Countdown Begins to Flight Simulator X:
Microsoft Releases Official Screenshots
By Cap Mason, Andrew Herd and Nels Anderson
It's amazing to me the 3 people who posted this early speculation of what they think FSX will be and the system that will be required to run it.
In the article it says that they recommend at least:
“a 3.2 GHz Pentium 4 processor and 533 FSB. My best recommendation is a system with an Intel Pentium 4 Processor 670 that runs at 3.8 GHz with an 800 MHz front Side Bus (FSB). You'll also want hyperthread technology (HT), 2MB cache and Intel PCI Express graphics for maximum performance and mind-blowing results.”
It’s funny that there is absolutely no recommendation of an AMD processor in the entire article even though AMD has been leading the industry in pure performance as well as power consumption and pure technology, for more than 2 years now. It makes me wonder if these are people sent from Intel to boost sales. AMD’s integrated memory controller and the dual core hyper transport technology, really leave Intel in the dust for performance.
Also it’s important to note that the latest Intel CPUs and certainly those that will be available during the launch time of FSX, do not have hyperthreading.
Intel is behind in the CPU wars and will continue to be in at least the next fiscal year. I would think that 3 people posting a recommendation for things to come in the computer industry would know this. It’s important for the flightsim community that if you have a recommendation for hardware on a new system, that you first understand the software to be run (FSX), and also be knowledgeable with the available hardware to run the system and not just be a cheerleader for a company that is way behind in the technology. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an Intel hater, I just go to whoever has the best technology at the time. I’ve had plenty of Intel systems in the past, but to me, I think it’s irresponsible to recommend only Intel products, when AMD is, and has been, the performance leader for years.
Also when talking about dual cores and 64 bit technology, lets not forget that it was AMD who first created and put to use the technology of 64 bit.
The article continues:
“Two drives are far better than one. You can run FSX with a single hard drive provided you have plenty of room for the new application and all the add-ons you'll be getting for free from FlightSim.Com or buying from the payware developers. But, consider the benefit of a dual drive RAID array that's optimized for gaming performance. A 500GB array that consists of two, 250GB drives would be best. If you need less overall storage, you could downsize to a 320GB array with twin 160GB matched drives. The primary benefit of RAID array for gaming is that it dramatically increases system hard drive input-output performance by a whopping 50%”
Again, the authors are suggesting that you buy 2x 256GB hard drives to run in RAID-0. Although I do agree that RAID does boost hard drive performance, if you really wanted to suggest something that would be faster, it would be the new Western Digital raptor drives that run at 10,000 rpm and utilize NCQ, 16MB cache, and SATA at 150GB each. The raptor drives be far superior in terms of performance due to NCQ and 10,000 rpm.
I can guarantee you that you will not need ½ a terabyte of storage to run FSX. I hope that it’s great and big, but there is no way that you will need 500GB of storage space.
This is just my 2 cents as a computer hardware and flightsim enthusiast and I hope that everyone reading this will take the time to do a little research of their own before going out and buying a bunch of hardware recommended to them by one columnist.