odourboy

Life Expectancy of a Sim PC

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How often have you been upgrading you sim PC? Have you been upgrading a bit at a time or replacing pretty much the whole machine?

I've just ordered a new gaming machine. My previous machine was purchased (slightly used) exactly 4 years ago. It was a 3570k machine with a GTX 680. It got a midlife upgrade to a GTX 980 and an extra 8 GB of memory about 18 months ago. I decided yesterday to pop for a new machine with a 7700k and GTX 1080ti. Curious how close the bleeding edge my fellow simmers like to stay. How do your wives handle the PC purchases? :-)

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It's an undeniable expense, but it can be done in stages (sometimes).

However, it can open a can of worms for sure lol... When I bought a much better GPU earlier this week (one with 8 Gigs of DDR5 memory as opposed to my present one with a mere 2 gigs of DDR3), I found (as I suspected would be the case) that the much shinier new GPU was incompatible with my present motherboard's bus, so I had to buy a new motherboard too (did that today after a bit of research on choices), which to be honest was not unexpected.

Equally critically, when I did put that newer GPU in my current PC - just to confirm that it would not fire up on my present motherboard - I found it also had the more modern eight-pin PCI plug socket, whereas my older PSU had two four pin plugs, these did indeed power the new GPU up, and even if that were not the case, you can get a conversion lead which will take power from a Molex pin to an eight-pin plug, but I ended up buying a new PSU with proper eight-pin PCI plugs just to be certain all would be okay. Ironically, I ended up going for a slightly lower wattage, but better quality (Corsair) PSU, since I can be sure that isdefinitely going to put out steady reliable power at a sufficient level.

So at present I've got the newer PSU in the thing, but am awaiting the delivery of the new motherboard so I can stick the new GPU in there, and I'll tell you what the tipping point for the decision to tart things up was too: It was the dynamic trueSkies clouds in Flight Sim World, they really banged the final nail in that older GPU's coffin by making that old GPU struggle, and they look really cool, so I definitely want those running without a struggle, thus the upgrade was a bit of a forced decision.

As far as the other half is concerned, since she is into horses and has those, they are another toy which ain't cheap, so I never get any complaints on spending money on what I like, as it pales into insignificance in comparison to running a horse lol. If you think flight sim add-ons and PCs are expensive, have a look how much all those add-ons you can get for a horse will cost you: some land, a nice stable (which I had to paint lol), food, insurance, vets bills, tack, a horse box, and a car which can tow one of those boxes...

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Now is when this PC die it will get replaced. The years of a better and faster PC motivation is long gone now.

Cheers,

  • Upvote 3

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I went 6 years with no upgrades then last year changed out the mobo, ps and video card - $180 total cost. I'll get another 6 years out of this.

ASUS P8 H61-M

Thermaltake Smart 650W

GTX 780

 

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11 minutes ago, Chock said:

It's an undeniable expense, but it can be done in stages (sometimes).

However, it can open a can of worms for sure lol... When I bought a much better GPU earlier this week (one with 8 Gigs of DDR5 memory as opposed to my present one with a mere 2 gigs of DDR3), I found (as I suspected would be the case) that the much shinier new GPU was incompatible with my present motherboard's bus, so I had to buy a new motherboard too (did that today after a bit of research on choices), which to be honest was not unexpected.

Equally critically, when I did put that newer GPU in my current PC - just to confirm that it would not fire up on my present motherboard - I found it also had the more modern eight-pin PCI plug socket, whereas my older PSU had two four pin plugs, these did indeed power the new GPU up, and even if that were not the case, you can get a conversion lead which will take power from a Molex pin to an eight-pin plug, but I ended up buying a new PSU with proper eight-pin PCI plugs just to be certain all would be okay. Ironically, I ended up going for a slightly lower wattage, but better quality (Corsair) PSU, since I can be sure that isdefinitely going to put out steady reliable power at a sufficient level.

