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Guest CyberNerd952

Time For A New System

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Hi all, Im currently in the market for a new system. Currently I run a P4 2.4Ghz, 1 Gb DDR Ram, PNY 6200 GPU. I have had the afforementioned system since P4s first came out, so its been with me for quite a while now. I did briefly have a PC world purchased pc, based around a q6600, over the summer, but I had endless problems with it so took it back and got my money back.I have invested a fair bit of money in addons for fs9, and although my current pc can run fs9, it's not that enjoyable and im constantly tweaking to get a few extra frames. I would like a system that could run fs9 at its full potential and perhaps fsx with decent enough settings for it to be flyable. I've decided to build my next rig myself and would like some advice on the components i've picked for this new system and potential replacements, improvements etc. I have a budget of

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Since you still have a P4 2.4, it sounds to me like you keep your computers a long time. Given this assumption, if it were me I would not get a Q6600. Instead I'd get an i7 quad and be done with it.If you keep the i7 quad core for the same length of time you have kept your P4 2.4ghz, then that will put you in the best standing for the next couple of years.On the other hand if you get a Q6600 now, great as that cpu is, it will be pretty dated in 3 years. Not that an i7 quad won't be dated either--it's just that it will be a little less dated than the Q6600 will be in 2012.i7 quad, 4gigs mem, 280GTX, Vista64 and associated motherboard, etc. and you'll be all right. With the Q6600 you'd be spending $$$ anyway, so you might as well get the most longevity for your $$$.

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AdamI have that case and HDD. i7 is the way to go, but it is costly. I just finished a 6 month upgrade to the system in my sig. If you can do it, a faster quad or an E8600 will do FS better, and last into the future.

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i7 quad, 4gigs mem, 280GTX, Vista64 and associated motherboard, etc. and you'll be all right. With the Q6600 you'd be spending $$$ anyway, so you might as well get the most longevity for your $$$.
I agree with that except you'll want the 6GB kit DDR3 stuff (3x2) like this:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820227365And I'd also recommend a good cooler so you can overclock it (get the i7 940 by the way) such as:http://www.frozencpu.com/products/8444/cpu...t_LGA_1366.html

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Hi all, thanks for the replies. I have looked at some i7 systems but I may have to wait an additional couple of months until I can afford one or not! I may go down the C2Quad route as in a couple of years i'll have the money for a new system again. At this present moment in time I think that an i7 build may be too new!, (if you know what i mean)? and a C2Quad will tide me over for at least 2-3 years until another generation of CPU's are out.Thanks again, Adam

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Hi all, thanks for the replies. I have looked at some i7 systems but I may have to wait an additional couple of months until I can afford one or not! I may go down the C2Quad route as in a couple of years i'll have the money for a new system again. At this present moment in time I think that an i7 build may be too new!, (if you know what i mean)? and a C2Quad will tide me over for at least 2-3 years until another generation of CPU's are out.
If an i7 is more than you wanted to spend, then the Q6600 is indeed a tempting choice for you:The i7 920 is $294 as of todayQ9450 is $300-$350 rangeQ6600 is $189Alternatively, you could go dual-core, which is in my opin a valid option for FS if you plan to re-build in 2 years time:E8500 is about $189E8600 is about $250-$280After the 2 year timeframe though, FS11 will be out and there is a better chance that you will want a quad at that point. That kind of coincides with Intels next major cpu release, if Intel sticks to their roadmap.

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Hi all, thanks again for the responses. I've had a while to think about my budget etc and unfortunately an i7 build is out of the question and to be honest i think that a q9550 is aswell. So now my choices are either a Q6600 or a E8500. Am willing to overclock if need be.I'll mainly be using fs9 as I have a fair few addons already and like to fly the heavies, although would like to use fsx aswell for some GA flying.But will either processor paired with either an 8800gts or 9800 gt be sufficient for smoothness with all details maxed and running the usual high quality addons in fs9.??Thanks againAdam

