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PhilTaylor

Hyper-threading and Affinity Mask

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I have a Pentium 4 processor @ 3.6GHz and fly almost exclusively in the U.K. with Horizon Generation X photo-scenery.In common with many others, I suffer from the scenery failing to render clearly - the area around the aircraft is often worse than surrounding areas.I have tried many different settings to try to improve this, with varying amounts of success. I am, however, confused by the results of the AffinityMask settings.If I set AffinityMask=1, the load time for a flight is around 2.5 minutes, but I have to run FSX in Full-Screen mode - Windowed mode is totally unflyable (huge drop in frame rates and massive shuddering).If I change the setting to AffinityMask=3 then the time to load a flight increases to around 8 minutes, but I am able to switch between Full-Screen and Windowed Modes without problems.Has anyone else found this to be true, and if so what is the reasoning behind it? Ideally I would like to be able to fly in both modes, but with lower loading times.Dave.

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Hi Dave,"If I set AffinityMask=1, the load time for a flight is around 2.5 minutes, but I have to run FSX in Full-Screen mode - Windowed mode is totally unflyable (huge drop in frame rates and massive shuddering)."Have you perhaps another program running alongside FSX?I don't use the AffinityMask tweak but I've seen this behaviour as well and it started after installing ASX. The solution was quite simple: I sent ASX to the system tray or minimized the ASX window.Mike

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Hi,Just some suggestions...- Try the latest video driver for your board.. if already on latest, try a previous version.. some recent ones have issues.- Turn sliders down to the left and try to eliminate the problem.. then slowly turn them up until you can identify what's causing this for you.. then you can fine tune from there for your best balance.Hope that helps,

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Damian,I did try the latest ATI Catalyst drivers (7.4), but had problems with them .... particularly flight loading times, which increased by about 5 minutes.I have now reverted to version 7.3Dave.

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Unless we mis-detected your system we should not be running threads on anything but core0.You can verify this, and whether the tweak does anything, by watching the performance tab in Task Manager.What is your frame rate limit set to, and what are your other settings?

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Phil,My current settings are as follows:In fsx.cfg I have removed all of the tweaks that I experimented with except AffinityMask=1. ProcSpeed shows 3495 and PerfBucket 5.I use FSAutostart to close as many programs and services as I am comfortable with. I am using TrackIR 4.In FSX, the settings are :Frame Rate locked at 30Filtering AnisotropicA.A. TickedGlobal Texture Resolution Very HighLOD Radius LargeMesh Complexity 100Mesh Resolution 5mTexture Resolution 7cm Water High 2xLand Detail Texture tickedScenery Complexity Very DenseAutogen NoneSpecial Effects Detail HighAircraft Traffic NoneRoad Traffic 28%Ships 18%Leisure Craft 18%On the graphic card (ATI Radeon X1950Pro) :A.A. Use applicationAnisotropic 16x and High Quality AFMipmap detail High QualityWait for Vertical Refresh Always OnAdaptive AA QualityTriple Buffering OnMonitor is a Dell 24" Widescreen displaying at 1920x1200x32 and I have 2Gb DDR2 PC2-4100.When run with these settings load time for a flight is under 3 minutes. Frame rate is usually in the 20's and I get very few if any stutters, but scenery does not snap into place - if I switch to Windowed mode frames drop to single-figures accompanied by heavy shuddering. It remains this way unless I revert to Full Screen mode.Also, when switching from outside view the cockpit can stay grey for several seconds before displaying. Occasionally the sound also takes time to return after switching views.I realise that many of my settings are high, but all I am trying to achieve is the best possible display of the high resolution scenery and mesh.In essence, prior to SP1 the scenery looked fantastic with NO stutters and NO blurries and ran at over 20 FPS most of the time - I would like to get that back please.Dave.

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UPDATE ....Settings as above except:Wait for Vertical Refresh OFFTriple Buffering OFFTrack IR OFFJust had a flight where photo-scenery was MUCH improved and frame rates averaged 29 (locked at 30).Dare I turn TrackIR back on again ?Dave.

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Phil,Any further thoughts ?I notice that you asked in another thread if other photo-scenery exhibited the same symptoms (failure of scenery to display correctly close to the aircraft). The answer is yes, as in this thread ....along with many others this is exactly what I experience using Horizon Generation X scenery for England and Wales.I believe that Horizon have also taken this up directly with yourselves ?Dave.

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If you remove Horizon, does the problem persist or go away?There is an investigation wrt some issues with 3rd party photo-scenery, yes. That doesnt mean anything, yet.

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Phil,If you remove Horizon, does the problem persist or go away:More than that .... if I just disable some of the Generation X scenery, the remainder works almost as well as it did pre-SP1.At the moment, I am using the equivalent of 1/3 of the scenery and it performs very well most of the time. Presumably the size/number of files being accessed is hitting a bottleneck in my (and others) system ?I hope this will help you to find a solution - disabling chunks of the scenery and knowing where you intend to fly is far from ideal.Dave.

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This is really easy to do. If have not done please rename your default.xml file and give it a shot and report back what you see. Some do not want to do this because of the obvious, but for me it stopped the blurries and I am satisfied with the autogen.Just do it!RegardsBob

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So that helps to confirm the issue is localized to 3rd party scenery authored with lots of little files. We are still investigating, so thats not the final word, just what we know now.

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Actually Phil, I think you'll find that Horizon Generation X is not very many, but large files.Dave.

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Phil,A further update ....... and some improvement. Having seen mention of cache size, I decided to experiment a little with the page file set on my system.Until now I have been using 2Gb on c: drive and 2Gb on f: drive.I have now increased this to:2Gb on c: (Windows and FSX on this drive)4Gb on f: (Scenery files including Generation X)4Gb on g: (Music and video files)I have set all of these with the same values for minimum and maximum size.I have also changed Memory Usage in XP to best performance of System Cache rather than Programs.The result ? Nearly all the photoscenery is very sharp and draws ahead of the aircraft.I don't suppose for one moment that the settings I am now using are the optimum, but the improvement is extremely promising - I can only achieve this if I still disable 2 of the 3 Volumes of Gen X, but it is a start.Does any of this make any sense ? Does it help at all ?Dave.

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Its almost always preferable to let the system manage the page file. If it is hardcoded to a limit, this can force extra paging.I dont even know what spanning the page file across volumes would do, but its not likely good as that means an extra lookup for each fetch from page file, eg what volume, then what page in that volumes page file.So increasing the size of the page file likely reduced the pages you are throwing out, which reduced the load the OS had to carry, which reduced the blurries.What if you defragged and placed the entire page file on 1 volume, and let the OS handle the size?

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