Any flight simulator X wizards out there?

Do i have to overclock my CPU to play this game?


I am new to PC gaming and i have just managed to afford a gaming PC. To be able to play FSX on a setting so it looks great would be my gaming dream come true as i have always wanted to be able to play a flight sim and i loved the trial version.

My computer ran the trial version with most things on medium high and with plane detail on high, i don't know what FPS i was getting but it was quick as anything. However i keep reading that the actual game is different in terms of requirements.

My system is

Processor: Q6600@ 2.4ghz

Motherboard: P5N-E-SLI

RAM: 4gb Corsair

GPU: Nvidia GTX 260

PSU: Corsair 550w VX series

Screen res: 1680x1050


I keep reading that this is CPU based and people need a high number of Ghz even for quad (which seems crazy). I haven't got the game yet but want to but can someone tell me how it would run on my current system?

Do i really have to overclock? As i am new to PC gaming and overclocking seems daunting.

Cheers
19 answers Last reply
More about flight simulator wizards there
  1. overclocking helps, and FSX needs a Quad core or above anyway, hence the i7 is so amazing at FSX because it has 8 threads out of a possible 32 that FSX can use.
  2. MichaelD_83,

    FSX is at the extrteme CPU end of the CPU / GPU performance spectrum. It's the most CPU intensive "game" title that you can run. FSX frame rate increases with CPU cores and clocks, but requires just a sigle mid-range nVidia-based GPU card. A graphics card with dual slot rear exhaust is preferred, so that computer case temperature is as cool as possible for an overclocked CPU.

    As a licensed pilot, I've been a Flight Simulator enthusiast since 1992 running Flight Simulator 4.0, and have since built my rigs especially to run flight simulations. Overclocking is essential in order to achieve the best frame rate (FPS), which increase proportionally with processor clock frequency.

    Lineage of my overclocked FSX rigs:

    i7 920 2.67 @ 4.0 Hyperthreading - FPS best
    Q9650 3.0 @ 4.2 - FPS better
    Q6600 2.4 @ 3.6 - FPS good
    E6600 2.4 @ 3.6 - FPS poor

    The Q6600 is relatively easy to overclock, since it's no stretch to run the Front Side Bus (FSB) at 400 Mhz, which yields 3.6 Ghz. If you download Real Temp and report the "VID" under the "Settings" button, then I can tell you approximately how much vCore you'll need to reach a stable OC. Also, at 3.6, you'll need a case with good airflow, and a high-end CPU cooler.

    Comp :sol:
  3. Thanks to both of you

    Computronix: Is my motherboard going to hinder my overclocking? I read in a few places it is not so good.

    I will download Real Temp and tell you what it says

    I have this case

    http://www.overclock.co.uk/product/Thermaltake-Soprano-VB1000SWS-Silver-Case-with-Window,-No-PSU_118.html

    It has a fair few fans.

    Cheers for your help
  4. Regarding your motherboard; since you're not trying to run the FSB at higher frequencies such as 467 Mhz required to OC a Q9650 to 4.2 Ghz, 400 Mhz is no stretch, as I have already made clear.

    Regarding your case; make sure that your cable management is neat and tidy, and just run with the door open.

    Overclocking is about understanding Intel's Vcore and Thermal Specifications, and pushing your rig as high as possible without exceeding the specs.
  5. My core VID min= 1.1625 Max= 1.3250

    TJMax seems to be 100 and my idle temps are around 51/50/44/44
  6. The Q6600's have VID's (Voltasge ID) which are in 0.125 volt increments, and range from 1.200 (best) to 1.325 (worst). Nevertheless, even those which are 1.325 VID can still reach a stable overclock at 3.6 Ghz on high-end air. This typically requires a Vcore of 1.5125 to 1.525 at 100% workload (Prime95 Small FFT's), and is just slightlt above spec, which is 1.5.

    What cooler are you running, and what are the specs for your Corsair memory?
  7. I am not sure, i bought the PC second hand (never use ebay, i was conned with the description).

    I have all the fans in the case and there is a big fan on the motherboard where i guess the CPU is with intel written on it, i guess that is the standard fan.
  8. Download CPU-Z, then under the SPD tab, report the lower right column.
  9. We have the timings table at the bottom

    Frequency: 270mhz 400 mhz
    CAS Latency: 4.0 5.0
    RAS to CAS 4 5
    RAS precharge 4 5
    tras 13 18
    trc 15 22
    Voltage 1.8v 1.8v
  10. DDR2 800 @ 5-5-5-18, which will run at stock clock speed with a 1:1 ratio when the FSB is overclocked to 400 Mhz.
  11. Cool, i don't fully understand some of the details but i take it that is a positive thing which is great.

