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bbornn

Looking for a commercially available FX system

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I have a somewhat creaky 5 year old MPC Millennia 920i desktop. It has a 3.0GHz Pentium 4 with hyper-threading and a 512K cache, 4GB of dual channel DDR400 SDRAM, a 500GB hard drive, and a 128MB DDR NVIDIA GeForceFX 5200 Ultra 8xAGP video card.I

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Check with some people that use the Q6600 in over-clocked state. It seems to do very well.

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Thanks...but I want to walk into a store like Best Buy, or go on the internet to (for example) Dell, for an off-the-shelf system. There's some flexibility in components: I might be able to upgrade the video card, add more memory, and get a bigger hard drive. But what do I look for?Better than 3.5GHz processor? How much memory...as much as possible? What kind of memory? Dual core? Quad core? Both McCrash and ryanbatcund suggested overclocking, but I have no idea how to do that! Sorry: I was technical years ago, but have been a mere user for many years now and things have changed.Vista? No way! I've tried it, didn't like it. 64-bit XP? I believe I'm running 32-bit XP now; what are the implications of running my other programs with XP 64?Sorry to be so ignorant...but I am ignorant, and don't have time to learn all I'd have to learn.I appreciate your help.Barney

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BarneyThe guys have been giving you suggestions of what to look for. You want a high end quad(doesn't have to be i7)or a high end dual. And at least a 9800gtx(OK maybe a 9800gt) card. And you will still need to OC to run FSX well. Unless you want to turn things down. And that's OK , too. Just depends on what you want to put up with. Chances are any off the shelf system may not OC. You may not play any other games that require a loy of resources, but the one you picked is a killer.And Vista? Sorry , but W7 is going to be more like Vista than XP. People are having great luck with Vista 64.Bob

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BUILD YOUR OWN PC NO MATTER WHAT.Pssh retailers rip you off,they give you junk components.What I recommend is the new i7 technology cpu. It out preforms the Quad core 775 instant. Smoother and higher settings with better frame. Even the i7 920 @ default speed can perform FSX smoothly at least over med settings. It easy to clock to 3.6ghz on air

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what the above guy said is right - I can't think of any off the shelve systems that are overclocked. This is what you want. Shooting for 4.0GHz + is key. Quad or Dual core, etc (duals are easier to get to 4.0) Most stock CPU's run 3.0 to 3.3 Ghz. The faster the better with FSXSome online e-tailers may have an OCed system - I believe Dell does this with their high end systems. Jetline systems may also OC.

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Thanks, Gents.Lessee...OC means overclock, right? How do I do that?OK...an Nvidia 9800GTX or GT. A high end Quad or Dual processor that will run at 3.5 GHz or better.How about memory? 4GB in DDR2s at 800MHz?Yeah, I've heard that Windows 7 is a lot like Vista: what troubles me about Vista is the lack of speed, the lack of stability, and the changes for the sake of change. I've heard that W7 will correct at least some of those problems. But until it comes out....XP for me.I take your point, C09G, but building my own just isn't practical. I suppose I could have one built, but I may be moving, and support could be a problem.Thanks, guys...I now have some specs. Lets see what I can find....Barney

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If you are moving, I guess I would wait till everything is settle in your new home.Then order from newegg and get your address all setup and stuff.Have fun in your new home and neighborhood.

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BarneyI, too have heard all the negitive stuff about Vista. You can use whatever OS you want. But alot of what you (and I) have heard is misinformation. I have both Vista and XP. In fact I have the lowly 32 bit version of both. And what's worse, I have the so called "loaded with bloatware, Compaq" version of both. Now, the only part of both machines that is OE are the hard drives. Everything else is up graded. Vista is my FSX rig. I have benchmarked the same parts with both OSs and I can tell you that the speed of both is the same. I fly FSX with scenery sliders maxed. But it costs money to do that. FSX is not a budget deal.The changes in Vista are mostly security. The average user doesn't do with their computers the things that you and I do. They don't know how to set up things properly, or even use them properly. So Vista does alot of things automaticly for them. Maybe it's not better, but it's not worse, it's different. I use both systems side by side, and both have their strong points and weak points.Stability? I don't have to tell you that XP was no wonder boy when it came out. People hated XP. I couldn't even run it on my ME machine because XP needed a whopping 128MBs of ram. I only had 64 MBs.People can have whatever opinioin they want, but I sure hear alot of hearsay, and hooey.Bob

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As a for-instance,You can buy this Dell for $2500 Or build this from Newegg for $1000 and overclock the CPU to 3.6GhzThese machines will provide virtually identical FS performance, (However, the Newegg box uses Much better quality components and will provide a slight performance advantage.)

