BFL0615 - Brian Bisaillon
FSX Tuning / Ultimate Terrain X Setup Instructions
Nick_N works for FLIGHT1 and his original guide on SETTING UP FSX and HOW TO TUNE IT includes a guide on how to setup Ultimate Terrain X Canada, Europe and USA near the last 1/8 of the page. I followed his instructions and they've always worked just fine for me. Here's the link:
If you want his most up-to-date guide on Windows XP 64-bit and Windows 7 (also relevant to Vista 64-bit) you can get it here:
You may have heard of Bojote's (aka Jesus 'Bojote' Altuve's) tweaks and I can tell you first hand after much testing that almost all of those tweaks are completely useless. I wrote a thread about FSX Tweaks Demystified on SimForums under Flight Simulator General Discussion and it has almost reached 1000 hits:
The ONLY tweaks I run in my fsx.CFG are as follows:
MAX_TEXTURE_DATA=587 (depends on your video card)
TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT=57 (depends on your video card)
UPPER_FRAMERATE_LIMIT=30 (never go higher than 30 or below 24)
WideViewAspect=True (I have a widescreen monitor)
Note: I wrote a program that calculates MAX_TEXTURE_DATA and TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT based on your video card's Memory Clock (MHz) and Memory Type (e.g., GDDR2, GDDR5, etc.) It also does this calculation based on the desired framerate (usually 24, 27 or 30) and TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD (usually 1024 and with addons some people run 2048 or 4096 but you would still use 1024 for the calculation because the majority of the scenery will be using smaller resolutions in areas where you're not flying addon scenery).
[DISPLAY.Device.NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250.0]
MipBias=7 (more clarity for the textures, some use 6 but never use 8)
TriLinear=1 (this is required for you to use your video driver to override FSX's texture filtering with 8x or 16x Anisotropic filtering)
ForceFullScreenVSync=1 (VSync only works in fullscreen with FSX and it prevents image tearing issues)
HIGHMEMFIX=1 (this is ONLY needed if you have textures that appear black and I don't use this in my config because I don't have that problem)
SHADER_CACHE_VERSION=1 (when you increment this number, FSX rebuilds the shader cache and this is only useful if you use Bojote's shader 3.0 patch and it's useless for NVidia users; it's for ATI users)
DisablePreload=1 (prevents preloading the default flight, faster FSX startup)
Note: If you have LOD_RADIUS=4.5 FSX will draw approximately 64 tiles around the aircraft. Each tile is 1.2km squared according to the SDK documentation. I based the numbers above on a city that has the most dense tree population in all of Europe per 1.0km squared and converted these numbers to 1.2km squared. I then set the Autogen Scenery slider at Normal (or you can set it higher if your machine can handle it).
On a final note, I stress the importance not adding unnecessary tweaks to your fsx.CFG because I have thoroughly tested these settings with Fraps. Furthermore, the only way to gain extra performance with FSX after the tweaks above is to go to your FSX Settings and play with the following:
|_ Disable aircraft casts shadows on the ground
|_ Disable aircraft casts shadows on itself
Note: These generate extra shader passes that reduce performance.
Terrain and water
|_ Water effects (Low 2.x or lower if needed due to extra shader passes)
|_ Scenery complexity (I use Dense otherwise I lose custom buildings)
|_ Autogen density (Normal or less based on what I said above)
Note: You can play with Mesh Complexity, Mesh Resolution and Texture Resolution and your actual textures should match these settings. For example, I run FSGenesis, GEX and UTX so I set my settings to 75 (affects number of polygons rendered), 38m (FSGenesis doesn't work well with higher settings) and 30cm (this is what I set in UTX). Unless you're running a powerful machine Autogen density is fine at Normal or less. Another important point about Autogen density is that this is the setting that has the most impact on how much video RAM FSX uses. The higher you set this, the more video memory FSX will use. If you're only running a 512MB video card, setting this higher than Normal is probably not a good idea. Scenery complexity doesn't really affect performance all that much.
|_ Cloud draw distance (90mi or less)
|_ Detailed clouds (you shouldn't have to use Simple clouds)
|_ Cloud coverage density (Maximum or less)
Note: The resolution of your clouds is what really affects performance more so than the above settings. If you run HD clouds at 2048 or 4096 with the above settings vs. clouds at 1024 with the above settings, you will see a difference in performance. Therefore, the above settings have limited effects on performance. You really need to be running the right cloud textures. I use REX with 1024 clouds and that's just fine. Anything higher and you will likely get lag in heavy storm / IFR conditions.
|_ Airline traffic density (50 if standalone; 0 if using AI traffic with VATSIM)
|_ General aviation traffic density (50 if standalone; 0 if using AI traffic with VATSIM)
|_ Airport vehicle density (Medium so that the fuel trucks are available)
Land and sea traffic
|_ Road vehicles (0 because it's a framerate killer)
|_ Ships and ferries (0 or 10; typically not above 15; I run 0)
|_ Leisure boats (0 or 10; typically not above 15; I run 0)
You can change the FSX Settings through the GUI without it changing any of the tweaks I mentioned above. However, if you're using a modified TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD set to 2048 or 4096, FSX will reset this value back to 1024 if you're using the GUI. I think it will also set your LOD_RADIUS back to 4.5 if you have it set higher but you shouldn't have to set this higher. LOD_RADIUS draws tiles from the furthest point to the closest point (outward to inward; not the other way around). Setting this higher than 4.5 is going to create more of a load on the sim because you're trying to draw more than 64 tiles at 1.2km squared.
Finally, you might click on the FSX menus 17 times and get a crash and then another day you click on the menus 3 times and you crash. The following DLL files will fix that problem permanently including issues with some addons that rely on C libraries. Just download them and place them in your main FSX directory:
Last edited by BFL0615 - Brian Bisaillon; 02-20-2011 at 08:33 PM.