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FSX for What Future Hardware?

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Currently, FSX does not take advantage of dual core processing or at best, very little. So if I am not incorrect, FSX basicly uses only one of the processors and the dual core processor turns into a single core processor for FSX. FSX code is not written to take advantage of multi core. But the hardware industry is heading in that direction, now dual core and later quad core. Other PC game developers are designing their games to take advantage of multi core. I doubt if MS will redo FSX code to accomodate multi core processors and they may not be able to write the code to do this anyway for a flight simulator. VISTA will not be the savior and speed up processing and may even hinder it. The only other place there is room to improve is video cards and possibly DirectX 10. But it seems to me that the processing speed will still be the bottle neck.So what future hardware did MS design FSX for?Mike

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Hmm...that's a good one. I don't know...RhettAMD 3700+ (@2.5 ghz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (94.47), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 3-3-3-8, WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian

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I was just about to make a similar post, so I'll amplify your point here instead:For those who say they've seen it all before from the low performance whiners every time a new version of FS comes out, how do you respond to the following points:1. When FS2004 came out, mid and low range hardware struggled with the heavy clouds and autogen, but a top end system of the day (P4 3.2GHz / Athlon 3200+, Radeon 9800 pro and 1G RAM) did a pretty good job of it all, even with a bunch of addons to come in later years (and I speak from personal experience here). Those with top end systems of today, myself included, report average to low performance with FSX, without a single addon included. Does this not clearly show that the relative performance bar of this new release has been significantly lowered compared to its predecessor?2. Some say that FSX will pull up its performance socks when the hardware catches up in the next few years. The FS series has always been very CPU bound and, whilst the GPU plays a much greater role with this release, this new version seems to be no exception to eating every extra CPU cycle you can throw at it. Dual core support is there but is minimally implemented, supposedly due to the way the FS graphics engine works. All future CPU road maps I have seen show an expansion into multi-core CPUs, with minimal clock speed increases of individual cores. From an FS architectural design perspective, the outlook is quite bleak in terms of new CPUs actually yielding the significant performance gains needed to unleash true FSX performance, so where is the hardware "magic bullet" going to come from in the future?Gary

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Are you sure multi-core processors are the future? I mean, really sure? Are you sure enough to live with a strategic error for 3 years?When FSX was being written, dual core was in its infancy. Almost no dual core processors were installed, and the few that were didn't show any huge performance increases over single core. With that snapshot in time, dual core didn't exactly look all that promising. Even if someone had been optimistic enough to bet a major title launch on "possible" technology, doing the recoding necessary would have delayed the launch out by months and cost the studio time and money. Up until the Core 2 Duo (retailed after FSX went into Beta), dual core processors looked a lot like a CPU sidestep. Only the benchmark numbers that the Core 2 Duo processors could achieve would open everyone's eyes to the possibilites in multi-core processing.Let's face it, the safe way to go is the way that FSX went. They simply assumed that net processing power would increase, and left the details to the hardware manufacturers. It's a dangerous practice to get into the habit of optimizing for a specific technology or piece of hardware...it's easy to find yourself burned. ACES keeps the Flight Simulator titles generic so that the advances can come from many different technologies, not just a single one.Did ACES get burned this time? Maybe, maybe not. It remains to be seen whether Intel can duplicate their recent sucesses, and what AMD will do to respond to Intel. It's possible that multi-core is the way of the future, and if so, FS11 will be multithreaded to take advantage of it. It's also possible that future CPUs will find a way to run a non-optimized program more efficiently, and FSX will end up advancing right along with the processors. Only time will tell. But I remember Intel's disaster with Rambus, and I am more than willing to trust ACES over Intel.-Ivan

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Interestingly enough, rumor has it that FSX was developed especially for the consumer release version of the RIKEN MDGRAPE-3 Megacomputer. System Specs:201 Units of Custom MDGRAPE-3 CPU's (4,808 Total) slaved to 256 Quad-Core Intel Xeon CPUs, slaved to 74 MORE Xeon 3.2Ghz CPUs for a total of 40,314 Processor cores with 512 MiB of available memory.The MDGRAPE-3 is used for dynamic molecular motion simulations and MS expected to have no problems wowing the audience with FSX running on the new 40,314 Core computer at the official unveiling of FSX, with all sliders to the right. So, the team, put all sliders to the right, turned light bloom on, loaded the glider up at KSEA... BUT...from behind the curtain someone whispered: hey, psssst, FSX does not take advantage of multiple cores!!! QUICK TURN THE SLIDERS DOWN!!!!" OH NO! Too late! The audience gasped in horror when the curtain was raised to show FSX being displayed on the 100 foot wide panoramic screen at 1 FPS!!!Take heart, I heard that with the FSX patch it will support the IBM BlueGENE/L Hypercomputer because the 171,072 CPUs appears as a single gigantic inline-processor running at .5 Petaflops. Beta versions guarantee a smooooooth 10 FPS, over New York City, EVEN with light bloom on, however 3rd party addons may bring your framerate down. :-badteethDisclaimer: While the MDGRAPE & BlueGENE/L computers exist, the above mentioned scenario is fictitions. The names of some of the characters has been changed to protect the innocent. FSX is really not as bad as illustrated here, and would get AT LEAST 12 FPS on either supercomputer.

