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What is the best PCIe single card to run MS FS X?

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March 24, 2008 2:38:44 PM

Howdy... Mister FNG new guy here.... :bounce:  First time on a computer forum... and was needing for a little help before plunking down 600 + bucks for a new card. I want to use my present computer for at least another year a gateway gt5222e 3.2 intel chip that I have up graded with the Creative SB A 2 ZS sound system...with the external head unit, an additional CD drive, 650 watt power supply, and an ATI X1950 Pro 256 with the silenty cooling heat sink and fan overclocked with the ati overdrive and an acer 24" LCD screen running 1920 X 1200 32. There is only one PCIE bay available but...as IM sure you all know... there is room for a double slot card converted to work just like my X1950 is. I use FS 2004 (9) a lot and FS X ( I have a private pilot lic. and an instrument rating and use this to practice inst apch. and to stay current when I cant go out and fly my usual ride... a 2006 Cessna 182 with the garmin g1000 dash) but the frame rates are crap on FSX with anything but low settings. No second PCIe slot so IM going to have to settle for a single until I build my own setup later on this year. I was thinking about an overclocked 8800..... and cutting the back of the computer and relocating the rear fan to use the stock on board fan...or better yet purchasing a silent cooling fan/sink set up made for this card...35 bucks or so. Have searched the web and the only info that I have found is that a 8800 GTX is slightly faster on the frame rates than my x1950... but the 8800 ultra over clocked has to do better. IM real good with electronics and have behind me in my home office 5 totally rebuilt from the ground up full size las vegas slot mach.... all running 98% pay back chips and rare games...so doing a modification should be an easy task for me. What do you think? For the money is the ultra the way to go? Thanks! Tim

More about : pcie single card run

March 24, 2008 2:45:15 PM

Get either a 3870X2 or 9800GX2.

Both cards are using newer tech than the 8800GTX / Ultra's, and in most cases offer better performance.

Or.... wait a few days for the 9800GTX, which should be priced reasonably well.
March 24, 2008 2:50:14 PM

Ultra is never the way to go :p  To be quite honest FSX is HEAVILY CPU bound (And I'm assuming you either have a single core or a Pentium D), so I would recommend you get a Quad core (either Intel Q series such as the Q6600 or even a Phenom if the latter is not within your budget), have available at least 2GB of ram, and buy a 8800GTS 512MB, or if you'd like to up the graphics card a notch, then I'd say an HD 3870 X2.

Basically here are your priorities to get a good FSX experience:

1.) Quad core CPU (Q6600 or Phenom 9500/9600 if the Q6600 is too expensive)
2a.) Have at least 2GB of ram available.
2b.) At least 8800GTS 512MB, I would recommend however an HD 3870X2 for anyone using a 24" 1920x1200 screen.

EDIT: From the looks of it, the 9800GTX is just an 8800GTS 512MB overclocked with a big price tag on it, so if anything I'd say take the plunge for a HD 3870X2 if you're going that high.
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a c 169 U Graphics card
March 24, 2008 2:51:38 PM

Definitely agreed ^^
March 24, 2008 3:04:08 PM

Everybody just stop right there!!!

FSX is not a GPU intensive game. a 9600GT will net you similar frames to a 9800GX2. Sadly you will need Vista x64, with a minimum of 4GB of memory, and either a Q6600 or an E8400 in order to run FSX with respectable framerates.

