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I need some opinions from this expert community.

If money was not an issue, what would be the most perfect desktop PC available in todays market for running P3Dv4, X-Plane 11 and DCS?

MOTHERBOARD = 

HARDDRIVE (SSDs) = 

GPUs (SLI) = 

RAM = 

DATA STORAGE HARDDRIVES = 

POWER SUPPLY = 

COOLING = 

CASE = 

SOUND = 

OTHER = 

 

 

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Relative to your title "If Money was not an issue..." ... You'll want more than one PC (for P3D V4 ... Multi-Channel) ... and you'll need to invest in a very fast local network (10G or better).  This question comes up often and it's normally re-defined with some financial limits ... keep in mind there are many people very serious about their simulators and will spend $200,000 - $600,000 or more on the hardware.

If you're talking single desktop PC and not part of a full scale cockpit then I'd recommend:

MOTHERBOARD = ASUS Rampage VI Extreme

HARDDRIVE (SSDs) = 3X Samsung EVO 970 Pro (1TB each) 

GPUs (SLI) = 1X (no SLI) Titan V OC  OR  1X (no SLI) Titan XP OC

RAM = G.Skill Trident Z 32GB DDR4 4133

DATA STORAGE HARDDRIVES = QNAP NAS TS-831X with 8X 12TB Seagate Ironwolf 

POWER SUPPLY = EVGA SuperNOVA 1600 T2

COOLING = 2X EXC-800 800W Liquid Chiller  (one for CPU and one for GPU) CPU-400i Water Block and EK-FC Titan XP water block and Koolance fittings

CASE = CASE LABS Mercury S8

SOUND = PreSonus Studio 192 USB 3.0 (external) with 5X Genelec 8050B 8" Powered Studio Monitors and Genelec 7370A 12" Sub

OTHER = Sony 65" A1E OLED TV/Monitor (if you want blacks to really be black and very high refresh rates)

You didn't mention CPU so this is what I would currently recommend: Intel i9 7900X (should be able to hit 5.2 to 5.4GHz with HT OFF and above cooling solution and MB and RAM).  Why not the 7980XE with 18 real cores you ask, primarily because it's more difficult to Overclock.

NOTE: For sound, PreSonus is not the best external audio interface, but it's been the most compatible for me an works with Win10 and USB 3.0 support so fast and low latency drivers.  If you go with Titan V it will be very important that you do OC modifications to it including voltage mods ... if done correctly you should realize about 30-50% FPS increase over an OC'd Titan XP or 1080Ti

Glad you didn't mention flight simulator modules and controllers ... that's another very very long list. 😉

About $33,000 total.

Cheers, Rob.

EDIT: I should add that the Motherboard and the QNAP NAS have 10G support in case you wanted to move up to Multiple computers and Multi-Channel. 

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Impressive Rob! Just looking through your picks made my wallet start to smoke. Good thing it did not bust into flames. I would have been out $7.00 LOL! Sad thing is we would probably still get studders in P3D with the sliders full right. LOL Fun to dream though.

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4 minutes ago, shivers9 said:

Sad thing is we would probably still get studders in P3D with the sliders full right.

In P3D and XP11 "with add-ons" yes, but not in AF2, not sure about DCS as I have not used it in a while.  Sadly no new GPU's from nVidia and may not be any until year end ... on the plus side, P3D and XP11 are working on new graphics processing so hopefully that will bear fruit in the near future.

Cheers, Rob.

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41 minutes ago, Rob Ainscough said:

Why not the 7980XE with 18 real cores you ask, .......

 

 

I thought for sure you were gonna answer that with "because I named my 1st born that".    :-)

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1 minute ago, FunknNasty said:

"because I named my 1st born that"

No, his name is THX1138 and 2nd born is LUH3417.  But on a more serious note, if I were going Multi-channel in P3D, then I would opt for the 7980XE as host PC and 7900X as the client PCs ... but I'm no Multi-channel expert.

Cheers, Rob.

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10 minutes ago, Rob Ainscough said:

In P3D and XP11 "with add-ons" yes, but not in AF2, not sure about DCS as I have not used it in a while.  Sadly no new GPU's from nVidia and may not be any until year end ... on the plus side, P3D and XP11 are working on new graphics processing so hopefully that will bear fruit in the near future.

Cheers, Rob.

Yep, I am putting all my hope on the new rendering engine. Right now I can't even justify moving from my 3770K and 980TI. It would just be setting myself up for dis-ah-p-pointment.

