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Posts: 235
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2001 1:24 am

Need Help With New Computer Purchase!

Mon May 22, 2006 12:00 pm

Hey all,

I am buying a new Dell computer, and I finally want to get something that will run Microsoft Flight Simulator in such a fashion that I will enjoy playing it...

I have questions regarding which Processor to choose. On this computer, a Dell XPS 400, they offer these processors:

Pentium® D Processor 820 with Dual Core Technology (2.80GHz, 800FSB) [Base processor]

Pentium® D Processor 930 with Dual Core Technology (3GHz, 800FSB) [Add $100]

Pentium® D Processor 940 with Dual Core Technology (3.20GHz, 800FSB) [Add $300]

So which one would be best for me? Would a 2.88 GHz be enough to run flight sim so that it would be smooth and fast? What are the benefits to doing the 3.2? What would you recommend.

I also have a question regarding which video card to choose, here is what Dell offers:

256MB nVidia Geforce 7300LE TurboCache [Included in Price]

256MB PCI Express™ x16 (DVI/VGA/TV-out) nVidia GeForce 6800 [add $60 or $2/month3]

256MB nVidia GeForce 7800 GTX [add $310]

512MB ATI Radeon X1900 XTX [add $460]

I am thinking either the nVidia GeForce 7800 or the ATI Radeon X1900 XTX... would the nVidia be sufficient? What are the benefits to chosing the Radeon? What would you suggest?

I really want to buy a computer that will run Flight Sim at a high performance level. I have always wanted a great FS, and now that I can finally buy a computer with the capability to run FS well, I want to get the right stuff but at the same time not spend carelessly. Other important specifications are that the computer will have 160GB hard drive and 1GB of RAM.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Posts: 458
Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 6:23 am

RE: Need Help With New Computer Purchase!

Mon May 22, 2006 1:58 pm

Hey, The processor should be enough for FS, but it is always better to buy a faster processor cos u never know what might happen tomorrow i.e. a faster FS or Windows Vista.

Get the ATI radeon, it will be the best graphics u would have seen on a PC. If you can, then also upgrade the RAM, always important.

Good Luck!
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Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2001 2:33 am

RE: Need Help With New Computer Purchase!

Mon May 22, 2006 5:00 pm

The most important component for flightsim is going to be the graphics card, so dont hold back in this department. I wouldnt imagine you would see much of a difference between a 2.8 and a 3ghz machine.

I would stick with the 2.8ghz and go for the ATI X1900.

My system is a 3ghz Single core Athlon 64, with an ATI X800, and FS runs nice and smooth on that, so you cant go too much wrong with any of those setups.

Just bear in mind that any graphics card you buy now will not be DirectX10 compatible, and will therefore not be able to support the advanced graphics that will be available in Windows Vista when it eventually ships...
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Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: Need Help With New Computer Purchase!

Mon May 22, 2006 5:13 pm

Flight Simulator is a program that always demands the most powerful PC you can get in order to enjoy all the graphics. At the time of release, you generally need the best PC and graphics card available at the time to be able to turn on most or all of the bells and whistles.

The good news is that FS 2004 has been out for a couple of years now, so pretty much all of the options you listed should work pretty well. But I understand that FS 2006 (or 2007) is coming out soon, and you'll find yourself frustrated.

As a general habit, I don't like to compromise on performance when I buy a new PC. I buy the fastest processor and best graphics card I can, and stuff as much memory as I can fit, so that in 2 or 3 years, I am still quite happy with it. Of course, it does cost money.

So my response would be to go for the Pentium 940 and the 512MB ATI Radeon card. If you can't quite afford that, I would back off on the Processor rather than the graphics card - 512MB on the Graphics card is sweet to have.

And don't forget to pack in as much RAM as you can. I think 2 GB is minimum nowadays.
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:31 am

RE: Need Help With New Computer Purchase!

Mon May 22, 2006 5:31 pm

If this is a casual purchase....I would wait until Vista is released with SP1, THEN buy the best box you can afford that has Vista with SP1 preloaded. It will be a wait, but should be well worth it!!!

If you can, spend the most possible, why go 1/2 way when you got he cash.

If money doesn't grow on trees for you, then the bottom end options will work fine until you got the cash for a true Vista box.
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