A little 'simplified' guidance on computer upgrade please.

The place to ask for help or solve each others technical issues and discuss hardware

Postby Pete1800ftmin » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:39 pm

Hello there guys.
Ive been looking on the forums for some simple help in deciding what computer I should consider for an upgrade.Solely for FSX use(of course).Ive had a few suggestions,but I still dont quite know WHY they are good options.Could some people please outline to me in simple speak,what I should be most concerned about when I look at a computers specifications.Like for instance if you were looking at a computers specs and say one had 8GB Ram,and the other 4GB,while say the processer was quicker on one then the other,ah yes,this is how I need to put it......
Is it simply a case of getting the computer that has the most RAM,Fastest processor,etc or are there other things to be aware of?
Also if there are any models that you think stand out I would be grateful for the info,but could I ask you to outline what it IS about the models specs that make it a good option.
Kind Regards Pete.
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Postby creator2003 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:41 am

The other week my pc buggered out ,it was a 3.0ghz single core with ddr2 3gig ram and a 8800gts 320 mb nvidia graphic card ,this was pretty bad for loading the photoreal areas , most scenery and addon aircraft , anyway i went out and got a AMD 6 core cpu the basic model 1055t which is about 17ghz on turbo mode,i got a late model asus mother board that takes ddr3 ram 8gig and put my old 8800gts back in , now this thing is now ripping up anything i put towards it with ease ,im actually suprized with the massive improvement of FSX ,and i only change three parts /CPU/ MB and extra ddr3 ram ,the 8800GTS is breezing with the new 6 core which i think has had the biggest improvement to my configuration over all ,

so on my latest experience i would put all the money into the CPU, i7 or AMD 6 core MotherBoard lastest RAM then graphic card ,i really cant imagine my system looking any better than it does now biggrin.gif
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Postby IslandBoy77 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:39 am

Hi Pete
I will point you to this post to have a look at as well:
http://nzff.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...p;#entry8268397

The thing of it is that FSX is one of the most intensive programs you can run on a PC, alongside heavy-end games like Crysis, CAD & video editing. To that end, if you want to have lots of eye-candy, hi resolution and good frame rates, you need the horse-power to make it happen. Of course it's possible to run FSX on the minimum specs that Microsoft lists on the box: so long as you want muddy, boring scenery and stuttering images (with the risk of the dreaded 'slide show' effect if the PC is just overworked). If you are one of those who simply can't cut the dollars free to get a high-end PC, you will have to settle for something 'in the middle' and get performance in line with that.

In terms of importance, it always goes in descending order like this: CPU, RAM, Graphics Card, Hard Drive, Motherboard (although arguably the motherboard is still very important, it's just the least of the 5)

So, since FSX is a 3D environment renderer, and since such is just a stack of very complex mathematical calculations computed repeatedly every micro-second, one needs a CPU that can crunch through the numbers as fast as possible (at the end of it all, a PC is nothing more than a glorified calculator anyway). Both Intel & AMD CPUs do identical jobs - one just has to decide if one wants to pay a 15-30% dollar premium for Intel or not. I went Intel for my current FSX rig and have been very disappointed with the results. Does the chip still do what it has to do? Yes. Was it worth the extra $100-odd over the equivalent AMD of the day (18 month's ago): No. The 'gurus' and those who feel the need to defend their purchasing decisions tongue.gif will always swear black & blue that Intel is the only way to go blah blah blah. That is a lie. Intel does have more powerful CPUs than AMD - and they are priced accordingly. Are the AMD CPUs still capable of delivering a very good performance on FSX? Yes. The rule here is just spend as much as you can possibly afford, and then go 1 more model up...

