Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Best Graphics Card for FSX

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
February 14, 2013 2:46:31 PM

The message title says it all. I'm looking for a graphics card that will give me the best performance for FSX, while staying within my budget of around $300. I'm running an AMD Phenom 3.0mhz, with 16gb RAM, 1tb HHD and two, Sapphire Radeon 6770 graphics cards. Even with this configuration, I am unable to fully utilize all the FSX features, i.e., ground traffic, ships, aircraft, ground graphics, etc. Any ideas as to which graphics card would be best for me?

More about : graphics card fsx

a b U Graphics card
February 14, 2013 4:35:52 PM

wouldnt a 7950 and a 660ti be a little overkill for flight simulator?
m
0
l
Related resources
February 14, 2013 4:51:28 PM

Is that an AM2 Phemon or an AM3? because there are somethings that you might be able to do differently to get more performance out of your overall system.

Because my guess is your setup right now is bottle necked by your processor.

What I would look at is a 7850-7870 2 gig versions and if your MB supports it a Phenom II 965 which some sites is as low is at $75-90.

7870 = http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$229.99
Phenom II 965 = http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99.99

I know busts your budget by a little but I think it would be well worth it.

If not I would look at the 7950 boost edition.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There used to be a review on toms about this card's big brother from Europe. Seems to stand up pretty well in the cooling and staying quiet.

I personally run a 7950 from Sapphire. The same version as the vapor x card.
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
February 14, 2013 4:54:28 PM

7950 is the best option
m
0
l
February 14, 2013 4:58:02 PM

FSX is more CPU dependant from what I understand from the benchmarks I've seen. You might be better off keeping your crossfire and upgrading to a 3770k and a new M/B instead.

Just a thought.
m
0
l
February 14, 2013 4:58:04 PM

Azn Cracker said:
wouldnt a 7950 and a 660ti be a little overkill for flight simulator?

You know, surprisingly it's a pretty demanding game, may be the HD 7970 is a bit much, but I'd definitely recommend HD 7850 upwards if you have the cash.
Also to the thread starter (Azn Cracker), make sure you have a powerful CPU, like a i5 3570K or one of the AMD FX series. This is because FSX is always generating that 'autogen' scenery which puts a CPU under a fair bit of load :) 

Regards,
Dan.
m
0
l

Best solution

February 14, 2013 5:12:22 PM

FSX is not about GPU's, it's about your CPU. The real issue here is a lack of CPU horsepower. FSX frame rate scales nearly 1:1 with CPU clock rate, and a Phenom, especially at 3.0 Ghz just isn't capable of giving you the performance you need for FSX.

Unlike most "gaming" titles, FSX is a "simulation" which is very heavily CPU bound, but very lightly GPU bound. As such, FSX frame rates do not respond to SLI or CF configurations. Furthermore, since FSX performs better with nVidia drivers, any mid-range nVidia based graphics card works well.

With all due respect, don't misunderstand. I harbor no loyalty toward Intel / AMD / nVidia / ATI corporate logos. I've built and run all combinations of Flight Simulator rigs over the years, so I'm only interested in which hardware yields the highest frame rates. My last AMD rig was an Opteron 170 OC'd to 3.0Ghz with an nVidia 8800 GTS 320, which ran Flight Simulator 2004 extremely well. When FSX was later released, everyone complained about poor frame rate, so it was clear that something faster was needed. Then Intel released their Core 2 processors in August 2006, and the FSX community reported much improved frame rates, so I switched to Intel.

Microsoft released FSX Service Pack 1 which made it muli-threaded, and as hardware advanced, FSX frame rates continued to improve. The combined research efforts of several benchmarking websites (including Tom's), and the findings of many FSX enthusiasts proved which CPU / GPU combinations work best for FSX. Regardless of budget, the best choices for the highest frame rates and the most features in FSX is a highly overclocked Intel i7 and a mid-range nVidia graphics card.

I've configured and built my rig especially to accomodate FSX, which is shown below in my signature. I run FSX quite frequently, but even as old a title as FSX is, there still isn't yet enough raw CPU horsepower to run it with all settings max'd out without FSX looking like a slide show. Good frame rate and high detail remains a delicate balance to achieve, which requires knowledge of the FSX.cfg file, and which settings to tweak.

Hope this helps,

Comp :sol: 
Share
February 24, 2013 1:43:53 AM

It's an AMD Phenom II X6 1075T Processor 3.00 Ghz....thanks for your help. :wahoo: 




drinkingcola86 said:
Is that an AM2 Phemon or an AM3? because there are somethings that you might be able to do differently to get more performance out of your overall system.

