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FSX - A Flawed Gem?

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I've read a lot of the AVSIM forum threads on FSX, including Phil Taylor's excellent thread, which contains a great deal of interesting thoughts and insights, as well as threads from a seemingly large number of dissatisfied and very vocal FSX users.. I actually agree with most of the observations that have been made about FSX, good and bad! (although I've tried to ignore all the "flamers"). Having tweaked and used FSX for the past fortnight and compared with FS9, I've got the following thoughts.... My background (for what its worth) is: Qualified FAA Aircraft Dispatcher, and practising Systems Engineer in Aviation Software Systems.FSX the good -Improved textures - (Stunning "eye candy" at times)Improved weatherAircraft - The Beaver and the Grumman Amphibian are greatImproved ATC ( not as improved as I'd like but it's definitely a little better than FS9)FSX - the not so goodLoading timesFrame rates - Autogen and AI are main culprits, but this sim just doesn't work out of the box without tweaks unless you have an amazingly high end systemSlow user interface - apply a tweak, and then wait an uncomfortably long time to see if it workedStutters!Aircraft - missed opportunity here, the CRJ is basic and seems unfinished, the 737-800 could have been more refined, though it is better than the 737 in FS9, and the A321 is promising, but doesn't really deliver. There is no commercial twin prop. Yeah, we all use add-ons, but MS could have done much much better here with defaults.Land Classes - some obvious errors which should have been spotted and corrected before release.To my eyes, FSX has a lot of potential, but I'm just not sure that it cuts it - the law of third party add-ons means that frame rates will reduce, not increase, for the add-ons that we all love... Furthermore, I'm not really sure what I'd do to improve the frame-rates I'm currently getting with FSX in terms of a hardware upgrade (if I could afford it) - it was obvious for FS9, but FSX seems to have been designed for an improvement in systems which was not predicated around the evolution of multi-core technology.FSX infuriates me, actually - it's so close to being brilliant, but once I've let my eyes feast on the visuals for a few minutes, I invariably go back to FS9 to fly my SAAB in IMC, and I'm struck by how good FS9 is in terms of simulating real flight - with all my add-ons in action, FS9 comes out ahead of FSX for me, by a whisker. And somehow, I don't think that ought to be the case....My fave add-ons in FS9 GE Pro - superb ground texturesFS Force - Dirk Russel's excellent force feedback softwareHS 748 - Rick Piper's freeware HS748 which puts many commercial add-ons to shameFFS SF340 - Brilliant commercial add-onAS 6.5 - brilliant weather add-on

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HelloI dont have FSX as i am very happy with my FS9 setup and my favorite addons havent been ported over yet.I also use FSforce when flying aircraft that use a stick, it is one of the best addons that i have bought, Have you got it to work in FSX yet?I agree with your list of favorite addons but would add Radar contact 4.2 and TrackIr to the list, cant fly without them now.

