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need help with purchasing PC

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I've been a mac user for 12 years (because my field only uses macs, which is fine.) and have been an avid flightsim freak for about 3 years. After the first year, I made the observation that macs will never never never be on the same playing field as the PC in terms of flightsims. That is just the way it is, and it will never change. It is all about sales, and there just aren't enough mac flightsimmers to justify the time to make a mac version of FLYII/MSFS with all the addons. So, that said, I am looking into buying a pc. This would only be for simming and nothing else. I would assume it is much cheaper to make one rather than buy one from Dell, Compaq, gateway etc. But how much cheaper, and seeing that I really don't want to spend the time putting one together, not to mention the fact that I don't have the knowledge, can I get a suitible PC for FLYII/MSFS etc etc from the store? if so, what clock speed, video card should I get. I know this is a mac forum, but I've noticed several posts of people buying PCs, so I thought I would put it up for suggestions. thanksL3

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Take a look at Pete's thread about sinning (or simming, or sin-simming)... the answer should be there evenutally.-Franklin------------------------------Franklin TesslerG4/500Fly! for Mac Forum Co-moderator

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L3I just did the same thing and here are my specsEvercase Mid Tower ATX Case with 300w power supplySoltek Purple Ray v5 motherboard with 333 DDR Support512m Corsair PC2700 DDR RamAMD 1700+XP ProcessorThermaltake Volcano 5 coolerHival 24X10X40 CDRWPanasonic 1.44 Floppy30Gig Western Digital 7200rpm Hard DriveDlink 10/100 Ethernet cardWindows XP Home EditionLeadtek GeForce 4 Ti4400Entire system was built for just over $1000With 4xs Antialiasing on, Still pushing over 40FPS everywhere including Scotts New York scenery that was just released. Was it a pain to assemble? NoWas it a pain to get up and Running? YesIf you don't want the hassle of installing windows and trying to set motherboard bus speeds, I recomend something like a DELL. If you don't mind getting your hands dirty and working out configuration issues. More power to you.I am extremely happy with this set up and think it was well worth the time and effort.Let me know if I can help.RegardsPaul:-cool

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I echo what Jet Tech stated, relatively painless on hardware install, but going through some non-Mac experiences on configuring jumpers and bios settings and IDE drive connections. What you get for your extra dollars on buying from someplace like Gateway or Dell, is of course, no monkeying with the guts of your machine and some handholding if things don't go quite as advertised. I did get quite a kick out of firing up Frankenstein the very first time and not having anything snap, crackle or pop. If your just building a game machine, I would recommend gettng one of the pre-built boxes and either make sure it comes with at least the GeForce4 Ti4400 or plan on replacing whatever card comes with the system with the GF4. You could even get a cheaper system if you go to the web site of whomever you decided to buy from and delete options that you feel you don't need.BTW, Fly! II Mac will still be loaded on my G3 and I'll continue to paint liveries on it. Frankenstein is just for flying some of the jets we cannot get on the Mac, for exploring MSFS and of course, to suppliment the Mac when the kids or wife need to use it for school work. Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.Pete

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Pete,Yah, me too, just as a back up for the G4not really just for gaming :-)By the way Pete, I figured out how to capture a screenshot but how can you resize it to upload and remain under 125kb. My screenshots are coming out about 500kb in 1024X768 however when I run fly at 800X600 it is so blurry I can't see anything. Paul:-cool

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well, I've heard that pcs are fraught with software conflicts. My dream is that this will just be for flightsims, and nothing else. So hopefully the lack of other software might eliminate the possibility of conficts. I must say that the idea of putting it together and saving a wad of hard earned cash is intriguing, but I really don't know squat about putting a computer together. I could hires some friends, but if they screw up then the computer is screwed up, the friendship is screwed up etc etc etc. Thanks for all the help and inspiration. L3

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JT,It all depends on how you post-process the image. They are captured as a bmp, and you need to post a jpeg. It needs some form of photo-editor that lets you save as jpeg and resize the image. Most editors probably allow this.I have Photoshop LE (Lite Edition, I suppose) and use it to open the bmp file that Fly captured. Then I go to Image>Image Size to get a dialog box. I have it set to constrain proportions so the pics don't get squashed or stretched. The current image size is shown -- it should be the same as the screen size (1024x768, 800x600, etc) when you snapped the picture. The resolution always says 72dpi because it's the CRT resolution. I leave that alone if I expect the pic to be viewed online.PhotoShop shows both "pixel dimensions" in pixels and "print size" in inches in the Image Size dialog. I modify the pixel dimensions so the width will fit within the forum boxes -- I normally change the width to 400 pixels to accomplish this. As the dimensions are constrained, the image height automatically is recalculated to match the new width.Now the picture will fit, but it's still in bmp format. Choose "Save a copy as..." from the File menu and select JPEG as the file format, then click "save." You get another dialog box -- Photoshop allows setting "image quality" from 1 to 9. For forum posting, I usually choose 4. Complete the save operation and then return to the Finder to check the file size. If it is still too big, repeat the process until it is under 125K. It may take a couple of tries, but soon you will figure out the sizes and save options that work for you.It all boils down to a combination of image size and image quality.Hope this helps.

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An intermediate approach is to go to a local retailer who assembles and sells PCs. You tell them what you want, and they put it tegether for you. It's probably more expensive than doing it all by yourself, but cheaper than getting a name-brand PC.You can also save some $$$ by sharing your Mac monitor (if it has a separate one) with the PC.-Franklin------------------------------Franklin TesslerG4/500Fly! for Mac Forum Co-moderator

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Well so far things have been working out ok. I resolved the problem I was having with the IDE bus not showing the 80Gig Harddrive, slaved DVD-Rom drive and the CD-RW. I had set the HD to master and placed the DVD as it's slave and the CD-RW on the secondary IDE bus. No combination would allow me to see all three devices at once until I reset the HD from master to cable select then everything showed up correctly. I gave Frankenstein it's brains and loaded XP Pro and most of the drivers for all of the peripherials I've added. The only issues remaining are to connect the front USB ports, reconfigure the MOBO to run at it's highest setting, right now it's running in it's safe mode, and connect up the wireless network. The PC card is installed and now I have to connect the Mac to the access point/router. I'm learning a lot more about PC's than I ever wanted to know, but if things should go wrong, maybe I'll have a clue as to where to look. I bought a new NEC 19" monitor off e-bay for $133 which is a pretty good deal. Hopefully I'll have Fly! II installed this weekend and I can give it a go.Pete

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