Which CPU for FSX?


I'm looking for a new CPU to run FSX. My current E6600 doesn't exactly produce the best results.

I'm considering either the Intel E8600, or the Q9400. I've checked the other thread, but I can't find any mention of these two processors. Which do you think would perform the best in FSX?

I may go into some modest overclocking if I have to.

I have 2GB of Corsair DDR2 1066 memory and an 8800 Ultra graphics card (for what it's worth). I'm running Vista home premium 32.

I'm a massive aviation fan and wish to run FSX at the highest possible settings. I'm considering purchasing detailed scenery and aircraft addons, such as mega airport Heathrow X, the PMDG 747 etc. I am currently running mytraffic X, which is a major performance eater.

Thanks in advance! :hello:
27 answers Last reply
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  1. the problem with that game is

    1) multip gpu do not help that much - sli does not help
    2) you need to boost the core speed

    do not use a nvidia mobo use an intel mobo

    use a q9650 at 3.8ghz+ or even a q6600 at 3.6ghz - use ddr3

    there is not much you can do with something that demands lots of power but few drivers exist to help it with multi gpu

    if you use the E8600 i think you see a lower performance - i was told fsx used the 4 cores

    the best solution is 4.2-4.5ghz water cooled solution with a single gtx 280 card with a good raid

  2. if your looking for case set up for it like this - pm me

  3. id say get a quad core sincethe runs better on multicore processors...
  4. hello,

    Thanks for all the advice guys!

    However, I will only upgrade the CPU, anything else is too expensive for me.

    I've looked on google, and there doesn't seem to be a consensus about which CPU performs better. Some say dual, some say quad. :(
  5. @dragonsprayer.. you seem to be more of a local internet ad rather then give advice. :lol:

    Odaik, seems you have met the requirements of FSX:

    System Requirements

    * Microsoft® Windows® XP SP2 / Vista
    * PC with 1 GHz equivalent or higher processor
    * 256 MB of system RAM for Windows XP SP2 / 512 MB Vista
    * 14 GB available hard disk space
    * DVD-ROM drive
    * 32 MB DirectX 9 compatible video card required
    * Sound card, speakers or headphones required for audio
    * Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device
    * 56.6 Kbps or better modem for online play

    Flight Simulator X

    Do you have the latest drivers, and did you also install "Flight Simulator X Service Pack 1"?

    Do you know if your physical ram is being maxed out?

    I'd look into those things before buying something and finding out later it performs the same.

    Also, you need to be sure that your MB will upgrade to the CPU that your referring to, especially quads since your not rebuilding a new rig.
  6. I wouldn't listen to Microsoft on the minimum requirements for FSX.
    I remember trying to run the demo on a Intel 3.2 Ghz P4 and the experience was terrible.
    You could barely run Flight Simulator 2004 on those minimum requirements specified for FSX.

    I would suggest waiting till the Intel 3.2 Ghz Core i7 comes out pretty soon to run FSX although most current Quad Core CPU's run it well.FSX runs quite well on my AMD Phenom X4 9850 BE system.You might prefer the 3.2 Ghz Core i7 because you will probably be able to turn up the settings to ultra high detail levels and run it in high resolution.
  7. You want the quad for FSX. More cores the better.
  8. FSX is a really demanding simulator, even my Q6600@3Ghz can't Max it out fully. Microsoft have already stated the reason it's so intensive, is because they want FSX to be more future proof. The Sim only gets better and better with newer technology.

    Out of the two processors you mentioned, get the Q9400
  9. Gah... I guess its kind of a gimmick for M$ to advertise with those recommendations. Heh, I guess they wouldn't sell much if the actual requirements to run it in its full glory of eye candy.

    Thinking about it, my dad has Flight Simulator, but can't remember which one it was. I remember it running okay, its just I do remember I didn't check all the graphic settings. Now that I think about it, the graphics were not maxed out.



    :oops:. o O (wow Q6600 @ 3ghz?)

    What video card and ram do ya run?


    Heh.. my dad uses the FS 2004, so it isn't FSX. :oops:
  10. hello,

    Thanks again guys!

