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.


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!


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


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:


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

/ 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.


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


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

*this tweak is not needed in P3D


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


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

(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


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


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


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:

*same as in P3D


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:


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:

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:

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


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!).


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


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)


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.


[DISPLAY.Device.NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580.0]

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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:

Settings Nvidia Inspector:


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:


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.


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!)


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.


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).

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.

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:


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:

And some links for Ivy Bridge overclocking tutorials:
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.


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).


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.


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.


Not a hard choice, currently Z77 series, something like:
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…


Budget oriented:
8GB recommended
1600 MHz / CL7

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…


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:


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.


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.


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.


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)


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:


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.


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

1,919 Responses to FSX (and P3D v1.x) Software and Hardware Guide

  1. Lauri says:

    Great stuff! Worked great with my GTX745.
    I had a good testing sample – Aerosoft’s EBBR, which used to be a FPS-hog even with medium graphic settings. Now I have it all maxed out, locking at 30FPS most of the time with my Majestic’s Dash 8, even with the sky full of CB’s clouds and pouring rain.:)

    Aaah…, great!:) Thanks a bunch!

  2. Feoras says:

    Thanks for the guide! It really helped so much. I was using OBX Global and had trouble that the textures would get blurry after flying for some time – had to pause for a minute for them to load and continue. Going through this website only and making your suggested adjustments fixed the issue completly!

    Game runs smoother and faster, textures are clear and loading faster than ever.

    • Omari says:

      Thanks for the guide. I used it before and was coming back to update. I wanted to follow your suggestion of starting with a clean fsx.cfg file. I had a backup already saved and deleted the active file. FSX now crashes to a fatal error after the splash screen. I tried to use the backup CFG file. FSX loads past the spash screen, but with the initial menu comes up, the entire computer freezes and I have to do a hard restart. I’ve tried repairing with the FSX/A discs. No luck. Please help.

  3. Alexandros says:

    Hello Kosta
    i have a question for you,i upgraded my gpu from gtx580 to gtx titan x,my question is about fsx.cfg. i can see there both gpus,should i delete the gtx580 or no

  4. Daniel says:

    Hi Kosta, Wonder if you could help me. Your tweeks have helped alot, but one problem i still have is sound distortion, in particular when there is cloud cover or really bad when going through clouds. Now im afraid i have a pretty low end system, just basic laptop with i3, 4gb ram. I use REX for my weather, you have any ideas have to improve or solve this problem?

    • Kosta says:

      As you already pointed out: weak system and onboard sound are most likely the reason.
      Look into updating all drivers (you could use Slimdrivers) and/or upgrading your laptop.

  5. Aurelio says:

    Thanks, very well explained !!! There are many many tutorial about fsx cfg, but this is particularly well done !!!

  6. Shege2000 says:

    Please can you help tweak my system for fsx?

  7. speedbird says:

    What tweaks do you recommend if I am getting a black screen, and missing parts of the plane

    • Kosta says:

      That as an indication of a memory limit. I can give you 0 recommendation without system specs and at least some details what you are running on the software side.

    • Andrew Brown says:

      Are you using the “Preview DX10”, your faults sound like you have turned this feature on under graphics. Turn it off, it’s broken, and as it says only a preview. DX10, which is 98% more than the FSX Preview, was only fully released a year after MS closed it’s Game Studio doors. So it was never fully implemented into FSX, as there was no more development. You can attempt the other freeware and payware tweaks out there but not highly recommended.

  8. Pierre Cornelissen says:


    I do not have a FSX profile in my inspector. How do I gho about it.


    • Gombocza says:

      You just start typing MS and it will be there MS Flight Simulator X, and the others,like 2004, etc.

  9. Hi,
    I would like to request to an expert which are the best FSX.cfg tweaks and settings for this hardware setup:
    Processor: Intel i7 3930K
    Graphic card: Asus ati radeon hd 7970
    Motherboard: asus rampage iv extreme socket 2011
    RAM: G.Skill RipjawsZ DDR3 2133 16GB x79
    OS: W8 64-Bit

  10. I do not hold the truth

  11. Vernon says:

    Hi, how do i get rid of those wavey lines in window mode? Streak like when looking about?

    Its fine when in full screen mode.

