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FSX CPU quandry, E or Q?

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January 22, 2008 4:17:02 PM

I have searched and searched... I am looking for advice as to what processor will work better with FSX. That is all I basically run on my PC; not a big gamer, but I am a BIG Flight Simulator buff!

My quandry is to which CPU Should I go with: The Q6600 or the E6850?

Keeping in mind that FSX now supports multi-cores with the advent of SP1 Which should I choose? The Q6600 is obviously quad-core at 2.4 Ghz, but 1066 FSB. The E6850 is faster at 3.0 Ghz AND a 1333 FSB BUT only dual-core. So I guess what I'm looking for is someone's real experience on which CPU runs FSX faster/more efficiently.

...Does the faster FSB and core speed of the E6850 prevail, or do the four cores of the Q6600 come out ahead? ...Keep in mind I am currently running an E6600...

::EDIT:: OK - Now add to the mix the E8400... :o 

Thanks to all...
Robert

More about : fsx cpu quandry

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January 22, 2008 4:28:16 PM

I think the best thing for you to do is just overlclock the e6600 up to 3ghz. Then you "have" a e6850. If you're thinking of going 6850 i assume you have a board that does 1333fsb anyways. Just up the fsb to 333. Your mobo and cpu should do that no problem.

January 22, 2008 4:35:56 PM


From my experience, I would say that more cores are better. I've read that FSX with SP1 can scale out to 32 cores. I've monitored core usage with my XP system while playing FSX and it seems to use more than 50% of each core with settings turned up.
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January 22, 2008 4:40:27 PM

You can get a Q6600 and overclock it to 3 GHz. I think that's better for FSX than a dual-core solution. It's also more future-proof anyway.

If you can wait for another month or two then wait for Q9450. It is supposed to come out in "Q1 2008" which probably means March. It is supposed to cost $316 (tray price), so probably $350 retail at first when demand is high and supply low. The speed should be about 15% more than Q6600, and it should overclock better.

January 22, 2008 4:45:10 PM

^ Second that.
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January 22, 2008 10:58:44 PM

Most of us know that the quad is the better cpu for FSX. My only concern is, is it worth upgrading to the q6600 from the e6600 the OP already has. If i was building a new system from scratch there we would no doubt about it to go for the q6600 and OC it to 3ghz.

Again just OC the e6600 to see how much of a improvemnt you gain for free. If its not enuff for your needs then pick up the quad.

If you are going to upgrade the cpu the only way to go is for a quad. The real ? is the price/performance upgrade worth the 270 bucks to the OP.
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January 22, 2008 11:11:35 PM

Oops, I totally missed the part where he already has an E6600. Yeah, he should overclock it and see how FSX works.
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January 22, 2008 11:44:25 PM

devereiii, one of the primary functions of my personal PC is to run FSX. When I upgraded several months ago from the E6600 to the Q6600, I had the same unanswered questions that you have. Since the simulation is very heavily CPU bound, I decided to compare "apples to apples" by testing the frame rate on both processors at 3.6Ghz while running FSX - SP1.

I monitored FPS in the simulation during 3 specific flights, at the same 3 sample locations, first for the E6600 at 3.6Ghz, then for the Q6600 at 3.6Ghz. My results were repeatable and consistent, and very clearly showed an astonishing 80% increase in frame rates with the Q6600. I couldn't be more pleased with this processor.

Regardless of which CPU is used to run FSX, achieving the highest stable overclock is the key to frame rate, since FSX frame rate scales nearly 1:1 with CPU clock speed. Further, to confirm how CPU bound FSX is, if you review Tom's VGA Charts, it shows there is only a 2 FPS difference in FSX between a 7800 GT and an 8800 GTX, at ANY resolution.

I hope this information helps to answer your questions.

Comp :sol: 
January 23, 2008 12:03:55 AM


^ Nice! Thanks for the info.
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January 23, 2008 12:17:41 AM

Wow, 80% is huge. :) 

OK, one more thing though before the final decision. devereiii, what is the refresh rate of your monitor and how many fps do you get with the stock E6600? For example, if your monitor refreshes at 60 Hz (i.e. shows at most 60 fps), and the stock E6600 gets 40 fps, and overclocking it by 50% (from 2.4 to 3.6) gets it to 60 fps, then you're already as good as it gets without buying a new CPU.