On a side note, with the proper memory and CPU, you can run FSX on an 8800GTS VERY VERY well, take a look at different simming forums and youtube videos.
March 24, 2008 3:08:41 PM

by the way... very well said emp. I couldn't agree more for the most part. There are benchmarks out there that suggest that NVIDIA drivers for some reason are alot better than ATI in FSX. And NVIDIA has an SLI profile for FSX if you choose that route. I saw that the 3870x2 got half the frames of the 9800GX2 though, so just get an 8800GTS, you won't regret it.... But yes sadly FSX will run like a slide show on ANY single core CPU, even if it's a 3.4GHz chip.
March 24, 2008 3:16:45 PM

Also I was re-reading your post. You have a huge freaken monitor for that much CPU/GPU power. your definately going to need to be at 1680 x 1050 or 1440 x 900 unless you go all out with a new rig.
March 24, 2008 3:24:09 PM

Thanks....so what you are basically saying is the huge monitor is eating the frame rates up. What about running FSX in a lower setting...say 1680 X 1050... will that help? And also that the Ultra 8800 would ba a waste of money...right? |Thanks! |Tim
March 24, 2008 3:40:25 PM

Yes to both in a way. The 8800Ultra is a waste of money because the 8800GTS (G92) 512 is just awesome for the money, it's WAY cheaper with only a little less performance. If you plan to upgrade your video card anyhow, you should take a VERY serious look into the 8800GTS (G92) 512. Make sure it's the G92 512!! The older 8800GTS's are still out there for sale and are not near as powerful.

And yes your resolution affects framerates.

But you are mostly CPU limited, which is where I would focus my attention... unfortunately you'll probably need a new motherboard to upgrade though. Do you know what socket your motherboard is?
March 24, 2008 3:42:49 PM

Also have you tried the FSPax addon for FS9? www.fspassengers.com
I got it a year ago and LOVE it, it makes simming (from an airline standpoint that is) so much more realistic, it adds lots of new stuff to the arena like earning rank as a pilot and creating a company and failures to include bird strikes, stuck gear, hydraulic failure, oil pressure loss, fuel leak. It's really worth the money.
March 24, 2008 3:50:16 PM

FSX is very demanding on the CPU, I love the sim. I'm getting 40 fps using a X2 6400BE on Vista Ultimate X64 with 4GB of memory. I was running two X1900's with 512mb of GDDR3. As I'm planning on updating my video cards later this summer I sold my X1900 Master card and now I am only using a single X1900XTX. I'm running all grafics settings on max except for auto generated sceenary which I must run one step below the maximum. 40fps is extreamly smooth I may add.
March 24, 2008 3:57:59 PM

Thanks again! IM not sure what socket the mother board uses but...is it worth upgrading the cpu on a 1 1/2 year old computer like mine or should I just plan on building from the groung up...using my new power supply, ag2 zs sound board...and scrap the rest? And thanks again for the info on the ultra's....and almost bought one of the older gts cards ! And IM going to try the FSP that you told me about...THANKS! I have a ton of traffic loaded on the fs9 and profiles from http://www.projectai.com/index.php
Probably the only reason that I started using FSX is that it has the same dash that I use in real flight... the garmin g1000...on an 172.. but it still works great on an instrument approach fogged in with the terrain settings llow. But I like having things like the taxi way lights on...somthing you only get in the higher settings.

Thanks again! Tim
March 24, 2008 4:04:52 PM

stoner133 said:
FSX is very demanding on the CPU, I love the sim. I'm getting 40 fps using a X2 6400BE on Vista Ultimate X64 with 4GB of memory. I was running two X1900's with 512mb of GDDR3. As I'm planning on updating my video cards later this summer I sold my X1900 Master card and now I am only using a single X1900XTX. I'm running all grafics settings on max except for auto generated sceenary which I must run one step below the maximum. 40fps is extreamly smooth I may add.


Wow...IM lucky to even get the screen to pull up at the higher settings...with maybe 5 fps max! Has to be pretty cool!
March 24, 2008 4:07:32 PM

Honestly, in FSX, I cannot tell a difference between 20fps and 40fps.

Get the best quad you can afford and either a 3870 or 9600GT.
March 24, 2008 4:17:56 PM

cessnac, what specific CPU are you using? There is a huge difference between a Pentium 4 or Pentium D at 3.2GHz and a Core2 Duo at 3.2GHz.

