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pellebus

What computer do i need for FSX?

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...And other stuff, like graphiccard, motherboard, memory, processor and harddisk etc to get the most out of FSX, I think about getting my self a new computer for FSX, (because this one I have today, is long way from up-to-date, and wont work with FSX)So, dear friends, give me some tips/hints and ideas/advises before i rush out and spend some money.Best RegardsPerSWEDEN

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...And other stuff, like graphiccard, motherboard, memory, processor and harddisk etc to get the most out of FSX, I think about getting my self a new computer for FSX, (because this one I have today, is long way from up-to-date, and wont work with FSX)So, dear friends, give me some tips/hints and ideas/advises before i rush out and spend some money.Best RegardsPerSWEDEN
Fastest Quadcore you can afford (i7 is not a must, because FSX doesn't use hyperthreading). Maybe overclock it.Fast memory. Vista64 and 8GB will be fine.A mobo that can go 1066 or 1333 for the memory. While it doesn't make a lot of difference elsewhere, it does make a difference in FSX.At least two drives. One for the OS and the page file, one for FSX. The bigger the cache, the better.Video card: Avoid ATI, go for NVIdia. Go for at least 1GB VRAM. Doesn't have to be the top notch card, but a good one.Power supply should be 600W or higher.Get a good defragger (O&O 11.0). It will become one of your best friends.Read the tweak guides and follow them.Never ever expect to be able to run FSX with everything maxed. This is STILL impossible nowadays, but with the system above, you get close.

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Please take a look at the AVSIM product reviews. In a yellow box in each review, you can see what computer system was used for the review. That can give you a decent guideline.The above advice is fine, but if you are on a budget, or if you don't plan to spend hours tweaking FSX or the system, much of that stuff is optional.On the other end of the spectrum, I happen to have my FSX box sitting on my desk in front of me. It reccommends:Windows XP21.0 GHZ processor15 GB HD space56.8 kb/s modem (for internet)DX9 graphics card, 32 MB RAMaudio card with speakersDO NOT go with these minimum specifications! These might be able to get the program to run at its very lowest level, but you'd never have a satisfactory experience. A reasonable system would probably be between these minumum specs and what the other poster has susggested.Jeff ShylukSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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If you want to enjoy FSX in large cities and with intense addons, like PMDG, LevelD, Citation MustangCore i7 920 or 940 (pricey though) overclocked to at least 3.6 GhzBetter cooling fan:http://www.crazypc.com/products/ultra-120-1366-50985.htmlAsus P6T v2 motherboard6GB DDR3 1600 ram (OCZ, Corsair, etc)GTX260/285 video cardSolid 600-700w PSU, PC Power and Cooling, Antec, Corsair, good brands etc etc

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I've always bought ATI over Nvidia, recently got a 4890 to replace a 3870. 4890 works perfectly and very smoothly with barely any FPS drop with AA turned up in the driver settings. ATI made a good performance step forward with the 9.3 driver release for CPU bound applications like FSX. I'd disagree with the statement avoid ATI, but avoid cards lower than the 4870 for FSX. Go for the fastest/most powerful single GPU card you can afford, dual GPU does nothing for FSX.My spec is a Q9650 with 4GB of 1066 DDR2 RAM, ATI 4890OC, 2 Western Digital Raptors, Enermax PRO82+ 525W PSU (which is perfectly adequate, you dont need the expense of 700W+ unless you're running multi GPU's and massively overclocking) and OS is Vista 64 Ultimate.Basically the fastest quad core and single GPU you can afford. Before I had the Q9650, I had an E6750 overclocked to E8500 type speeds and that ran FSX ok, so an E8x00 series dual core would be more than adequate if not running many FSX addons.

