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New i7 system - upgrading to optimal performance


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#1 dreamshiner

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 01:43 AM

First post, be kind.

I'm a 757 pilot who needs to brush on my skills before sim checks. Recently bought a Dell Desktop with the following spec:

Intel Core i7-860 2.80MHz
Windows 7 64 bit
3GB DDR3 1066MHz
320GB HDD
512MB ATI RadeonTM HD 4350 (DVI, VGA,HDMI)

Monitor: 22" Viewsonic VX2245WM iPOD Viewdoc

I reckon the 4350 is pretty poor to run what I need on half decent settings (Level D and Phoenix), however from what I've read already I understand nVidia is the way forward and the fact I have a pretty powerful processor counts in my favour too.

Considering upgrading my 3GB of RAM to OCZ 6GB 1600MHz DDR3 8-8-8-24, 1.65V RAM - Will this affect any FSX performance significantly?

Want to know what would be a good all round graphics card to replace (or add - I don't know if its possible to have 2 running especially if they are different) to have first class FSX performance and half decent coverage for most games, a bit of future proofing would be good, also the ability to possibly run additional monitors if I decide to expand my FSX configuration going forward. If I do it would be to add a couple of extra monitors in a rig for the throttle pedestal and overhead panel.

Next issue for me is this CFG edit thing. Been suggested that I opt for a Level D 767 panel merge with the 757 Posky model. Seems tricky.

Thanks in advance.
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#2 peterhayes

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 04:09 AM

Dreamshiner
You might want to take that rig back as i7 860 will not run well with 3GB DDR3 RAM it really needs 4GB (2 x 2GB matched in the correct slots) or larger (eg usually 8GB matched) of Dual Channel DDR3 RAM. IMHO it should never have been sold with 3GB RAM as this is usually sold with a basic i7 9xx series cpu eg i7 930 and is triple channel DDR3 RAM, installed in 3GB, 6GB, etc lots. For that i7-860 I think that the base RAM speed will always be recorded at the default speed of 1066MHz but may well be faster if tweaked in the BIOS.
You are correct about the video card it is quite low end for that processor and usually nVidia cards are considered best for FSX, the least I would use for that processor would be a nvidia (2-series) (the nvidia 4 series are quite new and may not be as good as was first thought with high power requirements and high running temps) or an ATI 57xx, 58xx or better series if you prefer ATI. What is the psu wattage?
Regards
PeterH (The i7 860 in Win 64 runs FSX very well with the correct RAM and GPU)
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#3 Burkhard

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Posted 17 May 2010 - 11:59 AM

3 GB is a very weired config for a i7-860, you are sure it is no -920? It must be a 2 GB module and a 1 GB module :o

Video card golden rule: The second digit rules, it should be a seven minimum and better an 8. ATI 5770 or Nvidia 270 are acceptable, 5870 resp 280 are good, and the 9s are overshoot.
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#4 dreamshiner

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 10:39 PM

Tanks for the replies, sorry for not getting back in touch for a while, been away working.

Its a Dell so the PSU wattage is not really given along with my ability to play around with the BIOS. Here is the spec on my invoice:

Base
Vostro Desktop 430

Memory
3072MB (1x2048 + 1X1024) 1066MHz DDR3 Single Channel

Video Card
Graphics: 512MB ATI RadeonTM HD 4350 (DVI, VGA,HDMI)

Hard Drive
Drive 500GB Serial ATA non Raid (7200 Rpm)

Microsoft Operating System
English Genuine Windows® 7 Professional (64 BIT)

Optical Devices
16X DVD+/- RW Optical Drive for Win 7

Bundle
D014303

Processor
Intel® Core™ i7-860 (2.80GHz, 8MB)

Just looking for some advice, if this was your system (and no you can't send it back and get a refund - too easy) how would you improve it make FS9/X better a) cost effective option B) medium option c) cost no factor?
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#5 peterhayes

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 10:45 PM

Dreamshiner
My original comments stand. 8)
With 3GB of Single channel (should be dual) DDR3 RAM the cpu/system is unblanced and "throttled".
Unfortunately, it can't deliver the cpu grunt required for FSX.
The video card is also lightweight for FSX.
Sorry, that I can't be more positive.
Regards
PeterH
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#6 Burkhard

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 09:00 AM

If you have W7 installed, you can run the W7 performance meter that tells you about CPU, Memory, Grafics and Disk speed. I assume that your CPU will give the highest value, the memory slightly below and the video far below.

I have a i7-860 ( with 8 GB of RAM) and an ATI5770 and these both fit well together. While up to the 4xxx series nvidia worked better, ATI looks like the better choice with the 5770 or 5870 compared to the Nvidia 2xx .
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#7 Burkhard

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 12:04 PM

6 GB should be as good, I vould avoid to install 1GB modules if possible.
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#8 peterhayes

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Posted 05 August 2010 - 10:43 PM

Burkhard
IMHO 6GB on an i7 860 would "slow" it down you would have 3 slots on the board filled and the fourth empty.
The best configuration for an i7 860 is 2 x 2GB or 2 x 4GB (ie 4 or 8 GB RAM) running at least at 1600MHz.
The i7 860 uses dual channel DDR3 RAM and it needs to be installed as 2, 4, 8, or 16GB.
It is well known that when certain mobos have all RAM slots occupied it can affect overall performance that's why I suggested a 2 by xGB configuration and *GB is enough for anyone.
An i7 860 would run very poorly with 3GB or 6GB of RAM which by definition is usually TRIPLE channel DDR3 reserved for the i7 9xx series.
The i7 9xx series are different to the i7 860 and run with 3, 6 or 12GB Triple Channel DDR3 RAM.
The OP's PC will not run really well until it is configured with the right amount and right type of RAM
Regards
PeterH
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#9 Burkhard

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 09:33 AM

You are right, I somehow had seen a i7-920 mentioned by maybe I just dremat it.

i7-920 6 GB are enough
i7-860 8 GB are enough, since 4 may be a little too little.
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