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New Build for FSX

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November 28, 2006 6:25:58 AM

OK so here's my problem. The only real games I like are the various Flight Sims. Recently, I purchased FSX Deluxe, and I have been playing it on my wife's system.

Her system specs are as follows:
CPU: 4800+
Video: 7800GTX 512MB
RAM: 2GBs Corsair Pro (with the flashing LEDs for the bling); DDR
HDD: WD 400GB, SATA
ODD: Plextor-716SA (SATA)
Sound: X-Fi Platinum
19" LCD @ 1280x1024

As you can see, this system is no slouch. But FSX can really make it hiccup! Anyone who has read the reviews on this game knows this sim is a MONSTER! Probably the meanest thing out there!

Before I go on, I will tell ya'll that I play with the graphic settings to the MAX, and I ain't gonna loosen it up either!

For about 95% of the time, the game plays just fine, but there are times when the game "stops" (like it's getting bogged, not locked-up). That will last a couple of seconds and before I know it, I am crashing a helo right into an oil rig! Not good!

Anyhow, I am going to be building a new system after the 1st of the year to replace my current desktop (mine, not the wife's). The only things being salvaged from this current system is a 19" CRT monitor, the Klipsch 2.1 speakers, and the Live! Drive for my sound card. The CRT will crank up to a max resolution of 1920x1440 @160MHz (according to the ATI Catalyst Control Center), so I don't really see a reason to ditch this monitor.

I watch TV and DVDs on my TV and not on the computer monitor, so I could care less about HDTV, Blu-Ray, and all of the other shit. This computer will also be doing serious, heavy-duty, relational DB work, coding, media creation, and surfing internet porn.

Anyhow, I am in the early stages of configuring a new system. I am planning on going with either the E6600 or the E6300, an ASUS Striker MB, a new X-Fi sound card, and SATA HDDs and ODDs.

Where I am stuck is here:

I don't have any intention on "upgrading" to Vista anytime soon, and I really hate the fact that (from what I heard), the 1st Gen DX10 cards are needing auxillary power supplies (and are fucking huge to boot).

Do I:

1) stop being a girlie-man and get an 8800? GTS or GTX? One or SLI?

2) look for a deal on a pair of 7900GTX's (at 512MB each), and SLI those? (I ain't been too impressed with that 7950 card at all)

3) don't do anything and use the $$ I would have spent on new computer equipment and take actual flight lessons?

4) wait for the next revision of DX10 cards to come out? (I've read where they are supposed to be smaller and less power-hungry)

5) what about the HDD's? 150GB Raptors x 2 RAIDed and another one for backup? I don't really know if the added noise/heat/expense is really worth it, from what I read.

OK, let's hear what ya'll are thinking.

More about : build fsx

November 28, 2006 6:58:17 AM

nice to see an FSX fan heard of vatsim? try vatsim.net anyways nuff of that

1. for FSX get an 8800 most definitly

2. forget it the 8800 is faster then a 7950GX2 and way faster then 2 7900's plus you got that DX10

3. as far as that goes thats about 30 hours of rentals, have fun that isnt even a pilots liscence, no where close, i gave it up till i start my career persuance(im 15)

4 whatever floats your boat

5 HD is also up to you, wont see a great improvement in RAID

i just invested 3200 in a system here's what it has

Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 with ZALMAN 9500 @ 3.3GHz
eVGA 8800GTX
2GB Corsair XMS DDR2 800 5-5-5-12
eVGA 680i MB
2x150GB Raptors in RAID 0
Floppy drive
2 DVD burners
1000W PSUa few fans and a cooler master CM stacker
Windows XP pro

everything works well here, i can set things up to max but dont get me wrong at big airports you will get sh&&y frames maybe 13FPS at Los angeles all settings max not fabulous, but better then most can say in a place like the missions Helicopter on oil rig one (fun fun fun i like that one) i get a solid 20FPS with the Frames locked at 20 FS2004 runs so fast its scary
November 28, 2006 6:28:45 PM

Quote:
1) stop being a girlie-man and get an 8800? GTS or GTX? One or SLI?
Get 1 EVGA 8800GTS, no need for SLI with 1 monitor

Quote:
2) look for a deal on a pair of 7900GTX's (at 512MB each), and SLI those? (I ain't been too impressed with that 7950 card at all)
7900 series cards are yesterdays technology..

