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Sportsfan23

Building a new desktop?

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It has come to my attention from reading the forums that FSX was built to run on a desktop. While it appears it can function on a laptop if I truly want to experience FSX for what it is I need to use it on a desktop so my question is where should I begin when looking to build a new desktop?

 

Right now the current specs of the PC I am looking at are.

 

i7-4960 (6 cores, 15 MB cache, overclocked up to 4.3 GHZ with something called turbo boost)

Win 7 ultimate

Memory: 32 GB (4X8 GB) Quad Channel DDR3 at 1600 MHZ

Nvidia Geforce GTX 780 with 3 GB GDDR5.

 

It was said to me that I only need 1 video card and having 2 video cards could cause issues is this true?

 

Also which is better the Nvidia GTX 780 or the AMD Radeon HD 8990 6 GB GDDR 5 Dual GPU Card?

 

Thank you in advance!

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It is commonly agreed that the Nvidia platform is more much adapted to our sim than the AMD Radeon line of products.

 

One 780 should be enough catering to one to three monitors. Again common wisdom says that two would of no use and two bridged (SLI or Xfire) a potential nuisance.

 

I'm selecting parts for my new rig and I went to 4770K which can be boosted to higher frequencies and has hyperthreading which is of some use for other programs. 16 Gb should be enough except if you handle enormous files.

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Ok I will go with a Nvidia 780 then. Is 4.3 GHZ as fast as this processor can go or can you change some settings and actually make it go faster like manually overclocking your system even though it says 4.3 is already overclocked?

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Turbo Boost is an Intel processor feature which allows the OS to call for a mild overclocking  when needed. To my knowledge neither Haswel nor lvy Bridge  can overclock themselves beyond 3.9/4.0. After that you've to do it yourself and install a permament  overclocking the limit of which varies from processor to processor. 

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>> i7-4960 (6 cores, 15 MB cache, overclocked up to 4.3 GHZ with something called turbo boost)

 

Here is a discussion that Nick participated in concerning cores and FSX.

 

>> Win 7 ultimate

 

Read NickN's guide regarding Ultimate ... this OS pulls some stunts that are not amenable to FSX ... also, unless you are using the few features that Ultimate enables over and above Pro then you are wasting your money.

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Windows 7 Ultimate will automatically enable a feature called 'BitLocker" and VhD (Virtual Hard Disk) support. These features are useless to a typical user and it forces Windows to create a hidden system partition on your computer.
 
 
As long as you have no intention of using the BitLocker encryption feature and will not be using any advanced tools to attempt access/recovery of encrypted files, and, you do not need the support for VhD or others of that nature,..
 
 
In order to AVOID this partition nonsense, install Windows Ultimate using this outline:
 
 
At the first Windows setup screen (Language, Keyboard, etc.) press SHIFT+F10. This will open a command prompt window. Enter the following diskpart commands to create a partition.
 
- Diskpart

- List disk     
*NOTE: This command is important. It will show you what disk drives you have. Most likely your hard drive will be will be Disk 0, but you need to check to be sure the right drive is selected for Windows first!

- select disk 0   (or the Windows install disk you verified in the last step)

- clean

- create partition primary size=100000  align=1024  
*NOTE: this creates a partition 100GB in size and aligns the drive at the same time. If you want to use the whole hard drive instead of a partition, just leave off the size=number)
 
 
- select partition 1
- active
- format fs=ntfs quick

 
 
Type Exit to leave Diskpart. 
 
Type Exit to close the command prompt. 
 
Now continue with the install. When you get to the partition screen, highlight the partition you just created and click Next. 
 
 
Windows will install to the partition you created and not create the 100MB boot partition. Instead, you will see a C:\Boot folder when the install is finished
 

 

 

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

>> Memory: 32 GB (4X8 GB) Quad Channel DDR3 at 1600 MHZ

 

FSX only recognizes 8GB ... plus you want a speed more around the lines of 9-11-11-31 DDR3 2400MHZ.  These are very good and I'm running 4.6GHz stable with the memory at 2400 (PC3 19200) and a NB frequency of 4200MHz

 

>> Nvidia Geforce GTX 780 with 3 GB GDDR5.

 

This is a good choice, but make sure you purchase the OC version ... factory overclocking is better than trying to do it yourself for various reasons ... warranty being a good example.

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I appreciate the information thank you. I though am not installing any of this. It is going to come pre-loaded with windows installed already. I picked the best options off the site I got the computer from. There was a thought of building it myself and just hand picking parts and putting it together but I don't know nearly enough about all of that to make educated decisions. So I just tried to pick a computer that to me on paper seemed like it would be good enough to run FSX at a good level.

