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What's my weakest link?

Pro Member First Officer
freedspeak First Officer

Currently running FSX with all graphics sliders maxed out and autogen off. Getting pretty good FPS with 30+ over rural areas and 3-5 at extremely detailed airports. Am wondering where I should begin upgrade to improve performance and be able to turn back on the autogen.

My current system:
AMD 64 3000+
X800XL 256mb PCIe
2gig DDR400
Audigy 2 ZS
Gigabyte mobo K8 series
40 Gig HD
160 Gig External HD (LaCie) for FSX.

I would imagine a more powerful processor would make a huge difference. Would dual core be the way to go? Would a newer type of RAM make a difference, or more of it? Also one more question. My external hard drive has a Fat32 file system and my C internal drive is NTFS. What are the differences?

Thanks for any comments.

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

freedspeak wrote:

Currently running FSX with all graphics sliders maxed out and autogen off. Getting pretty good FPS with 30+ over rural areas and 3-5 at extremely detailed airports. Am wondering where I should begin upgrade to improve performance and be able to turn back on the autogen.

My current system:
AMD 64 3000+
X800XL 256mb PCIe
2gig DDR400
Audigy 2 ZS
Gigabyte mobo K8 series
40 Gig HD
160 Gig External HD (LaCie) for FSX.

I would imagine a more powerful processor would make a huge difference. Would dual core be the way to go? Would a newer type of RAM make a difference, or more of it? Also one more question. My external hard drive has a Fat32 file system and my C internal drive is NTFS. What are the differences?

Thanks for any comments.

Your CPU is sufficient, but you can do better.
A 512mb DX 10 card would be great, and probably a new power supply to handle it.
If you are going Vista you should bump up to 3 gigs ram.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat32

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ntfs

Radar

Pro Member First Officer
mdaskalos First Officer

freedspeak,

One thing you don't mention in asking about RAM perfromance is whether your AMD 64 3000+ is on a Socket 754 or Socket 939 (or 940) motherboard. If you're Socket 754, your RAM, regardless of type, will be running in single-channel mode. I did a quick check, and it looks like the K8's are socket 754.

Of course, if you're socket 754, the upgrade path to socket 939/940/AM2 means not only a new MOBO, but a new CPU. But you *could* use the old RAM and it would be transferring data at about twice the rate.

Also, I think the fastest 754s are 3400+.

I'm guessing you'll be CPU/memory bottlenecked if you try to go for more video card.

So, any upgrade that's really going to give you a meaningful move up is going to mean a new motherboard AND CPU, but at least the RAM can be re-used, and will itself run faster in the new board. A socket 939 board and CPU combo that would be alot faster than what you presently have (and uses DDR400 RAM) can be obtained for $250.00 or less.

But better upgradeability in the future can be had if you pick a board that uses DDR2 RAM (but of course that means more ca$h now to spring for the new RAM, too).

Incidentally, my system is also Socket 754, and I've been pondering my upgrade path for some time over these same issues.

Me? I'm going the Intel route, mainly because I've got an unused 3.4 GHz P4 sitting around (my IT manager at work was throwing it out!!!), and there are motherboards that support dual core but are backward-compatible with a single-core P4. It'll be DDR2, so I'll be buying the the RAM, as well. My old board is also AGP, so when the upgrade time comes, it'll incorporate a video card, as well.

I concur with RadarMan that any video card will meed to have 512MB RAM.

Oh yeah, thats another advantage to upgrading only the CPU/Motherboard/RAM right now: You can wait out the arrival of more DX10 video cards. Prices should drop, especially when ATI can introduce models that offer some price competition for the 8800s.

It's gotta be getting ready to happen soon; prices on lot of models of ATI cards are in virtual free fall.

mdaskalos

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