UtilianPilot07
Topic Author
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2004 8:42 am

Laptops & FS

Wed Apr 06, 2005 11:23 am

Hello,

I have recently posted about buying a desktop computer but my parents were wondering if Flight Simulator 2004 would work good with a laptop. The reason for this is I am planning to go to college after I graduate from High School in 2007 hopefully to Embry Riddle, so they feel I should get a laptop so when college comes and I need a computer for school I will have my laptop.

Do you have any comments on this situation or any ideas of good laptops?

Thanks
The Bin 3 Tight Stack!!
 
Newark777
Posts: 8284
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:23 am

RE: Laptops & FS

Wed Apr 06, 2005 11:31 am

I am in your situation right now, having just purchased a laptop for college next year. I was very pleased to learn that FS9 runs very well on the laptop I got, a Gateway M320. It's 1.6 GHz with 480 MB of RAM. I can fly all the high quality add-on aircraft, like the POSKY birds, but scenery and AI aircraft start to slow it down, so I stay away from that. For a laptop, though, I am very pleased.  Smile

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
komododx
Posts: 1734
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 4:40 am

RE: Laptops & FS

Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:07 pm

I will share my laptop experience both with FS and in college.

I had a Dell Inspiron, 256MB RAM, 30GB HD, Nvidia GeForce 4 graphics card. Not too shaby for when I bought it (June 2002).

I used FS2002 and it worked very well. Then I upgraded to FS9 and it had some trouble when I went to airports whose default scenery is somewhat elaborate (ie. LHR, ORD, JFK). Now the real problem came when I installed Ultimate Traffic. The busiest airport I could fly to was MIA, and I had to have traffic between 75-80% which was not much. At that time I flew small planes so I didn't really care much, but whenever I tried going to bigger airpors (ie. LHR) my framerates would drop to around 3-4 fps!

The other problem came with freeware add-on a/c. Kitty Hawk's 737s worked rather well, not producing big declines in fps. POSKY's a/c reduced fps a little, but it was bearable. Ifdg airbuses were the problem. Not only because it dropped fps a lot but because sometimes it would decide not to load the textures and I'd be flying with a grey a/c.

As far as the experience in college with a laptop, some people recommend against it. For one, I hardly ever took it to school. Sometimes I'd take it to class, but I found taking handwritten notes was better (esp. because before a test I would type up a summary of the notes on Word which would help me memorize/study the subjects). Also, most unversities have very good computer labs. Where I go (Florida State Univ.) we have around 5 PC labs accessible to all students, as well as computer labs exclusive to the different colleges (in the College of Social Sciences we have around 5 or 6 pc labs), so the bottom line is that your laptop will not really be a necessity, esp. if you might be working with higher end programs such as R2, SPSS, SAS, etc, which licenses run in the thousands of dollars.

The other con to laptops is that they are a favorite for thiefs! So beware.

Just my   

EDIT: Forgot to mention that last October my graphics card fried and I started to get the Blue Screen of Death 10 mins after startup, every time I turned on the PC (could've been my res settings). Eventually I had to get a new PC and I just got another Dell, but a desktop this time. Not the top of the line, but close (except for the graphics card). The advantage of a desktop is the ease to be able to add or replace components.

Stefano

[Edited 2005-04-06 05:09:56]
I'm homeless and unemployed
 
Newark777
Posts: 8284
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:23 am

RE: Laptops & FS

Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:48 pm

Quoting Komododx (Reply 2):
Ifdg airbuses were the problem. Not only because it dropped fps a lot but because sometimes it would decide not to load the textures and I'd be flying with a grey a/c.

This program works wonders to solve this problem. Simply open up the texture files, one at a time, and resave them as DXT3 files, as opposed to the 32 bit files they usually come as. It works for all the aircraft, and any texture file, and really speeds up texture loading for the aircraft. Copy this link and it should start the download if you want the program.

ftp://63.217.28.218/1misc/dxtbmp45.zip

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
ZKSUJ
Posts: 6804
Joined: Tue May 18, 2004 5:15 pm

RE: Laptops & FS

Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:24 pm

FS works OK on a laptop, my mate has it on his lapto, seems fine  Smile
 
dreamer
Posts: 371
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 9:18 pm

RE: Laptops & FS

Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:37 pm

Ok,, my experience is that a laptop works fine if it is a good one. I have a Pentium M processor at 1,4 and 1 gb ram ( I used to have 512 and it still ran fine) The trick about laptops are that some use integrated graphics on the mother board and share memory with cpu up to a max of something like either 16, 32 or even 64 Mb, this then gets stolen from FS use.

Now, there are laptops with separate graphic card, some even have good cards. They are often sold as multimedia laptops but tend to be expensive. I know both HP and Compaq (same company) have them. I am sure others do to.

