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daveyg073

System Specs - for a Philistine

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I am not at all knowledgeable about the internals of computers and my system is desperate for - I suspect - replacement.  I'm pretty sure that my current system can't be upgraded as the MB has an 1155 socket so I think I am pretty close to the best CPU I can get.  I don't know whether other elements can be improved but I guess without upgrading the CPU it would all be a bit pointless.  A well known UK supermarket is currently offering a gaming machine, with the following spec, at what seems to be a reasonable price.  I do not intend to go down this particular route but wondered what the more knowledgeable folk here make of the spec.

 

1024 GB PCle SSD

16GB DDR4-2666 

Core i5-9400

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 - 6GB GDDR6- VRAM

 

No specs listed for MB or Power Supply.

 

I would like to operate FSX SE with the True Earth scenery for, at least, the UK and to have an element of future proofing in the new system.

 

Regards

 

daveyg

 

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Of course I have already visited the company web site, viewed the specifications and read the reviews.  The one useful review of the offer is what lead me to the decision not to pursue a purchase, what the review didn't tell me was whether that spec would offer me a benchmark for determining what I do need to buy to deliver a useable system.  I have looked at a lot of hardware websites recently and spent a goodly time going through posts on this forum but I do not entirely understand what I am seeing and reading.

 

However, thanks for your help.

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Hello,

as a rule of thumb you ideally need a minimum of:

 

1. A CPU capable of at the very least 4 ghz.

It does not matter if this speed is achieved

using the Intel Turbo Boost but Intel are not

the only makers of CPUs.

 

2. A GPU with ideally at least 8 GB of onboard RAM.

For the GeForce Series, the higher the series number the

better but of course also the more expensive.

70 or 80 should be the target.

Nvidia are not the only makers of graphics cards.

 

3. 16 GB of RAM, 32 is better

 

An SSD for your operating system.

 

I would not spend almost £1000 and not know who made the PSU or the motherboard,

as it seems that you would also not do.

 

You will find proponents of all kinds of hardware because:

1. not many people are willing to admit that they spent a fortune on hardware that made only a marginal difference.

2. everyone's expectations are different and therefore what is acceptable varies widely

 

However, if you want to run today's simulators, FSX, P3D, X plane 11 and Aerofly at or very nearly at their maximum

settings, you will not compromise on your hardware.

 

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Great advise from Nick. +1

If you are tight on your budget, instead of upgrading the graphic card, you should go for a better CPU (i7-9700K) and keep the GTX1060 for FSX. IF you choose P3D, a better graphic card than the 1060 is better if your screen resolution is higher than 1080p.

 

 

Edited by Mikelab6

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Just to add to the already excellent comments.

These are from the folks who I used to custom build my system & are some items that tend to be overlooked.

 

1) Power Supply

    The i7-9700k and i9-9900k take a fair bit of power (95w+) and this seems to be the trend . Although total wattage is important, more importantly you want a power supply that has very good regulation. Many psu' s offer modular design which means that you plug in only the cables that you need rather than the older style which have all the cables in a massive bundle. This does not imply that psu's offering these features are overly expensive - careful shopping will help you find them at a reasonable price point.

 

2) Case

    Electronics hate heat buildup , so good ventilation is a must. There are some good cases available that come with good base fans and offer the flexibility to easily add more case fans as necessary as well as additional cooling solutions such water cooling. A good case does not need to be expensive - but you will find many, very expensive cases that offer a lot of "bling" such as led lights etc. If you like that sort of thing - its great, but from what I was shown they do not offer any better cooling solutions.

 

Personal preference on my part - I hate noise  and am very happy with the low noise air solutions that I ended up with.

 

3) Cpu cooling

    Best not to try to save money here . There are some moderately priced air cooling solutions that work very efficiently and are also quiet. 

    An alternative is to use water cooling, which is quiet and efficient although they can be quite pricy . I didn't consider this alternative simply because I wasn't comfortable with the idea of mixing water and electronics. I have no regrets with the air cooling solution I ended up with - it is efficient, quiet and was moderately priced

 

4) Motherboard

    A good motherboard will offer solid performance with expandability (i.e. the ability to add addition drives etc). Here again, the gaming motherboards have a lot of led lighting etc, but not necessarily any better compute performance. One small thing to look for is to ask/check that the area where the gpu is placed has sufficient room both in width and length to handle an upgraded gpu card if you do that in the future. Previous members have offered excellent advice on cards, but the newer cards (nvidia RTX etc) can physically be larger than previous generation cards.

