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HighFlier

Computer Specifications and Resulting Performance

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With the holiday season coming up, I’m planning to treat myself with a new laptop and an upgrade to P3D from FSX. Before I go through with any purchases however, I’d just like some opinions on the following laptop specifications.

 

Laptop A

Processor - Intel Core i7-8750H 6-Core 2.20GHz (4.0GHz TurboBoost for just 4 Cores, 3.9GHz TurboBoost for all 6 Cores)

Graphics Card - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5 Max-P

Memory - 32GB Kingston HyperX Impact 2666MHz (2x 16GB)

M.2 SSD Drive 1 - 512GB Samsung 970 Pro PCIe NVMe M.2

M.2 SSD Drive 2 - 512GB Samsung 970 Pro PCIe NVMe M.2

HDD - 2TB Seagate 5400RPM 2.5" Hard Drive

Total Cost - $3228 USD

 

Laptop B

Processor - Intel Core i9-8950HK 6-Core 2.90GHz (4.5GHz TurboBoost for just 4 Cores, 4.3GHz TurboBoost for all 6 Cores)

Everything Else - Same as Laptop A

Total Cost - $3895 USD

 

Additional Costs Regardless of Laptop - $1071.59 USD worth of purchasing P3Dv4 compatible add-ons

 

If money grew on trees, then there wouldn’t be a reason to get Laptop B. But since it doesn’t, is the better processor really worth the extra $667? Rather, is the better processor necessary for a good sim experience? An average session in P3D for me would comprise of a PMDG aircraft, ASP4 weather, Rex 4 Texture Direct + Soft Clouds, payware airport scenary (Flightbeam, Drzewiecki Design, etc.), and ChasePlane views. Ideally, I’d like my sim to run at 30 FPS or greater the entire time. With all this in mind, do I need that better processor?

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The most important things is really still the processor speed as far as I know so the B configuration will give you the best results most likely.

Though I would be careful with laptops as they always tend to slowdown after sometime, and if thermal dissipation is not good enough the CPU will reduce it's speed to avoid overheating. So waht really is important I think is to have one from a good brand that has a good heat exhaust system, if possible one that can be easily removed/cleaned.

But I'm not sure either can sustain a 30FPS constant it's just too depending on many factors, such as resolution, sim settings, as well as other criteria. 

But with that money if you can build yourself a destop computer you would have really much much better performances, you can probably throw a 9900K with good waterblock and a 2080.

Edited by wedgantilles
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2 hours ago, wedgantilles said:

But with that money if you can build yourself a destop computer you would have really much much better performances

Although I would agree with this, there could be a myriad of other reasons why one would get a laptop instead. I'm looking to get a laptop at some point that would be able to run P3D V4 because I drive a truck for a living, so a desktop isn't an option, I just don't have the space in this truck to have one. The current laptop I have now is having its own set of issues. For what it's worth, I do have a desktop at home to run P3D V4. Somebody who's on the go all the time isn't going to really be able to have much use of a desktop. College student that takes the computer to class most likely won't have a use for a desktop, either.

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6 hours ago, Captain Kevin said:

College student that takes the computer to class most likely won't have a use for a desktop, either.

That’s exactly my situation. The dorm rooms are too small for a computer, and I need something mobile to take around campus and to class.

 

8 hours ago, wedgantilles said:

The most important things is really still the processor speed as far as I know so the B configuration will give you the best results most likely.

Though I would be careful with laptops as they always tend to slowdown after sometime, and if thermal dissipation is not good enough the CPU will reduce it's speed to avoid overheating. So waht really is important I think is to have one from a good brand that has a good heat exhaust system, if possible one that can be easily removed/cleaned.

But I'm not sure either can sustain a 30FPS constant it's just too depending on many factors, such as resolution, sim settings, as well as other criteria. 

But with that money if you can build yourself a destop computer you would have really much much better performances, you can probably throw a 9900K with good waterblock and a 2080.

Good points, but the desktop just isn’t an option due to what I said above. I can get Laptop B with the better processor but that would really be pushing my budget. I would only get it out of necessity. That being said, would you still recommend Laptop B?

