System Upgrade. Please advize. Thx!

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UncleVito
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System Upgrade. Please advize. Thx!

Post by UncleVito » Fri Apr 07, 2006 8:43 am

Hi all,

First of all I am new on this forum, and did some reading in this section before registering. Since I didn't really found what I was looking for, I'll post my question below.

First of all my current pc configuration:

- Windows XP Home Edition SP2
- Asus Vintage PE-1
- Celeron D with 2.55 Ghz
- 1 Gig Ram 400Mhz (upgraded this recently)
- ATI Raedeon 9550 AGP with 256MB Ram onboard
- 80 GB Harddisk 7200RMP, ATA133
- Installed: FS2004, FS Traffic, 737 pmdg, Ground Environment, World mesh, JF flying club, and some other payware scenery and aircraft.

First, at this time I'm experiencing rather bad framerates, for instance at LAX final approach I'm getting like 5-6 fps, with medium fs settings (autogen, aa turned off, 1280x1024x32). I can live with it,since I try to avoid the denser areas. Once I have enough altitude or in less dense areas, I'm going to more acceptable framerates somewhere between 22-26. Finals in small airports give me about 16-18 fps.

Second, what I hate even more, is waiting a couple of seconds in virtual cockpit or spot plane mode, when I rotate the view to an airport (small or large, whatever). Seems like my systems needs some time to draw the airport. It doesn't make much difference how far from the airport I am.

Now, about the planned upgrade. What would you advize me to upgrade?
I'll have to go in steps, cause I don't really have lots of cash available at the moment.

It's quite obvious that choices are: cpu upgrade OR video card upgrade.
In my case, what would recommend to upgrade: cpu or gpu?

I was thinking about a P4, 3Ghz EMT64 socket 775 as CPU, or a gpu around the same price. Common sense tells me that my cpu is the killer in this config, but I'd like to hear it from the experts ;)

If this is not the case, what gpu would you advize me (agp, not pci-e!!)?
I have a small upgrade budget of about 200$.

Thanks a lot for your time and reply ;).
Cheers,
Vito

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Post by 121a » Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:02 pm

If you upgraded the CPU , then you may need to change your motherboard as well. That will then force you to either buy another board with onboard graphics, and those graphics suck. You could just buy a gpu and have possible the same problem, but it is most likley you will not. Both need to be upgraded, you could spend a $120 on a video card, or spend your 200 on a new board and CPU. Go with AMD insted of Intel.
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FS9 on high-40 (locked) fps 35-40fps at high traffic airports
FSX high-low 30 (locked) fps 20fps at deserted airports

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Post by UncleVito » Fri Apr 07, 2006 1:15 pm

Yes, indeed, you are absolutely right. If I would buy the cpu I mentioned above, that would mean I'd have to change the m/b as well, since the PE-1 isn't 64bit enabled :( (just discovered that a few minutes ago).

I've just called my regular pc-parts store, and they have only 1 cpu left that I could use: P4 506 LGA775 2.66Ghz Prescott, which is compatible with the asus m/b. Upgrading the m/b and cpu for amd will simply cost me too much at the moment, and also i'd need to buy a pci-e gpu as well.
so too many €€€ :(

Do you guys think the upgrade to this p4 2.66 is worth it?

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Post by 09El_Boissevain » Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:05 pm

I don't see a graphics card on your computer specs. Just buy a graphics card, increases those framerates like magic :D .
BTW, if you really don't have one, buy a FX5500 256MB. It's not the best one around but it does handle FS really well, unless you have a 35Gb library like mine...

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Post by Tenspace » Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:51 pm

El, he wrote: ATI Raedeon 9550 AGP with 256MB Ram onboard

That would be the graphics card. :)

I agree with the others, Vito. You can save money by not getting a high-end motherboard, if you don't want SLI or RAID.

Go for a Socket 939 board from Asus, Epox, Foxconn, Abit... you shouldn't have a problem finding a decent board for less than $80(US). Add an AMD Athlon 64 chip like the X2 3800+ for $120 (or the single-core Venice line) and you've got your board/CPU upgrade. A new video card can run anywhere from $100 and up. THere are a couple of deals on 6200TC's and 7300GS's right now for less than $100. If you can afford it, try to get at least a 7800 GT model; probably for about $250.

