So I got this new machine at work. It's one of them new-fangled Core 2 Duo machines that Intel's making. And man does it show just how CPU bound we really are with all of our draw calls. The machine specs are: Intel Core 2 Duo CPU (a huge leap ahead of the dual Athlons in my other two machines), 2 gigs of ram and a GeForce 7900 (a bit faster than the 6800 and ATI x1600 in my other machines). I was shocked to turn all of the settings up completely (including autogen) and find myself getting 15 FPS solid. And this is on FSX retail. This wasn't even on SP1 with all of the performance enhancements. Granted, the whole machine is a step up, but the huge difference in CPUs seems to be the really big win and it makes sense. Wer're pushing way too many draw calls onto the CPU for FSX retail. Fortunately, SP1 addresses a lot of those issues, as well as takes advantage of both (or all four if you're really rich) cores on the CPU.
So hooray for CPUs! And for those of you who don't want to buy a new CPU, hooray for SP1. Look for it soon. I'll post as soon as we get done testing it and get it ready for release.