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M$ Flight Simulator X - suitable graphics card?

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January 7, 2010 7:36:04 PM

Hi. As a complete newbie in Flight Simulators, can anyone help with recommendations for a graphics card for Microsoft Flight Simulator X? I am a relative newcomer to higher-end graphic cards too, having only ever used a cheap and cheerful one for boring stuff. :sleep: 

My PC has an Intel quad core Q9550 (2.83GHz) on an Asus P5Q (socket 775) motherboard with 8GB 1333FSB RAM. There are two PCI Express x16 slots and I'd like to add a single graphics card that matches the overall spec of the PC (in other words is not way over the top, but won't strangle the CPU either).

There are a lot of helpful posts on this forum and I wonder if anyone can help with adding some up-to-date information? Am I sensible in looking at cards in the range £120-200 ($200-300), such as ATI Radeon 4890 or 5770 or NVidia GTX 260? Some posters say they find NVidia cards work better than the ATIs with FSX. Is this still true?

I'd really appreciate any help; I have some money burning a hole in my pocket and want to spend it wisely without regretting it.
January 7, 2010 7:40:19 PM

first of all, We're going to need at what resolution you will be playing at ?
and 2nd of all, there is no more point on staying with ati 4000 series. Might as well get latest technology while upgrading so you are DX11 ready with true audio bitstream.

so currently I highly recommend ati 5000 series at that price range.
but which ones ? it all depends on your gaming resolution
January 7, 2010 8:03:20 PM

Thanks for the quick reply. PC is running Windows 7 with DirectX 11. I am thinking of upgrading to a new 24" monitor 1920x1080 and would try to run at that. Will a card in my price range run that? Happy to spend a bit more (gulp) but want to be sure it's worth it! Thanks again.
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January 7, 2010 8:11:08 PM

simple, 5850 bro.
it's affordable, @ dx11, all the latest yummies. able to do eyefinity.
low power , low heat (some what)
If you OC the 5850 well, it actually out performs a 5870 fairly.
and a 4870x2 in some games at that resolution.
January 7, 2010 8:30:17 PM

Thanks! Is there much to choose between the different makes of 5850: Sapphire, XFX, Gigabyte, Asus...?
January 7, 2010 8:31:14 PM

and ofcourse the 5770 can play it at that resolution as well. i just really love the new 5800 series

but yes at 5770 you're fine at that res.
You'll only notice a slight difference once you go past 1920x1200
January 7, 2010 8:33:09 PM

I personally am never going to purchase asus ever again, from bad support.
and their mobo just plain sucks. 2 crapped out at me before. RMA and another RMA.

I like XFX or Gigabyte,
Nothing about about Sapphire.
They're all the same performance on stock vs stock.
how ever on aftermarket cooled versions, MSI and Sapphire make pretty decent coolers on theirs. (Aftermarket versions only) same with XFX
January 7, 2010 10:59:59 PM

Quote:
HD 4890. It will run FSX great. HD 5850 is nice too if you care about DX 11... Which you shouldnt cause when the real DX 11 games arrive. NOT Dirt 2. I mean like crysis 2 or whatever. All these HD 5850s and HD 5870s will die when trying to run it. Same with the 8800GTs and HD 3870 back in the day when DX 10 was new.



The whole point of 5800 series isnt just for DX11.
But more for what you get for what you pay for.
5800 Offers Eyefinity + Dx11 Support + HDMI Bitstreaming audio.
and alot of the benchmarks shows that a slight OC'd 5850 takes on the 4890 by 7-12%
which is a winner in my book, if you're gonna spend over 150 on uprgading why buy technology that's older.

and crysis matter, its a whole different story. even if he was at tri x-fire set up, I'm putting money that it'll struggle on a crysis 2 , for crysis is more in favor for nvidia. literally nvidia worked with them on that game's graphic engine.

and Like I stated he can actually just stay with 5770. for the game he wants to run.
I wasn't impressed at all at 4890's performance, but the value was that impressed me.
for the time being to save money and best bang for buck, 5770 or 5850 is best shot
a c 359 U Graphics card
January 7, 2010 11:03:28 PM

FSX is more CPU bound than GPU bound. A HD 5770 will do fine.

