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Guest davidvoogd

Which build would be better for FSX?

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I'm looking at two different Dell XPS systems, trying to decide between them. I've decided to go with Dell, I'm not going to build my own, NewEgg doesn't ship to Canada and the prices on both are comparable to NCIX so please no comments on "don't go dell do this instead" unless you have personal experience with Dell, in that case I'd greatly appreciate comments on their service. Thanks.XPS 630=====PROCESSOR Intel

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Personally I like quads..And they OC fairly easy...Are these your specs? Or a companies specs?As you don't mention MoBo,and DDR3 needs the correct one....Plus Creative is having lots of issues with their drivers and Nvidia boards.....

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Be ware about DELL systems if you intend to overclock. Except for the XtremeCPU's (X series, and QX series) Dell locks their bios, so you can't over clock by increasing the FSB. The 730 may be different, since it's a new MOBO, but you should check to make sure. the XPS 720 series which I have will not overclock, except by using Ntune! Which isn't the best way to do it. Other than that it's a good system and performs very well. If you want a good prebuilt system that is overclockable look at Alienware.

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Alienware is falling way behind.........Tech support is out the window they tell me....DigitalStorm They build high end clean machines....I own two...And they rock FSX.....

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As I understand it, contrary to what someone else has posted in this thread, Dell has at last fully unlocked the BIOS with its 630 and 730 models (unlike with its 720 models), so you will be able to overclock as fully as if you'd bought a retail motherboard. You can find this in Dell's own publicity as well as in some vidoes on Youtube.As for choosing between clock speed and number of cores: clock speed is by far the single most critical factor in FSX. Extra cores help to speed up texture loading, which is very nice; but smoothness is the most important thing, and this comes from raw clock speed, not multiple cores. Experts on this forum can fine tune their RAM and, no doubt, other settings to get an extra mile or so per gallon; setting up the PC correctly is also important (see Nick_N's advice on this subject); but ultimately, at present, nothing delivers extra mileage like extra CPU speed.People who can get their processors to run at or above 3.6GHz seem to have the happiest time with FSX, so I suggest you read around and see how far you can expect to push a Q9300 and E8500 combined with a 650i motherboard (the XPS 630) and a 790i Ultra motherboard (the XPS 730). Whichever you go for, may I suggest you select 4Gb RAM and Vista 64 if that's an option? While you may have a little more trouble setting it up initially (really, not much), this combination is worthwhile in the end because it will let you use add-ons such as the PMDG 747 and Level-D 767 with fewer (if any) out of memory errors.Tim

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>As I understand it, contrary to what someone else has posted>in this thread, Dell has at last fully unlocked the BIOS with>its 630 and 730 models (unlike with its 720 models), so you>will be able to overclock as fully as if you'd bought a retail>motherboard. You can find this in Dell's own publicity as well>as in some vidoes on Youtube.>>As for choosing between clock speed and number of cores: clock>speed is by far the single most critical factor in FSX. Extra>cores help to speed up texture loading, which is very nice;>but smoothness is the most important thing, and this comes>from raw clock speed, not multiple cores. Experts on this>forum can fine tune their RAM and, no doubt, other settings to>get an extra mile or so per gallon; setting up the PC>correctly is also important (see Nick_N's advice on this>subject); but ultimately, at present, nothing delivers extra>mileage like extra CPU speed.>>People who can get their processors to run at or above 3.6GHz>seem to have the happiest time with FSX, so I suggest you read>around and see how far you can expect to push a Q9300 and>E8500 combined with a 650i motherboard (the XPS 630) and a>790i Ultra motherboard (the XPS 730). >>Whichever you go for, may I suggest you select 4Gb RAM and>Vista 64 if that's an option? While you may have a little more>trouble setting it up initially (really, not much), this>combination is worthwhile in the end because it will let you>use add-ons such as the PMDG 747 and Level-D 767 with fewer>(if any) out of memory errors.>>TimWell said Tim......You are 100% correct

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Thanks guys. I don't personally intend on overclocking, so that's not an issue for me. In the past I've only bought "half way there" systems, this time I want to go and get something I'll be really happy with for FSX.Since I'm going with Dell I'm somewhat stuck with the options they provide with each model, I'll see if there's any other processor options with the 730. Am I correct to assume the 730's - 790i Ultra motherboard is better than the 630's 650i? Am I going to be held back by the 630?Also is the Corsair Ram at only 800mhz/DDR2 going to be an issue on the XPS 630? Reading on Tom's Hardware the Geforce 8800 is the best card for FS, it seems Dell only offers the GT model, is this going to be good enough? The other card options include the Geforce 9800 OX2 or whatever the dual GPU card is, but a FSX Benchmark for FSX on Tom's Hardware showed the 8800 outperformed the 9800 because FSX is (unfortunately) only built for single GPU's.Thanks again

