Out of the box, with the last SP2 update MS FSX certainly looks and performs much better than the last version of MS FS 2004. Microsoft flight simulator 10 was initially developed to scale with hardware that would appear 2 do three years later after its original release date. Even though Microsoft flight simulator 10 is half a decade old even modern computers nowadays struggle to run it at full frame rate once the performance options are set to maximum.
Despite the fact that updates to Ms flight simulator 10 have ceased, the release of add-ons means that Microsoft flight simulator continues to get more realistic and accurate as time goes on.
One of the primary ways to greatly enhance Microsoft flight simulator is to replace the terrain mesh. The world that is drawn in Microsoft flight simulator is modelled after wireframe meshes. This wire mesh determines how accurately the world is rendered when textures are overlaid on top of it. The terrain mesh data contain specific elevation information for land classes around the world. This mesh data is used to create a 3d model of terrain features such as hills, mountains, cliffs, plateaus, valleys etc.
Although this terrain mesh data can be quite accurate in big cities, when you fly off to the countryside you may notice the world is quite flat. If you are a bush flier than the accuracy of this terrain mesh affects both the realism and enjoyment you get when terrain spotting. Quite simply if you love to fly VFR than a terrain mesh upgrade with a higher resolution will allow MS FSX to depict the terrain elevations more accurately than it already does.
For example, the default mesh resolution for the United States in MS FSX is 38.2m. This basically means that the height of the terrain is measured every 38.2m. You will be happy to know that you can now buy add-ons which improve his resolution up to 10m. This means that the terrain elevation is sampled every 10m. Now instead of flying through smooth mountains you get really jagged cliffs and much more accurately modelled terrain features.
The initial step in finding these add-ons is to visit Google. Because the size of terrain mesh is are generally very large, they are split into geographical regions such as America or Europe. Terrain mesh updates can be downloaded for free on the Internet purchased online at flight simulator stores. Compared to free terrain meshes, paid terrain mesh data is generally of higher accuracy. Regardless of whether you end up buying a terrain mesh finding one for free, the increased resolution will improve the simulation accuracy greatly.
When you have updated your terrain mesh is you may also want to look at improving the default textures used by Microsoft flight simulator. You can either download generic texture updates or even go the route of being real satellite imagery converted for use in MS FSX.
I am an avid flight simmer. Installing MS FSX add-ons is a bit of an advanced upgrade, If you are new to MS FSX than you should start of by making sure you have the right kind of flight controllers. The thrustmaster warthog or the Logitech G940 is great for those that wish to fly jet planes just like they do in real life.