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cavaricooper

MB and RAM choices.........August 2008

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This changes from week to week, and sometimes day to day- so here goes. I'm having a problem getting my MB to boot- and will call Gigabyte tomorrow- but I'm guessing RMA. I don't want to wait for a replacement and I am looking for a bit more OC than the P35 chipset and my current RAM will allow...........thoughts Sam, Gary et al.Ideally I would see 4.5 or 4.4ghz and I want to go to 4gigs of RAM- PC800 1gig x 2. I am 24/7 Prime95 stable at 4.0ghz now (when the machine boots ;) ). I want to stay with the e8500 for now- and I dont' care about OB sound. My specs below are accurate.I will be deciding (and ordering) in the morning, so please post if you can- thanks!Best-Carl F. Avari-Cooper BAW0225http://online.vatsimindicators.net/980091/523.png| XP Pro SP3 - FSGS System Unification | 2 x APC UPS | Coolermaster Stacker 830 SE | Gigabyte P35 DS3R | e8500 @ 4gHz | Tuniq Tower 120 | EVGA 8800GT 512MB | Sony 40" Bravia XBR | Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty | Bose Companion 5 | 2 x 1 GB Corsair XMS2 | 2 x 320GB WD Caviar RAID 0 | Corsair HX620W PS | CH Products Yoke-Pedals-Throttle Quadrant | Aerosoft 747MCP-EFIS-EICAS |

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Unless you want to go underwater, 4.0 is about it with that E8500. That 420 FSB is entirely sustainable with the P35. Remember the X38/48s are just rebranded P35s. That chipset was designed from day one to run a 400Mhz FSB. 420 is no big deal. However, you will need good DDR2-800 or DDR2-1066 to run at 840mhz. I assume your ram is DDR2-800. It needs to rated 4-4-4-12, but relaxed to 5-5-5-18 to run at 840.Now you want to push that E8500 to 4.5. OK. What's it going to take? 1) The multi is locked, so it has to be driven with the FSB. That's a 475Mhz FSB for 4.5Ghz. There is No P35 class chip-set (X38/48/et al) that will go there for reliable 24/7 operation. That's only for speed runs. If you want that clock, you need 1) an unlocked multi or 2)a water cooled norhbridge. That's a new CPU and/or a Big dollar mobo. 2) Even if you wanted to baby that rig along at 475, the CPU needs water cooling to run reliably at 4.0 +Ghz.3) The ram will run at 2 x 475 = 950. DDR2-800 will not go there reliably. If you want 4Gs, totally forget it. All new DDR2-1066 ram will be required.So water + new ram + an edgey 475Mhz FSB = Your Call.(Are the frames that bad on the new software? I think I got the 'da-boot' problems too.)

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Sam- that's the problem- 12 hrs before getting the new software- my PC wouldn't boot- imagine my plight! My RAM is indeed Corsair XMS2 PC-800 4-4-4-12- which I was running relaxed for the 421 FSB OC. Will call Gigabyte when they open in a couple of hours- its a great combo right now- so I may stay with the don't fix if not broke- but I need a bootable MB!Thanks!Best-Carl F. Avari-Cooper BAW0225http://online.vatsimindicators.net/980091/523.png| XP Pro SP3 - FSGS System Unification | 2 x APC UPS | Coolermaster Stacker 830 SE | Gigabyte P35 DS3R | e8500 @ 4gHz | Tuniq Tower 120 | EVGA 8800GT 512MB | Sony 40" Bravia XBR | Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty | Bose Companion 5 | 2 x 1 GB Corsair XMS2 | 2 x 320GB WD Caviar RAID 0 | Corsair HX620W PS | CH Products Yoke-Pedals-Throttle Quadrant | Aerosoft 747MCP-EFIS-EICAS |

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Carl,Did your mobo don't boot after a CMOS reset or didn't it boot when overclocked?Ulf BCore2Duo X6800 3.3GHz4GB RAM Corsair XMS2-8500C5BFG 8800GTX, Creative SB X-FiFSX Acc/SP2, Vista 32

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(Still locked out). But the X38/48/45 are all just rebranded P35s. The P35 was designed from day one for this last set of Penryn eTreme CPUs. A 400Mhz FSB is what it was designed to run. The X38/48/45s are just marketing hype. After all, Intel is a business and needs to make money.Any Abit/GB or Asus P35 mobo will be just fine. There is No performance advantage in these $350 mobos, just convenience items (Like an exterior bios reset switch. Is that worth $200? Not to me).DDR3 provides no performance advantage. You just need enough DDR2 rating to allow a Double of the FSB.Other than that, its all bragging rights.

