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Defrag recommendation from another simmer!

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Let me offer my sincere "thank you" to another simmer who responded to another thread on this forum concerning DEFRAGMENTATION.Forum name was "haldir" and signed "Mike". He recommended defragging using O&O defragmenter and suggested downloading the trial software and then suggested using the "Complete/NAME" method. Well, I tried it yesterday, and it certainly took quite a few hours to complete. But when I fired up FSX (I'm using Vista), I immediately noticed about a 20% increase in frame rates. Where I was normally about 19-22 fps, I was now at 24-28 fps. I've tried it in several of my favorite airports, and it checked out quite consistently. I'm certainly hoping it continues, but I can honestly say that this method of defragging seemed to make a difference for me. O&O says that this method will really affect performance in the positive direction, and I found it to be true.I did use the "Stealth" method with O&O previously, but it did not have this same effect.Thanks, Mike, for the good advice.

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I also use O O defrag, but found the access option gave the best results for FSX.

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Glad it helped mate. :) Actually the complete/access method is ok if you have a drive dedicated solely to FSX and tend to fly in the same area over and over again. It arranges files based on last/frequent access. However complete/name forces all of your files to be alphabetized and laid out contiguously which is how any file search algorithm prefers them to be. If you fly all over the world in FSX, that's the best route to go.In my case I have FSX on a drive separate from my OS, but I do have other games on that same drive. I have my FSX folder in the root of that drive, and have it named "00FSX". This forces O&O to put all of FSX on the very outer portion of the drive (the fastest spinning) when I use the complete/name method and reduces file access times even further.Cheers.Mike

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Complete/Name is the way to go for sure.In fact, I think scenery solutions (UT developer) actually conducted a test that showed this method to be best for FS applications.Glenn

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Not sure I understand how this improves frame rates. Access times from the HD certainly, but once the local data has been loaded into memory the HD ceases to be the major bottleneck. If you are tootling along low and slow, texture loading/updating isn't really a huge issue providing you have a reasonably slick system with a drive to match which is maintained in a defragmented state.I use Raxco's PerfectDisk and find it's 'Smartplacement' option to be pretty efficient and that's on a system used for everything (not just FS9 or FSX) including the kitchen sink.To my mind, a well defragmented HD improves performance by reducing or even eliminating the tendency of the sim to hesitate or stutter. It also reduces significantly the wear and tear to the drive. I get great performance from FS9 and FSX (away from large cities and airports) is not too bad either. Hopefully the upcoming SP1 will improve things further.Mike

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You'd be right on the money if FSX's file system was perfectly optimized. ;) As it stands it's constantly doing file reads during flight, much of the time looking in the wrong places for things and in many cases searching for files which do not exist. There are a few very detailed filemon analysis threads going on about that currently. Anyway a good defrag definitely lessens the hit there, and I'd suspect that's something they've probably addressed in the coming patch.And who says we all tootle around low and slow? :) In my case it's usually low and moderately supersonic and data over the horizon is but minutes away from being under my wing. Proper defragging certainly helps a ton in that particular flight regime hehe. Granted there isn't a direct correlation between defragging and instantaneous framerate, but there certainly is with average framerate. If you're stuttering a lot you end up needing to use a lower frame lock to keep things smooth. Make data access faster and you can bump it up a bit.

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Ditto to this... I've never heard of defragging resulting in a pure FPS boost. What it does is speed up load times and it can eliminate chop and disk thrashing that can result from the disk being really fragmented. Today's hard disks are so fast though that even moderately heavy fragmentation shouldn't cause that unless it's really extreme. I don't see any way you'd be getting a drastic FPS boost from defragging.What was the percentage of fragmented files on the system before you did it?>Not sure I understand how this improves frame rates. Access>times from the HD certainly, but once the local data has been>loaded into memory the HD ceases to be the major bottleneck.>If you are tootling along low and slow, texture>loading/updating isn't really a huge issue providing you have>a reasonably slick system with a drive to match which is>maintained in a defragmented state.>>I use Raxco's PerfectDisk and find it's 'Smartplacement'>option to be pretty efficient and that's on a system used for>everything (not just FS9 or FSX) including the kitchen sink.>>To my mind, a well defragmented HD improves performance by>reducing or even eliminating the tendency of the sim to>hesitate or stutter. It also reduces significantly the wear>and tear to the drive. I get great performance from FS9 and>FSX (away from large cities and airports) is not too bad>either. Hopefully the upcoming SP1 will improve things>further.>>Mike

