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E6BAV8R

PC Upgrade for FSX

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Hello,

 

Quick Background:

I am currently an FS9 user but looking to upgrade to FSX.  I exclusively use complex aircraft add-ons, such as PMDG and Level-D, and with ActiveSky and varied scenery airports / landclass in FS9.  I'm not too worried about being able to run scenery enhancements from the get-go in FSX since I'm also going to have to spend a chunk of money on basic FSX add-ons (PMDG, ActiveSky, etc.).  I currently run FS9 on max settings and sit around 60-70FPS.  I don't really expect max settings in FSX but I want them to be high or have room to add scenery enhancements (such as GEX or UTX) when the time comes.

 

I don't really intend on OC'ing anything.  I'm not opposed to it but I wouldn't push it anywhere near its limits if I was going to.  Additionally, I'm not so sure my current motherboard would be able to handle much OCing.  Here are my current specs:

Upgrades:

CPU:

I've been out of the PC building segment a while so I am not up to speed on the best hardware any longer.  After doing some quick research it appears that the i5 is still a great CPU in comparison to i7 benchmarks while being substantially cheaper; primarily since modern games still don't take advantage of HyperThreading.  While I don't really plan on overclocking, the 3570K version over the 3570 is only $5 more.  I don't know much of anything of the 4670 but it is the same price as the 3570K.

 

Budget:

I don't really play any other games, much less ones that push my PC like FS does, and I want to purchase parts that I can build from in the future.  I know the GPU is going to be the next bottleneck in my system and I plan on addressing that at some point down the road.  I currently am just looking to get FSX up and running with a few add-ons that I can enjoy for the time being.  However, any thoughts on a budget GPU for FSX would be welcome.

 

Any thoughts or opinions on components or how it will run FSX would be most welcome.  I've never tinkered with FSX before and I want to make sure I am purchasing components that will lead to a smooth running FSX with some add-ons.

 

Thanks

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Since I can no longer edit the original post, I am looking at adding a GPU since I don't feel my current ATI one will cut it at all for what I am looking for.

 

Therefore, I am currently looking at purchasing either of these:

While the GTX 660 is the best here, I question if it is really worth the substantial cost over the others for the sole purpose of FSX.  Do you feel it warrants the cost for exclusive use in FSX?  Are there any better options out there that are also affordable?

 

With all that said, here is the latest version of my system I am looking at for FSX:

After that the only problem I see will be my motherboard, as I won't be able to take full advantage of PCI-e 3.0 nor will I be able to overclock the CPU on this board.  I will upgrade the board in time but I want parts I know that I can plug a new motherboard into.

 

Any thoughts or opinions are appreciated.

 

Thanks

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Prepare to be disappointed. Even with your upgrades, switching to FSX will be a huge frame rate drop from 60-70. Definitely plan on and buy for overclocking if you want any decent addons to not grind to a halt.

 

Depending on your graphic fidelity needs within FSX, your planned upgrade will be only so so.  I'd do it all, better off doing a MB upgrade with latest Hasswell, fastest memory and SSD too.

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Prepare to be disappointed. Even with your upgrades, switching to FSX will be a huge frame rate drop from 60-70. Definitely plan on and buy for overclocking if you want any decent addons to not grind to a halt.

 

Depending on your graphic fidelity needs within FSX, your planned upgrade will be only so so. I'd do it all, better off doing a MB upgrade with latest Hasswell, fastest memory and SSD too.

I understand that I will not be getting anywhere near 60-70 - I was anticipating/hoping to sit around 30 with the NGX.

 

Why a Haswell? From what I have read the gaming performance is practically the same and the Haswell can't OC as high as the 3570K, but it does have higher clock speeds. The way I see it is you could buy a Haswell processor and stagnate at 4.3Ghz and then get a comparable Ivy Bridge and OC it to 4.6 - but is it better performance?

