FSX (and P3D v1.x) Software and Hardware Guide

Hello everyone.

This guide has two sections: the Software Guide and the Hardware Guide. Please scroll down for the Hardware Guide. It has been on purpose left in one piece.

FSX SOFTWARE (TWEAKING) GUIDE

Version updated 25. March 2014.

*P3D – has not been extensively tested, but has been confirmed that some tweaks work, and most of the document can be applied over P3D (ONLY APPLICABLE to version 1.x, NOT v2.x). “*” after each tweak explain what it does/doesn’t do for P3D.

I’ve been a member at many forums in past 10 years, helping users in their FSX setups and the questions that pop up are usually often very similar. This guide was created to answer those questions and in general to help users set up FSX. It also serves as a reminder and the one stop place for all those tweaks you wanted to know about.

Many wonder why I have no problems with performance, so I also wanted to share my settings and also explained a bit why I set it like I set it.

And before you ask: no, I am not getting 30fps in every situation, I also fly heavies, and I have sometimes FPS below 30s and I then do have stutters occasionally.

IMPORTANT: If you feel like going through this guide and set up my tweaks, I strongly suggest you start doing that on the clean FSX, meaning clean fsx.cfg, no mods like ShaderMod 3, no other tweaks, especially not tweaked FSX.cfg through Venetubo tool (not saying Venetubo is bad, only that this is a different approach).

The numbers you are seeing in each of the tweaks are my own settings.

FPS measurement references in this guide are done with FRAPS, not with an internal Shift+Z counter.

Let me also point out that these tweaks are most probably going to work best on the Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge system, coupled with an Nvidia GPU. I have no idea how well they will do on the lower systems (or ATI cards), but you are welcome to try and report!

ABBREVIATIONS USED

FFTF – Fiber Frame Time Fraction
SGSS – Sparse Grid SuperSampling
AA – Antialiasing
AF – Anisotropic Filtering
IQ – Antialiasing and Anisotropic Filtering, IQ is basically everything that falls under this category, whatever is making the picture look better (smoother edges, jaggies and shimmering elimination etc.)
HT – Hyper Threading
TBM – Texture Bandwidth Multiplier
TML – Texture Max Load
BP – Bufferpools
SB – Sandy Bridge
AM – Affinity Mask
OOM – Out of Memory

WATER SETTING REFERENCE

1.x has no reflections:

- Low 1.x – the basic shader
- Mid 1.x – adds an animated detail texture
- High 1.x – adds some specular effects

2.x adds a 2nd pass to get reflections and this can be a killer:

- Low 2.x – only the sky (including sun, moon and stars) and aircraft are reflected
- Mid 2.x – sky, aircraft and clouds are reflected
- High 2.x – sky, aircraft, clouds and terrain are reflected
- Max 2.x – sky, aircraft, clouds, terrain, autogen and other scenery objects are reflected

Let’s get going:

Tweaks/Mods

If following entries don’t exist in your FSX.cfg, enter them manually!

[BUFFERPOOLS]
Poolsize=0
/ Usepools=0 (use either or, both do the same thing) – referenced as BP=0

This tweak bypasses the internal FSX bufferpool, and sends the data directly from the CPU to the GPU. Benefit: higher frames, Downside: possible artifacts. A very good balance with locked FPS is required!

Water Effects must be High 2.x or higher, otherwise you will get flashes.
Often seen in combination with other tweaks, especially with RejectThreshold:
In the Bufferpools section, if BP=0 is used, nothing else is required or should be in there.

If you get flashing and artifacts with BP=0 tweak, it would be a good idea to check what the GPU is doing – running a GPU at 100% is a source of artifacts, flashes, driver crashes and BSODs. As the CPU sends the data directly to the GPU, and GPU is not able to handle the incoming data, you will get flashing and artifacts, as already mentioned. The only way is to lower the settings, cloud resolutions, or anything basically that is going to give the GPU more headroom, including buying a faster GPU.

*this tweak can/should be used in P3D (I am using it). The benefits are very similar to those in FSX. Also since High 2.x doesn’t exist in P3D, the setting should be set accordingly to FSX. See the water reference section above.

[JOBSCHEDULER]
AffinityMask=14

This tweak, on a quad core, moves the FSX onto the Core1 (2nd core), to basically split fibers and main thread. It is good because Windows is usually having its processes on the Core0, so moving to Core1 is giving FSX more breathing space. It is also sacrificing one texture thread, since all that comes after Main Thread are Texture Threads. This means FSX is running with Core0 – Fibers, Core1 – Main Thread, Core2+3 – Texture Threads. That’s OK like that.

For a quad core running HT off, this should be 14.
For a quad core running HT on, this should be 84.

How to calculate AM:
A modern day SB CPU has Cores. Depending if you HT is on or off, you are going to have 4 or 8 cores or even 6 or 12 cores on the 6core CPU.
Now, a quadcore has: Core0 (being the first core), Core1, Core2 and Core3. Cores always begin with 0.
AM is being calculated easily in the windows calculator. Open and then choose programmer view. The binary code is shown below, and it corresponds to cores on the CPU. But you have to calculate backwards. This means, lower row, far to the right, the numbers represent cores. See this pic:

An example:
For a quad core running HT off, this should be 14. Type in 14 into the calc. Observe the numbers in the binary change. Now remember: they are backwards.
So it displays: …. 0000 1110, meaning cores 1,2,3 are used.
Same for 84 (if HT on):
…. 0000 0101 0100 meaning Core 1,2,3, and no HT cores are used, also Core0 is not used.
If you wish, you can test whatever you like here, just change the 0 to 1 or vice versa with the mouse to assign active core to FSX.

*this tweak can be used in P3D the same way as in FSX

[GRAPHICS]
HIGHMEMFIX=1

A must have tweak. Don’t ask much :) (Thank you Jesus!)

*this tweak is not needed in P3D

[DISPLAY]
TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT=40

I haven’t seen any benefit of going any higher. There are some posts saying you should set it to 80, 90, 100… I keep it at 40, which is also a default.

Another possibility here is to calculate this number according to some posts.
These formulas have been assembled by FSX users and in no way confirmed by Microsoft, so use at your own risk. As it is with all tweaks, it’s worth a try.
FSX Tweaks Demystified

Basically:

—– MAX_TEXTURE_DATA —–
(GPU Memory Bandwidth * 24) / Target Frame Rate = Maximum Bytes per Frame
24 is used for GDDR5.

—– TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT —–
(Maximum Bytes per Frame / Global Texture Resolution) * 100 = Texture Bandwidth Multiplier

The important thing here is to think about the Global Texture Resolution: do you have 1024, 2048 or 4096 in your CFG, so what are you going to put as a divider? Taking 4096 is going to give below 40 result. Also do you set 4096 when you have no 4096 clouds installed, or not… NGX has 4096 textures etc. I went with 40, and personally saw no real benefit from calculating this. As always, YMMV.

*this tweak is not needed in P3D

[GRAPHICS]
TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD=4096

This is a tweak telling FSX what is the max resolution texture it can load. Remember: can. If you are running absolutely no 4096 textures, there is no reason to have it set to 4096, but also no harm done.

It is no performance killer if you are not using 4096 textures. Examples are LevelD McPhat HD textures, 4096 clouds…

Beware that using 4096 clouds with high levels of Anti Aliasing like SGSS is going to kill the GPUs, especially 560Ti. Even my overclocked GTX 580 is being extremely hammered by such high resolutions and IQ. I am currently using 2048 clouds, as they offer a good inbetween. Depending on the GPU, you might be better off by 1024 or 2048. If DXT5 or not, I don’t know. Saw really no performance difference and no difference in VRAM usage. I opted out for no DXT5 and got into no troubles.

This value is likely to get reset if you enter and confirm FSX settings in-game.

*P3D supports 4096 textures natively via options

[DISPLAY]
UPPER_FRAMERATE_LIMIT=30

Many are using external limiters, many are using internal.

I found out (and got it recently confirmed) that external limiters cause blurries and more stutters.

The fact is that internal limiter is as smooth as FSX can get, if FSX achieves the limited FPS without a problem. If you combine this with the BP=0 tweak, you are going to get even better smoothness.

30 is not a magic bullet for everyone, although it’s probably the most used setting. Doesn’t mean it’s going to work for everyone though. If you have older hardware, you might be forced to go lower, 20-25 even. It’s all about what your machine can handle, considering both hardware and settings. The best though would be to aim for 30fps, due to the new VSYNC tweak.

Setting higher FPS is a bad idea and should not be done, much same like running unlimited.

*this should be set the same in P3D

VSYNC TWEAK – FULL SCREEN

A thing worth mentioning here is a new discovery on the Hardware Video Forums about new Nvidia VSync.
This tweak brings unparalleled smoothness with the locked frame rate at 30fps.

In short:
1) identify your monitor refresh, and if it’s 60hz…
2) set locked 30fps in FSX FPS and see that you get it!
3) set Nvidia Inspector like mine when it comes to VSync – ½ refresh rate

This tweak only works in full screen. It does not work in windowed.

ForceFullScreenVSync=1 in FSX.cfg is not used in my configuration.

Source for more details:
Link

*same as in P3D

VSYNC TWEAK – WINDOWED MODE

If you are a windowed mode user (multiple screens for example), then you will be please to know there is a “fix” for Vsync in the windowed mode.
Previously, when Vsync in windowed mode was activated in FSX.cfg per ForceWindowedVSync=1 line, the FPS would always run at refresh rate dividers… 60, 30, 15… meaning, it was never able to run 25fps, or 23… from 30, if system could not maintain, FPS would drop to 15. And that led to quite a lot of stuttering. There is a fix now: after FSX has been started, an Aero restart is required, which in return fixes the normal Vsync operation in windowed mode.

To enable Vsync in windowed mode add following to your FSX.cfg:

[GRAPHICS]
ForceWindowedVsync=1

To restart Aero, there are more possibilities, choose yours:

1) manually – quit dwm.exe (task manager, Desktop Windows Manager), it will restart itself, and Aero will be enabled

2) create a batch file containing:

@echo off
start “” “E:\FSX\FSX.exe” (insert here the link to your FSX.exe)
net stop uxsms
net start uxsms
and run it. FSX is going to start, Aero is going to get started after FSX, and voila…

3) elegant solution, through FSUIPC (only works with registered version):

a) create a batch file containing:

net stop uxsms
net start uxsms

b) set the FSUIPC to run the batch file automatically, edit the FSUIPC.ini and enter:

[Programs]
Run1=HIDE,”E:\FSX\Modules\FSX.bat” (insert here the link to your FSX.bat)

This solution is going to do everything silently. No CMD popup windows, only visible Aero activation.

