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  1. #1
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    New PC; advice needed

    Hi guys,

    Looking at investing in a new PC; the plan is to run 4 monitors off of it, and it'll be used only for FSX. I have lots of add-ons and also loads of Goflight USB devices, so it needs to be a pretty good machine all round.

    These are the 3 quotations I have been offered:

    Option 1:

    Processor (CPU)
    Intel® Core™2 Quad Q9450 (4 X 2.66GHz) 1333MHz FSB/12MB L2 Cache

    Special Offer
    FREE Assassin's Creed DVD Game with any Intel® Core™ 2 Quad CPU!

    Memory (RAM)
    8GB CORSAIR XMS2 800MHz - LIFETIME WARRANTY! (4x2GB)

    Motherboard
    ASUS® P5N-D: DDR2, SATAII, 2 x PCI-e x16, 2 PCI, 2 x PCI-e x1

    Operating System
    64 BIT WINDOWS® VISTA HOME PREM SP1 (inc CD & Licence) (£56)

    USB Options
    6 x USB 2.0 PORTS (4 REAR + 2 FRONT) AS STANDARD

    Memory - 1st Hard Disk
    640GB SERIAL ATA II HARD DRIVE WITH 16MB CACHE (7200rpm)

    2nd Hard Disk
    NONE

    RAID (HDD 1 & 2)
    NONE

    1st CD/DVD Drive
    20x Dual Layer LightScribe DVD Writer ±R/±RW/RAM

    2nd CD/DVD Drive
    NONE

    Graphics Card
    1024MB GEFORCE 9800GX2 PCI Express + DVI + TV-OUT

    2nd Graphics Card
    NONE

    3rd Graphics Card
    NONE

    Sound Card
    Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ Xtreme Audio 7.1: £28

    Modem
    NONE, I WILL BE USING BROADBAND

    Network Facilities
    ONBOARD 10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT

    Floppy Disk Drive
    NONE

    Memory Card Reader
    INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER (READS XD, MS, CF, SD, etc)

    Case
    Stylish Black Aluminium Trigon Case + 2 Front/Side USB

    Power Supply & Case Cooling
    800W Quiet Quad Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan (£99)

    Processor Cooling
    ASUS SILENT KNIGHT II PURE COPPER ULTRA COOLER (£36)

    Firewire & Video Editing
    2 x IEEE 1394a FIREWIRE PORTS (1 onboard, 1 at back panel)

    £1303 inc VAT and Delivery


    Option 2:

    Processor (CPU)
    Intel® Core™2 Duo E8500 (2 X 3.16GHz) 1333MHz FSB/6MB L2 Cache

    Memory (RAM)
    4GB CORSAIR XMS2 800MHz - LIFETIME WARRANTY! (2x2GB)

    Motherboard
    ASUS® P5N-T DELUXE: DDR2, SATA II, 3 x PCI-e x16, 1 PCI/2 x PCI-E

    Operating System
    WINDOWS® VISTA HOME PREMIUM SP1 (inc CD & Licence) (£56)

    USB Options
    6 x USB 2.0 PORTS (4 REAR + 2 FRONT) AS STANDARD

    Memory - 1st Hard Disk
    500GB SERIAL ATA II HARD DRIVE WITH 16MB CACHE (7200rpm)

    2nd Hard Disk
    NONE

    RAID (HDD 1 & 2)
    NONE

    1st CD/DVD Drive
    20x Dual Layer LightScribe DVD Writer ±R/±RW/RAM

    2nd CD/DVD Drive
    NONE

    Graphics Card
    512MB GEFORCE 9800GTX PCI Express + DVI + TV-OUT

    2nd Graphics Card
    512MB GEFORCE 9800GTX PCI Express + DVI + TV-OUT

    3rd Graphics Card
    NONE

    Sound Card
    6 Channel RealTek ALC883 Audio (Standard on P5N-E SLI)

    Modem
    NONE, I WILL BE USING BROADBAND

    Network Facilities
    ONBOARD 10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT

    Floppy Disk Drive
    NONE

    Memory Card Reader
    INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER (READS XD, MS, CF, SD, etc)

    Case
    Coolermaster Cosmos S Black Aluminium Case

    Power Supply & Case Cooling
    900W Quiet Quad Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan (£119)

    Processor Cooling
    ASUS SILENT KNIGHT II PURE COPPER ULTRA COOLER (£36)

    Firewire & Video Editing
    2 x IEEE 1394a FIREWIRE PORTS (1 onboard, 1 at back panel)