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1 hour ago, Rob Ainscough said:

Relative to your title "If Money was not an issue..." ... You'll want more than one PC (for P3D V4 ... Multi-Channel) ... and you'll need to invest in a very fast local network (10G or better).  This question comes up often and it's normally re-defined with some financial limits ... keep in mind there are many people very serious about their simulators and will spend $200,000 - $600,000 or more on the hardware.

If you're talking single desktop PC and not part of a full scale cockpit then I'd recommend:

MOTHERBOARD = ASUS Rampage VI Extreme

HARDDRIVE (SSDs) = 3X Samsung EVO 970 Pro (1TB each) 

GPUs (SLI) = 1X (no SLI) Titan V OC  OR  1X (no SLI) Titan XP OC

RAM = G.Skill Trident Z 32GB DDR4 4133

DATA STORAGE HARDDRIVES = QNAP NAS TS-831X with 8X 12TB Seagate Ironwolf 

POWER SUPPLY = EVGA SuperNOVA 1600 T2

COOLING = 2X EXC-800 800W Liquid Chiller  (one for CPU and one for GPU) CPU-400i Water Block and EK-FC Titan XP water block and Koolance fittings

CASE = CASE LABS Mercury S8

SOUND = PreSonus Studio 192 USB 3.0 (external) with 5X Genelec 8050B 8" Powered Studio Monitors and Genelec 7370A 12" Sub

OTHER = Sony 65" A1E OLED TV/Monitor (if you want blacks to really be black and very high refresh rates)

You didn't mention CPU so this is what I would currently recommend: Intel i9 7900X (should be able to hit 5.2 to 5.4GHz with HT OFF and above cooling solution and MB and RAM).  Why not the 7980XE with 18 real cores you ask, primarily because it's more difficult to Overclock.

NOTE: For sound, PreSonus is not the best external audio interface, but it's been the most compatible for me an works with Win10 and USB 3.0 support so fast and low latency drivers.  If you go with Titan V it will be very important that you do OC modifications to it including voltage mods ... if done correctly you should realize about 30-50% FPS increase over an OC'd Titan XP or 1080Ti

Glad you didn't mention flight simulator modules and controllers ... that's another very very long list. 😉

About $33,000 total.

Cheers, Rob.

EDIT: I should add that the Motherboard and the QNAP NAS have 10G support in case you wanted to move up to Multiple computers and Multi-Channel. 

Wow!! You sure knocked my socks off!

But that is what I wanted to see.  I'm spending a lot on a computer (a whole lot for me), but I wanted to benchmark what would be the ultimate flightsim PC and how far I'm going to fall short of that even with what I'm spending.

Then use what I'm learning here to see if it would be practical to up the ante just a little in some areas.

What I get now, I will be living with for a few years so I want it to be a solid choice.

I should have specified that I'm not talking about a full cockpit experience, just the PC.  I have a "sim-pit" now and I'm satisfied with it.  Also, I'm using PFC  and JetMax controllers and I love them. Someday I may go VR, but maybe not either. I hate the thought of having something over my face....yuk.

Thank you for putting so much good information into your post, with links and everything.  That was so awesome!

What do you think of one Titan vs 2 1080Ti/SLI?

I will be getting the 18 core Intel i9 processor.

 

Bob

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1 hour ago, signmanbob said:

What do you think of one Titan vs 2 1080Ti/SLI?

Not much benefit to SLI in P3D and XP11 (not sure about DCS) right now, maybe in the future.  SLI is very driver version dependent and can be quirky.  DX12 and Vulkan 1.1 have multi-GPU support (so does DX11 and DX10 and DX9), but as always depends on coding support to fully utilize the power of more than one GPU.  With DX12 and Vulkan 1.1 you have more core access to multiple GPUs and how to work with them but comes at a programming cost (read more development time).

For single PC usage, the 18 core i9 will not provide you with any benefits over the 10 core i9 -- in fact it might be a detriment since it's unlikely you'll be able to OC the 7980XE as high as you can with the 7900X.

To be clear, your title suggests "money was not a concern" ... my response would be completely different if you had a set budget and/or wanted best Price to performance ratio.

Cheers, Rob.

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6 minutes ago, Rob Ainscough said:

To be clear, your title suggests "money was not a concern" ... my response would be completely different if you had a set budget and/or wanted best Price to performance ratio.

Cheers, Rob.

Thank you Rob.  I just didn't know how else to say it. 

I wanted to see what the best possible setup for P3Dv4 and XP11 would be.  I know a lot of it is opinion and preference, but I wanted to take down the barriers and see what the general consensus would be on the ultimate flightsim PC from what is available today.

Even the best Jetline system looks like it could be better to me, and I know that it is the standard of excellence in todays flightsim PCs.

