and I work in FS development and product testing.  As Tom Allensworth used to say, all that and a $50 will might get me a cup of coffee, but I thought you'd like to know who's giving you advice.

 

The processor your running does a far better job managing threads than any processor before it's time, so the standard advice for this processor is NOT to assign an Affinity Mask setting as you're essentially forcing the processor to operate with one hand behind it's back. If you really have to run with Affinity Mask, then I'd recommend a setting of 84 (Hyperthreaded) or 14 or 12 non HT.  Again, it's better if you don't use this setting except for special circumstances.

 

As to Hyper-threading, it really depends. If you're just running FSX, a web brower and little programs at the same time then I'd set HT to off.  If however you're streaming your flights, then depending on your stream settings (mostly the higher quality stuff) then you may see greater performance with HT turned on. If not, then  off is what I recommend.

 

With your processor, the only other tweaks I recommend are HIGHMEMFIX=1 and if you're running a rectangular monitor then WideViewAspect=True. If you're flying Intermediate Level Commercial aircraft then I'd leave my LOD at 4.5 (going higher does not increase quality, it simply helps to reduce the impression of scenery object popping.

 

With your processor, you are not going to notice anything by overclocking (your frames need only be at 30fps for a righteous experience).

 

To increase the quality of your textures, you can apply the Texture_Max_Load=XXXX setting.  The default is 1024 and can go as high as 4096, but most people use 2048 as it provides very good level of detail (don't confuse this with LOD) and the higher you go the more VAS (memory) you're going to use up.

 

You can read about the settings above and a few more important settings in the AVSIM FSX Setup Guide pinned to the upper right of most all AVSIM pages. Note please that in the GUide the LOD setting of 6.5 is recommended, but again if you're going to fly the PMDG NGX or PMDG 777 into detailed airports then I'd recommend you stay with 4.5 to avoid out of memory (OOM) errors.  Same goes for using high end weather textures.

 

NVIDIA Inspector can also help to increase your quality.  Google NVIDIA Inspector, FSX, and GTX 970.  Please let me know what you come up with.

 

Finally, I recommend getting more involved in tweaking than flying unless that's your thing. You're rig is one of the very best for FSX.  Oh, watch that water cooler if you do overclock, you'll likely need to move up an H110.  Also, inspect the radiator, lines and pump for leakage monthly. Just had a fellow tester have the radiator on the H80 develop a large bubble that weeped fluid.

 

I hope this advice has helped you.

 

I wish you well, and happy flying!

Wow, this is a very in-depth post, thanks for taking the time to post this.. I'm going to leave this until Friday as I literally have 10 minutes to get on-line today but thank you again!

 

I see you have your operating system installed on an economy 5400rpm drive. That is very slow, to be honest I think you have shot yourself in the foot a little bit with that awesome set-up and then slowing it all down like that.

 

If I were you I would grab a cheap SSD off ebay, only needs to be small and migrate your windows onto that and use the mechanical purely for file storage and applications that don't need speed.

Yeah, what a douche!! I actually didn't mean to order that... Late evenings in front of the pc trying to spec a machine and I simply ordered the wrong bloody one! :sad: I didn't actually realise this until I started this post lol


 
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WindDirectionAndSpeed=1,6
 
[TextInfo.2]
FrameRate=1,1
FuelPercentage=1,4
GForce=1,3
LockedFrameRate=1,2
 
[TextInfo.3]
AirSpeed=1,5
Altitude=1,3
FrameRate=2,1
FuelPercentage=2,4
GForce=2,3
Heading=1,4
Latitude=1,1
LockedFrameRate=2,2
Longitude=1,2
WindDirectionAndSpeed=1,6
 
[TrafficManager]
AirlineDensity=0
AIRPORT_SCENERY_DENSITY=0
FreewayDensity=0
GADensity=0
IFROnly=0
LeisureBoatsDensity=0
ShipsAndFerriesDensity=0
 
 
[uSERINTERFACE]
DisplayFuelAsWeight=1
Map_Orientation=2
OpenATCOnCreate=0
PageID=1
PAUSE_ON_LOST_FOCUS=0
PROMPT_ON_EXIT=1
SelectAircraftManufacturer=All
SelectAircraftPublisher=PMDG
SelectAircraftType=All
ShowAllACPaintSchemes=1
SHOW_MISSION_CAPTIONS=0
SITUATION=FLIGHTS\OTHER\FLTSIM
 
 
 
[VirtualCopilot]
VirtualCopilotActive=0
 
[Weather]
AdjustForMagVarInDialog=1
CLOUD_COVERAGE_DENSITY=7
CLOUD_DRAW_DISTANCE=6
DETAILED_CLOUDS=1
DisableTurbulence=0
DownloadWindsAloft=0
DynamicWeather=0
MaxGustRampSpeed=200
MaxGustTime=500
MaxVarRampSpeed=75
MaxVarTime=50
MinGustRampSpeed=1
MinGustTime=10
MinVarRampSpeed=10
MinVarTime=5
THERMAL_VISUALS=0
TurbulenceScale=1.000000
WeatherGraphDataInDialog=0
WeatherServerAddress=fs2k.zone.com
WeatherServerPort=80
WindshieldPrecipitationEffects=1
 
[DISPLAY.Device.NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970.0]
Mode=1920x1080x32
AntiAlias=1
Anisotropic=1
 
[AccelerationPack]
ControlsFirstRun=0
HomePageFirstRun=0
 
 
 

If you applied Bojote's online tweak tool, you're definitely not "just taking it one step at a time"....

