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Nehalem-What does this mean for us?

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Maybe, maybe not. We just have to wait for some real benchmarks with a good X58 mobo.Ulf BCore2Duo X6800 3.3GHz4GB RAM Corsair XMS2-8500C5BFG 8800GTX, Creative SB X-FiFSX Acc/SP2, Vista 32

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>According to the following article on Anandtech, the new>Nehalem architecture will not necessarily provide a huge boost>to games. In your opinion, does this mean that FSX will not>see any significant advantages from Nehalem? Thank you.>Well they write games aren't going to benefit much, but isn't flight sim different from other games in many aspects?

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As others have said we'll just have to wait and see. Personally - while still hopeful - I remain highly sceptical about Nehalem. More cores, hyperthreading, a new way of handling memory - all very nice. But what FSX most needs is brute strength in the shape of higher clockspeeds. And these are still being withheld. I say "withheld" because it is perfectly clear from the o'clocking abilities of Intel's current line-up that there is masses of headroom within this technology. I'm sure that Intel could release 4GHz+ CPUs right now, if it needed to respond quickly to a sudden threat from AMD. But it prefers to drip-feed speed increases by agonizingly small increments, simply because this maximises its profits by inflating the perceived value of each extra Hertz and lengthening the life of each product cycle. It doesn't want to sell me a 4GHz CPU yet: it wants me to buy 3.4GHz and 3.8GHz CPUs first - and preferably a 3.6GHz one in-between. It can only get away with this tactic because it faces no competition at the high end from AMD and others. Nehalem, I am afraid, will be a continuation of this pattern: new technology for the salesmen to talk about; headline-grabbing improvements in highly specialized areas; yet further segmentation of the market for exploiting new "premium" buyers (2 cores, 4 cores, 8 cores, goodness knows how many cores); giving just enough extra performance to tempt buyers; but releasing the real potential for performance improvements as slowly as possible, to lengthen the life of the technology and maintain an absurdly high

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Phil Taylor makes a subtle little comment to Nehalem in his latest blog. Am I reading too much into it?? If I'm not mistaken, I think I have read something, somewhere from Phil about how Nehalem performs certain draw calls much more efficiently compared to current CPUs. These draw calls are used extensively in FSX.Surely, a person of his status must have seen by now, FSX running on Nehalem???..Anyway, I think there is some hope......Tom

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>As others have said we'll just have to wait and see.>Personally - while still hopeful - I remain highly sceptical>about Nehalem. More cores, hyperthreading, a new way of>handling memory - all very nice. But what FSX most needs is>brute strength in the shape of higher clockspeeds. And these>are still being withheld. I always thought that FSX has some kind of "sweet spot" around 3.6Ghz and that pushing the CPU beyond that creates a case of diminishing or insignificant returns? Please correct me if I am mistaken.

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The more raw CPU power the better, why would you think a higher clock speed would diminish performance? the only negative aspect is a risk of lockups or random reboots from insufficient cooling.Rob

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>The more raw CPU power the better, why would you think a>higher clock speed would diminish performance? the only>negative aspect is a risk of lockups or random reboots from>insufficient cooling.>>RobI guess I only mentioned it because I overclocked my CPU once to 3.8Ghz and I cannot really say that I saw a significant improvement. I didn't really mean diminish performance. I actually meant the true definition of "diminishing returns" where after a certain point adding more of something yields less or less significant results.

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>I guess I only mentioned it because I overclocked my CPU once>to 3.8Ghz and I cannot really say that I saw a significant>improvement. Glad to hear I'm not alone, I've had my cpu just past 4GHZ and haven't really noticed much of a frame gain - very slight, at best over my e6750 @ 3.2. Kinda dissappointing as I expected at least 2-4 FPS increase and it's just not there when one needs it most. At least I didn't have to pay anything for my upgrade.....Regards, Kendall#1: E8500 @ 3.95 - HyperTX2 Gigabyte P35-DS3L 4GB Ballistix Tracers PC6400 EVGA 8800GT - XG's 174.74 Seagate 250GB 7200.11 CH Yoke/Pedals/Saitek Throttle Dual Monitor: Dell 2405/1905 #2: Dell 8400 3.2 H.T. 3GB PC4200 - X800XT Diamond Xtreme/Logitech X-530's