Price to performance might be a better way to say it.

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1 hour ago, Rob Ainscough said:

For single PC usage, the 18 core i9 will not provide you with any benefits over the 10 core i9 -- in fact it might be a detriment since it's unlikely you'll be able to OC the 7980XE as high as you can with the 7900X.

To be clear, your title suggests "money was not a concern" ... my response would be completely different if you had a set budget and/or wanted best Price to performance ratio.

Cheers, Rob.

Rob, what do you think about the 7900X with one Nvidia Titan Xp GPU? Would that be a better fit for P3D/XP11?

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Currently yes, that's a good option.  8700's are a good option also ... either one you'll want to invest in good OC cooling solutions (dual loop) and RAM and quality motherboard.

Cheers, Rob.

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2 hours ago, Rob Ainscough said:

Currently yes, that's a good option.  8700's are a good option also ... either one you'll want to invest in good OC cooling solutions (dual loop) and RAM and quality motherboard.

Cheers, Rob.

Thank you Rob.  You're such a big help.  I appreciate it so much.

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On 7/11/2018 at 6:29 PM, Rob Ainscough said:

my response would be completely different if you had a set budget and/or wanted best Price to performance ratio. 

Might I follow up on this thread?

Could we ask you for your picks then in that "Best price to performance ratio" category, Rob?

In my case I already have a Titan X video card but need to build a new PC anyway, so I'd be quite interested to know what you recommend that would give good bang for buck to go with it.

I am one of those guys who has a full cockpit so the P3D4 computer interfaces with two others to give the displays and sound system using ProSim. (Meaning no need in my case at least to run add-on aircraft with 3-D cockpits etc. I'm just projecting an out-the-window view and running ProSim on the computer)

 

MOTHERBOARD = 

CPU =

HARDDRIVE (SSDs) = 

GPUs (SLI) = 

RAM = 

DATA STORAGE HARDDRIVES = 

POWER SUPPLY = 

COOLING = 

 

And please let me add my voice to all the others thanking you for sharing your expertise. It's an invaluable resource considering how frequently things change in this world of simming!

Cheers,

Ted

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Posted (edited)
On 7/11/2018 at 2:43 PM, Rob Ainscough said:

You didn't mention CPU so this is what I would currently recommend: Intel i9 7900X (should be able to hit 5.2 to 5.4GHz with HT OFF and above cooling solution and MB and RAM). 

Cheers, Rob.

Rob, I have best ever performance w/ HT enabled on my old 3930K with all logical processors running at 4.4Ghz using an affinity mask.  When I look at CPU utilization it is common in complex sceneries for me to see cores loading terrain textures running at a higher % CPU utilization than what the main thread might be running at in that scenario, which makes me think it's useful to have those LPs running at the highest clock speed possible as w/ the main thread.  With HT OFF are you seeing all cores running at 5.2-5.4Ghz on the I9-7900X?  That is remarkable if so, and how common might that be?

Edited by Noel

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1 hour ago, Noel said:

w/ HT enabled on my old 3930K with all logical processors running at 4.4Ghz using an affinity mask.

3930K (now over 6 years old) is a very different processor and chipset than the 7900X ... can't and shouldn't apply the HT On/Off as a rule of thumb for ALL CPUs out there.  But with that said, if you can run a higher OC with HT OFF then I would opt for the higher OC with 6C/6T rather than 6C/12T.  For example, with your 3930K, if you could run 4.6Ghz or higher with HT OFF (no affinity and assuming you don't sacrifice memory latency/performance), that would provide better results than 4.4Ghz HT ON with affinity.

For my i9 7900X I run a 3 cores at 5Ghz, and the reset at 4.9 or 4.8 ... but I'm not running the cooling system I recommend above (which is an external chiller setup that could run a few degrees below ambient without risk of condensation on the tubing/block), with that cooling system one should be able to reach 5.2 to 5.4 in a core mix with HT OFF on a 7900X and the right memory combination/configuration.

There is a good "discussion" (somewhat older) here with the some of the Pros and Cons to hyper-threading: https://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/hpc/Hyper-Threading-may-be-Killing-your-Parallel-Performance-578/ ... but to sum it up "it's complicated", and for each iteration of HT implementation for Intel CPUs which has changed over the years, very application specific (some application work better with it, some do not), and if there is resource contention that could be detrimental to performance (getting tasks done).

So it's not a simple rule of thumb for all especially given the different processor types, but with that said, I would still opt for higher stable OC with HT OFF vs. lower OC with HT ON.

Cheers, Rob.

