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Need some advice...

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I'm coming into a nice windfall and am thinking of getting a new computer.  I have been looking at the Alienware Aurora R8 Gaming Desktop.  I'm planning on ordering it next week.

I have an option of two video cards.



Dual NVIDIA GeForce  RTX 2080 Super 8GB GDDR6 Graphics.

I have no idea what all that means.

I'm not doing anything fancy like multiple displays or such.  Just a desktop to run P3Dv4 and Orbx Scenery.

Being a complete dunce in these matters I need to know which one would work best for my purposes.  The extra 160 dollars for RTX 2080 is not an issue.  

Once I get the new one set up I'll put Widows 7 on my existing computer so I can run MSTS Train Simulator and FS2004 with CalClassics aircraft and scenery



A cranky old curmudgeon trying to cope in the wake turbulence of a century rapidly leaving me behind.

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Basically you are looking at the difference between running two graphics cards which are linked together to work in unison, versus one, more powerful graphics card doing all the graphics work by itself.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. The main plus with running two graphics cards is increased video game performance, because you've got basically two 'engines' doing the work for the display. This means that typically you can run things at higher resolutions (resulting in better imagery), and you can run things at a higher frame rate (resulting in smoother movement with less stuttering). Beyond this, dual graphics cards tend to be a better solution if you want to run multiple monitors.

On the face of it, this would seem to make going for the dual card solution an absolute no brainer, but as with most things, it's not quite as simple as it can appear...

Having dual cards is expensive, but you say this is not a problem owing to a nice windfall you received. However, you should bear in mind that when, in a couple of years, you perhaps decide to upgrade your system, that means you might be looking at having to upgrade a system with a fundamentally more expensive motherboard architecture which is best served by using two cards, although this isn't necessarily always the case and probably wouldn't be so in your case, since you are effectively looking at purchasing the same PC with either one or two cards installed, but the fact remains that any upgrade you chose to do in the future would probably be cheaper with one card alone.

Perhaps what may be more important, is to consider the fact that not all games and the graphics engines they employ, work well with two graphics cards, particularly older games which were created before dual graphics cards were especially common among the average PC gamer. What can occur then, is stuttering with the frame rates, which is not good for a flight sim especially, since it will typically occur as you come in for a landing because your graphics have to start processing imagery for the airport you are getting near to. Since you mention running FS2004 and MS Train Simulator, you need to bear in mind that both these games (or sims if you prefer to call them that), were developed at a time when much of the primary graphics processing relied on the CPU (i.e. the computer's central processor) rather than the GPU (the computer's graphics card), and even now with P3D there is still some of this going on since it is based on the older software processing architecture of Microsoft's Flight Simulator, which as noted, was somewhat reliant on the CPU rather than the GPU. Which means al of those games/sims don't really benefit too much from using two graphics cards in comparison to one very capable one. The main reason for that is that with two cards doing the works, at some point their work has to be combined, which is another process, whereas the work one card does is already 'glued together' so to speak.

As if all this wasn't enough to think about, there is another thing to consider too. A single high end graphics card of recent design might cheerfully run okay on a power supply of 500-600 watts, whereas a system which employs two graphics card is more likely to need a PSU of around 850 watts. Now as far as I'm aware, the computer you are considering buying has an 850 watt PSU, which is fine, but what that does also mean is that it will use more electricity, meaning it will have a slightly more ongoing operating cost, which may or may not concern you depending on how much you worry about your electricity bill. 

Now all of that last stuff I wrote might have you possibly preferring the idea of just one card, but hold on a second...

Last but not least, consider the future. There is every likelihood that the forthcoming MSFS 2020 will be able to to take advantage of the fancy stuff a dual graphics card equipped PC can do, such as more filtering and speedier processing, since unlike previous versions of MSFS, which relied on progressively faster CPUs to handle its reliance on those, MSFS 2020 is built from the ground up in era where the graphics card (GPU) is the king of the fancy graphics, leaving the CPU to do the thinking for non-graphics related tasks, which is an eminently more sensible way of doing things. When it was not thus, that's when flight simmers were always concerned about frame rates, because their graphics cards were largely incapable of using their full potential and MS didn't want to splash out on re-writing MSFS from the ground up with a new architecture which took advantage of the shift in the balance of processing power in modern PCs, to greater reliance on the GPU. Thankfully, we are gradually leaving that old era behind and more recent simulators are utilising that power, including the forthcoming MSFS 2020.

Anyway, some stuff to think about there, but don't just take my opinion on it as gospel, it is after all just an opinion, wait for some others to chip in on your topic (as they doubtless will). At some point you will have to decide which one to go for, and there is never a perfect choice where that kind of thing is concerned, but the more opinions you solicit, the better you will do.

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Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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I have the RTX2080 Super and it's great in FSX. I expect it to work well with any other sim also, including the new MSFS.

I just couldn't justify spending 1000 to 1500 bucks on a new card.


Thank you.


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EAA 1317610   I7-7700K @ 4.5ghz, MSI Z270 Gaming MB,  32gb 3200,  Geforce RTX2080 Super O/C,  28" Samsung 4k Monitor,  Various SSD, HD, and peripherals



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I would go with the RTX2080ti 11GB all day every day, especially since you said the extra $160 isn't an issue.