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Sorry, don't want to hijack this thread, but Carl seems to want to do something that I want to do as well.. I want to buy a complete new system in the next couple of days.. I've already chosen a case (Kandalf) with a liquid cooling system pre-installed... not sure if this is a good idea, but my plan was to OC my CPU... I was thinking of getting the Q9450 Quad Core CPU, and bolting onto that a GTX 280.. However my ram and motherboard choices are still confusing me..Do I go DDR3 or not? (assuming I can afford it)What Mobo do I need and ram choice/speed do I need to get this CPU up to the 3.6Ghz mark.. What power PSU am I looking at to power all this?Is a soundcard worth adding to this? Does it take off CPU load?I'm sorry I'm a total noob at this OC lark, I've always built my PCs myself, but always ran them standard..As for use for this machine.. it won't just be FSX, I do play other games. It'll be running vista 64. It will be a blue ray player.. I've got a monitor and widescreen TV hooked to my machine right now, but the widescreen is on SVGA, I want that on HDMI (DVI) after the upgrade..My budget is about

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http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWi...tNumber=7159746The lowly Q6600 is still the best bet. It goes to 3.6 on air with out a wimper. A $150 P35 mobo and 4gs of DDR2-800 get you there. Additional mobo specs or ram speed are irrelevant. Sound card is a waste. Onboard is fine. The 8800GT is all the Vcard FS can use. Any more is for other games. I use a DVI to HDMI adapter to drive my 42. An 8800GT drives FS at 1080p just fine (plus another 19 + a 3rd 19 on a second Vcard). You should be able to build a 3.6 rig for - way - less than 1000 . . . dollars!

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Sam,Thanks for the reply, so if I decide to drop the Q9450 and go for the Q6600 instead.. If I've god water cooling I can get more than 3.6Ghz? I know this is a bit cheeky, but since I have the opportunity to save a packet here I am quite keen to narrow down some specs so I can purchase.So...Q66004GB DDR2 (Should I go for the 1066? any specific recommendations?)P35 Mobo (any specific recommendations?)8800GT vid card (again anything specific? would a GTS be worth it?)Vista 64bitThermaltake Kandalf (this has a LCS for the CPU.. so this should help get faster speeds I would hope)Any benefit to be had from RAID drives or a Raptor WD?What size PSU? 800W?What sort of frames with scenery... no autogen... little to no traffic can I expect on this kinda system using say PMDG 747X in FSX?If you could provide some specific recommendations I would appreciate it.. What I'll do is keep this for a year or so and replace with Nehalem when the prices come down to something sensible..Thank you in advance Sam, I appreciate you taking time out to help me.CraigEDIT: oops just got through to your newegg link.. got the details.. thanks :)

