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Guest beana51

My time spent on FS

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I find myself spending more and more time doing tweaking, panel customizing and just finding out what different settings do for the visuals than actually flying.Yesterday, I spent a full 3 hours only to test different AA and AF settings, how FSUIPC interferes with ASV, how the visibility settings influence FPS, what the "best" clouds settings are for me, how the FS world looks and what I can do with "ground casts shadows" and the mipmap settings to get rid of the massive stutters I have at FlyTampa's KMDW area.The bottom line is that because of the different hardware in PCs, there's no general rule how to set things.The FS word still isn't satisfying for me (e.g. I have "hard" horizons, water shows lighter and darker rectangles at some places, 3D clouds can happen to have what is best described with "sunken areas" etc.), it would need too much effort and time experimenting to find out optimal settings.FS reacts differently in different situations (e.g. when setting "haze" in FSUIPC for reduced ground visibility, my FS install sometime needs several minutes to switch them on or off), a bad base to experiment with (e.g. you don't know whether a setting has any effect for you until you don't go for a coffee and then look again if something has changed).So for my part, I accepted to need to put the sliders here and there in different situations, there won't be any setting that I could leave in place for the rest of FS's life on my hard drive. Everything is constantly changing in FS, so I need to adapt...Wish the new FS version woud have a much, much improved scenery, wheather and visibility management...Andreas


Andreas, LOWW

- Nihil sumus et fuimus mortales. Respice, lector: In nihil ab nihilo quam cito recidimus.

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And that's why I stopped such fooling around altogether 3 years ago.I was getting so frustrated as a framerate junk looking for that last ounce of performance (of course without loosing any of the good looks) that I was spending maybe 10 hours tweaking for every hour flying.That's when I decided enough is enough and I quit tweaking altogether.Guess what? performance is still the same (or better), it looks a lot nicer now, and I actually enjoy FS again.

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I'm like that for a couple or three monthsafter each new version, but then I get settled in and quit messing with it. I can only get so much without spending $$$$... :/I'm not super picky about frame rate. As long as it's fluid, I'm ok...But I am getting to where I prefer it not drop below 20, where as in yearspast, I might settle for 12... FS2004 actually runs faster than any previous version I've had,even with it being the most complex. I guess the engine is improving, and the hardware is gettingpretty fast as far as video.I might later tweak the scenery, etc, but latelyI've been even lazy to mess with that. I run 2004almost bone stock as far as scenery. If I mess with anything, it's usually textures, but I haven't done any of those since the fs2000 "lightbulbs" I did about5 years ago... Those were "night" textures...I've done some panel stuff, but mainly just tweaksto my oft used planes like the lear 31a, etc..I'm using a photoreal panel taken from an actual31a. I sure would like to make a virtual cockpitfor that plane, but I don't do much plane design atall. Probably would need to make a whole new 31a...I have been messing with it lately, cuz my videois acting up....The details of that are on the "hardware"forum... I'm trying to decide if my vid card is flaky, or I've got a software problem. :(MK


Mark Keith

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Guest TELCO1

>That's when I decided enough is enough and I quit tweaking>altogether.>Guess what? performance is still the same (or better), it>looks a lot nicer now, and I actually enjoy FS again.I waited until June 2004 to upgrade to FS9 knowing that I needed a good quality computer to run it. I hate tweaking and I believe that if you start with a good, clean computer, the basic FS9 package should run extremely well. Every system has it's thresholds, hence FS9's ability to modify settings to maximize performance, but there are limits, and one has to arrive at a level of satisfaction at some point and leave well enough alone.I just finished a two month tweaking stint because I started to get performance degradation. The catalyst was when I added my RXP gauges to my Aeroworx B200. As soon as I would power up my avionics at the gate, my framerates went into the toilet, and taxiing to the runway was a slideshow....even worse if I was connected to VATSIM. Same goes for other aircraft,especially payware. I tried every tweak in the book (including drivers etc.) to no avail. I did a complete re-install of FS9, one by one putting back my addons and test flying with default aircraft to try and diagnose the problem.....again to no avail.The only item I hadn't touched was the drivers for my Intel 865PERL Motherboard. So after surfing around the Intel site for a bit, I stumbled upon a system monitoring utility that measures heat and fan speeds. After installation, it didn't take a millisecond for an alarm to pop up telling me that my processor was running way too hot. I always periodically opened my PC to blow out dust, and I know that heat (and power supply) can affect video and overall performance. I never noticed it running my regular day to day business or multimedia applications. My fan was working, but as soon as I removed it to take a closer look, it was pretty clogged up deep inside. I also noticed that the thermal pad was missing as well.Once cleaned out, and a good dab of thermal grease applied, my processor temp went down by over 20 degrees C. When I fired up FS9, it performed as good, if not better than when I originally installed it in June 2004.....and this was without intitiating FSAutostart, all background programs running (including antivirus etc.), and all FS addon programs initiated. I started up my DF Baron 58 with my GNS530 and Sandel 3308 installed, switched to the VC, and my system didn't even break a sweat, where before, it would completely tank. So what did I learn from this experience? 1)FS9 is extremely CPU intensive. 2)You can tweak FS9 until your blue in the face but it won't make much difference if you don't know what's really going on "under the hood" with your hardware.3)Set up FS9 within the limits of your PC's capabilty and be satisfied with it. Hardware will determine the performance at the end of the day assuming that your sytem is kept clean from a software perspective.I'm glad my tweaking days are over. My system and FS9 config is now locked and benchmarked...no more upgrades (well still need a long range jet....Hmmm...maybe that PMDG 747). Now I'm back to enjoying flying. Lawrie