Reference post:
Link

*can be used the same way in P3D, not needed though

[TERRAIN]
LOD_RADIUS=6.500000

This tweak is for sharper distant textures and basically extends the sharp texture radius around the aircraft. It takes a toll on performance and especially memory load (VAS).

This setting should NOT be set over 6.5. This is a known source of OOM errors, and even 6.5 can cause it, if you are not careful. Max FSX default is 4.5. And it is going to reset to 4.5 each time you enter AND confirm the settings screen in FSX.

And important tweak that goes along with higher LOD is the ZOOM. More you zoom out, sharper the textures are going to get! I am using default of 0.6 zoom in all my views.

*P3D has this setting by default in the options, but be aware that VAS usage is in P3D slightly higher, thus higher chance of OOM with LOD 6.5

OOMs (Out of Memory errors) and why they happen:

To keep this explanation simple: FSX is a 32bit application thus has an ability to grow up to 4GB of virtual space. This has nothing to do with the free space on the disk, installed physical RAM or the size of the RAM. VAS (virtual address space) is a memory map in which FSX is working. If FSX attempts to grow above 4GB of VAS, it will crash. VAS is mostly impacted by the LOD setting, additionally through heavy aircraft like PMDG NGX and ORBX sceneries like PNW or similar. UTX also puts a heavy usage onto VAS.

VAS can be easily monitored by either FSUIPC (a warning when VAS reaches about 3.8GB, giving your a chance to save the flight) or visually through Process Explorer (a column Virtual Size must be shown!).

[DISPLAY]
WideViewAspect=True

This should be used if you have a widescreen monitor, which I think everyone has nowadays.

[Main]
FIBER_FRAME_TIME_FRACTION=0.15

FFTF determines the fraction of the CPU time given to the scenery loader in relation to the time spent rendering. Basically it’s a relation between the scenery loader and faster FPS. Run it lower, you get more FPS. Run it 0, you give CPU no time to load scenery, if your FPS is below locked. The faster the CPU, the lower this number can be, because less fraction of the CPU clock is required to successfully load the scenery.

This tweak is also dependable, much like the BP=0 on the balance of the system. Meaning overloading the system and hoping that FFTF=0.1 or lower is going help you bring the FPS up is a misconception. It’s very hard to explain what an overload means, but if you look at my cloudtest, that is a clear example of an overload (even my Windows seem laggier if I run that in windowed), even though the FPS I get are around 26fps.

So in short:
Default is 0.33. The lower the number, the better the FPS, but also more danger of blurry textures and autogen loss.
DO NOT set it to 0.
You can experiment with this tweak; mostly used settings are 0.1-0.25.

ORBX lands are usually going to need 0.2 or higher, anything less and texture loading will greatly suffer. Outside ORBX you are probably be able to run as low as 0.1. Experimenting is the key here.

*can be used in P3D, shows the same results in P3D just like in FSX (higher FPS, and if the setting is too low, blurries)

MOUSE-CURSOR FPS DROP

It has been for some time known that in FSX, the mouse cursor can cause certain FPS drop. It has always existed in FSX, however became known with the appearance of high quality cockpits that were hard on FPS. For example PMDG 737 NGX. If you are locking the FPS like I suggest in this blog, then your FPS are locked 30fps. Now, it will still happen at detailed airport hubs that your FPS drop below 30fps in the NGX VC. Say your FPS drop to 25. And the issue of the mouse-cursor lag or fps loss is simple: is there visible mouse-cursor over the FSX screen, the FPS will be lower than they are when the mouse is hidden. The mouse-cursor hides automatically after some 5 seconds if you do not move it. However, one might wish to hide it, not waiting these 5 seconds.

Beware, this is not really a tweak, it is only a way to help yourself gain couple of FPS during worst of times like taxiing on a big airport or on approach where FPS suffer due to high quality scenery.

Also note, that this “tweak” does not help if you are GPU limited. For example low speed GPUs, or extremely high levels of Antialiasing, which would put your GPU usage to 100% and limit the FPS on the GPU.

So, how to:

In windowed mode, it is pretty obvious, just move the mouse cursor off the FSX, and you will most likely notice FPS go slightly up (usually about 20%) – as long as your FPS are BELOW what you have locked, otherwise they can’t go up, obviously!!
Full screen is a bit more tricky, so I use two tricks – in NGX, there is a possibility to move to the left upper edge of screen, that is basically the same, or I personally use EZCA – I have a mouse button assignment for cockpit pan of EZCA, which then conveniently hides the mouse cursor and switches the mouse to react as a pan-around. Also if switch to another screen, like I do via InputDirector does the trick. There are many tricks, the main thing is, cursor is not visible over the main FSX screen.

VIDEO DRIVER LINE IN FSX.CFG

[DISPLAY.Device.NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580.0]
Mode=1920x1200x32
Anisotropic=1

The line DISPLAY should appear ONLY ONCE per Display in your FSX.cfg (if you have one display, once, if you have two, twice etc).
If you have more lines (and only one monitor), delete fsx.cfg and let FSX recreate a new one.
The “Mode=” end number should be 32 (NOT 16).
Anisotropic Filtering should be on in FSX.

Now, what does this combo of tweaks do FOR ME?
First of all, I tested which settings in FSX do the most damage to the FPS, and I removed those.
Rest I put almost to the max. I’ll just post my settings here, and let you do the math.


FSXconfig3

I am not using any AI since I exclusively fly on VATSIM.

I combined BP=0 tweak with the FFTF successfully, giving me the best ratio in performance vs. quality (means no blurries) and least stutters.

BALANCE TWEAKING!!!

So, after going through my tweaks, I would like to come back to something I have to explain again and again:

People are reporting very often that some tweaks are not working, especially that BP=0 is stuttering, that you get artifacting. While systems might differ, and they most certainly often will do, I had one sole experience on most of my systems.

If I manage to balance my system well, I will get no problems from any of the above tweaks.

What does this mean:

It means that before you even put the single tweak into the FSX, you make sure it runs well in the basic setup. Important to understand is that first comes the good balanced setup and then comes the tweaking. I’m not saying you must get 30fps in the NGX VC in the KJFK, but you should see that your settings reflect your system, turning off those FPS killers like bloom, cars, extreme autogen etc. As you noticed, I run all scenery details on max, except autogen and clouds. I did simple tests to see what diminishes performance in FSX at most, and I removed that. As I posted on one thread, if you put enough FPS killers together, it’s gonna kill your FSX, but it also applies the other way. Also do think about those beautifully looking 4096 clouds. Using 2048 or 1024 are not as bad, and won’t hammer the system as hard. This is GPU dependant.

SKIDMARK TWEAK

There is one uncharted tweak in the FSX community. A skidmark tweak.
If you do a simple test, you can easily confirm it:
Set FPS unlimited for this test. Go to a default good performing airport.
Take a default aircraft, slew in for landing and land. Change to external and look behind aircraft. Note the FPS.
Now rename/delete fx_skidmark.fx in Effects folder. There is no visual difference for me, maybe someone can show me visual difference here, but more important for me:
Repeat the above test and note the FPS when looking behind aircraft. My FPS was way higher.
I tested this on completely default untweaked FSX and had it confirmed.
There is something with this file that makes the FPS drop a lot after you land and you turn to spot view. It was even more obvious when landing in the heavy airport, where FPS really mattered.

HOW TO LOAD TML 4096 and LOD 6.5 WHILE IN-GAME

One thing that I use quite often is a configuration save/load feature in Graphical Settings.
Say you change something in the settings, if you have custom LOD and TML, you are probably gonna see a reload with LOD 4.5 and TML 1024.
As this can be impractical in flight, there is a way to reset those settings:
Save settings to a file. Open the file in notepad to edit it, set your LOD and TML data back to your settings, save the file and then load it in FSX. FSX is going to load these settings, along with your newly set settings. This can be done with one file only one time. You can’t save/load one file two times in a row. That is why I have two such config files, you can alternate them while FSX is being open.

G3D.DLL CRASHES AND FIX

Pete Dawson, a maker of FSUIPC utility for FSX, has implemented a g3d.dll crash fix into his product. The fix that is implemented covers one of the crashes only – it is NOT all miracle g3d.dll crash fix.
You should install (and actually buy) the latest module from his website.

FSUIPC Link

MENU CRASHES AND FIX AKA UIAUTOMATIONCORE.DLL-FIX

There is a know bug in originally installed FSX, when you click into menus a lot, or click around the cockpit, or right click, that FSX is going to freeze and/or crash.
The problem is known to get fixed by saving a Vista UIAutomationcore.dll file into FSX folder. Just by placing it there, FSX seems to use that file and not crash FSX any more by those clicks.
Link to the file

FPS Limiter: Internal or External?

Now, I read all those posts claiming how the external limiter is great, and way better than internal FSX limiter. I changed 3 computers since I had FSX; I tested external limiters on all 3 computers and found that all 3 behaved in the completely same manner – way worse than an internal limiter. Thus it’s very hard to believe there are computers out there that behave differently. My only explanation is that the internal limiter wasn’t set up correctly. I feel bashing coming now, but that’s how it is.

To test the limiters, situations must be set up to reflect the test you are trying to make.
An example: how to test a stutter? Do you go flying around and judge by the feeling? Do you count how many times it stuttered? Did you turn slower or faster? Did you also pull on the stick?
There are too many factors here, and most users do that. I don’t blame them.

One of the correct test situations, which I figured were the best for me for stutter testing are like this:
I have a saved flight with a 737 on the runway at KSEA, setup with parking brake on, and full throttle, paused.
I load the flight, press S to change to external view over left wing and then just press p. No winds are set.
As it’s running down the runway I observe the buildings. I can clearly judge here if a driver is bad, if external limiter is causing more stutters (it is…) etc.

I have similar situations for blurries, clouds (some have already tested it).

I have done this test numerous times and if anyone wants, give me a bump and I’ll put the files onto the server.

I have confirmed for myself that an internal limiter with a correct FFTF combo is doing way better job than an external limiter.
Also another user has the same thing, and I believe this is with everyone, just that it’s so unnoticeable, that everyone is just living with it:
Link

Settings Nvidia Inspector:

Installation:

As I’ve seen this too many times on the forums as of late, users being clever only unzipping the nvidiainspector.exe from the zip and not the whole package, you will have missing descriptions. Make sure you unzip the whole package into a separate folder, otherwise you are going to have missing “Setting Values”.

My settings:

NI-setting

Thanks to Ryan (Tabs) in PMDG forums, we have come pretty close to some conclusions, but there is in my opinion a missing link:
Sparse Grid Supersampling.