As many have mentioned before, FSX is harder on the CPU than it is on the GPU. This is not to say that you can get away with a fast processor and a cheap GPU, but a 512MB 8800GTS will serve you very well in FSX for a helluva lot less than an 8800 Ultra or 9800GX2.

You should make it a priority to have at least a Core2 Duo (preferably quad) at 3GHz. A little bit of overclocking can save you a lot of money if you are willing to spend some time on it (a few hours for a beginner). Try to have at least 4GB of RAM as well. If you're really serious then you can move up to a 64bit OS if you haven't already.

I know that's a lot of work to get a flight simulator to run properly, but compared to the cost of flying a real plane I'd say it could be worth it. FSX is incredibly immersive on my <$1000 rig, which you can view by clicking the "more information" button to the left.
March 24, 2008 4:20:56 PM

20fps is usually smooth for any game. With FXS the big thing is keeping a constant frame rate. If you can maintain 20fps in close to the ground flying in a large metropolitan area your gonna be fine. With my setup I have it capped at 40fps it will top out at 55fps but then when you hit the metropolitan areas it will drop back to low 40's and you can see the change when it makes the change. It's slight but you can see it.
If your computer will only hit 20fps when you get to drawing a lot of objects close to the ground or say at an airport I bet the frame rate is dropping well below that.
March 24, 2008 4:48:39 PM

homerdog said:
cessnac, what specific CPU are you using? There is a huge difference between a Pentium 4 or Pentium D at 3.2GHz and a Core2 Duo at 3.2GHz.

As many have mentioned before, FSX is harder on the CPU than it is on the GPU. This is not to say that you can get away with a fast processor and a cheap GPU, but a 512MB 8800GTS will serve you very well in FSX for a helluva lot less than an 8800 Ultra or 9800GX2.

You should make it a priority to have at least a Core2 Duo (preferably quad) at 3GHz. A little bit of overclocking can save you a lot of money if you are willing to spend some time on it (a few hours for a beginner). Try to have at least 4GB of RAM as well. If you're really serious then you can move up to a 64bit OS if you haven't already.

I know that's a lot of work to get a flight simulator to run properly, but compared to the cost of flying a real plane I'd say it could be worth it. FSX is incredibly immersive on my <$1000 rig, which you can view by clicking the "more information" button to the left.

Here is the info... I think this is a dual core :


Specifications
Part Number: 4506268RIntel Pentium 4 524 Processor (3.06 GHz)


Following are the specifications for the Intel® Pentium® 4 524 Processor (3.06 GHz 533 MHz FSB, LGA775, EM64T).
Specifications are subject to change without notice or obligation.
Feature Description
sSpec Number SL8ZZ
CPU Speed 3.06 GHz
PCG 04A
Bus Speed 533 MHz
Bus/Core Ratio 23
L2 Cache Size 1 MB
L2 Cache Speed 3.06 GHz
Package Type LGA 775
Manufacturing Technology 90 nm
Core Stepping B0
CPUID String 0F49h
Thermal Design Power 84 W
Thermal Specification 67.7° C
Core Voltage 1.25V-1.4V


March 24, 2008 4:53:53 PM

HD 3870X2 ... this card says that it is a pcie 2.0. Does the 2.0 make any difference on the pcie slot ? Thanks! Tim
March 24, 2008 5:02:20 PM

Hey that socket is LGA 775. Your processor is a piece of junk but that is the same socket is say an intel C2D 6750, which is a very nice upgrade for you.... provided your motherboard supports it! (it might not)
March 24, 2008 5:05:11 PM

As far as the PCI e... I could be wrong but the PCI x 16 2.0 will work fine an a PCI E x16 because it is backwards compatible.
March 24, 2008 5:13:07 PM

boonality said:
Hey that socket is LGA 775. Your processor is a piece of junk but that is the same socket is say an intel C2D 6750, which is a very nice upgrade for you.... provided your motherboard supports it! (it might not)

