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Mathijs Kok

Should I shut down applications before starting FS?

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It has long been a adage that you should close as many applications before starting FS (certainly FSX). I never believed this and I never did. But yesterday I decide to put it to the test.

The first thing I did after I started my computer was to start FSX and get the average fps for a location I know pretty well.

post-43-0-24544800-1319040637_thumb.jpg

You'll see I get 57.5 fps average (left standing for 10 minutes to stabilize) in the Wilga on Corfu. Just what I expect. Settings are all pretty high, but that does not matter a lot. FPS spread (indicating fluctuations and stutters) are under 3%, no problem what so ever there.


Fast forward 10 hours. In these 10 hours I worked as normal but I never closed any window or document. Dozens of sites open in Firefox, at least 20 documents in Word, two large image sin PhotoShop (one over 5 gb large), PowerPoint presentations, XLS spreadsheets (one with all sales of this year, so rather large). To be short, I estimate over 30 Gb of applications and data. Windows 7 did not care, all was as smooth as always. Memory management in W7/64 is very smooth. So now lets start FSX, let is settle for a while and see what the average fps is.

post-43-0-30642100-1319041339_thumb.jpg

54.4 fps average and the spread is the same at 2.9. Now I believe the drop in fps could just as well be an increase, the difference is too small to take serious. And just look at the amount of applications that are open at the bottom. That's a full day of work for me. Now my machine has 8 Gb of memory and around 10:00 I was maxed out and Windows was swapping memory to disk as expected. If I would have had 32 Gb it would have happened later but still it would be the same.

So, at least on my system, closing applications and services before using FSX makes no difference.

Just as I expected and it just shows that W7/64 is one kick ass operating system.

If you want to shut down apps or even reboot your computer before starting FS feel free to do so. But I think you will find exactly the same results as I found as long as you run Vista/64 or W7/64. On XP and on 32 bit versions of Windows things might be different.

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Noticed the same. The only applications that caused a drop in fps where:

- AV programs, but can be resolved by putting them to sleep

- programs like boinc (scientific calculation)

- newsticker running in the background

- other scheduled processes like backup, defrag, that take a certain amount of CPU-time (hihgh priority) and/or access the disk(s) heavily

So the only thing you should IMHO do is to check, whether there are programs, that might start running while using the flightsimulator and have a high priority.

I had no problems with Adobe's Lightroom opened in the background and eating a lot of RAM or Firefox, because they just keep quiet as long as FSX is running.

This fits to 64bit versions of Windows. 32bit versions with typically 4GB RAM tend to have a memory problem and in this case it is recommended to shut down all unnecessary programs and even services, to free up RAM. Very helpfull in this case is a tool called alacrityPC. It helped me to set free up to 300MB, resulting in much less OOMs. But since Win7 64Bit I never had a OOM again.

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An antivirus program (should) only do something when files are accessed in a process for the first time. So while it might slow down loading files it should not play any role when all files are loaded. I can absolutely see no influence in fps with or without that running. And the loading issue is solved by telling you AV not to scan the FS folder.

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Definitely FSX will starve those other applications once its in Full Screen. I really like how Windows 8 is setup you can be working on one application fullsceen but you'll get pop up notifications from other tasks when they complete.

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I suspect that FSX ( and other games ) suffers if I have Firefox web browser open. Can't be absolutely 100% certain, but that's the impression I get.

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I suspect that FSX ( and other games ) suffers if I have Firefox web browser open. Can't be absolutely 100% certain, but that's the impression I get.

Not here... in the images I showed I had dozens of browser windows loaded. Now that takes a hell of a lot of memory, but when FSX needs it, the OS will send that to the background. FF just loaded in memory takes next to no CPU cycles.

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Not here... in the images I showed I had dozens of browser windows loaded. Now that takes a hell of a lot of memory, but when FSX needs it, the OS will send that to the background. FF just loaded in memory takes next to no CPU cycles.

Aye Mathijs, you're probably right - its just the impression I got. Thinking about it further, there's no impact on FSX when I have Plan G flight planner running, and thats connected to Google Earth. I'm probably talking out me a**e again. :unsure:

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I suspect that FSX ( and other games ) suffers if I have Firefox web browser open. Can't be absolutely 100% certain, but that's the impression I get.

In general, things should behave as Mathijs has tested and demonstrated, particularly under Win 7. However there's always the odd chance that if you happened to be viewing a web page where the developer has employed some rather lack luster usage of things like like the JavaScript periodical timer, or some weird resource hungry embedded FLash video ticker, these might by chance chew a few too many cpu cycles than they rightly should, and hence have a minor impact on your games FPS, given FSX is still fairly CPU dependant. This would be the rare exception to the rule though.

Normally your biggest lags will come from page memory swap outs, or texture cycling from your video card memory, which comes as a result of not enough memory free to accomodate all running systems or high res textures. This is generally only momentary and in relatively short bursts, and will be worse on systems with lower amounts of RAM and/or video memory, and particularly with hard drives of slower RPM where the OS and/or app share the drive with the page/swap file (hence why laptops generally suffer worse in this area). This is really where the close all apps before running games mentality tended to stem from (back in Windows 95 and 98 days), where back in the olden days where Windows was very bad at managing it's paged memory you would try to empty as much RAM as you could to reduce the chance of it paging to disk. As Mathijs shows though, things have definitely changed.