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Well here's my take on it (I've built my own PCs since 1996), given that the only difference is an i7 vs. and i9, with the same number of cores, w/ the main advantage here being the frequency speed bump by the i9, I'd say that given what I've been reading on processor review sites that the perceived performance increase my not be all that noticeable.  Prepar3D is an odd beast that seems as if it is constrained in many ways; the most significant being that it was written in a day and age when dual core CPUs were just beginning to hit the market.

While I've always bought all the PC I could afford (I once built a rack-mount PC that had 5K of cutting edge stuff in it- now completely junk by today's standards) I would recommend stepping back from the brink and going w/ option A.  In two years it won't matter regardless because there will be an entirely new round of hot-shot hardware and you can take that $600 you saved and take out as many college girls as you can. 

You know what us old timers always say....if I knew then what I know now....heck if I could go back in time to my college days I'd make hay while the sun shines.  If you get my drift.

Mark

P.S.  I was on a processor review site this morning (sorry can't remember which one) that stated that Intel's pricing for the i9 series is way over-inflated.   Why?  Because they can get away with it.

Edited by mtrainer

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Thx for the input Mark. Perhaps I’ve been overly worried about performance. My current laptop is one that my parents bought me during my freshman year in high school, and it doesn’t even meet the minimum requirements on PMDG’s website. I get 10 FPS on the ground if I’m lucky. This laptop upgrade is one I have been looking forward to and I hope to get it right.

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I have seen fellow students carrying around an asus rog laptop and they plug in a brick. Luckily were I live we don’t have campuses but most students travel for at least an hour or so with public transport which is provided for free as a student. I am currently using an asis ux305 and it happily ran one of my simulation softwares I used during my second year. 

I would say you need to find a balance between being able to carry it while not being to heavy and not being strong enough in capability.

and I am also fortunate enough to own a desktop which I bought after my summer job ended.

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4 hours ago, Zdenek said:

This is the Asus ROG Zephyrus wich i purchased only 2 months ago it has excellent cooling good cpu and video card to mach.Its lightweight sleek yet powerful.See here.

https://www.asus.com/au/Laptops/ROG-Zephyrus-M-GM501/

 

Interesting, that’s basically the same build as Laptop A. What kind of FPS are you getting during takeoffs and landings at airports such as JFK or LAX?

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4 hours ago, HighFlier said:

Interesting, that’s basically the same build as Laptop A. What kind of FPS are you getting during takeoffs and landings at airports such as JFK or LAX?

Can’t say i haven’t had the time to install p3d V4 and my QOTS yet those i have installed on my other MSI laptop running slightly less cpu 6700 with GTX 1060 i also just purchased the 737 P3D V4 as well.But hope to install the 737 on my new laptop.But on the 6700 I’m getting good FPS around 50 to 60 even in build up areas like LAX and KLAS.

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Also one good thing about this Asus ROG Laptop it’s not that expensive and Asus make good quality they been around computers and parts for donkeys.

Regards.

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An i9 wont give you any perceptible advantage other then bragging rights and the price for laptops includes the compromises required to make them portable.

You *require* a laptop to attend college etc. and you would *like* a computer that can play games and flight sims reasonably well. The obvious point is that for gaming, a larger monitor will be better, but it makes the laptop bigger and heavier and less portable. So budget for a separate monitor; $250 will get you a reasonable 27" display.  No point in going for anything more then full HD unless you are willing to think about a dedicated graphics card to drive it. This also means you can think about a smaller lighter laptop which will be better for dragging around lectures and cafes. A reasonably well specified Dell XPS 13 or MacBook Pro are both around the $1200 mark and are much more portable then the options you have been looking at. Since you have now spent less then $1500 of your $5000 budget, you can afford to get a nicer monitor instead, maybe a 30" QHD for ~$500 and a gaming desktop with an i7-8700k and a GTR 1070Ti for about $1500. Laptop, desktop and monitor $3200.

