FSX-SP2(DX10) delay factors


This has come up multiple times, including in the comments of the SP2 post, so I want to cover why there is a time delay from when Acceleration will be available and until the download for SP2 will be availble.


Yes, there is a reason for the delay, even if bits for SP2 are done.


Just because Acceleration English RTM’ed and the bits are frozen does not mean they are ready to release.  Since Acceleration and SP2 are separate products; that means completely separate efforts are required for setup, test, and international release efforts.


Now that we RTM’ed English Acceleration, we are not done since we ship in 8 languages, English+7 more. So we still have to get thru those for Acceleration before we can even get onto SP2. And we have 1 Test and Release team, so the Localization, Test, and Release activities are not fully parallelizable activities.


So once we get thru the International releases, we can then focus on SP2.  We have to finish setup for SP2 and its associated SDK. And we have a single setup dev. So with Acceleration that is 4 setups our single setup developer has had to create for this fall. So that activity is not parallelizable at all.


And then we have international for SP2 all over again.


Our setup, test, and international teams are busy, very busy, and will be for a while.


So there is a reason for the delay. It is not as easy as it appears from the outside. You could argue we should have done SP2 first, but that is not realistic if you think about it. And do note, by putting SP2 into Acceleration we got additional test coverage on SP2. So not having SP2 in Acceleration would actually delay SP2 even more since a larger test pass would be required.


Comments (63)

  1. Aberforth says:

    but ofcourse there was a delay since last year, imagine all that circus just to release a bloated product without any creativity. I hope W.Gates is reads this blog :) haha j/k

  2. gwolb says:

    So, people that are getting Acceleration are testing SP2, not sure I like the sound of that!

  3. Ian McPhail says:

    Phil: this is a serious question, and most definitely not a complaint or a whinge.

    If I buy Acceleration will it have the final version of SP2 included?

    Or will I still need to download a final, final, SP2 toward the end of the year to update the version of SP2 that is incorporated in Acceleration.

    I don’t mind as I will buy Acceleration when it reaches Australia – but will I then need to get the updated version of SP2 when it is available?

  4. Phil Taylor says:

    Ian:

    Acceleration will have the final version of SP2. There will be no need for the free download.

  5. yode says:

    I read that when your sentences are summarized, there is only an excuse to which the SP2 will be delayed for the Acceleration.

    My reading was a mistake?

    Japanese gold package have a description which FSX readied to Dx10.

    I already paid for it.

    But I haven’t had it yet.

    Why?

    I believe that you will go to the honest work for your duty with along natural order.

    I think that only the Acceleration will be a nice Christmas present for all FS enthusiasts.

    Don’t you think so?

  6. stevecole555 says:

    Firstly, thanks Phil for your hard work on FSX and Acceleration.  I and all other FSX fans truly appreciate the quality of your work and your amazing team.

    There are just a few fundamental and important points that I wanted to bring forward, because most of the fans feel sad about these latest news about DX10 progress, even though most of thier concerns may not reach your team.

    1)  When FSX was launched last year, most customers were promised that FSX will serve as the graphical benchmark for games on Windows Vista, showcasing its unique features.  They were also provided with concept screenshots of what Microsoft hoped it should look after update.  Therefore, customers spent $399 on Vista hoping to see the highly anticipated visual quality.  Hardcore fans went furthur to spend thousands to purchase a high end PC for FSX, and all those customers are now questioning: did it worth the expense?  From a business perspective, Microsoft failed to deliver the actual product value that customers were promised.  And now they feel ripped lol.

    2)  It’s been one year since a DX10 hardware was introduced, and one year since FSX was released.  But, Microsoft is releasing DX10 update NOW? That also after working on an add-on (Acceleration), while there are hundreds of other quality add-on developers out there.  Again from a business perspective, Microsoft should have first focused on delivering thier initial promise, before even thinking of Acceleration.  Unfortunately, SP2 is delayed for Acceleration which some fans may not even be planning to buy.  Most fans won’t mind a delay of SP2 as long as they get the DX10 features they anticipated for all this long, and get the value for thier upgrade to Vista.

    I truly apologise for these points Phil, and I really appreciate your effort, and I know you are not alone in making decisions.  I would be thankful for your comments about this and your reasons.

  7. Phil Taylor says:

    Steve:

    we released some screenshots that were "artistic impressions" and that is not an explicit promise. any consumer needs to read and think, there is no substitute for that. did we work hard to make DX10, yes. did we not deliver the magic screenies, yes. did I hint at it for months and come right out and apologize, yes.

    and its not news that we the graphics team were working on SP1.

    I think people just need to get over their angst and move on.

  8. stevecole555 says:

    Thanks Phil for your reply.  I really appreciate your comments.  And thanks again for the wonderful work on FSX so far by you and your wonderful team.  My apologies again.  Just a question.