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...And other stuff, like graphiccard, motherboard, memory, processor and harddisk etc to get the most out of FSX, I think about getting my self a new computer for FSX, (because this one I have today, is long way from up-to-date, and wont work with FSX)So, dear friends, give me some tips/hints and ideas/advises before i rush out and spend some money.Best RegardsPerSWEDEN
Have you looked in the Hardware forum? Lots of good info there.Todays's post: http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?showtopic=248802

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...And other stuff, like graphiccard, motherboard, memory, processor and harddisk etc to get the most out of FSX, I think about getting my self a new computer for FSX, (because this one I have today, is long way from up-to-date, and wont work with FSX)So, dear friends, give me some tips/hints and ideas/advises before i rush out and spend some money.Best RegardsPerSWEDEN
It depends if you want to run FSX or you want to RUN! FSX. If you take a look at 90% of all screenshots of people who use FSX, which include many developers and even many reviewers, the screenshots look like absolute crap....a jaggie, blurry, mess. On the other hand, then there are a few of those whose screenshots look totally photographic and breathtaking and stunning. The difference between blurry mess and pristine g-dlike graphics is all about the hardware:1 - Quad core processor, as fast as you can afford. Fast is NEVER fast enough for FSX.2 - Memory, buy good fast memory and lots of it. 4GB will make you a happy camper. AND for the love of G-d don't buy cheap bargin memory!3 - Video card. Fastest you can afford and with 1GB of Video memory (I just bought two ATI 4890 in CFX mode and FSX screams with all sliders right - two of the word fastest GPUs will tend to do that)4 - Good reputable power supply is always overlooked. If you have crappy power, your compenents are starved and your mighty hand built rig never lives upto expectations. Try Tagan BZ1100 PSU, I LOVE IT!5 - Fast minimum 7200 RPM drives. Buy two and put them in RAID 0 or RAID 0+1Now, of course you can always buy a lessor system and spend 90% of your time flapping your arms and clucking like a hen because some guy on the forum said it is the holy grail of tweaks, OR ,you can buy the heavy hitting hardware and spend 90% of your time with your mouth hanging open at what you see on your screen and the other 10% wiping drool off your keyboard.

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(I just bought two ATI 4890 in CFX mode and FSX screams with all sliders right - two of the word fastest GPUs will tend to do that)
Just curious - how did you get FSX to work with a multi-GPU configuration?

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Just curious - how did you get FSX to work with a multi-GPU configuration?
Since most software aren't really written to take advantage of SLI or Crossfire the boost most certainly won't be as absolute as it could be. BUT, I am going from 2x 3870x2 in CFX mode (4 GPU) to 2 x 4890 in CFX mode (2 GPU) and I am seeing a very substantial boost in performance (I could use the word HUGE). Now, granted ONE 4890 GPU is faster than the 3870x2 with two GPUs and operation with Crossfire is automatic. A dual 4890 rig should theoretically be the fastest multi-gpu platform since the 4890 is the fastest single GPU...

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If you take out one of your 4890's, do you notice a performance drop? Also are you using SP1 or 2?I am trying to figure out what card to buy for my system in which a 4870x2 went bad before I had a chance to use it. Now it is discontinued. I am debating between a GTX 285 and this.

