130: Radeon Settings for HD6970

In terms of FSX performance, my newly added ASUS HD 6970 Direct CU II graphic card is just slightly better than my previous ASUS Matrix HD 5870However, it does bring a better image quality and a much cooler and quiet environment to my system.  Moreover, the card allows connection up to six monitors, giving me flexibility when planning for future multi-monitor system upgrade.

The Radeon driver I am using is the latest 11.11 (updated on Nov-28).   Despite the new features come with the new driver, the Mipmap Detail Level option in 3D Application Settings was gone for the HD 6970.    Moreover, the Wide-tent and Narrow-tent filters of Anti-Aliasing were combined into one Edge-detected filter.

After days of testing, the HD 6970 resulted in a different settings (below) than the HD 5870 even though most options remain unchanged.    One particular, the new card prefers to disable the Triple buffering option that I was using all the time for AMD cards in the past (click here to see my earlier 11.8/11.9 settings).

===============
Updated Dec-11, 2011
Also, changing the Wait for vertical refresh to Always On (previous Always Off) seems like making the display more stable even when ForceFullScreenVSync is already enabled in fsx.CFG.
===============

[GRAPHICS]
ForceFullScreenVSync=1

Regarding overclocking, I am using Catalyst Control Center’s new AMD Overdrive feature to raise the GPU clock from 890 MHz to 940 MHz and memory clock from 1375 MHz to 1400 MHz.

Both boostings are not aggressive but enough for a stable FSX performance.    I may further use ASUS’s SmartDoctor to finetune the card’s GPU clock in the future.   But I certainly won’t install the company’s GamerOSD as it causes serious stutters in FSX.

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51 thoughts on “130: Radeon Settings for HD6970

  1. I would like to weigh in here a bit on comments of reported “moire effect” people claim they get on ATI cards on distant water or land textures or Power Line towers and so on. This is caused by one setting and one setting alone… The “Enable Surface Format Optimization” option. It must NEVER be enabled. In ATI and nVidia land… The term Optimization = sacrifice quality. We do not want to do this in FSX obviously. It is good that you show this as OFF on your screenshots. But why do you have the texture filtering quality pulled all the way to the left? I keep mine all the way to the right out of habit from past gaming IQ experiences. Not sure I am getting a hit framerates wise? I could try it off and see what happens I guess. One area ATI cards excel in with FSX is AA quality with Super Sample enabled. The Panels in the planes are razor sharp with this enabled. Love it. I can read even the tiniest of lettering zoomed out at .67 which is what i use with wideview aspect enabled.

    Only tweaks I have currently (and I consider them the holy trinity in FSX.cfg) are wideviewaspect=true (I then set ZOOM to 67 on all planes), forcefullscreenvsync=1 (no more tears) and the highmemfix=1 (allmost never a blurry texture in flight) with internal fps locked at 30 fps. I know you have shared these with the readers. You do good work here. Nice site!

    I love FSX on my ATI 6950 2GB. It looks wonderful and provides butter smooth tear free and jitter free flying locked at 30 fps 95% of the time. Sure I get FPS issues (in the teens to low twenties) doing patterns at KSEA or CYVR in a PMDG aircraft in stormy full cloud cover weather with scenery settings maxed out with ORBX PNW scenery but who doesn’t? I don’t think there is a system out there that can maintain a constant smooth 30 fps locked in that scenario. At least not with Super Sample AA enabled in their driver!

    Charles.

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    1. Thank you Charles for the sharing of your ATI settings. I agree with you on the Enable Surface Format Optimization. It should never be enabled.
      Regarding Texture Filtering Quality, I prefer Performance in order to gain a bit smoothless in FPS.
      You are right that there’s no “uncomprised” computer for FSX. We can just squeeze the best from what we have.
      Best
      Tom

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  2. Hi Tom, Just wanted to thank you. Last night I had my smoothest flight ever with your settings. :) I use the Asus 7950 and was ready to get rid of it until I found this blog.

    The only 2 things to fix now is i have a little sound popping and black squares once and a while. I have tried for the black squares:
    [Display]
    TextureMaxLoad=15

    I am going to raise it again today to 18.

    I will figure that out soon.
    Thanks Buddy!

