Sunday, January 01, 2012

Unveiling a new level of flying


















The last time I bought a new computer, I did it in part because I wanted to experience better performance from my flight simulator software. That software is Microsoft Flight Simulator X. After I bought my latest computer system, which I made sure had a fairly decent graphics card, I installed all my necessary software and eventually got around to the flight simulator. Who am I kidding - it was practically one of the first 5 programs I threw on.

Now, I expected that because Microsoft knows what they are doing (yeah, go ahead and laugh), the game would have detected my superior hardware and configured itself accordingly. It did not. I tweaked the settings higher (but not too much - I didn't want to overwhelm the machine) and was sort of satisfied at the performance. Little did I know that I was being fooled. Completely.

Fast forward to this week. I did a graphic card driver update. The end result was that MS Flight Sim X took it upon itself to downgrade my settings. A lot of them. Like... what? Now I was getting performance similar (or at least reminiscent) of what things were like with my old computer. Suckville. So I did a little digging online.

It turns out that in fact, Microsoft has no clue how to configure itself on a particular machine. Especially if that machine is not equipped with an nVidia graphics card. It seems that ATI is a freaking enigma to the boys in Redmond, so they don't bother to auto-tweak the settings to anything even close to the level that the computer can perform at. Read a few articles, changed a few key settings and cranked everything up to the max, save for the traffic settings.

Holy anti-aliasing! I have been playing under a rock. Now it's like watching me fly an aircraft in an HD movie. I have literally wasted at least a whole year flying stuff at crappy quality. Thanks Microsoft......

6 comments:

EDI said...

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Karl Plesz said...

That's really helpful.. thanks.

Retro Blog said...

well think of it as a pretty darn good anti-terrorist program, go ahead let the terrorist pilots lean to fly on crappy software.

Karl Plesz said...

LOL. You know, that almost makes sense. Except that I think a terrorist would be calling up his homeboyz in Yemen and saying "Yo' Ahmed, something's up with this flight sim software. Do I need to do anything special to run it better?" And Ahmed would be giving him all kinds of tune-up tips for the program. Damned smart those terrorists..... Well, except for the ones with the jiffy pop shoes...

carlae said...

Perhaps you should should work there. We don't live far from their campus and our house is for sale. I'm just sayin.

Lance Vartanian said...

nVidia is actually the best video card on the market, so it’s better if a new Microsoft computer already has one in it. Glad you found a way around your issues and are now navigating the artificial skies as realistically as you want! Up, up and away, haha!