 

As far as the windows thing goes can that be overcome once it is already installed?

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These are very good and I'm running 4.6GHz stable with the memory at 2400 (PC3 19200) and a NB frequency of 4200MHz

 

Is it possible to just buy this memory once I have the computer and put it in myself? Even if it was possible I have zero idea how to do that. I don't know really anything about the inner workings of a computer.

 

EDIT: Since I am getting 32 GB already that should mean I can install 32 GB of that memory correct if it's possible? I dunno really anything about memory except more is better I have been told. Also is this RAM compatible with a Dell computer?

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As far as the windows thing goes can that be overcome once it is already installed?

 

I would advise not to touch anything ! The partition might be useless to you as it comes but will not do any  harm . On the other hand, Windows is a complicated world. Tweak it without sufficient knowledge and it might bite you ! 

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I would advise not to touch anything ! The partition might be useless to you as it comes but will not do any  harm . On the other hand, Windows is a complicated world. Tweak it without sufficient knowledge and it might bite you ! 

 

Yea I don't want to have to tweak anything unless I have to. I know I will have to tweak a couple things within FSX but I think I understand how that works so I should be able to do that ok. I just need to find out where in the config folder I am supposed to add the tweaks haha.

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Is it possible to just buy this memory once I have the computer and put it in myself? Even if it was possible I have zero idea how to do that. I don't know really anything about the inner workings of a computer.

If you don't know much about computer, either take the time to learn (a lot of resources in the internet including youtube) or, if you want to play quick, just buy yourself a ready made rig. Inserting memory sticks is not really difficult (one has to be cautious though) but choosing the right sort of memory is an art in itself :smile: . 32 Gb is BIG except if you are going to handle/process enormous files. 16 Gb is IMO good if you intent to do  multitasking (including forgetting to close the numerous windows opened during a session :wink: ) and graphic editing .

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Honestly, I'm unsure exactly how much the memory difference would make in a blind "taste" test.  I simply built my machine from scratch so I was able to follow NickN's instructions to the letter ... and got a stable 4.6GHz with 4200 NB and the temperatures never leave the 60's ... but that is due from delidding and lapping.  Take a look here for a fairly well documented following of my travails.  So, as for changing the memory from the one you picked ... don't ... no use messing with a perfectly good warranty.

 

As for the operating system ... it is no big deal either ... I simply wanted you to know about NickN's article (if you didn't already) so you know what you  are up against.

 

I would love to know what your temps are with OCCT or Prime95 or Aida64.  Did you get water cooling with your computer?

 

Hope you have a great Flight Sim experience.  Don't forget to follow NickN's guide for tweaking FSX ... it is pretty simple ... you will find a bunch of people purporting their tweaks are the best ... start with Nick's first and then ... tweak by tweak ... make changes ... and then evaluate them using the same parameters each time (location, weather, etc.).

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If you don't know much about computer, either take the time to learn (a lot of resources in the internet including youtube) or, if you want to play quick, just buy yourself a ready made rig. Inserting memory sticks is not really difficult (one has to be cautious though) but choosing the right sort of memory is an art in itself :smile: . 32 Gb is BIG except if you are going to handle/process enormous files. 16 Gb is IMO good if you intent to do  multitasking (including forgetting to close the numerous windows opened during a session :wink: ) and graphic editing .

This computer is going to be ready made already which is why I just picked what seemed like the best option for what my choices were. How much improvement could I expect with getting the new memory versus the one that is coming with the system? If it's marginal then I don't see a reason to get it but if it's going to make a vast improvement I would certainly consider getting it.

 

I actually looked at how to install it a little while ago and it seems like you can just unplug one and plug in the new one.

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Honestly, I'm unsure exactly how much the memory difference would make in a blind "taste" test.  I simply built my machine from scratch so I was able to follow NickN's instructions to the letter ... and got a stable 4.6GHz with 4200 NB and the temperatures never leave the 60's ... but that is due from delidding and lapping.  Take a look here for a fairly well documented following of my travails.  So, as for changing the memory from the one you picked ... don't ... no use messing with a perfectly good warranty.

 

As for the operating system ... it is no big deal either ... I simply wanted you to know about NickN's article (if you didn't already) so you know what you  are up against.

 

I would love to know what your temps are with OCCT or Prime95 or Aida64.  Did you get water cooling with your computer?

