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Thread: FSX Better in Win XP... or Win 7 (64 bit)???

  1. #1

    Default FSX Better in Win XP... or Win 7 (64 bit)???

    Brand new here. Thanks for any forthcoming insights! I have yet to play MSFSX, but am anxiously on the verge. I know MSFSX is resource HUNGRY.

    Just got a new system. Retained my old SATA hard drive (and all my files), with Win XP (SP 3), and have another new hard drive, yet to install, where I will load it with the new Windows 7 professional, 64 bit version, which includes a Win XP virtual engine feature. The new system mobo is a x58, i7 920 with 6 GB RAM, and Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 w/ 1 GB GDDR5 graphics card with DirectX 11 support. Haven't OC either as of yet.

    The 32 bit Win XP only recognizes 3 GB RAM however; Win 7 (64 bit) recognizes all 6 GB of RAM, a 2:1 advantage; but not sure if Windows 7's 'XP mode' recognizes 3 or 6 GB? I'm concerned about Win 7 having to 'work backwards' with its Win XP virtual engine. Resource drain? Slower than the real thing? Or overcome by Win 7 power and 2:1 RAM advantage???

    So my question is which Hard Drive system should I install MSFSX on: the Win XP HD, or the Win 7 HD? Any thoughts? How well does MSFSX run in Win 7? Can it?? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    PhxKen;
    I've been threatening to do just what you are asking about, running FSX on the XP console in Win 7 (64 bit) but FSX runs so well in Win 7, that I simply have put that thought aside for now, as time constraints do not allow for experiments and such. Do install FSX on it's own HDD. If you are like me, it will take no time to jimmy-up the drive with ad-dons and other garbage and the Sim likes it's own place. Browse thru this and other forums and backup your files frequently less you find yourself reinstalling FSX. An added bonus to putting it on it's own drive is the lessened chance of scrapping your O/S and having to reinstall it! Check out this URL if you have a chance, http://www.highflightsimulations.com/site/index.php. There are many, many more great sites that cater to FSX. Have fun and welcome aboard!
    Steven

  3. #3
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    Under no circumstances should you consider installing FSX under any type of Virtual Machine scenario. Where on earth do some folks come up with these ideas from!?

    Windows 7 (32 or 64bit) runs so well that you will have no need whatsoever for XP. Just do yourself a favour and dump it... Same goes for Windows 7 XP Mode - you will have no need for it.

    Install Windows 7 64bit, get all the updates including DirectX and then install FSX on a secondary HDD if you have one. Just create a folder at the root of the HDD called FSX and install in there. The exact install procedure is outlined in this thread - please follow it exactly to make sure you get it right.

  4. #4

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    Wow, surprising feedback.

    My new 64 bit Win 7 HD (in waiting) is a 640 GB WD Caviar Black 32 MB buffered SATA. I could 'partition" it with MSFSX having its "own" virtual HD space & "G" label designation if that helps???... not a physical stand-alone HD. That baffles me as to why, but I know little. I'm sure I'll give OS Win 7 its own partitioned drive space as well, as that was how my older system came, with the XP OS in its own HD partition. Partitioning is a bit foreign to me but not rocket science I imagine. Should be easy enough. My current (older) HD is partitioned into "two drives" C & D with the XP OS having its own dedicated space via "separate" partitioned drive space on "D". I always wondered how that works, multiple drives working together simultaneously. I'm guessing the OS on "D" loads up into RAM memory and then simply lets you read/write via the other non-OS drive "C"?

    ... I digress. Sorry. But it does relate to XP/Win 7, 32 bit/64 bit, FSX setup ideals, no? Hopefully this can be a relevant thread for many with Win 7 hitting the shelves of recent and many having 32/64 bit questions.

    Matter at hand. So, MSFSX runs great in the 64 bit Win 7 environment???? How is that even possible? 32 bits operating in a 64 bit system? I'm scratching my head.

    Fundamental question: Are OS just environments... and applications can operated freely, as long as the OS environment is equal or larger than their 32 bit design?