    I thought about getting nehalem, but I think it would be too expensive for me, as I would also have to upgrade my motherboard, and I think also my RAM to DDR3.

    I'm using SP1 and SP2 in FSX. I'm using all the latest drivers. My 6600 is somewhat decent in FSX, but I'm not really happy with the frame rates I'm getting.

    Does anyone have any links to any reviews of CPU performance in FSX? I've had a look at the excellent charts on this website, but I can't find FSX in them.

    Here, people say quad core. On other forums, people say dual core. I don't want to spend almost £200 on the wrong CPU. :D
  11. Hard to find good comparisons.

    Allot of forum threads on it though. This one caught my attention:

    Quad Core vs Dual Core in FSX

    One guy saying he switch from dual to quad core, and in his sig, it says : Intel Extreme QX6850 3.00GHz CPU

  12. Grimmy said:


    :oops:. o O (wow Q6600 @ 3ghz?)

    What video card and ram do ya run?

    I sense Sarcasm

    Yes there's better overclocks, but I wasn't trying to claim otherwise.

    I use a 2900XT card and 4GB of Memory
  13. No.. I wasn't thinking even a 3ghz quad would have problems.

    But obviously I'm wrong, since I did find a forum right above your post using a 3ghz Extreme, which he states he went from a dual.

    So I wasn't putting your OC down. Sorry.
  14. Ok, no worries :)
  15. hello,

    Thanks for that grimmy. Unfortunetly, the guys who posted on that thread seem as uncertain as me. :(

    It's quite incredible there aren't many reviews of FSX using the two different designs of CPU, seeing as FSX is massively CPU-bound.
  16. hello,

    Thanks man :D

    However, I saw that post just a while before you posted. However, I agree, it is extremely useful.

    I still have one problem though. I saw that the Q9450 runs at more or less the same performance level as the Q6600. However, I already have an E6600. Does this mean there will be minimal performance gain for a large price?
  17. Here is a review of the Phenom X4 9850 BE versus the Q9450.
    You can see the FSX benchmark here.
    Basically the 9850BE is about 5% behind the Q6600 which is behind the Q9450 by about 10% at stock speeds.The Q6600 is not shown in the graph but the Q9450 will perform better by about 10%.However you can get the faster Core 2 Quad Q9550 for about the same price as the Q9450.I think the Intel Q9550 would be about 10% faster as the Q9450 in FSX.You have to make sure that the Q9550 or the Q9450 is supported by your motherboard first though.
    I think the Core 2 Quad Q6600 is the best bang for the buck for Intel processors in FSX and overclocks wildly with good cooling.

    SP1 (Service Pack 1) for FSX enables multi-core so quad core CPU's will perform better than dual core.Read the entire article or look under Multi-Core Performance Work or "How it went together.Also check the Tweaks section.

  18. hello,

    I've had a look at other reviews, and the performance difference between the Q6600 and 9450 is totally negligible, and in some cases the 6600 outperforms the 9450, despite the 9450 having a higher clock. How is this? Here is an example:

  19. Yes if overclocked the Q6600 will perform better in FSX.At stock speeds the Q9450 will do better in FSX.

    The Q6600 would be the preferred choice for FSX and is easily the most popular CPU for FSX.
  20. Oh, sorry, I did not notice the Q6600 was OC'ed. :(

    Out of interest, why do you say the 6600 is the preferred choice for FSX?

    Which would you say can overclock better? The 45nm 9450 or the 6600?
  21. I would definitely go for the Quad Core Q6600 right now and yes it's preferred because it performs well,it is very inexpensive and over clocks very well.
    As to over clocking I'm not sure but I think the Q6600 would do better.
    The Q6600 is really inexpensive as of this moment.The money that you save can be better used to get a better aftermarket kick ass air cooling heat sink and fan or you can get a liquid cooling kit.I myself duct my air conditioner into my PC in combination with an after market heat sink and fan.