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3.6 is it for the 6600, water or not. Might as well use air.Ram only needs to run at 2X your projected FSB. That speed will be 400. So, DDR2-800 is the perfect choice. Running ram faster will make No performance difference. If the GTS is available, I'd get it. It will O/C higher and blows its hot air out the back. I use the Asus P5K-e. It's fine.No case will make a CPU run faster. LSC sounds like hype. Run modern 7200 RPM drives. The seagate -11 is fine. Raptors or raids are not necessary for FS.A name brand 600 watter is fine (Silverstone or PC Power and cooling)Settings: I've been using the FSMark07 Seattle run to "dial-in" my system (search Avsim library FSX>Scenery>Benchmark). It's a precisely repeatable flight. Outbound from KSEA, reset the AP to ~12K'. You'll climb into a cloud layer to check cloud rendering too. This "canned flight" allows a user to watch for the effects of only those changes made between runs. I'm using a 20FPS frame-lock. My system "dials in" here: Q@3.6/4Gs@800x60ns/8800GT:FS at Graphics: Res, 1920x1080. Antisotropic, AA unck, G-Tex VH, DX10/bloom off. Aircraft: Ex Settings, all ck'd. Scenery: All sliders full rt, except water 2L & Tex Res 7cm & Shadows off. Weather: Cloud draw 60mi/detailed. Traffic: 20/20/0/10/20/20Right here I get consistent, "stable" and clearly definable stutters. The frame counter rarely dips below 20, but the Look and feel is more like ~ 7-10FPS. If I take out one knotch of AG, the stutters smooth out and the sim is pleasurably flyable. This is exactly what I want to see. I want to see those stable stutters just a knotch away from smooth flight. That means I am right on the edge of the system's capability. Any change I make in this slightly overloaded "stable stutter" environment will be objectively observable.Here's what does not help:Ram latency change from 80ns -> 56ns. No change.Ram speed change from 800-> 1000Mhz. No change Here's what does help: I find that changing{Display}TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT=Xfrom 40 to 70 reduces the stutters by 50-70%. They don't go away, but appear to soften. Above 100 increases stutters. Remember the frame counter stays at ~20. Adding the lines:{BUFFERPOOLS}Poolsize=XReduces the big frame-skip events that sometimes occur when panning or changing heading. For my 512 card, I'm using 50Mb (50000000). I've been from 4M to 100M. I need more than 4 and 100 starves normal Vcard ops. 50M allows normal ops and helps with panning frame-skips. After I'm done messing around, I drop AG a knotch and go explore Victoria at 1500' in the P51. Smooth running. Great View in the Maule.With this system's characteristics fully recognized, I dropped in a 260GTX. There was no change. It really appears the Vcard is (essentially) a conduit for the CPU's performance. Once an adequate conduit is in place, additional Vcard capacity no longer provides a performance advantage. It appears the 8800GT is an adequate conduit. PMDG 744X:Just drop the Autogen to the first notch and traffic to All Off. That'll get ~ 20 (honest) FPS as you turn over Manhatten on the way to KJFK's 13L.

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Ulf:The MB problem was diagnosed as a faulty controller- RMA :(Craig:If you look at my system specs below- I ran that setup in FSX with frames consistently near my locked at 28 - and that on a 40" 1080p Sony- beautiful- and with a P35 Northbridge.Sam:While waiting for my RMA I ordered this- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16813128336and this-http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16822148298so some of my specs will change- same CPU, same memory (from what I read of your postings there really is no point in DDR3 right now).I am thinking about replacing the 1g x 2 with 2g x 2 sticks- but that's about it. Will keep you posted, can't wait to try the new software- but it looks like at least Monday night :(Best-Carl F. Avari-Cooper BAW0225http://online.vatsimindicators.net/980091/523.png| XP Pro SP3 - FSGS System Unification | 2 x APC UPS | Coolermaster Stacker 830 SE | Gigabyte P35 DS3R | e8500 @ 4gHz | Tuniq Tower 120 | EVGA 8800GT 512MB | Sony 40" Bravia XBR | Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty | Bose Companion 5 | 2 x 1 GB Corsair XMS2 | 2 x 320GB WD Caviar RAID 0 | Corsair HX620W PS | CH Products Yoke-Pedals-Throttle Quadrant | Aerosoft 747MCP-EFIS-EICAS |

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Craig:For me, right now, its all about clock speed. FS9 and even FSX at 4.0ghz is a wonderful experience- FINALLY!That said, the future, as software gets more adept, will be all about multi-cores. Obviously multi-cores AND high clocks will be the final goal.I suspect Sam will advise go the q6600 route (price/perf) but for me (and I still primarily fly the PMDG 747 in FS9) the e8500 was the right choice- again, FOR NOW.Best-Carl F. Avari-Cooper BAW0225http://online.vatsimindicators.net/980091/523.png| XP Pro SP3 - FSGS System Unification | 2 x APC UPS | Coolermaster Stacker 830 SE | Gigabyte P35 DS3R | e8500 @ 4gHz | Tuniq Tower 120 | EVGA 8800GT 512MB | Sony 40" Bravia XBR | Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty | Bose Companion 5 | 2 x 1 GB Corsair XMS2 | 2 x 320GB WD Caviar RAID 0 | Corsair HX620W PS | CH Products Yoke-Pedals-Throttle Quadrant | Aerosoft 747MCP-EFIS-EICAS |