Now that you have a kick-ass CPU, you need somewhere for it to 'lay out' all that stuff that it is processing so it can get it to the graphic card and then your screen - enter the RAM. I haven't done a heap of research on what the 'ideal' or 'maximum' is for RAM on FSX, but I can say from experience that 8GB yields about a 5-7 point increase in frame rates over 4GB where everything else is equal. It would pay to ask some hard questions on a technical forum (perhaps the FS Developer one?) to see if anyone actually knows what the ideal amount of RAM is for FSX, and whether it has an upper limit. In theory, more RAM (say, 16GB) should always be better, as the amount of data that is produced in rendering a 3D environment is huge. Therefore, provided FSX is able to make use of very large amounts of RAM (more than 8GB - which of course seems huge now but won't be in 2 years), one should just bung as much in there as money will allow. And since we want fast flow-through of data from the CPU to the RAM to avoid bottle-necking, you want at least 1600MHz speed DDR3 RAM (good stuff too like Kingston or Corsair) and with the highest CL rating you can get.

Next is one of the hottest points of contention in simming next to the Intel / AMD debate - graphics card. Now that you've got a cranking CPU and plenty of RAM for it to assemble your 3D environment, you need to get it up onto the screen as quickly and beautifully as possible - enter the graphics card. The nVidia vs ATI debate will rage on for some time I imagine: I've used both myself, and have always been disappointed with the relatively lack-lustre performance of the nVidias that cost more than a roughly equivalent ATI. I'm on ATI at the moment, and plan to stay there for the time being - I save myself 5-10% in dollars, use less electricity, and still get pretty good frame-rates. The short of this conversation is that you want to be spending $300-$500 in this department. Unlike the CPU & RAM, though, there is such a thing as spending too much on a graphics card. That's not to say that the $1500-$2000 models won't turn in blazing performance, it's just that in terms of value for money, they certainly won't yield a 400-600% increase in frame rates. Apparently the 'cards to get' for nVidia are the 470 & 480, where for ATI the least you want is an HD5770, preferably an HD5830. There is a major change on the way for ATI, with the imminent release of their 6000 series. Naturally, the 1st 3-6 months of their life will be expensive, so you need to decide now if you're happy to hang on to a 5000 series card for, say 9-12 months and then go to a 6000, or wait a few months until the bleeding-edgers have taken the full brunt of inflated prices and save yourself a few bucks (knowing of course that the prices will drop further as the weeks pass by). As is often the case with computer gear, you will find that hardware in certain price brackets are generally well-spec'd (or similarly spec'd). To that end, my $300-$500 bracket for the graphic cards will yield you a card with good specs to get decent frame rates in FSX. Generally, such a card will be 1GB of GDDR5 RAM - and all the rest of the specs will simply vary according to model and where in the range of dollars they sit. It would pay to go here http://www.gpureview.com/ once you've settled on a couple of possible options: you can compare 2 cards side by side and see how they stack up. Remember that general gaming reviews of graphics cards are good, but unless they specifically have bench-marked FSX, the results will be somewhat 'out'. That being said, how well a card runs Crysis is often a fair indicator of good FSX performance.

Hard drives are also important, as they are the weakest link in the chain. By comparison to the other 3 categories, a hard drive is a car vs a fighter jet scenario. The very least you want to do for best performance is 2 x SATA3 64MB cache hard drives: 1 for Windows & general apps, 1 for FSX and all add-ons. FSX has to refer to the hard drive frequently for new data, especially where there are airports & other 'custom' objects, so you want the lag time between when the CPU calls for it and the hard drive can spit it out to be the lowest possible. The cache size on a hard drive is important - it is a small RAM 'anteroom' that allows data to be queued while it waits for the hard drive to get it's a into g. Ergo, bigger cache = faster performance. The interface on the drive is also important - we're now onto SATA3 which is theoretically capable of 600MB/sec. Of course, SATA2 was capable of 300MB/sec, but I've never seen anything even half that fast. I'm not sure why there is such a problem getting the good transfer rates - whether it's Windows or a driver problem - but it would still pay to have the hardware sorted in case 'they' ever get it sorted. There are SSD 'hard drives' - they have a massive variance in performance depending on price, but are typically much faster in real-world operation to their 'platter' mechanical cousins. If you opt to spend money here - and at this stage it gives a reasonable boost but not especially good in terms of bang for buck - you want a drive that is delivering at least 200MB/sec to make it worth wasting the money. Bear in mind that SSDs are smaller in capacity than platter HDDs, but you wouldn't want anything less than a 64GB drive. If you plan to have masses of world-wide scenery, you're going to need at least a 128GB, possibly a 256GB. But if you're like me and plan to stay mainly with Aus / NZ & the various add-on sceneries for them, you should be able to get by with a 64GB SSD. A word of warning here: HDDs need defragging, SSDs apparently should NEVER be defragged.

