Sign in to follow this  
Guest jabberthecat

"My new System from Falcon NW soars !" review (long)

Recommended Posts

Before they take me off to the poor house, I wanted to mini-review my new Mach V Gaming System from Falcon NW. Please understand that it is not my intention for this to sound like gloating, as financially the system did set me back considerably. I have also suffered with FPS of 8-12 for the last 3 years. My previous systems were very high-end for the time (P3 800 for FS2000 and Athlon 1.4 for FS2002 beta testing). I tried every conceivable tweak a non-computer guy could perform to no avail. The 747 could not be flown. The Airport 3, Project Open Sky, etc add-ons could not be added. My only add-ons were terrain mesh and night textures as well as some clouds, moon, stars, etc. The 1.4 was barely acceptable without the add-ons, but with the Falcon 50 for example, flying was almost impossible. I used sim only for the shear beauty of the planes (Falcon 50) and scenery. Explaining this dilemma in detail to the rep at Falcon I was not at any time hustled or promised unbelievable performance from any of their systems. The gentleman in fact engaged me in a 3 hour conversation about simming (on their phone bill). Turns out he is only into the shoot-em-up games, but has received many a call from frustrated Microsoft FS enthusiasts wanting decent performance at any cost. He stated that I still would not be able to run FS with all sliders to the max even on their systems, but I of course would see vast improvements. I decided to pull the trigger on the Mach V. Specs are as follows:Athlon XP2100Asus A7V333 KT333 chipset2x40 GB IBM Deskstar 7200 RPM /RAID 0 w/Promise Fastrack ATA100 Coolmaster ATC201 Aluminum Mid-Tower1024 Mb PC2700 333Mh RAMXP HomeGeForce 4 4600Audigy soundcard22" Monitor (mine,older) System arrived and Tower looked great. Another wonderful feature was the customized personal binder containing all the detailed burn-in benchmark scores and settings (10531 pts. for 3D Mark2001 caught my eye), which benchmark programs were added and when they were removed, IRQ summary print-out,etc. All included software was installed and configured (Audigy card for example).There was no 'Encarta' or 'Office' crap or other weird programs running in the background. Obviously this system was designed for one thing...-SPEED !! Boot-up was amazingly fast, and FS2002 installed in no time. Honestly, I expected great performance with the default game, and low and behold, I was not disappointed. I tried the 747 in Seattle (where I live) with clouds and max visibility plus full AA, multi-texture, detail and reflection, etc. The combination of 747, detailed SeaTac airport, downtown buildings, hills/mountains/ water, and FS settings would cripple most systems. The MACH V did not buckle. I did limit the FPS to 21 in order to obtain the clearest textures. Once or twice the FPS slipped below 21 to 17-18 but without perceptible stuttering. Not only was flight smooth, but I was shocked as to the improvement in graphics quality with the GeForce 4600. Colors were more natural. Distant clouds actually have a hazy quality as well as that 'full of rain' look to them. The real test of course came with the addition of Terrain mesh, clouds, stars, and the f-14, Falcon 50 etc. I am stunned to say that EVEN WITH THESE ADD-ONS AND RUNNING IN 1280X1024 INCORPORATING THE eDIMENSIONAL 3D WIRELESS GLASSES, THE MACH V STILL RUNS FANTASTIC. I have yet to see FPS lower than 17. I really don't even care about how high the frames will go without limiter, as I want as much texture as possible in highest resolution. Frames locked at 21 is giving me super smooth flights. Taxiing with ATC set at 100% with other jets around has no effect on frames. Ground remains blurry in some difficult areas no longer than 5 seconds after opening view then stays clear. I have a neighbor who thinks this hobby is a joke. I fitted him with the 3D glasses and slam-dunked him in front of the computer. -He about fell over backwards. The only negative to report is a few intermittent crashes and re-boots, which I believe are due to the stereo video drivers (still having problems in XP) or the Audigy card. I have not yet had a flight ruined by one of these crashes however. Even after crash occurs, boot-up and loading times are so much faster than before. I intend to use this as a dedicated FS System only. There will be no Browsers, MPEGs, AV software, or the like. I will simply add planes/sceneries etc. via a network to my main e-mail computer. I hope this information is helpful to anyone considering a major upgrade.Thanks for reading.John Marino

