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i7 Preliminary Thoughts and Suggestions around FSX

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NickN View Drop Down
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    Posted: November-26-2008 at 11:59am

 

 

 

Just passing on some info about i7 to clear up some things and to throw FSX data into the mix for the platform.

I am being very conservative in reporting this as to avoid hype. 

I have not had time to complete all my checks and test however I do have enough information to relay a few things so those who may be on the fence about buying or wish to upgrade have good information to base their decision.


First and foremost, in making the decision to move to i7 you need to look at what you are running today and what you are willing to spend.

If you are on AMD, old Intel and/or not running modern Intel,  moving to i7 will be a good boost and investment for you. Do be aware that if you intend to clock it will be easier to hit higher clocks and better latency on 940 and DDR3 1600 memory. Moving to 920 from AMD and not clocking will still provide a worthwhile boost but you should consider the 940 if clocking is not on your to-do list so you get the full monty in the upgrade over what you are use to seeing.

And do keep in mind, moving to i7 on a slower video card is going to present a bottleneck just like it does with current processors so if you are on AMD with a budget video card, you should upgrade that card too at the same time.

If you are on Intel Quad and not clocking and you run 2.8-3GHz the 940 unclocked will provide a much smoother experience with better visuals. It would not be a wise investment to buy 920 and not clock it. You could buy the 920 but do be aware you will need to clock it to be assured of good value in perf upgrade for your purchase and the video card suggestion with AMD is the same. If you are going to make that move and currently have a medium quality card you would be well served to upgrade the card at the same time.


If you are on Intel and running a 3.6-4+GHz clock on DDR3 1600+ correctly then the move to i7 should be based on:

1. At least a 940 i7
2. At least 1600MHz memory 8-8-8 timing for 6GB, 7-7-7 timing for 3GB
3. A proper HSF for clocking
4. Plan on clocking the 940 to at least 3.8-4+GHz

With those elements in place you can expect to see results I consider well worth the purchase.

Of course everyone has their own opinion about what is valuable to them in FSX cost wise. Some are statisifed with less scenery and are not willing to pay for perks.

Being conservative here... DO KEEP IN MIND that if you are currently on such a high end system properly clocked and your scenery sliders are maxed what you will be getting is less or no stutters, sharper visuals under the conditions you may typically see now where your current hardware limits are seen on the screen. It will allow higher default traffic as well as allowing bloom to be run closer to urban (major hubs can be a hit) however DO NOT expect to max every slider (water-bloom-traffic-cloud radius) and see no perf hit. Bloom and water shader passes are a 800lb gorilla on DX9 no matter what CPU is in use and clouds will always hit a system hard the way FSX is designed.

Heavy iron users will see great relief under those clocking conditions.

What I am seeing personally is worth every penney spent because I do not like stutters and lags. Flying to me is all about that floating on air feeling without interruptions in lags and blurs.

The pro clockers are getting the 920 up to 4.2-4.3GHz however they are doing so by pushing the absolute limits. They are also experimenting with engineering samples to find out how long those chips last when the memory voltage is exceeded (over 1.65v) and other voltages are pushed.

Other thoughts to consider.. there are those on 32bit OS’s that can only use 4GB of memory. Be aware that if you skimp and go 3x1GB you will be limited to well under 3GB where with 3x2GB you will have access to up to 3.2GB of the first 4.

If this purchase is one you intend to grow with I suggest 3x2GB. The price difference is only about 100 dollars or less and prices should start to fall as more product enters the market over the next several months. You can upgrade to a 64bit OS later and make full use of the 6GB then.


You MUST purchase tri-channel DDR3 memory kits with a voltage rating of 1.65v. 1st generation higher voltage spec DDR3 will NOT work with i7.


For a good modern video card and i7 with clocking I would suggest a decent 750watts PSU to cover you now and later for upgrades. The PC Power and Cooling 750 is a great unit and right now it can be purchased for under 100 dollars with a rebate. That PSU was 230 when it was first released a few years ago and it will run up to and over 800watts at peaks.

SLi will not get any gain from i7 in FSX other than what SLi provides now in higher resolution high AA (16-32AA) and above 2xxx in resolution.


If you do not intend to clock, 1333MHz memory is fine and you do not need 1600 product however depending on the BIOS of the board you can use 1600 product without clocking the CPU and run the memory higher at its rated speed. The ability to do so depends on the board and BIOS and I do not have specific information about different boards to relay at this time.

