I made an unlikely discovery this afternoon when tweaking my graphics settings. Like many people, I’d been suffering performance issues since the last two sim updates. (Please note that I said “sim updates,” rather than “world updates.”) One particularly bad FPS area for me was Atlanta-Hartsfield. Where I’d previously been getting a smooth 30FPS, I was now creeping along at an unusable 10FPS anywhere around the Atlanta region. Other heavy areas, such as NYC and LA, were likewise giving me performance issues where I’d experienced no such performance problems prior to the last two sim updates. But the worst, by far, was Atlanta. I’d spent weeks tweaking this setting and that setting, but I accomplished nothing. Keeping in mind that some of the graphics settings do not actually take effect until you reboot the program, I’d faithfully restarted MSFS every time I made any kind of change. I’d always changed each setting one at a time, so as to closely observe the effect of the change on FPS after I rebooted the sim. I’d literally tried hundreds of different combinations of graphics settings. But nothing made any real difference, even when I’d dialed most of the settings way down – far lower than the settings that used to work beautifully for me.
Finally, I discovered, quite by accident, what my problem was. I had apparently been mixing and matching graphics settings in a very self-defeating and perhaps contradictory way. Some of my settings were on Low, some on Medium, some on High, and one on Ultra. Again, these settings had worked perfectly on my system until the prior two sim updates. So I just decided to start over. I clicked the option to change all graphics settings to High as an unaltered group, and miraculously, my problems disappeared completely. I’m once again getting a solid 30FPS even at Atlanta! For purposes of experimentation, I then tried tweaking the individual settings again, lowering many of them in hope of boosting performance yet higher. It didn’t work. I was back to 10FPS in many of the heavy scenery regions.
So the moral of this story – at least for me – is to use the Graphics presets as an unaltered grouping. Very smart people at Asobo specially designed and grouped together these settings for us. Just accept one group of presets as a whole – depending on how much your machine can take – and then relax and forget about it. It’s possible that these settings were grouped together for a reason!