Another option is to get a PC builder firm to build you an ultra small form factor desktop. Take a look at this link for size of the box.
http://www.asus.com/products/desktop/pundit-r/overview.htm

-dreamer
still dreaming after all these years
 
Gerry
Posts: 235
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 1999 2:11 pm

RE: Laptops & FS

Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:52 pm

I agree with Dreamer. If you are going to get a laptop do get a good one. I need a laptop but I also need (not want) Flight Sim and if there was a contest for hard disk space, MSOffice would be dumped before I considered removing FS. FS depends most on the speed of the CPU so get a fast one. I am running FS2002 with Ultimate Traffic and the PMDG 737. I have all the sliders up to the max and the laptop handles it really well. I have a new;
ACER Ferrari 3400 (yes, the red one), with 512Mb RAM, 80 Gb Hard drive an AMD Athlon 64 CPU and a RADEON Mobility 128Mb graphics engine. It flies - no more falling frame rates close to airports either. It costs but boy is it worth it if you are not going to be on MS Office all day long..
 
dreamer
Posts: 371
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 9:18 pm

RE: Laptops & FS

Wed Apr 06, 2005 10:53 pm

Gerry, What did you pay for that puppy? Pretty good graphics card too.
still dreaming after all these years
 
komododx
Posts: 1734
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 4:40 am

RE: Laptops & FS

Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:15 am

Dreamer,

You can also get the ultimate Flight Simming machine (according to flightsim.com) and go to Alien Ware

Stefano
I'm homeless and unemployed
 
dreamer
Posts: 371
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 9:18 pm

RE: Laptops & FS

Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:33 am

Stefano, I am pretty happy with my system, I might need a better video card, but everything else is great.
desktop is:
Pentium 4 3,6 Ghz HT with 1 Gb ram 2x 160 Gb disk, DVD player, and DVD burner, TV tuner, TV-out pluss, pluss. 23" monitor at 16 ms and 1920x1200 resolution. My video is ATI radeon x600 pro with 256 Mb.

Laptop as mentioned above ( I am a PC junkie and lucky to work for a big computer company)
still dreaming after all these years
 
Gerry
Posts: 235
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 1999 2:11 pm

RE: Laptops & FS

Thu Apr 07, 2005 9:07 am

Dreamer the ACER cost me $3400 (Australian Dollars). It also included a DVD writer, 3 year warranty, 4 x USB2 ports, wireless networking, 1gb ethernet, smart card reader, docking port - you name it.
 
futureuapilot
Posts: 1329
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 7:50 am

RE: Laptops & FS

Thu Apr 07, 2005 10:06 am

UtilianPilot07, you sound like my twin! I'll be graduating in 2007 and am planning on going to Embry Riddle. Never thought about FS on a laptop... have to try sometime...

-Sam
The Pilot is the highest form of life on Earth!
 
jerplane
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 2:10 pm

RE: Laptops & FS

Fri Apr 08, 2005 1:25 pm

Quoting UtilianPilot07 (Thread starter):

I have recently posted about buying a desktop computer but my parents were wondering if Flight Simulator 2004 would work good with a laptop. The reason for this is I am planning to go to college after I graduate from High School in 2007 hopefully to Embry Riddle, so they feel I should get a laptop so when college comes and I need a computer for school I will have my laptop.


Exact same position here, same year problem and possible school!!!!
 
dreamer
Posts: 371
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2004 9:18 pm

RE: Laptops & FS

Fri Apr 08, 2005 9:07 pm

Quoting Gerry (Reply 10):
Dreamer the ACER cost me $3400

gasp! but you get what you pay for, for sure! very nice laptop you got!
still dreaming after all these years
 
AirWillie6475
Posts: 2372
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:45 pm

RE: Laptops & FS

Sat Apr 09, 2005 3:42 am

Utilianpilot, buy a cheap desktop and upgrade it to the specs that you want it is much cheper than buying a laptop with 512mb and 64mb graphics. As for the college issue, you don't need a laptop at all. I was woried too because my college recommended me to get a laptop and now that I am here it doesn't make the least difference. My college also offers free laptop rentals for half a day for students, I think a college such as ERAU would offer these programs as well. So why spend 1500 for a laptop when you can have all the best specs for the same price or cheaper on a desktop?

After years of struggling with my cheap laptop on fs2002, I am going to buy a 256mb card and 1gigmb desktop and finaly try fs2004.
 
LJ45
Posts: 66
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2004 12:12 pm

RE: Laptops & FS

Sat Apr 09, 2005 4:40 am

It worked fine for a little bit, than it constantly started to freeze alot of the time as i put in an earlier thread.

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