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Dougal

Intel CPU Question

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I'm looking to upgrade my CPU, but not the mainboard just yet.I find the vast array of 775 Intel chips mind boggling. According to the Asus website, my board (P5K-E Wi-Fi) will support the 45's with a BIOS update.What is the best cpu for FSX i could use in my board, considering i almost allways overclock?I'm also upping the RAM to 4Gb (2x2Gb) of PC10000mhz 4-4-4-18 (instead of 4x1Gb of PC800)Thanks

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The P5K will handle any 775 CPU, if updated to the latest bios. However other than a generic quadcore, there's really no where to go. The Q66 will get you to 3.6Ghz, and the QX series will goto 4.0Ghz, but that's it. From your current dual, the Q66 will help a bit, but $200 bucks for just a little bit is Not just a little bit. The QXs are more than that, for $/$ improvement. Going from 2 to 4Gs of ram will help, if you are running FSX with a 64bit op system. However running ram faster to help FS performance is a myth. Profligate assertions have described marginal benefits for scenery addons that are running in this already difficult FS software environment. Faster ram won't help addon scenery or its FS platform performance, but its assertion might skew subjective assessments to the benefit of an addon scenery mfg's contribution margin. DDR2@800Mhz provides all the performance FS can use.

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I'm pretty happy with my set up. But then I don't use any addons. I came from an E6750/667 ram. With the quad I have used an 8800gt and the gtx 260. The 260 is better.Bob

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Going from 2 to 4Gs of ram will help, if you are running FSX with a 64bit op system.
Thanks for the feedback so far.....I do already have 4Gb RAM (and the XP switch), but it's in the form of 4x1Gb. From what I understand, switching over to 2x2Gb can give some improvement when combined with other improvements?I'm now wondering though whether to bother.... My E6850 is already running at 3.6Ghz, so is an overclocked quad going to make much difference?With better cooling, I wonder if I can get the 6850 close to 4Ghz. It's already at 400 on the FSB though :( Oh decisions, decisions :(

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With your current rig, 2x2 will provide no improvement over 1x4, at all. A quad at 3.6 will provide a bit of scenery loading improvement over a dual at 3.6, but No FPS improvement. That Dualie is about maxed out here. With your current rig, there's just no where to go. To provide an even noticeable improvement will require an i7 quad at 4.0Ghz. That'll get ~ 30% FPS improvement plus better scenery loading. That'll be $2-3K, please. If a user is willing to spend $2K+ for ~ 30%, that is available now. However, consider the i7 is simply a stopgap solution until massively multi core CPUs start rolling out. Still though, it will take a new FS to use them. As we know, that's been pushed out indefinitely. In the mean time, the i7's utterly marginal (and ridiculously expensive) improvement is the only game in town from any core2 at 3.6Ghz. Intel not only designs these technology, but also their marketing sequences. Clearly, folks will by it and we Need Intel to live long and prosper. However a more prescient upgrade strategy might be to simply let those early adopters pay for it.

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With your current rig, 2x2 will provide no improvement over 1x4, at all. A quad at 3.6 will provide a bit of scenery loading improvement over a dual at 3.6, but No FPS improvement. That Dualie is about maxed out here. With your current rig, there's just no where to go. To provide an even noticeable improvement will require an i7 quad at 4.0Ghz. That'll get ~ 30% FPS improvement plus better scenery loading. That'll be $2-3K, please. If a user is willing to spend $2K+ for ~ 30%, that is available now. However, consider the i7 is simply a stopgap solution until massively multi core CPUs start rolling out. Still though, it will take a new FS to use them. As we know, that's been pushed out indefinitely. In the mean time, the i7's utterly marginal (and ridiculously expensive) improvement is the only game in town from any core2 at 3.6Ghz. Intel not only designs these technology, but also their marketing sequences. Clearly, folks will by it and we Need Intel to live long and prosper. However a more prescient upgrade strategy might be to simply let those early adopters pay for it.
I am not quite sure where you came up with the dollar amount on an i7 build..unless you are planing on an 940/965....and with a 940 you can come in at under 2 grand. I did a build in December with an i7 920 for 1200 bucks. It is clocked to 3.5Ghz and stable with 6 gig of DDR3 1600 Ram. I did not exactly skimp on parts either...Asus P6T Deluxe...Corasir Dominator mem.....I should have bought the True 120 CPU cooler and maybe I could safely stay at 4 Ghz...many have reported they have...and I have been there but the 920 gets too hot for me with the cooler I have. Point being the difference in the cooler I have and a True 120 is minimal....so would still be at 1200 dollars. I was on an old Dell P4 3 Ghz and was not able to do anything to it so I went with the new socket 1366 for future use. Now I do know you can get to 4ghz easily with the 940. That would add 300 dollars to the 1200. Had I owned an 775 that I could have put a new CPU in I would have gone that route. I am not going to get into the discussion about faster ram except to say from experience ram speed matched to the CPU speed will give you a performance gain. The ram speed has been discussed to death and far brighter minds than mine have decided it does matter....all I can say is that running my 920 at 4Ghz allows me to use the ram I have at the 1600 speed it is rated at and FSX screams...even though for only a short time as I do not want to fry this CPU. I had thought of building an Q6600 rig but was still going to have to buy all new...just could not see putting money into something and being left behind again so quickly. I have since followed the price of the Quads and they have not come down that much in price...5 or 10 bucks...and I don't think they will. I think as each month passes the current stock will get used up and then one will probably have to go to an i7...I don't know when that will happen or how soon but I don't think we are going to see any Q6600's at 50 bucks and a good M/B for it at 85 dollars. I will be the first to admit that had the announcement about MSFS came before I built this rig I would not have done it. I only use a PC for the NET and simming....and I don't see any new sims coming out that would interest me....although FTX has renewed my interest in using FSX. So it is subjective as to what an upgrade of CPU will do for you Dougal....but imho you could spend a couple of hundred and get some reasonable increase in performance and texture loads with FSX per your cost. Regards

