Fly Away Simulation

Quad Core vs Dual Core

Pro Member Trainee
Khan613 Trainee

Apologies if this was posted before.

This is what I have so far:

P4 3.ghz
1900XT 256mb
4GB Ram

I've been put in the situation where family member wants to buy my single core 775 cpu, and I'm looking at either the Q6600 or the E6850 cpu (hence the quad vs dual) as a replacement.

Since I'll only upgrade graphics in November (fingers crossed waiting for the G92) And FSX is heavily CPU limited, what would you guys recommend?

Has SP1 made a huge impact on the effective use of Quad core?
Or is dual still the way to go for this game?

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Get the best that you can afford. With 4 gigs ram you shouldn't have any problems handling the Quad.

Watch for overheating with it and be sure your power supply can handle all that.

SP1 will use the Quad or the Duo and SP2 out in a month or more will enhance it even more.


Pro Member First Officer
Tom (cthiggin) First Officer

YES - Quad does make a difference -
I've had another simmer who has extensive knowledge helping me and
I am overclocked with the Q6600 / XFX 680i MB / 8800 GTS 640 meg /
and 4 gig OCE ram - Overclocked to 3500 on cpu and 977 on memory - the GTS is also overclocked.

Through this gentlemen's help in getting me to understand overclocking,
I am now getting fps's in the 70's - couple of times at 109fps - at large airports such as LAX, 22 / 31 fps. The FSX experience is just great now.

With the standard out of the box Q6600, I was getting much better fps's over a single core, but still low - the overclocking did the trick...................BUT, YOU MUST KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING or have a great friend that is highly experienced to help you......................

I am now awaiting arrival of a liquid cooling system to keep temps down.

I have been using very good Tuniq 120 and NO obstructions in case. My temps when running FSX are in the low 60C' the overclocked state.

Hope this helps - through all of the up's and downs' with building a new one, at this point, I would do it all over again.................

BTW, I do NOT have all of my sliders maxed.........I could, but the fps's will drop..................I'm having a great flying experience with ALL of the eye-candy that I can handle for now....................I use xGraphics and Ultimate Terrain X - both of these do a fine job and I have not had a fps hit with one or both running at the same time.

My friend suggests maxing fps at 30, which I agree..........after all, movie standards are about 29.97fps or there about....... I do have mine locked at 30fps now, but maxed it out when I was overclocking to see how high I could get them.

Again, Hope this helps.


Pro Member Trainee
Khan613 Trainee

So.....even though dual core (6850 at a stock speed of 3ghz) will give a monumental boost for current games.

....Investing in a stock clocked 2.4Ghz Quad core like the Q6600 will further future proof my gaming with FSX (and other multi threaded releases)?

In the quad vs dual argument....FSX WILL take full advantage of the quad core and is the better option?

Pro Member First Officer
Tom (cthiggin) First Officer

Yes -
You're buying for the "future"................
I "THOUGHT" "all" I had to do was buy a 8800GTS and I was home free......boy, was I in for an awakining..........................
Now that I a "little" more than a newby, have ready at least 1000 articles, have explored chipsets, cpu's, memory, on and on and on..................
well, here I am happy.............
The Duo-Cores have been the biggie due to 1. Price 2. Over-clock ability.......but Quads are here and the prices are coming down to where they are reasonable..................I bought a super deal from TD - my 680i MB and Q6600 for 499.00...................
Again, IMO, and from what I've personally learned, and from what my great simmer friend has taught me - 1st - FSX is a cpu hog, probably always will be - SP1 - future of SP2(DirX X) - it is and probably be better..........but, we have to have a 12 cyclinder engine to cope with the resources that FSX demand - for a great experience.............

For months and months, disappointment - stutters, blurries, 9fps that my aircraft was jerky on the taxiways - and I just knew it could be "better" -
I don't care what the others posting 90fps with all sliders maxed - they "HAVE" to be stretching a little OR have an outstanding overclock.

I only know of one "simmer" that's getting these types of results with sliders maxed and he is locked at 30 fps.................and he has an overclock that approaches the heavens..................

But again, you do NOT have to have all sliders maxed - (this was my down-fall) - to have great smooth flights and beautiful eye-candy.........

My only negative - we purchase a great program for 59.00 - but have to spend several hundred dollars more to get the right hardware to have a great experience.....................BUT, by the same token, I think that FSX was built for the future and future Dirx X - Quads, fast memory etc................

Sorry for the rambling..............but I feel from your post, you are in the same "situation" that I was several months ago........NOW, I'm happy.......
Go for the best you can get "for the future" in realistic, knowing that to achieve very good fps's, you will probably have to oc.....

Hope this has been helpful to you in making the best decision.


Pro Member First Officer
jetman35 First Officer

What I have done is make the FSX window screen smaller. Instead of the full screen and sluggish fps, I have now made the screen a little smaller and now running MAX on all settings except autogen. Autogen is a killer when it comes to fps. The smaller the screen, the higher the fps and the better the experience. The smaller you go in size, the higher the fps.


Pro Member Trainee
Khan613 Trainee

Your rambling made perfect sense.

Bottom line: Future proof the machine.

I have to confess I spend a fare amount of time in FSX and various FPS titles (which only go as far as being dual core optimised if they are multithreaded)

I'm getting a G92 at the end of the year so graphics are covered. But I see where you're coming from, in terms of CPU. The more cores, the merrier! Laughing

Pro Member Trainee
freddo Trainee

Might be interested in these two links.. (from the microsoft developers network)
(interesting discssion on Quad core technology)

Pro Member Trainee
Khan613 Trainee

...and I've witnessed a huge improvement. No other hardware was changed.

