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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:15 am 
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Yeah, I've also read that the CPU is the bottleneck and the gpu can only make so much difference. I think you're doing fine with a 3.8 single core card. Does that framerate seem smooth, though? That's the question.

But you've also only got 2GB RAM and that 's easy to improve. For $40 you can almost double that (I assume you're running XP 32 bit but 3.5 GB RAM is waaaaaaay better than 2).

So treat yourself to the RAM - tell your wife I said it was okay and you'll give up beer for a couple of nights to make it up.

:devil:



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:59 am 
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CPU is what drives FSX. I want a better GPU for the eye candy.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:04 pm 
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You've got the old P4 HT! Amazing. I'm running a much more advanced cpu (Core2Quad 2.4GHz) and a much more advanced gpu (gts250 1GB) and am not doing much better than you in terms of frames. Go figure. Maybe having a quad doesn't help much when running at a lower clock speed.

I would overclock but I've read that I shouldn't overclock a Dell mobo - too cheap and might overheat.

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Edited By Rob Vanderkam on 1268658289



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:21 pm 
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CVA9214 wrote:
CPU is what drives FSX. I want a better GPU for the eye candy.

The CPU also drives the eye candy not just the physics. Max out the eye candy and then watch what happens in task manager.

Then put in 5 or 6 AI at the airport to simulate a multi night.



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:30 pm 
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Rob Vanderkam wrote:
....

I would overclock but I've read that I shouldn't overclock a Dell mobo - too cheap and might overheat.

Rob, did you notice you have two different ram cards?

They aren't running at exactly the same speed and voltage either. I suppose DELL says it all. I wouldn't overclock that mobo, not unless I had the money to build a new system and was looking for an excuse.

Can you fire up the LDS-767 at an airport (I think you have it) and take a print of task manager while idling? I'm curious to see how it compares to mine.



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:48 pm 
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That's a very good point about the ram. I left in the ram I had and bought some fancy new stuff as a pair to go with it. Hmmmmmmmmmmm.........

As for the TM, idling while zooming around in spot view or just looking at the panels....? Here's just sitting.......

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When I start flying, #1 hits the roof and sticks there and the others run between 50 and 100%.



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:54 am 
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(Adam Savage voice)

"Well there's your problem!"

The CPU is hitting the rev limitter in the first and last third of that time period. The 4 cores are running at or near 100% capacity and you also have a quad code Q6600. Now imagine landing at JFK or LAX in rush hour, 5 FPS maybe?

That is why I'm encouraging people to concentrate on getting a screaming CPU first, that's the biggest bottleneck in FS-X.



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:57 pm 
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Tell me more about CPUs, Robert. I've seen q9300 quads that are rated at 2.5 GHz. How do you shop for "screaming" Cpu? Is it strictly the GHz? or the cores? Or what.

I'm asking because I've now sold my fancy GPU and my computer is going next. I want to know what to buy for FSX to run smoothly at minumum cost.



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:59 pm 

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Rob, I'm sure Robert will have some great pointers about what a good system for FSX entails. I think the author of the article that Frank pointed to at the beginning of this thread also dealt with the hardware needs of FSX and it truly is CPU hungry. I think the author mentioned that a cpu speed of at least 3.0MHZ is what you need. Don't know if you have looked at the Jetline systems site(Jetlinesystems.com). They build systems just for FSX and other games. They aren't cheap but you will see what they build into an FSX system and why they select the hardware they do.
I have a 2.66MHZ system here in Ottawa and a 3.0MHZ system at my winter abode in Arizona. I find there's a big difference between the two system in terms of FSX and just about everything else too!

Happy shopping!



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:42 am 
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Boy that Hellfire GTX system sure looks good.
I can see it now, new computer AND new wife! ???



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:19 am 
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I am running the core i7 920 chip. This is a quad core hyperthreading CPU rated at 2.66 GHz. I put an aftermarket air cooler on the CPU and it runs quite happily at 3.25 GHz. I tried FSX at 2.66 and it was no better than my old 2.18 GHz core duo system.

Whoever said 3.0 GHz was the sweet spot knew what they were talking about though. As soon as I passed the 3.0 GHz threshold, it was smooth as silk. I was able to start playing with sliders and cranking a little more out of it.



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:42 am 
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I haven't shopped in the last few weeks, but last time I looked I would have gotten the top of the line AMD with liquid cooling, only for the CPU:

AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition (125W) Quad Core Socket AM3, 3.4GHz, 8Mb Cache, 1800MHz HT, 45nm (HDZ965FBGMBOX)

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product....=027384


You can get graphic cards that come equipped with liquid coolers, but those were ridiculously priced when I checked those last. You can swap out the air coolers on GPUs for liquid coolers, but I'm not sure it's worth going through the hassle for our needs. If you are thinking FS-X, then you gotta get the CPU running fast.


