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Prepar3d - Best Buy PC - Advice

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I'll make this a brief as possible and I'm sorry if this comes off as lazy or repetitive but I'm very overwhelmed and am seeking guidance.


I have a budget of $2000 to spend at Best Buy for a computer to run Prepar3d or FSX. I know that building my own rig would be the best option, but these funds are on a Best Buy Credit Card, therefore it is not an option. I was an avid flight simmer from FS98 thru FS2004 (much simpler days) and have recently started taking real flight lessons in which i want to practice for.


Basically: If you had to choose a PC from Best Buy with a max price range of $2000, which would you buy? I've done a lot of research on specs but have become overwhelmed due to my options being limited to an off the shelf machine. There are 27 options and I limited my brands to Alienware and CyberPower PC. (custom list below)




*I plan on installing a lot of scenery and add-on aircraft by the way.


My name is John and any advice is appreciated. I know the amount isn't a lot.



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What others might choose as opposed to what you might choose (so long as it is an informed choice they are making) could differ for entirely sensible reasons, so what might help you to decide is to be informed on what will suit what you want to do in the simulator as far as display options are concerned.


Graphics-wise, there are a few choices on the machines available to you at the link you posted, most of which centre around NVidia cards for their graphics. Personally I use an AMD card myself and find that runs P3D well, but given most of the choices you have there for graphics are NVidia, it helps to know what are their strong points and we'll ignore AMD cards since there are only one or two listed at that shop and they aren't particularly fancy ones either. So...


The GTX 1080 is well suited to displaying at 4K on multi monitors, and is also good for VR, the 1070 is not quite as up to running such high resolutions and whilst it can handle VR okay (because VR is still at a point where the resolution is fairly low) it nevertheless won't be quite as smooth if you regard having 4K resolution as a must (personally I don't regard 4K as a must and think sims look okay at lower resolutions, but I know many people do like their resolution up at the highest they can have it). The 1070Ti is kind of a halfway house between the 1080 and the 1070, which costs a bit less than the 1080 (actually the 1070Ti is much nearer the 1080 in performance than the 1070, so the Ti is more like a two thirds of the way than a halfway lol).


In the end, if you like pretty graphics and want them to be the best they can be, then the 1080 is the one to have with the 1070Ti being a close second and the 1070 the third choice. Note that Lockheed Martin recommend having 8Gb of video memory and these cards do typically have that, so you're good as far as that is concerned with any of them, but I'd say the 1080 was the winner out of those.


Memory-wise, all of the decent choices appear to be fielding DDR4 memory, which is of course what you want and some of the price differences can be explained by how much they have. You will notice that costs are kept down by trimming from 32Gb of installed memory to 16Gb of memory, to allow them to budget in SSD and HD storage drives with larger capacity on some models. This is quite an important consideration. Of course having a lot of memory helps, but P3D can run on as little as 4Gb of RAM (it's slow to load when you do that, but it absolutely can do it) however, it's absolutely fine on any system with somewhere around 8 to 12Gb of RAM. Even Lockheed Martin only go so far as to recommend having 16Gb of memory, which means 32Gb of RAm is nice to have, and would be good for things like high end video editing and such, but it's probably overkill for P3D, so you're probably better off going for one of the models with 16Gb of RAM and a bigger hard drive, since scenery and add-ons will eat up that HD space and you could always throw another stick of RAM in there at some point anyway if you felt like you wanted to have more.


Although one of the choices is sporting an AMD Ryzen 7, which is a very good processor, most of them appear to be using Intel i7s and that's a decent choice for P3D (actually even an i5 will run P3D really well), so no problems there.


In short, I'd personally go for one of them with an i7 processor, a GTX 1080 GPU, a bigger hard drive and with 16GB of RAM.

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Thank you very much for your lending your expertise and assistance on matter as I've been very lost. I definitely want something that displays well visually but I've been concerned with spending $2000 and still failing to accomplish that, which I why I've even debated simply buying a PC and going back to FS9 to practice for my real world test.


The information that you've provided has enlightened me on what's important which helps to give me a better idea of what to look out for. I hadn't even thought about screens yet, but this is something that I will also take into consideration and look into. I've highlighted and saved some of your points which are most appreciated and I thank you very much again.



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