 

Sorry, I should of said... The tweak was applied at the beginning because that's the only thing I know for tweaking

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Turn hyperthreading off you will get better performance. Also buy a SSD if you can and install it as a secondary drive dedicated only to FS

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Do you have an SLI setup? You have 2 entries for video cards in your fsx.cfg file. Try removing the file and let fsx rebuild, then follow someof the guides. If you run DX9 you dont need to check antialiasing in game only the nvidia inspector. Try locked fps at 30 rather than unlimited too. And disable hyperthreading in your bios and adjust your affinity mask setting based on the new number of cores used.

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Wow! Lots of varied opinion here. OP. Look at my profile and see that we have systems that pretty much mirror each other. I am working with a clean install of Windows 10 and FSX Gold/Acceleration. I have tons of Megascenery 2 states and Ultra Res cities. I have done little tweaking to my fsx.cfg file since the fresh system. One thing I did notice was the same effect you pointed out in your original post that started this thread. Increasing LOD to 6.5 fixed that for me and I noticed no discernible taxing of my system as a result.

 

The effect you experienced was loading. As an avid and experienced photographer I had to chuckle at the one comment pertaining to focus point. Your screenshots are not a photograph, they are a screen capture, and in a screen capture there is no depth of field other than what is there in the rendering of the scenery on the screen. Pixels. There is no lens, there is no focal plane. Just got a kick out of that one.

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Wow! Lots of varied opinion here. OP. Look at my profile and see that we have systems that pretty much mirror each other. I am working with a clean install of Windows 10 and FSX Gold/Acceleration. I have tons of Megascenery 2 states and Ultra Res cities. I have done little tweaking to my fsx.cfg file since the fresh system. One thing I did notice was the same effect you pointed out in your original post that started this thread. Increasing LOD to 6.5 fixed that for me and I noticed no discernible taxing of my system as a result.

 

The effect you experienced was loading. As an avid and experienced photographer I had to chuckle at the one comment pertaining to focus point. Your screenshots are not a photograph, they are a screen capture, and in a screen capture there is no depth of field other than what is there in the rendering of the scenery on the screen. Pixels. There is no lens, there is no focal plane. Just got a kick out of that one.

Your tweaking setup is going to be much different because you run megascenery which means less processing required since photoscenery doesnt use a lot of autogen or buildings. Only the ultra cities scenery are harder on processing power.

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Those suggestions made of Hyperthreading disabled being somehow "better" for the sim is purely a result of insufficient knowledge of the CPU and insufficient knowledge of how Windows multi-threading works. If you get better performance with HT disabled, you got your AM wrong with HT enabled (and is required with HT=On), and you've wasted money on your HT capable CPU.

 

Try an AM=250=(11,11,10,10) gives on the left two cores with four data collection threads and the other two threads are the main UI/Rendering, and thread pool, on core 0 and 1 on the right. Of course, all these cores are available to all the other apps and processes on the machine, but the JOBSCHEDULER will keep new processes off of core 0 once the sim is in full swing. This should be good for most scenery and keeps the main thread at full pace.

 

[bUFFERPOOLS]

PoolSize=50000000

RejectThreshold=524288

 

BUFFERPOOLS is little understood. These values shown are not useful to the bufferpool.

 

Instead:

[bufferpools]

UsePools=1

Poolsize=2000

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Mark,

 

I have some great news for you.  Your CFG file could use a lot of help.   :smile:   I run a similar machine to yours and get excellent results using a CFG similar to yours except with the below changes:

 

[BufferPools]
UsePools=1
Poolsize=8388608
RejectThreshold=126976
 
[Display]
TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT=80
 
[GRAPHICS]
AC_SELF_SHADOW=0    // Huge FPS hog.  turn it off.
 
[MAIN}
FIBER_FRAME_TIME_FRACTION=0.15
 
[SCENERY]
SmallPartRejectRadius=1  // A small perf hit but you will see less popping of scenery
 
[TERRAIN]
WATER_EFFECTS=4   // Another huge performance hit as you have it at 6.  Dial it down.  You will see real FPS gain.
TERRAIN_MAX_AUTOGEN_TREES_PER_CELL=1000     //limit the number of autogen trees and buildings.  Another easy fix with a substantial gain.
TERRAIN_MAX_AUTOGEN_BUILDINGS_PER_CELL=1500
 
Just these changes alone will make a substantial improvement to your frames and smoothness without sacrificing eye candy or inducing OOMs (aka LOD Radius=6.5).  No BS.
 
Ilya

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...revisiting the Affinity Mask comment regarding 250. If we have an addon that starts first and hogs LP0 (first logical processor on core 0), then assigning a mask for the sim to avoid core 0 would be better, but at the expense of some data collecting. We can use 248=(11,11,10,00), this avoids core zero where our addon resides, puts the main sim thread onto LP 3 (core 1) and provides the thread pool and a data collector on core 2, and a pair of data collectors on core 3. The problem with masking is that processes started by the sim run in the affinity of the sim. Upward of 40 threads are spawned running the sim and these have to also fit on those assigned LPs.

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