FSX SP1:Size of the download

This gets asked all the time and I have replied about it at least a dozen times, so lets make it sticky now with a blog post.

There is 1 patch per language, 7 languages. English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Japanese, Polish. Edit: Russian is new with SP1 so there is nothing to patch, SP1 goes in the box.

The patch determines if you have Standard or Deluxe, and does the right thing.

Its 210m, give or take.

Except for Japanese since in that geography only the Deluxe SKU was offered. So the Japanese download is about 105m.

Yes, thats a little larger but the convenience factor makes up for that. No downloading the wrong patch and having to start over!

For those of you on a slow connection, a download manager with restart capability is the ticket.

Just a bit of info while you wait till next week.

Comments (56)

  1. SilentGenie says:

    Thank’s for the update Phil,

    How long do you anticipate the DX10 update to take ? also i want to ask, i have 2 gig of ram in my rig. How much does fsx use, i have vista too and i’ve heard both are ram hungry so would you suggest throwing another gig in or should the 2 gig i have be sufficient ? Trying to get the best outta ma rig,

    Core2Duo – CHECK

    Enough Ram – HOPE SO lol

    8800GTX – CHECK

    Thank’s again

  2. Phil Taylor says:


    Its too early to call anything but the season for DX10, we will ship this fall as advertized.

    DX9 on 32-bit only works with 2G of RAM in a case that affects FSX.

    DX10 is supposed to work with more. Too early too tell if thats a big benefit or not.

  3. Billykid5 says:


    I find it amazing that you are giving updates to a service pack release.  It gives the end user an insight into the process and the progress AND keeps the guessing on the FS forums to a minimum.  My only concern with you answering every single question on this blog is that you will soon grow tiresome and  annoyed and perhaps retire the effort altogether  In my opinion, the fact that you mention milestones and bugs and an approximate timeline to go wide with sp1 is good enough for me.  Thanks for the time you have put into this.

  4. chris627 says:

    Well that’s not too bad, especially with Microsofts bandwidth. Phil, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to deal with us pesky simmers.

  5. Aberforth says:

    it would be great if SP1 pops in windows vista update 🙂

  6. sl91 says:

    Hi Phil,

    Can you tell me what should be the average performance increase due to SP1 when upgrading from a dualcore (intel E6600, 2.4GHz) to a quad core (intel Q6600, 2.4GHz). Everything else beingthe same (see my  signature).

    Best regards


  7. EC-TLG says:

    Hi guys, Im purchased Intel Quad Core QX6800 Extreme, just for FSX + SP1

    I have Windows Vista Ultimated 64 Bits edition, and the following hardware:

    Intel Core 2 Duo Extreme X6800 Extreme -Until waiting for receive the Quad QX6800 ordered)

    Motherboard ASUS STRIKER EXTREME 1.102 BIOS version

    4 Gb DDR2 Corsair 800 Mhz

    XFX 8800 GTX (two same connected via SLI)

    750 Gb SEAGATE 7200 RPM 16Mb Cache

    CREATIVE XFI Extreme Gamer sound card

    As you can see… Im still dreaming for this Service Pack, all my best wishes to the FS Team! good Feedback ever!

  8. rapsta says:


    thanks for the update. You do a great job. And many greetings to your team, too.

    I wonder to what destination I will fly next week. I hope the City and Airport Areas will have great performance too after the SP. I hope it will run well on my Dual Core Pentium D945. It has also two physical Cores like the core2 duo so it should take many benefits of the SP.

    By the way: Very good idea with the tweak of the week. It is always better to get a tweak confirmed from a dev of the program.

    Greetz from Germany


  9. Phil Taylor says:

    Everyone but low end machines ( our ridiculous min-spec ) should see the 20%. Better machines should see more, maybe up to 40% in some cases – but overall we are being conservative still with our estimates.

  10. Bikedude says:

    FWIW: I’d rather have a small download and the choice. If someone downloads the wrong patch, then they could always return and download the correct one. But most of us would cut the download time in half. And we’d save a lot of bandwidth in total, thus potentially increasing download speed.

    I.e. a select few would spend the same time as we all have to spend now, but most of us would save 50%… I’m sure there’s a CO2 equation in here somewhere too. (Future hi-speed server NICs will cut down on speed and power usage when traffic is low)

    But this is a minor issue — I look forward to SP1, no matter how big! 😀

  11. Phil Taylor says:


    sorry about that, but its too late to change the packaging so it is what it is.

    a download manager is always a good thing if you are bandwidth challenged.

  12. Aberforth says:

    Do I have to activate FSX again after installing the SP? What about save files, recorded videos and settings?


  13. Phil Taylor says:


    We anticipate no re-activation due to installing the SP1. At least so far this wasnt an issue with the beta testers.

