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glacier

My Video Card Upgrade Results

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This is for anyone sitting on the fence thinking about upgrading their video card. I, after much debate, finally upgraded my video card from an ATI 1950XTX to a ATI 4870. The rest of my system is a E8400@3.6 GHz, 2GB DDR2. I knew I'd get an increase in performance, but just wasn't sure if it would be worth it. Using Gary Dunne's FSXmark07 benchmark, I got the following results with my custom FSX settings and addons.Before Video Card UpgradeFrames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg 6342, 300000, 16, 31, 21.140After Video Upgrade UpgradeFrames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg 10169, 300000, 27, 48, 33.897My non-scientific results are: PMDG 744X in the VC sitting at FSDT's KORD gate C18 increasing from ~17FPS to ~25FPS.So if you're sitting with a higher end system with a "dated" video card, get rid of that GPU bottleneck and upgrade your GPU.Now I can truly say that FSX is CPU bound on MY system!BTW, thanks Gary for your wonderful benchmarking tool.Dustin

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Dustin,Just ordered my new computer today..... The E8500 Overclocked to 3.6 GHz with 8GB of DDR II Reaper 800 RAM (It was so cheap per gig I couldn't resist).... Vista 64 bit OS and the Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4870...... From your post it seems you are very happy with the 4870.... Thats great as I was wondering if I made the right choice.... It should make FS9 really scream and it looks like I will be able to reload FSX, which has been setting on the book shelve since a month after its release as my AMD 64 3500+ and ATI X850XT couldn't really handle it ......Thanks,JayDub

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JayDub,Just finished my first flight with the 4870 (catalyst 8.7), no problems to report. As you said, I'm really happy with the performance. Good choice on the card, I've always preferred ATI over NV for image quality reasons.If you're ready to give FSX a chance, your new computer will more than handle it. My settings are maxed, except for no autogen (can't stand the look of it) and water at 1x high. I'm running PMDG 744X, FEX, GEX, UTX, FSG and various airport sceneries. I am now more than happy with the performance. Just a couple tweaks in the fsx.cfg file and you're ready to go.Congrats, your new rig sounds great.Dustin

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Dustin,Great....... Same here, my last 3 cards have been ATI and I am very comfortable with the drivers and CCC....How about letting me in on the tweaks that worked for you in your fsx.cfg file.... and FS9.cfg if you are still using it....Thanks,JayDub

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Well I have been Nvidia for the last 10 years and after a particularly bad day, FSX froze up "again" and I raced to BB and got a 4850.About the same performance as my BFG 8800gt and most all the problems,aa/af issues were still there but no menu CTDs.And best of all, NO MORE tweaking Nvidia settings!Now I at least have a new beast to try to tame and new settings to swear at.I am slowly coming up to speed on the new settings and what they are called.But like Nvidia, everyone has a opinion on what works best but FSX eventually decides.My problem is still with FSX. The ideal setting is a moving target. I will go to bed with a nice looking picture with good performance and the next day, load FSX up and it looks terrible.I also cannot get aa/af to stick. I will turn it off in game and let the cards settings do it.It will work and then I will load the sim and the taxi lines/runways or any straight lines are wavy.I will need to turn them back on in game.I also still cannot "leave" the sim to go to desktop,minumise the screen for whatever reason.With Nvidia I would 50/50 get a nasty CTD.Now, FSX will minumise the the toolbar and sit there. Nothing I do will bring it back then as if waiting until I am ready to reboot, it will slooooowly reload.So basically I was on my back under a Chevy banging my knuckles and swearing at the car and now I am under a Ford turning a wrench.

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JIMJAM,Of all the issues that you've listed, the only one I've ever experienced was getting the AA/AF to stick on my old 1950xtx. Figured out that it was the catalyst drivers and when I switched to the Omega drivers the problem completely went away. Unfortunately the Omegas haven't been released for the 4800 series yet. When they are, it may help you with this issue. Even though my 4870 has been issue free, I'll probably switch to the Omegas once they are released. They use much less memory compared to the catalyst drivers/CCC.JayDub,Here are my FSX.cfg tweaks. FS9, for me, went the way of the dinosaurs a long time ago.{DISPLAY}TEXTURE_BANDWIDTH_MULT=50WideViewAspect=True (if your monitor is widescreen){BUFFERPOOLS}Poolsize=50000000{Main}DisablePreload=1All the tweaks came from a post NickN made several months ago. Oh and if you cut and past the above, change the {} brackets to square ones. For some reason the forum won't accept square brackets.Dustin

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I'm suprised it increased that much!I went from a geforce 6800xt (pcie 256mb) to a 8800GT 512mb with no difference in FPS at all..... in that benchmark. I can however set the AA up higher (which was expected)

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I'm thinking that the increase is because of the high resolution FEX clouds. Those 4096x4096 textures were probably choking my old 1950xtx.Your lack of increase was probably because you were already CPU limited. I'd assume that if you had a higher end Core 2 or Quad and went from a 6800xt to a 8800gt you'd see a rather large increase aswell.Dustin

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>I'm thinking that the increase is because of the high>resolution FEX clouds. Those 4096x4096 textures were probably>choking my old 1950xtx.>I didn't even think of that. I never ran the SHD FEX clouds with my 6800XT

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