 

Lastly, you can learn a lot by watching you tube videos to become better informed before you purchase. One that I would recommend to you is "Paul's Hardware"

https://www.youtube.com/user/paulshardware

 

What I like is that he offers very solid advice and he has excellent videos designed for the beginner on how to actually build a machine, which is very helpful in understanding what all the components do. Each month he features a "custom build" which varies from a very low priced starter system all the way to a very advanced system. This is very helpful in understanding the differences in components and why you might prefer to spend slightly more is some areas. 

 

He is very good explaining the "why" of choosing particular components which when one is just starting can also be very helpful

 

I hope that this is of some interest and help to you

Cheers

Renault

 

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I am very grateful for the great advice tendered by you guys, really helpful.  I think that upgrading the current machine is a dodgy issue as the MB sports an 1155 socket, so the current CPU is, I believe, the fastest that I can install there.  I have been casting around and talking to a local computer guy, Chris, who I know quite well and it seems that my budget (£1K) is never going to get me anything outstanding.  From what I have read and been told it would seem that AMD is probably the way to go.  I have located a commercially available machine that is within the budget and will even allow me to include a reasonable monitor.  I wonder what you guys will make of it:

 

  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600 @4.2Mhz
  • ASUS® PRIME B450-PLUS
  • 16GB Corsair VENGEANCE 2666MHz
  • 8GB AMD RADEON™ RX 590
  • 1TB SEAGATE BARRACUDA HDD
  • 256GB ADATA SX6000 Pro PCIe M.2 2280 (2100 MB/R, 1200 MB/W)
  • CORSAIR 550W VS SERIES™ VS-550 POWER SUPPLY
  • STANDARD AMD CPU COOLER
  • Windows 10 Home

I would appreciate your opinions please.

 

It is quite likely that I will have Chris build me a system based around the above with the odd tweak here and there based on any advice that folks can pass on.

 

Renault, I have watched a couple of the PaulsHardware you tube episodes.  I am impressed: informative, logical and not  'geeky'.  Thanks for the tip.

 

Thanks again everyone.

 

Dave

 

 

Edited by daveyg073
Missing information.

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Hi Dave

 

I have no first hand knowledge of AMD products as I have never used them , but from what I have seen recently they have very much "upped their game" and are a serious contender as an option. Perhaps @Doug Sawatzky who has a wealth of experience and knowledge with AMD could help out here with specific insight into what you are looking at as an option.

 

Just looking at the specs of your proposed machine they are very comparable with an Intel offering that would give good performance. You will of course need to adjust system settings to get everything balanced between visual fidelity and smooth performance.  I'm sure that Doug could provide helpful advice in that area as well to get you up and running. 

 

Certainly your system specs would allow you to consider other simulators as an option in the future if you desired. The current generation of simulators have performance which is quite dependent on cpu clock speed rather than multi core performance , but future technology is now looking towards the latter. The cpu you mentioned seems to be quite good spec wise in this area, but I will defer to Doug and his expertise for specific guidance.

 

There hasn't been a machine built that would allow you to max everything out , but choosing the best computer you can afford and getting settings balanced will give you a very enjoyable experience with Orbx scenery.

 

I'm looking forward to some of your screenshots once you are up and running :)

 

All the best

R

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17 hours ago, daveyg073 said:

I would appreciate your opinions please.

 

 

Your AMD build list looks like a definite upgrade from the i5-9400, except I would try and find a little extra cash and do an RX 5700 GPU instead of the RX 590, but the 8gb of vram upgrade would still be better than the 6gb RTX 2060. I would also shoot for a bit stronger power supply. The other nice thing about the AMD platform is that there will be a very good CPU upgrade path (future proofing) that will not require a mother board upgrade....the near future Ryzen 4000 series looks very good with even more single threaded IPC performance improvements that will well surpass the competition and will still be AM4 CPU socket. 