Because my guess is your setup right now is bottle necked by your processor.

What I would look at is a 7850-7870 2 gig versions and if your MB supports it a Phenom II 965 which some sites is as low is at $75-90.

7870 = http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$229.99
Phenom II 965 = http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99.99

I know busts your budget by a little but I think it would be well worth it.

If not I would look at the 7950 boost edition.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There used to be a review on toms about this card's big brother from Europe. Seems to stand up pretty well in the cooling and staying quiet.

I personally run a 7950 from Sapphire. The same version as the vapor x card.

m
0
l
February 24, 2013 2:02:23 AM

Best answer selected by djdude1327.
m
0
l
April 30, 2013 8:30:35 PM

Azn Cracker said:
wouldnt a 7950 and a 660ti be a little overkill for flight simulator?


You don't play Flight Simulator X do you. FSX requires a LOT of computing power, including from the CPU.

Aircraft from Carenado require even more computing power because of the high detail; and, if you have more add-ons, such as scenery, and so on, the demands upon a computer are even higher.

I forgot to mention that FSX ran better on Nvidea cards, however, I do not know how well AMD's HD 7900 series do in comparison to Nvidea.
m
0
l
June 12, 2013 12:36:13 PM

This is the most interesting thread on the topic so far.
Thank you!!!
Now, I'm trying to build the most efficient combination for fsx
I use this as a referecne:

http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/CyberPower_Black_Pea...

Please consider that I'm not a plumberg so I don't have an unlimited cash :-)

Based on this sentence by CompuTronix (a real genius)

"the best choices for the highest frame rates and the most features in FSX is a highly overclocked Intel i7 and a mid-range nVidia graphics card."

I would go for

Intel® Core™ i7-3820 Quad-Core 3.60 GHz 10MB Intel Smart Cache LGA2011
With: Extreme OC (Extreme Overclock 20% or more)

Question1: is this the right choice?

In terms of graphic card what I want to acheve is:
- Three screens running in extended view (which is still a mistery on how to configure)
- Plus 2 screens where I can dispaly the instuments.

I was thinking about:
main card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB 16X
second card: NVIDIA GeForce GT 620 2GB 16X

Question2: will the 660Ti allow me to use the extended view on three screens?
I see from the spec it allowd 4 display but will I be able to use the extended view on three of them?
http://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-gt...


Question3: can the GT 620 work in parallel and display instruments without losing perfomance?

Thank you all!
m
0
l
June 12, 2013 6:31:54 PM

gutore,

You will need a "K" series processor which has an unlocked multiplier designed for overclocking, and a high-end after market cooler.

The following is from another thread - http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1642052/1st-buil... - in which I wrote:

"The following link is to X-Plane's website - http://www.x-plane.com/store/hardware/ -

and to their partner's website, XForce PC, who builds their PC's - http://xforcepc.com/store/index.php/computers.html?mode...

This is their description of their recommended hardware configuration:

"XForcePC Computer Specifically Designed for X-Plane: Intel Quad Core i5-3570K Processor overclocked at 4.0GHz, 16 Gigabytes of DDR-3 1600MHz" ... "Nvidia GTX 660 Video Card with 2GB. Requires no special adapters to run X-Plane on 3 screens."

Unlike most "gaming" titles, X-Plane and FSX are "simulations" which are very heavily CPU bound, but very lightly GPU bound. As such, neither X-Plane nor FSX benefit from CF / SLI or high-end graphics horsepower. Conversely, since multiple cards require more CPU interrupts, frame rate can actually decrease slightly.

As I've explained in many threads, frame rate scales with the number of CPU cores and clock rate, so a high overclock produces the best frame rates. Further, since these simulations perform better with nVidia drivers, a mid-range nVidia based graphics card works well, which is why X-Plane recommends a single GTX 660."

Hope this helps,

Comp :sol: 
m
0
l
June 13, 2013 6:35:52 PM

Ooh Computronix, you really rock! Thank you very very much.
I looked and digested your links.... and I'm back with questions :-)

Comparing the two systems, price is quite the same:
http://xforcepc.com/store/index.php/computers/ready-to-...
http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/system/CyberPower_Black_Pea...

The latter has i7-3828

- Are you saying that for FSX purpose the Intel Quad Core i-5 3570 Ivy Bridge Processor overclocked to 4.0GHz + 8GB RAM is better than the Intel® Core™ i7-3820 Quad-Core 3.60 GHz 10MB Intel Smart Cache LGA2011 + 16GB Ram ?