Last on our list is the motherboard. The variables to consider here are has it got these:
- SATA3
- USB3
- 4 Banks of RAM slots (so you can buy smaller sizes of RAM that are cheaper i.e. cheaper to buy 4 x 2GB than 2 x 4GB)
- Max 16GB RAM (at least)
- DDR3 1600MHz (not overclocked), pref 2000MHz
- ATX form factor (you'll probably find that the mATX boards scrimp in places, esp with RAM slots)

Technically, if you are going with an Intel CPU you're better to go with an nVidia graphic card, as Intel-based motherboards tend to have nVidia chipsets. The same is true with AMD / ATI. Having said that, I don't have any real-world data or comparisons available to determine whether the theory actually makes any difference. As an aside, this is one of the things that really gets my goat with many who pontificate about Intel vs AMD & nVidia vs ATI: unless one can actually build identical systems, or swap parts in existing rigs (like swapping a similarly-priced or spec'd ATI for an nVidia) to see the actual real-world results, any high-horsing about Intel + nVidia actually providing better ROI is bollocks. I'd even question many of the actual levels of reported performance, as no 2 systems are identical, nor are any 2 Windows / FSX installations identical, nor are usage patterns nor expectations. To-whit, I've seen people post pics here and have others rave at how fantastic they look, and I'm sitting here thinking "man, that's average - look at the jaggies on the edge or basic scenery or...": one person's treasure can be another's trash, and visa versa.

Your final considerations I didn't list above, but are no less important: a good quality 600W (at least) power supply and a physical case that can take an ATX-sized motherboard & the large length of higher-end graphic cards.

I've noted that some people here at NZFF have tweaked the living daylights out of their FSX installation, and are able to 'get by' with more modest systems than others. That tells me that if you spend enough time farting about 'under the hood', many things are possible in terms of performance. That being said, I think it's better to start with a 4 or 6 cylinder engine and tweak up to a 5 or 7 (were that possible - analogy only, you understand...), rather than start with a 3 or 5 and go 'up' to where it should be. Simming is always going to be a very 'intensive' application of computer hardware, and I don't think I'll ever see the day when I hear someone say "Gee, I wish I'd spent less money on my FSX rig"... winkyy.gif Remember, it's pretty much always cheaper to build in more stuff to your rig now, rather than replacing a component in 6 month's time (as you get low re-sell value on the component PLUS to cost of the new one). The only possible exception to this is RAM, but only in terms of adding more, not removing smaller capacities and replacing them with bigger ones.

Well, there's $55 worth of free advice for you (an hour's worth of my time at no charge...) - I hope it gets you on the track you want to be on.

Cheers
Peter
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Postby gojozoom » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:19 am

That's what I call a nice and clean overview/explanation, and it's human readable too!

Well done Peter!
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Postby IslandBoy77 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:54 am

gojozoom wrote:
QUOTE (gojozoom @ Oct 13 2010, 09:19 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That's what I call a nice and clean overview/explanation, and it's human readable too!

Well done Peter!

Thanks! I spent 6 month's teaching an Access Course in 1993: a great experience which gave me a real appreciation for how important it is to convey computer-ese in a manner than can be digested more readily... laugh.gif
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Postby Charl » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:37 am

A good read, some solid meat in there instead of the usual Ford vs Holden rubbish... winkyy.gif
I've bookmarked this, thank you Peter, if I am ever driven to buy another FS computer.

I've always bought one-off-bleeding-edge components from the same maker - ie Intel/nVidia or AMD/ATI and by gum these days those pairs are one and the same!
That way you get the same design philosophy throughout (I think my present motherboard thinks it's an nVidia?)
And the additional cost now buys you more life as it becomes obsolete less quickly.

Best buy ever: Intel Core2 Duo for FS9.
It's gone 5 years and will stay with me until MS Flight or something better hits us.
$ per hour of enjoyment? Lower than anything that springs to mind.
Value of no-hassle gaming? Priceless.

