The A2A Simulations Community

"Come share your passion for flight"
It is currently Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:17 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: New machine...
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 4:38 pm 
Offline
Airman Basic

Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 6:52 pm
Posts: 6
Hello forum. Never seen so much support.

Looking at a new system. (mine crashed) On a budget so if you can give me some feedback, I would
appreciate it. I would really like to have this game.

System: Dell, win 7-64, 4gb ram, AMD Athlon IIx2 3ghz, ATI Radeon 4200 HD-512mb, 2mb cache,
500gb drive.

Also, been looking for a ffb controller. Can't find any locally. Any suggestions?

Thank you - JR


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New machine...
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 2:23 am 
Offline
BDG
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 8:21 am
Posts: 4379
Location: wet coast, Canada
Well, first off, I never buy a prepackaged computer - I go to one of the
million little local dealers, one I've been using for most of the last decade, and
tell them what I want, and they put it together for me. I generally specify
a few things that are important to me, and they fill in the rest with appropriate
hardware. I find that buying a pre-packaged box, you either get something
mediocre, or pay a lot and get lots of whizzbangs you don't need.

Anyway, I'm not at all confident your graphics card will be adequate.

Regarding the graphics, look here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gam ... 107-7.html

(This is constantly updated, and easy to find - Tom's Hardware site,
"Best Graphics Card for the Money" article, current version, under
articles>graphics, last page "Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart" )
This chart is only about power, it doesn't consider bang-for-buck, nor even
availability. It is to help get a sense of the ranking of any card from the last
decade or so.

For running a flight sim, you want a card that is relatively near the top of the page.
I like to go for somewhere around the third or fourth band down. For a budget, I'd
consider dropping down as far as sixth or seventh. (Expect it, once purchased, to
slide down the chart about one band every three to six months). A page search for the
ATI 4200 shows it up on the 25th band, as an integrated card. This is lower down the
page than top-of-the-line cards from 2006, which could probably be picked up from a
used computer junk dealer for free.

Basically, you don't ever want a lower performance or mid-range graphics card for
simming. Far better to go for something at or next to top of the line, but two or three
generations back. You will pay about the same and get much better results.
Anyway, to get some idea of how to interpret this stuff, let's look at the first page
of the article, best cards under $100. These cards are probably a wee bit weak
for current simming, but will do in a pinch. You can also cross check from the
chart against the position of the cards on page one, and note the names of other
cards there or above. Some of these cards are quite old now. For example, the
6670 ddr3 named on page one of the current article is on band 14, where we also find
nVidia 8800 series and 240 series, which were being sold (as top of the line) around 2008.
(the other card named, the 440 ddr5 isn't shown on the chart for some reason, but obviously
should be on the same band (don't confuse it with the 440 ddr3, which is down a couple of
bands)). You could probably find an 8800 card used for cheap, and be at least as well off as
with the named cards.

Well, it all depends on how severe your budget is, but I wouldn't want to try to manage
BoB2 with a card lower down the page than those, and ideally, would want something
at least a few bands above them. 1 GB vidRAM if you can manage it.

I'm not up to speed on cpu's these days, so I can't comment much there, other than to
say that BoB2 leans on the cpu at least as hard as the video, and benefits greatly
from multi-cores, as it is multi-threaded. 4 or 8 cores if possible.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New machine...
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 10:45 am 
Offline
Staff Sergeant

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:37 pm
Posts: 490
Location: Florida, U.S. of A.
I'll recommend avoiding ATI/AMD graphics solutions and stick with Nvidia stuff. It has better compatibility with BoB2 and with older games as well. I run a GeForce GTX460 and I'm really very happy with it. A 1GB GeForce GTX560 Ti, its newer, faster replacement, would probably be my recommendation, as it's a great "middle tier" card. After that price point you'll run into the "diminishing return on investment" problem.

Intel CPUs still clobber AMD CPUs, but AMD fights back with super-cheap prices, so it's a balancing act. I'd recommend intel, but I have to admit that I haven't used AMD since the first dual-core chips were popular. AMD could well be the best choice for a processor in your budget. However, I can say a nice intel Core i5 chip that can overclock is a real gaming monster CPU. Tom's Hardware agrees with me: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gam ... 106-4.html

I always recommend Western Digital branded hard drives, having proved to be overall the fastest, coolest and most reliable hard drives. But if your budget can afford one, a solid-state drive is always a better alternative. I can't give any brand recommendations, though.