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Since most software aren't really written to take advantage of SLI or Crossfire the boost most certainly won't be as absolute as it could be. BUT, I am going from 2x 3870x2 in CFX mode (4 GPU) to 2 x 4890 in CFX mode (2 GPU) and I am seeing a very substantial boost in performance (I could use the word HUGE). Now, granted ONE 4890 GPU is faster than the 3870x2 with two GPUs and operation with Crossfire is automatic. A dual 4890 rig should theoretically be the fastest multi-gpu platform since the 4890 is the fastest single GPU...
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you are not getting full multi cores and shared memory in FSX on CFWhat you are seeing is driver related.. its sharing but the max you get on each is a % of each .. is there an advantage to offload? yes! but its NOT going to substitue for raw horsepower and you are not getting 4 full cards running in FSXI just went through this with Anthony Vos and got him OFF CF in ATi.. hes now on a GTX 285 and he says he will not go back to ATi CF.. he said he had to see it to believe it and swore all cards were in full operation.. he knows better now.. both the IQ and perf increased dramatically in single core NV over CF in FSXand hes on DDR2!DX10 will read different than DX9 on many dual card systems in RivaTuner.. you think you have 2-4 operational when you really have a % of each SLi is different.. only advantage with that is high AA and very high resolution.. not a single frame more in perfI dont doubt you saw a jump in performance Mike.. the 3870 was complete dud in FSX .. Not trying to be mean but.. a lot of other single cards would have looked better than those 3000 series ATi cards! LOLNow, I am not a Ati or Nvidia a really excited user as I could give rats ___ what manufacture does better in FSX but I also do not play Crysis or other shader engine based games which ATi cards are much better suited for. If ATi comes out with a card that REALLY overtakes Nv in FSX in all aspects of simulation I will be all over it but if my primary goal is FSX and not care about Crysis I would spend my money on the single core/memory GTX 285.. and the fastest core and memory speed model on the market. or clock it till it screamsIf your game is Crysis then by all means grab the 4890 and CF them because I bet they would probably run the game @ close to if not MAX.. if your game is FSX I would not bother. You are spending more on 2 4890s that will NOT deliver 2x their ability

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@Nick. You and I are on the same page my friend. As I said above, FSX is not CF or SLI aware and simply wants brute force to make it go fast. BUT, there is more to life than FSX and FS9. I play other FPS games, WoW and Warhammer + I simply want bragging rights in the 3DMark forums. :( With that said, tell Anthony that ATI RULES and if he says anymore disparaging remarks about ATI I'll kidnapp him, put him in a dress, place him on 42nd street at rush hour and force him to sing show tunes!Now. Yes, the 4890 is FAST and runs FSX much faster than my old 3870x2 in CFX. TWO 4890s are FASTER than one. Of course, not by double and yes its because of the CF mobo, drivers and bus architecture that all 3D games will see a boost and true CFX aware games getting a sizable boost. BUT it's FSX we're talking about. Besides the card is only $250 US, why buy one when you can buy 2 at twice the price!? :( At the end of the day, the 4890 in CFX is THE fastest solution on the market as of today. Tomorrow, who knows, I'm sure NVidia will come back swinging, but at this point...we're talking full sliders right which I doubted would ever happen in my lifetime.

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If you take out one of your 4890's, do you notice a performance drop? Also are you using SP1 or 2?I am trying to figure out what card to buy for my system in which a 4870x2 went bad before I had a chance to use it. Now it is discontinued. I am debating between a GTX 285 and this.
Uhhh, the 4870x2 is very much STILL for sale and comes with a 2 year manufacturers warranty. Since the card is not two years old, it is certainly covered by warranty, why not just send it back? One of my 3870x2 died and after a little over a year and I'm sending it back for replacement, its only that I didn't want to wait 2-3 weeks for a replacement so I bought two 4890's instead (my son will get the 3870x2 when it get's back to replace his aging 1900XTX that he's been whining about (if he did better in school he'd have a better video card) With that said, 2 4890 in CF screams and is faster than the GTX 285. 1 4890 is PLENTY for running FSX (depending on the rest of your system specs, of course). THe 4870x2 is FASTER than 1 single 4890 (but not by much). 2x 4890s give you about a 20-40% performance boost on top of that which makes FSX scream (depending on the rest of your system specs of course + the proper FSX tweaks) and is faster than the 4870x2 OR the NVidia 285.I've stuck with ATI because of its ability to render AA at high resolutions and maintain spectacular graphics whereas NVidia has some speed advantages but don't have the same visual quality (IMHO).

