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I am looking for some advice on what components would be best for me as I am looking to upgrade my 5 year old system in order to run P3Dv4 with high settings.  First of all I have been running P3D version 3 in what I would consider Medium-High Settings with lots of AI and gotten pretty good results other than in high density areas like cities and large payware airports.  I also was running across alot of OOMs at times so I'm anxious to get moving with Version 4.  I have not even installed version 4 yet and I have not flown in months because we just moved so now I am looking at going ahead and doing a hardware update now because it seems like a good time.

My existing system is as follows:

i5 2500k overclocked to 4.7 GHz with Corsair H60 Water Cooler
Asus P8Z77-V Deluxe Motherboard
8GB Corsair DDR3 1600 RAM
GTX970 4GB Video Card
SSD Drives for the OS and P3D

 

Basically I know whatever route I take I am looking at updating the Motherboard as well as CPU and Video Card.  I also would like to get the max amount of RAM I can get and the fastest too for the MOBO/CPU setup.  It's been a LONG time since I have hardware shopped but based on what I have been reading it seems like the i7 7700k might be the CPU I should go for.  However I have read about the heat buildup with that CPU and even though I put my last system together myself I am a little bit worried about de-lidding if that CPU requires it.  I would like to stay with a water-cooled system.

As for the video card I currently do not run at 4K resolution.  I have a 1080p Samsung Monitor that I am not really interested in replacing.  However I would like to get a card with lots of VRAM so I can turn the details up in v4 and have a good distance of high-resolution textures loaded.  So I guess I am looking for the best video card for a 1080p setup and one that will not get bogged down with high AA settings.  I assume I will need to run at higher AA settings since I am staying with 1080p so I want to have minimal performance loss there if possible.

Other than that I would keep most of my existing hardware like the SSD Drives (I would purchase a larger SSD drive for P3D since the one I have is only 240GB).  Anything else I am missing or not considering?  Suggestions about the route to go?  As far as budget I would like to keep it under $1000-1500 if possible but I dont' know if that would be possible.  I would build the system myself using my existing tower to save money.  I probably would need a new power supply as well since my current PSU is 650 watts?

 

Thanks for any advice!

 

Brandon

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You've pretty much answered your own question, 7700k, 16gb 3200+ DDR4, Z270 Board, GTX 1070 or better graphics card.

1070 should be enough at 1080p, however if you can fit a 1080 or 1080ti in the budget, obviously the more power you have the better

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Ok I guess some further questions I have are as follows:

1 - About the i7 7700k - I have read about the overheating issues when overclocking.  I overclocked my current processor and it would be great to be able to overclock this one but I also don't want to overheat or have to de-lid the thing.  Is this a problem that most are experiencing.  Do I even need to overclock?  The base frequency is 4.2 GHz and I may or may not be able to make it to 5.0 GHz on water cooling?  The processor I have now is running at 4.7 GHz.  I just wonder if I will even notice a difference and if that is worth the risk?  I am going to water cool either way so I wonder if this processor will overclock on water cooling without having the issues that are being reported out there?

2 - I am leaning towards the GTX 1080 card however I only see them with 8GB of VRAM.  I'm also considering the 1080 Ti just for future proofing even more and the fact that it has more VRAM so I could push the hi-detail textures out even further possibly.  I also am concerned with the anti-aliasing reports I have been reading.  I have tried 8xSGSS on my old system and it looks great but as everyone knows performance in clouds stinks.  I wonder if the 1080 would run well with SGSS and not have problems or if the 1080 Ti will give me more horsepower to use that without penalty?  I also would consider the 1080 Ti just so I could run 4K resolution if I wanted to in the future.  Right now I plan to keep my 1080p monitor but if the Anti-Aliasing becomes an issue then I might just move to 4K and not use much AA.  Just things I have been reading about that I am not sure about the pros and cons because I am pretty far behind on hardware.

Other considerations are right now I do not fly PMDG aircraft but I am also considering maybe getting the 737.  Before I spend most of my time with military fighters, GA, and the Eaglesoft Citation X.  I love to fly biz-jets and there just aren't many out there.  The Eaglesoft Citation X was closest to "study level" that there was in the biz-jet world but it will not work in version 4 and it will be a long wait before something from Eaglesoft works in version 4.  So, I may buy the PMDG 737 just to satisfy my desire to have a realistic aircraft simulation to fly.  Then I can get my realistic biz-jets back later....