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January 23, 2008 12:57:03 AM

aevm, 40 FPS? :lol:  Try 20's! FSX is EXTREMELY processor demanding, and minimum frame rates will CRAWL along in the teen's on a stock clocked E6600, resulting in a BARELY acceptable simulation experience using compromised settings.

Even using a Q6600 at 3.6Ghz with optimized settings, minimum FPS still fall to low 30's when flying over complex terrain, while average is mostly in the 50's, and 100's + are seen only when flying in clear and cloudless conditions over an ocean. Honestly, a Quad running at maximum stable overclock is needed to render a smooth flight experience.

Comp :sol: 
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January 23, 2008 1:06:21 AM

Not even at smaller resolutions? Yikes! OK, case closed, he totally needs a quad.

About the overclocking: a Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme/Scythe S-Flex SFF21F is as good as it gets, AFAIK. Is that ZeroTherm BTF90 the butterfly? It looks like it's doing a great job for you :) 


January 23, 2008 1:35:55 AM

What CompuTronix said...

FSX SP1 will allow pretty much 100% usage of all 4 cores.

That should pretty much make the decision for u.
January 23, 2008 2:15:01 AM

For FSX the Q is the man.

I had the E6600, and upgraded to the Q and the difference is, as Computronix said, huge. The E was all the time @ 100%. The Q is all the time between 50% to 75% (all cores).
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January 23, 2008 1:53:45 PM

Let me do some math here. If your 3.7 GHz Q6600 is only used at 75% or less, then the OP can overclock his new Q6600 to 2.8 GHz, have 100% usage, and get the same results you got. That shouldn't be too hard. :) 

I wonder if your WD 500GB disk is bottlenecking the CPU there. Maybe you'd get even more than 75% usage with a faster disk, like the WD 750 GB. My own Q6600 is limited to about 81% on all cores in DVD Shrink, and I suspect the disks are causing it. I use WD5000AAKS, btw.
January 23, 2008 5:32:18 PM

Computronix (Thank you for sharing your research) and others...

You guys are awesome here, thank you very much for your replies...!!

In answer to a few questions I have seen here, about my system first:

Vista Ultimate x86 (thinking about installing the 64 bit version to avoid OOM errors in FSX, but not sure how mature the 64 bit drivers have become)
E6600
Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 Rev.2 (supports 1333 FSB)
GeForce 7950GT
4 Gb Corsair Valueselect @ 667Mhz
Seagate Barracuda SATA x 2
Samsung 19" LCD
Saitek X52 Pro HOTAS & Rudder Pedals :) 

At a non-heavily detailed airport such as Dayton Intl. (my default startup airport) and with all the sliders on "High" (not Ultra-High) I am getting consistant 22 - 30 FPS with it locked at 30 FPS in the hardware settings. At an airport such as KJFK, I'm down in the mid-teens to 20, 22 FPS depending if I'm facing the water or not, LOL!! (anyone familiar with FSX will know what I mean... AWESOME water effects but they will KILL your frames!)

I'm slowly getting the impression, reading here, that the Q6600 may be the way to go (overclocked). But, assuming stock speeds between the two, 2.4 vs. 3.0, faster bus speed on the E6850 vs. four cores with the Q6600, which one would be faster in FSX? (Wish you had an E6850 in that data, COMPUTRONIX!) :D 

I wish Mr. Tom would include FSX in the processor charts as this software IS incredibly CPU bound!!! :D 

Thanks All!
Robert
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January 23, 2008 5:45:35 PM

devereiii, bus speed alone matters only as a vehicle shared with the CPU multiplier to achieve overall CPU clock speed. Core 2 Duo variants which have 4Mb shared cache, regardless of FSB, will render 80% less FPS at the same CPU clock speed than a Q6600 at the same CPU clock speed, so don't get hung up on FSB clock speed. It's all about overall CPU clock speed, and 2 Cores versus 4 Cores.

Comp :sol: 
a b à CPUs
January 23, 2008 6:23:48 PM

OK, math time again. We know that the FSX frame rate scales nearly 1:1 with CPU clock speed. We also know that a Q6600 at 3.7 GHz will be used at 75% (at most). That means Comp's 3.6 GHz CPU is used at 77% at most (assuming all other things are equal)

If you get a Q6600, and don't overclock, it will work at 2.4 GHz, at 100%. To match Comp's performance, your Q6600 CPU would need to run at 2.772 GHz. You can overclock it to that level easily, or you can leave it at stock and get 86.5% of the frames Comp gets. That means average of 43 fps instead of 50 fps.

