PC for Flight Sim
I am trying to help out some of the local air cadet squadrons. This is going to be used only to run flight sims. Here is a rough idea of what they are looking at:
Processor and MB as required
8-16 gig RAM,
HD need not to be very big, we will not store files on it
3 output graphics card - looking at 3 x 24" monitors
Whats the best way to do this in a cost effective manner?
Well, for Microsoft Flight Simulator X, APU's would work just fine. Build using an AMD APU, say an A8-3870K, as a first 'test' system, and if the FS runs fine on it, build all the subsequent systems with an APU and integrated graphics.
Wow I wish my air cadets squad had a flight sim setup like that...
Anyways, FSX isn't really demanding on todays hardware, but 3x1080P might require some graphics horsepower.
HD7950 should be fine.
BIG BIG CPU for FSX,i have it,and its not 60 FPS with 570 on max and i5 2500 ,and around 30 fps in paris airport,traffic needs CPU power.
I'm pretty sure its CPU bottlenecked...I also have got traffic mods,may be the prob too
Traffic taxes the system A LOT. Even more so if its ground/water traffic.
Go big on GPU. I tried running a HD7770 with 3X24" LCD's and any game over DX9 slams it hard, I have a 7950 inbound.
No less than 660ti or 7870, 670 or better and 7950 or better is recommended if you ask me.
EDIT: Just tried to run the demo of FSX, won't start in 560X1080 with my current card, will report back tomorrow when the 7950 gets here.
Looks like they are spending several grand on this, I would check out CH Products. Get a nice yoke, rudder pedals, and throttle/mixture control. Don't forget some nice headphones. Just out of curiousity, are all cadets going to be allowed on it? That might effect my choice of headphones if 12 year olds are going to be using it :P
APU and FSX
I have a three screen array and run it with my A10-5800K + HD6670 running in AMD's "Dual Graphic" mode where they combo the APU and one iGPU. (I actually have two HD6670's but there is no real advantage to Xfiring the two HD6670's over Dual Graphic-Xfire of the APU & a HD6670).
Anyway using just one of my HD6670's I run MS FSX no problem. Now I don't have any airport expansions or detailed scenery expansions to contend with. I also run X-Plane and like it more. Check it out.
And I run Cliffs of Dover WWII Flight-Fight SIM and do OK with my rig. I get up to 40 something FPS in COD with a mix of High and Medium settings.
BUT if you are going to build this set up and spend the big bucks on all the bells and whistles go for the best CPU and GPU you can afford. If you are being asked to do this as cheaply as possible the APU + 6670 option will work fine, but you may need to dim down some settings to get the FPS you want. Apparently the human eye is a limiting factor and once you get past 50 FPS our eyeballs don't see that much of a difference.
Still with the economy version, I use Thrustmaster's T-Flight HOTAS-X and it gives you separate throttle controls with an extra axis on the throttle you can use for rudder control (pedals of course are better if you are training cadets about the real thing). But the T-Flight can be had for about $50 or so.
Bottom line, ... go rich and get the best you can. Or economize. I would not be surprised if you weren't able to offer two APU-6670 set ups for the cost of one high end system.
For flight sims,you should really consider the Buttkicker Gamer,and TrackIR devices. Once you fly with a TrackIR device,there's no way you can fly any other way. Buttkicker is another must have.
Thanks for the responses guys.
They will be running Flight Sim X, but I don't believe that they will be using any mods. It will also be used for training cadets before they move onto glider and powered flight training. As for the extra controls, they already have those. Currently they do the same thing on an older flight sim run on a laptop.
And yes "cost effective" is the name of the game, so will likely go the APU+GPU route.
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