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As a for-instance,You can buy this Dell for $2500 Or build this from Newegg for $1000 and overclock the CPU to 3.6GhzThese machines will provide virtually identical FS performance, (However, the Newegg box uses Much better quality components and will provide a slight performance advantage.)
There's also many boutiques online that you can browse too. I went that route and many will OC for you for a price but if you're shakey hand or not the most literate that's the way too go. I posted a bunch of links a few posts down for someone looking for a custom build system. I'll put'em here too if you want. They're not Dell, Gateway, or HP but they're good. Avoid iBuypower or Cyberpower though they're just as good as Dell. From Highest to Lowest Pricehttp://www.pugetsystems.com/http://www.falcon-nw.com/http://www.jetlinesystems.com/http://maingear.com/ http://digitalstormonline.com/And, I just ordered a computer from this guy. Great customer service that you don't see at most places. If you're willing to go buy online at Dell then I'd suggest one of the online stores too. If you're going with a GOOD builder be patient it takes time 3-4 and maybe 5 weeks to get your computer in your hands. Trust me it's worth it in the long run if you're not going to do it yourself. http://maxforcepc.comMy System:Cooler Master RC-690-KKN1-GPCorsair TX-850W SLI/Crossfire CapableIntel Core i7 Processor i7-920 3.6GHz 8MBCooler Master V8GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD4PSuper Talent DDR3-1600 6GB (3x2GB) CL9Western Digital WD3200AAKS 320GB SATA2 7200rpm 16MBWestern Digital WD1001FALS 1TB SATA2 7200rpm 32MBLite-On IHAS422-08 LightScribe 22X SATA DVD+/-RWLite-On IHDS118-04 18X SATA DVD-ROMXFX nVidia GeForce 285 GTX 1GBASUS Xonar DXMicrosoft Vista Home Premium 64-bit$2030 with shipping. I had to swap out the Mobo but its more than fine. :) Cooler Master HAF 932 RC-932-KKN1-GPLOGISYS CLK12RD2 12 inch Dual Red Cold Cathode LightCorsair HX 1000W Modular Quad SLI CapableIntel Core i7 Processor i7-920 3.6GHz 8MB Factory OverclockCooler Master V8EVGA 132-BL-E758-A1 X58Super Talent DDR3-1600 6GB (3x2G CL9Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB SATA 10k rpm 16MBWestern Digital WD6400AAKS 640GB SATA2 7200rpm 16MBSamsung SH-S223F 22X Dual Layer DVD+/-RW SATA DriveSamsung SH-S223Q LightScribe 22X Dual Layer DVD+/-RW SATA DriveBFG nVidia GeForce 295 GTX 1768GBMicrosoft Vista Home Premium 64-bitPrice: $2,579oler Master Storm Sniper SGC-6000Corsair TX-750W SLI/Crossfire CapableIntel Core i7 Processor i7-940 4.0GHz 8MBCooler Master V8GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD5CORSAIR DOMINATOR DDR3-1600 6GB (3x2G CL9Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000GLFS 300GB SATA 10k rpm 16MBWestern Digital Black WD6401AALS 640GB 7200rpm 32MBSamsung SH-S223Q LightScribe 22X Dual Layer DVD+/-RW SATA DriveSony Optiarc DDU1675S-0B 16X SATA DVD-ROMEVGA nVidia GeForce 285 GTX 1GBCreative Labs X-Fi Titanium FATAL1TY PROMicrosoft Vista Home Premium 64-bitLogitech G9Price: $2,906The overclocks do cost money but it's not a bad way to go to have someone do it right.