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  3. Yes, it’s all right assigned. I’ll try the CFG, but the problem is that it has one for each aircraft cfg to configure, will give a hard

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    1. That’s what I can think of since I am not using Eyeinfinity. It’s unreasonable to me. If you can zoom in, you should be able to zoom out. I still suspect something wrong with the key assignment.

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  4. Hello, I have a ati 6950 2gb and 3 monitors in Eyefinity, I have problem in zoom that is too high and can not decrease with the + and – keys. What can it be? In normal mode without Eyefinity everything is normal.

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      1. Sorry I repeated the question. I can zoom in, but I can not zoom out. In normal mode, I mean in just a screen is fine. What I need is zoom out, when I have the view out of the cockpit, the zoom is so large that it distorts the picture. The problem is only in FSX in other games it’s okay. If possible, I can send a picture to you guys consider?

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      2. I have no idea as well. If you can zoom in, it should be fine. Have you checked the keyboard if zoom out / zoom reset is properly assigned?
        Also, you can redefine your default zoom level to a smaller one via aircraft.cfg.
        Tom

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  5. Hello, I have a 6950 2GB with 3 monitors, but the screen is much FSX next panel in 3d cockpit, is decreasing? I tried the + and – keys not working but only in normal mode to stay good without Eyefinity. what can it be?

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  6. Hello Mr.Tom.goodevening.
    My apploy to have bothred you on a Sunday
    This is Tarun.vora9Bangalore-India

    A PVT TAxi Driver Cum P.A By proffesion to a Multinational company Cahirman.
    I am no big spender, buy have been flying Since 1989 DOS based MS flight Sim.This year I got a months bonus & swith 4 months saving upgraded by comp with AMD 7970(16GB Vengance AMD X 970)Gig M.B.The problem FX display is stretehced No Eyefinity advantage.22″ x 3 Acer)

    I also tried the FX.cfg ffile found it in one of the wide gameing website change wideviewaspect to True from False.But still does not work.

    After googling for 4 hours I got into your website, I humbly & sinscrely request your kind self to plesea help me set up wide view, as I have spen my 2 months pay into the comp.

    LAstly wil wait for your kind resposne & advise,Help Help.
    Have a Nice evening.
    Tarun

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    1. Hi Tarun,
      In order to put the three monitors to work side-by-side, you have to use the AMD Eyefinity function in Catalyst Control Center (Desktop Management) to set up the three montiors correctly.
      The Learning Center in FSX has instruction telling you how to set up the screens accordingly:
      Start Flight Simulator X.
      Click Learning Center.
      Click the Index tab, and then click the letter D to go to the Display section.
      Under Display, click Using Multiple Monitors.
      Here’s also a link giving you many information about setting up multiple monitors.
      Hope above help.
      Tom

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  7. Hi , I also used to run a hd 5870 , mine was a powercolor one , anyway it started to fail so after rma & a row over warranty I now have a msi 6970 twin frozr .
    Are you now on the latest drivers or have you stuck with 11.11 , I have the latest drivers but I’m getting blurries, pc is asus p8z77 , I7 Ivybridge 3770 clicked by pro to 4.5 ghz , 16 gig of 1866 RAM . If you are on the latest driver are you still on the same settings or have you had to alter them , or did you find the older driver work better, thanks.

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    1. Hi Paul,
      As stated in my Post 152, I downgraded the Radeon driver from 12.xx to 11.12 since I experienced similar problems as you reported. When I was using the 12.xx driver, I kept the same setting as with the 11.xx.
      Anyway, I do regard the 11.xx drivers are better.
      Tom

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      1. Ok , observations for 11.11 driver , definitely an improvement in distance shimmering , now almost un noticeable , slight downgrade in image sharpness but acceptable with shimmering reduction , photo scenery still not always Sharp , around about the same level of blurring as with the latest driver set , I do prefer the image quality with the 6970 over the 5870, just need to reduce the blurries.

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  8. Hi Tom,

    I have a pretty good PC with a pair of AMD H6970 in cross fire mode and whatever I change the settings via the CCC it does not seem to affect in the slightest bit FsX.

    Any clue?