The important factor about the memory in a clocking or non-clocking situation is the timing. Do shop for the lowest timing possible for the speed you wish to run as that will help even with i7.

 

...and one other thing too, DO keep in mind this is a new platform and as such there are going to be growing pains so what you see on websites and review sites can be skewed by different chipset registers from different combinations of motherboards, video cards, memory and drivers in use. It will probably be a few months before all that gets hammered out as it is with any new platform.


I hope this helps clear up some of the questions that are floating around. I am still very much in a test phase with the system I am using and as I get more I will pass it on with a much more technical approach.

I am also toying with memory clocks as well so there is more to report later as I confirm results.


Remember, that older video card you are running can hold you back with a i7 in clock. As Phil Taylor pointed out a long time ago the mate between the card and the proc will drive FSX perf and quality more than anything else with memory speed/timing coming in 2nd.

 

Suggstions for minimum cards for FSX

NOTE: these are not suggestions for Crysis

920 not clocked, 8800GT
940 not clocked 260GTX
965 not clocked 280GTX

clock'em maxed and the 280 would be the card to be on

Those on the 8800 Ultra and 768 GTX and clocking can probaby hold on the video card if the budget doesnt support it right away but it would still be worthwile to go up to the 280 (or better if it comes along later) in your case.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ulf B View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ulf B Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-26-2008 at 12:59pm

Thanks for the feedback :-)

I'm planning to build a Core i7 computer during Q1 next year and I appreciate your advice on the different options.

Ulf B

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pilotex2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-26-2008 at 1:06pm

Great info Nick! Thanks a lot! I will be saving it as I know I will need it later on.

ps. I asked another question in the "For Mr. Nick" thread about the Intel Core i7; would be appreciated if you could take a look at that!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maarten2bf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-29-2008 at 11:30am

Hi Nick, as a new user to this board I am very happy to see this great detailed test purely for FSX.
As my previous computer is not working anymore, i'm thinking on buying a new computer with the core i7.

Because of that, i have a few questions about your article. i think about buying the -920 version as it has a great price. I wasnt thinking about overcloking. Execpt for this, i'm thinking about 4 gb ddr3 1333 memory, with vista 64 bits and a x58 motherboard.

Your giving comments about not buying the 920 when you are not overcloking, do you mean that bad performances are to be expected when using it with FSX? Of course I want to play ultrahigh with most of the available addons. I was thinking about buying a GTX260 or 4870 videocard. Would you suggest these to for a i7-920 system?

Thanks,

Maarten

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-29-2008 at 11:50am

 

 

Ultra high? On all sliders?

 

You better be clocking to 3.6-4GHz+

i7 920 is about equal to a moderately clocked Q6600

ATi cards are trash for FSX. They are shader engine cards and although they may crush nvidia in shader based games like Crysis, Nvidia will crush ATI in FSX when heavy weather and scenery are around. FSX is not a shader engine game.. its actually old triangle rendering tech. The best cards for FSX are the 8800GTX 768, Ultra 768 and the 280. With the 8800GTS 640 bringing up the rear followed by the 8800GT last

Perf on the 260 depends but it falls in the same area as the Ultra 768 with some perf advantages over the Ultra depending on the drivers

 

If you are not overclocking I would go for the fastest i7 possible and if the 965 is out of reach then the 940 would place you in a much better position to run FSX. Even with that you are not maxing every slider

I dont use the Generic slider in FSX.. I set every slider manually. That generic slider that says 'ultra high' is a joke.. its a very poor way to calibrate FSX

 

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maarten2bf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-29-2008 at 12:38pm

Hi there,

Quite shocking! I heard from various bechmarks that the 920 was comparable with the most expensive range of the previous Quad generation like the Q9xxx series.
My budget is about 1500 euro's for the entier computer. What combination of videocard and proc would you say is best within that limit?

Thanks for your quick response.

Maarten

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-29-2008 at 12:41pm

 

being I can easily clock a Q9650 to 4GH+ a 920 unclocked wont touch that

 and I dont know where you are getting your information but that compare is just plain wrong

 a 940 will overtake a unclocked Q96 not a 920

A 920 will match the Q96 in some places in FSX, overcome it in others and be less in others... The problem with FSX is it is a dynamic application. So in essence the 920 unclocked will show variable results when compared side by side with a Q96 but if i was not going to clock a i7 I would go with the 940 minimum

I posted combo's and matches to the procs above.