Second question:
I understand a second graphic card will eat CPUs hence impacting FSX performance, so...
- What's the best option if I want to use 3 screens for the extended view and a couple of other screens for instruments/GPS on the same computer?

Thank you again, appreciate you help!



m
0
l
June 14, 2013 7:03:28 AM

The i7 3820 - http://ark.intel.com/products/63698/Intel-Core-i7-3820-... - is NOT a "K" series processor, and is therefore NOT a recommended processor for FSX or X-Plane.

As I've said, the highest possible overclock is absolutely critial to achieving the highest frame rates. As you can see in my signature, I'm running an i7 2700K overclocked to 4.8Ghz, which is ideal for FSX as well as X-Plane.

Also, since the i7's have Hyperthreading, they maintain a higher minimum frame rate at the same clock rate than their corresponding i5 equivalents. Further, the 3820 is a 130 Watt processor, which is more difficult to cool than the 95, 84 and 77 Watt i7 and i5 variants. Nevertheless, high-end air cooling or liquid cooling will be necessary for a high overclock.

Other cooling concerns are that when selecting a graphics card, consider that cards which exhaust all their heat out the rear of the case are preferred over cards which partially exhaust or recirculate all their heat inside the case.

You appear to be inclined toward purchasing a pre-built system, rather than building and overclocking your own rig (highly recommended). You also seem to be interested in a 5 display system, which is unnecessary and impractical.

However, if you can find a system builder who will build to your specifications, AND if you're OK with the fact that it would cost much less to build your own, then I would recommend the following guidelines upon which to configure a custom pre-built system:

(1) CPU - Intel i7 4770K overclocked ~ 4.4Ghz (latest generation).
(2) GPU - EVGA GTX 760 SC 2GB (latest generation).
(3) Memory - 16GB DDR3 1866Mhz CL9 (=>12Gb no Swap File needed).
(4) SSD - 256GB Samsung 840 Pro (fastest Windows and FSX load times, smoothest FSX scenery transitions).

You will also need a good socket 1150 / Z87 motherboard designed for overclocking, such as the ASRock Z87 Extreme6.

Hope this helps,

Comp :sol: 
m
0
l
July 10, 2013 5:19:19 AM

CompuTronix said:
The i7 3820 - http://ark.intel.com/products/63698/Intel-Core-i7-3820-... - is NOT a "K" series processor, and is therefore NOT a recommended processor for FSX or X-Plane.

As I've said, the highest possible overclock is absolutely critial to achieving the highest frame rates. As you can see in my signature, I'm running an i7 2700K overclocked to 4.8Ghz, which is ideal for FSX as well as X-Plane.

Also, since the i7's have Hyperthreading, they maintain a higher minimum frame rate at the same clock rate than their corresponding i5 equivalents. Further, the 3820 is a 130 Watt processor, which is more difficult to cool than the 95, 84 and 77 Watt i7 and i5 variants. Nevertheless, high-end air cooling or liquid cooling will be necessary for a high overclock.

Other cooling concerns are that when selecting a graphics card, consider that cards which exhaust all their heat out the rear of the case are preferred over cards which partially exhaust or recirculate all their heat inside the case.

You appear to be inclined toward purchasing a pre-built system, rather than building and overclocking your own rig (highly recommended). You also seem to be interested in a 5 display system, which is unnecessary and impractical.

However, if you can find a system builder who will build to your specifications, AND if you're OK with the fact that it would cost much less to build your own, then I would recommend the following guidelines upon which to configure a custom pre-built system:

(1) CPU - Intel i7 4770K overclocked ~ 4.4Ghz (latest generation).
(2) GPU - EVGA GTX 760 SC 2GB (latest generation).
(3) Memory - 16GB DDR3 1866Mhz CL9 (=>12Gb no Swap File needed).
(4) SSD - 256GB Samsung 840 Pro (fastest Windows and FSX load times, smoothest FSX scenery transitions).

You will also need a good socket 1150 / Z87 motherboard designed for overclocking, such as the ASRock Z87 Extreme6.

Hope this helps,

Comp :sol: 


CompuTronix , you seem da man for FSX comps.
I am after a new setup, the one you describe here i7 4770k, EVGA GTX 760, 16gb ram, asrock z87 extreme6, is this overkill for FSX running only dual screens or is this your reply for the 5 screen setup??
could you get away with a i5 4670k, GTX 660, 8gb ram and asrock Z87 extreme 4?
I love playing FSX with pmdg and rex and all the other addons.
m
0
l
August 19, 2013 3:58:54 AM

CompuTronix said:
FSX is not about GPU's, it's about your CPU. The real issue here is a lack of CPU horsepower. FSX frame rate scales nearly 1:1 with CPU clock rate, and a Phenom, especially at 3.0 Ghz just isn't capable of giving you the performance you need for FSX.

