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pulledyourleg

Building a new desktop - CPU & GPU advice?

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Hi all,

 

I'm brand new to avsim, and this is my first post.

 

I've been enjoying MS Flight Simulator since version '98 while using the MS Force Feedback joystick. What fun it was then, and what fun it still is now (of course now I'm using FSX with a yoke!).

 

I'm planning on building a new desktop system within the next month or so, and I'm trying to research what kind of hardware would be best in terms of CPU and GPU. One would think that anything that you could buy new today would be more than adequate for a game that was developed three or so years ago, but I know that's not the case with FSX!

 

I've also heard that with FSX, having a really strong processor is more important than a top of the line graphics card. And as far as processors go, I'm trying to decide between an i5 or i7. My budget for the CPU is anywhere up to about $220. If I can stay under that then that would be great, but from what I've learned, it seems like for smooth FSX gameplay (with addons like ORBX, REX, etc), getting a great CPU is where the focus of a new system should be.

 

Any tips or advice about CPU & GPU selection would be much appreciated. (My budget for GPU is about $200.) Also, any information about how or why a certain type of processor might work better for FSX than another type would also be appreciated. (For example, I've heard something about how FSX doesn't utilize multi-core processors very well, so dumping money into a fast quad-core is just not necessary and won't improve FSX one bit.)

 

Thanks, all. I look forward to participating in the forum!

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Do you have a Micro Center nearby? If so you can get an i5 3570k for $189 and a motherboard for another $90 or so in a bundle. That's your best bet. To get the most out of flight sim you'll need to overclock your CPU also. The 3570k is good for 4.5-4.6GHz before de-lidding, a procedure I highly recommend which enable further overclocking to 4.7-4.9GHz. Don't skimp on RAM or power supply or cooling either or your system will be unbalanced. RAM in the 2400MHz DDR3 range is ideal, 8GB or more. As for power supply and cooling those depend on your budget and your overall goal for the PC.

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Wow - thank you guys for all the info.

 

Superglide - I'm checking out that forum post on software/hardware. Very useful! I was looking for something like that but couldn't find one that seemed well researched / well written. This one is both. Thank you!

 

Techguymax - Yes, I have a microcenter nearby. They're having a great sale right now with some great i5/mobo combos. As long as I can find a combo that I'm happy with all around, I'll definitely go that direction for the cost savings. I just have to keep my eyes peeled.

 

Again, I really appreciate the help. I'm sure I'll be back for more as I proceed with my plans...

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One last question. How much disk space on average can I expect FSX to take up? Of course more add-ons will keep coming out, but at the moment I know for sure that I'll at least be installing the following:

 

-FSX/SP2

-ORBX Pacific Northwest

-REX

-About half a dozen add-on aircraft, including a PMDG 737 (the others just general aviation planes from Carenado)

 

Any rough guesses will be good enough for me. Thanks again.

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Somewhere in the 70-120GB range seems to be the average if you've got a decent amount of add-ons but aren't using photo scenery. 200 or so at the top end.

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