As far as FFB controllers, I use an MS Sidewinder Force Feedback 2 joystick which I picked up from ebay for like $50. There are probably better/more sophisticated choices in new joysticks, but as you'll see from other posts on this forum, the Sidewinder FFB2 has a reputation for being extremely durable! The later "red" models are considered the best, but I've had the original for like 4 years and it still works as good as the day I got it. http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=Sid ... &_osacat=0

_________________
Intel P45, Q6600@333MHzx9, GTX 460 1GB, 4GB PC2-8500, Win7 x64, TIR3+6DoF, MS SW FFB2, Acer 22" LCD 1680x1050@60Hz


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New machine...
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 3:25 pm 
Offline
Airman Basic

Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 6:52 pm
Posts: 6
Wow! What meticulous feedback.

Lots of food for thought. Going to do some research suggested.
Perhaps putting it together as suggested can be close to budget.
Probably can get my brother to put it together for me.

Thank you so much.

JR


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New machine...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:23 pm 
Offline
Airman Basic

Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 6:52 pm
Posts: 6
Well...have looked at a lot of options. Just a little confusing at this point.

Narrowing it down. If you don't mind taking a look at something I've found to consider. Don't know the maker,
so if anyone has had experience with them I would like some feedback.

At Best Buy..."IBuyPower": Intel 2nd gen i5-2320, 6mb L3 cache, 3.0-3.3ghz with turbo, 8gb ddr3 sdram,
Nvidia GT520, 1gb dedicated, 1tb hd (7200), win 7 (Win 8 upgrade offered cheap?),
12-1 reader, 8 usb ports, lan etc.

Budget and financing option is attractive.

Again, any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
JC


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New machine...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:55 am 
Offline
BDG
User avatar

Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 8:21 am
Posts: 4379
Location: wet coast, Canada
Nvidia GT520

Just do a text search on the page, and you'll find
you've moved up 4 bands on the Tom's Hardware chart,
from 25 to 21, and you are now on the same band as top of the line
cards from 2004 (6800 GT) - From nVidia's own website:
Quote:
Tech Report: The best of 2004
"The 6800 GT was clearly the best buy among the $399 cards."

You are only about ten bands below where you need to be.
You should be thinking in terms of a card equivalent to the top
of the line from 2009, not 2004.

The way graphics cards are usually numbered, the first part of
the model number is the series, and the second part is the location
in the series. For nVidia, they went through a long series of numberings
with series 4000 to 9000, where a [n]200 was fairly useless for gaming,
and a [n]900 was top of the line. This system continues, except they're
back to using 3 digits, so they have gone through 200 to 600 with their
current top of the line being GTX 690. Note however that even the GT 220
is rated three bands higher than the GT 520, and in 2009, when it was
available, it was not recommended for gaming. see here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/27053 ... ood-gaming

(Good for gaming is more or less equivalent to good for flightsims, though
on the whole flightsims demand more performance.)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New machine...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:21 am 
Offline
Airman Basic

Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 6:52 pm
Posts: 6
Thank you PV.

I'll continue search to see if I can find an upgrade that will work for me.

Again, thanks.
JR


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New machine...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:38 pm 
Offline
Staff Sergeant

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:37 pm
Posts: 490
Location: Florida, U.S. of A.
Give us a spending limit and I'm sure we can come up with some recommendations.

_________________
Intel P45, Q6600@333MHzx9, GTX 460 1GB, 4GB PC2-8500, Win7 x64, TIR3+6DoF, MS SW FFB2, Acer 22" LCD 1680x1050@60Hz


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New machine...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:43 pm 
Offline
Airman Basic

Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 6:52 pm
Posts: 6
Thanks McMick.

Above mentioned system is $629. As I said above, the financing option is attractive though
not absolute necessity.

I'd like to stay in the 6-700 range. Perhaps a little more.

