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davidv

Need some advice on a video card upgrade

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I'm looking to pick up a new video card for FSX. I got my system last year but it seems with enough addons in FSX the 512mb memory on my current card (Geforce 8800 GT 512mb) doesn't seem to be quite enough for the resolution I run at (1920x1200). My main goal is to have a card that can run the Flight1 Mustang, PMDG MD-11 etc. with good framerates. I was able to run the Mustang ok at 1680x1050 but once I got the new 24" monitor that runs at 1920x1200 it doesn't run at all basically, I just get MASSIVE stutters when there's any motion in view. I'm mainly looking at either an Nvidia GTX 260, GTX 285 or ATI 4870. How much of a performance difference is there between the 285 and 260? Would it be worth upgrading to one of these cards? Or should I look at the ATI 4870?Any comments are much appreciated, thanks. For reference my system specs are Dell XPS 630i / Core2Duo E8500 3.16ghz / 4GB Corsair Dominator DDR2 / Geforce 8800GT 512mb / Soundblaster xFi .... The motherboard is an nforce, I think its the model is a 630 but could be wrong.Also FS9 and FSX are the only games I generally play on PC, is it worth getting the 285 over the 260 or should I just save the money?

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Reading through it seems the 260 is a popular card. Also I'm running XP 32 bit though and have no interest in using Vista, even the 64 bit version unless someone can assure me I'd see massive gains in performance with it.These are the two cards I'm looking at right now, I know the prices are probably exhorberant but NewEgg and all those nice sites don't ship to Canada so this is what I have to work with lol.http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetai...3468&catid=http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetai...9557&catid=Thoughs?

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Reading through it seems the 260 is a popular card. Also I'm running XP 32 bit though and have no interest in using Vista, even the 64 bit version unless someone can assure me I'd see massive gains in performance with it.These are the two cards I'm looking at right now, I know the prices are probably exhorberant but NewEgg and all those nice sites don't ship to Canada so this is what I have to work with lol.http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetai...3468&catid=http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetai...9557&catid=Thoughs?
Hey David,From what I've been reading (and experiencing) FSX is CPU-intensive... Getting a fast, quad-core CPU and overclocking it will give you increased performance.I'm running a Phenom II X4 940 OC'd @ 3.5Ghz with a nVidia GeForce 9800 GTX and it runs very nicely after tweaking some settings and adjusting certain values...I chose the 9800 GTX after reading a lot of reviews, benchmarks, etc... Here's a link to Tom's Hardware showing you the benchmarks of a vew cards...http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia...80,1953-15.htmlFrom the review:
Sure enough, the new GeForce GT200 cards weren't in their glory. None of them went beyond 23 fps, which is not great, even in Flight Simulator X. But the 9800 GX2 and the 8800 Ultra reached close to 30 fps, which is a lot better. -Tom's Hardware

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That article was published 9 months ago. Hardly relevant performance numbers for the GT200-based cards.

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Reading through it seems the 260 is a popular card. Also I'm running XP 32 bit though and have no interest in using Vista, even the 64 bit version unless someone can assure me I'd see massive gains in performance with it.These are the two cards I'm looking at right now, I know the prices are probably exhorberant but NewEgg and all those nice sites don't ship to Canada so this is what I have to work with lol.http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetai...3468&catid=http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetai...9557&catid=Thoughs?
Re Canadian pricing... checkhttp://www.ncix.com/products/index.php?sku...anufacture=eVGA

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That article was published 9 months ago. Hardly relevant performance numbers for the GT200-based cards.
And? Unless nVidia has released some "miracle" drivers then FSX performance will not be THAT much better now compared to when that article was published.1) The GTX260 has a slower clock speed than the 9800 GTX (576Mhz vs. 675Mhz, respectively)2) The memory clock is also slower3) FSX likes a fast CPU, even if you have two GPUs or even SLI, it doesn't care that much.The GTX 260 card is barely better than the 9800 GTX...The GTX 280, with 1GB memory and a faster clock speed is obviously a little bit betterI'm still waiting for someone to release some hardware that will let me run FSX at 60FPS in high-density metropolis areas...

