SP1 Tips

Here are some general suggestions and a few tips I have gleaned from the forums.

General Performance


The goal of SP1 was:

·         to increase performance 20-40%

·         to enable FSX to take advantage of multi-core machines

·         fix some other bugs


There was not a goal to make FSX playable with all sliders to maximum. Those settings likely aren’t going to be possible in all cases with current hw.


Ok, so what is possible? That is dependent on your specific config and your specific flying profile.


A technique to determine what is possible is as follows:

·         Decide on a minimum frame rate, like 20.

·         Lock FPS to that rate.

·         Start with all sliders left, and slowly turn them up until you find a setting that makes you dip below your rate.

·         Then back off and you are at the level of what your machine can handle.


In general, even with SP1, it’s still true that at max settings FSX throws more at the CPU and GPU than the hw can handle. As I said last November, that is the way we designed FSX. SP1 helps some yes. And the Penryn 45-nm processors this fall will give us another boost. The DX10 update might help a bit, as will 2nd generation DX10 cards. So more help is on the way. But, just as with FS9, in the 1st year expecting to run on max settings is still going to be problematic.


I would also suggest saving a couple of different settings, one for dense urban, one for mixed coastal urban, one for mostly flat rural, and one for mountainous rural. That lets you have settings that bias towards what is most important in what region instead of a "one size fits all approach". 


Specific Issues


I can’t claim to have a suggestion for all the specific problems I have seen so far, but here are a couple of good ones for specific issues. Note - I can only claim that multiple users state these work, I haven’t tried all of them myself:


Crashes in atiumdag.dll on ATI?


Reports indicate that disabling Catalyst AI fixes this.


Stutters on nVidia


 dg on avsim reports indicate the following procedure greatly helps:

1.     Update DirectX to the April 2007 release. The link is below.

April 2007 DirectX Link


2.     Install updated drivers ( nVidia recently released the 158.22 nVidia Forceware drivers ) and we hear that a release in 2-3 weeks will fix the texture locking issue that the glass panel tweak addresses.


3.     Delete your fsx.cfg and let FSX generate a new one.




Gary Summons reports that adding




To your fsx.cfg file reduces or eliminates the blurries especially with photo-scenery


Note: xxx is whatever your fsx.cfg shows for your graphics config. 



I have seen people try values of 4-7 with varying success as well.



Thanks to weeniemcween on avsim.com, if this tweak induces shimmer in the trees, there are 2 things to try:

1) nhancer nvidia control panel, turn supersampling on ( ati must have an equivalent, I just dont know it )

2) if the 4x4 overdraw from 1 is killing your perf, try setting "Negative LOD BIAS" to "Clamp" rather than "Allow"




Comments (32)

  1. jerm138 says:


    Even if you back up your fsx.cfg file before you delete it and have a new one created… YOU WILL LOSE ALL OF YOUR JOYSTICK AND KEYBOARD ASSIGNMENTS!!!

    I thought that backing up the fsx.cfg would be enough, but it’s not.  I restored to my original fsx.cfg, and I still lost all of my key assignments.

    Now it’s off to another 30 minutes of reprogramming everything.  Yippee.

  2. Phil Taylor says:


    good data, thanks for the comment.

  3. Weidlich says:

    What I ever asked myself:

    How much Video Ram does FSX really take and does it prefer a manufacturer (ATI/Nvidia) (assuming high to ultra high settings).

    So would there be a measurable diference between 256,320,640 or 768MB VRAM if the speed of the core and Ram are not changed?

    best regards


  4. SvenGroot says:

    Hi Phil, thanks for the heads-up on the atiumdag.dll crash; I was getting that one sporadically but hadn’t had the time yet to really look into fixing it. I haven’t tried your suggestion yet but I suspect it may work.

    The performance work on SP1 is amazing. Performance is more than doubled on this dual-core box!

    Please extend my regards to everyone on the team who’s helped made this possible.

  5. Aberforth says:

    I’ve noticed some problems when I play recorded flight video- the wheels don’t show up when landing.