I guess that's what I get for buying my PC at comp usa...they said that it was the best one ( cpu ) they had at the time.....oh well... If the hd 3870x2 's 13 inch long size will fit.. I guess it would be the best one to start with and then transfer it to the new computer that IM planning on building later on this year after recovering from april 15th.
|Thanks again! Tim

PS... How do I find out if the mother board will take the C2D 6750?
March 24, 2008 5:24:25 PM

unfortunately you will most likely have to call gateway to find out. and they may or may not even be correct :(  And I promise you that an 8800GTS (G92) 512 will be better and cheaper than the 3870X2 for your FSX needs! I am not trying to sell you short there!
March 24, 2008 6:04:58 PM

Thanks everyone...you have saved me a lot of dough and the dreaded ...selling the stuff at a loss on Ebay! Looking forward to building my new PC later on this year... knowing that all of you will keep me from buying a dud! Thanks again! Tim
March 24, 2008 6:16:27 PM

cessnac182golf said:
HD 3870X2 ... this card says that it is a pcie 2.0. Does the 2.0 make any difference on the pcie slot ? Thanks! Tim

PCIe 2.0 is backwards compatible with PCIe 1.x, so you will be fine. Since the HD3870X2 uses Crossfire it might not perform very well in FSX. As boonality has stated, you might get better performance with a cheaper 512MB 8800GTS.

cessnac182golf said:
PS... How do I find out if the mother board will take the C2D 6750?

Download cpuz and check under the "Mainboard" tab. Post the information in the "Motherboard" box (Manufacturer, Model, Chipset, etc.) here and we should be able to determine what CPUs your mobo will support.
a b U Graphics card
March 24, 2008 6:26:23 PM

This numbers come from the Toms Video Charts that use MS FSX as one of its benchmarks and they point out what boonality and the others are saying:
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_2007.html?modelx=33&model1=706&model2=725&chart=293

ATI 1950 Pro 256MB
1920x1200 14.6
1600x1200 15.0
1280x1024 15.7

8800GTX 768MB
1920x1200 22.6
1600x1200 22.4
1280x1024 23.0

8800GTX SLI
1920x1200 22.6
1600x1200 22.4
1280x1024 23.0

You see even for the ATI 1950 Pro there is such a small difference between 1280x1024 and 1920x1200 resolutions that its hardly an issue. 8800GTX used to represent 8800GTS G92 since its likely the closest in performance. Also no significant difference in 1280x1024 and 1920x1200 resolutions.
The major difference between your performance and whats shown in the chart is down to the differences in CPU alone. (with a smaller improvement due to higher performance memory)

One or two GPUS? Using 8800GTX in SLI to demonstrate FSX does not benefit from a 2nd GPU.
http://www23.tomshardware.com/graphics_sli2007.html?modelx=33&model1=804&model2=1069&chart=353
A 3870X2 or 9800GX2 will get you the same performance as a single 3870 or slightly less than a 8800GTS (G92) 512. (9800GX2 G92 gpu is clocked slower than most 8800GTS G92 GPU)

homerdog's suggestion is a good idea. Post the details of your motherboard and we'll try and see if you can handle a CPU upgrade. That will let you give you the best chance to use FSX (with the 1950 Pro and medium graphics settings) till your next build.
March 24, 2008 8:01:19 PM

Thanks! Here is the info:
Microstar international.... MS-7248R A13
Chipset.... ATI RS 400/RC4001/RC410
Southbridge......... ATI SB 400
LPCIO......... Winbond W83627EHF
March 24, 2008 8:26:04 PM

Found this http://www.outletpc.com/c1390.html chip like you posted. If this works with my mobo.... this looks really cool! I have changed many chips on my slot machines and have the tools to do so. Is this as simple as popping off the heatsink...pulling the chip with the puller... replacing it with the new one noting the correct position..adding new grease... and then replacing the heatsink? Thanks! Tim
March 24, 2008 8:34:04 PM

