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Questions and comments on the development of MS FS2004.

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When will planning start for MS2004?What are the perdictions for the type of computer system commonly available by the time FS2004 will be released? Precessor, RAM etc.With the additional performance of computers by mid 2003, whatfeatures can then be introduced above and beyond what FS2002 is able to do?Absolute musts:More focus on commercial aviation. I don

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As far as what kind of features FS2k4 will have, your guess is as good as mine (meaning that no one outside of the FS2k4 development team really knows). I can tell you what kind of hardware will be available around that time though (assuming a summer/fall 2003 release date). :) CPUs should be around 4-5GHz on the Intel side and 3-3.5GHz on the AMD side (both manufacturers using .09 micron manufacturing processes by that point). Expect hyperthreading (virtual multiple CPUs on a die) on the Intel side, and multiple cores on-die on the AMD side (high-end chips for sure, mainstream may or may not have these features). Can't really give an accurate performance estimate for these CPUs, but I would expect MORE than twice as much performance as today's high-end CPUs. On the video card side, that's anyone's guess. GPU manufacturers don't really give detailed roadmaps like CPU manufacturers do, but ATI, Nvidia, and Matrox's next-gen parts will be out by this fall (R300, NV30, Parhelia respectively) and the performance level of these GPUs is supposedly earth-shattering compared to today's fastest GPUs. Fall '03 is two product refreshes away from NV30, so NV40 is a possibility (NV35 more likely, with an NV3x refresh next spring). ATI will either be on the R400 or perhaps R500 by 2H '03, no idea on Matrox's future offerings (Matrox is even worse than Nvidia and ATI when it comes to discussing future products). On the RAM side of things, DDR II should be widely available by 2H '03, offering significant performance over the current DDR solution (no definite figures, as the DDR II standard hasn't yet been finalized by JEDEC).hope this helps,Max Cowgill

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All I know is that I am sick of hearing this same thread once a week or so on every forum I go to....Microsoft hasn't started to think about it so why should we.

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>All I know is that I am sick of hearing this same thread >once a week or so on every forum I go to....Microsoft hasn't >started to think about it so why should we. If you honestly believe that MS hasn't "started to think about fs2k4" yet, you are sadly mistaken. New product development generally begins after a brief vacation for the programmers (if not concurrently with older product development (overlapping development cycles)). FS2k4 should be in the early product planning stages as we speak. Max Cowgill

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Planning for FS2004 started twenty years ago as MS seems to build upon(remodel if I may) each new version using the foundation of the previous title,ie: AI aircraft in 2000 are now part of 2002 on a vastly larger scale and ATC has joined the 2002 features who knows what that will bring to 2004.I am hoping that MS will take a look at textures as some airport tarmacks are grasy in appearence. Perhaps scenery textures may begin to take on a more photo-realistic look. Frankly I see FS2004 being offered in two mediums, one in PC version and another in X-Box. FS in X-box would be so sweet as long as there would be a way for the additional 3rd party add-ons to be used.It will be intresting.

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I know we can expect to see great use of Volumetric Fog vs. the poor distant dependant effect that

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Post a picture of the superior FU3 weather.Peter Sydney Australia