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Guest ponyboy

I like tweaking on occasion. To me, I don't feel I am missing out on "flying" as I consider it all part of the hobby. There are so many areas of interest to explore - I never get bored. If I get frustrated I just move on to another niche interest. Lately it's been scenery design and bush flying but I can always fall back onto making flightsim videos or learing more about the heavies if I get bored. Oh yea... and get in a little flying time. ;)

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One cure for this:Find your favorite small GA aircraft that has excellent framerates (I usually choose the DF Archer because it is so fun and has very little impact on fps). Take it and go fly somewhere, away from the huge payware airports and other scenery. Far away from the Ohare airports of the world with tons of AI coming in and out. Find a spot with nice default scenery and relatively clear weather. Just fly patterns or a short flight. See what the sim can do without as many of the addons we throw at it. You'll quickly realize that addons come at a performance price, and no amount of tweaking is going to make us 100% happy. Now, I'm not saying throw out your addons, just to have a more realistic expectation when using them.


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

Craig from KBUF

 

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9650 3.0 ghz

4gb RAM

Windows 7 64-bit

Nvidia GTX 275 896mb

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Yea, I still do some tweaking and try to run my FS at an optimal visual and frame-rate friendly setting. Right now, I am more than happy how my FS performs on my mid-range machine.The bottom line is: If you want great performance then there's no way to achieve a significant performance/visual boost without a CPU and GPU upgrade.

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Maybe tweaking is the wrong word here. I'm rather "playing with the settngs" to get better results.Why should I do this when I basically don't like tweaking, you may ask?It's mainly three reasons:1) Sudden performance breakdowns2) Improvements in some visibility area by changing some parameter "by incidence"3) Some thought of "is that all?" or "that can't be true" and "the screenshots look so much better than what I get"ad 1): a really catastrophic scenario since in the first place, I don't have any clue where to start.ad 2): some coincidence results in a visibly clearly improved FS world, and this for me is a reason for further investigations.ad 3): Someone shows me what could be done on an average machine, and the results there are so much better than on mine, or I test a new environment add-on and cannot see any difference, so I start looking what I can do to change the situation.It's a pity that on one side, no exact official descriptions of the many parameters in fs9.cfg exists, and on the other side, many features of graphics adapters which can nowadays been set with tweaking tools are undocumented.My recent tests show that parameters which I always neglected have a huge impact either to FPS (e.g. mipmap level, autogen density, AF) or image quality (some combination of graphics adapter parameters like colorfill, Z-Buffer depth, Z-/W-Fog) or both (e.g. terrain_extended_levels, terrain_min_dem_area).The best aid would be a thorough description of those parameters with "before"/"after" screenshots.The way the situation currently is I guess not two computer screens show the same FS world...Andreas


Andreas, LOWW

- Nihil sumus et fuimus mortales. Respice, lector: In nihil ab nihilo quam cito recidimus.

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Guest koorby

Like others, I used to tweak and play rather than fly. Now I just fly. Here's the best tweak you can ever do:1. Backup your fs9.cfg file2. Delete it3. Start FS2004No load up the C172 and head to Squamish, BC or somewhere like that. Fly low and slow for a few hours around the coast. You'll get superb FPS and have fun. Give it a try ;)

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Guest beana51

Absolutely, I fly the same way,same plane..Its a big country with a lot of nothing in it.I would not fly into JFK,LAG,Newark,and all the biggies in my area in real planes.. So msv in Monticello,or MTH,PGD here in the bone yard is just fine.I do get good results on the Sim that way.Flying ,looking at a frame rate counter,is like walking around checking your blood pressure...constanily. Ya can get to be a Sim "hypochondriac" quickly.While I am at it,this Hanger flying on the forum does eat into flyng time.Then again I like to Yak,Yak,a lot. But I guess,we all do it differently,and thats good. "DON'T WORRY,BE HAPPY" VIN

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