I like the processor choice, however you can get that processor from www.newegg.com for $189
March 24, 2008 8:39:57 PM

COOL! Even better at $189.00!!! Now if the mobo can handle it.....
Thanks!
March 24, 2008 8:48:01 PM

If in fact it can't, a good motherboard that will is about $90. My personal choice would be a Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3. We can worry about that if you decide to proceed forward. I have bookmarked this thread so I will recieve reply notifications. Good luck.
March 24, 2008 8:48:30 PM

If you're still only running 512MB of ram you're hurting yourself big time. The Gateway site says the board will support 2 - 1Gig sticks so that may be your most cost effective upgrade.
March 24, 2008 8:52:35 PM

Pirate, good call. Memory is a big deal for FSX. I would definately research the memory side of things.
March 24, 2008 8:58:18 PM

As far as I can tell that motherboard does not support Core2 processors; it uses a seriously outdated chipset (3-4 generations old). It also probably doesn't support more than 2GB of RAM, and driver support will be lacking/non-existant for 64bit operating systems.

List of Gateway's MSI boards; yours is in here somewhere, probably near the bottom of the list: http://support.gateway.com/support/supinfo/index.asp?pg...

I've pretty much narrowed down your board to the two choices below. The latter is slightly more fleshed out feature wise, but even that doesn't list support for C2D.

Worst case scenario: http://support.gateway.com/s/MOTHERBD/MSI/WMEMS-7248/WM...
Best Case scenario: http://support.gateway.com/s/MOTHERBD/MSI/WMEMS-7248P/W...

In short, you will need a new motherboard if you want to upgrade the CPU. If you still want to go through with it I'd be happy to make some recommendations.

Take it easy :) 
March 24, 2008 9:23:31 PM

homerdog said:
As far as I can tell that motherboard does not support Core2 processors; it uses a seriously outdated chipset (3-4 generations old). It also probably doesn't support more than 2GB of RAM, and driver support will be lacking/non-existant for 64bit operating systems.

List of Gateway's MSI boards; yours is in here somewhere, probably near the bottom of the list: http://support.gateway.com/support/supinfo/index.asp?pg...

I've pretty much narrowed down your board to the two choices below. The latter is slightly more fleshed out feature wise, but even that doesn't list support for C2D.

Worst case scenario: http://support.gateway.com/s/MOTHERBD/MSI/WMEMS-7248/WM...
Best Case scenario: http://support.gateway.com/s/MOTHERBD/MSI/WMEMS-7248P/W...

In short, you will need a new motherboard if you want to upgrade the CPU. If you still want to go through with it I'd be happy to make some recommendations.

Take it easy :) 

:cry:  Thanks..... yeah it only supports 2 GB of ram...and that is what I have installed. OK...is this computer worth upgrading the mobo and CPU? And here is a stupid question... Windows is kept on the hard drive...so you would loose nothing with a board and CPU replacement....right? Thanks
March 24, 2008 9:24:25 PM

Phil Taylors' blog does indeed verify that SP1 to FSX includes the ability to utilize multiple cores. you might want to take a closer look to determine if you want to go dual, quad, or more.

Here's a quote: "As far as practical limits on number of usable cores; currently SetThreadAffinityMask only allows explicit scheduling of threads on 32 cores ( the mask is a dword ) on Win32. So thats our effective limit on number of cores."

Read it for yourself here: http://blogs.msdn.com/ptaylor/archive/2007/05/15/performance-work-in-sp1.aspx

But seriously, if you're just chasing needles down the ILS, you don't need any other air or ground traffic turned on at all so you don't need a lot of computer. But heck, what fun is that? Besides, what are you gonna brag about down at the FBO. There I was, flat on my back at 5fps............
a b U Graphics card
March 24, 2008 9:45:53 PM

To add to the mix - your motherboard is microBTX form factor as opposed to the more common microATX or ATX form factors. A complication for using the same case (and possibly power supply).