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I jumped on the MS flight simulation bandwagon with the introduction of FS5.1 back in 1995. Back then, I was using a Pentium 75Mhz with 8Mhz of RAM. This was prior to the rapid spread of 3D Videocard technology. The Cirrus Logic videocard had a whopping 2Mb of RAM. I say whopping because I got purchased a 1Mb memory module that snapped right into the 1Mb that came with the card. With this computer, frame rates were a problem at the dense settings. In the Fall of 1996, I purchased the Intel Pentium Overdrive Processer at 125Mhz which seemed about right for FS5.1 in this computer.Unfortunately, a week or so after purchasing the overdrive processer, MS released FS95. And, once again, I had framerate problems again. Because of this, I build a Cyrix based computer with a 166Mhz processer and 16Mhz of RAM in the Spring of 1997. For this machine, I purchased the top rated Diamond Stealth 3D 2000XL which was the top performing 2D chip with decent 3D implimentation. At the time, FS95 was considered a 2D sim because it did not take advantage of 3D features that some cards offered. FS95 ran adequately on this machine. However, I had to stay clear of places like NYC because of the frequent pauses that were problematic in FS95. A few months later, in the Fall of 1997 when FS98 was released, I was once again in terrible shape. During the Spring of 1998, I purchased the Cyrix 300MMX CPU and a RIVA128 based card with a whopping 64MB of 66mhz SDRAM. This new setup made FS95 run very smoothly, even around NYC. FS98 really came alive with the Riva128 8mb card in terms of visual quality but framerates were still a problem in dense scenery areas. So, in the winter of 1999, I purchased the 16Mb Voodoo3 2000 PCI which finally made FS98 run smoothly in most situations.At the time the Pentium II had just come on board but would have required me to get another motherboard, all of which were much more expensive in terms of relative dollars back then - as I am sure you remember. That is why I opted with the top of the line Cyrix. In the Fall of 1999, I purchased the new Athlon 550Mhz processer with 96Mb of SDRAM and a Voodoo3 3000 AGP card. Finally! FS98 ran like a dream in all situations and settings. I was in heaven for about two weeks until FS2000 was released.Once again, the cycle was begun: In the Spring of 2000, I purchased an Athlon 700Mhz and a GeForce256DDR video card, and in the Summer of 2000, I purchased more SDRAM (384Mb total). FS2000 ran adequately in many dense scenery areas but not in all areas with these improvements. Last summer, I purchased a new motherboard and an Athlon 1.2Ghz processer and 512MB of SDRAM and FS2000 began to run well in all areas - I say well and not great because we all know about FS2000. In the Fall of 2001, FS2002 was released and now once again, I have an adequately performing machine, but not good, or great. This has been the cycle of chasing hardware. We could probably make a regression line and plot the predicted requirement of FS2004 for great performance.Flight simulator version = great performanceFS5.1 = 125Mhz 2Mb of video RAM and 8mb of system RAMFS95 = 300Mhz any decent 8mb video card 16Mb system RAMFS98 = 550Mhz Voodoo3 16Mb 3000 96Mb system SDRAM FS2000 = 1.2Ghz Geforce256DDR 32Mb SDRAM and 512 system RAMCPU clock speed requirements seem to about double, video card requirments increase and system RAM seems to increase as well but is less predictable but defintely increases as well:I am guessing to get great performance out of FS2002, you would need at lease a 2.4Ghz processer a 64MB card, and 512+ system RAM.With FS2004, you will probably need something like a 5G machine, 128Mb of video RAM and over a gig of system RAM to run it at a great manner.Who knows, just rambling!

