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Guest c0reym

For those trying to decide between CPU & GPU

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Guest c0reym

Decision:to upgrading my CPU or my GPU - both are pretty awful (Intel E5200 CPU and PNY GeForce 7600GS GPU). What I did:Upgraded my CPU to a Q9550 and OC'd it to 3.63 GHz. I didn't even have to raise voltages or make any other adjustments. I Ran Prime95 for about 30 min to ensure it was solid. Temps remained low (upper 30s or lower 40s). I installed Windows 7 x64, FSX, WOAI traffic, Captain Sim 757, SP1, and SP2 and then I made the changes to my fsx.config and FSX settings following Nickn's guide.Result:FSX runs buttery smooth! Flying my CS 757 around Italy's Malpensa (LIMC) I get a very smooth 20 to 30 fps... emphasis on smooth. The increase in fps doesn't even explain the improvement in smoothness. Textures show up much quicker when switching to VC! It's excellent.Other:I had it in mind that I would upgrade my GPU to a GTS 250 in the future, but my current GPU is REALLY loud. I'm tempted to upgrade to a lesser fanless GPU as even that would be a huge improvement over what I have and I would save a little money. Also, I tried using nHancer per Nickn's recommendations and found it actually ruined my FSX performance - so I reverted the changes and uninstalled it and now FSX is happy again.Computer Setup:Windows 7 x64500W Power SupplyAsus P5Q-EMIntel Q9550 @ 3.63GHz, Ducted Stock Cooler4GB DDR2 800 RamPNY 7600GS(1) 150GB WD Velociraptor (Operating System)(1) 220GB WD 7200 RPM (FSX Only)21" Samsung 216BW @ 1680x1050

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Guest c0reym

I think I lied above... those are idle temps! Max temp is about 75 degrees C. I know this isn't an overclocking forum, but should I be concerned???Thanks,Corey

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I think I lied above... those are idle temps! Max temp is about 75 degrees C. I know this isn't an overclocking forum, but should I be concerned???Thanks,Corey
75 deg is OK, but you really don't want to go much higher than that. If that's the temp running Prime95, your FSX temps should be a good bit lower anyway.RegardsBob ScottColonel, USAF (ret)ATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-VColorado Springs, CO

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The stock Intel cooler is woefully inadequate. You really should get an aftermarket cooler on there. You don't necessarily need the best air cooler on the market either. The HDT coolers from Xigmatek/OCZ/Sunbeam/etc. are great coolers for the money. Usually $20-$40 will net you a cooler that can easily handle the heat output your overclocked Q9550 is generating. Make sure to grab one with a 120mm fan though, don't get a puny 80 or 92mm fan or you'll get lackluster results and noticeable fan whine.

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Guest c0reym
The stock Intel cooler is woefully inadequate. You really should get an aftermarket cooler on there. You don't necessarily need the best air cooler on the market either. The HDT coolers from Xigmatek/OCZ/Sunbeam/etc. are great coolers for the money. Usually $20-$40 will net you a cooler that can easily handle the heat output your overclocked Q9550 is generating. Make sure to grab one with a 120mm fan though, don't get a puny 80 or 92mm fan or you'll get lackluster results and noticeable fan whine.
The only problem with a 120mm fan is that I only have about 140mm between the case and the cpu to work with, so that more or less ixnays the tower coolers. I was considering a design where the fan is oriented towards the cpu like the Cooler Master GeminII S or the Zalman CNPS7700 but those don't seem as popular and I can't find a good one with HDT.

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Guest c0reym

I'm pretty sure the Zalman CNPS9700 110mm will fit in my case with just a couple mm to spare... and it's all copper.

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I'm pretty sure the Zalman CNPS9700 110mm will fit in my case with just a couple mm to spare... and it's all copper.
I've had two Zalman HSF units, and neither was worth more than the scrap value of the copper they were made of.RegardsBob ScottColonel, USAF (ret)ATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-VColorado Springs, CO

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Guest c0reym

Alright, considering the Scythe Zipang - it's equipped with a 140mm fan and is supposed to be extremely quiet. I've seen it in a couple places for about $45.