    I just figured FSX was designed for a 32 bit environment being a 32 bit program itself... and was designed for XP, to boot. But Win 7 64 bit handles FSX just fine and dandy??? I thought there was a reason Microsoft put an XP mode virtual machine in its 64 bit Win 7 Professional version?? As in 32 bit XP applications would not function properly in 64 bit environments? I was wary of going a virtual machine route, as Sharrow warned against. But thought the engineers of Microsoft must know something!!! What would it be for? I thought the choice was the real XP HD itself, or the virtual machine XP in Win 7... but no chance at Win 7 64 bit running it. I was totally wrong?

    I will read those referenced links/sites carefully. Thank you very much! I wish to get FSX set up properly. That's why I got the hardware I did, to power this resource hungry monster properly. Insights much appreciated!

    By the way, what FPS rates can I expect with Asus P6T Deluxe V2 (x58) mobo, i7-920 cpu, 6 GB RAM, Radeon 5770 1GB GDDRR5, Win 7 64 bit system... NOT OC'ed? W/ OC? Again, much thanks!!!

  5. #5
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    Yes, FSX is a 32bit application and it runs just fine under a 64bit operating system, as do 99% of all other 32bit applications. Indeed folks have been running both FS9 and FSX under XP 64bit for years and years now. A 64bit OS has a built-in 32bit emulator specifically for running 32bit apps. So, forget this as a potential problem as it simply does not exist.

    Windows 7 Pro & Ultimate have what is known as XP mode, whereby you can install Windows XP in a virtualized environment. This XP Mode is purely for specialised/business apps which for one reason or another will not work under Windws 7. 99.9% of normal consumers will have no need for it, and that includes me and you and everyone else on this forum.

    So, this is what I recommend:

    1. Put togther the new rig with the 640GB Cavair Black HDD onto which you install Windows 7 64bit and all your other applications (office, games etc etc). Get all the latest updates from Windows update including DirectX. DO NOT PARTITION ANY DRIVES, just leave them as one primary partition please!

    2. Insert your second HDD that you still have (the one with XP on it), and format it completely. Once it is formatted (should now be your D drive) create a folder on it simply called "FSX" (without the quotes) and install FSX there. Note: You will need to select manual/custom install during the FSX install procedure and then select this "FSX" folder on your D drive. Make sure you get this step right.

    3. Once FSX is installed you will have to install Service Pack 1 AND Service Pack 2 OR just install the Acceleration Expansion Pack which includes SP1 and SP2 already. If you do not have the Acceleration Expansion Pack I recommend you go out and get it - it is well worth the money.

    4. Please take note of the correct install procedure as outlined in the post I mentioned above (here). It is of VITAL IMPORTANCE that it is done EXACTLY as noted in the guide (i.e. install FSX, load the default flight, exit FSX, restart machine, install SP1, load default flight, exit FSX, restart machine, install SP2 etc etc etc). By the way this guide I linked to is written by a professional FSX developer who also happens to be an ex-NASA employee. It is the best and the only guide for FSX you will ever need. Ignore anything else you come across.

    The hardware you have is great and you can expect pretty decent FPS, provided you have set up your system and FSX correctly. The i7-920 is a kick-ass CPU and once you have settled in you will be able to overclock it without much effort to at least 3.6GHz if not to 4GHz (as long as you have a decent CPU cooler). FSX is very CPU bound so the faster your CPU the better FSX will run.

    Finally, do yourself a big favour and remember that running FSX well is NOT at all about achieving high FPS, but rather it is about achieving a decent minimum FPS (say 20 or so) and smooth flight in any given scenario. The two are not the same. Do not waste your time chasing high FPS - it is what novices do.

  6. #6
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    Partitioning a single drive only means that paths are specified. If the drive dies you STILL lose it all.

  7. #7

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    Appreciate the education and advise; mucho gracias!

    But asking me to sacrifice my present, older hard drive with all my files, archives, programs, pics, music, etc, to reformat it is a heavy price. My intention was to simply salvage this XP HDD and all my previous works on it... and once all issues are behind, install the new WD 640GB HDD and 64 bit Windows 7... and start fresh from there. Access to the past, while a new beginning, new tech, new equip, etc, etc.

    I guess I could consider migrating all those files onto the new disk, but there is a lot of crap I'd just as much prefer to leave behind. But the system will map the HDD'S and provide access to them, no? I'VE NEVER RUN WITH MULTIPLE DISKS BEFORE.

