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What's a new Computer Like?

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I became a Flight Sim addict back in 1995, and went to the next version, FS98 after that. Those were the days when if you tried anything unusual or sometimes usual with the Sim, it would crash or lock up your PC. (It always felt like a gamble when you did something new.) Video stuttering was the norm, and if you were crazy enough to max all your sliders out, it looked like a Powerpoint Presentation, rather than a fluid motion. I bought a new PC, about 8 months (while I was away from FS for a couple of years, and didn't think I would need a Gaming Machine) and while it had a 2.8 gig processor, the on board video card was terrible. I tried to upgrade the video card, but the only open slot I had was for a PCI card , so the bext video card I coudd get for PCI was a 128 meg G-Force card. Best frame rates were about 20 with no weather, and if I added clouds to the mix, it would slow down to 12-15, and sometimes to as low as 8-10 FPS in hevay scenery areas like New York Metro. I finally decided that this was almost becoming a full time hobby, and I needed a new PC. Back to the Dell website, and this time I ordered a Dimension 8400 Intel P4 with 3.4 GHz with HT technology and 2MB cache, 1Gig DDR2 SDRam at 533 Mhz and a 256 MB Nvidia GEForce 6800 GTO Graphics card PCI express ( which I read about in Computer Pilot Magazine, as beating about 20 different cards in a side by side comparison). Total cost with a bunch of add-ons and options, $1500 shipped to my home. Yesterday I Installed the new PC, and I loaded up FS9 and all my scenery and aircraft and I cranked up FS9. Holy Cow , this is unreal. The first thing I noticed is that it is absolutely smooth. No stutters, no momentary jerk, it is as fluid as real life. I lock the frames to 24FPS, crank up Active Sky with a bunch of cloud layers, and still have the 24 FPS. Now I turn on the effects like water reflections, turn up the autogen to max, graphics qaulity all the way over, etc, and still at 24 FPS and I feel like I am watching a movie of a plane flying through my Misty Fjords scenery instead of a flight Sim. I also got a new aircraft, a Real Air Simulation Scout, and loaded that and flew it around for hours. The plane is awesome for VFR flying ( both for the flying qualities, and the view out of the windscreen which is the best I have seen in MSFS) The scenery now is just fascinating and for the first time flying a home simulator, I just enjoy the look of it, without any occasional glitch which always would remind me, that it wasn't like real flying, cause you don't get those glitches in real life. I can't wait to get home tonight from work , fire up the Scout, taxi out of the hanger at Misty's Place, and take off for an evening's fun in the Misty Fjords......

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