FSX: More than 4 Cores?
- Comment from Juan on FSBreak 8 about FSX and multicore. [Link]
- Phil Taylor is quoted saying that "FSX will scale up to 256 cores".
Does FSX use 8 cores? CAN FSX use 8 cores? Quoting an article from Phil Taylor in 2007 about FSX's multi-core capabilities:
Today Intel announced their new 2.93G QX6800 Quad Core processor. As part of this press release, Aces Studio participated with a quote about our improved multi-core support in SP1. The quote stated “The latest version of Microsoft Flight Simulator* X, Service Pack One (SP1), due out later this month, is a great match for the extreme multi-core processing delivered by the new Intel Core 2 Extreme quad-core processor” “Flight Sim X SP1 greatly increases multicore utilization and will scale as more threads are available leading to reduced load times as well as frame rate improvements and greater visual complexity during flight. The Flight Simulator team at Microsoft is pleased to work with Intel to provide our end users with a great gaming experience." Our multi-core support will take advantage of both 2 and 4 cores today, and more cores in the future when they become available via a config setting. This is for both Intel and AMD processors. At render time, we run the terrain texture synthesis on threads across the cores. During flight on multi-core machines, as terrain and terrain textures are loaded you will notice significant multi-core usage. As all tiles are loaded, the multi-core usage will fall off, this is expected. As the terrain is re-lit, approximately every minute, you will see multi-core usage increase. As you bank and load terrain tiles, or as you fly forward and force a load of more terrain tiles, you will see the multi-core usage increase.
Note - hyperthreaded is not multi-core. Our current plan is to treat HT machines as single-core since we noticed extensive collisions between threads which caused stutters.
You can find the article here [Link].
- This article was written in April 2007, and since then FSX SP2 has been released.
- Here is an important bit of information: The new Core i7 It is a physical 4 core CPU, with 4 logical cores - Otherwise known as hyperthreading, which makes it look like 8 cores to the OS.
- Since the release of SP2, the "Not Using Hyperthreading" statement could be false.
Tweak FSX for 8 Threads
As it turns out, some members are able to 'unlock' all 8 'cores' (or all 8 threads) by making some changes to the FSX.cfg file.
- Change the "AffinityMask" entry to "AffinityMask=255" if you are a core i7 user, there are reports that this may help with the problem.
- You can also set it to 254 to leave 1 core free for programs other than FSX that require CPU, such as TrackIR, etc.
- Members report that using AffinityMask=255 helps with loading speed, but not in game stuttering!
- Members on AVsim report the the method that BEST helps stuttering & FPS is AffinityMask=15, With hyperthreading off.
Flight Sim Bloggers Network
The Flight Sim Bloggers Network (FSBN) is a Network of bloggers dedicated to flight simulation. They currently have over 15 blogs in the Network, covering all aspects of flight simulation. The Network gathers all the news items posted by every member, so they can build up a huge resource of available articles, searchable on any blog in the Network.
- The number of blogs and websites involved produces dozens of (mostly) FS related news articles every day, this can include new products, new services, and even tips, tweaks, and hacks for FS.
- You can even subscribe to the single RSS feed for ALL of the websites, or follow them on twitter.
- They are also looking for more blogs to join the network, and all platforms such as MSFS, X-Plane, FlightGear, and other flight sims are welcome.
You can find the FSBN here. [Link]
New Freeware Chilliwack (CYCW) Airport Released
- The Chilliwack Municipal Airport (CYCW) is home to approximately 75 private and commercial aircraft, including both fixed wing and helicopters.
- There are over 20 businesses at the airport including: flight training schools, charter companies: both fixed wing and helicopter, aircraft paint and maintenance shops, as well as, other assorted aviation oriented businesses.
- They also boast a fine eatery: “The Airport Coffee Shop” and their famous pies. Chilliwack Airport is well known to B.C. aviators as one of the most attractive airports in the province. It is a showpiece for the community”.
X-Plane 9.3 Beta 6
- Track-IR should run smoother.
- Prop-sync command fixed
- Nosewheel tiller should have a 10% nullzone
- Tweaking on thrust reverse joystick axis, they say that it should behave more like a real airliner.
- Various ‘throttle with pitch, roll and yaw’ options, as you can set in Plane-Maker, now work for engines offset at any angle.
- New commands and other bug fixes.
