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Another New Pc Question


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#1 Brian Speake

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Posted Jan 20 2019 - 02:58 PM

My old rig will no longer run, crashes every few minutes so I will bite the bullit and look at a new W10 desktop to run mainly GPL/GTR2 and I would like to try X-Plane 11 flight simulator.

Money is not unlimited so what are the key choices to make in the spec as the old PC was nearly 10 years old I am out of touch with current thinking.

Processor/memory I was thinking of slightly older Intel chip and say 16Gb of memory, assume min 8Gb.

Graphics GTX/1050 or GTX/1060 not too different in price is the GTX/1070 worth the extra ?

Sound card wise whats a reasonable compromise or what do I look for.

Finally and maybe more longer term should I go for one large monitor or a triple-screen setup.

#2 Michkov

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Posted Jan 20 2019 - 03:29 PM

The problem with Win 10 is that you are playing the driver lottery. It feels like I have to change the graphics settings each month because of the Win10 updates. That said anything that can run X-Planes should be able to run GPL. GPLs main bottleneck is its heavy reliance on the CPU and there it's only single core, fast clockspeeds is what you want. Again since XP11 recommends a 3.5GHz that should be enough power to handle GPL.

#3 John Woods

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Posted Jan 21 2019 - 07:37 AM

Know zero about XP11, so for GPL dedicated...

Consider second hand?
Recently purchased two used computers.

One was reconditioned business class very fast I7 with Win7Pro license for $150us.
Got it off CL from the tech specialist at an investment firm.

Other was built from used parts, very fast I3 with Nvidia card Win7 license for $100us.
This one came from local computer repair guy and is current dedicated GPL computer.

When ceramics in electronic components crack, they short out when heated up and expand, separating the circuit held inside. Then they cool and work until heat and expansion short them out again.

Whatever is broke, crashes, etc...could be easy fix like power pack swap, will be less expensive to fix and upgrade to XP11 spec than something entirely new?

Get lots more for less with used/new upgrades at a reputable local shop that backs up their sales and service?


:D

Edited by John Woods, Jan 21 2019 - 08:17 AM.


#4 Saiph

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Posted Jan 21 2019 - 10:06 AM

My PC runs GPL perfectly, along with every other game I'm interested in. Here are my specs:

OS: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Processor: Intel I5 4570 ('Haswell') @ 3.2GHz
RAM: 16GB (2x8GB dual channel 1600MHz DDR3)
Mobo: Asus H87-Plus (Socket 1150)
Graphics: nVidia GTX 1050Ti 4GB
Storage: 500GB Samsung 850EVO SSD, 2TB Western Digital HD, both SATA-3 6GB/s
Sound: On-board Realtek HD audio, no add-on soundcard

The mobo & processor are quite out-of-date now. I recently searched around for a Socket 1150 I7 processor as an upgrade, and couldn't find any at a reasonable price as they seem to be quite rare now.

You'll probably find you can get a Socket 1151 mobo + I5 chip for a good price. I5 8500 'Coffee Lake' 3.0GHz/4.1GHz Turbo is about £220-£250 on aria.co.uk, but if you can push a bit more, the I5 9600k 'Coffee Lake Refresh' 3.7GHz/4.6GHz Turbo is faster & unlocked so you could overclock it a bit if you wanted. That's about £250-£280.

IMO I wouldn't bother looking at a new I7 processor. The price jump is about £50-£100 and you don't get a big jump in performance to make it worth the extra price.

Another advantage with an up-to-date mobo is having better sockets for an SSD. My mobo doesn't have an 'm.2' socket (I'm not even sure that's the latest SSD socket type!), so I use a SATA SSD, which is good enough. But SSDs have improved a lot over recent years, and having one plugged directly into the mobo gives much better performance. I'm not sure about SSD prices at the moment though, so maybe it would be wiser to start with just an HD and upgrade later?

16GB RAM is a good idea. 2x8GB sticks running in dual-channel mode is efficient and should be good value. DDR4 2400/3000MHz seems to be the standard now, so it'll be faster than mine. When I upgraded from 8GB to 16GB, I noticed Steam and my Steam games running a bit more efficiently, with less disk access. I think Steam has quite big resource overheads in the background, so the more RAM you give it, the better it runs. But it would also be beneficial for other applications too.

