Monday, July 19, 2010

Tuning FSX

I finally got Flight Simulator X loaded onto my system recently. I had been playing a lot about a year ago, but I had hard drive issues, and had to reinstall XP onto the drive and never got around to reinstalling FSX. Last December I upgraded to Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium. I have been in the flying mood though, so I thought I would get things loaded back up and fly some more on fseconomy.com. FSEconomy is a small pilot simulation where you take on jobs, rent planes, and fly the jobs from their points of origin to their destinations. You earn money, which you spend on renting planes, fuel, buying fixed based operations or buying planes. A buddy and myself decided to make our way from AZ to AK when playing last year, but I had the drive issue and that brought an end to things. We started up again. He is in British Columbia at the moment, and I am trying to make my way from Oregon (KMFR) to Washington (KPAE).I had Seattle in sight when FSX crashed tonight, which is a rare event. I was messing with simulation rate to hurry up the flight because I was tired, and I was messing with that setting when it crashed. Seattle Center was talking to me at the same time. So who knows what caused it to kick the bucket. All I know is I have to fly 351 miles again. :)

Anyways I wanted to make things look better so I bought some addons, and I wanted FSX to run as smooth as possible while looking nice, so I went on a search for information on tuning systems for FSX. I found the following forum posts which guided me to my settings:

http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=29041
http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=34141&PID=198187#198187

I have the following addons:

FSGenesis terrain mesh for USA
Ultimate Terrain USA - landclass addon
Ground Environment X  - texture addon
Real Environment Xtreme - sky, water texture addon (has weather engine, but I don't use it)
Active Sky Evolution - weather engine addon
Traffic 2005 - AI traffic addon

Here are the settings I ended up with:







Here are some in-game screenshots. Some show the average frames per second, which was anywhere from the 30s into the 40s tonight. I forgot to run Active Sky Evolution which is a weather engine addon, so I don't know how much that would have effected things. I will do another test with it running to see what kind of numbers I get. I should also note that I am running the game in windowed mode so that I can use my flight planner software on the other display. Besides until I upgrade to Eyefinity technology using both monitors for FSX with the Windows 7 display model is a pain. I could use the 2nd display to show other windows, but I can't really use both displays as a single virtual display. Eventually I will move on to Eyefinity technology and will have the virtual cockpit on both displays, and run the flight planner on my laptop.

Just after takeoff from KMFR in Oregon:




Some shots on the way to Portland:







The system specs for the system I did this on:

Intel Q6600 Quad Core CPU
2 ATI 4850 Radeons 512MB RAM in crossfire mode
8 GB RAM
TrackIR 5
Saitek X52 HOTAS
Saitek Pro Flight Rudder Pedals
Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium
2x Samsung 22" LCD 1680x1050 (FSX is only displaying on one in windowed mode with window maximized)

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