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Needing a new PC

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TomA320 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 Jan 2014 at 7:41pm
Hi guys, 

After about 6 years I'm finally needing a new PC.  The one I have at the moment just can't handle add ons such as PMDG 737 and VFR photo scenery.  

I have been having a look on the PC world website and looking for a bit of advice which PC is the best.  Budged is fairly limited at around £450 as I have a CPL course to pay for shortly!  



Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

Tom
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MartinW View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MartinW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2014 at 12:51pm
£450 isn't much to be honest Tom.

I take it you don't fancy building yourself, or perhaps upgrading?

Just look at the links you gave us. "Capable of running "many" Games". Flight sim isn't one of the few easy to run applications, on the contrary it's VERY demanding in terms of CPU requirement. And these days, the graphics card is becoming important too.

Hate to be negative.

Pity you can't build/upgrade yourself, and you hadn't posted earlier. I've just sold a decent MB and high spec CPU, plus RAM to a friend for just 50 quid.

Yes, a bought PC for the price you mention "may" improve your flight sim experience to a degree, but whether it will provide the experience you really expect is another question.

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wain View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2014 at 1:46pm
as martin says budget very tight there, I recently built one and saved a fair wad of cash, my only build experience was upgrading graphics card and ram.....can you not upgrade what u have?

all my old games have improved four fold, however even though fsx has now improved on my new pc it is by the smallest amount, fsx very demanding.....
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TomA320 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomA320 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2014 at 8:05pm
Thanks guys, yes, the budget is tight.. just been through the costly ATPL theory course and now having to pull the strings in a bit to pay for my CPL.  

I have given up trying to get the PMDG 737 and Airbus X extended working but still trying with the VFR photo scenery.  The problem is one moment I can be getting 80 fps then the next minute it drops to say 12 which makes it very jumpy.  I know you can limit the frame rate however this does not work well on my pc and having the target frame rate as unlimited proves the best option.  Any idea on how to overcome this jumpiness?  If I am upgrading my existing PC, what would be best...more RAM...a better processor or a better graphics card?  Obviously all three but what would make the biggest difference?

Thanks
Tom
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slopey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2014 at 11:29pm
What's your exact current spec?

There's no way you can build anything useful for £450.  Upgrades are your only option.

Can't tell you what to upgrade without knowing what you already have.  Include monitor resolution.
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GEOFFERS View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GEOFFERS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2014 at 6:21am
TomA320 if can remember I had a few problems runing FS-X on a DELL PC. I did get a new PC. so fed up trying to get FS-X. I have FS-9 on the new PC and it works very well. still saveing and looking for a new PC then just before Christmas the HD went u/s also my KVM Switch that had not worked very well
so it was a new better KVM Switch and a new HD for the old DELL PC, so I had a SSHD fitted for £150   so I think I will try FS-X again. now the DELL works FS-X well about 20 fps with good scenersry ORBX for most of the UK. so now I don't think i will be getting a new PC.
so upgrade you PC till you get a all sing and dancing  PC by then SSHD well be lower in price by then. but keep your old PC and get a KVM Switch and when you get a PC get one with a i7. I have a laptop that is a i5. it will run FS-X but it gets a bit warm,LOL so now it has FS-9 on it.    
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MartinW View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MartinW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2014 at 9:05am
Originally posted by TomA320 TomA320 wrote:

Thanks guys, yes, the budget is tight.. just been through the costly ATPL theory course and now having to pull the strings in a bit to pay for my CPL.  

I have given up trying to get the PMDG 737 and Airbus X extended working but still trying with the VFR photo scenery.  The problem is one moment I can be getting 80 fps then the next minute it drops to say 12 which makes it very jumpy.  I know you can limit the frame rate however this does not work well on my pc and having the target frame rate as unlimited proves the best option.  Any idea on how to overcome this jumpiness?  If I am upgrading my existing PC, what would be best...more RAM...a better processor or a better graphics card?  Obviously all three but what would make the biggest difference?

Thanks
Tom



Make sure FSX, and all add-on's are excluded in your anti virus.