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So you must hate FSX. I guess the people at AVSIM will not call on you to do a review on anything FSX. After seeing some of your post Mike I'm not sure you could be objective about this Sim.Maybe you should just post your thought about the problems with this Sim. Its post like yours that I don't understand. How your system can besuch a dog in FSX, when my computer is below your specs yet runs FSX pretty well.

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Heh, I thought it was actually kind of funny, and I dont hate FSX at all. I rather like it and will enjoy messing with it in a year or so when it might run a bit better with some of the cooler stuff turned on. Give the guy some slack! Hornit

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(no name):What would be objective to you? Since my experience differs from yours I guess my point of view, even though negative, would be invalid? You don't understand the performance on my PC when your PC is below my specs? Well (no name):Do you understand how E=MC2 explains quantum singularity phenomena and why X-Rays are emmitted from particles crossing the event horizon prior to entering the quantum phenomena? You see, whether a situation meets your level of understanding or not, doesn't necessarily negate a situations potential to exist. Both scenarios above exist with or without your understanding. You may even choose to refute them, and it still wouldn't make them go away.Two things you should know about me...I always tell the truth (even when I lie), and I have a dry sense of humor. I can't BEGIN to tell you how enormously disappointed I am with FSX. All I can do is laugh and ATTEMPT to approach it with a sense of humor. I love this hobby and have more than 20 YEARS and tens of thousands of dollars invested in it. When you can say that, then you can come play in my sandbox. Read on:I've been around for EVERY release of MSFS and I know that every release is behind the hardware curve, no problem. But, when BRAND NEW computers are unable to run it at the level of the version before it, don't tell me to be happy and enjoy what I have because I have NO INTENTION of dropping another $4000 to build another rig in six months because FSX won't take advantage of ANY of today's technological advantages to the point that I have to dumb FSX down below FS9 levels to dance around and convince myself how much fun I am having. I don't think so.Now, if we were talking hyper realistic ATC, a new AI engine or some other 'must have' that would be worth dumbing down FSX to levels that existed in FS98 then I probably could be convinced. But trying to convince myself that FSX is marvelous so that I can enjoy head latency, and pretty water? Sorry, but maybe I am just old and crotchety, but I just don't have that type of imagination OR patience anymore. The emporer has no clothes, sorry.Avsim is not employing a bunch of 'yes men' that are here to blow sunshine up your butts. To me, FSX is like having a beautiful picture window overlooking a picturesque lake, with mountains and deer prancing on the horizon, unfortunately someone seemed to have built a brick wall in front of the window and the pretty view is now obscured. I don't hate the view, I hate the brick wall, you follow me? Ergo, I don't hate FSX, I only hate what I see on the screen when attempting to run FSX at a usable level.Finally, adults communicate by beginning that conversation with a firm handshake, looking each other in the eye, and referring to each other by name. I'm sure your parents did not name you FX53. If you are going to address me, at least give me the courtesy of returning the favor.The good news is that I'm running out of enormously witty things to say about FSX. :-)(editied for content)

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IMHO, I think that this time around (FSX) the processing speed may not be the bottle neck. I 've said this few times now. ACES does not want to make much comments on this but I bet you that FSX takes a lot more advantage of DX10 than they admit. Many of the technologies for DX10 fit FSX like a glove! In fact they wanted to use FSX to showcase vista and DX10. Read this section from Tom's hardware and then you may agree with me:"The strongest points of Direct X 10 are the promises of lower overhead per object and the new rendering component called the geometry shader."What does all of this mean to the layman? In short, the system will be able to render objects faster and more efficiently. This is a good thing, as games will be able to incorporate this feature to give you more frames per second. That is, until the game developers incorporate more objects into a scene, of course, as we have seen in previews of games such as the Age of Conan, where we will finally be able to cut the limbs of an opponent - like the black knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail."Either way, with more objects or faster frame rates in our current titles, we will all be able to get more from our hardware and DX10. Geometry shaders will also aid the rendering process, by allowing objects to be morphed and re-rendered as each frame progresses. Some objects can be born from a single vertex. In the geometry shader, the laws of physics need not apply, as data can be born from nothing and destroyed by the will of the shader program. This also should increase output of the rendering process. Processes that could take several full passes of the vertex and pixel shaders can now be accomplished by circumventing the vertex shader. The object can be recalled and altered in the geometry shader for the next frame."When I read that article, I take away from it that DX10 my indeed be the FSX savior.