That 3.4 GHz up there is probably the best bang for the buck these days. I'd liquid cool that and run it up to 4.0 - 4.5 or something like that. At that point just about any decent graphic cards will be "good enough"; you can go with ATI or nVidia, whichever you feel more comfortable with.

Check this puppy:

Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5870 2GB GDDR5 (Eyefinity 6 Edition) ATI Radeon HD 5870 Chipset (850Mhz) 2GB GDDR5 (4800Mhz) Memory HD Audio 6 x Mini-DisplayPort PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product....=030471

This runs 6 monitors directly on a single card. One drawback; only 2 monitors can be DVI (these use passive ports), the other 4 monitors must be DisplayPort (these use active ports). You can get DP to DVI adapters to convert the signals, but they were about $100 - $150 last time I checked, that adds up quickly.

And you have to get active adapters, the $10 economical passive adapters won't work (those are the 2 you get for free with the card), the other 4 ports are active, not passive. Google up on that, lots of depressive good reading out there.

So I'm concentrating on my garage; waiting for either ATI to listen to its customers and coming out with a card without DisplayPort outputs, or for competition to set in and the price of active DP to DVI adapters to drop.

The wife already knows that I'm upgrading as soon as the stars line up. :) I could run on all 6 monitors already using my older gamer, I just need to get a 2nd version of FS-X. I'm already doing it partially with the old Pentium 3-1000, but that's only to run FSinn, ServInfo, Acars, PDF charts, and other goodies.

But I don't feel like going through the motions when I know I should be able to do it all on a single machine some time in the near future. By autumn I'll check the technology and if things haven't changed, I'll just swap out the P3 for my old gamer and get FS-X running on 2 machines; forward view across top 3 monitors in high resolution on 3 top 22" monitors, and the cockpit across the 3 bottom 19" monitors.

Who knows, the kids might inherit the 19" monitors and I might upgrade the top row to 24" monitors (these 6 Acer monitors from Costco haven't let me down yet, not a single dead pixel and these were dirt cheap).

Woohoo! :D



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:50 am 
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cva3906 wrote:
...
Whoever said 3.0 GHz was the sweet spot knew what they were talking about though. As soon as I passed the 3.0 GHz threshold, it was smooth as silk. I was able to start playing with sliders and cranking a little more out of it.

And that is exactly why I want to wait until I can get something that will run in the 4 GHz range. I don't want to move up a few notches, I prefer to wait a bit and get something that will let me crank it up.

I'm running my Q6600 at 2.7 and it can turn into a slide show at busy airports, and I'm not even pushing the graphic settings.

I'm also considering running in parallel with the Q6600, that would lighten the load even more. The Q6600 can easily manage the bottom row of monitors. Running the instruments isn't a big load, it's maxxing out the graphics on the forward view that is the burden, that's where all the eye candy kills your CPU.



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:05 am 
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The 920 will run 4 on liquid quite happily. I have left the stepping in auto so when I am surfing a website or checking email, it idles at less than 2 GHz. When I fire up FSX, it kicks up the stepping to 21 or some such number...at work right now or I'd check it.

When it comes to CPU intensive programs such as FSX, i7 core CPUs are the way to go. AMD will look good with some gaming benchmarks but take a close look at the applications. All the research I did last winter pointed to the AMDs being better on graphics intensive gaming but i7s took the lead on actual number crunching. It is the actual number crunching horsepower that FSX devours.

Seriously, if there was any way to get your Q6600 to 3.0 GHz, you would be shocked to see the difference. It is like flipping a switch. 4 GHz may sound great, but you would likely get comparable performance from 3.5 GHz. Kind of like memory, 12 Gig sounds awesome but if you populate all the slots, you loose a bit of performance. Couple that with the fact that your application may only use 4 Gig and you have paid for an extra 8 Gig for what...bragging rights?




Edited By cva3906 on 1276409459



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:12 am 
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But unfortunately, this high clock speed revealed all the drawbacks of Stars (K10) microarchitecture that AMD have been using in their processors for the last 2 years. As we have seen during our tests, the new Phenom II X4 965 working at 3.4 GHz frequency is pretty much as fast as Core 2 Quad Q9550 at 2.83 GHz nominal speed and fall behind Core i7-920 with even lower nominal frequency of 2.66 GHz. So, AMD CPUs lose to Intel competitors quite significantly in IPC (instructions per clock). It is this particular fact, but not the insufficiently high clock speeds, that do not allow AMD solutions to find their way into the high-end price segments.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/article....l#sect0


They and a few others say the 965 is limitted in overclock due to heat. I wonder how liquid cooling would perform?

Lots of stuff for me to read here:
http://www.overclock.net/water-c....ds.html




Edited By CVA0014 on 1276413158



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