Recently, I had a crash on my old ASUS P4C800 Deluxe Motherboard/Intel 3.2 CPU combination and would like to believe that I was forced into the following upgrade (without a great deal of arm twisting I might add.) My wife was tired of me working on it, and said just buy a new one. Of course she meant a shelf unit that would set me free. I am sure I don't have to go through any explaination on my feeling relative to that if you are into homebuilts and the cost of putting together your own system with premium components compared to buying from XXXX (Assuming that they even offer top notch combinations).
Upgraded Components were as follows:
1. ASUS P5N-E-SLI NF650I SLI 775 Motherboard
2. Intel C2D E6600 2.4G 775 4M R CPU
3. 4GB Kingston DII800 KVR800D2N5/1G R Memory
4. PNY VCG8800XXPB 8800GTX 768MB R Video Card
5. BFGR1000WOSU RT 1000 Watt Power Supply
6. Super Power Beige ATX Full Tower Case
7. Four 80mm each Case Fans
All other components unless I forgot to list something were retained from my previous system before the upgrade. I did add round IDE cables.
The motherboard is overclocked @ 10% by the ASUS preset overclocking option. The 8800GTX is overclocked @ 15% above factory settings. Anything higher than that was suspect.
Results were pleasing, at least to me.
Note: No tweaks to speak of relative to FSX. I even reactivated the default.xml which I previously had renamed.
1. I normally run full screen resolution @ 1260x960x32, sometimes changing to 1600x1200x32
2. Global texture resolution: Very High
3. Advanced animations checked (Haven't tried Lens Flare or Light Bloom yet.
4. Filtering has been set to either Trilinear or Anisotropic. Frankly, thus far I have not seen any difference.
5. I also have not been able to determine much difference between program controlled anti-aliasing, or Video card control. Other posts have said use FSX control, a bit different from fS9.
6. Global settings are ultra High
7. 2d Instrument Panel default
8. High Resolution 3-d virtual cockpit is checked
9. Transparency % is set to 0
10. All Exterior settings are checked
11. All scenery settings are full right with the exception of water effects, which is set at Low 2.x (Haven't experimented too much yet)
12. Weather is at the default settings, global very low, rate medium. I have used the Jeppesen downloaded weather updating every 15 minutes but have not experimented here yet either.
13. All traffic is set @ 50% with the exception of road vehicles @ 100%. All aircraft labels are checked with the exception of User Aircraft.
14. Frame Rate Setting is set to 30.
Away from metropolitan cities like NY, frame rates are in the mid-twenties to 30. With a higher limit, it has run well above these figures, but with a pretty good deal of cycling. From KJFK for a scenic tour of Manhattan, frame rates still drop down into the low teens. Spot view seems to be affected more than the cockpit view. If you keep your eye on your aircraft, she is reasonably smooth. If you look at the horizon, you can still see a bit of the slide show. It is flyable and surprisingly smooth unless you are a firm purest.
FSX Conclusions (IMHO). Things are improving. At places like NY, she if useable, but by no means perfect (Then on the other hand, neither was FS9 IN THE PAST). The GPS is a real hog on a secondary monitor much more than it has been in the past. Im beginning to buy into the FSX scenery but with Ultimate Terrain, Misty Fjords, FSGenesis, USA Roads etc. etc. in FS9, there still is not a decisive difference to me personally, but this probably needs some additional peeking. The traffic is just great (I may be carried away with the novelty).
1. In short: Everything to the far right, checked, and maxed out.
2. I use FSMETEO for real weather conditions
3. FSNAV is always on my third monitor and one of my favorites.
2. I have set the frame rate limit as high as 80, and under good conditions it has cycled in the 70's to that setting.
3. With a limit set at 30, flying from SimFlyers KJFK over Manhattan she runs in the mid to high 20's to that setting and for the first time is smooth. With SimFlyers KJFK this should tell you something.
4. For the first time, I can put a full screen spot view on the secondary monitor and fly as smooth as silk.
Frankly, school is still out to me personally on FSX, but ASSUMING that eventually third party aircraft, scenery, coastlines and other water scenery, and utilities equal to or better than FS9 evolve, there is hope and it may turn into the cat's whiskers in coming months.
For FS9, with the new hardware it is like having a new flightsim package itself. Until new improved third party aircraft, utilities etc. appear for FSX it is going to be hard to leave the old girl.
Future speculation: VISTA, but with a great deal of apprehension and a bit of suspicion. From what I read, some product reaction is that no drivers will ever be available, and they want you to just buy new equipment from them that is compatible with Vista. One of my Laser printers is in question there, and I will not negate it. I guess dual booting is a solution, but this scenario still sticks in my craw. It is like driving your one year old car into the garage, and the dealer telling you they want service it because we want you to buy a new one. This is not necessarily Microsoft's fault and may be
pinned on the greed of other suppliers IMHO.
The following is a complete list of my system components. I might mention that the P5N-E-SLI motherboard reduces to the 8x multiplier in SLI mode. The single card mode gives 16x performance like anything else available which makes this issue accademic to me personally as I will never implement SLI which negates multiple monitors. Multiple monitors are mandatory to me and have been for many years. In fact, if I ever get another 8800, I will probably add another 21" monitor I have in storage for a total of four.
Happy flying, and I hope there is something here that might be of use to somebody:
ASUS P5N-E-SLI NF650I SLI 775 Motherboard
Intel C2D E6600 2.4G 775 4M R CPU
Zalman CNPS7700-CU RT CPU Cooling Fan
4GB Kingston DII800 KVR800D2N5/1G R Memory
PNY VCG8800XXPB 8800GTX 768MB R Video Card
Latest NVIDIA 8800 Drivers
Secondary Graphics Diamond Stealth III S540 PCI Video Card
Latest S3 Graphics Inc. Savage4 Drivers for Stealth III card
21” Pro Series P815 Primary Monitor off of 8800GTX Card
21” Pro Series P815 Secondary Monitor off of 8800GTX Card
19: CTX third Monitor off of Stealth III PCI card
2 each Segate 80GB SATA Harddrives
2 each 80GB U100 Harddrives
2 each IDE to SATA Adapter converters
These 4 drives are configured in a Raid0 Array
1 each Segate 250 GB UIDE Backup Harddrive
Std. Floppy Drive
Konica Minolta Magicolor 2400W Color Laser Printer
TI Microlaser Plus Laser Printer
Epson 2480 Photo Scanner
CH Pro USB Pedals
CH USB FlightSim Yoke
Microsoft FFB2 USB Joystick
Logitech cordless mouse
FS9 + FSX
Fsgenesis Landclass and Mesh
High Speed Cable Internet/email Service with Router/Home Network
Audigy 2 ZS Platinum Sound to Creative Inspire 5.1 5200 Speakers
BFGR1000WOSU RT 1000 Watt Power Supply
FS9 Patch 18.104.22.168901
Super Power Beige ATX Full Tower Case
Four 80mm each Case Fans