New poster here, thought I would ask for help. Shopping for PC parts for a new build and am confused as to Duo or Quad cores. Would I be better off with a Quad for FSX or will a Duo be enough? I know FSX is a dog that can kill the most updated system but I am currently on a P4 Socket 478 Prescott or Northwood 2.6Ghz on an Abit Max3 board and a 6800GS video card so I know an upgrade is necessary. I heard FSX is being updated to utilize multiple cores but how many? I also like pretty much all the 1st person shooters so I need a Proc that will handle them as well.
I'm considering the Q9300 and a EVGA 9600GT 512mb superclocked card on a Asus P5N-T board (780i chipset) with 4gb Patriot memory.
Most games run similarly whether duo or quad which makes clock speed more important, but some games like FSX and Supreme Commander take advantage of multi-threading and run better with quads. Since you're interested in FSX, stick with a quad.
Seeing how FSX is such a demanding game/simulator, I just bought a QX9650 for it. My thought is that future games, Starcraft 2, etc, are going to get increasingly demanding on the cpu and will work better with 4 cores than two. But that's my opinion and it could be wrong.
And for anyone who questions why the QX9650 when Nehalem is coming out in a year or so, first, I want to have a computer to use today, not some time in an unknown future, and second, who knows for sure when Nehalem will come out, or will Intel delay its release for some reason? Besides, even if Nehalem is better, the present chip will still work for years to come. Ever notice how many games still only require a P4 or better?
For FSX, the fastest quad you can afford, then good a good motherboad cause you'll be overclocking. The 9600GT should be fine but you ought to spend the extra $60 and go for an 8800GTS 512. While FSX is very CPU limited, it also needs to be complimented with something other than the midrange graphics card solutions.
FWIW, P45 is being pushed back 1-2 months. No idea about Nehalem.
I can somehow see Nehalem being pushed back as well. Intel doesn't have any competition to prod it faster. I also wonder if Intel might be running into some manufacturing troubles which are delaying things. Don't know, just pure speculation.
If you check out Tom's VGA Charts, it's easy to see that FSX frame rates increase very little from mid-range cards to high-end cards, which serves to confirm just how extremely CPU bound FSX really is. Spending money on a high-end card is therefore a waste of funds, unless you will also be running other games.
FSX Service Pack 1 utilizes multiple Cores, so a Quad produces 80% higher FPS than a Duo at the same frequency. Also, since FPS scales nearly 1:1 with processor frequency, plan on a high-end cooler and overclocking as high as safe Vcore and safe temperatures allow.