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yorkshireflyer

2GB Graphics Card or 4GB Graphics Card

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Just compiling a list of components for a new build.  It is will be my first dedicated FSX computer. and I've been looking at Graphics Cards and wondering what the benefits of getting a GTX 970 4GB graphics card is over a GT960 2GB graphics card. and whether FSX will make use of the extra 2GB of VRAM and whether the extra 2GB is really worth and extra £100 (or so)

 

Look forward in anticipation to hearing your advice.

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The differences in these cards are more than just extra vRAM. Traditionally the x60 nvidia cards are more budget oriented, with fewer cuda cores and other limitations. The x70 cards are more midlevel gaming and have served flightsim well. Check the spec sheets and you will see how much difference there is between them. The first digit in the xxx on nvidia series denotes the chip architecture (or series), the second is the more telling number as far as processor horsepower.

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I just read your post again, guess you are primarily using fsx. Both p3d and fsx are heavily CPU dependent, with p3d taking advantage of more modern GPUs to a much greater extent than fsx on top of CPU. I used a 670gtx with fsx for many years with great results. That was a 2gb vram card. Once p3d 2 came along I got a 970gtx and results were impressive. I'm just guessing now, but I think the 960 should be fine in fsx, and you can allocate a bigger chunk of your build to a heavier CPU. There are many threads here that have way more data to back that up, check those that are more learned than me on this topic!

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..... wondering what the benefits of getting a GTX 970 4GB graphics card is over a GT960 2GB graphics card. and whether FSX will make use of the extra 2GB of VRAM and whether the extra 2GB is really worth and extra £100 (or so)....

 

From my experience running on a single standard sized monitor FSX generally uses about 1GB of video memory (VRAM), so it is unlikely in this scenareo that FSX would ever utilize anywhere near 2GB. However should you want to run multiple monitors or a single 4K monitor your VRAM requirements will increase, I'm not in the position to say by how much but if you're looking at doubling or tripling the amount of pixels you want to push the amount of memory and GPU power required to handle these will obviously be more.

 

As has been said the difference between the 960 and 970 is not just down to the amount of available VRAM there is a not inconsiderable performance difference between the 2 cards. 

 

My advice, buy the best you can justifiably afford, on the proviso that as OWK53 says your focus needs to be on the CPU first followed by the GPU.

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Hi there folks, thank you very much for all your input and advice, much appreciated. 

 

At the moment from the advice here and also from some research I have done I have decided to go with the GTX970 4GB,  My budget will not allow me to stretch to a GTX980. however

since it seems that FSX will run great with even a 670gtx, then its probably a safe guess GTX 960 might work OK, however I've decided that it's probably best to go for overkill so that my system can handle anything that FSX is capable of and even possibly P3D

 

With that GTX 970, paired up with an I7- 4790K I've gotta be honest, i'm expecting to see a massive improvements to what I have been used to, running FSX on an iMac with  (Intel Core i5 Quad Core 2,7GHz   4GB RAM  and an AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512 MB GDDR5)

 

Once again, appreciate the input you guys have put into my query which has helped me with some of the decisions that have helped me shortlist following components (hopefully to purchase later in the week) to build myself that dedicated FSX rig that i've promised myself for so long now.  (Any comments of advice, please feel free to chip in and let me know)

 

Processor      = Intel  I7-4790K 4.0GHz

Motherboard  Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H

GPU               = EVGA NVida GeForce GTX 970 4GB

RAM              = Corsair  Vengeance Performance 8GB DDR3 1866MHz

HD                   = Seagate 7200.14 1TB SATA III 3.5

SSD                 = Crucial MX100 2.5" 256GB SATA III SSD

Monitor            = Asus VG24QE 144Hz 24" LED 3D 144Hz Gaming Monitor (Not decided totally yet)

 

+ CD/DVD Drive   / Network Card  / Tower / keyboard & mouse

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Any comments of advice, please feel free to chip in and let me know)

 

ram is pretty cheap these days i would consider getting 12 or 16 if it fits your budget. 8 should be almost fine but doesn't leave a lot of breathing room especially if you start using addons that eat ram separately from FSX, and also requires more careful management of other system stuff that is hungry or other utilities that leave stuff around. 

 

for example with my fsx running alongside fscaptain, voxatc, active sky, a few browsers with pdf charts, avsim and the steam client, my system is using around 8Gb. chrome alone is using almost a gig for those various browser windows..(also have a few other things like geforce experience, skype client running, etc).. if i only had 8 total that would be stutter city and would require much more careful management of system resources which for me is more of a hassle than just having a lot of ram lol! 

 

cheers

-andy crosby

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ram is pretty cheap these days i would consider getting 12 or 16 if it fits your budget. 8 should be almost fine but doesn't leave a lot of breathing room especially if you start using addons that eat ram separately from FSX, and also requires more careful management of other system stuff that is hungry or other utilities that leave stuff around. 

