tom355uk From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 336 posts, RR: 3 Posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 8762 times:
So, my laptop is really struggling to play FS9 without it looking like FS2000. I have a Dual Core AMD 2.1ghz, 4gb RAM machine with 1408mb shared graphics. I can take it no more, and have decided it is time for a new build.
Now, I've decided desktop is the way to go, to offer future flexibility. I'm really not interested in FSX, as I've spent a lot on FS9 software. So, to cut a long story short this is what I want:
More than acceptable frame rates (35+) with most if not all sliders fully maxed.
Lots of AI traffic.
Some add on scenery; Heathrow etc
Ability to use any add on aircraft without a performance hit.
Possible use of online ATC - not something I've done but I'd love to have a go!
Now the most important feature: it's got to come in for under £350. I can't afford with a young family to spend any more than this.
Can anybody offer any practical advice on what specs I need to a achieve my target?
tom355uk From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 336 posts, RR: 3 Reply 2, posted (1 year 3 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 8642 times:
I've been taking a deep look at this over the past few days, and thanks to some eBay clearance of my junk I've managed to budget up to £600 - but I'm almost dead set on self-building a machine in a HTPC case, so I can fit it under my tv. the spec I'm going for is:
AMD Phenom X4 965 3.4ghz Quad Core
Asus M5A97 Pro Motherboard
Arctic 7 Cooler
Silverstone LC17 case
Nvidia GT430 1GB GPU
8GB 1333mHz dual channel DDR3
250GB 7200rpm Seagate HDD (which I'll partition solely for FS)
LG BluRay Optical Drive
Not going to try OC yet, might build it up and see how it performs before going down that route. Apparently they are stable at 4.0gHz so that's a nice future benchmark.
Anybody any ideas how this will run FS9 and associated addons?
A 430? That is an outdated card and leaves you with no room to do anything with. It'll be fine with FS9 but will struggle with FSX, and any other modern games will be difficult to run nicely. I appreciate you only want it for FS9 now, but in a years time you'll be wishing you'd bought something a little better.
Quoting tom355uk (Reply 2): Apparently they are stable at 4.0gHz so that's a nice future benchmark.
You won't need that for FS9 to be honest. Might help a bit with FSX, but in reality, overclocking does little - it's just there to enlarge people's e-penises. (Says the person with an i7-2600K @ 4.8 ghz, but shush!)
Quoting tom355uk (Reply 4):
I was only going to hook it up as it makes an awful nice 32" LCD monitor - and the BluRay drive means I can justify it a touch easier to my wife
I looked at i5's etc; ideally a 2500K would have been nice but I couldn't justify the extra £100 over the X4 - I picked one up for £75.
Swapped the 430 for a 620, it was only cheap (£42) to be fair so I can always upgrade in 12mths time if the need arises - plus FS9 is the only thing I use!
I checked the size of my current install with: Wilco Airbus 1+2, PSS 757 & 777, LDS767, DM Trident, PMDG 737, all available WOAI packs, UK2000 BHX and LHR and the size on disk was less than 15GB. 250GB will be plenty for my needs.
My TV is 720p, what difference does this make?
First batch of parts arrived yesterday, the remainder hopefully arrive tomorrow.
Build starts ASAP with a bit of luck, I'll post my thoughts when complete.
Burkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4306 posts, RR: 2 Reply 8, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 8094 times:
FS9 is a single core program, and FSX is a 1,5 core program.
So take a dual core processor with as high clock rate as you can get, and no quad. 4 GB of RAM are more than enough. A 430 will give you slide show, the second digit must be a 6 on all grafics card. 620 is slower than 430, this is a 2 D card, nice for an Excel spread sheet, but not more.
Smoothness comes from I/O, I would recommend to use an SSD as disk for the OS and FS. I now have P3D on an SSD and startup is 5 times faster, absolute smoothness.
Performance depends hugely on how many pixels you're trying to drive, with a given system you'll get more performance the fewer pixels you need to power. So you'll get more FPS on a 720 x 1280 screen than a 1080 x 1920, and you'll get more on a 1080 x 1920 than a 1440 x 2560.
Quoting Burkhard (Reply 8): So take a dual core processor with as high clock rate as you can get, and no quad.
FSX uses 4 cores after SP1 & 2.
Quoting Burkhard (Reply 8): the second digit must be a 6 on all grafics card.
If we're restricting ourselves to Nvidia cards, then yeah
tom355uk From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 336 posts, RR: 3 Reply 10, posted (1 year 3 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 8026 times:
Well it is built and functioning!
With FS9.1, REX for FS9, UK2000 Heathrow, the Wilco Airbus Vol1 and 100% AI traffic, I've got all sliders set to the right and getting a locked 58-60 FPS. Doing touch and goes with some pretty heavy clouds, it is dropping to 38-45FPS but no stutters and smoother than I've ever experienced!
I haven't tried any other software yet as the Wilco 'Bus was the biggest frame hog on my old laptop, but I've bitten the bullet and ordered the PMDG 744 (from the Aerosoft sale, bargain! ) so I'll see how that performs when it arrives.
I'm very happy with the performance I'm getting, so in the next week or two when time allows I'm going to make the VATSIM dive and see how I get on.
Quoting tom355uk (Reply 10): With FS9.1, REX for FS9, UK2000 Heathrow, the Wilco Airbus Vol1 and 100% AI traffic, I've got all sliders set to the right and getting a locked 58-60 FPS. Doing touch and goes with some pretty heavy clouds, it is dropping to 38-45FPS but no stutters and smoother than I've ever experienced!
That's not half bad. Just don't expect that kind of performance if you're moving onto FSX/other games.
That won't be happening at any time in the foreseeable. I've spent a bloody fortune on various FS9 addon's and can't see the benefits in upgrading, but of course in a couple of years time I may be saying different.
But going from two to four gives no % in frame rate, 3 of them always are synchronous in usage, so I expect they just calculate the same stuff to make users of quad core computers feel happy - remeber the extreme pressure onto the development team of FSX that had to make the impossible to run a game targeted for single core 6-10 GHz processors running on 3 GHz multicore under Vista which came out too late.