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rdb

Building FSX PC - advice needed

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Hiya,I haven't been following the PC hardware market for a few years now (since i've switched to Mac's). What i'm trying to do now is to build a new PC/Vista system for FSX. I'm not sure if i got all the components right (manufactuer, model etc.), so i'll appreciate your suggestions!Here's what i'm looking at right now:- Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 3,33 GHz BOX- Asus Rampage Formula Intel X48- GeIL Dual Black Dragon 2x2GB DDR2 800 MHz CL4- Radeon 4870 Gainward 512 MB- Be-quiet Dark Power BQT R6-PRO-1000W (PSU)- CoolerMaster Stacker 831 Black-Orange (case)This will be initially hooked up to 22" 1680x1050 LCD, but i would like to replace it in the future for 24" 1920x1020 LCD or FullHD 1920x1080 LCD TV. I don't want any overclocking. Just a stable, prefferably quiet PC that i could assemble, put under the table and forget about it ;)I will still use Mac's for everyday's browsing/mailing/music listening etc. so i'll be running FSX 99% of the time. I'll be flying PMDG 747 most of the time, with add-on sceneries only (FlyTampa, Aerosoft etc.), UT, SquawkBox (or FSInn), ActiveSky etc.Thanks in advance!P.S. Which Vista version should i go for? I don't need any firewall/fancy looking UI etc. Just an operating system to get max out of hardware and FSX.

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I would at least go for 64 bit to take advantage of the extra ram. I have been using it without any issues a lot better support then XP 64. As for Ultimate or Home Premium its up to you. Ultimate hardly has anythign useful over Home Premium for a home user. I have Home Premium on my laptop and Ultimate on my desktop and there has never been a time where I was like "Gee I wish I had Ultimate on here so I can do X" but goto the site and look at the comparision chart see what gives you what you need.

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That PSU is overkill. The main thing you should be concerned about is amps, namely amps on the 12v rail or rails. You can easily get a well-known psu from Corsair, Antec, OCZ with about a 600-700 watts with strong rails and you will be better off.http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16817341002http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16817139002Other than that it looks like a really strong boxYou could always overclock it, or buy an E8500 and overclock that, be sure to pick up a better coolerhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16835109125

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Indeed,That Thermalright 120 Ultra is one monster of a cooler. You could overclock your E8600 to an easy 4.0 GHz. To FSX, that's like a fresh breath of air. Not a bad video card either.Ryan, thanks for that link, I never new Newegg had that cooler!Regards to all,

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Hi Radek,It's too bad you're not interested in overclocking because the CPU and MB you listed are just crying out for it, and that board makes it simple and virtually idiot proof. That system will run 24/7 @ 4.0 - 4.2GHz on air, easily.I agree with the previous poster on the PSU. That's waaaay to much for what you'll be doing. The Seasonic PSU I'm using would be plenty. It's absolutely silent and the most efficient PSU going. I wouldn't go with the ATI card just yet but, that's my personal choice as I have had a good experience with NVidia so far. There are alot of folks on both sides of the GPU highway. I would just do alot of research on the GPUs before I decide. The Coolermasters are nice cases and perfect for a high end gaming system where cooling is at issue. I'm a bit more traditional so I opted for the Silverstone Temjin. It's a more classic design and will fit in with any room. Both are at the top of the list when it comes to cooling and high end systems. If you can get it still, I'd opt for WinXP over Vista if all you're doing is FS on this system. You'll find it to be less of a hassle from a compatability standpoint. You really don't need a 64bit OS either. Again, not for a system just for FS. This is all in keeping with your goal of a "set it and forget it" system. I hope you'll post back here and let us know how it all comes out. I'd be interested to know how that Geil memory works out.Best Regards,Jeff

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Thanks guys for all the replies so far. I find them really helpful. Especially PSU/case suggestions, as these are the elements i'm most unsure about. There are so many PSUs on the market nowadays that it gets confusing. Back in the good old days you could just grab one and it would certainly do it's job. No worries about Watts or Amps back then...I was thinking about Be-quiet 1000W just because it's on the ATI recommended PSU list (yep, silly me) and i may consider adding a second 4870 card and go for that mysterious Crossfire thing one day. >It's too bad you're not interested in overclocking because the>CPU and MB you listed are just crying out for it, and that>board makes it simple and virtually idiot proof. That system>will run 24/7 @ 4.0 - 4.2GHz on air, easily.Well, who knows. It's just that i don't want to build a PC with OC in mind. If i accidentally end up with a configuation suitable for OC, i may give it a try :) >I agree with the previous poster on the PSU. That's waaaay to>much for what you'll be doing. The Seasonic PSU I'm using>would be plenty. It's absolutely silent and the most>efficient PSU going.I see. So, do you guys think that Seasonic 700W or Antec 650W PSU will be able to handle 2x4870 cards + 2xSATA HDD + 5 USB devices + rest of the stuff without problems? And let me ask you another stupid question here: will all of the mentioned PSUs fit in any of the mid-end/high-end case?>I wouldn't go with the ATI card just yet but, that's my>personal choice as I have had a good experience with NVidia so>far. There are alot of folks on both sides of the GPU>highway. I would just do alot of research on the GPUs before>I decide. Yeah, another dilema here :/From the benchmarks i've seen so far it seems i would get best results with 8800 Ultra card. On the other side ATI's 4870 is newer technology and many say it'll beat Nvidia when they get the drivers right. Still, it's only guessing...I've been using different ATI and Nvidia cards over the years and i'm aware they both have their pros and cons.Out of curiosity: which Nvidia card would you go for?>The Coolermasters are nice cases and perfect for a high end>gaming system where cooling is at issue. I'm a bit more>traditional so I opted for the Silverstone Temjin. It's a>more classic design and will fit in with any room. Both are>at the top of the list when it comes to cooling and high end>systems.Good to know. By the way, what is it all about this new BTX standard thing? Do i even have to worry about it with the mobo i'm looking after? >If you can get it still, I'd opt for WinXP over Vista if all>you're doing is FS on this system. You'll find it to be less>of a hassle from a compatability standpoint. You really>don't need a 64bit OS either. Again, not for a system just>for FS. This is all in keeping with your goal of a "set it>and forget it" system. Correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't Vista the only option when it comes to DX10? If so, are there any plans to bring DX10 to XP?I would preffer to stick with XP, but it looks like the world is slowly switching...Thanks!