 

While the 1155 is essentially a dead-end socket, I only upgrade PCs about every 5 years (and that is being generous - that is how little I play games other than FS) the 1150 socket will be gone by that point too. Once I get my PC specs to where I am happy with the way it runs FS than I stop fiddling with hardware. I don't play any other games so performance beyond what it gives me in FS is useless to me.  That is why I wanted to get the minimum of what I need to get high settings in FSX.

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Well before spending a dime, I would install FSX on your current machine. Install a few demanding freeware planes, scenery and airports. Play with the settings and tweak FSX some. Then judge your upgrade path choice and satisfaction from there.

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Well, I'm not worried about shelling out the money and I know I'll have to upgrade my PC for what I want FSX to do - it's just a matter of which system (1150 or 1155) would be better for FSX to fly on high settings in complex aircraft (PMDG).  It just seems that FSX likes higher CPU speeds (OC'd 3570K) than it would something that may have better architecture but run slightly slower (OC'd 4670K).  That is pretty much my decision at this point, as the price difference with the CPU + Motherboard is only about $40.  It is a small enough price difference that I don't mind paying if it will give me equal (or better, of course) performance and some comfort in future upgrade-ability.  Even though the 3570K may OC slightly better (which I'm not a hardcore OC'er that will push the limits, anyway) it kinda irks me to purchase a dead-end socket that may give me nothing in terms of performance.

 

Being that I don't push the limits of OC, and I won't bother to mess with voltage and such, perhaps I have answered my own question in which to go (the Haswell path)?

 

Thanks for your reply.

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I believe I have decided to go ahead and go forward with the Haswell set-up.  This is the hardware I have come up with so I welcome comments on the specific hardware.  The hardware has already exceeded my budget so I can't go more expensive, but I can plug and play some items if there is better components for the equivalent price.  I'll be using the HDD, PSU and Case from my existing PC.  I'm hoping to hit in the low 4 GHz range after some slight overclocking.

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Looks good to me. The GPU is fine for your current PSU.

Just make sure your case (which one is it?) will fit a full ATX board and add a CPU cooler if you plan to overclock

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103065

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

I was looking at either of those coolers but decided I'd hold off until I get to the overclocking point and see if it is needed.  NickN posted his OC'ing specs on his 4670K and said he was running 4.1 - 4.2 GHz with normal temps on the stock heatsink.  If I need it I'll pick one up but I don't intend on pushing any limits.

 

My PSU is an COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus 500W.  It is about 1-year old but I know it is Haswell certified.

 

My case is an older Antec PlusView 1000AMG Case.  It is a Server type case and is absolutely massive, so I'm not worried at all about it fitting :P

 

Thanks again.  I hope to order these very soon - just trying to make sure it is what I want!

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I'm running the i5-3570K (OC'd @ 4.0GHz) on air cooling, with a nVidia GTX560Ti '448' and run the NGX locked at 28fps with absolutely no problem at all. I have scenery slider maxed out, auto-gen roughly in the middle, but have no scenery add-ons. I'm running on a standard 7200rpm HDD.

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Quick question:

Do you think it'd be worth it to buy an SSD, to be used strictly for installing FSX on, or use that money and get a better video card?  At the moment I use the following:

The GPU I am looking to currently purchase is:

The SSD I am looking at is $140 (Samsung 120GB SSD), so an upgraded GPU would be around $340.00.

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I do have to say, increasing RAM to 8GB from 4GB isn't going to do anything for you. FSX can only allocate approximately 3.5GB due to it's 32-bit nature. You will waste money [despite the small amount] by purchasing RAM that will be useless.

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Thought I'd provide a quick update to this thread, or at least an archive for others.

 

Purchased my PC and have everything put together and running stock speeds at the moment.  I plan on doing some overclocking tomorrow and see what I can push this 4670K up to.  I planned on a budget of about $500 but quickly exceed that.  Here are the specs:

  • Intel i5 4670K
  • Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB
  • Asus Z87-A
  • G.Skill 8GB DDR3 2133 MHz
  • Corsair TX650 PSU
  • WD 500GB 7200RPM HDD (Primary HDD - Using for Windows, Media and Storage)
  • Samsung 840 Series 128GB SSD (Dedicated for FSX)

All said and done it was a little over $900.