    Thanks for your help so far, and for introducing me to real temp and cpu-z, they are handy.

    Do you know of any software which measures your PSU load? because i would like to know how much more wattage i have left for possible items such as a new cooler after all the power my GPU and CPU, etc take up. My PSU is great quality but it is only 550W so i don't want to push it too far.
  12. CompuTronix, edit that list for FSX
    dual xeon (lga1366) - the very best
    i don't recommend it though, way too expensive
  13. michaeld_83 said:
    Do you know of any software which measures your PSU load? because i would like to know how much more wattage i have left for possible items such as a new cooler after all the power my GPU and CPU, etc take up. My PSU is great quality but it is only 550W so i don't want to push it too far.

    Your PSU is quite adequate for your present hardware configuration, even when overclocked, which will draw far more amps, than is required to run low current peripherals such as a 120mm CPU cooler fan or 120mm case fans.
  14. Excellent, thanks again.

    If i go for the overclock what are the danger temperatures which imply my cpu is too hot.

    My idle temps seem to be between 42-49 (usually mid 40's) in a hot room with the first core usually being the hottest.
  15. From my Sticky at the top of this Forum: Core i7 and Core 2 Temperature Guide - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/221745-29-sticky-core-core-temperature-guide

    Scale 3: Quad
    Q9x50: Tcase Max 71c, Stepping E0, TDP 95W, Idle 16W
    Q9x50: Tcase Max 71c, Stepping C1, TDP 95W, Idle 16W
    Q9400: Tcase Max 71c, Stepping R0, TDP 95W, Idle 16W
    Q9300: Tcase Max 71c, Stepping M1, TDP 95W, Idle 16W
    Q8x00: Tcase Max 71c, Stepping R0, TDP 95W, Idle 16W
    Q8200: Tcase Max 71c, Stepping M1, TDP 95W, Idle 16W
    Q6x00: Tcase Max 71c, Stepping G0, TDP 95W, Idle 16W<--Q6600

    -Tcase/Tjunction-
    --70--/--75--75--75--75-- Hot
    --65--/--70--70--70--70-- Warm
    --60--/--65--65--65--65--Safe <--
    --25--/--30--30--30--30-- Cool


    Tcase = CPU temperature
    Tjunction = Core temperature
  16. CompuTronix ... I have my i920 system parts on the way ...

    Here is what I got ...

    Intel i920 (not sure if I am getting the C0 or D0)

    MB
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157155

    Memory
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227388

    PS 500Watt

    Only thing left is ...

    VIDEO CARD - Need your HELP !! budget is $100 or less ! thanks !!
  17. vulcanman,

    The 9800 GTX 512 is the best card available for $99.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814150371 - which will do a great job of running FSX, as long as you don't exceed 1280 resolution. Also, the 9800 is a 10.5" card.

    The best card for FSX is the 8800 GTS 512 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130325&nm_mc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r&cm_mmc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r-_-Video+Cards-_-EVGA-_-14130325 - which is available at $109.99, and also has a $20.00 mail in rebate for a greeat buy at $89.99. The same point regarding 1280 resolution applies to the 8800, which is the most powerful nVidia based 9" card available, and is on par with the 9800.

    To understand how these two cards compare to one another, check out the "Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart" at the Conclucion of Tom's "Best Graphics Cards For The Money: May '09" - http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-graphics,2296-6.html

    Both cards feature dual-slot rear-exhaust cooling so that case temperatures will be as cool as possible for an overclocked
    CPU. Also, check out Tom's Gaming Graphics Charts for FSX - http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-charts-q3-2008/Microsoft-Flight-Simulator-X-SP2,783.html

    Comp :sol:
  18. Darn it ... I forgot to mention the uber important thing ... (and I get annoyed when others don't include it in their post) ...

    and that is the all important screen resolution.

    I want to run it at 1920x1200 at 25fps.

    I know that's asking too much.

    Did you see this Tom's Hardware benchmark running FSX @1920x1200 ...

    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-charts-q3-2008/Microsoft-Flight-Simulator-X-SP2,785.html

    Looks like the chip you recommended will do 1920x1200 in Ultra at a reasonable fps ... or am I nuts ?
  19. I mentioned 1280, because that's generally the break point for 512 cards, where the frame rate takes a hit at higher resolutions. Nevertheless, either card will perform well enough at 1920 res in this extremely CPU bound simulation.
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