• How To... Improve Your Frame Rate

    HOW TO INCREASE YOUR FRAME RATE

    By Nels Anderson

    Download this How To file in straight text format.
    Ahh, I can't afford a faster machine, so for all you po' folkes like me here's how I enjoy my 486/66 and still really don't need a faster machine for regular FS scenery.

    For all the new add-on scenery and Europe II which I love, my 486/66 is just too darn slow. So I still do most of my flying in the US, Hawaii and Europe I with few "homemade" sceneries just because they're too demanding. But I don't settle for slow frame rates, so here's some tips on how to speed things up just in case you don't already know them.

    Sorry if you already have tried the following, but many people just don't know about the following ideas yet even if they've been flightsimming for years now.

    Favorite Frame Boosters

    • Make sure that in the preferences, display area the graphics are set to low quality / high frame rate with most flicker... believe me, taking a little flicker on the screen is worth it!! You'll get almost 2 frames per second by doing these things!
    • Make sure that the approach lighting is off! This kills the frame rate at big multi-runway airports. This will give you maybe .5 a frame!
    • Make sure that the dynamic scenery is on minimal. I know it's nice, but you can live without it and depending on if you're looking at some dynamic scenery while flying it cuts frame rate by a good 1, maybe more if on.
    • Make sure that water texture is off. You'll gain a frame from this in water logged sceneries.
    • Don't use cloud thickness. This can reduce frame rates by a .5 or 1 in many locations.
    • THE NUMBER 1 METHOD FOR INCREASING YOUR FRAME RATE:
      SHRINK YOUR DISPLAY WINDOW SIZE! You will gain up to 3 FPS by reducing the size of your display window to a border like this: Above the instrument panel by almost 1/2", below the top of the screen by a 1/2" and from the sides almost 1.5 - 2" on each side. Now you have a small window to look thru, but you will get used to it, trust me. I fly the jetliners and a smaller window looks better anyway in scale... it looks dumb to have a huge window almost touching the instrument panel... in reality there are side posts, center post on the right and a big dashboard pad and or glareshield panel dividing the window from the big "6" guages so a shrunken window will look fine and give you almost 3 FPS. You'll love it as I have for many years this way.
    Now, if you employ all of the above methods, I doubt you'll ever see an extra 10 FPS, but each one of the techniques above works in certain situations. Like the runway approach lighting. Having it on won't hurt you until looking at them. If you're flying away from them you'll not have a problem. Same with the water texture and clouds. With all these present at the same time, frame rate will be awful on a 486. With some "homemade" scenery thrown in you'll remember the old days flightsimming on a 8086.

    Guaranteed... you will ALWAYS see an increase in frame rate all the time by shrinking your window size to as small as you can stand so go for it... and you'll smile when you fly!

    People always laugh at me for having a shrunken window...but why not, I don't complain about frame rate that much anymore on my 486/66.

    Here's what I get usually for frame rates now:

    • 20 or so in Kansas, no add-on scenery with a clear sky.
    • 10 or so in Chicago areas, maybe 7 at ORH with full dynamic and clouds.
    • 6 in Innsbruck Austria on Europe I with a clear sky and full dynamic.
    I rarely see less than 6 except in Europe II now in Paris or something where there's lots of airport detail. It hurts at 5 fps, but I know many people have complained of frame rates of 3 in many areas on a 486/66 and that's because of their big, fat window! So put your window on a diet today... and enjoy!!!!