 

At stock speeds the CPU idles at 28C with the CPU fan at about 35% speed.  For baseline sake I ran the High Torture Test on Prime95 just to see the numbers.  CPU temps hovered between the 45-47C range with CPU fan going up to 55% speed.  I then manually moved the CPU fan to 100% and the temp went down to about 40C.  Next step is to see what I can push this Haswell to.

 

So much for a budget!

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Wow prices have really come down then.  I spent $2000 on the build in my profile back in Jan 2011.  Of course it was a from scratch build.

 

Curious to see how it overclocks.

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I haven't yet had the chance to get much done in FSX, as I've been doing a lot of overclocking and stability testing when I can. Currently I am sitting at 4.4GHz @ 1.155V with CPU temperatures idling in the 33-35C range. I've done a few hours of stability testing in both Prime95 and Intel Burn Test with no issues at this VCore. Stock to 4.2GHz wasn't much of an issue - it went pretty straightforward without much tinkering with VCore. However, I must say that it took an exponential amount of power and a lot of tinkering to go from 4.2 to 4.4GHz. I got it stable at 4.2GHz @ 1.061V, with the jump up to 4.4GHz needing 1.155V to get stable. Of course, temperatures also started increasing substantially in that jump. On Intel Burn Test, the hottest core hit 88C with the other 3 sitting in the low 80s.  Prime95 Large FFT hit 84C as the max. At 4.2GHz temperatures maxed out in the mid-60s.These temperatures are actually above what I want to use, as I don't want to significantly reduce the life of my CPU, but I am going to see what temperatures max out playing some games and decide if I want to knock it down to 4.3 or not. I've heard to expect 70-75% of max temperatures during stability stress testing to apply to games. So far that is holding correct - playing Battlefield 3 for 2 hours straight on 1920x1080 and Ultra settings the CPU only topped at 60C, for which I am comfortable with. BF3 on Ultra settings looks amazing and I was maintaining 60+ FPS. I rather wish I had bought a better CPU cooler, as I know I could push this chip quite a bit further.

Anyway, quick update on where I am for those wondering about 4670K CPUs and overclocking. I'm now in the process of getting add-ons and such installed for FSX and seeing how it runs and what kind of settings I can pull off.

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Anyway, quick update on where I am for those wondering about 4670K CPUs and overclocking. I'm now in the process of getting add-ons and such installed for FSX and seeing how it runs and what kind of settings I can pull off.

 

Bump - I'm curious how this is going Greg? I recently faced the same decision but opted for the 3570K (budget being the primary motivation and with the Haswell out, hardcore gamers and selling their 2nd hand 3570K procs and Mobos). I'm just now in the process of tuning my OC. Where did you settle regarding with your OC and how is FSX performing for you?

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Bump - I'm curious how this is going Greg? I recently faced the same decision but opted for the 3570K (budget being the primary motivation and with the Haswell out, hardcore gamers and selling their 2nd hand 3570K procs and Mobos). I'm just now in the process of tuning my OC. Where did you settle regarding with your OC and how is FSX performing for you?

 

I kept meaning to reply to this but keep forgetting.

 

Everything is going great.  I haven't changed anything on the CPU since my last post and I haven't had any issues (knock on wood).  After flying about 50 hours so far in FSX and in all kinds of weather scenarios and aircraft, I have pretty much put the CPU through the ringer.  Now I am starting to overclock my RAM and GPU.  My GPU (GTX 660) is certainly the bottleneck now but I knew that going in, as GPU costs are ridiculous and I didn't want to go crazy with costs; the next step up (GTX 670) was another $80 (as after you spend all that money on a PC you'll then want to start dropping money on all kinds of add-ons).

