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NEW PC - opinions wanted!

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I like the CPU cooler, it reminds me of one in an old car of mine!

Er, not so sure that's such a good thing Joe

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Hi Si', I would try and get a SSD for your OS. It does make a difference. Plus, the price of memory at the moment why not get 16Gb instead of 8.

Good luck with the courier.

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Nice ... I actually took advantage of Scans zero interest, pay within 9 months for zero free interest option for most of the rig in my sig ... that runs out for me in about late Feb 2012 I think?

I'm paying it off in full in two weeks (well before the arranged final date) I actually did the agreement online on a Sunday night and had the parts at the end of that week. you put up a small deposit of course.

We only live once, and the economy needs us spending not keeping our cash in our pockets :)

EDIT: Just be aware of Scans third party finance company's terms and conditions, was looking at them the other night to check when I should pay the loan off ... they are pretty harsh ... very harsh indeed, but if you are sure you can pay off the loan within the zero interest free period ... or make the agreed payments if that's what you want to do ... its a good deal ... I think the way most loan company's like this make money is that folk forget the agreed interest period and are in a trap?

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Hi Si', I would try and get a SSD for your OS. It does make a difference. Plus, the price of memory at the moment why not get 16Gb instead of 8.

Good luck with the courier.

Hmmm, didn't think of that needles, any suggestions what size?

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Well, I have a 120Gb SSD but you can actually get away with 64Gb if it's just for the OS. Go for the biggest capacity you can afford.

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Would be purely Windows 7 on it, so think 64GB would suffice. Also, has anybody got any toughts on the radeon 6870 1GB card, are they any others at the £140 price point with similar or better performance?

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I've just installed an Asus GTX 560TI. Slightly more expensive -- I paid £158 delivered from Amazon. But that includes double Nectar points... ;) Well pleased with it. The reviews pit it directly against the 6870, and it's either slightly better, the same, or slightly worse, depending on who you read (i.e. in reality there's nowt between them). However everyone seems to agree that this and the 6870 between them represent the sweet spot in terms of gfx bang for the buck.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asus-GeForce-560TI-DirectCUII-Graphics/dp/B004K8R8DA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323649588&sr=8-1

(although I see it's gone up since I bought mine)

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What's the deal with FSX and GeForce graphics cards? So many people swear by them saying ATI cards don't perform well in FSX... Is this true, or just old wives talk? Could swing the deal in all honesty as I'm only ever going to have FSX and CoD:MW3 on the PC....and a few office and photo apps to...

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What's the deal with FSX and GeForce graphics cards? So many people swear by them saying ATI cards don't perform well in FSX... Is this true, or just old wives talk? Could swing the deal in all honesty as I'm only ever going to have FSX and CoD:MW3 on the PC....and a few office and photo apps to...

I can only talk in specific terms about my GFX Card - I have the Radeon 6950 2GB Card and it runs FSX superbly without any problems. I've previously owned Nvidea cards but didn't run FSX at the time so can't do a direct comparison.

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What's the deal with FSX and GeForce graphics cards? So many people swear by them saying ATI cards don't perform well in FSX... Is this true, or just old wives talk? Could swing the deal in all honesty as I'm only ever going to have FSX and CoD:MW3 on the PC....and a few office and photo apps to...

I can only talk in specific terms about my GFX Card - I have the Radeon 6950 2GB Card and it runs FSX superbly without any problems. I've previously owned Nvidea cards but didn't run FSX at the time so can't do a direct comparison.

Thanks sabre, appreciated...does anyone have any real experience with either the radeon or nvidia cards I mentioned above? Would be good to hear from you if so

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The thing with Nvidea cards and FSX, is FSX was optimized for Nvidea from the start ... some games sims work slightly better with ATI, so you have to balance your priority ... but if FSX is your priority, go with Nvidea.

I run a rig with 2 x GTX 570's in SLI sometime with no SLI , also have an I7 920 rig with the ATI (XFX) 2 GB 6970, that CPU can handle FSX quite well of course, but tweaking the graphics is an unknown science with ATI ... you do get ATI multi monitor surround with a single ATI card of course (Nvidea need two) so that is one ATI advantage.

But if you are a one monitor user and FSX is your thing, go with Nvidea for FSX and even FS9 every time, when choosing Nvidea we have the excellent free Nvidea Inspector program, with this program you can fine tune your FSX graphics with Nick Needham advice ... I think this guy is wrong and outdated on some things ... he's old school and reluctant to go SSD or even to Win 7, but his settings for any Nvidea card I've owned whist using FSX are perfect ... follow his advice and you wont go far wrong.

