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SP2 Update is available :: Archived
A forum for Microsoft's Flight Simulator X
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Joined: Jan 04, 2005
Posts: 5832
Location: Group W bench
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:30 pm
Post subject: SP2 Update is available

OK, the day is here......the second service update for SP2 is now live and available for download.

Official download links for each language version are here at Phil Taylor's blogsite:


Details on specifically what's changed in SP2 are here:

Is it worth it? Should you get it? Well........since it's also built into the Accelleration add-on, some of us have had it for a while and I think the best answer to that question is a cautious "yes". If your installation, system and experience is typical, you'll get improved performance. Of course, since this was also included in the "Accelleration" add-on, if you have Accelleration you don't need to download this (it won't install anyway since it checks).

However, some things do not change for the better, specifically backward-compatability with FS9 stuff. It's worse than it was due to reducing the number of draw calls to properly handle FS9-style transparency layers and other items. This reduction in "attention" to backward-compatability is where some of the performance increase comes from - can't get something for nothing. As discussed in other threads here, some planes will have non-transparent prop disks and dark or black windows. That's fixable, on a case-by-case basis as needed, in my own experience. And osme FS9 planes are still OK, just depends on details of how the author did the original work.

What I've painfully found out that *isn't* fixable is old FS9 scenery. Crashes FSX hard (crashes to desktop) when starting a flight in *any* area even remotely close to areas where I've installed some old FS9 scenery. Case in point is the JG300 Pigsty at KORS, which used to work, and now makes FSX exit to the desktop when the flight starts, even as far away as Seattle KSEA. Yes, I'm a grown man, and I wept when I finally confirmed this after troubleshooting it.

Many of the 'hardcore fans' have been urging the FSX team to drop backward-compatability for increased performance (without regard to those who enjoy that kind of backward-compatability) and it seems that the developers have taken them at their word. So......like it or not I guess we're at the dawn of another new era in the FS lifecycle (not the first time this has happened but, man, far more great legacy stuff than ever before that gets tossed).....

Here's an annoucement post at AvSim where some of the harshest critics hang out (as well as some knowledgable folks including ACES FSX program manager Phil Taylor himself) , so it's probably not going to be pretty to read or watch, but if you're hedging then maybe it's worth a look.....however, as they point out, you can uninstall it if it looks like a negative impact.


"Once your reputation is ruined, you can live quite freely."
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Power User

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Joined: Jan 04, 2005
Posts: 5832
Location: Group W bench
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:41 pm
Post subject: Re: SP2 Update is available

Some of this is a repeat of other stuff in recent posts but just to make clear, here's a bit more info on what kind of side-effects were noted with the installation of Accelleration (which included SP2 and is a pretty safe bet the same thing will happen with the freebie SP2-only patch).

First I'll say there WAS a notable performance gain, for me. Now here's the "But...."

Some planes weren't affected at all......thank god......the beloved Airhead Super Decathlon, which I treasure more than any other simulated thing, is still wonderful. Note that if you look at the lower part of the prop disc you'll see it isn't displaying the clouds behind the prop. I'm pretty sure it was doing that before and was already an "FSX thing".

On%20the%20other%20hand,%20some%20planes%20(in%20this%20case%20Milton's%20Aero%20Commander%20and%20the%20Super%20Connie)%20suddenly%20had%20transparent%20wheels%20and/or%20non-transparent%20prop%20discs..these%20are%20fixable%20items%20usually%20(by%20editing%20the%20texture%20files).%20%20Same%20with%20the%20Ju-52%20as%20far%20as%20the%20windows%20go: Fixed%20by%20manually%20editing%20the%20textures%20for%20props,%20windows,%20whatever%20as%20needed: Here's%20how%20the%20JG300%20Pigsty%20and%20other%20FS9%20scenery%20looks%20like%20in%20FSX%20now%20-%20in%20short,%20it%20*doesn't*.%20%20That's%20my%20Windows%20desktop%20becuase%20FSX%20just%20dies%20when%20trying%20to%20start%20a%20flight%20there.%20%20%20:x%20 Not%20that%20it's%20quite%20an%20upside,%20but,%20it's%20here%20for%20what%20it's%20worth...there%20are%20some%20nice%20new%20scenery%20design%20tools%20available%20and%20to%20help%20deal%20and%20cope%20with%20this%20change%20I've%20been%20checking%20them%20out.%20%20Not%20that%20I'm%20much%20of%20a%20scenery%20designer.%20%20But,%20after%20disabling%20my%20Pigsty%20scenery%20so%20FSX%20wouldn't%20crash%20when%20I%20start%20a%20flight%20in%20the%20area,%20I%20did%20make%20a%20little%20trial%20\"outpost\"%20scenery%20at%20the%20dirt-strip%20airfield%20on%20the%20island%20adjacent%20to%20KORS.....not%20much%20but%20it's%20a%20start%20even%20if%20it's%20nowhere%20near%20as%20classy........

"Once your reputation is ruined, you can live quite freely."
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Joined: Jan 20, 2005
Posts: 6945
Location: Central Illinois, USA
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 6:16 am
Post subject: Re: SP2 Update is available

Thanks for the "heads up" Stoopy! If it wasn't for change, we would still be slippin' in 3 1/2 in floppies and using the keyboard to guide our pixel planes...lol
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Power User

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Joined: Jan 04, 2005
Posts: 5832
Location: Group W bench
PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2007 6:22 am
Post subject: Re: SP2 Update is available

I agree fully!

'Zactly why I've been tearing into the texture issues and checking out the scenery situation. The future is actually pretty bright, but only as long as we know what we're stepping into.... Wink

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