FSX SP1 Update:Beta

Good news and bad news.

The good news is, we are real close to putting a strong beta build of SP1 out on the beta forums.

The bad news is, it just isnt going to be this week.

We have had 2 team members sick for the last couple days and we need their changes checked in to have what we want the beta testers to exercise with their tests. SDK setup has some issues on uninstall that make the beta less clean than we would like. And there are a few less important odds-ends we'd like to clean up. So we need a few more days.

We will alert people when, hopefully next week, we have the bits ready to post.

I know some will be disappointed, but its better to have a single strong beta drop than having to drop bits multiple times. So stay tuned.

Comments (31)

  1. yamane says:

    – Select 2D Panel View

    – Use SHIFT+ENTER to up seat

    – Use CTRL+Q to adjust view (down)

    – Use joystick to view left (or right) window of cabin.

    When you return to center window, we lost adjust of CTRL+Q.

    I think that is necessary FSX remember last adjust with CTRL+Q.

  2. Phil Taylor says:

    This is not a bug report page. Please use either the fsinsider.com feedback form or tell_fs@microsoft.com

  3. Jim0033 says:

    Glad to hear things are getting close on the SP1 build Phil.

    Question for you:  can you let us in on what degree of performance improvement we are likely to see with SP1?  I know that this is a complex question given that there are several variables at play here, but can you give us a little hint?  What broad range of improvement could we be looking at?  1-5%?  5-10%10-25%?

    I understand that the performance is largely processor-bound on most systems.  What kind of improvement might we expect with a mid-range fairly new processor but a high-end (ATI Radeon 1950 XTX) DirectX 9 card?  Is it completely out of the question to crank up all of the detail settings unless you have a processor that won’t release for 2 years and a direct x 10 card with the direct x 10 build (when it releases)?

    By the way, this is a beautiful product, and I love the idea of building in functionality that will allow it to hold its own in 2 or 3 years even with the pace of technology being what it is.  It seems like you guys really built this system for technology that doesn’t exist yet, and what is a good experience now could become really fantastic in months / years to come.

    Keep up the good work!

    — Jim C.

  4. Phil Taylor says:

    I already stated on avsim.com that our baseline goal was 20%.

  5. Saito48 says:

    Pucker up and bend over.  Its apparent thats the way you like it Ralph

  6. rliedert says:

    I have a 2,4 GHz Dual Dore, only 1 GB of 533 MHz RAM and a Gforce 7300 GO graphics chip – YES, that’s a notebook! FSX is running perfectly fine – when you have the right settings. Saito48 is complaining that he doesn’t get a decent frame rate when he turns ALL sliders to the right. Saito, do you also mean the cloud draw distance slider? The traffic (cars, ships, ferries, other aircraft) slider? The mesh complexity/resolution slider? I bet you even have AA turned on in your NVidia control panel AND in FSX (just to be sure of course;) … who’s your daddy, man?

  7. BobKK47 says:

    Spanman44, I have (I think) the same computer as yours, a Dell XPS 410 with 256GB video card, 1GB RAM and 2.4 Ghz Intel Core-2 duo E6600.

    I’ve got my min fps  setting in FSX at 25fps and normally get 22-25fps while in flight.  In dense airport scenery it will go down to 12-15fps.

    So I’m not quite sure why you would be getting such low frame-rates.  Note that most of my sliders

    are set to mid-level, some lower, some higher.

  8. BobKK47 says:

    Correction the that video card, it’s a 256MB card (Nvidia 7900 GS).

  9. Saito48 says:

    I would be stupid to disregard all posts and dismiss everything thats said as bologne.  But I will be more clear at where its at for me and I am sure too many to count of other opinions that still have issues with this software.  If you have a sec, I’ll tell you what I agree with and what I don’t agree with.

    Again my specs:  AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 5200+ (2.6 ghz on each core)

                              eVGA 7950 GT KO 512 megs ram

                              2 gigs of Dual Channel 533mhz ram

                              550 Watt Power Supply

    The part I agree with:

    You do have to turn down settings, which I took all of your posts and applied the advice given.

    The Results:

    I get really good frame rates, anywhere from 15 to 30 fps depending on whether I’m flying within a controlled airspace or not flying within controlled airspace.  Or near a significant sized populace.