    My old system was a Gateway computer. This time I built it myself. But Gateway engineers had segregated the 200GB HDD into C & D drive partitions, with the XP OS all by itself on partition D (Fat32 file system) and "C" was for everything else in NTFS file format. "D" and the XP OS NEVER needed disk defrag as it remained clean and forever zero % fragmented. The computer behaves as if it is one disk, one partition; there is no "switching" that goes on via any of my actions. I thought the Gateway engineers knew something about keeping the computer's OS clean and unpolluted! It made sense and whenever I ran disk defrag, the OS and partition D were always in stellar, like new shape.

    Maybe they had XP in Fat32 for legacy purposes? Not sure.

    Disk partitioning is done for a reason and has its advantages. ( I don't know what they are, and I'm sure they have con's as well) Sharrow, you advise against partitioning for some reason. It would be educational to hear why. I was going to look into verifying Gateway's disk partitioning strategy and quite possibly do the same thing by putting Windows 7 on its own separate partitioned disk space, and the rest of my files on the other side of the disk in a separate partition, just as Gateway had engineered my previous system. I was going to do research on setup strategies and I can see the subject matter has already been broached here. Any more education on the topic would be much appreciated... and probably of value to future system builders and MSFSX enthusiasts.

    I've got the MSFSX Gold Edition, which includes the Acceleration Expansion Pack, along with the FSX Deluxe version. I'm reckoning I'm within a couple days or so of popping in my new WD Black Caviar 640GB HDD and Window 7 into my new system... and then MSFSX when the OS is properly setup.

    Gaming companies advising customers to setup disk partitions is probably a sales killing strategy, too complicated for the masses, and may very well have its drawbacks. But MSFSX comes across as a tempermental gaming app and others here have already advised giving FSX its "own space". So... I'm confused on which way to go. The setup post you linked to did not say anything about disk partitioning, so I'm guessing there is wisdom in that, along with your own advise on the matter. (but without reasons).

    Please further enlighten! Much thanks.

  8. #8
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    Hi PhxKen,

    Hard drive performance decreases when multiple partitions, on the same drive, are accessed simultaneously. This is exactly what will happen if you try to run your operating system and FSX from seperate partitions.

    With only one hard drive, your best performance WILL be achieved with your OS, FSX and your page file all on the same partition. It doesn't matter how many partitions you have set up, this is still true.

    You have been given very good advice. It's up to you to take it or leave it. I wouldn't expect anyone to waste too much time trying to convince you though.

    There are good reasons for having multiple partitions on the same drive, but improving performance isn't one of them.

    See ya, Milt
    If it ain't broke..., fix it any damn way!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhxKen View Post
    But asking me to sacrifice my present, older hard drive with all my files, archives, programs, pics, music, etc, to reformat it is a heavy price. I guess I could consider migrating all those files onto the new disk, but there is a lot of crap I'd just as much prefer to leave behind.
    Take the time to migrate the files you need from the old HDD to the new one - obviously programs you cannot migrate - these will have to re-installed under Windows 7. Then format the drive and use it for installing FSX as suggested. I guess you can also migrate files back to it if you really want to.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhxKen View Post
    Disk partitioning is done for a reason and has its advantages.
    Yes, it is done for various reasons - just not any good ones. There are no advantages.

    Quote Originally Posted by PhxKen View Post
    The setup post you linked to did not say anything about disk partitioning.
    It is in fact specifically stated not to partition your hard drives in the last section titled "Rules when setting up storage".

  10. #10
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    Think of it this way.... You take a single disk and make it partitioned to two lettered drives. You now (theoretically) have 2 disks taking up the same connection. There is no "master' or "slave" disk. They are running on the same pipe for ALL information from BOTH partitions. So what performance aspect has been gained by partitioning one drive into multiples? Answer: there is no performance gain because the OS and the files/programs are still on the same disk and still running through the same pipe. This would be akin to having a 4 lane motorway merge into another 4 lane motorway. You have 8 lanes worth of traffic, but still only 4 lanes to use. No performance enhancement going on there.

    Now, you have 2 SEPERATE drives running your OS and FSX respectively. They are hooked up to their own individual connections. They have their OWN pipe to use exclusively. They don't have info "bumping" into each other and having to wait for something to get out of the way to use the pipe. Like having those two 4 lane motorways merging together but remaining 8 lanes wide. Much faster.

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