With an E6850, at stock: you gain 25% fps because of the higher clock (3.0 GHz instead of 2.4 Ghz). Based on Comp's "in the teens" statement, I will assume 16 fps for E6600 which means 20 fps for E6850, with no overclocking. OK, let's say 22 fps for E6850 with no overclocking because of the faster fsb, but I doubt it's that much. The fsb difference typically adds 2% to 6%, not 10%.

So, to cut the long story short, here are my estimates:
Q6600 = 43 fps at stock, 50 with overclocking
E6850 = 22 fps at stock, 26 with overclocking

All the numbers are approximate. If I messed up the logic or the numbers they're also wrong, please double-check. Anyway, it looks like the Q6600 would help a lot, even at stock.
January 23, 2008 8:44:08 PM

Nice... Thank you for the number crunching... I guess I'm looking at the Q6600 hands down for FSX (or any other multi-core enabled application for that matter)... Now if the price would drop on the Q6700...... ;) 

Comp - Have I seen you on VatSim? Nice to find a devoted FS'er like myself here. I've been with FS since the Flight Simulator for Windows95 (On floppies!) days - FS5, I think... My very first exposure was at my friends house when I was about 16. He had Flight Simulator when it was SubLogic for his Apple II (I think) - Great monochrome vector graphics...Hehehe.

Thanks guys!


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January 24, 2008 4:57:04 AM

devereiii, that goes way back. I've been flying since 1974, and have been running Flight Simulator since 4.0 on Windows 3.1. I'm a former Flight Engineer and Naval Aviator. I'm also a Private Pilot, but I'm no longer current, so I get my Flight Fix from FSX. I live in Ft. Lauderdale, however, my runway of choice is NAS Alameda. I enjoy flying the Bay Area, landing a Mooney on the USS Kitty Hawk, and flying the scenic terrain of California and the Sierras. I love the freedom of not having to babble on the radio, the challenge of navigation, and calculating my fuel to the last drop without dead sticking my destination. Also, I think it's great fun to drink beer and fly, because when (not if) I screw up an approach, the aircraft might get slightly bent, but the FAA doesn't become indignant, no one get's hurt, and the aircfaft is immediately fixed for free!

As you have mentioned the Q6700, I sense that you have an aversion to overclocking. It's really not that difficult to accomplish. Like learning to fly, there's a bit of a curve, so it simply requries a certain degree of tenacity, and attention to detail. There's a good Overclocking Guide here on the Forums - HOWTO: Overclock C2Q (Quads) and C2D (Duals) - A Guide v1.4 - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/240001-29-howto-overclock-quads-duals-guide - written by graysky, and there's also a Temperature Guide - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/221745-29-core-quad-temperature-guide - which I wrote, so you won't overheat your overclocked processor. If you want the best frame rates in FSX, I recommend that you purchase a Q6600, overclock the bejesus out of it, and enjoy flights as smooth as FS 2004. I also have a very tweaked FSX config file, which I'd be glad to send you.

If you'd like some assistance, just PM me. I'm always happy to help a fellow FS'er. Incidentally, are you running FSX SP2?

Comp :sol: 
January 24, 2008 3:14:37 PM

Comp-

Nice... We are somewhat similar in situations... :) 

I also obtained my PPL and it is no longer current either...

...I started flying out of a grass strip, Bayport Aerodrome, Suffolk County, Long Island (my hometown). Was in my senior year in H.S. and where I did my first solo in a C-152 (I think they still have the back of my shirt that they cut from me to save the sweat...LOL). After graduation I attended Hawthore College, NH, and that's where I continued, flying Piper Warriors, and obtained my PPL and IFR ticket. Alas, due to a combination of poor planning :fou:  and unforseen circumstances, I fell short on my funding following my first semester. I flew with friends following that, until around 1991, and then I moved to California after being accepted into the Sierra Flight Acadamy - Passed the entrance exam with flying colors but had no cosigner to my loan application and fell, yet again, from the sky, so to speak. :fou:  :fou:  ...That ended it for me.

