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Processor/Graphics card - update advice sought please

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'Tis a long time since I had occasion to ask for advice here but would appreciate any help with my query.


I am looking to update my computer a little. I would prefer not to completely replace the existing one for a number of reasons.


I'm reasonably computer literate but no expert. I have been using Flight Sim programs since Sublogic days and have flown R/W for many years. I am capable of replacing components in my machine.


I mainly use FSX (recently using OZx scenery) but still have FS9 and X-plane 9 on my machine.


I imagine an update to the main processor and the graphics card would give best increase in performance but I'm here for advice and welcome any observations. I'd rather not replace the Mother board if there are processors/graphics cards that would be useful upgrades and that are compatible with the existing one.


My machine spec:

XFX ATI Radion 5770 HD 1024 MB GDDR5 PCI-E Graphics card.


1 X Western Digital WDC WD5000 AAKS - 00V1A0 ATA Device (7200RPM 500Gb SATA HDD)

1 X Western Digital WDC WD3200 AAKS - 00V1A0 ATA Device (7200RPM 320Gb SATA HDD)


8Gb RAM:

(2 X Gig DDR3 Crucial Ballistix 1600MHz

6 X Gig Kingston DDR3 Hyper X 1600Mhz)




Windows 7 Home premium 64Bit


MSI 790FX-GD70 - Socket AM3 AMD 790FX SB750 Motherboard


AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition socket AM3 3.4GHz processor.


650Watt Power Supp.Unit


LG LCD Monitor running at 1920 X 1080


My sincere thanks for any help you are able to offer.



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Your AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE is the fastest CPU that the MSI 790FX-GD70 supports.

Without installing a new mobo there probably isn't anything to upgrade.

You could go for a newer Video Card, but, without a faster CPU, IMO, your performance increase would be minimal at best.

GPUz Will monitor your graphics card and log it if you want. Very useful to tell if your Video card is being pushed near it's limit. With FSX pushed hard, if your GPU load is consistently over 95%, and, the sim isn't smooth, then a GPU upgrade may help a little.

Go nVidia GTX 660 or better. The GTX 650 is on par with your HD 5770...Don

HAF 932 Adv, PC P&C 950w, ASUS R4E,i7-3820 5.0GHz(MCR320-XP 6 fans wet), GTX 970 FTW

16GB DDR3-2400, 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)

Active Sky Next, Rex4 TD/Soft Clouds

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Hi Don,

Many thanks for your comprehensive reply, I'm most grateful for you to take the time to help me. I feared that my motherboard might be on a sensible processor for it's time as I bought the computer when I went over to FSX a few years ago. FSX does run reasonably well and I'm afraid I'm of an age where I no longer keep abreast of all the technical data to compare the modern offerings - hence my query here. I do have a little gadget on my desktop which suggest the computer is not at full stretch but that of course depends upon where I fly. Further I doubt that it would be able to cope with the ORBX scenery which looks most appealing:-)


Perhaps I must change the motherboard afterall. It may be that I shall need to reconsider and buy a new computer altogether - I rather fancy trying some of the newer Flight Sims I read about although FSX (or even FS9) are still very entertaining, and I so dread all the reloading and setting up everything once more.


Many thanks again for your advice.

Kind Regards,


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