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Guest Alias

Best video card for MD-11

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Guest Alias

Hi,I have upgraded my hardware to a Quad 8200 running VISTA 64 with 4 GB RAM. Now I'm heading to a new video card. Just wondering which is the best price vs. quality one. I see that Nvidia 8800 still has the best polls over here, but what about the "9" series? Thanks for your comments

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Guest XM DUDE

>Hi,>I have upgraded my hardware to a Quad 8200 running VISTA 64>with 4 GB RAM. Now I'm heading to a new video card. Just>wondering which is the best price vs. quality one. I see that>Nvidia 8800 still has the best polls over here, but what about>the "9" series? >>Thanks for your comments>>I would be interested to see what people recommend, but I would get all the card I could afford.Michael P.

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Hi,Top end: Radeon 4870 with 1GB DDR5Mid end: Nvidia 9800GTX+ or the above with 512MB DDR5Low end: Radeon 4850 or Nvidia 9800GTIf you are using a 24inch+ monitor the top end card is a must!The best you can afford is good advice! If you buy cheap you will end up buying twice...Make sure your PSU has the right connections for which ever card you go with. The mid to high end cards are also pretty long so make sure you have space in your case. Generally speaking a 2 slot card design which blows hot air out the back of your case is the better option.Hope this helpsKonrad


Konrad

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I've got the ATI4870 with 512Mb and it never operates above 48% load. It has one quirk with a slight distortion on the MCDU display but I must have gotten used to it and barely notice... this will probably get fixed with an ATI update. The card was surprisingly inexpensive (relatively) at newegg.. just got to ensure you have adequate power supply and two PCIe power cables available to use this or any others in this class.


Dan Downs KCRP

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Get an 8800gts g92. They're cheap, $180 and they're the same card as the 9800gtx just the previous name. If you can find an 8800gtx or ultra for that price go for those cause they are faster. That will be more than enough for fsx. If you want to do some heavy videogaming, you go all out.


Steven Penninck

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Guest Mower

Everything I continue to read about CPU-intensive FSX sasy that the video card is not a major factor in FPS.OTOH I just upgraded from a 8800 GTS to a 9800GTX+ cause they're so bloody cheap so I will advise of my own experience shortly.

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Guest Alias

Thanks everybody for your suggestions. Me too thought the CPU was the factor in FSX, but the upgrade made no difference in terms of FPS, I will try a new video card maybe it will help a bit.Cheers

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The Q8200 only has 4MB of L2 cache (where the Q6600 has 8MB and the Q9XXX have 12MB). This will have an impact on overall FSX performance as the CPU needs to access much lower latency RAM on a more regular basis.Konrad


Konrad

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Having spent much money and invested much time on this subject, I can confirm that processor and ram are the ultimate deciding factors when it comes to FSX and performance. From what I can understand from those technical guys who know all about these things, the graphics engine in FSX does not make much use of the graphics card or the technology associated therewith. I am not saying it does not make a difference, only that the amount you spend compared to return is negligable and yet the opposite is true when it comes to processor and ram. Personally, I am waiting for the new Intel i7 chips to come out as I am hoping that will lead to the top of the range quad core QX 9770 dropping in price.

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Guest XM DUDE

>Having spent much money and invested much time on this>subject, I can confirm that processor and ram are the ultimate>deciding factors when it comes to FSX and performance. From>what I can understand from those technical guys who know all>about these things, the graphics engine in FSX does not make>much use of the graphics card or the technology associated>therewith. I am not saying it does not make a difference, only>that the amount you spend compared to return is negligable and>yet the opposite is true when it comes to processor and ram.>Personally, I am waiting for the new Intel i7 chips to come>out as I am hoping that will lead to the top of the range quad>core QX 9770 dropping in price.That's good information,and all this time I thinking you need an expensive graphics card.Michael p.

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>That's good information,and all this time I thinking you need>an expensive graphics card.>Michael p.Well Michael that does depend on what you want the graphics card for. If you are primarily interested in FSX (like me) then the cost/benefit ratio of a high-end card (or cards if running SLI) is very poor. However, if you are thinking of (say) call of duty 5 that makes far better use of the graphics card's capabilities especially in SLI mode, then the opposite is true. Horses for courses as they say. I am currently running an Intel dual core X6800, on a water cooled EVGA 790i FTW Digital MB with 4gb of Corsair DDR3 RAM. I have over-clocked the memory to 1600 and the CPU to 1600 at 4kmhz. My video card is a

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Guest Alias

>The Q8200 only has 4MB of L2 cache (where the Q6600 has 8MB>and the Q9XXX have 12MB). This will have an impact on overall>FSX performance as the CPU needs to access much lower latency>RAM on a more regular basis.>Yes that's true..it's strange isn'it? If I had known that the Q6600 was better I'd have installed that, but the price difference was so little that I decided for the Q8200. Anyway the L2 matter is interesting..so basically do you think it is better to run a CPU higher in cache L2 rather than in clock? The E8500/8600 are extremely high in clock compared to the top level Quad core processors(Q9450/650) but have less L2: does it make any difference? What's the most important factor for FSX?Cheers

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Overall the most important factor for FSX is balance between ALL your hardware. Using the chain analogy your rig is only as good as its "slimmest" bottleneck/link. An Extreme series CPU with anything less than a 8800GTX series card (if not 2 of them!) is going to leave you severely GPU limited in most graphic intensive situations. A Q8200 with a GTX260 or 280 will leave you similarly CPU limited. Neither of these are desirable scenarios. This applies to everything - your FSB, your RAM timings, your screen resolution...To complicate issues further FSX with no addons is a very different beast to FSX with complex addons like the MD-11, 744X and a number of other high detail scenery/environmental addons. Throw in things like FEX with SHD clouds and you can see how quickly one can double or even triple the workload FSX would normally be asked to do.This is the reason that a lot of us still on 32-bit OS's are hitting the limits of what is possible within the 32bit environment and its 3 odd GB of max addressable RAM. The /3GB switch helps for sure, but we are only delaying the inevitable (hopefully long enough to see Windows 7 in 12 months time!) It is beyond the scope of this post to fully answer your question about whether it is better to have a higher clock speed or a larger L2 cache as soooo much depends on the other factors in your setup. The easy reply is that for FSX + complex addons it is simply best to have both as high as you can afford. If forced to choose I would probably go with a higher clock speed CPU BUT this would have to be a significantly higher one (like 1 GHz more on each core) to offset the lower L2 cache CPU.Very tight timings on your DDR2 RAM (4-4-4- etc) will help some to overcome a CPU with a less L2 cache, but only to a point.Remember that L2 cache is shared on current gen CPU's so in the case of the Q8200 EACH PAIR of cores has access to no more than 2MB. If both cores are busy 1MB for each core is realistic. With a 12MB L2 cache this increases to 6MB max for any 2 cores - 3 times as much. The E8500/8600 are Dual cores with 6MB L2 cache so each SINGLE core has access to 3MB max (same as for the 12MB Quad!) - a big difference when compared to the Q8200 above.Hope this clears up the issue some - could go on an on and on...Konrad


Konrad

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