Worst ever buy? Intel Core2 Duo for FSX.
It seemed like such a hot machine, and FSX (pre-SP1, SP2, and Acceleration) just died on it.
"Gee, I wish I'd spent less money on my FSX rig"... smile.gif
As a result I essentially missed out on FSX.

There are now machines capable of munching the revised FSX version, sure.
But you need to consider how much to spend on hardware for a game with relatively limited remaining life.
I wouldn't be spending a lot, $ per hour doesn't work any more...
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Postby Naki » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:06 am

I think this thread deserves pinning..which I have done
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Postby IslandBoy77 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:30 am

Charl wrote:
QUOTE (Charl @ Oct 13 2010, 10:37 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
But you need to consider how much to spend on hardware for a game with relatively limited remaining life.
I wouldn't be spending a lot, $ per hour doesn't work any more...

Glad you found a bit of meat in there. A couple of questions:
- Why do you think getting a good rig for FSX won't help with the next sim? Do you not think the next one will be as hungry on resources as FSX?
- Not sure what the reference to the $ per hour related to?

I think there may come a time when software is written more efficiently, and computers get sufficiently fast and powerful to handle whatever comes there way. I don't see either of those things happening inside the next 5 years, probably not in the next 10, maybe within 20. I keep a very close eye on computer hardware, software, trends and practices, and the signs aren't encouraging. The next sim should be either the latest version of OpenGL or DirectX 11, with lots of bells and whistles. As we all know, though, bells & whistles come at a price. FSX is certainly poorly written (from what Mike, Timmo & Robin have said to me in various conversations), but I think the next sim - either from MS or someone else - will leverage all the latest technology as best it can regardless of how well or efficiently it is written, with more eye candy, necessitating better computer hardware. I believe that the better graphics available via both new versions of OpenGL & DirectX will leverage the CPUs, RAM & hard drives as well as graphic cards to best effect for the day. Therefore, if one purchases a cranking rig for FSX, that can't help but be a good step for the next sim - true?

I'd be more than a little surprised - in fact I would put good money on it not happening - if the next sim required a more modest PC to run it well than what is required for FSX. And as the client I've just built an FSX rig for noted before he said "let's build it", one can keep waiting for the next thing until the cows come home - at some point one just has to dive in and go for the best ride one's money can buy at the time. And in 1, 2 or 3 year's time, one does it all again or stays pat. I find it interesting that there are plenty of people at NZFF still using FS9 - despite it's age - and are having a ball: the sim is 'good enough' for them, they can use modest hardware to get excellent results (in terms of best effort by FS9 / addons), and they are happy clams. Myself, I think using FS9 is using something obsolete, but why would I tell someone they have to use FSX if they are happy where they are? The same will be true of FSX: people will either be happy to stay with it despite the advances of the next sim, or they will pony-up the cash and start again. Despite the fact that I've spent $300-$400 on add-ons for FSX, I intend to avail myself of the next sim at some point - not in the 1st 6 months, but probably within the 1st year. And since the next sim is still vapour-ware at this point, I could well be on FSX for another 2 years. Think of the hardware and performance on FSX we'll have in 2 years! drool.gif

Just so you know, that's not a rant against you Charl: this is probably another one of those 'positional' things like Intel vs AMD - I thought it was worth exploring the concept for Pete to mull over as well.
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Postby Charl » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:02 pm

OK let me dig out my picture...
It shows how, historically, our hardware has always sucked on the hind teat as far as MSFS is concerned.
The moment you thought you could max all the settings and get decent performance as well, they went and released the next sim!
Here it is...



OK so FSX as you point out, had some limitations.
Despite the hoopla about DX10, it couldn't use it.
And even after being patched twice, it couldn't make proper use of multicores and hyperthreading.
And the bottom line of performance still appears to be tied to CPU clock speed, just as FS9 was.

So a computer optimised in 2010 for FSX is hamstrung in that you aren't able to utilise the latest hardware in the sim, or the graphics capabilities of Win7.
FSX software was written before these existed....
So the next-gen sim (which will have the capability of using all that) won't run on it!
If you bought a bells-and-whistles computer as insurance against the NG sim now, the rig would be obsolete by the time MS Flight shipped!
But all that cost would be wasted on FSX as it can't use it!

