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Adrian West

Advice requested for interim graphics card upgrade

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Hi. I currently run FSX Gold on an 8 year old system. Ultimately I would like to fly P3D v4, but for this I will need a completely new rig, and that is unfortunately not financially possible this year. I am looking for an interim upgrade to last me the next year or so. 

My current system is a Dell Studio XPS 8000, running W7/64 on an i7 860 @ 2.80 GHz with 8 GB RAM and an OEM GeForce GTS 240 with just 1 GB graphics memory. My FS setup includes ORBX Global Base, Vector & OpenLC, Pilot's Global mesh, REX, ASN, plus a couple of study level aircraft and several high end airport sceneries (ORBX, Flytampa, Taxi2gate, UK2000, Aerosoft). I run FSX on DX9. You will appreciate that my current system struggles from time to time. When in the air I can usually get 20-30 fps, but on or close to the ground I might get only 10 fps (or lower), and this is with sliders set at a sensible level.

I am looking to upgrade my graphics card to try to squeeze a few extra fps out of the system and get it to run more smoothly. I am very well aware that FSX is very CPU dependent - I read somewhere that it is around 75% CPU and 25% GPU. My CPU cannot be overclocked or upgraded. So I am not expecting miracles from a GPU upgrade, but if I can get a small improvement to make things smoother, that would be a success. My current PSU is 350 W. I really need to get more graphics memory, as 1 GB is too little with the addons that I have. Should I aim for 4 GB, or would 2 GB be sufficient for my setup?

I have seen EVGA GTX 1050 2 GB at a reasonable price on Amazon, and I think this would fit my PC case. According to the EVGA web site it needs minimum 300 W (but does add that this is based on an i7 3.20 GHz, which is just slightly higher than my specs). Should I change to a more powerful PSU? Can I do this using the same motherboard? Some 4 GB cards I have seen will need at least 400 W, so I need to work out whether this would be feasible for me.

As this will be just an interim upgrade, I do not want to spend the earth (and cannot afford to anyway), so I am just looking for a modest improvement until I can afford the new rig. Thank you for any advice you can give. 

 

Adrian 

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Hi Adrian and welcome to Mutley's

 

It's very difficult to give you useful advice, you have obviously done your homework and have a good understanding of where the weaknesses in your system are.  Ideally a 4GB graphics card should be the minimum to aim for. The 1050 graphics card sounds like a good choice, but go for the Ti version (4GB) and a PSU upgrade 500w at Scan Computers is 29.99.   

 

I hope it works out OK for you.

Joe

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Hi Adrian,

 

If this is any help. I'm using P3D v 4 on my "old computer" and it runs perfectly OK at 60 FPS. Its only a 2 core Pentium 3.2 GHz, 16 GB of RAM and the graphics card Nvidia GTX 960 with Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit.

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Thanks for your quick replies. I posted the same questions on another well known flight sim forum a week ago and have had no replies at all!

 

Joe, what is the benefit of the 1050Ti over the standard 1050? Maybe it's the Ti that has 4 GB rather than just 2 GB? Because this card will occupy 2 slots, in my system it will sit very close to a small Wi-fi card in my case. Could this be a concern as regards the graphics card fan? The card requires just a PCI-express slot for power, but is there any reason why it wouldn't be compatible with my motherboard? I too have considered upgrading the PSU - but again I would like to check that my motherboard will be up to it. I'm far from a newbie, but when it comes to hardware I have limited understanding.

 

Michael, those FPS are very interesting. Are you running "vanilla" P3D v4, or do you have loads of addons like me? My FSX ran really well on my system until I started to upgrade the sim and added ORBX textures, REX, ASN etc!!

 

Do you both think I will get the benefit I am looking for by changing the graphics card (better FPS, less stutters etc)?

 

One more question if I may. Would it be worth my while trying out DX10, or would my system not be up to it?

 

Thanks again.

 

Adrian

 

Edited by Adrian West

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Hi Adrian,

 

Yes, the Ti is double the Ram but also a faster GPU in that it can process more pixels faster. However, from what you are saying it would be easier all round to get the 2GB card.

 

Your system should be OK for DX10 with the better card, but an essential piece of software to add would be Steve's DX 10 fixer - review here http://www.mutleyshangar.com/reviews/bc/dx10/dx10.htm .

 

Cheers

Joe

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Hi again Adrian,

 

I only use home made photo scenery and no other add-ons and I am more than happy with P3D v 4 which performs better than FSX and FSX Steam.

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4 hours ago, mutley said:

Hi Adrian,

 

Yes, the Ti is double the Ram but also a faster GPU in that it can process more pixels faster. However, from what you are saying it would be easier all round to get the 2GB card.

 

Your system should be OK for DX10 with the better card, but an essential piece of software to add would be Steve's DX 10 fixer - review here http://www.mutleyshangar.com/reviews/bc/dx10/dx10.htm .

 

Cheers

Joe

 

Thanks Joe. Please could you clarify what you mean when you wrote "from what you are saying it would be easier all round to get the 2GB card". Are you referring to the physical size of the card? The 2 GB card has the same dimensions as the 4 GB card, according to Amazon. Or are you referring to something else?

 

Yes, I am aware of Steve's DX 10 fixer. From what I understand, DX10 transfers some of the load from the CPU to the GPU and can lead to better FPS and improved VAS usage.

 

Adrian

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Well, I am thinking that trying to accomodate the Ti's extra power needs could be an issue, you inferred that the 4GB was a bigger size (being double high) and it may create a heat issue for your wifi card? There's many negatives there. :/  

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