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Guest fsxmissionguy

Planned migration to FSX...what can I expect?

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Hi everyone.Aside from seeing the visual beauty of FSX in the screenshot forum on a fairly regular basis since its release, and reading the for/against arguments throughout the same time period, I have paid little attention to FSX related discussion.I've had a Dell P4 3Ghz PC since 2002, so FSX was never really on the agenda for me. However, after 6 years and thousands of hours of service, its being retired at some stage in the coming week, as I take delivery of a custom built Core Duo E8400 based system, with 4 gig of ram and a meaty 1024MB 8800GT.I've been simming since FS98, and my FS2004 installation is brimming with fantastic addon's, both freeware and payware. But I've not flown a single second in FSX. I've not even seen it in action...screenshots being the limit of my FSX familiarity.I'm hoping my new system will run FSX to a satisfactory level, and basically wondered what I can expect when I install a sim that has seemingly divided the FS community into two very distinct camps!I must apologise that my question is not particularly clear! I guess I simply want to know whether FSX, in the time since its release, has lived up to expectations, and is now able to run smoothly with the latest wave of processors and GPU's?I am definately looking forward to it...I think!Regards,Al.

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Since you didn't mention it I suspect you're getting the Core 2 Duo E8400 - 3GHz, 6MB, 1333MHz FSB CPU? As you probably know, the CPU is the most important part for running FSX so you did well with this purchase. The upgraded video card is just the gravy. I have two 768MB 8800GTX's in SLI mode and they perform well in FSX especially in DX10 Preview mode. I also have the DuoCore X6800 Extreme CPU overclocked to 3.73MHz and it has performed very well in FSX too. I suspect you will be able to overclock your CPUs too. I think your new system will run very good in FSX but don't expect to turn all the sliders up to max. I would run it set on the default FSX settings and not venture much higher. That's what I've done with mine and I consistently have sharp, clear graphics and few unexpected crashes based on out of memory errors.Best regards,Jim

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Take the time to try out as many Missions as you can in FSX, they are high quality and a lot of fun. Since the scenery is so good, I really enjoy exploring low and slow with a prop plane, rather than ferry passengers in a big jet. Dense airports will drag your framerates down, and New York is best approached with caution. Experiment with:Full Screen Mode versus Windowed ModeFrames Locked versus Unlimited FramesBloom on or offWater on Level 1 or Level 2Those things are easy to play with but can give you big boosts in either frame rates or eye candy, depending which way you go.Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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You have to make a decision right off the bat which update you want to install. Unfortunately, the powers that be decided in mid stream to change FSX backwards compatibility which split the community in to two camps - SP1 or SP2 users. You'll be able to fly many of your FS9 planes with SP1, and lose that ability with SP2. More and more new payware planes are SP2 only, so either way you go will be a compromise.You can also expect a lot of tweaking to squeeze the most FPS out of your system. And don't expect one setting to work everywhere. I have several different profiles saved that I load up depending on how complex the aircraft I am flying is and how complex the scenery environment is.

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You asked: "I guess I simply want to know whether FSX, in the time since its release, has lived up to expectations, and is now able to run smoothly with the latest wave of processors and GPU's?"The short and simplistic answer is "no," it has not in the opinion of many, "yes," if you are careful about your expectations and do not expect all performance sliders to go to the right, especially when you start installing FSX compatible payware add-ons. I have both a Duo Cor and an Nvidia 8800, just not as powerful as yours, but you'll still be playing with settings a-plenty. I recently did a complete reinstall of Windows XP SP2 (just prior to SP3's release), and along with that FSX SP1, then put on FSX SP2 patch through Acceleration. My advice is to make sure you install FSX SP2, either through the Acceleration add-on (payware) or through the free SP2 avail. at FSInsider or thereabouts. At any rate, a lot of guys around here hate SP2 for various reasons, it has caused quite a stir over the months, but mostly because SP2 did not install correctly on a ton of older FSX SP1 installations, mine included. I found I had to do a complete system reinstall (Windows and FSX) to make it all work correctly together. See, the problem with not using FSX SP2 is that a lot of the newer payware add-ons that we all want have been updated or written for SP2 or will be. You kind of have to use it eventually, if not now.FSX is a slow loading program usually, but, my best investment to date that cut loading times in half at start-up as well as improved terrain data aquisition when starting up at freeflight and overall improved my whole computer performances was acquiring Ultimate Defrag. 2008 from disktrix.com Everyone has their own favorite defragger, that is for certain and I do not work for these guys, but somebody on the Hardware Forum suggested it. Come to find out, the makers of UD 2008 are MS Flightsim developers and know what gamers like and need and skeptical me found the program amazing for everything I do on my PC. At any rate, others will day "such and such" is better or whatever and there are the NickN's Tweaks avail. as well. I had no luck with those and his suggestion of O&O's Degrag. was a bust for me as well,(an old XP SP2 bug that has long since gone away as long as you have the most current versions of XP SP2) but others swear by it. NHancer to tweak your Nvidia cards as well was a disaster for me, I just let my 8800 do its own thing; others have found that indespensible.Suffice it to say, you are in for a trip, and not an easy one. FSX is NOT out of the box ready for anyone's system who is not willing to work at it. It's like a freaking relationship with another adult in the house if you ask me, but....I like FSX so much more than FS9 and it has been worthwhile and I have no designs on DX10 either, I like it just as it is for now until future FS11 and 12 come along and make DX10 something to think about.Randy Jura, KPDX

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Then, when you quickly run out of missions, go buy Acceleration and get 30+ more of them ... plus tremendous new capabilities for your simulator like:* Carrier Ops (arrested landings, catapult assisted takeoffs)* Heavy Lift Ops (heavy lift helicopter operations) * Hoist Ops (helicopter hoist operations)* Racing (single, and multiplayer)Plus three new aircraft:* Boeing F/A-18 Hornet* AgustaWestland EH101 Heavy Lift Helicopter* North American P51 MustangIn all, about 50 liveries for those craft.Then ... when you run out of THOSE missions (and you will!) head on over to www.flightsimulatorxmissions.com where we build free add-on missions!

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"I have several different profiles saved that I load up depending on how complex the aircraft I am flying is and how complex the scenery environment is."Bingoooooo! That's the correct thinking. There is no one setting. That's why the game gives you the ability to save multiple settings profiles.When I'm racing ... I don't need 2,000 trees per cell. I need freakin' speed, so I have a "racing settings profile" that I can load up whenever I want speed that eliminates most of the autogen and traffic.When I'm soaring in the glider, I want 2,000 trees per cell, and lots of weather, but I'm not really interested in seeing 200 other aircraft in the immediate area ... so I have a settings profile that turns down all other air traffic.When I'm flying the heavies, I really don't require a lot of trees and autogen buildings ... primarily because I spend the majority of the flight at 30,000 feet and can't see that anyway ... but I want lots of weather and lots of other traffic around to watch.That's why there are sliders ... so you can set the settings that provide you with a balance of content vs. performance.

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