By dollars per hour, I mean how many hours of enjoyment you get for your investment (ie ROI)
If you look at my picture, I have a massive ROI by going back to FS9 with an overkill (at the time) rig and using it for 5, 6 years or more.
I could do this let me add, because I had an existing investment in FS9 which has simply grown with time.
It still hasn't hit its limit - I bought Active Sky the other day which has, yet again, transformed my sim!

This would not be true of someone starting out with a fresh sim.
But that user should realise that either the computer will be obsolete quickly (by going with an FSX-optimised rig), or he will be stuck with an "obsolete" sim to get a decent ROI.
I would not buy an expensive gaming computer at this time, just for flightsimming.
I did in the past, but not this time.
Last edited by Charl on Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby IslandBoy77 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:58 pm

Thanks for sharing that. I've not met anyone who has been simming that long or who has such detailed records - well done.

I still disagree with your final asertion that buying a good rig now is a waste of money. I disagree on 3 counts:
1) In the same manner that people are enjoying FS9 and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future, one could do the same with FSX and a good rig now, even if FSX can't be fully maxed. A $2k PC, which still has sufficient room to grow over 2 years, will still return sufficient enjoyment to the average simmer.
2) I don't think it's really possible to put a dollar figure on ROI. Let's face it, simming is an expensive hobby, and one spends what one is prepared to or is able. One might argue that many of the software enhancements provide poor ROI in dollar terms, but plenty of simmers on NZFF have expensive aircraft (Level D, for example) who get huge enjoyment out of them. For me, spending money on that would be a waste as the aircraft is too expensive for the amount of enjoyment I might get. Further, one 'has' to spend a reasonable amount of dosh on scenery & enhancers (like Rex) on either FS9 or FSX to really lift either sim up to a more realistic level: is that a waste, or just getting the best out of the sim? I say, if a person has the money & is comfortable with the expenditure, there is really no limit on how many add-ons they can have, so long as they get enjoyment from them. But in terms of bang for buck, spending hundred of dollars - perhaps even more - on add-ons can never be justified in terms of value for money, as each person's perception of value varies massively.
3) FSX suffered from being written 'in the gap' - DX10 was not finalised, DX10 cards were not really available, and MS wanted to get FSX out the door. The next sim, if we are talking MS, will be based on DX11, which is fully 'baked and now being served' on Win 7, with many, if not most, graphic cards fully supporting DX11. Therefore, barring any weird shortcuts that MS might take, or any sudden major change in DX11 that suddenly obsoletes all current graphic cards, a rig purchased now with DX11, SATA3 & USB3, capable of 16GB RAM if necessary, is in a perfect position to be able to run a new sim - even if a person chooses to upgrade at the time or not, and even if it means they can't have everything at full noise (which never ever happens, whether we are talking flight simming or 1st person shooters - just as those who have taken the time to upgrade their rigs to be able to play Crysis at full noise). There's no way to ever beat that problem, as we can't hop in a time machine and score some great gear from 5 years in the future & bring it back.

A rig purchased now is in no way hamstrung - FSX doesn't make proper use of DirectX 10, so therefore a good rig can't get the best from FSX, as it were, because it's not there to get: MS never put even DX10 graphics into FSX, only some half-baked 'preview' version. All the latest hardware is 100% able to get the most out of Win 7, if only MS would unlock it (read my previous wondering about why we aren't getting SATA3 speeds out of SATA3 drives). That being said, one can still use modern hardware that is actually more modern than FSX to at least get good frame rates out of what is actually there (programmed into FSX) to be had. The NG sim will run on the hypothetical PC we are talking about - at what speed and fluidity one can only guess. Suffice it to say that scrimping on a rig now will simply make the pain more obvious later...

