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barryward12345

a new consideration for us simmers

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I am prompted to bring this up after a poster placed a post saying that he had a free copy of FSx - but only an older P4 2400 to run it on.Without getting into yet another discussion about comparisons between FS9 & FSx, I believe there is a larger consideration in all this. I remember years ago - when we ran 486's and then Pentium 2's and 3's -- it was pretty well automatic that we all eventually upgraded because these old machine were slow in everything that they did and when the opportunity came along to economically upgrade our hardware, we did so. I remember upgrading for a P2 233 to a P3 1000 - primarily because I wanted to play a new version of "Age of Empires" and the P2 233 just couldn't cut it. But I didn't mind spending the $2000 neccesary for this upgrade because fundamentally , the new P3 1000 did EVERYTHING that I used it for FASTER.But today, my AMDxp 2400 ( even though it is quite an old machine now) basically does everything I need - Office stuff, Internet, etc and of course FS9. Actually it would be nice to have a bit more power even for FS 9- for example an AMD 3800 would be vey nice. BUT - this is going to cost me a fair bit of money . For the first time ever I don't really need to upgrade for ANY OTHER PURPOSE except for FS9 or FSx. Obviously if/when my machine dies , I will upgrade - but while it is still alive, there really is no compelling reason to ditch it. I think that we are now possibly reaching a stage where the assumption that everybody will continue on the upgrade path with hardware is no longer valid. Any game publisher who automatically assumes that everybody will race out and upgrade their machines at a cost of $2000 just so the new game can be played is in for a bit of a shock . Those days are over-- UNLESS a new generation of game that really takes advantage of the real hardware advances (like multi core) emerges. If that happened then I may quite possibly open my wallet. Barry

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Ditto. Same here!For now I'm quite happy to keep my P4 3.4 GHz matched to an ATI X800XT and 3 gigs RAM.As you say, everything else is lightening fast...including FS9 to the max with three or four satellite programs running in the background.With FSX out of the box....dismal.One program will not trash the entire present computer anymore. I think that others are thinking along those lines as well.I agree totally with your statement, that we have reached an apex. Before my Dell XPS, I basically upgraded with each major Pentium release. Each new release of FS put the impetus to high. FSX bringing current and latest-greatest hardware to its knees was the hand-slap onto the forehead for myself. I'm going to sit in the bush and see what happens when the XP and DX10 patch come into play.Mitch R.

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Yeah, me too...I quit the upgrade game a couple of years ago with my latest computer, a Dell Dimension 4600, P4, 3.0GHz and FS2002. All other programs and internet surfing run fine and FS2k2 flows smoothly and looks 'as real as it needs to be' for me. I did buy FS9, but it didn't run very well, so it's on the shelf. Although it was a waste of money for me, it wasn't like buying a new computer.Cheers,Bob

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Geez Bob,...FS9 should run great on a P4 3.0!!!!Your computer is no slag heap!What kind of FPS did you get with FS9 with sliders at mid-point?What is your graphics card?I only have 400 Mhz greater than you and I get 30 plus FPS with everything bent to the right and three other programs tying into FS9 via 3.72 FSUIPC.I have:Dell XPS Gen2Pent 4 3.4 GHzATIx800XT 256 meg G.C.3 Megs PC2-4200 MemorySound Blaster Audigy II sound cardXP ProMitch

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I think this is a very sound observation. We are getting to the point now where upgrades geared towards improving game performance have little impact on performance overall for a basic home or business user. How much faster will an instantly opening spreadsheet open? HOWEVER there is still room to see improvement for those multi-media enthusiests. Crunching down a video format conversion or manipulating large photo files still has some room for improvement and will continue to as multimedia equipment improves in quality and price. Just look at digital cameras these days. But as the average user is concerned, I would agree with Barry.

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Consumers would be wise to take some time deciding the main usage of the computer.If gaming is the main activity, then you should buy a gamer's machine.(If you can afford it!) Microsoft may learn a lesson from FSX. Not all of us are willing to sacrifice family harmony for the sake of keeping up with the latest and greatest. As far as that goes, I'm not sure that many people feel that FSX is the greatest. I've been a simmer since the very first version. I am quite content with FS9. I realized long ago that you simply cannot expect a $50 piece of software to be like climbing into the cockpit. If you are realistic in your expectations, the nerves start to settle and the fun begins. That's my $.02.

