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  1. #1
    300+ Forum Addict notgotaclue's Avatar
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    New Computer Specs......

    Hi,
    I am about to order a new computer to make the most of FSX (now that Flight is a non-starter).
    This is what I have come up with at Dinopc.

    Customizations:
    CPU: - Intel Core i7 2600K
    CPU Cooler: - Xigmatek HDT-S963
    Operating System: - Microsoft® Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
    Motherboard: - Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3P
    Memory: - 8.0GB Corsair 1600mhz Vengeance (2x 4GB)
    Hard Drives: - 500GB S-ATAIII 6.0Gb/s
    2nd hard drive: - Corsair 60GB Force3 SSD S-ATAIII 6.0Gb/s
    Optical Drive: - 22x DVD±RW DL S-ATA
    Graphics card: - 2 x ATI Radeon HD 6870 1GB
    Sound card: - Onboard 7.1 Audio
    Internet: - Wireless 802.11N 300Mbps MIMO PCI card
    Case: - Zalman Z9 Plus
    PSU: - 700W Xigmatek
    Warranty: - 3 Year Platinum Warranty
    Price £1,198.87

    I am not to geeky when it comes to computers and can anyone spot anything that I have missed, or a component that is not up to the job.
    Would 2 graphics card be better than 1 higher quality?
    Do I need a 2nd Hard Drive?
    Thanks for any input.
    Allan.

  2. #2
    500+ This must be a daytime job
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    Re: New Computer Specs......

    Allan

    Just one thought, FSX is cpu hungry. I assume that you are going to overclock the I7 2600k to its maximum, if so, have you thought about getting a price from Overclockers http://www.overclockers.co.uk/ . They will provide complete systems to your spec and set up the system with appropriate cooling to run at say 4.6ghz and warranty it. FSX will benefit from this far more than a state of the art graphics card. Also 2 hard drives in a raid configuration will give you almost double the read/write speed

    Regards

    David

    Edit others can advise whether for FSX it is worth paying the extra for I7 as opposed to I5

  3. #3
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    Neil Hewitt's Avatar
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    Re: New Computer Specs......

    +1 for Overclockers.

    On the i7 vs i5 front - this question is frequently asked. Both the i7 2600K and the i5 2500K overclock really well. So what do you gain with the i7? Hyperthreading. This will not affect your FSX performance but for some operations it will gain you up to 50% extra performance. You also get an extra 2MB of on-die cache with the i7, which is not to be sneezed at. However, if this is mainly going to be a gaming PC then you could perhaps go with the i5 2500K instead and use the extra to buy something else shiny

    I'd recommend using only SSDs, assuming this PC is going to be FSX-only, or at least primarily. If you want lots of storage then HDDs are of course better - though SSDs paired with a RAID array for storage is a great answer to this. SSDs have just hit the magic £1 for 1GB mark - so a 120GB SSD can be had for about £120, maybe less if you shop around. Your new motherboard has SATA 3 on it, so you'll get up to 6Gbps transfer speeds.

    You might consider one of the new hybrid water coolers. Previously, water cooling was a dark art practised only by the serious hardware wizards; but now, Corsair et al sell closed-loop water coolers that are as easy to fit as an air cooler - bolt the block down to the CPU in the same way you'd bolt down the air cooler, then screw the radiator assembly in place of the 120mm fan at the back of your case, and you're done. They're not as good as top-end water coolers, naturally, but you'll get 4.8GHz at lower temps than you would on air; and you could possibly push to 5GHz if your board and DRAM is good. I have the Corsair H80 - thumbs up for that from me.

    I'm assuming you're going to use this as a rig for other games too? No need for the two GPUs if you're not. But if you're going to have the 2 of them, 700W on the PSU might be a little on the weedy side - I'd consider 800 or even 1000W.

    Unless you're going to run the latest games in ultra-high quality modes at high resolutions, the SLI (or CrossFire) is overkill. You've specced two graphics cards from the previous generation (68xx) of ATI cards, too - consider a single 69xx generation card, you'll get better results and less heat and noise. It's often said that FSX doesn't work with SLI - this isn't true, SLI is implemented at the driver level; but FSX doesn't really benefit from SLI, because it doesn't know how to use the driver options properly.

    I have a Radeon HD 6970 in my FSX box - it's expensive at £250 or thereabouts, but the 6950 is also a good card and a fair bit cheaper. To be honest, though, if I were buying right now I'd go nVidia again - look at the GeForce 5 series.

    Other than that, it's a great spec - you can't do better than the i7 2600K at the moment without spending silly money (the i7 3960X will outperform it stock, take a similar overclock, and beat it at that overclock level, but only by around 20%, while costing £500 more. Who pays nearly £800 for a CPU these days?).

