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turner112

Video card noob q's

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Ok, recently got a new system and want to upgrade the video cards, but honestly the last time I was in the market was like 9 years ago. (Not totally noob q's but close enough.)

 

System: Dell XPS 8300, i5 3ghz, 16gb ram, 1tb hd, 460W power. I am running Massive Scenery from an external drive if that matters.

 

The video card is an AMD Radeo HD 6450. Says it's capable of running 3 monitors, I currently have two 19".

 

1st question - how much does running multiple monitors tax resources if the 3d view is kept on one screen?

 

Basically, the main question is whether I should upgrade the card - I picked up an EVGA Geforce GTX 550ti today sort of while just browsing, but have not opened it yet. Figured I'd better ask here first...

 

I also read somewhere that some of the older cards may actually perform better and give more bang for the buck.

 

I don't want to change my power supply.

 

So, question 2... should I upgrade? 2a) If so, what do you recommend?

 

much thanks

Andrew

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Hi Andrew,

 

What simulator are you running? FSX with addons will eat that system up, and upgrade options are extremely limited in that cramped XPS case, small proprietary power supply, and proprietary motherboard.

 

That low end GPU you purchased will offer "reasonable" performance with lower anti-aliasing settings, but your stuck with a non-overclockable, tight, cramped, hot Dell. Speaking of which, have you measured inside the case? Will the 550 fit? Inevitably you will find out that most folks in this forum build their own PCs for FSX. This is why.

 

As for the second question. Personally, I say "no". With the rest of the system "bottle-necking" FSX, the GPU upgrade will come with limited performance gain.


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FSX, Active Sky 2012, RealityXP Flightline T and N, 430W, 530W, Unlimited.

 

Also, Massive Scenery, and for utilities, FS Panel Studio and Instant Scenery 2. Running SPAD to get my Saitek Radio Panel to work properly.

 

I realize the utility stuff isn't really relevant...

 

FWIW this thing runs FSX a lot better than my old machine, an Optiplex 330 with a Geforce 8500GT. Because I'm using Massive Scenery, no autogen is running, and I can do with reduced settings elsewhere.

 

Optimally, I want clear ground and good clouds. Currently I'm getting about 20fps with visibility set to 20 miles. Often, the visibility will be 2 miles as I'm using the system to complement my instrument training. (The Optiplex worked great for this as well, set up with 2 monitors and only a tiny forward view.)

 

I also like the idea of running 3 monitors with the current AMD, albeit 2 with only 2D instrument displays and the 3rd with only a 3D view.

 

cheers

Andrew

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FSX, Active Sky 2012, RealityXP Flightline T and N, 430W, 530W, Unlimited.

 

Also, Massive Scenery, and for utilities, FS Panel Studio and Instant Scenery 2. Running SPAD to get my Saitek Radio Panel to work properly.

 

I realize the utility stuff isn't really relevant...

 

FWIW this thing runs FSX a lot better than my old machine, an Optiplex 330 with a Geforce 8500GT. Because I'm using Massive Scenery, no autogen is running, and I can do with reduced settings elsewhere.

 

Optimally, I want clear ground and good clouds. Currently I'm getting about 20fps with visibility set to 20 miles. Often, the visibility will be 2 miles as I'm using the system to complement my instrument training. (The Optiplex worked great for this as well, set up with 2 monitors and only a tiny forward view.)

 

I also like the idea of running 3 monitors with the current AMD, albeit 2 with only 2D instrument displays and the 3rd with only a 3D view.

 

cheers

Andrew

 

I see. Since you are using photoreal stuff, I'll have to defer your question to others with more experience there. What I do know is that photoreal scenery is much more independent on CPU IPC and clock speed. I don't think a GPU upgrade will show you much, if any, benefit.


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Zachary Waddell -- Caravan Driver --

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/zwaddell

Avsim ToS

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If you want crisp ground textures and no shimmering you are going to need to run some high AA and AF. If you are willing to shell out the cash, the 660Ti is an awesome bang for buck.

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If you want crisp ground textures and no shimmering you are going to need to run some high AA and AF. If you are willing to shell out the cash, the 660Ti is an awesome bang for buck.

 

Thanks Ben-

 

I think I'd have to upgrade my power supply for one of those!

 

I'll take a look though, also to make sure about what will fit in my case.

 

Cheers

Andrew

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Well, I installed a GeForce 550ti as 1) it fit, 2) I wouldn't have to upgrade my power supply and 3) seemed like a good price...

 

Wow, what a difference- went from 15-20 fps to 50-60, including at Orlando intl with about 70% traffic and full cloud coverage. No autogen as I'm using Massive Scenery.

 

I did run that automatic fsx.cfg tweaker and followed its suggestions (eg st frame rate to unlimited) though I haven't tried the external framerate limiter yet.

 

I'll say, high framerates sure makes the flight characteristics feel more realistic!

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So you are using photo scenery. Can I give you this advice: scrap that external drive and get a velociraptor for your photo scenery. That external drive will limit how fast the high detail photo scenery loads and make your ground textures blurrier than they have to be.

 

Use the half rate V-sync tweak and set your FPS locked to 30FPS within FSX and do not use an external limiter. Even thou its 'only' 30FPS it looks and feels super smooth. But don't tweak down the FFTF value if you want to keep the ground textures at high detail.

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