Animated FS2004 Traffic in Germany
Gerd from Germany reports that he has published his freeware 'Car Traffic' for FS2004. The program will add animated traffic to the highways and main roads in Germany, much like you see by default in FSX these days. See their website for more information [Link], also see the original article on SimFlight. [Link]
Air Hauler Download Now Released
The download version of Air Hauler has been released at the price of $36.99 USD. CD Rom versions will follow soon in April. Air Hauler is the air freight management game that uses FS to fly the flights, similar to Cargo Pilot - more information on Air Hauler check the show notes or check out FSBreak Episode 5. JustFlight [Link], or FSBreak 5 [Link].
PilotShop TV Returns
Pilot Shop TV is back with an all-new episode featuring products from Saitek, FScene, A2A Simulations and more! Plus see how FlightSim.Com and the FlightSim Pilot Shop helped change the life of a deserving young flight simmer and aviation enthusiast.
Pilot Shop TV [Link]
Wilco Tilt Rotor Updated
Wilco Publishing just released new features and improvements to its revolutionary Tilt Rotor aircraft. This upgrade represents the single most important improvement in replicating real-world VTOL conversion/transitional flight on a PC-based flight simulator, adding a more accurate “FLY-BY-WIRE” simulation.
Also, Tilt Rotor now sells at 29.95 Eur. Customers who have purchased Tilt Rotor at its original price have received a 10 Eur discount on their future purchase. [Link]
This week we interviewed Josh from The Flying Dukes formation team! [Link]
Eric: http://www.simtips.com - FS Tips & Tweaks.
Adam: JustFlight PA 28 Archer [Link]
Nolan: IL 2 Simulator [Link]
Brenden: BluePrint Simulations KMCO Orlando [Link]
A Quick Suggestion
They sould do there shows on vatsim and there would be no worrys about the connetion speed.
This listener is suggestion to the FSX Thunderbirds team to use Vatsim instead of a self hosted server.
Juan has a correction
I'm a Checkpilot for United Virtual. I heard your last podcast and I'd like to comment on it. When flying for UVA you are not required to fly online at all. We do encourage people to do so, but flights flown offline do get registered and they're valid for category hours. Moreover, we're hosting training sessions from time to time in TeamSpeak where Checkpilots and pilots gather to solve questions. The forum is also open for any question. New pilots are always welcome. Looking forward to your next episode, Juan
A Great Tool from Allan
I have a tip I think many will find useful. It's something that I looked for over a longer period of time and was hard to find, so I can imagine many others don't know about this great little tool either. It is little piece of software called HidMacros, made by Petr Medek, available at http://hidmacros.medek.info/ . It is a freeware program (with an option to donate a little to support the developer) that let's you modify the command of each key on your keyboard - but best of all, it lets you attach multiple keyboards (or mice!) which you can then program INDIVIDUALLY. You can program the command for every single key. So you could have one keyboard with all the radio buttons and knobs, another keyboard for controlling the auto-pilot, an extra mouse with a wheel for adjusting altitude setting on the auto-pilot etc. So basically, this program will enable you have a lot more buttons available for controlling your aircraft - without buying expensive hardware panels. And if you fly advanced aircraft that will make it so much easier and quicker than remembering and using complex key combinations and mouse operations. You could even have different configurations for different types of aircraft if you wanted to. For each key, or mouse button, or mouse wheel scroll you are able to either send either a series of keystrokes, send a command to FSX via the SimConnect API (all the commands are available at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc526980.aspx), or you can launch an application. The SimConnect commands I guess are FSX only, but for FS2004 I guess you just use keystrokes instead. He says: I have taken an old keyboard which I'm using for flying FSX. I'm not fully done with it yet, but I'm attaching a picture of it [Which you can find in the show notes] which you are free to publish as an example if you want. It works beautifully and I use it religiously. Trying to fly realistically I simply do not have the time to switch back and forth between screens and finding the little knob with the mouse before I can finally click the command. There is really a great difference between that, and then just hitting a single key stroke - it saves a lot of valuable time. This is actually something that might also help those people who would like to switch to X Plane but don't want to relearn all the keyboard shortcuts - a concern that several people expressed through your podcast. Using this they could probably (I don't have X Plane so I don't know how it works) make a keyboard configuration for X Plane that is similar to what they know from their MS Flight sim! It doesn't support key combinations though, eg. like Shift-3, only single keystrokes. But I think it could ease the switch tremendously. Furthermore, HidMacros is not a FS specific application but can be used for anything on the computer where you would like to have some more buttons or shortcuts available
Andre owns an academy
This is a forum devoted to FS questions. It features sections for painting, modeling, panels, scenery, and sound. It also has general chat and more.
It is Flight Sim Academy, the url is http://www.flightsimacademy.com