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FSX hardware requirements: An historical perspective

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I agree, but the MHz race was in full swing at that time.Faster CPU's were coming out nearly every day. A look at the CPU direction right now, shows that multiple cores is the big thing. The MHz race is over. We cannot exepect massive gains in CPU MHz over the next 2 years or so as this is clearly NOT the direction that Intel and AMD are heading. We currently have Dual Core and are now quickly heading to Quad Core. If you look at the roadmap for both Intel and AMD, significantly higher MHz CPU's are not on the agenda.As we know, FSX is basically a single threaded app (maybe 10-15% dual core) that requires the maximum MHz possible from a single core.Until this changes, the future for FSX looks pretty bleak. Don't get me wrong, I think FSX has massive potential. I just can't do it justice with my hardware right now. I have purchased my copy and I am enjoying it for more 'rural' low level flying. Maybe the holy grail of DX10 and Vista will blow us all away, but I for one am not holding my breath. Let's hope for a major patch that offloads more work to dual and quad cores........

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Great post. Certainly puts things in perspective for the people who are upset over the steep hardware requirements.The actual realistic requirements, that is...not the fluff printed on the box.

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Back around '98 when Falcon 4 was released, the forums were burning with posts about poor FPS. The sim's designer, Gillman Louie, posted that to run the sim as it was meant to be played, you would need an 800Mhz CPU, which even the rich kids didn't have. Most of us were in the 300 to 400Mhz range.In other words, same shizzle - different sim. Nothin' new at all...

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It is not the "same shizzle...different sim". qjharrall nailed it in his post. The mhz race for processors is over and everything is going toward mult core processors. That is except for FSX. We are at a hardware cross roads. The hardware manufacturers took a right turn and FSX took a left turn. If FSX doesn't accomodate multi core processors, then what future hardware were they designing for? Graphics cards can still be vastly improved but the bottle neck will still be processors as far as FSX is concerned.Mike

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400mhz - 800mhz = 2x CPU Mhz speed.Show me ANY mention from Intel or AMD of 5-6 GHz CPU's in the next 2 years or so.They are not on any roadmap.

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That's easy. Get an e6600, and one of this.http://www.frozencpu.com/products/1255/cas...0GT.html?tl=g41You than over clock it to 4GHz which is equals to 4 * 1.5 = 6 GHz of P4 power.Or If you still prefer air cool. Get thishttp://www.a1-electronics.net/Heatsinks/20...g-Typ_Apr.shtmlYou won't reach 4GHz though, but close. Most people are able get between 3.5 to 3.8 GHz which translate to 5.25GHz and above.With this much power, you don't even need a DX10 card. A friend of mine got 18fps with a 7800gt 512MB over NYC (zoomed out), no mod, no bloom and water set to mid 2x, max out every thing. I don't know his traffic settings.Oh, BTW, the new DX10 will be a waste of money.http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=35409

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Sorry, you're wrong. The poster above on multi core processors is correct. As well please do a search for AVSIM reviewer Mike's comments on this board regarding FSX and the trenchant differences between all previous versions from a comparative sense. History is not repeating itself here. It's a paradigm change(to borrow an overused term).

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>History is not repeating itself here.It is in the sense that like every other release of Flight Simulator going back almost 10 years, it requires faster hardware to get the same performance as pervious versions.

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I've been struggling to remember the systems I went throught on FS9. I remember starting on an Athon 1800/GEforce2/512RAM an struggling to get 8 FPS over London on reasonable settings.Things did improve a bit with the 2.53 the 3.05 Intel chips and 9700 ATI plus 1 Gb.It wasnt until the AMD 3700 and x800xt that it really started to motor but by the FS9 was 'maturing'The processor clock speeds roughly doubled over that time and there were big architecture improvements.Looking at FSX now the visual improvements in default are vast. Performance wise I can get 12 fps over London with only one or two config tweaks and most things maxed (AI 50%, no bloom, no aircraft ground shadows, traffic 45%). New York and Tokyo are a huge stuggle with about 6 fps.The only difference is that I can't see processors improving in the same way over a similar period. FS has to go multicore.

