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Guest byoung

Best Hardware Upgrade... PLEASE VOTE!

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What impacts FS 2K2 Frame Rates and general operation the most?( ) CPU (1.1 MHZ P4 or AMD XP)( ) Motherboard FSB To 256?( ) More Memory Type (upgrading PC-133 to DDR)( ) Faster Hard Drive (Current 7200)( ) Faster Video Card with More Memory? (Current GEFORCE 2 MX 400 w /64M)( ) Other Please describe.Please rate (order of impact or importance) 1-6 one choice per item. So if Video Card is #1 you would rate (1) for Faster Video Card. 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 for the other categories.Thanks!Barry

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Hi Barry, Everything you have listed there is important for running MSFS and other applications. If you're going to upgrade your CPU, you'll need a new motherboard and Memory to take advantage of that. Obviously money for everyone is a contributing factor, so I'll touch on some of the components. This of course is only my opinion, others will vary in what they prefer :)I know you're wanting people to rate the items, but it's hard to do.If you upgrade the CPU, you're going to need a new motherboard (Unless yours supports them). The newer motherboards run DDR RAM, so you'll need to upgrade that if you're not running it. Without a fast CPU there is no point getting a GF4 Ti4600 or similar because you won't be able to take advantage of it.CPUIf you're looking for the best bang for your buck, and also want a good quick PC that will run MSFS and other 3D applications, you can't go past AMD.Sure, P4 have faster clock speeds, they're coming down in price, but they still don't compete graphically with AMD to warrent the price difference. I have seen a lot of gamers recently move to P4, spend $800 to gain about 400 3D Marks :-lol1.1Ghz is regarding as being slow now, you're really going to need something around the 1.5Ghz mark or above. AMD XP 1700+ is 1.47Ghz, the 1800+ is 1.53Ghz and the 1900+ is 1.6Ghz. You really won't need anything about the 1900+ mark. MotherboardAll the XP Processors run a 266Mhz FSB. The question isn't the FSB speed, but the chipset speed. The latest is the Via KT333 chipset, which supports the newer PC2700 DDR Ram which runs at 166Mhz.Tests don't show much improvement from the KT266a chipset which supports PC2100 DDR (Which runs at 133Mhz.) If you were upgrading from KT266a I'd probably suggest you don't waste money upgrading to the new DDR Ram and chipset, you wouldn't see any noticable difference.There are lots of KT333 motherboards to chose from, I suggest you stick to the established producers like Asus, Abit and EPoX.MemoryThere are basically two types of memory you should look at getting; PC2100(133Mhz) and PC2700 (166Mhz) The KT333 chipset supports both types, KT266a chipset only supports the PC2100. If you're going to the KT333 chipset get the PC2700.I'd suggest 512MB as the right amount of RAM for your needs, esp if you're planning on running Windows XP. Stick to the brand name RAM makers, such as; Crucial, Micron, Samsung and Corsair. Hard DriveYou won't need to upgrade this, 7200rpm is pretty fast. You might only need to upgrade if you require more space :-lolGraphics CardWhere to start? I have run a GF2MX, GF2 GTS, GF3 & now a GF4 Ti4400 with MSFS, the best of course is the last, the Ti44**. (There are the 4400 and 4600) GF3's are excellent and coming down in price. If you're trying to not spend too much, go for a GF3 Ti200 or Ti300. If you run higher resolutions, look for the amount of onboard memory the cards run, 64MB and above is fine for 1600x1200I hope this all makes sense. There are plenty of other people who know their stuff that will most likely contribute their opinions. Good luck :)

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What he said :)Also, FS2k2 is a bit different from most "games". Many games today are limited by the graphics card, so in that case, that MX is will hold you back. FS2002 however, relies more on the CPU, so if that's all you use the PC for, then a faster CPU is more important.1.If your current CPU is slower than 1.2 GHz: New CPUIf your current CPU is faster than 1.2 GHz: New graphics card2. The one you didn't pick from #1 :)3. Having lots of memory isn't very useful if you have a slow chipset on the motherboard. For AMD, KT333 is the best right now, but if you already have the AMD DDR chipset or VIA's earlier KT266A, there's no point in upgrading to KT333. Someeone else will have to fill you in on Intel chipsets.4. Memoery. 256MB is a minimum today. 512MB will soon be the norm. There's nothing worse than having your computer stall (no pun intended :) ) while it's using the virtual memory because it has ran out of RAM. Go with quality, DDR memory and make sure your mobo supports it.5. The performance difference between different 7200 RPM drives is actually quite big, but just about any 7200 RPM drive will be fast enough. However, if the drive is smaller than 40GB, you might want to get a bigger one. I have a 40GB drive right now and it's almost always filled with stuff. I'll get a 120GB drive when the price comes down some more.

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So the thing to do now is replace everything...If I upgrade, what kind of performance from a Frame Rate per Second increase can I expect?Right now, If I use the PSS A320 in virtual cockpit mode, my FPS drops below 15. On other aircraft, it stays between 23-29 FPS.Will I be able to achieve a 20-30 % increase? What about being able to Max everything out as far as graphic density.I was planning on doing that...Pentium 4 or AMD XP1900 or 1.8 GHZI would like to hear from those out there that are running the heavies, with the fast processor 1.8 GH and above, and running the GEForce 4 graphic cards.I would think you would be in the 40-50 FPS with high density? Because it I don't get a significant boost, then what is the point of upgrading?Thanks!Barry

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