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Based on my little experiments (posted on this forum recently) the picture is a bit muddled.FSX is CPU bound in the "Global high" settings of the FSXMark07 benchmark that everyone uses. At this level of graphics detail, adding CPU Hertz adds framerates, pretty much in direct proportion to the speed of the CPU: period.But the picture is less clear-cut when you really turn up the graphics settings. The extra CPU Hertz still bring something to the party - but not nearly in direct proportion to the extra CPU speed. That, I think, is the sense in which about 3.6GHz is a "sweet spot".So the bottom line is that we still (or, at least, I still) would ideally like faster & faster CPUs, even though the law of diminishing returns has already begun to apply. Apparently the real, full-motion, simulators give about 60fps constantly and - having used one - I can tell you, it really makes a tremendous difference to the whole experience: it would be terrific if we could get the same fluidity on our desktops. Otherwise, fingers crossed for FS11 ...Tim

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very well said Tim. as long as AMD can't be seen in Intel's rear view mirror it will be the same ole song and dance from Intel. marketing and hype at it's best. oh, and let's not forget those lofty, sky high price tags. happy flyin, FM

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Shazam!Poof- You now have 60 fps global high.Whats the first thing you are going to do?Thats right.Gotta replace the sky, the ground,the water,mesh,autogen,,add custom airports,sceneries.What, I am still geting 40 fps!Time to get some planes.Addon makers will really get carried away with no worries about performance from these uber machines so really lay on the detail.At least twice a year since Ive been simming since the 80s, there is that "going to change the world" tech innovation announced.Sometimes they really do but are quickly devoured and before they even hit the mainstream, are already being replaced.Ive flown a few "real world" simulators and there is a reason they are smooth.The graphics su**. At least by FSX "our" standards.They are just enough to give you a believable enviroment.If you turn off all the FSX autogen,ai, and lower the overall settings, most of us can get close to 60 right now.If you were sitting in a multi million dollar full motion airline cockpit simulator and had FSX being ran across those screens, your jaw would hit the floor.Aces missed the boat last time around and lets just hope that they are onboard this time.My guess is that 4 gig cards and 6 ghz dual quads will be running in 2 years.Doesnt really matter as there is NO other sim to choose from so we will just have to wait and see.

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>>I guess I only mentioned it because I overclocked my CPU>once>>to 3.8Ghz and I cannot really say that I saw a significant>>improvement. >>Glad to hear I'm not alone, I've had my cpu just past 4GHZ and>haven't really noticed much of a frame gain - very slight, at>best over my e6750 @ 3.2. Kinda dissappointing as I expected>at least 2-4 FPS increase and it's just not there when one>needs it most. At least I didn't have to pay anything for my>upgrade.....>Maybe your graphics card replaces the CPU as the system bottleneck at higher clock speeds?Ulf BCore2Duo X6800 3.3GHz4GB RAM Corsair XMS2-8500C5BFG 8800GTX, Creative SB X-FiFSX Acc/SP2, Vista 32

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I thought I read a post here where Phil T said that the new technology in Nehalem looked good for FSX. None of us will know for sure till we get one and try it, so I will remain optimistic and hope Nehalem will help us out. Combine that with a new graphics engine in FS 11 and maybe there will be a little less groaning and moaning around here, but then again maybe not.... I will wait and see!:-hmmm

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Yes, you make a very fair point about the low graphical detail in the "real world" simulations. As I remember it, Heathrow consisted of a couple of runways and a tower. London - the whole city - consisted of about 3 tall blocks representing Canary Wharf. 60fps with FSX-quality graphics is just a pipe-dream with today's kit, but one day, who knows?Tim