 

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20 hours ago, tdeller said:

Could we ask you for your picks then in that "Best price to performance ratio" category, Rob?

This would be my choice:

MOTHERBOARD - ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero

CPU - Intel 8700K

SSD1 - Samsung 960 EVO 500GB (for OS and flight sims)

SSD2- SamSung 960 EVO M.2 1TB (for flight sims)

GPU - EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC Black Edition

RAM - DDR4 3000 G.Skill TridentZ RGB 16GB (C15)

HDD - None

POWER SUPPLY - EVGA SuperNOVA 1200 P2

COOLING - EKWB EK-KIT X360 Complete Triple 120mm

Be aware I really do think we're going to see a new nVidia 1180 GPU coming in August/Sept (they've been spotted in Lenovo desktop PCs).

Cheers, Rob.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Rob Ainscough said:

3930K (now over 6 years old) is a very different processor and chipset than the 7900X

So it's not a simple rule of thumb for all especially given the different processor types, but with that said, I would still opt for higher stable OC with HT OFF vs. lower OC with HT ON.

Cheers, Rob.

Thanks this is what I've gathered, opt for a higher o'c and w/ that recommendation said I have had such sterling total performance, for my system's years.  It is always 100% stutter free at 30fps but that is only because I respect its limits so always down-adjust the lighting sliders, primarily terrain and cloud shadow distance whenever my old GTX Titan shows >90% utilization since as it approaches 100% this starts impact maintaining the liquid smooth 30fps.   And as well will dial back some scenery complexity sliders as required.    All this being said I could try the other approach and see.  Right now w/ HT on I am able to run at 4.42 on all cores at 1.32v vCore w/ VID around 1.26 to 1.29 I think most of the time.  I can run 4.5.x at 1.35v but don't for fear of finishing off the old chip which I'd rather not do right now.  I'm trying to hold on to it as long as possible to see where P3D V5 goes.   It appears as I'm running now 4.42Ghz is the sweet spot above which relatively steep increases in voltage are required for very little gain.

But sure I can see what supplied voltage will get me stable at 4.5 or 4.6 and see, thanks.  

 

Edited by Noel

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Thanks Rob! That's a rockin' list. (I assume the Titan X would give similar or better GPU performance to the GTX 1080 TI you mentioned?)

Ted

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1 hour ago, tdeller said:

I assume the Titan X would give similar or better GPU performance to the GTX 1080 TI you mentioned?

No, Titan XP would (but not much 2-4%), but the 1080Ti would perform better than a Titan X.  Just to be clear in order of performance (top being best)

Titan V OC (with voltage modes)
Titan XP
Titan X (Pascal)
1080Ti
1070Ti
Titan X

If you can wait until August/Sept for the 1180, that would be good option: https://www.techradar.com/news/nvidia-turing

Cheers, Rob.

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Thanks. Yes. I realize I have the Tital X (Pascal) version so that bodes well.

Sweet.

Ted

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On 7/11/2018 at 5:43 PM, Rob Ainscough said:

Relative to your title "If Money was not an issue..." ... You'll want more than one PC (for P3D V4 ... Multi-Channel) ... and you'll need to invest in a very fast local network (10G or better).  This question comes up often and it's normally re-defined with some financial limits ... keep in mind there are many people very serious about their simulators and will spend $200,000 - $600,000 or more on the hardware.

If you're talking single desktop PC and not part of a full scale cockpit then I'd recommend:

MOTHERBOARD = ASUS Rampage VI Extreme

HARDDRIVE (SSDs) = 3X Samsung EVO 970 Pro (1TB each) 

GPUs (SLI) = 1X (no SLI) Titan V OC  OR  1X (no SLI) Titan XP OC

RAM = G.Skill Trident Z 32GB DDR4 4133

DATA STORAGE HARDDRIVES = QNAP NAS TS-831X with 8X 12TB Seagate Ironwolf 

POWER SUPPLY = EVGA SuperNOVA 1600 T2

COOLING = 2X EXC-800 800W Liquid Chiller  (one for CPU and one for GPU) CPU-400i Water Block and EK-FC Titan XP water block and Koolance fittings

CASE = CASE LABS Mercury S8

SOUND = PreSonus Studio 192 USB 3.0 (external) with 5X Genelec 8050B 8" Powered Studio Monitors and Genelec 7370A 12" Sub

OTHER = Sony 65" A1E OLED TV/Monitor (if you want blacks to really be black and very high refresh rates)

You didn't mention CPU so this is what I would currently recommend: Intel i9 7900X (should be able to hit 5.2 to 5.4GHz with HT OFF and above cooling solution and MB and RAM).  Why not the 7980XE with 18 real cores you ask, primarily because it's more difficult to Overclock.