  12. Hello, I check your blogs onn a regular basis.
    Yourr writing style is witty, keep it up!

  13. Dave Freeman says:


    Thanks again for all you do for the community. Quick question on my NVIDIA Inspector and FSX: I have used it in the past for FSX with no issues. Now when I try to edit my FSX settings and hit Apply Changes, the Inspector reverts back to the default settings. Is this because I got a new GPU driver to run P3D? NVIDIA Inspector works fine with P3D, but I can’t get it to save changes to FSX. My GTX 780 is running 347.88



  14. Simnut99 says:

    So after reading FSX guides on hardware I am shocked to see that the optimum FSX computer build will cost me FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS.

    • JoeyJoJo says:

      What? Do you even know how to read? You don’t have to spend anywhere near that number for a great PC for fsx.

  15. Simnut99 says:

    I know but after reading Kostas and Nicks FSX bible, it would be for a completely new system that will last at least 5 years. I have freinds with high end FSX setups and they all said they have spent about $4,500 to $6000 dollars. but that is for everything. The PC system build plus monitors, throttles, yokes, nav radios, customized desks headsets and sound system.

  16. Simnut99 says:

    I found a Gaming PC for sale but I am not sure if they are asking too much for what they are selling. Here are the specs
    The asking price is 3,300 dollars

    System Specs:
    -Corsair Carbide Air 540 ATX Cube Case (Black, CC-9011030-WW)
    -Asus MAXIMUS VI Formula ROG Motherboard
    -Intel Core i7 4470 3.5 GHz Quad Core Processor
    -Corsair Hydro H105 Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
    -Corsair AX1200i 1200 Watt Digital Power Supply with Custom Red cables
    -32 GB of DDR3 1600 MHz Memory (Kingston HyperX)
    -2x EVGA GeForce 980 GTX SC ACX 2.0, 4 GB GDDR5 (04G-P4-2983-KR)
    -2x LG BD/DVD Drives (UH12NS30)
    -2x Intel DC S3500 300 GB SSDs (RAID 0, Operating System)
    -2x Western Digital 4 TB Hard Drives (RAID 0, Games/Rendering) (WD4000FYYZ)
    -7x Corsair Air SP120 PWM Quite Edition 120mm Fans
    -1x Corsair High Performance Air AF140L 140mm Fan
    -Custom Magnetic dust filters
    -Planar IX2850 28″ 4k Monitor

  17. Mark Wagener says:

    Hi Kosta, isn’t it funny that FSX is now 9 years old and it is only now that there is hardware around that will run it!

    I had tried your guide previously (i5-3450 GEForce 545 6 GB RAM) and it turned FSX into a stuttering mess. Against all advice, Venetubo work flawlessly for me. And I did not mess with a setting for 3 years and had a virtually stutter free experience from PMDG to iFly to Aerosoft.

    I recently upgraded my PC (now I7-3770 GTX 750 TI 16 GB RAM with a PSU upgrade) and it was obvious prior settings were not optimal (but working okay). Your guide gives me butter smooth flight. I now feel like I have joined everyone else!

    Kind regards,


    • Johnny says:

      Yeah, there is no “only now hardware that will run it”… ANY decent hardware wil run FSX extremely well/fast. The newest/most powerful hardware is needed to run with all addons, not to tun FSX per-se…

      • Simnut99 says:

        The reason for that is back when FSx was being developed processor speeds were increasing exponentially. The developers assumed this would continue and soon we would all have computers with 5 6 even 7 gigahertz processors and they designed it to be cpu intensive. The industry instead of ever increasing processor speed went to multicore.There were 3 ghz processors available shortly after FSX was released.
        Another problem is FSX is 32bit and has a VAS maximum of 4gb. Then microsoft bailed on us and the hopes of a 64 bit sim were gone.
        So here is the dilemma : by the time you load up some ORBX Vector Ultimate Traffic and a PMDG plane the VAS is very close to being maxed out and on a long flight you can get OOM issues. If we had 7 gig processors or if FSX were 64 bit we would not have this issue because it would reduce the load on VAS .
        At least that is what I have been led to believe over the years.