    I will have a blog entry where I spell out what to expect in terms of installing SP1. Expect it soon!

  14. Phil Taylor says:


    We anticipate no re-activation due to installing the SP1. At least so far this wasnt an issue with the beta testers.

    I will have a blog entry where I spell out what to expect in terms of installing SP1. Expect it soon!

  15. SilentGenie says:

    Hi, just  a quick question regarding the engine of fsx, Why is FSX so CPU bound and not GPU bound ? I mean there are games out there that are that are more graphically intense with better visuals but run so much smoother than FSX, It’s not a dig or anything but you probably understand that many users have run to their local PC shop to buy better hardware and to be quite frankly dissapointed, Why can’t the sim be more GPU bound i meand thats what a gfx cards all about right ? Thank’s for your time

  16. jod says:

    My Fs-x is working ok, I need  install Sp1 anyway?

    Sorry for my english!

    Thank you for your work on FS and this blog.

    My pc:

    video:radeon 1300

    Board: Intel D946 gzis

    process: DualCore Intel Pentium D 945, 3400 MHz (12 x 283)

    Mem:2 Gig Kingston

    and some tweaks for Fsx

  17. CaptDaadood says:

    Phil Taylor

    When will the SP1 Finally be out?

    this Monday

    Next Monday

    When When When?

  18. apopilot says:

    I have an older 7800GTX I want to get rid of. Will I see a dramatic difference in gaming especially for my Flight Simulator FSX? Will SP1 help me or is the FSX more CPU intensive? My current card has 256MB of Ram and the new card would have 768MB of Ram?

  19. Phil Taylor says:


    the difference is rendering a hand-tuned level vs rendering the planet.

    FSX rendesr >120km of view in a circlea around you with thousands of trees and thousands of buildings. and the terrain, and the AI traffic (cars, plans, boats ) and the weather, and the water, and sun, bloom, shadows, seasons, time of day, etc, etc.

    In RTM we are Draw and SetTexture call bound in the driver on the CPU. We just issue to many calls to D3D.

    In SP1 we have reduced both Draw and SetTexture calls by 30-35%. That should help quite a bit, especially when combined with the multi-core optimizations.

  20. Phil Taylor says:


    there are lots of other fixes in SP1:scenery, flyable aircraft, AI aircraft, gauge, a small bit of multiplayer, there are SDK+SimConnect fixes for 3rd parties – its worth it.

  21. Phil Taylor says:

    Capt Daadood:

    So far we have found nothing to reset the test pass so next week is still the target. We have to get thru more testing before can release so mid-week unless we find something before then.

  22. Phil Taylor says:


    We havent changed our 20% improvement guidance, some scenarios should show 40% or so. We are being deliberately conservative.

  23. Ian McPhail says:

    Phil:  I am one of those who suffer from the ‘out of memory’ problem but I am not confident enough to apply the fixes found on some forums.  Apparently the game does not allocate sufficient RAM to be allocated for the swap file, but must have the exe file and also the OS boot modified.  It is late to ask but is this being picked up in SP1?   Or will the threading overcome the need for any fix? I have an e6700 dual core CPU and 4 gigs of 800RAM and ample free hard disk space.  I have seen a Microsoft fix for XP but I am running Vista x32.

  24. Phil Taylor says:


    the OS controls the page file. what FSX does is use virtual address space.  alot of virtual address space, depending on settings.

    what people are running into us FSX using all of the 2G default process address space. We basically are trying to do too much. dial your settings back and this shouldnt be an issue.

    /3Gb switch wont work for FSX right now, there is a DX bug that blocks that.

    its a complicated matrix. We have definitely tried to reduced the occurrence of this in SP1.  

    And DX10 will further reduce the pressure on memory.

    We are trying to do what we can.

  25. Ian McPhail says:

    Thanks and I look forward to SP1 next week.

  26. vfr says:

    Thanks Phil & ACES for keeping us all in the loop!

    Re the limitations of virtual/process address space that you’re up against, are the next “enablers” to help us (a) DX9 bug to fix the /3Gb switch, (b) DX10 version to spread the draw calls around multiple threads, and (c) 64 bit versioning?

    I’m not IT guru, but just trying to understand a possible roadmap.


  27. westv says:

    I’m curious to know what scenery changes, if any, have been made in SP1 to how the scenery looks but I suppose I’ll just have to wait until it comes out to find out. 🙂

  28. CaptDaadood says:

    Thank Phil for replying

    I know you guys are trying very hard to satisfied us.  But until the patch is on and see good improvement I will not be so satisfied with the FSX and the whole team of ACE.

    The more I play with FSX with the newest drivers and all the more errors I get.

    maybe is the video driver that is not ultimate well done, but nevertheless is frustrating to be in the middle of a flight and all of the sudden have the computer crash to a blue screen dump all memory and restart.

