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Fry777

How pertinent is designing FS11 for hardware avail in the next 3 years?

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I think that the whole idea of a new version of FS being built for future hardware is essentially broken.For one, release cycles for MSFS are every 2-3 years. If the sim was being released every 6 years, then I'd understand having a lot of headroom. It's a bit silly to release a sim and then have hardware fully "catch up" a year or so (if then) before the next release. It makes absolutely no sense to me, and I can't think of any other games/sims I've played which follow this paradigm.Which raises the issue ... should MS "dumb down" the graphics in order to achieve this? Do we artificially just make everyone happy by allowing the sim to run with all of the sliders to the right? No, but I think MS should define features and set optimization goals by a current benchmark, not one a year or two following release.Personally, I'm still waiting for hardware to catch up with FSX. It's a bit depressing, because by the time I upgrade my system, I am sure they will be announcing FS11. My hope is that they really take advantage of computing power (GPU's, multiple CPU's) to deliver awesome graphics and immersion, and that they do it in a way that can be enjoyed fully and immediately without jumping into a time machine.

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I'd vote for designing for hardware that will be current at release. It's getting hard to even judge what the future hardware is gonna be - Phil's said for example that they assumed at the start of FSX development that future CPUs would go for faster clock speeds, but we now know it instead went for multicore with clock speeds staying relatively constant now.I'd love to buy an FS version that I could run at 60FPS on a current top of the line system right out of the box that day. That's what you get with most new games if you have a good current machine.

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FS11 wont be out for 2 years.Hopefully ACES are designing FS11 on the premise that multi core (ie quad core) and DX10 will be entry level by time FS11 is released. I think they should completely drop single core and DX9 support for FS11 because I believe that will just cripple the design of FS11.IMHO FSX should mark the end of the single core/dx9 era.

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Okay, after reading the first four posts on this subject, I have just two things to say. First, you are all 100% correct. Second, I would like to get these thoughts drilled into the minds of the ACES team. Performance goals based upon CURRENT hardware results in immediate satisfaction, happy simmers, less complaining etc... Good subject Jean Luc. I hope this is received and taken seriously by the ACES team.Curt

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great comment Ryan,it is great to see a developer support an idea that I also believe in. I commented on such in the 'list' thread at the top of this forum and was immediately hammered.the bottom line is this, the flight sim 'system' that I want to run will be FSX and multiple high end addons with frame rates at or above 35... period. The software is available now (good) and the hardware will be available in about 2-3 years (OK). So in three years I will have that 'system'As for now though, I will in the next few months purchase a complete new system to run FS9 (with addons) to acheive frame rates at or above 35... so personally I am right on schedule.

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Jim please take some time and re-read this entire post , thank youI personally think that the whole "build for the future" idea is wrongACES team should nail the required specs to run the simulator with full detail , no speculation about itACES should say "Ok the target machine for running FS11 is this (5000$) PC, AS WE HAVE ALREADY TESTED , if you get this kind of PC you should be able to run FS11 at full detail 60fps"ACES does need to build the software that can run at full speed by the time it hits the store because us , the users, will need a headroom for using Addons, I think no one in this world is running FS2004 without a single addon

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I'm with you, Ryan.I had a new E6600, 8800 GTX and 2GB RAM system in June. This ran FSX much better than my previous system, but still no where near maxed out.I am, of course, talking post SP1 here.FS9 is a totally different experience for me. With all the add-ons I've purchased through its life, UT, GE pro 2, AS6, FE. Not to mention your fabulous 737's and 747's.... LevelD and so forth.For once I can fly into EGLL with everything maxed and still FPS in the mid 20's + from the VC of the PMDG 747.This is a perfect example of FS being totally out of sync with hardware at time of release. Three years on, FS9 is a joy with this hardware and is still my dominant platform, in fact it feels like a new sim.FSX is a good sim, just frustratingly a head of current hardware, unless big compromises are made. In three years however, I think I will just be discovering what it can offer with my 5 or 6 gig CPU, whilst in the shops, there's FS11 ready to under perform on the same hardware.That's all from meStu.

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Hey Jean Luc-nice to see you here!I can see both sides. What if fs was designed for what is here-and next year there is a major breakthru in technology and computers are suddenly running twice as fast? The chicken or egg argument maybe? :-) Wait for hardware to catch up or wait for software to catch up.I guess in my case I'd rather risk the hardware catching up-as it seems to change faster than the software does.I agree-I still can't run fs9 with all sliders to the right, and I can't run fsx either that way on my 4 year old machine. But by careful selection of the sliders, I am actually getting better performance/looks on my machine with fsx than I did on fs9. When I finally upgrade my computer (looking for future hardware that will knock my socks off)-then I'll start sliding further to the right-and be even happier.If we had software that was designed to only run 60fps on present machines-I think we get what we have now-with the sliders permanently affixed turning off some features simmers consider important and others do not-let alone all the future requests on the list above. That is the way sims used to be before fUIII added sliders-and I have to admit people seemed happier. After all-you got a set of features whether you wanted them or not-and a single performance that was preset.A poll might be an interesting idea-we will talk about it and perhaps set one up!All the best-waiting eagerly for your next stuff!http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpgForum Moderatorhttp://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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As FS11 is supposed to do away with a lot of backwards compatability and get an engine upgrade, then I would hope that we would get better visuals than FSX with good performance on PC hardware that is available at the time of release.We shall see.......Glenn