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sorry for dragging this up, but i need a few more answers...and since Santa failed to bring me ANY PC related products :gaah: , i'm re-spec'ing my new build - jump to the bottom of the post to view it.

So. here's what i want to know:

1st - nice and simple:

ATI 6870 or GTX 560Ti

2nd - do i really need an SSD - why?:

Config 1:

Win 7 on 60gb SSD and FSX + office apps on 500GB HDD - any benefits/disadvantages??

or

Config 2:

2x 500gb (1 for storage, 1 dedicated FSX+extras) and 1x 120GB for Windows 7 & office apps - any benefits/disadvantages??

and finally, 3rd:

4gb (2x2gb) DDR3-1600 OR 8gb (4x2gb) DDR3-1333 (bearing in mind the i5 2500 CPU is dual-cannel

ok, so that's the questions asked, here's the NEW proposed spec as compiled on AriaPC:

1x ARIANET Avenger Midi Tower Gaming Chassis

1x Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO Quiet CPU Cooler

1x Intel Core i5-2500 3.30GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor - Retail

2x: 500GB Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 3.5" SATA III Hard Drive

2x Kingston 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz HyperX Blu Memory Kit CL9 1.65V Non-ECC Unbuffered [KHX1600C9D3B1K2/4GX]

1x MSI Z68S-G43-G3 Intel Z68 (REV B3) Socket 1155 DDR3 PCI-Express Motherboard

1x 620W ARIANET ACE Series ATX2.3 Power Supply

1x Asus GeForce GTX 560Ti DCII/2DI/1GD5 DirectCU II 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card

1x Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit SP1, Operating System, Single, - OEM

Total Cost inc. delivery - £710.86

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sorry for dragging this up, but i need a few more answers...and since Santa failed to bring me ANY PC related products :gaah: , i'm re-spec'ing my new build - jump to the bottom of the post to view it.

So. here's what i want to know:

1st - nice and simple:

ATI 6870 or GTX 560Ti

2nd - do i really need an SSD - why?:

Config 1:

Win 7 on 60gb SSD and FSX + office apps on 500GB HDD - any benefits/disadvantages??

or

Config 2:

2x 500gb (1 for storage, 1 dedicated FSX+extras) and 1x 120GB for Windows 7 & office apps - any benefits/disadvantages??

and finally, 3rd:

4gb (2x2gb) DDR3-1600 OR 8gb (4x2gb) DDR3-1333 (bearing in mind the i5 2500 CPU is dual-cannel

ok, so that's the questions asked, here's the NEW proposed spec as compiled on AriaPC:

1x ARIANET Avenger Midi Tower Gaming Chassis

1x Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO Quiet CPU Cooler

1x Intel Core i5-2500 3.30GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor - Retail

2x: 500GB Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 3.5" SATA III Hard Drive

2x Kingston 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz HyperX Blu Memory Kit CL9 1.65V Non-ECC Unbuffered [KHX1600C9D3B1K2/4GX]

1x MSI Z68S-G43-G3 Intel Z68 (REV B3) Socket 1155 DDR3 PCI-Express Motherboard

1x 620W ARIANET ACE Series ATX2.3 Power Supply

1x Asus GeForce GTX 560Ti DCII/2DI/1GD5 DirectCU II 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card

1x Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit SP1, Operating System, Single, - OEM

Total Cost inc. delivery - £710.86

Hi, you dont really need an SSD, but once you use them there is no going back, Win 7 with its built in TRIM support (forget about de-fragging an SSD) is a match made in heaven, I have two home built Intel I7 PC's here with 60 GB SSD's for Win 7 64 HP OS and the second Sandy Bridge Flight Sim PC has a 240 GB SSD just for FSX and my add-ons, but if I were not going SSD for FS9/FSX I'd probably get a 450GB or 600GB Western Digital 10'000 RPM Velociraptor ... mechanical HD prices are probably still hurting after the Thailand floods though so I'm not currently up to speed on prices? Any of the faster 1 or 2 TB HD's would work fine too of course, its just that I'm a bit of a PC performance freak :)

Definitaly go for 8GB (2x4GB) ram option for your Win 7 64 bit OS, you would probably be fine with 4GB, but some games/sims are starting to use more than 4GB on a 64bit platform now and this is the way things will go. Ram is cheap now so go for it, prices can change a good bit for ram year in year out, now is a good time to buy as much as you think you will need.