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But...you guys should see FS9 run on a 2GB overclocked Dual Core Extreme running at 3.8 GHz. FSX may not be worth the upgrade, but FS9 on a fast new machine is, for me at least, a like-new experience, with lots of the stuff I had to dial down on my 3.06GHz P4 now up and running.This "$50 piece of software" (plus a couple $$hundred for FSUIPC, ActiveSky, GE Pro II, airport and aircraft add-on of choice) is much more like climbing into the cockpit in many ways than the full-motion sims I taught instrument flying in just 25 short years ago.CheersBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-VSantiago de Chile

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Great points made Barry and very true. Very little reason to upgrade at this point. I personally won't upgrade until the machines are out that can run FSX the way Mitch (Sesquashtoo) above can run FS9 now...

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Yes mate you are correct. Today's hardware runs everything perfect EXCEPT FS10. This is not normal. Now i just pity all the people who drop 3-5000$ on a new system to run FS10 in stock form. When the complex 3rd party software kicks in in about a year, they will be back down to 4fps. Which is why i am not doing anything until i see the major products released and i'll go from there... right now i'll enjoy fear, crysis, nfs and whatever else on my FS10 incompatible rig. along with fs9...

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Video games push the hardware envelope. This is nothing new. At my work, we plan to upgrade/replace PCs on a 3 year cycle. There is no need for more upgrades than that. For PC gamers, you are looking at a 2 year and maybe even 18 month cycle. For me, it isn't even the money issue but the time put into research and actually putting the thing together and configuring it. I used to be big on it, but lately the whole thought of it makes me exhausted. I know I'm not alone. It also seems like the amount of pushing from game developers increases each year. My point is, what happens when game developers push too hard? Simple, we sit back and get off the roller coaster. Many of us are sticking with fs9 for now and are more than happy. So many people are concerned about this and even angry about it. However things will work themselves out. Relax, have fun with the sim of your choice!

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This thread has hit the nail on the head! Back in the days of FS98 and FS2000 I was using a P3 450Mhz, with 128Mb of RAM and a pathetic 8Mb ATI "Rage Pro Turbo" (8Mb of RAGING TURBO :-lol). FS98 was "ok", but the upgrade to FS2000 was terrible! MS Office ran very slowly at times, along with most of my other applications. An upgrade was essential back then!I have a three-year-old P4 3.05Ghz PC with 1Gb RAm and a 256Mb ATI 9600. Everything runs brilliantly on this PC, apart from FSX :-lol. I can't justify purchasing a new PC when 99% of software runs well on it.

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I've ordered an ATI X1950pro to replace my trusty X700pro, plus a new psu and a few fans to ensure adequate power/cooling. That's about my limit having decided to stick with fs9. My machine is kept clean and lean and is as fast or faster than the day I bought it, so I'll not be looking at new hardware for at least 2yrs. If that means I'll be watching from the outside as FSX comes into it's own, so be it. I've bypassed versions before and bought good airplanes years late - no big. And who knows, maybe between ACES and the community FSX will in fact be tamed.regards,Markhttp://www.dreamfleet2000.com/a320/custbanner2.jpg

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Always upgraded every two years. This last time, it was five years.Last machine would run FS2002 & FS9 with a few sliders pulled back.Upgraded to a high mid line this time. Runs FSX rather well, looks fantastic, and as before, some sliders are again pulled back. This machine will also run FS9 with sliders on the high end, which helps the third party scenery and aircraft vendors, as I seem to be buying additional FS9 addon's along with some for FSX. Running X-Plane 8.5 with global scenery too, and the machine does very well.Athlon 64 3800+/2Gig/Geforce 7600GS 256MB/ 1600*1200*32 res.L.Adamson

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One could argue that this idea of not being able to justify upgrading for any reason other than to run games is the reason that so many have moved to consoles. They are a compelling value proposition to consumers that already have a TV, as most do ($700 vs $3000). Something of the same trend can be seen in consoles as in PCs, with more memory, faster drives and HD resolutions required for the best results. Obviously the games industry will always be pushing the premium end of the market, no matter what the platform might be.For PCs to survive as a gaming platform, there really has to be a compelling advantage over consoles. This is probably the motivation of DX10. The pressure is certainly on MS to deliver.Cheers,Noel.

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Part of the problem is that upgrading is just as much a game as any of the software we buy. The developers know this, so they'll keep pushing the graphical limits because they know that sex sells, and who amongst us doesn't get a little aroused at the thought of a 4Ghz dual core under the hood with twin 8800s. ;) Shwing!For now, my AMD64-3000/2G RAM/7800 chugs along well with FS9 even with all kinds of add-ons, and that's good enough for me. For now.