    I know its too early to talk about FS11, its features, timeline etc, but I know the team has started working on it like part-time.

    In this very beginning stage of FS11, do you have a general vision or concept of FS11?  I would be thankful if you could share some general areas being considered by the team.  I know its too early, but I’m talking about the general idea and vision, not anything specific.

    I was also wondering if FS has the general cycle of a new release every 2 to 3 years, like before.  Or is it possible that we see FS11 as late as a new version of windows?

    Thanks Phil,

  9. joeysipos says:

    Ya Phil, could you please answer stevecole555 question – it would be cool if you guys would be open to what you are thinking about in terms of fs11 (if at all possible?). And I to just want to thank you greatly for the work done with SP2. I bet when Acceleration hit’s the shelf FSX is finaly going to take off like Wild Fire – we are finaly going to see the true glory of it’s possiblities (in terms of new add-on and performace).

  10. ArchCarrier says:

    joeysipos, what is the point of Phil giving us any idea of what FS11 is going to be like when it is highly likely that, in a similar manner to FSX, Phil will not be able to guarantee any content or features that he might highlight.

    ArchCarrier

  11. Te_Vigo says:

    I think there might be some more angst yet, before people move on

  12. ArchCarrier says:

    In context, I think all this represents is that FSX did not meet most people expectations. SP1 helped a long way to meet them, but people were/are expecting a major leap with SP2.

    The fact that Phil has now reported that the SP2 leap will not be as wide as expected and no further patches will be likely that undoubtedly leads to frustration and "angst".

    ArchCarrier

  13. joeysipos says:

    ArchCarrier,

    As long as he continually states that there is no guarantee about anything he talks about (in terms of fs11) will make it into fs11 – he should be fine. I’m just a little curious to what they are thinking. But ya. I think it’s too early to discuss fSll so I’ll try not to bother Phil to much.

  14. Toly says:

    Phil,

    Can you kindly answer the following question:  When you’re talking about DX10 performance improvements, did you guys compare it vs DX9 on a Vista machine?  Did you do any benchmarks of DX9 on XP vs DX10 on Vista, and if so, what are the results.

    Thanks!

  15. Phil Taylor says:

    Toly:

    we benchmarked same OS to same OS, we feel it doesnt make sense otherwise for our app; and its someone else’s business to compare the 2 OS’s.

    plus there are plenty of benchmarks showing that as the drivers have matured there is no almost no difference as opposed to the 20-30% difference that used to exist.

  16. Phil Taylor says:

    General response:

    its way, way, way too early to start talking FS11. we need to get much further down the pike internally before any external communication can happen. Trains is next anyways.

  17. jazzselect says:

    …so there is a benefit from all perspectivs, even from the wallet one? -you know we guys can’t wait 😉 hehe

    Could you please explain why ‘we got additional test coverage on SP2’ when it is the final sp2?

    anyway, cool screenies, and the VC shadow looks awesome!

  18. risa2000 says:

    It might feel like replying for Phil, but I would like to point out:

    Phil or his team would not comment on future product, even if they wanted to. Because any comment however honest, would be highly inaccurate and therefore risky and with no real value.

    Concerning the SP2 "test coverage" – when Acceleration is released it will include SP2, with all new features and fixes, but it does not mean there could not be any bugs. There should not, but if they anticipate that a lot of hard fans will go for Acceleration, it will indeed provide wide test field for both – Acceleration and SP2. I believe though, this "test coverage" is not a reason for having SP2 in Acceleration, but consequence.

    So, I would say, if there will be some serious issue in SP2 in Acceleration, they will fix it in separate SP2 (simply to make their life and life of users easier), but they will not change SP2, or "improve it".

    Now, Phil, correct me, if I am wrong ;-).

  19. Phil Taylor says:

    Risa:

    There will be no additional fixes in SP2; what is in Acceleration is what is in SP2.

  20. ArchCarrier says:

    I bought a new car with specifications stating that top speed is 100mph and it works with hybrid fuel. It goes at 30mph and uses unleaded fuel. The salesman says don’t worry we’re working on an engine upgrade that will make it go at 60mph. I ask about hybrid fuel and 100mph and he says that will come in a later engine upgrade. After six months the first engine upgrade becomes available and my car now goes at 50mph. A further six months later the second engine upgrade is available, but it only allows me to use a lower quality grade of hybrid fuel which gives me poorer mpg and my car now runs at 90mph. The salesmen says I can have it immediately if I pay for an unnecessary upgrade to my car which I don’t want. Otherwise I will have to wait a further two months before they will do the upgrade for free. Finally the salesman tells me that my car is obsolete and that no further engine upgrades will be available and I should buy the new model which will be available in 2010. I ask about specifications for the new model, but he says they cannot provide a specification as they haven’t decided on them yet. I never buy a car from them again.