A CPU and RAM upgrade should be easy as far as your Windows installation goes.
A CPU, RAM and MOTHERBOARD is totally different. You'd need to do either a "fresh install" or a "repair install" to let Windows grab the right drivers for the new motherboard.

Depending on which motherboard you actually have your top available CPU upgrade (at a reasonable price) would either be:
worst case- Pentium 4 650 3.4Ghz single core @ $85
best case- Pentium D 945 3.4Ghz dual core @ ~ $190

IMO with the motherboard and other limitations I dont feel upgrading your Gateway is the best choice against a new system just a few months away.
March 24, 2008 9:47:37 PM

Yup...chasing the needles you only need the aircraft set high...you can bottom out all else. But I sure would like to see all the goodies when I break out of the cloud cover at the DH or inner marker with an eye on the rabbit. In real flight if the soup is so thick you really can't see much even when you can see as the windscreen is usually so wet with streaks formed by the prop and you have tunnel vision...looking for those 500' long markers on the runway and then finally getting a chance to exhale and catch your breath. IMC is still a challenge...even for someone like me with 700 or so hours... but the G1000 still blows the doors off using the 6 pack... and your scan is all in one spot!
March 24, 2008 9:57:36 PM

WR2 said:
To add to the mix - your motherboard is microBTX form factor as opposed to the more common microATX or ATX form factors. A complication for using the same case (and possibly power supply).

A CPU and RAM upgrade should be easy as far as your Windows installation goes.
A CPU, RAM and MOTHERBOARD is totally different. You'd need to do either a "fresh install" or a "repair install" to let Windows grab the right drivers for the new motherboard.

Depending on which motherboard you actually have your top available CPU upgrade (at a reasonable price) would either be:
worst case- Pentium 4 650 3.4Ghz single core @ $85
best case- Pentium D 945 3.4Ghz dual core @ ~ $190

IMO with the motherboard and other limitations I dont feel upgrading your Gateway is the best choice against a new system just a few months away.

Thanks! Well... I guess I had better save the dough for the new one. Hey... Check this out... http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item...

with 3 PCIe slots this might be a good starting platform.... If I only had a refund comming instead of having to pay uncle sam.....

Thanks again everyone! Tim

PS: If you are ever in the DFW area post me...and I will treat you to an $100 burger and flight in my baby..two one niner two papa... an Cessna c182 Garmin 1000....at my favorite FBO at T67 Hicks field.... 4 stars in the hundred dollar hamburger book
March 24, 2008 10:17:35 PM

If you aren't interested in building yourself (I honestly don't blame you) then you should be able to get a decent pre-built machine from lots of places. I'll look around for some deals and post back here if I find anything good.
March 25, 2008 12:36:52 AM

I would really like to build my own...but if I could find a good starting platform...I probably would buy it. Thanks for looking! Tim
March 25, 2008 3:08:39 AM

If you'd like to build your own PC, here's a good starting point that you can use (You can always mix and match the following to get the sweet spot for you, I'm basically giving you the better and the cheaper builds that you could use at any given moment to play FSX):

GIGABYTE GA-P35-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX All Solid Capacitor Intel Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128059&Tpk=Ga-P35-DS3L

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz 2 x 4MB L2 Cache LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115017

Patriot Extreme Performance 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100221SR Radeon HD 3870 X2 1GB (512MB x 2) 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PC Power & Cooling S610EPS EPS12V 610W Continuous @ 40°C Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, cUL, CE, CB, TUV - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total around $1000-1050

If you'd like alternatives to lower costs here are some good, but lower performing parts:

MSI NX8800GTS-T2D512E GeForce 8800GTS (G92) 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported Video Card -

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Patriot Viper 4GB(2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 1066 (PC2 8500) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec NeoPower 550 ATX12V 550W Power Supply 100 - 240 V UL, CUL, TUV, CE, FCC, CCC, CB, C-tick - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

AMD Phenom 9500 Agena 2.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 2MB L3 Cache Socket AM2+ 95W Quad-Core Processor - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA770-DS3 AM2+/AM2 AMD 770 ATX All Solid Capacitor AMD Motherboard - Retail

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total around $750. Both configs should be able to handle FSX pretty well.
March 25, 2008 11:32:43 AM

Awesome stuff emp. I really like that first build (the $1000-$1050 one). All I would suggest is a 512MB 8800GTS over the HD3870X2 for FSX since it doesn't seem to scale very well with multiple GPUs.

