View Full Version : FS2004 looks nice, but is power hungry
I got my copy today, and I must say, it does look good. Alot of improvements, and the sky, dusk effects are great. However, having run FS2002 on my system with almost everything maxed out at very good fps, it's disappointing to find out that FS2004 is not flyable even at minimal settings on this same machine. Upgrading is in order of course, but in my opinion, this reminds me of FS2000. The load times are much faster than FS2002, but the sacrifice is evident. Bottom line is, if we want it to look good, we have to dish out the money and get some new parts. But, no matter how good the improvement in alot of areas, technically, the engine is not much different from FS2002, and the ground textures, which I believe are the definative evidence of a brand new sim remain about the same as they did in FS2002. FS2002 was a breath of relief for those that cannot afford a new system for every release, FS2004 is not. But hey, it's an addiction, and by far not the most expensive one!:+)
Something wrong somewhere. With like settings, FS2004 will run at about the same framerate as FS2002. I ran FS2002 with the sliders full-right and I'm doing the same with FS2004. The only difference I can see is with the clouds and autogen. If you try to max both of those it could present some problems depending on your system specs. But get those two to the same level as FS2002 and the overall framerate seems to be about the same.
I'm still experimenting, but even with everything down to nothing, and I mean everything, It looks as though I get 4 or 5 fps. The only time I have noticed improvement is flying at dusk. I'll admit this machine is beyond ancient, but it ran the previous version very well. I figured it would at least be flyable, but it's not. I'll start upgrading little by little, starting with a a couple of good memory sticks, a better video card, and if need be, new board and processor...in that order. I'm not looking to spend more than I need to at this time, wish I could though:)
07-29-2003, 11:25 PM
I too am extremely disappointed after all the "runs the same" comments. I have an AMD Athlon XP 1800+ on a Soyo Dragon Ultra motherboard with 512mb RAM and an ATI 9800 Pro video card.
FS2002 stayed pegged pretty much at 20fps except when running with MyTraffic near airports.
Same machine here and I left EVERYTHING nearly default with respect to performance items (except Traffic up to 100%) and I ran a flight from Philly to NYC (La Guardia). The entire trip averaged 10fps and if I brought up the Panel (Beechcraft 250) it dropped to a steady 8fps.
I planned on upgrading soon but thought that I might be able to hold off given the "runs the same" comments. This was just painful and then I realized I was also running 800x600 at "Medium" performance settings making the realization even worse.
07-29-2003, 11:32 PM
I'm running a P4 2.66ghz 512Megs Ram, 120G HD, Mx400 video card..
I've got everything just about max'd and I'm running from high teens
to around 40FPS. I'm quite pleased, however, I will put a new
video card on the things to buy list. It looks OK with the MX400..but..I think it could look better.
No problems at all with install/setup. I think I like it.
07-29-2003, 11:46 PM
Same or better with the old Athlon 1900XP/Geforce3Ti500/512DDRram.
1600*1200*32 resolution and 22" monitor. I don't slack on settings either. Many are at least 2/3rds to full right.
I hear the ATI cards have issues at the moment, but I don't have specifics.
My mountain and Caribbean flights can easily get fps in upper 20's to 30's. JFK can drag down to single digits, but FS2002 could also.
Dense cumulous will range from 9 to 19 fps & cirrus/stratus are much better on fps.
07-29-2003, 11:49 PM
Boy there are some huge variations in results with this sim. It seems no two are the same. I've got a P4 3.0 GHz 800 FSB H/T, 512 PC3200 DDR RAM, a Radeon 9800 Pro 256, Audigy sound card and an 80 GB Western Digital 7200 HD. If I run at 1152 by whatever, I can hold 20 fps for the most part (locked), but add 3 layers of cloud and I drop like a stone to about 3 to 12 fps. I don't have most sliders maxed by any means, my BIOS and all is right up to date, running DX9.0b, all the updates for Win XP Pro, etc. Yet I just get killed when the wx goes down the tubes. Others running a lighter system seem to do really well. Who can explain it :-) ??
I'll probably upgrade only to make this thing flyable, keeping in mind that those parts that a buy to upgrade...memory/video card can be used with the next system. But if a video card or more memory don't cut it, It will be a while before I upgrade a board or CPU. What this version wants and needs is probably a top notch CPU/Board combo that will cost about 30% to 40% less 1/2 year from now. So if it means upgrading in that way, I'll stick with 2002 for another 6 months. I don't feel too bad about the card or memory, cause prices more or less will be the same and they can be carried on to the next.
07-30-2003, 12:21 AM
This is true, it's not surprising, and it's not all bad
First of all, all FS versions have always been designed to run best on computers that don't yet exist at the time of the sim's release. It was true with FS 2002, and definitely true with FS 2000. So this is hardly suprising.