    ArchCarrier

  21. sinpo says:

    ArchCarrier:

    You hit the point, illustrating exactly what I have been feeling with every MSFS version since FS5 !!

    I would like to add a bit:

    … and since the salesman is unfortunately the only one selling the car I want, in order not to paying him again for his semi-product, I will take a "cracked" car from my torrent-friend for testing purposes until the salesman finally delivers the promissed upgrades/features.

    If it ever happens, only then I will buy a finalized product from him and pay for it.

    Sinpo

  22. Te_Vigo says:

    Sorry Phil you’ve lost us…

    Acceleration with SP2 contains the final SP2 and there will be no additional fixes included in the stand alone SP2 release?

    Does this mean that with the delayed release of SP2 should a bug be found that wasn’t picked up in Acceleration testing, does this mean it won’t be fixed?

    If not then, wot iz the point of "testing" SP2 for stand alone release?

    The DX10 (artistic impression) screenshots were "targets" for the Vista™ Operating System – FSX showcase.

  23. Phil Taylor says:

    Jazzselect:

    It should be obvious that by having the SP2 fixes in Acceleration that any testing of Acceleration tests those fixes. We do have to do some re-testing in the separate SP2 binaries, but we already know the fixes work. If we hadnt already tested the fixes, then the SP2 test pass would be larger and take more time.

  24. Phil Taylor says:

    Sinpo:

    theft is never an acceptable solution. never.

  25. Phil Taylor says:

    Te Vigo:

    we still have to make sure all the checkins are in both trees and retest to make sure they got integrated correctly. one just doesnt turn the build crank and shove the bits out the door. there is a process to releasing software and in my 25 years of experience if you dont follow the process you get burned.

  26. gwolb says:

    Yea, whats up with the message about the "cracked" copy.  I know there are things that would be nice in the software, and that its never the way you want it, or would like to see different things in it, but to steal it simply because you don’t think its 100% they way you want it? yikes.   I can see it now, I stole the car because I did not like the color, and since I did not like the color it did not feel I had to pay for it.  

  27. stevecole555 says:

    good example ArchCarrier.  this was exactly my point in my long post above about dx10 features.  I and many other fans bought Vista costing $399 just coz we were told in presentations, in interviews, in showcases and in the "artist impression" screenshots that FSX will take full advantage of visual features of vista and dx10.  i’m one of few fans who closely followed the progress of FSX long before even vista launched.  if we were told in the beginning that the actual purpose of SP2 or a dx10 update is mainly increase in performance and its just a "dx10 preview", then some fans would have a different decision on spending thier hard earned money on vista.  I don need the bells n whistles of vista and im perfectly fine with running FSX on xp, instead of spending 399 for 20% performance increase.  But Phil and his team are amazing n working hard and they found themselves in an odd situation.  i really appreciate thier work.  and i think FSX is a masterpiece anyways and we’ll have fun playing it well before a future version.

    however, well lol, if u r the monopoly in a car market, it’s fair to use your powers sometimes, no matter how it affects the consumers.

    it was a lesson..well learned in both sides…Microsoft…and FSX fans.

  28. Rick H says:

    First off Thank you Phil for all your info. I have been simming since the sub-logic days and watching it evolve to fsx…. WOW! Any way,to the point. As far as I’m concerned ANY improvement to MSFS be it large or small is a good thing. I have a relatively fast pc and have no problem running fsx (at 90% graphics) Now I mainly fly the airliners, primarily 737,767. I don’t see why people are all up in arms that we will have to pay to get sp2 (initialy) as the new missions and new aircraft are exciting. I have over 6000hrs logged over ten years and as above I generaly fly the airliners, but I also like to step out of the flight deck and do some bush,cargo,aerobatics and of course some high powered jet flights. It seems to me alot of people want VIRTUAL REALITY but hey look at it this way, FS5-FS2002 Huge difference. And I’m sure as the years go on it will follow the same trend. Any way I’ll shut it, and like I said any improvement is good!!!!!! Keep up the good work guys

  29. sinpo says:

    Gwolb:

    …you missed the point with a "car" –

    1.it is not about "what I WANT", but about "what a  manufacturer PROMISSED to deliver and what HE REALLY delivered".

    2.if you borrowed a car from your friend to test it before buying, does it mean you stole the car from manufacturer ? Of course not!

    Why you should buy it for just to see if it is really made as marketing promissed?

    But, you are right, we are all programmed to understand  borrowing the things among friends as a criminal.

    (fortunately, only in software+music+video world)

  30. sinpo says:

    Phil:

    the same comment as to gwolb:

    (offtopic I know, but I cannot close my mouth :))

    Borrowing the things among friends just for testing before buying you would never define as a theft in any other field of life (but with software/music/video you do,of course).