    TV Card
    NONE

    Monitor
    NONE

    2nd Monitor
    NONE

    DVI Cable
    NONE

    Keyboard & Mouse
    NONE

    Mouse
    NONE

    Speakers
    NONE

    Printer
    NONE

    Surge Protection
    NONE

    Webcam & VoIP
    NONE

    Media Center Kit
    NONE

    Anti-Virus
    NONE

    Office Software
    NONE

    External Hard Drive
    NONE

    Warranty
    1 Year Return-to-Base incl 1st Month Free Collect & Return

    Delivery
    Standard Insured Delivery to UK Mainland (Mon-Fri 8am-6pm)

    Quantity
    1

    Price £1341 inc. VAT and shipping


    Option 3

    Case: Antec P180
    Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower 850W Modular
    Processor: Core 2 Duo E8500 6MB cache
    CPU Cooler: Standard CPU Cooler
    Optimisation and Tuning: None
    Graphics Card 1: BFG GeForce 9800 GTX 512MB PCI Express
    Graphics Card 2: BFG GeForce 9800 GTX 512MB PCI Express
    Memory: 4GB Corsair DDR2 XMS2-6400C5 Twin2X
    Motherboard: Asus P5N-T Deluxe (required for QX9650)
    Hard Disk Drive One: 500GB Caviar SE16 SATA 300
    Hard Disk Drive Two: None
    Optical Drive One: None
    Optical Drive Two: NEC 4570A DVD-RW
    Removable Storage: None
    Sound Card: Onboard sound
    Speakers and Headsets: None
    Monitor: None
    Keyboard: None
    Mouse: None
    Miscellaneous Adapters (may require free PCI slots): None
    Software: None
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium
    Build Options: Standard Build (5-15 working days)
    Warranty: Collect and Return Warranty (1 year + 1 year labour only)

    Total: £1429.00 (inc VAT)


    Which is the best one to go for? I know almost nothing about computers!!!

    Thanks

  2. #2
    150+ Forum Groupie andarlite's Avatar
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    Jimmy

    I would definitely go with Option 1.

    Regards,
    Henry

  3. #3
    Boeing 777 Builder


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    Hi Jimmy,

    Any of those systems will run FSX adequately. Remember though, if you're running 4 monitors don't expect lightning performance. FSX is CPU hungry so go for the fastest one on offer in the above list.

    Other things to note are:

    1. All the listed systems offer 4Gb RAM but unless you get a 64bit version of Vista you will only access 3Gb of RAM (Windows 32 bit limitation).

    2. If you go for Vista64 (I have it and it works fine), your GoFlight software will not operate (known Goflight limitation).

    3. Even with the latest and greatest you are still advised to tweak your system based on the very many tweak advice sites on the net. Also get a good payware defrag program (I use and recommend UltimateDefrag).

    If you intend to run FS only on this system it will be much easier to keep it clean. If you use it for other things, then you will need to be more diligent.

    And once you've got it up and running, load up FS9 and watch it screem!! You may just put FSX in the closet til the next upgrade (I run both on my system)

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


  4. #4
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim kiek's Avatar
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    I'd definitely go for the 8500 cpu, so Option 2 or 3.

    A fast dual core (3.15 Ghz) is to be prefered over a "low" speed quad core. Note that FSX is still 'cpu bound ' (meaning that the cpu is the limiting piece hardware in your computer with respect to frames per second), most of the time it only uses 1 cpu, so that's why.

    I have a 8500 CPU myself.

    Regards,
    Nico Kaan

  5. #5
    150+ Forum Groupie andarlite's Avatar
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    FSX with SP1 will make use of multi-core for terrain and texture loading. There are many people on FSX forums who have reported elimination or at least a drastic decrease in the dreaded blurries and stutters with a quad processor.

    Also see this entry in Phil Taylor blog:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/ptaylor/archiv...benchmark.aspx

    He provides a link to a fellow over at AVSIM who has done extensive benchmarking of FSX. The general conclusion is that dual-core is ok if you don't use add-ons, but you would definitely want a quad-core if you use add-ons. Although lengthy it is worth checking out that AVSIM thread. Some very interesting results.

    Jimmy, if you can afford it, I would stick to a quad-core (get the fastest you can afford). The newer Q9XXX family are also very easy to over-clock. You are also future-proofing yourself more with the quads.

    The only one drawback to option one is (as Ken pointed out) is that VISTA 64 is not yet compatible with Goflight. Perhaps you could see if you could get VISTA 32 instead (which if you do then decrease your RAM down to 4GB from the 8GB).

    Regards,
    Henry

  6. #6
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim kiek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andarlite View Post
    The general conclusion is that dual-core is ok if you don't use add-ons, but you would definitely want a quad-core if you use add-ons.
    That holds for dual core and quad core at the same speed. A 4 x 2.66 GHz quad (option 1) will be "slower" then a dual core 3.16 GHZ (options 2 and 3) in a FSX game.

    Regards,
    Nico

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