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Both of these systems are good, but still really only "half way there" without overclocking - which is what they're designed for. You'll get reasonable performance in FSX from either of them: but once you start pushing the settings in FSX - as you inevitably will - you'll feel constrained by the stock CPU speeds.An 8800GT is fine. Choice of RAM (other than amount) will not make an appreciable difference to performance unless you are a keen overclocker. The same is true for the difference between motherboards. Basically, if you're not going to overclock until you drop, then you won't be appreciably "held back" by your choice of components except your CPU and the amount of RAM. The other reason for buying a 790i and faster components is greater flexibility for the future: but you could spend a lot of money future proofing yourself, only to find later that you've proved yourself against a different future from the one that has materialised.My overall sense is that given the binary choice you have presented, you should probably go for the 630 with an E8500 at 3+GHz and dabble in a little overclocking when you feel up to it. But do think about trying to get the extra RAM and Vista 64.Tim

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Thanks Tim. There are 4 different options for the 630 system, each of which with different options within - just to make things difficult lol.Here's the processor options for the 630's: Intel

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also someone mentioned to me that there are driver conflicts between creative sound cards and nvidia graphics cards is that true and is it worth paying $100 for the soundcard and not use on board sound?

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That is true......Not sure if the conflict is with Nvidia or not,but the creative drivers are not good at all....The reason for a good sound card is that the better ones(more money) have their own onboard processors,meaning your CPU is not ingaged to make sound,leaving it all for FSX....I still like the Q6600 Go version if you can find one...Just my personal likes....... As it really help with load times and texture loading......And I know you don't want this...But it is sooooo able to O/C....Mine is at 3.42 and it is rock solid.....

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Only options from Dell are nothing or the Soundblaster, I loved my Audigy card but I don't need driver conflicts. Should I just use onboard for now?Also do I really need 4 gigs of ram or would 2 suffice?

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I would get 4 gigs...FSX will like that.....I have that Creative sound card,and use Nvidia drivers for 8800 Ultra,and have no issues .....Being a factory built,they would have to fix it anyway.....But there are plenty of other options out there......You could add your own.....Later...Check it out first..then add sound later,but you won't get as good a warrenty if you install it yourself usually....

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Well if the same sound and video card combo (or nearly the same) work fine for you then I'm sure it will work fine for me. I liked my creative cards in the past so I'll just get that, I can always swap it later if need be.I've heard that 32 bit systems can only use 2 gigs of ram, is that true or just bs?

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It is true......But MS has a fix for that now,and is included in the SP1 update..Or you can go to MS downloads and get it first....

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My personal choice would be the E8400 and 4Gb of 667MHz RAM. But that's because (apparently) the E8400 is quite good for overclocking to the magic 3.6GHz (it seems you just have to raise the front side bus to 400KHz from 333KHz: the E8400 has a 9x multiplier). If you're still keeping clear of overclocking for the time being, then I'd still suggest you go for the E8500 (basically, the same chip as an E8400 but with a 9.5x multiplier) plus 4Gb of 667MHz RAM. If you don't mind spending the extra few dollars for faster RAM then go for it: it might make you feel that the PC is performing better and no one will ever care (or know) if it's only placebo.My main add-ons are Level-D 767, PMDG 747X, Activesky X, FEX, FSInn, UTX and GEX. They all work fine with Vista 64 but I cannot vouch for the products you mention. If in doubt, I suggest you choose Windows XP, or Vista 32. I had not previously heard that SP1 improved Vista 32's ability to use large amounts of memory and I don't immediately see how it could do so (except by efficiency tweaks) because it is constrained by the number of memory addresses that can be enumerated in a 32-bit operating system - but of course I could well be wrong.Tim

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So still go with 4 gb ram even if I chose Vista 32 ?

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You sure can.......But will have to get the plus 3 gig patch is all.....More ram means way faster loading times ,and smoother texture loading in the sim......It a small price to pay I think for that extra push......But it will run fine on 2 gigs ......

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I'd say get the C2D. Also, I'd look at bestbuy's Velocity Micro systems. Not bad rigs at all... Somewhere over the past few months, I blew off building a new pc and just bought one out of the box. Never thought I'd see that day.

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There is always the Dell factory overclocked 720c'sPROCESSOR Intel

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Well it doesn't matter now ... had to replace all the brakes on my car - PC is put on hold for a bit now :@Thanks for all the help anyways though, I'm much better educated for when I do look at a system in a few months.

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