    Btw, why M$F$ is not distributed as shareware – pay after testing ???

    Then nobody would need a friend for testing.

    (for your info, I bought all my FS copies, despite of previous disapointments, contributing a bit to ACES  salaries as well :))

  31. NickN says:

    sinpo

    I only have one thing to say… you get 30 minutes of free flight in FSX and then can reboot and try it again.

    Your comment and argument to support it is illogical and way off base. Theft is theft.

    Do you go jail for stealing a car because you do not like the performance or the features and refuse to pay for it? Or if you do buy it, do you loose your credit and have it repossessed for the same reason?

    You make no point at all and your suggestion of stealing, for any reason, is quite bad taste and is the opposite of the MSFS community.

    And by the way, your attitude is why we must all go through the pains of activating and why the cost of software is high.

    So keep it up.

    ==============================

    Thank you for the update Phil. There is one thing no one can say, and that is that we are not being properly/correctly informed.

    Too many people forget how it was prior to FSX and not knowing anything about the in’s and out’s, or why’s. All we had back then were unanswered questions and speculation.

    I wish to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks for your participation in community.

    NickN

  32. Te_Vigo says:

    Dunno there NickN, you see with the car analogy… there is true, the car thie but there is also the demonstrator model for evaluation, there is also provision that should want to lend thier new car to friend, this is all quite ok and above board. Add to this there  are good car makers and some that leave a lot to be desired.

    There is also with new car sales… legal action that can be brought on by false advertising and also the frowned upon lemon clause in sales contracts, as well as warranty.

    Sadly these do not apply to software as it should and at least in Australia it is illegal to return software in opened packaging.

  33. NickN says:

    Te Viego

    I do not think MS placed the 30 minute demo into the main title for nothing, and, allowing that demo to also run with the update patches allows a test drive without breaking the law.

    I think they realized that people would probably let friends borrow it and try it and MS allowed a very gracious demo or test drive of the product.

    The line is crossed when someone uses illegal means to run the software past that limitation, and in that, it is no different than taking a test drive and never returning with the car.

    So your logic does not work either.

    Unfortunately that attitude and the constant ‘reasoning’ to steal electronic media is what perpetuates the problem. You can try to justify it all you want, but as Phil said thief is never an answer.

  34. blueflamer says:

    There are two separate issues here.

    First of "stealing" or "borrowing" of software. Put simply its WRONG! You pay for the software, this helps with the research and development.

    Second of "BULLSH*T" from MS regarding what was promised and what was delivered. I’m sorry but the product is/has been very disappointing. I spent so much money on getting a high spec pc with windows vista, and was under the impression I will not have any problems and issues, boy was I WRONG!

    Heres a question:

    Phil, provide us with a hardware/software pc spec that will run FSX without any issues with all the settings set to high (if not all settings high than 80%). I’m sure you can’t answer that!

  35. stevecole555 says:

    I think software piracy is unethical, illegal and wrong.  People like Phil who contribute to creating such a beautiful piece of work, deserve to get thier reward for thier hard work.  For "test drive" we had the FSX demo anyways.  I appreciate Phil’s team even though they din’t deliver thier promises.  Afterall, they created the most beautiful flight sim in the series.

    HOWEVER, if software piracy is unethical, it is ALSO unethical and wrong to encourage customers to buy Vista, to create a buzz for full DX10 features, and to promise them some bells and whistles in FSX, and then to say "sorry it’s just a DX10 preview, here’s your 20% performance instead"

    If I knew, I would run FSX on my GeForce 7 (not 8 which is DX10 and costs arm n leg) and continue using my Win XP.  I would have saved $699 + $399 instantly.  But beacause I’m big fan of FSX and wanted to see DX10+FSX, I spent it all….THATS CALLED THE REAL UNETHICAL MARKETING OF A PRODUCT AND MAKING WRONG PROMISES TO CUSTOMERS.  and surely MS knows how many serious FSX fans are out there who spend hundreds for these promised bells n whistles.

    They said it themselves in presentations, interviews, showcases or pulling out artistic impressions that they will bring this n that feature to FSX once Vista launches.

    Very sad and very unethical.

    I don’t blame Phil though and I totally understand him, and I know his work is amazing.

  36. Te_Vigo says:

    Sorry NickN but your logic is only valid when it comes to outright theft and in that I do agree.

    Though with the new car analogy in RL car theft is rampant, the same as software piracy. Now if someone wants to lend their new car to a mate for evaluation with all the functions and all the bells and all the whistles and any squeaks and rattles, that is quite ok. If the evaluation comes in as yes! I’ll buy one great… one gets bought and if the evaluation comes in as it’s a pos or it’s not as specced, one won’t be bought, saving the evaluer a lot of cash.

