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craig_read

FSX Hardware.. (not again!)

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Hi...With the impending release of FSX 747.. I am looking at PC upgrades.. some people have posted some significant frame rates with FSX.. and I am looking at a system that will deliver that..I am not fussed about any other games.. FSX and FS9 are my only real interests.. I only want to run the PMDG and Airliner XP aircraft so I thought this forum is the place to go! SO.. this is what I was thinkingCore 2 Duo 6600 (could I go lower?)4GB RAM at..8500 (will 4GB make a massive difference?)8800 GTS 640MB (is the GTX worth it?)Asus SLI Mobo..now.. the problem is.. all that lot comes to about

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I think the 4GB is probably overkill. 2.5 or 3 is probably as high as I'd go. You won't see anything able to address 4GB and up until we start getting 64-bit apps, which I still think is a ways off.The GTS is a good choice I think. By the time the DX10 patch comes out, there will be new 2nd generation DX10 cards on the market. Buying the 8800GTX just to get rid of it then doesn't make much sense to me. I can almost guarantee you that the 2nd gen cards will blow the 8800's out of the water.What you may actually want to consider though is the quad-core CPU instead of the E6600. The E6600's great, but multi-core is what makes FSX SP1 really shine and the more cores you have, the better it will be.You're going to be disappointed I think though if you expect to run it totally maxed out on all the sliders. There's really no system in existence right now that can do that and maintain completely high FPS. You will probably have to turn down/off certain things like light bloom, aircraft self-shadows, the autogen down a bit etc.My specs (assuming I'm the Ryan you're talking about) are actually pretty old at this point:Athlon 64 X2 4200+ dual core2GB PC3200GeForce 7800GTX 256MBAudigy 2 ZSI'm running 1280X1024 with the 8xS AA mode engaged via nHancer and I'm seeing in the 40-70FPS range in the default aircraft most of the time. I have the autogen down 2 notches from the top, water set to mid 2.x and the bloom and shadow stuff off. Most of the other sliders are maxed.I'm planning to upgrade when the DX10 update comes out.

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Yeah I think I will give it a miss then till the next generation of DX10 hardware comes on the market.. 2GB RAM it is then :)Thanks for your time.. I appreciate it.. I assume everyone still recommends core 2 duo over the AMD alternative?CheersCraig

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QUOTE"You're going to be disappointed I think though if you expect to run it totally maxed out on all the sliders. There's really no system in existence right now that can do that and maintain completely high FPS."Ryan, If this is the case, I don't understand the why the MD-11 is being released as a "FSX Only" product....this is like running my V-10 with two spark plug's disconnected, AM only radio, and the GPS nav dissabled. Why would you guys at PMDG submit yourselves to the torture of the support questions about frame rates in FSX when you know that "no hardware exist's yet" that can run FSX with all the bells and whistles turned on.My system that I get 20-25 fps with all sliders maxed in FS9, just get's 6-7 fps with FSX w/sp1 with the default Mooney and slider tuned to mid range....and it exceeds your min hardware listed.Just my 2 cents worth of opinion.Steve Park

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Why would you guys at PMDG>submit yourselves to the torture of the support questions>about frame rates in FSX when you know that "no hardware>exist's yet" that can run FSX with all the bells and whistles>turned on.Steve, simple question here... Do we really need to run FSX with ALL sliders maxed out to enjoy the MD-11?FSX looks way better than FS9 with sliders on half... And the MD-11 cockpit - which this software is all about - will look as real as it gets on any setting...One of these days I'll take a tripod with me and take pictures of the REAL MD-11 simulator's visual... Let's just say everything is horrible, except the sloped runways, which neither FS9 or FSX has anyway.Trust me you WILL enjoy the MD-11 even on sliders set in the middle range. The systems are that complex you won't have much time to look outside ;)Regards,Markus

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Markus, You are absolutely right. I am also a 2000+ hr RW pilot and my enjoyment of the product is the "Cockpit" and realism for the systems, however, why do we have all the bells and whisles that we paid for turned off because no one has made a system that will support it...FSX may look a little better in some places, but again, that's not what I enjoy. And with FSX w/sp1 now on a better that min. system, I am only getting 6-7 FPS with slider at low to mid range...hard to even fly at those numbers. And with all my Cloud9, Imiginesim, Flytampa, UK2000, FSGenesis, etc addon scenery in FS9, FSX not looking all that much better.Steve Park

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I know what you're all talking about.. but this is really about hardware.. I was experimenting with FSX today.. I don't know what my FPS actually is.. but I currently have:AMD64 3500+1GB PC3500 Ramx800 ATI with 256MB RAM on it..It seems to run ok.. at the lower resolutions and settings flying the default 747-400.. I imagaine it will be ok still with the PMDG FSX version.. I'm gonna stick with my hardware for now.. I was considering an upgraded GFX card.. but since mine is AGP there is no real point to it..I'm waiting.. like Ryan.. for the next generation DX10 cards to come out.. and then I'll do the upgrade.. until then.. I'll cope..CheersCraig