940/260 would be the least I would run for decent results on 1333 7-7-7 memory

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November-29-2008 at 12:59pm

 

 

and also keep in mind.. these tests and benchmarks you see on the net are not using FSX to base their tests

Just because some benchmark shows the 920 better than the Q9 does not mean the 920 is better in FSX

There is only one FSX test I have seen and its wrong. It states there is no difference at all between i7 and a Q processor in equal clocks

The test was utterly flawed and not run correctly. It was also run on dual channel memory and not accessing the full quickpath ability

 

The only people I suggested go for i7 920 who do not intend to clock are those who are currently on AMD and older Intel (before core2) and even then my suggestion above is for them to go for 940 if they can at all afford it

 

The information I posted was not to try and tell everyone to drop their systems and move to i7.. I was simply passing on information for those who may be thinking about making a change and what to do in order to get the most out of their purchase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MacKuen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December-11-2008 at 5:03pm
Nick, all this is most helpful. Thanks so very much.

Cheers,
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HeliRaptor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-01-2009 at 9:58pm
Thanks for this info.  I ordered a new Computer Setup on Monday as my current system died.  It had a MSI P6N SLI Platinum motherboard and an Intell Q6600 with 8GB OCZ SLI Ram running with Windows VISTA 64 Bit.

My main use of my system is Gaming, FSX and RC Helicopter Simulation with Real Flight G4.5.

Here is what I just purchased hoping to improve FSX as it is the only app that performance (on my dead system) needed help.

There was no need for more performance for the gaming I do.  I could use a bit more for CAD (Solid Works 2007 right now) and Microsoft Flight Sim X (which is mostly CPU bound).

So I placed an order Monday for a new Mother Board, CPU and RAM.  The week Prior I also decided to pick up a New Power Supply to Future Proof a bit more.

So here is what the new system will contain.

Case:  Antec Nine Hundred  (Already have this)

Power Supply:  Thermaltake Thoughpower W0178RU 850W (Got this on Monday)

MotherBoard:  EVGA X58 SLI (ordered from NewEgg.com)

CPU:  Intel Core i7 940 Nehalem 2.93GHz (ordered from NewEgg.com)

RAM:  12GB CORSAIR DOMINATOR (ordered from NewEgg.com)

Video Card:  BFG 8800 GTX OC2 768MB (I already have this card, I may use it in SLI or Upgrade to BFG NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 OC2 1GB PCIe 2.0 in SLI)

Sound Card:  Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE (Already have this)

DVD Burner (SATA):  LG Black 22X (CAV) DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 16X DVD+R DL 22X (CAV) DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache SATA 22X DVD±R DVD Burner (ordered from NewEgg.com)

Right now I have 4 - 500 GB internal Hard Drives.  (1 - WD and 3 Seagate)

I will likely order an aftermarket cooler as this CPU is capable of 4.0 GHz on AIR and I may attempt this at some point.  Here is the cooler I am looking at right now.

CPU Heat Sink / Fan:  COOLER MASTER V8 RR

How do you think this system will do on FSX.  Right now I manually tune FSX to give me 30 FPS and it runs smooth but leaves a lot to be desired with my old system.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-02-2009 at 1:13am

 

 

I will get a better look at this tomorrow..

 

You dont need 12 gigs of memory unless you use engineering or A/V production software. FSX will only use around 4

 

There are limits to how much memory a 32bit app will use in a 64bit OS however with i7 its best to run 3x2GB

 

6 is more than enough

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HeliRaptor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-02-2009 at 5:51am
Thanks.

The reason for 12 GB is that I use VMware and Run Multiple VM's at one time.  The extra memory is great for Virtual Machines.  It also helps with CAD.  I am learning Solid Works and 3DS Max.

I am curious what you think of the rest of the system.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote J van E Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-02-2009 at 7:01am
Interesting topic! I am looking at a new system myself. Right now I have a E6600 CPU (not OC'ed) and a 8800GTX. The main reason for buying a new computer is that my current rig is being moved in the family: I know the 8800GTX is still a very good card.

