OpusFSX Flight Simulator Interface for and
Started - Networked PCs
Figure 6 - FSX Client Connected To Server
Figure 7 - FSX Server with Single Client Connected
After you have
successfully established a connection with each of your client systems,
shut down the server and clients and use the Recommended Start Up
Procedure described above to enjoy your networked flight simulator
ensure optimum performance, the settings within FSX on each client FSX
system should be configured in accordance with the instructions at the
end of this guide in the FSX
Computer System Settings section. Please adjust your settings before
using Live View.
Settings for FSXSERVER and FSXCLIENT Systems
must edit your fsx.cfg file, this file can be found in,
If you can't see the AppData folder within Windows Explorer then you will need to change
the View settings as follows,
On all FSX systems we recommend you
specify the following fields within in the fsx.cfg file,
These setting will allow FSX to make better use of the 64-bit memory environment with >2GB memory, also supports modern day wide aspect screens for addons such as PMDG 737NGX.
We also recommend you optimize all of your fsx.cfg files using,
Settings for FSXCLIENT Systems
using Live View
using Live View
The Flight Simulator
program on all client 'Live View' PCs is going to be used to provide
nothing more than a scenic display. It is therefore highly recommended
that you to turn off all FSX settings that are likely to have an adverse
effect on the client system's display performance.
order to see the full synchronized effects of Live View users may need
to save a default flight with all engines running on each client system
to ensure the aircraft is powered up correctly and ready to fly.
To provide the
smoothest possible 'Live View' experience on each of the FSXCLIENT
machines, the Flight Simulator should be configured with the following
see wing flex you must select advanced animations which is set via the
Turn off all sound
by deselecting all sound options (e.g. Engines, Cockpit, Environment and
Voice) and turn off both the 'Play user interface sounds' and 'Play user
interface music' options.
Turn all 'Flight
model' settings to their easiest settings.
Enable the 'Ignore
crashes and damage' option.
Turn off all
'Special Effects' and 'Flight Controls' settings.
Turn off the 'Pause
on task switch' option. You do not need to pause or set FSX into slew
mode, these modes have no effect on the system's performance.
the 'Target frame rate' on the server and all client PCs to UNLIMITED.
A word of caution,
if you set your target frame rate too high on either the FSXSERVER or
FSXCLIENT systems then you may experience problems with the snow and
rain effects. That is, you may see some snow and rain falling vertically
whilst moving. This is an FSX problem and the only solution we've found
so far is to restrict the machine's frame rate. If this is a problem
then a setting of 20fps to 60fps should result in a smooth operation. On slower
systems, or systems with slow hard disk drives, you may also notice the
occasional screen flicker. Once again lowering the target frame rate
you experience lag on your client systems you may have to lower the
frame rate on your server.
Unless you have a
specific reason for wanting to see the cockpit view; select the 2-D instrument panel as the default cockpit view and set the 2-D
panel transparency to 100%.
you only want scenic views and not cockpit or external aircraft views on
your client systems then you can optimize the performance even further
by selecting a simple aircraft type (e.g. the standard Cessna 172 or
To speed up the
loading of FSX you can remove all unused aircraft from the standard
'Microsoft Flight Simulator X\SimObjects\Airplanes\' folder.
My advice would be
to create a new 'Microsoft Flight Simulator
X\SimObjects\Airplanes_Removed\' folder and move all the unused airplane
sub-folders into there.
Turn off the
'Thermal visualization' option.
Turn off the
'Download winds aloft with real-world weather' option.
and thermal effects on the aircraft.
Set the 'Rate at
which weather changes over time' to zero (No Change).
recommend you set the 'Cloud
draw distance' to between 80mi/128km and 100mi/160km. If you generally
fly at a higher altitudes then the higher setting is preferable but if
you fly at lower altitudes then the lower setting is preferable.
Disable all AI
WEATHER' to Clear Skies.
We recommend turning off all
virus checkers whilst running FSX since they can have a serious effect
using Live View
remember you cannot just rely on the frame rate measurements because FSX
will always give a fairly high priority to updating the screen. On
networked systems you must always give your server's FSX/P3D adequate
CPU capacity to perform other essential tasks, such as issuing the very
important postion updates. If your system has the stutters, then
it is these infrequent position updates from the server's FSX/P3D that
is producing them!
has very little impact on the FSX performance and can generally
communicate the position updates as fast as FSX/P3D can issue them. So
if you are having stutter problems then you should investigate other
possible causes. For instance, are you draining the FSX performance by
displaying too many views on the server, in-house we never drive more
than the single view on the server. Remember if you must have a wide
panoramic view then you can always install a wide view screen or use
three identical display screens with a TrippleHead2Go type product, in
which case, as far as the sim is concerned, you are still driving a
single main view, just one with a large pixel width. Other possible
causes could be your server's PC spec (is it up to the job),
insufficient memory (Windows 7 64-bit + loads of memory is highly
recommended), do you have a poor or slow network connection (this is the
age of Gigabit LANs - there's no excuse), is your actual aircraft sim
well behaved (or does it hog the processor?), is your scenery too
complex for your system, or have you been over enthusiastic with the
give you some idea as to what performance figures you should be aiming
to achieve, here are my details recorded using a high-spec server PC
with a single ASUS gaming laptop client (I have included the actual
server computer and client laptop specs below).
note, the client position update rates (most important) are
displayed in the client's Spy window for the 'Networked Live View
- Position and Attitude' application link when the aircraft is in motion.