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    1. As you said, you have a damn good PC with 6970 in CrossFire.
      As long as you move all sliders to maximum, including your cards & FSX settings, and you still got a satisfy performance, that’s good.
      Or compare the result when you move all sliders to minimum. There should be some difference. Right?
      Tom

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      1. Hi Tom,

        Yes I usually just max up most sliders right up but after seeing no noticable differences when it come to the Anti aliasing I’ve turned off the AA and the Anisotropic in FsX and then tried different set up via the CCC. After hours of trial, testing and reading over the net I came to the conclusion that my H6970s are not processing FsX. They provide good results frame rate wise and that’s it.

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      2. Do you mean you are setting the AA to 24xEQ (8xEQ + Edge-detect) and Anisotropic Filtering to 16X and still got a smooth and very good framerate? Congratulations.

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      3. Via the CCC? Yes. Whatever settings I choose there is no difference in both FPS and image quality. It’s having a good FPS but it is utterly useless if the image is horrible. My job depend of it.

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    2. Actually no. I’m nop happy with jaggies all over the place. Sould I consider that my cards are not functionning properly or should I try other drivers? If you don’t have any clues just tell me. I thought you may had some ideas.

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      1. Hi Tom, (Sorry I’ve replied at the wrong place ealier.)

        I always make clean driver installations. Well I don’t have the choice otherwise the CCC wont properly update unless I clear the PC from every ATi software. I even clean the regedit. My actual problems are 1: Find a way to test he video cards to see if the driver really work properly. 2: Find the proper driver that will actually enble the AA in FsX.

        By the way. Cross-fire technology is absolutely useless for both Fs9 and FsX since they just don’t use it. The only reason why the FPS is good is because the cards are good on individual bases that is all.

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      2. Okay. I’ve spent the last two days trying to find the solution to my problem and finally did. Yes! After trying three or four different drivers it was obvious the problem remained exactly same. Until I’ve completely reseted the FsX CFG. Then realized that the jaggies where gone. So after investigating for hours and trying tons of different settings I’ve discovered that the ‘Preview DirectX10’ in the simulator display settings prevent the CCC of doing it’s job. Now the image is top notch quality but I’m now stuck to switch off some setting in the CCC in order to use Photoshop CS5 otherwise the images in CS5 shows black. So for those who want to know. My video card are 2x MSI Radeon HD6970 GDDR5 2Meg mem in cross fire mode setled with the latest driver 12.8 from AMD/ATi. I would strongly suggest to use the driver mentionned since it handle the Bump and Specular maps much better than the older drivers.

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      3. Great. Glad to hear you found the real bug in your setting. DirectX10, yes. It should be a promising feature if MS hadn’t dropped the development for FSX.
        I am keeping my 11.12 for a long time. Maybe it’s time to test the 12.8 as you suggested.
        Tom

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  9. Finally I have found a thread integral to my FSX setup! I WAS also successfully running FSX with a Radeon 6950 for the main purpose of using Eyefinity and creating the widest and truest view possible to be integrated into our hardware and physical home made cockpit. We found that it worked best to stretch the display across 3 monitors in an eyefinity display group and let the resolution correct itself.

    The other day i believe we blew both our graphics card and our pc (Alienware Aurora R3). So We’ve upgraded to a Medion Erazer with 12 GB Ram and Intel i-7. The replacement we’ve gone for for the graphics card is the XFX Radeon 6970.

    For anyone who is also running a similar setup i would love some advice on the following:

    1. Could you recommend any cfg. changes to make and to the card itself regarding best use of resolution considering we use VFR Gen X.

    2. How do we ensure we are utilizing the highest possibly RAM whilst running FSX? Does this also need to be configured or will it automatically access it and use to the computer’s potential?

    3. One of the biggest problems i find is scenery (in this case the VFR Photo-scenery), taking too long to fully load when it comes into shot. Any changes re. cfg file that could aid this?

    Many thanks in advance, I would love to think eyefinity is the way forward for FS, just want a clear view across the windscreen and both quarter lights.

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    1. Hi James,
      For Q1), I have sent you my fsx.CFG for UK by email for your reference. You can compare yours with mine to see the difference.
      For Q2), As long as you are using Win 7 64-bit, memory will be optimized. Also, try different PoolSize setting will also help optimize graphic card and system memory.
      For Q3), to speed up loading, you have to install the scenery onto an SSD. You can install both FSX and UK scenery on one SSD or two SSDs. I took the second 2 SSDs for my FSX and UK VFR. As replied to other member, SSD only improves very little FSX performance but will greatly reduce scenery load up time.
      Update me later of your result.
      Tom

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  10. Hi there Tom . I just got last week 7950 Core edition and i5 2500k with it , althougt i got 15-20 fps in FSX is this possible ? And i got some AA problems in rwy’s the aircraft is ok but the rwy sims like a Saw :) Can you give me a hand to override this futures ?

