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Graphics Cards

MrSifter Guest

Hi Guys

Ive got a relatively new PC but I'm not sure how to check what graphics card I have. What I do know is that I need to upgrade it so that I can run FS9 at its full potential.

I'm asking two questions here: how do I find out what kind of graphics card I have and secondly, what would you recommend as a replacement so that it enchances my ground terrain etc.

Thanks

Pro Member Chief Captain
hms_endeavour Chief Captain

Hey there, Very Happy
to find out what kind of card you have right click on the desktop>go to properties in the list>in the window, Click on the tab"preferences" and then over the colour line it should say something like"Monitor: Plug and play screen on ******This is your graphics card name******".
Tell us what the name is and we'll see what one can do. Wink Very Happy

MrSifter Guest

Hi

Thanks for getting back to me, when I do that it says:

Plug and Play Monitor on Radeon X600 256MB Hypermemory.

Pro Member Chief Captain
hms_endeavour Chief Captain

well actually you already got a pretty good card.I'm actually not too sure, cause I'm better with nvidia cards.Anyway, some other members will come to you.You have a good amount of memory for you card, so i assume it's a good one, but I'm not sure.How does it perform in the fs?

MrSifter Guest

Doesnt perform very well at all. Ive bought Ultimate Terrain Europe and Scotflight scenery add ons but the detail is still quite poor. Ive also bought the Vulcan add-on from Just flight and whenever I change views ie virtual cockpit to spot view then it takes a few moments to to add the livery, detail in cockpit etc.

Thats why I thought it was perhaps my graphics card, as I said my PC is under a year old so I thought it was my card. Any suggestions??

Pro Member Captain
ARD-DC Captain

Going by what you say I'd share endeavour's doubt; it sounds more like your settings are not set for best performance.....

Again thinking of my own system as reference, I get a good quality image, it's just the screen refresh that drops to an absolute minimum when I ask max. detail. If the picture itself is not to your liking, dig through the Catalyst control center first, see if there are any other settings you can max out.

BTW, what refresh rate do you normally get?

MrSifter Guest

Id love to be able to tell you but unfortunately I don't know, how do I find out??

I feel like a complete novice haha!!

Pro Member Captain
ARD-DC Captain

not to worry, we all have been there (and sometimes return there when we take on something new Wink)

while in-flight, hit SHIFT+Z a few times until it displays the "FPS".

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

MrSifter wrote:

Id love to be able to tell you but unfortunately I don't know, how do I find out??

I feel like a complete novice haha!!

An easy way to see you Computer's Profile is by installing and running Belarc Advisor (free) Arrow http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html

...and whenever I change views ie virtual cockpit to spot view then it takes a few moments to to add the livery, detail in cockpit etc.

This 'could' also be caused by lack of memory (RAM). How much and what type of memory you have you'll be able to see in the right-hand column under 'Memory Modules' in your Belarc Computer Profile Summary.

MrSifter Guest

Guys (and maybe girls!),

Thanks for getting back to me! I've done as you've suggested and found out the following:

1. my RAM is 1024 MB
2. my FPS is around 24.8, it says its locked at 25FPS

Based on that, how should it be performing?

Pro Member Chief Captain
hms_endeavour Chief Captain

Pretty good. You see, the human eye can't see more than 24-25fps, so your system is pretty good.Your RAM is pretty good, there is better, and it won't do for fsx, but it should be great for fs9.What kind of processor does belarc say you have?

MrSifter Guest

My processor is 3 gigahertz pentium 4 so I don't think thats the problem. What settings does everyone use for scenery?

Pro Member Chief Captain
hms_endeavour Chief Captain

You have a good system.Upload some screen shots so that we can see you problems.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

MrSifter wrote:

My processor is 3 gigahertz pentium 4 so I don't think thats the problem. What settings does everyone use for scenery?

Looking at your initial post, the specs of your GFX card and now your request for the scenery settings of others, I'm trying to put it all together within context.