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Steve,Indeed with 6 FPS you will not be able to enjoy the MD-11. However since it is not being released tomorrow maybe you'll have a chance to upgrade until it is?If we wanted to blame someone it would be Microsoft as they developed a product no current hardware can run with all sliders maxed out. However I don't think we can blame them for this, and certainly it is not PMDG's fault. FSX will be around for three or four years from now and in two years we'll be able to run it with sliders at MAX. Sounds reasonable to me for a product that is not going to be replaced in one year...An airliner simulation as complex as the MD-11, taking around three years to develop, those who do that MUST go with the newest version since development time is that high, you just can't waste time for a platform that is obsolete half a year after the product is released. Others do the same for the same good reason... Level-D with their B757, SSTSim with Concorde, it's the same there. And I have to see it to believe that Airliner XP will indeed bring us the A320 for FS9 as well... they wanted to release around now and the thing is not in sight... Whatch for a "FSX only" from them soon ;)FSX will be a wonderful platform. Have you read the announcement for ActiveSky X? Sounds wonderful, just great! FSX together with that and the PMDG aircraft of your choice will be amazing! I hope you'll be able to upgrade soon!Regards,Markus

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Lets not forget that when FS9 came out, not many computers could run it that well either.Games/simulations will always push the envelope on the PC manufacturers to go even higher and better on performance. Once people migrate to DX10 systems and 64bit OS platforms and the Quad cpu become accessible, the gains and performance of the FSX will really shine.

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I think many of us are forgetting the added factor in this equation; SP1! I have a Quad Core machine, and I have everything maxed out and can run it at 30-40 solid with this new service pack. By FS standards, this is WAY better than FS9.With the FSX patch we are getting a greater utilization of our hardware now, rather than the bloodsucking days of FS9. I wouldn't be saying this if I hadn't seen it myself, guys!There is hope!

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Steve,You're forgetting that what I stated about no system being able to run it completely maxed is actually ACES's intention. They design the sim ahead of the hardware curve because otherwise, simmers would be stuck 2 or 3 years down the road with no room to expand the sim as new hardware comes out. FS isn't like some of the other series of games where we get a new version every 6 months or year. When FS9 came out, I was running an Athlon XP 2800 and a Radeon 9800 - pretty much no one could run it maxed out and yet we still had addons for it.FSX's "normal" autogen setting is far more dense than FS9's maxed out setting. This goes for almost every slider in the sim. The textures are massively higher resolution, the mesh is higher res, etc than FS9 all on the midrange FSX settings.I don't think running it maxed out is the metric we should be using to determine what sim to develop for. FS9 is over 4 years old now, and with FSX SP1 addressing the performance issues, it's time to move on. There's so much more we can do with FSX, particularly in the realm of the visual model and VC...

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Also, consider the fact guys that when FS9 came out we didn't have multi-core processors (at least on the mainstream consumer front). I think, after SP1 along with DX10 and quad core processors., we will see hardware catching up faster than in previous versions.

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Chris,I hear you fella.. but I'm really after exact specs here.. what spec are you running to get those frame rates on FSX..?What I am after is specs so I can price up.. if people can get 30 - 40FPS from a spec for

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He already said he won't say because the product isn't finished yet.

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Alex..I wasn't talking about the product.. I'm making the assumption that 747X won't be too much of a drop from the standard MS 747.. So I am talking about FSX in general..CheersCraig

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Craig-I'm going to toe the party line on not giving specific FPS data on my rig because we aren't finished yet.That being said- I'm running the following:PIV3.8 Single Core, 4Gig of ram (yes- i know...) and a 7800 GTX card.Running FSX RTM- I was "okay" with default airplanes if I left the sliders slightly left of center... but with the 400X, my frames were in the toilet.With FSX SP1, I have FPS that I consider to be acceptable- although they are obviously lower than my FS9 performance on the same machine. Our experience working with the SP1 updates has been that multi-core machines will perform FAR better than single core machines. As a general example, Ryan is generally seeing twice my FPS with a dual core- and Lefteris is generally seeing 4-6 times my FPS performance on a quad core....When we get a bit closer to release- I'm going to catalogue some hardware specs from our beta team and development teams- and we'll give you a good matrix of hardware and performance against which to judge...That being said- I'm personally salivating for some DX10 hardware. :-)