So here I am, getting my flying fix from FS, just as yourself... :)  I do, though, enjoy the live ATC online, and planning my flights. I own quite a number of add-on aircraft as well as Active Sky 6.5 (FS9) and ASX/ASG (FSX). I don't think I could even imagine running without these anymore!

Hehehehe...I'm with you on the beer and dented aircraft! My Friday and sometimes Saturday evenings consist of a 12 pack and a flight plan. Usually the FNO on Fridays, and the Saturday Scramble on, well, Saturdays... :pt1cable: 

...Now, back to the theme of this thread before someone gets upset here... :D 

You're quite observant...Hehe. ...No, I'm not an overclocker, and it goes to figure too. I have been a certified computer technician and MS certified network engineer now for 10 years - ...But I always seem to have been a purist as far as processor specs and running them at what God (Intel?) intended. Overclocking has always meant to me; voiding warranties, shortening CPU lifespan, etc. ...BUT... Everyone is doing it, and it ALMOST seems now that Intel and others (never been fond of "The other", btw.) plan on this when they release a chip. Looking at this, I may consider slightly bumping my Q6600 when I get it. :sarcastic:  ...Thank you for the links to those guides, I may need those as well as a PM or two shot your way... I am running with that big 'ole Zalman cooler, so I think heat won't be an issue for me...

If you would, I would like very much to see your .cfg file... I'll PM you with my e-mail address... Thank you! ...And yes I am running SP2. ;) 

Regards & Thanks
R-


January 24, 2008 3:40:41 PM

devereiii said:


Vista Ultimate x86 (thinking about installing the 64 bit version to avoid OOM errors in FSX, but not sure how mature the 64 bit drivers have become)
E6600
Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 Rev.2 (supports 1333 FSB)
GeForce 7950GT
4 Gb Corsair Valueselect @ 667Mhz
Seagate Barracuda SATA x 2
Samsung 19" LCD
Saitek X52 Pro HOTAS & Rudder Pedals :) 



The only concern I see here is with the 7950GT if you get Vista 64-bit. Nvidia's drivers for the 7XXX-line aren't good for Vista 64bit, at least not in my experiences. It's pretty well documented in Nvidia's forums, too. Some people can't change resolutions without everything artifacting and having to restart the computer; some can't launch games, as games usually change the resolution right away; some can't even change their monitor's refresh rate. So, if you go the 64-bit route, you might want to consider a different video card. Now, if others on here can refute that statement, be my guest. I'd love to see you get FSX running the way you want it to without having to get a different videocard. But either way, you might want to look through Nvidia's forums and make sure you'll be ok.

Here's a link to the Nvidia forums and all the Vista driver issues:
http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=27043&st=1...
January 24, 2008 4:23:33 PM

Chedrz -

Thanks for the heads up... My concern for installing Vista X64 exactly. (I have Vista Ultimate so it comes with both versions, x86 & x64 in the package)...

That's my next future upgrade... I'm really eyeballing that 8800GT w 512Mb!

Thanks!
January 24, 2008 4:58:02 PM

If you're looking at some of the overclocked 8800GT cards, you might want to look at an 8800GTS (G92 core, of course) instead. The dual-slot cooler would exhaust the hot air right out the back of the case instead of recirculating it inside. It might provide a better thermal solution for overclocking, if you choose to try it. And I don't know how the heat from a 7950GT compares to a 7900GT, but I'm assuming they're pretty close to the same: an 8800GT will be a lot warmer. Make sure you have enough ventilation in your case.

Either way, no matter which card you pick, you'll see a pretty good performance increase. The 7950GT is a little better than my old 7900GT, and I saw a huge performance increase when I upgraded. Granted, as CPU-bound as FSX is, you may not notice the increase there, but if you run any other games, trust me, you'll see it.
April 21, 2008 12:41:53 PM

Hi everyone,

firstly please let me apologise for perhaps asking a question that may have been gone over a few times before .... but I am in need of a little help before I make a big purchase in the very near future. I have recently bought a copy of Microsoft FSX and this is the first time I have played a flight simulator in about 15 years. As you can all imagine I was extremely surprised at how far they had come. I am currently a PPL working towards getting my ATP rating and have decided to practice as many procedures as possible on a flight simulator in order to reduce overall training costs. I have an old desktop PC last updated in 2004 with an Intel sempron 800 processor and a very old slow graphics card with only 1 GB of RAM. As you can imagine FSX does not run very well!!!!

