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Thread: System Requirements, hardware setup

  1. #1
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    Default System Requirements, hardware setup

    Hi,

    I got started with flight simulators by accident as a builder of 3D buildings for regional airports in Google Earth. So most of my experience has been with Google Earth FS.

    I recently took a stab at trying the free FSX version. Seems to run quite nicely although I have a lot to learn!

    Question: I've seen people on Youtube with incredible resolution and really realistic videos of their flights. Is this standard with FSX.

    I am interested in also flying aircraft like the C17. Does this come with FSX.

    I play on a laptop 1.6 GHz processor, 3GB of ram 64 bit OS. I can tell from the MS website what the system requirements are, but what is the sweetest setup to really do well with flying and capturing videos of the flights.

    Thanks,
    Pete

  2. #2
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    Hi Pete. Welcome to the Forum.

    Ignore the MS Marketing Department's FSX System Requirements! What they published will barely run FSX at minimum settings, at all.
    Your lappy will run FS9(FS2004cof) much, much better. You will still need to be very selective with the "eyecandy" sliders.

    To run FSX at med/high will roughly require:
    3GHz CPU speed(Dual Core min)
    4GB RAM. 6-8GB is better with a 64bit OS
    Video Card with capabilities of a GTS 250 or HD 4670 will be plenty.
    Hard Drive: 7200rpm with 32MB cache, 64MB cache is better, a Velociraptor is even better, and an SSD is best.
    Basically, anything less will run FS9 much better, and look better because FSX sliders will need to be backed off so far.

    FSX starts to really shine ~4GHz CPU speed. A GTX 550 Ti / GTX 650 will help a tad here.
    4.5GHz is Super, and will require a Video Card with the capabilities of a GTX 560 Ti, minimum. GTX 660 and up for best performance.

    To give an example of how demanding FSX is: My own rig is at 5.0GHz, RAMDisk for FSX, Fast, Fast, SSDs for Windows 7x64 and Add-Ons.
    I can not max everything without getting a slideshow at KJFK, with a detailed plane, and all of my traffic files installed...Don
    HAF 932 Adv, PC P&C 950w, ASUS R4E, i7-3820 5.0GHz(MCR320-XP 6 fans wet), HD 7970
    64GB Vengeance @ 1666MHz, 128GB SAMSUNG 830(Win 7 Ult x64), 512GB SAMSUNG 840 Pro(FSX P3D FS9)
    WD 1TB Black(FS98, CFS2&3, ROF, etc.), WD 2TB Black-(Storage/Backup)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by fxsttcb View Post
    Hi Pete. Welcome to the Forum.

    Ignore the MS Marketing Department's FSX System Requirements! What they published will barely run FSX at minimum settings, at all.
    Your lappy will run FS9(FS2004cof) much, much better. You will still need to be very selective with the "eyecandy" sliders.

    To run FSX at med/high will roughly require:
    3GHz CPU speed(Dual Core min)
    4GB RAM. 6-8GB is better with a 64bit OS
    Video Card with capabilities of a GTS 250 or HD 4670 will be plenty.
    Hard Drive: 7200rpm with 32MB cache, 64MB cache is better, a Velociraptor is even better, and an SSD is best.
    Basically, anything less will run FS9 much better, and look better because FSX sliders will need to be backed off so far.

    FSX starts to really shine ~4GHz CPU speed. A GTX 550 Ti / GTX 650 will help a tad here.
    4.5GHz is Super, and will require a Video Card with the capabilities of a GTX 560 Ti, minimum. GTX 660 and up for best performance.

    To give an example of how demanding FSX is: My own rig is at 5.0GHz, RAMDisk for FSX, Fast, Fast, SSDs for Windows 7x64 and Add-Ons.
    I can not max everything without getting a slideshow at KJFK, with a detailed plane, and all of my traffic files installed...Don
    So you're saying I should go with FS9 rather than FSX? Yeah I'm running a laptop right now, but lets say I had money to burn . . . do I go with FSX or FS9? And is it preferrable that I run it on my PC rather than my laptop. I guess what I'm saying is, I'd rather have the sweetest version of FS and make my hardware conform to it rather than the other way around.

    I want to do everything. I want to start the plane up from scratch, learn all the procedures, taxi the plane, EVERYTHING. And I want to get vids of it all once I get good.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthportGuy View Post
    ... I guess what I'm saying is, I'd rather have the sweetest version of FS and make my hardware conform to it rather than the other way around.

    I want to do everything. I want to start the plane up from scratch, learn all the procedures, taxi the plane, EVERYTHING. And I want to get vids of it all once I get good.
    You'll need about $1200 USD for a top end FSX'centric performance system. You will need to build it yourself from select quality components or you will need to have it built for you. Whomever builds it will need to also overclock the CPU/Motherboard into the 4.5GHz to 4.9Ghz range for best FSX performance on todays available hardware.

    Some FSX internet videos have been edited for "best presentation" and do not represent actual FSX in-game performance and/or detail. Ditto the FSX Demo. The sim will not run as well as the demo does on your present system. Not by a long shot.

    FSX is a beast. It ain't easy. Once tamed, it is a pleasure and the choice for home flight simulator software at present, generally speaking.
    Last edited by Paxx; 12-30-2012 at 12:26 PM.

  5. #5
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    FSX!

    You can build yourself a smokin' FSX rig for ~$1500usd, and an entry level, but decent, FSX desktop computer for ~$800.
    Paxx's How to build a Computer will give you an idea of how easy it really is.