  18. ezio says:

    I know FSX is rather unique in the way we all different experience and get different results even using the same hardware, however I must say that, at least for me, the combo FSX-SE and DX10 (with Steve’s Fixer), together with Kosta’s tweaks is doing miracles. I am now able to fly the PMDG T7 for 10 hrs from Aerosoft EGLL to T2G KSEA without OOMs and having almost 1Gb of residual VAS on landing.
    Of course it is not only FSE-SE and DX10, as I use 1024 Textures, have the aircraft exterior model disabled, LOD 4.5, and have all the addon airports except departure and destination disabled via Scenery Config Editor, yet, using FSX-MS (even with DX10) I had to save the flight midflight and reload to avoid OOMs even for much shorter flights that this one on the T7.
    In the last few weeks I have tested FSX-SE and the T7 on several flights of increasing duration …ranging from 3.5 hrs, then 5, and so on, up to 10+ hrs and the result has always been the same…no OOMs ….stable VAS from after take-off until final approach to destination, then a slight increase on final approach, but always remaining with around 1Gb of residual VAS.
    My usual scenery addons are ASN, REX TD4 with Soft Clouds, UTX V2.1, FTXG. I don’t use other ORBX addons except FTXG because I know they are a resource hog, but I am pretty happy wth the visuals I achieve with my set up.
    My hardware is a I7-2600k@4.8 Ghz, EVGA GTX970, 8Gb RAM DDR3, G-Skils RipjawsX @2133, with a networked laptop to run ASN and the online pilot client.
    Again, what is working well for me may not be equally working for you, but I wanted to share my experience here.

  19. Walterg74 says:

    Hi Kosta, quick question:

    I had a very very simple install of FSX and I recently got some addons and a new SSD exclusive for Flight Sims, and I am going to re-install FSX fresh from scratch into it.

    I was reading before NickN’s bible about install, order, etc. of things, and also looking at your guides. Would you recommend that I:

    1) follow Nick’s guide and then your tweaks
    2) follow only some parts of his guide until a certain point and then do your tweaks
    3) don’t follow his guide and just use your tweaks


    • Kosta says:

      Nicks guide is for a big part about configuring windows – I guess it’s a good thing. I do that on my own experience, and not according to his guide, so I guess combination of his guide and my tweaks might be the best course of action.

      • Johnny says:

        Hey Kosta, thanks for the reply. Yes I know that and I do the same for Windows itself. What I mean is when he starts specifically with FSX installation, etc. (install order, terrain file update, basic fsx.cfg items and sliders etc. ). Is any of that a good way to start rnot meeded in your opinion and just follow your tweaks here?

      • Kosta says:

        Johnny, honestly no idea really. I would have to go through the guide step by step and analyze if I think it’s right or not. And there is no time for that, I barely manage a flight here and there.

  20. pilip75 says:

    hello Ezio
    i think you have the most effective hardware to run FSX!
    i used nearly the same system for years to run FSX on a multi sreen (3*27″) board.
    I changed it for a I I7 4790K running also at 4.7GHz with no benefit .
    good flights

  21. pilip75 says:

    hello Simnut you are 100%right!
    Let s hope somone :Prepar ,Steam or, will rewrite FSX to a 64 bit standart and update the other oudated datas !

  22. TyphoonIb says:

    just a quick flyby – dropping of my heartfelt thanks for the valuable information that has helped this FSX-noob.
    30, payware airport (ELLX) and all the sliders quite far right, and only a few microstutters when panning.
    Thumbs up.

  23. biriskyp says:

    Dear Kosta, I just updated NVidia driver to v353.06 via GeForce Experience and made sure NVidia Inspector ( has the settings for FSX.EXE recommended by you to run my GTX660Ti. The BIG change I saw from previous updates in FSX Accel. is that ANY UNDOCKED 2D window being moved to extended desktop (side screen) it becomes a 2D cockpit view window i.e. looking at the panel or areas around it. Once I undock it an move it back to main screen which shows VC then it indicates again what it should (the 2D part of the panel). Any clues ? Anything else that might have changed and that no being related to drivers update ? Any FSX.CFG setting that makes 2D windows a front view window once undocked and moved on side screen ? Thanks.

    • Kosta says:

      Hi Biris,
      No, no idea. Since the new driver is not the announced driver that should have some P3D changes, I did not install it. However you can always downgrade the driver and see if that’s the reason?

