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Guest wathomas777

Should I upgrade the CPU or Video Card?

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This is a common question with most people involving FS9. And in most cases, my answer is Both.Many people seem to run under the false assumption that Buying a Top End of one component will magically compensate for the weaker component.First, it takes some skill to determine what exactly is the bottleneck in your system, and worse, it's almost impossible to figure out what the next bottleneck is. As a result, you can replace one component, with a top of the line model, only to find a very small increase in performance, due to the next component being the bottleneck.With the low prices today in Memory, CPU's, MB's, and Video Cards, it is almost ALWAYS wiser to give EVERY thing a modest upgrade.For example. I have $400.00 to spend on an upgrade. I have a 64Meg MX Geforce card, a 1 Ghz processor with 128Meg DDR and a 4xAGP motherboard. What should I upgrade? I could blow a huge chunk of that on the latest ATI Radeon 9800, and use the change to buy another 256Meg of Memory. Only to find a marginal increase because of limitations on my motherboard and CPUBetter to upgrade the CPU for about $100, Buy an new MB for $80, Buy 512MB for another $100, and settle for a modest FX5200 card for $100.Although you have not bought the "best" of anyone component, you have effectively made a must wiser upgrade. The CPU upgrade will allow faster computations. The 512Megs give more memory. The new Motherboard will support the fastest memory and provide AGP 8X. And the FX5200, while not being the fastest out of the block will at least be able to give you twice the memory on the card, as well as utilize 8X AGP.I see people with systems that on the most part are much "faster" than mine only to have poorer performance due to a bottleneck in the system caused by placing all of one's eggs in a basket.My system is the absolutely LEAST EXPENSIVE available today. I am using a 500 dollar Compaq, added 512 Meg of Ram and an FX5200 card and get wonderful performance in FS9.My computer will not win any awards on speed, nor will any single component be the fastest. However, it is important to realize on an application that utilizes the ENTIRE computer like Flight Simulator, that often, the best results come not from Upgrading a single component to "the best money can buy". But rather making modest upgrades in all areas of your machine to give you the "best bang for your buck".Something to think about.

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Pretty good point. Only thing about that is... it means reinstalling, everything. And resetting up and reconfiguring, everything. Shudder. Hehe.Jim

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Very true, but you will find the money and time well spent.For me, the upgrade consisted of an entirely new computer. My Celeron 600 had almost NOTHING to bring to the party (I did use the MX420 for a week or so because the built in Intel card on the MB wasn't gonna cut it.)The point is, if you buy the best in one category, to simply save some work, chances are, that upgrade will be a complete waste of your money. Better to spend a little time and effort now, then enjoy the Sim for the next two years, than to simply try a quick fix band-aid now only to be fighting slideritis for the next two years.

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Im in the same boat. I just upgraded my AMD XP1600 256 DDR RAM /32 Ram Video card to 512 DDR and the FX5200 256 DDR video card and the results are wonderful. But, now Im about to drop another $100 on an upgrade to the mother board (with 8X AGP) and another $100 for a XP2600 with possibly another 512 of RAM. Does anyone think this will help my FS9? It runs great now but not as smooth as I would like (whose does?) but still satisfactory. The way I see it, the upgrade will be about $250 worth and will be:XP1600 to a XP2600-twice the CPU512 DDR to 1024-twice the RAM4x AGP to 8x AGP-wice the AGP capability-plus a faster FSBWhat do you think?

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Your thought is very correct, however, there is a mistake. Change GF MX to FX5200 doesn't make much different. You should save this for other parts, like CPU, RAM.

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With the money I have spent upgrading my PC for FS9, amongst other reasons too, like Cubase, I could have bought an airline ticket round trip to Paris.Allen

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Well, in my case it was appropriate. I had a 64Meg MX420 PCI card, so the upgrade to AGP and the added 64Meg on the card made a very large difference for a modest price $90.00If the person with the MX card already has 128Meg of Ram on it, and is using AGP already, then I concede that the FX may not add much to the equation.The point is, don't blow all your money on a single LARGE upgrade, make modest improvements in all areas and you will see a much greater overall improvement for the same $$$. You won't have any "bragging" rights, but you also won't be one of these guys pulling their hair out because that Radeon or GeForce card they purchased only managed to give them a meager 1 to 2 FPS because their CPU or Memory is now the limiting factor.

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