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Hi Haldir,"Dual Core Brain w/ corpus callosum express bus"I guess that beats my monosynaptic build :( ...LOL!....in which case my performance will certainly be directly proportional to the degree of defragmentation of my FS drive.I hear what you are saying and I am familiar with the strange behaviour described in those threads. I can agree that the maintenance of performance AND framerate while rocketing over the landscape at low levels will certainly hinge on a well defragmented drive being one factor in the equation. However, I still feel less certain that alphatetisizing the placement of files on most modern drives will lead to significant frame rate gains, if at all. With the way things are at present re. the sim's current predilection for looking at and/or loading files which are totally irrelevant, won't the volume of relevant file activity remain the same whether files are organized in this way or not? I know you are suggesting that the speed of displaying data will be directly proprtional to the speed of access and therefore loading of such data. Maybe you're right. I just don't feel that it would be noticed unless your drive was so badly fragmented as to hurt performance and cause noticeable slowdowns during general use of the operating system.Mike

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> What was the percentage of fragmented files on the system before you did it?I can say this - I just did a fresh FSX re-install to my drive, and had 7500-8500 fragmented files amounting to 20% or so. That's off a completely fresh install, with NOTHING else on the drive - it was empty when I started.That being said, ANY sort of defragmentation of your FSX installation is practically a requirement after initial installation. Most users report a similar experience to mine, whereas the FSX installation for some reason really frags things up. Given that FSX has a TON of small texture and BGL files, I'd wager that the vast majority of the fragmented files are those scenery oriented pieces, and that will certainly slow load times and in-flight file access.Taking it one step further, I personally use UltimateDefrag as my tool-of-choice, and once I get all my FSGenesis mesh back in place for FSX, I'll be performing their version of the file/folder optimization with a catch - UltimateDefrag allows you to specify "high-performance" preferred files and folders. I will be specifying my "Scenery", "Texture", and "Addon Scenery" folders as high performance, which will FORCE the defragger to put the files in those folders at the very edge of the hard drive, in alphabetical order. The remainder of the files and folders will be placed after that, also in alpha order. This method has worked very well for me, keeping the scenery load times minimal and lessening any in-game impact a texture load may have.Bare minimim: Use the Windows defragger to clean your FSX install! Recommeded: Use a 3rd party tool to sort and optimize your file structures. Back to the day job,-Greg

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All good points.I use UltimateDefrag, and I think any of the top line 3rd-party defraggers have similar options to locate files on the outside and organize them however the user desires.A solid 3rd-party defragger should probably be in every hard core FS-user's toolbag of FS stuff.I don't know if Vista has a better defragger built into it. Anyone know?RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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Hey guys, you may want to check out Mike McCarthy's pretty exhaustive article on defragging as it pertains to FSX. The article requires some time to wade through, but the point is well taken. In his opinion outer rim hard drive placement of fsx and name sort is the way to go.I'll let him explain why. :)http://www.flightsim.com/cgi/kds?$=main/op-ed/ed394.htmand a small supplemental article with more info on MFT lookup etc.http://www.flightsim.com/cgi/kds?$=main/op-ed/ed395.htmCheers.

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>I don't think the built in Vista defragger is any better.>>I am using Ulimate Defrag-however am a little frustrated with>the product. I bought it in Janaury, but get no emails with>links for the updates. I have written 3 emails and have gotten>no reply.>I'd be more frustrated if it didn't work as advertized, but it does.One thing I personally almost never do, is subscribe to any "e-mail notification". I have enough trouble keeping track of stuff I WANT to read or need to read, much less the notification that UltimateDefrag version 1.1.02312321 service pack q is now ready. :) It does mean I am usually late adopting a new version of something, if I even know about it all. But then, being a late adopter has its benefits...RhettAMD 3700+ (@2310 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 2.5-3-3-8 (1T), WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian case

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