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And? Unless nVidia has released some "miracle" drivers then FSX performance will not be THAT much better now compared to when that article was published.1) The GTX260 has a slower clock speed than the 9800 GTX (576Mhz vs. 675Mhz, respectively)2) The memory clock is also slower3) FSX likes a fast CPU, even if you have two GPUs or even SLI, it doesn't care that much.The GTX 260 card is barely better than the 9800 GTX...The GTX 280, with 1GB memory and a faster clock speed is obviously a little bit betterI'm still waiting for someone to release some hardware that will let me run FSX at 60FPS in high-density metropolis areas...
Don't forget that the key spec for FSX seems to be Memory Bandwidth, and that is where the 260 beats the 9800GTX 112 vs 70 GB/s

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That article was published 9 months ago. Hardly relevant performance numbers for the GT200-based cards. It is still relevant. The 8800 GTS still remains one of the best cards out there. I just upgraded from a 7959 GT OC 512 mb to a GT 250 1Gigabyte and I'm sorry I did as I see very little gain for the money spent. If you got with a 260 I doubt you will see that much gain either plus you will need a heftly Power Supply and a case it will fit in.I ready plenty of reviews and the 8800 GTS stands up with the best of them even today.Regards,Craig

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Well I opened my case up to take a look at what my power supply was - it's a 750w but when I was in there I noticed this is all trivial now since I don't have two full PCI-E 16 slots side by side anyways and all the cards I've looked at are double slotted.I think I'm better off just waiting until this summer and buying a "FSX Killer" machine then. Thanks for all the help and advice either way :)

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I just ordered an EVGA GTX285 1GB card from Newegg this afternoon. I've been waiting for the price to drop for the past few months but it seems they're not droping much any more so I finally took the plunge. Its for my FSX Server rig listed in my Sig with the intention of migrating it to an i7-build later this year. I wanted the larger RAM for my 24" 1920x1200 display as well. Now I just need to find the EVGA overclocking tool and spin it up a bit.

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Tom's FSX numbers are just plain wrong. I recently upgraded from an 8800 GT to a GTX 285 and while my FSX FPS did not increase drastically, I can run higher settings with the same performance. According to those test results my FPS should have decreased drastically, and that certainly did not happen.

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Tom's FSX numbers are just plain wrong. I recently upgraded from an 8800 GT to a GTX 285 and while my FSX FPS did not increase drastically, I can run higher settings with the same performance. According to those test results my FPS should have decreased drastically, and that certainly did not happen.
Yea, I'm not expecting a large FPS increase, just a more fluid experience with my existing FSX Server rig due to the increase in RAM and the number of pipes.

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Well I opened my case up to take a look at what my power supply was - it's a 750w but when I was in there I noticed this is all trivial now since I don't have two full PCI-E 16 slots side by side anyways and all the cards I've looked at are double slotted.I think I'm better off just waiting until this summer and buying a "FSX Killer" machine then. Thanks for all the help and advice either way :)I don't think Cray is selling those FSX Killers yet !!!!I'm running Ground Environment X and find that running NO Autogen is the best and cheapest solution unless you like to fly low and slow. Quite frankly the Autogen looks like it should be in a Walt Disney cartoon while the GEX looks quite realistic to me when flying a heavy and climbing at 2000+ feet per minute.I've read in the forum where folks with a killer card ie 260 still have problems so I think you get to the point of noreturn and less dollars in your pocket real quick.I have NO problems running other killer games.....FSX is just a thorn in my side sometimes and I've spent enoughmoney with very little return for the $$$$ invested.Just for the heck of it I loaded FS9 tonight and gave it a whirl again. Just no comparison between the two though unlessyou fell like investing a bunch to try and make it look like FSX.Craig

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For flying the jets FS9 is good enough for me, and I can run the PMDG MD-11 at KATL with plenty of traffic and heavy weather and get good framerates there. But for flying a Beaver around the Pacific Coast FSX is far above and beyond FS9, there's just no comparison... but it comes at the performance cost.Even my system runs almost any other game quite well. Empire Total War runs well with pretty high settings, I'm sure this system will handle Diablo III and Starcraft 2 fine too. Maybe I should just stick with what I have lol.Oh and it ####### me off that for the price of a video card I have a PS3 that runs any game made for it just fine and will continue to for the next 4 or 5 years. Maybe it is time to move Flightsim to the consoles (as long as we can have the addons and custom controllers of course). I really do get the impression that PC developers just get lazy and blame it on the hardware a lot of the time rather than optimizing their code. No one would accept a PS3 game that ran at 20 fps (just waiting for a developer there to try and say sorry you will need a PS4 to fully enjoy this program, its the hardware not us!).

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