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Roger Mazengarb

Enviroment mapping ....and 256 MB Nvidia Geforce FX - 5600

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G'day all,I'm at the stage where I'm trying to sqeeze every last fps possible out of my aging ( well it's reached it's first birthday :-) ) 64 Mb Geforce 2 GTS PRO video card.At the startup graphic screen in Fly! II is a check box - environment mapping. Can anyone please tell me what this is/does. I have tried Fly! II with it both checked and unchecked and apart from gaining about 3 fps with it unchecked can't see any visible difference??. I must admit to wearing reading glasses. My eyes aren't as young as they used to be. :-)Is anyone using an Nvidia Geforce FX - 5600 (256 Mb) video card. I'm seriously thinking of upgrading but after the MX - 200 and MX - 400 confusion with the Geforce 2 Nvidia chipsets I don't want to get my fingers burnt. Can anyone tell me where there is a review on the web about this chip, OR from first hand experience tell me how it works with Fly! II.Cheers,Roger @YSSY

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Roger,I can sure see quite a difference when I use Environment Mapping - it appears that the aircraft will pick up the "color" of the light more (changing with the time of day, reflecting sunrise and sunset coloration, etc.)There also appears to be more of a natural "sheen" to the aircraft finish.Can't tell you anything about the new FX card - my 128MB card has certainly been great, though I'm still experimenting with the render.ini, trying to balance performance with more "slots" for detail.

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G'day Randall,Thanks for the reply,To my eyes I still get reflections and T & L effects. I guess it's a bit like having a HI-FI system 20 - 20000 Htz. My old ears would be lucky to pick up any sound outside the 40 - 12000 Htz range. ( a result of years of being right next to JT-3's at T/O power :-) )One thing I did notice with environment mapping off was that the size of the 800 x 600 JPEGS that I posted of the clouds were only about 47 Kb.??? So environment mapping must do something to the screen. However with it off the FPS increase was only about 3 FPSFor info for all I found a review at Tom's Hardware site.http://www.tomshardware.comNvidia no longer give any performance specs for their chips and the reviewer made the comment that to his mind this means that they may have something to hide?I went to the Nvidia site and that is full of advertising hype likeCineFX engineIntellisample HCT performance technologyUltrashadow technologywhich to me, and I suspect the average user, is meaningless. Nowhere is any of this backed up by performance figures so I am left to make my mind up by the review at Tom's Hardware site.Cheers,Roger @YSSY

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I don't know Roger, But I remember reading no so good comments about the FX series. To me FX has more memory because it is much lower on performance,so they tried to compensate that by offering more memory on it.As far as I know FLY will use more the GPU than the other sim, I think FS200x will appreciate more the 256 or 512 memory than FLY, because FLY render engine depends more on the GPU - I think - Me and my friend went to Best Buy the other day, we saw one GeForce FX with 256MB for less than one GeForece Ti4200 with 128MB, that gave us a clue... . We went for the Ti 4200. BTW both were same brand ( VERTO ) I have a Verto Ti4200 with VIVO ( Video In Video Out ) and it works great on my XP system, as I do Video Capturing and Editing. FLY runs well, but sometimes I will like to get more Slots allocated. One of these days I will tweek my Render.ini fileRegards.Javier.

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G'day Javier,You were very fortunate to be able to see and compare both cards by the same manufacturer.All the performance tests at toms hardware also have the 256 Mb FX - 5600 Ultra on about par with the 128 MB Geforce 4 TI 4200 cards so I guess the FX-5600 isn't the way to go.In all fairness it must be noted that there seems to be different implementation of the FX - 5600. The card manufacturers confuse the issue with either 4.0 ns, 3.6 ns or 3.3 ns ram speeds. And then use either 128 MB or 256 MB of ram, So you can see that many permutations abound. I dug deeper ( scrolled the page :-doh )into the Nvidia site and a few specs are quoted.A new chip FX - 5900 has just recently made it to the stores on video cards. Tomshardware has just posted a performance test on this and it really gets up and boogies. Leads all the current oposition cards in the various tests. It's not cheap! Apart from being very fast it also has 256 MB DDR memory which I'm sure I can put to good use with the render.ini . I retire at the end of this year and I want to set myself up with a high end system before I quit work so I might just grit my teeth and smile as I hand over the cash. :-)I was hoping that someone on the forum has already tried the FX series card and could give an enlightened view.I don't want to be the vanguard because if I blow this then I mess up big time.Thanks for your input Javier, The FX-5600 has been eliminated.Cheers,Roger @YSSY