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>I've read a lot of the AVSIM forum threads on FSX, including>Phil Taylor's excellent thread, which contains a great deal of>interesting thoughts and insights, as well as threads from a>seemingly large number of dissatisfied and very vocal FSX>users.. I actually agree with most of the observations that>have been made about FSX, good and bad! (although I've tried>to ignore all the "flamers"). Having tweaked and used FSX for>the past fortnight and compared with FS9, I've got the>following thoughts.... My background (for what its worth) is: >Qualified FAA Aircraft Dispatcher, and practising Systems>Engineer in Aviation Software Systems.>>FSX the good ->Improved textures - (Stunning "eye candy" at times)>Improved weather>Aircraft - The Beaver and the Grumman Amphibian are great>Improved ATC ( not as improved as I'd like but it's definitely>a little better than FS9)>Well I pretty much agree with you on a most of your counts for good and not-so-good. There are of course a lot more improvements than you have listed, it would be quite a laundry list actually.I would like to say something about ATC, and I don't know if anyone's noticed or not or if it's just me, but it does have one improvement(if i'm not mistaken) that I REALLY like. I have MyTraffic X installed and it installed a number of AF2_****.bgl's apparently made just for FSX. I have pretty much just been flying out of my hometown airport, as I always do for a while to check out a new version of the sim, and MyTraffic did not install an AF2 file for it. But wow! The traffic is using all the runways it seems, very cool! I think a few other notable improvements are, Car and Boat traffic, SDK included with the release, moving Airport Jetways and Vehicles, and Missions.>FSX - the not so good>Loading times>Frame rates - Autogen and AI are main culprits, but this sim>just doesn't work out of the box without tweaks unless you>have an amazingly high end system>Slow user interface - apply a tweak, and then wait an>uncomfortably long time to see if it worked>Stutters!>Aircraft - missed opportunity here, the CRJ is basic and seems>unfinished, the 737-800 could have been more refined, though>it is better than the 737 in FS9, and the A321 is promising,>but doesn't really deliver. There is no commercial twin prop.>Yeah, we all use add-ons, but MS could have done much much>better here with defaults.>Land Classes - some obvious errors which should have been>spotted and corrected before release.>For what it's worth, I'll give you my opinion on your not-so-good list one item at a time.I want to let you know I have no problem with load times. Well, the original loading of the sim seems to take a bit longer than I thought it would, but once that's loaded it takes a little under a minute for me to load up a flight scenario. Not really much longer for me than FS9 really. How much RAM do you have. See my system specs at the end.Yeah, Autogen seems to a put a big hit on system resources. If disabled, I get good frame rates pretty much anywhere I go. I realize you don't get something for nothing and having a lot of autogen should take a pretty strong system, but I'm already doing without several features enabled and I sitll can't use much Autogen at all, which seems kind of ridiculous. It's an area that I, and I think many others, were hoping that they would finally get a handle on as a performance issue. But nope, you have to have a top end system if you want to use Autogen, even if you have numerous other features disabled. AI does take some CPU cycles, as expected. MyTraffic X caused my FPS to fluctuate much more than actually drop down. If they could just have Autogen processing seamlessly on another core then I don't think there'd be any issue with AI performance.Yep, tweaking takes some time, no doubt about it. But I'm not sure that shouldn't be expected. If you just use the sliders and nothing else then it doesn't seem to take to long to me, as those changes can be done on the 'fly'. ;) But if your going to tinker, then you need to spend the time to get it done and all chacked out. That's expected and I do not think it should be considered a downside. The game has a fairly open type of architecture allowing it to be altered and improved by outsiders, which is.. a good thing! Doing so is not a requirement. If you don't want to do anything except move sliders you don't have to.Stutters? I'm not getting any excecpt on rare occasions. Compared to FS9 I get a lot less! WAY LESS. Again, it would have been nice if you had listed your system specs. Of course, it also depends on what ALL your settings are at as well. As mentioned before, I agree with you on most counts, including that the sim has high system requirements, but, that also depends on your requirements. Want a lot of features enabled without a low fps slideshow? Better have a 'system of the future'! I noticed you like the new hi-res textures. You know what? They take a lot of RAM! You don't have to have an incedible CPU for them, but you'd better have the RAM. I willing to bet you do not have 2 GB's of RAM.When it comes to the amount of aircraft, and work done, I think MS did the most with default aircrafts for FS2004: A Centtury of Flight. I wouldn't have minded seeing one or two more 'totally new' aircrafts done up for FSX. Anyway, the VC's are nice looking for FSX, but the 747 and 737 don't even have a working Yaw Damper switch! In neither the VC or the 2D panels! They are Yaw Damper equipped aircraft, you can see from the spot view if you use the CTRL-D keyboard command or looking in the aircraft.cfg file. I think the King Air 350 might be the only one with a working switch. #####? Something as simple as a working Yaw Damper switch can have a tendancy to put me off. Splitting hairs? Maybe. But it's something so simple( i would think) that I just don't understand the omission. Lastly, with FSX, 2D Panel developers can no longer give us 2D Photoreal side views for an enhanced sense of immersion. The good news is that, if i'm not mistaken, VC's can now be 'borrowed' from other aircraft that are developed for FSX and have them(a VC that is). But I don't think that 2D Panel makers are going to fall in love with FSX. The Landclass and/ot Texture problem is an item that is very glaring from get-go (sand dune mountains anyone?) that it really gives the sim a feeling of, "it's not finished but too bad, shove it out the door". >To my eyes, FSX has a lot of potential, but I'm just not sure>that it cuts it - the law of third party add-ons means that>frame rates will reduce, not increase, for the add-ons that we>all love... Furthermore, I'm not really sure what I'd do to>improve the frame-rates I'm currently getting with FSX in>terms of a hardware upgrade (if I could afford it) - it was>obvious for FS9, but FSX seems to have been designed for an>improvement in systems which was not predicated around the>evolution of multi-core technology.>>FSX infuriates me, actually - it's so close to being>brilliant, but once I've let my eyes feast on the visuals for>a few minutes, I invariably go back to FS9 to fly my SAAB in>IMC, and I'm struck by how good FS9 is in terms of simulating>real flight - with all my add-ons in action, FS9 comes out>ahead of FSX for me, by a whisker. And somehow, I don't think>that ought to be the case....>>>My fave add-ons in FS9 >GE Pro - superb ground textures>FS Force - Dirk Russel's excellent force feedback software>HS 748 - Rick Piper's freeware HS748 which puts many>commercial add-ons to shame>FFS SF340 - Brilliant commercial add-on>AS 6.5 - brilliant weather add-on>Yeah, FS9 is worth keeping around for quite a while yet I think. When I got FS9 I uninstalled FS8 almost right away. That's not happening this time around. You put it pretty well, FSX is brilliant or almost brilliant in many ways! But then you realize that to experience a good portion of it(at least the eye-candy portion), you'd better have a system that is either, top-of-the-line right here and now, or, a system that hasn't even been invented yet, depending on how you look at it. Many folks say this has always been the case with MSFS. Perhaps, but I feel that they may have widened the 'future hardware' gap somewhat more than usual this time around. And with no multi-core support, I think the real question 'at this time' is, will we even have hardware(cpu's) in the future that can make FSX scale as well on newer hardware as past versions have? My two cents worth, and then some.Cheers,JimEDIT - Doh! I forgot to put my system specs.System Specs:Intel P4 3.4C(C = Northwood Core with Hyperthreading) on Asus P4C800-E Deluxe(Intel 875P + ICH5R Chipset), Zalman 7000a-Cu HS/Fan, Enermax EG651P-VE 550W PSU, 2 GB Mushkin eXtreme Performance(2-2-2) Dual Channel PC3200 RAM, Samsung 214T MultiSync 21" Digital LCD Monitor, Sapphire Radeon X800XT PE AGP Videocard with Catalyst v6.9 Driver, DirectX 9.0c, Creative Audigy2 Platinum Soundcard with Driver version 02.09.0016, Logitech Z-5500 5.1 Speakers, Western Digital 250 GB w/8 MB Cache 7200 RPM Parallel ATA HDD, WinXP Pro SP2, Norton SystemWorks and Personal Firewall 2006, Comcast Cable Internet Connection