EDIT: as an example, probably not relevant to you ... but it is an indicator of the way things are going, Bethseda recantly put out a performance patch for their Skyrim game for users of systems with 4GB, not needed if you have more ram than that.

The GTX 560 will run FSX or FS9 just fine, do use Nvidea Inspector and Nick Needhams FSX settings though for best image quality ... or, I still have my EVGA GTX 570 SC 1280MB card for sale if you are interested :) But yeah, the 560's 1024MB vram will be fine for resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 easy I reckon.

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if you havent already put your hand in your pocket I have toagree with most of what has been said in the previous email except that you must buy 16gb memory win 7 is a memory hog and you really see a difference between 8gb and 16gb, also it is well known that aces fine tuned fsx to the nvidea cards so they work with a lot less hassel, you dont need an SSD at all this is just overkill especially when you see how expensive they are and how uselessly small they are, I would also say if you are keeping an eye on money to buy a gtx 460 card there is very little perceivabnble performance difference but there is a huge price difference (i am an nvidea beta tester) , there is a lot of controversy with processors however an i7 will run circles around an I5 any day in real life usage , whhat some people profess is that the I7 classics are a lot faster than the newer cutdown versions like my 2600k but at least you can easily o/c the 2600k to 4.8 with impunity

I hope this helps

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if you havent already put your hand in your pocket I have toagree with most of what has been said in the previous email except that you must buy 16gb memory win 7 is a memory hog and you really see a difference between 8gb and 16gb, also it is well known that aces fine tuned fsx to the nvidea cards so they work with a lot less hassel, you dont need an SSD at all this is just overkill especially when you see how expensive they are and how uselessly small they are, I would also say if you are keeping an eye on money to buy a gtx 460 card there is very little perceivabnble performance difference but there is a huge price difference (i am an nvidea beta tester) , there is a lot of controversy with processors however an i7 will run circles around an I5 any day in real life usage , whhat some people profess is that the I7 classics are a lot faster than the newer cutdown versions like my 2600k but at least you can easily o/c the 2600k to 4.8 with impunity

I hope this helps

Interesting points, I've not seen my 8GB of ram anywhere near max utilisation on any thing I do with my Sandy Bridge I72600K rig and even 6GB on my I7 920 rig is comfortably within ram limits for what I do and both use Win 7 64 bit as OS but I've been considering going to 16GB on my SB rig if it wont interfere with my overclock too much, for sure if you are not overclocking then go for 16GB as the price is pretty cheap just now ... 8GB dual channel should be a realistic minimum for Z68 chipsets or 6GB tri channel as a minimum for Z58 chipsets on 64 bit OS's and we really should all be using 64 bit OS's now, Windows 7 is the best MS OS I've ever used.

I'm in a good position to directly compare an I7 920 to an I7 2600K Brit as I own them both just now, the I7 920 6GB ram build I bought as a pre overclocked to 4GHz bundle (board/ram/CPU/Noctua cooler) from OcUK in 2010 ... I altered their BIOS settings for more stability but its been rock solid at that speed and is actually my workhorse main comp. My I7 2600K 8GB ram build I built from scratch last year for a pure FSX and other flight sim rig with SSD's for the sims I've got overclocked stable to 4.8GHz ... what I'm alluding to is, the Sandy Bridge I7 2600K is noticeably quicker than the older I7 920 even when I set the CPU speeds the same due to the improved CPU architecture, the I7 2500/2600K CPU's are really fantastic flight sim CPU's IMHO.

As a PC hardware enthusiast I'm seriously considering building an Intel I7 E 3960 X six core rig (as FSX loves more cores) but its a pretty expensive CPU and will need quad channel ram and a new motherboard, it also will not overcock so highly so easily as Sandy Bridge quads ... I'll wait for Ivy Bridge for my next CPU upgrade I think. there is nothing my I7 2600K @4.8GHz can not handle.

:thum:

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Just seen this and hope I am not too late to offer a few thoughts on your spec and some of the comments above:

1) IMPORTANT! The processor you have specced is the 2500...you need to be looking at a nnnnk model, such as the 2500k or 2600k etc. In order to wring the best performance out of FSX, it is really worth overclocking your CPU from the default speed - especially as you are looking to buy a decent cooler. The non-K suffixed Intel chips are not designed for OCing and do not have an unlocked multiplier, thus preventing you from making any any meaningful OC. From the site you are looking at, this is the CPU you need. As you can see, these days there is no significant price difference, but the chip has much greater potential than the one you have specced.