Anyway, I was thinking about getting the i7 920 because the 940 is a LOT more expensive and I wonder if the difference in dollars justifies the difference in performance... (It's almost TWICE as expensive and you only go from 2.66 GHz to 2,93 GHz! OC'ing the 920 seems cheaper and easier to do...?)
Along with the i7 920 I thought about getting a HD4870X2 or a GTX280. But I already found out that, apart from the fact the HD4870X2 is an SLI solution and they often give problems, the X2 won't have any use in FSX! So I think I would be better off with a GTX280 (being a single GPU card). But... then I wonder if the 280 isn't too much for the i7 920...! Maybe the 920 is holding back the 280...? Although maybe I can use more/better FSAA with the 280...?

Apart from all this: I do wonder how much I will gain going from a E6600/8800GTX to a i7 920/GTX280 or 260. I think I will gain most from the cpu upgrade? I run at 1680x1050 btw and do not plan tp get a new monitor anytime soon. And I was planning to get PC10666 ram, CL9.0 (although PC12800 CL8.0is also on option, though it costs about $ 70 more...).

Small problem is that I do not only play FSX... ;) I also play other games and make music on my computer.
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I would get the MOST CPU your money can buy/allow.  Along with the higher end memory so that you can make use of the bandwidth and OC ability.

Unless you have a dire need for a top end video card I would stick with the 8800GTX for some time as FSX will benefit greatly from the CPU/Memory upgrade.  As stated towards the top of this thread FSX is best run on an NVIDIA Card.  I personally believe I will be keeping my 8800GTX until the GX280 comes down in price, it satisfys all my other needs at the moment.  I am new to FSX so until I am hooked there is no need for the GX280 as it's benefits to me would be primarily in FSX and I am not sure (someone can correct/educate me here) that it will be a huge difference over my 8800GTX once I complete the build with the new CPU/Memory.

Needless to say this is a great topic and I am glad experience is what is driving it vs. benchmarks on other sites that have not even tested FSX.

I started out as an ATI Fan many moons ago and realised later that NVIDIA is a better choice for my needs/wants.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote truck911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-05-2009 at 4:54pm
Nick with the i7 965 and 1GB video cards are we yet encrouching at seeing FSX 100% slidders right or when if ever do you think technology will catch up with FSX?
Regards,

Gary

HAF932|GA-P67A-UD7|2600K@4.6 GHz|NH-D14| 2x4GB 1333GHz 7-7-7-24 1T |Dedicated FSX WD Black/64mb 1TBx2 Raid0| W7x64 600GB VRap| 3Ware 9650 w/BBU|GTX 580 | AX750 PSU|SMT750 UPS|ASUS 27"
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Originally posted by HeliRaptor HeliRaptor wrote:

Thanks.

The reason for 12 GB is that I use VMware and Run Multiple VM's at one time.  The extra memory is great for Virtual Machines.  It also helps with CAD.  I am learning Solid Works and 3DS Max.

I am curious what you think of the rest of the system.


I received all of the items on order today.  I hope to build the system later today and at least get the OS installed.  I will be running at stock clocks for now until I can order the proper heat sink and fan before I overclock.

Do you have any recommendations before I place an order?

Here is what I was thinking:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103055&Tpk=Cooler%20Master%20V8
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Originally posted by truck911 truck911 wrote:

Nick with the i7 965 and 1GB video cards are we yet encrouching at seeing FSX 100% slidders right or when if ever do you think technology will catch up with FSX?

 

I really do not expect hardware to ever catch up to the title when you start talking about cars/boat/ships/airport vehicles/default traffic and water shaders at nearly 100%

The title is a year 2000 rendering engine which got some fixes and a facelift from FS9 to FSX and resold

 

IF they had managed to get DX10 to a FULL INSTALL mode instead of a preview I could see one getting close in a year or so but still.. the base of this product is sinkhole of memory and CPU due to its age.

The bottom line to it is FSX is like a fully loaded 10 year old heavy duty tanker truck currently being powered by a common automotive gas engine.

The truck is so heavy and old I bet even the next 2 years wont deliver hardware able to run it flat out simply because the problem is hardware is going one way toward shader powered 3D engines and the FSX core engine is stuck in 2002

 

and thats the name of that tune

 

Hopefully the term 'I get it" will have been coined as the next version is designed

 

1GB cards are only hellping with large frame buffer resolutions and reserving bufferpool memory.. other than that their memory size does not help FSX. I would say 768 is plenty to do the job at max resolution and reserved VM for bufferpools

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote truck911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-05-2009 at 7:21pm

Originally posted by HeliRaptor HeliRaptor wrote:

Originally posted by HeliRaptor HeliRaptor wrote:

Thanks.