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It would be really nice if PC could catch up with the rest of the platforms in area of distributed computations. That way, not only additional CPU cores will help but also external CPUs (old PCs and laptops) in your home network could take on some parts of simulation. In such a way, one can build up a home cluster from what resources are available (like XGrid on Mac, or Beowulf on Linux, etc.) and increase the complexity of, say, weather or ATC sub-models. You won't fix the rendering bottleneck without hi-end GPUs, but the physics and environment can be improved dramatically by using the distributed systems.Cheers,=S.V.=eMachines T5026/P4/3.07GHz/1Gb RAM/160Gb S-ATA HDD/Windows XP Home SP2/ATI RADEON 9250 PCI 256Mb/ViewSonic VX910 19' 1280x1024/Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback 2

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that the FS Franchise is built to live in the long time, which means, when it is released, it can

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I thought I would throw my 2 cents in as well. I agree with the Jean Luc; however, I do realize there are difficulties in predicting what a top of the line computer will be on release day. So, let's be flexible: how about designing a new MSFS to run at full sliders right on a top end machine within six months of release day? Note this does not mean you get rid of sliders. Not everyone (dare I say most people) will not have a top of the line system on release day. The sliders are necessary for those folks (which are many) to adjust their setting to get smooth performance. Also, I do not subscribe to the thinking that MSFS should be pushing the envelope of hardware. IMHO, MSFS should be pushing the envelope of desktop flight simulation on whatever generation of hardware is available (or near available) at release date. Respectfully,JoshuaEDITED: I didn't like how my message read initially; so, I changed it to hopefully make my point clearer.

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I don't think we should "dumb down" the scenery at all. Leave it at FSX levels if necessary but don't lower the quality below FSX levels. Just my two cents worth.

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I don't think there is anything wrong with designing a flight sim to run full right today-you would just lose a lot of new features and give the end user less choice.I can run fsx at a consistant 30-40 fps on my 4 year old single core p3.2To do this I disable light bloom, autogen, traffic (ai,cars,boats), and keep water 1x low. I don't particularly like the autogen or water so I don't feel I miss much here-the traffic I either turn up to 20% when I can accept 10-12 fps lower achieving about 15-20 fps and I await a new computer in 6 mos. to a year that will allow me to run with everything a little more, including the traffic. Right now the other new things fsx offers makes that compromise necessary on my 4 year old machine-and I am glad to have absolute control over what I consider important in my fight sim experience.Everything else I run almost to the max.So I am sure Aces could have put out fsx with the same amount of autogen as fs9, and perhaps no car traffic (new feature), no new water effects, no higher res photo real textures, but perhaps a lot of small improvements, and allowed the user of today's computer to run with everything right.If this is a requirement of the next sim then we would lose out on most of the new features users are requesting above.. After all-if fsx is so hard to run now-how can we add more processor/video features and get more performance-sure a complete rewrite of the engine might work-but there are limits-and I certainly want more new features in the next version. Why not have the next version include many if not most of the above requests-then with the knowledge that no one could possibly have a machine capable of doing all of them,and that let the end user what is important to them-which is what I think we have now?As Reggie points out-autogen on the lowest fsx setting is 200% more than fs9's maximum.Does it matter that the slider can't be pulled full right-when the miminum value is already that much of an increase over the predecessor?http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpgForum Moderatorhttp://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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I think the whole issue of inadequate performance on high-end modern day hardware at release lies somewhere between the following two extremes: - the feature set, relative to other leading game titles of the day out there, is too aggressive for what even the most optimised of code can do on modern hardware.- the game engine itself is so weighed down from years of outdated design and compromises made in the name of backwards compatibility, that even a moderate feature set will get all choked up on the latest and greatest hardware.The closer the FS engine is to the former, the further delayed all present FS releases should have been to meet the most sliders right on release requirement. ie. FS9 should have been released when FSX was, FS20002 when FS9, etc. If this is the case, do people really want to move the FS timeline back 2-3 years to meet this requirement?Alternatively, if the game engine itself is carrying too much baggage, then nothing short of a rewrite will set FS free for the next release. If this is the case, are people prepared to wait the time it takes to rewrite a game the size and complexity of FS, and to then have an much longer period of no addons available for this next release while developers retool to the new engine?Only ACES really knows where the FS engine fits on this line but, as with most things in life, there are consequences for moving either direction on the line. As the old saying goes, be careful what you ask for because you just may get it!Gary

