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IL-2 Guide for Computers, Benchmarking, Optimizing, Tweaking


IL-2 Sturmovik 1946 combat flight simulation - Image and Performace Guide

The computer, free tools, and IL-2 are connected and explained here. This is a guide on getting your IL-2 to look better and run smoother while using computer related technical tools to do it.

Better Synergy Here Has Resulted in More Content and Improved Organization.

Highest Image Quality or Stutter Reduction are found in:
Benchmarking, Optimizing, and Tweaking subtopics.

Over 100,000 views of this topic have benefited people, helping thousands to better enjoy IL-2.

You are the Commander in Chief of your hardware, software, and the virtual forces in your computer. As the master of your domain, you can get much useful information here.

Enjoy your journey as you find more satisfaction with IL-2...
Big Grin

My IL-2 runs well with an ordinary Laptop computer! You can increase performance, improve graphics look, and do it all reliably. I rarely have a stutter and no more freezes-despite turning my graphics settings up. It is a stunning improvement. Some scenes look like a motion picture.

[Image: Fireskull_Bf-109overSlovenia1B.jpg]
Here is an example of the kinds of scenes that I typically enjoy while in the IL-2 Sturmovik 1946 combat flight simulation. This is OpenGL with very nearly perfect, maximum settings. The scene is the Slovenia map of HSFX 4.1 with Effects High and Perfect Map Textures mods activated. It is fairly smooth flying and the performance is enough for me to enjoy doing practice maneuvers surrounded by such breath taking beauty. The image was magnified to show you the details that are visible. Because of this, some pixelation is evident, but you can clearly see the quality that brings me so much enjoyment. ...pretty good for a 2007 laptop computer! Smile

Images are provided in this topic to show what to expect from very high computer graphics settings of IL-2. The above OpenGL and below DirectX should be viewed on your computer monitor with rich green, gray, blue, and brown colors. Adjust your monitor and/or graphics card color configuration in harmony with my description. You can always refer to these images and compare to your IL-2 results in order to make it clear in your mind about any need for improvement.

Here is my flying over the same region but instead of the OpenGL above, below I flew with DirectX mode:

[Image: OfflineDirectXSloveniaMap.jpg]

Table of Contents


Section 1: Competing Resources

Clean Your Computer of Malware
The RAM and Page File Size - You can increase your RAM
Hardware and Software Devices
Windows Defender and the Currently Running Programs
Task Manager and Detecting Processes that Compete
"Clearing Your Desktop"
A Little Known Sap

Section 2: Important Issues Before Graphics Settings

The Free Tools and Simple Things to Remember

Section 3: Unused Capabilities

Run IL-2 in DirectX or OpenGL?
Multi Core Utilization
Is it Safe to Overclock?

Section 4: The PC Technical Relationship to IL-2

Benchmarking Preparation

PHASE 1 Benchmarking - - IL-2 Setup - - This is like the shoemaker who sizes the shoe. Stutter reduction settings are included.

PHASE 2 Optimization - - Graphics Control Panel - - Establishing graphics values, like a shoemaker cutting and stitching the shoe.

Final PHASE Tweaking - - The confi.ini file - - This is similar in principle to the shoemaker applying finishes to the shoe.

Section 5: Bonus Additional Information

NVIDIA Enhancements
ATI Enhancements - Includes Links to Troubleshooting Topics - Many useful links to other helpful information is here.

References and Miscellaneous Information

Section 6: The IL-2 Community Synergy

Concluding Comments
Answer Your Questions and Appreciate Your Comments

Statement of Purpose: The intention of this project is to guide the reader in the technical understanding of how IL-2 and the computer are connected, including instructions that are easy as possible. I desire not to detract from contributors in various communities but uniting and excellerating communication among us. Studying this topic will help everyone with IL-2.


What I have (stock):

HP Pavilion dv6815nr Notebook PC (A 2007 model laptop, clearance discount for $ 550 !)
AMD Turion64 X2 Dual Core CPU, 2.0 Ghz, 3 GB RAM
NVIDIA GeForce Go7150M Dual Core graphics with up to 1071 MB shared video memory ( Note: ATI info in this topic )
My latest, best performance is about 20 - 100 Frames Per Second and about 43 FPS in forward cockpit view, though I reveal how to eliminate most stuttering even with ordinary FPS.