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Congratulations John! You've accomplished what most of us wish for. Enjoy!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is Awesome! Nothing beats having a sweet system for simming! I had a similar experience, but preferred the cheaper route of building my own system. After much reading of reviews and tech forums, I settled on the following:Soltek SL75DRV4 moboAMD XP1800+ (w/ swiftech MCXC370A cooler)512M PC2100 Crucial memoryLeadtek GeForce4 Ti4600SB Audigy GamerAntec SX1040 Tower (GREAT CASE!!!)I kept my HDDs (WD ATA 66 20Gig and Maxtor ATA100 30Gig for the games), my CD burner, zip/floppy drives, OS, and peripherals. To my surprise/delight, FS2002 hasn't dropped below 18 FPS (where it is locked). Even with mad detailed addon aircraft, ala PSS Airbus, 777, 747, PIC/Posky, DF 737. It's GREAT!! The only drop in FPS is when I am on the ground at addon sceneries. But even then the FPS stay around 10-12, and somehow FS2002 stays dang smooth. . . :-) If I were you, I'd max out the sliders anyway, despite what the Falcon people tell you. All mine are maxed, 'cept for the Mesh complexity at 80% and max vis at 100NM. Some day. . .my friends. . .some day, I will purchase a phatty system and be way ahead of the curve. . .but until then, lets go fly! :7(8-| -drew- (8-|

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My only surprise is that your sales rep did not talk you into the undeniably fastest arrangement that FNW now offers - P4 2533 with 500+ FSB. Michael J.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Edam and Drew !"My only surprise is that your sales rep did not talk you into the undeniably fastest arrangement that FNW now offers - P4 2533 with 500+ FSB."Michal, Actually the rep did mention the P4s, and the fact that the newest ones do out-perform the Athlons. However the price of the Athlon system was (almost) out of my range to begin with, so you can only guess how much it would cost going Intel ! I did notice that Intel just yesterday announced a major price slash for their processors. Future upgraders will hopefully take note.Take care,John M.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow - congradulations on your excellent system !You narrative may have pushed me over the edge towardsa rebuild of my system ( I am eyeing simliar specs so that is a good indication ).Your system :Athlon XP2100Asus A7V333 KT333 chipset2x40 GB IBM Deskstar 7200 RPM /RAID 0 w/Promise Fastrack ATA100 Coolmaster ATC201 Aluminum Mid-Tower1024 Mb PC2700 333Mh RAMXP HomeGeForce 4 4600Audigy soundcard22" Monitor (mine,older)What I am seriously looking at :NEW Athlon XP2100NEW Asus A7S333 SiS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Myles,Have you considered adding another (30 gig) hard drive plus a controller in a RAID array with that system ? With the RAID 0 set up, I will lose all my data if just one disk fails, but it is just about the fastest type of RAID system for gaming, and among the simplest to set up so they say. I decided to go for the RAID due to the amount of hard drive access I was noticing on my previous system. You will no doubt get great results with the gear you mentioned anyhow, but it is something you may want to consider. Those in the forum with knowledge of RAID arrays would more than likely be happy to give their opinions.Take care,John M.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, that is the 300W SX1030. I have the SX1040 with the 400W P/S. They look exaclty the same tho. If I were you, I'd checkout pricewatch.com because I paid 102$ for my case, (+35$ S&H) and I know you can probably find a 400Wer for the same price. :-)Good luck!-drewP.S.Here's the specs form Antec:http://www.antec-inc.com/en_sohoser.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well - I decided to keep my P3-1GZ intact ( my wife gets a nice pc for surfing - and I can set up somegood network gaming ) and have a full new system built for me:Budget minded gaming machine :$ 177.99 AMD Athlon 2000 XP $ 74.00 Enermax CS-A1QX-02 300w P/S$ 87.99 Asus A7S333 $ 119.99 512MB PC2100/DDR266$ 279.99 Chaintech GF4-Ti4600$ 87.00 IBM Desk Star 40GB ATA100 7200RPM$ 32.99 52x CD ROM ( I already have a USB CDRW )$ 12.00 Floppy$ 105.00 OS$ 60.00 BuildTOTAL = 1128.20 ( tax included )Should be ready by Monday.With the GoFlight equipment I bought earlier thismonth I am now set/cutoff for a long time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this