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1GB V's 512

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July 1, 2009 12:05:57 PM

Hi,

I currently have a Radeon HD 4850 with 512MB onboard, running with a 3Ghz AMD chip & 4GB of RAM.

I am using the pc to run Flight Simulator X, which since adding in a load of software is struggling a little to kep up.

I was consiering upgrading the HD4850 to a Sapphire HD4650 1GB DDR2 HDMI DVI VGA PCI-E Grapphics Card.

But was suprised by the price, it is certainly no more than I paid only a couple of months ago for my 4850, it may even be cheaper.

Am I missing something here, will buying this new card actually make no difference at all?

Please can someone in the know offer some words of wisdom.

Thanks
Luke

More about : 1gb 512

a c 181 U Graphics card
July 1, 2009 12:41:56 PM

What exactly do you mean by 'adding a load of software'? Patches and add-ons to the game or something else?

It will make plenty of difference, for a start the 4650 is less than half as fast as a HD4850!
Do not be fooled into thinking the extra memory will make the card faster, in most cases it will only add a few FPS.

FSX is heavily dependant on the CPU and prefers a dual core to single-Exactly which processor do you have?

For a graphics upgrade you need to look to the HD4890 or GTX275, anything else is just too small an improvement to warrant the cost.

Check the game settings: AA is a particularly common cause of low framerates, either turn it down or off and you will see an instant improvement.
a c 358 U Graphics card
July 1, 2009 12:45:12 PM

FS X is more dependent on the CPU rather than GPU.

A slower GPU with more VRAM will still be slower than a faster GPU with less RAM. "Upgrading" from a HD 4850 512MB to a HD 4650 1GB will result in performance drop.

Not sure what "3.0GHz AMD" CPU you have, but if it is a single core CPU, then that is your bottleneck.
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July 1, 2009 12:48:19 PM

I have suddenly added a lot of scenery. frame is still not bad but the computer is struggling and I don't think I can expect much more from the current setup.

My current system is an

ATHLON AMD 6000+ X2

4GB DDR2 800 Mhz

AM2 MSI K9N6PGM2-V2

I was looking at the graphics card as CPU wise I am probably running the fastest dual core I can without spending a lot more money.

The graphics card was attractive as it was only £50. Where as for the HD4890 it would be about £180ish.

Are there any smaller upgrades I could make or am I better holding off and upgrading the whole system as one in time?
July 1, 2009 12:50:01 PM

At the moment I haven't dedicated FSX to one core, is that worth doing? Should I keep FSX on one core and all other pc activity on the other?

Thanks.
July 1, 2009 12:51:24 PM

I currently don't have FSX dedicated to a particular core, would it make much difference if I place all FSX activity in one core and the rest of the pc activity on the other core?

a c 181 U Graphics card
July 1, 2009 1:17:18 PM

Fifty quid, you tight git;)
Forcing FSX onto one core would slow it down even more.
Look into overclocking the CPU, and card and check what memory you have installed, AMD chips like fast memory.
You COULD change the CPU, but the AM2 motherboard will heavily hamper the memory performance (Hypertransport AMD calls it), so to get the full benefits a new AM3 compatable MB would be needed, probably not worth it.
What resoloution are you playing in? Below 16x10 the 512Mb memory on the HD4850 is enough anyway, unless you have AA turned too high.
You might want to look at a 1Gb HD4870, I've seen some at 110 pounds UK.
July 1, 2009 1:22:34 PM

Ha ha, indeed!! Unfortunately I am finding this 'hobby' to be more and more of a money pit, and having just shelled out a fortune on a load of new hardware, the PC budget is tight. I was looking to stay under £100 for a card as it is a temporary fix.

Can't remember what resolution I am running off the top of my head, probably quite high as the picture is running through a projector.

Is the 4870 actually likely to show any improvement? I am not sure where to go from here, I need to wait for the next gen of CPU's to start becoming readily available and just put up with what I have got for the time being.
a c 181 U Graphics card
July 1, 2009 1:59:22 PM

I would suggest a little overclocking first, but read up on it! It is not the Dark Art some might lead you to think but it does have risks for the unwary.
Also, check through the game settings carefully, lowering a few details can have a considerable benefit.
As an example the game F.E.A.R. had an option 'soft shadows' that could halve the framerate while adding 4X AA to Crysis could do the same for little improvement in the image quality.
July 1, 2009 2:27:24 PM

Yes FSX will max out my Q6600 @3.2 and will not max out my 512mb 4870, FSX wants CPU power so overclocking or evan upgrading you CPU will give you a better performance boost.

The HD4650 is a downgrade so dont waste your money.
July 1, 2009 2:31:09 PM

Thanks for all the tips, it looks like I need to learn how to overclock. Can anyone direct me to somewhere that is good for learning to overclock?

Or even provide some suggestions on what I should be doing for my system?

I have never overclocked anything before so no idea what to do.

Cheers
Luke
a b U Graphics card
July 1, 2009 2:56:11 PM

google it, lots and lots of guides and articles on it.
a c 181 U Graphics card
July 1, 2009 4:00:55 PM

^Or why not visit our helpful and friendly Overclocking Forum? ;) 
!