Windows Vista Home Premium Operating System, 32 Bit (some programs can use both cores in 64 bit with configuration)
LogiTech Extreme 3D Pro - Joystick (about $ 30)
DYNEX Mouse to panview out the cockpit
Targus laptop cooling pad-under the computer
Targus external number pad (for offline quick and easy configuring and building missions, campaigns, and careers, as well as inflight control-key assignments)____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Note before you advance: Install IL-2 out Program Files or just move it. I have mine installed out Users folder, as well. It is among Users, Windows, and other major folders. In fact, my IL-2 is as major folder in my C Disk. The simulation runs better than ever and has faster loads and transitions, because of a much shorter file path. You should do the same with all other programs which you use with IL-2 while you fly.

IL-2 related downloads - Every download that has to do with IL-2, including graphics card drivers for example, needs to be handled correctly to ensure that it works well. On occassion, an IL-2 user will think that something is wrong with IL-2 or the hardware when it was actually a corrupt download which they installed.

Handling any download, including graphics related:

1) Scan the download for malware.
2) Test the download for corrupt files, using a program such as WinRar or 7z.
3) Open the download.

Graphics Card Manufacturer - What is the best?
As of 2013, it makes not difference what the manufacturer of the graphics is or other major hardware components, speaking in general. If there are issues, then the need to update a graphics driver or install an older one is a possibility, but examine other solutions first: Installed IL-2 outside Program Files as you should? Running IL-2 as an Administrator? Set IL-2 in Compatibility Mode for Windows XP Service Pack 2?

Here is where you can discover how to make the most of what you have.

All users regardless of hardware type, will find very important information in this topic. Some users who think that they need an upgrade in hardware will find that with this topic, they can keep what they have an enjoy good IL-2 image and performance.

The views in this post and throughout this topic are the opinions and experiences of myself and other people. It is for the reader to compare these with other information to make decisions which are independent of my responsibility, though I desire only to help.

Suggestions for Navigating This Topic

The sequence of these posts of this topic is to allow you to handle issues in a most efficient way. Applying the suggestions of each post as needed and progressing through them in order will allow you to prevent many repeat tasks. The whole topic was designed and created with this in mind for your benefit. Take it one step at a time and you can climb to the top in the best way which is possible for you. Exciting things await you along the journey and the peak of it will delight you after you have applied all that you can in this topic.

My sincere intention is to provide good general information with some details about how you may be able to make IL-2 more enjoyable. The topic here will put most things-where possible-in easy to understand language. Since, we have at All Aircraft Simulations many people more experienced than I on the technical details of equipment and software other than what I use, I will use mine as an example because I am familiar with it. The basic principles are the same and helpful for everybody. This will also be a nice convenient directory to give the location and authors of wonderful posts, topics, and websites. I desire to involve them by directing you to them, if you chose. Last but not least, I shall give credit where it is due.

I should summerize the nature of this topic. In it is information, instructions, and references for streamlining your computer for IL-2 and for using the free computer tools toward optimization of IL-2. Knowing what I overcame to understand these issues, I created a topic which contains a balance of much content and a size that is manageable for the reader.

The information is specific in nature when it applies to all or nearly everyone. On issues which have much variation among many IL-2 users, I kept things general in order for enough information to be provided for the user to take control. This way everyone will have more efficient instruction available, a kind of one topic size fits all.


Section #1: Competing Resources

Clean Your Computer of Malware Expect malware to slow a computer and hinder IL-2. I use Kaspersky as my malware scout. It is worth the $60 or so. I have tried over half-dozen defense products. No other anti-malware program that I've tried even comes close to it's capabilities. All my notifications are set to ON. It tells me everything. For more information, go to: Get a good anti-malware program, keep it updated daily, and scan soon after finishing your online connection or after suspicious activity. You could schedule scan and update to run while you sleep in order to not hinder IL-2. IMPORTANT:Immediately scan all email and files that you download. Your antimalware program should remain ON at all times. Antimalware program monitoring will not significantly effect IL-2 performance. Keep your antimalware running at all times.