The reason for 12 GB is that I use VMware and Run Multiple VM's at one time.  The extra memory is great for Virtual Machines.  It also helps with CAD.  I am learning Solid Works and 3DS Max.

I am curious what you think of the rest of the system.


Here is what I was thinking:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103055&Tpk=Cooler%20Master%20V8

http://www.ncixus.com/products/34994/ULTRA-120-1366RT/THERMALRIGHT/

Regards,

Gary

HAF932|GA-P67A-UD7|2600K@4.6 GHz|NH-D14| 2x4GB 1333GHz 7-7-7-24 1T |Dedicated FSX WD Black/64mb 1TBx2 Raid0| W7x64 600GB VRap| 3Ware 9650 w/BBU|GTX 580 | AX750 PSU|SMT750 UPS|ASUS 27"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ulf B Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-05-2009 at 7:53pm

Originally posted by truck911 truck911 wrote:

Nick with the i7 965 and 1GB video cards are we yet encrouching at seeing FSX 100% slidders right or when if ever do you think technology will catch up with FSX?

It really goes the other way around: FSX will never ever catch up with technology. Wink

Ulf B

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Originally posted by NickN NickN wrote:

I will get a better look at this tomorrow..



Any thoughts?

I have the system up and running.  The only thing that I had to do was flash the BIOS to use the RAM at it's 1600 MHz speed.

The system is smoking fast compared to my Q6600.  I am running FSX at 35FPS nice and smooth now.  Before I had to drop it to 20FPS to keep it smooth, 30 FPS was just barely enjoyable.

I will eventually overclock it to around 4 GHz and see if that make a difference, I am sure it will but how much is the question.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-08-2009 at 12:27pm

 

 

 

I see no use for a sound card taking up a slot unless the card has hardware encode support and you need it for audio work. The motherboard surround-sound systems today are fine for everyday use and do not eat resources like they did years ago..

SLI is useless to FSX.. even if you run above 2xxxx resolution the 16-32AA nails the processor so its 6 of 1 1/2 dozen of the other.. the extra card wont provide a single frame in performance

As for a cooler, the Thermalright 120 Extreme 1366 model should do the job. I do not know anything about the coolmaster unit you posted.

If you intend to clock I would dump the 8800 and switch to the 280 and do not use 2 cards in the system at once

Not really into Antecs power supplies.. I would have gone for a PC Power and Cooling unit. i7 eats power in a clock and with the number of drives in your system I would have opted for a much better quality PSU in 850

 

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Am I missing something? I thought that a 9800(GTx) was "better" than the older 8800GT(S/X)? Are they (the 8800s) better suited for FSX (why?)?

I was thinking of getting a i7 920 with a 9800GT - no good?

TIA,

Matthias


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-20-2009 at 10:22am

Originally posted by mochs mochs wrote:

Am I missing something? I thought that a 9800(GTx) was "better" than the older 8800GT(S/X)? Are they (the 8800s) better suited for FSX (why?)?

I was thinking of getting a i7 920 with a 9800GT - no good?

TIA,

Matthias


 

 

Uh huh!

Amazing.. isnt it?

The 8800GTX 768 is more powerful in FSX use than a 9800GTX

Unfortunately they have phased out the 8800 768 series

I would not bother with any 9800 product and go with a 280 or above

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mochs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-20-2009 at 1:05pm
I am thinking of running the 920 at 3.2-3.5 GHz - would a 8800GTX be a good match or would you go for a 260 or 280?

BTW: Your comments are quite valueable for me so: thanx!

Matthias

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-20-2009 at 1:24pm

 

 

You can skimp by on the 8800GTX 768 clocked however if you intend to clock i7 where it should be run you would be better served on a 280/285

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mochs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-20-2009 at 1:39pm
From your experience what is a good target speed for a 920? And is the 260 not worth considering?

Matthias

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-20-2009 at 2:48pm

 

 

I dont suggest a 920 because they are memory multiplier limited and may present a heat issue in trying to get to the higher clock potential.

the 940 is well worth the expanded cost in a overclock and with future memory purchases 2 years out

However if the right cooling solution is used (replace the Intel heatsink) and the user is not in a warm ambient environment, 4GHz can be achieved on a 920.

 

In all cases DDR3 1600 memory is needed to assure the clock and the best memory subsystem commincation path with memory available on the market today. Later this year DDR3 2000 will be out there too.