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    1. Hi Timucin,
      The 15-20 fps in FSX is a bit low. You should try overclocking your CPU a bit in order to improve fps.
      For the AA problem, please take a look of the setting I described in Post 130. Anti-Aliasing and Anti-Aliasing Mode are important to eliminate the saw-like edges. Try my setting and it should help.
      Tom

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  11. Tom, I have you seen the 12.1 CCC from AMD yet? I have a 5870 card (x2). I am wondering what the AMD CrossFireX Mode for 3D Applications does? Its in the Gaming/3D Application Settings at the bottom. It a 4 or 5 choices. I thought FSX did not take advantage of Crossfire so is this setting useless?

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  12. Hi there, it appears you are a simmer who prefers AMD video cards over Nvidia? I wish I could be too. I have a 6970 which I could never eliminate many issues associated with this card when running FSX. In particular the moire effects on buildings and the water, and shimmering of trees (especially during winter) and distant buildings and 3rd party airports sometimes. Whereas with Nvidia, I plop it in, make a few changes in Nvidia Inspectot and wow!, all is right with the world.

    I guess I am hoping the new 7970 may make some new improvements as new driver will be released. Do you have any plans to move into that new board?

    Thanks,

    Clutch Cargo

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    1. Hi Clutch. AMD and Nvidia are similar to Canon and Nikon in the camera world. Both have advantages and disadvantages.
      I used Nvidia before and I like it too but there are a few considerations making me to choose the AMD card for my current system.
      1) As you can see from my blog, I tried the 580 but it causes a lot of problems, especially regular crashes, to my existing setup. So I have to give it up. 2) I always want to expand to a 3-monitor setup. AMD’s Eyefinity gives me a ready choice even though I still haven’t put my plan into action.
      Since I am having a 30-inch Dell, I really like to get another two 20-inches so that they could be configured into a PHP arrangement. But there are many reports saying that AMD doesn’t support FSX in PHP mode. Before I find a solution, I will keep my 30-inch solo for now. But AMD’s multimonitor capability is still my choice over Nvidia unless the company produces one that comes with a similar feature.
      For 7970, I am thinking about XFX’s Black Edition which comes with two fans (less noisy) and overclocked GPUs. If its first shipment were not out-of-stock, I would have been using it already. Yes, I am planning to get it.
      Also, I am planning to build a new system when Intel’s new CPU is available later this year. Or re-configure up my rig into a multi-PC setup.
      Plans are there but just need the time and the right timing to do it. You know, FSX is not everything. There are many other things for you to dream, admire and deal with.
      Tom

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  13. Hi Tom,

    Just want to take a moment to thank you for taking the time to share your FSX “experience” with the audience. I have been searching for a site that will help me understand what are the best settings for running FSX when I stumble upon your site. I must say that the knowledge shared here is very valuable. There is a lot of work that you obviously put in and that’s the least that I can do: say “thank you”.
    I have recently switched from Nvidia to Radeon (6950) I am very impressed with the performance delivered by the ATI video cards. I have a question though: although I am running at a high FPS rate 60 to 90 I am experiencing jitters when rolling on the runway trying to take off.The same thing it happens when I am locked at 30 FPS. It is a bit annoying as everything else it runs smoothly. Would you happen to know what the reason for this can be? My system is a I7-2600K Asus P8P67 with 16 Megs of RAM 1600 MHz and Radeon 6950 video card. Your feedback will be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you – Mike

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    1. Hi Mike,
      The causes of jitter are complicated and varies from system to system due to differences in hardware, software and driver setups. You may have to try and test with different tweaks in order to find out the best settings.
      Try adding the following two lines under [GRAPHICS] to your fsx.CFG and see if they helps.
      [GRAPHICS]
      ALLOW_SHADER_30=1
      HIGHMEMFIX=1
      Also, try cleaning the ShaderCache because you changed your graphics card from Nvidia to AMD.
      Tom

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