 

for example with my fsx running alongside fscaptain, voxatc, active sky, a few browsers with pdf charts, avsim and the steam client, my system is using around 8Gb. chrome alone is using almost a gig for those various browser windows..(also have a few other things like geforce experience, skype client running, etc).. if i only had 8 total that would be stutter city and would require much more careful management of system resources which for me is more of a hassle than just having a lot of ram lol! 

 

cheers

-andy crosby

 

Thanks for this Andy,  Really glad you mentioned this as once I plan to run Active Sky and also experiment with other add ons that are just not possible to run on current config.  :)

 

Lee.

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Have you thought about getting an aftermarket CPU cooler? You will most likely want to overclock your 4790k at some point and the stock cooler can only just cope with default clocks and voltages.

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Have you thought about getting an aftermarket CPU cooler? You will most likely want to overclock your 4790k at some point and the stock cooler can only just cope with default clocks and voltages.

 

Sorry, (my bad) ,  I didn't included some of the components from my shopping list  that i've budgeted for :- updated & full version of list below.  (Although I'm probably not going to be overlocking the CPU - one of the reasons i've gone for the I7 with a factory speed of 4.00 Ghz)

 

I'm still trying to figure out how to slash cost down possibly another £300, without sacrificing performance.  That lot below comes to £1270  (without the SSD)  and I'm re-considering the monitor just now as I'm thinking the Asus VG248QE 144Hz LED 3D is possibly  a bit of an overkill.

 

Is an SSD vital, or will FSX / P3D run fine without.  I know I could add one at a later date, but i have a feeling that would be a bit of a pain to do.   

  • Motherboard: Gigabyte Z97X-UD3H  
  • Processor: Intel I7-4790K 4.0GHz  
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB ACX Edutuib Card 
  • RAM: (Edited) Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR3 1866MHz Dual Channel 
  • Hard Drive: Seagate 7200.14 1TB SATA III 3.5
  • SSD:Crucial MX100 2.5" 256GB SATA III SSD ?
  • PSU: Corsair RM Series 750W 80+ Gold
  • Cooler: Cool Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler
  • Tower: Carbride 200R Gaming Black
  • Network Card: Belkin Surf Plus 300Mbps USB2.0 WIFI
  • Optical Drive: CH12NS30 OEM Blueray 
  • Monitor: Asus VG248QE 144Hz LED 3D 114 Gaming Monitor  

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I wouldn't rule out overclocking it's not as daunting as it used to be and there's masses of online guidance available.

 

If you wanted to save a bit of money you could easily get away with a quality 600W PSU, the minimum spec for a 970 is 500w. Could you not connect your PC to your router via a cable so you don't have to buy the wifi adapter? Do you really need a Blueray drive rather than just a DVD drive, could you buy or even borrow a DVD drive now to install your software from and then get a Blueray drive later when funds alow? If you need a monitor now maybe just go for a £100 24" one with the view to replacing it as and when you have the funds, if you sold it on in 6-12 months time as new you wouldn't loose much money.

 

Try to get the SSD if you can especially for your operating system, it just makes the whole computing experience so much better when applications load instantly.

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PieEater  Thanks again for the input.

 

Whoopser, I forgot to swap that Blueray out of the shopping list name column, It's actually referring to a £10 DVD drive which will get my software installed. Unfortunately I'm lumbered with having to use wireless to get the new rig connected to my router otherwise the cables would need to be almighty long.

 

Cooler

Initially i'm definitely not going to be overlocking although if it's not as daunting as it used to be, I'll not rule it out (however) would a cooler not be something I could add later?

 

PSU

Just had a look, and found a CoolMaster VS650 Plus 80 Gold for nearly 1/2 price of the Corsair 750 80+ Gold.  Is the quality of CoolerMaster PSU good to go with?

 

Thanks again :) 

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As with most things, the more expensive option is better, but how much better in your use case is for you to decide.

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You can get a 30m CAT5 lead from Amazon for less that £5 delivered, if you could route it from your router to PC you would get a better quality connection, it's something I ended up doing after getting frustrated with the poor Wifi signal in my house.

 

You could use the stock cooler and upgrade later, the trade-off will likely be noise as the fan on the stock cooler will be spinning at speed once you start putting any load on the CPU and the smaller the fan the more irritating the noise, though FSX doesn't really push the CPU so you might be able to cope with it. The Hyper 212 is an excellent budget cooler but there are better (more expensive) options out there which will offer better performance with less noise. Most aftermarket coolers will need a mounting plate installing on the back of he motherboard but it looks like the Carbide has a cutout allowing access to this area so you should be able to install the back plate with the motherboard in situ if you decide to get a better cooler later on.

 

Here is a very comprehensive review of the CoolerMaster V650 The upshot is that should be fine, they seemed to mark it down because of the lack of documentation and only sufficient connectors to power a single graphics card, hardware wise the components are all good, performance is good and it has a 5 year warranty.

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Once again, thank you for your help, much refreshing just having someone else's second opinion after grinding through tons of research on all sorts. :)    

 

Back to some more number crunching   :crazy:

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IMO, SSD for windows is a must! So don't cancel that option.

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