 

FSX performs great.  Everything is on Max at 1920x1080 except AutoGen Density is on the 2nd to last and Traffic, which I am using WoAI, and is at about 35%.  I use Word Not Allowed's tweaks for Nvidia Inspector settings.  I use ActiveSky 2012 on 1024 bit clouds, as I can't tell the difference between 1024 and 2048 and with the lower performance 2048 clouds I'd rather have that performance for better scenery packages, traffic, 0/0 weather settings, etc.  I only run high-end payware aircraft (Level-D, PMDG NGX, etc.) and I pretty much sit on my FPS limiter of 30 all the time, except when flying into major international airports with heavy AI or IFR weather; of which it is then around 25.  I also run FTX Global, Ultimate Terrain X USA and FlyTampa and FSDT airports.  I haven't noticed any issues yet and everything is running great.  WoAI is certainly the biggest FPS hit and I've actually been looking at getting a payware traffic add-on, as they are much better on FPS with their native FSX models.  Hope that helps.

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Thanks for the reply and the information on your FSX configuration.

 

I may have drawn poorly from the 'silicon lottery' with respect to my processor. While my temps seem to be in-line for the cooler and speeds I've tried, the Vcore I have to run to achieve this seems to be a bit above the norm, and I can not achieve a stable OC at 4.5 and stay in my comfort zone. I've opted (for now anyway) to set it at 4.3Ghz, Vcore of 1.224V with a peak core temp of 70C (low 60's typical) running Prime95 blend. Ivy Bridge should be able to do better... but 4.3 is still a decent upgrade from my current rig.

 

You mention your GTX660 as the current system bottleneck  (same GPU that I have currently) but if all goes well, I'll be upgrading to a GTX 680 tonight. (That's assuming my wife doesn't flip when I tell her my plans.)

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If you're only hitting 70C during benchmark tests in Prime95 (or Intel Burn Test) than you are perfectly fine.  Gaming will only hit about 75% of temps you are hitting in hard benchmark tests.  In Prime95 and Intel Burn Tests I was hitting in the mid 80C, but during FSX and other gaming the most I have ever recorded is 62C.

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Hello, i just purchased components to build an FSX rig:

 

i5-4670k

Nocturn NH-D14 cooler

GTX 760 2GB

Corsair 8GB DDR3 1600Mhz

1TB Seagate HDD which will have FSX on

 

What;s your current overclock, and how did you get it so stable on a haswell? I hope i will get similar performance to you.

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Thanks for the reply and the information on your FSX configuration.

 

I may have drawn poorly from the 'silicon lottery' with respect to my processor. While my temps seem to be in-line for the cooler and speeds I've tried, the Vcore I have to run to achieve this seems to be a bit above the norm, and I can not achieve a stable OC at 4.5 and stay in my comfort zone. I've opted (for now anyway) to set it at 4.3Ghz, Vcore of 1.224V with a peak core temp of 70C (low 60's typical) running Prime95 blend. Ivy Bridge should be able to do better... but 4.3 is still a decent upgrade from my current rig.

 

You mention your GTX660 as the current system bottleneck (same GPU that I have currently) but if all goes well, I'll be upgrading to a GTX 680 tonight. (That's assuming my wife doesn't flip when I tell her my plans.)

Regarding the silicone lottery, it happens I'm afraid.

 

My 3770k needs crazy voltage for just a reasonable overclock.

 

Deliding helps, because CPU's running hot need more volts. I'd bet if you or I popped the lid our voltage requirements would drop.

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Regarding the silicone lottery, it happens I'm afraid.

 

My 3770k needs crazy voltage for just a reasonable overclock.

 

Deliding helps, because CPU's running hot need more volts. I'd bet if you or I popped the lid our voltage requirements would drop.

 

So I've read. While I'm enough of a hacker to continually tweak my system and play with overclocking, I have to draw the line at deliding. :rolleyes:   Fortunately, I run a pretty lean configuration so I'm getting very adequate performance from this setup and I am pleased to say it's very stable!

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so I'm getting very adequate performance from this setup and I am pleased to say it's very stable!

 

 

 

Unfortunately mine isn't at the moment. Getting random reboots, about once every one to two weeks. No blue screen.

 

I have a new graphics card so I know it's not that. Have dispensed with my overclock for now, to see if it's that.

 

Could be anything, HD, RAM, MB, PSU, or software.

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