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>I jumped on the MS flight simulation bandwagon with the >introduction of FS5.1 back in 1995. Back then, I was using >a Pentium 75Mhz with 8Mhz of RAM. This was prior to the >rapid spread of 3D Videocard technology. The Cirrus Logic >videocard had a whopping 2Mb of RAM. I say whopping because >I got purchased a 1Mb memory module that snapped right into >the 1Mb that came with the card. With this computer, frame >rates were a problem at the dense settings. In the Fall of >1996, I purchased the Intel Pentium Overdrive Processer at >125Mhz which seemed about right for FS5.1 in this computer. >>Unfortunately, a week or so after purchasing the overdrive >processer, MS released FS95. And, once again, I had >framerate problems again. Because of this, I build a Cyrix >based computer with a 166Mhz processer and 16Mhz of RAM in >the Spring of 1997. For this machine, I purchased the top >rated Diamond Stealth 3D 2000XL which was the top performing >2D chip with decent 3D implimentation. At the time, FS95 >was considered a 2D sim because it did not take advantage of >3D features that some cards offered. FS95 ran adequately on >this machine. However, I had to stay clear of places like >NYC because of the frequent pauses that were problematic in >FS95. >>A few months later, in the Fall of 1997 when FS98 was >released, I was once again in terrible shape. During the >Spring of 1998, I purchased the Cyrix 300MMX CPU and a >RIVA128 based card with a whopping 64MB of 66mhz SDRAM. >This new setup made FS95 run very smoothly, even around NYC. > FS98 really came alive with the Riva128 8mb card in terms >of visual quality but framerates were still a problem in >dense scenery areas. So, in the winter of 1999, I purchased >the 16Mb Voodoo3 2000 PCI which finally made FS98 run >smoothly in most situations. >>At the time the Pentium II had just come on board but would >have required me to get another motherboard, all of which >were much more expensive in terms of relative dollars back >then - as I am sure you remember. That is why I opted with >the top of the line Cyrix. >>In the Fall of 1999, I purchased the new Athlon 550Mhz >processer with 96Mb of SDRAM and a Voodoo3 3000 AGP card. >Finally! FS98 ran like a dream in all situations and >settings. I was in heaven for about two weeks until FS2000 >was released. >>Once again, the cycle was begun: In the Spring of 2000, I >purchased an Athlon 700Mhz and a GeForce256DDR video card, >and in the Summer of 2000, I purchased more SDRAM (384Mb >total). FS2000 ran adequately in many dense scenery areas >but not in all areas with these improvements. >>Last summer, I purchased a new motherboard and an Athlon >1.2Ghz processer and 512MB of SDRAM and FS2000 began to run >well in all areas - I say well and not great because we all >know about FS2000. >>In the Fall of 2001, FS2002 was released and now once again, >I have an adequately performing machine, but not good, or >great. >>This has been the cycle of chasing hardware. >>We could probably make a regression line and plot the >predicted requirement of FS2004 for great performance. >>Flight simulator version = great performance >>FS5.1 = 125Mhz 2Mb of video RAM and 8mb of system RAM >>FS95 = 300Mhz any decent 8mb video card 16Mb system RAM >>FS98 = 550Mhz Voodoo3 16Mb 3000 96Mb system SDRAM >>FS2000 = 1.2Ghz Geforce256DDR 32Mb SDRAM and 512 system RAM >>CPU clock speed requirements seem to about double, video >card requirments increase and system RAM seems to increase >as well but is less predictable but defintely increases as >well: >>I am guessing to get great performance out of FS2002, you >would need at lease a 2.4Ghz processer a 64MB card, and 512+ >system RAM. >>With FS2004, you will probably need something like a 5G >machine, 128Mb of video RAM and over a gig of system RAM to >run it at a great manner. Must... dispel... Intel... Marketing myths! Clockspeed is not the ultimate meausre of a CPU's performance. A CPU that runs at twice the clockspeed of another CPU may not be nearly twice as fast as the other CPU, or it could be more than twice as fast. Case-in-point, a Pentium4 2.4GHz vs. an Athlon 1.2GHz. Is the P4 twice as fast as the Athlon? No. Even comparing two CPUs of the same clockspeed ratio (2:1) of the same family does not guarantee twice as much performance. Case-in-point, an Athlon (Thunderbird) 800MHz vs. an Athlon XP 1.6GHz/1900+ (Palomino). Architecturally, these CPUs are extremely similar, with the Palomino having minor performance-enhancing features that the tbird lacks (these features lead to very little variation in benchmarking, giving the palomino a few % points (0-5 on the average) more performance in most benchmarks) and this is about as close a 2:1 clockspeed ratio comparison you can get within the same CPU family. The 1.6GHz palomino will definitely be a lot faster than it's 800MHz Tbird counterpart, but it won't be twice as fast. The point of these comparisons is that there are other factors to take into consideration when considering the performance of a CPU, such as cache implementations (levels, sizes, speeds, latencies, associativities), FSB speed, how many execution units it has, how deeply pipelined it is, how accurate it's branch prediction is, what process it's manufactured on (micron size, materials used), core size, use of SIMD (single instruction multiple data) instructions (MMX, 3dnow, 3dnow+, SSE, SSE2), yada yada yada... There are numerous other factors that affect the performance of a CPU that exist today that I'm not even going to mention, as I don't have the several hours required to detail them all. Anyway, the point of all this is that there are so many factors that contribute to a CPU's performance that judging a CPU's performance based on clockspeed alone is just plain silly.Max Cowgill

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>Rumor has it FS04 has been in Alpha for the last couple of >months already. >>http://fsgateway.com/images/frank.jpg >www.FSGateway.com With Franks comments has anyone given any thought that MS may be going to release a mid term SIM perhaps in the fall perhaps this is how MS is going to patch 2002 by releasing the fixes for 2002 bundled with some new features and yes this patch will cost you.Just a thought.