What are your slider settings? Start at the bottom, and nudge them up one at a time until you achieve an acceptable balance between eye candy and frame rate.

What are your AA settings? You may have to accept a degree of shimmer and some jaggies to achieve an acceptable frame rate.

As Slopey said, you need to detail your specs. It may be possible to overclock your CPU. CPU frequency, and the efficiency of the CPU architecture are a big deal in terms of performance.

These days, the GPU is becoming important too, but CPU power is still the priority.

It may be feasible to upgrade your MB, CPU and RAM, and achieve something of worth, but again, we need your current specs.
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TomA320 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomA320 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2014 at 11:50am
Thanks for the replies.  My spec is: 

Intel(R) core(TM) 2 cpu 6600 @ 2.4 GHZ
RAM= 2 GB 
Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 

I have tried putting my sliders all the way to zero in the FSX displays but I still only get around 6fps with 737 NGX and Airbus Extended.  

The resolution I am running at is:  1024 by 768 

I have AA set as "application controlled" in the Nvidia control panel, and I have AA off in the FSX control panel.  

Thanks
Tom
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Slopey View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slopey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2014 at 1:58pm
I think you're stuffed.  For £450 anyway.

The core 2 6600 is woefully underpowered.  It's Socket 775 which is obsolete, so you can't swap out the processor for anything meaningful.  That means you need a new motherboard.

You need to double or triple, or quadruple the ram in that, to 6 or 8Gb but only if you're going to get a new processor.

Then the 260 GTX again, isn't going to cut it.

And if you do the processor & mobo, you'd want to go 64 bit Windows so that's a new copy of Windows also to plunk down for.

I'm not sure you can do anything meaningful with that machine within the budget.  If the case is ok, then you could keep that, but then what size of PSU is in it?

An i3 processor (less than ideal) goes for around £90, but you'd really want an i5, but thats you into £150.  Then the mobo to support that is going to be £50 for a cheap and nasty one.  8Gb of RAM is going to come in around £65.  Lets assume you keep the same HDD, so that leaves PSU, and Gfx card.  Keep the same case.

We're at £265 already, so there's 185 to play with.  £150 will get you into Geforce 660 or ATI 7870 territory (the 7870 being the choice there imho).  A PSU if you need to replace it with something 500W plus will come in at around the £50 mark.

That still leaves 64-bit version of Windows - and that's going to set you back £70 or so, even as an OEM copy (which you'll qualify for if you're getting a processor).

BUT - even with that £550+ spend on the above, all that's going to get you is mid-range.  You're still not going to get amazing fps with 737 NGX etc.  It'll be better than 6, but it won't be a solid 50.

If you're looking for a decent spec, you want to be looking at £200+ for the graphics card alone, and an i5 or i7 on a decent mobo with a decent cooler.

I'd sound a cautionary note - you could spend £450-500 and still not get acceptable performance, so unless you can find someone with a similar spec and benchmark it, I'd suggest keeping the money for the CPL.

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wain View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2014 at 2:33pm
good advice there slopey. I spent £735 back in nov-dec, I am happy with what I have but I don't fly ngx 737 preferring GA. May pay to keep your pennies for a few months and try and save some more.......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomA320 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2014 at 2:33pm
Hi Duncan, 

Thanks for your detailed reply.  I think I'm just going to stick with it for now, looks like an upgrade won't be worth it unless spending some serious cash.  PMDG 737 etc are obviously out of the question now however do you have any suggestions on how to overcome the wildly changing frame rates while flying VFR with the Scotland photoscenery?  Limiting the frame rates in the FSX settings is not an option as once I do this, I can't get above 10fps!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slopey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2014 at 3:06pm
To be honest, the only thing I can suggest is not using any scenery add-ons of any description, and stick as many of the scenery/detail/draw distance/weather/autogen/density sliders as you can get away to to zero.  I'd also turn AA off in the Nvidia control panel, and iirc, there's a slider in there for speed versus quality - I'll move that down towards speed also.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DaveB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jan 2014 at 4:51pm
Hi Tom