    What can you say about that?

  29. Phil Taylor says:


    a would help right now, but I know of no ETA.

    b would just make us more efficient, it wouldnt really cut down our process address space

    c would help, but thats a major work effort and requires a new version

  30. Phil Taylor says:


    we made some scenery fixes due to content bugs, as I mentioned back in Feb or so, but no changes to how we light and render scenery so it just means no rocks in Lisbon harbor or the river Thames.

  31. westv says:

    Thanks, Phil. Oh yes, I forgot about the rocky river fix!

  32. carrotroot says:

    Hi Phil, thanks for keep the FS community informed about the upcoming patch! Also I want to thank you and the ACES team for providing tidbits on how to tweak FSX to achieve a good balance between visuals and performance. I have a Hyper Threaded Pentium 4 so I probably won’t see many of the performance benefits of the new patch, so the scenery fixes are going to be more meaningful in my case. Therefore I am just wondering if the terrain around at the south pole airstrip (NZSP – South Pole Station) is fixed in the upcoming patch. If not that’s ok, at least in FSX we can do circumpolar flight but it would be nice to have it fixed since this airport is listed in the Antarctic region. Anyways, thanks for keeping us posted and look forward to the patch.


  33. Phil Taylor says:


    thats one we didnt fix, iirc.

  34. SilentGenie says:

    hil thanks for getting back to us and replying t our posts, the information you gave me about rendering 120km of view around you makes sense. Thanks for the valuable info.

    secondly do you think that say people with dual core cpu’s (E6600)

    2 gig of ram

    a top gfx card (8800GTX)

    should see a huge performace gain with sp1 ? maybe even the 40% you’ve quoted ? just curious as they are my specs and dont know what to upgrade next if its not needed 🙂

  35. Phil Taylor says:


    You should be in the zone for between 20-40%, whether you get the top end or not, we’ll just have to wait and see, its so hard to predict.

  36. SilentGenie says:

    Thank’s alot Phil, that’s helped alot. You have so much patience, wish i had as much as you 🙂 Take care and best wishes from the UK 🙂

  37. Penta_a says:

    Hi Phil

    Off topic question

    I have this combination of software Vista Ult+FSX+MS Force Feed Back 2 joystick.

    the joy stick works fine till I start FSX or FS9 then all centering forces are gone (Joystick feels so loose), Under Windows XP I could regain centering forces by going to calibration under SW4 software, but this software can not be installed under Vista, do you have any way that I can do to prevent FSX or FS9 from deactivating my joystick centering forces?, or is there a way to regain centering forces with in flight simulator?

    Thanks a lot for your time

  38. Niels Schroyen says:

    Hmm, to be honest I was a bit suprised to see FSX CPU-limited because of the advances in GPU technology that make it pretty easy to offload drawcalls and even texturechanges through techniques like Geometry Instancing (and optionally texture atlasses).

    Under OpenGL and DirectX 10 (powered by a geforce 8) its even possible to draw all your same(-like) objects in one single call by using the API instanced drawcalls and texturearrays. So I wonder if the DX10 upgrade will get rid of the CPU limitness? Or at least when it detects compatible hardware? In the end its actualy possible to even do frustum or occlusion culling when using those API calls so you can still keep one drawcall for all your objects and still have them culled. Though for a flightsim I dont realy see a benefit for occlusion culling hehe 😉 but the frustum culling is always nice to have.

    Just curious cause I am about to finish my Master Thesis in which I researched techniques to handle the big amount of drawcalls and renderstate changes. I guess thats why I am so curious about why certain renderengines dont seem to make use of these techniques. (Like for example Supreme Commander that seems to suffer from too many drawcalls too)

  39. Phil Taylor says:


    that sounds dangerously close to a support question, which I dont take. sorry about that.

  40. Phil Taylor says:


    instancing in DX9 is only available to SM 3.0 and is very limited due to no texture arrays. so it has limited scope/availability since everyone doesnt have SM 3.0 and it has limited upside effect due to lack of features – so we didnt code for it.

    still, SP1 reduces our Draw and SetTexture calls by 30-35% for each due to a variety of batching and texture combining techniques as you indicate. SP1 should help with being CPU limited.

    and yes, of course we will do more in DX10, Instancing is one of the key features for the DX10 update.

  41. apopilot says:

    Phil thank you for the response above. I did not see your original comments about the 20%-40%. All of the Flight sim forums I visited have stated there is no approvement with this new video card. So hearing it from you makes sense and I will go ahead and buy a 8800GTX.

  42. Phil Taylor says:


    given SP1 is coming out in days, you might want to download SP1 first and see how much it helps you before you spend your money.

    nothing against the 8800, its a great card, but being informed is also always good.