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A Q6600 system will do you just fine all the way through the Nehalem revolution. Clock for clock, it's looking like the i7 will provide ~ 15% clock for clock advantage over an i7. It's appearing even that advantage is tentative. There is No performance boost for that architecture's Quickpath or the onboard memory controller tech, yet. There's nothing special about this current generation that'll "date" a Core2 gen over the next several years. Using the i7's "overkill" capacity will take hardware that'll be along someday, but it will require a beefier CPU to put it to work. It's very likely you either: 1) won't be able to "Upgrade" into the i7's excess capacity Or 2) the upgrade will as expensive as a whole new rig. So, if one can run a Q6600 at 3.6Ghz (like we all do with the Thermalright ultra CPU cooler), a Q66 at 3.6 will give the identical performance as a stock clocked $1000 i7/965 (at 3.2). The Q66's price is actually going Up cuz folks are starting to figure this out. Better get it soon. Ram wise, at best, FSX can use ~ 3.5G of ram. 4Gs for an FSX system is plenty. 6 is a waste. An 88/9800GT is all the Vcard FS can use. More than that is good for Crysis, but won't help FS. Modern 7200RPM Harddrives provide all the data the sim can use. Faster drives only help the program load a bit faster, but even then, only the 1st time after a new boot. For FS gameplay, they're not helpful. Shop it out. A complete system can be got for wayyyy less than a grand. Way less.

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Q9650, not the Q6600. Not only will it clock higher but will run much cooler and save you in power bills. Q6600 is just about obsolete, especially with the Q9650 price drop. I promise you if you get a Q6600 these days you will regret it.Not only that, as a former Q6600 owner who transitioned to the Q9650 and then to the core i7...I can tell you the core i7 is worth every penny for FSX. Not just that but the properly accredited professionals who really understand computer HW and FSX will point you toward the core i7.-jk

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Modern 7200RPM Harddrives provide all the data the sim can use. Faster drives only help the program load a bit faster, but even then, only the 1st time after a new boot. For FS gameplay, they're not helpful.
Just to get the correct information to the OP:Quote from NickN: As for the storage system. The suggestion that a WD VelociRaptor is not better or will not provide anything over a 7200 RPM drive or that its major influence is in initial or 2nd flight load is a very basic and common user misunderstanding of storage system engineering and computers not to mention how FSX works in relation to file calls Even basic level computer techs can make the same mistake around storage systems especially if they do not understand the application for which that storage system will be applied. Although a large platter 7200 drive in the 500 to 1TB range would be the 2nd choice to a good FSX system a 10K VelociRaptor will in fact reduce latency to the system in file reads effectively providing a system more CPU overhead, something we all know is a critical area for FSX, and, also reduces/removes large scenery boundary load stutters as the aircraft crosses sectors in FSX especially with high scenery sliders in use. FSX will load large numbers of files in sets as the aircraft travels from area to area over a predefined boundary point in the scenery. The lower one is to the ground and the higher the airspeed when crossing such areas the more noticeable it can be if the storage system is slower. The combination of the two primary advantages in using a 10K VelociRaptor allows the title to place more priority on rendering the scene instead of waiting for storage system operations to complete.The VelociRaptor is worth every penny spent to FSX in game. Initial flight load is influenced by such a drive however it is not the drive which makes flight loads faster or slower.. it is a combination of the CPU (dual or Quad) the CPU speed, the memory and system speed, the video card memory and performance ability, the sliders you use and last the storage system. Addons such as UTX can also increase flight load times, not because of the storage system but because of how UTX adds night lighting and car traffic which must all be prepared in render by the CPU and video card (UTX night lighting enabled is #1) thus causing a stall in the load just as higher scenery sliders can influence the load time.In reality the better storage system has more function to providing a smoother result in-game than in the initial flight load. After FSX has been rebooted (not the system, just FSX) the user will notice a much faster loading time. The speed increase in 2nd load has little to do with the storage system and again this is a very basic and common user misunderstanding of storage system engineering and computers. The reason for increased speed in flight load time is because FSX engine and world files required for FSX to run are already loaded into physical memory and are simply being processed by the CPU/Memory and video card along with a very simple 'reload' of the textures/models/scenery for the direct area the flight being loaded. The storage system quality will have a small effect on this speed too however it has little to do with why the flight loads faster... the true advantages to the better storage system are purely in-gameEnd Quote.Not trying to start any wars, just want to get the right information out there. I hope Nick doesn't mind me quoting him. I think this is a good explanation of how the faster drive works for FSX.-jk