So I began looking at the cheapest possible option to upgrade my PC to a level that will allow me a realistic or semi-realistic flight environment for my training purposes. Over the last month I have taken advice from several sources, mostly local gaming enthusiasts and retail shop assistants. I have a very limited knowledge of PCs but have been doing as much research as possible since finding out that I will have to spend about $2000 on one single game!! I was until tonight, reasonably content with the current offer from the local discount PC Centre in my city who advised me that the following set up would be needed

Thermaltake Armour Case with Liquid cooling,
650 W power supply,
Samsung 320G SATAII 16M
MSI GF8800 GT 512M OC DDR3 PCIe ( times 2 )
GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-DS4 FSB4000 DDR2 2xPCIe SATAII
AOC 22 inch LCD ( times 3 !!!! )
DDR2 4G PC2-8500 1066mhz DDR2
AMD Phenom 9850 QUAD CORE BLACK EDITION AM2+ 2.5GHz 4MB


Understanding that flight simulator 10 is indeed a very complex programme and having come up through the ranks of VIC 20, Commodore 64, Amiga, and finally onto PCs I was not surprised when they recommended expensive graphics cards configured in SLI Format. I am set on the extended peripheral vision of 3 22 inch LCD monitors for sure, and I had been looking at the NVidia 8800 GT cards which in my city down under retail for about $250 each. So a sizeable proportion of my spend seems to be going on these, with a majority of the rest of the spend going on a motherboard and especially processor upgrade. The guys in the shop originally said to go for a dual core AMD solution, probably the 6000+ processor. After a little bit of thinking and a little bit of research I decided a few days ago to go for the Phenom 9850 black edition as well as a case upgrade including liquid cooling so that I can over clock my CPU for maximum performance. I was pretty much settled on this, and then I found this website and read this post!!!!

So unless I'm mistaken it would seem that the greatest hindrance to performance with FSX is the CPU. And according to this thread, It would seem that the Intel quad core solution is significantly better for not too much more money. So I thought screw it, I HAVE to spend the extra and get the Intel CPU, and then I read this :

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/dual-quad-vga-charts...


So now would seem that although the consensus is to go for the fastest quad core Intel processor and over clock to a maximum stable state, the recommended graphics cards may be a near waste of money for my solution. I am someone who has grown out of computer games many years ago and so I'm extremely unlikely to play anything other than FSX as well as surf the Internet and write documents etc.... i have found the 7600 GT 256mb cards here :

http://www.lmc.com.au/obs/website/prodinfo.php?prodid=5...

and according the the VGA comparison charts on toms hardware they will run at 19.80 Fraps unless I am mistaken in interpreting the data!!!!

So,

my question to you guys is, am I going to dramatically decrease my performance in FSX by going to the cheaper graphics card solution and sticking with the very expensive liquid cooled Intel quad core CPU, or will this run FSX to a reasonable standard? If I have to pay the extra for the 8800 GT cards then I will, but not if it is only going to give me two frames per second increase in performance!!!!!!!!!

I would be much better off putting this money towards flying real aircraft!!!!


Thanks very much in advance,

Darren
a b à CPUs
April 21, 2008 5:23:44 PM

dmbalchin, it seems that your local PC shop, as you have discovered, has given you advice based on profit, which is not in your best interest. As I stated in my above posts, a Q6600 at 3.6Ghz will yield good frame rate. Liquid cooling is overkill, as high-end air cooling will perform well and is much more cost-effective.

Also, the 7600GT or 8800GT are both definately the wrong way to go. As stated by chedrz in the post above yours, the very LAST thing you want running in your case is a pair of cards which recirulate heat, while you're trying to keep an overclocked Quad Core cool. The 8800GTS 320 instead has dual-slot rear exhaust, and is relatively inexpensive ($114.99 after $30.00 mail-in rebate - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130337) as compared to the 8800GTS 512.

Comp :sol: 
May 5, 2008 1:38:43 AM

Hi Comp,
You have a fantastic knowledge of FS, and what makes it tick. Great to see, and thank you for sharing that with us "not so well informed".

