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MarkL94

New computer. FSX or P3D?

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So... after an eight year hiatus from flight sims, I just got great deal on a new (to me) computer. Much to my old-tech surprise, it doesn't have a CD/DVD drive. My original intent was so start cheap by using my old FSX and adding discs.  But since I'd have to buy a DVD drive, would it make more sense to just pony up and start from scratch on P3D, since I will end up there anyway?

 

I used to get satisfactory performance with FSX on my gateway P7811FX laptop (core 2 duo 2.26GHz, GTX 9800m 512MB). This computer obviously blows my old laptop out of the water, so fsx should be awesome.  Then I read in the forums that P3D runs smoother with better frame rates than FSX.  But I also see people with much higher spec computers than mine struggling to get good performance from either sim.  

 

So while I wait for my bargain monitor to show up (Asus p278Q, 1080p), I have time to debate the pros and cons of each sim. 

 

i3-7100

Gigabite 170n gaming 5 mobo

Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR4

EVGA GTX 1070sc2

Crucial 256GB SSD

 

 

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And my second question, is that i3 going to be a big bottleneck to the system? I'm contemplating upgrading to an i5-7600k, on this computer that I haven't even plugged in yet. 

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Why on earth would you even consider a dead simulator? ( FSX ) If you have been away from flightsim for 8 years again why would you even consider FSX? The only real choice at the moment is P3Dv4 and XP11.  Dovtails FSW isn't even worth a look ( IMO ) At least until its out of beta.

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Well, I would consider fsx because I already own it. Plus $$ in addons, gigs of awesome freeware, and hours and hours of tweaking and modding.  I still have all my mods and files backed up on a portable HD. Most importantly, since I haven't experienced modern sims yet, I won't know what I'm missing!

 

I'm mostly wondering if my computer is up to the task of running P3D in most of its glory, or if I'll get better performance from FSX. 

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Actually, your computer is probably more up to the task of running P3D than it is running at FSX. FSX (even in its Steam iteration) is still almost completely tied to the CPU and is a 32 bit application, thus prone to running out of memory allocation, and whilst much of P3D is tied to the CPU as well, P3D V4 is of course a 64 bit application, so it does  utilise modern hardware more effectively than either FSX or FSX Steam Edition, in that it  spreads the load a bit better, even on a modest system, and, unlike FSX, it is unlikely to run out of memory allocation space.

Sure, people will tell you that P3D V4 is super-duper and new, but at its heart it is essentially a 64 bit version of FSX with a bunch of visual tweaks and better system utilisation, so any system which can run FSX pretty well can certainly run P3D pretty well too, especially since it has a good deal more in the way of options to play around with in order to improve performance.

Against that of course, is that P3D is pricier, the add-ons are often more costly too, but you're going to find that you are driving up a dead end with FSX eventually. Not right away, and probably not in a very noticeable way for at least a couple of years, but it is inevitable, chiefly because Dovetail Games - who created the much better optimised Steam Edition of FSX (FSX-SE) - are currently in the process of replacing it with Flight Sim World (presently available in Early Access form and already looking very promising), so at some point they are going to be pushing that far more than FSX-SE. But, FSW is still a way off completion, and whilst it is worth getting hold off FSW, it certainly would be worth getting the Steam version of FSX rather than using your old original version if you decide to stay with FSX, since it can frequently be had for not much money in a Steam sale (often about a fiver, but even at full price it is still cheap anyway) and it runs far better than the original version of FSX and includes all of the patches, tweaks and expansions.

 

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9 hours ago, MarkL94 said:

And my second question, is that i3 going to be a big bottleneck to the system? I'm contemplating upgrading to an i5-7600k, on this computer that I haven't even plugged in yet. 

The i3 (locked at 2.40 GHz) is definitely going to limit you, especially with modern add-ons which often seriously load the CPU. Even though P3D is better optimised, it still needs good single core performance. Go for the 7600k - it should give you great performance at 1080p and will make your system much more future-proof (as far as that's possible nowadays).

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Some thoughts on the "FSX vs. P3D" discussion:

1) If you do keep FSX, definitely make it FSX-SE. It's inexpensive, better optimized for new hardware and operating systems, and almost all your FSX add-ons are compatible.

2) Definitely recommend you get into P3D (actually, definitely recommend you get into any modern 64-bit simulator). The current generation of simulators is miles ahead of FSX(-SE) in performance, graphics, and overall "feel".

3) So the reasons to keep FSX(-SE) as a secondary platform:

     a) some really nice FSX add-ons will never be updated to P3D status and are not compatible. In particular, certain aircraft that you love are not available in P3D and the developer is out of business.

     b) you fly a lot of multiplayer and many of your friends have FSX. This has become less of a problem with the availability of JoinFS but is still a real consideration if a lot of your flying is MP.

     c) you are cost constrained. Freeware add-ons are still very plentiful for FSX. Heading into the modern sim generation, we are not seeing the freeware development keep up with the sim changes. Many FSX freeware add-ons will work in even the newest version of P3D but that number will continue to decline as P3D becomes less and less like FSX(-SE).

I have installs of both FSX-SE and P3D. Most of my flying (70-80%) is in P3D, however there are just some things/addons/friends/stuff in FSX-SE that has not made (or may never make) the jump to P3D.

Hope this helps and doesn't confuse your decision.

 

 

 

 

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Doesn't confuse the decision at all! Thanks for the great advice. I'll be starting from scratch with P3D, but I'll look through my old fsx files to see if there's anything I can't live without. With the amount I'm ready to drop on peripherals and computer upgrades, the price of admission is a drop in the bucket. 

So I missed the sale on the i5, but now the i7 on sale for just a few bucks more. But I bet if I wait just a --little-- longer and spend just a --little-- more, I could get an i9 Roswell/Groom Lake processor. Where does it end??

Oops- apparently the "K" on the processor is another hundred bills. Anyone wanna buy a motorcycle or two?

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