    Here is what I am bellyaching about,

    and judging from alot of other forumns and/or websites.

    so are many, too many to count, that have the same bellyache:

    I saw the screenshots.  We all saw the screenshots.  Everyone had a favorable reaction to the screenshots which really cranked up our anticipation for the release of FSX.  Anyone informing themselves soon learned that this was going to be a real resource hog and you had better start thinking about upgrading computer parts  (the most expensive parts) or go buy a new computer and get the best of the best you could get out of a PC.  Until FSX, I already had a powerful computer that could play everything the gaming world had to offer.  But being a real world pilot, I looked at FSX as an investment in lowering the cost of keeping my real world slills sharp.  So, I decided to not chance being disappointed with my older computer and spent $1645.00 for the #1 CPU that existed, the #1 Video card that existed, lots of ram, a big powersupply the exact same week FSX was released.  In my mind this was going to be plenty of hardware (I actually thought it was going to be overkill) to get out of FSX what I was seeing in those screenshots.  And this folks, is what my point is.  Sure you can get a decent framerate if you turn everything down, but even with the best of the best in hardware, spent almost $2000.00 after you add the taxes to it all, and I am getting nowhere to what I and everyone else saw in those screenshots.  How many thousands of other people went and spent 2 grand like I did and got the best of the best , loaded up FSX and went, "What the heck is this?  It runs like crap !!!

  10. CARST says:

    Saito you have to see computer are advancing over the time.

    I don’t want to play the "i-have-the-bigger-one"-game, but i payed 3400 Euros for my new computer.

    Intel 6800 CoreExtreme CPU, 2x 8800GTX 768mb, 4GB of DDR2-800 Ram, and so on…

    I can play with all settings to the maximum, but i paid a lot of money, 2 weeks ago.

    Your computer is perhaps 5 to 8 month old and isn’t "that" state-of-the-art.

    With my old PC, AMD64 3800, 2GB DDR-400, 2x 7900GTX i had the same problems like you on maximum settings.

    Perhaps you remember with FS2004 there where nearly the same problems 3 years ago. And like the previous version FSX is designed to the the FS for the next 2 to 3 years.

    And lets say in 1 to 2 years my newest computer will cost 500 Euros, affordable for nearly everyone.

    To make a long story short, now you have to play FSX on mid-settings and in 1 or 2 years of have a new computer and you can play FSX on max settings for another 1 or 2 years till FS11 comes out.

    So see the positive things, look forward the play a nearly new FS when you get your next computer…


  11. Saito48 says:

    Carst says: "To make a long story short, now you have to play FSX on mid-settings and in 1 or 2 years of have a new computer and you can play FSX on max settings for another 1 or 2 years till FS11 comes out."

    Saito says:  I got fed up, called up my buddy at his computer store, told him I was handing in my new computer that I just bought from him with the latest in technology as of this past November (4.5 months ago).  Then, I told him what I now wanted for hardware (the exact same thing Carst has).  He should be here in about 2 hours leaving him time to build the computer and that I better have another $1400.00 in my sock drawer.   Now, having done that, isn’t this about the wackiest way to go about it?

    So according to Carst  (read exactly what he is saying): Microsoft Flight Simulator, upon every new release, and you want to get the max out of the sim, instead of it costing $70.00 for the software, it will cost you approximately $3400.00 euros or $3000.00 cdn for every new release as you will need a brand new computer, and don’t forget, you have to wait 6-12 months AFTER the release date before you do this.  How many folks have the luxury that they can can do this finacially.

    As Microsoft Simulator boasts, they have schools and labs all over the US that use this software to teach their flight students.  Imagine the phenominal cost of schools and labs having to get new computers every release?

    So according to Saito:  INSANE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    P.S Carst     I am trusting you Carst with the hardware you say you have and that you can run everything to the max with more than decent framerates.  I am hoping to see your results for myself in a couple of hours from now, actually now its an hour from now.

  12. Saito48 says:


    Oh, and thanks for giving your specs, and including the frame rate results you got at MAX settings.  It helped shorten the conversation with my buddy.

    And, trust me, after I get the hardware setup you have and the resluts aren’t what I am now expecting, you got some hate mail coming your way, buddy 🙂

    This ends this debate for me………FOR NOW……lol

    Take care everyone.

