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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Is multiple video cards the way to go?

    Ok guys I will try to summarize what I am trying to achieve and you tell me which way I should go. And bear with me, newbie (with the FS world, not computers) here.
    Here is the deal. Wife approved building a cockpit so before she changes her mind, as any other woman, I need to act and act FAST.
    My initial idea was to have three or four 30" LCDs for the 'Outside View' meaning front left, front right, left and right.
    Then for the GPS I would get a 10.4" or 12" touchscreen LCD and for the radio stack something bigger but still touchscreen. So on the smaller monitor I would show the GPS only and on the correct size (so whatever regions are not in use/seen I would hide behind the cockpit panel). The same for the radio stack (using the monitor in portrait mode, size as close as possible as the real radio stack).
    So in total we are probably talking about 6 monitors.
    Given what I know about PCs I am 100% sure a single machine will NOT be able to handle this with decent frame rates. Before we go too far, decent frame rates are a must have for my project.
    So my question is, how many PCs would you guys use for this setup and with what kind of video card on them? I assume these PCs would have to be networked and running some sort of add-on to FSX to get all them on the same 'simulation'.
    The idea of building a GPS is awesome but so far I could not find any plans on the Internet. If anyone knows where to look for just shout.
    Anyone here with touchscreens to comment on that idea?



  2. #2
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    Re: Is multiple video cards the way to go?

    Hi tsmvp,

    First, I personally don't think using LCD displays for a bigger outside view
    an attractive idea thinking of cost, unless you use Fresnel lens or other collimation method, so view seems to be distant. I say this because 30"
    LCDs here cost more than a projector, so, I think more interesting using
    3 projectors.

    I also don't think touchscreen so nice, as knobs and buttons do a more
    real felling, but this vary from people to people. Some touch screen simple
    move the mouse of the system to the point and do a click, in the major cases
    the physical connection is RS-232 (Serial) or USB. So you only need the software or use the Flight Simulator FSX GPS. ( I don't remember about FS9 )

    Again, I prefer one computer per view, and if you use X-Plane and projectors,
    X-Plane permits on every computer, to adjust corner blender and distortion for projecting on curved screens.

    Of course you can use two video cards on one PC with two outputs each,
    but to get a good frame rate this would require some processing power.

    I'm in the choice of X-Plane and FSX yet, and a good thing is; X-Plane
    has native support for modular computer environment. So, one computer
    can calculate the simulation itself, and others only render the corresponding
    view. You can do the same with FSX, but is not a native feature.

    With a fast networked file system (1Gib LAN), you can try using 3 computers
    to render, and the only rendering computers could use scenario files from
    the master one, so they need only mother-board, processor, power-supply,
    graphics card, ram memory, and optionally a case Then you can use a flash
    card as a storage option for the SO and software only.

    You can do more, like using Windows XP Embedded with the necessary services and options, to run the software, so getting more processor power
    and memory ram "free".

    I think that when your wife see the simulator, she will think differently

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