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>With Franks comments has anyone given any thought that MS >may be going to release a mid term SIM perhaps in the fall >perhaps this is how MS is going to patch 2002 by releasing >the fixes for 2002 bundled with some new features and yes >this patch will cost you. >Yes............ it's called CFS3!! CFS2 fixed many of my complaints regarding FS2K. I combined the two & came up with a reasonably good simulation. FS2K's scenery, planes, & fluid frame rates! BUT, I don't have near the annoyances with FS2002, so maybe I'll just like it's new "clouds" or something!L.Adamson

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Yes............ it's called CFS3!! CFS2 fixed many of my complaints regarding FS2K. I combined the two & came up with a reasonably good simulation. FS2K's scenery, planes, & fluid frame rates! BUT, I don't have near the annoyances with FS2002, so maybe I'll just like it's new "clouds" or something!L.AdamsonSo how do you marry those two products together into a usable product.What sort of improvments do you get. I would be intrested in knowing?Thanks

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With CFS2, I ran two versions on the hard drive. One was the original version with scenery areas of 1944. The second version was run in conjunction with FS2K's scenery cfg. files, which just pulled needed files out of the FS2K file directories. Planes could just be copied to CFS2. The advantage of CFS2 was much more fluid frame rates & no scenery re-draws when switching views. Also had sun effects & mountainous shading with time of day. The downside was it's lack of city night lighting effects & no GPS.L.Adamson

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Larry, It'll be very interesting to see how CFS3 comes out. But it looks as if the changes compared to FS2002 will be greater than changes in CFS2 compared to FS2000. For a start it may not be possible to use FS2002 scenery in CFS3 due to the new terrain engine (this is basically what Tucker Hatfield stated). Also FS2002 aircraft will not work, though it may be possible to convert them. But the upside is that with the new terrain engine we may see tremendous advances in scenery quality. I am keeping my fingers crossed that one particular problem - of which we have spoken often! - will be finally solved in CFS3 - and FS2004. Best regards, Chris

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Heh, threads like this started weeks (maybe days) after the release of MS FS2002. Seems like everybody wants something different. The demands are high. The expectations are high. I'm all for improvement, enhancement, and taking the technology to the next level. I think you will be luckly if you see 1/5 of the things you want. And when MS FS2004 comes out, we'll probably see these same threads all over again! :)

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HI!I hope the make WEATHER a high project goal. Would like to see basic moving weather with enough hooks to make weather radar meaningful. E.I. fly into red areas on radar and wings rip off your Piper Archer II! (Just like x-plane).Improve ATC.That is it for me.BobP:)

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Clouds and atmospheric effects are at the top of my list of priorities for improvement, and I'm really looking forward to the CFS3 breakthroughs in that area, along with its new and detailed low-level terrain engine and VCs.For FS 2004, this is basically what I want (the original can be found in the RAF's photo gallery using the keyword "clouds"...but you'll have to register to gain access):

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>Clouds and atmospheric effects are at the top of my list of priorities for improvement, and I'm really looking forward to the CFS3 breakthroughs in that area, along with its new and detailed low-level terrain engine and VCs.

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Ah there you go again with your photographic masterpieces. I hope you don't mind if I "nick" that and use it in my screensaver slideshow! The thing is, though, you have to steer your plane even closer to these wonders so I can see some better close-ups...or perhaps on the week-end when you're flying just for the fun of it in your de Havilland Chipmunk!

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>Ah there you go again with your photographic masterpieces. I hope you don't mind if I "nick" that and use it in my screensaver slideshow! The thing is, though, you have to steer your plane even closer to these wonders so I can see some better close-ups...or perhaps on the week-end when you're flying just for the fun of it in your de Havilland Chipmunk!

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