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Of course on the other hand . . . "10K VelociRaptor will in fact reduce latency to the system in file reads effectively providing a system more CPU overhead, something we all know is a critical area for FSX," The hard drive's use of CPU overhead is negligible. Every little bit doesn't help a bit unless it's noticeable to the human eye. Possibly some sort of scientific instrument could measure this, but this proposed result (if its even happening at all) is completely beyond human perception. Additionally, "latency" is the amount of time the HD spends looking for data. The HD Must find the data before the HD can transfer that data. If decreased latency (time spend looking for the data) does not increase transfer rate (the amount of data actually transferred), that decreased latency is not helping AnYthing. The 10K drive and the 7.2K drive have Very similar transfer rates. This "10k v 7200" debate is about the hobby of Computer Tweaking, not FS gameplay. The 10K won't help FS. However for the hobby of tweaking, it's perfectly reasonable. "(10K-ers will) also reduces/removes large scenery boundary load stutters as the aircraft crosses sectors in FSX especially with high scenery sliders in use." This is a solution in search or a problem. Been running a 7200 for ages and never had this problem. If a user is having problems loading scenery near or far, once a modern 7200 RPM drive is on board, try something else. It's not the HD.

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Of course on the other hand . . . "10K VelociRaptor will in fact reduce latency to the system in file reads effectively providing a system more CPU overhead, something we all know is a critical area for FSX," The hard drive's use of CPU overhead is negligible. Every little bit doesn't help a bit unless it's noticeable to the human eye. Possibly some sort of scientific instrument could measure this, but this proposed result (if its even happening at all) is completely beyond human perception. Additionally, "latency" is the amount of time the HD spends looking for data. The HD Must find the data before the HD can transfer that data. If decreased latency (time spend looking for the data) does not increase transfer rate (the amount of data actually transferred), that decreased latency is not helping AnYthing. The 10K drive and the 7.2K drive have Very similar transfer rates. This "10k v 7200" debate is about the hobby of Computer Tweaking, not FS gameplay. The 10K won't help FS. However for the hobby of tweaking, it's perfectly reasonable. "(10K-ers will) also reduces/removes large scenery boundary load stutters as the aircraft crosses sectors in FSX especially with high scenery sliders in use." This is a solution in search or a problem. Been running a 7200 for ages and never had this problem. If a user is having problems loading scenery near or far, once a modern 7200 RPM drive is on board, try something else. It's not the HD.
This is the opinion of the uninformed computer "tech" who has no real understanding of FSX. Sam, The information is here and elsewhere and it's from a credible source. You are just plain wrong. You don't really seem to get it at all. And I would even say that your advice sometimes even borders on recklessness. For you it's just "tweaking". For people who are really serious about building a satisfying sim experience it is the path towards their goals. OP, if you are upgrading off of a P4: Those who listen to this dribble and go buy 7200 rpm drives, Q6600's, DDR2 800, and a P35 chipset, when they could just as easily have purchased a core i7 system or even one based on DDR3 and the Q9650, will be ultimately dissapointed and end up spending even more money chasing performance. Do it right the first time and get the right parts and listen to THE RIGHT PEOPLE and you will have a sim you can live with and upgrade with lots of addons.-jk

