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kwaka
01-14-2008, 12:08 AM
Hi,

I'm building a GA cockpit and need to upgrade my PC to run lots of USB devices, 2x LCD monitors for MIPs and 1 external view. My current PC is an AMD XP3000+, O/C to 2.17Ghz, 1.25GB RAM, ATI Radeon 9700 AGP 128Mb. I also run a second monitor using old PCI card. It runs FS9 ok I suppose but doesn't like FSX much.

I don't have much left over after buying my components and so for now I need to consider a second hand system such as the following 3. Which system would you recommend and are any not suitable?

OPTION # 1
Intel Pentium D Dual core 830 processor @ 3 GHz
2 x 1 MB L2-cache, 800 MHz FSB
BTX shaped, optimized airflow, heatpipe cooling
2 Gigbytes DDR2 SDRAM with 533 MHz 64-bit dual channel memory
NVIDIA GeForce 6700XL videocard with 128 MB memory (SDDR3/1100MHz)
250 GB 7200 rpm Seagate (S-ATA 150)
Dual TV function: record one channel while watching another
1 x DVB-S digital TV receivers
1 x Analogue TV/cable-TV receivers
Sony 16x Dual layer multistandard DVD/CD burner with LIGHTSCRIBE
Sony 16x DVD-ROM
54Mbits WLAN
Built-in 8-in-1 USB 2.0 card reader
6 x USB 2.0 ports (2 x front, 4 x back)
2 x Firewire ports (1 x front, 1 x back)
Dolby Digital 8 channel Intel High Definition Audio
V.90 PCI data/fax/modem
Integrated 10/100 Mbit ethernet controller
OEM Version Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate on Hard drive only.

OPTION # 2:
Intel P4 3.2ghz Processor
Gigabyte Motherboard GA-8I945P Pro
Gigabyte GForce NVIDIA 7600GT Video Card
2 gig of ADATA Ram
2 x 250gig Hard Drive
CD/DVD Burner Combo
Keyboard & Mouse
5 in 1 Card Reader
Coolermaster Case & PSU (350watt)

OPTION #3
Dimension(TM) 8300 Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 Processor with HT Technology 3.4GHz
Intel(R) 875P Chipset
512KB ON-DIE L2 Cache
Integrated Intel(R) PRO 10/100 Ethernet
Dell(TM) Media Experience Software
2GB (4x512) Memory 400MHz DDR SDRAM
256MB ATIĀ® RadeonTM 9800 XT DDR w/TV-Out and DVI
17" Ultrasharp(TM) LCD Flat Panel Display with Height Adjustable Stand
250GB SATA (7200RPM) Hard Drive
SATA Cable
Microsoft(R) Works 7.0 - OEM version
DVD+RW/+R with CDRW Combo Drive
DVD Decoder Software
4.7GB DVD+R Blank Media (1 pc)
SONIC(TM) MyDVD(TM) and Sonic RecordNow! Software
Sound Blaster(R) AudigyTM 2 Sound Card
Audio Filler
Dell(TM) 5650 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers w/ Subwoofer
56K PCI Telephony Modem

Hopefully I'll have my sim up and running within a few weeks and I'll post the results here.

Cheers.

David Rogers
01-14-2008, 12:59 PM
Hi,

Option 1 = The Pentium D is early generation dual core. Bear in mind that FS2004 can't utilize both cores to run the program, so I would only go with this, if you like to use your PC for many other programs at the same time as FS2004. This PC is unlikely to run FSX too well, unless you stick with very low scenery settings. The graphics card in this option is also poor - it's a 128Mb unit and would be a real bottleneck in the system. It would be verging on criminal not to upgrade this! :)

Option 2 = Single core but slightly faster clock speed ..... will probably be better than Option 1 for running FS2004. May struggle with FSX unless no autogen and basic settings are used. Graphics card is better in this option.

Option 3 = Definately the best option in my opinion. Make sure it has 2Gb of RAM though as your description says 2Gb, but then says (2x512Mb) after that ! (which is only 1GB).

Whichever you go for, I would advise ensuring you have 2Gb of RAM and as decent a graphics card as you can afford. Remember that the GPU / graphics card can be as important as the main PC's CPU when running flight sims.

Good luck!

:)

kwaka
01-15-2008, 01:02 AM
Hi,

Option 3 = Definately the best option in my opinion. Make sure it has 2Gb of RAM though as your description says 2Gb, but then says (2x512Mb) after that ! (which is only 1GB).

Whichever you go for, I would advise ensuring you have 2Gb of RAM and as decent a graphics card as you can afford. Remember that the GPU / graphics card can be as important as the main PC's CPU when running flight sims.

:)

Thanks for the reply David.
So basically I should be looking out for a system that has:
-P4 chip 3GhZ+
-2Gb Ram
-Graphics card running more than 128mb.

Do you suggest any other key components that should be included?

Can you recommend a good second hand card that will be compatible with this type of system that works well in FS9/FSX but won't break the bank?

Many thanks!
Nick

Michael Carter
01-15-2008, 01:44 AM
I'm having outstanding results with the Sapphire X1950 in a Dual Core 4400 2.0GHz machine with 2GB of ram. I'm running FS9 and have no plans to upgrade to FSX.

I'm coming from a 1.33GHz Thunderbird core with 1GB of ram on the old machine. I've never seen FS look or run so good on one of my machines. I'm quite satisfied.

I doubt my new machine would do very well with FSX, but i didn't buy it for FSX.