  6. Phil Taylor says:


    We aim to be  IHV neutral, so eithers cards should work just fine.

    There is a noticeable benefit from 512 over 256 m. I am not sure if there is the same from 768 over 512m , thats probably worth asking on some of the forums.

  7. Phil Taylor says:


    thats not something we changed, and if you care about it you should make a bug report via the feedback link on fsinsider.com

  8. NickN says:

    Hi Phil

    You asked for information about blurs and another forum. I have data for you concerning the issue. I have 3 systems all are dual core. The system displaying the blur insure the most is the AMD X2 4800+ but the Intel core 2 systems display blurs, just not quite as bad, still bad enough.

    Here is what I found:

    First, Texture Bandwidth multiplier @ 40 is too low for all my systems. The slowest video adapter is a 7900GTX frame locked at 18 and the fastest is an ATi 2900 1GB reference card frame locked at 28. In all cases setting TBM to 80-120 works best and what I found was the higher the TBM the faster and sharper the ground textures stay as long as other settings in the config file follow certain norms.

    If I reduce the affinity mask to 1 micro-stutters disappear and frame rate increase but blurs are worse.

    Also, if I use affinity mask 1 I must remove the Fiber Frame Time Factor line in the config file. If I use affinity mask 3 I -must- have the FFTF line in the file (even if set at default of .33) and I find setting it to .34 with a TBM of 120 or higher to get the ground textures to sharpen works best.

    Sharp ground textures are also dependant on finding the right autogen tree and building values that worked with the system/ slider settings. What I found is too low of autogen causes not only blurred ground textures but also lower frame rate and stutters.

    Bottom line, on the 3 dual core systems I use, blurs were WORSE with affinity mask set to 1 and the sim was smooth,…  but, ground textures were much sharper with stutters and frames worse with affinity mask set to 3.

    I came up with a set of numbers that gets the job done fairly well on all 3 systems but the sim suffers in the area of smooth frames at the cost of sharp ground textures.

    I run all my tests with weather set to ‘building storms’ in the default 747 out of 34R at KSEA to assure I incorporate the max load I can to observe changes and to also apply the speed factor to the tests. I circle the Seattle area encompassing the mountains and the city to ensure I see changes in terrain, autogen and area. If a set of numbers works, I know it by the time I land back at KSEA on 16L.

    Hope this helps

  9. NickN says:

    I also wanted to add that MipBias=6 will cause shimmers in most Nivida and ATi adapters. A value of 4 is the max and not have shimmers appear. Unfortunately the sim will erase a value of 4 from the config when it is closed and I can confirm the addition of the line does appear to help with stutters, not blurs. I do not use photoscenery.

  10. Phil Taylor says:


    interesting data, you should reply in the forum instead of letting it get buried here.

  11. NickN says:

    Unfortunately I am not a member at the forum but to check it from time to time. I thought my comments may get better exposure here since many visit this blog now.

    I am also on my boat leaving for vacation so I thought I would post the information before I am out of the area and may not be able to connect again for some time.

    What I have found, at least for the hardware I have tested thus far, FSX requires a certain amount asked of it or for some reason it appears to negate important areas in favor of others. If you apply large scenery ring and push the sliders up, then apply the right amount of autogen, the sim delivers what it is asked to do assuming the hardware is able to accomplish the task.

    I noticed this because even on very low slider settings and with config tweaks, the autogen was horribly low in number, the ground textures were blurred even outside a city area and there were strange stutters in everything from view changes to flybys.

    Increasing the level of load using a defined practice of setting the sliders to a certain set of values that I have pretty much locked down at this point corrects much of it. The rest is in finding the right amount of autogen number with respect to TMB and frame lock.

    Many people may be seeing perf and blur issues because they have things set too low, not too high. The sofware is very touchy about settings, much moreso than RTM.

  12. surfsup says:


    I realize that this is not a tech support site but this relates directly to the SP1 update installation, by Aces.

