Hello fellow FSX:SE users. I've recently been going through some trial and error with freeware weather engines and I think I'm ready to upgrade to ASN. I was going to post on the HiFi Simulations forum but I believe that their forum is restricted to people who already own the product. So, hopefully this is the right place.
I recently bought the 737 NGX and I fly it almost exclusively now. The only problem is that when I want to fly out of my addon airports, I take a big hit on my fps. My solution: Adjust all of the weather sliders to the minimum setting. This works fine for me, I mostly use fsx as a procedural trainer with the NGX so I don't really need to look out the window and see 5 layers of gorgeous REX clouds, even if they are spectacularly soft and fluffy. If I'm forced to make a concession in regard to fps, I'd rather have low quality wx graphics and minimum settings to keep my aircraft and scenery settings as high as they can go. There is one major downside... no clouds, no fog, means NO ICE. I just pretend to be in icing conditions, which is a bummer but I guess I can live with that.
In my research I've learned a lot about ASN, it looks AMAZING. But I assume most people who post on related forums have higher-end gear than I do, and are better acquainted with their systems. I would post my specs but then I'd have to look them up... I'm not a gearhead, I know next to nothing about hardware, I have a "gaming" laptop and that's good enough for me. Default aircraft and simpler payware models work like a charm with ALL of the sliders maxed out, I get 40-50fps at times. I only run into problems with HD addons and weather.
If ASN were free, I'd just download it and see how it works. Sadly, funds are tight right now, so I'd like to get some more info before I make the leap. I've reviewed the manual and browsed several forums for information. I'm certain the bowels of the internet have all the answers somewhere, I'm probably just not savvy enough to find them. So here are my questions, any help is appreciated.
What is the complete range of the settings in ASN? Lowest to highest cloud draw distance, cloud layers, precipitation effects, and any other relevant sliders. The manual refers to these settings but not in detail. Specifically, it doesn't mention how low they can actually go. If I can turn individual settings off completely that would give me countless possibilities.
Does updating the weather have a noticeable performance impact on your machine? Any drop in fps, any CTDs, any OOM errors? The manual says this option is adjustable, but doesn't say if you can turn it off completely. With fsrealWx I just load the weather and then close the program to avoid this issue. I'd rather not have to do that with ASN.
I love the way Active Sky handles turbulence, wind shear, icing, and other goodies. It looks like you're flying through actual air instead of the soup that default FSX provides. Do these effects limit performance in any way? Didn't seem like anybody specifically talked about this in the forums.
I think my fsrealWx CTD issue is related to the way the program communicates with the simulator, namely FSUIPC. ASN has AS Connect, right? How does this work exactly? Is there anything I need to do with FSUIPC or AS Connect to get the most out of the product?
ASN overwrites default FSX weather settings. FsrealWx also overwrites the default weather, but there seems to be a communication breakdown at high altitudes and the default weather tries to reassert itself, leading to absurd changes in wind speed and direction. I like to practice my trumpet at cruise and nothing sucks more than to be interrupted by an overspeed warning that would NEVER happen irl. Selecting "user defined weather" in the default menu sort of resolves this. ASN is undoubtedly more advanced fsrealWx, but can I expect to encounter any problems like this? Are there optimum FSX settings to increase performance while running ASN?
WOW, sorry for the long post, probably could've knocked this out in a paragraph if I tried... I'm a long time avsim browser but this is my first post! I'm excited to finally get involved the sim community!