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Post by Mythrilfan » Fri Apr 07, 2006 4:52 pm

hmm. actually tenspace, what You just said does not make much sense to me. First off, do x2's really ship for just 100 in the US? if this is the case then it seems like they are murdering us here (400+). Secondly, i dont see why he should think about budget cards, those things suck and are NOT for any kind of gaming (except for hl1 maybe) and dont support a whole bunch of stuff that You will probarbly need in the future. and then why go from budget right to high-end? there's 7600gt too You know... killer card for that money. pci-e of course. oh wait a minute, 250 for a 7800gt? now thats someting. i'm looking at that price here for the 7600gt.

what i would suggest is NOT buying the slow and old intel. save your cents and go with a whole new system in some time. the pentium IS faster than the celeron but its not worth it. what could help You is an agp 6600gt, its a nice card but it does cost a bit too (not as much as the 7800 or 7900 line of geforces of course :roll: and lower than the 7600, too) so You have to think about it for a bit. it wont be a concorde though, that celeron is slow. and You'd have to dump it when You buy a new system.
in the meantime, turn Your resolution down and go with xga (1024x768), i dont think it is good to run with that system at Your current resolution.
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Post by Tenspace » Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:46 pm

Mythrilfan wrote:hmm. actually tenspace, what You just said does not make much sense to me. First off, do x2's really ship for just 100 in the US? if this is the case then it seems like they are murdering us here (400+)
Sorry for the confusion. The venice single-core chips are just over $100. An x2 3800+ starts at about $300.
Secondly, i dont see why he should think about budget cards, those things suck and are NOT for any kind of gaming (except for hl1 maybe) and dont support a whole bunch of stuff that You will probarbly need in the future.
He's doing this on a budget. If he has $350+ to spend on a 7800GT, or GTX, that's fine. But he is already looking at $200-300 for a mobo/cpu. And if he goes with a high end card, he'll need a new PSU as well. The 7300GS and below only need 250-300w power supplies.

and then why go from budget right to high-end? there's 7600gt too You know... killer card for that money. pci-e of course. oh wait a minute, 250 for a 7800gt? now thats someting. i'm looking at that price here for the 7600gt.
Right again. I meant 7600GT, not 7800.
what i would suggest is NOT buying the slow and old intel. save your cents and go with a whole new system in some time. the pentium IS faster than the celeron but its not worth it. what could help You is an agp 6600gt, its a nice card but it does cost a bit too (not as much as the 7800 or 7900 line of geforces of course :roll: and lower than the 7600, too) so You have to think about it for a bit.
Yes, a 6600GT or 7600GS card should be in the $130-$160 range.

it wont be a concorde though, that celeron is slow. and You'd have to dump it when You buy a new system.
in the meantime, turn Your resolution down and go with xga (1024x768), i dont think it is good to run with that system at Your current resolution.[/quote]

Thanks for keeping me honest, Mythril. I must've been asleep when I posted. :)

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Post by 121a » Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:57 pm

What ever you do do not get a 7300 for i heard they, ................well suck.
goto www.newegg.com for comp parts. :D
Specs
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8gb Corsair Dual Channel DDR2 800
Zotac 9800GTX OC'ed
250gb WD sata 3gb/s
650w Corsair PSU
FS9 on high-40 (locked) fps 35-40fps at high traffic airports
FSX high-low 30 (locked) fps 20fps at deserted airports

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Post by 09El_Boissevain » Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:55 am

erhem... May I just hop in a little bit? :D
Where do I see what CPU I am currently using? Because I am not sure wether I have a strong or weak CPU as I am having the same problem as Vito here with big airports. It might be the graphics card, an some people mentioned to me here, or the CPU. I can't figure out the pieces of the puzzle until I know what kind of CPU I have. Starting from then I can finally make a final judgement (perhaps with the help from the experts here, of course! :lol: )

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Post by UncleVito » Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:16 am

Hi people!

Thanks for all your feedbacks!
As a first step I finally bought the P4, 3Ghz EMT64 processor, and installed it this morning. So, it is compatible with the m/b! Ofcourse the next step will be to replace my gpu, and I'm hoping of doing that next month ;)

Well, I've noticed most of you are amd minded, (I'm not going to start this discussion). but given the prices and available cpu's here in belgium, switching to amd would have cost me about 300$ without the new gpu wich I would then need to upgrade to pci express also.

Therefor I chose to keep the m/b and upgrade the cpu as first step.
I payed this cpu 170$. Next thing will be the gpu, and I saw already some agp gpu's. Is it possible there is somethign like a nvidia 7300?
the 7-series is the latest, no? Or is the 6600 series better?

Anyways, first result of the upgrade of cpu and (as Mythrilfan suggested) I downed the resolution to 1024*768. Visually it indeed has not much difference. From both, I now have quite good results: where I spoke of 5-6 fps, I now have 15-16 ;) High up in the sky, (and now with 3d clouds enabled) I'm at 28 fps ;)

So, I'm happy with the first step of my upgrade. I hope the new gpu next month will have a similar impact ;)

So, Thanks for your advice again!! Some more thoughts on the gpu would be nice ;)

cya !!