 

The 260 will work fine with that or a lower clock but the 280 will do the job better.

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote raptorx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-21-2009 at 10:55am

Nick,

Can you clarify how it's acceptable to use the higher QPI voltage that the DDR3 2000 seems to require?  Although it's seems logical, the specs show 1.5v QPI for those and that's well above the 1.35 Intel max spec.

Corsair is confident that everything will operate reliably.  Is this all just about the 0.5v "golden rule" between vQPI and vDIMM?

-Jim

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-21-2009 at 12:06pm

 

 

The rule is WITHIN .5v of DRAM, not AT LEAST .5

 

If Corsair has instructed the use of 1.5 QPI/DRAM with their product you will be fine, however, increased QPI/DRAM can also influence CPU temp too

Be aware of that

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cbd80 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-23-2009 at 11:21am
Hi Nick,

I'm hoping that you could give me some advice please?

I'm running an i7 (specs in the sig) and I'm looking to upgrade my graphics card from the 8800 Ultra to a GTX 285.

My question is would a standard GTX 285 give good enough performance in FSX or would I be better to spend the money and go for an overclocked version?

Do you know what FSX's dependencies are on the graphics card (I know it's mainly a CPU beast) i.e. is it worth paying for OC'd GPU, Memory Speed, and Shader Clock? Will FSX see the benefits.

Additionally, will the GTX 285 be able to take what an OC'd i7 965 can throw at it? Where would any potential bottleneck be?

Thanks for any advice you can give.

Chris
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ulf B Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-23-2009 at 11:40am

I'll buy your Ultra and sell it with a good profit to a FS fanatic trying to get the best card for FSX Wink

Ulf B

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-23-2009 at 2:23pm

Originally posted by cbd80 cbd80 wrote:

Hi Nick,

I'm hoping that you could give me some advice please?

I'm running an i7 (specs in the sig) and I'm looking to upgrade my graphics card from the 8800 Ultra to a GTX 285.

My question is would a standard GTX 285 give good enough performance in FSX or would I be better to spend the money and go for an overclocked version?

Do you know what FSX's dependencies are on the graphics card (I know it's mainly a CPU beast) i.e. is it worth paying for OC'd GPU, Memory Speed, and Shader Clock? Will FSX see the benefits.

Additionally, will the GTX 285 be able to take what an OC'd i7 965 can throw at it? Where would any potential bottleneck be?

Thanks for any advice you can give.

Chris

 

Typically I would overclock any video card I had.... if you do not wish to do it yourself then you must pay for the OC version of the product being offered... sometime those can still be bumped up manaully as well

FSX is not bottlecked by the video card.. your Ultra is actually quite a power horse for FSX and will still out perform their 9800 series as well as many of their 260 models if the ultra is clocked out

Thats in FSX only though.. not other games

The 280/285 represents the best you will get out of todays video cards in FSX and how far over the Ultra that may be is all about the CPU speed in use and how high the ultra was originally clocked

Do not expect massive frame increases.. the benefit of the 280/285 will be in its ability to move through weather and large amounts of scenery smoother.. and possibly a few more frames however its not going to shoot 10 frames over the Ultra.

On a fully clocked i7 you are better off on the highest core clocked card you can get with the largest memory buss available.. the 280/285 fits that bill

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cbd80 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-23-2009 at 2:58pm
Thanks Nick, very informative. I had started to think this afternoon about overclocking the GPU.

I know the 8800 Ultra is a good card for FSX, the main thing that is prompting the change is that since changing over to i7 and being able to up some of FSX's settings, I now find that during most flights involving alot of scenery and a payware addon such as 757 Captain, at some random point the graphics card will stop responding. If I move the hat switch on the joystick the scenery will tear, mostly the screen just goes blank and the screen will keep blinking even after exiting FSX. I don't think that it is a driver issue, as I've had this problem with the past few drivers. I'm currently on the latest.

I know I could lower the settings, the difference is noticeable. The CPU seems to be coping and framerates are smooth even if in the region of 10 fps.

I feel that it's the graphics card that is letting me down. My thoughts are that moving to a PCI E 2.0 card will sort this problem as hopefully the card isn't being overwhelmed with having the extra bandwidth.

I could be way off on this being the problem, I'd appreciated any thoughts you may have. I'd hate to purchase a new card and find that exactly the same thing happens.

