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Thread: Hello and help

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    Hello and help

    Hi everyone.

    It's been a while since I posted anything here. Anyways I took a bit of a hiatus from the flight Sim world and I'm looking to get back into it. I really need help with setting up a decent computer for p3d. I've scoured YouTube and Google to no avail.

    My budget is right around 1800$. I'm looking for something that will get me good frames and be able to handle four displays. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks Aaron

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    Re: Hello and help

    Quote Originally Posted by amb52 View Post
    Hi everyone.

    It's been a while since I posted anything here. Anyways I took a bit of a hiatus from the flight Sim world and I'm looking to get back into it. I really need help with setting up a decent computer for p3d. I've scoured YouTube and Google to no avail.

    My budget is right around 1800$. I'm looking for something that will get me good frames and be able to handle four displays. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks Aaron
    Hi Aaron.

    Four displays or four views? That's the key question. Any decent graphics card will handle four displays at a time, so you can have 2D panels and pop-ups on them with a single outside view on one monitor. But if you want more than one outside view (whether on one monitor or across several) then things get trickier. Basically, you'll lose between 15 and 40% of your FPS number for each extra outside view. It also depends what you think 'good frames' means. Let me give you an example:

    My image generator PC is a Core i7 8700K @ 5GHz overclocked, with a GTX1080Ti GPU. This machine runs P3D and Active Sky and pretty much nothing else. At Orbx EGLC (London City) in Orbx True Earth GB South - so probably the hardest-core level of scenery in probably the worst scenery area for frames in the world - I can get 25-30 fps max. With occasional dips into the teens. But that's generating *two* outside views for a 180-degree curved display. If I turn off one of the views, I get 40-60fps. I wouldn't even try to run a third view on one machine, at that point I'd be reaching for multi-channel (which I already have in my setup, but for other reasons).

    Will you be building the PC yourself or buying off the shelf? If the latter, expect to spend more than you would if you bought the parts and built it yourself.

    P3D performance is primarily based on single-core CPU speed. So you want the CPU with the fastest single-threaded performance you can afford. Ignoring the silly-money options where you're paying 5x the price for 1.1x the performance, I'd suggest a Core i7 8700K or a Core i9 9700K / 9900K. Ideally these should be overclocked but if you're not comfortable with that then they all turbo up to a decent speed. Personally, I would never buy a locked CPU (the K on the end of the number indicates that they are unlocked processors that can be overclocked) as it removes the option to overclock later if you want to. 32GB RAM is a must, 64GB if you can afford it.

    For GPUs, a mid-high-end card will be more than enough for P3D even with most of the graphical wizardry turned up. My 1080Ti handles two projectors with all graphics bells and whistles turned on except for some of the reflections (and that's for the effect on FPS, not GPU load) and runs at about 60-70% most of the time. I'd suggest a 1070 or even a 1060 would do fine. But again, go for the best thing you can afford. I don't think the current-gen RTX 2xxx series cards offer much of an advantage, at least until and unless P3D supports ray-tracing, but if you want to future-proof yourself, consider an RTX 2070 or 2080.

    I can't really advise on AMD systems. I know AMD is now taking a big lead in terms of multi-threaded performance but this is not what P3D needs so I'm sticking to Intel / NVidia for now.

    As you're in the US, check out
    https://jetlinesystems.com. They make machines specifically for flight sim and they know what they are doing. Their lower-end machine is a little bit beyond your budget at just over $2K but not by much.

    Hope some of that helps...

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    Re: Hello and help

    Thanks Neil!

    I have looked at jetline before and was just wondering if I could get by with something cheaper, but I don't think going cheap on something as important as the computer is going to be the way to go. What kind of sim do you run? I'm looking more toward a bizjet hybrid cockpit, however the a320 has always stolen my interest. I like the Boeing, but there's a lot of automation in the Boeing I feel is to advanced for my skill level.

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    Re: Hello and help

    Hi - sorry for the delay replying. Been busy

    My own pit is also very much a generic bizjet but I fly lots of things with it - Phenom 100 & 300, TBM 850, various Cessnas, BAe 146 / AvroJet are the main ones right now, but I'm always looking to adapt other planes to the sim. Working on Embraer E-Jets right now. This sim is not a full cockpit build - it's more of a flight training device. I have a wraparound projected screen and a console-and-pedestal arrangement, but no shell. The space it's in is far too small for even the smallest full shell. Eventually I'm going to put up a garden building and assemble new sim which will have a shell - I'm thinking Ron Rollo's fantastic Lear45 shell, for which I have plans - but that's a few years away yet, I think. What I have does me nicely for now.

    I think how much the price affects performance and quality depends on how familiar you are with the tech. It's like cars. If you know how to build and fix cars, you can put something custom together and know that you can fix it when it breaks. If you don't, you're better buying from the dealer. So it goes with performance PCs. I would always build my own, but I've been building PCs since the early 1990s and I don't bat an eyelid when something breaks. But it's been a very, very expensive hobby, and that's before I started building a sim on top!

    You didn't really answer as to how many views and channels you're going for. What sort of display will you be using?