So at present I've got the newer PSU in the thing, but am awaiting the delivery of the new motherboard so I can stick the new GPU in there, and I'll tell you what the tipping point for the decision to tart things up was too: It was the dynamic trueSkies clouds in Flight Sim World, they really banged the final nail in that older GPU's coffin by making that old GPU struggle, and they look really cool, so I definitely want those running without a struggle, thus the upgrade was a bit of a forced decision.

As far as the other half is concerned, since she is into horses and has those, they are another toy which ain't cheap, so I never get any complaints on spending money on what I like, as it pales into insignificance in comparison to running a horse lol. If you think flight sim add-ons and PCs are expensive, have a look how much all those add-ons you can get for a horse will cost you: some land, a nice stable (which I had to paint lol), food, insurance, vets bills, tack, a horse box, and a car which can tow one of those boxes...

Funny story Chock. So you've effectively upgraded your whole system - did a new CPU get prdered, or just the MB? How old was it?

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Oh I decided to hang on to the 'old' CPU for a while at least (Intel i7), that's doing okay and newer sims are using the GPU these days anyway.

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It's interesting that this question pops up now because I have been thinking about it recently as well.

In the 5 years that I have had my Dell Alienware desktop, I have only had one part break down on me, one of my memory modules packed up last week and had to be replaced. It got me wondering about the longevity of gaming pc's, because I have a suspicion that the 5 year old motherboard is also heading the way of the dinosaur.

But to have had to replace only one component in 5 years, to me is quite good. I'd be interested to know what other people have found with their systems.

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13 minutes ago, ClearedtoLand said:

It's interesting that this question pops up now because I have been thinking about it recently as well.

In the 5 years that I have had my Dell Alienware desktop, I have only had one part break down on me, one of my memory modules packed up last week and had to be replaced. It got me wondering about the longevity of gaming pc's, because I have a suspicion that the 5 year old motherboard is also heading the way of the dinosaur.

But to have had to replace only one component in 5 years, to me is quite good. I'd be interested to know what other people have found with their systems.

Well to be honest, the thread was titled with tongue in cheek. I wasn't expecting a breakdown to necessitate a PC upgrade, but rather the overwhelming lust to stay current.

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I've had my machine for eight years.  The cpu fan died so I cool the cpu with a desk fan.  I have so many add-ons that I have installed that I can't think of migrating them to another PC.  I'm happy with what I have and won't upgrade until I have to.

John

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8 years... holy s***! I am emabarrased at feeling the compulsion to upgrade my Ivey Bridge machine.

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6 years with the same machine here but I'm planning an upgrade soon, probably at the end of the year. I hope so.

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2 hours ago, odourboy said:

How do your wives handle the PC purchases? :-)

As strange as this may sound, my wife and I keep our finances separate, except for one central account we used to pay common bills. We both make good wages and don't find it necessary to lump the income into one account. Doing so avoids any confrontations about what either of us spend our money on. She enjoys buying the usual things like high end hand bags and shoes, while I spend on FS, golf, watches and my other interests. 12 years going strong on this arrangement and never arguments about money.

 

52 minutes ago, MauB said:

6 years with the same machine here but I'm planning an upgrade soon, probably at the end of the year. I hope so.

My first specialized FS rig was built for FSX back in '08 and kept it for FSX only until 2013 when I built a completely new FSX machine and converted the other one to my "internet-do all" computer.

I'm considering a new rig in 2018/19 to make the jump to P3D but am not really even thinking much about it since my current FSX setup is working well and trouble free.

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5.5 years on mine and am presently shopping for an over due upgrade on a whole new rig. Think I have found the sweet one at Best Buy and this week end is the tax free back to school week end here in South Carolina so I think I'm going to punch the order button.

Next month is a big Birthday for me (65) so I have espousal clearance.:biggrin: 

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Last upgrade was back in May, but before that, January 2011. Next time I might build a PC every 3 years. I did upgrade a few parts in the old rig here and there, but not a complete overhaul.

This rig does everything, as does my last one. I don't specifically build it to only handle FSX.