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>400mhz - 800mhz = 2x CPU Mhz speed.>>Show me ANY mention from Intel or AMD of 5-6 GHz CPU's in the>next 2 years or so.>>They are not on any roadmap.>This is my first post here, and i joined just to tell this guy how wrong he is.Clock speed can mean almost nothing when it comes to CPU's. Its all about the architecture.Why Do you think a P4 @ 3.0 Loses in more game benchmarks to a 2.0 AMD 64? But still P4 owns AMD in video encoding? This deals with the architecture of the chip and now it is designed, the P4 has long pipelines that are great when used for Audio/Video encoding, but the AMD has short pipelines that relay quicker that are better for gaming and other CPU hungry tasks similar to that.Why Do you think that a E6600 @ 2.4 C2D gets 1/2 the Super Pi times of a A64?Architecture. Not clock speed. And when Vista Is realeased, programs/games will be multi threaded which means that they will take advantage of all cores in the CPU.Imagine a Kentsfeild or K8L using all four cores at the same time in one program? That would cause a massive leap in preformance.Just Wait and see.

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Clearly, I know about architecture or I would have purchased a 3.4ghz Pentium D instead of my E6400.Did YOU know that Core 2 Duo is THE latest architecture? Did YOU know that this architecture is NOT going to change in the next 2-3 years? Did YOU know that Quad Core is the next step? Did YOU know that FSX currently takes very LITTLE advantage of two cores, nevermind four?Clearly you know nothing, or you wouldn't have made the ridiculous statement about games and apps being multi core enabled when Vista is released. There is nothing in Vista which cant be done already in XP as far as multi threading goes. Many games and apps are already multi core / threaded in XP and have been for some time.FSX is NOT coded to take advantage of multi core CPU's. Vista is NOT going to change that. Only a patch from Microsoft ACES for FSX will.My point, if you had bothered to read, is that Intel and AMD are heading down the multiple core path. FSX (like all previous FS's) is heavily dependant on one, fast core. We will see no major improvements in clock speed of single cores in the next 2-3 years and there is no newer architecture on the horizon than what we have now with Core 2 Duo / Quad Core. Where is FSX going to get this 'magic' perofrmance increase from without a major patch for dual/quad core?If you are putting your faith in Vista being the answer, you are going to be dissapointed.Glenn

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Howard,With your PC, I would be right ###### with FSX performance. I am with mine.......

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>I agree, but the MHz race was in full swing at that time.>>Faster CPU's were coming out nearly every day. >>A look at the CPU direction right now, shows that multiple>cores is the big thing. The MHz race is over. We cannot>exepect massive gains in CPU MHz over the next 2 years or so>as this is clearly NOT the direction that Intel and AMD are>heading. We currently have Dual Core and are now quickly>heading to Quad Core. If you look at the roadmap for both>Intel and AMD, significantly higher MHz CPU's are not on the>agenda.>>As we know, FSX is basically a single threaded app (maybe>10-15% dual core) that requires the maximum MHz possible from>a single core.>>Until this changes, the future for FSX looks pretty bleak.>Don't get me wrong, I think FSX has massive potential. I just>can't do it justice with my hardware right now. I have>purchased my copy and I am enjoying it for more 'rural' low>level flying. >>Maybe the holy grail of DX10 and Vista will blow us all away,>but I for one am not holding my breath. Let's hope for a major>patch that offloads more work to dual and quad cores........Agreed I have FS X running on my new computer AMD Athlon 64 4800 dualcore 939 Socket 1 Gigabyte RAM DDR1 6600GT Graphics CardWindows XP 64 Professional on a SATA Raptor drive 37 GigabyteFS X on a standard SATA drive 300 Gigabyte Thermaltake fan for CPUwww.thermaltake.com/pr...114-01.aspwww.thermaltake.com/pr..._index.asparound 16 FPS but can be as low as 5 FPS at Seattle Airport, I tried overclocking the processor and brought it up to 2800 megahertz from the stock 2400 of the 4800 939 but it did not make much difference to frame rates, though it seemed to load somewhat quicker, so I reset the chip back to the standard non overclocked values. I have also run FS X on my 3200 Athlon 64 with 1.5 Gigabytes RAM and a 6800GS 512 megabyte DDR3 memory graphics card. FS X seems very resource demanding and whilst one can argue about the figures ie framerates, the general coonsensus seems to be that it is a very demanding programme, the one qualification I would make is that I am not overly familar with Windows XP 64 Professional and there is a possability that I can obtain a better driver for the grpahics card, which may up the frame rates.Best and Warm RegardsAdrian Wainer