 

And yes, the CPU and GPU landscape is changing drastically towards a direction that has not been traditionally normal for the flight sim community, so there will be expected apprehensions and lack of experience and knowledge of the latest hardware developments, and it is very worthwhile to not assume what is best for flight sim anymore, but to do the research.

 

 

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Thank you so much guys, I really do appreciate your guidance.  The new build is gonna have to wait until after the festive season, four grandchildren are in the driving seat before then.  However, I am going to have another chat with my buddy Chris and look at what his costs are going to be to build and accommodate the improvements suggested by Doug.  After watching the Paul's Hardware videos though I am tempted to have a try at building my own - but as an erstwhile mechanical (aircraft) engineer, perhaps not a clever idea, or maybe clever but not too intelligent.  If anything it is the software side of things that have me backing off.

 

regards

 

Dave

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On 11/14/2019 at 10:38 AM, daveyg073 said:
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600 @4.2Mhz
  • ASUS® PRIME B450-PLUS
  • 16GB Corsair VENGEANCE 2666MHz
  • 8GB AMD RADEON™ RX 590
  • 1TB SEAGATE BARRACUDA HDD
  • 256GB ADATA SX6000 Pro PCIe M.2 2280 (2100 MB/R, 1200 MB/W)
  • CORSAIR 550W VS SERIES™ VS-550 POWER SUPPLY
  • STANDARD AMD CPU COOLER
  • Windows 10 Home

I would appreciate your opinions please.

 

As a Ryzen CPU simmer, some of my thoughts and experiences.

 

- Intel is still ahead of AMD on gaming performance by at least 10% (average).

- AMD is better value price/performance.

- New Ryzen Zen 2 CPUs love faster RAM. If your budget can stretch, the sweet spot is between 3200 and 3600 MHz and a latency of CL16 (or ideally lower). 'G.Skill Trident Z' RAM might offer you the best value.

- Check the motherboard QVL or Memory Support List to ensure that you have compatible memory (it is very specific, but allows you to use XMP profile for the fastest frequency and timings your RAM will be capable of).
 

- Look to see whether that B450 motherboard is Zen 2 compatible out of the box. If not, go to a PC shop to get the BIOS flashed ready for your 3600 or worst case scenario, you will need an older 'loaner CPU' from AMD if doing it yourself. (You absolutely do not need an expensive X570 board).

- Once you are up and running, download the 'AMD Ryzen Master' utility. It will help you 'overclock' the CPU by using the 'Precision Boost Overdrive' function rather than manually overclocking.
- Zen 2 CPUs run hotter at idle and at higher voltages than people are used to. I've thrown on one of the largest fan coolers (Noctua NH-D15 SE-AM4) to keep my chip to below 80°C under load. (It can run hotter, but I want to keep this CPU performing well for some time).

- Make sure you use an AMD Ryzen power profile in Windows 10.


I built my current PC with no prior experience or know-how. Two YouTube videos later, I had my first machine.
Several threads read on the AMD sub-Reddit and I had my CPU tweaked to give the best performance I can get.
 

All this probably reads harder than it is, but it is more rewarding and obviously cheaper to build your own.


Additional point that no-one has seemed to have picked-up on - TrueEarth products are only available for XP11 and P3D v4.
FSX could never cope with the amount of detail in TE products due to a relatively low hard limit of virtual address space inherent to 32-bit applications.

Good luck and let us know how you eventually get on.

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Many thanks for that insight into a self build.  I have a couple more videos to watch and I might just give it a shot; as you say it will save a few quid or open up the budget to move up the spectrum a little bit.  I am also tempted with making a decision before Black Friday :smile:.

 

I was, belatedly, aware that the True Earth packages were not going to work with FSX, in fact it was Chris who pointed it out to me.  Really that just accelerated the need for a better spec system and a switch to XPlane 11 - then I read about the impending arrival of XPlane 12, although the book seems to be still open on when that might happen.

 

I could, of course, just return to Solitaire or Chess and sack the confusion :banghead:

 

Thanks again

 

dave

 

PS You be very careful flying those 737s - not to be trusted I hear.

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