Quote:
3) don't do anything and use the $$ I would have spent on new computer equipment and take actual flight lessons?
rent a plane and fly for a day, build a dedicated FSX PC and fly every day, and night, all year...

Quote:
4) wait for the next revision of DX10 cards to come out? (I've read where they are supposed to be smaller and less power-hungry)
There will always be something better on the horizon.

Quote:
5) what about the HDD's? 150GB Raptors x 2 RAIDed and another one for backup? I don't really know if the added noise/heat/expense is really worth it, from what I read.
RAID0+1 requires 4 disks and will provide you with increased speed and redundancy.

You will need Vista to enjoy the added benefits that the 8800 series cards provides, Vista contains the DirectX/10 drivers....
Related resources
November 28, 2006 6:34:48 PM

FSX is one of my favorites. I run it on my system with everything maxed out and its smooth as silk:

E6600
Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6
2GB DDR2-800
X1900XTX
2x 74GB Raptors in Raid 0

I have the FSB at 400MHZ with the CPU Multiplier at 8 for 3.2GHz, then I have the memory multiplier at 2 for DDR2=-800 at 1:1

I'm air cooling with Zalman.

Anyway, this particular configuration runs FSX at high settings just fine.
November 28, 2006 6:54:53 PM

Quote:
i just invested 3200

Ouch 3200? US$?
November 28, 2006 7:26:27 PM

Man i am running FSX Deluxe on my system in my sig.

How does it run ?

Good actuley its setting are

Res: 1024x768x32 no aa 16x AF Max Aircraft, Max Water,Max terrian (with med. draw distance) and low traffic

I get about 20-30fps with these settings...................

So what the hell are you running it at, could not you turn the res down ?

It looks like you have some cash and prepared to spend it.................

If you want to get a 8800GTS go for it, but FSXD might support DX10 with a patch (rumor) later next year....... But under DX9 with that card, man you would be able to put everything at max !

BTW. I am getting a Logitech Extreem Force Pro Joystick, wish me luck !
November 28, 2006 8:00:50 PM

First of all, head over to http://www.flightsim.com if you have not already done so. Check the FS-X and Hardware forums to get a grip on what people are doing to make the most of FS-X.

Second, don't expect miracles. FS has always leap-frogged the current hardware and this release is no different. Which means that if you're going to insist on keeping all the eye candy balls-to-the-wall, you can run the bugger on an LN-cooled 8-way Xeon and you're still going to be pissed about the frame rates over major cities.

As far as your overall configuration, it doesn't sound bad but I'd throw another 2GB of RAM at it and move the swap file to a separate spindle. Maybe buy a Raptor as the main drive for the OS and FS-X, and move the swap file and all your smut to the 400GB unit.

You didn't mention what motherboard you have so there's no telling if you might have any screwy bottlenecks, such as your SATA drive running in emulated mode. Though I'm guessing that shouldn't be an issue on a motherboard that supports SATA optical drives.

Go get yourself the fastest CPU you can. Don't cheap out. Plan on giving yourself some extra cooling room for a mild overclock, even if it's just to crank up the mutiplier by one.

Judging by what I've read about Vista and DirectX 10, I think it's fair to expect a performance increase in FS-X by using Vista and a DX-10 -capable video card when MS gets the DX10 patch out for FS-X and the video card makers get their blessed DX10 drivers out for Vista. More than likely, the more eye candy you want the more significant that performance difference is destined to be. But that's just an educated opinion right now - I have no solid proof.

And don't worry so much about size and power requirements. Everyone's freaking out because the DX10 cards are actually "full length". They are NOT oversized, and most mid-towers will handle them OK. (YMMV). Power requirements are not that much more than the 1900 series cards.

There's no evidence at all of SLI increasing FS-X performance in FS-X. It's heavily CPU bound. In my opinion SLI is mostly for pee-pee -wagging and "look, you can see the jaggy-free fake beads of sweat on the fake Lara's fake nipples." Many popular games' frame rates can already hit numbers that are double and triple that of human persistence of vision. Or maybe I'm just a narrow-minded jerk.