    There isn’t much point in stealing a pos, or the bell without the whistle now is there? A worse situation is where you have to trust the salesman and the only avenue is buy before try, you can have a look he says but ya gotta buy it before ya try it.

    The availibility of legal action for false advertising and the lemon clause came into the car industry for a reason and that was because of people getting ripped off.

    Hopefully, it won’t be too long before software companies and authors are held accountable in the same manner, complete with licensing.

  37. Aeromar27 says:

    I got over it already and bought Xplane 8.

  38. NickN says:

    If you went out, mortgaged and spent the money building a new garage because a car manufacture placed advertising on the market about a product you would get in parts over a year, to find out later you did not get everything you wanted, that’s your fault.

    I can understand the gripe about the car perhaps not being completely what was expected but laying on Aces it’s their fault someone bought a computer or hardware, is outrageous.

    Some of you guys make is sound like MS or Aces placed a gun to your head and forced you to buy FSX, the hardware and a new OS.

    Personally I think FSX is the best default MSFS product Aces has ever produced and the access they provided this time with the SDKs will bring on a new world as add-on developers learn how to take advantage of what Aces provided.

    I have no problem with perf in FSX and run almost everything but traffic at 100% in big cities on an average of 30-40FPS, but then again I know how to spec, build a computer, and, properly set up Windows/MSFS/drivers for graphics I/Q and performance, just like I had to do with FS2004.

    I hope in all of this some directions get looked at for FS11 which may help avoid the low-level rhetoric, but then again Phil since the software you guys produce tends to push the spec envelope of hardware for at least a year or more past release, I am sure you can expect to hear the same things over and over again.    

    Good luck in trains Phil!  :)

  39. Te_Vigo says:

    "If you went out, mortgaged and spent the money building a new garage because a car manufacture placed advertising on the market about a product you would get in parts over a year, to find out later you did not get everything you wanted, that’s your fault."

    err NickN, that is the epitomy in the car industry of ripped off.

    Is your rig running with Light Bloom on and Ground Shadows? Maybe you could share your specs

  40. stevecole555 says:

    Let me illustrate it with a better example.

    You go to pizza and see the menu.  You read:

    Large pizza with 4 toppings – mushrooms, green pepper, onions and green olives. price – $49.99 – The guy also shows off a sample slice and says that’s what the final pizza will look like and taste.

    You order this pizza and the guy brings the pizza for u.  When u open it u see theres just 2 toppings and u ask "where’s the mushrooms and onions?" The guy says "sorry we don have mushrooms and onions – but here is a can of coke instead…sorry there will be no mushrooms and onions until u order ur next pizza"

    How does it feel huh?

  41. NickN says:

    A:

    QX6700 @ 3.6GHz cooled by a Thermaltake Ultra 120X running DDR3 1800 on a P35 and X38 motherboard setups. 8800GTX with replaced HSF by Thermaltake @ 650core, 2100mem and 1675shader domain.

    Bloom is on during bush flying or just outside metro areas, not in metro or large hubs, shadows all enabled.

    As for Pizza’s….

    Aces never promised anything. All they ever said was there would be a SP update followed by a DX10 update and the dev time to address perf in SP1 cut into that. There was never a features list and only an artist rendition of what DX10 may look like which Phil has repeatedly addressed as why that’s not happening a long time ago.

    Go look at the FSX box and please post anything on it which says what you will get in the future after the sale. That box is the ONLY place that has any legal bound references and nowhere on it will you find anything about what you are going to get later.

    There was never, ever any set-list of “mushrooms and onions” promised for the price, just the plain pizza with a topping THEY would select later after they decided what needed to go on the pie.

    You guys are relentless and I am bowing out of this so Phils blog is not filled up with rhetoric.

    how does it feel?  GREAT, I love FSX

    😉

  42. stevecole555 says:

    NickN:

    I followed FSX development long long before it was launched…..even before they revealed it to general public that there’s a new FS called FSX coming up.  And I followed all the stories, interviews and presentations or showcases closely, in which they told with thier own words that FSX will have this n that feature with Vista.  I was in depth of the story.  But for a general customer like you who just looks at the box and reads the specs n buys, its a different story.  There’s a lot of details that u r unaware of, which shapes ur opinion….a lot of marketing effort prior to FSX launch.

    So yah they did tell people in the beginning about interesting features only available in vista that wud make upgrade to Vista a worthy expense.

    I don’t say that FSX isn’t great.  As I’ve always said before and I say now, Phil and his team are amazing and they brought us the best FS in the series and I admire thier work.

