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greyspider

From Bad FPS to Great FPS, with ORBX- What I did

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First time posting here. Decades of experience with FSX (although I took a break and tried hard to love MSFS2020...too many things regressed instead of progressed there...) Back to FSX!

Just bought ORBX sceneries (Base Pack, PNW, and a couple of airports) after trying lots of stuff to make FSX more real and enjoyable. I read LOTS of posts on LOTS of forums. (I'll be posting this on AVSIM as well). I bought Ultimate Terrain X. I bought Megacenery Arizona and California. I downloaded free airport addons. It just wasn't doing it for me. Megascenery added a little realism if I was flying a really high, otherwise it was just lifeless. I wanted better visuals, but something with buildings, trees, etc. A living world! I also tried AI Traffic addons. The only one that worked smoothly and reliably with FSX (Steam Version) was Traffic Global. It took a bit of following instructions in the manual (in other words not super intuitive but easily setup). THAT program really made the airports and sky come alive. Highly recommended!!

But I still wanted a better visual environment. So I finally bit the bullet and spent the bucks on ORBX. That gave me everything I wanted. Great scenery, airports, life animation, etc. But when I flew in or out of any mildly busy airport, my FPS wer so low it was almost impossible to enjowy- and landing...forget it! I was really bummed. After all, FSX is decades old and I have a modern computer. FSX ran great before addons. Why couldn't it still run great?

I searched forums and found some FSX.cfg tweaks and also recommendations for lowering FSX settings for AI Traffic, ground vehicles, etc. Between the cfg changes and the lowered settings, which lost so little in realism that it wasn't at all detracting, I ended up with such better FPS that I can't believe the difference. I was starting to think that ORBX just was going to kill my FPS in spite of how great it made the FSX world look.

So, if anyone using FSX experiiences these performance issues, don't give up. With a few settings and easy text additions to the cfg file, you can have a very smooth running, incrediby improved visual world.

What I did:

 

FSX Settings-

GRAPHICS

Target Frame Rate- Unlimited

Filtering- Trilinear

Anti-Aliasing- unchecked

Bloom and Lens effects- unchecked

AIRCRAFT

Aircraft Shadows- unchecked

SCENERY

Level of Detail Raius- Large

Mesh Resolution- 38m

Tecture Resolution- 60cm

Scenery complexity and Autogen density- Dense

TRAFFIC

Airline density and General aviation density- 46%

Airport vehicle density- Low

Road Vehicles- 12%

 

FSX.cfg file (located in Users/Your Name/AppData/Roaming/Microsoft/FSX (you may have to select Hidden Folders setting to see AppData...not sure..)

 

Add this at the top of the file:

[BUFFERPOOLS]

PoolSize=0

 

Add this underneath "[GRAPHICS]"

HIGHMEMFIX=1

 

Add this under "[Display]"

SmallPartRejectRadius=4

 

I do not know WHY these things work but after trying LOTS of tweaks this one made a HUGE difference in my FPS. ORBX airports like LAX or SEA, which had me getting 10-12 FPS now give me 23-35 FPS !

 

IMPORTANT!!! Always ackup your cfg file just in case, on your system, this causes issues.

 

Happy Flying Everyone!

Pete

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Yeah I was considering diving into scenary mods but too scared. Would you recommend Orbx over aerosoft scenary, or are you suggesting you can stack Orbx on top of aerosoft scenary?

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Hi Sweetd31,

Honestly, I don't have any experience with Aerosoft scenery, just UTX (which I don't believe is technically "scenery") and Megascenery (which obviouslu is...). ORBX Base Pack (pricy but covers the entire planet) looks considerably better to me than MegaScenery and the individual ORBX sceneries really make a difference. Money is an issue in my case or I'd buy every North America pack they have. My only complaint is that they don't offer my home state, Arizona, for FSX. I'm hoping they will at some point.

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Awesome, I appreciate it. I sometimes fly Albuquerque, I feel you on that! 

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On 5/30/2024 at 11:01 PM, Sweetd31 said:

Yeah I was considering diving into scenary mods but too scared. Would you recommend Orbx over aerosoft scenary, or are you suggesting you can stack Orbx on top of aerosoft scenary?