 

Hope you have a great Flight Sim experience.  Don't forget to follow NickN's guide for tweaking FSX ... it is pretty simple ... you will find a bunch of people purporting their tweaks are the best ... start with Nick's first and then ... tweak by tweak ... make changes ... and then evaluate them using the same parameters each time (location, weather, etc.).

 

Well the system specs say I am getting one that is OC'd to 4.3 GHZ but I have seen videos where people actually over clock the system I am getting up to 4.5 which I am not sure if that is smart or not.

 

Yea I picked the "premium liquid cooling" when I ordered it. I have no idea how that differs from the standard liquid cooling they offered but hopefully it's worth the extra money.

 

When I get it I would be happy to check the temps and share. Of the 3 programs you listed for checking it which would be best? I just want to make sure I am giving FSX every opportunity to succeed on the system which is why I would certainly entertain getting the new ram if it would make a marked improvement.

 

Thank you very much, I will be sure to read the article and hopefully figure out how to incorporate the suggestions.

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Also after reading the thread you made I mean while it sounds like a really cool thing you did I think that is far to advanced for me. Now if there was a way I could test the CPU above 4.3 GHZ without having to do all that I would certainly consider doing that. 

 

Is getting this CPU OC'd at 4.3 like the low end as far as how fast it can go or is the company maxing it out at 4.3?

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Kind of unable to tell ... high end watercooling can do a lot to channel the heat from an IHS ... the problem is that the interface between the CPU thermal plate and the IHS is compromised by two things:  1) the TIM  is not that great (some discussion exists on the veracity of this statement) and 2) the black silicone adhesive they use to attach the IHS to the CPU wafer ever so slightly increases the distance between the two.  Simply put, there is a thermal barrier to getting the heat away from the CPU wafer due to these two reasons.  In the end a better watercooling solution can easily get you to 4.5 or 4.6 ... but you have to test incrementally.  Which, if you follow NickN's guidelines helps you do just that.

 

To OC properly you are going to have to learn how to read your BIOS and match those settings up with the terms that NickN talks about.  I have no experience with any boards other than ASUS Maximus boards.  Since NickN's guidelines speaks specifically to ASUS users, for me, this was easy.  For you, I'm sure it should be pretty easy to figure out which setting he is talking about ... just a little common sense and research should do the trick.

 

As for the tools of which I spoke they all serve a purpose and I'm a little rusty on which ones do what ... Aida64 100% FPU stress test is good for placing the highest load possible on the CPU ... do this for 1 hour.  Follow that by using OCCT setup for Linpack 64bit AVX ... do that for another hour.  The caution here is that OCCT allows you to setup a thermal limit where the test aborts if you exceed a specified temperature (like 88-90c ... absolutely the max acceptable) ... Aida64 doesn't ... therefore you must monitor your hardware closely using HWMonitor and another monitoring tool called Real Temp Inferno.  Finally, OCCT CPU 64-bit with Large Data Set for an hour ... for stability.  This one was the hardest for my machine to pass.  I could never get it to finish the test consistently at 4.7GHz without raising Vcore to, what was to me, unacceptable levels ... (see note below).  Finally, I also use Prime95 for an hour ... this is a bit of a throw back to olden times but I still found it useful right about the 20 to 25 minute mark ... on my original CyberPowerPC my temps shot to 90c+ at 4.2GHz.  That is when I found canned systems to be unacceptable.  After delidding and lapping my temps on Prime 95 never get out of the 60c range.  Thirty degrees of temperature difference is nothing to sneeze at.

 

So, feel free to tweak and test all you want (the above was a quick paraphrase of NickNs 4.8GHz on Air post.  However, and this is a BIG however, remember that you are running an un-modded CPU and you have to be VERY careful where your temps are concerned.  Yes, great watercooling can do a fine job ... but in the end it is up to you to notice when you have reached its limit and you are entering the unsafe zone when it comes to temps.  Big warning here ... when using Prime95 you have to manually stop the test ... if you simply exit the program the test will not stop ... you could be cooking your computer without you even knowing it is happening if you are not careful.  To that end, at the end of every test ... press Ctrl+Shift+Esc at the same time ... this brings up the Windows Task Manager ... make sure that your CPU usage is NOT 100% ... only then is it safe to let your guard down.