  43. NickN says:

    Ideas = Investigation

    Investigation = Plans

    Plans = Structure

    Structure = Execution

    Execution = Project

    Project = Presentations <—- Here is where you are speaking of

    Presentations = Marketing and Development

    Development = Engineering

    Engineering = Reality

    Reality = Product

    Product = What is in the box

    What is in the box gets support based on reality

    I see the problem here. I can understand the confusion how the process works in engineering and development if you are stuck on what was said in presentation.

    General Customer?

    My X38 platform was delivered in May during the dev phase for the chipset.

    Sometimes it’s better to not assume things, like how presentations and concepts represent what will be in the box, and/or delivered 100% later.

    I will say this, FSX was designed to run on hardware that has not seen the light of day yet and I assure you I am already into next year with hardware which will make your FSX experience ten fold better.

    What I posted about my current systems is what I am allowed to. 😉

    FSX, just like FS9 is a development project. Just like no one was running 100% sliders with awesome visuals and stutter free perfection with FS9 in 2003-2005, it will be the same with FSX, which by the way Phil clearly stated in many of his introductory posts.  

    And I am sure FS11 will be on that cutting edge as well.

    :)

  44. yamane says:

    Phil Taylor wrote:

    "…we benchmarked same OS to same OS, we feel it doesnt make sense otherwise for our app; and its someone else’s business to compare the 2 OS’s…"

    I know why you don’t show us a benchmark between WinXP and Vista!

    Because VISTA is very slow than WinXP as we can see on TomsHardware review:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/01/29/xp-vs-vista/page4.html

    Vista run all 3D games with poor performance, between -2% and -30% lower than WinXP, as you can see on link above.

    One point is true: Microsoft do a slow game and now is trying convince us a buy ACCELERATION PACK… Next step is: SP2 have optmizations to DirectX10, so buy Win VISTA too.

    To Microsoft "business is business", and win money including yours patchs (I don’t believe that you prefer available a "xpansion package" before a "patch"!)

    Sorry, but I’m tired to listening "sorry" and expend more and more money to fix Microsoft problems!

    When I buy MS Flight Simulator X, I need upgrade my machine, now I have Intel Core2 Duo E6750, 2Gb PC6400, Asus P5W DH Deluxe Mobo, 250Gb HDD Seagate SATA2, NVidia 8800GTS and I run MS FSX with only 12 FPS over Sao Paulo Congonhas Airport (SBSP), that have a "undetailled" scenary!

    Regards,

    Renato

  45. Te_Vigo says:

    I might add I get a rolling frame of 20 – 120 FPS on my 10% FSB OC’d BadaxeII 4 core QX6700 (2.93), it’s just too bad I guess that Vsync doesn’t seem to work(forced On or App Controlled) otherwise it should sit at a constant 50 – 60 FPS. I’ve faders to the max, bloom off, GS off, Traffic off and the others at 15% on High Quality 8800 Ultra setting, HQ clouds at minimum draw distance, HQ aircraft yada, yada, yada.

    I’ve different sized stripes for my 4x Raptor RAID and the 128k (largest) does seem to work the best.

    I’ve also noticed Intel seems to have pulled it’s X38

  46. Te_Vigo says:

    FSX: Today and Tommorrow (archives) is an interesting article, that removes a lot of confusion about what was said and what wasn’t.

    Which takes us to this…

    Ideas = Investigation

    Investigation = Plans

    Plans = Structure

    Structure = Execution

    Execution = Project

    Project = Presentations

    Presentations = Marketing <— where the problems lie and Development

    Development = Engineering

    Engineering = Reality

    Reality = Product

    Product = What is in the box

    What is in the box gets support based on reality

  47. flying-w says:

    Hi Phil,

    Is my understanding correct that an SDK update comes with the SP2 download and not with acceleration?  Any place to find hints on what SDK changes are coming, particularly in relation to SimConnect?

  48. Phil Taylor says:

    Flying-W:

    there is an SDK for both Acceleration and SP2. unfortunately I dont have the bandwidth to gather any data on what has changed.

  49. Aberforth says:

    FS 11 artist’s concept: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrvLGpWg8UE

    i guess…

  50. jazzselect says:

    NickyN, how can you design a software for hardware that does not exist?

  51. yode says:

    Hi.

    Could you tell Japanes customers whether the Acceleration pack can be installed in FSX-JP?

  52. yamane says:

    Hi,

    Acceleration Pack have this name because it really accelerate something or because have some racer aircrafts and Red Bull Air Racer?

    Regards,

    Renato

  53. NickN says:

    Quote by jazzselect:

    NickyN, how can you design a software for hardware that does not exist?

    ==============================

    You design a package that ports 70-100 times the code which will take advantage of the CPU’s motherboard chipset and video card technology to be released over the next 2+ years, that’s how.

