Sign in to follow this  
Sesquashtoo

Just general knowledge asked for...

Recommended Posts

About a month ago, I decided to cull one flight sim off of my system, and chose FSX-Boxed (non Gold, so no Acceleration Pack) as that was the least of my flight sims used.

Well, about two days ago, I purchased FSW, and (actually forgot about...geez...) saw that I had purchased FSX:SE when it first came out and there was a Steam sale going on. ($4.50 to be exact!)

So anyway...my curiosity was peaked....so after installing FSW, I also installed my copy of FSX:SEW, and built in all my Orbx library, my 3rP plane library, other custom scenery like the full Caribbean, etc...and fired FSX:SE up.

I was immediately surprised in how WELL this sim performs in fluid animation and sustained FPS.

FPS (unlocked) climbing into the sustainable 50/60's (in the boxed FSX, I could never get much above 40 sustainable), and animation smooth.  I also had micro stutters with FSX-boxed. Always...

So...I would ask, what exactly did Steam do to FSX, and exactly what comprises Acceleration Pack, which is built into FSX:SE?

I have two quick observations.l  The performance is, compared to my FSX-boxed, is at least 80 percent better on the same system, BUT.....no matter what I try, I can't seem to get the mountains and hills, the textures upon them to sharply render into focus, as they were in the boxed version. Also, terrible popping in and formation of the mountains, and autogen, with you practically being on top of it...and no matter if I take the LOD upto 9.5, this really bad popping in of the autogen, and popping into focus of mountains and hill texture is prevalent.  Is this a trade-off in FSX:SE, to get smoother animation, and higher FPS?

Is there a tweak, or setting that will force FSX:SE, to compose the hills and mountainside textures further out, as well as help in the autogen popping into view, rather than the LOD setting?  I really like the performance of FSX:SE, but the blurry mountain and hill textures, and the 'in-your-face' autogen popping into view/formation really is a distraction.

Any help and explanations would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Mitch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

1 minute ago, Sesquashtoo said:

what exactly did Steam do to FSX, and exactly what comprises Acceleration Pack, which is built into FSX:SE?Any help and explanations would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Mitch

The Steam Edition was rebuilt using a VS2013 compiler, which resulted in better optimization and improved performance. The original FSX boxed.downlaod version's multiplayer and networking via Gamespy was replaced by Steam networking and other Steam functions were added, such as invites etc via Steam friends lists etc. Some old FSX keyboard shortcuts were altered because of that, since they clashed default with Steam ones. This means it runs a bit better with multiplayer than it used to prior to the Steam version.

Alterations and tweaks included increasing the config TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD to 4096 px from FSX's original 1024 px and adding the HIGHMEMFIX=1 in the config file. Vertex and Index buffers were increased in number. Some sim effect bugs were fixed, as were some clashes with 64 bit operating systems which could cause FSX to lock up.

All of the stuff you got in the boxed and download versions of FSX Gold/Deluxe etc, including all the SP1 and SP2 patches, plus all of the stuff in the Acceleration add-on were included in the Steam version of FSX, so you get the better and more functional engine modeling of the Acceleration add-on, plus all of the extra aeroplanes which were part of that, such as a flyable Maule, F/A-18, Mustang, Merlin chopper etc, and the related content for those, such as missions and races in multiplayer, plus all of the enhancements which were in the Deluxe versions of FSX, i.e. some fancy airports etc. This also means that some aircraft add-ons which required the Acceleration pack to be added in order to function properly in the original FSX boxed or download versions (for example, those from A2A and Flight Replicas etc), will work perfectly fine in the default install of the Steam version of FSX, whereas they won't in a basic boxed version of FSX if you don't have the Acceleration add-on.

As a result of all those tweaks, the Steam Edition of FSX runs a bit faster than a patched/boxed/download version of the original FSX as far as FPS goes and it also has a slightly better capability with Virtual Address Space allocation although it is of course still limited to what can be done with a 32 bit application, so the Steam version will OOM slightly less than a non-Steam version of FSX and probably work a bit longer before it does OOM.

All of that tweaking, plus what DTG learned with creating Flight School, since that is 64 bit, is what has culminated in Flight Sim World thus far, but as you know, they are not stopping there and have started pushing things a bit further with stuff in FSW, such as implementing trueSkies, but in the meantime, if you are going to run FSX, then the Steam version is the one to have unless you go for P3D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Mitch,

When I first installed FSX, with default settings, no Nvidia Inspector, or changing the default FSX settings for the display driver, and got into a default aircraft at KLAS, I would get up to 300 fps.  Then I would try again and change the fsx.cfg settings and use the NI to change to the best display driver settings (see AVSIM FSX Configuration Guide) and try the same scenario again in a default aircraft at KLAS and I would get over 100 fps.

