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Guest british_1968

Upgrade advice (the weather slows things down)

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First off, my specsWin XP HomeAMD 64 3200+ (Socket 939) o/c to 2.2GHz (no obvious stability issues)GeForce 6200 Turbo Cache 128MB (+128 MB of system RAM)1.5 GB PC3200 RAM250GB Maxtor SATA HDD (about 30BG full, but I have about 60GB of music & video to add)19" 1280x1024 LCD SamsungSBLive!DVDRWCurrently playing around with FS2000, 2002, 2004I use Traffic 2005 and ActiveSky 6.5.Things run very nicely except in very cloudy weather. Also, texture loading with alot of AI traffic can be slow at busy airports. I don't get stuttering - the sim is smooth, but things are noticeably slow at times)I'm wondering what my best upgrade path might be from here. Are clouds CPU heavy or GPU heavy? I know my GPU is a bit naff, and I've been looking at 7600GT's (about as much as I can afford and I'm limited to a 400W PSU). I've dabbled in overclocking my GPU, but have not been convinced it really makes a difference.As for CPU's, well I don't see the point in going dual core (FS9 won't really make full use of 2 cores will it?)and I think the 4000+ at 2.4GHz is about as fast as I can go. Obviously that's only 200MHz faster than where I am now.I realise that FSX is pretty much out of the question on this hardware (I'll try the demo though).So do you think a new video card is the way to go?

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Yep. ;-) Just keep in mind that FS9 and FSX have different memory requirements. FS9 does fine on a 256MB card where FSX easily consumes >320MB @ max texture sizes (1024x textures). FWIW, I also believed multi-cores were useless for FS9... Until I saw it. ;-) Video drivers, the operating system, many things do make use of twin cores. So, in hindsight, it did make sense. :-) Nevertheless, yes, the GPU seems the greatest bottleneck. Hope this adds to thoughts, kind regards Jaap

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I agree that a video card upgrade would be a good place to start.You have plenty of memory in your system but by using a GPU that uses part of your onboard memory, you're indeed getting a bit of a bottleneck there.I also agree that, while FS9 does not specifically use dual core CPU's, I personally saw a nice increase in performance when I switched over because I was running additional FS related software in the background.I think you will do well to upgrade to the 7600 since it has dedicated mem, higher GPU and DDR speeds, and more pixel pipes.Edit: Also, you will see a very nice improvement in your graphics at 1280x1024 with the 7600. Another think to try in the meantime is to try setting your 3D cloud percentage to 100%. It seemed counter-intuitive for me at first but the explanation someone gave me is that is keeps the card from having to generate both 2D and 3D clouds and it indeed smoothed out the sim a bit more for me.Steve

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