I to have been a FS flyer since inception in the 60's, and also a previous PPL holder and also now too expensive to maintain. So, in my case I love the heavy metal, especially PMDG 747 to cruise the world and use the navigation to keep the brain alive.(important for us oldies)

I have just retired. SO....I am looking at building a FS rig. I have read all your posts above with great interest. My weapon of choice at this stage will be:
QX9650
9800GTX
Vista 64
8GB DDR3 Ram(its only money^^^^)
EVGA 790i SLI 775 Motherboard
Maybe a high speed 500GBHD for programs
A slower 500GB HD for data
850W PSU
Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme Heatsink
Noctua NF-P12 120mm Pressure Optimised Silent Fan.
Matrox TripleHead2GO for my 3 monitors(1x24" 2x22")
TT Armor+ Black case

So, do you think this baby can handle FSX or have I over/under killed it? I have another 32 bit PC for boring other stuff, so not too worried about issues with general software and 64 bit drivers, just if my new 64 bit system can handle FSX

I will read your links regarding overclocking, as this is the way to go(though, I will do this with great trepidation, being an old sod). My CPU is only 3MHz. What do you think I can OC this to and still keep the rig stable. Will I need water cooling?

It is important to remove bottle necks. Can you see any or offer any advice if I have created them, as I am sure there is a mathematical way to find em.

Geoff



a b à CPUs
May 8, 2008 12:26:48 AM

Ged930, sorry it's taken me so long to respond. A few items are obvious. Hard Drives are the slowest critical components in a computer, so you need the fastest drives you can get. I would opt for a pair of Western Digital 10,000 RPM 150GB Raptors http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148288

The 850 watt PSU and liquid cooling are both over-kill. A 700 watt PSU is more than plenty, even for an SLI configuration, since processors and graphics cards are becoming more energy efficient. Also, the Thermalright Ultra-120 Extreme has been bested by the XIGMATEK HDT-S1283 120mm Rifle CPU Cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Your high-end 45nm QX9650 should yield a stable 4.0Ghz to 4.2Ghz overclock while maintaining safe temperatures. Refer to my Core 2 Quad and Duo Temperature Guide: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/221745-29-core-quad-t...

Hope this helps,

Comp :sol: 
May 8, 2008 12:33:35 AM

Ged930:

As CompuTronix pointed out, the hard drive is very important. If you're not planning on building this computer immediately, you might want to check on the release date for Western Digital's new VelociRaptor hard drive. It outperforms the current Raptors by a decent margin, and it has a 300GB capacity. The current Raptors really aren't worth the price, as newer 7200RPM hard drives from Western Digital and Seagate have transfer rates that are just about on par with the Raptors, if not slightly better in some scenarios.
May 10, 2008 1:20:51 PM

Hi Comp and Chedrz,

Thanks for advice. I will do a tad more research into the Raptors, especially the VelociRaptor mentioned by Chedrz.
PSU will be downrated to 650-700watt.
I was looking at your Temperature Guide Comp...Very professional and a handy reference. OC still looks a tad scary for old sods like me. I'd need an extra blood pressure tablet the day i start this^^^

Geoff
a b à CPUs
May 10, 2008 1:33:12 PM

No worries. These Core 2 processors are quite robust. I haven't toasted one yet. Again, I can't over-emphasize enough how very much FSX frame rate is dominated by processor frequency, so a high overclock is definately the master key to achieving a great FSX experience.
May 11, 2008 9:44:44 PM

I have been using FS2004 for about 4 years now and Comp is definitely right - get the fastest CPU, memory and overclockable mobo you can afford and downscale your graphics card. A medium-high end video card is more than enough for FS. See Tom's Jardware VGA charts.

I will have an E8400 with 2GB DDR3 RAM, but will only get an 8600GT single - in the charts and also based on my personal experience and feedback from flightsim experts, the 8600GT achieves about 21fps versus about 24fps for the fastest card on Tom's list.

FS does a lot of calculations. The graphics in FS are quite "medium" quality, even at their highest settings (sliders maxed out) compared to the extremely super graphics one sees in other games. The faster you can "process" and transfer this information, the better.
November 29, 2008 6:32:34 PM

Hi all,
Love to resurrect this old thread.

i'm looking to improve my FSX performance. I am looking to spend <$200 on a CPU, so that is pretty much the E8500@3.16ghz or the Q6600@2.4ghz. Reports claim easy o/c to 4.0ghz on the 8500, 3-ish on the 6600. Since FSX is my priority, looking for some real data on whether the FAST 8500 is better/same/worse than the 6600. Do the two additional cores trump the extra raw ghz?