I don't think you need a better GFX card for running fs9 satisfactorily. You have a 256MB card while most of us have 128MB cards or less.
The scenery settings really depend on the individual's taste. There could be trade-offs. Keep in mind that the scenery settings are a part of the Display settings - so if for example you max out all sliders in the scenery settings, you may not be able to max out all settings in your Weather display etc.

To get the best graphics display with the hardware you have my philosophy is to concentrate on the settings of the graphics card first and only adjust the display settings inside FS at the end of your tweaking procedure.

I have a NVIDIA card so the procedure might differ slightly. With NVIDIA cards you can access the settings either via the Control Panel or via a shortcut icon in the system tray. Either way, your main concerns are AF (anisotropic filtering) and AA (antialiasing settings). I currently have both at 4x - again you have to experiment.

Regarding the AA settings: Many of us share the opinion that the AA settings should only be adjusted in the graphics card settings, NOT within the FS Display settings. In the FS Display / Hardware settings the Anti- aliasing box should be unchecked.
Further the Mip mapping quality if set at 4 seems to yield good results.

I have only mentioned the basics but it's a good idea to adjust / tweak those values first and then start playing with the other Display settings within FS.

Pro Member First Officer
omgttfs First Officer

if you want compare cards, the best site is www.gpureview.com
This is yours (I think, this one is the x600 "pro")

Manufacturer: ATi
Series: Radeon X
GPU: RV380
Release Date: 0000-00-00
Interface: PCI-E x16
Core Clock: 400 MHz
Memory Clock: 300 MHz (600 DDR)
Memory Bandwidth: 9.6 GB/sec
Shader Operations: 1600 Operations/sec
Pixel Fill Rate: 1600 MPixels/sec
Texture Fill Rate: 1600 MTexels/sec
Vertex Operations: 200 MVertices/sec

Memory bandwidth, pixel fill rate and shader operations is what I look for when comparing cards. To be brutally honest, thats a pretty poor card by gamers standard, but it's fs9 doesn't seem to be to dependant on gpu power, not like a first person shooter game.

This is my X800XL...
Manufacturer: ATi
Series: Radeon X
GPU: R430 + Rialto
Release Date: 2005-02-28
Interface: AGP 8X
Core Clock: 400 MHz
Memory Clock: 490 MHz (980 DDR)
Memory Bandwidth: 31.36 GB/sec
Shader Operations: 6400 Operations/sec
Pixel Fill Rate: 6400 MPixels/sec
Texture Fill Rate: 6400 MTexels/sec
Vertex Operations: 600 MVertices/sec

Still not a blistering fast card, but it handles about 40fps in Call of Duty 2 in DX9 mode, which is not bad.

Video card Memory can be a simplistic marketing ploy to make a cheap card more appealing to the budget market. A crappy card (not saying yours is crappy!)with 256mb of ram is still a crappy card. My old 9800pro with 128mb was a bag load better than my older 9600pro with 256mb.

If you do want to upgrade, set yourself a budget, open up a window with your favourite online coputer shop, and another with gpureview.com and sort out the pretty boxes from the true performers. Most expensive is not always the best, my card eats much more expensive nvidia cards. research,research,research.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

hms_endeavour wrote:

Hey there, Very Happy
to find out what kind of card you have right click on the desktop>go to properties in the list>in the window, Click on the tab"preferences" and then over the colour line it should say something like"Monitor: Plug and play screen on ******This is your graphics card name******".
Tell us what the name is and we'll see what one can do. Wink Very Happy

I've wondered about my graqphics card also. I keep having problems with the images pulsing... updating too slow making taxiing, and landing approaches to busy airports quite difficult.

I tried finding the graphics card information in the manner you describe hms_endeavour but I don't find anything matching "the color line".

I got to a box named Display Properties with tabs for Themes, Desktop, Screen Saver, Appearance, and Settings

The only one that had anything about monitor/graphics was Settings

It showed a picture of my monitor with the following info below it....