  13. CARST says:

    Hehe Saito…

    Two things:


    Congratulation to your new machine, i would say with 99% garanty you will be able to play it all on max. I only want to mention i use Vista Home Premium 64bit SB, just for information. Seemed useful as all new CPUs are 64bit and XP is 32bit. (If you want i e-mail you my exact sys-specs.)

    And i want to mention i use FSX plus some add-ons like FS Global 2008, HelgolandX, AirbusSeriesVol.1 by Wilco, etc. , so you really shouldn’t have problems getting good frame-rates, always above 20 to 25fps on all max.


    I think your conclusion that the user has to spend about 3400 Dollar or Euros for every new FS is wrong, because the user has the choice. If you can afford it and really want to play with all settings to max, then you have to spend the money. But if can’t afford it or grafics aren’t that important for you can stay with ur old machine and use lower settings.

    Beside in 18 to 24 month (~2years) you buy "my computer" (same parts) for 500 Dollars/Euros and you get the same result 2 years later.

    And i think the great advantage of MSFS-products are, that the grafics look good for almost 3 years. The price for that are the high system requirements at the actual date.

    Hope you understood everything, sorry for my bad English, my native language is German.


  14. mpan3 says:

    First of all, Playing FSX at absolute max at 1280×1024 is simply not possible on any computer off the shelf.  No matter what graphics card one have.  FSX is simply too CPU dependent.  A Core 2 Duo overclocked to 4.0Ghz will probably handle it will, but with aircooling, the best I managed is a _mere_ 3.0Ghz.  The fact that it doesn’t utilize two cores FULLY isn’t helping, either.

    My Spec:

    CPU: Core 2 Duo e6300 @ 3.0Ghz @ 1.30v

    Motherboard: Gigabyte S3 V1 856mhz system bus

    RAM: 2x1024mb DDR2-666 at 856mhz 5-5-5-15 2.1v VDimm Turbo

    Graphics: eVGA Geforce 7950GT PCI-E 256mb 256bit (550/1400mhz DDR)

    Storage: 250GB WDC SATA2 HDD 7200RPM 16MB

    I can run the game at no AA or 6X AA and get no performance decrease at 1680×1050.  Yes FSX is just that cpu bound.  I can’t help but compare it to X-plane 8.6 with global scenery, which is running on the OpenGL API, with scenery turned up to max, it is A LOT more playable than FSX, in fact, I am pulling a constant 50fps even in urban areas.

    some FSX eye-candie:


  15. CARST says:

    Believe me mpan3, you can…

    I never overclock my parts and i play with all settings on max:

    Vista Home Prem 64bit

    Intel CoreExtreme 6800 2,99Ghz 2Cores

    2x Asus EN8800GTX 768mb graficcards in sli-mode

    Asus P5N32-E Sli Board

    4GB Corsair DDR2-800 Ram

    750W power-supply

    I get constantly FPS around my target-framerate @30fps, even in urban areas over 20fps with FSX (including FS Global 2008) and everything to max…

    You should read the previous posts again than you will understand why…

  16. mpan3 says:

    Carst, you do realize fsx is a pure 32bit app and therefore vista 64bit will not benifit it at all?  The only difference I see between your system and mine is the graphics card.  You also have more ram but FSX simply doesn’t use more than 1.6GB and thus i don’t think adding more will help me.

    does the 8800s really make that much of a difference?

  17. mk-nilsson says:

    I’m very much aware of the fact that FSX needs hardware upgrades. No doubt about it. That’s just the way it has to be – you shouldn’t be able to play everything maxed out and get a good FPS with a "normal" computer imo. However, the absurd situation with FSX is that everybody keep saying that we have wait for the better hardware that will come in a few years of time, BUT: this is NOT the problem for most FSX simmers – atleast not for me. The reason for many of them being fed up, is that although their computer is considered "just normal", FSX doesn’t fully use the new processing techniques such as multiple cores etc their computer may have. And that is just absurd. For me, it feels like a joke when ACES says that one have wait two years for better hardware, when they cannot utilize the techniques used by computers today!

    And if we forget the current hardware situation – that on the other hand maybe will get better with SP1 and DX10 -: great job with FSX Phil. ACES deserves cred.