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Q9650, not the Q6600. Not only will it clock higher but will run much cooler and save you in power bills. Q6600 is just about obsolete, especially with the Q9650 price drop. I promise you if you get a Q6600 these days you will regret it.Not only that, as a former Q6600 owner who transitioned to the Q9650 and then to the core i7...I can tell you the core i7 is worth every penny for FSX. Not just that but the properly accredited professionals who really understand computer HW and FSX will point you toward the core i7.-jk
Very interesting to hear what you say here, I'm currently using a Q6600 @ 3.4 GHz and a 8800GT and normally I would have stayed with this system until the next version of FS but now after the sad news about ACES I thought of maybe getting a new system already to be able to run FSX as good as possible when it comes to performance even though you're using high settings. I'm rather pleased with my current system but surely it could be better.I've been thinking about upgrading to a i7 920 (which I would of course try to o/c as well) and maybe also replace my 8800GT with a new gfx card like a GTX285/295. I know a 295 might be overkill for FSX since it won't make much use of dual GPUs but I'm thinking if I upgrade now it would be great to be able to stay with this new system even when/if we see a new FS version which if that happens hopefully will make use of multiple GPUs. However what makes me hesitate is if the performance boost in FSX will be worth the money compared to my current system.I started another thread about this earlier today and someone said I wouldn't see much difference which caught me with a bit of surprise since I've read lots of good stuff about i7 from a FSX perspective. But what you say here is that you've noticed a real difference switching to an i7 from first a Q6600 and then on to a Q9650?Thanks in advance for any input because I would really like to get a computer that will be able to run FSX SMOOTHLY using high settings and I'm willing to pay for it but of course I don't want to throw my money away for nothing...

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Cheers guys for all the input. Unfortunately money is a bit of an issue, being a student and all that, so a Q9550 or an i7 are out of the window, the Q9550 is

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Very interesting to hear what you say here, I'm currently using a Q6600 @ 3.4 GHz and a 8800GT and normally I would have stayed with this system until the next version of FS but now after the sad news about ACES I thought of maybe getting a new system already to be able to run FSX as good as possible when it comes to performance even though you're using high settings. I'm rather pleased with my current system but surely it could be better.I've been thinking about upgrading to a i7 920 (which I would of course try to o/c as well) and maybe also replace my 8800GT with a new gfx card like a GTX285/295. I know a 295 might be overkill for FSX since it won't make much use of dual GPUs but I'm thinking if I upgrade now it would be great to be able to stay with this new system even when/if we see a new FS version which if that happens hopefully will make use of multiple GPUs. However what makes me hesitate is if the performance boost in FSX will be worth the money compared to my current system.I started another thread about this earlier today and someone said I wouldn't see much difference which caught me with a bit of surprise since I've read lots of good stuff about i7 from a FSX perspective. But what you say here is that you've noticed a real difference switching to an i7 from first a Q6600 and then on to a Q9650?Thanks in advance for any input because I would really like to get a computer that will be able to run FSX SMOOTHLY using high settings and I'm willing to pay for it but of course I don't want to throw my money away for nothing...
All I can say is please read here and the other sim forums about FSX and i7, learn how to clock that i7 because you will need to, don't get the GTX295, get the GTX285 instead (but on a 24" + size monitor), and know that FSX will still not be 100% perfect with the i7, or any HW right now. This is all about tuning to get the best we can.But FSX with addons like UTX, GEX, FEX, aircraft, mesh, AI, etc. really shines and gets rid of that ugly mustard-colored default scenery and flat terrain. The more addons you put on it the more it drags down that Q6600/DDR2 system and the more the i7 will improve things. Since FSX is here to stay might as well make it look & perform it's best.-jk

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Cheers guys for all the input. Unfortunately money is a bit of an issue, being a student and all that, so a Q9550 or an i7 are out of the window, the Q9550 is

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All I can say is please read here and the other sim forums about FSX and i7, learn how to clock that i7 because you will need to, don't get the GTX295, get the GTX285 instead (but on a 24" + size monitor), and know that FSX will still not be 100% perfect with the i7, or any HW right now. This is all about tuning to get the best we can.But FSX with addons like UTX, GEX, FEX, aircraft, mesh, AI, etc. really shines and gets rid of that ugly mustard-colored default scenery and flat terrain. The more addons you put on it the more it drags down that Q6600/DDR2 system and the more the i7 will improve things. Since FSX is here to stay might as well make it look & perform it's best.-jk
I did read lots of stuff both here on AVSIM and elsewhere and mostly everyone running FSX on an i7 seem very happy with it's performance and what it does for FSX. Reason I went a bit doubtful was someone told me I would hardly see no difference at all compared to what HW I'm running today.Would be great to find some FSX benchmarks where both a setup similar to my present one and the one I'm thinking of upgrading to are compared to see some actual figures. Good to hear though what you saying about the difference will be bigger the more addons you're using, I have all of those you mention and some others as well.Will do some more reading in the forums before I decide if I should go for a new system or sit back with what I've already got.Another question on the HW setup, I've noticed many i7 users use 3 2GB memory sticks - is there a special reason for so many choosing 3 sticks instead of 2 or 4 sticks?Thanks for your input!

