Sign in to follow this  
Cat_Dad

Upgrade My Q8400 System

Recommended Posts

Since it looks like I will have to move up from Windows XP Pro to some sort of Window 7, I was looking at what I might do to the rest of the system. It is a Intel Q8400 @2.66 Ghz with 2 Mb of 2.67 Ghz ram, ATI HD 4650 video card with I Gb of memory.From what I can tell, the CPU is a 64 bit model but I only have a 32 bit copy of Windows XP. I can run FSX at 24-30 FPS with most of the scenery setting to the right. Do not run those fancy clouds, the fake extra scenery, or a lot of land, sea, or air traffic.

 

If I go to a 64 bit Windows 7 with 8 Gb of DDR3 ram and a SSD for the OS and FSX and some sort of 7500RPM HD for main storage, will I be able to maintain or increase my current performance? I know the chart buried inside FSX says it best performance would be at or above 3.0 Ghz, but does my slower quad at 2.66 GHz make up the difference? Also even though the video card is old, (running Direct x 9.0c but the box says it can run DX 10) would it still give me the through put performance to my 27" LG monitor?

 

If anyone else is running the Q8400 or similar cpu with FSX I would like to get your thoughts on this proposed update. 

 

Terry Turner USAF, Ret

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

It looks like no one either has the Q8400 system or even cares to read the post. I guess that in it's self says a lot about my computer.

 

Thanks anyway for letting me post my questions here.

 

Terry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Terry,

I'm not running that system, but my educated guess is that you will, at the very least, maintain your current performance level.  Performance in FSX, like its' predecessor, is cpu dependent above all else.  I know that in my experience, boosting my clock speed has given me the greatest boost in performance, as compared to any other system upgrades. That said, the additional RAM should indeed improve things a bit, and a SSD will definitely improve load time.  Will it translate into more FPS, I would think it would, but hesitate to say definitively.  Given that you don't run the more graphics intensive add-ons like 3D clouds and such, you are certainly not taxing that system.  Moving to a 64 bit system should improve overall system response and stability while running FSX, but it won't do a whole lot to speed up the sim itself as it is still a 32 bit app.  One thing you should remember when moving to WIN 7 is that you don't want to install FSX to the program files directory as you will likely run into UAC issues over the course of time.  Best to install right to the root directory.  As for the graphics, if it were me and since I'm upgrading anyway, I would think about a new graphics card.  My personal preference is for NVidia cards over AMD for Flight sim.  Marrying an NVidia 680 to your system with those upgrades, while costly, would give you everything you need and then some for that 27 inch monitor.  FSX isn't going to overload the graphics card, but keeping an old component in a system with the upgrades you're making is a little like buying a 4k display to watch a VHS tape.  
I hope this helps you a bit.

Cheers!!   :smile:  
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Terry, Installing an SSD will not improve your performance while flying in FSX. It will allow your computer to boot up much quicker and you won't have to defragment you hard drive any more, both which are nice. FSX may load quicker, but your FPS will not improve.

 

If it was my machine and I wasn't able to upgrade the whole computer I would increase the RAM to 4 gb and install an after market CPU cooler that would let me overclock the CPU to 3.5 ghz. That will give you the most performance improvement for your dollar. The hardware forum on this website has a nice chart that shows the relative performance of various user computer systems tested with FSMark 7 or 11. If you download the test and run it on your computer you will get a good idea of how yours performs compared to others and what to expect with the upgrades I described.

 

That being said, I upgraded a year ago from a Q6600 (same vintage as your CPU) that was overclocked to 3.5 ghz to an I7-3770K. As you are experiencing, the Q6600 ran OK, but I had to run with limited weather and limited AI traffic. Complex add-ons brought it to its knees. The I7-3770K runs stock at 3.5 ghz under load. Just upgrading the computer and running at the same CPU speed doubled the FPS performance. I have since overclocked my 3770k to 4.5 ghz and installed a 780gtx video card for more gains.  It is like a new simulator now. Much smoother with much improved visual quality.  I'm telling you this so you don't spend too much money hot-rodding your old computer. Overclocking and adding RAM will give you some improvement, but if you really want to improve FSX, you need a more powerful computer.

 

Ted.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you both for the feedback and recommendations. Almost sounds like building a new system would be the way to go.

 

Terry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A new system is the way to go. I wouldn't spend a dime towards your current system. Unless you KNOW you can't spend more than a few hundred bucks I'd just save and get a new system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this