As for the dual-card setup -- three words -- do not do it.  Oops, that's 4 words.

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i7-8700k @ 5.0 ghz, 32 GB G.Skill TridentZ, 1080Ti, 32" BenQ, 4K res

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3 hours ago, birdguy said:


I'll have what Chock said LOL A lot of great advice there.

Chock, I have run three AMD GPUs in the past utilising up to 8 monitors. These were not crossfired, but with a duel GPU set up would you recommend crossfire or the Intel equivalent as opposed to just using the second GPU for extra monitors (as I did)???

Back to Noel,

What concerns me is the statement I have quoted below. 

"Once I get the new one set up I'll put Widows 7 on my existing computer so I can run MSTS Train Simulator and FS2004 with CalClassics aircraft and scenery"

Mate, I cannot stress strongly enough that Win 7 is dead ie unsupported except at great cost.  I know FS2004 runs on Win 10 (I am flying with it as we speak) but I have no idea what your other games are. If you play anything with an internet connection available and you have internet (who does not these days) you are asking for trouble using an unsupported, ie not updated, OS.  

MY opinion, and my recommendation, is that if your older programmes will NOT run on Windows 10, simply do NOT use them. This is a sacrifice you will come to appreciate if you inherit any nasties from the net  in the fullness of time.

I envy your ability to spend your windfall LOL






Tony Chilcott.


My System. Motherboard. ASRock Taichi X570 CPU Ryzen 9 3900x (not yet overclocked). RAM 32gb Corsair Vengeance (2x16) 3200mhz. 1 x Gigabyte Aorus GTX1080ti Extreme and a 1200watt PSU.

1 x 1tb SSD 3 x 240BG SSD and 4 x 2TB HDD

OS Win 10 Pro 64bit. Simulators ... FS2004/P3Dv4.5/Xplane.DCS/Aeroflyfs2...MSFS to come for sure.

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Stay away from the SLI (dual card) config if you can.  Lots of problems with SLI support on some of the driver updates, some software like Reallight and Trueglass don't play nice with it, and the industry in general is moving away from SLI...it's just turned out to be a lot of butt pain that a single card won't give you.

My last configuration was dual 1080Ti cards in SLI...I upgraded to a single 2080Ti and would never go back to the dual SLI hassles.


Bob Scott | AVSIM Forums Administrator | AVSIM Board of Directors

ATP Gulfstream II-III-IV-V

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6 hours ago, Mace said:

I would go with the RTX2080ti 11GB all day every day, especially since you said the extra $160 isn't an issue.



i7-8086K @ 5.3GHz, ASUS Maximus XI Hero, EVGA 2080 Super driving a 27" 2K LCD, G.Skill 16GB 3600 Trident Z 15-15-15, Samsung 512GB 970 Pro NVMe (OS and P3D) and Sabrent 1TB Rocket NVMe, Malware 10 Pro 64.  P3Dv4.5HF2

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1 x RTX 2080Ti is $160 more expensive than 2 x 2080 Supers?? :huh: That just proves how stupidly expensive the RTX 2080Ti is.

Christopher Low

UK2000 Beta Tester


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NVLink is not SLI and does not work the same. Also NVLInk driver support does not suffer the same problems as traditional SLI.

Flame me.

Edited by SteveW
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Steve Waite: Engineer at codelegend.com

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Go with the single 11gb card. Don't worry about Win 7 on the #2 computer. As long as you have a good antivirus program running on it you will be fine.

 On the flight sim new computer do not put the sim on the C drive !!!


Edited by Penzoil3
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Doesn't matter where the sim is installed so long as the User Group has Modify Allow permission. Logged on authenticated users (us) are naturally member. So we can install on another drive other than C and the User Group will have Modify permission, and a user made folder on drive C will also have User Modify permission the same. So no need to partition a drive.

What I do is install into the stock program files folders but with a checkbox ticked which is easier in the long run. if I'm installing addons that write there, as a User I need modify there for those panel settings to save or crash the Sim. User Group Modify Allow is the easiest method and avoids addons missing the mark with referring to paths. P3D is more susceptible to path mistakes than FSX because of the add-ons xml.

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Steve Waite: Engineer at codelegend.com

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...Explorer, right click on folder, properties, security, Edit, User group, check Modify Allow, OK, OK.

I do that before installing addons because if they go in there with user mode read/write required those settings files inherit the Modify Allow permission. Other than that there's nothing to it.

Steve Waite: Engineer at codelegend.com

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Thanks for all the advice.  The consensus seems to be the RTX 2020TI 11GB.  I'll go with that.

A word on my current computer.  Instead of giving it away or throwing it away I intend to install Windows 7 on it so I can run MSTS Train Simulator and FS2004 with CalClassics addons.  That's all it will be used for.  I will not have it hooked up to WiFi.  I already have all the CalClassic stuff on an external HD so I don't see what the problem would be.

Sue, the Alienware Aurora R8 I am getting comes with a 2TB SSD boot disk and a 2TB HDD.  What would be the advantage of putting P3Dv4 on the storage drive instead of the boot drive?  


A cranky old curmudgeon trying to cope in the wake turbulence of a century rapidly leaving me behind.

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