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FSX Load time.....?


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#1 Mr Pants

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 05:21 PM

How long does your FSX take to start, from double clicking on the shortcut to loading the select your aircraft/airport/weather etc screen?

I have loads of add ons on mine and it takes about 30 - 40 seconds to load. The splash screen comes up immediately, then it sits there for 30 - 40 secs before the music starts on the main screen.

Is this normal? Hard to quantify based on what addons, PC power etc....

I have a stupidly powerful PC that should cope with most things at the moment. :?
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#2 Francois Dumas

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 07:22 PM

Almost 10 minutes now.......
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#3 N99WB

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 07:44 PM

About 45 sec for me. This, in my FSX.CFG file, knocked it down from about 90 sec.

[Main]
DisablePreload=1
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#4 IR655

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 07:54 PM

About 45 sec for me. This, in my FSX.CFG file, knocked it down from about 90 sec.

[Main]
DisablePreload=1


What exactly is Preload?
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#5 peterhayes

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Posted 18 May 2008 - 11:41 PM

Arman
From AZFLYBOY on http://www.sim-outho...ums/shp?t=39232
"In the FSX.cfg, under the MAIN section add the following
DisablePreload=1

By default, FSX loads the default flight as part of the initial booting process before the main menu appears. This adds considerably to the initial loading time for FSX, and after disabling the preload, my boot times went from 4-5 minutes to only 20-30 seconds. Even if you do use the default flight quite a bit, this is probably worth doing since changing since the overall time to load the default flight doesn't increase much at all."

Arman, one caveat if you insert this line under [MAIN] you will find that as FSX loads up your flight it will "hang" at around 6% loading so whilst this speeds up the load in the early stages, I found that it slowed me down in the later stages of loading. But its worth a try!!
:) :)
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#6 Burkhard

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 08:03 AM

Good Tip! Thanks.
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#7 Mr Pants

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 02:44 PM

wow, so I have nothing to complain about.

What makes it get slower and slower, is it the addons?
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#8 Francois Dumas

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 03:13 PM

.... and Windows.
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#9 GaryGB

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 05:29 PM

Hello:

I agree with Francois that slow loading and run-time responsiveness is due to both FSX and Windows itself loading and running too many background processes which are not directly essential to a high-performance FS flying session. :)

Some Windows services are poorly documented as to just how essential they may be to progressive optimization of windows boot times as well as caching, prefetching, and improving load times for frequently used apps such as FSX. :wink:

But to directly address the issue of whether one can speed up FSX loading times, the above recommendation of adding "DisablePreload=1" under the [Main] section of the "active" FSX.cfg file is an excellent start.


I have found using utilities such as Sysinternals FileMon and ProcMon that FSX appears to be "inventorying" EVERY file associated with all content listed in the Scenery.cfg file... whether that area is checked to be "active" or not! :shock:

FILE READS ARE PERFORMANCE KILLERS IN FS, ESPECIALLY FSX! :!:

So I have experimented with not just "un-checking" unused scenery areas that I am not currently flying in (which does help speed up FS load times), but I take things a step further.

I literally "remove" and "restore" infrequently used scenery area listings from the FS Scenery.cfg file with an excellent freeware FS utility called "SCM 2004" by Hans Hartmann (-yes, it does work on the FSX scenery.cfg file!):

http://library.avsim...p?Sea&Go=Search

[EDIT]
This program can be used in conjunction with the FSX SDK Base File diagram to selectively edit the Scenery.cfg file and thereby reduce the burden of currently unused files that FSX is "aware" of during its load process, so that one can minmize file read operations even further than appears to be achieved via the above "DisablePreload=1" tweak.
[END_EDIT]

The FSX SDK Base File Information diagram is shown and discussed in detail in this interesting thread:

http://www.fsdevelop...read.php?t=5864


Another related interesting thread on optimizing the FSX scenery engine to only load data needed for a given flight (with excellent graphical illustration by Luis Feliz Tirado now lost due to AVSIM's RIDICULOUS 7-day content purge policy! :evil: ) appeared in the AVSIM forums discussing the number of scenery area quads (QMIDs) which load under and outside one's flight path depending on the slider settings for "Level Of Detail (LOD) Radius":

"The LOD radius slider (LOD is the same grid, now named QMID) simply determines how many geographically limited files are loaded:

Low = 2.5 quadrants
Medium = 3.5 quadrants
High = 4.5 quadrants"


http://forums.avsim....p?az=&mode=full

[EDIT]
In addition to using SCM 2004 to disable / remove scenery area entries in Scenery.cfg that are not reasonably close to one's flight path which have the new FSX "numeric" area names, one can do the same with disabling / removing various legacy named "city" folder area entries in Scenery.cfg still used by FSX for content storage (often containing numerous photorealistic texture tiles!).

Defragging and using a RAID 0 volume can further help with faster load times (less important for run-time data access speeds since nearly everything FSX needs for a flight from the hard disk should end up cached in RAM!), but an intelligent pre-fetch and RAM cache program will prove most influential of all tweaks after implementing those above:

-with 1 GB of RAM, after FS2004 initially loads, subsequent re-loads can be as brief as 10-20 seconds!

-with 2 GB of RAM, after FSX initially loads, subsequent re-loads can be as brief as 30-45 seconds!

NOTE: With only 1 GB of RAM, after FSX initially loads, subsequent re-loads still require heavy hard drive usage!
[END_EDIT]

Hope this gets everyone loading faster! :D

GaryGB
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#10 IR655

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 07:13 PM

Thanks for the explanation both Peter and Gary! 8)
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#11 GaryGB

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 10:57 AM

I wish FS offered a GA VFR-only mode for us bush flyers so that prior to exiting FS and having it internally save info on the last flight to make it the default next time FS starts, it offers options to automatically (to mention just a few ideas!): :roll:

-disable ATC and jetways at airports within the 130 mile tracking radius
-disable (completely!) scenery areas outside one's flight plan path (according to the LOD / QMID Radius slider as above)

Perhaps this could also be done automatically on the fly after creating a flight plan and clicking "Fly Now"; FS could then edit and re-index the Scenery.cfg to non-destructively remove (and store for later retrieval) un-needed scenery area entries as is done by SCM 2004. :idea:

Think of it as a kind of "EnableSelectivePreload=1" tweak for the FSX.CFG file! :P

Some ambitious programmer might even create this functionality right now instead of waiting for ACES to see the wisdom of adding this feature to their "Things To Do" list; that could help FSX load times and run-time performance both! :wink:

[MINI_RANT_ON]
PS: OK so ACES is busy with TS2 and the FSX budget is spent; other major MS products have "PowerToys"; why not FS? :!:
[MINI_RANT_OFF]

GaryGB
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