Just Getting Started

Pro Member Trainee
redstone Trainee

Fiinially have time to set up after purchasing FS2004 and Logitech Freedom 2.4 Joystick some time ago.
I am running MS Windows XP Home Edition, with 795 MHz AMD Duron processor, with 256 MB ram, and a 256 MB BFG GeForce FX 5500 video card.

Problem #1 MS windows recognizes new hardware (joystick). However when the MS windows test screen pops up, nothing happens no matter what I do with joystick- have updated Logitech drivers for joystick. I this this thing defective or have I overlooked something?

Problem #2 FS program runs very slow on my computer. video frames frequently lock up. I suspect I need to upgrade my processor- I am not sure. Does anyone have suggestions for good up-grade (if that is what I need) at a reasonable price?

Thanks for any suggestions

9 Responses

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Your way underpowered (CPU) and you should have 512mb ram, XP is using 128mb so that doesn't leave much for the sim and for all the programs running in the background eating up memory.

It will run slow even if you have it at the default settings.
Shut off water, traffic, shadows and keep clouds as low as possible.
Keep the scenery and autogen slides at the center or a bit to the left.
If you hit "shift+Z" two or three times you'll get two red lines of information at the top of the screen, the bottom line will tell you how many FPS (Frames Per Second) that you are getting and what you have it locked at.
That's what causing the stuttering of your aircraft.
Go into settings and lock it at 27. I doubt that you will reach that near any scenery.

Go into settings (in the sim) and set the joystick, see if that works.

Let us know how you do.


Pro Member Trainee
redstone Trainee

Thanks for your reply. FS 2004 working great (for my underpowered computer)

Re: FS2004 options. I have shut down or minimized mentioned items (most of them were already minimal). The biggest change resulted from changing the the FPS from 15 to 27.

Re: Logitech Freedom 2.4 Joy Stick. The joystick didn't set up in FS2004 either. Contacted Logitech and found out that had to be synchronized with the Logitech software and I was using the wrong procedure.

Re: Underpowered Computer Short term I will be adding ram to the computer. Otherwise looking to add a 2nd computer to the home anyway. If I pick up a Pentium 4 w/ 2.5-3.0 gHz, will my existing 256 MB BFG GeForce FX 5500 video card work well with that or does it become the weak link? Should the video card be upgraded too? What other features should I look at ( in terms of improving FS2004 performance) while shopping for a new computer?

Thanks. I appreciate your support.

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Glad to hear about the simple fix to the stick, saves $ there.
If you get a 3gig you'll have a very nice machine and will enjoy the sim much more than now.
You should get at a minimum 1 gig memory and a new video card. The one you have is old and can't "carry" the graphic heavy flight sim.
If you are going to upgrade to a nice CPU like that take the rest of the machine into the next century with it.

Let us know how you do, good luck and enjoy! 👍


Pro Member Trainee
redstone Trainee

I have a new machine- Pentium 4 w/ 3 gig processor, LGA775, Intell MB 915 Chip Set w/ 1 gig of ram @ 533 mhz. to be exact. My graphics card is a RadonX300 series- 16X Express PCI w/ 128 mg ram. Now I was assured the graphics set up would be more than enough to run FS2004. I could have got the same card w/ 256 mg ram. FS2004 does run great. with all settings maxed or near maxed out it runs well most of the time. Sometimes I start to get some "frame hesitation" where each frame momentarily locks up. The frame rate is set at 34 fps. Would a different frame rate improve this situation, or should I go back and get the 256 mg card? Otherwise I am enjoying the flying- can't believe the level of detail on the ground below.

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Nice setup but I would get the 256 card if you have the $ £ € now. you'll get better FPS now but you will need it for the next version if it be this year or next.

Setting at 34 is fine, you can even set it back to 30 but the detail must be beautiful. The slight hesitation is coming from the graphic heavy areas or the cloud slide is to high.

I hope you left some sockets open so you can add more memory for next time, you can even use another gig now. The scenery (textures) will render faster not "pop-up" like some in the distance are doing.
Make sure that you have at least a 450w minimum power supply, a major brand like Antec and keep the machine cool and clear of dust, the fans will pick up plenty.

Good luck with the machine and enjoy.


Pro Member Trainee
redstone Trainee

Hi Radar,
I now have 2 gigs of ram and went with a MSI RX300-TS256E Video Card. I don't know how good this card is (relatively inexpensive). I can
not tell much difference between this and the 128 card. Still have some questions in mind.

1. What is the significance of having a min 450 watt power supply? What happens if you don't? At the moment, I don't know what mine is (I doubt if it is 450 watt).

2. I don't understand how this frame rate setting works. With the new card, I noticed that the frame rate operating range appears to have dropped to about 2-15 fps, from 10-30 fps. The lower frame rate is consistant now matter what frame rate I lock in, ie 35 fps vs 15 fps. Also I noticed that at a low frame rate of say 2 fps (ie when taxing or viewing out the side window), I get a jercky hesitation effect (as before)- there seems no way to regulate this except... see item 3.

3 All of my display settings are max- and lowering the cloud slide (as you mentioned in your last post) doesn't seem to have much effect. However reducing all settings to medium greatly reduces the problem but not totally. I was hoping I could run the FS on max settings with the new computer- but maybe not?? Whats going on here? power supply, video card? or other? 😕

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Everything in your computer uses power, some high end video cards need a 480W. Figure that each item in your machine takes something away from the p/s, if you have too much the machine will not let everything run up to it's potential.
You can by a no brand 600w and it could be equal to a branded 400w that's why I suggested Antec, they are one of the best.
I know there are other good ones but maybe someone else can name some. I don't want to just guess.

As for your video card it's at the low end of the 256mb cards that are out today as you see by those links I gave you to Tomshardware.
With a weak video card you'll get low FPS and won't be able to have your other sliders high or even maxed out.

Unfortunately MS builds this sim to need more computer than you can the time of release.
Now you can get parts for it that will run this graphic intensive software.

To get the sim to run smoothly as it is now you have to turn down the settings that use the most from your video card, that and probably the p/s are the weak links in your machine.
Fans (cheap) are important, you build up heat with a good CPU such as yours, and you have to keep it clean and clear of dust inside, especially the CPU fan, the dust "cakes" up between the fins.
A $10-$20 fan in the rear of the case is a huge help, one in the front would be great,
2 gigs of ram are excellent.

More to think about.


Pro Member Trainee
redstone Trainee

I am thinking of getting a ATI Radeon 9800Pro 256MB DDR2 256-bit, DVI/TV-Out, 8X AGP by Sapphire 😀 . I found new ones for sale on e-bay for about $195. In order to utilize my new CPU, I looked for a 16x PCI Express interface but could not find one. Do they make such a product? Otherwise, I am looking at a 480 watt atec P/S which I gather would be adequate. I am wondering if I should wait for next year after reading you posted comment to tomthetank June 19, 2005, "Too much is happening to go and spend a bundle $$$$$ on a system that will be obsolete in one year." Seems as though new market entries are not settled out yet. 😕

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

If the card you now have is doing the job I would keep it and wait. Getting a bigger p/s is always a good idea.
That's a very good price on that card if it is a 256 documented, they had some problems a while back with marking the cards.
I don't remember exactly what it was.

What I said I mean for me, if it applies to you... Dont Know


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