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  1. #1
    New Member rhotrium's Avatar
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    Question New build for FSX

    I'm building a new (single) pc and cockpit for FSX. I'm planning on using 4 monitors: one middle, two side, and one instrument. What is the best hardware configuration for graphics/framerates in multiple views? Should I have 2 (or maybe 3) 9600s in SLI with a splitter like TH2G? Should I leave each 9600 to work a monitor independently (with one card also running the instrument monitor)? Should I instead get one beast (9800) and a couple lesser cards just for the dvi outs? Obviously all will be PCIe.
    I've read that FSX puts the greatest load on the CPU and then the RAM. I figure a Q6600 (purchased) and 4g (DDR2 or 3, haven't yet decided) would suffice to start. Motherboard will eventually be 780 or 790i. I'll be adding hardware over time, so as to stretch out the cost, and I haven't bought monitors yet, but I would like to cement an idea about what the finished product will be so I can look for deals. Many Thanks, and what a cool community!

    P.S. Would anyone suggest forgoing the 3 independent views and rather stretching the middle view over 3 monitors via a TH2G and then using Trackir4 to get a panorama? My only experience with either is from youtube videos and the like, so any first person info is GREAT. Thanks again!
    Last edited by rhotrium; 04-25-2008 at 04:55 AM. Reason: Addendum

  2. #2
    Rh,
    firstly good luck with your project, you've certainly chosen a challenging hobby As far as vsual systems best choice question, it is certainly a personal preference. I have done pretty much everyting you can do regarding this subject: 1 monitor 19" (1996), 1 52" Rear Projection Television ( DONT DO THAT! lol) 1 monitor 32"(1999), 3 Monitors 42" with Matrox Parhelia card TrackIr(2004) 5 Monitors multiple video cards 3x 42" and 2 x 32" TrackIr3, 1 Projector w 2 42" side monitors (2005) 1 projector with curved mirror TrackIR4(2006), 3 Projectors w/ True Mirrors (2007), 4 Projectors nd mirrors (200 so ya see pretty much whole gambit , with that said I think a multiple projector setup stretched is the best option overall for my opinion.Forget the TrackIR it jus makes your F/O sick JMO hope it helps.

    Person with greatest reslts in this area tho is probably Nic D ask him

    Tim
    A340
    Canada

  3. #3
    Boeing 777 Builder


    Kennair's Avatar
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    Tim, I think Nic would bow to your experience by the sound of it. What a range of options you've tried. Have you considered writing up a little doc on the pros and cons of each method? I think many here would benefit from it.

    As for rhotrium's question, how long is a piece of string and what color is it?? I have just built a new PC to do similar to what you are intending and also using the Q6600. I am using an 8800GT & 8500GT video cards installed in a Gigabyte motherboard with 4Mb RAM running on Windows Vista64. Triple Head 2 Go card provides outside view to 3 screens and 3 LCD's provide my instrument displays. However there are a thousand other permutations and schools of thought as to what is optimal.

    A mid range system with quality parts will get you satisfactory performance in FSX today and obviously if money is no object you can get better than satisfactory. Don't bother with more than 3Gb of RAM unless you intend going to a 64bit operating system. As you have already surmised FS depends primarily on CPU followed by RAM then graphics cards. However hard disk clutter plays a huge part so a quality defrag program such as Ultimate Defrag is a must along with Ken Salters AlacrityPC.

    If you do the research you can come up with a great system, but if you're not careful the research will lead you around in circles. Find out your basic requirements then take the plunge!

    Good luck,

    Ken.
    Opencockpits | Aerosim Solutions | Sim-Avionics | P3D | FDS | FTX | AS16 | PPL | Kennair


  4. #4
    LOl Ken,
    I just tried anything and everything cause Im stupid lol Nic actually did real experiments that made sense. I merely tried it, sold it bought it tried it , added to it , changed it lol and Im still working on it lol So actually Nic is the Guru and im just the court Jester But ty for the vote of confidence Ken

    Tim
    A340
    Canada

  5. #5
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor Tomlin's Avatar
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    ...Also rhotrium you might think about the all important decision of if you are building this for you and you alone, or if you'd like to have a person sit in the sim with you and also operate controls. The TrackIR is a GREAT piece of gear, and comes highly recommended from me but that's only for when it's just you using the sim. Other wise, I'd say forget it because as Tim (and others will tell ya) TrackIR will not work good at all when others are sitting there. So first, decide if it's just you or not. If it is then a Track IR and the Matrox TH2G would be a nice, simple and affordable small scale visual system. If you are looking at having a guest sit there, you could still have projectors (my recommendation) or several monitors linked together. I think maybe deciding who will be using it will be a first decision though IMHO.
    Eric Tomlin-
    Learjet 45 Builder
    www.flightlevel180.org

  6. #6
    New Member rhotrium's Avatar
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    Hmmm...

