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FSX not performing well.. Please help! Newbie

Pro Member First Officer
Michaelvg1 First Officer

Hello everyone. I am a newbie.
I just picked up FSX this weekend and having a blast. I have always been a fan of aviation and been flying large scale RC planes for many years. I knew I could never use FSX with my old computer so I waited till the perfect time and recently purchased a HP.. I got a great deal through my company.

I customized it with the following:
HP Pavilion Slimline s7700y series
Windows vista home premium
Intel core 2 duo processor T5200 (1.6GHz)
1GB
250 Gig Hard drive
lightscribe DVD
128MB NVIDIA Gforce 7350LE

I hope this is enough info for you to give me a recommendation...

I have not changed anything on the system and immediately began using FSX. It's great except for the following.

1. Sometimes it pauses for a second or two, sound stays on, and then resumes.
2. When I switch views it takes a while. Sometimes the screen is blank and the image ❓ finally appears....
3. I guess the performance is not all what I expected.

Am I asking for too much? I thought I got a really good system to handle such a simulator...

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Do I need to change the vid card settings within the system? Is there anything to change on the program itself? OR should I just call HP and ask them?

Thanks
Michael

24 Responses

Pro Member First Officer
GoodisonBlue First Officer

FSX has very high demands unfortunatly

Ideally, you need a 512mb graphics card as minimum and 2GB ram

Pro Member First Officer
Michaelvg1 First Officer

OK. Thanks...
I'm not about to send this thing back to HP and wait a month for them to return it. I don't have the old computer anymore. If I have to spend some extra money I will. I guess my question is whether or not this is easy to do. HP has instructions for the Desktop on line. I guess I can go buy a more powerful card for now....

However. Until I do this, what type of settings do you have on the graphics card. res.. etc. 1024.... 1200 whatever?

Pro Member Trainee
Dorianee Trainee

i have a really good solution....isntead of playing fsx with really crappy graphics and framerates.....if u have fs2004 just go back to it and play it with good framerates and graphics........yes fsx is better.....but if its really that bad you should go bak 1 version

Pro Member First Officer
Michaelvg1 First Officer

It's not that bad. I never had 2004 so I don't know what that would look like...
What ubout going from 128 to 256?

Pro Member First Officer
JLangevin First Officer

Do not get fooled by the previous post... the amount of graphics memory is not indicative of the PERFORMANCE of the card. For instance... When I first got FSX, I owned an ATI X1300 with 512mb... The performance was very poor. I then looked at benchmark tests and decided the best bang for the buck upgrade was the 7600GTKO and now get amazing FPS. My FPS in every game I own is outstanding(avg of 99+), and I get over 20fps in FSX with ALL visual set to max.

My system is fairly tame compared to many on here, and there are VERY minimal differences between me and them. This is the fault of Microsoft, not the system.

Myt suggestion to you would be to find out if your card is PCI-E, if not, you are very limited in performance, if you DO have PCI-E, then upgrade to the 7600GTKO 256mb, they are <$130. I would also upgrade your memory. I dont know how fast your memory is since you didnt post, but get at least 2 gig of 667 DDR2.

I hope this helps. Also, look into the graphics tweaks and downloads, these will help a lot.

Pro Member First Officer
Michaelvg1 First Officer

Here is my setup....
HP Pavilion Slimline s7700y series
Windows vista home premium
Intel core 2 duo processor T5200 (1.6GHz)
1GB
250 Gig Hard drive
lightscribe DVD
128MB NVIDIA Gforce 7350LE

I do have a unused PCI slot in the back. So I guess I can upgrade. I am going to try the tweaks first. Someone mentioned that when not using any programs CPU usage is 52%. Mine does that?

My other question is this. The original Card in integrated into the motherboard. I have the media version of Vista so if I wanted to I can record TV and it has DD sound. If I use the expansion slot I have to turn off the integrated card through BIOS or something like that. Will the Media features still work if I ever use them? Will the external speaker plugs in the back of the machine work?

Pro Member First Officer
JLangevin First Officer

Changing the card will not effect the use of your Media center. It will probably make it more enjoyable. Definintly turn off the onboard video if you aren not using it. As mentioned, this is controlled through bios.

When I said PCI-E, I meant PCI-Express, not PCI-Expansion. You will need to see if you have an actual PCI-Express slot to determine whether or not you can buy an PCIE card. PCI-E is the fastest interface for graphics to date.

When it comes to CPU usage, I make sure all processes not being used are turned off. I do this through task manager, but I do not know how Vista controls this. I do not plan on upgrading to Vista. I have noticed that my CPU's do show an average of 50% usage. This is considered fairly low and others have wondered why the sim isnt using more when its available. Make sure all programs and spyware/anti virus ware is turned off when using the sim.

