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HoratioWondersocks

Upgrading from FS2002. Would FS9 or FSX be better for ...

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Guest aspenleaf

I'm finally finding more time to use my flight simulator and I'm thinking of upgrading to a newer version. My hardware is a couple of years old, and I can't upgrade right now. I downloaded the FSX demo, and it looks nice, but I'm wondering if FS9 would be a better choice considering my hardware:A64 3500+A8V Deluxe MB2 GB DDR400Nvidia FX5500I'm mainly interested in float planes and low altitude flying in the Northwest, Hawaii and the Caribbean. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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FX5500 ain't gonna cut it very well with either I'm afraid... I'd look into getting a new vid card first man.

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Guest aspenleaf

Any suggestions for a video card? I'm hesitant to spend too much on an AGP card when it looks like some new things are on the horizon. My MB only has AGP.

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I'd avoid FSX and go with FS2004. For a video card I'd recommend an ATI 9800 Pro as that will give you maximum framerates with FS2004 and it's a good match for the rest of your system. These cards can be had for $100-$125. Here's a couple of links for information:http://item.express.ebay.com/ATI-Randeon-9...cmdZExpressItemhttp://item.express.ebay.com/NEW-ATI-RADEO...cmdZExpressItemDoug

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Guest aspenleaf

Thanks for the info, guys. I guess it's time to spend some money on a video card.

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I wanted to offer an opinion counter to the one suggesting your FX5500 isn't enough for FS9. For the type of flying you do, you shouldn't have any issues. I run FS9 with a 4200TI and the visuals are outstanding. And that's joined with a much slower cpu and still in the bush flying scenarios, I still get fps in the 20's.I wouldn't get FS-X--not until you upgrade and also not until the add-on market matures. FS-X has stunning water and I like the extra step in texture resolution, but I think FS9 still can offer a rich and rewarding flight experience thanks to its mature add-on base.The attached screenshot is a bit odd--I was playing games with perspective--but it shows FS2004 on a P3/800, GeF 4200 TI. USARoads and Recorder.dll (which allowed for the odd camera angle) were also used.Hope this helps show of what FS2004 can do on a system even more humble than yours. And for the bean counters, fps were about 23-25 fps in this shot.-Johnhttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/157991.jpg

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Guest aspenleaf

Thanks for replying, John. Do you use any autogen? I have been using Gerrish's trees and they make for a more realistic experience, especially in the Northwest at low altitudes. I have my frames limited to 20FPS in 2002 and the FX5500 seems to do fairly well. In the FSX demo, I'm only getting around 15 FPS, but it actually seems a bit smoother than 2002 with 20FPS.Is 2004 a big step up from 2002 in terms of realism? How does the water in 2004 compare to FSX?

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In the bush I will turn on autogen, but if I am flying over cities, I leave it off--I don't like it--and from the screenshots I've seen in FSX, I would probably use autogen there only in the same scenarios. I am still waiting for that "trees only" autogen add-on that gives us trees and only trees :) Then I'd leave it on all the time.With full autogen, albeit with XML autogen disabled, I will get around 25 fps outside of the major cities. There's not a lot of traffic there and with a P3/800 I'd never dare add to the default, so traffic doesn't impact my frames much.Mesh--I don't know why, but mesh hits a "home run" in FS9. I have high res mesh for the Alps and Arizona, and it doesn't have any impact on my performance.Where FS9 hits a home run and is a huge step up from FS2002 is visuals. I wrote an add-on for FS9 called "Soft Horizons" and there's a few others which are more detailed by other authors, but the point is with any such add on, the sky in FS9 is breathtaking. From one day to the next, FS9 uses different sky environments vs. the "same sky, every day" FS2002 offered. Clouds are breathtaking. I replaced the cloud textures with a low res set I built, but you can hardly tell. There's a freeware add-on called recorder.dll that extends FS2004 in so many ways--you can record flights of indefinite duration, and play them back from any angle. You can set up viewpoints in spot view from any position, very similar to the new viewpoint features in FS-X. If you like wing views, you can have wing views in virtually every MSFS aircraft.Payware add-ons--GE Pro, FE Pro, Ultimate Terrain, and aircraft galore--FS9 has the most mature suite of add-ons ever developed for the series. If you visit the screenshots forum, you'd swear you're looking at FS-X when you see FS9 with these add-ons.The ultimate help for me in FS9 performance given my rig is keeping cloud draw distance to only 30 miles. I don't have many other performance concessions--I don't fly around big cities much. My default flight starts in Bozeman, MT--simply because it launches the sim in such a beautiful environment. FS-X offers a lot for the future--if you're willing to pay the price and invest in the hardware needed. But if you reduce the ground textures to the same resolution as FS9, and reduce the autogen to roughly FS9's level, it's a real challenge to spot any difference in outside visuals. Plus, there's many FS2002 aircraft with older gauges which simply can't be ported into FS-X. FS9 offers you a taste--a very good taste--of what FS-X offers, but with performance better matched to your system.-John

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My computer is about two years old now (P4 2.8 1gig etc blah blah!)but my video card is a Radion 9200 very basic but runs Fs9 very well absolutly no gripes,also the new FSX demo(latest version)looks and runs just as well(provided i turn autogen of)autogen in the new sim seems to be a problem whatever system people have.I think the 9200 is now the 9250 so not sure about how that is but they are both cheap if you are short of cash.cheers Andy

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