Note: Much additional information follows this. This project is quite good to help you and more improvements will be coming. To subscribe, activate auto-notification in your profile, and post a reply.

Looking forward to it!

Seems like a great idea and would be appreciated by all.... Smile

Su Amigo,


Sounds great- But could you do one thing PLEASE.
When you write in that BLUE - I cant see it. To me it all fades into a line.
A littler colour blind i guess. :?:

Thanks skyomish, I'll change the color. Smile

The RAM and Page File Size


This is Random Access Memory. Basically, it is your computer's temporary memory. When you see a map being loaded in IL-2, then that is a perfect example of RAM being utilized.

System RAM - This is RAM which is used by your Operating System for general purposes. This can allow large loading or cause IL-2 to freeze.

Dedicated RAM - DDR, and so forth, is used for image, video purposes and is controlled by your graphics card. Though both System RAM and Dedicated RAM are important for IL-2, the Dedicated RAM is the most important of the two toward general video or 3D performance.

CPU and GPU Memory Cache This memory is even more temporary than RAM. Memory Cache of a processor chip depends on the architecture of the chip. It varies much among processor models. Think in terms of the memory of a single frame or even part of a video frame and you get an idea of how temporary this is. Part of the workings here is that processor will use memory cache in an attempt to anticipate where 3D objects will be in the next or coming frames. Memory cache is a major consideration toward IL-2 performance. Stutters can be greatly reduced with large memory cache in both the CPU and GPU. I included this for the purpose of clarification.


Some people at All Aircraft Simulations have posted issues with IL-2 coming to a sudden-screeching-halt. If RAM (Random Access Memory) becomes full or near full, then big problems can happen with IL-2 when much data is used such as in huge maps with many objects, planes, ships, and vehicles. Stuttering and low frames per second?... This may or may not be the cause of it.

Clearly, if a person reduces the amount of RAM usage, then IL-2 performance could be improved. Some programs use a lot of RAM. When you don't use them, close them during IL-2. If you are sure that it is safe to do so, then uninstall them if you won't be using them.

RAM can be increased in many computers with a hardware upgrade. Some laptops only require a RAM card upgrade.

Page File Size

In a nutshell, this is your computer operating system's ability to use disk space for temporary memory instead of the typical RAM location. It stores it by pages, hence the name Page this case-Page File Size. In most computers, this Page File Size can be increased. The main advantage with IL-2 is that when RAM gets almost full, then the OS can use Page Filing as a sort of overflow, temporarily. Increasing the Page File Size can give you a bit more room for temporary memory with the result that some guys will be able to stop freezes of IL-2.

The method of getting to the Page File Size feature may vary from one computer to another. In my HP Notebook computer with Windows, Page File Size can be found in Control Panel > System > Advanced system settings > System Properties window > Advanced > Performance > Settings > Advanced > Virtual Memory > Change > Custom

Remember to push the Set button after you make the Custom page file size for each disk in you computer. If you see any Apply button at the bottom of a Window as you back out of this task, then you should push the Apply button. It is a good idea to restart your OS after this to use the new settings immediately.

IMPORTANT: Once RAM is full and system begins to use Page File memory, stuttering often occurs. Page File Size might stop the freeze of IL-2, but it can also cause stutters even if FPS is a high rate.

Increase RAM Utilization for IL-2
UltraPack add-on from HaDes:,1052.0.html

IMPORTANT TIP: Use the Delete Browsing History function to potentially swipe malware from your computer, free RAM, and open some Disk space. Open your Internet Explorer browser. On the upper right, of my browser, is Safety. Click it and go to Delete Browsing History. Opening this activates a command box: Preserve Favorites website data, Temporary Internet files, Cookies, History, Form data, and Passwords. Malware can be hidden in any of these categories or used by them to get information to advance their invasion of your privacy and security. As for IL-2, RAM in some computers can be filled or at least clogged with weeks and months, if not years, of accumulated data from these things, especially images.

* Deleting Temporary Internet Files has the benefit of reducing RAM usage, therefore restoring more RAM for IL-2, an important area for the sim. This will delete the stored "Copies of webpages, images, and media that are saved for faster viewing". Choose: Do you want better IL-2 performance and potential or do you want faster websurfing? I delete the RAM dragging stuff.

