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Thread: The Future

  1. #1
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor AndyT's Avatar
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    Talking The Future

    For some time now there has been a battle of sorts over these items and what good they are to us as users of FS9 and FSX.

    I have been meaning to address these issues for quite a while but one thing or another has kept me from finding the time to post on it. Well, I happen to have some time now and since I do have 24 years in the industry, I think that I might have an idea or two to share.

    1. Vista
    Is it worth it? It depends on 2 things.
    a. Do you have a multi-core machine?
    b. Is DX10 ready yet?

    Vista is an OS designed to use multi-cores. It will handle up to 4 cores according to Microsofts latest statements. That means that you will be able to run more add-ons (like Project Magenta or PMDG) at once and assign them to other cores which will help you keep your frames up. (Frames per second is a whole other debate and I'm not going there right now.)

    Is DX10 ready yet?

    What does this have to do with Vista? One of the main features of DX10 is that it removes much of the rendering from the CPU (computer) and puts it on the GPU (video card). when you add that to the multi-core support that Vista has you can see that there are some substantial gains to be had.

    2. SLI and Crossfire;

    These are both mostly hardware features. XP currently uses the CPU to do much of its rendering because of the way DX9 works. Once DX10 is out and running well, these two features will have the bottleneck opened up to allow them to work with Vista in the way they were designed to.

    This is hardly an extensive explanation of these topics and there is of course room for further discussion
    but I think with the above information you will begin to understand just what is really in store for us down the road. Some awesome improvements are coming our way. Add to this the SP1 update that will be ready soon, the fact that FSX has a far higher texture and mesh resolution and you should be able to see that FSX is a platform that we can build on for some time to come.

    So based on the statements above I suggest you wait to buy your hardware until DX10 video cards settle down and get most of the bugs worked out which is normally 6 months after a major release. (The DX10 patch due later this year)
    As far as hard drives, go big and go multiple RAID 0 if you can.
    God's in command, I'm just the Pilot.
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  2. #2
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim Michael Carter's Avatar
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    Will DX10 benefit XP Pro users with older equipment or is it Vista-only and new hardware?
    Boeing Skunk Works
    Remember...140, 250, and REALLY FAST!

    We don't need no stinkin' ETOPS!



    Powered by FS9 & BOEING

  3. #3
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor AndyT's Avatar
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    DX10 is Vista only.
    And if you are going to upgrade you should get a new machine that can support all of these features.

    SLI is nvidia and Crossfire is ATI's version of it.

    And I forgot one of my favorite new Vista features,
    The little USB flash drives we now have can be used as RAM in Vista!
    God's in command, I'm just the Pilot.
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    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor Bob Reed's Avatar
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    BUT! None of these features do much if the software does not support it! FSX does not support Dual core Nore SLI/Crossfire so gains here will be nominal.
    Bob Reed

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    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor AndyT's Avatar
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    Phil Taylor from ACES has posted that the SP1 update will enable much more in the multi-core usage.

    Phil Taylor said:

    Our multi-core support will take advantage of both 2 and 4 cores today, and more cores in the future when they become available via a config setting. This is for both Intel and AMD processors.

    (in a different post he said )
    SLI and Crossfire happen completely in the driver. Given FSX RTM is completely CPU bound, thats why these 2 technologies show little positive effect. If we have been successful in driving down the CPU bound nature of the app in SP1, then SLI and Crossfire will show more benefit.



    This means that FSX WILL be supporting multi-core soon and the corrected drivers from nVidia and ATI for DX10 WILL support SLI and Crossfire under DX10. SLI and Crossfire will have some support under DX9 if the fixes in SP1 work like they hope.
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  6. #6
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor Bob Reed's Avatar
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    That is interesting indeed Andy as we where told that multi core was out of the question for FSX as the engine would have to be completely re written. SLI well they never really gave us an answer on that. This sounds a lot like the OS description for Vista... Seems a lot has changed in a few months. I guess I will have to see it to believe it
    Bob Reed

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    Multi-core chips are just as prone to bus speed and memory bandwidth issues. Two cores won't magically double performance except in -very- specific circumstances. X-Plane, for example, uses extra processors to load scenery. Everything else is done on the main processor - to balance the load usually means a performance hit, as bits and pieces can only be shunted around so fast.

    Still, improvements are being made *hugs his mac pro with 1.33ghz FSB*

  8. #8
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor Bob Reed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drinniol View Post
    Multi-core chips are just as prone to bus speed and memory bandwidth issues. Two cores won't magically double performance except in -very- specific circumstances. X-Plane, for example, uses extra processors to load scenery. Everything else is done on the main processor - to balance the load usually means a performance hit, as bits and pieces can only be shunted around so fast.

    Still, improvements are being made *hugs his mac pro with 1.33ghz FSB*
    This is sort of what I had been told. If the software is not programed to use the "extra" processors you will not get much of an improvement. Not trying to argue, just understand. So you would get a little (stress little) improvement in FSX but not a lot. Now SLI/Crossfire is a different story.
    If they fix that we should get an improvement as this is a driver thing.
    Bob Reed

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    You're right. If, however, they program the sim correctly and spread the load, performance can easily double - especially in CPU-heavy apps like MSFS. A lot of it comes down to how good the programmers are.

  10. #10
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor AndyT's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I do not have any info on the changes they have made but from what I've seen written by Phil and others they have made serious improvements in the code for multi-core usage. The full screen bug has been fixed and new video drivers are on the way. Add to that all the rest of the fixes and new hardware coming out and around years end we should have a completly different experience with FSX.

    I use FSX as my only sim right now as my cockpit is in storage. So I'm flying with a joystick, mouse and keyboard. But even still, I can see some huge changes in it and how it runs. I can't wait for the Service Pack to come out. The last date I heard for it was May 8th. Microsoft has NOT issued any date because they don't want to get caught up in the flame wars if they fail to make the date by an hour or two, but the people that quoted the 8th have a nice inside track on it so.....
    God's in command, I'm just the Pilot.
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