Now, if you google and read about it, you’ll find out that it’s very hard on the system but it provides unprecedented quality. One thing everyone is so annoyed by, shimmering, it solves most of shimmering in cockpits and trees/autogen:

2x SGSS not as hard on the system (shimmering reduced greatly)
4x SGSS very hard on the system, especially cloudy situations (absolutely no shimmering)

When it comes to hardware, most middle-to-high end GPUs perform similarly when it comes to FSX. They do not perform similarly when it comes to IQ (antialiasing).

What settings in NI for AA are correct is also dependable on which Nvidia GPU you have.

Hardware-wise, there have been various discussions through the course of more months on which GPU is the right for the FSX.

There have been those who were yelling 560Ti, then some for GTX570 and then some for GTX580. I was one in the last group. Of course, there were some yelling ATI, but let’s not mix here these two, as Nvidia is generally accepted as a FSX GPU.

Until recently, I didn’t really know, or better yet, I was speculating. I was only going according to specs and some of my tests compared to others, but nothing really comparable (there were no tests ran on couple of systems loading one and the same file).

The worst thing though, that our own setup, the FSXMark11, was not able to test this.
I’m talking about the IQ; the relevant settings in the NI.

Some maybe have read the latest posts in the forums where we discussed 560Ti, my cloud situation and the GTX580.

It has been proven, through one simple test, which has so many clouds, that GTX580 performs roughly 33% better than the 560Ti in the same cloudy situation when using 2x SGSS, a setting that many came to recognize as a good middle ground for non-shimmering versus performance.

Now, some might argue if this is worth the roughly double the price of the card. I say yes, because if you think about it for a second: NGX into big airport, cloudy situation: GTX580 30fps, 560Ti 20fps. Of course, these are estimates, but this is one scenario how it could play out: Smooth versus non-smooth.

CLOUD AND WATER TEXTURES

I would like write couple of word on both cloud and water textures in FSX. There are basically 3 programs out there for as 3rd party textures for stuff like clouds, water textures and some other goodies. FEX, REX and AS2012 are the ones used, with REX and AS2012 being on the top of the list. Those programs offer to install 32bit versions of the textures and quite lovely big resolutions like 2048 and 4096 versions. While higher resolutions are OK to use, depending if your hardware will “eat” them, I noticed there are quite some problems using anything else but standard formats that come with FSX. In FSX, you get by default clouds in DXT5 format and water in DXT1 format. I strongly suggest you keep the DXT5 clouds (of course you can go as high as 4096 if you want, if your performance doesn’t suffer, please test against my cloudtest!) and water should also be kept as DXT1, as I have found problems with NI Anisotropic Filtering (yeah, I know, I’m using FSX one, but there are people insisting on using NI one!)

HARDWARE GUIDE

There are many threads, and always new ones created, with a typical question, what should I buy for the FSX.
FSX is a resource hog. If Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, or any other current game is running great, this does not mean that FSX is going to. FSX is an old code, it needs raw CPU power and it needs quite a lot of GPU if you want no shimmering (high IQ)! People tend to forget how important GPU is when getting hardware for FSX.
There is this huge misconception that GPU is not important for FSX and I hope that my previous explanation under Nvidia Inspector managed to shed some light on it.

In this part, we’ll be discussing those hot thread questions like “Build for FSX”, “What is good GPU for FSX” and alike.

CPU

Budget oriented: 3570K, 2500K…

Both quite OK overclockers, good all-rounders, as usual IB running hotter than SB…

Performance: 3770K, 2700K…

2700K is a great overclocker, need to turn off HT though to overclock. Same like above concerning temperature.

All Ivy Bridge CPUs have a temperature problems, thus able to overclock less than 2700K, but with improved performance per clock, it reaches same performance like 2700K with slightly lower overclock. The only chance of overclocking IB like SB is to delid it, replace the thermal paste with a better compound (Coollaboratory Liquid Pro).
Link

It basically right now comes to this: if you want to overclock to reach high FSX performance, an overclock is quite recommended or even a must. 2700K can quite easily reach 5.0Ghz or more with a decent cooling. Out of the box, without any modification. Ivy Bridge though, since it is running quite hot, can out of the box reach max. about 4.5Ghz. That will not top the 2700K’s 5.0Ghz performance. Thus:

If you want high performance with a decent overclock, 2700K.
If you’re ready to delid the Ivy Bridge (warranty-loss in any case), then you have good chances of reaching the same 5.0Ghz or even more. Since IB is faster than SB clock for clock, 5.0 on IB are better than 5.0 on SB. But 4.5 on IB are not better than 5.0 on SB.

It all comes down to what you are ready to do with your CPU.

PCIEx3:
The awaited PCIEx3 is also not a boost in FSX some were expecting it to be.

Check this to get an idea how the performance scales:
Link

Overclocking

This is very important part when it comes to FSX and should be considered when building a computer for FSX. Get a chip that can be overclocked well and get a decent cooling.
Some good sites for overclocking Sandy Bridge CPUs:
Link1
Link2

And some links for Ivy Bridge overclocking tutorials:
Link1
Link2 (video, I think this NCIX guy really explains well)

Most users are running their SB chips around 4.5-4.8. Take that as a pointer.

DISCLAIMER: You and solely you are responsible for your hardware when overclocking.

Temperatures

One of the most asked questions on the forums is “how hot is too hot”.
While everyone is going to have their opinion, there is probably one number that most agree about:
Sandy Bridge should not go 24/7 over 80c (synthetic Prime95 test).
That said, max. operating temperature for the CPU is about 100c, so you should really get worried if you cross 90c, but the hotter it gets, the worse it is for the CPU.
If your synthetic benchmark is going up to 80c, you are most likely not to cross 70c in FSX usage. FSX is never going to load the CPU as high as synthetic benchmarks.
I personally believe that if you keep the CPU cool enough, and if you pump quite a lot voltage into it, you’ll be fine (*disclaimer here that this is only my personal opinion, nothing more).
The usual accepted numbers are up to 1.4 Vcore on the 2500k/2600k/2700k and up to some 80c. (*80c is measured with CoreTemp at high load with Prime95/Linx in a stress test over 1 hour).

Cooling

Be sure to get known and high performing products.
Good overclocking coolers are:
Corsair H100, Noctua NH-D14 (good for high overclocks on air)
Custom Watercooling (best cooling for home use, short of LN2 and alike solutions)
Scythe Katana 3 (cheaper than those above, for those not wanting to overclock as high as 5.0GHz)
…and many more (too many to count!)

As described above, cooling is not something to look over with ease. Think about it as a way to the high performing computer for FSX.

DO NOT FORGET: a good CPU cooler also needs good supporting case fans. It’s no use if the CPU cooler is good, and it’s fans “cool” the CPU with the hot air stagnating inside the case. See the part about the case cooling.

HYPERTHREADING

FSX has no benefit of it and it should be turned off in BIOS.
If you need HT for some other applications, by all means, use it, but do set the correct Affinitymask to force FSX to use all cores but Core0, and no HT cores.

MOTHERBOARD

Not a hard choice, currently Z77 series, something like:
ASUS P8Z77-V
Asrock Z77 Extreme4
MSI Z77A-G45

Whatever takes your fancy. All these boards are good, all are going to fullfill the mission. ASUS is to be said to be a great overclocker, take a look at what the board offers in terms of slots and connectors, and see if it’s enough for you. ASUS Deluxe even offers a front bay…

RAM

Budget oriented:
8GB recommended
1600 MHz / CL7

Performance:
8GB recommended
2400 MHz / lowest CL possible / higher RAM clocks

It’s actually very little difference between these when it comes to performance in FSX.
There have been many tests on this topic, and results have shown that RAM has very little impact on FSX. Some say it’s about microstuttering, yet I couldn’t find any proof that the RAM I tested (second) was any faster or caused any less stuttering than the current one I have.
The fact is, if you keep above 1600 MHz and accordingly with the latency, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Make sure though that you get two sticks and not four. More sticks you have, more does the memory controller on the CPU have to work, making more heat, and making your overclocks harder. It has been proven through some tests that the systems were much more stable by usage of 2 sticks when overclocking.

Besides, FSX doesn’t use more than 4GB in any case, and 4GB including all the FSX apps is more than enough for Windows. 16GB is only going to be needed for things like video cutting, professional photography…

GPU

This is a huge topic. It has been partly covered in the part with Nvidia Inspector, so I won’t go into much depth here.

Recommended GPU for FSX is currently Nvidia. The most commonly used GPUs currently are from 660Ti up to GTX680.

Mostly used *new* GPUs today are GTX660 /Ti, GTX670 and currently top of the line for FSX, the GTX680. According to many tests, going dual GPU cards, like GTX690 has no benefit for FSX. Only high costs.

Budget oriented: GTX 660
Mid-Range: GTX660TI/GTX670
Performance: GTX 680

There have been tests comparing 580 and 680 series of cards. In geometrical sense in a single screen configuration, these cards perform pretty much the same.
Though, add IQ, and differences can be quite big.

If you check the FSXMark11 results, and find comparable results with similar CPUs but different GPUs, you’ll notice very little difference between these GPUs. This is because FSXMark11 doesn’t test the IQ, the AA settings are default (=weak). So is the picture quality.

Yet my cloud test that was run on couple of computers (which is really hard on card’s IQ), confirmed that these cards scale with up to 33% FPS performance differential. This was compared between 560Ti and 580. The GTX680 gives even higher boost over GTX580 when using high Anti-Aliasing methods like SGSS (4x, 8x). It has been seen that GTX680 is almost 2x faster in clouds when compared to GTX580 and using high IQ, for example 4x SGSS.

Here is the link to the cloudtest:

Cloudtest

Unrar this and load in FSX. Press S ONCE to enter external view. Do not unpause.

See what it reads in FRAPS. As a reference, my computer, full screen (settings from above): 26fps. You can use this is as a reference to the cloud performance, which often takes the toll on performance while landing in the bad weather. You are also welcome to post your result below!

That said, it’s up to you to decide which GPU is best for YOU. The more dough, the faster it will be, especially if you like sweet non-shimmering picture with lots of detail!

2xSGSS is going to get rid of most of shimmering, something no other mode is going to do. 4x SGSS goes even step further, and is resolving even the slightest shimmering. So if you want that, there is only one card for you currently: GTX680. Otherwise the performance is going to suffer in heavy overcast clouds.

PCIEx3: in complement with the GTX 670/680, provides no real boost in FSX.

Temperatures

As I have my GPU watercooled, I can hardly report on any normal GPU temperatures or fan speeds. My watercooled GPU never goes much over 45c, even on hard overclock.