What FS version will you run on the machine?

kwaka
01-15-2008, 02:08 AM
I use both FS9 and FSX however I intend to move onto FSX for good once my sim is built. My current system will run FS9 ok with sliders low-medium and without any real eye-candy, but that has to change when the sim is running. I need to be able to fly VFR which means more scenery out the window and hence the need for a boost to my PC performance.

My Hangstrom USB-108, 22" LCD (MIP) , and GF radios should arrive soon and I'll also buy 2 x Saitek TQ which seem good value?? I will also run a second monitor (15" LCD) for the F/O instruments and my 21"CRT for front view. The next stage will see the introduction of new external visuals (TH2go with 3x19"LCDs in "Bugeye" configuration.

Cheers,
Nick

Michael Carter
01-15-2008, 02:35 AM
You'll need, and want, a better video card than I'm using for sure.

I'd go with the Duo-Core 6600 and 3GB of memory. I'm not up on the latest and greatest video cards since I really didn't need one even in a newer machine since I'm running FS9.

A lot of folks here have much more experience with the newest video cards capable of supporting what you plan on for your visuals than I.

I'm not sure my outside views will ever be that good. But I said the same thing when I didn't think I was ever going to build anything past an overhead either.

AndyT
01-15-2008, 03:12 AM
If you will be running FSX, then there is a simple answer.

Get the biggest baddest mostest fastest hottest smokinest machine you can afford. And put the best video card it will hold in it. 2 of them actually...

Option 1 with a different video card and maxed on the RAM would be your best bet of the ones you listed.

Next question: Vista or XP?

Matt Olieman
01-15-2008, 07:42 AM
With the help of my personal geek squad (thanks to a neighbors computer and his friends) we're in the process of building my new system. In the mean time we've been running FSX/Vista, all sliders up and getting about 40 fps. Amazing details!!!!!

This is not the hottest machine available, like I said in the beginning, we're working on my new system, building from bottom up :)

When putting a machine together, keep in mind the bus speed and match those other components. You can have a super fast MB and a bad match memory or Video card or vise versa and you'll be down to 10 FPS.

Keep in mind SLI, once MS decides to come out with a patch for this fantastic process to work with FSX, FSX will scream with FPS :)

When my machine is completed I'll publish the components and the results.

rottenlungs
01-15-2008, 08:09 AM
HI

I`m running FS9 happily on the following rig:

Intel Dp35dp mobo
Core2duo 6600
2Gig DDR 667 Ram
8800GTS 320 Meg Video
2x80 gig satas in a raid 0

I run a 22" and 15" lcd on the video card and a raft of addons. The 22" runs a vc at .50 zoom and the 15" runs a custom panel.

Go for the fattest video card you can lay your hands on and a decent power supply. Us simmers NEED stability and a good psu is the only way.

Good luck. I love the smell of new hardware in the morning!!

James




I use both FS9 and FSX however I intend to move onto FSX for good once my sim is built. My current system will run FS9 ok with sliders low-medium and without any real eye-candy, but that has to change when the sim is running. I need to be able to fly VFR which means more scenery out the window and hence the need for a boost to my PC performance.

My Hangstrom USB-108, 22" LCD (MIP) , and GF radios should arrive soon and I'll also buy 2 x Saitek TQ which seem good value?? I will also run a second monitor (15" LCD) for the F/O instruments and my 21"CRT for front view. The next stage will see the introduction of new external visuals (TH2go with 3x19"LCDs in "Bugeye" configuration.

Cheers,
Nick

David Rogers
01-15-2008, 12:03 PM
I have the same ATI X1950 video card that Mike talked of (although I only use it with my single monitor desktop FS PC, because, like all ATI cards, it has poor compatibility with TripleHead2Go*).

It's a bargain of a video card, and gives stunning results with FS9 - far better than I got when using my 8800GTS with FS9, because the latter had bad shimmering, of which the x1950 had none. :)

These are my personal recommendations for video cards, depending on sim used and configuration :-

FS9 (Single Screen): ATI x1950 512Mb (bargain!).....

FS9 (Multiple screen): Nvidia 7950 GT OC 512Mb .... (Nvidia is a MUST if using TH2GO).

FSX (Single or Multi): Nvidia 8800 GT

...... in the last year I have bought, tried and sold on, 6 different video cards in my quest for the ones that work best with FS ! .......... remember that state of the art cards like the 8800 are made for modern generation games and in my experience, were disappointing with FS9, introducing stutters, awful shimmering, and Anti Aliasing problems. I get far, far better performance with FS9 from the 7950 GT OC, than I did with the 8800.

I still have a 8800 GTS 640Mb and it is great with FSX, but I have seen the GT (as opposed to GTS) at a friends house and it appears to work better with FSX, in terms of shimmers and AA issues. (it's newer).

But where budget is an issue, I think the ATI X1950 is a really great card for FS9.

:)


*ATI cards have a maximum resolution of 2400x600 with triplehead2go ..... that's only 800x600 per screen! :( ......Nvidia cards allow much higher resolutions with the TH2GO.

.

Michael Carter
01-15-2008, 03:09 PM
I've had great success using two monitors with the X1950 card. No issues a all with sliders nearly maxed out and 23.8/.9 constant frames throughout the flight.

I've never seen FS9 look so good on anything I've owned. The new computer helped out a lot too.

David Rogers
01-16-2008, 12:39 PM
Mike,

It's an intermittant problem - well covered on the ATI support forums, some suffer it, some don't, some resolve it by using older drivers, some using newer. ATI gave up trying to resolve the problem. The last that was said was that it was probably related to motherboards.