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Guest pez_man

Opinions on possible new PC purchase

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Hi all,I am thinking about purchasing a new PC so that I have the "horsepower" for the upcoming FS2004 release, which by the way I have on pre-order here at AVSIM.My current system specs are as follows:IBM NetVistaPentium 3 - 1.0GHz384MB 133Mhz SDRAM MemoryATI All in Wonder Radeon 7200 Graphics Card30GB ATA-100 Hard Drive19" CRT DisplayFS2002 has been running quite well on the above machine, I don't have a bunch of add-ons, other than some downloaded aircraft, so I have been pleased with the performance, framerates been around 15 to 18 depending on location.My first thought was to upgrade this machine, and although I can fit a new motherboard, processor and memory into this machine, I can't get a power supply with enough wattage to drive the new motherboard. The current configuration as shown above only has a 155W power supply.So, that being my bottleneck, I have decided to go for a new PC, pending the all important, "wife's" approval. :-)So my new system specs are as follows, pending approvals of course:IBM ThinkCentre A50pPentium 4 - 3.0GHz800Mhz Front Side Bus1.0MB 333Mhz PC2700 DDR Ram MemoryATI Radeon 9600 128Mb DDR AGP 8X Graphics Card120GB ATA-100 Hard DriveIBM ThinkVision L200p 20.1" FlatPanel LCD DisplayI think this new system will be more than enough to run FS2004, although I am not sure about the FlatPanel display, so any opinions would be welcome, especially those that have expieriance using FlatPanel displays currently. This new system will set me back about $3000 with shipping so before I jump in with both feet, I though I would bounce it off the good folks out here in the AVSIM forum.One thing to note, I can't upgrade the graphics card, there is none better that is offered, so I will have to upgrade that myself at some point in the future as finances allow.Thanks for any and all advice.Joe

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While I think that is a good system I think you are paying a little to much. I just got a system very similar to that and I only paid 1800 and change but it also came with a 200 rebate plus free group shipping. The only difference is I got the Radeon 9700 Pro and I only got 256MB of RAM which I upgraded to 520 after I got it for about $100. I don't know where you are getting that system but if you go to Dell you are going to get about the best deal there is. I got the 8250 and am EXTREMELY happy with it. Before you go ahead and purchase it I suggest you go and search at Dell's website a little and customize a PC to your like and save yourself $$$ at the same time.Thats just my 2 cents...

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Joe, you are paying way to much for that configuration!!! For that money you can get top of the line. Better RAM and 9800 pro 256 vid card, find an ATA 133 HD or even better go for the 10,000rpm ones. If you are willing to spend that kind of money go with Alienware or Dell, quality name (IBM?) and a bit cheaper, although if you build it yourself, it can be even cheaper.On the monitor, I "personally" don't like the LCD screens I have seen, I would get a good 21 inch CRT Regards, Michaelhttp://mysite.verizon.net/res052cd/mybannercva1.jpgCalVirAir International VAwww.calvirair.comCougar Mountain Helicopters & Aviationwww.cgrmtnhelos.com

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I'm with everyone else, $3000 for that rig is way too much. What's wrong with your 19" CRT? I considered going to an LCD, but after much reading I've dicided to wait. There will be a new generation of LCD's coming later this year that will be better performing. If you're happy with your 19" CRT, why not save some money and get just a systen without a monitor.I've heard good things about the new Dell gaming system (XPS), but I still think they're overpriced. I priced one a few months ago when I built my 2.66GHz system in my sig, and it costs over $1000 more for the dell system. Why not build one yourself?If you want to look at the dell's here's a link to the XPS systems:http://www.dell.com/us/en/dhs/offers/specials_m_dimenxps.htm

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$3000 does seem high for that rig. I built mine and it was pretty high end at the time, a few months ago. Total cost: ~$2,200 sans monitor, which I owned before. And a huge amount of this is for these very high end drives.CPU: $199Mainboard: $220Case/PSS: $199RAM: $160Video: $319Drives/Controller: $769Audio: $ 59DVD/CDRW: $139Win2K Pro $103Cheers