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Now that we have multiple cores enabled (two-hundred and sixty-four, did I read!) Intel's gonna send us a present,http://www.hkepc.com/bbs/itnews.php?tid=789466The quad core, Q6600 is price dropping to $266 on July 22. Intel's P35 chipset Mobo is available now. The NDA comes off on Monday, so Anandtech should have a good review available then. The mainstream boards are going to be $150. The P35 is the latest and greatest, designed to handle the 1333 fsb CPUs and overclocks like a banchee. It's one cool customer. All that heat pipe plumbing will be just for show. The O/C'r forums are running it hard and delighted with it so far. That wild 680i at $300+ will not be necessary. The O/C'rs are getting Q6600s on the P35 from their default 2.4 ghz up to 3.6 with $40 air coolers. Consider the magnitude of what's happening here for 250 bucks: Clock for clock, Intel's new C2D can do about 2X the work of our old P4s . . . and there's 4 cores. Clock for clock, compared to an old P4 @ 3.6 ghz, that's an 8X increase in CPU processing power. Let's see, 8 X 3.6 = the same as a 28 ghz P4? Remember we thought the move from a P4 2.8 to 3.8 ghz was a HUGE deal? It was . . . and a $1000 pop. Add this to the biggest, baddest 8800 a human being can afford, this rig should be enough to last for a some time. $250 for a CPU, $150 for a mobo and $60 for 2 gigs of decent ram. It can certainly get cheaper, but at some point, one might say, "OK. that's fine!"

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I think I'm gonna wait.. there is no point in going for FSX now.. nothing runs it well.. so wait till later in the year when the hardware catches up.. 2nd gen video cards and the new quad cores with 1600 FSB is the way to go I think.. Stick in 2GB of fast ram and bobs your uncle..CheersCraig

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>2nd gen video cards and the new>quad cores with 1600 FSB is the way to go I thinkWhen is this stuff coming? Both AMD and Intel?I have really been out of the loop as far as hardware is concerned.Michael J.

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Time-line wise, AMD will match the Intel mid/high Q series for the Christmas season with their "Barcelona" quad core. It will (finally!) provide some good competition for Intel's currently exiting technology, but no more . . . and Intel has already responded to the threat.Intel's current price drop announcement occurred within hours of AMD's announcement that they will be "unleashing" their quadie later this year. Intel said "Oh yea? Can you sell it for $266?" This is a brutal war . . . and great fun to watch!Intel's next big move will be to an AMD style point-to-point hypertransport architecture. Intel's Front Side Buss (FSB)is going away. Intel copied AMD's processor technology with their C2D design and they are working toward doing it again with their new system designs. When's this new design going to be released? Consider the timing sequence we might expect: The current chip (the P35 Bearlake) releases today. This is a traditional FSB design. We can expect at least a year until Intel's new "Hyperbuss." design is available. At best, it will be part of the next chipset. It may even be the one after that. Info is real scarce here, but Intel's FSB IS going away, eventually. However even with Intel's current FSB scheme, clock for clock, C2Ds work 20% faster that an identically clocked FX-anything. Old fashioned as it is, Intel's FSB works pretty well. Even right now, a C2D/FSB system is faster than a FX/Hypertransport system. The P35's new North bridge memory controller improves on even this. It will cost at least anther year to get an Intel Hyperbuss system . . . and it will be just another evolutionary step. IMO, this will be worth buying at the time, but it is not worth waiting for.Waiting for FSB speed? The 965/975/680i mnobos are all topping out at 500 mhz FSB (QDR 2000 FSB). A 2000 mhz FSB is availiable right now.The P35 bios' FSB "speedometer" goes to 700mhz (QDR 2800) Geeze, that ought to do it! Actually a Q6600 overclocked to 3.4 will be running on a FSB of about (377X4)= 1500 mhz. If they release a Q6600 on a 1333 FSB, the O/C to 3.4 ghz will take the FSB to (485x 4)= 1950 mhz FSB. Waiting for FSB increases from Intel: 1) Probably will not happen at all. The FSB is going away and, 2) Those FSB speeds are available now. If you want to go fast, zoom-on right now.Intel stole all their basic current technology from from AMD, but them tromped then with execution, both in price and performance. At the high end, there is no competition. Below $250, AMD competes perfectly. Above $250, AMD has nothing that can touch Intel. For the next 6 months, this won't change. 'Round Xmas, Barcelona will probably become another a upper-mid level competitor . . . like the X2900. It seems the playing field is pretty much set for the next year. I don't see any reason to wait beyond July 22nd.GPUs:GPUs have been re-defined buy the Stream Processor Unit (SPU) The 8800GTX has 96 of these things and the X2900 had 320. If these guys can ever get their drivers to work right, these are already monsters. The next generation of GPUs will be like AMD's Fusion (AMD is STILL leading the way!). It will be a CPU/GPU combo chip. The days of seperate CPU GPU systems will be over on 2-3 years. THIS will be the Next-gen GPU. My systems last me about that long. A "next" system will be based on a dual, Octi-core, hyperbuss / GPGPU (General Purpose GPU system. This GPGPU will cost me $250 and the Mobo $150. If you are going to wait from here, 3 years is the next big thing. It will always get cheaper, but the best that will be available for the next 3 years is here, right now. Go for it!

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