    I just noticed simconnect has disappeared from my system since I did the reinstall and update.  Pete Dowson stated this on his website:


    He descibes the following

    "Re-installing SimConnect

    Sometimes it seems that the FSX install does not install SimConnect properly, and re-installing it seems to fix

    problems with Add-Ons.

    Do not resort to a complete FSX re-install, as the same mis-install of SimConnect seems to re-occur. Instead try

    the following:

    1. Find and delete the following file folder (change the C:WINDOWS part to your Windows folder if it isn’t in the

    standard place):


    2. Insert the FSX CD, and run the repair utility. This should do the trick."

    The files on my files are titled as follows (I cannot find the file named by Pete Dowson):



    What should I do and is there a new simconnect file?  What should I delete and what should I reinstall? Should I use the original CD?

    Your help here would be greatly appreciated or at least a direction to go in.

  13. DCMiller says:


    It looks like the Vista drivers for nvidia are still 158.18. Just an FYI

  14. Phil Taylor says:


    I would suggest either Z’s blog or the simconnect forum on avsim.

  15. surfsup says:


    Thank you for your reply.  Files in the WinSxS directory are very, very hard to remove but finally managed it by drilling down.  

    Unfortunately had to re-install to get everything working again, but have that down to science as do other persons who own Vista Ultimate.

    Agree with the MipMaps opinions, too much sparkle.

    What does PerfBucket=7 do?  Some sites say that increasing it to 70 works better.  Should one mess with this tweak or leave it alone?

    Thank you for your help.

  16. Niels Schroyen says:


    Just wanted to say that the performance on my system nearly doubled, thanks!! I am running a GF8800GTX on a single-core A64 3500+ (yeah, yeah, didnt have enough money to update both GPU as CPU but its pending 🙂 ).

    I also didnt notice the blurries problem so many people seem to be complaining about. I only have this when I slew very fast to another place, it takes about 60 seconds to load all the textures and objects. But when I am simply flying at normal speeds, I dont see any problems at all, so I dont understand what everyone is talking about…. Or is everyone slewing?? hehe.

    I didnt touch my cfg-file and I am using the highest possible textures (I guess thats one of the reasons why 786MB VRAM comes in handy?).

    Happy flying,


  17. Phil Taylor says:


    perfbucket is the bucket we assign to your computer, 1-7. I do not believe setting it to 70 does anything at all, that must be the placebo effect.

  18. Tabs says:


    Just wondering – if the Nvidia driver team is working on FS issues, could you ask them to look at this long standing issue with windowed mode and anti-aliasing on?  What happens is this – it works for a while, but then switching between windows/apps etc causes the lower half of the view to revert to a static image of the panel or whatever else the first thing the card rendered was when the issue triggered.  It’s kinda hard to explain but just mess around in windowed mode on a GF 7 or 8 series card for a while with 4XAA and Transparency AA on and it’ll happen.  Mousing over a tooltip will put the lower half of the screen into this bugged state.



  19. SilentGenie says:


    I’m agreeing with Niels on that one, I have a GF8800GTX running on a E6600 Dual core and i have no blurries either, my sliders are maxed out except autogen set to high and traffic backed off a bit but i dont get any blurries and my FPS is a smooth as silk, i set it to a maximum of 30fps and it maintains that all day long, I believe the problem most people are having is they are trying to squeaze more out of the sim than their PC can churn out and thats why its causing blurries. I’m not program literate but do understand and know how to build PC’s so i might be wrong, but my hardware is screaming as is Niels. You have to remember most people are running a sim nearlly 15 times larger than FS9 but using the same hardware. I believe in the saying you pay for what you get. Try upgrading your PC a little and that’ll solve most probs (apart from your marriage)

    Take care and happy landings


  20. James3000 says:

    Hi Phil,

    SP1 works great for me:

    Graphics: Ultra High + Custom 25 fps & 1680 * 1050 @ 32

    Aircraft: Ultra High

    Scenery: Ultra High

    Weather Ultra High

    Traffic: Ultra High

    And all running smoothly! What am I doing wrong :-))

  21. Shel800521 says:

    Phil, please can someone tell me what in the good name of FSX is “blurries”, is there screenshots anywhere on the net to view such “blurries”, the other thing to mention about “blurries”, is it only at altitude flying i.e. 30,000ft + or does is apply to VFR flying as well.

