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Stuttering and Blurries

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I doubt FSUIPC will hold a solution for my problem, but I would much appreciate any help there might be. I have never been dissapointed here through many years of participating in this hobby.

Some weeks ago I began using a Samsung 30" widesreen monitor (2560X1600) in a two monitor set up for my FSX box as part of a two box network. I also started flying PMDGs MD-11 for FSX. The 2D cockpit panel is perfect and frame rates are consistently 20-30 (locked). But I get significant stuttering with clouds and ground scenery as well as what I would describe as mid-distant blurries. The stuttering appears only with the MD-11, not with the default aircraft. The blurries are evident with all aircraft. My system is Q6600 2.4 ghz, nVidia 8800 GTS, 4 gigs RAM running Vista 64. The PMDG forum suggests few experience these problems with the MD-11. I have tried a variety of tweaks: bufferpools, bandwidth, etc. to no avail. So I guess the question is what to do. Is there some hardware or software that might overcome my difficulties? Even better, might FSUIPC hold some remedy I have not yet discovered?

Peter Lowry

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Some weeks ago I began using a Samsung 30" widesreen monitor (2560X1600) in a two monitor set up for my FSX box as part of a two box network. I also started flying PMDGs MD-11 for FSX. The 2D cockpit panel is perfect and frame rates are consistently 20-30 (locked).

Phew! What sort of supercomputer are you running that on, or do you have most of the sliders down?

But I get significant stuttering with clouds and ground scenery as well as what I would describe as mid-distant blurries. The stuttering appears only with the MD-11, not with the default aircraft.

Sounds like the processor is getting severely overloaded, or, just possibly, is getting stuck waiting for disk or video access. I have been trying to get rid of micro-stutters in FSX for a long time -- I've even replaced the HDDs with SSDs -- but I think the problem in my system is the memory bandwidth (DDR2). I'm planning to update to an i7 PC with the fastest DDR3 memory I can get.

Also I was using Vista 64 but now Win 7 RC 64 -- that provides a noticeable improvement, as does using DX10 mode (with only DX10 compatible AI, such as that in MyTrafficX and UT2).

The blurries are evident with all aircraft. My system is Q6600 2.4 ghz, nVidia 8800 GTS, 4 gigs RAM running Vista 64.

Blimey, you get that performance with a 2.4 GHz processor? I'm running a dual 9775 system, water-cooled at 4Ghz on all 8 processors! I've eliminated everything else and I'm sure the bottleneck is the memory ...

As for blurries, I don't really see those, but then I'm only running a resolution of 1600 x 900 (on a 10 foot wide projection screen), so relative to your 2560 x 1600 it would appear fuzzy anyway.

Tell me, you say a two-monitor setup? I've found having two monitors for FSX quite a penalty. Do you still get the problems if you change the configuration to be one screen? Maybe the problem is video card bottleneck?

Is there some hardware or software that might overcome my difficulties? Even better, might FSUIPC hold some remedy I have not yet discovered?

Sorry, FSUIPC isn't a performance enhancing program, only an interface for applications and a toolkit for users.

If you find your solution, please do let me know. When I get my i7 PC with superfast memory, water-cooled and hopefully running at least 4GHz, maybe I'll have found my solution? ;-)

Regards

Pete

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Thanks very much Pete for your helpful comments. I run no autogen and no ground or AI traffic with otherwise medium settings. I have not tried one monitor but I will. I gather you think the two monitors (30" and 21") may be too much for my processing power or vedio card.

I wonder if I would be better to go back to FS9. The MD-11 is available for FS9 in widescreen and, apart from airports, scenery is not very important to me. I have my head in or above the clouds most of the time and I only use the 2D full screen mode. Could I run FS9 with Vista or Windows 7 or would I have to use XP? Is FS9 less demanding such that it might work better on my system where FSX is not doing so well? Or should I bite the bullet and go for the bigger hardware? I do like the big screen. It makes a real difference.

Peter.

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FS9 will run far better on that setup, but FSX would run better if you invest in a good after market cooler for the processor and overclock it to at least 3Ghz and get the best fastest memory suitable for your motherboard that you can. My Q6700 is overclocked to only 3.22Ghz so its not pushing it too much and risking shortening its life. The memory I have is 2X2Gb OCZ Reaper 1000Mhz its actually clocked to 996Mhz 1 to 1 (IIRC), as Pete says memory performance and raw processor speed makes the biggest difference to FSX.

Now blurries, first and foremost make sure FSX is not on the same hard drive as the OS, you should keep FSX on its own exclusive drive including most other add-ons for it. If you have any large photo scenery packages they should also be on a different drive to FSX, also try to keep them off the OS drive if possible. A 3 drive setup is the optimum in my opinion, you can get 500Gb drives really cheaply now and the speed of them is usually pretty good because of the high density, my drives all average about 80-90 Mb/sec read speed and I very very rarely see the blurries even at 1920 X 1200 on my 24" monitor.