Testing is the only way you can really tell for your own system though, you just need to make sure your testing conditions are controlled in your game, i.e. no traffic, same location and weather etc, that way you know what external factors played an effect.

Something you can also try is to allocate your affinity manually on multicore systems, such as trying to use the affinity mask option in the fsx.cfg file to assign it to three cores on a four core system. FSX is not a multisore binary, but it will tell the system to say use certain cores for FSX at its discretion and allow a free core for use by other apps running along side. It's normally more the thing you'd try to do in conjunction with running apps such as ActiveSky though, and like many "tweaks" for FSX it can be incredibly computer dependant, so your own results good or bad may vary.

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Hi Mathijs, sorry for raising such an old thread, but I am looking for an even older one. You once wrote a really interesting article about how you configure FSX and, more importantly, how you use many different configurations. Can you remember where you wrote that?

Thanks,

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In general, things should behave as Mathijs has tested and demonstrated...... so your own results good or bad may vary.

Graeme, profuse apologies for not responding earlier. Its a long time since I visited this thread, and I am sorry to have not acknowledged your post earlier. Great info, by the way, which I have pasted into a word doc for further reference. Thanks again !

Paul, is this the thread you are looking for ?

http://forum.aerosof...-you-might-not/

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Hi Mathijs, sorry for raising such an old thread, but I am looking for an even older one. You once wrote a really interesting article about how you configure FSX and, more importantly, how you use many different configurations. Can you remember where you wrote that?

Thanks,

It's a bit outdated by now. I am writing a new one.

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Guest GoncaloCarvalhoPT

It's a bit outdated by now. I am writing a new one.

I count on you Mathijs ;)

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Guest GoncaloCarvalhoPT

It's a bit outdated by now. I am writing a new one.

Hey Mathijs,

Is your hardware/software guide ready for takeoff? ;)

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Guest GoncaloCarvalhoPT

Hey Mathijs,

Is your hardware/software guide ready for takeoff? ;)

Hi Mathijs Kok,

You could be polite if you answer my last question. ;)

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Guest GoncaloCarvalhoPT

Sorry, things are a bit busy with creating avatars for xbox etc (http://forum.aerosof...post__p__361732). But it is work in progress.

D*mn Microsoft and them Avatars! :angry2_s: Ok i will wait until it's ready! Thanks for the reply ;)

BTW, if MS abandoned the main idea of what Flight Simulator really is you know what this means? It's time to AFS2012 :big_boss_s:

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Well, when time allows me I'll open an own thread,

where everybody is invited to write down hints on issues that never existed before the new 2nd generation cpus with four cores (eg i5 2500k, i7 2700k and comparable or higher) were introduced to the market.

One thing with these "SR71 style" cpus is, you buy a good mainboard (!), you buy some GB of good mainboard memory (RAM, not to be confused with video memory that is installed on your video card), and you won't feel a difference in fsx performance with adobe reader open or with adobe reader closed (with an fsx flight in action).

A performance like this is new for me, too, so I'll test this hell of a machine with a combination of another few programmes. :D

I use 8 GB in a 2x 4 GB dual channel distribution, my cpu is the first one that is mentioned in this post. And yet another thing with these fast Personal Computers is, you barely don't have time to glimpse in the time that this machine needs to boot. Thus, there occurs a little problem, which my Internet provider also knows since a few hours, because I first thought that it were an internet connection issue that my provider would have to solve. But this is not the case.

I am almost fully convinced that this is an issue that reads like: "With systems that are able to boot very fast, there is one issue that depends on building up a new LAN address (and this is valid even if no local area network is installed!)."

For reasons that have not yet been fully determined, you can't establish an internet connection before (after booting) a LAN address is found (watch your system tray).

The result (in my case) is "Error No 678, the remote computer does not answer.", although your Internet connection is 100% fine as it has been measured by your provider.

Solution: Wait one or two seconds until a network address for your system is available (cp your system tray). Or you use this one (which I did; this is in German, but I can translate if you can wait another 10 or 20 fast boot up processes... ^_^ ):

http://forum.chip.de...ung-669014.html

You see my experience with Personal Computers in my signature. But you'll never have learned everything, and in some cases you are sure that your provider is "guilty" but this is not the case. Sorry for that.

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The hint given by tinkywinky via the link (chip), as I would translate it:

"Open your Lan connections (properties). If not more than 1 PC uses your DSL connection,

you can remove all four checkmarks.

At least you should remove the "tcp/ip" checkmark!"

Aunt Edith says: The original topic (@ chip) for this hint is "Error message concerning the LAN connection".

But this also works as a solution for "Waiting for LAN address (after booting) takes hours n hours...", as in my case.

Mr Kok is right when he says that Win7 Pro 64 is a good o/s, especially if your mainboard offers space for 32 Gigabyte of main RAM or more. But (some days ago he also said, that) a FAST cpu with four cores is far far more important than

[Crossfire with amd hd7970, replace this with your video card].

And I can say that with my own experience, he's right again.

I love tinkywinky for this hint, because she/he has solved a problem that I tried to solve since almost half a year. :excellenttext_s:

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And what about Windows automatic updates? Do you suggest to turn it off or on?

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