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Any flight simulator X wizards out there?

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May 29, 2009 12:58:16 PM

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
May 29, 2009 1:44:46 PM

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.
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
May 29, 2009 4:30:03 PM

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: 
Related resources
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
May 29, 2009 4:56:18 PM

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.
May 29, 2009 6:06:31 PM

My core VID min= 1.1625 Max= 1.3250

TJMax seems to be 100 and my idle temps are around 51/50/44/44






a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
May 29, 2009 6:31:01 PM

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?
May 29, 2009 6:52:30 PM

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.
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
May 29, 2009 7:17:06 PM

Download CPU-Z, then under the SPD tab, report the lower right column.
May 29, 2009 9:16:08 PM

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
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
May 29, 2009 9:32:47 PM

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.
May 29, 2009 10:08:43 PM

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.
a b à CPUs
May 29, 2009 10:43:19 PM

CompuTronix, edit that list for FSX
dual xeon (lga1366) - the very best
i don't recommend it though, way too expensive
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
May 30, 2009 1:58:01 AM

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.
May 30, 2009 1:46:15 PM

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.
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
May 30, 2009 2:28:12 PM

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...

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
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
May 30, 2009 3:28:42 PM

vulcanman,

The 9800 GTX 512 is the best card available for $99.99 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - 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=N82E168... - 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-grap...

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-char...

Comp :sol: 
May 30, 2009 3:57:13 PM

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-char...

Looks like the chip you recommended will do 1920x1200 in Ultra at a reasonable fps ... or am I nuts ?
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
May 30, 2009 4:10:36 PM

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.
!