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  1. #1

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    Default Flight Sim X players, please help

    I've been a console gamer all my life. Now there is one game on PC that got me very excited, and that's FSX. But I don't know anything about PC's.

    I plan to buy a CPU and connect that to my 46" LCD and will run it at 1080p. Do you think a $500 off the shelf CPU with HDMI out will run this game smoothly? I really hate seeing choppy frame rates so I really want to minize this. I'm hoping the 1080p resolution (vs higher on PC monitors) helps. The unit will only be used to run FSX, in-game add-ons, and hardware (pedals, thrusters, etc).
    I really have no clue when it comes to graphic cards, sound cards, etc. But I would like to run the game with high detail and good sound because I want to connect it to my sound rig.

    If I spend about $500 on the CPU, my total will come to about $1000 with the game and game hardware. I really hope I don't have to spend more.

    What do you think?

    Also, is there a step by step tutorial for this game? I want to fly the 737 which I believe is one of the planes included with the game. But later I will buy the Airbus add ons. Will probably start with A300 and move up to the 330's.
    A friend of mine gave me a book about the instrument panels, but I haven't touched it yet. I'm more of a hands-on training kind of guy. I prefer in-game instructions.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2

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    Uhm, the game looks a bit old.

    Bet even a shelf PC can run this thing. Toss in an aftermarket video card (one that can run off a low-output power supply since most demand big PSU's) and you're set.

    I build all my computers since it's always better and cheaper, which really would be my best recommendation. If you plan on hooking it up to the TV, hell why not make it a media-pc while you're at it. Toss in plenty of HDD space and a tuner if you want and you've got a DVR now. Stream wirelessly from it as well if you want/need.

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  3. #3

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    Freddy, I would totally agree with you about the build it yourself thing, but I don't think he knows much about computers. Organ, I think your best bet is to find a friend that's local, and knows PC's to help you. I really cant imagine spending 500 bucks on equipment to play a 4 year old game though.

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    I really cant imagine spending 500 bucks on equipment to play a 4 year old game though.
    I built my custom rig for just under 2k for MINESWEEPER alone....best investment ever.

    You can go online and find tutorials on how to put a computer together easily. The only hard part for beginners is getting all the pieces together. There are plenty of DIY barebone setups on Tigerdirect on the cheap that with an additional $200-300, would put you in a very able yet comfortable rig.
    As far as Flight Sim, any off the shelf box from a retail store should handle that game with ease. Lots has changed in the past 4 years technology-wise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kawizx9r View Post
    Bet even a shelf PC can run this thing.
    Can run, at low settings. You want to run it at ultra high settings, you need to invest big $$$. Put in every single detail and even the top of the line i7 with the best GPU out there will crawl down to single digit FPS.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sami View Post
    Can run, at low settings. You want to run it at ultra high settings, you need to invest big $$$. Put in every single detail and even the top of the line i7 with the best GPU out there will crawl down to single digit FPS.
    See I don't know how old this game is or how it renders.

    But you don't necessarily need to buy the best of the best everything. I've showcased that many times before when comparing my rigs to other builds using even more expensive components.

    I'd do a little more research but I don't care for simulators.

    And Christopher, I get what you mean. I couldn't help myself even after reading the fact that our OP knows nothing about PC's.

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    Sami is correct here, a low end PC will run it with most of the detail turned down, but to run at a level that I'd consider enjoyable you're going to need some decent hardware.

    I don't think you're really going to run into a graphics issue so much as an object rendering issue, so I'd think the CPU would play a bigger role in this game than a big video card, just depends on how Microsoft built the game, so some research is in order.

    People who say 'this game is 4 years old so shouldn't need much to run' have obviously never played Crysis :D
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    Quote Originally Posted by kawizx9r View Post
    But you don't necessarily need to buy the best of the best everything. I've showcased that many times before when comparing my rigs to other builds using even more expensive components.
    No, you don't, but flight simulators have always been the most CPU hungry applications. You have so many details you CAN display that even the most powerful of them will go on their knees. Of course you don't have to display all of them so a middle of the pack PC will run the game on low settings.

    Danny is correct, this game is about CPU, not GPU.

    This thread for example: http://www.overclockers.com/forums/s...d.php?t=585681

    i7 at 40FPS, but at only 1280x1024 resolution. If you wonder why take a look at the screenshot and start counting how many objects the CPU needs to render...


  9. #9

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    I took the same F-18 and took a little flight over NYC. 1920x1080 with all settings high. Machine is Q9550 overclocked to 4GHz, paired with ATI HD5870.

    FPS...12 frames per second over Manhattan, 18 sitting at JFK airport. Not too bad, but this isn't a $500 off the shelf computer either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post
    People who say 'this game is 4 years old so shouldn't need much to run' have obviously never played Crysis :D
    I'm not underestimating the game as much as you guys make it out to sound, but then again I've obviously never played/seen it.