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I agree with the others here - either learn to build your own and save a bundle while getting better stuff (like a 9700 or 9800 Radeon) or go to one of the PC builders who makes stuff specifically for gamers. (Alienware, Falcon Northwest, Dell XPS etc) IBM is seriously ripping you off with that if you buy that system...If you build yourself, my fav site for parts is www.newegg.com - they're one of the highest rated online hardware stores anywhere, have awesome prices, and I've never had a problem with them whatsoever - I've built three full systems now (and soon to be #4 right before 2004 comes out) with parts from their store.Ryan

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Hi all,I want to thank everyone for their responses, and some good ideas to go check out, which I will do. This is exactly what I was going for, getting different opinions and suggestions. Thanks again to all who responded. :-)Joe

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Hi all again!I did some research on the various suggestions in the previous posts, and here is what I came up with, only option not researched yet is a "build your own". I think that will take a little time going to various web-sites to get all the data.To make the playing field a little more even to guage pricing, in my original "new" configuration above for the IBM machine, I took out the 20.1" Flat Panel Display, and the following info is on just a new PC.IBM ThinkCentre A50p as configured in my first post: $1,799Dell Dimension XPS (has Radeon 9800 128MB): $2,346Alienware ("Custom" model, has Nvidia GForce FX5900): $2,725Dell Dimension 8300 (same config as IBM) $1,992I am posting this info so that everyone can see the various pricing that goes on in the PC world from some of the major vendors. All of these examples I got from the various web-sites, all are the same configs as posted in my original note on top, except for the differences as noted, and these numbers do not include shipping charges. I have no preference over one vendor or the other, only trying to make as many comparisons as possible. Now off to try and price a "build your own". :-)Have a great day!Joe

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A couple of thoughts:1. I would read Andrew Herd's preview of FS2004 over at Flightsim.com. He talks about horsepower.2. Even the 3.0 gig machines will not give you wonderful framerates at busy, detailed airports with some AI and real weather. 3. The machine you detailed without a monitor should be between $1,800 and $2,000 US.4. I would have a local computer shop build your system for you. This gives you complete control of what goes in and also great flexibility in upgrading. 5. Dell makes very good, reliable machines. You can upgrade CPUs, memory and video cards easilly with off the shelf components. You can't overclock a Dell's cpu, however, as they do not give you any tools in the bios.6. The difference in price between a 2.4 or 2.6 gig machine and a 3.0 gig is almost 100%. That extra 400 to 600 mghz is very expensive. It might be worth buying a 2.5 or 2.6 gig machine and upgrading the cpu down the line. You will still have a wonderful experience with the upgrade moving out of your old system.7. There is absolutely no need to buy a new monitor. Check out E-bay, your local paper, tag sales or Craigs List if they are in your community. I bought a 21" monitor used for $50. My girlfriend got a beautiful Dell/Sony Trinintron Flat CRT 19" for $10 at a tag sale. There are tons of second hand monitors that work just fine - and at these kinds of prices, they are essentially disposable if they pack it in. I went through the same exercise you did, though was in a bit better situation. I upgraded my old Dell Dimension 8100 which has the old 423 pin p4 at 1.4 to a 2.6 P4 using an inexpensive socket adapter instead of buying a new machine. My decision was based on the conclusion that something on the order of 4 gigs would really be necessary to run either FS 2002 or 2004 with a lot of AI and detailed clouds. I decided to wait on a brand new machine until the new Intel processors come out at the end of the year. You may not have the same luxury, however. Hope this helps. Colin

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Hi!I don't know about the new generation of flat screen monitors coming that someone mentioned above, but I recently bought a NEC 15" lcd monitor (that's the only size I could afford :-( ) and I'm really pleased with it, now I can play flightsim for hours without my eyes bleeding, and I got plenty of room for maps and stuff on the desk :-) ) Look out for the refresh rates though, and test your screen before you buy it if possible to look for dead pixels, since that can be quite annoying and sometimes hard to replace the screen for! rgrdsfredrik

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