View Full Version : Time for an upgrade...

January 24th, 2011, 09:29
My comp is old. I've upgraded the RAM to over a gig, upped the power supply to 500w, got a descent video card for it's time, and this beast has served me well over the years. I am thinking upgrade to enable faster response for the simulator, and now, video editing. So basically just faster and able to multitask with fluidity, but I'm not quite sure which route to go. I suspect there is a choke at the processor. Would I be better off getting a new motherboard or a new cpu, or if the newer stuff is not compatible with the older system, new board and processor? I'm confused but here are my specs if anyone can help me to decide, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.


Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
OS Service Pack Service Pack 3

DirectX (DirectX 9.0)

CPU Type AMD Athlon XP-A, 2079 MHz (6.25 x 333) 2800+

Motherboard Chipset nVIDIA nForce2

System Memory 1280 MB (DDR SDRAM)

BIOS Type Asus AMI (08/31/04)

Video Adapter NVIDIA GeForce FX 5500 (256 MB)

SyncMaster 2233(SWPLUS/SWXPLUS) (Analog) [NoDB] (H9LS810956)

January 25th, 2011, 02:08
Honestly, that is a very old computer system you have. I would not attempt to upgrade it, I would look at replacing it. I know it hurts to hear that advice, but that is my opinion. Even my system (see signature line) is now old. It runs FSX fairly well, but then new Core I7 CPU's and DDR3 RAM do a much better job.

January 25th, 2011, 04:49
Time to retire that computer and start with all new components. Trying to upgrade it would be like me trying to upgrade the old P4 system I have (3.4GHz, 1.5MB RAM, 5950 Ultra video card). There's just not much that can be done to increase their performance. Heck, my newest system is getting pretty old. It's still doing the job so I haven't upgraded yet. Maybe once the 6 core processors price drop to a more reasonable range.....

January 26th, 2011, 06:13
Ya know Doug it would not be all that expensive to move up to at least a tri or quad core from AMD. The new six-core 1090T and 1100T Black are not that expensive either. It would give you some wiggle room for the new Microsoft Flight if were so inclined.

January 28th, 2011, 12:13
Thanks for the advice guys. I found a guy in town here who will build me a tower for $800 + tax minus the videocard, since that is a personal preference he says.

He says he will install and Asus MB, a 6 core Phenom II, 4 gigs dual channel ram, 1 tB HD, install Windows 7 Pro 32bit, and a 600 watt Power Supply.

My question to the people who actually know about running the flightsimulators smooth as silk, what do you think of that package, and what kind of specifics should I consider in that rig?



January 29th, 2011, 03:17
I test computer equipment at TechCorp for a living. We test every component and send the report back to the mfg for revision if needed. I have been building gamer units since 1985. These were the best parts for an AMD build.

Best Budget AMD Setup For Flightsimming and Gaming

ASUS M4A88T-M LE AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard $84.99

Memory (Remember the lower the latency the faster the sim will run)
Crucial Ballistix Tracer 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory w/ Blue LEDs Model BL2KIT25664TB1337$89.99

CPU (Overclock to at least 3.5GHz and you should be able to fly even FSX well)
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Six-Core Desktop Processor $229.99

The AMD Phenom II X6 1100T 3.3GHz is also available for $289.00

CPU FAN and Heatsink
ZALMAN CNPS9700 LED 110mm 2 Ball CPU Cooler $44.00

2 Hard Drives (1 for FSX)
Western Digital Caviar Black WD5002AALX 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive $59.99 each

If you can afford it get an SSD hard drive of at least 120GB but that is optional

DVD Your Choice

Three Best BUDGET video cards based on price/performance tested at TechCorp

GIGABYTE Super Overclock Series GV-N460SO-1GI GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $219 (FASTEST-best graphics with no tearing in FSX)

ASUS ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP/2DI/1GD5 GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $209.99 until this Sunday (no tearing in FSX)


GIGABYTE GV-R685D5-1GD Radeon HD 6850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity $179.99 (2nd FASTEST some graphics tearing in FSX around the radio stack and GPS in cockpit-common to all ATI video cards)

Total build minus Case and DVD $847.95 if you buy the most expensive Video card

Best case under $100(accommodates large video cards and extra COOL)
COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $89.99

$950.00 for complete hardware build (add for labor and software)


January 29th, 2011, 08:18
Thanks very much Ted, I really appreciate your reply.

January 11th, 2012, 10:42
Hi Ted, I'm still sticking to these specs you gave me, however some items are no longer available a year later. I'm really going to get something this year, probably soon. Would you care to revise this list and suggest newer options based on your bench tests? I would very much appreciate it. Thanks