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Hi Barry,A very well put argument. I'm in the same boat. Primary PC is a P4 3.0 that is great for FS9 but would be total overkill if relegated to a second PC. Even the PC I'm typing this on is good enough for Office, Internet and general PC stuff and it's 5 years old!DX10 is going to have to be something really special (and I'm talking indistinguishable from the real world) to make me spend 1500UKP for a top-flight PC.The scale of improvement in versions of FS is now starting to level out and FSX could well be the last standalone release. And yet the hardware requirements to run it effectively seem to grow disproportionately to the visual improvements.Nothing lasts for ever. When we compare images of FS5.1 to FS9 they look pathetic. I doubt the graphics can be taken much further with future versions of FS. At least if that happens the hardware will eventually catch up and we can all enjoy fluid performance.Cheers,

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I'm running X-Plane 8.5 with no scenery stutters on my P4 3.4I have the world package. The scenery is truly awesome in 8.5Out of the FSX loop isn't making me lose sleep. :)FS9.1XPlane 8.5The whole earth...the sky above...and TOO LITTLE time!Years of enjoyment left....The crocodile can wipe its eyes, lol!Mitch

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Hello Mark,Please let me know how you like your new card when you get it.Since I am not going DX10 (Vista), I am considering buying an ATIX1950XTX 512 card.I will be very interested to see your comments on your new card posted.Thanks!Mitch R.

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What a wonderfully insightful post and from an angle that all of us have overlooked. I totally agree.Every year about this time I spend about $5,000 or so on the newest fastest PC and toss the "old" one up to my son. This is the first year that I did not, instead:I surprised my old lady with a trip to Florence, Italy (she thought we were going to Florida). We flew Business Class to London, stayed for a day and then flew to Florence and stayed at the 5 star Le Meridian, went on a shopping spree at Prada and Gucci, wine tasting at a Tuscan castle, dinners by the Arno river. All for the price of a new rig. So, right now, I'm at FL 370 in my LDS 767, all sliders right, frame rates screaming, ASV providing a bumpy ride over the North Atlantic, anticipating my approach in a few hours into Aerosoft's magnificant Frankfurt Airport, fully customized AI traffic models providing airport ambience and RC4 guiding my flight over Gander Center. The funny thing is that MSFS just being a niche product reflects Microsoft as a whole especially when compared to the whole XP vs Vista debate. Vista, why upgrade??? FSX, why upgrade????I think to myself, what would have made FSX a must have that I would have bought a new rig to run it. Hyperrealistic ATC? New realistic global textures? Totally revamped AI logic? More realistic airports? More realistic visual models and noticably better flight models? Yep...for that I would have figured out a way to get FSX to work...as it stands now, FSX has none of that. Besides, every single worthwhile addon available for FSX is available for FS9!Similary with Vista...why don't the majority of Windows users give a rat's @ss about Vista? Is it worth upgrading your PC just to get a pretty new interface but sacrifice privacy, usability and speed? Nope. I will say that Vista and FSX are hand-in-hand two of the biggest mistakes that Microsoft has made in a very long time.Interestingly enough, Microsoft would have done well to force addon developers to abandon FS9 in favor of FSX. Just like MS is enticing all developers to release DX10 only titles in hopes picking up the abysmal Vista sales figures (titles like FarCry DX10 will sell quite a few Vista titles). Only when titles stop appearing for FSX will there be a mass exodus to FSX and only when must have XP compatible titles stop appearing will Vista be fully embraced.To make matters worse, the majority refusal to swallow Vista and bloated games like FSX hurts hardware sales because as the OP poster said, many are very happy with what they have now and simply won't buy them, use them, or recommend them to others.Alas, it seems that Vista and FSX share the same fate and Microsoft will have to work hard to dig this one out of the sand.

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>Those days are over...AMD, Intel, nVidia and the other heavy hitters in the consumer electronics and electronic entertainment industries respectfully disagree.

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> More realistic visual models and>noticably better flight models? Yep...for that I would have>figured out a way to get FSX to work...as it stands now, FSX>has none of that. It's just opinion again. Seems I found both, within FSX. :D Oh, tomorrow I'll post some new screenshot's of my new "exterior only" Captain Sim 727 in FSX. Just beautiful! :-hah It's great that I know how to fly R/C exterior mode! :)L.Adamson

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