  18. CARST says:


    There are much more differences, better CPU, okay you overclocked yours, but it still isn’t a CoreExtreme with 4MB L2 Cache etc … much differences. Perhaps FSX only need 1,6Gigs of Ram maximum, i don’t know, but still there is Winsows and other programs needed Ram at the same time FSX is running. You use DDR2-666Mhz Ram, mine is DDR2-800. And the answer to your question is yes, google for 8800gtx benchmarks, the 8800gtx is sometimes 2 times faster than the 7900gtx.


    I think your right, perhaps there are some failures in the technology development of FSX, the are dual-core systems for over 1 year now and Sli-graphic-cards for over 2 years, but you can not blame the dev-crew of FSX. Reasons:

    – Sli isn’t that important for FSX, because it is so CPU-bound.

    – Development of FSX started long time ago (2 years or so) and at this time everyone thought clockrates of the CPUs will increase more and more, nearly no one in the computer industry thought that the future of CPUs would be multi-core-CPUs. That is the reason why there is nearly no game out there which uses multi-core-CPUs. FSX isn’t alone.

    Our wich for the future should be a better "teamwork" of hardware-producers (like AMD, Intel, nvidia, Ati) and the software-devs.


    How is your new system running? Love me or hate me now? 😉

  19. mk-nilsson says:

    CARST: Yes, I’m very much aware of the fact that ACES couldn’t predict the dual core-way of the computer industry, but the fact that ACES is talking about one needs for new complex hardware in order to run FSX at a reasonable level of detail, is still absurd.

  20. CARST says:

    No it’s not absurd…

    With the level of detail FSX offers you will be able to play a game that is looking good compared to other games in the next 2/3 years; that means with advancing computer systems you will be able to play FSX on high detail level.

    I understand everyones wish to play with all settings on max right now, but if you don’t want to spend some 3000 Euros or Dollars, you have to wait … easy and simple.

  21. mpan3 says:

    Benchmark will tell you that a 2MB cache conroe lags behind the 4MB version only by 2-5 percent.  plus, I am using the D9 Micron ‘Fatboy’ chip, overclocked 1:1 to 858mhz running at 4-4-4-12, which gives the conroe an insane amount of memory bandwidth(memtest showing 6GB/s, 3dmark01: 50k).  So memory isn’t the problem here.

    I am using XP without any large background app, lets put it this way, the peak commit charge value never exceed 1.8GB.

    While I do realize 8800 sli is lots of processing power, i just can’t see how it won’t be bottlenecked by your C2D 6800.  From my testing, the game is VERY CPU dependent(as you said so yourself), and cranking up AA/AF or resolution does not decrease the performance at all on my graphic card, which lead me to believe that the game isn’t even using the full potential of a 7950GT.  so what makes two 8800 make the game perform any better?!

    Sorry if I am beginning to sound like a broken record Carst, but I just can’t figure out what to upgrade TODAY to see FSX in all it’s glory.  By that i mean all sliders to max, not the ‘preset max’, which is perfectly playable on my pc.

  22. mk-nilsson says:

    CARST: I think you misunderstood me. The fact that one has to wait two or more years in order to achieve top performance is not absurd. However, the fact that FSX doesn’t know how to take full advantage of the technology available today, and that we therefore should wait two more years for more complex hardware, is for me very absurd.

  23. CARST says:

    Ok, but like i said in my previous posts, no one in the software-dev-industry expected the CPU-producers to come up with multi-core-CPUs.

    That’s why there is nearly no game/software using multi-core.

    And you don’t have to wait to years… buy newest and the most expensive parts and you can play on all max … or you just accept that the game is made to look good for a long period and can not offer the possibility to be played on "all-max" on every PC.


  24. DB2007 says:

    If I can butt in for a minute.

    Looks like everyone is missing the point.

    1. End users want what’s advertised – without the added cost of upgrading.

    2. Sellers want to sell what they have to make a buck – nothing wrong here we all have to eat.

    — We as the end users just want everything right away out of the box. So I guess we all have to deal with it.

    I have spent $ on the following so far..

    upg to 2g of ram $90

    2 – WD300G HD $350 on sale for both – 10K rpm 16MB Cache – made a big improvement (Raid 0)

    Saitek X52 Joystick $90 on sale – Really cool!

    Upgrade to Xfi SoundBlaster – $105 Gave me ~3to5 FPS back – got it tonight

    eVGA 8800GTS 670MB Video card $310 – upg from a 7600’s series

    550W Power Supply $100 + $80 for the first one which I still have (wouldn’t fit)

    I got my FSX as birthday gift I thought it would be nice … so $0

    So I’ve spent over $1100 on my Sony PC which cost $1600 about nine months ago.

