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New Desktop system which Video card do choose?

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Hi all,I know this may be a subjective question, but I am going to buy a new system. $$$ not really a factor.Dell XPS 730 Intel® Core2 Extreme Processor QX6850, (3 GHz, 8MB L2 Cache, 1333Mhz FSB) 4GB (4X1GB) Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz My query is, what video card.Choice is either.Single or duelNVidia® GeForce® 9800GT 512MB GDDR3 orSingle or Duel1024MB PCIe(TM ) x16 ATI® Radeon HD 3870X2I've mainly been a Nvidia consumer for years now, but the latest system which had a 8800 GTS in it, really has caused me grief, FSX locks up after 1/2 an of flight, system crash dumpsNow whether this is the video card's fault or drivers, I cannot really tell. Although I know the 8800GTS would not work with latest Certifed drivers form Nvidia, 175.19, they would just stop responding. I went back to the 8600 card that came with system and yes the 175.19 drivers sem okay with it, I am still getting lock ups.MB was replaced by Dell a few months ago, as CPU fan got stuck on high revs, Tech guy could not work out why.System is running Vista 32bit sp1, before cpu fan issue it never caused a problem.This errors does appear to happen later in the day, so over heating may be a issue. not sure.System will be soley for gaming and mutilmedia stuff like converting movies etc to HDef. Current XPS I use for work and pleasure.Anyway replies welcome.ThanksPhil

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Which one do you have?The 8800GTS I found to be as good for FSX as any, in fact better than many.The 8800GTS 640MB SSC is the one I used. Never had blue screen or any issues with it.I have a GTX280 now, but I cant say its better in FSX.The GTX280 is much better in other games, but not FSX.ATI cards are reported to slow down with clouds.I'd suggest you try your 8800GTX 1st, maybe a fresh install and new system will get it running as it should. If not I say you should return it for exchange.

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I'm driving a primary monitor (42" at 19x10) plus a secondary 19" at 12x10. I fly on the 42. I went from an 8800GT to a GTX260, then finally to the current 9800GTX+. Sure wish I could say all the trouble was worth . . . something. But the sim runs the same on all as it did on the 8800GT.If you are running other games, the bigger cards will help. However if it's only FS, the 8800GT is all FS can use. Any more card than a $110 8800GT is just not necessary. Vcard wise, it's a magic time for FS.

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PhilYou had another thread with this post in it in which jimcooper and I responded about your card and crash issues. Not sure why you did not respond there and instead reposted the same question.http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...43554&mode=fullJust so you are aware.. there several defined reasons why someone may not and probably will not see any difference going from a 8800GT to a 9800GTX or a 260. Their slot may not be PCIe 2.0 compliant and the person assumes the model number and one or two specification upgrades will make a difference however there are is only one card you can buy that will definitely upgrade FSX performance without question (right at the moment) and that is the 8800GTX Ultra. The 9800GTX is an inferior card to the Ultra in FSX and the 260 is not much better than the 9800 in those terms.The GTX280 is iffy on the right driver now due to driver issues and the application. The card itself has the ability to run much better in FSX however Nvidia is not focusing on the FSX tile for perf and therefore how well it does in the app over time is still an unknown.FSX by design reserves resources from the video system for different functions in rendering the sim. Assuming the driver is in sync with the application design the hardware will deliver the goods. (one of the reasons they have game profiles too) The primary problem with the GTX280 and the 4780x2 cards in FSX is the driver, not the hardware although recent beta drivers for the 280 have been reported from more than one source to increase FSX perf.There can be many reasons why someone will come into a forum and post they do not see any difference between card A and card B. Primary above anything else is they simply do not know what to look for, or, they do not have the ability to correctly ascertain the differences and then there is always just plain dumb luck in the system and BIOS not working well with the newer card with unrefined drivers. Looking at the frame counter will tell you nothing in FSX. I have demonstrated that in this and other forums.Heavy overcast weather is one of the primary areas the better card will deliver a difference in smooth game play over the slower card designs.Another reason why people assume a 8800GT is not inferior to the Ultra is because they have never used the Ultra and have no business commenting on how the 8800GT is all you will ever need... they are not in tune with how FSX works on the back end either and when they test a new card they do not know how to correctly ascertain a performance change. That mindset was noted in a test I did some time ago when someone posted screenshots of their sim and from their description of the perf they were unable to see how bad their sim really looked in compare to one that was using better hardware.Unfortunately the images are gone but please DO note what the person said:http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho..._id=37286&page=and my response to that statement here:http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho..._id=37293&page=That shows the person in question simply does not have the right ability to ascertain perf nor do they have any business telling anyone there is no difference in the 8800GT over other cards.As suggested your 8800GTS if it is in fact the 640MB 384bit model is better than the 8800GT in FSX. The only card you can upgrade to in which the performance increase will be noticed is the 8800GTX 768MB ultra on higher clocks. Please review what Phil Taylor posted about video cards and FSX here:http://blogs.msdn.com/ptaylor/archive/2008...d-consumer.aspxThe only other alternative is the GTX280 and although the design of the hardware is in line with the application the card is new and the driver dev cycle is still in swing as with the x2 4780 ATi card. Both are good cards and are in fact better in other games than FSX however as the drivers mature for those cards they may take over as the kings for FSX use.Please do not consider the 3000 series ATi cards. They suffer from a defective design in lack on TMU

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Beware of benchmarks as anyone with experience knows the test and the person recording the test results determines how the list is stackedThe tests Tom uses are for frame rate values.. as I have shown in this forum, the frame rate does not determine true performance in FSXYou can have 24 smooth frames with a full screen of autogen, AI, overcast weather, etc.. or you can have 35 choppy frames with 1/2 the scenery.Those benchmarks should be taken with the correct frame of mindUnfortunately FSX is not a benchmark-able game based on frames. I do hope they come out with a proper "benchmark mode" for FS11 which will display values for ability and is designed to allow the frame counter to have more impact on judging performance.The 8800GTX Ultra is the best card for FSX as it will perform the best in all the scene scenarios the sim is able to deliver under the highest settings. The 280 may take that crown if driver dev gets it up to speed for the app.The GT is not a bad card as I have said before in this forum however its point on that list is very questionable and is based on the test they ran, not the real perf of the sim under different circumstances.

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