Optimize your FSX - graphics tweaks

Default Optimize your FSX - graphics tweaks Running my old machine I was finding FSX was running really slow. I found a copy of PC Pilot a couple months back and a month ago I picked up another copy (Issue 74) with a headline that read, on the cover,

So of course, I bought it.

Here's a complete transcription of the article, minus some of the informative parts, simply the list of tweaks. The person who is providing the tweaks is Matijs Kok


Graphics Settings
Target Frame Rate
If I have one piece of advice for you, it is this one: Always leave your target frame rate at "unlimited" as you will always achieve far better FPS. only when you're experiencing wildly fluctuating FPS does it make sense to set a limit. Limiting frame rates may have worked in FS2004 but not in FSX
Set this to anisotropic, but it may be better to set that in your graphics card driver settings.
Set to "on" but as with filtering, it may be better to set that in your graphics card driver settings.

Global texture resolution
always leave this at maximum.
Preview DirectX 10 (not an option on my game but perhaps on others-SH427)
if you have add-ons that use it, give it a try! It will often gain you far better FPS, but only on Vista or Windows 7.
Lens Flare
this feature is demanding on resources, but looks superb if you fly at higher altitudes
Light Bloom
this is also very demanding and "buggy" so only try this if you are already achieving high FPS.
Advanced Animations
always on
Informational text
continous is the best option here, unless you have a very wide screen.

Default Cockpit view
set to 3d unless you still use 2d panels
Show cockpit tooltips
set to "on" as some add-on aircraft make heavy use of this feature
High resolution 3-D virtual cockpit
always leave this on
2d Panel transparency
of little use.Aircraft Casts Shadows on ground
this is nice for small aircraft as it gives you some depth perception (useful for aircraft like the A2A Piper cub! -SH427) but it's "buggy" so I would suggest leaving it off
Aircraft Casts Shadows on itself
This can look great, but on complex aircraft like the Aerosoft F-16 or Catalina this can cause a serious drop in FPS.
Aircraft Landing lights illuminate the ground
buggy but through necessity leave it on.

Level of Detail Radius
with this its best to use the medium setting rather than small as the former works fine most of the time
Mesh Complexity
this setting is dependent on the situation. Check the manual if you're using 3rd party scenery, if it doesn't include mesh set this at 50%
Mesh resolution
as above
Texture resolution
unless the manual for a 3rd party add-on says otherwise set this to 60cm
Water Effects
Highest levels only look good in the Caribbean and it has a major negative impact on FPS. so for most of the FS world, setting this at a Mid1.x looks best.
Land Detail Textures
always leave this on.

Scenery Complexity
set this to "extremely dense" unless you are flying at low altitudes
Autogen density (the bane of flightsimmers everywhere. Rendering trees.-SH427)
this can have a detrimental effect on FPS and often doesn't look too good. So unless you are flying very low and very slow, things are a lot faster and smoother with a low setting. However, do read the manual for your particular scenery add ons, as some profucts, such as VFR Germany, use this to very good evvect. Keep in Mind that even a very low setting will show more than FS2004 would show at maximum settings.
Ground scenery shadows
if you have a lot of objects in view this slows things down quite a bit, so I personally always leave this deactivated.
Special effects Detail
always leave this on high
Cloud Draw Distance
if you fly airliners, its nice to set this to 110km, but its one of the first settings to reduce if you are seeing low FPS
Thermal Visualisation
unless you fly gliders, keep this off.
Cloud Detail
Detailed clouds look a LOT better. but it can take a huge toll on your FPS . Leave it on, but it is one of the first things to switch off if needed.
Cloud Coverage Density
this can be used to tweak the clouds, but a low setting often looks odd...
Download Winds Aloft
keep this on unless you are flying at very low altitude. This can save you a lot of FPS!
Disable Turbulence
Why turn this off?! (the magazine actually says this-SH427)
Rate at which weather changes over time
I prefer to leave this on High since it gives me a better idea on the weather.
Airliner Traffic
if you are not flying an airliner or landing at a major airport, set this to low or even consider turning it off. This option can take a huge toll on framerates so settings over 50% is never a good idea. If the airport has built-in static aircraft you could get away with very low settings.
General Aviation Traffic
as with airliner Traffic, be cautious with this setting. May people set it too high which has a detrimental impact.
Airport Vehicles
not used by all addons but has a small effect on performance as they are repetitive objects. Keep it on medium.
Road Vehicles
This is one of those settings that can make FSX look very good but takes a huge toll on FPS. settings over 30% are not advised.
Ships and Ferries
if you are lading at Heathrow or Frankfurt, why have these settings at anything over 0? (Seattle and Rotterdam look kinda ghostly though...-SH427)
Leisure Boats
Same with ships and ferries but they do look very cool at islands like Ibiza and take a relative low toll on your FPS
(love buzzing Sampans in my Catalina!-Sh427)
There is more reading, that talks about setting specific stuff, if you guys want the headers are

If you guys would like any info on that, let me know. I'm going to take a breather.

Hope this helps you like it did me! Thanks Mathijs!


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