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Useful Upgrade Info for ya!!!

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This information is to help those who are thinking about upgrading their CPU in the near future. My new Athlon 2800+ processor just came in the mail at $409.00. I even came home from work early to install it because I could not get it off my mind. You talk about Flight Sim addicted!!! I find myself continually thinking about new upgrades to make in hopes of getting that ever increasing framerate boost. Well, like others before me, I'm here to tell you that frames don't come cheap. Also, I think we need to create a support group for people like us who continually obsess about hardware upgrades and how the upgrades we make are never quite enough, and thus we continually need just extra mhz or can't keep the newest videocard specs off their minds. The heck with drugs (I don't do them) and the heck with alcohol. I rarely drink anyway... I just don't have time to mess with that stuff anyway. I'm too busy flightsimming... Anyway, on to the good stuff!My general system specs:CPU Athlon 2100+ (1733 mhz 266bus) vs. Athlon 2800+ (2225 mhz 333bus)512 PC 2700 (333mhz) SDRAMASUS A7V8X (top rated KT-400 board)GeForce4 4200 128Mb (41.09 drivers)WD 80Gb HD (8mb cache)TL 8Mip MappingAnti-aliasing offMultitexturingBi-Linear FilteringAll airport and aircraft sceneray maxdefault weather which includes clear and unlimited visability FRAMERATES:Meigs default C-172 cockpit view = 23-25 vs. 29-30 Meigs default PIC w/POSKY cockpit view 767-300 = 14-2 to 15.2 vs. 17.8 to 19.1Simflyers LAX World Airports 7L PIC w/POSKY 767-300 6.6 to 7.8 vs. 8.3 to 10.2Man, that was a let down!!!! But, I will take every frame I can get.My next upgrade the new ATI R350 card (I believe its called the RV350, the ones that's supposed to take the place of the ATI9700 when released in April).HOPE THIS INFO WAS HELPFUL!!! (and let me know if I left something out)SIM ON!!!!!ROBB

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So where can I sign up for this "support group"? :-lol Well, maybe it isn't that much of a laughing matter, because when I look at the upgrades I've made over the last 3 years, I really have spent too much money on this computer hardware hobby as well. otoh, I do recoup a lot of the money I spend, because my policy is that 1 month after I install a replacement component, I sell the old one that it replaced on eBay. I usually end up getting good prices for them because the old hardware is always very well looked after, cosmetically mint and never overclocked.And the thing is, it has always been the purchase of a Microsoft Flight Sim that has prompted all my upgrades. When I bought my first flight sims (CFS1 and FS98), I couldn't afford to upgrade at the time, but my machine really couldn't handle them particularly well. Then I upgraded when FS2000 came out (not that it helped). Then I upgraded again when CFS2 came out (that helped a lot). And again after FS2002 came out. And again, a major re-build 4 months ago, just because I wanted to run high res terrain mesh and enjoy the visual benefits of a faster graphics card. And through all these upgrades, all my other sims / games always ran quite well on my existing hardware, without a need for upgrading.Perhaps where I am different to you is that I don't buy the fastest stuff available. Instead I buy the second or third fastest stuff available, so I save some money there as well. That said, I am trying very hard not to replace anything for quite a while, as believe it or not I am now actually happy with all aspects of my machine's performance, even though much faster hardware has come out over the last 4 months.All I can hope is that FS9 runs just as well on my machine as does FS2002 now (excluding the more sophisticated weather which I am guessing will require more grunt than the FS2002 weather engine). If FS9 turns out not to run too well, I'll either shelve it until I upgrade again, or turn the sliders down a bit. One option I will NOT pursue is to buy any new hardware this time around. I just have to call it quits at some stage, and that stage is now!!!!