However, if games like Crysis 2 is on your horizon, then you should go with a HD 5850.
January 7, 2010 11:12:30 PM

well I agree, the 5770 isnt fast as 4890 on performance,
Only reason why some of us are suggesting 5770 is alright choice of his. Mainly if he doesn't game as much, just FSX and FSX type of games. and isn't considering major choice of games with a budget.
Thats why I mentioned if he can go for 5850.
if budget is an issue, and he originally wanted a 5770. the 5770 can handle the specific game he mentioned (FSX) and will be powerful to run it at his resolution.

but if it were to me, i'd also go with something better, so i wouldn't have to worry about another upgrade for the next few months to come.

Hurry fermi !
a b U Graphics card
January 7, 2010 11:14:19 PM

From PCI-E slot tests & benchmarks, FSX seems to really enjoy bandwidth to the card & CPU. So a full 16 lanes of PCI-E 1.1 would be great, 16 lanes of PCI-E 2.0 would be better.
a b U Graphics card
January 7, 2010 11:16:41 PM

Tom's snuck a peek in this year's CES Day 1.
a b U Graphics card
January 7, 2010 11:19:25 PM

They said the cooler on it was huge (the rep said it was not the final) & that they could see a 6-pin + 8-pin lead out of it.
The card itself slacked longer than the ATX mobo.
a b U Graphics card
January 8, 2010 12:12:32 AM

I don't doubt the performance of Fermi, however at what cost?
January 8, 2010 11:10:37 AM

Thanks for all the suggestions! Everyone seems to be suggesting the 5770 or 5850 and it all makes sense. I am swithering - the 5850 is nearly double the price (£120 v £225) and I guess it all depends on whether I may be lured into more exciting games before I eventually upgrade my PC. Looks like the advice is to stick with the 5770 if I really am only going to use it for FSX, as FSX will not really notice the extra speed of the 5850.

It's tempting to go for the better one though; I have an 850W PSU, so the extra power should not be a problem.

I am guessing that the rest of my PC can drive the 5850 hard enough to make it worthwhile for some games? Have I got the picture about right?

Thanks again for everyone's help.
January 8, 2010 3:18:39 PM

saelwell said:
Thanks for all the suggestions! Everyone seems to be suggesting the 5770 or 5850 and it all makes sense. I am swithering - the 5850 is nearly double the price (£120 v £225) and I guess it all depends on whether I may be lured into more exciting games before I eventually upgrade my PC. Looks like the advice is to stick with the 5770 if I really am only going to use it for FSX, as FSX will not really notice the extra speed of the 5850.

It's tempting to go for the better one though; I have an 850W PSU, so the extra power should not be a problem.

I am guessing that the rest of my PC can drive the 5850 hard enough to make it worthwhile for some games? Have I got the picture about right?

Thanks again for everyone's help.



that's right, I strongly suggest to stay within your price range as you originally planed. how evr the 5850 is well worth the upgrade also, 5770x2 is still not as fast as a well OC'd 5850. But
I only suggest you going onto 5850 if you are going to be playing some intensive graphic engine games (crysis engine like)
how ever, the good news is with a 5770 you can still play majority of the games at high settings at that res.

you have to remember, though your pc specs arn't exactly up to date (vs the new I5's/I7's)
You have to keep in mind that not everything today even uses up what your current pc has to offer.
Your pc is more than enough to fly by another year before even considering another upgrade.
I mean we have what.. 6 games ? that actually take a full advantage of having dual cores? let alone maybe 2 games that uses up 4 cores ? I could be wrong, I havn't heard much about the latest games lately other than the Dx11 supported coming out soon, which is still either based off of single core or maybe a dual core lol.

My point is, Yes it may be tempting to upgrade to a 5850. Unless you're wanting to play every latest game with every graphic setting set to its highest level to see the beauty of the game, No need to upgrade, the 5770 Can handle all the games and games to come at your res, just not at maxed settings. but decent amount of graphic settings set.

Games I've tested with settings either mid/high or maxed @ 1920x1200 was
NFS Shift
Borderlands
Rainbow6 Vegas
NFS Most Wanted
COD MW2 <--- I felt some chops here and there during high settings

Intel E8500 @ 4ghz aircooled
8GB DDR2 @ 1106ghz
Biostar T-power I45 Mobo
P&C Silencer 750w
HIS 5770

I'm personally still on 4870x2 on that pc.
my 2nd pc is on gtx285.

the 5770 was for testing for our htpc,
!