 

Example desktop:

https://www.amazon.com/iBUYPOWER-i7-8700K-Motherboard-Slate-9210/dp/B07BDTTQ1M/ref=pd_sbs_147_3?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07BDTTQ1M&pd_rd_r=38abed96-ecb4-11e8-a464-9d17b534f1da&pd_rd_w=ZNdUX&pd_rd_wg=HXs0i&pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=7d5d9c3c-5e01-44ac-97fd-261afd40b865&pf_rd_r=GH1G9BMAPSKEXMDRNPR8&pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_t=40701&psc=1&refRID=GH1G9BMAPSKEXMDRNPR8

Example monitor:

https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-PB328Q-2560x1440-DisplayPort-Monitor/dp/B00XI4PAD2/ref=sr_1_16?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1542712557&sr=1-16&keywords=monitor&refinements=p_n_size_browse-bin%3A3547808011%2Cp_n_feature_keywords_two_browse-bin%3A6570749011

Example laptop:

https://www.amazon.com/Apple-MacBook-Retina-2-3GHz-Quad-Core/dp/B071JNRK1V/ref=sr_1_acs_osp_osp17-b143eb1c-92_4_2?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1542713178&sr=1-4-acs&keywords=laptop&tag=digitaltren0b-20&ascsubtag=b143eb1c-9269-4442-a43c-b0e178d68f60&linkCode=oas&cv_ct_id=amzn1.osp.b143eb1c-9269-4442-a43c-b0e178d68f60&cv_ct_pg=search&cv_ct_wn=osp-search&creativeASIN=B071JNRK1V

https://www.amazon.com/Dell-XPS-9370-13-3-InfinityEdge/dp/B078MKCPKH/ref=sr_1_acs_osp_osp17-b143eb1c-92_4_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1542713178&sr=1-4-acs&keywords=laptop&tag=digitaltren0b-20&ascsubtag=b143eb1c-9269-4442-a43c-b0e178d68f60&linkCode=oas&cv_ct_id=amzn1.osp.b143eb1c-9269-4442-a43c-b0e178d68f60&cv_ct_pg=search&cv_ct_wn=osp-search&creativeASIN=B078MKCPKH

 

Edited by Paul_Smith
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3 hours ago, Paul_Smith said:

You *require* a laptop to attend college etc. and you would *like* a computer that can play games and flight sims reasonably well. The obvious point is that for gaming, a larger monitor will be better, but it makes the laptop bigger and heavier and less portable. So budget for a separate monitor; $250 will get you a reasonable 27" display.  No point in going for anything more then full HD unless you are willing to think about a dedicated graphics card to drive it.

Good advice for sure, but also situation dependent. In my case, this doesn't necessarily work. I have a 24-inch TV in my truck because the TV mount in the truck won't allow for anything larger than that. Of course, this point is moot when the truck goes into the shop and I'm outside of the truck, as I can't really take the TV with me inside our terminal. If I decide to run the flight simulator at that point, it's going to be on the laptop monitor.

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15 hours ago, Paul_Smith said:

You *require* a laptop to attend college etc. and you would *like* a computer that can play games and flight sims reasonably well. The obvious point is that for gaming, a larger monitor will be better, but it makes the laptop bigger and heavier and less portable. So budget for a separate monitor; $250 will get you a reasonable 27" display.  No point in going for anything more then full HD unless you are willing to think about a dedicated graphics card to drive it.

Great points but I would probably opt for a much smaller display due to dorm room size. Additionally, while my major isn't set in stone yet, I'm doing engineering so I need my laptop to pack a punch for stuff like CAD and Wolfram Mathematica. If I rely on a desktop for performance, I'm going to have to go back to my dorm room to run calculations. This just isn't convenient, especially if I'm working with multiple people on something and we're in a conference room or some other setting. I rather have everything mobile.

It really just comes down to personal preference. It also doesn't make sense for me to get a gaming computer because I decided to get rid of all of my games except for flight sim. If I didn't do that, I would have too many distractions. I chose to keep one thing for my sanity's sake, and that was FSX. I wish I upgraded to P3D earlier though, back when my parents would still pay for things...

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12 hours ago, HighFlier said:

It also doesn't make sense for me to get a gaming computer because I decided to get rid of all of my games except for flight sim.

You'd probably be better off with a gaming laptop, actually. The graphics card alone should give you the performance you need to run P3D and whatever it is you need to be running.

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4 hours ago, Captain Kevin said:

You'd probably be better off with a gaming laptop, actually. The graphics card alone should give you the performance you need to run P3D and whatever it is you need to be running.

Both the laptops I’m looking at are workstations but they have the specs of what a gaming laptop would have in the first place.

After all the feedback, which I very much appreciate, I have the confidence to go forward with a purchase tonight.

Thank you everyone.

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