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>>>I guess I only mentioned it because I overclocked my CPU>>once>>>to 3.8Ghz and I cannot really say that I saw a significant>>>improvement. >>>>Glad to hear I'm not alone, I've had my cpu just past 4GHZ>and>>haven't really noticed much of a frame gain - very slight,>at>>best over my e6750 @ 3.2. Kinda dissappointing as I>expected>>at least 2-4 FPS increase and it's just not there when one>>needs it most. At least I didn't have to pay anything for my>>upgrade.....>>>>Maybe your graphics card replaces the CPU as the system>bottleneck at higher clock speeds?>>Ulf B>What tim says an what you say ulf are the only logical conclusions that a person can draw from seeing this I think.CLOUDS are the bottleneck. This tells us that clouds are rendered using a lot of gpu. More evidence: clouds killed the ATI 3870/3870x2 cards; but even an 8800GTX, with it's larger bandwidth, still gets knocked down a notch by clouds.I got the same results as Tim did; without much wx (fair weather theme in fSX) I was getting 60 fps in my test scenario at Heathrow. But as soon as I added in some cloud layers, BOOM!, instantly down to 35 fps, with no other setting changes.RhettFS box: E8500 (@ 3.80 ghz), AC Freezer 7 Pro, ASUS P5E3 Premium, BFG 8800GTX 756 (nVidia 169 WHQL), 4gb DDR3 1600 Patriot Cas7 7-7-7-20 (2T), PC Power 750, WD 150gb 10000rpm Raptor, Seagate 500gb, Silverstone TJ09 case, Vista Ultimate 64ASX Client: AMD 3700+ (@ 2.6 ghz), 7800GT

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It remains to be seen if you will see as big of a performance gain as the Core 2 architecture gave us, but you'll probably see a little gain at similar clock speeds. The power management of Nehalem allows the power to be diverted from the other cores to one or two when the other cores are not in use and should theoritically allow for higher clock rates on those two cores. Intel is calling this "Turbo" mode, but with Hyperthreading returning you should also get 8 logical cores with will help with autogen. The final numbers will determine what kind of speed we can expect from Nehalem, and we can't really base anything off of these beta drivers. There is always hope!!!! If you want to know something really cool, check out Lucid's Hydra multiple GPU solution which allows an older video card to be used with a newer generation (from the same manufacturer due to limitation with Windows and not the technology) to get true 2x or more scaling with multiple GPUs.Just my two cents,John Flowers

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"The power management of Nehalem allows the power to be diverted from the other cores to one or two when the other cores are not in use..."I can see it now. Just as you are clearing the runway things are running rather smoothly...oops, now some clouds (now time for the INTEL power management system to divert power from the other cores to one or two)...stutter, stutter, pause, pause, ...back now to flying through the clouds (as the super-duper INTEL power managment system yields an extra 2 frames per second)...now time to come out of the clouds...sputter..sputter...pause...pause...and so on and so forth...Come on guys, you can figure INTELASARUS REX did not have us in mind when designing this chip.RH

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I am going WAY out on a limb and make a bold prediction.In 2 years say, late 2009,2010, it will be a great time for the Zombie,Alien,Space 1st person shooter fans.I remember the good ol days when flight sims were a developers flagship product and the vid card,proc makers catered to them.The machines were always behind the flight sim curve and it usually took 2 years to be able to run a sim wide open.I still remember loading Falcon 3.0 after it had been out at least 5 years, cranking up all the options and screaming, "take that" as my computer devoured it.Now its all about craming as much graphics and effects into a 100 yard or smaller area and keeping up a fast fps whether its a fps or racing game.Trying to muscle the graphics with brute horsepower IMO is not what I hope Aces are hoping will be available ala FSX in a few years.Hopefully a way to harness all this video card memory and have all this information stored and available.Couldnt a second proc like the AGEIA PhysX accelerator be used to handle some of the load?I am just amazed that I see guys spending 6 grand plus on Alienware rigs and resort to flying without autogen or real weather just so they can get 15-20 fps into large airports.