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That's a top-dog mobo, and the HD is perfect. That's my backup drive and it's a rocket ship. 2x2G is the way to go. The Q needs -800 ram for the 400Mhz FSB, the E85 will need the 1066 to allow a 420 FSB.Q6600 at 3.6 or the E8500 at 4.0 . . . Hummm. For a general purpose simming the Q6600 wins. All the default airplanes run at scenery sliders high xcept water and a notch of AG. Traffic ~ 10-20%. The PMDG airplane costs AG down slider'd to the 1st notch + all traffic goes completely off. That'll get a tolerable 20FPS with the 744X. Spend the last notch of AG and then start on scenery complexity for more FPS. The E8500 will not keep up with the Q scenery loading under any circumstances. Remember, the additional 400Mhz advantage only occurs with a single core. Expect a precisely liner improvement in FPS, ~ 10% over the Q. The PMDG will go from 20 to 22, 25 to 27.5, etc. The a FPS fundamentalist will insist on this improvement. However a considered assessment might like the Q.

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Ok gone for the Q.... with the same mobo as Carl... and the tuniq tower 120... (price is coming down).. decided on a little better GFX card because I play other games etc.. But I didn't go top end.. still around

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Yes. The SLACR version (AKA "Stepping GO"). Sounds like you got it. Airflow fan on the ram? Will it make coffee in the morning too? No, get the plain the 60lb stuff is fine. There will be absolutely no performance difference between any of the choices. DDRX-800 means it will run at 800Mhz. If it doesn't it's a bad stick. The Q will be driven by a 400Mhz FSB. That's as far as the Q6600 will go under any circumstances. The ram will run at DDR (2X)that. 2x400=800. That's as far as the ram will ever need to go too. If it stays in this set, that's all it will ever have thrown at it. Tightening timings and running ram faster is run to play with, but it will make No FS performance difference. It might be an interesting experiment, just to see it for yourself. But I'm a bit concerned about that 1066 stuff. They have the timings loosened and a fan on 'em. All that to get to 1066? Hummm. That -800 at 5-5-5-18 will easily come down to 4-4-4-12. That might let you play a bit . . . and see for your self.

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> (I figure I can upgrade to a Nehalem next year)..You need to replace the mobo if you wanna upgrade to a Nehalem cpu. The Nehalem will use the socket LGA-1366 not the existing LGA-775.More info on Nehalem cpu family here.http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel...doc.aspx?i=3326Ulf BCore2Duo X6800 3.3GHz4GB RAM Corsair XMS2-8500C5BFG 8800GTX, Creative SB X-FiFSX Acc/SP2, Vista 32

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Sam, Carl,I have all this ordered now...Q6600 GO... (not just an FSX user so wanted the extra core grunt)Asus P5K-e (like you sam) with WiFi4GB OCZ Ram got some DDR2-1066MHz, it was

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Tutorial:1) Set FSB to 400Mhz 2) Set Vcore to 1.45v3) Go fly.Really, let Otto (Auto) handle the rest. If some bios setting gets out of hand and it won't boot, it might reset by cycling power. But if not, the last resort is to remove all but one stick of ram. Don't know why, but that'll get cha back. That Tuniq will work fine. Good choice. Get a trial copy of Everest. Don't trust the bios to set Vcore correctly. I have to set it to 1.5v to get 1.45. Use Everest to stress test and monitor temps and volts.I use the mobo's speedstep function. If sets the multi to 6X (6x400=2.4) for emailing and pops it up to 9X (9x400=3.6) for flying. I also use Vista's sleep function and never shut off the computer. You will have to enable that power state function in the bios. (It's in there somewhere.) You'll like that 98GTX. That's the one I'm thinking about finally settling on. Had a GTX260 for a bit. Its driver disabled sleep and wouldn't recognize my second Vcard. That bumm went back. Shut off Vista's UAC first thing. It'll drive ya nuts.

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Blimey.. it's that easy? This has turned out to be a lot cheaper than I thought.. I spent some extra money on a good case, that's future proof with lots of expansion slots, cooling options and also pre-drilled for water cooling (if I ever go that route in future).. blue-ray player, want to watch 1080p on my 42" TV too! Plenty of extra HD space with the new seagate -11's...I was planning on going Nahalem later when it comes out, but to be honest with you... if this setup performs as well as I believe it will.. then I probably won't bother.. I just want something that'll run FSX better than my machine does (AMD 64 3500+ 1GB ram ATI 800 XT) which probably isn't too hard these days!Thanks againCraig

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I don't think you'll be disappointed. I followed Sam's advice (though I ended up opting for an E8500 rather than the Q6600) and am very pleased with the result. Tim

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