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My name is Bruce, Mike."Avsim is not employing a bunch of 'yes men' that are here to blow sunshine up your butts. To me, FSX is like having a beautiful picture window overlooking a picturesque lake, with mountains and deer prancing on the horizon, unfortunately someone seemed to have built a brick wall in front of the window and the pretty view is now obscured."Sorry just seems like with post like this. I could not trust any review from you on FSX. No personal attack on you like you have launced on me its just with your posting you have lost objective reasoning when it comes to this Sim.

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So increased/finally realistic pitch stability/trim in the Baron and default planes(finally don't have to chase altitude like a yoyo or worse fly by autopilot to maintain altitude),much more realistic landing handling (both xwinds, and ground effect-what good does it do to fly a flight if the landing feels like something on rails and totally unrealistic-finally a good feeling of a xwind landing captured) ,smoother reacting gauges especially in the 3d cockpits -(and the 3d cockpits that don't look like Hasbro toys now with snap views and smooth gauges-how can one fly realistically without smooth gauges? -oh yeah-autopilot-no thanks), ability to have no blurries in the scenery, missions (can't wait till people start uploading real world scenerios with snowballing emergencies like real life), shared cockpits for live flight instruction (unbelievable), tower in multiplayer for live atc, much higher resolution mesh or accuracy to real world terrain, and near photo quality ground textures. Airports much more detailed and accurate-even my class D airport has my hangar depicted, and an alive world below with cars, boats on lakes-which will doubtless be expanded? New instrumentation like the g1000, and stec autopilot amoung many other improvements-snowy runways that actually you slip on and have trouble stopping-a round world (last I checked it has been round since 1492)-none of these make you "must have" list?They sure do mine...Seems like eye candy which was so much maligned as gamelike and not needed before this release is now the priority for many...I love eye candy too and it is there tenfold now with a steep penalty-but there are some very substantial changes in this sim-and serious changes. Yes the new autogen and new water effects are be nice-but there is a severe penalty for both right now.To ignore all the other new innovations for the glory of these two items-which probably most users don't have maxed out on fs9 still-is missing the boat imho.I'll be honest-my first reaction to this sim was much like yours. The difference was I had to beta test it for 3 months and couldn't just walk away-and if one can get past the initial reaction and start looking a little deeper one will find a plethora of changes-and great ones that show a new path of reality for now and the future.http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpg

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No amount of hardware improvement can compensate for bad programming. You can get the latest of bicycles but if you are a 200 pound sloth there will always be another cyclist who'll run better with the same cycle!The fact is FSX is like the proverbial blonde! Needs lot of resources and makes constant demand for upkeep, dumb yet good looking and heavy on the pocket yet very popular with men even though they have to make thousand an one compromise to keep her they still like the proverbial blonde! Afterall, is Madame Curie popular or marilyn Monroe?So, while uncle bill has given us the proverbial blonde poor x-plane folks they thought men will like madame curie!!

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Hello Bruce:Pleased to meet you.NO personal attack on you at all, so please don't take it that way. Just merely pointing out that if one respects posts from those having a grand time with FSX one should equally respect those who:1. Actually own FSX2. Attempted EVERY tweak available right now.3. Still not the least bit satisfied with the results4. Have the option to turn sliders even lower but chose not to5. Have among the fastest PC's available today6. Still not the least bit satisfied with the results7. See the potential 2 - 4 years down the road8. Wish to utilize the majority of that potential now9. Still not the least bit satisfied with the results Assuming that the above it true, why would I not be objective? The whole purpose of objectivity is not only to see one's point of view but also to see the opposing point of view otherwise one is not objective, rather subjective.How about if we just agree to disagree?