STORAGE

Now, this is a huge moot point on the forums. And with right it is.

One thing stands: you should have two harddisks in your system. One for windows and one for FSX.

Budget oriented: HDD
You are going to get the best price/GB ratio. Also if you decide going the HDD way, the best solution right now is the Western Digital Velociraptor 600GB HLHX. It’s big and it’s fast.
Other possibilities include:
Western Digital 1TB Black
Samsung 1TB F3

Performance: SSD

You are going to get the best performance there is.
The biggest plus for the SSD are the loading times. There is virtually no difference while flying. Some say snappier texture loading when changing views, but that’s all there is.
SSD is NOT going to improve your FPS and SSD is NOT going to improve blurries.
Recommendations are OCZ Vertex 3 or 4, Samsung 830, Intel 520… GB? Basically what you can afford, which brings me to…

Most users afford themselves a 128GB one, some more wealthy 256GB ones. And some that really have the dough, ranges of 512GB.
Now, think carefully how big your FSX is, how fast you are going to fill it, and how long until you need a bigger one.

That said, SSDs are also becoming cheaper by the day, it’s only a matter of time until it becomes a massproduct.

A word on RAID: According to some tests I read, RAID setups need to have very good (=expensive) controllers and also fast disks. It has been tested and seen they don’t do much for FSX, in terms of speed. It remained a fact that a single disk, like a Raptor will do much better in FSX than RAID. Not even mentioning SSD. On my own, I never did do any RAID testing.

COMPUTER CASE

Do not underestimate a good case. If you are building an air cooled computer, a good case is of big importance.
The airflow is very important and having big and good quality fans for intake and outtake is of essence.
You must consider that when cooling the computer, it is not only enough to cool the CPU, GPU and the main components, but also the mainboard parts, so good airflow over the mainboard is needed.
Thing to consider too is that the case should have some kind of wire management – an ability to hide the cables behind the mainboard, allowing for better airflow.
Recommendations for the cases are:
Corsair Obsidian 650D/800D (medium/full tower)
Cooler Master HAF 932 /X (full tower)
…and possibly some other comparable cases (open for forum suggestions)

PSU

You need a good PSU. You are building a good computer, saving on the PSU might only bring you troubles.
If overclocking and a strong GPU are planned, consider getting at least 750w.
If buying a system with two GPUs, consider 850w+.
Also do think of getting a modular PSU, so that you connect only the cables you need, allowing for better airflow in the computer.
Also not a bad idea is to get a PSU with an 80+ Gold certification.
Good PSU companies include Corsair, Seasonic, Cooler Master, SilverStone…

After covering the hardware part, some additional info on some settings:

END

I hope to be able to update this guide through our shared efforts to make our simming experience a better one, will update it as new hardware becomes available and as long as I see fit.

Suggestions about useful sections are welcome.

I also wish to thank EVERYONE who invented and brought some of these tweaks to light (among others, Jesus Altuve who discovered some of these tweaks, Nick Needham whose guide I used first, before I went into tweaking of my own, Pete Dowson, whose FSUIPC is irreplaceable… and others). I’m just the dude who figured some things out and put it all together.

CHANGELOG

Updated 680 section in GPU – 21.04.2012
Updated CPU coolers section – 27.04.2012
Added G3D.dll fix section – 28.04.2012
Added Motherboard section – 14.05.2012
Updated CPU and GPU sections with Ivy Bridge status – 17.05.2012
Updated VSYNC section with a new windowed tweak – 04.06.2012
Added UIAutomationcore.dll section for menu crashes – 15.06.2012
Updated FFTF section to explain why 0.2 in some scenarios, updated CPU choice – 25.08.2012
General update&cleanup, updated CPU, GPU sections, added VAS/OOM section, included P3D tweaks used – 02.10.2012
Added water reference section due to P3D compatibility – 06.10.2012
Updated GPU section to reflect SGSS tests with GTX680 – 18.11.2012
Updated Nvidia Inspector Setting section – 23.11.2012
Added new section, Cloud and Water Textures, 14.03.2013
Added new section, Mouse-Cursor FPS Drop, 02.03.2014

1,385 Responses to FSX (and P3D v1.x) Software and Hardware Guide

  1. mouhcine says:

    hi eveybody , just one question , i bought an asus with. 144 hz , there’s any benefit for fsx.
    thanks

    • Kosta says:

      If you can run FSX constant 144fps, yeah. If not, then try 72fps and 1/2 refresh. If you can’t maintain, which I know you can’t, you are left with the 3rd or 4th refresh to work with. Which will be the same as running 60hz screen.

  2. Gert Visser says:

    Hi Kosta,
    I want to thank you for your hard work in making FSX more enjoyable. For me it’s now a pleasure to fly.
    I have a question for you:
    Intro: I fly a lot of VFR in marginal weather, clouds, rain floatplanes etc. Flying is a joy, but gets very stuttery when landing in water, on dirt / snow etc.
    Finding a tip somewhere I disabled Windows aero and…. the stutters were gone. But I also discovered that the stutters in heavy clouds were greatly diminished.
    I know from your guide that restarting aero is necessary for diminshing stutters when the pc combo can’t keep up 30 fps combined with 1/2 refresh rate and vsync. But I now observe that taxiing a float plane is smooth and flying with quite heavy cloud coverage more ejoyable.
    Now my question: Is this caused by my medium system combo?? PC I5 3.1 Mhz no OC, GT660 graphics card.

    • Kosta says:

      “Now my question: Is this caused by my medium system combo?? PC I5 3.1 Mhz no OC, GT660 graphics card.”

      Gert, most likely. The thing is, my FSX, if it can keep the 30fps, is as smooth as any game can get. The trick is maintaining these 30fps. Disabling aero never did anything here, but restarting did cause specific stutters to disappear.
      The best way to test stutters is the situation I described *somewhere*. Basically fly from KSEA, put your look over wing towards airport and observe the buildings. Take off. You will either see buildings and later ground move smooth (I do this with the 737, so the speed is relatively high) or they will stutter a bit, and this will be very noticeable.

      • gert57 says:

        Hi Kosta,
        Thank you for answering.
        Question:
        Is it possible to restart aero to get rid of some stutters AND AFTERWARDS CLOSE IT AGAIN to get rid of the water taxi lag??? Or does one reintroduce the stutters in this way?
        Gert

      • Kosta says:

        Gert,
        Don’t really understand your question. What is a water taxi lag? You can manually restart aero as often as you want. But it won’t bring anything IMO.

  3. Emin says:

    Hi Kosta,
    Hope you didn’t give up on flight sim after P3d v2 fiasco. Anyway, I have a question about Nvidia Vysnc. My problem is, I can’t make it to work at 1/2 refresh rate but it’s working at full refresh rate (ie. 60hz). Now, I am doing everything you’re suggesting but it’s not working for 1/2 refresh rate. It’s terrible when I lock fps to 30 internally. It’s better to keep vsync off unless I can keep 60 fps all the time which is impossible as you know better than anybody out there . I am using driver version 320.18 and latest NI version. My specs are, p3d 1.4, i7-3370k overclocked at 4.5ghz, 16gb ddr3 Ram, Gtx 680 2GB, I have 3 Mitsubishi 22 inch Monitor connected with Matrox Th2go.
    Any idea?

    • Kosta says:

      Emin,
      Not entirely, just on P3D most likely. 140€ is a LOT of money for a sim I barely use.
      Are you talking about P3D or FSX?
      The TH2GO has always been a beast of itself. It might be that that’s the reason.

      • John Orfanos says:

        Hello, i use th2go at 5040×1050 works good with half refresh rate I am on a corei7 2600K OCed at 4,3Ghz with gtx580 phantom (3GB)

      • Emin says:

        I am talking about older P3d (v1.4). I also suspected Th2GO, I took it out (which I don’t need it actually with Gtx 680). However, I still couldn’t make 1/2 refresh rate vsync to work.

        Hi John,

        Can you share your fsx.cfg file if possible?

      • Kosta says:

        Weird. Well, hope you solve it.

        Here is mine for what it’s worth:
        https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/31158446/fsx.cfg

    • Emin says:

      Kosta, John, thanks so much both of you. I’ll let you know if I can manage to solve my problem.

  4. WisnuWW says:

    Hi Kosta, I’ve got a new laptop with Intel Core i5-3317u (1.7 GHz, turbo boosted up to 2.4 GHz), Nvidia 740M with 2GB ram and 4GB system memory. My P3D settings is I’m flying with detailed cloud (HiFPSv2 fs2004 cloud texture with low density and 60km distance) and disabled autogen. My question is which tweak that I should use?

    • Kosta says:

      Wisnu,
      Is it v1 or v2?
      Besides, I can’t really judge the computer from far away. There are often no rules. You have to try it out.

      • WisnuWW says:

        V1.4 Academic Lic
        Okay, I am already testing some tweaks such FFTF=0.15 and Affinitymask. But I doubt that my GPU could handle BP=0 and 6.5 LOD.

      • Kosta says:

        Wisnu,
        I don’t have much experience with laptops and weak cards. Simply test it. It is most likely that you will be able to run FSX only with the ones you mentioned.

  5. Sotiris says:

    Good afternoon Kostas! i have a PC with a processor AMD 8350 8 CORES 4.40 Ghz – Graphic card Nvidia 660 ti 2 Giga – 12 Giga Ram and i have a problem with the Frames is very low,
    and the other problem is that the scenerys flickering …. Can you help me please ???

    • Kosta says:

      Sotiris…
      Yeah, I can help: get the right CPU for FSX if you want speed.
      For scenery flickering, that is the question: go through my guide and see how I set up my Nvidia Inspector.

  6. Sotiris says:

    My English is no very good sorry, i try your settings from Nvidia Inspector but the same problem…

    • Kosta says:

      Sotiris,
      AMD is bad for FSX, end of story.
      There are many types of flickering, some are even scenery caused. I would need a video to judge what’s wrong.

  7. Sotiris says:

    this video is not mine, but shows like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcLWIIeQIzI

    • Kosta says:

      Sotiris,
      Mhh, hard to say. Might be drivers, might be FSX itself. For instance, there are some problems known with UK2000 airports, that happen and look like the one you have shown me. I’ve had that flickering since I had FSX, but only at their airports…
      So sorry, not really a solution, since I tried virtually anything I could in my case.

  8. Jon says:

    Hi Kosta. I’ve used your guide for a long time. Many thanks and my deep appreciation for your effort. I have a question you may be able to answer: I have the latest version of nVidia Inspector and can’t work out where the fps limit is set. Can you help? I’m aiming for 30fps.