    And Crysis? I ran that in my E8400 Wolfdale when the game first came out at max settings. AAx8 or x16 it was, and it never hiccupped once.
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    Nice shot Sami :D
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by kawizx9r View Post
    Nice shot Sami :D
    That's the one from the thread I was quoting, at 1280x1024, not my screenshot. I took another flight with a chopter and the amount of detail on this game is what makes it so demanding. Cars running on the streets of New York, golf courses with lights that are rendered while you fly over them. It's no easy task for a CPU at high detail.

    Simulators are quite different as they are judged by realism. This makes them very CPU intensive and Flight Simulator has always been known to take any CPU down when the details have been cranked up.

  13. #13

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    In regards to build versus buy, I think that gap has closed rather considerably. 5-10 years ago, I'd preach build build build. At this point, I'm seeing some pretty spiffy machines with a decent processor and 4gb of ram going for less than 1K. Add a better video card and you should be off to the races.

    Not saying the builders here aren't saving money, I just think the gap has closed to the point where a novice (aka someone that might not necessarily feel comfortable building) would do just about as well buying, if nothing else than for peace of mind.

    And yes, I've built several PCs myself, including my very 1st build that had a Pentium 2 350 processor, a 6gb hd, and was a BEAST once I finally figured out what I was doing :)
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  14. #14

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    BIG Thanks for all the help.
    So today, I talked to one of my computer friend and he says he could build me one but it will be much more than $500. He said that for around $900cdn, it would run the game well with medium detail, but to play in high detail, $1500 is how much I should be looking at spending.

    So now, I've increased my budget. Original budget was $1000 w/ game and game hardware, not it's $2000. I was hoping to get it for myself for christmas, but now it looks like I'll have to wait longer. I don't really mind because I want it to run well in high detail.

    So my friend will be building it as well as install the game, install tons of add-ons like pre flight and landing announcement, fleets so that I'm not the only one at the airport, liveries, etc, so that by the time I get it, all I have to do is connect and assign the controls on the game hardware.

    I was just watching some vids on youtube and all of them seems to suffer with frame rate. I hope mine runs smooth, if it's not smooth enough, I will probably lower the resolution to 720p.

    Thanks again for the help, everyone!
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    Forget FSX. Wait for the new one called Microsoft Flight. Or wait for X-Plane 10 which also looks promising. The problem with FSX is as previously mentioned, it is old software which does not take advantage of current hardware. Over 4 years old to be exact. There are a ton of bugs in it that were never ironed out. It's not based on shaders, so it requires a hefty cpu rig to get the most out of it. Also, to get the most out of it, you need add ons, (literally hundreds of them are available) a flight yoke/stick and rudder pedals. Track ir will bring the realism up another notch. Forget SLI and Crossfire, it doesn't even take advantage of that technology.

    Performance wise, it requires tweaks and there are a ton of those available as well. I remember I would often find myself spending more time tweaking than flying. On the plus side, yes it can be very satisfying and visually appealing. Another thing to keep in mind, it is NOT a game. If you're looking to blow some stuff up whizzing around in an F-18, then forget it. It was designed to introduce people to the world of flight with most of the things pertaining to the real world intact (flight dynamics, atc, weather, etc...) IMO if you are just starting out, I'd seriously wait for the new one. If you were a die hard fanatic, I would recommend FSX, but that is not the case. Anyway, here's some screens of how it can look with add ons and when tweaked with a decent rig.













    Last edited by computerparts; 10-26-2010 at 02:28 AM.

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    Forget FSX. Wait for the new one called Microsoft Flight. Or wait for X-Plane 10 which also looks promising. The problem with FSX is as previously mentioned, it is an old game. Over 4 years old to be exact. There are a ton of bugs in it that were never ironed out. It's not based on shaders, so it requires a hefty cpu rig to get the most out of it. Also, to get the most out of it, you need add ons, (literally hundreds of them) a flight yoke/stick and rudder pedals. Track ir will bring the realism up another notch. Forget SLI and Crossfire, it doesn't even take advantage of that technology.

    Performance wise, it requires tweaks and there are a ton of those available as well. I remember I would often find myself spending more time tweaking than flying. On the plus side, yes it can be very satisfying and visually appealing. Another thing to keep in mind, it is NOT a game. If you're looking to blow some stuff up whizzing around in an F-18, then forget it. It was designed to introduce people to the world of flight with most of the things pertaining to the real world intact (flight dynamics, atc, weather, etc...) IMO if you are just starting out, I'd seriously wait for the new one. If you were a die hard fanatic, I would recommend FSX, but that is not the case. Anyway, here's some screens of how it can look with addons and when tweaked.














  17. #17

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    Thanks Computerparts!
    Those images you posted are the best looking graphics I've seen for FSX! You must be running it on a monster computer.

    I'm not really looking to get the most out of it, just want it to be visually appealing. Doesn't have to be running on max setting. I know it won't even be close to yours lol.
    This is the reason why I finally want to try FSX. I didn't like the graphics in FS2004.