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I stand to my statement that ATI is NOT a proper card for FSX.As long as you fly with no or few clouds, there isn't much of a difference between ATI and NVidia. I think that ATI makes FSX look even a little better then, producing the same framerates as a comparable NVidia card.BUT: Try both with an overcast sky and the settings you would have chosen for a clear sky. Framerate drop with NVidia is minor to unnoticeable. ATI will make you weep. On my system, it was going from 25 to 11.

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I stand to my statement that ATI is NOT a proper card for FSX.As long as you fly with no or few clouds, there isn't much of a difference between ATI and NVidia. I think that ATI makes FSX look even a little better then, producing the same framerates as a comparable NVidia card.BUT: Try both with an overcast sky and the settings you would have chosen for a clear sky. Framerate drop with NVidia is minor to unnoticeable. ATI will make you weep. On my system, it was going from 25 to 11.
I run crossfire with 4 4870X2's. But I agree NO FSX can NOT do SLI or Crossfire.However I have to disagree with this post -- the 4870X2 is not even the latest or greatest and I have great performance regardless of where my sliders are. FSX only needs 1 card and I keep my graphic drivers updated constantly (I check the ATI site once a week to get the latest possible driver at all times).If you have issues with performance just because of a cloud setting, you seriously need to check your driver(s) and overall hardware balance - regardless of the brand stamped on your card. Also bear in mind that FSX is NOT a graphics based simulation. A good graphics card helps a bit, but 99% of your performance is going to be in your processors. I am looking forward to getting my second CPU into my dual CPU board.I also saw mentioned in this thread a comment that FSX does not use hyperthreading. I may be wrong here but isn't "hyperthreading" just a fancy word for using all the cores? If so, then as of SP2/Acceleration, FSX does use all cores. Tested on dual core and quad core configs - both AMD and Intel - here at my house and also attested to by the Aces team shortly after SP2/Acceleration released.EDIT -- I also wanted to point out that manufacturer is as important as the type. Just because it's nVidia or ATI is not the whoel story. Example: ATI Sapphire cards are NOT good for FSX and a few other games I have, so i steer clear. For some reason Sapphire does not play well with certain configurations and it hates certain DX setups. However HIS ( www.hisdigital.com )has a WONDERFUL reputation and seems very stable. That's the brand I swear by now. I am running 4 HIS 4870X2's so that I can play Freecell with ease :-)

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I run crossfire with 4 4870X2's. But I agree NO FSX can NOT do SLI or Crossfire.However I have to disagree with this post -- the 4870X2 is not even the latest or greatest and I have great performance regardless of where my sliders are. FSX only needs 1 card and I keep my graphic drivers updated constantly (I check the ATI site once a week to get the latest possible driver at all times).If you have issues with performance just because of a cloud setting, you seriously need to check your driver(s) and overall hardware balance - regardless of the brand stamped on your card. Also bear in mind that FSX is NOT a graphics based simulation. A good graphics card helps a bit, but 99% of your performance is going to be in your processors. I am looking forward to getting my second CPU into my dual CPU board.I also saw mentioned in this thread a comment that FSX does not use hyperthreading. I may be wrong here but isn't "hyperthreading" just a fancy word for using all the cores? If so, then as of SP2/Acceleration, FSX does use all cores. Tested on dual core and quad core configs - both AMD and Intel - here at my house and also attested to by the Aces team shortly after SP2/Acceleration released.EDIT -- I also wanted to point out that manufacturer is as important as the type. Just because it's nVidia or ATI is not the whoel story. Example: ATI Sapphire cards are NOT good for FSX and a few other games I have, so i steer clear. For some reason Sapphire does not play well with certain configurations and it hates certain DX setups. However HIS ( www.hisdigital.com )has a WONDERFUL reputation and seems very stable. That's the brand I swear by now. I am running 4 HIS 4870X2's so that I can play Freecell with ease :-)
Dual Sapphire 4890 overclocked to 970Mhz Core and 1000Mhz memory running FSX at full sliders right. Had dual Sapphire 3870x2 before that. FSX, FS9, Crysis, WoW, and every other game runs just fine, benchmarks, etc, no problem. Don't fall into the same trap as the original poster and make broad statements that are easily proven totally false.I'm gonna go with the fact that I've got all sliders right at 1900x1200 and optimal QUALITY settings in Cat 9.4 as proof that Sapphire's run just fine, just like anyother similar card would and anything to the contrary is either 1. the person not knowing how to fix the bigger problem on their system, or 2. the person not knowing now to fix the bigger problem on their system.