I won't even bother posting a config because emp just hit the nail on the head as far as I'm concerned :) 
March 25, 2008 11:59:50 AM

boonality said:
Everybody just stop right there!!!

FSX is not a GPU intensive game. a 9600GT will net you similar frames to a 9800GX2. Sadly you will need Vista x64, with a minimum of 4GB of memory, and either a Q6600 or an E8400 in order to run FSX with respectable framerates.

On a side note, with the proper memory and CPU, you can run FSX on an 8800GTS VERY VERY well, take a look at different simming forums and youtube videos.



+1. FSX is not a gpu heavy program. Really you need to find a good cpu rather than a really good gpu.
March 26, 2008 2:08:18 AM

Thanks! That list is a GREAT start... and I also like the first list on the build...and whats cool is I can buy parts as I go....and as the wallet can stand it. IM still in shock as to how good a computer you can build by doing it yourself!
One more question...... when I get all this stuff together... should I go Vista? Everything I read is saying that XP runs games better...is this just a burp in young vista's life that some driver will fix later down the line... or is the XP stuff true? Thanks!....Off to print the list and start goodie shopping!
Thanks again!!!! Tim
March 26, 2008 2:20:30 AM

Any mid tower case for this? And what about the CPU cooling fan? and do I re-use my hard drives? Sorry for all the dumb questions...but I am one of those that have always got it out of the box and plug and play... so I really dont know S@#%$ about all this stuff....but IM a quick learner! Thanks! Tim
March 26, 2008 4:05:56 PM

cessnac182golf said:
Any mid tower case for this?

Awesome deal: LIAN LI PC-7B plus II
cessnac182golf said:
And what about the CPU cooling fan?

The ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro is by far the best bang-for-your-buck cooler out there.
cessnac182golf said:
and do I re-use my hard drives?

You can, but I would highly recommend getting a new one that will match the quality of the rest of your build. I love my Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS 320GB.
cessnac182golf said:
should I go Vista?

XP used to be a good bit faster, but updates and new drivers have brought Vista's performance up to par. In fact, FSX is faster in Vista with the DX10 update than it is in XP. :sol: 
Remember to get 64 bit.
March 26, 2008 10:56:59 PM

I was following the thread for a while and since I am having the same doubts about the performance of FSX on different platforms I made a test with two systems I have here.

1: A8n-e Opteron 165 (dualcore 2*1M L2 @ 2.6Ghz) 2GB DDR-400
2: P5K Q6600 4GB DDR2-667

Both systems using the same 7900GS @ 600Mhz/800Mhz mem.

Windows XP x64 (no vista, thanks)

FSX w/Acceleration(sp1&sp2) @ 1280*1024, no framerate limit, no Vsync FULL quality settings everywere
except autogen which i turn allways off.

Startup position of the extra300 in the redbull timetrial without arrows.

Both systems being so different and yet BOTH SYSTEMS SHOW APROX THE SAME FRAMERATE, namely 45-50fps

Which means, multicore WONT give you more frames.
FSX uses more cores only when it is loading a new scene or game/mission and uses only one core while flying normaly.

Your p4 is realy realy the bottleneck so you would do fine with the fastest dualcore you can find with the biggest cache possible. This because fsx loves a fast core, not many of them. If you get an E8500 (3,xx Ghz and 6MB cache) you will be much better than a q6600.

I will make more tests later at 1920*1080/1200 to see my 7900 cry for mercy.
!