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Hardware for FS2002

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Hello!I wonder what equipment is optimal for FS 2002, without gettingbankrupt.As of now I have an AMD 1200 MHZ processor, 512 RAM and a GF 3 200 TI.What is best? A new 3D card, another processor, or what?I am not really happy with the performance I get.I fiddled with all display settings so I don't think that is the issue.Grateful for tips...Hans HermanssonSweden

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Hi Hans,IMHO your system is not all that bad. A great deal of performance is dependent on your FS settings. While you have worked with your settings, there are so many options available that you may have missed some. Here are a couple of hints. First, using ATC and dynamic scenery is a resource hog, but a necessity if you enjoy the experience ATC offers. If you can do without, then turning these options off will give you a significant performance boost. Second, using higher screen resolutions with FSAA turned off will also free up resources. Of course this list goes on and on. Search the archives if you want to explore this route further.As for hardware issues, I wouldn't worry about a new video card. The one you have is very good, and you will benefit more by dealing with your cpu/memory. For starters, do you know what type of memory you have? The older SDRAM (PC100 or PC133) will not be as fast as the newer double data rate RAM (PC2100, 2700) when it comes to transfering data to the cpu. However, if your mainboard is running SDRAM, you will require a new mainboard to run DDRAM. If SDRAM is what you currently have, and you don't want to change mainboards, then stepping up to an Athlon XP1800 or so will certainly give you an improvement. If you are willing to spend some cash, then you have endless possibilities available to you. Search this forum (using Author for the search field) for posts by Elrond Elvish or Max Cowgill (reident hardware experts). Both have posted hardware configurations ranging from cheap to lavish.Hope this helps.

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Hi!and thanks for your reply!I think your suggestions are really expertlike and will surely followthem.By the way, do you think just upgrading my CPU (to an Athlon XP 1900+)would really make a difference?Or, is it important to get new memory (DDRAM)?If I change my mainboard (to an MSI K7 Turbo 2) I will have to change memory.Anyway, I will look into the references you gave me.Again, thanks!Hans HermanssonSweden

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An expert I am not :-shy . Just relaying what I have learned. Do I think a faster cpu will help, certainly. Will it make such a difference that you will be glad you upgraded, that's more difficult to say. It really depends on what you do in the sim. I myself lock my framerate at 25, and that performance is more than suitable for my needs, which are primarily flying twin props (my favorite). You will see from my system specs that one computer runs an Intel P4 with PC133. The other is an Athlon with PC2700. The Athlon absolutely runs better, and I suspect that this is due, at least in part, to the use of PC2700 memory, since both processors run at 1.5GHz (although Elrond and Max point out that the P4 @ 1.5GHz is not that much faster than a P3 @ 1GHz, for reasons I don't fully understand). Oh, and before I forget, I compared the two systems using the same video card in each ;) . If you have $300 (US) you are willing to part with, then you can afford to upgrade your MB, cpu, and memory. Look at pricewatch to find the best online deals. If you want more specific advice, drop me a line and I will be happy to help further.Edit - regarding your mainboard, it should be Socket A based, in which case you don't have to change your memory to upgrade the cpu. You can purchase an XP1800+ for a very reasonable price to start with, and if you still want more performance, you can then upgrade the mainboard and memory.

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Hi David,I've enjoyed reading your recommendations to people lately... You are certainly becoming just as much an "expert" as any other so-called "expert" in some of these topics (as I've said before, there are no "experts" in the computer field - theres *always* someone who knows more than you just around the corner because the field is just too masive - thats exactly what makes the computer field so exciting). I've found your recommendations and detailed layman's explanations to be of great value and accuracy. I just wanted to tell you I think you're doing a great job and providing a service to the community with the kind help you provide.As for the P4 problem at lower GHz levels, its mainly due to two things: its extremely long pipeline depth of 20 stages (compared to ten on the PIII for example) and its poor performing FPU. While the pipeline extension was designed to allow very high clock speed ramps as we've seen from the P4 over the past two years, the initial batch of processors at the 1.5 Ghz range were poor performers because of this. Not to say they were horrible by any means, but compared to the existing Athlon competition and even the existing PIII's at that time in some instances, the P4 was a relative dog.It has taken two years for the P4 to finally hit the clock speeds and design improvements that make it, dis-regarding price, a true competitor. Its shrink to 0.13 design, the inclusion of 512KB of cache and more software designed to take advantage of SSE2 (which gets around its still poor performing FPU) has allowed the P4 to gain its respectable stance it has today. Its pricing, however, is still the biggest stumbling block: at the GHz levels where the P4 is really viable today, its price is double or more that of competing Athlons. Architecturally its a fine and recommended processor now. Pricing taken into account however, the Athlon still smacks it around, even if the Athlon is - for the first time in years - slightly slower (until the Barton and Hammers this fall which will also include full SSE2 by the way).Here are a couple backdrop articles from the P4 intro (Nov of 2K) that may help clear up any remaining questions you may have on why it was such a poor performer until recently:Intel Pentium 4 1.4GHz & 1.5GHzhttp://www.anandtech.com/showdoc.html?i=1360Intel's New Pentium 4 Processor http://www6.tomshardware.com/cpu/00q4/001120/index.htmlTake care,http://members.rogers.com/eelvish/elrondlogo.gifhttp://members.rogers.com/eelvish/flyurl.gif

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:-shy :-) :7 Thank you Elrond, that means the world to me (I'm not worthy). There is still so much to learn, but I really am enjoying this new hobby (both computer- and flightsim-wise). Thanks for the links, I will read and learn. I still have much to learn about flight as well. I flew a virtual flight from San Diego to Reno this morning, using VFR and VOR navigation. I was so proud of myself for finding my way there (didn't use the GPS) that I almost committed a critical error. I forgot that I was no longer landing at a sea level airport (Elev. @ Reno is 4400, but I have always practiced the KSAN to KLAX route). Kept wondering why the ground was coming up so fast :-lol . Managed to figure it out in time to land safely. I have to say, for $70, this software is truly incredible.

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