NOTE: For sound, PreSonus is not the best external audio interface, but it's been the most compatible for me an works with Win10 and USB 3.0 support so fast and low latency drivers.  If you go with Titan V it will be very important that you do OC modifications to it including voltage mods ... if done correctly you should realize about 30-50% FPS increase over an OC'd Titan XP or 1080Ti

Glad you didn't mention flight simulator modules and controllers ... that's another very very long list. 😉

About $33,000 total.

Cheers, Rob.

EDIT: I should add that the Motherboard and the QNAP NAS have 10G support in case you wanted to move up to Multiple computers and Multi-Channel. 

Hello Rob,

 

Looks like you literally named my own rig here. Except in terms of GPU I run 3X Titan X Pascal non sli. And my RAM is clocked @ 3800.

All else is the same. I should mentioned that the external cooling devise mentioned above is A MUST if you plan on overclocking the I9 beyond 4.3. I currently have HT off and the clocks are "per core" @ 5.0, 5.0, 4.9, 4.9, 4.9, 4.8, 4.8, 4.8, 4.7, 4.7

 

Nico

 

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32 minutes ago, nlgravity said:

I should mentioned that the external cooling devise mentioned above is A MUST if you plan on overclocking

Speaking of Koolance chillers, I can also vouch for Koolancer fittings, they provide high quality fittings and have flat edges to allow for tightening without damage to the threads.  I would use soft tubing and not hard line, hard line has a higher risk potential of leaking.  Also recommend using "swivel" heads in all situations regardless of angle ... flow meters in the Koolance are very important as are the actual coolant temp.  Also, delid with the appropriate mount to support and no IHS (https://www.ekwb.com/blog/what-is-delidding/) ... but again this is for the "money is not an issue option" (note a processor can still be damaged after what might appear to be a successful delid so be prepared to buy another CPU if your delid CPU starts acting up).

On a side note, I've started the ground work for a ProSim320 + Flight Deck Solutions cockpit (still keeping my uSimPit for all the other aircraft I like to fly) ... in the planning/research stage and in the middle of trying to sell our house and move to a larger place with more space for a full sized cockpit (not motion based like Nicos but fixed) ... looking forward to that adventure.

Cheers, Rob.

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16 hours ago, Rob Ainscough said:

Speaking of Koolance chillers, I can also vouch for Koolancer fittings, they provide high quality fittings and have flat edges to allow for tightening without damage to the threads.  I would use soft tubing and not hard line, hard line has a higher risk potential of leaking.  Also recommend using "swivel" heads in all situations regardless of angle ... flow meters in the Koolance are very important as are the actual coolant temp.  Also, delid with the appropriate mount to support and no IHS (https://www.ekwb.com/blog/what-is-delidding/) ... but again this is for the "money is not an issue option" (note a processor can still be damaged after what might appear to be a successful delid so be prepared to buy another CPU if your delid CPU starts acting up).

On a side note, I've started the ground work for a ProSim320 + Flight Deck Solutions cockpit (still keeping my uSimPit for all the other aircraft I like to fly) ... in the planning/research stage and in the middle of trying to sell our house and move to a larger place with more space for a full sized cockpit (not motion based like Nicos but fixed) ... looking forward to that adventure.

Cheers, Rob.

That is great news Rob. Congrats on the new adventure. I have all those fittings you are referring to and can also attest to the great quality of Koolance stuff. I dont have any flow meters (i bought them but too lazy to instal them). 

BTW Rob, one of the best parts of building a sim is the planning phase and then when you get those tracking numbers from FDS and see the boxes in your driveway.... that is a priceless moment right there!

of course is all downhill from there since you start to hit the classic enthusiast brick wall where you know you want to add more but you are not sure what to add. 

Once you spool her up for the first time.... is all worth it!

 

Seriously Rob... very happy for you and reacj out if you have any questions. 

Nico

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Hi Nico,

I might reach out to you for FDS info when the time comes, both Peter's (Peter Cos FDS and Peter Dowson FSUIPC and ProSim user) have made themselves available and have been VERY helpful.  Probably start out with a full scale cockpit (both sides) but just populate PILOT side initially, then over time populate CO-PILOT side and see if I can get my wife or one of the cats (they love the comfy seats) to CO-PILOT 🙂

For some strange reason I've become a A320 "believer", don't know if it was FSL, Aerosoft or Flight Factor that triggered my desire for the A320 cockpit build ... but it'll be fun ... I think the building aspect is probably as enjoyable as the actual flying aspect.

Cheers, Rob.

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