ORBITER loads a large number of texture maps (mainly planetary surfaces) during startup. Loading these maps will be very slow if your graphics card does not support texture compression, because textures must then be decompressed on the fly. To reduce the loading time (and the amount of memory required for textures):
- Disable high-resolution textures if you have any. High-resolution textures are located in the Textures2 subdirectory. The easiest way to disable them is to rename the directory. Orbiter will then use the lower-resolution textures in the Textures directory.
- Turn off visual effects in the "Visual effects" tab of the Orbiter Launchpad dialog. In particular the Cloud layers and Specular water reflections options are texture-intensive.