Make sure that the scheduled time of your Disk Defragmentation is set to not happen while you have IL-2 running. If your computer is not ON at the scheduled time, then it will begin soon after you start your computer. Unknowingly, this could be happening while you are in IL-2 which will decrease IL-2 performance and cause strange pauses sometimes as your OS moves files. A weekly Disk Defragmentation could be another point that keeps IL-2 loading and running smoothly.

Hardware and Software Devices The variety of possible devices to have with a computer is amazing. While they are interesting and usually fun, they all compete in your computer for space, CPU usage, or GPU performance (in terms of IL-2).

All devices that are physically and digitally connected (-running-) with your computer while ON have corresponding software. Amagine an army officer. Okay, even if the troops are standing in formation at rest, they still occupy the army officer's attention. Obviously, the more troops, then the more attention and effort required to manage and direct the force. This is the same with your computer.

TIP: Updates are software devices that should be run each day, especially soon after logging. Twenty-four hours per day, companies around the world are developing the updates. Usually the updates are publicized while you are away from your computer. A positive habit is to check for all types of updates when resuming computer use first thing in the day. You should at least do this every day. I run several updates at the same exact time, the first time I start to use my computer for the day. Yes, you can do other things on the PC while the update checks are running. Smile Another example: My Kaspersky anti-malware program typically has new udates every hour. In order for Kaspersky, HP, Microsoft, and other updates to not interfere with performance of IL-2 while I fly online, I have them on manual update while I am in the sim. No updates while in the simulation allows fewer threads in your CPU. IL-2 will have more capability with less competing resource. :wink:

I recommend unplugging or turning OFF every device that is not in use with IL-2 as the next step in decreasing the demand on your computer while you have IL-2 simulator running. The amount of benefit from this ranges from faster loading at every stage of IL-2 to smoother graphics motions on your screen while you fly, and potentially any other performance that is IL-2 related. The change could be noticeable or merely slight. You can only be sure of an improvement if you follow this advice. It could only help.

You are off to a smoking start....I have emailed my squad to read your most helpful thread...several of them are running older hardware and can use all the help that they can get.....

Thanx Mucho,


The same emotional reaction could happen to you, so do what you can to fight malware.

ADVICE: Always use a screen keyboard for logging a password. Keylogger malware are common at popular websites where there are new postings and pictures to click-on. Keyloggers are usually there without the user knowing it. They record key strokes and then use your password to either transmit data to a hacker or to a malware that will use your password to get in your account(s) or your computer. For extra security, I use screen keyboard for user name as well. If you leave the on-screen keyboard on your screen when you exit, then it will be there with your log-in password box when you want to reaccess your user account.

Warning: Do not depend on the Windows onscreen keyboard. That keyboard is relatively unsecure. Use it for the LogIn when it will remain on the screen-this is better than nothing-until you find an alternative.

I use the onscreen keyboard which comes with my Kaspersky antimalware program. The Kaspersky self-defense application defends the antimalware program and also the onscreen keyboard that comes with it.

It would be worth the effort to do a little research to find a secure onscreen keyboard.

Getting Windows Internet Explorer 8 (free!) or later version will give you InPrivate viewing. This simply limits the information that websites can get from your computer, therefore further enhancing security.


TIP: A free and thorough online scan is available which is called "OneCare safety scanner", a full service scan for Windows Vista AND Win7, by Windows Live.

This is very extensive, covering these:

Virus and spyware scan.
Disk fragmentation scan.
Disk cleanup scan.
Registry cleaner scan.
Open ports scan.
Computer information.

Increase IL-2 Storage - More Disk Space, Improve Loading and Transition Times

About temporary files
Temporary files are created when you download and install software, open files in e-mail and instant-messaging programs, or transfer files. Usually the program that created the temporary files deletes them when it's done, though some programs leave files with data in them.

OneCareSafety scanner can clean your system of much of this.

Yeah :!: We are making progress.

Windows Defender and Currently Running Programs Currently Running Programs is a powerful application of Windows Defender ( I found it in my Vista. ) This will show you programs that are starting after you log into your computer. It will also show you what major programs are currently in operation through your desktop. On occasion, it does reveal some suspicious programs.

