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Thread: Best AM3(+) Processor for FSX?

  1. #1

    Default Best AM3(+) Processor for FSX?

    Hi All,

    I'd like to get back into flight simming and am pretty content to stick with FSX (though I'd like to try XPlane also). I like flying with a full contingent of AI aircraft, would like to get into ATC/VATsim and would like to upgrade to photo-real scenery for the UK. I mainly fly airliners on short flights. I've just brought my desktop machine back to life but it always struggled with frame rates at the busiest airports with AI, so I can only imagine it being worse when I upgrade the scenery.

    I'd prefer to stick with this machine, and preferably not replace the motherboard, so I think I need to look into a CPU and RAM upgrade.

    Here's my current spec:

    Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 Motherboard
    Saphire R5770 HD 1GB PCI-E HDMI DVI Graphics (Dual Sceening)
    AMD PHENOM II X2 555 AM3 BLACK (3.8GHz Overclock)
    4GB DDR3 PC3-10600 RAM
    SanDisk SDSSDA240G (240 GB) SSD (Windows and FSX)
    1TB Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 HDD (Storage)
    Samsung SH-S223L/BEBE 22x DVD±R, 8x
    Coolermaster Hyper 212 Quiet Cooler
    Coolermaster Elite 335 Mid Tower Case
    Win 7 64bit

    A PassMark test (done on previous Win10 install, but same hardware) shows the CPU and RAM as the weak points:
    https://www.passmark.com/baselines/V...id=95330729188

    The m/board was made before the days of AM3+ but this site claims the FX-4130 processor is supported. If that's feasible, why not other AM3+ FX series CPUs? Is it likely the other would also work in practice?

    If so, which is likely the best bang for buck, given the high performance ones focus on 8-core which isn't going to help with FSX?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jamp View Post
    Hi All,

    I'd like to get back into flight simming and am pretty content to stick with FSX (though I'd like to try XPlane also). I like flying with a full contingent of AI aircraft, would like to get into ATC/VATsim and would like to upgrade to photo-real scenery for the UK. I mainly fly airliners on short flights. I've just brought my desktop machine back to life but it always struggled with frame rates at the busiest airports with AI, so I can only imagine it being worse when I upgrade the scenery.

    I'd prefer to stick with this machine, and preferably not replace the motherboard, so I think I need to look into a CPU and RAM upgrade.

    Here's my current spec:

    Gigabyte GA-870A-UD3 Motherboard
    Saphire R5770 HD 1GB PCI-E HDMI DVI Graphics (Dual Sceening)
    AMD PHENOM II X2 555 AM3 BLACK (3.8GHz Overclock)
    4GB DDR3 PC3-10600 RAM
    SanDisk SDSSDA240G (240 GB) SSD (Windows and FSX)
    1TB Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 HDD (Storage)
    Samsung SH-S223L/BEBE 22x DVD±R, 8x
    Coolermaster Hyper 212 Quiet Cooler
    Coolermaster Elite 335 Mid Tower Case
    Win 7 64bit

    A PassMark test (done on previous Win10 install, but same hardware) shows the CPU and RAM as the weak points:
    https://www.passmark.com/baselines/V...id=95330729188

    The m/board was made before the days of AM3+ but this site claims the FX-4130 processor is supported. If that's feasible, why not other AM3+ FX series CPUs? Is it likely the other would also work in practice?

    If so, which is likely the best bang for buck, given the high performance ones focus on 8-core which isn't going to help with FSX?

    Thanks!
    I'm no expert but it looks to me that your graphics card is the bottleneck. It may be worth upgrading that first to see how you fare.

    Cheers Stinger

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    I agree, the graphics card should be the first thing to upgrade. Get a good nVidia card.

    But then there is the RAM - only 4 GB with a 64-bit OS? See if you can bump that up to 8 minimum, and DDR4 if possible.

    Jorgen

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    And if you get the budget and desire to go with a new motherboard/CPU combo, then I really like my Asus Z170-A/Intel i7-7700K combo.

    Jorgen

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    The best place to check CPU compatibility is the vendor's support page. Only the FX-4130 is listed as supported.

    https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard...20#support-cpu

    As FSX responds best to single core performance, the best upgrade would be to an Intel system. AMD's latest Ryzen series has narrowed the gap but still lags where it counts for FSX. Ryzen is great for multi-threaded performance and is priced more reasonably so may be worth it if the computer is used for other tasks where lots of cores would be of use. It would still be a an upgrade to the CPU, motherboard and RAM though.

  6. #6

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    I truly agree, I've had much much better luck using an Intel CPU with Microsoft Flight Simulator. Which should be no huge surprise considering Microsoft worked hand in hand with Intel with their original code.

    Having said that, before you run out and build a new box with an Intel chip, there are another two issues to consider.

    1. Way back when, Intel and Microsoft were working together they didn't plan for multi-cored CPUs. They expected increasing CPU clock speed to be the wave of the future.

    However more numbers of cores are growing more every day for chips running newer programs. But core speed isn't growing nearly as quickly.

    With the later Acceleration Packs, P3D, etc. there have been some upgrades to help the original FS coding use more than one core for FS. But they're not nearly as helpful as faster core speeds would have been on a program that was designed for a single core!

    2. Intel chips have recently been shown to have serious security flaws. To date most of the security patches suggested cause the chips to respond at an even slower clock speed!

    So if you have a lot of personal financial info stored on your current computer, you might want to keep that AMD computer for use for that purpose. And, if it's within your budget, build or buy a computer for FS using the fastest Intel "K" chip and ram you can afford.

    By coincidence I built a very nice AMD based computer which my wife and I shared a few years back. She does the bills and such on it. Wanting a separate computer for my use, I went with an Intel chip build for its' speed with FS. So we have one of each. "Horses For Courses" as we say around here.

    Rupert
    Last edited by Rupert; 01-13-2018 at 02:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
    2. Intel chips have recently been shown to have serious security flaws. To date most of the security patches suggested cause the chips to respond at an even slower clock speed!
    To be clear the patches don't affect clock speed, only performance in specific situations. The impact on most home user tasks, including flightsimming, is minimal. The big impact is in server and virtual machine hosts, like Amazon's AWS and Microsoft Azure.

  8. Default

    The security flaw affects amd processors as well. And the patch for it hardly affects home pc's. Mainly servers that notice a slowdown.

    https://www.flightsim.com/vbfs/showt...bility-in-CPUs
    Last edited by il88pp; 01-13-2018 at 04:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by il88pp View Post
    The security flaw affects amd processors as well. And the patch for it hardly affects home pc's. Mainly servers that notice a slowdown.

    https://www.flightsim.com/vbfs/showt...bility-in-CPUs
    Careful, there are two parts to the security issue. AMD CPUs are only affected by the Spectre part, which doesn't have a performance impact. The part that affects performance is Meltdown and hits Intel only (well, some ARM processors too but those are generally only in phones and tablets).

    https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018...t-performance/
    Last edited by loki; 01-13-2018 at 04:09 PM. Reason: Added link

  10. Default

    Thanks for the added info loki.

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