  24. AZWildk4t says:

    Hey Kosta. Just received this from PCAviator. Will be curious to see the reviews on this.

    Dear Valued PC Aviator Customer

    I have found The Holy Grail in software to improve your PC performance for flight sim and general use.

    Outlandish claim I know…. but please read on….

    My name is Robert Ferraro. As owner and founder of PC Aviator, I want to thank you for being a valued customer.

    If you’ve followed our company for a while, you may know that as well as having a passion for flight simulation software, my other passion is related to software that improves PC performance. One of the products I have created as part of that passion is a hard drive defragmentation program called UltimateDefrag. Not only does UltimateDefrag defragment hard drives, but it also significantly improves hard drive performance.

    This message is not about UltimateDefrag (which incidentally there will be a version 5 coming out in around 3 months). This message is about a totally different product I have come across that I can say truly is The Holy Grail in improving your PC performance from the viewpoint of improving your hard drive performance. I have been using it and testing it for around 6 months and I swear by it as the one program I have ever come across that truly enhances your hard drive performance by a factor of around 100. That’s right 100. Not 100% but a hundredfold. It truly is a remarkable piece of software and it is a software product that every flight simmer, and in fact every PC user, should have installed on their PC. The performance increase you will experience with your flight sims and PC in general will, to use a cliche, stun you. And it’s only a $30 piece of software. Not many people know about or use this product. It’s produced by a small company and it’s not easy to get your product widely known these days.

    I am not going to tell you what the product is today. I’m in the process of preparing the product for sale at the PC Aviator website at http://www.pcaviator.com/store and I am also putting together a few documents that will explain the software in easy to understand fashion, how and why it works, and help you set things up and working properly in anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes.

    After you have this product installed on your system and a few mouse clicks to set it up, then it’s all hands off from that point. Your PC will truly blaze as far as your flight sims, especially photoreal scenery and even if it is an older machine it will perform and feel faster than any state-of-the-art system you would buy from any PC provider anywhere. Of course your current processor and graphics card would not be as powerful as on a brand new system, but it’s not those items that really slow your system down during it’s use. It’s all about the physical hard drive. That is what makes a PC feel slow and clunky. This product overcomes that. You could also breath life back into any older systems you might have with this product.

    The software is also 100% safe, reliable and totally stable. I use it on my main desktop, a 7 year old Dell XPS, with all my important company critical data. I also use that same machine for my flight simming and also processing literally terabytes of data as I build MegaSceneryEarth installers which are anywhere between 10 Gb and 100 Gb installations. So I trust it and use it on my main PC and I would like to modestly say that it has my endorsement as an expert in this area.

    If you have had any experience with my UltimateDefrag product and other advice I have given to my customers over the years, you will be aware that I am not in the business of selling snake oil. I have a 27 year old passion for flight sims (PC Aviator has been in business for 25 years) and not much is more important to me than helping customers enjoy a better flight sim experience which I like to do with my second passion which is PC performance enhancement software. Most of the stuff out there is snake oil. I am labeling this software product that you will learn about in around a week as The Holy Grail in PC performance enhancing software and it truly is.

    You might be skeptical upon reading this but I can say that nobody (at least that I know of) has ever felt disappointed with any such product I might have recommended.

    If you have any friends in flight simulation or any friends who would benefit from such a product, please feel free to share this e-mail with them. They might be excited to learn about such a product too.

    Again, in around a week, I will be informing you about and offering you a $30 item of software that is The Holy Grail in enhancing your PC’s performance.


    Robert Ferraro
    PC Aviator Inc.

    • Kosta says:

      I stopped reading somewhere in between. I have been around computers long enough to know that such claims are mostly commercial gags and no one really is discovering anything new. A lot of hot air if you ask me.

  25. AZWildk4t says:

    Hi Kosta. PCAviator finally release the product. It’s mostly managing cache.


  26. zoran says:

    Go to the devs website and get a 60 day free trial, PC aviator forgets to mention this…
    It does zip in the sim though

    • Ken Yull says:

      I have been using PrimoCache since release, and am 100% satisfied. It certainly improved my FSX. Set my fps at 30 and no stutters, but I do use a spare SSHD for the Cache.