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You don't want a heatsink which uses a fan orientation toward the motherboard (like the Zalman or Scythe units you've mentioned), you're just exhausting hot air back into the case and onto the motherboard components around the CPU socket.Also the Zalman 7700 is a very old heatsink and not up to the task of cooling a modern CPU. You want a tower unit, the larger, the better.

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I'm glad to see that CPU still reigns supreme with FS performance.
That's not something to be happy about since it means that in order to get more performance you need an increase in clock speed or an increase in IPC (instructions per clock cycle) which requires an architectural change. Neither of which come quickly anymore. Back in the early days of superscalar architectures like the Pentium/PPro/PII/PIII, clock speeds would double every year or so and it was a free lunch. This continued through the P4 days but then we hit a brick wall called the law of thermodynamics and the free lunch ended. It took a completely new architecture (Core 2) in order to gain performance again.

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Guest c0reym

I received my Scythe Zipang CPU cooler yesterday and am happy to say it reduced my CPU temp by about 10 degrees C. Temps topped out at 62 degrees C after an hour of FSX. Idle temps are in the mid to upper 30s. I know some of the other coolers do a better job of cooling, but I was very limited on height and I wanted something super quiet. I can always change out the 140mm fan for a higher flow 120mm fan if I decide I want better cooling - as I've seen it mentioned in a couple places that this modification will improve the cooling ability of this cooler.I may have ripped the obnoxious fan out of my 7600GS GPU yesterday and zip tied the stock intel fan to the heatsink instead. I plugged it into one of the mobo headers so that I would have control over the speed. GPU temps dropped almost 15 degrees with the fan profile on silent mode (I also applied new arctic silver thermal compound to the heatsink). It now idles in the upper 40s and maxed out at 65 after an hour of playing FSX. That and now my PC doesn't sound like a buzzsaw. A little ghetto, I know... BUT, I'm a college student and it was FREE! It looks kind of cool too. The only issue at this point is that I can't seem to overclock beyond 3.6 GHz - computer forces me to edit settings in BIOS on startup. Temps are fine and I've tried changing voltages... still nothing.

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I think upgrading your video card would help very much. The 7600 is quite dated now. Adding a GTX 275 or 285 would boost performance imho

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Guest c0reym
I think upgrading your video card would help very much. The 7600 is quite dated now. Adding a GTX 275 or 285 would boost performance imho
I'm certain my video card is the bottleneck at this point. An upgraded video card is in the works, but probably won't happen till this summer. I was looking at a GTS 250 1GB DDR3 - BFG sells one for $100. Maybe the GTX 275 will come down in price between now and the upgrade... In the meantime, FSX is looking pretty good considering my 4 year old video card. Frame rates aren't fantastic, but the sim still appears pretty smooth.What should I be looking at in a video card anyway??? Core Clock? Memory Clock? Stream Processors? Memory Capacity? Etc? Can somebody rate the importance of these for FSX specifically, or is it not that simple?

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For FSX, the only cards to consider are:GTS 250, GTX 260, GTX 275, GTX 285Anything else (including Radeons) is a gamble.

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Guest chris493

I use the radeon 5870 and haven't had a single issue with them what so ever. I run FSX on max settings at 1920x1080. Over aerosoft manhattan x in pmdg 747x VC about 20-35 FPS and no stutters, veerrry smooth! The only reason I run 2 is for my 3 monitors, not that 2 cards makes a difference in FSX. I would also recommend the 5870

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The 5870 is a great card, but due to mip-map undersampling (which is built into the Catalyst driver), it produces lesser visual quality than NV cards do, at least for MSFS. If it works fine for you that's great, but most here prefer the image quality produced by NV cards.

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Guest c0reym

Not to be close-minded, but when I do upgrade it will for sure be an nVidea based card - for several reasons, but mostly because it's what almost everyone running FSX is using. When ATI cards are running WAAAAAYYYY better than nVidea (specifically for FSX, not Crysis or whatever other benchmark game), than maybe I'll take a look. But for now, everybody running ATI is claiming it works "fine," which means it's not really any better and therefore not worth the risk when so many others claim they had problems with ATI.

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Guest chris493

I agree completely. If my sslystem was dedicated for FSX only, I would have gotten the GTX285, however, because I play other games such as Cod 4, Cod:MW2, and many other games, the 2 ATI runs better for me.

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