    Do you know the release date on those new titles? I don't mind starting out with FSX just to get the hang of it, and upgrade later. The guy building my computer said he'll leave room for upgrades.

    I"m not looking forward to blowing things up and stuff. Had enough of that on my consoles:D. This time it's more serious.
    My first time on a plane was when my dad and I went on a DC-9. Since then, I've been on about a dozen flights(I don't travel much at all). I just can't get enough of passanger planes. I'm collecting scale models, I have aviation dvd's that show cool stuff from the inside and out, building my scale airport, I enjoy planespotting, etc.

    So basically, I want to fly my favorite airline and planes. Starting with smaller Fokker-28, DC-9, B737, and move my way up. I want to enjoy the realism and the one thing that I love about FSX is the replay from the passanger seat by the wings. It's awesome watching from there.
    Last edited by organ; 10-26-2010 at 03:28 AM.
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  18. #18

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    FSX is only $20 so the game investment is nothing. While you're at it, get Sturmovik as well so you can fly combat missions.

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    A Core i3 or similar and a big graphics card upgrade (perhaps a Radeon HD 6850) would be a pretty good machine to play a game like this on. A DIY setup would be much better; a lot of CPU's have plenty of overclocking headroom and, in FSX, every little bit helps. Even so, a joystick at minimum is basically required with a strong preference for a yoke & throttle.

    Multiple monitors are also preferred, as are custom setups to get the most out of them. Were I to have an unlimited budget, I'd grab an HD5870-E6 (Eyefinity-6) and six Displayport-compatible IPS monitors (Dell UltraSharp's). That'd let me put up a full view around the airplane as well as a sixth for instruments (or a 3rd person view). The machine itself would, preferably, be an overclocked Core i7 with 12GB DDR3.
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    I got a 17" Asus laptop G73 series with an i7 processor, high end graphics card and HDMI out for $1100 at Best Buy. It runs everything smooth to my plasma and is portable. I like the flight sims but nothing has blown me away in a long while.
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    Quote Originally Posted by organ View Post
    Thanks Computerparts!
    Those images you posted are the best looking graphics I've seen for FSX! You must be running it on a monster computer.

    I'm not really looking to get the most out of it, just want it to be visually appealing. Doesn't have to be running on max setting. I know it won't even be close to yours lol.
    This is the reason why I finally want to try FSX. I didn't like the graphics in FS2004.

    Do you know the release date on those new titles? I don't mind starting out with FSX just to get the hang of it, and upgrade later. The guy building my computer said he'll leave room for upgrades.

    I"m not looking forward to blowing things up and stuff. Had enough of that on my consoles:D. This time it's more serious.
    My first time on a plane was when my dad and I went on a DC-9. Since then, I've been on about a dozen flights(I don't travel much at all). I just can't get enough of passanger planes. I'm collecting scale models, I have aviation dvd's that show cool stuff from the inside and out, building my scale airport, I enjoy planespotting, etc.

    So basically, I want to fly my favorite airline and planes. Starting with smaller Fokker-28, DC-9, B737, and move my way up. I want to enjoy the realism and the one thing that I love about FSX is the replay from the passanger seat by the wings. It's awesome watching from there.
    It sounds like FSX will be good for you. I'm not sure on the release dates for the new ones. I know X-Plane 10 will probably be released first since it has been in development for a while now. MS Flight, who knows on that one. They only recently announced it, so I'm betting at least a couple years from now unless they rush it like they did with FSX. I have seen some very impressive features that X-Plane 10 is implementing but MS has always been more user friendly. True, the graphics in FS2004 left a bit to be desired. However, unlike FSX, FS2004 was a finished product. Actually, my computer isn't all that either. An i7 with a GTX-285 will give you the capability (that's what I have). The rest comes from tweaking. Stay away from ATI cards unless you plan to play other sims/games. The reason being ATI cards are shader based and FSX is not a shader based software. The 5870 was the best ATI card for FSX but it fell apart in heavy settings where the nvidia cards sailed smoothly.

  22. #22

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    Computerparts,
    Thanks again. I look forward to flying x-plane 10 when it comes out. Good thing you mentioned the ATI card. I will make sure to go with something else.

    My friend said he looked at all the stuff I need for the build and the total will be $1100cdn. I don't have any specifics, but I will ask him and post it here to see what you guys think. If he has ATI in mind, I'll tell him to change it to an Nvidia of the same price. I'm glad you brought this up because I want my frame rate to be pretty smooth.

    I'll post the parts once I find out in a few days.
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  23. #23

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    You might want to hold off just a bit longer. I just found out X-Plane 10 should be out by end of November. Not sure how that one will do with an ATI card but XP has always been coded differently from FSX so it shouldn't be a problem. Also, MS Flight is still a year out from release so we won't know much of the details on that for a while yet.

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