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CPU - i7-4870hq vs i7-4790?

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I'm looking to buy a gaming laptop for FS9/FSX (a laptop, as this is for travelling, which I do a lot for work, and for several months on end too) and am a bit stuck over the choice of CPU. The i7-4870hq laptop comes out as some £300 (sterling) cheaper than the i7-4790 alternative and although the latter is clearly the superior CPU, I wonder if it's really worth that kind of extra outlay for FS9 (and occasional flights on FSX). What difference might I see in FS9 or FSX?


The other specs I am looking at include an nVidia GTX960M in the cheaper laptop and a GTX970M in the more expensive one. Is the different GPU an issue? In common are two 480GB Kingston SSDs, 16GB RAM and Windows 7 x64 (a bit nervous of going with Windows 10 x64, but maybe I should bite the bullet???).


Many thanks for any observations and advice.



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You can use these 2 sites to get performances information for CPUs and GPUs:

- CPUs passmark performances on http://www.cpubenchmark.net

- GPUs 3DMark06 performances (= DX9 benchmark) on http://www.notebookcheck.net


Comparing figures between 2 CPUs or 2 GPUs can give a first pointer on relative performances you might expect between CPUs or GPUs models.





i7-4870hq: CPU Passmark = 9215

i7-4790k: CPU Passmark = 11239


=> Expect a performance ratio of about 20% between these 2 CPUs



GTX 960M: 3DMark06 = 24854

GTX 970M: 3DMark06 = 28400


=> Expect some performance ratio of about 15% between GPUs

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Thanks. There isn't all that much difference in the figures, given the price difference. But I wonder how that might translate into fps or texture loading and so on in the sim (what is 'performance ratio in practice in FS?). Difficult to find any review sites that use FSX, let alone FS9, as a benchmark. Most of the games they use I have never even heard of!
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FPS in FS9 or FSX depend on the scenario complexity to render, which changes all the time, according to what is to be displayed at each instant.

Each image requires processing time from the CPU and GPU to be displayed. In FS, when the scenario complexity increases, most of this image creation job will be performed by the CPU.

So in FS, worst case image (or frame) rendering time limiter is mostly the CPU.


Performance estimation of some CPU can be done compared to another known one, in a complex scenario.


For instance here, if you know that the i7-4790k will render that big complex airport at 30 FPS (figure that you get in some test review), you can deduce that the same scenario will probably be rendered by an i7-4870hq at 30 minus 20% FPS: that is, 24 FPS.


For texture loading, another player is to be taken into account; the hard drive.

Optimal loading times are achieved today with SSDs.

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Thanks again.


I think the CPU will be the i-4790K in any event, as I know (from what I have read over the years, and partly from experience of different setups) MS FS needs CPU power more than any other one factor. I am tempted then to try to save a bit of money by going for the GTX 960, but don't want to create a 'weak link' or bottleneck in the system somehow. My hard drives are two SSDs, 480GB + 240GBs, that's also a given.


In the end I might just think 'to hell with it' and pay the extra for all the best components! It may be worth it, if only psychologically! I won't notice the difference to my bank account after a few months!

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