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  1. #1
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    How do I install on multiple PC's?

    Hi Folks,

    I hope you can give me some advice and guidance in support of my 737 home cockpit project.

    I am struggling a little to understand the best way to support my system across multiple PC's. I can see that obviously spiltting the load of running FSX and all of the respective add on's is a great way to provide better software performance.

    Could you please give me a little guidance on how I could optimally setup my sim software across two or three PC's with regard to which PC runs which software and drives which hardware? Also, is there a point that spltting activities across PC's is not worthwhile - ie. if i install every component of sotware on a dedicated PC, would it be super-efficient or is there no reason to go beyond 2 / 3 PC's?

    Finally, when speccing these PC's, do they all need to be super-spec or can the main one be a monster and the others simply modern and capable?

    Many, many thanks for your time in guiding me here.

    I appreciate your help,

    Steve

  2. #2
    150+ Forum Groupie mach7's Avatar
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    Re: How do I install on multiple PC's?

    Hello...not sure what your setup plans are but i can tell you what i did...(or in the process of doing)

    I am building a 146 simpit, so my engine instruments, flap gauge, fuel gauges, etc (basically everything on the centerpanel) are converted real engine insturments.

    I have the one server PC which runs fs9, all my plug and play items, (including the mechanical engine gauges). I have used FSPanel studio to create the captains and first officers flight instrument panels, whith 17 inch monitors behind each panel. I use a video splitter which allows me to display the same information on both.

    The client PC (one for now) is dedicated to the outside visual diaplay (forward) and is connected to the server PC thru a lan network using Wideview.

    I hope to install 3 additional PCs for more external views

  3. #3
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    Re: How do I install on multiple PC's?

    Hi Mach,

    Thanks for your reply. To answer your first question, my intention is to build a home cockpit, as real as i can manage, of a 737. I will have all cockpit screens live for capt and first office sides as well as creating an outside world view across 3 projectors.

    My question really arose from the fact that I see people who run all of this on one or two PC's through to people who practically have a PC per screen, and I don;t really understand the logic of what give best performance and what is just complicated overkill.

    On your post you mention 3 PC's for external vies - why 3 and are you saying you will heva 3 separateely driven LCD's / projectors?

    Secondly I not that you, and many others are using FS9 instead of FSX - why is that? Are the performance issues or implication with one over the other? Is it still the case that FSX is 'too heavy' to run optimally on todays' PC's?

    Thanks a lot,

    Steve

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    Re: How do I install on multiple PC's?

    Thought I'd jump in here.

    How many PCs to use and how to organise them are questions that depend very much on the specifics of your setup. If you're using something like Project Magenta for your avionics then you would most likely use one or more separate PCs for that - they don't need to be uber-powerful, since they won't be running FS9/X (I'm assuming here that you know about FSUIPC and WideFS etc - if not, go have a quick read up, there's plenty of info if you google. I'll wait .)

    Now, in terms of PCs to run MSFS itself - ultimately it depends on how many views you're intending to have. As you know, MSFS can have multiple outside view windows open on screen: many people will use something like a Triple Head 2 Go or Eyefinity to get a very wide 'virtual' display made up of multiple real displays (LCD screens or projectors) and spread the view windows out across that display, fixing the angles to suit - for example, if you have a '3 screens @ 45 degrees' arrangement or a curved screen arrangement, you'll need to adjust the view angles and zoom of the multiple MSFS views to give the effect of a wraparound display.

    Some people have done this to good effect - Ivar Hestnes springs to mind, he has some interesting threads on here about it, do a quick forum search to find them. But it has one major drawback - each extra view adds significant CPU load. The slower your PC, the lower the frame rates will quickly drop.

    Many people still use FS9 because it uses much less CPU than FSX; so you can get a bigger bang per buck on modern hardware. On a top-end machine of today (and I'll discuss specs in a minute), I dare say you could get several views open on screen simultaneously with sliders maxed and still get decent frame rates. Which you could *not* do on FSX. But you lose out on some of the new eye-candy and features that FSX brought. It's your choice. Airline simmers will probably spend more time looking at the instruments than the outside, so maybe that doesn't matter so much, and you can get tons of add-ons that make FS9 look *very* good.

    Alternatively, again as you'll know, you can use something like Wideview to synchronise multiple client PCs with a single server PC, all running MSFS (the licensing gets expensive quickly this way). This lets you allocate the visual output of a single PC to a single display / projector and maximise the graphical potential of each; but each PC generally needs to be equally high-spec unless you run the clients in 'slew mode', which has its own drawbacks. I'm not an expert here, but there are many people on this board who are, so I'll leave it to them to explain this bit better.

    Now, on the 'can I max out FSX or not' question - the answer is yes, you can, just. It's taken 6 years for the hardware to catch up with the software, but on a top-end PC you can now get enough CPU power on a single thread to get good framerates on FSX with add-on scenery etc and the sliders maxed, or near to max. You'll find a few threads about machine specs for up to date systems, but as a guideline you'll need a system based on either the Intel Core i5 2500K or the Core i7 2600K, a good motherboard that allows for painless overclocking, a good CPU cooler (water-based for preference), and a willingness to push it right towards the edge (~5GHz).

    Trouble is, that's an expensive system. And if you wanted to do a Wideview cluster of those it'd quickly become prohibitively so.

    Truth be told, there's no simple, one-size-fits all answer; but the good people here are more than capable of helping you to come to a conclusion once you've decided, definitively, what sort of outside view you want to have and how you want to do your avionics and interfacing.