  27. Simnut99 says:

    I have found the components for my dream PC
    Core i7 5930k 3.5GHz CPU
    Asus RAMPAGE V EXTREME/U3.1 Socket 2011 v3
    Crucial 16G(4x4G) DDR4 PC19200 Desktop
    eVGA GeForce GTX980Ti 6G Superclock ACX2.0
    Corsair 850W HX850i Modular Corsair 850W HX850i Modular power supply
    Coolermaster HAF-X Tower

    Only thing I need is is Bill Gates to give me 3000 bucks to pay for it all lol

  28. Ivan says:

    Hello Kosta.

    just got this 2 errors, maybe you have some idea why? didn’t do anything to my system it is just happened

    1 Faulting module name: MSVCR80.dll, version: 8.0.50727.4940, time stamp: 0x4ca2b271

    2 Faulting module name: g3d.dll, version: 10.0.61637.0, time stamp: 0x46fadb58

    Here is the full description

    Log Name: Application
    Source: Application Error
    Date: 8/30/2015 9:27:46 PM
    Event ID: 1000
    Task Category: (100)
    Level: Error
    Keywords: Classic
    User: N/A
    Computer: FSX-PC
    Faulting application name: fsx.exe, version: 10.0.61637.0, time stamp: 0x46fadb14
    Faulting module name: g3d.dll, version: 10.0.61637.0, time stamp: 0x46fadb58
    Exception code: 0xc0000005
    Fault offset: 0x000ba79f
    Faulting process id: 0xf04
    Faulting application start time: 0x01d0e37692d06433
    Faulting application path: D:\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\fsx.exe
    Faulting module path: D:\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\g3d.dll
    Report Id: 7b8733fa-4f7f-11e5-8d8b-d43d7eb4a49a
    Event Xml:



    D:\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\fsx.exe
    D:\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\g3d.dll

    Log Name: Application
    Source: Application Error
    Date: 8/30/2015 6:42:56 PM
    Event ID: 1000
    Task Category: (100)
    Level: Error
    Keywords: Classic
    User: N/A
    Computer: FSX-PC
    Faulting application name: fsx.exe, version: 10.0.61637.0, time stamp: 0x46fadb14
    Faulting module name: MSVCR80.dll, version: 8.0.50727.4940, time stamp: 0x4ca2b271
    Exception code: 0xc000000d
    Fault offset: 0x00008aa0
    Faulting process id: 0xb20
    Faulting application start time: 0x01d0e371e3cae981
    Faulting application path: D:\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\fsx.exe
    Faulting module path: C:\Windows\WinSxS\x86_microsoft.vc80.crt_1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b_8.0.50727.4940_none_d08cc06a442b34fc\MSVCR80.dll
    Report Id: 74c5dc6a-4f68-11e5-8d8b-d43d7eb4a49a
    Event Xml:



    D:\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\fsx.exe

    • Ivan says:

      Actually I did change a video driver from 355,60 to 353,06
      this is the only what I did

  29. Gombocza says:

    Hello Kosta,
    I need some help with the .bat files. I made the .bat as I read in your post, but I fly on IVAO, and when I start IVAP, the Aero stops, reverting to Windows basic. Any ideeas, what should I do next? Thanks

  30. Jordan S says:

    Hi Kosta,

    I run my NI settings exactly as you have them. I have been doing this since the first time I read this guide, which I very much appreciate you writing.

    I am just wondering why you mention that you have found problems with the NI Anasitropic filtering? I am running with this on application controlled like yourself but do notice on Tabs guide he has it on 16x AA.

    With FSE:SE I heard we don’t need to add FFTF in the CFG, should I continue running the interal FPS limiter @30fps with 1/2 vsync? or switch to NI limiter?

    Thank you

    • Kosta says:

      When I tested the stuff with AF, there were some confirmed performance issues when couple of factors combined. As far as I can remember it was 32bit cloud textures and 16x AF on the driver. In-sim setting had no impact. Visually they don’t really differ. That’s why.
      I didn’t test FSX:SE extensively, and I probably never will – time is of essence lately, and P3D is becoming really good, or so it seems.