 

Note below:  Don't get all lost in the chase for frames per second (fps) ... Shift+Z+Z in FSX.  As everyone has now come to advise is this:  Your concern should be with smooth flight in all situations ... using the settings you think you want (AI Traffic, Scenery Add-ons, Weather, high computer power airplanes like PMDG 777, etc.) ... and also realize that an additional 100MHz only grants a fairly, and alarming, low increase in fps.  Now you must realize that the difference between 4.5GHz and 3.5GHz (stock for an i7-4770k) is really big ... but increasing clock frequency from 4.5 to 4.6 is not uber-fabulous ... 4.7 is of course better ... but you will probably not get to this level without a mod of some sort.  My point being this ... try to go from 4.3 to 4.5 ... with a North Bridge of 4100 to 4200.  This should put you in the high 70c to mid 80c range with your rig (but this is actually impossible to guess without any first hand experience with your rig).  So, before you do anything ... perform all of the stability tests indicated above on your rig at 4.3GHz.  If they sold that to you as a factory OC then you should not void your warranty by stress testing it.  As soon as you go to 4.4GHz though you are risking losing your warranty.  So, be careful.

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One final thing ... since you are not 100% couched in computers (as I was when I first started this month long manic episode) ... there are two types of water cooling ... the kind that requires maintenance and the kind that does not.  The computer I got from CyberPowerPC with enhanced cooling system contained a reservoir ... from time to time this needs refilling ... if you don't know how to "check the oil" find out ... and do not let it run low ... or else.  The other kind is closed loop and maintenance free ... like the Corsair H100i ... which is what I use.  Don't do what I did in high school when the prettiest girl in 12th grade asked me to drive her home ... and my car broke down ... because I didn't fill the radiator on a 1970 Firebird Esprit ... man I still remember looking in the rearview mirror as steam was escaping from that long white hood :wub: .

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Sportsfan23,

 

You haven't said in any of your posts where you live so I felt unable to help you. If you're based in the UK I would have recommended Scan computers as I'm picking mine up from them on Monday and it includes many components recommended to you by others.

 

Of course if you don't live in the UK then such advice would be useless. So it's in your interest and everyone's to include their location in their profile. I fail to understand why people don't do it.

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To OC properly you are going to have to learn how to read your BIOS and match those settings up with the terms that NickN talks about. I have no experience with any boards other than ASUS Maximus boards. Since NickN's guidelines speaks specifically to ASUS users, for me, this was easy. For you, I'm sure it should be pretty easy to figure out which setting he is talking about ... just a little common sense and research should do the trick.

 

I am actually getting the exact type of computer an Alienware one the guy in the guide said to stay away from haha because I guess I could have built the same type of computer or even a better one on my own for a bit less money. Since I don't know much about computer hardware I figured it would be best to go through a company I have gotten products from before so I was content with paying the extra money and having somebody else set it up and put it together. 


Sportsfan23,

 

You haven't said in any of your posts where you live so I felt unable to help you. If you're based in the UK I would have recommended Scan computers as I'm picking mine up from them on Monday and it includes many components recommended to you by others.

 

Of course if you don't live in the UK then such advice would be useless. So it's in your interest and everyone's to include their location in their profile. I fail to understand why people don't do it.

 

Yea sorry I am in the USA. I need to go update that on my profile.

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No worries ... as expected ... a person can always look at a decision and listen to someone else and become dissatisfied because one aspect or other of the choice is not the "best one possible" ... I'm sure the machine you bought will do just swimmingly.  Now that you have made the decision don't bother second guessing yourself ... get to flying and enjoying yourself!

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No worries ... as expected ... a person can always look at a decision and listen to someone else and become dissatisfied because one aspect or other of the choice is not the "best one possible" ... I'm sure the machine you bought will do just swimmingly.  Now that you have made the decision don't bother second guessing yourself ... get to flying and enjoying yourself!

 

Exactly, now I just need to figure out which order to install and tweak things haha.

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Exactly, now I just need to figure out which order to install and tweak things haha.

Tweaking is like a strong alcohol. It's great to have a sip ot two, drink more and get wasted .Useful tweaks are very limited in numbers. 

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Tweaking is like a strong alcohol. It's great to have a sip ot two, drink more and get wasted .Useful tweaks are very limited in numbers. 

 

Yea I think I read there was like 3 or 4 major tweaks you need to do and the rest are purely based on preferences.

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Just turned on my new desktop and everything seemed ok except for the speed that I see when I look at my computer specs. I ordered one that was OC'd to 4.3 GHZ but in the PC specs area it shows a I4960 at 3.6 GHZ. How can I tell if my computer is actually running at 4.3 GHZ and not 3.6?

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Use CPU-Z ... notice that my core speed is 4600.00 MHz.  Use this same program to test your CPU under load.  Fire up CPU-Z ... and then run a program like Prime95 (old and dated but it gets the job done) ... when Prime95 ramps up ... keep an eye on CPU-Z ... what you will see is that when your CPU comes under load ... your MHz responds accordingly.

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