Thoughts? Links?
THANKS!
a b à CPUs
November 30, 2008 4:10:53 AM

Gridley,

FSX frame rates are determined by the following priorities:

(1) Cores

(2) Clock

(3) FSX Settings

(4) Cache

(5) nVidia GPU

(6) PCI Express 2.0

I recently built an E8500 general gaming rig OC'd @ 4.2 for a friend who also wanted to run FSX. The Q6600 OC'd @ 3.6 with similar hardware consistently rendered about 55% higher FSX frame rates than the E8500 @ 4.2. For a more direct comparison, a Q9650 @ 4.2 blows away the E8500 @ 4.2 with FSX frame rates abouit 80% higher.

The Q6600 is definately the best FSX processor for your budget. When paired with a Xigmatek HDT-S1283 and a well ventilated case, nearly all Q6600 G0's will easily OC @ 3.6 (400 x9) while operating within safe temperatures.

Comp :sol: 
November 30, 2008 9:55:45 AM

Thanks a ton, Comp - that's all I needed to hear!
November 30, 2008 3:30:57 PM

Another quick question for the guru's: The AMD Phenom X4 9950's are really cheap right now - is it at all an option for FSX?
a b à CPUs
November 30, 2008 3:36:15 PM

Your OC will probably be limited to about 3.2 Ghz, so your FSX frame rates will take a hit compared to the Q6600. Then all you need to do is pair up a Phenom X4 with an ATI card, and your FSX frame rates will really be in the toilet!
November 30, 2008 3:57:53 PM

Sounds like a plan . . . NOT! :sol: 

Thanks again.
December 1, 2008 8:25:04 PM

q6600 and ASUS P5Q SE Plus should be here Thursday! Thanks all.
sg
December 6, 2008 2:39:04 PM

Great topic....I'm also an avid FSer and have been for YEARS.

I agree with so much many have said. FS9/FSX are CPU bound....the image you see is rendered by the CPU not the GPU so clock speed is EVERYTHING!

The talk of core counts in FSX I believe is still hotly debated. I read an post by a guy who works at one of the big FS aircraft Add On companies. He said something along these lines.
"After FSX SP1 & 2 the 2nd core is now being used at most about 15%. Cores #3 & #4 are used at very low percentages." He went on to say for a true multicore FS Microsoft will have to do a major rewrite of the FS engine.

But saying all that...Phil Taylor himself said a Quad Core would run FSX better than a Dual Core
as long as the clock speeds were fairly close. I "think" in one post he said a 2.8ghz Quad would run FSX as good or better than a 3ghz Dual core.

Those Q6600's overclock like a dream.

I also would LOVE to see Tom's hardware include FSX on some hard drive tests and CPU tests.
Even if it was just 1 single config of let's say 1280x1024 AA & AS in graphics card.
December 23, 2008 3:08:06 AM

Can anyone make suggestions on this. I am looking for advice on a system under $1000 to run FSX. I don't know much about computers just a lot about airplanes. Here is what I have been looking at so far.


Power Supply ( 650 Watt -- Casegears ECO-Element 80 Plus Certificated High Efficiency Power Supply SLI Ready )
Processor ( Intel Core 2 Duo Processor E8400 (2x 3.0GHz/6MB L2 Cache/1333FSB)
Processor Cooling ( [=== Quiet ===] AVC Silent Intel CPU Fan and Heatsink Quiet & Overclocking Proof )
Motherboard ( Asus P5KPL-CM Intel G31 Chipset w/6-channels, Gb LAN, S-ATA 3Gb/s, USB 2.0, Single PCI-E MB )
Memory ( 4 GB [2 GB X2] DDR2-800 PC6400 Memory Module Corsair-Value or Major Brand )
Video Card ( NVIDIA GeForce 9800GTX+ 512MB w/DVI + TV Out Video )
Hard Drive ( 500 GB HARD DRIVE [Serial-ATA-II, 3Gb, 7200 RPM, 16M Cache] )
Operation System ( Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 32 or 64 Difference?
Sub Total: $855.00

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