Unlike most "gaming" titles, FSX is a "simulation" which is very heavily CPU bound, but very lightly GPU bound. As such, FSX frame rates do not respond to SLI or CF configurations. Furthermore, since FSX performs better with nVidia drivers, any mid-range nVidia based graphics card works well.

With all due respect, don't misunderstand. I harbor no loyalty toward Intel / AMD / nVidia / ATI corporate logos. I've built and run all combinations of Flight Simulator rigs over the years, so I'm only interested in which hardware yields the highest frame rates. My last AMD rig was an Opteron 170 OC'd to 3.0Ghz with an nVidia 8800 GTS 320, which ran Flight Simulator 2004 extremely well. When FSX was later released, everyone complained about poor frame rate, so it was clear that something faster was needed. Then Intel released their Core 2 processors in August 2006, and the FSX community reported much improved frame rates, so I switched to Intel.

Microsoft released FSX Service Pack 1 which made it muli-threaded, and as hardware advanced, FSX frame rates continued to improve. The combined research efforts of several benchmarking websites (including Tom's), and the findings of many FSX enthusiasts proved which CPU / GPU combinations work best for FSX. Regardless of budget, the best choices for the highest frame rates and the most features in FSX is a highly overclocked Intel i7 and a mid-range nVidia graphics card.

I've configured and built my rig especially to accomodate FSX, which is shown below in my signature. I run FSX quite frequently, but even as old a title as FSX is, there still isn't yet enough raw CPU horsepower to run it with all settings max'd out without FSX looking like a slide show. Good frame rate and high detail remains a delicate balance to achieve, which requires knowledge of the FSX.cfg file, and which settings to tweak.

Hope this helps,

Comp :sol: 


Hello Computronics,

I am a die-hard FSX enthusiats, and would like to upgrade my PC to a new one.
what is your suggestion on the specifications please?? and are there any recommended suppliers (reliable and price-wise competitive),
which you can suggest?
I just want to use 1 screen (24" HD, DVI), but sometime I could use additional sceneries or traffic downloads, new aircrafts.
Thanks for your help in advance.

regards
Sam
m
0
l
September 1, 2013 3:16:40 PM

Hi CompuTronix.

Thanks for all your help so far.

After spending weeks finding a good deal for a reliable custom built system I decided to follow your suggestion and build it myself :-)
Here my choices, as close as possible to your advices (I know you are against double GPU for FSX but I need a system with 3 screens + 3)
And off course a couple of questions:
- how can I know all the parts are compatible? (What I Dummy!)
- Is there a guide that shows how to overclock?
- Do you like the choice?


Case: Cooler Master Storm Stryker (White) $150
CPU - Intel i7 4770K overclocked ~ 4.4Ghz (latest generation) $335
Cooler: Swiftech H220 55.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $151
PSU: Cooler Master Silent Pro 720w $50
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme6. $175
GPU 1 - EVGA GTX 760 SC 2GB (latest generation). $250 http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-Dual-Link-Graphics-0...
GPU 2 - EVGA GTX 760 SC 2GB (latest generation). $250
Memory - Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory $132
SSD - 256GB Samsung 840 Pro - 220$ http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B009NB8WRU/ref=s...
CD/DVD: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS $ 57
Audio card: Asus Xonar DG $18
Wirelessnetwork card: Asus PCE-N53 802.11a/b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi $28
Wired Network card: Intel EXPI9301CTBLK $28
USB 3.0 Anker® Uspeed USB 3.0 PCI-E Express Card $20 http://www.amazon.com/Anker%C2%AE-Express-Connector-Des...

existing win7 64bit

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1yOwj

total: 1864

Thank you very much for your help!!

Gutore
m
0
l
September 4, 2013 6:50:13 AM

Yes, there are many Overclocking Guide available - just Google it.
Are you sure about that price on the PSU?

As per your parts selections and compatibility:

(1) Why the sound card, LAN card and USB 3.0 card?

You realize, of course, that the motherboard includes those devices on-board. Also, if there's a particular need for Wi-Fi, then the Z87 Extreme6/ac version - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... - includes Wi-Fi on-board. Regardless, keep in mind that there aren't enough PCI / PCIE 1x / PCIE 4x slots to accommodate such an assortment of add-on cards.