    Jon

    • Kosta says:

      Jon,
      FPS limit is, according to my guidelines, set in the FSX, not via Nvidia Driver.
      But in NI, it’s always where it was, under Common in the corresponding profile.

  9. Steve says:

    Hi Kosta,

    I just installed FSX into my brand new PC. Compared to my previous PC, it’s incredibly more powerful. I’m now running into problems with this new one whereby I’m getting BSOD’s after running FSX for only a few minutes? I understand these things can be tricky to diagnose & repair correctly. My FSX system is about the same as it was on the older machine – by that I mean I have many of the same add-ons and system setup as before. I have installed less add-ons into the new PC. FSX ran flawlessly in my older PC with no BSOD’s. Can you let me know your thoughts on what I can do from here? My new specs are:
    CPU: i7- 4770K Oc’d to 4.4 Ghz (water cooled).
    RAM: 16 Gb DDR3 2400 Mhz
    1 x SSD 512 Gb Samsung Pro (FSX only).
    1 x SSD 256 Gb O/S.
    PSU: 900 Watts.
    Graphics Card: Asus GTX 780 3 Gb Video card.
    MOBO – Gigabyte Z87X-UD5H.

    Thanks, Steve

    • Kosta says:

      Steve,
      What is the BSOD code?

      • Steve says:

        EDIT: Kosta, I d/l Blue Screen View program and have saved the 3 crashes separately. It seems that it has something to do with “hal.dll +12a3b” & “ntoskrnl.exe + 18c463″. I’m searching around the web to see what I may find. But I’d still appreciate your assistance. Rgds, Steve

      • Kosta says:

        Steve,
        Alright, these do not say very much. In this case, I recommend you go to the sevenforums, join there and as the questions. Those guys there are W7 gurus and will be of more help than I can be.

      • Kosta says:

        Steve,
        That isn’t possible AFAIK. It must be looked into detail on the computer.
        In the control panel system, find the place where you set that when the BSOD occurs, the system doesn’t automatically reboot. It will remain in BSOD so you have time to write it down or take a photo.

  10. safelandings@gmail.com says:

    Hi Kosta Thank you again for all your help. I use all of your guides and recommendations.
    Recently, I also did the tweak that is on the ORBX forum: “Improving fsx through windows”
    That improved the picture quality of the SIM greatly.
    Kostas try this, last night I discover this tweak : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gATCPqn2Pg

    Pablo

    • Kosta says:

      Pablo,
      Isn’t this the same thing like any other program that quits the running processes? I don’t really have time to look up in detail…

    • safelandings@gmail.com says:

      No kostas, actually is this:
      1) Right click your FSX program shortcut, click on properties
      2) Go to Compatibility tab
      3) Check “Disable visual themes” and “Disable desktop composition”
      4) Click “OK” , you are done.

      And also this :

      1) go to “START”, Right click on “COMPUTER” and go to “PROPERTIES”
      2) Click on “Advanced system settings”
      3) Under performance click “Settings”
      4) Check ” Adjust for best performance” and press “OK”

      This works.

      I also use a program call “AlacrityPC”
      to kill unwanted programs and free up resources while Using FSX.
      I do not use gamebuster.

      Pablo

      • Emann says:

        Hi Pablo,

        I see from this thread that you use AlacrityPC. I have an issue with this software and I am following these instructions: http://snomhf.exofir…alacrityPC.html…when I come to the page to start killing processes I do not see the option Set to Recommended Action…by any chance any way to help me out with this…I am afraid to start closing processes and then perform some permanent damage to the computer….you can also email me personally if you like at emann072@hotmail.com.

        thanks for any help.
        emann

      • Kosta says:

        Guys, on today’s machines, with W7x64, it’s not *really* necessary to turn off processes and stuff. The only thing you should do is turn off A/V, OR better said, exclude all that has to do with FlightSim (much better solution). That said, I neither turn off processes, services or turn off a/v (I only exclude), and my sim is working perfectly. It’s not working better if I try to fumble around aforementioned things.

  11. Mikeykey says:

    Hi Kosta
    I would like to ask if you could please do a DX10 fixer and Nvidia Inspector settings and fsx cfg guide to go with it? I have been using this guide for dx9 and is working great but I thought ide give dx10 fixer a try and thought ide ask you if you could do a guide which is simple and straight forward as you have done with this guide.
    Hope you can help, Will be greatly appreciated.

    Regards
    Mike

    • Kosta says:

      Mikey,
      Sorry, most unlikely. Neither interested into dx10 fixer nor months-testing of fake dx10. The guide I created is what I gave the community after receiving so much.

      • Mikeykey says:

        Kosta,
        Ok no problem thanks for the reply, a lot of people have said it works great can you please give me your input on it?

  12. Hi Kosta
    Tks for your great guide, wonder if you have come across something like this before?

    3 weeks ago I got a new Graphic Card as the old one a GTX560 was not up to Prepar3D V2 requirements as Prepar3d kept complaining about DXT11..
    I bought a GTX 770 and even then i could not get Prepar3d to work, however it became apparent that my DDI setting was still reading 10 and not 11 and after downloading a number of DXD updates i now am able to run prepar3d perfectly all the time..

    FSX however now comes up with a FATAL ERROR on start up and closes, there is no faulting module no nothing, the strange thing is that if I boot the PC, uninstall the Nvidia Drivers, boot again, reinstall the Nvidia drivers THEN FSX runds perfect.. but once the PC has been closed and rebooted the Fatal Error creeps back.

    To recap.. If I uninstall and reinstall the Nvidia Drivers (on each and every Boot) then FSX works, if I try a normal boot up and run FSX then i get the Fatal Error.

    Another thing that keeps popping up on boot up is that Windows cannot find the ASUS grafic card, yet is is there and display is ok..

    And as I wrote. Prepar3d V2 runs perfect..

    any ideas? I suspect it is DXT related but am lost…

    Specs
    Asus MB P8Z68-V-Pro/Gen3
    Asus GTX770

    • Kosta says:

      “To recap.. If I uninstall and reinstall the Nvidia Drivers (on each and every Boot) then FSX works, if I try a normal boot up and run FSX then i get the Fatal Error.
      Another thing that keeps popping up on boot up is that Windows cannot find the ASUS grafic card, yet is is there and display is ok..”

      Wow, weird. Did you try full removal of drivers, going to safe mode, running driver sweeper and then going back to normal, reinstalling, rebooting and then trying again? As it sounds, it’s related to drivers, and your windows boot tells you something is wrong. However from here, there is not much I can do. Apparently windows and your GPU don’t work as they should and it bothers FSX, even if P3D is working fine.

  13. Aaron Dagan. says:

    Hi, Costa and the rest of the community,
    Request your suggestions to the following:
    I had FSX running for few years on my main PC, but recently due to few un-familiar reasons had
    to un-install it under my personal protest……
    It took me few days to clean-up the remainings of FSX, and I thought its time to start over and
    Re-install from scratch. Then the problems started….

    My main PC (WIN7-64 Ultimate, I7-2600K, 8GB, Nvidia GT430 etc) just does not want to accept
    the installation and halts the process just after the installer is clearing the DVD. Iget a 1628 error notice and that’s it.

    Have tried dozens of options (as an Admin), also consulted MS Support, still no solution.
    If you faced such a situation or have a clue, I’ll be happy to learn and experiment further.

    Thanks in advance.
    Aaron.

    • Kosta says:

      Aaron,

      I don’t believe I ever had that specific error. But the best thing is to google it, and read through the forums and websites as much as you can.
      Did you manually clean the registry and system folders from FSX? That might help in such cases…

      • Aaron Dagan. says:

        Costa,
        Tks for your prompt reply. I already did some googling, surfed in various forums and such and almost all who shared came to same conclusions.
        I hate to think that I should encounter ” Doom’s Day” by formating my PC and start all over from scratch just because that mulfunction…..on the other way around, it wont be
        such a bad treat to clean-up the system and start fresh….
        I did cleaned-up the Registry by using “Registry Crawler”, and also scrutinizing ALL
        system folders for FSX remains.
        I’ll keep trying and wont loose hope, and put my trust in my Old faithful FS9…
        Have a good one.
        ..

      • Kosta says:

        What I do in such cases if search registry for keywords… like flight, or simulator, or fsx or whatever comes to your mind and then trying to see if there are some leftovers. Might be the last thing you try before doing a format…

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  15. dog walker says:

    I wish I would have found this blog before I bought my AMD 8350. So here I am reading your blog wondering how I can set Affinity Mask on an AMD. Ooops. I also got the GTX 650. The upside to all of this is that I am more or less happy with the hardware. I think it is just that it is such a dramatic improvement over my old Dell dual core. Just saying… Great blog!

    • Kosta says:

      dog walker,

      How you set the Affinity Mask on your AMD CPU is quite the same as on the Intel. Just have to find the combination that works well on the AMD, because I personally lack the experience on the AMDs.
      The GTX650 is a little subpar for the FSX, so it is questionable if you can run the Bufferpools 0. But, it might just be enough for the AMD CPU, which aren’t that powerful like Intel CPUs.
      And thank you for liking my blog!