Start Windows Defender. Click once on TOOLS. After that, look for Software Explorer application and click it. The Category should read Startup Programs. Click on the programs one at a time on the left, each time taking notice of the info on the box to the right. Anything that does not have a Publisher name or no Digital Signature is suspicous. If you do not know or trust it, then go to Programs and Features to uninstall it. If you or your computer operating system does not need it, then I recommend uninstalling it to improve IL-2 storage space and performance, also security.

Next click the Category to bring Currently Running Programs. Follow the same general instructions in the preceding paragraph. You can also, End Process at the bottom right or go to Task Manager/Performance/Resource Monitor to see what other stuff is using your CPU processing, adding more threads to compete against your IL-2 in the CPU. The goal is to use the different sources of information, combine what is needed, and take the correct action.

Note: With the nHancer program, the IL-2 threads will be opened in your CPU, as you will see in the coming posts. This is caused by Prerendered Frames being activated. With nHancer, the CPU becomes much more important than it would if you do not use nHancer. More on that later.

CAUTION: Do not to shut any OS (system) processes unless you are certain of them. The ones that have unfamiliar names or you don't understand the description-let them be. If you leave something installed but shut it down, then you can restart or open it later. Each time you reboot, those startup programs need to be closed again if you want to "stream-line" for IL-2. I shut down Parental Controls because I have no need for it. I leave some programs installed that I will use later, but shut them down if I don't need them-especially just before I start IL-2. 8)

Task Manager and Detecting Processes that Compete

By now, you should be eager to close applications that occupy resources against IL-2.

There are three categories of Windows Task Manager that I will cover next in the subject of closing things that compete with IL-2 for CPU processing.

Though there are several ways to open Task Manager ( TM ), I either open it in the button of Defender's Currently Running Programs while I am there, or I simply hold-down ctrl + alt + delete buttons.

#1) In the TM window, Applications is the first tab. Entering there will reveal the programs currently open or opening and will be shown in your screen. If IL-2 ever freezes, you can open TM by simultaneously pressing keys ctrl + alt + delete. While increasing Graphics card settings and testing, this is normal and not too unusual. The sim will be shown and you can select End Task. If your mouse won't work, then use the tab, enter, and arrows buttons on your keyboard to move to different things in TM which will be slightly highlighted, and to select push enter. This is how you handle tasks easily. Hence, the name Task Manager. The ability to end things not related to IL-2 before you fly is in your hands. Again, be careful not to close the critical system things. By the way, if you have many windows open, doing it here is quicker and easier than chasing all those window close buttons.

#2) The second tab is Processes in TM. (A process has the potential to use a bunch of threads through your CPU.) Here you see the current processes that have been started. You push the End Process button to stop those that are safe to do so. Before using IL-2, I close Windows Live Messenger and its platform under it, for example. Exam the list to see anything that is safe to end.

#3)Third is the Services tab of TM. Here you see software systems designed to perform tasks in multiple areas that need coordination. Perhaps you immediately see how this could compete with IL-2 for your computer's attention and resources.
Vista updates solved many of the conflicts that resulted in slow loading and even freezes. However, you can click the Services tab and push the Services button at the bottom to access the window to stop some occupying things. A second window will appear for that. For another example, I don't use Apple Mobile Devices, so I stopped it. Be extra careful here not to close something that your OS uses to keep your computer running.

Clearing Your Desktop

For centuries, people have cleared the desk top to free themselves to work more efficiently. This holds true for Windows, as well.

Most people use their computer while not being aware that piling a large number of "icons" on the screen is adding files to their Desktop folder. Though a window which appears will conceal the symbols, in relation to graphics, the things are still occupying attention by both the CPU and the GPU. I have read online debates about this, but the fact remains. I first read about it on the Ubisoft IL-2 Sturmovik site years ago and sometimes discover it again at other sites. Like a real desk top, a few things is handy but a pile gets in the way.

For some Windows Operating Systems: I drag icons to the Quick Launch Toolbar in the Task Bar tray at the bottom of the screen. My Task Bar is set to auto-hide to disappear and reappear when I put my cursor there. Set it to Lock. The >> symbols in the Task Bar let you access the Quick Launch Toolbar and what you dragged there.