      • Jordan S says:

        Thanks for the response Kosta. I will probably continue to run the interal limiter at 30 fps and ingame Anasitropic filtering. FSX SE runs great! Maybe once I upgrade from my OC’ed 2500K and 760, I will get into P3d. For now SE it is.

        Thanks again,


  31. pilip75 says:

    hello folks ,did someone tried FSX with W 10 and direct 12X?
    before going from my well working W7 to W10 to benefit from Direct 12X which according to the books should enable a better connection between CPU and GPU and an FPS increase ,i would like to known if someone experiencef that benefit ?
    thank s
    p r

  32. pilip75 says:

    hello Kosta
    thanks for your quick answer .
    no problem good but any improvment on the FPS aspect everything equal?
    P R

  33. pilip75 says:

    ok so the book theory and the blabla on direct12X bénefit even for old games is bullsheet as often!

  34. Tsewane says:

    Ηello Kosta,
    Following your advice, my FSX run too smoothly locked at 30 frames.
    I tried many tweaks, but none of them satisfy me.
    Thanks for your advice. A big thumbs up!
    Keep up the very good work you do.
    System Specification:
    Gigabyte X99-UD4
    Intel CPU Core i7-5930K at 4.7 GHz
    Corsair CPU Cooler Hydro H100i
    RAM DDR4 32GB at 2400MHz
    nVidia GTX 970 Tiger OC 4GB
    SSD 480GB Sata III SanDisk Extreme Pro

  35. Joshua Pierson says:

    Just to add to this, you can use hyper-threading as long as your CPU supports it. HT is not a feature that games have to use but instead is a way that your CPU core threads are doubled almost like you have double the amount of cores. It’s built in to your hardware not a game feature. And lastly i would like to add, i have made a program that sets all processes on my computer to the first core, i then run fsx and set the affinity mask in my task manager and i get a nice 15+ extra fps increase just from using my tool. these two things combined with everything above make fsx amazing. even on lower end pc’s.

  36. Joe says:

    There are a lot of pelple using dx10 just fine with the fixer and it works GREAT. guess you dudn’t see too many videos…

  37. gpbarth says:

    Hi! Kosta! Although I’ve been flying FSX for ages, I just now happened upon your pages and love the advice. You explain it instead of just saying “Do this and it will work!” I use nVidia Inspector Which I believe is the most recent. And it has some additional settings that do not appear in your tweaks. So I was wondering if you could update your Inspector settings with the latest version. It may not even matter, but I noticed a few settings that aren’t even listed in the latest version.

    If it matters, I am also running in DX10 mode using Steve’s Fixer. Looks like the only thing in Inspector he covers is the Anti-Aliasing, which I believe you set to Off. Any advice on the DX10 mode and your settings?

  38. Andrew 737 says:

    Hi Kosta

    Around AS Dublin in Ireland (FTX Global), when doing circuits and I’m over the sea, I get black squares in the sea – I use DX9 mode only.

    Only at Dublin, any ideas why?

  39. rekken1b says:

    Hi everyone, great blog!! Learned so much over the years here. I just uploaded a ‘guide’ to steam. It is nothing compared to the work done here. But it is a new approach (pun) to some tweaks, mainly the affinitymask, batching jobs and bufferpools. Anyhow check it out!


  40. RC says:

    Hello Kosta. Would you please tell which is the BEST combination of CPU/GPU available in the market to get the most out of prepar3d? I have an Intel i7-990x and a GTX Titan. I think my GPU is fine, but the CPU is very old and I think it is time for an upgrade. What would you recommend? Thank you very much

  41. DutchDC3 says:

    Hello Kosta,

    Would you be willing to update the screenshot of your NVidia Inspector, as with the newer versions options have changed..

    Thanks for this great resource.

  42. Jeremy says:

    Hello Kosta,

    When I use these settings I get a Full System Crash…where it reboots my PC.

    When I use the in sim and .cfg settings it works fine. However, when I use those nvidia inspector settings is when I get my Crash.

    I am on W10 64bit. I have tried it ran in and not in compatibility mode.

    Any help?