    I already stated above full-slider FS9 was designed for hardware 2 years out from its release. FSX was no different and I am sure FS11 will be the same. There are abilities and elements of FSX none of us have seen and as add-on developers learn how to use and start producing those elements, the title gets a facelift. Without the over the top ability (compare to todays hardware) the title would stifle.

    If they made it run full-bore on todays hardware it would be a limited product. MSFS a platform for building over time with partners and not an out of the box game although it can be run like that. I would not run it without the add-ons that make it come to life.

  54. Pesto says:

    To keep with the car analogy, it seems to me that the cool DX10 screenshots that were released are the equivalent of a car company’s concept car.  

    GM has had a hydrogen-fuel concept car in the works for several years now which looks really cool, but I’m not going to go spend $$$ remodeling my garage and installing a hydrogen tank until some version of that car becomes a reality at a price that I can afford.

    I think that cool DX10 screenshots were even labeled as being an artist’s concept of what could be done with DX10.  While I’m disappointed that FSX couldn’t push the boundaries as much as the screenshots implied, I do understand that in the real world things are never as easy as programmers would like them to be.

    Hats off to Phil and his team for producing some amazing software!

  55. NickN says:

    Excellent analogy Pesto

    People tend to complain and that will always be a fact of life and part of this business but the bottom line is Phil has always been forthright in posting the reality of the situation since day ONE. He does not make empty promises, and, has always reported as soon as possible what is going on and why.

    This thing about “I spent X and I don’t get god-rays like that picture” is silly.

    The deal with the blurries is real and in my opinion (just my opinion Phil) it is tied to a combination of how the sim handles file reads from the drive and how it tends to dump the level of detail priority as views are changed, which in turn, seems to require a LOD radius re-load. Some systems just can not seem to catch back up for different reasons, and, there are some tweaks I have found which minimize that issue such as setting:

    TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT=70

    …and adding the line

    SWAP_WAIT_TIMEOUT=37

    …along with

    SmallPartRejectRadius=2

    …and set the frame lock to either 30 or unlimited, especially running TFT monitors.

    (note, those settings must be in line with the right slider values for system ability)

    And anyone using a 2 disk RAID setup on less than 128K stripe is asking for trouble with file reads. Even 128K is low for FSX. 256K is a much better STRIPE selection. On the systems that I have worked with that can not set a 256K Raid-0 stripe, I use a non-raid single WD Raptor instead in order to circumvent the increased CPU strain and excessive head seeks a 128K or less Raid stripe can cause with FSX.

    Sometimes I wish the Aces division had some say with the Windows division in how the OS should be developed. During the OS dev phase when you have upper management screaming “FEATURES-FEATURES-FEATURES and we will deal with the rest later”, Aces has to deal with the problems that come after the fact in which they had no control over. In that, people should cut them some slack and see just how difficult their job is when it comes to developing a cutting edge game to run on a less than cutting edge (performance wise) platform, and, have to work 2 OS titles at the same time.

    Phil already stated they could have done better in their approach to modeling the world. What I read in that is, lessons were learned and as such I think FS11 will be a much better product.

    Hats off to Phil for taking what we had initially which was less that desirable for most systems and providing a wonderful base to build on. As new CPU, chipset and VC technology enters the market in 2008, I think quite a bit of the grumbling will stop and FSX will start to bloom as FS9 did.

    :)

  56. skpd says:

    Quote by Phil Taylor:

    "2) We are not promising runtime backwards compatibility in the current DX10 code path now or in the future. This is for two reasons:

    a)The first is to send a message that we are going to change the backwards compatibility story moving forwards.

    b)The second is practical, in that continuing to provide the backwards compatibility we do is a huge drag on forward progress… (continued)"

    ****************************************

    First of all Phil, thank you for taking the time to put together this great blog site.  I can’t thank you enough for providing this outlet for news and information which comes directly from the ACES staff itself.  It’s truly invaluable information, and this site is testament as to how far the franchise has moved forward in recent years.  Thank you.

    Moving forward.  This is a topic you touched upon in your 2 Oct. 2007 posting referenced above, and one I’d like to get your opinion of if you have a few moments to respond.

    Having no other information than what is gleaned online and in sites such as this one, I am curious as to the design framework or foundation of the MSFS franchise.  I may be over simplifying or generalizing here, but if I understand correctly, hasn’t the past versions of MSFS been built upon the same "framework" or "engine" from one iteration to the next?  And if this is the case, it would seem logical to me that some of the design elements may have progressed from outdated source or coding (or whatever it may be) to become the simulation that we have today, thus "fixing" or "upgrading" from one iteration to the next.  Again… I’m no expert here, but this seems to be the general feeling in the community from what I’ve read through the years, and might appear to be the basis for the general frustration shown here lately toward recent updates.