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Yes the performance is not brilliant but I have tweaked a bit more and just managed to get New York up to 9 FPS with all of the scenery settings maxed. Mind you I had to lower traffic to 20% to do it.This is with no texture tweaks, pretty much as described above.Funny thing is that changing the scenery settings makes relatively little difference. I can get own to 6 FPS with virtually everything on all tabs maxed (as posted above) but if I lower scenery settings very substantially I can only get up to say 14 FPS. Autogen seems to make 3-4 fps difference from min to max.Having said that, away from these cities the performance is fairly fluid. Typically around 20-40 FPS with the scenery and texure settings maxed and traffic around 40%. Note the resolution though.If you like high fromes visit the Arctic. It gets up to 120 fps:D I noticed that Princess Juliana is now up around 18-20 FPS on these settings which is better than demo2.Might try upping it to 3,6 Ghz.Dreading adding the quality aircraft.

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I can recall FS9 even bringing my 6800 ultra to its knees so its not been that long ago that FS9 has really come of age with me it was when my Geforce 6800 died and I replaced it with the Ati 1800xl which seemed to be a huge step up. I was shocked at how much better that card did with FS9.:) Thanks great post. Some people seem to have forgotten the tweaks and help that was needed to make FS9 shine. So give FSX time it should also.

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Interesting thread. I don't know about the majority here, but I still can't run FS9 with every slider maxed. I think I would have to go back to FS4 to get guaranteed totally smooth movement. Pushing pixels in 3d is always going to be a hard task, until someone with an inspired piece of lateral thinking manages to go about things in a fundamentally different way. The answer is clearly not to continue throwing RAM and CPU speed at it. The former has a limit and the latter has reached a dead end.The problem is the whole culture of software has got bogged down in "features" which demand ever more of your system, and assume that you can match the demands by spending more and more money on more memory, higher and higher CPU speed, etc etc, rather than looking at ways in which software can run better.As we know a limit has been reached down this cul de sac, which is why I still happily run Word For Windows - I think it's the 1999 version - and it loads in about 2 seconds. I don't know how long the current version takes, maybe ten times longer?Rob Young

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Flight Simulator 2000---------------------"Although the graphics in Flight Simulator 2000 might be heaven for the flight sim enthusiast, getting them to look good has a very steep hardware requirement. The box actually says the minimum system for the game is a Pentium 166 with an optional 3D accelerator, but you'd best not even try the game with a machine that slow. In fact, you shouldn't even bother unless you have a high-end Pentium II or Pentium III, or else you'll be too bogged down by poor frame rates to care about much else."-Gamespot.com, December 13, 1999Flight Simulator 2002---------------------"The graphics engine does tend to jump momentarily when initially drawing an approaching urban area or high-density chunk of scenery. Flight load-up times are substantially longer than ever before, and computers barely meeting the minimum 300MHz processor and 8MB video card requirements will in all likelihood continue to experience slowdowns and delayed rendering."-Gamespot.com, November 7, 2001Flight Simulator 2004---------------------"At 1600x1200 resolution with all the graphics settings cranked at their highest, our 2.66GHz test system with a Radeon 9700 Pro video card and 1GB RAM tended to slow down in thick cloud cover. Things smoothed out considerably as the fluff cleared from the sky and the buildings in dense cities faded into the background, but if you've got a computer that just barely meets the game's minimum system requirements, don't expect to run the game smoothly with all the graphical settings turned all the way up, unless you actually prefer to watch a slideshow."-Gamespot.com, July 28, 2003Flight Simulator X------------------"The power of this software package is mind boggling. But that power comes at a price. On a system with an Athlon XP 3400+, 2GB RAM, and an Nvidia 7800 video card (certainly not cutting edge but also not unreasonable, particularly for the broader market to whom Microsoft is trying to reach out with Flight Simulator X), with performance options all set fairly low, frame rates averaged about 8 to 14 frames per second."-Gamespot.com, October 16, 2006As the saying goes, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." ;)

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I have removed this Borat fellow from the member roster. I have also banned his IP address. I will not tolerate this type of abuse on AVSIM's forum system.

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