  43. Omari says:

    Thanks for the guide. I used it before and was coming back to update. I wanted to follow your suggestion of starting with a clean fsx.cfg file. I had a backup already saved and deleted the active file. FSX now crashes to a fatal error after the splash screen. I tried to use the backup CFG file. FSX loads past the spash screen, but with the initial menu comes up, the entire computer freezes and I have to do a hard restart. I’ve tried repairing with the FSX/A discs. No luck. Please help

  44. Chris says:

    HI Kostas great stuff question I have a high end cpu well at least I think I do am currently running a GTX970 4.0 ghtz I followed your guide but didn’t use the Nvidia Inspector I still get oom could this be the reason why? I am running Rex,Ut2 ,Orbx Global along with PMDG Ngx thx

    • Andrew Brown says:

      Hello Chris,

      If I may reply as to why you are still getting OOM’s. If you are using FSX or P3D up to version 2.5, you will never truly resolve the issue of OOM’s, no matter how much powerful hardware, video card and RAM you throw at it. Here’s why, firstly FSX is now 10 years old in age and the last release was Acceleration in 2007. Along with P3D up to version 2.5 they were using the same original code, and these sims are 32bit, so they can only run in real memory space of 3.2GB. A real hardware limitation, no matter you run on a 64bit O/S and have 8+GB installed. But there is another main reason called the VAS (Virtual Address Space), and this on 32bit software is limited to 4GB. And this is why you are OOM’ing, you are firstly running a flawed FSX, then the addons you mention REX, UT2, Orbx Global and then a high poly count aircraft such as PMDG. These will all eat up the VAS very quickly, and the condition is CTD’s (Crash To Desktop) or OOM’s. The reason is all of this is installed into the VAS, and FSX along with many addons do not always purge the VAS, once the graphics used has passed and is no longer used. I was explained to, that in FSX and P3D 2.5, no matter what altitude one flies at, all of the graphic content not visible but being “geographically passed over” is being loaded into the VAS. And if that is high quality airports and other land scenery, it adds to the memory load. Nothing we can do about this. I had exactly the same issues on my high end system, with the same addons you are using. I’m not sure if the Steam version of FSX suffers the same, but I am sure the 32bit version will, the 64bit version would be better, but I don’t use the Steam version and probably never will, I will not be hindered by a restrictive Steam client.

      My current answer to all of this was I purchased P3D v3.0, now 3.1 Academic, after my first purchase of 2.5. From this version 3, LM have resolved the VAS issue with 32bit, and will be even better when they go 64bit. I have all of the above addons for P3D now, with no CTD’s or OOM’s. And a recently made record flight to test this, was by flying non-stop for 28 hours. I refueled artificially in the air, flew close to the ground, 1,500feet most of the way, and completed the journey. On autopilot most of the time so I could get some sleep, done over a weekend.

      Hope this helps
      Andrew Brown

      • RC says:

        Excellent explanation Andrew. In your opinion, which would be THE BEST combination of GPU and CPU on today´s market to get the most out of P3D? I have an Intel i7 990x which I would like to upgrade. My GPU is a GTX Titan which I believe is excellent.

        Thank you very much for your replay.

  45. Andrew Brown says:

    Hi RC, anything from an Intel Core i5 2.5GHZ and higher, with at least 8GB of system RAM today, and a good video card with 2GB or VRAM will do the job, and not break the bank. Basically if you have a system that runs FSX comfortably with a reasonable frame rate (20+ will work without too many irritating stutters), will run P3D. Remember P3D is modern optimized code today running on DX11, not DX9, or a broken 1/3 partial DX10 preview of FSX. All of this aids to a smoother running system on reasonable hardware. If one has the budget then go big, as I am sure P3D will eventually launch a 64bit system and along with DX12. At least buying today will keep up with the latest developments. I have a full house maxed out socket 1150 system, costing a bundle, specs below. My last step on this is to introduce SSD’d, which are extremely expensive in my country, as our government did stupid things to collapse our currency in December into freefall, against other major currencies. This system of mine below, runs P3D 3.1 with Orbx FTX Global Base and Vector, along with PMDG aircraft, ASN, and REX 4 HD Texture Direct with Soft Clouds, high settings at around 25 to 30 FPS, I had it on unlimited, but locked it now to 30FPS, to allow other addons access to the resources.