(2) I strongly discourage the use of any graphics cards which exhaust and recirculate their heat inside the computer case.

For this reason, the cards you selected are a poor choice due to the axial flow fan configuration. It's counter-productive to exhaust and recirculate GPU heat inside a case where you're trying to cool a highly overclocked CPU, regardless of whether the CPU cooling method is liquid or air. Since you'll have 2 cards in SLI, the heat will be twice as problematic, not to mention the additional heat stress on other components such as the motherboard, chipset, memory and drives, etc.

Instead, I recommend the following EVGA GTX-760 2GB SC - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

These cards exhaust their heat out the back of the case due to the linear flow fan configuration, which is highly preferred for maintaining the coolest possible temperatures inside the case.

(3) The memory you selected at that price point is CAS Latency 10. Since your case has a large clear side cover, I would recommend the faster CAS Latency 9 memory with winky blinky LED's ... very cool!

16GB (2 kits of 2 x 4GB) Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer DDR3-1866 CAS Latency 9.

These memory modules have programmable multi-colored LED's which display the memory activity patterns. I run these same modules in my Antec 900 case, and they put on a great light-show!

There are 2 different 8GB kits:

Red/Geen - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Orange/Blue - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Otherwise, your build looks good to go.
m
0
l
September 4, 2013 9:48:07 PM

CompuTronix,

Thank you very very much. Your help is invaluable.
I was wrong on a lot of things. I fixed them and hope I'm almost there.
The last 2 questions I have before I place my order:

1)
The GPU you suggested can support up to 4 screens.
I understand the MotherBoard can support 2 screens (1DVI and 1HDMI).
Would I be able to run (fairly smoothly) a system with 6 screens (3 with expanded view + 3 indipendent) with just one EVGA GTX-760 2GB SC + the motherboard outputs?

2)
Do you have any suggestion for three screens 23'' to run the expanded view with FSX/X-Plain around $180 each?
This seems to be good and effective for the price
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B00AVYNS7M/ref=d...

Here the new list for a total of $1658, hope you like it because you basically built it :-)

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/gutore_76/saved/2k7U

Thank you!!!

gutore
m
0
l
September 6, 2013 11:37:58 AM

The motherboard graphics you refer to is generated from the Haswell processor's on-chip GPU, which renders a relatively low level of performance comparable to a low-level graphics card. You're better off staying with the pair of upper mid-level GTX-760's, which can be configured to run in SLI or independently, offering you the flexibility to assign FSX monitor tasks as desired.

Asus makes a decent monitor, so that choice is fine.

Also, just to be clear, you've chosen two Orange / Blue memory kits, which hopefully was your intention. If you had instead wanted one or both kits to be Red / Green, then you'll need to correct your order.

Otherwise, your order is good to go.
m
0
l
September 8, 2013 7:58:40 PM

Thank you again!
Order made, browsing for a step by step guide to put all together and how to overclock.
I guess I'll need your help again...

gutore
m
0
l
September 16, 2013 3:16:53 PM

These pictures are dedicated to Computronix.
Thank you, you made me do it!!!




m
0
l
September 26, 2013 8:32:30 AM

So how did the overclock go?
m
0
l
October 7, 2013 12:41:53 PM

CompuTronix said:
So how did the overclock go?


Hi CompuTronix.

Your Intel Temperature guide is just amazing! http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-1800828/intel-temp...

For the overclocking I found out that the ASRock Z87 Extreme6 UEFI made it pretty easy. I am able to run my processor to 4.4 (according to A-Tuning).

Haven't done any stress test so far.

The flight experience is great. I'm still tweaking around to find the optimal settings for FSX.
I had to fix a couple of things playing with the config file like blinking taxyways lines and some other issues .

If I use full screens, FSX crashes on exit. It seems a common problem. I'm waiting for new screens before trying to solve the problem/reinstall.
I'll post a video shortly.

As I had a spare afternoon, spare wood and a spare fan removed from the top of the case to allocate the liquid cooling ones I came up with this: :-)


m
0
l
October 13, 2013 5:14:54 AM

Excellent innovation! So tell us about your FSX frame rates and flying experiences!
m
0
l
October 23, 2013 3:48:46 PM

Hi CompuTronix,

The experience is very smooth, however I didn't find yet a good way to record the screen. I see the FSX build in video capture is not the best... I'll play around with Fraps and FsRecorder, are these the best options?
Hope to share a video with you soon!

Guido

m
0
l
!