Thank you...JR


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New machine...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 4:51 pm 
Offline
Staff Sergeant

Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 6:37 pm
Posts: 490
Location: Florida, U.S. of A.
Sorry not to answer you. I got rather busy during the week and haven't been in the tech support forum for a bit. In case you haven't made a purchase yet, I'll do my best to give you a decent rig in that range. I'll use dabs.com for my recommendations, based on what's there today, but you should also compare to Fry's etc. Note that I'm not including peripherals like keyboard/mouse/speakers/monitor on the assumption that you already have those. Suffice to say that by throwing all the money at the tower, your machine will be extremely fast. Also I use the dollar sign in lieu of the pound sign since I don't know what the alt code is for it, but I mean Pounds not Dollars:

CASE: http://www.dabs.com/products/antec-300- ... html?src=2 <--Antec 300 Three Hundred Case Black, looks nice, simple construction, PSU on bottom, accepts large fans and includes 2. Does not include power supply, but that's a good thing. $40

POWER: http://www.dabs.com/products/ocz-techno ... 0-12&src=3 <--OCZ Technology ZS Series 750W 80+ Bronze Power Supply $60

MAINBOARD: http://www.dabs.com/products/asus-p8z77 ... 3314&src=3 <--Asus P8Z77-M S1155 Intel Z77 DDR3 mATX There are cheaper boards with same chipset but ASUS has a good reputation and they honor their warranties. Also this has solid state capacitors and heatsinks everywhere $90

CPU: http://www.dabs.com/products/intel-core ... 4663&src=3 <--Intel Core i5-2550K 3.40GHz Highly overclockable, multiplier is unlocked! $170

MEMORY: http://www.dabs.com/products/crucial-8g ... 0000&src=3 <--Crucial 8GB (2 x 4GB) Tactical DDR3 1866MHz CL9 1.5v Crucial is Micron and Micron is awesome $50

VIDEO: http://www.dabs.com/products/asus-gefor ... 0000&src=3 <--Asus GeForce GTX 560 Ti 830MHz 2GB Yes a whole gigabyte more RAM for almost the same price as 1GB models! $180

STORAGE: http://www.dabs.com/products/western-di ... 0473&src=3 <--Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black 3.5" SATA6GB/S 7200rpm 64MB There is also a slightly cheaper 1TB Caviar Blue, but it has a smaller buffer so I went with this $90

DVD: http://www.dabs.com/products/samsung-sh ... html?src=3 <--Samsung SH-S223 22x DVD-RW SATA OEM (Black) $12

CARD READER: http://www.dabs.com/products/akasa-3-5- ... der&src=16 <-- Akasa 3.5" Internal 6-Slot Multicard Reader with USB 3.0 $11

Total is $703 plus whatever shipping winds up costing. You'll also need to install a copy of Windows, but you could use the OEM key from the sticker on your Dell PC if you're not going to use it anymore, and download an OEM disc image of Windows if Dell didn't give you one. Don't tell Dell I told you though, ok? (wink, wink)

Hope this helps, let me know if you were trying to squeeze in a new monitor too and I'll adjust the hardware down a bit.

P.S. It's not unreasonable to think about getting an uninterruptable power supply for this. Unfortunately in the UK the prices seem rather high. You'll want at least a 1200VA rated UPS, but they seem to start at around $200. Still, if you can swing it, it will help protect your investment for years in the future, and replacement batteries are pretty cheap on ebay. I'm convinced that they are a good investment for anyone using a desktop, but especially for gamers since the hardware is pushed frequently and it needs as steady a voltage as it can get.

UPDATE: Changed out the motherboard as dabs apparently had discontinued it. Replaced with a similar asus board with newer chipset, though it's mATX and has just the one PCI-E x16 slot. Also it's $90 not $80, but alas, such is life :(

_________________
Intel P45, Q6600@333MHzx9, GTX 460 1GB, 4GB PC2-8500, Win7 x64, TIR3+6DoF, MS SW FFB2, Acer 22" LCD 1680x1050@60Hz


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: New machine...
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:19 pm 
Offline
Airman Basic

Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 6:52 pm
Posts: 6
Wow. Thanks for all the research.

Going to run this by my brother and try to convince him to put it together for me.
Don't know, he's awfully busy.

Thank you very much McMick.
JR


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group