The important takeaway here is that buying a 'just adequate' rig and staying with FS9 is not a sound argument: if Pete wants to sim with the better FSX graphics, why should he put up with 2004-era graphics just to avoid upgrading his rig for the next sim - which might be 2 year's away (at least 12 months) - and which he'll tinker with and upgrade anyway? I stand by my position that one has to dive in at some point, and if one is going to dive in at all, there's no point playing the 'what if?' game. Buying a decent rig - not top end, but decent - that has the ability to upgrade in the future, makes 100% sense and is as good a dollar spend as any: at least buying a rig that uses modern technology means Pete can upgrade, whereas going with obsolete technology that will run FS9 well means ditching the whole system and starting again - a complete waste of money IMO.

smile.gif

Edit: A thought - what if Microsoft or someone else was to actually write a sim that did make the most of DX11 and Win 7, rather than pandering to the simmers who always say they are too poor to buy a good rig? Apple employed this tactic twice: going from OS9 to OSX, then going from Risc to Intel. Apple took the huge gamble of saying to their user base "After this date, we won't support those who aren't on-board with the new technology". So I say, the NG sim should stop aiming low and aim high: it will slack a lot of people off, but as time rolls by people will get a much better product since it would be designed for modern technology, not something designed so it can run on some clunky 2 or 3 year-old PCs running DDR2 RAM on an SATA2 hard drive with an old AM2 or non-icore CPU. Flight simming is not a cheap hobby, so those without the dosh need to be happy with what they have got and not be a 'ball and chain' to the whole genre moving forward. True? Of course true. cool.gif
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Postby Rotordude » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:57 pm

Interesting to say the least.
FSX it runs in DX9, to be honest - big deal as a platform has a long way to go before retirement I believe, that is if you are in it for the simulation and not bragging rights. With developers, not modelers who tack on a generic flight file but developers (I use that word very tightly) out there to name a few like A2A with acusim and VRS with their external flight engine and not to forget the likes of ppl like Holger making high resolution mesh's, Tim with VLC and then with the hardware improving, FSX has just hit puberty. MS in the long run built in longevity into FSX not redundancy.
Like Windows is for Photoshop, FSX is just a platform for the high quality addons that are the real simulation.

Just like FS9, it is old but who says it is redundant? the candy may not be up to par with DX11 and crysis but if you are in it purely for the simulation then whats wrong with that. Why upgrade just because someone whom sells gear says you should.

(PS: on a side note, don't you think some of your remarks are a tad condescending?)
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Postby Charl » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:58 pm

Nice blathering on about this...
Let me hasten to add that I'm not totally anal about FS time and records - I invented the picture above for a similar argument some time ago, as accurately as I could reconstruct.
But I have been bitten by the bug for a very long time...

Just to clarify on ROI: of course it is possible to quantify.
A movie ticket costs...whatever, and the entertainment lasts maybe a couple of hours.
So Movie ROI = $7/hour, say
Five years ago I bought FS9 for $99, a computer for $4,000 and played with them for maybe 1,300 hours in that period. Probably more.
Whatever, that shakes out at
Flightsim ROI = $3.15/hour

Flightsimming is in fact a very cheap form of entertainment!

To get to the same ROI as the movies, I'd have to get add-ons to the value of $5,000 or more!
Mmm, I feel better about that now winkyy.gif
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Postby Rotordude » Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:03 pm

Charl wrote:
QUOTE (Charl @ Oct 13 2010, 04:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Five years ago I bought FS9 for $99, a computer for $4,000 and played with them for maybe 1,300 hours in that period. Probably more.
Whatever, that shakes out at
Flightsim ROI = $3.15/hour

Coffee, donuts, electricity, new chair (old one gave way), day off work to fly new scenery..........
Flightsim ROI = $13.15/hour biggrin.gif
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Postby IslandBoy77 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:33 pm

Rotordude wrote:
QUOTE (Rotordude @ Oct 13 2010, 04:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Interesting to say the least.
FSX it runs in DX9, to be honest - big deal as a platform has a long way to go before retirement I believe, that is if you are in it for the simulation and not bragging rights. With developers, not modelers who tack on a generic flight file but developers (I use that word very tightly) out there to name a few like A2A with acusim and VRS with their external flight engine and not to forget the likes of ppl like Holger making high resolution mesh's, Tim with VLC and then with the hardware improving, FSX has just hit puberty. MS in the long run built in longevity into FSX not redundancy.
Like Windows is for Photoshop, FSX is just a platform for the high quality addons that are the real simulation.