Then, I purchased and added some commercial scenery and aircraft to further enhance my enjoyment of FSX.  Go to FSDT KLAS in the PMDG 737 and I'm hitting around 40 fps.  Still okay but not even close to over 100 or 300 fps!!  See some stuttering in places and some blurries too but, boy, would those guys I knew back in 2006, who first purchased FSX on Day 1 of release, had a hard time maintaining 25-30 fps and mostly had fps dropping to 10-15 fps with any commercial addon, and looking for tweaks to make it better be happy to see they could now get 40 - 50 fps with modern computer systems.  But man cannot stop at 40-50 fps and be happy.  He must journey into the unknown and make the sim fly even faster.  With tweaks!

I never knowingly added "tweaks" to my FSX (some add-on developers said I needed them and installed them with their installer).  My personal tweaks were to reduce some settings.  Lowered the LOD_Radius from 7.0 to 6.5 to 5.5 and then landed on the default max of 4.5.  I don't need to see that far away! Stutters and blurriness were reduced but were not completely gone.  So I locked my fps to 30 and they were mostly gone.  IMHO (with some expertise added), tweaks were made for those old computers that barely had the ability to run FSX with eye-candy scenery and aircraft.  Since Sandy Bridge, the need to tweak is simply not required except maybe your FSX and display driver settings. After Sandy Bridge you could do some overclocking and raise some of your settings higher. 

I once added a tweak... I remember trying a tweak called Bufferpools and my sim was stuttering with long pauses all over the place as I flew out of FlightBeam's KIAD.  Had to try it though.  Results were ugly!  Computer experts said it was a great tweak to make FSX run smoother.  Not!

I do like the LOD_Radius tweak and currently fly with it at 6.5 but no higher (and not all of the time, especially on long flights lasting an hour or more).  Any higher will cause some blurries and stuttering, maybe not all of the time but most of the time.  It also depletes the VAS faster too.  If there was a perfect tweak to get rid of the blurries and stuttering in FSX you can bet it would have been added by DTG by now and we would be using it in FSX-boxed version too.  But, alas, there is no such thing.  At least not yet.

You were excited when you dumped FSX and went to FSX-SE but, when you went from FSX-boxed to FSX-SE, you dumped the tweaks you had in FSX-boxed that made FSX so unenjoyable.  It works every time.  Members complain their FSX has the blurries or their FPS are not very high and can't figure out what went wrong.  Someone recommends they delete or rename their fsx.cfg, restart FSX and let the config rebuild.  Wa-la!  Success!  My FSX has not been better!  Awesome!  Thank you for the suggestion!  You are the greatest! :cool:

BTW, there is no difference between FSX-boxed and FSX-SE in regards to settings and the blurries and the stuttering.  Dovetail added the highmemfix=1 fix in the installer and threw in the older version of the uiautomationcore.dll, updated the installer to Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 instead of 2005) and updated the Microsoft.net 1.1 to I think 3.5 or 4.0 and that's about it.  Microsoft.net's are used by developers to make the application run better and Microsoft is continuing to update the dotnet packages. Still, DTG did not make it better though unless there was something they set in Microsoft.net.  They have a license agreement with Microsoft to follow.  We are happy though they came along and saved many of us who lost or damaged their boxed versions of FSX as Microsoft stopped selling the product a long time ago.   

Okay, finally the bottom line - high fsx and display driver settings are going to bring your sim to its knees if you are not careful especially if you want eye-candy scenery and aircraft.  Keep away from tweaks unless someone comes up with the holy grail of all tweaks to eliminate the blurries and stuttering with high settings.  If you have an add-on like REX or ASCA that has its own settings, don't max out the resolution of the clouds to 4096.  Make it 2048 instead.  You will barely see any difference.  Follow the guidance in the AVSIM FSX Configuration Guide. :wink:

Be very aware that even if there was a tweak to eliminate blurries and stuttering, man would not stop there.  He would need to have an even higher LOD and higher mesh and texture settings until the blurries and stuttering returned again.  And then... and then?  :biggrin:

Best regards,

Jim

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Jim!  I'm getting around 40-55 unlocked, and that is with everything in....REX 4 D,  REX WorldWide, etc...GSX, ACCU-SIM, all that I had in FSX-Boxed. I choose to lock the FPS to 33 though. That's what I had it set in the boxed edition.

Actually, I have no stuttering of any kind, with all of the above in play, and my LOD set to 6.5. What I do have though, that drives me nuts...is pretty severe blurry textures, but ONLY on the mountains. I have mesh and textures all set to max...or mesh at 5 for all my orbx, so I know it is not low input settings.

I have run the sim at LOD 4.5, and still get blurry and ill-defined textures on anything with a hill or dale...or outright mountain range. I run Pilot for FX 2010, so that data should be ok...