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Oh dear! I don't know what to think now...... Maybe I should just go with a good cpu cooler and overclock a little further.

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Actually it is not true to suggest that 2x2 gig RAM will provide no advantage over 4x1 gig. It it will. This is because, with two RAM chips rather than four, the RAM can actually be placed physically nearer to where the data has to go, in order to be used (i.e. in a slot nearer to the main CPU). It might seem hard to believe, but the physical placement has a bearing on how fast your computer will work - the data has less distance to travel and will therefore be quicker. Taken to extremes, this is one of the reasons why computer components have historically got smaller and smaller, and one of the reasons why cooling them gets harder and harder. Consequently, why there has been a shift to multiple core CPUs, which have primarily started showing up to get around the limitations of miniaturisation and cooling.Since the data travels very quickly (i.e theoretically at the speed of light), the distances might not seem important, but when you consider that we are talking about millions of calculations, the distance those calculations have to travel does have a measurable impact on computing speed the shorter it is. Perhaps more importantly, it also means the RAM and surrounding circuitry stays cooler because less electrons will be whizzing along wires, which is better for component longevity and data integrity.Al

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4.0Ghz with an i7 will be required to achieve any noticeable result . . . and the inexpensive i7/920s are not going there. TheX58's Bcore ('FSB') just won't get there for 24/7 ops. Again, the ram speed issue is belief-based. Folks have been convinced they see "something." Consider that placebos have a proven record invoking positive responses, especially if that health-seeker spent thousands on the "cure."Consider that electricity travels at the ~ speed of light. If doesn't go faster, or slower under any circumstance that we mere humans have yet discovered. At the speed of light, the time difference of 1" decrease of distance traveled (or a thousand miles) is beyond my calculator's decimal readout capability! Therefore the concept of distance based speed-increase improvement is not correct. In computereze, "Speed" suggests either 'wait-time' or the Amount of data moved. 3.6 is about it for that dual and a new cooler won't help. A boost to 3.8 will be completely unnoticeable. Spend the big bucks, or just wait. Intel really does have this wired. That's why a quad/Q66 was the move to make back then when all these Core2 systems were bring built. Unlike the econ crisis, this was predictable. Intel has this wired.What's your Vcard? An 8800GT will help from anything less.

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What's your Vcard? An 8800GT will help from anything less.
My Video card is in the sig.....

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E8400 is an over kill clocker for core2duo.It easily reaches 4ghz on air.

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E8400 is an over kill clocker for core2duo.It easily reaches 4ghz on air.
And, with recent drops in prices again for the 775 line there's some nice processors. The 9550 and 9650 especially the 9650 are very nicely priced if you want to spend the money for a quad. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16819115041and http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16819115130Unless money's an issue I wouldn't bother with the 6600 seeing it's getting phased out soon.

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And, with recent drops in prices again for the 775 line there's some nice processors. The 9550 and 9650 especially the 9650 are very nicely priced if you want to spend the money for a quad. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16819115041and http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16819115130Unless money's an issue I wouldn't bother with the 6600 seeing it's getting phased out soon.
Personally I use to thought the 775 quad's are over kill for FSX on ultra high, but I was wrong.I had to re change all my parts into 1366 or intel i7 core. Which is outstanding on high!

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I personally just went for the Q9550 to upgrade my existing C2D E6400. I debated back and forth between the Q9550 and the Q6700, but when all was said and done, I figured the additional cache on the Q9550 would be more helpful than not, so that's the route I decided to go. Of course, I'm not expecting to see much, if any change in terms of framerate, but I am anticipating sharper scenery and texture loading (which are my biggest complaints with the current settings I run.) The i7 looks great, but the total upgrade would've been well out of my budget, so I did the best I could afford to do at this point.Good luck in your decision!-George

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I personally just went for the Q9550 to upgrade my existing C2D E6400. I debated back and forth between the Q9550 and the Q6700, but when all was said and done, I figured the additional cache on the Q9550 would be more helpful than not, so that's the route I decided to go. Of course, I'm not expecting to see much, if any change in terms of framerate, but I am anticipating sharper scenery and texture loading (which are my biggest complaints with the current settings I run.) The i7 looks great, but the total upgrade would've been well out of my budget, so I did the best I could afford to do at this point.Good luck in your decision!-George
Many thsnks for your input George. Every little helps.

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