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Noel

RAM- How Much is Too Much?

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Hello,I've got a nice system, P4 3.06, ATI9700 and 1mb of RDRam.I have an opportunity to pick up an extra 1mb of RAM from a friend who's selling his system, and was wondering if it would do anything to improve performance in FS9? I get between 20-30 FPS in my general flying situations (most sliders maxed) but significantly reduced (ie 10-15) in large airports, areas with complex mesh, etc. I personally don't like to fly at less than a consistent 25FPS, it's simply not realistic for my taste, especially on landing approach.So I'm wondering, will I notice any difference by going to 2MB, or is 1MB already more than FS9 can use and the limitation is the processor or video card?Best,Joel

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Joel, I assume by "MB" in this case you mean "GB". Otherwise you'd be hard pressed to do anything on that computer ;) I doubt you need more than a GB of RAM. I used to have a GB of RAM and never EVER ran out of free memory even with FS2k2 open, Adobe Acrobat, Outlook, several IE windows (at least 5), and several overclocking/monitoring utilities running in the background without any services/processes disabled. So unless you're planning on working on huge files in Photoshop or some other such program, you really won't need anything more than what you've got already. If you really need faster performance there's not much out on the market right now any better than what you have already... A P4 3.2GHz would be marginally faster due to the 800MHz FSB and 133MHz higher clock speed, but I doubt it would be noticeable. Also, the Radeon 9800 Pro 256MB model might be 15-20% faster than your 9700 Pro but for another ~$500 is it really worth it? Same goes for the P4 3.2, do you really want to pay another $600 or more for hardly any performance increase? Not only that but you would have to get a new motherboard to support the 800MHz FSB CPU (more than likely) and possibly faster RAM for the higher FSB mobo & CPU (depending on what speed your RAM is currently). You could end up spending well over $1000 for a 15-25% performance improvement in FS9. The only way you'll get any real performance increase is by upping the CPU clockspeed & FSB significantly & possibly getting a new video card.Of course, if you absolutely must have the best, the Athlon 64 is coming out next month as is the Radeon 9900 Pro (higher-clocked Radeon 9800 Pro) & NV38 (higher-clocked Geforce FX 5900 Ultra). If you want to stay with Intel the Prescott CPU should be debuting sometime later this year (possibly shortly after the Athlon 64) and is supposed to be a decent step up from even today's high-end P4's.hope this helps,Max Cowgill

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Thanks for the info Max, what I expected but thought I'd ask. Somehow no system ever seems fast enough:-)Joel

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Max,I have heard that the Prescott CPU will be released as either a 3.2 or 3.4 with Intel saying that through next year, they forsee only an increase up to 3.6. I think if you buy todays version of the 3.2P4, you really will not be gaining that much by waiting for the Prescott CPU. What do you think?

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Eric, by "through next year" I think you actually mean up until next year. Unless Intel severely downgraded their forecasts on their CPU roadmap they play to be at 4.5-5GHz by the end of next year. The Prescott will be available in speeds of 3.0, 3.2, and 3.4GHz when it is released.-Max Cowgill

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Interesting. I got my info from Tomshardware. That is quite a jump from what I read.

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ugh, "Dr." Thomas Pabst... I can't stand that man. Here's a roadmap that was just released today which shows a 4.4GHz "Tejas" CPU by the end of 2004, pretty much in line with their original projection of 4.5-5.0GHz they've been talking about since last year. _http://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/2003/0812/kaigai01l.gif_ (take underscores out, last time I linked directly to an image I got yelled at)-Max Cowgill

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Joel,Take a look at my Rig Specs below. You can have a similar system for under $1000! I always stay a few steps behind the bell curve when it comes to hardware. In doing that I save alot of money and the guys are right when they tell you that it is not worth it to get 15% or so more performance for Double or Triple the cost...

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As far as FS2002 went, there was absolutely no benefit from increasing from 1 up to 2GB of ram. I proved this to myself by looking at memory usage, swap file usage, and even went so far as to create a RamDisk using RAM for a virtual swap file in an attempt to eliminate swap file usage of a HDD, which always approximated the amount of memory FS2002.exe was using. The basic issue is: FS2002 would only use up to maybe 350mb of physical ram on my 1GB system. You never even get to use the whole 1GB. And this is with multiple addons operating. I haven't tried to see if this is still true with FS9, but I'm guessing it is.If anything, you may end up experiecing a slight DECREASE in performance by moving up to 2GB, as the OS is having to address double the address locations than are present with 1GB.Cheers,Noel

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