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I can only tell you about my experience with the fx5600 256meg card.there's no question that the video memory allows for more fps stability. You eliminate the 4fps or the bouncing fps. What I mean by this is that if your cpuvideo combination gives you x fps, the fps will not change much when you enter clouds and complex scenery. The cpu, however, is still responsible for increasing the fps. with my amd 2600, fx5600 set at 2x AA, and pc 3500 ram,FLY2 keeps 30-35 steady fps in wayne's populated airports. In clouds, the fps drop into the 20's. I expected more from the fx5600, but I am not sure if, in the end, the ATI9800 would be a better(but more costly) choice to more fps.tony

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Roger,I think Environment Mapping makes a very big difference in the exterior view quality of the aircraft - check the following:Environment Mapping Off - You'll note that the aircraft is still picking up the color of the sunset, but the finish is lifeless (no sheen, no reflective highlights to add shape or 3-dimensiality to the image...almost like a matte finish)

Environment Mapping On - Now there's a beautiful highlight running along along the fuselage and the finsih has come alive. Also note the nose and wheel pant highlights that really add shape.

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Hi Tony,I'm using ATI 9500 Pro (moderate overclocking)and I'm getting the same FPS as you've got. I am planning to upgrade in the near future but I wonder if having the best of the video card will help significantly improve performance or it's a combination of CPU, memory & video card?. my rigAMD XP2800+MUSHKIN 512MB PC3200ATI 9500 PRO100 G WD HDchrisrpll

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1. cpu--2. video memory3. video powerI have gone through 4 cpu, 3 video cards , and this what I've concluded. tony

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G'day Randall,Mate that's excellent! Thanks for the pics. Even I can see the sheen on the aircraft with environment on. Now I understand. I've studied the scenery pretty closely and that doen't seem to show up any difference. I am guessing that models would as they would reflect the light. I can also understand now why the Jpegs were much smaller.Thanks for the help.Cheers,Roger @YSSY

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G'day Tony,Thanks for your post. Can't beat first hand info. 30-35 fps is pretty damn good :-)I remember in the early days someone posting that anything over 25 fps was a sheer waste of processing power as the human eye can't distinguish the difference. This was in the days when a pentium III 550 was a high end machine with a tnt 32 MB card. The big attraction of the 256 FX-5600 is the price. It may not be the fastest chip but it's only half the price. So on a value for money basis it is way up there. I remember Rich stating that fps was pretty evenly shared by CPU , memory and graphic card. My system is AMD XP-1700+512 Mb. pc 133 SDRAMGeforce2 GTS/PRO 64 Mb. I do intend to get a faster CPU eventually but if I read you right what you are saying is that if I get the absolute fastest video card and put it into my system then I would only receive a marginal increase in fps. There are three weak links in my system :-)Never mind all shall be rectified.Thanks for your input - much appreciated.Cheers,Roger @YSSY

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Roger,Your cpu and memory will very easily give mid 20's. Also, your xp1700 might be a candidate for overclocking. Look at Overclocking.com for your cpu and see what some users can overclock to with mormal cooling.tony

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G'day Tony,I looked at overclocking when I first got the 1700+. It involved a bit of handiwork to the cpu and failures were common so I gave up on the idea. I noticed recently that there in a plug/socket that accepts the AMD chips and it unlocks the multiplier and allows the user to set the multiplier manually or even in the bios. Can't find a source to purchase here in Aus. No self respecting computer retailer wants to know about it. :-)At present the price of AMD chips are quite affordable and this is pushing overclocking back to the realm of the hobbyist.Thanks for the link. I'll go and have a read to see just what is achievable.Cheers,Roger @YSSY

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