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Uhhh, the 4870x2 is very much STILL for sale and comes with a 2 year manufacturers warranty. Since the card is not two years old, it is certainly covered by warranty, why not just send it back? One of my 3870x2 died and after a little over a year and I'm sending it back for replacement, its only that I didn't want to wait 2-3 weeks for a replacement so I bought two 4890's instead (my son will get the 3870x2 when it get's back to replace his aging 1900XTX that he's been whining about (if he did better in school he'd have a better video card)
I did send it back. After two months of having it, they tried to sell me out with two 4870s before offering me a refund because it was discontinued.
With that said, 2 4890 in CF screams and is faster than the GTX 285. 1 4890 is PLENTY for running FSX (depending on the rest of your system specs, of course). THe 4870x2 is FASTER than 1 single 4890 (but not by much). 2x 4890s give you about a 20-40% performance boost on top of that which makes FSX scream (depending on the rest of your system specs of course + the proper FSX tweaks) and is faster than the 4870x2 OR the NVidia 285.I've stuck with ATI because of its ability to render AA at high resolutions and maintain spectacular graphics whereas NVidia has some speed advantages but don't have the same visual quality (IMHO).
What FPS do you get at JFK with those settings?

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Dual Sapphire 4890 overclocked to 970Mhz Core and 1000Mhz memory running FSX at full sliders right. Had dual Sapphire 3870x2 before that. FSX, FS9, Crysis, WoW, and every other game runs just fine, benchmarks, etc, no problem. Don't fall into the same trap as the original poster and make broad statements that are easily proven totally false.I'm gonna go with the fact that I've got all sliders right at 1900x1200 and optimal QUALITY settings in Cat 9.4 as proof that Sapphire's run just fine, just like anyother similar card would and anything to the contrary is either 1. the person not knowing how to fix the bigger problem on their system, or 2. the person not knowing now to fix the bigger problem on their system.
Sounds cool to me. I just went by Sapphire's reputation on gamer forums becasue I am a heavy gamer on the side as well. I'm glad Sapphire does work well with FSX then. I was just drooling over the 4890 a while ago too on the HIS site. :-)

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If you have issues with performance just because of a cloud setting, you seriously need to check your driver(s) and overall hardware balance - regardless of the brand stamped on your card. Also bear in mind that FSX is NOT a graphics based simulation. A good graphics card helps a bit, but 99% of your performance is going to be in your processors. I am looking forward to getting my second CPU into my dual CPU board.
It's a well known fact (and posted by Nick a couple of times) that ATI indeed HAS issues with clouds in FSX, especially when using AA. I learned that the hard way, changing from a 8800GTX to an ATI 4850, because my NVidia went up in smoke. Cloudsor rain INSTANTLY became a no go for me, although overall, the 4850 was an improvement in performance - but just until bad weather dropped it. I didn't know about the ATI issues with clouds until then, and only digging the internet brought it up that there was no way to correct that.I had and have a perectly fit system for FSX, well maintained and optimized. I might have a bit of an unusual screen resolution that amplifies ATI's poblems with cloud textures and AA (3360x1050), but other than that, I know my way around in FSX and the various tweaks. Just to prove that I am not blaming something on the card that isn't related to it.Now, those fps drops became so annoying to me that I decided to switch back to NVidia and got myself a GTX285. The problems with the cloud shaders are gone, and FSX is showing me the next bottleneck in my system *g*. Even with my screen resolution, I can throw 8x combined AA at the card and not stress it. A performance gain was to be expected, the 285 is top of the line, but the difference is really incredble.Don't get me wrong: the ATI's are wonderful cards, and most modern games they have an edge over the NVidias, but FSX is not their prime domain.