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I must strongly discourage you from buying from Dell. Or Alienware for that matter (since they are owned by Dell).Their customer service is outsourced, their hardware is sub-standard and custom designed (so you must pay for overpriced sub-standard replacement parts that are very likely to break again), they only have a 21 day return policy that starts when the order is placed (not when you get the item), not taking back a defective system and instead offering bogus tech support suggestions to hold you off until it is past the "21 days", they often do not adhere to the terms of warranty agreements, charge for basic tech support, charge extra for American tech support, trick you into buying parts that are unrelated to your problem, not fixing a problem when the system is sent off for repair, and holding off on doing needed work until the warranty is expired and they try to charge you an amount close to the value of the system.Oh yeah, and when you do send your system back for a return, they mysteriously lose it and refuse to refund you, something especially bad when you finance it through them and they force you to pay for nothing.Dell has lost several class action lawsuits, and continue to utilize these poor, horrific practices. It once was a good computer company, now gone bad. Thus the phrase was coined, "Dell Hell."Anyways, back on topic now. It is always best to buy a custom made system from somebody that you definitely know will back their product, or to build the system yourself. I have had several problems in the past, but I learned how to diagnose the issues so that I could get my system working. I have built two computers for myself, and repaired several. Soon my work will require me to rebuild some more.The great thing about building yourself or choosing a home-builder is that you get to customize every minor aspect of your computer, so you know everything it has inside and out. In addition, you get more for your money as it is usually less expensive, plus the parts are better quality. With most factory made computers, they throw in some cheapo hard drive, whereas you would know to look for a reputable brand.Speaking of reputable brands, I strongly recommend a Western Digital hard drive, OCZ for the RAM, and a Gigabyte motherboard. I have ran into several quality control issues with Seagate, Patriot Memory, and ASUS lately.

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Geez, guys, what great answers! I now have a lot of understandable information to work with, and I am most grateful for your help.Thanks,Barney

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Agree with others. All though Dell is good company, just don't buy from them.They charge you extra for useless components you don't want.4 words."Build Your Own PC"-Vincent

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Thanks...but I want to walk into a store like Best Buy, or go on the internet to (for example) Dell, for an off-the-shelf system. There's some flexibility in components: I might be able to upgrade the video card, add more memory, and get a bigger hard drive. But what do I look for?Better than 3.5GHz processor? How much memory...as much as possible? What kind of memory? Dual core? Quad core? Both McCrash and ryanbatcund suggested overclocking, but I have no idea how to do that! Sorry: I was technical years ago, but have been a mere user for many years now and things have changed.Vista? No way! I've tried it, didn't like it. 64-bit XP? I believe I'm running 32-bit XP now; what are the implications of running my other programs with XP 64?Sorry to be so ignorant...but I am ignorant, and don't have time to learn all I'd have to learn.I appreciate your help.Barney
I appreciate all the good advice you guys are giving Barney here....but READ what he's saying. He doesn't want to go through building a system or even COOLING it. He wants to go into a store, and buy a system that will run FSX well. He's on a budget! I respectfully disagree that you can't do that. You can. I have a dual core Dell system using Vista, and I couldn't be happier. I have all the addons and my flights are great and smooth. Some of us just want to buy a system easily and have a good experience. It can be done. My system is in my signature. Love it.

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Yes, we read Barney is on a budget. But he also said "well". Budget , FSX and Well are three words that not only don't go together, but have vastly different meanings to everyone. Spilok, was that the base model Dell, or did you spend more to get better components. People just want Barney to know what he's up against. No one wants him to spend his hard earned bucks on a system and be disappointed. If he ends up being happy, great, end of story. I ran FSX on a rig like yours and always wanted more. Besides, being on a budget is the best excuse to build your own. You can do it in stages. It's not rocket science(didn't those guys crash a very expensive rocket on Mars because of a metric conversion). Besides, it's fun and educational.Barney, are you sure you don't have time to learn a little something new, but have time to use FSX.Bob