Current specs:
Q6600 G0
Gigabyte P35-DS3R
4x 1GB DDR2 800 4-4-4-12
ATI 1900XT 256mb.

I'm running vanilla FSX with SP1 (no mods or addons to increase performance)
I play with ALL SETTINGS MAXED OUT EXCEPT the following:
1. Resolution 1280x1024 (with anti aliasing all those other niceties enabled)
2. ALL traffic is maxed BUT AUTOGEN is pushed up to NORMAL. I get fantastic performance if I turn this OFF, but the landscape looks bland.
3. Weather settings are on DEFAULT.

FPS hovers around 30 frames (Target frame rate is set to unlimited)

I overclocked my quad core from 2.4ghz up to 3.2ghz (350x9)
I now get around 40 to 45fps on average. I've had my machine up to 3.6hz (400x9) but cooling is now becoming an issue.

Since this is my test machine, I'm going to do all the above again in vanila FSX (without SP1), then workout averages after SP1 is applied.

Pro Member First Officer
Tom (cthiggin) First Officer

Good for you...........the GO is supposed to be much better for overclocking with lower heat output.

My Swiftec cooling unit will be in Friday, so after modding and install, I hope to have the heat taken care of...............currently oc'd at 3300 and memory at 987...................

If you can keep the fps locked at 30 and stays constant 30, great......that's all we need anyway...........and that's assuming you have your sliders high enough for realism and good eye-candy.......Note: The sliders really "don't" have to be maxed to be a happy simmer.

Glad you have had improvements..............

Did you see much change with the new chip - NOT overclocked????? I only saw minimal improvements.............but the oc'ing, WOW.


Pro Member Trainee
Rozal Trainee

that guy has a e6300 and can push up autogen maxed out and get better framerates

Pro Member First Officer
Tom (cthiggin) First Officer

AND, he's just about ready to go with a Quad Extreme..................
He has pushed the envelope in FSX config as well as GPU overclocking and CPU overclocking / Memory Overclocking - with hi-end water-cooling..........I can't wait to see his results with a quad vs. duo............with the right hardware, and a very keen understanding of overclocking - it can be done - I'm getting within 75% of where he's at with my quad.............but just don't have the expertise this young gentleman has..............and probably never will.....................
He's helped me beyond comprehension, for a very dissafisified FSX, Quad user to a very happy camper.


Pro Member Trainee
Khan613 Trainee

I've been very busy with work projects so I haven't had a chance to reinstall FSX (sans SP1) and do further testing.

However, just after my last post I dropped by clock from 3.6ghz, to 3.0ghz and noticed a SLIGHT decrease in average frames. But nothing that has even forced me to make adjustments in the display settings.

I then formatted this box and got vistaU64 up and running again from scratch. I also got my hands on a Core2Duo E6400 for testing.

What I would like to do this weekend is:

1. Run both CPU's at the same clock (probably 2.4)
This is stock for the q6600, and a small overclock for the e6400.

2. Install FSX and let FRAPS do an average FPS report on the demo displayed in the Learning Center's "Getting Started" on BOTH the Q6600 and the E6400.

3. Apply SP1

5. Repeat step 2.

I hope to document (and post here) one heck of an improvement of the Q6600 over the E6400 using SP1, and I expect to see minimal difference between these two CPU's before SP1 is installed.

I have to say I am one HAPPY quad core customer and the game runs great on my somewhat dated video card. Smile

Two answer your question:
Yes, I did see a huge improvement going from stock 2.4ghz to 3.6.
But as I said, due to cooling, I had to drop back to 3.0 (actually 2.9ghz 333x9) but I'm still getting around 40fps average.

Pro Member Trainee
Khan613 Trainee

The CPU I got last week was no good. So I have to repeat this test again once I have my replacement.

But here is what I found on the below system.

Q6600 (stock 2.4ghz)
4gb RAM
1900XT 256mb
FSX (no service pack)

Fraps was set to run a benchmark for 180 seconds
This is approximately the time it takes for the Getting Started demo to run through - from the beginning, right through to the narator saying "There! You're flying!" and the "Press ESC to to exit mission."

Graphics - ALL SETTINGS MAXED OUT. To properly test the CPU I put the resolution down to 1024x768 (Default). But enabled EVERYTHING ELSE. Including AA. (in hind sight, perhaps I should have left this and other graphics card orientated settings DISABLED to get a better picture of CPU load!)

Every TAB was reporting the settings were CUSTOM. As I went to every TAB and set everything as high as possible, from ground traffic, to autogen to cloud draw distance. EVERYTHING was maxed.

Fraps average: 11 frames per second.

Service Pack 1 applied.
Fraps average: 23 frames per second. Straight away the game is almost playable.

Dropped autogen from EXTREMELY DENSE to DENSE
Fraps average: 28 frames per second.

Dropped traffic (cars, boats and leisure boats) down to 50%
Fraps average: 32 frames per second.

The sim looks great, but gets a bit jerky during landings.
So as I said above I pushed my settings down a notch (autogen to normal) and I guess I can live with it for now.

But I do miss maxed out autogen!!!! Laughing

Bottom line: SP1 made a great improvement. Apart from a frame rate increase, I no longer see ugly, untextured polygons appearing in the distance, and seconds later they get textured as trees or buildings or standing vehicles.

This used to happen often prior to the service pack installation.

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