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I would vote to design it slightly less "ahead of the curve" the next time around, sure. Still ahead of the curve but slightly less so.The main thing is, that the "curve" is now more predictable.But next time around, I think things will be completely different for a couple of reasons:1) we have a level of interaction with ACES never before seen2) they are removing the shackles of backwards compatibility, 3) multi-core can be baked-in to the sim from the very beginningRhettAMD 3700+ (@2585 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2gb Corsair XMS 3-3-3-8 (1T), WD 150 gig 10000rpm Raptor, WD 250gig 7200rpm SATA2, Seagate 120gb 5400 rpm external HD, CoolerMaster Praetorian

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My vote goes to development for current hardware and capabilities...With an update curve to add new features every year which may require new hardware to run every slider setting to the right ;-)So a more balanced software system which is developed for and on current hardware...Then we could have far more fun instead of tweaking the next Flightsim ;-)Cheers,http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y156/awf1/sign1.jpg

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Geofa,I think it does matter psychologically that the sliders cannot be pulled full right. I believe it leaves a number of users unsatisfied because no matter what they do, they cannot see the sim in its full glory (even two years after release according to the old devlopment model). For example, you mention in an earlier post that you still cannot run everything full right on FS9 and your machine was built the year after they released FS9 (correct me if I'm wrong). Even if the sliders are pushed full right, there are still changes that can be done. For example, the maximum autogen slider setting in FSX without configuration file changes is respectively 4500 and 3000 even though the engine is capable of 6000. Those "power" users can always start changing the config file to push the envelope later as hardware becomes available. In other words, I think perception of performance is a very important part of any software release. On another note, I'm thrilled to see Phil and ACES so involved in these forums. I do believe it is this type of interaction that will make future versions of our favorite sim even more incredible than ever. Thanks guys for taking the time to talk to us and seriously consider our thoughts/comments/ideas. Thanks,Joshua

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By letting Hardware overrun the outgoing sim, I think Aces would have a more anticipating market who are wanting the new -up to standard sim- hence more sales, less complaining...Catch my drift?Nick

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>I think the whole issue of inadequate performance on high-end>modern day hardware at release lies somewhere between the>following two extremes: >- the feature set, relative to other leading game titles of>the day out there, is too aggressive for what even the most>optimised of code can do on modern hardware.>- the game engine itself is so weighed down from years of>outdated design and compromises made in the name of backwards>compatibility, that even a moderate feature set will get all>choked up on the latest and greatest hardware.>>The closer the FS engine is to the former, the further delayed>all present FS releases should have been to meet the most>sliders right on release requirement. ie. FS9 should have>been released when FSX was, FS20002 when FS9, etc. If this is>the case, do people really want to move the FS timeline back>2-3 years to meet this requirement?>>Alternatively, if the game engine itself is carrying too much>baggage, then nothing short of a rewrite will set FS free for>the next release. If this is the case, are people prepared to>wait the time it takes to rewrite a game the size and>complexity of FS, and to then have an much longer period of no>addons available for this next release while developers retool>to the new engine?>>Only ACES really knows where the FS engine fits on this line>but, as with most things in life, there are consequences for>moving either direction on the line. As the old saying goes,>be careful what you ask for because you just may get it!>>Gary>The is really no point in having a software that no hardware can run.. to me it is the same that waiting for the software but knowing that when it comes out it will match up my fps spectations, having a "next gen"why bother looking at a slideshow? this time I think that ACES has not been able to compete with themselves , for example Ill skip FSX entirely until FS11 , in the meantime ill stay with FS9 and invest in good looking scenery and realistic hardware, there is no poin to migrate to fsx which will give me subpar visuals and performance compared to what I have right now