    3G DUAL-CORE with 1GB, DUAL 19" Montiors (PRO)

    BTW- I shopped this stuff to death to get the best deals.

    Anyway … this is what I’ve learned:

    1. FSX is great, but I agree it will cost ~ $3000 + $70 to run it at half the settings.

    2. You will not get anything better with Vista until DX10 update(s) are out; actually it might be worse it hogs lots of resources so we’ll see with DX10

    3. Get a little utility called FSStart – stops dumb XP crap so you can run FSX with more RAM and CPU

    4. Stop any Antivirus software – not safe but FSX loads in half the time

    5. Cool your system as much as possible – RUN a fan if you have to (also look at FANSPEED util)

    6. Avoid running sound off your MB, this adds to CPU overhead so get a SB XFi Gamer card

    7. Run a raid drive with FSX on it and Defrag often – not needed but I do, loads fsx faster

    8. Quit tweaking it once you’ve got something working

    9. Dual Screen works well but you get a little better FPS if you use MaxVista to run your gauges on another machine – Technically it’s still on the same machine but the CPU sends to the NIC instead of the GPU – sort of

    and ………….

    10. MS did it to us again… hey at least now AMD and Intel have a reason to come up with faster processors.. just not Dual Core ones FSX won’t work with them :o) Oh, I mean more than 20% on the 2nd core!

    So we get to play (maybe) but we get to bitch, learn how to upgrade, spend money computers and not on girls (sorry ladies), talk to others who bitch, and most important of all we learn!

    Yeah I know it’s a long post – but I contributed


    Oh, I hear FS2004 runs even faster on the machine you just upgraded for FSX :o)

  25. Phil Taylor says:

    I hadn’t been scanning my blog for the last 2 weeks or so as we fought the last few bugs to beta.

    So I had to delete a comment today because it was a little more than mildly offensive.  Thats the first time on my blog, and I’d like to not have to do that again because if it starts happening too often I will have to lock comments.

    Wouldn’t you rather have an open dialog with me? Aren’t I endeavouring to answer serious questions? Please can we have a fruitful and productive discussion without name calling and personal insults?

    I have acknowledged the performance issues with FSX RTM. That is the main purpose of SP1, to address the performance issues. Today, you do have to dial the sliders back to something appropriate for your hardware and maybe a little bit more. Even with SP1, while you are likely to get batter FPS and be able to advance the sliders a bit –  its unlikely anyone will get to advance all sliders all the way. That is just the way we designed the product, as I said in my first post about FSX performance.

    I appreciate the passion the product generates, but lets operate with a little mature judgement.

  26. LGT says:


    I appreciate your honesty and all the feedback you provide the FS community with.

    Don’t let a few grumpy trolls change your way of dealing with issues and communication – you’re great.

    Now as we all await for the SP1 I have a couple of Q:

    – Will SP1 beta be public at some stages? if yes how can one join?

    – Regarding the sliders, I beg to differ but I hardly see what hardware you had in mind when designing the product. I don’t think any CPU will be able to run at full sliders – not with DX9 at least. Does this imply that full sliders means DX10?



  27. Phil Taylor says:

    Unfortunately the beta wont be public.

    Lets see where SP1 lets the sliders go. And where the 45nm CPUs get us.

  28. rojawajr says:


    I noticed that my comment had been deleted.  I apologize if it was offensive to anyone, my only intent was to thank you for taking the time to comment to us about any news, and to list some specs of a laptop that I am running that seems to be running FSX just fine with just the Autogen slider to Normal, and light bloom off.  I didn’t think that would be offensive to anyone.

    Very respectfully

    Ronald Ward

  29. Phil Taylor says:

    Sorry, yours was accidentally deleted as I tried to figure out how to delete these.

  30. tokyocrow says:

    I don’t own FS X, in fact I don’t even have/use M$ Windows (I’m a Solaris bigot) but I have to comment … It must be a helluva $79 piece of software to drive folks into spending $3500 on hardware and bickering on like this.  If I can find software priced less than $5000 that pushes the extreme limits of hardware I’ve found something worth trying – so it sounds like its time for me to ditch OpenGL/Linux and give Vista/DirectX a spin!

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