    My scenery is set at Very Dense Autogen and i’m experiencing no problems at all, at about 25,000ft the terrain obviously doesn’t look that smooth but then again should it?

    I find setting my fps limiter to unlimited produces the best results. Over EHAM (Amsterdam) getting between 35fps and 65fps, never drops below 35fps, even after landing and parking at the gates.

  22. James3000 says:

    AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4200+

    2Gb RAM

    NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GT


    Disks Raid0

    Before SP1:

    Graphics: High

    Aircraft: Ultra High

    Scenery: High

    Weather High

    Traffic: High

    Increasing any of those further was causing stutter.

    After SP1:

    Graphics: Ultra High + Custom 25 fps & 1680 * 1050 @ 32

    Aircraft: Ultra High

    Scenery: All sliders set to max plus ground shadow and Land detail textures on

    Weather Ultra High

    Traffic: Ultra High

    All smooth even in ouside view while slewing.

    The only thing that’s making FSX hang is adding real-world wheather with updates on top

  23. Phil Taylor says:


    nVidia has to comment on their specific issues, I just get to comment on the ones where we are working together and I know there is a resolution. outside of that, it just isnt my place to comment.

  24. Phil Taylor says:


    many enthusiast sites, like avsim.com, flightsimworld.com, etc – have threads about the blurries. something on their systems is causing contention so that the terrain texture generation is always behind. its strange. if you want to see screenshots, go read a couple of the threads.

  25. Shel800521 says:

    Hi Phil,

    Thanks for the info, definetly not a problem on my PC.

    For anyone else out there, i’ve been flying full ILS approaches and have figured out a very easy way to auto land your aircraft using the NAV1 + NAV2 switches on the radio stack.

  26. apopilot says:

    I have seen a great increase in quality and frame rates. I just ordered a new VIDEO CARD 8800GTS with 640 MB of Video Memory and I hope that improves my sim even further.

    Thank you,

  27. SilentGenie says:

    Hi Phil,

    It’s probably not the right time or place but i was just wondering has work started on the DX10 update ? Would users with Vista and a DX10 card reap some serious rewards with it or will it be all superficial – Visuals, Performance etc.

    Also even though my system is running everything maxed out except traffic turned to 50% and autogen set to very dense i have 2 gig of ram and have heard that fsx and vista are ram hungry. would you suggest throwing another 2 gig in or would their be no benefit ?

    Thank’s for your time

    E6600 Core2Duo

    2 Gig ram


    1. 400 gig HDD

    1. 300 gig HDD

  28. Phil Taylor says:


    DX10 work went on in the background during SP1, and is now in fullswing. In a couple weeks I will talk about it more, but we expect both visual and performance improvements.

    Right now, DX9 doesnt work well with more than 2G of process address space so its not clear that the extra RAM will really benefit you. There are some reports of hacking in support for the /3G switch but I think thats a loaded gun with the known D3DX crash bug in the mix.

  29. sclincoln says:

    I’m currently building a new system with FSX being the driving force.  I’m torn between the E6700 and the Q6600 which I can get for almost the same price.  So my question is:  with SP1, is  the threading significant enough to make it worthwhile to choose a slower quad-core over a faster dual-core or is a dual-core sufficient so that as long as I have at least 2 cores, I should be primarily concerned with the speed?  Or more generically, what settings would I be able to crank up with a faster CPU and what could I crank up with more than 2 cores?

  30. Phil Taylor says:


    Thats a tough one. We will use as many cores as are available, but we also like a fast CPU. I’d say unless the speed difference is >25%, more cores are probably better. Overall, just buy what you could afford, fly, and be happy.

  31. sclincoln says:

    The Q6600 it is then.  Thanks a lot.

  32. Free Search says:

    Thank you for the article. It is very helpful and has lots of good tips!

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