  43. MauiHawk says:

    I was really pumped about the instancing possibility for DX10, but after you mentioned a couple days ago that you should be able to issue the DX10 calls from secondary threads (cores)… well, the benefit to those of us with multiple cores seems like it could easily eclipse the instancing benefit.  For all I’ve read about DX10 instancing I’m surprised I haven’t read more about the multithreading possibilities…

  44. Phil Taylor says:


    Its in the SDK. Iif you are not a dev, and many of the review sites are not, you dont typically read that.

    Quoting from the doc, location

    D3D10 Graphics->Programming Guide->API Features->API Layers:


    Thread-Safe Layer

    This layer is designed to allow multi-threaded applications to access the device from multiple threads.

    Direct3D 10 enables an application to exercise explicit control over the device synchronization primitive with device functions that can be invoked at any time over the lifetime of the device, including enabling and disabling the use of the critical section (temporarily enabling/disabling multithread protection), and a means to take and release the critical section lock and thereby hold the lock over multiple Direct3D 10 API entrypoints.

    This layer is enabled by default, but if not present has no performance impact on single-thread accessed devices. Use D3D10_CREATE_DEVICE_SINGLETHREADED (in D3D10CreateDevice) to turn this layer off.

    Differences between Direct3D 9 and Direct3D 10:

    Unlike Direct3D 9, the Direct3D 10 API defaults to fully thread-safe.


    the "exercise explicit control" part is what is totally lacking in D3D9. since using the multi-threaded layer means taking a critical section for each API call and that really costs.

    in D3D10 you can control that and hold the critsec for multiple calls, which is critical for good multithreaded performance.

    with that said, Instancing is still going to be needed to get us another 20-30% reduction in API calls.

  45. Niels Schroyen says:

    Thanks for the answer. I guess the engine already uses simple techniques like static batching for trees and buildings than?

    Anyway, I am waiting full of anticipation on the SP1 and the DX10 updates. Keep up the good work 🙂

  46. wedge says:

    I just discovered this blog and I’m quite happy with all the information you left about the progression of the SP1. I really hope it’ll give a bit of boost to the game on my computer (Athlon 3200+ 1GB RAM and Georce 6800GT) at least to paly a litte better until I can build a new and better computer 🙂

    Anyway I hope the SP1 date wont switch as here in france I have two day offwork in the end of this week plus the week end which would give me alot of time to check that.

    I’ hope several bugs will have been fixed such as the trim not working on the Airbus after taking off at the moment the Flight Director activate by itself and some other tweaks. but overall I have a great time with it since the released. And it is really good that sometime developer let their public know about what’s behind the work on something like that which is quite important.

  47. AKman says:

    Hi Phil,

    Just wanted to ask when do you plan on lifting the NDA on SP1.

  48. Phil Taylor says:


    the NDA on SP1 will be lifted when we ship it.

  49. westv says:

    Hi Phil,

    Not sure if this question can be answered but I’ll ask anyway. Will we get any prior notice of when the SP1 release will happen (say 24 hours,12 hours) or will we know only once it’s released. Reason I ask is because I’m assuming that, whenever it comes out, it’ll be evening PST which would be quite late here in the UK. Ideally I’d like to stay up and try and grab it as soon as it comes out. However, I don’t want to be waiting up for something that might not even be issued that evening. As I said, if the question can’t be answered, then that’s no problem.

  50. panos95 says:

    Is the release date still this week? I am getting only 5FPS!

    At least I could get 15!

  51. Phil Taylor says:


    Our timing is a bit tighter than that, and its pretty hectic around release time for yours truly since I wear a couple of different hats, but once I start to push the bits thru the tools I can give a “its a few hours away” heads up on the blog.  Note: the time can be quite variable depending on who else is in the queue releasing bits so once I give that high sign, please still be patient.

  52. Phil Taylor says:


    so far so good for towards the end of this week.

  53. EC-TLG says:

    Thanks for you great info Phil Taylor! by the way today Im received my Intel Core2 Quad QX6800 Extreme 2,93 Ghz 8Mb cache L4.

    If you need any testing, please feel free to contact me. I have FSX Deluxe version.


  54. westv says:

    Ok Phil, that’s great. A few hours notice would be great if you can do it. Others in the queue to release things? What? Do these people not realise how important SP1 is?! LOL!!

  55. blueflamer says:

    LOL, so many excited people 🙂

    Phil you are like some magic pill.

  56. MadBoris says:

    Phil, No questions, just a comment.  😉

    I had to make an account just to commend you on your blog and the consistent updates you have been providing.  This is tremendous support and involving fans and players in the process is truly outstanding.  A great example for other devs out there.

    I just got a 24″ monitor last week and have been chomping at the bit for SP1 and any perf benefits I will receive for my C2D and 8800GTS @1920 res.  Your blog updates continue to elevate my excitement for FSX and it’s future.  Thumbs up.