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Yes, we read Barney is on a budget. But he also said "well". Budget , FSX and Well are three words that not only don't go together, but have vastly different meanings to everyone. Spilok, was that the base model Dell, or did you spend more to get better components. People just want Barney to know what he's up against. No one wants him to spend his hard earned bucks on a system and be disappointed. If he ends up being happy, great, end of story. I ran FSX on a rig like yours and always wanted more. Besides, being on a budget is the best excuse to build your own. You can do it in stages. It's not rocket science(didn't those guys crash a very expensive rocket on Mars because of a metric conversion). Besides, it's fun and educational.Barney, are you sure you don't have time to learn a little something new, but have time to use FSX.Bob
Bob,No, it was not the base model Dell. I certainly upgraded everything to achieve the XPS the way I wanted it. Although I paid for it outright, Dell is always running promos like "Interest-Free" payments for many months, and other such things to help those with a budget. I'm not just a Dell user, but I also have an ASUS laptop which I just bought for $995.00 at Best Buy. It has 4 gigs of RAM, 320 gig hard drive, NVidia 9800 Graphics card, Vista 64, and other goodies. Although I haven't put FSX on it (I will this weekend), I'll bet that even runs the program relatively well.I DO agree with you that building your own computer can be fun and great learning experience. I just got a different "vibe" from Barney when I read his thread.Stan

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Gents, you're being most helpful, and I thank you.I hear what you're saying about building my own system, but consider this: I'm nearly 75 years old, don't have near the energy (or strength) I used to have. But I have a (mostly political) blog, I volunteer at the local police department, I'm president of a service organization, and I just got a new dog who is two-years old and completely untrained. I fondly remember the days before I retired: I wasn't nearly as busy, and I got paid a hell of a lot more.No, I'm not complaining. I'm trying to show you why build-it-yourself is not a good solution for me.I don't think much of Dell: their tech support people don't speak or understand either English or computers--and you saw what Plainplane and C09G had to say. I suspect they're right. I have a Compaq laptop--OK, it was cheap, but it had more bloatware than I could believe! I finally borrowed a USB-connected floppy drive and upgraded from Vista Home Basic to XP Home. It now works fine. I have a feeling that no matter what off-the-shelf machine I bought I would have terrible problems.So it seems to me that a custom-built machine is what I want. If you could answer the following questions it would help me to spec the machine:1. I don't want to overclock the processor because overclocking will reduce the life expectancy of the processor. Will a 3.5GHz processor do the job?2. Does FSX utilize a quad-core processor, or will a dual-core do the job as well, or nearly as well?3. How much memory should I get?4. How fast does my HD need to be?And the overriding all-important question: how much (ballpark) is this beast going to cost me? I'd like to keep it down to around $2,000.I really do appreciate your thoughs to this point. If you can help me with these four questions I'll be all set. I think.Barney

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Gents, you're being most helpful, and I thank you.I hear what you're saying about building my own system, but consider this: I'm nearly 75 years old, don't have near the energy (or strength) I used to have. But I have a (mostly political) blog, I volunteer at the local police department, I'm president of a service organization, and I just got a new dog who is two-years old and completely untrained. I fondly remember the days before I retired: I wasn't nearly as busy, and I got paid a hell of a lot more.No, I'm not complaining. I'm trying to show you why build-it-yourself is not a good solution for me.I don't think much of Dell: their tech support people don't speak or understand either English or computers--and you saw what Plainplane and C09G had to say. I suspect they're right. I have a Compaq laptop--OK, it was cheap, but it had more bloatware than I could believe! I finally borrowed a USB-connected floppy drive and upgraded from Vista Home Basic to XP Home. It now works fine. I have a feeling that no matter what off-the-shelf machine I bought I would have terrible problems.So it seems to me that a custom-built machine is what I want. If you could answer the following questions it would help me to spec the machine:1. I don't want to overclock the processor because overclocking will reduce the life expectancy of the processor. Will a 3.5GHz processor do the job?2. Does FSX utilize a quad-core processor, or will a dual-core do the job as well, or nearly as well?3. How much memory should I get?4. How fast does my HD need to be?And the overriding all-important question: how much (ballpark) is this beast going to cost me? I'd like to keep it down to around $2,000.I really do appreciate your thoughs to this point. If you can help me with these four questions I'll be all set. I think.Barney
Overclocking if done by someone who knows what they're doing and it's done right doesn't reduce the life of the processor. I asked that before I had mine done over at Maxforce. Join his forums and give him a budget you want and what the computer is for. He'll be more than glad to help. :) And, without the soundcard the computer was $1900 + $60 for shipping and insurance. That was before I upped to a 1TB HD.

