Messed up on the last post...........Pressed the idiot button before I had even put any content in. Derrrrrrr!
Any way here is my deduction on why Ram and large Harddrives affect performance in Flight Sims.In particular, stuttering.
I always figured Large hard drives to be the cause of most 'delayed reactions' in Windows. The same as stutters in FS.
Eg: I will always go for two 10 gig rather than one 20 gig. Not just for backup purposes but just because the disk is smaller and the cpu doesn't have to work as hard to get the hdd info into the ram.
If you only have a single large disk you could always partition it (however this will not help with backup if the disk fails)
I would break a 20 gig into three 8gig / 8gig /4gig. Install windows and applications on one 8gig and fs2000/2002 on the other. Use the 4gig for say, downloads etc.....then Move the pagefile / swapfile to the FS partition and make sure it is 1.5 times the size of my physical ram. This will definately stop some of the stuttering as the drive becomes fragmented.
As the Ram becomes full, windows uses what is known as, LRU algorithm, (LRU=Least recently Used.)and uses the least recently used portion of the ram to write the new data into the ram, thus only overwriting data that is probably redundant anyway. Fs scenery is the data in question here and from this deduction it is plain that the more ram you have the more scenery you will see without the hard drive paging. If you look at your hard drive led when the stuttering occurs, you will see it blinking. This is known as paging and is simply writing data from the Hard Drive to the Ram. Ie: the next 100 miles of scenery.
1.The more ram you have, the more scenery you can see, and paging / LRU will have minimal effect on the running of the Sim.
2. The smaller your drive is, the less work the CPU has to do to retrieve data to the ram.The whole process would take a lot longer if it had to search a 20gig fragmented drive than if it had to search an 8gig. This is one reason why it is good practice to regularly de-fragment your drive.
I think 512 mb of ram would probably hold as much scenery you can see in FS2002 at any one time(Also this is where autogen is good as it saves space on the Ram by not writing scenery that is not necessary.) So I would say that a good base to build on would be 512mb of Ram and an 8 gig (10 max) partition with a 768mb Pagefile on the FS partition. The rest is down to the GPU and CPU. get a good combination of these and you will have a good FS system for a good while.
I tried not to be too techie and hope that those of you that don't already know how this works, can understand it.
69 Original FS2002 Screenshots here