I upgraded my graphics card last May from a GTX650 to a GTX1050Ti 4GB, and everything is nice and smooth, with most games on 1920x1080, 60fps with high/max settings. I had been after the GTX1060 6GB card, but back then the price gap from the 1050Ti was too large so I couldn't justify it. 1070 and 1080 are excellent, but back then they were way out of my price range (and still are).

My exact card, Palit 1050Ti 4GB is on sale right now at aria.co.uk for £141.59, that seems to be a lot better value than the 1060's and upwards. I should say that I specifically wanted the 4GB 1050Ti because that helps if you're running games which use lots of hi-res textures. The 2GB version is cheaper, but I don't think it's a good idea for sim fans.

As you'll see from my list, I don't have an add-on soundcard. I don't really demand anything special from my sound setup. I usually use fairly cheap headphones to avoid annoying the neighbours with the sounds of Lotuses and Ferraris late at night. They seem to give good volume and bass, so the on-board sound is fine for me. The good thing about sound cards is that they can be added later. Try the on-board sound to begin with, and if it doesn't have enough "oomf" get an add-on card. I'm not sure which are the best for GPL & flight sims these days though.

I can't really comment on monitor setups. For cost and space reasons, I've never really considered going to triple-screens, although it does look very immersive. I'm quite happy with my single Viewsonic VX2263 22" flat screen. It only cost me £128. Good value at the time. If I was upgrading, I'd probably go for something in the region of 24"-27" now as prices seem to have dropped a bit.

However, if you're thinking of maybe upgrading to triple screens later (or maybe VR as well), you might need to re-consider your graphics card. I'm told the GTX1050Ti is VR-capable, but it's at the lower end. For good-quality VR or triple-screens, I think a 1060/1070/1080 would be a good idea, although I have no experience to give you a detailed recommendation.

I hope that helps! Don't hesitate to come back with more questions if you need to. I find that the more planning that goes into buying a PC, the better the spec you end up with, and the less it costs. Good luck!

(P.S. I also fly the Steam version of Flight Sim X occasionally. I recently re-created Harrison Ford's taxiway landing at John Wayne Orange County airport, but in the standard Cessna instead of his plane. Flight Sim X runs beautifully on the GTX1050Ti, but I'm sure that X-Plane 11 would be a bit more demanding as it's a far more modern sim. I've never actually tried it though.)

(Another P.S. If you want to save some money, you may find that an AMD Ryzen processor could be better value. I think it would be worth checking them out, and there may be some AMD fans on here who could give you more info on them. But I've never touched a PC with a Ryzen chip, so I'm afraid I can't tell you much about them.)

Edited by Saiph, Jan 21 2019 - 10:52 AM.


#5 Brian Speake

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Posted Jan 21 2019 - 03:39 PM

thanks for the input, would consider fixing problem on the W7 box but a supposedly recommended shop replaced lots/spent days testing and then said how about new motherboard, memory, processor and graphics card to fix things after a few return visits !. Have moved since to new area and just don't know who to go to.

If I didn't want to try x-plane a second hand pc would fit the bill will keep my eyes open.

Current box simply totally powers itself off and its running for less and less time before it happens.

Edited by Brian Speake, Jan 21 2019 - 03:41 PM.


#6 JonnyA

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Posted Jan 21 2019 - 03:39 PM

If you can afford it, install Win 7 then GPL and then turn wifi off and never turn it back on

#7 marco lenarduzzi

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Posted Jan 22 2019 - 04:31 PM

View PostBrian Speake, on Jan 21 2019 - 03:39 PM, said:

thanks for the input, would consider fixing problem on the W7 box but a supposedly recommended shop replaced lots/spent days testing and then said how about new motherboard, memory, processor and graphics card to fix things after a few return visits !. Have moved since to new area and just don't know who to go to.

If I didn't want to try x-plane a second hand pc would fit the bill will keep my eyes open.

Current box simply totally powers itself off and its running for less and less time before it happens.
Is your CPU running hot? Have you the checked the temp it's running at? Your problem could be as simple as replacing the thermal paste between the CPU and the heat sink. Just spitballing here. :)

#8 Pete Gaimari

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Posted Feb 05 2019 - 10:59 AM

My system is built for flight sims. (DCS) They need a good system and X-Plane will be your problem. My system is almost snoozing running GPL.




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