INSTRUCTIONS: Right Click Drag the Desktop icons to the Start button and then drag to the right at a spot infront of >> in the Task Bar and a black bar (look closely) will show the destination of the move. After you release the right click, then a small box will appear with the options - click Move Here. Look to see if the icon is in the Quick Launch Tool Bar by clicking on the >> symbol. You can also drag the icon to where you want it in the Quick Launch Tool Bar window.

The small size of the icons in the Quick Launch Toolbar will reduce the attention required in your computer's processing compared to the full size screen icons.

IMPORTANT: A black screen background with no pictures-sorry, but true-will have the same basic benefits as greatly decreasing the icons over it.

Tip: You could have the screen picture deactivated while in IL-2. Doing what is recommended here will open more of your computer resources to focus on IL-2. Free yourself of the clutter that so easily entangles.

A Little Known Sap

Screen saver switched ON will sap graphics performance and attached devices input performance connected to your IL-2. This is 100% assured, every time. It's only a matter of degree from computer to computer. Not only should you disable screen saver while in IL-2, include that nice picture that appears when your computer is not being used. The simplest and smallest pictures have the least effect. Make the screen go to black when the keyboard has been inactive. Also, use a black screen desktop background only, if you need more performane in IL-2. Guys with a marginal computer need all the help that they can get. By the way, keep the password protection feature for security, however.

Control Panel > Personalize > Screen Saver > NONE Smile You can reactivate it after you exit IL-2.

Attention: After making IL-2 changes, some things require that you should restart the sim to be sure of setting the adjustments. Windows also requires that you Restart for many things to set what you change. Reading the instructions is advisable.

Tip: Switching your Windows quality to the lowest level helps some people who have stutters while flying in IL-2. For example, aero windows style is demanding on VRAM (video RAM), like the Screen - savers take some VRAM.

In my HP Notebook PC is a good program called the HP Health Check. It does a thorough examination and testing of many things in my computer to make sure that the rig is working well. It recently discovered in my laptop that I need to have my battery calibrated, for example. Once per week is good for this auto-run set of tasks.

I have HP Health Check scheduled to run when it will never interfere with IL-2 when I have the sim running. Even if I should start my OS after the Health Check time and it wants to run right away, I have set it to a day when I will not be in IL-2. Upon receiving this enlightenment, many guys will be relieved and happier with both the computer and IL-2.

Note: In order to not repeat procedures in the following sections, it is important that you finish the tasks in this section. Have you done these things?


Cooling is critical for stability, continued running, and the longevity of your electronics-especially the CPU and GPU. Never disable the stock cooling, such as fans. It is a good idea to add fans and/or a liquid containing cooling system such as available as after-market products.

Watch Your CPU and GPU Core Temperatures!

Liquid Cooling System is generally the best, most effective heat reducer, especially making direct contact with the surface of the CPU and GPU computer chips, as well as RAM cards and Solid State Memory Drives. Sometimes even the back of a Mother Board is covered with a Liquid Cooling pad.

Temporary Solution - such as a small department store fan.
A fan that pushes cooler air onto the motherboard is better than pushing hot air away from it only if the fan is drawing on cooler air, such as through a tube to the outside (It's been done before!). Be careful about liquids and moisture which could be drawn into the fan, thereby blowing harmful drops onto your computer. (Keep all drinks away from the computer!) It is best to use an aftermarket cooling system designed for PCs and follow the directions. If you think that there is a chance that something harmful will be drawn through the fan to your mother board, then set the fan to push air from the mobo. You might have a need for a temporary fix, until you install a cooling system designed for computers.

Years ago I needed more cooling and placed a fan in the foot between an open window and the PC mother board, side panel removed. Freezes stopped every time I did that!

Plugging them into a separate electrical circuit from your computer will ensure no electric drain from your PC. An "outlet" in the same room probably is in the same circuit. Reduce or eliminate the electrical devices plugged and running in your room, such as a bunch of lights. Have you ever seen the interference in a TV when you run a power tool in the same circuit? know what I mean.