I found a little tweak to reduce the effect of the distant blurries in spot view by zooming the camera out to 0.5 and then moving the camera closer to the aircraft to fill the frame again, it works very well at tricking you into not seeing the distant blur which you can reduce even further by increasing the LOD_RADIUS= value in the FSX.cfg. The default maximum with the in game slider is 4.5, try increasing it to 6.5 but you may find performance suffers even more and the blurries will get worse if you haven't put in place the other hardware optimisations mentioned at the beginning of my post.

Finally also make sure you have the line WideViewAspect=True in the FSX.cfg this will help set the default zoom levels correctly. Also keep the hard drives de-fragmented, if you have 3 drives like I mention above then the FSX and scenery drives will hardly ever get fragmented in the first place.

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Thanks very much Pete for your helpful comments. I run no autogen and no ground or AI traffic with otherwise medium settings. I have not tried one monitor but I will. I gather you think the two monitors (30" and 21") may be too much for my processing power or vedio card.

Ah. No autogen, no AI traffic, no ground vehicles. I couldn't fly without all those. I like lots of AI traffic and business at airports!

I wonder if I would be better to go back to FS9. The MD-11 is available for FS9 in widescreen and, apart from airports, scenery is not very important to me. I have my head in or above the clouds most of the time

Well, if you aren't interested in the scenery nor the other traffic etc, then you aren't really getting FSX experience -- except possibly for the clouds which can be much better than in FS9 (but there are some alternative weather + graphics products for FS9 which give nearly as good results). So, yes, with your PC FS9 should be marvellously smooth!

and I only use the 2D full screen mode.

I only use the outside view -- no cockpits at all (mine is all hardware, via Project Magenta).

Could I run FS9 with Vista or Windows 7 or would I have to use XP?

I'm sure FS9 will run well on W7.

Try it and see!

Regards

Pete

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Wow. This will take a little digesting. Thanks very much. It sounds like my two RAID configured 150 gig drives are not the best and I have always been discouraged from overclocking processors. FS9 would probably suit my purposes for now. Could you tell me if it should run with Vista or Windows 7 (64 bit) or would I have to go back to XP.

Peter.

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Wow. This will take a little digesting. Thanks very much. It sounds like my two RAID configured 150 gig drives are not the best and I have always been discouraged from overclocking processors. FS9 would probably suit my purposes for now. Could you tell me if it should run with Vista or Windows 7 (64 bit) or would I have to go back to XP.

I'm using Win7 RC 64-bit for everything (though I'm not flying FS9 at present), and as far as I can see there is nothing wrong with it -- better than Vista, and certainly better than WinXP 64-bit, which suffered a dire shortage of drivers in its time.

If you have Win7 already installed, just try FS9 on it. I'm sure it will be fine.

Regards

Pete

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Thanks Pete. I don't have Windows 7 yet, but I think I will scratch what I am running and give it a try with FS9 - at least for now. Then I will have to start looking at some more hardware.

Peter.

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Well before abandoning FSX for FS9 I tried running one monitor - the Samsung 30" - as Pete suggested. I am amazed at the difference. The blurries are gone. The stuttering is now quite minimal. But the real difference is in how well the MD-11 performs. A myriad of little things (some not so little) that never worked right are now as they should be. The runnways look longer and the takeoff/landing rolls appear much faster. The two monitors must just be too much for my video card and processor. Maybe I will stick with FSX but, from what Andy says, I guess I am going to need some heavy hardware to get a second monitor running again, although managing popups on one large monitor reduces the need for two.

Peter.

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Well before abandoning FSX for FS9 I tried running one monitor - the Samsung 30" - as Pete suggested. I am amazed at the difference.... I guess I am going to need some heavy hardware to get a second monitor running again, although managing popups on one large monitor reduces the need for two.

Alternatively, make use of one of your older computer(s) and run the instrumentation separately. There are several packages, from free or nearly so to very expensive, depending on what you want. The payware ones are Sim-Avionics, FlightDeck software and Project Magenta. The free one is/was FreeFDS, though I don't know if that's still going. Someone in another thread here reported finding another free or cheap setbut for GA only I think. I don't recall the name, I'm afraid.

Of course if you are into using the virtual cockpits then you don't need any external instrumentation. In that case I'm not sure what "popups" you refer to, but if it is stuff like flight plan, moving map, and so on, there are plenty of external programs you could run on a separate PC. That what I developed WideFS for. ;-)

Regards

Pete

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Thanks Pete. It all sounds interesting and I will have a look. I don't use the 3D cockpit - only the 2D. The popups are the panels like the overhead, the throttle panel, etc. I run all my weather, flight planning, etc. on a second computer using your WideFS of course.

Peter.

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Vasfmc is a free/donations software for flying the heavies and is very good.

You can either use a built in version or a standalone one on a second pc ( I use this option with it spread across 2 screen on the slave pc)

Get it from http://vas-project.org/.

Den

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