I never had this with the boxed version, but also, i never truly had a stutter-free flight with it, either...microstutter was the best I could do.

FSX:SE has no animation stop/start/stutter at all.  Even with heavy settings.  I am amazed at that.  I noticed that HighMem was not set to 1, so I did that.  I haven't messed with anything else, other than the LOD set to 6.5.

There could have been some trade off, as you say, with some hidden, invisible change to the sub-programs you mentioned in your reply post.

I'm still going to keep it...for every other texture, including all Orbx related, as well as great, clear water and animation is truly crystal clear.  I get great auto-gen...but have to be practically on top of where it would place to have it 'pop' in...and the emphasis is on the word; POP.  :(

Changing the LOD higher, or to default, makes no difference in the autogen popping in, and mountains and hills focusing into clear texture (at the last minute).  That's my two complaints.  I'll  have to live with it, because even P3D v3.4 does not give me stutter-free animation of the plane.  FSX:SE certainly does!

Thanks for taking the time to reply,

Oh..found out the hard way...a warning...if you use the STEAM file integrity checker...it will check all the files alright...but if you use Orbx Global and HD Trees, it will start the download process, and overwrite them to oblivion. Once the integrity routine finishes, you will have a stock install that will not be put off. It overwrote 8,700 files back to original. I had to completely reinstall my Orbx Global, HD Trees, and all the Regions. What a PITA! So I would not run that program unless FSX:SE doesn't even start, or crashes in 30 seconds.  Just know that you are going to have to reinstall some Orbx content.

Cheers,

Mitch (the fly them all) guy...

Post Edit:  "Thank you Jim, and Alan (Chock) for your two posts. Together, has me now running educated, regarding FSX:SE."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh wow..thanks for all that, Alan!  Knowing what's under the hood, helps explain things, good or bad.

I will tell ya though...FSX:SE is totally smooth animation...which I still am shaking my head over...not even micro stutter!

For anybody reading, that still has a boxed version (whatever)...you really want to delete that...and grab a copy of FSX:SE.  I know that having to reinstall stuff, might put the reader off...but truly, it is worth all that effort, once you have everything back in.  Really...it is!

Cheers,

Mitch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Chock said:

The Steam Edition was rebuilt using a VS2013 compiler, which resulted in better optimization and improved performance. The original FSX boxed.downlaod version's multiplayer and networking via Gamespy was replaced by Steam networking and other Steam functions were added, such as invites etc via Steam friends lists etc. Some old FSX keyboard shortcuts were altered because of that, since they clashed default with Steam ones. This means it runs a bit better with multiplayer than it used to prior to the Steam version.

Alterations and tweaks included increasing the config TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD to 4096 px from FSX's original 1024 px and adding the HIGHMEMFIX=1 in the config file. Vertex and Index buffers were increased in number. Some sim effect bugs were fixed, as were some clashes with 64 bit operating systems which could cause FSX to lock up.

All of the stuff you got in the boxed and download versions of FSX Gold/Deluxe etc, including all the SP1 and SP2 patches, plus all of the stuff in the Acceleration add-on were included in the Steam version of FSX, so you get the better and more functional engine modeling of the Acceleration add-on, plus all of the extra aeroplanes which were part of that, such as a flyable Maule, F/A-18, Mustang, Merlin chopper etc, and the related content for those, such as missions and races in multiplayer, plus all of the enhancements which were in the Deluxe versions of FSX, i.e. some fancy airports etc. This also means that some aircraft add-ons which required the Acceleration pack to be added in order to function properly in the original FSX boxed or download versions (for example, those from A2A and Flight Replicas etc), will work perfectly fine in the default install of the Steam version of FSX, whereas they won't in a basic boxed version of FSX if you don't have the Acceleration add-on.

As a result of all those tweaks, the Steam Edition of FSX runs a bit faster than a patched/boxed/download version of the original FSX as far as FPS goes and it also has a slightly better capability with Virtual Address Space allocation although it is of course still limited to what can be done with a 32 bit application, so the Steam version will OOM slightly less than a non-Steam version of FSX and probably work a bit longer before it does OOM.

All of that tweaking, plus what DTG learned with creating Flight School, since that is 64 bit, is what has culminated in Flight Sim World thus far, but as you know, they are not stopping there and have started pushing things a bit further with stuff in FSW, such as implementing trueSkies, but in the meantime, if you are going to run FSX, then the Steam version is the one to have unless you go for P3D.

I think this post should be a sticky in the FSX:SE forum.  For folks like me, late to the task..it totally brought me up to speed on the diff from my present FTX:SE, and the boxed (non Gold, non Deluxe, non Accelration features). version I had for years.

Thanks again, Alan!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this