    Wow! Thanks for all the great comments and suggestions.
    @ Tomlin: I suppose I'm looking for the flexibility of a single seater desktop sim which may blossom, depending on time and resources, into a fully fledged, fully enclosed, generic large jet (707/KC-135?) cockpit. I figured one middle screen could easily become two, along with the instrument screen. I am positively floored by the ingenuity of those of you who have fabricated not just cockpits, but instruments and yokes, rudders, etc. Trackir does look incredibly cool, but it does strike me also as poorly suited for a co-pilot or for a large jet.
    @Kennair: I noticed that you, too, are using one beast card (8800) and one lesser 8500. Will one card do all of the intense graphical work? Are you using the 8500 only for instruments? I've read over and over that multi-monitor displays are not enabled in SLI, so is it a better use of resources (in a multi-monitor setup) to leave SLI disabled? Thanks for the note on Ultimate Defrag, I'll definitely be using it or something similar.
    @warvet: I definitely love challenging hobbies. My others include sailing (rather difficult in northern MS) and weightlifting, both of which have come in handy for flight simming and cockpit constructing. I hadn't even thought about the versatility of projectors for a sim, so I'll be looking into that immediately. I like what I've seen in videos of a single, stretched main view. But I really want enough periphery to keep the runway in sight on the base leg without having to use the dreaded hat switch. Can I get that from a single stretched main view?
    Thanks, you guys have been really helpful. I'll be looking up "brevity" in the dictionary now.

  7. #7
    Tim
    Guest
    Just so you know, the FSX external visuals DO NOT work the same as FS9.

    The "W" key, that is easily used in FS9 to remove the aircraft 2d panels for a full outside view, does not work in FSX.

    In FSX the "W" key will remove the forward view panels, but looking at the quarter or side views will show the interior of the aircraft.

    In other sim forums, there appear to be some workarounds that others have found. However, they are not as simple as the "W" key. I have not tried those recommendations so I have no idea if they work.

    Maybe MS does not want us using FSX for home cockpits any longer?

  8. #8
    Rh,
    Try this do your th2go on your forward screen that gives your front view, then go to view then to new view > virtual cockpit> then alt-enter (same time) then right click on the niew view you created click undock and drag it to the screen your using for the left side and overlap it to the TH2go left image> hen use your hat switch to adjust that view to matchup with front left and side left and Voila 180 degree view do same on right of course.

    \____/ << so it looks like this

    Thats what I have done. JMO

    Tim
    A340
    Canada

  9. #9
    Boeing 777 Builder


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    Rh,

    Yes one good card will do all the job, the second one just gives you extra outputs, however it needs to be fairly current as FSX will refuse to run if it sees an inferior card. In SLI the outputs on the second card are disabled and therefore sacrificed and I understand that FS doesn't benefit much from SLI anyway so pretty much a waste. Remember that FS depends mainly on CPU i.e. most of the scenery generation is dependent on CPU power not GPU. While a top notch video card is handy, it won't give you the same video advantage as playing Ultimate Tornament or DOOM etc.

    If you really want to drive yourself nuts checking system specs and optimum setup have a look HERE. Just one of many Avsim threads regarding hardware pros and cons. In fact have a good look around the MS Hardware forum on Avsim while you're there. I ended up getting my system based on recommendations from one of these guys and am very pleased. There's a **** of a lot more to good performance than just muscle hardware.

    And once you setup your new system to run FSX reasonably smoothly, load up FS9 just for fun and watch it fly!! It's the system you dreamed about 2 years ago (or maybe just 1).

    Ken.
    Opencockpits | Aerosim Solutions | Sim-Avionics | P3D | FDS | FTX | AS16 | PPL | Kennair


  10. #10
    150+ Forum Groupie andarlite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kennair View Post
    Rh,

    Yes one good card will do all the job, the second one just gives you extra outputs, however it needs to be fairly current as FSX will refuse to run if it sees an inferior card.

    Ken.
    Ken

    I recently installed FSX and a few minutes after the splash screen comes up, it quits back to Windows. I haven't had a chance to really look into what the problem could be, but you just raise it interesting point about the inferior video card as I do have a 2nd PCI card. I wonder if this is why FSX doesn't start for me. However I have never seen any reference to this..... how did you find out about it?

    Regards,
    Henry

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