My Ultra has a clock of 680Mhz (5 MHz OC), 1150MHz Memory and ~1710 Shader Clock. I've tried pushing this card further but I soon run into artifacts or it gives me a blank screen.

I've found the BFG 285 OC for a reasonable price, this has a 666Mhz core, 1250MHz Memory, and a Shader Clock of 1512. I think that I'll be able to OC this card.

There doesn't appear to be much difference between these numbers and my ultra, which is what prompted my initial post, and leaves me to think that the only major difference is the extra bandwidth gained with PCI E 2.0.

Thanks for your thoughts, through reading this forum I've been able to get alot more out of FSX over the past several months.

Chris
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-23-2009 at 3:29pm

 

 

That sounds to me like a hardware failure or out of memory issue

is the OS 64bit?

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cbd80 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-23-2009 at 4:04pm
Yes, I moved to Vista 64 at Christmas. I was getting out of memory errors on the 32 bit system.

Not one since on the 64 bit OS as you'd imagine.

Just the card that's causing problems now.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-23-2009 at 4:39pm

 

 

If this is something that only happens with a 3PD aircraft and scenery then it is possible something in the product is causing the issue however if it is something that happenes without flying 3PD aircraft then I would suspect hardware/driver failure

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cbd80 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-23-2009 at 5:19pm
I fly 3PD aircraft a lot and it has done it with most. I can't recall it doing it with the likes of a cessena though.

I do like my settings high (higher than what you'd recommend). I do prefer to have anti-ailiasing set in the game along with Trilinear filtering, and 4096 texture load for clouds with REX.

I have tried setting texture load to 1024, which gave me a little longer before the card went. I also used to have Texture Bandwidth Mult at 80 with unlimited frames, but that caused immediate problems. I'm now at TBM of 60 with frames of 60, which has helped.

I have Scenery Complexity and Auto Gen at 100%.

One experiment I did try was to set the processor back to default settings. The scenery load on the sim was slower (I'd changed no sim settings) which did seem to improve smoothness of framerates, but overall the quality was a lot less, however, I did make it through a flight without problems for the first time in a long while.

That's what was making me think that the CPU is too much for the card. But as you say, it could actually be a hardware problem. I do occasionally get a message saying the 'driver has stopped responding and has recovered'.

Is there anyway I can determine if this is a hardware issue?

Thanks for your help.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-23-2009 at 5:43pm

 

 

You are more than likely pushing that well past the limits

Remove TBM completely from the config and try to run more resasonable sliders and see if it clears up

If you are using Nhancer what you are doing in the sim with respect to graphics settings is useless. Nhancer has little or no control and I would never run in game AA or AF unless DX10 were in use where that is required

Otherwise it would appear either a hardware failure is the cause.

If this does not happen on reduced settings with TBM removed no matter what the performance you are simply overdriving the system

My list was quite clear about 4096 textures along with bufferpools and high sliders.. there is no such thing as a free lunch and all those things combined with a heavy hitting 3PD aircraft are pushing the PCIe buss to is absolute limits

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cbd80 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-24-2009 at 5:05am
I've taken your advice and have reduced settings as follows:

Removed TBM from the fsx.cfg (I wasn't using bufferpools as this only made things worse)
Reduced Texture Load to 1024
Reduced Scenery Complexity and Auto Gen to Very Dense
Reduced Cloud Draw Distance to 60mi

My test flight is one that I've been trying to complete for a while; Boston Logan to La Guardia, I set the weather to Major Thunder Storms, flying a 757. I'm using GEX and UTX, with VoxATC for the traffic, REX for weather/airport textures.

After about 20mins of flight the screen froze and began to tear, then went blank and got a message saying 'Display Driver has Stopped Responding'.

So I guess it's either the hardware or still pushing too hard.

Thing is when I had my Q9450 OC'd to 3.5GHz I could run similar settings, if not a little higher, with no problems albeit slightly lower fps and a little less smooth at times.

I think I may look into getting a gtx 285, as given previous experience, things don't seem right. I certainly shouldn't get any worse performance from a gtx 285.

Thank you very much for your advice, it's really appreciated. I'm looking forward to GEX Europe when it's released.

Chris
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January-24-2009 at 9:41am

 

 

Its a hardware/driver failure, source could be video card or the system clock with respect to memory

'Display Driver has Stopped Responding' can be the card overheating, overclocked too far, defective, drivers themselves, system clock unstable, BIOS issue

There are a lot of different possibilities on that error

 

 

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