  16. James White says:

    Kosta,
    Thanks for the guide. I have used your work for a couple years. I have a similar system (2600K OC to 4.1; SSD for Win7; FSX on a 7200rpm WD; 8gb RAM; GTX560, etc) to you, and have similar FSX addons (GEX, UTX, FSGlobal), but I also have UT2 for traffic and don’t use VATSIM anymore. I also have a laptop for all the other stuff: ASN, FSCommander, AI Separation; FSEconomy.
    Anyway, after reading some stuff, I decided that I needed to upgrade my GTX560. I went with a GTX770 4GB. Got it, installed it, no difference in FPS. What?!? So, I returned it because I paid too much anyway (had to have it now, so shelled out extra cash). I then decided to dig into my performance issue. Turns out that my CPU was maxed out and I was always on the CPU limit. I determine this by observing GPU load via NVIDIA Inspector and CPU load thru Task Manager. After some research, I learned that having my vehicle traffic slider at 50% was the issue. Dropped it to 0, and FSXMark11 went from 16 fps to 28 or so. Wow…
    So, I then tried your cloudtest and saw my GTX560 on the limit and causing FPS to drop to 20 or so (can’t remember exactly). I also was flying thru some clouds on approach, and FPS dropped probably result of GPU limit again. And during one of the tests where the GPU was loaded, I saw some of that artificating that I think you mentioned the bufferpool=0 could cause. These issues in mind, I re-purchased a GPU, this time GTX770 2GB, but item on sale, free shipping, $120USD cheaper.
    Ok, so my question: I will miss the vehicle traffic; I find it very immersive. But I cannot accept the huge FPS hit; it’s ridiculous. Have you by chance ever investigated the reason for this? Any work arounds? In FSXMark11, changing the slider to even 5% caused FPS to drop several, but it caused stutters (which I thought were “just part of it” until they stopped).
    James

    • Kosta says:

      James,
      Your observations are one of the most correct observations and experiences out there. You have made completely right experience and have acted rightly on it :)
      I will miss the vehicle traffic; I find it very immersive. But I cannot accept the huge FPS hit; it’s ridiculous.
      I miss it too, would love to have it, however it hits the CPU very hard and that’s it. You can use it with lights, can’t use it with heavies. Or you have to live with low FPS. Only faster and higher clocked CPUs are the half the solution, as it’s not a very high boost. We are talking 20-40% at best (say you clock some xtreme haswell to over 5Ghz with PhaseChange or so). Water is in such cases insufficient…
      Have you by chance ever investigated the reason for this?
      The reason? Yeah, simple, traffic and cars hit the CPU. Simple as that.
      Any work arounds?
      Either madly overclock and burn the CPU, or fly lights or get X-Plane ;-) Didn’t test it much in P3Dv2 to be honest, but they said they made it better. It will be part of my testing AFTER they manage to get terrain, autogen and smoothness in order.
      On the topic of XP10, there is much more GPU usage there, however cars are still CPU intensive. See here:
      http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?showtopic=67942
      In FSXMark11, changing the slider to even 5% caused FPS to drop several, but it caused stutters (which I thought were “just part of it” until they stopped).
      And this is exactly the reason why I fly on VATSIM, and have both traffic and cars at 0. Unfortunately not very realistic, but I get much more kick out of the sim if I have it good performing + nice textures and clouds (GPU!). Besides, talking on VATSIM is the next best thing after flying IRL.

      As you see, traffic and cars are what brings the sims down. It’s apparently how the stuff is. But the point is, if you divert enough onto GPU, CPU remains more free, so even if cars and traffic eat some CPU, there is still enough. This is what P3Dv2 is trying to do, this is where FSX majorly fails and where XP10 had the best success with it!

  17. alexplgr says:

    Hello Kosta
    i need a help,when i use P3d v2.1 with any a/c,and i am into the clouds,my GPU LOAD is 85-95%
    and out of the clouds my GPU LOAD is 45-60%,is this dangerous for my gpu?

    My GPU is ASUS GTX 580

    • Kosta says:

      Alex,
      Basically, not. GPUs are made to take the load. I hope only that your cooling is adequate. Monitor your GPU temperature as long as it’s not higher than 70c, you are just fine. Maximum safe operating temperature of GTX580 is 93c, 70c gives you a big overhead if you are worried. If your temps are 70c or below, no need to worry, enjoy your sim.

  18. alexplgr says:

    Ok,thanks Kostas

  19. James White says:

    Kosta,

    Ok, I got another GTX770. Did your cloud test, FPS locked at 30:
    8xS, 2x SGSS = 55% GPU load; Panning from VC = 91% GPU load
    8xS, 4x SGSS = 91% GPU load; Panning from VC = 100% GPU load; FPS = 20
    8xSQ, 2x SGSS = 89% GPU load; Panning from VC = 100% GPU load; FPS = 21
    8xSQ, 4x SGSS = 92% GPU load; Panning from VC = 100% GPU load; FPS = 20

    I wish the text was more clear on these AA settings, but I tried a few others (like 16xQ) and there’s too much shimmering.

    So, I’ll go with 8xS 2x SGSS to ensure my FPS stays high at all times.
    James

    • Kosta says:

      James,
      The hit of those settings is always high. In usual situations, like couple of clouds, lots of scenery, high detailed aircraft, your CPU will carry the load, lower the FPS (as it will be CPU limited) and your GPU will be tagging along. In such cases you can put as high AA until you GPU goes 100%. However with lots of clouds, things turn around, almost always. The higher the AA, the more FPS drop you will get with more clouds. It’s actually a very simple thing.
      8xS + 2xSGSS is in my opinion the best setting, even on higher end cards, although Titan users can allow themselves to turn on 4xSGSS.

  20. Rodskate says:

    I only get 18FPS in Frankfurt Main

    PC:
    i5 3570 3.4GHZ
    Radeon R9 270X
    8GB RAM 1600
    250 GB SSD
    ASUS P8B75M

    Can you help me?

    • Kosta says:

      Rod,
      The description “I only get 18FPS in Frankfurt Main” is like saying I have a problem with my car.
      Be specific please.

      • Rodskate says:

        Well, Flying with your configuration on FSX I get around Frankfurt main 18-17FPS (aerosoft scenery) then airborne I get 22FPS and in all airports excepting default. I did everything as possible to have a best performance, so I need recomendations for new hardware or anything else. (I tested with PMDG 737NG too)

      • Kosta says:

        Rod,
        What are you using beside NGX, because you say you tested with NGX “too”.
        Frankfurt is a mid-heavy scenery afaik, and your non-overclocked CPU doesn’t help much. And ATI is also not of much help, however the situation is most likely CPU limited.
        All that said, don’t expect 30fps stable in NGX at Aerosoft Frankfurt. If you have a Nvidia GPU and 4.5Ghz+ Intel CPU (say Haswell), I think you will get nearly 30fps and the NGX.
        The best combination, and I’ve said this numerous times, including on my blog, is: fast and overclocked (at least 4.5Ghz) quad core CPU of a newer generation (a non-K version doesn’t help, as it can’t be overclocked really) and a fast Nvidia card + my guide (settings). Adding any kind of AI, aircraft, cars, boats etc, will lower your FPS considerably.
        You can’t cheat FSX. Either give it power and lower settings, or live with 20fps. The above combo is the best there is for FSX.

      • Kosta says:

        And, make sure you hide the mouse when at heavy sceneries. That brings back at least couple of FPS. I think that even moving it in upper left or right edge in full screen has the same effect if I am not mistaken.

  21. James White says:

    Kosta,
    Can you please give detailon the procedure for hiding the mouse? I haven’t heard that one before.
    Thanks,
    James

  22. Jon says:

    Kosta,
    Have you ever come across the problem with pmdg aircraft’s (747 400X/8i) cockpit screens going black after a while? I ask you because you’ve been tweaking fsx for so long. Just thought you might have a fix.

    Jon

    • Kosta says:

      Jon,
      Yes, I never experienced it myself, but I can tell you that it usually happens with the non-licensed version (!!) or a pirated version. I read forums a lot…

    • This also happens when you migrate HD. To be on the clean side, PMDG AC need to be deinstalled before you migrate and then reinstalled again. You can also reinstall after migration, but their installer will find the previous, non working installation and will not let you. The license is connected (mjaybe in part only) to the HD, maybe the serialnumber . They initially work, but then go black. That is their copy protection.

      • Kosta says:

        You are right, Stefan.
        Yes, this is also a situation where the aircraft “thinks” it is being pirated. Because you can’t just “copy” software. Many licenses will deactivate if you migrate onto new system and will need a reactivation.
        The licenses are connected to the whole Hardware ID. Hardware ID is generated by all parts of the system, Motherboard, CPU, RAM, GPU, HDD… if you change one or more, the reactivation might be triggered or maybe not. I have experienced couple of times how stuff went inactive after I changed the Motherboard + CPU combination.

  23. porter says:

    Kosta, while i agree that setting the LOD above 6.5 can cause problems i have been using 8.5 and occasionally 9.5 with no problems for some time now along with the pmdg NGX combined with photoscenery, I have to say in most cases I am using DX10 with the latest mods, but it is also very stable in DX9. However if I wish to use FTX scenery then as you say I am lucky if I can get away with 6.5 even in dx10. The difference with DX10 is that it will allow the sim to continue for ages with the low memory warning sounding off, whereas in dx9 it just throws you out..
    But as always thanks for all the combined info you have here

  24. Jon says:

    The problem with the PMDG aircraft displays turned out to be the default Cessna saved with the avionics and battery ‘off’. Turned them on and saved as default flight. No more disappearing screens.

    Jon

    • Kosta says:

      Jon,
      Ah, one of the fun-stuff of FSX. I actually keep my C172 always as default so never got into this problem.
      Good to know you solved it!

  25. Martin Bunjes says:

    Hi Kosta,
    Could I have your opinion please on the following rig:
    Asus Z87 A
    Core i5 4670
    gtx760
    G.Skill Ares F3-1600C8D-8GAB
    wd black 500Gb for fsx
    Samsung 840 evo 120 Gb for W7-64
    seasonic bronze 620W

    it will only have the PMDG737NGX, no sceneries, no airports. But it has to fly the PMDG well.
    Am I over or under-specified ?
    Martin

    • Kosta says:

      Martin,
      Well, without addon airports you should be fine, I reckon some 30-35 fps, as what I get in the desert with the NGX VC is about 40fps when locked to 60fps. If you could get the K version of the CPU and overclock a little, even better. Overkill? Is there such thing in FSX? :-)

      • Martin Bunjes says:

        Probably not. :-)
        Is there an area in this config where I could save some more money ? This rig is for educational purposes and I’m on a tight budget.

      • Kosta says:

        Martin,
        Whatever you decide, see it as following: wherever you save, this is going to be the area to suffer in terms of FPS.
        It’s basically like this: NGX VC, terrain, autogen, AI, cars are CPU heavy. Not giving it enough juice, FPS are going to suffer in general. Clouds and high levels of anti-aliasing to get the instruments smooth and autogen non-shimmering is the thing of the GPU. In a heavy weather scenario, not having one of the two components will limit and lower your FPS.
        It all also depends on your settings wishes. If you want to use AI or not, cars or not, are you OK with running lower AA, say no SGSS, but only SS on Transparency AA, so your GPU will be less loaded etc…
        How much, it is only something I and anyone else can guess. I would say not lower than 20fps in any situation? Again…just a guess.
        If I had to save money, in your case, I would save on the GPU. You must know if you are going to be landing in mostly nice weather or bad weather, so this is also a factor.
        If for educational purposes, I guess maintaining 30fps is not a must. So you could as well get the same rig I have (maybe finding a used GTX580 or 660/670 would be cheaper?), as it serves the purpose and I can basically land anywhere. Only found myself here and there in a situation with the weather created by ActiveSkyNext where my FPS would dip seriously to some 12fps (that would usually be in a heavy addon airport, with shitload of clouds, online on VATSIM, NGX VC…), but even then, it was *usable*. I would have nothing against having 20fps in every situation, but that would most likely require both stronger CPU and GPU.