    My opinion is that the upcoming 3.2 Ghz Core i7 will perform at stock speeds in FSX at about the same level as an over clocked Q6600 at about 3.5 or 3.6 Ghz.
    It's just my opinion though.
  22. Phil Taylor who was a head guy at MS ACES FSX until Sept 23rd said himself Quad Core would run FSX better than Dual Core even at lower clock rates. He also said PCI 2.0 was the way to go....it's all about bandwidth. Next time I build a PC for FSX it will be a WD Raptor, DDR3 and Quad Core.

    I agree with some others SLI just isn't worth the money on FSX. Right now the sweetspot for video cards seems to be one of the factory OC'd 9600GT 1meg cards.

    I can't say the following enough....THANK YOU TOM'S for including FSX in your hardware tests!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. I am saving up for this spec as someone recommended it to me for FSX. The only reason i want such a high end machine is to be able to run FSX at max settings on two monitors with add-ons such as traffic x and other payware aircraft add ons. I really need a second opinion to confirm if this spec will guarantee ultra high end graphic settings on FSX.

    Thanks in advance your help!

    Antec 850 Watt PSU
    Intel Desktop Board DX58SO
    Intel Core i7 940 processor (Quad-Core, 2.93 GHz, 8 MB L3 Cache)
    Memory4 GB DDR3 SDRAM (Two 2 GB modules at 1066 MHz)
    GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 with 1.792 GB Video Memory
    Optical DriveDVD±RW Dual-Layer Optical Drive with LightScribe
    StorageSeagate Barracuda 500 GB at 7200 RPM
    Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows Vista Home Premium (64-bit)
  24. I would....

    1-Save money on the video card and go with a 9800GTX+ or GTX 260-216
    (Why? Because the CPU speed means more than the video card to FSX)

    2-Buy a better motherboard....ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, etc.

    3-Buy a i7 920 and do a mild overclock to 3.33ghz which the 920 will do with default voltages.

    4-Make sure the Seagate drive is a 7200.12 but for me I would think about a 150gig WD Raptor.

  25. FaxCap said:
    I would....

    1-Save money on the video card and go with a 9800GTX+ or GTX 260-216
    (Why? Because the CPU speed means more than the video card to FSX)

    2-Buy a better motherboard....ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, etc.

    3-Buy a i7 920 and do a mild overclock to 3.33ghz which the 920 will do with default voltages.

    4-Make sure the Seagate drive is a 7200.12 but for me I would think about a 150gig WD Raptor.


    Thanks Faxcap! much appreciated. glad that I don't hv to blow up too much dough on the video card!!!

    I've never overclocked before, but will try now.
  26. FSX SP2 takes full advatage of all cores, however you can now go into the cfg and choose to run on only just 1,2 or 3 if you want. Three has been good under some cicumstances while allowing the OS sole use of one of the cores, less jitters if you are flying major scenery or aircraft paks.

    FSX takes anvatgae of SLI this way: If you run dense scenery or other addons and you want to use very high Antialiasing ot very high screen resolution SLI will help a great deal, other than that it is not supported.

    I do very large (120GB+) photreal scenery projects for customers who use the FSX terrain engine for demos and agree that a good stable O/C is a must as well as a fast Video card, core clock must be high and balanced with good memory support for both CPU/GPU, you want at least a 1gb Vram even for default out of the box.

    The I7s do not seem to offer much as this is a very CPU dependant engine and FPS of 16-30 for these scenery and aircraft packages is considered good on the best that money can buy. The difference in a well put together $1200-2000 rig between an I7 and a PhII runing up in the 3.5Ghzand up range is not much, so it depend how much you value seeing 2-4FPS between the two systems.

    I would go to the Avsim forum and look around, you will get really good info there.

    Watercooling hasle is a bit overrated now inlite of some of the new heatpipes, not for the experiance but for a noob to get into it, there really is little to gain.

    I run my low budget Asus M4N82 PHII Quadbox at 3.93 on 800 RPM air with 8 Gigs of DDR2-1200 Win7-64 one single GTX285 but have slots for two more...I can run all the scenery I have created and play with it at home. :)
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