Have a G-Force FX Video Card? If you do then the questions about what the best settings are to this slightly confusing interface might be nagging at you. If you use FS-9, setting up the video card can be a very important step in getting the best performance without sacrificing too much graphic goodness. First of all let me begin by saying that this is certainly NOT the definitive guide for setting up your video settings.
There are many factors that determine your graphic performance including CPU speed, type and speed of your Hard Disk, sound card latency, and many other factors. Let me make this recommendation: Update all your drivers! Update your chipset, BIOS, and sound drivers, including firmware updates for your hard drive and optical drives. Don’t forget your monitor! What hardware do I have you ask? There is a handy little tool available on the net called AIDA-32 that will seek out all your hardware and give you links to the manufacturer websites or driver update pages. Update your Direct-X to the latest version 9.0b. That said lets move on.
These first two settings in the interface are pretty self explanatory. I recommend using your monitor settings to adjust the position of the window on the screen, just let your monitor warm up for at least thirty minutes before making these adjustments. The second screen on the right lets you set the timing formula. Unless you have a ten year old monitor, I recommend you let windows select the correct timing or set GTF or General Timing Formula.
Digital Vibrance? Unless you work with a lot of photos or video, I recommend the default settings for this interface panel (upper left). The next interface panel (top right) gets us into the heart of the settings most important to FS-9. As far as image settings go, I use the quality settings. Although what this means as far as which settings are affected is a mystery, the performance or quality settings seem to be the best for FS-9.
The High Performance setting seems to detract considerably from the graphics, but is the best setting for slower machines. I recommend leaving antialiasing, and anisotropic filtering to application control. If you tweak the settings in FS-9, you will override them if you change these settings. A good example would be enabling tri-linear filtering in the game.
Antialiasing: This setting smooths out the edges of polygons, resulting in a cleaner appearance of the shape. There are several different ways to accomplish antialiasing, and each affects performance differently. ATI uses allied supersampling in both 2X and 4X modes. Nvidia uses allied supersampling in both 2X and 4X modes, and multisampling in Quincunx mode.
Anisotropic filtering: This setting filters textures to make the depth blur look cleaner and clearer from any angle. It is a step above tri-linear filtering. There are varying degrees of anisotropic filtering, namely 2X (16 tap), 4X (32 tap), and 8X (64 tap) filtering.
If you have a speedy CPU, and a good Video card (FX 5200 or above), I recommend best image quality in the mipmap detail level (top left). Experiment with this setting to see which works best for you. As far as Fog Table Emulation, again it depends on how potent your computer is. Here is a good definition of what Fog Table does:
Fog table emulation (Volumetric fog): This setting allows the video card to render fog, smoke and mists in individual polygons, instead of flat textures.
· Image Quality: Fog table emulation will definitely improve your image quality, by making fog, smoke and mists appear in 3D.
· Performance: Fog table emulation can decrease your performance substantially, depending on the amount of fog, smoke and mists being rendered in the same scene at the same time. FS-9 uses plenty of this.
You do have an AGP graphics card don’t you? If you do then don’t worry about how much memory to dedicate to PCI mode.
(top right) any more than three frames ahead and I start to experience loss of control with my joystick. Experiment with these settings as well.
(top left) use the settings shown here for the best performance for FS-9.
(top right) did you know you can over clock your nvidia graphics GPU? Well you can! A note of caution however DO NOT OVERCLOC UNLESS YOU HAVE SUFFICIENT COOLING! Over clocking on any scale can damage your card for good, not to mention void the warranty.
Use caution and if you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about here then don’t even attempt it. FSPlanet and myself take zero responsibility if you fry your card.
Comfy with the warning? Then read on… First off, get a descent card cooler such as a cooler master dual fan unit.
This handy fan sits directly over the PCI slots and helps to cool your GPU as well. That done go into the window registry and a DWORD value called Coolbits to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/NVIDIA Corporation/NVTweak. Set the value to 3.
Go back to the GUI and enable the over clocking feature and restart your machine. Next set the dropdown to Performance 3D. Slowly increase the values by 5, test the settings and apply. Run FS-9 and see how it performs looking for glitches and stability issues. Repeat this step until you are comfortable with the settings. I personally do not recommend going any higher with the settings shown above (top right) unless you have liquid cooling.
Monitor refresh rate (top left) is important to avoid eye strain and headaches. 75Hz is a good refresh rate that helps with eye strain and won’t fry your monitor.
I use the override in FS-9 to keep my rate at 75Hz. Just make sure you use the same screen resolution as the one you use in FS-9 . The GUI panel (top right) here is pretty self explanatory. If you have an FX card then it should have no problem displaying 32 bit color. Screen resolution and refresh rate are personal preference.
If you do any over clocking, keep an eye on this handy GUI panel. I recommend checking the warn me box just in case. If you notice your temps climbing into the yellow after a few flights in FS-9 it’s time to tune it down a few notches. This panel also helps to see if any machine could use some extra cooling. Keep that bar in the green!