  26. Martin Bunjes says:

    This is really just a basic system to teach trainee aircraft mechanics a little about the 737 systems, how systems interact, how to start the engines or APU for example. Things which they would otherwise learn in very expensive Level D simulators. There’s probably a little flying as well but again, it’s just about the 737′s systems.
    So no AI, no weather, no cars, no airports, no scenery.
    But wouldn’t a GTX580 be a bottleneck for the Haswell CPU?
    A used card is not an option for my airline.

    • Kosta says:

      Martin,
      But wouldn’t a GTX580 be a bottleneck for the Haswell CPU?
      It would only be a bottleneck if you bottleneck it. :)
      In other words, if you give it something to do, then it might be, but in a clean situation, surely not. FSX is very CPU based, and GTX760 is fine and cheap, would work just as well as Titan, if the GPU usage is kept below 100% (and that is very easy if you use little or no clouds, and fair amount of anti-aliasing to have instruments display nice). GTX760 goes for like €200, which is really cheap. It is fine for FSX in your situation.

      If you read about people upgrading GPUs on the FSX platforms with hopes to have higher FPS, you will read how disappointed they were/are. Even on the current P3Dv2, in many scenarios you are still CPU limited, and as long as GPU processor usage is at 50% (and your VRAM is not overloaded, make sure you get at least 1,5GB GPU for FSX), it won’t matter if you have a $300 or $1500 GPU.

  27. Mikeykey says:

    Hi kosta,
    Can you please give me your input on this. I have recently purchased kmia v2 latinvfr now the issue I am having is that I did a circuit flight with pmdg 777 and whilst on final approach I get scenery black squares and slight drop in fps and sight stuttering.

    keep in mind I was flying at dusk ut2 traffic 50% fsgwr weather dynamic ftx global wih lights activated using nick n bible fsx guide and also yours with a i74770k @4.5ghz stable ssd gtx titan sc 16gb ram asus vi extreme

    please help thankyou.

    • Kosta says:

      Mikey,
      Very powerful computer. So I am not sure really what’s wrong.
      I mean OK, PMDG777 is quite heavy on FPS, but still, even if the frames are lower than 30, you shouldn’t get much delay on texture loading since you use SSD.
      Some delay is always there.
      There are just couple of things I can tell you about texture loading: FFTF and TBM basically control it, however I never found any test that has proven that TBM works. You can try it, no hurting there. Set to 80, 100, 120 or so. Try it out.
      FFTF is basically the percentage of cycles the CPU gives to texture loading. I have mine at 0.15 or 0.20, I dunno, should check. But, still, test with 0.2 for example, that should basically be enough.
      Also, are you using the right affinitymask? Are you *sure*? HT disabled and AM 14?
      Lastly, it can also be poorly coded scenery. You will know when you load and fly around similar heavy scenery, like FSDT big airports, if you have similar problems.
      I hope this helps.

      • Mikeykey says:

        Hi Kosta
        Than you for your reply.
        I have TBM at 40 and FFTF at 0.18 Ht disabled Affinity mask is at 14 I am currently doing a flight from Klax to kmia and see how that goes.
        if I get the same issues I will try a different approach with TBM and FFTF as mentioned above.

      • Mikeykey says:

        one more question do you use enb? as it gives me fatal errors when changing windows to full screen with alt enter.thinking of removing it. what do you think?
        thanks.

      • Kosta says:

        Mikey,
        Remove ENB. It is a great tool if you want to make screenshots, makes for a really cool effect, but if you want to reliably use your sim, remove it.

      • Mikeykey says:

        Hi kosta,
        Thanks for the reply.
        I have removed enb.
        Now as mentioned above I did a flight from Klax to kmia in the pmdg 777 and had no black squares on scenery appear but I have micro stutters on scenery now I am thinking it may be a service which is running in background which I doubt but have noticed that MSE antimalware is running and i cannot highlight to disable from services ,or perhaps the driver 334.89 is bad.

        I have also tried the tweaks as mentioned with TBM at 120 400 and FFTF at 18 20 25 to no avail.
        and also created a new fsx cfg same issue.

      • Mikeykey says:

        Just an update
        it was the NVidia driver 334.89 causing all the issues I have uninstalled and did a clean install reverted back to 332.21 created new fsx cfg added tweaks fsx runnin flawlessly again.

      • Kosta says:

        Mikey,
        I really don’t see the driver’s fault. I have the latest driver, stable and great performing. But 332.21 ain’t any different. So use that if stable.
        The thing is, the driver and the performance within FSX hasn’t changed for at least 2 years now, if not longer. The only thing that was added was with the introduction of the adaptive and 1/2, 1/4… vsync, which changed the vsync behavior much. Performance in FSX stayed the same really.

      • Mike says:

        Hi kosta
        So once again I notice small stutters now I begining to think its quite normal?? I may just be a little to anal about trying to get fsx running smooth. Is it normal to see very slight stutters on scenery while taking off and landing??? Do u have microstutters???

        Thanks.

      • Kosta says:

        Mike,
        Some small amount of stutters will *always* be present in a game. Why? A flight simulator runs on a windows operating system: culprit Nr. 1. It runs mainly on the CPU: culprit Nr. 2.
        The amount of tweaking I have invested make the sim run as best as it can, removing the monitor sync problems, and making the sim as good as it gets at 30fps.
        The best test to check if its smooth is to run a default 737, looking over wing to the right, towards the terminal and taking off (without wind, so you don’t have to switch to keep it on the runway). If your terminal passes calmly, like a smooth transition from left to right of the screen, then you have a smooth sim. If it stutters once, maybe twice, there might, but must not be, a room for *little* improvement. If it stutters consequently, then you have something wrongly set.
        If you are anal, then you are in the wrong hobby, though.
        I have *some* stutters, but it’s impossible to say without me sitting at your computer or you at mine. Just not doable. Stutters are also dependable how much I load the system. If I give it NGX + heavy addon airport + heavy weather + some online aircraft, do I expect it to keep 30fps stable and 100% smooth? NOT POSSIBLE. And making me crazy about your stutters is also not the way. :) I can’t really tell you anything beside what I already gave up in the guide, except spending time at your computer at home, checking out the sim. Just not possible.

      • Mikeykey says:

        Hi Kosta,
        Thanks you for your replies and your help. I guess my sim is running as it should be.
        Back to flying.
        Thanks mate!!

  28. ezio says:

    Ciao Kosta
    I eventually stumbled in this tweak some time ago somewhere in the forums and gave it a try…..well, I found it very powerful and it is now for me a stable option embedded in your “guide” . IMHO it can be a very good option in case of non high end systems or even with high end systems in situations where a heavy CPU workload is expected (for instance online flying with several other aircraft).
    If you are not a screenshot addicted simmer and you spend most or all of your time in VC, then you can boost your system by disabling the “exterior” model, by putting two slashes before the line beginning with “normal” in the model.cfg file that you find in the Model folder in Simobjects\airplanes\……\. This is an example of how it should look after the change:

    //normal=A320_EXT_V2_CFM
    interior=A320_VC_EXTENDED

    It gives a good boost to smoothness, but again it comes at the cost of no chance of taking screenshot during that particular flight.
    Maybe you could consider to add it to your guide….
    Bye

    • Kosta says:

      Ezio,
      Yeah, I know about removing the VC. While the FPS don’t jump much, or at all, the aircraft load sinks, and that unloads the system a bit.
      However, not a go for me, I like the GSX, my EZCA camera and all that.
      So, too costly for me, as I like the exterior model.
      But thanks for the reminder.

  29. James White says:

    Kosta,
    I have my FSX.cfg setup as you advise above. I haven’t balanced, because it seems to be pretty good. However, one think that I’ve noticed, is that when in the PMDG737 VC, runway/taxiway lights sometimes are replaced with black squares and the airport beacon is a grey cone. Both go away after several seconds. Any idea what might be causing this?
    Thnx,
    James

    • Kosta says:

      James,
      The problem you describe happens to me sometimes too. Although fairly fast system and an SSD, still, when I turn for finals, I see the black texture at first, for about a second, and then the airport loads.
      It is the internals of the FSX and how it works, it won’t load the airports very far on the y-axis, but it will load then even if you are at 30,000ft (x-axis). It’s a very stupid system, but that is how it works, and the effect this has, is that when you approach the airport, at one moment, all textures will attempt to load, and this might take from a second to seconds. Hard to know without sitting and doing lots of tests at your computer how *long* is right or wrong *long*.

  30. Jon says:

    Hi Kosta,
    I wonder if you could help me with this calculation. I have a 6 core cpu and I’ve disabled hyperthreading. What would the affinity mask number be? I’ve tried working it out myself but I just did not listen when I went to school.
    Jon

      • Jon says:

        Thanks for that. Just a question: There was a tweak to assign cores to fsx and prioritise them. Is this still possible and how do you apply it?

        Jon

      • Kosta says:

        Jon,
        Not raelly sure what you are talking about? AM does assign cores, but prioritizing on the core-level is what is done in-sim, it has to be programmed into the application. The OS priority, if normal, above, high, that can be set in the task manager, or via a command line, that I would have to look up how to set exactly, however never saw any benefit of that, and actually only problems if FSX was set say Above or High.

  31. Richard says:

    On my system (i7 4770k – 4,5GHz and a GTX 780Ti) , FSX works much smoother (and with more Frames) with bufferpools enabled. Allthough the VAS seems to be higher then with bufferpools=0 :/

  32. james says:

    Also I noticed you have max pre rendered frames set to 1 is this a mistake or have you figured out what this mysterious setting does in practice. Check your nvidia profile again I had mine at 1 and was really strange performance on approaches seemed to quick and rushed but I recently restored it to default 3 and its much more fluid and realistic.

    • Kosta says:

      James,
      No, this is no mistake. I can’t tell you what it exactly was, but I remember it made some difference. I think it was about how faster textures loaded, but not the continuous ground loading, but rather those texture loads when switching views. I believe it was about that. 3 was the setting that didn’t work out well here.

  33. Adam says:

    Hi Kosta,i have followed your tweak guide , and sorted out all my fsx issues with lag etc, but my main problem is z buffering or so called shimmering, i have tried everything including nvidia inspector tweaks etc but no luck :S example if i fly over some autogen or over an airport some textures flicker, its like having another texture layer on top of another one,and by the way im not using dx10 preview , though after having this issue i have tried to get steves dx10 fixer and enabled dx10 mode and still i get the flickering textures issue,
    my i also note i have done allot of fsx.cfg including bufferpools section + highmem fix section etc etc,
    my pc specs are as follows
    Intel i7 4770k @ 4.5ghz
    Corsair 16gb ram
    GTX660ti graphics card
    Corsair H80I Water cooler

    p.s my graphics card does not get over heated and its @ stock clocks max temp 40 degrees

    Regards
    Adam.