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Post by UncleVito » Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:47 am

09El_Boissevain wrote:erhem... May I just hop in a little bit? :D
Where do I see what CPU I am currently using? Because I am not sure wether I have a strong or weak CPU as I am having the same problem as Vito here with big airports. It might be the graphics card, an some people mentioned to me here, or the CPU. I can't figure out the pieces of the puzzle until I know what kind of CPU I have. Starting from then I can finally make a final judgement (perhaps with the help from the experts here, of course! :lol: )

Capt. El :D
you can see it during boot sequense. If not, you can look it up in your bios. if not, in windows, hit the windows key + break. this will show your cpu + ram.

cya,
Vito

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Post by 121a » Sat Apr 08, 2006 2:38 pm

There are other safer ways. Why safer, because some times people will go into the BIOS and see something intresting (cpu frequence) and change it, maybe leading to overheating or damage.

http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4181.html

This tool will tell you everything you need to know, and more.
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650w Corsair PSU
FS9 on high-40 (locked) fps 35-40fps at high traffic airports
FSX high-low 30 (locked) fps 20fps at deserted airports

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Post by 09El_Boissevain » Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:40 pm

Thanx. Now I'll see what I can do. :wink:

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Post by 09El_Boissevain » Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:04 pm

THis is what I got with computer summary. Is this great? Or is there something that could be improved and/or upgraded? If there is, please tell me! Thanx. :D

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Post by 121a » Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:41 pm

It does look OK. If you have bad fps them your gfx card is the problem, not your cpu.
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FS9 on high-40 (locked) fps 35-40fps at high traffic airports
FSX high-low 30 (locked) fps 20fps at deserted airports

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Post by tropicalfish » Sun Apr 09, 2006 3:10 am

elmo, (is that your name?) its not neccesarily your graphics card... on average what are you frame rates? somethimes its just the additional programs running and taking up memory
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Post by 09El_Boissevain » Sun Apr 09, 2006 8:36 am

Yes, my name is Elmo :wink: . My grafix card is FX5500 perhaps that is the problem? I have 35gigs of add-ons :lol:
But you say my CPU is strong right?
BTW, I close all programs in the small icons on the low-right corner (to the right of the minimized programs bar.). I occasionally run SmartClose, but that causes some problems as I get many error reports that programs have unexpectedly closed.

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Post by tropicalfish » Sun Apr 09, 2006 1:37 pm

ok, but is your AVERAGE FRAME RATES?
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Post by 09El_Boissevain » Sun Apr 09, 2006 2:20 pm

I said that it varies greatly from place to place (sorry, I might not have said that :lol: ). . Yes, it varies greatly. At cruise height average is 20-35fps. At ground level it is 15-20fps. At airports it can be from 4-15fps depending of the amount of detail and/or traffic density.

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Post by Mythrilfan » Sun Apr 09, 2006 8:35 pm

Captain El.

How many times do i have to tell You, YOUR GRAPHICS CARD DOES NOT HAVE A CLUE ON HOW MANY ADD-ONS YOU HAVE FOR FS. THAT JOB IS FOR THE CPU AND HD.
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Post by 09El_Boissevain » Sun Apr 09, 2006 8:44 pm

Wait a minute... hold up! One is saying my CPU shouldn't be the problem, but my grafix card. And another says my CPU is being taxed heavily due to add-ons and the grafix card has nothing to do with it. Well, I tell you this, and perhaps the last thing: I have replaced many texture files in FS and that could be the problem of my overall fps loss AND as I set the resolution higher. Now this could be both the CPU and my grafix card that could be taxed quite a bit. But to what more do I need to upgrade my CPU? It is already one of the top notch CPUs in the stores here in Egypt! Ok, Myth I know I have asked this again nad again, and you reply the same thing again. THe thing is, the next times I asked is always when another piece(s) of the puzzle are added to it. And now this is the final piece. Now. What is my problem now??? Is it the CPU or the grafix card??? This is final and I won't ask again. Deal?

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Post by Mythrilfan » Sun Apr 09, 2006 10:32 pm

Ha, if You must ask it that way, it is Your gfx card. The fx5500 is by no means a new card and even my current one is having trouble with my high-res textures. Adding textures to that card is not a smart thing to do (unless they are smaller). what i said in my previous post is only that Your fs library size does not matter to Your gfx card. be it 100mb or 100tb, the gfx card still struggles the same amount.
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Post by 09El_Boissevain » Mon Apr 10, 2006 7:06 am

Aha, ok, now I get it. Now it is making a lot more sense.
Oh, and by the way, I think this is another big information: fps are lower in big and detailed airports (or even smaller airports like TNCM), but loading between views (like switching from Spot view to Cockpit view) takes less than a fraction of a second. :D
OK, so I take this as that my grafix card is the problem of my slower framerates, right?

As for you, Vito, if you want us to see what kind of computer you have by posting up a pic of your computer summary (like I did (using that little program linked in this thread)), we can see what your framerate problem is. :D and we can tell you what to upgrade futrher for the best results possible.

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Post by viche12345 » Mon Apr 10, 2006 8:13 am

According to the info already displayed in this thread and my knowledge, I agree with you. The video card is at fault. I'm not very good at recommendations...sorry.
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