    If this is the case in whatever design element within MSFS, then what are your views for the future of the MSFS franchise?  Do you feel that it’s time to build "from the ground up" an all new MS Flight Simulator that would streamline new framework which would allow the sim to move on into the next century and beyond, thus "moving forward" from past backward compatibility issues altogether?  Yes, this might step on many toes to begin with, however, do you not feel that it is time to begin this process and build something truly remarkable in the next three to five years?  Also, I’m not asking you to speak for all of the team members involved, but what is the general concensus to this type of speculation, and if so, has this subject been broached in the past?  Or perhaps you may already be heading in this direction?  I would really enjoy seeing the state of the art in design efficiency implemented in future iterations of MSFS.

    Thank you again for your gracious support (not to mention your firefighting skills!), and I hope you might take a moment or two to elaborate on this subject for us.

    Kevin S.

  57. ramprat says:

    NickN says:

    And anyone using a 2 disk RAID setup on less than 128K stripe is asking for trouble with file reads. Even 128K is low for FSX. 256K is a much better STRIPE selection. On the systems that I have worked with that can not set a 256K Raid-0 stripe, I use a non-raid single WD Raptor instead in order to circumvent the increased CPU strain and excessive head seeks a 128K or less Raid stripe can cause with FSX.

    Nick…your answer will determine whether I load FSX or not.

    I have removed FSX because of micro stutters on my machine. It runs an Intel 840EE and it has 2 drives in RAID 0. Unfortunately, the controller will not allow for a stripe size larger than 64k.

    Is this issue critical enough that I am better off not loading the sim, or spending a lot of money in the future to run a $35 game?

    I’m not bashing Phil or FSX; I simply want to know if NickN considers his statement a CRITICAL issue for someone running a RAID 0 w/ a 64k stripe.

    And NickN, for the record, I value your knowledge.

  58. NickN says:

    ramprat..

    As Phil has stated, his blog is not support so I will not go into details but I will say this..

    I have tested FSX installs on many, many different controllers and drives. In all of the RAID tests, any STRIPE below 128K (on a 2 drive RAID… 4 drives is OK at 64-128K) produced scenery load stutters.

    Older systems will magnify this issue because of the resources FSX already pulls. You must understand that RAID has its ups and its downs. The up side you are aware of which is it allows a greater throughput for data to flow, IF and only if set up correctly for the data chunks being accessed.

    The down side is that every drive you install in a system that is accessed at the same time -pulls- from the resource pool so if you are not compensating by optimizing the data flow, you are losing with RAID, not gaining. Slower systems should not try to run 4-5 drives in motherboard RAID, only a dedicated RAID card for such setups.

    A dedicated RAID card (not motherboard RAID) with onboard dedicated 128MB (higher is better) DDR2 memory on the card itself is the best way to use RAID. Motherboard RAID is limited no matter how high you can set the STRIPE but will do the job, just not anywhere near as well.

    In your case I would buy a SATA WD Raptor and run it by itself as the FSX install drive, or, a larger SATA 300 drive with excellent access specs.

    I will leave it at that.

    :)

  59. ramprat says:

    Thank you Nick; I appreciate your insight.

  60. eman737 says:

    can you give us a rough idea when would sp2 be out?

    is it days away or weeks?

  61. yode says:

    Hi,

    Why do you try to design for a next fs "be released over the next 2+ years" ?

    How did you know the future "be released over the next 2+ years" ?

    I guess you need for a period of the development time, maybe about 2-3years, for a next fs.

    It is meanings you knew next 4-5 years!

    Do you know next larabee?

    Do you know which GPU Architecture won Intel or NVIDIA and/or ATI?

    I thought that you lost the next CPU when FSX (RTM) was designed.

    Check system of FSX (RTM) which you created saw only CPU clocks.

    But, CPU mainstream was already Dual core…

    FS world is sure joyful and a heart of gold.

    I certainly like FS and FlightSimers.

    We should be pleasantly played on middle class PCs.

    And, when we will be able to use the high performance PC at just released time, we will have flying with any addons or full sliders.

    Besides, we will be able to make a choice of further stillness and ecological PC.

    In Japan, Nintendo Wii won a TV game war.

    This suggest that winner was delight, not high performance.

    I do not expect your reply, because you did not reply to the Japanese.

    Though, I wish you consider how design proper for a next fs.

    regards,

    yode

  62. Symmetry says:

    Phil,

    Would you kindly be able to elucidate/expand upon the SP2 8-core bug fix, and in the meantime suggest an affinity mask or other optimizations for 8-cores on SP1?

    With FSX SP1 running on a Dell Precision 690 workstation: dual Xeon 3GHz 4 core processors, 4GB RAM, XP Pro SP2, eVGA 8800GTX, I have tried affinity masks of 238, 254 and 255. 254 Appears to work best for maximizing 8-core utilization, but does not seem to translate into higher FPS.