    • Kosta says:

      Adam,
      Z-flickering and shimmering are for me personally two different things in FSX. Z-Flickering is something present in UK2000 sceneries, when at certain distance the whole airport starts to flicker, due to layering.
      Shimmering is simple un-calm presentation of the picture, due to not enough or not correct anti-aliasing.
      The best thing maybe would be for you to make a short youtube video showing the exact problem.
      I also do get some flickering on some textures, and by the life of me, I don’t know why. It has always been present, and I remember it from FS9 still, so I guess it’s an old code or something.
      The first thing, when one is looking for problems is to first reset everything, delete fsx.cfg, shaders, and start from beginning. Did you do that?

  34. james says:

    Sorry to interrupt what ai levels do you recommend for air traffic road traffic etc. I am using ultimate traffic 2 . Do you recommend the max autogen tweak and max trees tweak in the cfg. If so what settings do you use for your system

    • Kosta says:

      James,
      None. No cars, huge performance killer. And no AI, since I fly VATSIM exclusively.
      No autogen tweaks, not needed.

      • ezio cingolani says:

        Ciao,
        not actually part of this thread but since you mentioned Vatsim I want to ask you something about it.
        I have been flying on Ivao for some time and would like now to join Vatsim, but I am quite scared about all the rumours of FSInn instability, FPS impact, etc….
        What is your experience ? Any particular reccomendation ?
        Thanks

        Ezio

      • Kosta says:

        Ezio,

        FSInn instability – none here. Never crashed. Ever. I run it as a program on the laptop, so no in-sim modules or something similar.
        FPS impact – no more or less than IVAO, or SB4 or whatever. Actually, FPS impact MUST be the same, as I am using IVAO MTL models with FSINN. If you search about how to set it up, you’ll come about some tools you can use to install it. There is, of course, no automatic installation. But once done, it’s a really nice stable and fast package.
        There is one downside to FSINN + above config: bitch to set up. But is by far, the best you can get nowdays.

  35. Hello Kosta! I would like to ask you which in your opinion is the best program for wheather injection for fsx..? Euxaristw! ;)

    • Kosta says:

      Alexandros,
      ASN, by a long shot.

    • weatherman says:

      For me it is FS Global Real Weather. Best winds aloft, best weather depiction by far. You can download a test version at their site.

    • AlexandrosAntonopoulos says:

      Right guys! For me,ASN is the best just from a few flights i had with the trial version! However,it’s true i resist giving the money in order to buy ASN! I am going to check FSGRW

  36. Robert Willis says:

    Thanks for the information–I’m benchmarking a Core i7 3820/LGA 2011 system. The graphics card is a rather old GTX 580. I have incorporated the tweaks via NvidiaInspector and the fsx.cfg. I have noticed however that there is a “wave” like character associated with the scenery. I use fsdt LAX (demo mode). I have noticed this on a number of my computer systems with a variety of CPUs/motherboards/graphics cards (from the 580 to the Titan). I have parameterized the settings in the fsx.cfg file with little or no impact. I would appreciate any comments–Thanks–

    • Kosta says:

      Hi Robert,
      Not sure if I understand you correctly, you say “wave” like character. Not really sure how to understand it. Is Antialiasing not kicking in, or are the settings not enough?

  37. Robert Willis says:

    Kostas–It almost a ripple effect (1920x1080x32); it occurs on every system I have (lcd monitors). The fps are limited at 30; I also tried vsync as well–same issue. I have a video, but it’s large–

    Robert

  38. alexandros says:

    Hello Kosta
    i have a question.i use ASN and REX4 for weather and textures,and i see my fraps very low at thunderstorm areas at 35000 ft , frames 4 -18, and in ground with many addons and NGX v/c i have 25-35 fraps
    cpu i7 2600k 4.5 ghz
    gpu gtx 580
    samthing wrong with ASN?
    thanks

    • Kosta says:

      Alexandros,
      I can’t really say without looking at your weather situation, how many cloud layers you have, and what the GPU load in such situations is. But you can check it. I can’t begin anything with frames as I don’t know the first two variables.
      25-35 in NGX is standard, I have that too.
      Nothing is wrong with ASN, only that your GPU is most likely overloaded by weather and the size of antialiasing you apply.

  39. daniel says:

    Hi Kosta I have one question do you know why is so lagy in pmdg vritual cockpit and when Im looking outside i have 50 fps can I fix this?

    • Kosta says:

      daniel,
      A question without enough details, sorry, can’t really answer properly. Hardware? Situation? WHICH PMDG? What is laggy in terms of FPS? Why do you want 50fps?? Is like I ask you “why is my car going so slow?”…

      • Daniel says:

        Oh sorry but Im flying pmdg 747 and in cockpit is so lagy but when Im looking outside is no lag, so can I fix this? My computer : Label eMachines Model ET1331 Total amount of system memory 2.00 GB RAM System tybe 64 -bit operating system. Number of processor cores 2 Storage ——————
        ——————————-
        Typer of video Cards NVIDA GeForce 6150SE nForce 430
        Video adapter driver version 9.18.13.783 Primary monitor resolution 1024×768
        DirectX version DirectX 9.0 or later

        My settings on fsx:
        Target frame rate:Unlimited. Global texture resolution:very high
        Checked Lensfare Filtering Bilinear

        Scenery settings:
        Level of detail:small. Mesh complexy 50. Mesh resolution 152M.
        Texture resolution 5M Water effects 1.x. Scenery complexy Sparse.
        Autogen density none. Ground scenery shadows off. Special effects detail medium

      • Kosta says:

        Daniel,
        You say: “so can I fix this?”
        I say: Of course!!
        Solution: Invest 1000€ in a decent desktop computer.

        The configuration you have is OK for FS9, but not including heavy addons, and certainly not PMDG, let alone FSX and PMDG747.

  40. Robert Willis says:

    550 MB–Robert

  41. Robert Willis says:

    Indirectly–I can post it to my web site, password protected–Thanks

  42. Flightpioneer says:

    Hey Kosta,
    I consider buying an SSD for P3D v2. At the moment I only use one for windows and I’ve noticed, that the texture loading of my FSX (on a WD 1 TB) is very slow. For example I had to increase FTFF to 0.44 to have a non-blurry ORBX NCA scenery (in P3D v2 it’s the same). I don’t know if this is normal for an ORBX FTX region. My question is: can an SSD improve the scenery loading while flying or does it only improve the loading times after starting the flight? And does it affect the LOD? I read some guides and threads where people stated that they are able to decrease FTFF, because they’ve got FSX/P3D on an SSD. So is it really worth buying an SSD for P3D v2?

    • Kosta says:

      Flightpioneer,
      It can indeed be too slow, the description WD 1 TB is not really enough.
      However, SSD will not only speed up initial loading, but also in-sim view changes for instance, if a/c has high-res textures, they will display faster etc. FPS will not change, nor will any memory load change, nor LOD…nothing except how fast stuff loads. And possibly texture loading, but I cannot say for sure as I don’t know your HDD.

      • Flightpioneer says:

        Thanks Kosta, my FSX is on a Western Digital WD10EZRX Green 1TB and P3D v2 on a Western Digital WD10EZEX Blue 1TB. I’ve measured the speed of both: the Green one has a speed of ~150 Mb/s and the Blue one ~185 Mb/s.

      • Kosta says:

        Flightpioneer,
        The measured drive speed has little to do with what FSX needs. The drive has to have a great capability to read sequential files if you have lots of big files like mesh, and high 4k random read, if you have lots of small files (which FSX already be default has), and then you it has to have a low random access times, so the drive doesn’t slow down when lots of files are needed at once, what FSX does basically the whole time.
        The two drives named which you have both suck for FSX, in my department. I wouldn’t personally go below WD black, I had FSX on a Raptor, which is faster than black, but then I moved to SSD and the world opened. No more HDD bottleneck. I recommend it highly for FSX, as it not only brings for initial load but in usage too. The bottleneck is moved yet again towards CPU and GPU, which is great and how it should be.

      • Flightpioneer says:

        Thank you Kosta, so I’ll buy SSD for P3D v2. FSX will stay on HDD, because I’m going to switch to P3D v2 completely soon. Good to see that the SSD prices have dropped.

  43. Harsh ad Vaghela says:

    Wonderfull work,I am new to this sim world and would like to follow all your advise,
    Thanks

  44. Red says:

    Thank you very much for your work. Best regards, Red

  45. Vasileios says:

    Hi Kosta and congratulations for your FSX community support. I will appreciate your expert opinion about the follow PC regarding FSX compatibility, because is making life difficult for me to run FSX, with almost full add-ons, like FSX Global, FTX Global, 737 iFly, 767 Just Flight, etc. PC: CPU Intel i5 3470 3,2 GHz, RAM 8, graphic card AMD Radeon 2GB HD7870, 1TB storage, motherboard Asus P8H77, Windows 7 home premiun, 4 screens, Saitek full hardware. Any advice is welcome. Regards. Vasileios

  46. Hi Kosta for everytinh in this thread.

    I am starting to get over 20 fps at new Taxi2Gate – LTBA scenery with NGX (off course not in VC mode)
    You probably wrote here thousand times but I have one thing that messing up about vsync setting in windowed mode.
    How do I leave the vsync option from the nvidia inspector? “Force On, Foce Off, Use 3D application setting”??

  47. Flightpioneer says:

    Hey Kosta, do you have noticed whether P3D v2 takes advantage of Hyper-Threading? I experienced a little difference when turning Hyper-Threading on at stock frequency. I may be wrong, but I think after that the sim was smoother and the fps were pretty much the same. I’m thinking about turning HT on and try to run the CPU @ 4.5 Ghz instead of HT off @ 4.7 Ghz. I didn’t test something yet, but I’ve heard that with HT on the temperatures will be much higher. Maybe with HT on @ 4.5 Ghz the sim is more smooth than with HT off and 4.7 GHz, although smoothness and fps are not really a problem in P3D v2, but some microstutters near dense areas are still there. Is my experience possible or just coincidence? I don’t know whether it’s worth testing it.

    • Kosta says:

      Flightpioneer,
      Yes, I tried it. As with FSX, I don’t think it brings anything. Smoothness is usually dictated, also in P3D, through FPS and VSYNC, as long as the simulation is smooth by itself. 2.2 is pretty smooth, and when I match the 30Hz and 30fps, including good settings, I have the same experience as in FSX, smoothness-wise.

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