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It's a well known fact (and posted by Nick a couple of times) that ATI indeed HAS issues with clouds in FSX, especially when using AA. I learned that the hard way, changing from a 8800GTX to an ATI 4850, because my NVidia went up in smoke. Cloudsor rain INSTANTLY became a no go for me, although overall, the 4850 was an improvement in performance - but just until bad weather dropped it. I didn't know about the ATI issues with clouds until then, and only digging the internet brought it up that there was no way to correct that.I had and have a perectly fit system for FSX, well maintained and optimized. I might have a bit of an unusual screen resolution that amplifies ATI's poblems with cloud textures and AA (3360x1050), but other than that, I know my way around in FSX and the various tweaks. Just to prove that I am not blaming something on the card that isn't related to it.Now, those fps drops became so annoying to me that I decided to switch back to NVidia and got myself a GTX285. The problems with the cloud shaders are gone, and FSX is showing me the next bottleneck in my system *g*. Even with my screen resolution, I can throw 8x combined AA at the card and not stress it. A performance gain was to be expected, the 285 is top of the line, but the difference is really incredble.Don't get me wrong: the ATI's are wonderful cards, and most modern games they have an edge over the NVidias, but FSX is not their prime domain.
Hmmm. I wonder if I may not have noticed then due to having such high processing power on my PC (FSX is indeed processor based and only slightly assisted by the GPU for basic texture rendering). I never used the 4850 though. Admittedly the 4870X2 is my first ever ATI card. I just wanted to try something different and at the time the 4870X2's jumped out at me on Newegg. I just got my tax refund so I dove in. I am very happy though.I guess the best advice to the original poster is balance. Make sure your GPU, Memory, Motherboard and CPU play well with each other. THAT's the biggest issue I have ever come across -- you get a perfectly awesome hardware A, couple it with perfectly awesome hardware B and some conflict comes up that actually lowers performance. Always check compatibility and read the tech forums for reported issues with certain combinations.I do almost all of my hardware shopping at Newegg, although I was recently disappointed with getting a shipment of parts where 4 out of the 6 items I ordered were DOA. Fortunately they replaced them but I had to pay shipping to do so :-( Even if you don't shop there, go there and if you can find a product, read the reviews. A lot of times someone will be giving a bad review, based on their own experience, and the manufacturer actually visits the site and posts a comment and possible fix -- I LOVE seeing that! Another good source is Tiger Direct. I'd recommend Alienware, but then I'd have to slap myself for doing so. With Alienware (and some other brands) all you pay for is the brand name. If you are confident with piecing hardware together, save the cash and do the jigsaw puzzle yourself :-) My system has a total investment so far of maybe $1,500 - $2,000 in total parts. I took my exact specs and priced an Alienware system with pretty much the same specs -- they wanted $7,000!Hope any of this helps. :-)

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I stand to my statement that ATI is NOT a proper card for FSX.As long as you fly with no or few clouds, there isn't much of a difference between ATI and NVidia. I think that ATI makes FSX look even a little better then, producing the same framerates as a comparable NVidia card.BUT: Try both with an overcast sky and the settings you would have chosen for a clear sky. Framerate drop with NVidia is minor to unnoticeable. ATI will make you weep. On my system, it was going from 25 to 11.
The latest drivers have removed the clouds problem with FSX using a 4870 for me.

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The latest drivers have removed the clouds problem with FSX using a 4870 for me.
I agree, I have no issues with clouds using REX with my Sapphire 4890OC and Cat 9.4 with AA turned up. I did with the 3870 that was terrible in clouds.

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