    As you’ll see I use ATi/AMD video cards as I get a good bang for the buck with them, against equivalent nVidia. It’s no longer a given as in FSX, to use nVidia cards exclusively. That all died with (DX10 full) DX11. The reason for FSX, was it was using DX9 and v2 rendering, which nVidia hung onto in their drivers, longer than ATi/AMD, the latter abandoned v2 for v3. But there were fixes that could be applied in upping FSX to v3, to make ATi/AMD work as efficiently in FSX as nVidia. I’ve even tested my system in running 7 Screens, with the three onboard ports and the four on the ATi/AMD discrete card. Three x 27″ and four x 23″ LCD’s, and the frame rate on average was 15FPS, so I am happy with my system now. But my default is four, three in Eyefinity surround, and one as standalone for gauges etc.

    The next level is the latest 6th gen socket 1151, running DDR4 etc, but this is currently astronomical for many, and the ROI (return of investment) is not as great as one thinks. The software and operating system still has to catch up.

    Win10 Pro x64 / Ubuntu 15.10 Wily Werewolf x64
    Intel Core i7 Haswell 5th gen 4790K 4.5GHZ OC
    Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming 5 mobo
    Gigabyte AMD R9 280X 3GB GPU
    Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB DDR3 1600MHZ
    Onboard Realtek 7.1 Surround
    27″ + 23″ LCD/LED 1920×1080 HD panels
    Seagate Hybrid 1TB SATAIII (Dual Windows Boot)
    Seagate Hybrid 1TB SATAIII (Dual Linux Boot)
    Seagate Hybrid 2TB SATAIII (Data)
    TSST 24x SATA DVDRW * 2 Opticals
    CoolerMaster G750M 750W PSU
    Zalman CNPS10X Shark Fin Cooler

    • RC says:


      Thank you so much for such reply. Let´s say that I want to anticipate to the 64bit System, which CPU and MoBo would you recommend that has the greatest ROI you mentioned?

      Thanks in advanced

  46. John Henkel says:

    Hello Kosta’s
    Have You Reviewed this Product Yet ? I have just Downloaded and installed FSX Booster and P3D Booster, and was impressed with the Results. I use them with FSX, FSX SE, and P3D v1.4. They are Inexpensive, Easy to Install, Easy to Use, Seem to Do what they Say! I thought that You might want to Review them For the Readers of Your Blog.
    Regards – Johnman

  47. Jon Martinez says:

    Thanks for all the great info. I do have a question, is there a book or pdf to download to teach us how to edit the aircraft.cfg file? I find even though I have the box checked in FSXSE that pilot controls the landing lights, They will not turn on during the daytime, taxi light at night is too bright, etc. Thanks

  48. Cosentino85 says:

    Thank you so much for this guide, overnight it changed my fsx to something much more enjoyable.

  49. Mauro says:

    Hi Kosta,
    I’m trying to install Orbx global v1.3 on my fsx steam and always appear one error that doesn’t let me install the program. The error is “Radio Buttons 01 > On Next, Line 10: Argument 2 must be of type string. Stack Traceback: 1:[Radio Buttons 01 > On Next] Line: 10 in main chunk”.
    After some searching in the web i still doesn’t have a solution. Could you give some step by step advice? I’m using one ssd for windows and one hd for fsx and other programs.


    • Andrew Brown says:

      Mauro, the error you are supplying is caused by Orbx Global not detecting or finding the correct install path. I am presuming that you are using the Orbx version designed for the boxed version of FSX so having a default path of \Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X. It can also be a custom path of your choice but it will be entered into the registry where addons will find their way to the correct path of the boxed FSX. Steam versions of FSX have a completely different path to it, similiar to this example \Steam\SteamApps\common, and as above, if you are trying to install Global 1.3 to FSX: SE, you will constantly get this error. The latest version of FTX Orbx Global Base is now version 1.4 and if I remember it was built to cater for FSX:SE. I would advise downloading it from your account at Full Terrain, they did and regularly do send out emails advising of important updates, and version 1.4 is one of them. I have both Global 1.4 and Vector 1.3 / 1.35 with FSX Acceleration Gold and P3D v3.2, with no issues from these products with each other. I don’t and never will use FSX:SE, so I cannot advise any further, but I am familiar with the error.


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