I know there are a few topics already going about this, but many of them have degraded into arguments over why FSX doesn't work on someones first generation PIV rather than actual requirements for different levels of performance.
Anyway, I'm working with a local museum to develop several flight simulators for use by middle, high, and college students for aerospace education purposes. Right now we have the ability to get several PIV 2.8ghz computers with 256 RAM, 40gb hard drives, an integrated graphics, for little or no cost. My question is what would be the most cost effective way to bring these computers up to a level that would make FSX run in an impressive manner, even if not at absolute maximum graphics.
Obviously we'll need a new video card--what models would be recommended? I want something that will run most FSX features but not break the bank. Also, I'm not familiar with DirectX 10 yet, but I understand FSX is built to take advantage of it. Should that be considered when choosing a video card?
Will 1gb of RAM be enough? Would performance improvements be significant with more RAM?
Finally, ideas regarding controls, yokes, etc. are appreciated. Right now we have some good ideas, but I'm always wondering if there is something out there I haven't seen.