    I'll go a little more in depth than the Master of U-Build-It!

    What you'll need:
    A Case with good airflow and enough space to accommodate your CPU cooling solution and drive arrangment.

    PSU: 600 Watt, 42+ amps @ 12v, PSU, or 15% greater than your Video Card selection requires. Whichever is greater.

    Motherboard:
    LGA 1155, Z68 chipset motherboards are "the" Sandy Bridge solution. They are a generation old but still function perfectly for FSX.
    An LGA 1155, Z77 chipset based motherboard with all of the I/O ports that you want, is today's Ivy Bridge solution.
    It has faster I/O and PCIe than Z68, and will also accommodate the Sandy Bridge CPUs.
    Or, an LGA 2011, X79(Sandy Bridge-E) based mobo for extreme SLI/CrossfireX gaming. That is for apps other than FSX(no help).
    I went X79 hoping(praying hard now) that next year's release of the Ivy Bridge-E will afford me even more CPU speed.

    CPU:
    LGA 1155(Sandy/Z68,Z77), i5-2500K, for an Overclockable Quad Core without HyperThreading(HT is useless for FSX, IMO), i7-2600K is faster and includes HT, i7-2700K fastest of the Sandy Bridge offerings.
    LGA 1155(Ivy), I5-3570K(no HT) or an i7-3770K(HT).
    The 3770K is a little faster, and it's HyperThreading can be disabled in the BIOS, for a tad more Overclocking headroom.
    A top shelf CPU cooler, be it Air, or Water, for the best stable Overclock.
    LGA 2011(X79), Budget Busters here, except the i7-3820.
    The unlocked i7-39xx, Enthusiast(30K) and Extreme(60X) level chips are a little easier to Overclock.
    I did get my i7-3820 to 5GHz, but, I'm not sure that my "Hog" motherboard wasn't the main reason.

    RAM: DDR3-1600 Low Latency, or faster. Consult the mobo mfg web page for the known compatible list. Forums help with that too.

    Hard Drive. This can also be a budget nightmare:
    Cheapest; 7200rpm Mechanical with 32MB cache minimum, 64MB is better.
    A 10,000rpm(WD Velociraptor) is better yet, but, the cost goes up with the performance.
    SSDs are nirvana, but, much more expensive.
    A 64GB SSD for Windows 7 64bit and your smaller apps, with a 128GB(or larger, think future add-ons) SSD for FSX alone, and a 1-2TB spinner for storage/backup is a very good solution for the entire system.

    Video Card: With a 4.5GHz+ Overclock you'll want a GTX 650 Ti, minimum. GTX 660 suggested.
    The AMD equivalents work fine too, but, nVidia cards do work slightly better in our sims.

    CD/DVD/BR Drive will be simply what you want or need.

    Windows 7 64bit. Home Premium limits you to 16GB, so, if it looks like you'll want more for other things go Pro or Ultimate.

    There is plenty of help, and lot's of similar posts, in the Hardware forum...Don
    Last edited by fxsttcb; 12-30-2012 at 12:58 PM.
    HAF 932 Adv, PC P&C 950w, ASUS R4E, i7-3820 5.0GHz(MCR320-XP 6 fans wet), HD 7970
    64GB Vengeance @ 1666MHz, 128GB SAMSUNG 830(Win 7 Ult x64), 512GB SAMSUNG 840 Pro(FSX P3D FS9)
    WD 1TB Black(FS98, CFS2&3, ROF, etc.), WD 2TB Black-(Storage/Backup)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paxx View Post
    The sim will not run as well as the demo does on your present system. Not by a long shot.
    Why is that?

  7. #7
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    Also, I called my local gaming place and they said they don't carry these kinds of PC games. How did you guys get your software? Did you download off the net or get the discs?

  8. #8
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    The Demo is a very limited and isolated area. It does not stress the computer near as much as the full program.
    You can usually find new boxed sets of FS2004cof(FS9), or FSX, on Amazon. Other sites such as e-Bay are options.
    If you do go for FSX get the "Gold" Edition. It includes FSX Deluxe plus the Acceleration Expansion, and will require no Service Packs...Don
    HAF 932 Adv, PC P&C 950w, ASUS R4E, i7-3820 5.0GHz(MCR320-XP 6 fans wet), HD 7970
    64GB Vengeance @ 1666MHz, 128GB SAMSUNG 830(Win 7 Ult x64), 512GB SAMSUNG 840 Pro(FSX P3D FS9)
    WD 1TB Black(FS98, CFS2&3, ROF, etc.), WD 2TB Black-(Storage/Backup)

  9. #9
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    So if I buy this software and try it on my laptop, do you think I'm going to be disappointed because may hardware is too minimal?

  10. #10
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    If a little decrease in Performance and/or Graphics, from what you saw with the Demo, is acceptable, then FSX won't be a disappointment.
    You probably won't be able to run any highly detailed add-ons, but, you will learn FSX, and be able to decide if a new computer is something you think is worthwhile.
    Once you are hooked, Stand By! This hobby can be expensive. It has also been called "Divorce on a Disk" ...Don
    HAF 932 Adv, PC P&C 950w, ASUS R4E, i7-3820 5.0GHz(MCR320-XP 6 fans wet), HD 7970
    64GB Vengeance @ 1666MHz, 128GB SAMSUNG 830(Win 7 Ult x64), 512GB SAMSUNG 840 Pro(FSX P3D FS9)
    WD 1TB Black(FS98, CFS2&3, ROF, etc.), WD 2TB Black-(Storage/Backup)

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