 

Brandon

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Hi Brandon,

I recently upgraded to an i7 7700K, Z720 ASUS ROG HERO IX Motherboard, 16GB 3200 Ram & continued using my GTX970 Video card. This system is cooled using a Thermaltake 3.0 Riing AIO Water Cooler which was a replacement for my previous Thermaltake Water 2.0. The Thermaltake's I have found to be excellent performers & the 3.0 remains very quiet.

I have the system overclocked to 4.9Gz at the moment & the system idles in the low 20C's & the highest it momentarily peaks to is about 82C but only on one to two cores. From a bit of research I have found these chips tend to bounce about a fair bit & spike momentarily to higher temps but do not usually stay there. I was running the rig at 5.0Gz with a higher voltage however the temps would spike to mid 80's. 4.9 showed no noticeable performance loss but with a reduction in voltage & temp thought I would run there for a while till I had time to tweak back to 5.0 with hopefully better temps. Not that the occasional momentary 83-85C is probably going to be a problem I still felt more comfortable with the lower temps. 

I am considering delidding further down the track but at the moment don't really feel it's necessary as the temps are usually sitting in the 60's with the spikes momentarily hitting the 70's with the occasional one reaching 80. Yesterday the highest it reached was 78C. This is running P4Dv4 which I believe runs slightly hotter than v3 did (64bit?).

A week ago I upgraded the video card to an ASUS STRIX 1080 8Gb unit & seen quite a remarkable improvement over my 970 however the 970 did perform quite well. 

I have my FXAA turned off (image seems sharper) & run 4 x SSAA in the sim. 8 x SSAA can cause a hit but only with the scenery at pretty much maxed settings for everything else & to me it looks great at 4x. If I want to run 8x then I just dial down the Autogen & turn off some of the shadows. As an example I was testing ORBX LEBB Bilboa yesterday in the PMDG B737NGX with AS16 real weather (partly cloudy) & was seeing frames in the 50's & everything was smooth. Clouds don't seem to have the impact to me that they used to in the 32Bit sims. Even my 970 seemed to handle them better in v4 I believe. At least the default ones, which presently I'm more than happy with. I'm still experimenting with how high I can go with this new card. First time I've had an 80's series & am considerably impressed. The fans don't even turn on till it hits 50C & watching the monitor it often drops below that so they stop spinning. Even when they do kick in they are silent & unlike my old 970 I'm yet to hear the unit in action. I can certainly see it though!!

I have my settings pretty well maxed so there is quite a bit of strain on the system however the Thermaltake seems to handle it quite well.

If you like business jets then I can highly recommend the Xtreme Prototypes Lear 25L. Not only does it have very good graphics, 4096 x 4096 (important for me) it also has quite high systems functionality.

The developer is currently doing systems upgrades for this aircraft & bringing it up to speed for P3Dv4. I believe it is due out soon & I'm very much looking forward to that. She can be a handful to fly at times so as per the real deal you need to be prepared & on top of the aircraft at all times. It does currently work well in P3Dv4 however a number of switch sounds don't work & the landing & taxi lights don't also. Pretty much everything else is fine & I believe the upgrade is to be free to current owners.

I believe you can't go wrong with an i7 7700K, good cooler, & a 1070 or 1080 (Ti or not). Check the power requirement for the new video cards, I believe they are a lot lower than the older models. I'm using a 750Watt however you may be able to still use the 650 if it's a good one.

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Thank you sir for that very valuable input!  I didn't realize the power requirements for the newer video cards would possibly be lower so that is a surprise but I was going to check that out for sure.  The power supply I am currently using is a CORSAIR HX series HX650 650W Active PFC Power Supply - https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139012

It has been a good power supply and had great reviews when I purchased it from what I remember.  Glad to hear the 970 performed well for P3Dv4.  I could probably live with my current setup for awhile but I am ready to turn up the settings and having just moved into my house and having some money to use I am ready to upgrade.  Therefore I haven't even tried P3D4 with my current system because if I am going to go with a new install I would rather start from scratch with new hardware at this time.

Brandon

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Hi Brandon,

This morning I did a flight around LEBB in the PMDG B777 with 8 x SSAA set & frames never dropped below 35 with Autogen maxed except Buildings which were one setting back. Autogen set to max distance, & all shadows on with very high settings also. I also used AS live weather which was broken clouds plus Thunderstorms to the NE. Frames during the over water part of the approach were in the 50's. Very impressed with the performance of this rig!