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Glad I could help Radek. >>I was thinking about Be-quiet 1000W just because it's on the ATI recommended PSU list (yep, silly me) and i may consider adding a second 4870 card and go for that mysterious Crossfire thing one day. >>I almost bought a Be Quiet PSU too. They do appear to be very good. In the end, my builder recommended the Seasonic for its' high efficiency rating and totaly silent operation. I've heard the PC Power and Cooling PSUs are also a decent option. If you realy want to go the Crossfire route then, yes, a bigger PSU is advisable. I might go to 850 watts. That should do fine for two GPUs. I have 2 HDs, 2 optical drives, a THX sound system, the 8800GTS, and several USB devices on my 550w and have never experienced any issues.>>And let me ask you another stupid question here: will all of the mentioned PSUs fit in any of the mid-end/high-end case?>>The only stupid question is the one that wasn't asked(wish I could say the same for all the answers :-lol). I can't say with all of them but other than the 1000w job (I've no idea on their physical size), you should have no problem with size in the higher end cases.>>I've been using different ATI and Nvidia cards over the years and i'm aware they both have their pros and cons.Out of curiosity: which Nvidia card would you go for?>>Same here. I went from ATI to Nvidia just recently. I think the 8800 GTS(512mb) is the sweet spot right now from a price/performance standpoint. The 9 series cards are good, and fast but, a bit stripped down from the 8 series. Both employ the G92 core. If you choose the 9 series, go with the 9800 GTX or GTX+. The lower end 9 series cards don't have the Stream Processors that the GTX and GTX+ have. That will be important for FS. The G80 based 8800 cards, the GTX and Ultra, have a wider bus than the the rest @ 384 bit compared to 256 bit for all of the newer cards. I think the newer core technology has made up for that disparity though.If you'd like to hear more about the ATI options, I suggest you seek out Ray Proudfoot here on these forums. He's the guy I'd listen to. I think he's using the 3870x2. Best to get it from the guy who's using it. >>Good to know. By the way, what is it all about this new BTX standard thing? Do i even have to worry about it with the mobo i'm looking after?>> No, nothing for you to worry about there. The Rampage is an ATX board and will live quite nicely in the cases I discussed earlier. ATX replaced AT back in the mid ninties. BTX came out around 2003 I think, but seems to have been adopted more by the Gateways, Dells, and HPs of the world. Most of the high end systems are ATX boards.>>Correct me if i'm wrong, but isn't Vista the only option when it comes to DX10? If so, are there any plans to bring DX10 to XP?I would preffer to stick with XP, but it looks like the world is slowly switching...>>You are correct. DX10 is only available in Vista. No, DX10 will not be part of XP.The upside to XP though is that DX10 is not nearly the holy grail of graphics as many would have you believe. It has no effect on FS9 and little or no positive impact on FSX. In fact, it's called DX10 Preview mode in FSX. There are a very few games out there that will take advantage of DX10 technology. Everyone keeps talking about that great day, presumably just around the corner, when all games will require a quad core and DX10. It's all hype. The reality is, IMHO, that DX10 and all its' new graphics goodies will likely not mature to that level of acceptance until Microsoft release its latest and greatest new OS. Again, that is simply my opinion. I've been down this road a couple of times now and reality never seems to catch up with the hype. If you read some of the older posts on a number of forums, you'll find that all this great stuff has been "just around the corner" for better than two years now. As far as FS goes, neither FS9 nor FSX were developed on or for quad cores and DX10 though, both FS9 and FSX(sp2) will utilize more than 1 core to an extent. FSX more so since the sp2 update though still not to the extent that it could.I hope this clears things up a bit. Don't hesitate to ask if you need any more help.Best Regards,Jeff*EDIT* BTW, if you'd like to learn more about overclocking, I recommend you spend some time on this site. http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/index.php?You'll find folks very willing to help, and there is a ton of info. Much of it very specific as to make and model of hardware.

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I've spent last few days reading a lot of reviews, benchmarks etc. Yesterday i've finally ordered this config:- Asus Rampage Formula X48- Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 3,33 GHz- Noctua NH-U12P cooler + another Noctua NF-P12 fan (push-pull)- 2x2GB PC800 CL4 GeIL Black Dragon- Gainward Radeon HD 4870- 2x1TB Samsung Spinpoint F1 (RAID 0)- Coolermaster Cosmos S case + additional S-Flex 1200rpm fan- Be Quiet Dark Power 850W PSUAs for the OS, it'll be dual boot: XP Prof. and Vista Home Premium 64-bit. Most propably i'll be using FS9 under XP and FSX under Vista.Thanks again!

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>FS9 works fine under Vista 64 ... well at least on my rig>anyway!It's about some add-ons i have that are not compatible with 64-bit Vista ... :/I decided to go for XP Home by the way. At first I thought only Professional supports multiple processor cores, but fortunately that doesn't seem to be the case. Lame me! ;)

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