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Processor upgrade, or new system?

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For all of you computer experts.... my goal is to have flight simulator 2002, and upcoming flight simulator 2004 just to "run like silk" with full graphics(graphic bars all of the way up). Lets say maybe 30 to 40 fps. My current system is a vaio pcv-rx580. All i know is that it has a intel pentium 4 1.8ghz processor and i have a radeon 9700 pro graphics card. Now my question is, would it be more benificial to upgrade my processor to a intel pentium 4 2.8ghz processor, or just get a new machine like a dell 8300? Would upgrading the processor to a 2.8 do a whole lot? opinions........thanks!!

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First of all, will your mobo take a 533MHZ FSB processor? The 1.8s that I know about are 400MHZ and the 2.8s are 533. Then the decision becomes the cost. A new system = $3000 +/-. Even with a new mobo, the upgrade will be less than $500. You don't say if your graphics card has 128MB memory and I have no idea, but given that 5GHZ Intel processors are on the horizon with a 1GHZ FSB, I plan to make do with what I have until the next FS generation and that new generation of hardware. I counsel folks to upgrade when it makes sense from a usability point of view. It seems that a 1.8GHZ PIV will handle MSFS9 just fine and when MSFS10 comes along in two or three years, the reasons to upgrade will becompelling because of hardware improvements.Something else to keep in mind too is that increasing memory often makes dramatic improvements in system speed. If you do not have at least 500MB of RAM now, going to that or higher will do a lot. I more than quadrupled my system speed by going from 256 to 768 several weeks ago.

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Its amazing how some people wont settle until they have 30 FPS steady with max scenery, but others get very excited when they see 20...

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Well, first of all you won't get 30 or 40 consistently without turning off AA and anitstropic filtering in busy airports with a decent amount of AI even with the 3.0.Depending on your motherboard, you can probably go up to 2.6 with a P4, using an adapter if you 1.8 is a 423 pin machine. You may not be able to go higher. It won't be the power useage, it will be whether your mobo and bios support a 533fsb - the 400 fsb chips top out at 2. 6. I would frankly upgrade your current system as far as you can. The difference, especially with your graphics card, won't be that much from the 2.6 to the 3.0. It will cost you between $200 and $250. Lot less than a $1,800 new machine, and it will get you within 20% in performance. Then, wait for the new Intel chips to come out next year. You will need 4.0 gigs to get the types of frames you want, all the time. Hope this helps. Dell 8100Upgraded to a P4 2.6 400fsbPowerleap adapter764 megs RAMBUSRadeon 9700Colin

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There isn't a system in existence that will run FS at 40 FPS with all the sliders maxed.$3000 for a new system is flat wrong too for most people who already have decent componets - I just priced componets at www.newegg.com and it came to around $1300 - this is a 3Ghz P4 (800Mhz FSB), All-in-Wonder Radeon 9800, 1GB Corsair RAM, ASUS motherboard, and an Antec case. If you already have a good monitor, disk drives etc, this is all you need to upgrade. There's no sense in buying a $3000 Dell or whatever unless every single componet you have is ancient. The Radeon 9700 is still a very good video card and you won't see much of a difference in a CPU limited app like FS by upgrading to a 9800. I think you could easily get away with getting a new case (I doubt the Sony one is a standard ATX format), a new mobo and upper range P4 CPU and new RAM. It should cost you under $1000.Ryan

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