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Honestly I'm not using any tweaks with FSX, and I'm loving it. However, I am not using any autogen.At first I thought of it as a loss, but once you get used to flying around in FSX without autogen you realise how amazing the sim really is. It still looks incredible, especially the sky, clouds, water and ground, and runs fluidly on my system (average 30-40 fps).My suggestion would be to try it without autogen for a while, I think you'll find it actually leaps ahead of FS9, especially the ehnanced "feel" of flight you get from the sim.James

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No argument here either.I was dissapointed at first myself, and had originally applied many of the tweaks to get things running initially, but since upgrading to 2GB RAM have virtually removed them all (in particular texture downgrades). Mine is just a few minor CFG tweaks now and I get between 10 and 35FPS, with close to max scenery density and weather effects, cars on the roads, lots of AI planes, and even the cars on the roads, great water effects, complete with cruise ships and stuff - it's looking great now. Sure, it's not FS9 frame rates, but it is smooth enough I don't even notice, and try to avoid even looking at FPS now. Like many say, FSX is FAR more smooth and responsive at low FPS than FS9 was.The improved feeling of flight: I heartily agree, the weather and turbulance effects, the flight model upgrades and the improved VC's and views really make it for me. For me, no-matter how fancy it looks, it's the 'feel' that is important for me.Is it perfect? No - I still have a whole lot of things I really wanted to see in this latest version, but it's a good step forward, and I know all the third-party developers will fix many of my other whim's as time goes on I'm sure, just like they did in FS9!

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>Honestly I'm not using any tweaks with FSX, and I'm loving>it. However, I am not using any autogen.>>At first I thought of it as a loss, but once you get used to>flying around in FSX without autogen you realise how amazing>the sim really is. It still looks incredible, especially the>sky, clouds, water and ground, and runs fluidly on my system>(average 30-40 fps).>>My suggestion would be to try it without autogen for a while,>I think you'll find it actually leaps ahead of FS9, especially>the ehnanced "feel" of flight you get from the sim.>>JamesI agree strongly here - FSX textures are so crisp I think autogen detracts from the eye candy. I get amazingly smooth performance and the sense of flight is far better.Ray Keattch.

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Yes I agree but I would call it fool's gold rather than a flawed gem.

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I also agree, the new FSX textures are very realistic, and its like flying over photoscenery in many places. I keep autogen off now.It is important to have the terrain texture set to 1m to give a much crisper view of the scenery below.

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Hahaha, Ismet you should see the desert scenery surround Exeter Airport..............Global warming at its extreme!!

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