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rc flyer
06-29-2009, 06:23 PM
My beloved Dell XPS laptop was stolen from my car on June 18th and now that the trauma if fading somewhat I'm looking to replace it. I was going to just get another XPS but after visisting the Dell sight it looks as if these are being replaced by the Alienware line. After looking at all the configurations many times I have one I'm pretty sure is the best as far as running FSX but I sure would appreciate some input on a couple of the choices.
My main two concerns are the processor and the graphics (duh) . I can't seem to find a definitive answer on the question of how many cores FSX is able to take advantage of and also if SLI is used or not.
As far as the processors go, these are my choices and right now I'm leaning toward the 2.9 GHZ Duo. :

Core 2 Duo
Intel® Core™2 Duo P8600 2.4GHz (3MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB) [Included in Price]
Intel® Core™2 Duo P8700 2.53GHz (3MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB) [add $50 or $2/month1]
Intel® Core™2 Duo T9600 2.8GHz (6MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB) [add $200 or $6/month1]
Intel® Core™2 Duo T9800 2.93GHz (6MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB) [add $450 or $14/month1]

Core 2 Quad
Intel® Core™2 Quad Q9000 2.0GHz (6MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB) [add $250 or $8/month1]
Intel® Core™2 Quad Q9100 2.26GHz (12MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB) [add $800 or $24/month1]

Core 2 Extreme
Intel® Core™2 Extreme Quad QX9300 2.53GHz (12MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB) [add $1,000 or $30/month1]

A far as GPU I'm leaning toward the GTX 280M even if FSX doesn't use SLI:

Single NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 260M, 1GB [Included in Price]

SLI Solutions
Dual NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 260M, 2GB – SLI® Enabled [add $300 or $9/month1]
Dual NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 280M, 2GB – SLI® Enabled [add $600 or $18/month1

Heres the whole system I'm considering:

My Components
SYSTEM COLOR Space BlackAnodized Aluminum
PROCESSOR Intel® Core2 Duo T9800 2.93GHz (6MB Cache, 1066MHz FSB)
OPERATING SYSTEM Windows Vista Home Premium (64 bit) + Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Coupon
VIDEO CARD Dual NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 280M, 2GB SLI® Enabled
LCD PANEL 17-inch WideUXGA 1920x1200 (1200p)
MEMORY 4GB Dual Channel DDR3 at 1066MHz
HARD DRIVE 256GB Solid State Drive
INTERNAL OPTICAL DRIVE Slot-Load Dual Layer DVD Burner (DVD+-RW, CD-RW)
WARRANTY AND SERVICE 1Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty, InHome Service after Remote Diagnosis
Personalize
ALIENRESPAWN DVD AlienRespawn Image Recovery DVD
ALIENFX COLOR Quasar Blue
AVATAR Alienhead 3D
RSS FEEDS Alienware RSS Feed
My Accessories
ALSO INCLUDED WITH YOUR SYSTEM
BLUETOOTH Internal Wireless Bluetooth® 2.1 with EDR
WIRELESS CARDS Internal 300Mbps Dual-Band a/g/n Wireless with MIMO Technology
Adobe Software Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9.0
WINDOWS STYLE Windows Style, Default
MOUSE POINTERS Mouse Pointers, Standard
POWER PLAN Power Plan, High Performance
AUTOMATIC UPDATES Automatic Updates ON
TIME ZONE (GMT - 6.00) Central Time (US & Canada)
Standard Nameplate

Sorry this is such a long post but all suggestions in regard to the alienware laptop are welcome. Thanks for reading thru all this and I hope to be flying with you all again soon.
I MISS MY FSX!!!!!!!!!!

Steve

ytzpilot
06-29-2009, 07:45 PM
Nice Laptop...I've always been happy with Dell laptops. I am on the side against FSX on laptops even though that one would run FSX great.

Right now I have a Dell laptop for all my work, MS Office, MP3's, Photo's, Movies...etc

I have a custom built desktop just for FSX...This keeps the two separate and the FSX machine is always tuned for FSX.

Custom building is reasonable cost these days and for the price of that laptop you could buy a low end Dell XPS for your work and build an FSX machine just for FSX...

At least that way you won't have a laptop stolen out of your car with FSX and all of the costly add-ons gone as well.