I don't have a wife or a girlfriend, so I only have to ask myself whether I want to buy something. So much easier. :smile:

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My current rig is now six years old (i7-2600K, 8 megs RAM, GTX 760, etc. etc. etc.), so it's now starting to show its age. Funny thing is that I'm thinking about upgrading, too.

As for my wife, she loves jewellery ... the "real" stuff, not costume jewellery (think Tiffany), so the amount that I'm planning to spend is very much offset by how much we spend in shiny objects. :-) As a result, she's good with my sim addiction and the need to upgrade every four to six years. 

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I typically build a new one every 5 years, what I consider to be the next evolutionary jump in processing power. Then I just repurpose the old pc for other tasks. My current one is a 7700k.

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When I first started with all this back in FS2 days I was replacing PC's every 2 years to go with a new release of MS flight sim up until FSX was released.

Since FSX was released 11 years ago I have only replaced my PC twice, once a year after it first came out and again 3 years ago, goes to show that with every new release of Flight Sim people would upgrade their machines, it was a driver for progress once upon a time, now it has become a niche market

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8 year old rig. Got a heart transplant with a GPU gtx 780 upgrade 2 years ago.

the i5 2500k cpu (OC to 4.8ghz and gradually pulled back to 4.4 ghz) has degraded over time mainly because of constant power blackouts in Bangkok and didn't occur to me to get a battery back up :huh:

Since I will be staying with FSX SE for at least another 2 years I decided to buy a battery back up and a brand new i5 2500k cpu on ebay and OC back to 4.8ghz, a  $260 upgrade

This machine still eats up FSX SE !!

wont be upgrading until something breaks or 2 years whichever first

My research on google shows that a rig can last technically for ever however for gaming obviously not practical

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On average every three years.  Current one is about 3 1/2 years but coping well and doing the job well.

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I've bee doing this for a long time and, as many have also noticed, Windows updates tend to slow a system down over time.   I usually do a full disk wipe and new Windows installation after a couple of years to keep the PC fresh.

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I think this is down to motherboards when they upgrade to support new hardware and fast throughput speeds, how long before DDR 5 memory supported motherboards show up.

The latest CPU`s are not well optimised on the present motherboards testers think you should wait till they are optimised.

Ray Fry.

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The last update I had was in 2015 for the i7 4970K

Before that it was 2011 for the GTX580

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Interesting, my i7 4770K is approaching 4 years in a few months, and I have found little reason to overhaul the complete system. In fact, I just started what I consider a mid life update going from a superclocked GTX 770 to a GTX 1070. The other major update I am considering is SSD as 4 years ago the price of SSDs was exorbitant. Today they are still expensive but 2 x 1TB drives are within the realm of possibilities. I bought in at 16GB of memory and I have yet to see the need to go 32GB, especially considering the current cost of 4 matched sticks of 8GB DDR3 1600 memory. 

The real clincher right now is more of a watch on what software is going to do. P3Dv4 is still very much tied to a single core with multiple threads loafing along. With 8 threads available I normally get 1 maxed out at 100% and the other 7 at 30%. Since I am currently stable at 4.3 Ghz and I can probably expect 4.8Ghz out of an i7 7700k. It makes little sense to overhaul the system for a 500Mhz increase. Until LM changes the core code of P3D for better optimization of multithreaded processors and we see 8 threads with 75% or greater utilization then I am just happy to sit where I am at until my machine goes boom. 

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Well my last move was instigated by purchasing X-Plane 11 which is about the same CPU and GPU intensity, so that "forced" me to update the graphics card to a GTX 1070, the 970 was fine for X-Plane 10,but the 3,5GB trick Nvidia used was just not enough for X-Plane 11, hence the upgrade. This should keep me happy for a few years. (touch wood).

 

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My current i7 rig is almost exactly 2 years old. Overclocked to 4.8Ghz, I have similar assessments to KenG. My bottleneck is really the sim software at this point.

Recently, upgraded from GTX970 to GTX1070 as prep for P3Dv4 and DCS updates.

Expecting to get 4-5 years more out of it.

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