    Do tell us what you picked and how well it all works...

    NH

  4. Thanks Sean Nixon thanked for this post
  5. #4
    300+ Forum Addict notgotaclue's Avatar
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    Re: New Computer Specs......

    Hi,
    Thanks for the replies, a lot to mull over for my non-techie mind.
    This rig is purely for FSX, nothing else will be loaded onto it (apart from the usual add ons) and it will not be used for anything else.
    So basically I am on the right track, with a few tweaks.
    If I am honest I looked purely at the - more money = better hardware, rather than any concious thought as to the pros and cons.
    I have a lot to research and will no doubt be back with more questions.
    Allan

  6. #5
    300+ Forum Addict notgotaclue's Avatar
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    Re: New Computer Specs......

    I have tinkered with the specs a bit and listened to what I have been advised - this is what I have come up with -

    Alioramus 2500K OC @ 4.3Ghz

    CPU: Intel Core i5 2500K @ 4.3Ghz
    CPU Cooler: Corsair H60 Water Cooler
    Operating System: Microsoft® Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
    Motherboard: Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3P
    Memory: 8.0GB Corsair 1600mhz Vengeance (2x 4GB)
    Hard Drives: Corsair 120GB Force3 SSD S-ATAIII 6.0Gb/s
    2nd hard drive: 500GB S-ATAII 3.0Gb/s
    Optical Drive: 22x DVD±RW DL S-ATA
    Graphics card: ATI Radeon HD 6970 2GB
    Sound card: Onboard 7.1 Audio
    Internet: Wireless 802.11N 300Mbps MIMO PCI card
    Case: Zalman Z9 Plus
    PSU: 850W Corsair TX
    Warranty: 3 Year Bronze Warranty
    Total: £1,121.69

    What do you think.
    Allan

  7. #6
    300+ Forum Addict notgotaclue's Avatar
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    Re: New Computer Specs......

    Another quick question.
    Say I do go for the 2 graphics cards, would I be able to use one card for FSX (using 3 monitors) and another card for other things such as Prosim737 (using more monitors)?
    Told you I haven't got a clue.
    Allan

  8. #7
    500+ This must be a daytime job Sean Nixon's Avatar
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    Re: New Computer Specs......

    Yes you would, but be conscious of the amount of programs you are asking that single PC to do. Your FSX performance will be degraded the more you ask the PC to do.

  9. #8
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    Re: New Computer Specs......

    Actually, probably not. FSX runs in DirectX mode and IIRC it sets all displays into that mode - which is why you don't still see the desktop on your other screens if you're in full-screen mode, and why you can move views and gauges onto other screens. So no other application is going to get a look-in in terms of displaying anything, and I think that includes on a 2nd video card.

    Problem is, by the time your PC is done rendering the 3 views you'll need for your three screens off the main GPU, it'll be basically out of CPU time to do anything else. Having 3 views will itself slow things down quite a bit. Many people use multiple PCs with each view being rendered by one.

    Your new spec, BTW, is looking pretty good. But be realistic about what you'll get for the money. You'll get a very hardcore rig that's about as fast as it gets these days, but that's only just fast enough to give you good FSX performance with sliders maxed and add-ons loaded with a single forward view. You could double your PCs FLOPS (well, technically you couldn't because the hardware doesn't exist, but you know what I mean) and still not have enough to satisfy FSX's requirements under absolutely all conditions. All we can do is keep feeding it hardware and hope it'll give us what we want

  10. #9
    300+ Forum Addict notgotaclue's Avatar
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    Re: New Computer Specs......

    Thanks for the answers,
    At the moment I have 3 monitors -Eyefinity- running FSX quite happily (granted I had to lower some settings and tweak beyond belief), along with FDC Live Cockpit, ActiveSky. This is on a computer that is several years old - 2.8Ghz & Ati Radeon 5700.
    I am running Prosim737 on a 2nd computer along with FlightSim Commander and Radar Contact.
    So I dont see how a brand spanking new computer with all the bells and whistles would struggle running these same programmes + Prosim737 for the instruments?
    I dont run FSX in full screen mode if that makes any difference.
    I hate computers - give me a circular saw and angle grinder any day.
    Allan.
    P.S. It is not a major issues, as I will just keep Prosim on the second PC, I just wondered if it is actually possible.

  11. #10
    300+ Forum Addict notgotaclue's Avatar
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    Re: New Computer Specs......

    Quote Originally Posted by neilh View Post
    All we can do is keep feeding it hardware and hope it'll give us what we want
    Tell me about it...

    It is shocking that a piece of software 6 years old is still not capable of running to its full potential on today's computers.
    Allan.

    P.S. I think it will be a damn good rig for £1100 and will more than meet my needs..

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