Also, UPGRADE THE MEMORY! Get the fastest memory you can afford, and as much of it as possible. I have noticed that FSX uses on average 900mb of mem when flying!!!! So nearly a gig of mem can go to FSX... thats practicaly your entire availability! That is why you see black screens, pausing, etc... I had 1 gig when I first got FSX and noticed the same thing... I even noticed when I went to shut down the sim, that I would have to wait a min or two before I could do anything on the PC after it shut down... with 2 gig, that has all dissapeared.

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

If that card is integrated then it's taking memory from the 1 gig you have.
Then you do need 2 gigs at the minimum, 3 would be ideal.

PCI cards are very old and fairly useless in today's computing.
The last good cards were AGP and now everyone is using PCIe, as the man said that's now the best to have.

Radar

Pro Member First Officer
Michaelvg1 First Officer

Ok. I do have a PCI Express. Just looked it up... So that's good. I just had the computer customized so I'm not surprised.

As far as the memory is concerned it has 2 512 dual channel memory. Whats the best way and cheapest to upgrade to 2GB?
Is it easy to switch?

Pro Member First Officer
JLangevin First Officer

You are on the right path, take out a stick of your memory... or check them both for that matter, see if they are matched... Then, look at the specs on the stick... Find out if its PC-3400, PC-4200, PC-6400 etc... then, go down to your local PC Store and buy two more stick of the same spec, get the same brand if its available.

Then put the other two sticks in the vacant mem slots... granted you have 4 slots in 2 channel configuration.

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Run the app at www.crucial.com and it'll tell you exactly what memory you have to buy.
I believe it will also tell you how many empty slots you have.

Radar

Pro Member First Officer
JLangevin First Officer

Nice find RadarMan, I didnt know they had that, and I even use Crucial Memory, lol.

Pro Member First Officer
Michaelvg1 First Officer
Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

JLangevin wrote:

Nice find RadarMan, I didnt know they had that, and I even use Crucial Memory, lol.

Very cool idea and fool proof. Depending where you live you can check the local stores for good prices.

Radar

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Michaelvg1 wrote:

It appears as if I only have 2 512 slots...
See this link...
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c00783647&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&os=2093&product=3369445&lang=en

The only thing you can do is get 2 1 gig and try to sell the 2 512's you have.

Radar

Pro Member First Officer
JLangevin First Officer

I just ran it, however, it did not tell me the manufactuer or speed of the memory... I am on a laptop at work, but shouldnt that information be given?

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

JLangevin wrote:

I just ran it, however, it did not tell me the manufactuer or speed of the memory... I am on a laptop at work, but shouldnt that information be given?

It's reading the computer your on.

Radar

Pro Member First Officer
Michaelvg1 First Officer

Can I replace one for now to make it 1.5?

Pro Member First Officer
Michaelvg1 First Officer

Is it as easy as unluging the computer opening the case up pulling out the memory stick and putting a new one in then turning it back on?
Or do I have to reprogram anything?

Pro Member First Officer
JLangevin First Officer

I know it is reading the computer I am on, however, it does not give the speed of the memory.. It tells me I am using 2 slots of 4, and my processor information, but not memory specs.

Pro Member First Officer
Michaelvg1 First Officer

Well. I ran a crucial analysis, but my computer is too new for them to provide a suggested memory stick. I called HP directly and got the product number. I will receive the 2GB this weekend. I will have two 512s if anyone is interested in buying.
I hope this helps.

Even the HP tech guy said the recommended 1GB to handle Vista is not enough.

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Michaelvg1 wrote:

Well. I ran a crucial analysis, but my computer is too new for them to provide a suggested memory stick. I called HP directly and got the product number. I will receive the 2GB this weekend. I will have two 512s if anyone is interested in buying.
I hope this helps.

Even the HP tech guy said the recommended 1GB to handle Vista is not enough.

I don't know where you live but call some small stores (privately owned) and ask them if they'll buy it.

If you sell on eBay you could do it there.

Radar

Pro Member First Officer
Michaelvg1 First Officer

One last note...
I must say after tweaking my system last night, it performs much better. Now I am not sure I even want the extra gig.
I found that you can advance tweak the software itself by changing the expected FPS and resolution of the screen which was wrong to begin with.
I also brought down the quality to high instead of Ultra. It works great. No delay, no pauses and no blank screens.
Now I just have to decide if I want to return the memory or keep it.
what do you think?

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Michaelvg1 wrote:

One last note...
I must say after tweaking my system last night, it performs much better. Now I am not sure I even want the extra gig.
I found that you can advance tweak the software itself by changing the expected FPS and resolution of the screen which was wrong to begin with.
I also brought down the quality to high instead of Ultra. It works great. No delay, no pauses and no blank screens.
Now I just have to decide if I want to return the memory or keep it.
what do you think?

Your never going to max it out (at this point no computer can) but you try to come as close as possible.
I always feel that you can't have enough ram.

Radar

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