COMPAQ FP5315 Flat Panel Monitor on Intel(R) 82845G/GL/GE/PE/GV Graphics Controller

nothing mentioning a graphics card here.

I poked around on the Control Panel Menu also and still couldn't find specific info on the graphics card.

System Properties showed:
MS Windows XP Home V2002 Service Pack 2
Compaq Presario Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 2.80GHz 248MB of Ram

It was a new computer 2 years ago but as I saw that Shifter has over 1,000MB Ram I have kind of a sick feeling about mine now.

Would like to still hear what you all have to say about my system and its ability to handle FS-9. I wonder sometimes if I've just learned to live with performance that isn't all that great.

I'm downloading Belarc Advisor and maybe that will help me find the specific info on the graphics card.

Thanks

Pro Member Captain
ARD-DC Captain

this is an on-board graphics controller, they aren't really designed for gaming. Unfortunate, but it's not surprising that FS isn't getting great refresh rates.

On top of that, XP alone requires a minimum of 256 MB RAM. Throw FS9 on top of it, and your PC will probably have trouble coping with the task...

If you're looking for better performance Im afraid you will have to upgrade some of your hardware.

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Thanks ARD-DC... I was kinda worried that was the case. I actually still have a good time with FS9. Just keep the scenery and traffic at the mid settings but occassionally I boost em up when I want to see more.

Guess I'll talk to my local puter shop and get some ideas on upgrading RAM and a graphics card.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

SpiderWings wrote:

..Guess I'll talk to my local puter shop and get some ideas on upgrading RAM and a graphics card.

FWIW I don't think that's a good idea. The folks in the puter shop will tell and sell you anything just to make a buck. You're much better off to do some systematic research yourself and make up your own mind.

System Properties showed:
MS Windows XP Home V2002 Service Pack 2
Compaq Presario Intel(R) Celeron(R) CPU 2.80GHz 248MB of Ram

Some of the more recent Celeron processors are quite capable of running fs9 smoothly if coupled with the right GFX card. But keep in mind that Upgradeparts for your Brand computer (Compaq) will most likely be more expensive than parts for a non-brand computer would be.

IF the nice IT specialists in the PC shop encourage you to upgrade your current system... be sure to keep an eye on the tab as this could turn out to be an expensive exercise.

If you're considering to run FSX sometime in the near future, it might be prudent to leave the piggy bank untouched for the time being and instead splurge out on a new system when circumstances permit. Hack

Very Happy

Pro Member Captain
Steve (SpiderWings) Captain

Tailhook wrote:

....
If you're considering to run FSX sometime in the near future, it might be prudent to leave the piggy bank untouched for the time being and instead splurge out on a new system when circumstances permit. Hack

Very Happy

Those thoughts have gone through my mind for sure. I'm sure I'll eventually want FSX. Not sure if I'll ever be able to afford it though ... considering new computer would be needed. Retired here and haven't found a good Dollar Simulator yet. Laughing

After I start seeing screen shots and hearing y'all talking about it I may have to go back to work! In the meantime, I've still got a lot of ground to cover in FS-9. Who knows... it might outlast me.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

SpiderWings wrote:

Tailhook wrote:

....
If you're considering to run FSX sometime in the near future, it might be prudent to leave the piggy bank untouched for the time being and instead splurge out on a new system when circumstances permit. Hack

Very Happy

Those thoughts have gone through my mind for sure. I'm sure I'll eventually want FSX. Not sure if I'll ever be able to afford it though ... considering new computer would be needed. Retired here and haven't found a good Dollar Simulator yet. Laughing

After I start seeing screen shots and hearing y'all talking about it I may have to go back to work! In the meantime, I've still got a lot of ground to cover in FS-9. Who knows... it might outlast me.

If and when you do get a new computer keep in mind that you can save quite a bit of money if you go the right way about it.