Remember OpusFSX generally updates the client systems as fast as the
server FSX/P3D program can issue position updates.
On the ground
on the runway in the Real Air SF260 at UK2000 East Midlands
Server Frame Rates: 50+ fps (67% full screen view), or 46 fps (2560 x 1600 full screen view)
Client Frame Rates: 40 to 50 fps (approx 1024 x 1040 view), or 28 fps (1920 x 1080 full screen view)
Client Position Updates: Smooth at 50 to 60 updates per second.
In the Air
at 4000ft in the Real Air SF260 (on a very cloudy day),
Server Frame Rates: 60 to 100 fps (67% full screen view), or 65 fps (2560 x 1600 full screen view)
Client Frame Rates: 60 to 120 fps (approx 1024 x 1040 view), or 45 fps (1920 x 1080 full screen view)
Client Position Updates: Smooth at 80 to 120 updates per second, or 70 to 80 updates per second (full screen view)
In both cases I have my target frames rates set to Unlimited. On my server I am driving into a single 2560 x 1600, 32-bit Virtual Cockpit view, and my client laptop is driving a single 1920 x 1080, 32-bit 2D cockpit 'scenic' view.
Windows 7 64-bit
Intel Six Core, i7 X990 CPU @ 3.47GHz
2 x 224GB Kingston SSD (FSX on one, P3D on the other, every thing else on drive C)
2 x NVidia GeForce GTX580s
ASUS Client Gaming Laptop:
Windows 7 64-bit
Intel Quad Core, i7 2630QM CPU @ 2GHz
2 x 700GB HDD
NVidia GeForce GTX560M
My Server's FSX Settings:
Target Frame Rates: Unlimited
Global Texture: V.High
Advanced Animations: ON
Level of Detail: Medium
Mesh Complexity: 100
Mesh Resolution: 2m
Water Effects: High 1.x
Scenery: Very Dense
Ground Shadows: OFF
Special Effects: High
Cloud Drawing: 110mi/176km
Thermal Vis: NONE
Disable Turb: YES
Detailed Clouds: YES
Cloud Cover: MAX
My client system's view does not stutter with this setup and does not change if I add a second client system. On some systems we have set the target frame rates to 60 or Unlimited on the server and 24 on the client systems. You may have to play with yours. One hint - if you're flying along and the rain or snow is still falling vertically then FSX/P3D cannot cope so try lowering your target frame rate to 30 or less.
These tests are designed to
help you set up your Live View system and isolate problems within your
server, network, or client systems. Make sure you have set up all
systems in accordance with the Getting Started Guide for Networked
Pay careful attention to all
the recommended sharing, permissions and security settings, remembering
the share both the install drive and folders of OpusFSX and your
simulator. Also pay attention to the recommended settings and
optimisation of your client systems.
Run the simulator and load the
flights on the server and all client systems. Your aircraft can be sat at an airport
before starting the test, alternatively you may conduct the test with
the aircraft positioned anywhere you want.
Your simulator should be run in
Windowed Mode on all systems.
Run the FSXSERVER program on
your server and let it initialise, then run the FSXCLIENT program on
each client system you are going to test.
Allow all the systems to settle down with all client system simulator's fully initialised and positioned. You are now ready to conduct the Live View link tests.
To start the test, open the Configure dialog and click on the Live View Test button. The Live View Test dialog will be displayed and your simulator will be un-paused.
On the server you will not be needing your simulator display so just minimise it to the taskbar.
Determine Your Optimum Update Rate ...
Close any Spy windows you have opened and ensure you have minimised your server's simulator to the taskbar.
Start off with the Update Rate slider in the centre position and tick each of the Pitch, Bank, and Yaw test options, then click the Start button. You should now see your client display jump to 500 feet above the surface and start moving in all three attitude axis. Let it run for a few seconds then click the Stop button. The client display should stop and reset straight and level without any significant delay. Adjust the Update Rate until you can run this test and Stop without any appreciable lag in the client response.
Once you have determined your optimum Update Rate open the Position & Attitude Spy window on your client system, start the test and make a note of the rough average number of Position Updates per second. Divide 1000 by this figure and set the ms rate in the Live View Scan Rate box provided in the Configure dialog e.g. 100 updates per second is 10 ms.
Your client display should move fairly smoothly with no major stutters or abrupt changes in attitude.