Just like FS9, it is old but who says it is redundant? the candy may not be up to par with DX11 and crysis but if you are in it purely for the simulation then whats wrong with that. Why upgrade just because someone whom sells gear says you should.

(PS: on a side note, don't you think some of your remarks are a tad condescending?)

I never said FS9 is redundant - obsolete, yes - but I have no prob with people still using it. The problem I had was that this post started with a request for a computer to run FSX on from Pete. For Charl to suggest Pete just buy an older rig and be happy with FS9 and wait for the NG sim to come out wasn't the correct advice - Pete wants FSX, and I don't believe Charl's argument stacks up. To that end, I explained my position in which I believe FS9 is old - which it is - but at no point did I say that others should not run FS9. I'm saying that going with FS9 and an older-style rig is a waste of money - and it is: Pete wants FSX, not FS9.

Why upgrade just because someone whom sells gear says you should.

I never said that - please read Pete's original post carefully - he wants a new computer for FSX.

And in what way are my remarks condescending? Please elaborate. I believe I have been fair and reasonable in my arguments, and you lot get the benefit of FREE advice from someone whose been working on computers for 25 years, builds them now, has a finger on the pulse of computer as a whole, and builds FSX rigs to boot. What great value! biggrin.gif

I have noted that many people on NZFF have very entrenched positions, though, and don't like them being challenged - even with logic and sound arguments. You will find I am not a great respector of 'fortified positions' that are wrong... icon_twisted.gif
Last edited by IslandBoy77 on Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Charl » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:01 pm

IslandBoy77 wrote:
QUOTE (IslandBoy77 @ Oct 13 2010, 05:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...For Charl to suggest Pete just buy an older rig and be happy with FS9 and wait for the NG sim to come out wasn't the correct advice - Pete wants FSX, and I don't believe Charl's argument stacks up...

I forgot a golden rule about forums...two actually.
1. You assume everyone understands your intent when you post
2. You assume people actually read what you post! winkyy.gif

Here's what I said:
QUOTE
There are now machines capable of munching the revised FSX version, sure.
But you need to consider how much to spend on hardware for a game with relatively limited remaining life.
I wouldn't be spending a lot, $ per hour doesn't work any more...[/quote]

So to paraphrase all my rambling:
Don't spend a lot of money on a bells and whistles FSX machine now, it will be obsolete no matter what, in no time at all.
Spend just enough to make it run to your satisfaction, whatever that may be.


All the rest about FS9 was incidental to illustrating where my thinking was coming from.
But since you raise the issue, I wonder if it wouldn't be really smart to buy an old rig for next to nothing, and load it to the gills with FS9 stuff.
You'll get a brilliant sim at next to no cost...
Last edited by Charl on Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby IslandBoy77 » Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:45 pm

Charl wrote:
QUOTE (Charl @ Oct 13 2010, 06:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I forgot a golden rule about forums...two actually.
1. You assume everyone understands your intent when you post
2. You assume people actually read what you post! winkyy.gif

Here's what I said:


So to paraphrase all my rambling:
Don't spend a lot of money on a bells and whistles FSX machine now, it will be obsolete no matter what, in no time at all.
Spend just enough to make it run to your satisfaction, whatever that may be.


All the rest about FS9 was incidental to illustrating where my thinking was coming from.
But since you raise the issue, I wonder if it wouldn't be really smart to buy an old rig for next to nothing, and load it to the gills with FS9 stuff.
You'll get a brilliant sim at next to no cost...

Thanks for posting the clarification. Perhaps it might not seem like it, but I often read replies twice to make sure I think I've understood what the poster is saying.

I think our positions are closer than I first gleaned from your original post: I agree that getting the be all and end all of a PC is a waste of money - I'd say that period, never mind for FSX: there simply isn't enough value for money in the very expensive CPUs, graphic cards and top-end RAM to justify it.