Ignore ads by DELL, HP, Compaq or any other brand computer. It is fair to say that ALL of those are ALWAYS below par even at the time of purchase. To get a halfway decent performance you have to upgrade straight away. They also make you pay for items you don't really need such as outdated software in particular.

The alternative?

The alternative is what most folks seem to be scared of. Build your own or have it custom build for you.
You do the research (which is ABSOLUTELY FREE on the net) and decide which parts /components you want. If you can't find a trustworthy company to build it for you, do it yourself.
In this latter case, I suggest you join a couple of Tech Sites before you start building and sniff around a bit. Come building time, you'll already know which forumites to approach for help should you need it.

If you can manage to have internet access in the same room where you are building your new rig, you'll be safe in the knowledge that help is nearby.

Should you decide to go down that road, and I don't see why not, you'll find that in the end you've spent less money on a more powerful computer compared to having opted for a brand computer.

Good luck! Hack

Very Happy

Pro Member Trainee
john (biello) Trainee

guys i really need some help also. i just recently downloaded flight sim 04. so with that i purchased an ati radeon 9550 agp 256mb graphics card. i bought it off ebay and it came ( new ) with some universal type drivers disk. it has def improved my graphics but quite often ill get a drivers reset where the card is no longer reacting to the drivers according to the message, and also flight sim has been locking u when it never did before on my crappy built in 64mb internal card. i have also since installation of this card, have had my monitor "lose signal" when requires me to turn the whole cpu off and then back on. i know im a noob, but i couldnt locate any new drivers and im at a loss as to how to fix these issues...

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

All I can do is find them. You decide if you want to install them.
http://ati.amd.com/products/radeon9550/index.html

Don't forget to clean out the old drivers and disable your anti-virus before installing.

Radar

Pro Member Trainee
john (biello) Trainee

i thought this was going to be easy radar man. none of those specifically say radeon 9550 drivers. they all say catalyst this and that, im struggling. any idea which one i actully need to get?

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

Silly sounding question I know, but you didn't by any chance fit an AGP card into a PCIe slot?

Pro Member Trainee
john (biello) Trainee

well, im cleaning out my whole system and i think i downloaded the right stuff ( pretty much everything ) off that page you gave me radar. how did you find that i had no luck with yahoo or google, but admittingly i know nothing of software and only limited amounts of hardware

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain
Pro Member Trainee
john (biello) Trainee

ok radarman. i restored my whole system to new. downloaded those drivers. i get into fs2004 and seconds into my flight with default graphical settings, my monitor loses signal and turns off, now ive checked my cables, and this only happens in the game, and since ive installed the card. none of my friends or ati website have been able to help me with this one, any suggestions?>

Pro Member Trainee
knaemald51 Trainee

that really helped my frame rates was installing a fair sound card. This almost completly stopped the annoying stalling and stuttering. It removes the sound load and the cpu and moves it onto a seperate card saving many many cpu cycles. the 75 bucks I spent was well worth it and made the fs9 playable at 30fps with almost total complexity. My video card is only a 128 mb x300 radeon and the game was laboring for many months using the on board sound system. My dell 8400 responded to the sound board by now running fs9 smoothly and fast. Wow. It really made an improvement for me and probably would for anyone with on board sound using the main cpu.

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Glad you have it ok'd now.
On board sound or graphics are the worse thing for FS9 or FSX you have to have a "gaming machine" one that you can change and get individual good upgrades for.

Radar

Pro Member Trainee
john (biello) Trainee

Tailhook wrote:

Silly sounding question I know, but you didn't by any chance fit an AGP card into a PCIe slot?

i bought an agp card and ive got it in the first brown slot. with 3 other white slots below. which is correct based on what i know and have been told...liek i said its very weird, it works but all of a sudden the game will shut doen, or my monitor will shut down and say lost signal

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

biello wrote:

so with that i purchased an ati radeon 9550 agp 256mb graphics card. i bought it off ebay and it came ( new ) with some universal type drivers disk.