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>Avsim is not employing a bunch of 'yes men' that are here to>blow sunshine up your butts. To me, FSX is like having a>beautiful picture window overlooking a picturesque lake, with>mountains and deer prancing on the horizon, unfortunately>someone seemed to have built a brick wall in front of the>window and the pretty view is now obscured. I don't hate the>view, I hate the brick wall, you follow me? Ergo, I don't hate>FSX, I only hate what I see on the screen when attempting to>run FSX at a usable level.>Strange, but I'm missing the brick wall. Should I feel the need to have an extensivly modeled airport complete with lot's of AI traffic, then I'll always have the option to return to FS9. For the shear enjoyment of replicating the type of GA flight that I prefer; FSX is indeed that beautiful picture window that you've described, sans the brick wall. My thoughts on FSX are a 180 course reversal from your's, and will most likely remain so. L.Adamson

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Geoff:Good evening sir....I was expecting ya. :-)1) High fidelity FDE's already existed prior to FSX2) Smooth gauges already existed for the VC (for more than a year!)3) I don't have blurries in my scenery now with FS9 (I do with FSX!)4) Missions. You mean Adventures? Need I say more???5) Hi-res terrain. You mean like FSGENESIS, already existed?6) Photo real ground textures. You mean like GEPRO? 7) Detailed Airports? You mean like the hundreds we already have?8) New Instrumentation? They appear with each new addon aircraft - 9) Dual cockpit...This is good.10) Moving car's n boats are nice too...but a must have? Nope.11) A round world...and this dramatically changed the sim how? - if they didn't tell you, would you really know? (yes I know you can zoooom into outer space now). They don't make my 'must have' list because I 'must already have' most of them! I still don't see the "plethora of changes" of which you speak.Look, maybe I AM being too negative, and you can teach this old dog new tricks. SO...Fill the rest in for me: I only fly heavies in FS9. I have found that in FSX my experience right now is better that FS9 because: _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.BTW, I live between Frankfort Airport (now private) and New Lenox Airport. I fly outta both, if you ever point your airplane west, let me know. The beers are on me.

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Yes L.That's because you fly in the bush and I fly heavies. My flight take me from major city to major city. I never see the nuance of a mountainside because I am 35,000 feet above it and you don't have to contend with the 8fps trying to land at KLGA.Even you agree that you go back to FS9 for your heavy airport fix. So then FSX is relegated to GA duty and FS9 is relegated to Heavy duty (no pun intended). I don't think that was the intent. FSX then becomes a GA add-on that takes up 8GB of HD real estate.What happens when PMDG, LDS, CaptainSim, et al try to port their aircraft to FSX? Will I be relegated to flying to areas where my performance allows? If so, who would accept such a restriction?Don't get me wrong, the frustration also stems from the fact that I DO see whow beautiful FSX can be. But from my point of view, its like winning the lottery and losing your ticket on the way to the office to pick up your winnings! (I know, not another analogy!!!)

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sheeesh. Its not bad programming. It runs poorly because of all the shader modeling used with DX10 in mind!

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What shader modeling with DX10 in mind? DX10 uses Shader 4.0, FSX does not use Shader 4.0! FSX uses DX9 shaders made for DX9. DX10 has nothing to dow with FSX right now. It's been repeated ad nauseum by the Aces team, which is WHY they have to rewrite the code for DX10 in the future 'patch'.

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It is abysmal coding when developers "discover" thread priority settings a week before launch!! The rest I need not say.

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Man you guys are so stupid do you think m$ is really sitting there writing a bunch of jibberish code called FSX that wont use advantage of future hardware? Look at yourslef in the mirror and say to yourself this "I am an idiot"Now please go flame some other game that your computer cant handle, like solitaire

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Nobody is stoping you from going on and on. Your just to blind to see others have found way's to enjoy the Sim. If you don't want the Sim take it back.Don't get all I'm trying to stop your free speech rights. You have the right to say anything the Mods here will allow you to say.

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Gotta agree with Mike....Shader 4 is not an option...We are running Shader 2...why they didn't go to 3 is beyond me :( Not hard to do LOL..It will take an extensive rewrite of the code to use Shader 4 and me thinks it will be a band aid at best...But ask yourself this...Am I going to spend $4000 to get this freakin game to run? Or will I go fly FS9 or Xplane...Sorry but this is a joke...I'm in the same boat as a lot of people...I cannot fly into an airport at 8 fps...Any add on worth it's salt is going to cripple this sim.... MS should have realised this during beta...I can imagine there were many complaints about it..So for at least a year FSX will be relegated to GA and bush flying..not a bad thing as I do both..but it is still a let down for ALOT of people. To deny it or bash people because of their grievances is dead wrong...without these people nothing would get fixed...Larry

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> Give the guy some slack!You know there are lots of zealots on here?----------------------------------------I'm not a beta tester, and I certainly don't wish to pay for the 'privilege'. Software should run smoothly on release ;)

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