I put a 'new' pc together just a few days ago purely to get a bit more get up and go out of FSX AND to stop the dreaded OOM's I was seeing on my WinXP 32-bit system. I use the word 'new' in inverted commas as much of it is second-hand. A mate gave me a near new Asus P8P67 mobo, a Palit GTX560Ti (he's just upgraded to a 4gig model to run P3D!!!) plus a 128gig SSD. I put my own copy of Win7 Ultimate on the SSD, use a WD sata3 HD for FSX and an old sata2 HD for my scenery. He accepted £80 in payment for his old intel i5 2500k cpu PLUS all those other bits. I had to buy a new case and 8gig of ram to round it all off.

The end result is very far from high-end but it chugs FSX along at a good old pace and by using Win7 Ultimate.. OOM's are a thing of the past. To be honest, my old E8400 was and still is a decent pc. It runs FSX ok but WinXP 32-bit is the limiting factor. Incidentally, I had a Q6600 years ago and I couldn't believe how well it ran but times move on and the extra clockspeed of the E8400 trounced it.

Important with photo-scenery (I take it you're using either GenX or the JF version) is to get your scenery settings correct for it. Make sure your terrain and texture sliders match what is stated with the scenery. You'd be surprised what a difference this can make to performance even if you have to increase the settings from those you currently have.

Also.. I'm not sure of the wisdom behind having your framerate set at unlimited. I know you can get away with murder with SP2 or ACC installed but you may get rid of some jerkiness by limiting your FR to half that of your monitor refresh rate. If, for example, your monitor has a refresh rate of say 60Hz.. set your FR's 'in sim' to 30fps and see how that goes. It may not help as there are a number of possible system bottlenecks but it's worth a try. I know some people who swear by this yet others get better performance using unlimited. Horses for courses.

The biggest single increase in performance on my WinXP system was when I added an Asus GTX560Ti.. my old NVidia 8800GTS having finally died a death. This in itself made FSX usable on that pc in a 'comfortable' sense. The 8800's WERE the card to have at one time and sad as I was to see it go, it's demise did me a huge favour.. other than having to part with cash!

If you've tried making sure your scenery sliders match the recommended settings for your photo-scenery and have also tried matching your fps to your monitor refresh, I think you've probably done all you can with the gear you have but if you haven't.. it's worth a try

ATB
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MartinW Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2014 at 9:04am
Also.. I'm not sure of the wisdom behind having your framerate set at unlimited.
For Tom no, but you would be astonished how well unlimited frames, no limiter at all, works for higher end kit. Big increase in frame rate and no stutters for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DaveB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2014 at 11:19am
Indeed Martin.. there is no hard and fast rule.;-)

I've a friend with a Xeon 'class' rig and he run's 'unlimited' with the same result. I've found that on lesser kit.. it will highlight bottlenecks in the system giving a period of very smooth FR's followed by the inevitable 'cough and splutter' while the rest of the system catches up. Limiting FR's can help even out the overall performance.

Still.. no hard and fast rules with FS. You have to go with what works on your rig
ATB
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GEOFFERS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jan 2014 at 12:55pm
TomA320 I have put the FS-X Booster on to FS-X it will work Thumbs Upand at £9 approx. a good deal fromClap J/F something you may want to try, it worked for me. better a fps. I also changed my Anti Virus to AVG 2004. from BT NetProtect by McAffe it's made my DELL PC run a lot better Big smile also have AVG Tune up 2014.
  till I have the money for a Flight Simulator PC
that will just be for FS-X no other programs on it
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rosewilliams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Oct 2018 at 9:57am
If you needed a new pc I would prefer that you should purchase an Asus desktop because it is high in performance and have the latest technology. Even if you face any issue in your desktop you can immediately contact Asus support team to get your queries answered. I think you will not get a better pc than Asus pc and with that, you will get the best support services too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ThomasAH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Oct 2018 at 6:01pm
The thread is almost 5 years old, so the original poster may indeed be looking for a new PC again :)

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