 When I checked the CPU temps the max I had hit was 72C across most cores at some stage during the flight. Video card maxed at 58C.

 

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2 minutes ago, Rossco said:

Hi Brandon,

This morning I did a flight around LEBB in the PMDG B777 with 8 x SSAA set & frames never dropped below 35 with Autogen maxed except Buildings which were one setting back. Autogen set to max distance, & all shadows on with very high settings also. I also used AS live weather which was broken clouds plus Thunderstorms to the NE. Frames during the over water part of the approach were in the 50's. Very impressed with the performance of this rig!

 When I checked the CPU temps the max I had hit was 72C across most cores at some stage during the flight. Video card maxed at 58C.

 

Awesome!  Is this your motherboard?  - https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813132927

I currently have an ASUS board and am happy with them and would probably like to stay with ASUS going forward.  Seems from your description that this is the board you have?

Brandon

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Hi Brandon,

Yes it is however ASUS make a number of good boards that aren't quite as expensive. I was looking at the STRIX series initially but as I have quite a number of USB attachments such as PFC Yoke, PFC  throttles, pedals & a number of Saitek panels plus Track IR I went with the IX Hero as it had the greatest number in the range. Even then I still have a hub as well.

Previously I had Gigabyte boards but my last one gave me constant problems with USB connections so thought I'd go back to ASUS this time. So far very pleased I have. A cinch to overclock & to update the Bios. You don't even need to turn the computer on as it has a dedicated USB port to do it with. Simple.

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Sounds like we have the same amount of USB devices.  I just bought a 10 port HUB not long ago and have only 2 free.  I still have two USB 2.0 ports and 1 USB cable 3.0 on the computer that are free but that's it.

What about RAM?  Above is a recommendation for DDR4 3200 RAM but I see DDR4 going into the 4000 MHz range.  Is that faster/better RAM or should I look at the 3200 because of the timings are better?  Again it's been a long time since I have shopped hardware and I don't know what's changed and what has not!

Thanks!

Brandon

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G'day Brandon,

Re ram, the consensus used to be that speed didn't matter that much with FSX & earlier from memory.

Not sure if that's the case today. I went for 3200 due to cost & can't say I'm unhappy with my choice however I guess the faster within cost consideration the better. I have 16Gb & it seems to be adequate but if you can get 32Gb at the right price then I guess it won't go astray. Somebody who has researched it a bit more may have a more helpful comment to make in this instance.

 

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Thanks Rossco for your helpful replies.  Between your information and reviews I have read elsewhere this is the system I have decided to put together:

i7-7700k CPU
ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero Z270 Motherboard
G.SKILL TridentZ Series 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 - CAS Latency 14 - Timings 14-14-14-34
eVGA GTX1080 SC Gaming ACX 3.0
Thermaltake Water 3.0 Ultimate CPU Cooler
Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD Drive for P3D + Addons

Hopefully this will provide quite the upgrade for me and allow some nice performance at high settings!

The GTX1080 I am getting is currently not in stock so hopefully it will be soon.  I have ordered everything else already.  Don't want to have to wait weeks for the video card!  I also decided I was not going to be able to keep my current case because that CPU Cooler radiator would not fit in what I have.  So, I bought a new case along with a new 750w power supply just to have a new power supply and not worry about it failing soon.

This will allow me to keep my old case, motherboard, CPU, RAM and GTX970 all intact and try to sell it either as one unit or parts and re-coup some money from this upgrade.  Thanks again for the help in answering some of my concerns!

Brandon

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Hi Brandon,

Sounds like a nice choice. Should give you excellent performance with higher settings.

I had trident ram in my previous rig & it served me well. Was too expensive for me this time around. Spent the extra on the IX HERO.

I was running a Gigabyte GTX 970 OC before upgrading to the STRIX GTX 1080 & I believe the bigger card has definitely made a difference.

Am also running Samsung 850 EVO's & found them to be excellent.

Good idea to sell the old rig. I passed mine onto my son who was still running an older i7 920.

 

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Looks solid.  If you are struggling to get the EVGA, have a look at the Zotac versions, 5yr warranty on them

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I was able to find the EVGA at B&H Photo and Video.  Paid a little extra but it wasn't much more than what I was looking at.  All the components should be here by tomorrow evening so looks like I'll be working on this build over the weekend!

Brandon

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