Wednesday, February 27, 2013

FSX.CFG Tweak Review: BUFFERPOOLS

 
FSX. I have long been an avid fsx.cfg tweaker, perhaps to excess at times. Almost every tweak in the book has gone through my cfg file, however, most haven’t lasted long. Over the following months I will be dedicating a post to each tweak, and relaying my experiences. Now for the first installment, bufferpools, read on.

In essence, the bufferpool tweak allows FSX to make better use of available video memory - at least that’s my basic understanding. Higher memory video cards will benefit more from this tweak, especially 1GB and up. For the purposes of this article, I am using a GeForce GTX 670 2GB video card.
First, the tweak has to be added manually into the fsx.cfg file as seen below:

[BUFFERPOOLS]                                                                                               Poolsize=XXXXXXXXX or alternatively Usepools=XXXXXXXXX, both accomplish the same thing.
Now for some of the various settings I have used and my experiences. Please keep in mind these are simply my experiences and your mileage may vary.

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Poolsize=0
Hailed by some as the holy grail of tweaks, this setting basically instructs FSX not to reserve any video memory. To properly use this setting, water must be set to high 2X or above. In my opinion, this tweak is worth very little although I know many would disagree.
Now for my experience…flashing artifacts, followed by flashing artifacts, followed by more flashing artifacts…. I do agree that performance is relatively smooth with this setting; however, the artifacts are far too distracting for any reasonable usability. Lastly, the requirement to raise the water settings is a deal breaker for me.  

Poolsize=120000000
This setting did not create a smooth flight sensation whatsoever, far worse than all other settings. Accordingly, this tweak did not last long in my fsx.cfg file.

Poolsize=200000000
Although this setting was generally very good, results varied widely with different sceneries. For example, taking off from Orbx Spokane everything is perfect, both on the ground and in the air. The cruise portion of flight is great, no stutters or pauses. But, upon arrival into Orbx Bella Coola, stutters everywhere. I experienced this anomaly many times and simply put…this setting works but only with certain sceneries, at least for me.
Poolsize=390000000

By far the best bufferpool setting I have tried. This tweak adds incredible levels of smoothness to my in flight simming experience. So much so in fact that I sometimes struggled to purposely make FSX stutter even when practicing aerobatics. The downside for me, stutters when taxiing around the airport, particularly in turns. Nothing’s perfect I guess…
Poolsize=490000000
My experience was similar to the above 390000000 setting with one added drawback… autogen artifacts. During cruise trees would artifact all the way to infinity and beyond, almost like big green swords rising infinitely into the sky.  Obviously a no go setting for me.
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So what’s my conclusion? I do not use the bufferpool tweak anymore. There are countless different settings to try and I obviously have not tried them all, however, this is my take based on my personal experiences. Every positive change seems to be counteracted with a less desirable side effect. Sadly, this is business as usual with FSX tweaking… 

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

so you don't have stutters/shutters etc? And are we assuming that your sim experience is smoother without BP? I've had very good success with Poolsize=100000000 (very, very, very small stutters ocassionaly)

Nonetheless, Thx for your insight

DAndre Newman said...

Great topic! Ill play a bit with these!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this - looking forward to the rest of the series!!

Anonymous said...

Bufferpools 0 and V Sync half in NV Inspector is what I finally settled on. The high water settings I find are only needed to avoid flickering around Orbx areas in my case. with low 2x Over photoreal terrain I only get a flicker once in a blue moon. Thanks for posting your findings, and great site btw!

Anonymous said...

I get great mileage from UsePools=0 on a GTX670. I also use the VSync set to half monitor refresh rate and lock internally to 30FPS...
This is with an i7-2700K@4.8GHz and 8Gb 2133MHz RAM running on 1.52V
NGX over OrbX EU/PNW... no AI, no road/sea traffic...

Anonymous said...

Yup 0 for me too and no issues. Every thing else is rubbish...

bstikkel said...

Isn't bufferpools 0 the same as no bufferpools tweak added ? Or is bufferpools already by default in the fsx.cfg ?

Mark Hrycenko said...

Bufferpools 0 instructs FSX not to reserve any video memory. You will likely notice a significant difference with this setting, good or bad...

Anonymous said...

Lets not forget about bandwidth which
needs to be opened up from 30 to perhaps 400. Finer time refraction also needs to be added for it to compliment buffer pools to balance out cache demands and avid stutters. Ds

Anonymous said...

Pray tell bandwidth settings

Anonymous said...

Poolsize=390000000
works perfect on my FSX.
all OOMS are gone, no graphical errors, not problems with Fps.

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