OK, I upgraded my system to a Matrox Millennium P650 AGP card, which has hardware 3D rendering. Dxdiag reports all rendering functions thru DirectX version 9 are working fine and I can run Civ4, which demands hardware 3D and TnL support. But I'm getting wonky results from TnL with FS (both version 9 and 9.1).
Everything's fine so long as I have the transform and lighting hardware rendering option OFF. I can engage all other high quality settings, even setting everything to ultra-high quality, at any resolution between 600x800 and 1024x1280 (my normal system resolution). But if I engage TnL, the display becomes erratic-to-unusable for all other combinations of settings. Sometimes it works, but usually the exterior render collapses into a non-representational op-art pattern of geometric shapes and lines.
So, I suppose I have two questions:
1) How much landscape quality am I really losing by not being able to turn on TnL, given the other settings all work at maximum quality? (I gotta say it looks pretty good outside, even if I don't think the anti-aliasing option makes much difference.)
2) Anybody got any thoughts on why I'm seeing these TnL problems and if they're fixable? (I haven't asked Matrox about this yet; figured here was the place to start.)
pax / Ctein
You have a 64 bit video card, at the low end for the sim. To be honest I don't think your going to see that much (if any) difference between the two. They are that close together where only a close examination, not a moving "target" would need one over the other. Yes Tri is the one to use but with your specs that's the least of your problems.
I hope I'm not being too harsh.
By the way only use anti-aliasing in the control panel of the card, don't have it checked in the settings of the sim
I thought you'd like to read about both.
trilinear texture filtering
Like its less sophisticated cousin, bilinear texture filtering, trilinear filtering is a complex technique used by 3D graphics cards to make movement through rendered landscapes realistic even in fast-moving games.
bilinear texture filtering
Bilinear texture filtering enhances a computer's ability to scale 3D graphics in a smoother, more realistic way. With 3D graphics, especially with games, you don't want a graphics card to grab texture maps from memory and simply write them on your computer screen: as the polygons drawn onscreen grew bigger, they would take on a blocky look. To improve the ability to scale 3D graphics, you need to filter them. Bilinear texture filtering does this by averaging the four adjacent texels (the basic elements of a texture map), thus creating a new texel that renders a more subtle, realistic texture.
Thanks! That saves me a lot of hassle trying to figure out how to configure the thing.
The Matrox P650 performs better than one might expect. It's 2-3 times more powerful than the G550, which (you'll recall) I found was usable, you just didn't get the really cool visual quality. With the P650 at Flight Simulator's default graphics settings (medium low quality) it's averaging 20 frames per second. At 768 by 1024 resolution and graphics quality turned up to ultra-high everywhere, it still turns out 10 frames per second.
Now, if I can only find some time to learn how to fly! I've mastered crashing. I'm so proud of myself ...
pax / Ctein
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I remember that older card you had, those specs are impressive with the new one. It sounds like a keeper, I'm glad your not obsessed with maxing out all the sliders.