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Hi Geof, nice to see you there, and more than that, I hope to see you in Seattle!! I can't wait to shake your hand and say thank you for all you have done for me.As for the hardware/FS11, please, the point is not entirely feature set/performance/sliders to the right. The point is that with a strategy to design a software for the hardware available in 3 years from now, no matter what I do, my PC purchasing habits OR my strategy to purchase a suitable PC (i.e. like I've explained, at beginning, middle or end of product life cycle), will never get me the PC to get the full right slider experience.This means that the strategy to offer a sofware for hardware in 3 years can never be realized, until, you purchase a new computer every 6 months to keep up. I can't purchase, as a consumer, a new PC every 6 months. In turn, the logic behind the choise of software development is flawed because it can't match consumer purchases. It sure matches available hardware, not the hardware you actually purchase no matter what.In that, the open question, and the idea of the poll (thank you for your consideration about this, as I think this can help ACE studio), is to see if I'm the only one, or, to some extent, if the majority of our specialized market (us, simmer), can never match the hardware for the software for the same purchasing habit reasons.Now, I think there is also a misunderstanding about level of performance and hardware to some other extent, and I'll just expose an idea about the sliders here (not my idea): When FS is released, all slider right should give a fluid and smooth experience on the most powerfull system available at the time FS releases, and sliders are there to lower the feature set to accomodate for lower performing computers. In time, the hardware the consumer purchase will catch up in consumers houses and will match the top of the line computer that was available at the time FS was released, and all simmers will enjoy full experience. So in turn, at the time FS releases, it should offers full right sliders + all features for top of the line at release time hardware, and calibrated features yet smooth experience for lower hardware (a PC 2 or 3 years old could be a good idea as the lower mark). When the time advances, more and more PCs will catch up the feature set in allowing more sliders to the right as PC are replaced (as we, consumer, change our computers).Because in essence, it is not about if FS is capable or running full sliders right on the top end PC (although it should in my opinion), but it is FS is capable or running full sliders right (complete experience) on the PC you have at home. And from my consumer habits, my conclusion is that I can never have the right PC at home unless I purchase a new one every 6 months.And it is even more so if ACE Studio wants the support of third party vendors. They have to offer a plateform with enough head-room for us. In fact it comes to 2 choices: either FS is a closed plateform in which ACE puts all they think is right to put, and we fly that, OR, FS is an open plateform for third party vendors. In the latter case, FS is just an operating system, and third party vendors develop applications. Let me give you an analogy: what if, Windows XP (I won't take Vista as an example here...) is designed for hardware available in three years from now, and in the meantime you get this hardware, you can barely (even without third party applications) use it. Then you want to change the basic paint program with Photoshop, but there is not enough head room to run it, and even to install it, because Windows XP is already taking 100% of your CPU and GPU? It would be simply unacceptable for me. And then, three years later you have the correct hardware, but then they release Vista, and your ok for WinXP hardware can't run Vista properly. Would you stay with now running WinXP or switch to barely running Vista? I think with "3 years ahead" principles, no one wins.Hope this helps!

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If we can get the FSX experience 'out of the box' in FS11 with FPS ~60, then I will be happy.I think FSX looks great now, it just needs to run faster.If OOTB it could run around 50-60FPS at a fairly high detail setting then it would leave much more headroom for the addons.So I would be happy if FS11 carried the same featureset over from FSX only with much better performance. If that requires an engine rewrite, then so be it. Backwards compatability doesn't seem to matter too much. I think most of us end up paying for newer versions of our payware products anyway. While we wait for the developers to catch up with the new FS11 engine, think of the fun that could be had in seeing the sim in all it's glory although it would be from a 'default' aircraft. (some of which are not that bad now anyway!)(oh, and let's do away with the 'blurries' once and for all!)So to sum up, IMHO, FS11 should concentrate on performance, performance and more performance. Some new features would be icing on the cake and an added bonus.

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Hi Jean Luc-unfortuantely I won't be in Seattle-but I send my thoughts. When you say full right sliders-"it should offers full right sliders + all features for top of the line at release time hardware"-you are talking about all of them right at the same time? Because some of the sliders I am not/may not/ be interested in using at all-therfore why limit the choices in what individual sliders can do to attain the ability to use all at the same time?My point is that many of the sliders are unimportant for my enjoyment of the sim-but many are. It sounds to me that you are advocating having the ability to max each at the same time at the expense of limiting what each can do.As I have mentioned-I in general don't care for autogen or water in fsx-really! I also don't like ground shadows and can't ever see using them. I will admit though-if I am flying over the ocean I will turn water to the max-and turn autogen off (since there is no autogen in the ocean, (and the water for ocean looks pretty good imho) and I still get the same good performance.In mountains I will turn autogen full up-and turn off water and airtraffic-and get the same performance with stellar mountain tress.I do like the high detail terrain textures, higher resolution of mesh-I'd hate to have any of those indiciual aspects reduced for the privledge of being able to max all the sliders at the same time.For general flying, I turn down autogen , water,and traffic to the lowest settings-and enjoy the higher detail textures and terrain display and flying qualities-and still get good performance (30-40fps) on my 4 year old machine.If I am understanding-what you are proposing would have left me perhaps in this version with less terrain mesh detail , texture resolution-but perhaps the ability to run full water (probably with less effects) , autogen (with less detail,variety, and placements), and ai traffic with a current system offered today.Seems like kinda forcing my choices on me-I'd rather have the choice of more but perhaps not all...Does that make sense?I agree about a new pc every 6 months-but for the first time in my life have resisted doing so for 4 years, basically cause I can get almost all the features I need on the sim now by adjusting sliders.If you want to send me an idea about a poll and what you would like on it -do so and w'ell see what we can do.Best,http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpgForum Moderatorhttp://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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