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Thread: Countdown Begins to Flight Simulator X:

  1. Default Countdown Begins to Flight Simulator X:

    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.

  2. Default RE: Countdown Begins to Flight Simulator X:

    We didn't say anything like that.

    For starters, a 500GB RAID only gives you 250GB of actual storagespace. I'm not going to bore everyone with a RAID primer here. Also, we recommeneded a 320GB RAID with twin 160s for a total of 180GB of actual storage space.

    Right, you won't need that to run FSX. We never said you did. We are recommending the best system for screaming performance. In fact, we may even upgrade that recommendation based on the lateste XPS from Dell with a quad Nvidia video system in it. Watch for a hardware review on that. It was just introduced at CES.

    As for AMD, we seldom touch the stuff. We did a review of an Alienware AMD-64 Aurora system about 18 months ago. Check it out. We liked the Aurora very much:
    [Link Expired]

    But, I am not going to engage in an argument over which CPU is better. Both are outstanding. We simply do not do much with AMD because we find that AMD systems are not very well supported. So, we do not recommend them. But we understand that many flightsimmers love AMD and that's just peachy with us.

    So, now that you are faced with the evidence, why are you so hostile?

    We do not receive a single penny in revenue from Intel or AMD. Our entire team simply has standardized on Intel CPUs and we love them. The whole FlightSim.Com operation runs on Intel CPUs, servers, desktops, notebooks -- the works. And we have never said anything bad about AMD-64. Read the review. So, why are you so amazingly defensive about it?

    Chill out. This AMD versus Intel diatribe has worn very thin and is a waste of good electrons, IMHO.

    We expressed ourselves perfectly in the FSX article. Microsoft is designing the product to showcase Windows Vista capabilities. It will sine on any Windows Vista 64-bit or 32-bit system whether it is AMD or Intel. But, it will blow your mind of a high performance, 64-bit Windows Vista system with major horsepower. What is so controversial about that?

    Microsoft realizes that the world is not going to pop for a $3K PC just to run FSX. It runs on a vast range of systems in 32 and 64-bit. The only thing it will not run on is 16-bit.

  3. Default RE: Countdown Begins to Flight Simulator X:

    First off let me say that I mean no ill will to you or your fellow posters. I love FS.* as well as all the dedicated people that contribute to the program through this great website.

    Next let me clarify what you said. You stated “A 500GB array that consists of two, 250GB drives would be best.” If you understand what RAID-0 actually means, along with what you said verbatim, a “500GB array consists of two 250GB drives”, this actually gives the user 500GB of storage space. Sorry to be nit-picky, but you are WRONG. You might be confused with a RAID-1 setup in witch you would only have 250GB, but have redundancy. The performance comes with RAID-0 in witch you would have 500GB and fast performance (as you stated).

    RAID-0 = 250GB + 250GB = 500GB total space in a stripped array, theoretically 2x the speed, although less in real world performance.

    I only mention this because you said you were recommending the best system currently available, and you are mistaken. I’m not going to go into the crazy stuff like multi cpu server rigs running scsi systems, only what is currently available for the average consumer.

    And to your next comment that goes: “We simply do not do much with AMD because we find that AMD systems are not very well supported.” What exactly does that mean? I challenge you to find any consumer product, including anything that runs with any flightsim product, past or present, that doesn’t run with an AMD processor. What exactly does that mean that “they are not very well supported?”

    Let me once again explain to you that I’m not against and CPU manufacturer. I even have family that works for Intel. I just think that if you are to give a recommendation for computer hardware, maybe you should educate yourself a little more before doing so.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    It's a little cold outside right now.

    Default RE: Countdown Begins to Flight Simulator X:

    I don't think people are trying to start a flame war or anything, it was just that the article specifically mentioned Intel everytime it mentioned a hardware component. Instead of saying that FSX will use the latest 64 bit processors, the article singled out Intel. With the new processors coming out this year from both companies, I think mentioning specifically will mislead people into missing out on great CPUs.

    That review of an Aurora system is for an Intel system, unless I misread something.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Sussex, United Kingdom.

    Default RE: Countdown Begins to Flight Simulator X:

    Hi Cap

    Happy New Year to you.

    Could you please enlarge a little on your comment 'We simply do not do much with AMD because we find that AMD systems are not very well supported. So, we do not recommend them. But we understand that many flightsimmers love AMD and that's just peachy with us.'

    I have had an AMD system now for 9 months which I use for work (presentations, etc), Video-editing (Pinnacle 9) and games (FPS, and particularly FS9). All this my system handles with ease and I run FS9 on an AMD4000 with a Radeon X700 and all sliders to the right. I would like you to be more specific about what is not 'well supported' about AMD systems as all I ever see promoted on is Intel, even though the whole world knows that AMD is a very worthy and competitive adversary. I chose my system based on advice and recommendations from many computer and gaming magazines, who didn't at all see Intel as having the monopoly on processors. Neither did any of them mention AMD being 'not well supported'.

    Even your link to a previous review on an 'AMD Alienware' system led us to an Intel system.

    It's a bit like the only system worth buying according to is a Dell system. This has arisen several times in the forums over the years. There are actually many more manufacturers selling equivalent systems more cheaply but for some reason these aren't mentioned.

    Finally, I don't mind pushing any product, but we should be advised if has a commercial interest in promoting a particular product. It does make a difference when you are looking for advice, and if wish to be seen to be offering impartial advice, then all suppliers need to be compared and the results shared with the members.

    Don't want to start a flame war, just interested in why you think AMD is not well-supported when the reality appears to be quite the opposite. I have yet to see a software package on which is written 'Intel Processors only'!

    Best regards


    I started out with nothing...and I still have most of it!
    I make good decisions based on my experience. My experience came from making bad decisions!

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