This is actually what caught my attention in the first place. There is no such thing as a new computer with an AGP slot. You gotta ask yourself why someone would sell a 'new' computer on e-bay.

Pro Member Trainee
john (biello) Trainee

hey tail hook. i wasnt clear im sorry. i bought a new card off ebay this is my own computer.
i used belarc on it heres what ive got.,,
Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2 (build 2600)
200.03 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
184.80 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space
512 Megabytes Installed Memory
Board: ASUSTek Computer INC. Kelut 2.02
Bus Clock: 200 megahertz
BIOS: Phoenix Technologies, LTD 3.10 07/26/2004
RADEON 9550 [Display adapter]
RADEON 9550 Secondary [Display adapter]
Amtran E17LCD1 [Monitor] (17.1"vis, s/n 26B242803704, July 2004)
Realtek AC'97 Audio for VIA (R) Audio Controller

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

The brown slot is the AGP slot.
Download new drivers to your desktop.
Delete the old drivers and then clean them out.
http://www.drivercleaner.net/professional.php
Go to the device manager and delete the card.
Shut down the computer and be sure the card is seated properly and the power is hooked up to the fan on the card (if it has one).
Reboot.
Windows will recognize your card.
Disable your antivirus and load the new drivers. If you want to load them in safe mode that's best.

Radar

Pro Member Trainee
john (biello) Trainee

ok bro thanks ill give that a shot now. i even tried this in 2002 fs and its shutting that down as well. is this even a decent card? i hope hardware isnt my issue

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

biello wrote:

ok bro thanks ill give that a shot now. i even tried this in 2002 fs and its shutting that down as well. is this even a decent card? i hope hardware isnt my issue

The card can be bad but try this first.

Radar

Pro Member Trainee
john (biello) Trainee

how do i get into device manager? i cant find it anywhere on my cpu. i know i know im a nub,...
edit: nevermind i found it i think i got it all.

Pro Member Trainee
john (biello) Trainee

well, i did everything you told me to. it was fine right up until the hardware wizard installation. it said the software for this device does not pass windows logo test, and wouldnt allow me to continue. so i downloaded them with virusware off from the site you gave me. the resolution changed and the card is installed and running. are there any settings on the card i may need to change? like maybe in the ati catalyst control center?

Pro Member Trainee
john (biello) Trainee

well this officially sucks. flight simulator 2002 runs for about 5 mins then just shuts down and the card stops recieving messages from the drivers and has to restart my computer. im pulling this thing out of my cpu. feels like i wasted $75

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Clean out the drivers, take the card out.
Put the old one back in with drivers for it.
If all is ok then the card is bad.
Go to ATi's site and see if they'll repair it free.

Radar

Pro Member Trainee
john (biello) Trainee

thats what ive done. im gonna load up 2004 again and see if it functionds properly. thank you for all your help. im pretty sure i can do a refund thru ebay with my seller. i really do appreciate total starngers going out of there way to help me with my flight sim issues. thats really cool thanks to all of you. ill keep ya updated when i get a new card!

Pro Member Trainee
john (biello) Trainee

my built in card sucks, but at least it lets me learn the game. one thing im having trouble with is windows and hp automatic updates, whenever one of those pops up it always shuts down the game or freezes it. i tried to turn them off but it doesnt seem to work

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

biello wrote:

my built in card sucks, but at least it lets me learn the game. one thing im having trouble with is windows and hp automatic updates, whenever one of those pops up it always shuts down the game or freezes it. i tried to turn them off but it doesnt seem to work

Try this.

https://flyawaysimulation.com/downloads/files/2948/fsautostart-v11/

Radar

Pro Member Trainee
john (biello) Trainee

ok radarmanm, one last set of issues. everything works fine except for an occasional hiccup. the sim will stop running, and ill get a message that says out of range with a black blank screen. then i have to restart the computer to get going again. any ideas why that happens?

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