2) IMPORTANT! Power Supply: The most unglamorous, yet most overlooked part of many a build. Don't skimp on this - a cheaper, non-brand PSU can lurk at the root of all sorts of issues - at best, instability and odd glitches, at worst, frying critical components when they are stressed. 650W should be more than enough to see you through a few upgrades, especially if you don't ever intend to add a second graphics card to your system, but I really would dig a bit deeper and nix the "Arianet" Tesco's Value Range PSU. At 15 quid it is sure to be of low quality. Go for a known brand like Corsair, Coolermaster or OCZ etc and brace yourself to spend at least 40-50 pounds or so. You may wince at the extra cost initially, but it will save you money and tears in the long run. ( Similar advice could apply to the case as well - good cooling/airflow and ease of use may be issues with the one you have chosen, but you can probably get away with it for now)

3) Extended testing and general consensus does indeed suggest that NVIDIA cards generally get you a better result at a given price point than ATI cards for FSX. I have run both over the last 15 years of PC gaming and both have given me good an not-so-good cards. Of late I have favoured NVIDA and have not been left disappointed. I too would recommend the latest GTX 560ti as the best bang-for-buck GPU for FSX

4) An SSD is a nice bonus and will make your whole system really zing in everyday functions and for loading/booting. It won't have any significant effect on FSX performance...with the possible exception that textures may load faster in game, eliminating blurries etc. Problem is, at 60Gb you will quickly run out of space and will have to start moving games from that to your platter-based drive and if you have many add-ons for FSX, then forget about it - my FSX folder is already 140-odd GB in size! If you can stretch to a 128Gb 256Gb one, then it might be workable, but otherwise I would give it a miss.

5) I disagree that any more than 8Gb RAM is needed. No matter how complex the scenery, how many add-ons I have running and what kind of plane I am in, I have never seen my total RAM usage much above 60% on my Win 7 64 bit, 8Gb system.

Good luck and happy shopping!

:)

sorry for dragging this up, but i need a few more answers...and since Santa failed to bring me ANY PC related products :gaah: , i'm re-spec'ing my new build - jump to the bottom of the post to view it.

So. here's what i want to know:

1st - nice and simple:

ATI 6870 or GTX 560Ti

2nd - do i really need an SSD - why?:

Config 1:

Win 7 on 60gb SSD and FSX + office apps on 500GB HDD - any benefits/disadvantages??

or

Config 2:

2x 500gb (1 for storage, 1 dedicated FSX+extras) and 1x 120GB for Windows 7 & office apps - any benefits/disadvantages??

and finally, 3rd:

4gb (2x2gb) DDR3-1600 OR 8gb (4x2gb) DDR3-1333 (bearing in mind the i5 2500 CPU is dual-cannel

ok, so that's the questions asked, here's the NEW proposed spec as compiled on AriaPC:

1x ARIANET Avenger Midi Tower Gaming Chassis

1x Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO Quiet CPU Cooler

1x Intel Core i5-2500 3.30GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor - Retail

2x: 500GB Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 3.5" SATA III Hard Drive

2x Kingston 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz HyperX Blu Memory Kit CL9 1.65V Non-ECC Unbuffered [KHX1600C9D3B1K2/4GX]

1x MSI Z68S-G43-G3 Intel Z68 (REV B3) Socket 1155 DDR3 PCI-Express Motherboard

1x 620W ARIANET ACE Series ATX2.3 Power Supply

1x Asus GeForce GTX 560Ti DCII/2DI/1GD5 DirectCU II 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card

1x Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit SP1, Operating System, Single, - OEM

Total Cost inc. delivery - £710.86

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it is well documented that aces fine tuned fsx for nvidea cards so i would not buy the alternative, also i would not bother with an ssd there are numerous articles available on the internet (see toms hardware) indicating that they are not the way forward due to technical complications of read write speed etc and lots of things that i dont understand. and besides if you have a large fsx repository (mine is 240gb) plus windows plus room for expansion that makes for one hell of an expensive hard drive far better to buy 2 x 1tb sata 3 drives and put them on a raid 1 setup.