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Gents, you're being most helpful, and I thank you.1. I don't want to overclock the processor because overclocking will reduce the life expectancy of the processor. Will a 3.5GHz processor do the job?2. Does FSX utilize a quad-core processor, or will a dual-core do the job as well, or nearly as well?3. How much memory should I get?4. How fast does my HD need to be?I really do appreciate your thoughs to this point. If you can help me with these four questions I'll be all set. I think.Barney
OK, let me take a shot:1. Overclocking if done right (with a proper cooling solution) will not reduce the life of your processor. And yes, a 3.5 GHz processor is a good choice.2. FSX uses all available cores when loading scenery (both initially and during the flight). Other than that, a dual-core will do the job nearly as well.3. 2 GB if running XP 32, 4 GB if running Vista or XP 644. 7200 RPM is good, 10,000 RPM is best. Suggest getting two drives: one 7200 RPM for the OS, and one (possibly 10,000 RPM) dedicated to FSX.My rig (two years old):Q6600 OC to 3.0 GHz, 2 GB PC800 RAM, 1xWD 7200 RPM drive, 1xWD 10,000 RPM drive, 9600GT 512M, Win XP Pro

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I'm running a Q6600 OC to 3,2 Ghz, 4 GB DDR2-800, RAID0 with 2x320 GB Samsung, 8800 GTX (better than the 9800 GTX) and Vista Ultimate 64I have an avr. of about 25-30 FPS and its ok. I Play in 1920x1200 @ Ultra High.If you buy the comp. and build the pc yourself go with AMD Phenom II Black Edtition CPUs since the Multi is Unlocked = EASY OC!. They cost about $250 an Intel with the Multi unlocked cost $1000! The i7 is not that good to game with a High End 775 will beat any i7 at the moment.Why so I recomend this? I am CompTIA A+ and N+ certified and I would give this advice to anybody who buys a pc atm. The Intel is just to expensive and DDR3 only has about 2-5% more performance than DDR2 so you will only see it in benchamrks!If I had to build a PC atm I'd go for this:Phenom II X4 940 Black EditionATI 4870 X28 GB DDR2 (Corsair, OCZ, G.Skill, GEIL)Some Asus Board for Sockel AM2 or MSI (both are the same quality and price)With that system you will play anything until 2010 maybe even 2011.Edit With the Sys at top I get a Price of 1400 € ~ $1850

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I'm running a Q6600 OC to 3,2 Ghz, 4 GB DDR2-800, RAID0 with 2x320 GB Samsung, 8800 GTX (better than the 9800 GTX) and Vista Ultimate 64I have an avr. of about 25-30 FPS and its ok. I Play in 1920x1200 @ Ultra High.If you buy the comp. and build the pc yourself go with AMD Phenom II Black Edtition CPUs since the Multi is Unlocked = EASY OC!. They cost about $250 an Intel with the Multi unlocked cost $1000! The i7 is not that good to game with a High End 775 will beat any i7 at the moment.Why so I recomend this? I am CompTIA A+ and N+ certified and I would give this advice to anybody who buys a pc atm. The Intel is just to expensive and DDR3 only has about 2-5% more performance than DDR2 so you will only see it in benchamrks!If I had to build a PC atm I'd go for this:Phenom II X4 940 Black EditionATI 4870 X28 GB DDR2 (Corsair, OCZ, G.Skill, GEIL)Some Asus Board for Sockel AM2 or MSI (both are the same quality and price)With that system you will play anything until 2010 maybe even 2011.Edit With the Sys at top I get a Price of 1400

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I'm usinf both AMD/ATI and Intel + nVidia and both run perfect with FSX......

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I'm usinf both AMD/ATI and Intel + nVidia and both run perfect with FSX......
And, for the i7 not to out perform the new AMDs....If that was the case Intel might of lowered the prices on them. From what I know that even the 920 will perform on the level of the high end QX chips in some areas. And, as far as FS goes Intel + Nvidia is a good combo. Barney try looking into a system with a 9650 it's a 3.0ghz Quad. The prices came down and I'm sure if you want to go with a 775 system it's the best chip to go with now.

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