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Upgrade graphics card for flight simulator for under $250?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 30, 2010 2:09:19 PM

I've tried searching for the right information on here, I promise, but there's too much for me to comprehend and take in!

I'm looking to upgrade my graphics card in my computer to play some flight simulators in better detail. I have X-Plane 9.0, DCS: Blackshark, and FSX that I'd like to play. I installed the acceleration pack on FSX and received the error telling me I do not have shader support and the program shuts down. That's what got me here. The other games seem to play fine, and FSX plays fine until I try to add that acceleration pack.

I've used the template found in the forum, and I'll try to share as much information as possible. Thanks in advance for any advice!


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: 1st quarter 2011

BUDGET RANGE: USD $50-250 after rebates

USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Internet, Email, Torrents, Video/Music, Photoshop, Flight Sim - This is my every day PC, and I plan to use Flight Sims maybe 25% of the time. I do not play any games currently, but may start with an upgraded card!

CURRENT GPU AND POWER SUPPLY: Currently an HP 6554 system bought a few years ago 2008 (see link below). GPU = Integrated graphics using Intel GMA 3100 -- PSU = 300W

OTHER RELEVANT SYSTEM SPECS:
HP 6554f (specs for my PC) Running Vista Home Premium 64 bit
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01...

HP 6554f
Motherboard IPIBL-LB (Benicia)
5 GB RAM

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Any

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: I'd like a versatile card, don't care who makes it as long as it works!

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe? I'd like to learn more about this

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No? First time I read about these was today!

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1680 x 1050 factory-set resolution (HP w2207h)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: I just need something to make things more enjoyable. I am not looking to spend the most money in my budget, but the right balance for what I need/price. I want to add the acceleration pack to FSX, which is my main objective for upgrading. I would like to find a good balance with these flight simulators to increase visibility ranges and to be able to run with higher graphics settings when flying. I am very new to this and have only been using the flight simulators for a few weeks now, but I plan to increase usage and need something I won't outgrow soon. I'm assuming I need an upgraded power supply also, so a recommendation on that would be appreciated as well. I'm also open to processor upgrades and RAM upgrades if they make sense :) 

Again, thanks in advance and let me know if more information is needed.

Rick
December 30, 2010 2:15:17 PM

May I know if flight simulator x uses phys x?If it does go for nvidia
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a c 217 U Graphics card
December 30, 2010 11:38:02 PM

jonesin39 said:
this GPU has SLI support. I thought I read somewhere I'd have to change my CPU to be compatible?


Your motherboard only has 1 PCIe slot. Don't worry about SLI or crossfire as you can't do that even if you wanted to. However, just because the card is capible of SLI does not mean you need to do so, or be capible.

As far as PhysX goes, you have no need for it, but that is a good card regardless.
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a c 230 U Graphics card
December 30, 2010 11:53:49 PM

That's a great combo, I'd grab it.
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December 31, 2010 12:11:00 AM

bystander said:
Your motherboard only has 1 PCIe slot. Don't worry about SLI or crossfire as you can't do that even if you wanted to. However, just because the card is capible of SLI does not mean you need to do so, or be capible.

As far as PhysX goes, you have no need for it, but that is a good card regardless.



Hehe, thanks for that information. Since I posted, I've educated myself on SLI and crossfire :) 



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a c 217 U Graphics card
December 31, 2010 12:51:50 AM

jonesin39 said:
thanks for the combo, I'm going to check it out.


I saw the discount originally on your combo, but I did not see the rebates, otherwise I would have just said go for it. Mine has the same price, but yours is just as good and has better looks. I saw go for the combo you started with.
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December 31, 2010 5:51:47 AM

grab gtx 460 and you will be futureproof also at low price.
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December 31, 2010 11:19:22 AM

thanks everyone for the ideas. I have decided on the Asus/Corsair combo, I hope it all works out!
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