FS-X will be helped only slightly by multiple cores but your media creation stuff will benefit hugely. The RDB and dev work should benefit, depending on the back-end software.

Finally, do take some lessons. Flying is awesome if you're up to the responsibility.

As a pointless benchmark for you I'll close this with a rundown of my current shopping list (subject to change minor changes), since I'm planning to build a new beast for Vista and FS-X around the end of January...

Core 2 Due EX6800 CPU
Intel D975XBX2 motherboard
4GB ECC DDR2-667 (Kingston KVR667D2E5K2/4G)
DirectX-10 card du jour (hoping for ATI)
2x WD1500ADFD "Raptor", NOT RAID
ATI TV Wonder 650
Thermaltake W0128RU 650W PS
Plextor PX-716SA
Plextor PX-760SA
Zalman CNPS7700-Cu cooler retrofitted with JMC's PWM -controlled fan.

Depending on RAM prices I might go for 8GB when the time comes.

-Brad
November 30, 2006 1:03:01 AM

You know, I totally forgot to do an OC on her CPU and GPU! I did a 10% on the CPU and let the nVidia monitor OC the GPU (now 1709/560, from 1700/550; not much, but every bit helps). I haven't played with the memory timings at all.

These are my settings:

Graphics- 51 FPS (laughable!), 1280x1024x32; Trilinear; AA, Global Texture VH; advanced animations

Weather- Global High

Aircraft- All items checked; 2d Transparency 0% (Global Ultra High)

Traffic- Global High

Scenery- Detail radius M; Mesh Complexity 70; Mesh Resolution 19m; Texture Resolution 60cm; Water XFX High 2.x; Scenery Dense; Autogen Dense (WTH is this anyhow?); Special XFX Detail High; Land Detail Checked

Realism- whatever the max setting is

I need to find out where I can monitor those FPS's...I read on how to do it but I don't remember where!

EDIT: Something isn't kosher anymore as the game is locking up in Midwest Fly-in. Might be something to do with the CPU OC or the fact that I cranked-up the nVidia settings to way out there.

EDIT EDIT: I was called away for a number of hours and I totally forgot I still had this reply going! Anyhow, every slider is cranked to max now, 16x AA plus AF (or vice versa). I put the CPU and GPU to their original settings because it was locking up; I will try again later. You guys are doing great- thanks for the info!
November 30, 2006 1:51:32 AM

First of all 58FPS is great !

As for monitoring FSX Frames u should get a Program like FRAPS or get the FSX Benchmark utility from that flight sim website !

:EDIT:

I am glad we can help you, as for the pauses ingame i think its the huge landscape loading into your RAM and Videocard.

Whatever is causing the lockups is to do with bottle neck...........

Get a Quad Core CPU and a DX10 card and 4GB of ram and that should fix things right up !
November 30, 2006 1:56:54 AM

8800GTX.
November 30, 2006 2:01:55 AM

Quote:
8800GTX.


Yeah
November 30, 2006 4:10:24 AM

My bad. When I wrote that FPS, I meant <i>targeted</i> FPS. Hell, if I were reaching that high, I wouldn't even be here! :) 

As it is, with everything fully cranked and (at this time), no OCing of the CPU and GPU, I am getting just over 20 FPS. Sounds bad, but it plays like it's much higher.
November 30, 2006 4:34:09 AM

I heard the game plays better on Ati cards for some reason. Like some sort of bug with the game that it doesn't like nvidia so much, if someone can confirm?
November 30, 2006 4:43:59 AM

I heard the game plays better on Ati cards for some reason. Like some sort of bug with the game that it doesn't like nvidia so much, if someone can confirm?
November 30, 2006 10:42:12 AM

with my setup i can get up to 60 FPS at high altitudes drops to around 20 near the ground witch is fine, i have it locked at 20 and that gives me good results, as for settings, Anti aliasing turned on (throught the game) game filter is Anisotropic (i find i get better performance with these options checked in the game filtering is a must you gotta use Anisotropic, it looks much better then Trilinear in the west though, say KLAX i get aaround 13-15 FPS, dunno why it must just be a really hard region

if you get an 8800 though, get the GTX
!