Yes, I'd agree that Pete should purchase a PC that is to his satisfaction: we both agree on that, and it would appear we've both been trying to say that same thing in our different ways. My small caveat to that is that Pete, or any other purchaser looking to buy now, needs to have an eye on the future. I think that way for all my customers, regardless of whether their PC is for gaming (FSX or FPS), video editing or just "everything". I believe firmly in the "at least one step up from bottom" principle - and I practice this myself (for computers, TVs, cameras - whatever).

Pete expressed a specific interest in FSX and a rig to run it well. If you think he will get at least as good a simulation from FS9 'loaded the gills' with extras, perhaps you could start another thread and extol the merits of FS9. For myself, despite the winning entry for last month's compo looking outstanding 'even in FS9' (and it was outstanding - I voted for it), overall all the images I see of FS9 look flat and less realistic than FSX - I've yet to see any tricked-out FS9 setup that would convince me to move away from FSX (which is why I stopped using FS9 and sold it on TM), even with all of it's glaring flaws. Again, I reiterate that if you or others love their FS9 and think it looks the bomb, more power to you and them. I find it an odd thing, though, to 'encourage' someone to go backwards in software (and FS9 is a step backward, with no offense intended to those that love it) on the one hand, but also suggest for them to wait for 'the next great thing' to come along. If FS9 is excellent, why would one ever want to upgrade? huh.gif

load it to the gills with FS9 stuff

If one were to trick-out FS9, surely the cost of all the add-ons to achieve such would be substantially more than 'at next to no cost'. FS9 'in the nude' looks worse than FSX (NZ desert notwithstanding) in the same state, so if one is going to spend money on add-ons, would those wanting a great looking sim not be better to go with a more modern product with better eye-candy - and have a great PC that is a lot more ready to run the NG sim than an intermediate 'will have to chuck it away later' FS9 rig?

When you say old rig, are you thinking that Pete buy something 2nd hand - that might die at any time? Even a 2nd hand rig that will run FS9 very well is going to cost, what - $700-$800 or more (without a screen)? That seems a lot of money to sink into old hardware with no warranty - I certainly wouldn't go that path, seeing the state of 'old hardware' that passes through my door every week... rolleyes.gif
Last edited by IslandBoy77 on Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby nzav8tor » Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:39 pm

I would assume satisfaction is a smooth running sim that can handle all the aircraft and scenery that you use, in that case you'll need to spend some money.

If you have seen FSX running the latest aircraft models in ORBX or VLC type scenery with FS water configurator, REX2 OD and the ENB series shader you'll never
want to go back in time again.
Heres a few examples of what can be achieved these days on a moderately good system...























Last edited by nzav8tor on Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Naki » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:51 pm

Wow nice shots..some nice add ons there too..some of which I luckily have. The Skyhawk has a unusual scehme - a mix of RAAF & RNZAF?
Last edited by Naki on Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Rotordude » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:27 pm

Those are awesome shots, I would hate to choose because I cant.


IslandBoy77 wrote:
QUOTE (IslandBoy77 @ Oct 13 2010, 05:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
And in what way are my remarks condescending? Please elaborate.

I was not going to continue, but since you asked.

IslandBoy77 wrote:
QUOTE (IslandBoy77 @ Oct 13 2010, 03:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
rather than pandering to the simmers who always say they are too poor to buy a good rig?

IslandBoy77 wrote:
QUOTE (IslandBoy77 @ Oct 13 2010, 05:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've seen people post pics here and have others rave at how fantastic they look, and I'm sitting here thinking "man, that's average - look at the jaggies on the edge or basic scenery or..."

Like I said, I asked a question "don't you think some of your remarks are a tad condescending?" you have answered that you dont feel you have, so all's good end of subject smile.gif


IslandBoy77 wrote:
QUOTE (IslandBoy77 @ Oct 13 2010, 05:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
and you lot get the benefit of FREE advice from someone whose been working on computers for 25 years, builds them now, has a finger on the pulse of computer as a whole, and builds FSX rigs to boot. What great value! biggrin.gif

i must say thank you on that matter, I always thought my ASUS mobo with Intel CPU's and EVGA NVIDIA gfx card were awesome, apparently not dry.gif Is the Auzentech Prelude ok? I hope so
Last edited by Rotordude on Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Regards always
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Postby Charl » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:51 pm

Whew that Albatross is a beaut, eh?
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