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New PC Build Advice Please!  
User currently offlinetom355uk From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 336 posts, RR: 3
Posted (2 years 4 months 12 hours ago) and read 10292 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?


on Twitter @tombeckett2285
13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSplitzer From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 151 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 10176 times:

If it's possible for you to re-use your existing drives, case, PSU etc it should be possible (i.e. a new CPU, motherboard, GPU and RAM) to get decent performance for £350.

I'd recommend checking out http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/gaming...view-overclock,review-32485-3.html and http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/gaming...hics-card-review,review-32501.html for CPU and GPU advice, and then pairing those up with a compatible budget end motherboard and 8Gb RAM (for both should be


User currently offlinetom355uk From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 336 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10172 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
650w PSU
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?



on Twitter @tombeckett2285
User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10170 times:

That should be more than enough for FS9, you could even run solid FSX on it.

Anyway you are saying you are going to hook it up to your TV? If so, go get a bigger disk! Unless you already have an external one or something. And put XBMC on it.



The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlinetom355uk From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 336 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 10165 times:

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'm keeping my laptop for iTunes etc, so I can hopefully keep this install as clean as possible.

Just waiting for the dreaded annual service on the car on Thursday, hopefully it sails through otherwise my dream will be crushed!



on Twitter @tombeckett2285
User currently offlinebueb0g From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2010, 672 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10009 times:

Quoting tom355uk (Reply 2):
AMD Phenom X4 965 3.4ghz Quad Core

I'd go for an i5. Much better perf, altho the Phemon really isn't bad for the price.

Quoting tom355uk (Reply 2):
Nvidia GT430 1GB GPU

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):
250GB 7200rpm Seagate HDD (which I'll partition solely for FS)

Are you sure 250GB is enough?

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 

Is that a 1080P screen, or more?



Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
User currently offlinetom355uk From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 336 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 9905 times:

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 5):

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.



on Twitter @tombeckett2285
User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 9870 times:

Quoting tom355uk (Reply 6):
250GB will be plenty for my needs.

No, really - get a bigger disk, especially if you want to hook the thing up to a TV. Or at least buy an external one.



The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4409 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 9624 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.


User currently offlinebueb0g From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2010, 672 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 9624 times:

Quoting tom355uk (Reply 6):
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!

These aren't gaming cards.

Quoting tom355uk (Reply 6):
250GB will be plenty for my needs.

You won't think so in a year!

Quoting tom355uk (Reply 6):
My TV is 720p, what difference does this make?

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



Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
User currently offlinetom355uk From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 336 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 9556 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 bueb0g (Reply 9):
You won't think so in a year!

Probably, but that's an excuse to buy a big SSD when the prices come down a touch 



on Twitter @tombeckett2285
User currently offlinebueb0g From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2010, 672 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 9534 times:

Quoting tom355uk (Reply 10):
Probably, but that's an excuse to buy a big SSD when the prices come down a touch 

Ahh, now there's an answer I can get behind!

Quoting tom355uk (Reply 10):
Well it is built and functioning!


Glad to hear it.

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.



Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
User currently offlinetom355uk From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 336 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 9469 times:

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 11):
if you're moving onto FSX

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.



on Twitter @tombeckett2285
User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4409 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 9288 times:

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 9):
If we're restricting ourselves to Nvidia cards, then yeah

Same for ATI - the 5670 resp 6670 is the entry point to 3D, the 5770 just enough for FSX.

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 9):
FSX uses 4 cores after SP1 & 2.

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.


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