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SimJunkie, no harshness taken, I understand what your saying and believe me if I could Iwould get an i7 system. Thanks for your advice anyway.Adam

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Another question on the HW setup, I've noticed many i7 users use 3 2GB memory sticks - is there a special reason for so many choosing 3 sticks instead of 2 or 4 sticks?
The i7 and the MB's that it fits are designed for "triple channel" memory. While 2 or 4 sticks can be run on them, they perform best with 3 sticks, specifically designated for use with the i7.Most users with i7's are using a 64bit OS. For best results with a 64bit OS and FSX, 6gb is optimum. 3gb (3 x 1gb) is just not quite enough.Regards,...jim

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True nuff, the i7 is designed with a triple channel memory system that can use ram in increments of 3 sticks. Its propose is to provide additional data throughput, if the memory can use it. However current memory is not even fully using the data throughput that dual channel provides with our last generation. For instance (drawing an analogy to hard drive tech), SATA II provides a data highway (the SATAii buss) that can accommodate 375MB/sec. However modern SATAII drive's max out at ~ 120MB/s. The SATA's buss capacity of 375 does not help these drives a bit. Actually the old ATA 150 would still provide plenty of "bandwidth" . . . and so it is with this new triple channel ram tech. It's a solution that does not yet have a problem to solve. Installing 2 sticks in an i7 will run the board in dual channel. This dual channel mode will fully utilize the bandwidth capacity of any ram available. Intel's implicit declaration that we must buy 3 sticks O ram at a time is disingenuous. If a builder is on a budget, 2 sticks (2x2) will provide identical performance as a 3 stick install in FS.

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The i7 and the MB's that it fits are designed for "triple channel" memory. While 2 or 4 sticks can be run on them, they perform best with 3 sticks, specifically designated for use with the i7.Most users with i7's are using a 64bit OS. For best results with a 64bit OS and FSX, 6gb is optimum. 3gb (3 x 1gb) is just not quite enough.Regards,...jim
Agreed. I've seen my total system memory usage during flights in big cities go up past 3.5Gb. So 3Gb is just not enough.And might as well get the 6Gb kit because it's still very affordable.-jk

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OK, thanks for your input guys! If I decide to go for this upgrade I will get 2x3 GB RAM since I'm running Vista Ultimate 64bit so my computer will make use of it even though FSX itself won't ever be able to use more than 4 GB max as I've understood it but considering Vista itself use up a pretty large bit of the memory itself I guess 6 GB is a good investment to make sure FSX always gets what it wants and can use.My biggest question right now is if I should go for a 940 or a 920 and say almost half of the money, what are your experience between these two versions of the i7 - is the 940 worth the extra money beeing a lot easier to push up to about 4 GHz or is the 920 almost as easy?

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OK, thanks for your input guys! If I decide to go for this upgrade I will get 2x3 GB RAM since I'm running Vista Ultimate 64bit so my computer will make use of it even though FSX itself won't ever be able to use more than 4 GB max as I've understood it but considering Vista itself use up a pretty large bit of the memory itself I guess 6 GB is a good investment to make sure FSX always gets what it wants and can use.My biggest question right now is if I should go for a 940 or a 920 and say almost half of the money, what are your experience between these two versions of the i7 - is the 940 worth the extra money beeing a lot easier to push up to about 4 GHz or is the 920 almost as easy?
The 940 is said to clock easier than the 920 but I have the 965 so I can't comment on the 920 or 940. I've seen lots of 920s @ 4GHz on xtremesystems.org forums and others too. However with the 940 you might have more memory multipliers (could be wrong about that). There apparently is a "luck-of-the-draw" situation with the integrated memory controller (IMC) on ALL core i7s. Some have IMC's that allow higher Bclocks than others. Here is the article:http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/intel...doc.aspx?i=3502So reaching 4GHz is not a sure thing with the 920 or 940. But like I said there are a lot of cpus running that fast.-jk

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