Laptop Cooling - special cooling needs for high performance of IL-2

I address these issues because some people blame Windows Vista, other Operating System, or computer in general for some things that they are doing apart from it. This makes these issues to be particularly relevant to this Forum and this Topic. Don't blame your Operating System for poor performance of IL-2 and gliches. You are a captain of your ship, lord of your estate, boss at work, etcetera, when it comes to your computer. Take control and manage it right! You can do it! Smile

Stability of your PC and IL-2 is within the highest priority of the safety and security of your system. Make gradule, step-by-step progress in all you do. Two other crucial enablers are to record important information and maintain copies.

Free Utility for Stability: Microsoft Fix It Center Online - Microsoft Corporation offical website analizes and diagnoses your computer issues - Free !

Remember: You can climb a mountain step-by-step. Enjoy the journey along the way, too. Almost anybody can do this.

The Free Tools and Simple Things to Remember In order to see the astonishing improvements that I have, then you will need the following tools which are all free:
(Click on the URL) Fraps This will give you the ingame-onscreen frames per second (FPS), critical for benchmarking.

ATI owner: Continue reading for many useful techniques and information that can help you. The ATI Enhancements subtopic is what you will eventually reach, but you need the preparation information ahead of that.

NVIDIA users: nHancer The Central Control Center for optimization! ( For nVidia )


Important Preparations to Consider:

#1) Update your graphics card drivers and upgrade to the highest level and latest that is compatible with your graphics card, but don't get drivers for higher level graphics cards unless your updater and manufacturer indicates that it is supported.

For an example, my GeForce 179.91 graphic drivers are precisely matched for my laptop. The system will not support any higher driver number because of system specifications. Some system features will not run with an incorrect driver. Run your graphics card update to see what is available for your system.

#2) ATI CATALYST information is in the ATI Enhancements subtopic - See Table of Contents in the first post. ATI Enhancements subtopic handles the driver troubleshooting issue because it is a bit complicated as far as IL-2 is concerned. Examin the entire ATI post, especially the Troubleshooting information. However, I highly recommend that you examin this whole topic for many things which you can do in the relationship of your computer to IL-2.

#3) NVIDIA enhancements details are found in the NVIDIA Enhancements subtopic. nHancer version could be used which matches your NVIDIA graphics card driver that is found in the nVIDIA Control Panel > Performance > View System Information > Video ( In my case, GeForce Video ) > your driver number.

NVIDIA Driver Updates are available here:

IMPORTANT EVERYBODY: Generally, installing a graphics driver which is not indicated as being a match for update or upgrade by the manufacturer could do more bad than good. Follow ATI or NVIDIA recommendations. Exception: If your IL-2 still does not perform well after you did everything in this topic which you could, only then should you consider using an older graphics driver. For some people, this fixed a major problem.

Driver compatibility example: My NVIDIA graphics driver is version GeForce Video 179.91 and it is tailored for my particular laptop. Things such as the ability to set computer to sleep, when the lid on my laptop is closed, are directly dependent on my driver. No higher driver number is for me. Every graphics card has a limit to how high you can go. This is especially the case in using IL-2, which might even require a graphics card which is older than the manufacturer recommends!

The nHancer version which you would use with NVIDIA can be found in the compatibility list at the nHancer website. Applying a version which is designed for a higher graphics driver number will have no substantial gain. It could make confusion as you attempt to apply certain settings, meanwhile probably never knowing if it makes any difference or not. Match your system requirements to nHancer.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________ NVIDIA System Monitor Track CPU core(s) temperature, percentage usage-simple.

Get your core temperature limit from your PC or from the manufacturer website.

Windows Task Manager-comes with later MS operating systems. See your IL-2 go from 1 thread to 4, 8, 10, or far more. Other important uses are found with it.

Windows Task Manager Resource Monitor reveals IL-2 being processed by 18 threads, average 41% CPU usage:

[Image: IL-2_with_nHancer_WindowsTaskManage.jpg]

IL-2 had very smooth frames and very excellent image graphics settings during the Resource Monitor screen capture above this. While using Best Image Quality configuration, I have seen upto 28 threads being used. You can learn how a particular graphics card setting directly effects processing. This can reveal if it needs consideration. I learned much about the effects of things while using Resource Monitor.