But another trend that has been developing, as we saw with FS 2002, is that the flight simulator has become much more playable on older machines. In no version is this more evident than with FS 2004.
You can run FS 2004 in a similar configuration to how you had FS 2002 set up and get similar performance. Even with lower framerates, performance remains smooth. That's good. You don't need a top-of-the-line system to fly this sim and still enjoy many of the new visual effects.
It's also true that FS 2004 is capable of doing more than FS 2002, some sliders go "further to the right," than FS 2002 - autogen for example. For this, a faster processor is required. Bad news? Not really. Why? Because we can more than enjoy the sim today without maxing out all sliders, and it looks and performs incredibly. You can get by with 30% cloud cover, you don't really need 90% for example. Later, when we will eventually replace or upgrade our systems, we'll be able to max out the sliders and enjoy it even more. I'd say you'd need something in the range of 3.5 Ghz to 4.0 Ghz to max out all the sliders with smooth framerates. We'll get there.
With every release I see people wanting to get the fastest processor out there so that they can "once and for all" run FS to it's fullest potential. This is impossible to do at the time of the sim's release, as the processor they are looking for has not been created yet. Not to worry, as I said this does not matter; now more than ever before. FS 2004 is playable on your system IF it ran FS 2002 reasonably well; just play around with the sliders until you get a compromise your system can run. Unlike previous versions, you DON'T need to max everything out to enjoy it.
FS 2004 is fun both NOW and LATER when you upgrade; to me, that's what's really amazing about this version.
07-30-2003, 12:28 AM
Ditto to that....
I just bought FS 2004 at Electronics Boutique in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho. I was a little apprehensive after reading some of the posts about how people were experiencing substantially reduced performance compared to FS 2002, but like the man said...it's an addiction!
MSI K7N2 Mobo w/ N Force 2 chipset
Athlon XP 2700+ (running at only 2100+...long story)
512mb PC2700 DDR
GeForce 4 Ti 4200 128mb (44.67 drivers)
30gb Western Dig 7200rpm
Windows XP Pro
I began to load up FS 2004 while reading some of the posts on the forums about issues ranging from poor frame rate to shimmering textures. After I gave my hard drive a hernia from the 2.8gb installation (WOW...that's big...) I started up and began to configure for my preferences (joystick assignments, sound settings, ect...). When it came to display settings, I thought..." what the hell, let's go for it!" I set each category (aircraft, weather, scenery, ect...) for the highest possible setting. I fully expected to see about 5-7 fps. I wasn't prepared for what I saw next.
I started off with the Robinson R22 at SeaTac with fair weather. In 2D cockpit I was getting about 30-35 fps, virtual cockpit...close to the same...about 28-33. It was only when I went to the chase view down low over the airport that the frames dropped to around 12-17 fps. Really guys, I would've been satisfied with 10-15 fps in cockpit with the settings that I selected. I actually expected more like 5 fps!!! But to see very playable frames with the settings up that high was amazing! I'm still wondering if it was a fluke! I've since deleted FS 2002 from my machine and have thus committed myself to a long love affair with Century of Flight! Amazing weather, great GPS, and imminently playable performance with higher that normal detail settings. Maybe I just hit the configuration lottery or something...but I'm not complaining. Best of luck to everyone...hope you all find the "sweet spot" set up that eludes so many!
Post Falls, Idaho
CookieMonster, I've heard alot of similar posts, but in my case, FS2004 is not even flyable, where a default installation of FS2002, flying any defualt aircraft with sliders and everything in general up to 90% worked flawless. I was expecting this to produce flyable rates at minimal settings, but no such luck over here:) I will however go part by part until it becomes flyable. As for the machines that will run this, they'll be around in another 1/2 year, but we know it's gonna cost. This sim will become affordable to run maxed out with no compromise when the next version hits the shelves.
07-30-2003, 01:28 AM
My experience with FS9 has been the smae as LGA's. My comp is only a 600 mhz P3, but I was able to run FS2002 extremely well on it - with the sliders mostly full to the right and the terrain mesh and textures turned down to like 60%, I was still able to get like 25 fps enroute on an average airliner flight. I tried the same flight in FS9 with the sliders all the way to the left - I mean, every single slider turned totally off - and I averaged 3-5 fps. The game looked a lot worse than I had been running FS2002 but ran so much more slowly. I can't say I was expecting much from a P3 600 but after the way FS2002 ran, FS9 is certainly a bit of a letdown...
07-30-2003, 02:19 AM
It's probably a temporary problem specific to your system that we just don't know the answer to yet, once it's fixed I'm sure you'll be able to run FS 2004. Keep checking the forum as more people will eventually find and post solutions! :-wave
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