I have to also disagree with the last person about memory 16mb makes the pc loads faster in fsx than with 8mb

Just seen this and hope I am not too late to offer a few thoughts on your spec and some of the comments above:

1) IMPORTANT! The processor you have specced is the 2500...you need to be looking at a nnnnk model, such as the 2500k or 2600k etc. In order to wring the best performance out of FSX, it is really worth overclocking your CPU from the default speed - especially as you are looking to buy a decent cooler. The non-K suffixed Intel chips are not designed for OCing and do not have an unlocked multiplier, thus preventing you from making any any meaningful OC. From the site you are looking at, this is the CPU you need. As you can see, these days there is no significant price difference, but the chip has much greater potential than the one you have specced.

2) IMPORTANT! Power Supply: The most unglamorous, yet most overlooked part of many a build. Don't skimp on this - a cheaper, non-brand PSU can lurk at the root of all sorts of issues - at best, instability and odd glitches, at worst, frying critical components when they are stressed. 650W should be more than enough to see you through a few upgrades, especially if you don't ever intend to add a second graphics card to your system, but I really would dig a bit deeper and nix the "Arianet" Tesco's Value Range PSU. At 15 quid it is sure to be of low quality. Go for a known brand like Corsair, Coolermaster or OCZ etc and brace yourself to spend at least 40-50 pounds or so. You may wince at the extra cost initially, but it will save you money and tears in the long run. ( Similar advice could apply to the case as well - good cooling/airflow and ease of use may be issues with the one you have chosen, but you can probably get away with it for now)

3) Extended testing and general consensus does indeed suggest that NVIDIA cards generally get you a better result at a given price point than ATI cards for FSX. I have run both over the last 15 years of PC gaming and both have given me good an not-so-good cards. Of late I have favoured NVIDA and have not been left disappointed. I too would recommend the latest GTX 560ti as the best bang-for-buck GPU for FSX

4) An SSD is a nice bonus and will make your whole system really zing in everyday functions and for loading/booting. It won't have any significant effect on FSX performance...with the possible exception that textures may load faster in game, eliminating blurries etc. Problem is, at 60Gb you will quickly run out of space and will have to start moving games from that to your platter-based drive and if you have many add-ons for FSX, then forget about it - my FSX folder is already 140-odd GB in size! If you can stretch to a 128Gb 256Gb one, then it might be workable, but otherwise I would give it a miss.

5) I disagree that any more than 8Gb RAM is needed. No matter how complex the scenery, how many add-ons I have running and what kind of plane I am in, I have never seen my total RAM usage much above 60% on my Win 7 64 bit, 8Gb system.

Good luck and happy shopping!

:)

sorry for dragging this up, but i need a few more answers...and since Santa failed to bring me ANY PC related products :gaah: , i'm re-spec'ing my new build - jump to the bottom of the post to view it.

So. here's what i want to know:

1st - nice and simple:

ATI 6870 or GTX 560Ti

2nd - do i really need an SSD - why?:

Config 1:

Win 7 on 60gb SSD and FSX + office apps on 500GB HDD - any benefits/disadvantages??

or

Config 2:

2x 500gb (1 for storage, 1 dedicated FSX+extras) and 1x 120GB for Windows 7 & office apps - any benefits/disadvantages??

and finally, 3rd:

4gb (2x2gb) DDR3-1600 OR 8gb (4x2gb) DDR3-1333 (bearing in mind the i5 2500 CPU is dual-cannel

ok, so that's the questions asked, here's the NEW proposed spec as compiled on AriaPC:

1x ARIANET Avenger Midi Tower Gaming Chassis

1x Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO Quiet CPU Cooler

1x Intel Core i5-2500 3.30GHz (Sandybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor - Retail

2x: 500GB Seagate Barracuda ST500DM002 3.5" SATA III Hard Drive

2x Kingston 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz HyperX Blu Memory Kit CL9 1.65V Non-ECC Unbuffered [KHX1600C9D3B1K2/4GX]

1x MSI Z68S-G43-G3 Intel Z68 (REV B3) Socket 1155 DDR3 PCI-Express Motherboard

1x 620W ARIANET ACE Series ATX2.3 Power Supply

1x Asus GeForce GTX 560Ti DCII/2DI/1GD5 DirectCU II 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card

1x Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit SP1, Operating System, Single, - OEM

Total Cost inc. delivery - £710.86

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thanks for your input guys, but this project has been long-term shelved. It seems that i get very few hours in the day left over to dedicate to FS after work and other hobbies (Astro-photography & Stargazing) along with my editorial role on the RAF AirPower magazine at Brize.

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