Just my thought.

arclight
06-29-2009, 09:30 PM
Be careful with SLI and FSX. First FSX does not utilize SLI as you stated but it also will take up resources (memory). I have a Alienware desktop,Quad Core2 Extreme processor, 4gigs ram and two 8800 gt in SLI config. I ended up taking one of the video cards out to improve my performance, which it did, once I removed the second video card. So unless you plan on using the computer for other things that require( which I can't think of anything that would use the two video cards) I would save some money and and just get one video card. Just my opinion.

rc flyer
06-29-2009, 10:23 PM
Nice Laptop...I've always been happy with Dell laptops. I am on the side against FSX on laptops even though that one would run FSX great.

Right now I have a Dell laptop for all my work, MS Office, MP3's, Photo's, Movies...etc

I have a custom built desktop just for FSX...This keeps the two separate and the FSX machine is always tuned for FSX.

Custom building is reasonable cost these days and for the price of that laptop you could buy a low end Dell XPS for your work and build an FSX machine just for FSX...

At least that way you won't have a laptop stolen out of your car with FSX and all of the costly add-ons gone as well.

Just my thought.

Thanks for the suggestion but my situation is somewhat unique. My job as an NC maintenance electrician means I have times when there is literally nothing to do but wait for the next problem on a machine to arise. That's why they permit me to use my laptop at work. So I just use it for FSX and some Photoshop stuff. As far as getting it stolen out of the car, I just got lazy and stop taking it in the house. That WON'T happen again!!!

Steve

rc flyer
06-29-2009, 10:26 PM
Be careful with SLI and FSX. First FSX does not utilize SLI as you stated but it also will take up resources (memory). I have a Alienware desktop,Quad Core2 Extreme processor, 4gigs ram and two 8800 gt in SLI config. I ended up taking one of the video cards out to improve my performance, which it did, once I removed the second video card. So unless you plan on using the computer for other things that require( which I can't think of anything that would use the two video cards) I would save some money and and just get one video card. Just my opinion.

Thanks, that's interesting. I posted this over on avsim and had someone tell me just the opposite and that he uses them to do every other frame and he would never go back to just one card. Think he said he was using Nhancer to accomplish this. You mention you have a Quad Core Extreme. I heard processor speed is a factor as well as # of Cores. In other words would a faster Duo be comparable to a slower Quad?

Steve

ytzpilot
06-29-2009, 10:49 PM
Thanks for the suggestion but my situation is somewhat unique. My job as an NC maintenance electrician means I have times when there is literally nothing to do but wait for the next problem on a machine to arise. That's why they permit me to use my laptop at work. So I just use it for FSX and some Photoshop stuff. As far as getting it stolen out of the car, I just got lazy and stop taking it in the house. That WON'T happen again!!!

Steve

That sucks about it getting stolen. Never had it happen to me and I worry about it at times....

I just got FSX going on both my laptop and desktop tonight for the first time as I was curious how it would work on my Laptop. I used the Laptop as the control tower and flew circuits around on my desktop. It was pretty cool actually.

That Laptop you are looking at is really cool so if you go with it...Have fun.

From what I know about Dual SLI Cards, if you are using larger resolutions or multiple monitors they work better. Since Laptops come with a monitor and a monitor port....You may benefit from it. Perhaps your work has a projector to make use of.

I'm a tinkerer and with that Laptop you are looking at I would have a projector hooked up to it with FSX in no time.

rc flyer
06-29-2009, 11:17 PM
That sucks about it getting stolen. Never had it happen to me and I worry about it at times....

I just got FSX going on both my laptop and desktop tonight for the first time as I was curious how it would work on my Laptop. I used the Laptop as the control tower and flew circuits around on my desktop. It was pretty cool actually.

That Laptop you are looking at is really cool so if you go with it...Have fun.

From what I know about Dual SLI Cards, if you are using larger resolutions or multiple monitors they work better. Since Laptops come with a monitor and a monitor port....You may benefit from it. Perhaps your work has a projector to make use of.

I'm a tinkerer and with that Laptop you are looking at I would have a projector hooked up to it with FSX in no time.

You're correct, It DOES SUCK! Thankfully I had just backed up all my pics and my FSX add-ons to a 1TB eSATA drive. Funny you should mention the projector thing. We have lots of conference rooms with projectors and laptop inputs but I'm pretty sure I'd get canned for that LOL.

Steve