If your client display stutters badly running the Live View Test on your Server then you most likely have a problem with either your network connection or your actual client simulator system, try conducting the Live View Test on your client system.
If your client display stutters badly whilst running the Live View Test on your Client then this will indicate your client simulator system cannot cope with the position and attitude updates. Please make sure you have optimised your client simulator system, stopped all unnecessary software including any virus scanners, selected a stock or dummy simulator aircraft (e.g. the stock C172 or B737). You could also try adjusting the simulator settings, changing the simulator's target frame rate etc.
This slider will typically alter the update rate from between 50 updates per second (Slow) up to about 120+ updates per second. This slider should be adjusted so that there is no appreciable lag when Stopping the test.
If there is a lag then reduce the rate of updates sent from the server by adjusting the configurable scan rate (i.e. increase the value) in the server Configure dialog's Live View Scan Rate (ms).
The Test Pitch, Bank and Yaw tick boxes allow you to select each of the attitude modes individually.
Click the Start button to start the test and vary the selected pitch, bank and yaw attitudes for the aircraft. At the start of a test the aircraft is automatically positioned 500 feet AGL.
Click the Stop button to terminate the test and recentre the aircraft.
Either click on the Quit button or the dialog's X to abort the test and close the Live View Test dialog.
when running the FSXCLIENT program
Can I use a Wi-Fi network ?
Yes you can, however you should note that a direct Wi-Fi link is only going to give you 54Mbps and a redirected link will operate at about 16 to 24Mbps. This may be faster than an ancient 1990s 10base-T network running at 10Mbps but nowadays everyone uses either 100Base-TX (100 Mbps) or a 1000Base-T gigabit LAN running at 1000Mbps (1Gbps). The modern cabled LANs are going to operate up to 64 times faster than the Wi-Fi link!
However, if you must use a Wi-Fi link (no LAN ports or Cat5 cable) then just make sure all the computer systems have the same workgroup set (Control Panel - System and Security - System - Change Settings - Change...) and configure the main server's computer name into the FSXCLIENT programs. You will find the link works perfectly well with perhaps a few tiny jitters when taking off of flying fast and low (depends how good or busy your Wi-Fi link is).
client system lags behind the server
The lag indicates the clients cannot keep up with the updates. The programs have 32K buffers for both receive and transmit over each IPC link, hence the possible back log.
are two solutions. The best is to reduce the rate of updates sent from
the server by adjusting the configurable scan rate (i.e. increase the
value) in the server Configure dialog's
Live View Scan Rate (ms). The second solution is to occasionally
pause using the 'P' key on the server, let everything catch up and then
unpause, let things settle and the lag will then be gone. You can also
use the pause key to measure the lag or amount of buffering at the
client end. If the system is configured and tuned correctly there should
never be any lag and both server and client should pause together almost
instantly. If your system is set up correctly it should be able to cope
with the throughput.
We have a Live View test facility to help you tune your system.
up all the client FSX systems and the server FSX so that they are all up
and running. Then start the FSXSERVER program, let it settle, then each
of the FSXCLIENT programs. Once they connect their FSXs will normally
reload to the new location, they will also resync after receiving their
first weather update (necessary to ensure correct cloud sync). Once all
the client systems are settled then you can force another weather update
just before takeoff to make sure all is well and then you are ready to
is very important to set up your client systems as per the Getting
Started guides to optimise your client systems, this can have a dramatic
impact on the performance. It also helps if you are displaying scenic
views to select one of the simple FSX stock aircraft ( e.g. the C172 or
B737), some people even use a dummy aircraft that has zero overheads.
You may also try adjusting the target frames rates, either Unlimited or
on slower systems you could even set 20 to 30. It's all about giving FSX
more time to process the stream of position updates.
if you are using Static Weather Themes and have paused the system for
any length of time (>1min), then it would be best to select Weather
on the FSXSERVER and click Update Weather, this re-synchs everything
including the cloud formations. The tell tale sign that one system has
been paused too long is that you will get different cloud formations on
the server and client system. Anytime this happens just re-sync via the
Weather option in the FSXSERVER program. If you don't pause this should
also recommend not running anti-virus software since this can have a
serious performance effect on the clients.
get cameras or weather on the clients
haven't set up your sharing and security permissions for Everyone on
your server and client systems. Both the drive and the FSX install
folder must be shared and accessible to the OpusFSX program. Hence you
have no client weather (the client cannot copy the weather file), and
you have no external aircraft view (the client cannot prepare your
You should also have the all the standard views available, so with a cockpit view on display on the client, hitting the S key four times should cycle to the custom external aircraft view. But this will only happen when the CameraDefinition has been appended to the aircraft.cfg files.
Both systems must be shared with all security permissions set as per this guide.
and XP networked systems
may (or may not) experience problems if you have both Win7 and XP systems on your
network. Removing the homegroup and reverting
to standard networking may help.
also refer to the FAQ in the OpusFSX_Getting_Started_Single_PC guide
which can be found in the OpusFSX installation