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>Maybe your graphics card replaces the CPU as the system>bottleneck at higher clock speeds?>>Ulf BGood point Ulf, but then when I look at frame comparisons between boards over at Tom's Hardware I don't see much difference between my 8800GT and most of the others, including the GTX's.Very true Rhett - but I'd love to have your 35. :-beerchug As it stands it's hard for me to get a consistant 20 flying in metro areas with RWW - yep those pesky clouds (and traffic and....).Regards, Kendall#1: E8500 @ 3.95 - HyperTX2 Gigabyte P35-DS3L 4GB Ballistix Tracers PC6400 EVGA 8800GT - XG's 174.74 Seagate 250GB 7200.11 CH Yoke/Pedals/Saitek Throttle Dual Monitor: Dell 2405/1905 #2: Dell 8400 3.2 H.T. 3GB PC4200 - X800XT Diamond Xtreme/Logitech X-530's

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>Come on guys, you can figure INTELASARUS REX did not have us>in mind when designing this chip.>>RHAhh but just to be fair, one could also say that ACES did not have multi-core CPUs in mind either when they were designing FSX :)

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>>Good point Ulf, but then when I look at frame comparisons>between boards over at Tom's Hardware I don't see much>difference between my 8800GT and most of the others, including>the GTX's.>Kendall,That's true. I'm no expert on hardware and the architecture of FSX and can't predict the behavior of FSX running on different hardware configurations. We know that FSX doesn't benefit much with multiple GPU solutions. Maybe the bottleneck is within FSX itself? Increased CPU speed maybe results in an increased internal overhead in FSX? Maybe FSX spend a lot more time handling threads and waiting for running threads to finish? I don't know. But it seems strange that increasing CPU speed and graphic card performance don't have any real impact on FSX. I guess we have to wait and see.Ulf BCore2Duo X6800 3.3GHz4GB RAM Corsair XMS2-8500C5BFG 8800GTX, Creative SB X-FiFSX Acc/SP2, Vista 32

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>>Maybe your graphics card replaces the CPU as the system>>bottleneck at higher clock speeds?>>>>Ulf B>>Good point Ulf, but then when I look at frame comparisons>between boards over at Tom's Hardware I don't see much>difference between my 8800GT and most of the others, including>the GTX's.>That's because Tom's didn't do heavy wx testing, which is what any of us flight-sim type people would do, since in real simming, you are not likely to see clear skies all the time. What do they say, "It has to rain...sometime"?>Very true Rhett - but I'd love to have your 35. :-beerchug As>it stands it's hard for me to get a consistant 20 flying in>metro areas with RWW - yep those pesky clouds (and traffic>and....).>You can get 35 fps at Heathrow in wx too, with your E8500. I'm not even clocking quite as high as you are.I was testing "big iron" configs. 35 fps was with AI airliner slider only at 25. Road car traffic 10. It was with autogen on Sparse. But ASX real weather (cloudy conditions) loaded. Also Scenery Complexity on Dense (scenery complexity is only a minor fps killer though).I normally run more AI than that, and more autogen. But I like to keep a "big iron" cfg around that I can use at places like New York, LAX, Heathrow, Tokyo, when I get sick and tired of 20 fps in those situations. For those places I would need to reduce settings to maintain 25-30+ fps in all situations...and I think I have found a nice sweet spot on my setup.I was pleasantly happy with 35 fps at Heathrow, even with some Autogen and some AI **and** real weather. That was the LOWEST fps I saw, too. I took off did a circuit in the DC-10, landed and it never went below 35. I'm likin this E8500.But no question, if I run my NORMAL config: Dense autogen, Scenery Complexity maxxed, AI at 60...I will indeed only get about 20 fps at a place like Heathrow. That's actually acceptable to me, but as I said, sometimes you just want 25-30-35 fps there.RhettFS box: E8500 (@ 3.80 ghz), AC Freezer 7 Pro, ASUS P5E3 Premium, BFG 8800GTX 756 (nVidia 169 WHQL), 4gb DDR3 1600 Patriot Cas7 7-7-7-20 (2T), PC Power 750, WD 150gb 10000rpm Raptor, Seagate 500gb, Silverstone TJ09 case, Vista Ultimate 64ASX Client: AMD 3700+ (@ 2.6 ghz), 7800GT

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That was MS's fault. They thought, as we all did, that the CPU speeds would continue to increase (that by now we would have been up to about 10Ghz). The INTEL Prescott came along and overheated at 3Ghz. Chip makers then realized that the speed increases would not continue as thought. However, MS was already in the middle of FSX development. Instead of stopping and going back scratch with a multicore solution (now to be FS11), they plugged along and come up with FS2000 version II. RH

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