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Robb,Thanks for that, I have nearly an identical setup, using a Radeon 9700 Pro and am ready to get a new CPU as well. What resolution did you test in?Was AI enabled?Mine:Athlon XP 2100Asus A7V8X512MB DDR 3200ATI Radeon 9700 Pro40GB WD w/8MB CacheWinXPMeigs at 1152x864x32, 4X AA, 16X AF, and NO AI:C172 cockpit: 35FPS767 PIC: 20-21FPScheers,Greg G

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I hear ya buddy! I started this upgrading thing back with FS5.1 when I had a Pentium 75Mhz and I plopped down a couple of hundred bucks for the Intel Overdrive processor (125Mhz). Just after I did that and my machine seemed to run fine with FS5.1, they released FS95 and my obsession (or $ spending) has not stopped since. You seem more sensible though. I, like you, absolutely will not take on FS2004 if it requires substantially more power to run. I mean, FS2002 really needs about 4 to 5Ghz to run smoothly!!

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>I hear ya buddy! I started this upgrading thing back with >FS5.1 when I had a Pentium 75Mhz and I plopped down a couple >of hundred bucks for the Intel Overdrive processor (125Mhz). > Just after I did that and my machine seemed to run fine >with FS5.1, they released FS95 and my obsession (or $ >spending) has not stopped since. You seem more sensible >though. I, like you, absolutely will not take on FS2004 if >it requires substantially more power to run. I mean, FS2002 >really needs about 4 to 5Ghz to run smoothly!! I agree it needs that much power (maybe even more) if you want to get absolutely everything from the sim that it is capable of delivering, but at least on my humble Athlon XP 2400 + I can still get lots of enjoyment on account of FS2002's scalability. So long as FS9 is just as scalable as FS2002 (and CFS2 before that), we should be OK for a while yet. I've usually been more than happy to drop a slider here and there in lieu of upgrading hardware. It's just that often each new MSFS release is such a quantum leap over it's predecessor, that upgrading is almost mandatory if you are to get the same level of satisfaction and utility from the new product as you did the old.And the thing with FS9 is that I can't remember ever being so tempted by pre-release screenshots. I don't think even the early FS2002 screenshots impressed me as much as the FS9 shots I have seen. Let's face it, those shots showing the 2D cockpits and weather are nothing short of stunning. So I really hope I can enjoy the new sim on my current hardware as much as I enjoy FS2002 now.

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in that case; MEIGS C172 25-26FPS, NO AA, AI enabled at 75%767 PIC 16-17FPSAnyway, yeah I've been battling that addiction for years now. Finally gave up and just let myself indulge until I burn out...heh...who knows how long that will take. :-) :-beerchugThanks again! Greg GAlmost forgot, was that a Barton core CPU with 512KB L2 cache?

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LOL! I am not using the Barton core. The Barton core has a lot less mhz but an increase in L2 cache as you mentioned. Mhz is for FS frames via floating point operations and cache is generally for integer operations (word processors). I mean, who cares whether or not your word processor opens .2 seconds faster with everything being equal with more L2 cache?Robb

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Because you don't mind easing up on the sliders a bit, you will probably save a lot of money over the years. I tend to want to be able to max out most options and use real world weather. Supposedly, with FS9, they are going to make an extra effort to optimize performance in terms of framerates. I read that either on this site or at Flightsim.com. They said something to the effect that they will spend more time doing the performance optimization than they have ever done before. Let's cross our fingers. If we can get about the same performance out of FS9 as we have with FS2002 using the same hardware, we should be in great shape!!! My pocketbook will be happier too. Either way, those FS9 shots are enticing though!!!Robb

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Right, I knew that, I just lost a brain circuit or something...MHZ rules FS. FS rules me.GG

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>And the thing with FS9 is that I can't remember ever being >so tempted by pre-release screenshots. I don't think even >the early FS2002 screenshots impressed me as much as the FS9 >shots I have seen. Let's face it, those shots showing the 2D >cockpits and weather are nothing short of stunning. Agree on all counts except those 2D cockpits. In my opinion they lack the 3D aspect (a good compare would be a very recent P-51 cockpit for FLY!) - they look too much like flat photographs. But I agree about the clouds - very good looking stuff indeed.Michael J.

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It sure would be nice to have dual processor support. I don't expect it will ever happen though. It's surely not worth the trouble since few of their customers will take advantage of it. No return on investment. (Face it, even if you'd buy a dual CPU machine, you'll be lining up for FS9 regardless.)

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would a dual cpu machine be useful when running the secondary programs like wxre etc. ?Floyd

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