Hi,

What Aerosoft scenery were you thinking of?

Bill

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Posted (edited)

Probably New York, Vegas, California, bigger cities. Just scared about performance. New York one comes with the new york tour If I am not mistaken, with ten or so helipads. Unfortunately Texas never gets any love. 

Edited by Sweetd31

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On 6/4/2024 at 1:51 AM, Sweetd31 said:

Probably New York, Vegas, California, bigger cities. Just scared about performance. New York one comes with the new york tour If I am not mistaken, with ten or so helipads. Unfortunately Texas never gets any love. 

I have 9 of the Aerosoft US Cities including New York, Vegas and Los Angeles and I also have all the Orbx regional scenery areas available for the US in FSX. However I have found that the Aerosoft cities have a significant resource impact and this is enhanced if they are combined with Orbx regional scenery for the area in question (eg Los Angeles with the Orbx Southern California scenery or San Francisco with the Northern California scenery). The combination of both uses a lot of VAS and although you may get away with flying there in one of the default FSX aircraft, if you try using a more resource intensive addon aircraft then you may well get the dreaded Out of Memory (OOM) warning which means you have hit the 4GB VAS limit of FSX. New York however is a slightly different matter as there is no Orbx regional scenery available for this state so you will just face the resource demand of the Aerosoft city scenery which is not inconsiderable but is manageable.

Basically flying in using resource intensive scenery addons in FSX is a balance between the resources they require and those that the aircraft you are using requires and a successful flight in some of these scenarios often means using one of the default aircraft or an addon aircraft which is not too demanding in terms of its VAS usage. If you do add some of the Aerosoft cities, I have mine all above the Orbx entries in my scenery library.

On the subject of getting FSX to function well, I strongly advise downloading the Avsim FSX Configuration Guide and rigidly follow the advice given there step by step - you will see it includes many of the suggestions that greyspider has kindly provided above. When I first got FSX many years ago I applied various tweaks to try to improve its performance but it never seemed right and eventually I got so frustrated that I uninstalled it. I then did a fresh reinstall following the Avsim Configuration Guide to the letter. That must have been about 14 years ago and I have had a pretty smoothly performing FSX ever since!

Bill

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Posted (edited)

I downloaded the base pack, and it is a serious upgrade in beauty, however! They put grass on Nellis Air force base and a few other desert localities! The bummer is it runs smoother than the default textures, with almost no screen tearing... man, that one kind of kills it though. I  mean it is Nellis! 

If you have free time, could you load into Nellis AFB, Las Vegas, Nevada, and see if it is covered in grass? 

 

Edit: I do have a freeware install at nellis, when I get off work today, I am going to try and see if maybe it is interfering with ORBX. 

Edited by Sweetd31

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I filtered through 8000+ files and figured out which one it was... don't worry I had a process! 

But the textures are really great, I had the opposite affect, it made my game run smoother! WAY smoother

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Sorry I hadn't been on this forum for a few days but glad you the grass at Nellis sorted in the interim!

Frequently when you find an issue such as that (or other issues) with airport scenery it is due to conflicting AFCAD files and as you had a freeware version of Nellis installed the AFCAD associated with that could well have been the culprit.

BTW as you've installed Orbx Global base, you might want to consider Orbx Open LC North America as your next purchase. Sadly Orbx have long ago stopped developing products for FSX so you are very unlikely to see any specific Arizona scenery for FSX from them, but with Open LC you should notice a significant improvement in the landclass accuracy for Arizona (and indeed the rest of NA). 

Bill

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No worries i found the file and replaced it with the default desert. Looks great with the orbx surrounding it. Very good recommendation

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For anyone starting to add multiple sceneries to FSX I recommend , and would call essential, Scenery Config Editor.

As someone who owns and installed cough cough ALL OrbX Scenery for FSX, it's perfect for only enabling the areas you plan to fly in each time, saving on load times hugely and OOM errors. Also very easy to change the scenery order. You can make backups and save custom profiles for areas of the world for example.

Also FSX CFG Tool is a simple and safe way of editing your fsx.cfg file, making backups as you go.


Russell Gough

SE London

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