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Guest EGLD

New computer

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Greetings,a member of my family will soon be retiring and wants me to build them a computer specifically for Flight Simulator 2k2 and CFS3.I come from the Fly! camp, and haven't used FS since FS98.If it's not too much trouble, would someone propose what would a "good" pc be made of to run these two simulators (and perhaps the next version of FS?)What I would like to know:CPU (AMD or Intel)MOBORAM (not an issue, getting 512MB or 1 GIG, but what type? RDRAM or DDR)Graphics card (Rad 9700 too expensive!)RAID 0 (is it a good idea?)And,what joystick/pedal combo. (I think force feedback will be required)Money is not limitless, but also not too minimal. Where the cost can be justified, I think I can convince the person!I thank you for your time, and hope to hear from you all soon.I will probably build a new pc for myself as well when this is done, (my p3 500 is aging), and will be using Fly2 and MSFS.

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You need a Michael Toussaint special ;-) Search the forum for a recent post by him about his new system and you'll have specs for the "ultimate" machine.While not as "bullish" as MT's box, here's my setup which serves my purposes very well:P4 2.4B (Northwood) SwiftMCX4000 Heatsink w/ Arctic Silver 3 Compound AppliedEnermax RPM-Adjustable 80mm CPU Fan (3500 RPM, ~37.5 CFM)Antec TruePower 430W Power SupplyAntec Plus880 Case w/ SmartFans <--- HIGHLY recommended caseMSI 645G Pro Max-L (would NOT recommend this board for OC'ers - get the ASUS board that MT is using instead - wish I had!)512MB PC3200 Corasir XMS DDR RAM at 2-2-2-5SB Live! 5.1Leadtek GeForce4 Ti4600 (128MB)Windows XP Professional SP1nVidia Reference Drivers - Detonator 4 v40.723DMARK2001 SE: ~12100JPS. For the curious, this system runs at about 36C/39C (MB/CORE temp) at idle, and about (42C/48C) under full load.

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Howdy Malbeuf,I hope I can help out here. I have a little tech background and have custom built my systems over the last few years. Not sure of your budget, but I will try to give recommendations that will work for FS2K2. Anyway, here goes:Disclaimer: opinions will vary :)CPU: I would recommend an Intel P4 1.8 and up (more CPU power=better fps). The prices on sub 2GHz Intel CPUs are dropping. If you can afford >2GHz, go for it. As for AMD, they have comparable high end CPUs, but it is my understanding that FS has features optimized for Intel.MOBO: anything that supports P4. ASUS, Soyo, and Abit all have reliable and fast boards. Give their sites a visit. (sorry, I can't remember any of the links right now). You may want to go for the Intel 845 chipset over an 850 chipset, because of memory support. The latter supports a faster RAMBUS memory, but there are some issues about the future of RAMBUS. The VIA chipsets are not bad either; however, I've had issues with older VIAs.RAM: DDR is better (more stable, more commonly supported, and cheaper, IMHO). Get whatever your board supports. There are good vendors out there for RAM (which has gotten better in the last few years).video: The G4 Ti series are hot right now. I would opt for the 4400 because of the 128MB of RAM and price ratio. The 4600 is the high end while the 4200 is low end with 64MB. The 4200 still has good price/performance value. Prices are sub $200. Stay away from the MX series of cards; they are comparable to G3s.Controllers: I personally prefer HOTAS controllers because I fly combat sims; however CH products makes a good range of GA controllers. I would go for the CH USB yoke and and pedals. I'm not a proponent of FF, so I can't recommend a force-feedback stick (I don't use them).I find that as a gamer, I don't really have a need for RAID.I don't think it will have a significant impact on a flight sim machine. But hey, I'm one of those people that still use Windows 98SE as my OS. :)I whipped this up rather quickly, so bear with me. I've also been a bit vague, because I like to encourage people to research and shop around a bit. I have my personal preferences, which are not always the best (but I like what I like :)). I hope I was a bit helpful.--T

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Others may give a more technical answer, but here's some thoughts in general.CPUGet the fastest you can afford ! I use Athlon myself, but there's advocates for both chips. Your choice of chip will determine your motherboard.RAMAt least 512Mb, and fast if possible. I believe that Intel chips may work better with RDRAM, and Athlon ones with DDR, but don't quote me !For FS the processor is the key.Graphics cardI use a GeForce 2 currently, and can recommend the range. With board updates around 3 times a year there's always new ones coming out, so I can only suggest reading "round the subject" There are schools of thought that say:a) Keep up to date with the latest drivers:( "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" - if you find a driver that works well with your board you can actually make matters worse by updating. In my case most of the latest nVidia drivers are for optomising the latest GeForce 4 cards so no benefit to me.On board RAM - get as much as possible, as it can't hurt !Joystick/PedalsI have CH Flight Yoke and Pro Pedals (both gamesport versions) so can't comment on the sticks, but the pedals work great !CostOver here in the UK, things are more expensive, but around 1500-2000 UKP will get a decent PC. For flightsim I'd suggest optimising the processor and graphics card over other components, and get the biggest HD you can budget.Finally, in 3 months your system will be dating, so there's no point in going overboard ! Its likely that FS2004 ?? will be out in a year or so, and will no doubt need a Cray to run it (no-one yet knows, other than at MS, despite what some may say), so you can either try to guess whats needed and "future-proof" or go for something that is good now, not wildly expensive, and think about another replacement in 2-3 years. There's no right answers !Hope this helps,

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Hi MalbeufI have recently upgraded my processor and mobo, and FS2k2 runs silky smooth with all sliders maxed for the first time ever, and it was the processor what did it.I used to have a P4 1.8 and it was *ok* but not great, and not as good as comparable AMD's, however, Intels latest batch are *awesome*, so i'll share with you my Spec, and you can be safe in the knowledge that it runs a treatWindows XP Pro SP1768mb DDR RAM (soon to be 1gb)P4 Northwood 2.8ghz :-eek :-eek :-eekGeforce 4 Ti4600 128mb2x100gb 7,200rpm IDE HDD'sSB Live and SB ExtigySony E500 21" monitorPhilips 150S 15" LCDeverything maxed at some massively detailed airports yields 20FPS

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Great advice, Talon.I'll just add a tiny bit:CH makes 2 models of USB yokes, buyer should check on that.Power supply: The newer graphics cards have minimum wattage requirements exceeding the PS actually found inside most new computers even famous brandnamed ones. Buyer really beware here, do not trust the salesman's recomended wattage. == WHK ==

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