Windows Task Manager Performance Monitor shows both my cores at very close to 100% usage at a different time when I had IL-2 and a bunch of programs running. Only if the core temperatures are normal is this safe, which was the situation here:

[Image: WindowsTaskManagerPerformanceMonito.jpg]

For high demand settings, and for overclocking, watching the CPU percentage of usage and the core temperatures is critical to prevent shortened CPU and GPU life. Destruction of CPU or GPU is possible without taking all the necessary precautions when putting much demand on your system.

Notice that useful data is present in Performance Monitor, such as physical memory and how much is cached. These things can give you a clue as to why you see Frames Per Second drop or stuttering.

These tools are considered by me to be the absolute minimum to control your PC and IL-2 to achieve the best that you can get. Ironically, there are more tools out there, but sticking to these will keep the tasks manageable for the new users.

Another word of encouragement before you take true control of your PC and IL-2: I too went through this. You have more advantage than I had because I had no instructor.

This concludes Section #2. You have this Topic about the PC technical aspects of optimization, All Aircraft Simulations community, and all the basic resources within reach. Did you cover everything this far?


This is some good stuff....please keep it coming...and THank You... 8)


Run IL-2 in DirectX or OpenGL?

This truthfully depends on a collection of factors. Though hottly debated in all IL-2 communities, objective reasoning will bring the IL-2 user to a clear understanding of which 3D mode to use.

Facts and recommendations to consider:

OpenGL IL-2 is fundamently an OpenGL program for our purposes. This is demonstrated in the fact that IL-2 can only be configured for perfect water in OpenGL. Though for some people this may not be practicable because of the limits of their computer, understanding, and how they have managed their system-running IL-2 efficiently in OpenGL will remain the ideal to attain.

DirectX Windows operating systems (OS) work best with DirectX, though Microsoft has worked hard and made progress in causing the OS authored within Microsoft to run the outside programs which utilize freeware and OpenGL.

Many people reading this will instantly wonder how to reconcile the two, since they have a Microsoft OS which is designed to use primarily DirectX and are running IL-2 which is based on OpenGL.

My recommendations

If you like what you have, then read no further and keep it. Smile There is nothing wrong with that, but you may never know what it could have been. :wink:

* Single CPU core users with older computers should endeaver to make their IL-2 go from 1 thread to multi-thread utilization in their CPU. Try Open GL if you insist-and it might work well for you with Threaded Optimization enabled. If that does not work after much effort with settings, then I recommend that you use DirectX if you need performance gain such as better input device performance, less stuttering, and even avoiding IL-2 lock or computer freezes. In this case you would strive to enable Threaded Optimization here, too. The DirectX mode called Prerendered Frames automatically causes the CPU to open more threads. It is worth a try. Hold that thought and finish the reading of this section...

* Single CPU core owners with late model CPU and GPU can expect to use OpenGL superior graphics with nice results, though a minority of them will find the performance specialization of DirectX most appealing.

** Dual Core CPU users with computers that are a few years old should be able to run OpenGL and like the improvements after optimization while maintaining good performance. A few people will prefer DirectX performance over OpenGL visuals.

** Dual Core CPU owners of late model equipment will likely find OpenGL to be their choice for fabulous simulated flying. Some guys have a rig that will run with all settings at maximum.

**** Multi Core CPU users with three or more cores and a good GPU can demand the best in IL-2 OpenGL visual graphics with little if any hindering of performance.

**** Multi Core CPU owners of three or more cores with a very fast and powerful GPU, such as NVIDIA SLI Technology or ATI Crossfire Technology, can have all of it: OpenGL settings at maximum with astonishing lightning fast performance. No stuttering, no input delay, no visual distortions-they will have excellent scenic detail and simulation performance in a reliable atmosphere.
OpenGL will give you superior results such as perfect water, but this mode is demanding on a computer.

DirectX will give you superior performance when OpenGL proves out your reach. Plus, in my Dual Core computer, it renders forests and terrain with more detail for a certain amount of Frames Per Second. I see 3D trees in the forests with leaves, the ground has clumps and stones, and the plains have grass sodding details. The water is excellent with waves, shallows and reefs, though not perfect. This might be good enough for some.

This subtopic is important for you in Benchmark Preparation. Pick the catagory which best describes your computer and continue to the next subtopic. Smile
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