For these reasons what follows will necessarily be somewhat heavy on explanatory text, but you do need to be aware from the very beginning that the Fixer is not the sort of product where you simply run an automated install and that’s it: yes, there is an automated installer, but you need to know more, and to do more — hence the need for the following explanations (which will also include the stuff that I wish had been able to read before I installed the Fixer, incidentally).
But first, to save you the possible frustration of reading through all this only to discover that for one reason or another you are not a potential customer for the Fixer, here is a very brief summary of what I consider to be the essential things which you need to have, and to be aware of, before you can run it — the explanations of what lies behind these items will be found in the rest of the review. You obviously need a DX10-compatible graphics card. An FSX installation which is capable of running in DX10 preview mode.
Also, FYI, Sweet FX might require you to add the full fsx directory path to your statement for Sweet FX_
So allow me, therefore, to begin by explaining a few essential terms (if you are already aware of this stuff, then please feel free to skip ahead), also mentioning a little of the relevant simming history.
Every version of Windows from Windows 98 onwards includes Direct X, so hopefully you shouldn’t have to do anything special to get it.
(DX-11 compatible is fine too, as I’ll explain very soon). I suspect that this is a DX10 limitation, rather than a Fixer limitation. A version of Windows with support for Direct X 10 (i.e. This usually means that you have Acceleration installed as well, but once again you will find the rationale below. You will need the willingness to spend a little time experimenting, tweaking, and tuning your configuration to derive the optimum benefit from the Fixer.
However, since in DX10 mode the rendering pipeline is no longer shared by the CPU (the GPU does it all) I would therefore suggest that you ideally need to have a graphics card. If you hate the idea of groping around in FSX’s internals and you’re not even sure where to find your file, perhaps you should look elsewhere (or phone a friend). If, on the other hand, you are someone who is already heavily into the business of tweaking, and you have installed across-the-board shader modifications such as the ENB Mod, Shade, Sweet FX, or even some of Steve’s previously-issued free individual fixes, then you may need to take care.
I’m tempted to also say that it may be better to have an Nvidia card than an ATI card — even though many ATI owners do use the Fixer, too. I don’t use such esoteric things myself, so all I can suggest is that you find and follow the most current (at the present rate of DX10 progress anything more than a couple of months’ old is probably out of date) advice you can find.
Direct X incorporates elements such as Direct Draw Acceleration, Direct3D Acceleration, and AGP Texture Acceleration which allow your applications (such as fsx) to use the hardware acceleration provided by your video card.
(Direct X also incorporates Direct Play and Direct Sound which interface with your sound card).
I can’t, for example, show you side-by-side screenshots of DX9 and then DX10 views in fsx, since reducing the pics to the resolution needed for inclusion here will remove the detail which you would need to see.
Furthermore, I will also need to explain quite a lot of the background, so that you can understand exactly what the Fixer is doing.
Buried somewhere in what follows is a review of Steve’s DX10 Fixer.But Steve’s DX10 Fixer (henceforth referred to here as simply “the Fixer”) is an unusual product — and so this has to be an unusual review, too.