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Guest Eagle92395

PC upgrades for FS: Ever stranger and more absurd ?

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I use a late-1996 DELL P2, upgraded to a P3, 850Mhz with 32MB DDR card and MX card, FSAA 4x, and a 21" TRINITRON and 17" ViewSonic. FS2k2 sliders set 2/3 or full right and every Display option checkmarked. Frames capped at 18, often 8 to 12 at dense airports and over dense cities, but still quite flyable and viewable. Rich colors and textures, superb lighting effects, etc. PSS and POSKY run slower and SPOT views with those have texture reloading issues. But inside the cockpit runs just great.A friend of mine has an HP P3, 750Mhz, but still uses an STB 16MB 3-D card. With a similar fleet to me, he gets similar fps and very good visuals too (including reflections!) Whatever I get or can do on my PC with Fs2k2, he can pretty much get or do on his.I've compared my PC with a friend who has a beautiful custom built P4, 1.8Ghz with TRINITRON and bells and whistles. He gets nearly double my fps but the overall visual effect is no better than my PC. The chap who tested the new P4, 2.80Ghz this past week says he was able to max out all Fs2k2 options and fly it with complete smoothness perhaps for the first time ever. He clocked 27 fps in this mode. Sometimes, folks on this forum with hi-end P4s + Titanium cards ask why they get disappointing frames or substandard visuals.So, what gives? Why are we all endlessly upgrading and spending like crazy for more power? I myself do think about spending $2k for more smoothness, but it's not cheap and I sorta have to wonder: is it really worth it? I'm also wondering if FS2004 will run just fine on my PC !Appreciate any comments/discussion.JS

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JS,I have a P2 450 with 384MB (100)RAM and a TNT 16MB card (by today's standards this is in the stone age)....also running a 21" monitor. I bought this setup in Jan 1999 and was very happy the way it ran FS2000. I thought (for sure) that when FS2K2 was released that I'd be in real trouble running the sim. But....I maintain great visuals and reasonable frame rates. I used to run my MSFFB joystick with forces active, but found that it did slow down things quite a bit...so I opted to shut them off and really don't miss them much.Needless-to-say, but I'm very happy that I didn't shell out the big bucks for the "latest and greatest" rig this time around. I will probably wait another 1-2 years before taking the plunge....processors will probably be up to 5 gigs by then????R/Mike (USN)

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I too run MSFS2K2 (and Fly!2) on a modest machine with acceptable frame rates and GREAT visuals! I was actually very surprised at how high I could turn up my options and still maintain smooth performance. The only real purchase I made (and it was for Fly!2, not FS2K2) was a new video card (moving up to a 64 mg card from a 32 mg card) which was only a $100 purchase.I have pretty much all the options activated, some of course set higher than others. I see no reason to run out and buy a faster CPU at this time.Pentium 3 700 mHz320 mg RAMGEForce 2 Ti 64mg card-Lindy :-wave

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Well I am glad you are happy and as I sit and watch my old P4 1.5 512Meg RAMBUS with a GeForce 3 try to outdo my latest creation the AMD XP2100 512 MEG Corsair DDR2700CAS2 and a WinFast GeForce 4 ti4400 side by side running FS2002......hmmmmmmmmm lets see Smooooooooooooooooth as butter.....and prettier textures and airplanes...SimFlyers Airports KLAX, LIRF, KEWR, KPHL no problem smooth as silk. I used to think I had a good thing going but I was wrong....HORSE POWER rules.I am starting my P4 2.8 533 box as we speak and yes its only for FS2002 and FS2004, and all my racing games of course.RegardsTony Ascaso, RN

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>Sometimes, folks on this forum with hi-end P4s + Titanium >cards ask why they get disappointing frames or substandard >visuals. >It's a matter of making a few adjustments in the graphic options, etc.When I purchased my Athlon system at the end of last year, I felt the graphics wern't to the level that my two year older PIII600/Viper770 Ultra was providing. FS2002 actually ran quite well on the 600.After a few settings (Athlon1900XP) and even more adjustments with NVmax, the graphics are superior, frame rates much higher, and well worth the investment! Of course this upgrade cycle can start all over again, but I wait another year or so..L.AdamsonAthlon1900XPGeforce3Ti500512DDRram22" monitor 1600*1200*32 res.

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I too have a 1997 model Dell XPS-R converted to a PIII800; ram upgraded from 128 PC100 to 384mgs and my old TNT1v4400 replaced with a GTS64mg Herc card. All sliders set on very dense including autogen, mesh at 75 to 80 percent; all boxes checked except shadows and T&L (which the card provides anyway) with frames locked at 20 and it's smooth as silk most of the time except at airports like LAX, etc where it drops to around 12-15 frames. Picture is beautiful.I just happened to walk into Best Buy the other day and seen a new Alienware running. I went "holy poop" with a few other choice words which embarrassed the wife. My, oh my; was that image on that screen just absolutely stunning. Now, I know it wasn't FS2002; but hey; I instantly discovered what an image can look like on a powerful system with all the bells and whistles. So, what did I do? I went home and ordered up a new alienware with the specs I wanted. Spent $2065 bucks. Well, it's got an ATI 9700 in it and I don't even know if it'll run FS2002. Only report I have is one with a problem. All I know is I had a flash back to the day my dad bought a new color TV when all I'd ever seen was the old round black and white TV. This was back in the 1950s now. So, I'm giving my age away. The point is when I walked into that Best Buy and saw that Alienware, "I WAS TEN YEARS OLD AGAIN". Only this time; a ten year old with a CREDIT CARD. hehehehehe.

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It all comes to down to an individual's perception of performance. Some people are less critical, others are hypercritical. Different people will interepret the exact same animation and image quality completely differently. For example, you could give me a 20 ghz machine and FS2002 performance would probably still fall short of my definition of "ideal". So I would put myself at the extreme end of the hypercritical category. To me, there isn't any machine around even remotely powerful enough to be able to deliver a reasonable simulation experience within the confines of a personal computing environment. But that is just me. I make do with what I have and enjoy it as best I can because I realise buying the very fastest machine still won't bring the performance of the sim up to anywhere near my hopes and expectations. otoh, if someone is happy with how it runs on a low end PIII, then good for them. If anything, I'm jealous. I wish I could be satisified with the performance of my machine, but I never am and probably never will be.

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For those really into power PC's but don't want to spend the money for an Alienware should check out Cyberpower, IBuyPower and some internet stores of the sorts. I got my 2.26Ghz with 512 RAMBUS, Gigabyte mobo, G4 4400 and no monitor for $1200. Although the Alienware computers are really cool looking :), you just end up paying for a large case w/ pretty fan grills, lights, painted mouse and keyboard...etc. Mine has a window w/ sound activated lights that flash when I game.

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Not necessarily. One must be wary of prices. I shopped www.newegg.com and just did a comparison for all components separately versus the Alienware. Component cost was $1564.00 plus shipping. Alienware cost was $2065.00 with free shipping. Now, that's $501.00. For that extra money, I get a FREE T-Shirt, a one year subscription to a PC gaming magazine and a system already put together and optimized and tested and most importantly a year of free support via phone and onsite service if needed. The last part was the important part. If it breaks, they come to me and fix it on site. That's worth the extra to me.

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Yeah, that's why I support places like Alienware and power PC sites. They offer superior support. For myself, I tend to change things about every 6 months...tweak tweak tweak tweak... so I don't mind not having customer service and the such. I went with Cyberpower due to their low prices on such high end material, but trying to get ahold of them is like pulling teeth from what I've heard. But I haven't even conversed with them since I ordered my PC.

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