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Mathijs Kok

Aerosoft Advise: What Hardware To Buy

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Sharrow, according to what you said earlier, would the following specs be better?

Intel Core i7

Computer Case Black & Silver ATX Tower Case

CPU Intel Core i7 920 (2.66GHz) 8 MB 4.8GT/s

Motherboard Asus P6T SE (Intel X58)

Memory Corsair 6GB (3x2GB) XMS3 1600MHz CAS 9 (DDR3)

Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 - 896MB - 2xDVI/VGA (XFX) (Includes Far Cry 2)

Power Supply Cooler Master 850W Real Power M Active

Hard Drive 1 1 TB (1000 GB) SATA-II HDD UDMA 300 7200 32MB

Optical Drive 1 ASUS (DRW-2014L1T) DVD +/- RW 20x - Black - Lightscribe (SATA)

Sound Card Creative Audigy SE 7.1 (PCI)

Firewire Card 1 Port Firewire IEEE 1394 (Built In)

Networking Motherboard Integrated Ethernet Lan (Broadband Ready)

USB Ports 10 X USB 2.0 Ports

Card Reader Internal Card Reader 50-in-1

CPU Heatsink Intel i7 Heatsink & Fan - Low Noise

Operating System Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic SP1 64-BIT (Genuine DVD & COA Included)

Backup Solution Standard Operating System Backup

I suppose your earlier questions about the D zero revision and the graphics card still apply but I don't know how to spot the answers to your questions when I choose the components from a drop-down list when you build a custom pc.

Also, what are the advantages for FSX in choosing a 64-bit O/S as compared to a 32-bit O/S.

Please help.

Thank you.

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Operating System Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic SP1 64-BIT (Genuine DVD & COA Included)

You don't want that system just because of the above quoted item "Vista Basic" is only a small step up from not having Vista in the first place, basic is a complete waste of money and I have no idea what MS thought they were doing when they brought it out.

You need a 64bit OS to use the extra memory, without a 64bit OS you will only be able to use 3Gb of the 6Gb of RAM and I don't recommend running any version on Vista on anything less than 4 Gb of RAM.

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You don't want that system just because of the above quoted item "Vista Basic" is only a small step up from not having Vista in the first place, basic is a complete waste of money and I have no idea what MS thought they were doing when they brought it out.

You need a 64bit OS to use the extra memory, without a 64bit OS you will only be able to use 3Gb of the 6Gb of RAM and I don't recommend running any version on Vista on anything less than 4 Gb of RAM.

So do I take Home Premium as a minimum or must I go for ultimate?

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Home Premium is the most cost effective option to choose yes, make sure its definitely has the 64bit install discs though otherwise you will have to send off for the disks from MS, which costs about another £7 and takes a couple of weeks to turn up if my experience is anything to go by.

Vista Ultimate comes with both 32bit and 64bit disks in the box but it is much more expensive than home premium.

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The D0 revision number can be found in the code on the box or on the cpu head. You will have to pick up the phone and check with the supplier, this is not something usually mentioned as part of the spec on websites.

I7-920

If it says SLBCH it is C0 stepping

If it says SLBEJ it is the newer D0 stepping

For the GTX260 it should say on the box "Core 216" or something along these lines. Again phone and ask to make sure.

No second hard drive? Perhaps you have an extra SATA drive already?

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Home Premium is the most cost effective option to choose yes, make sure its definitely has the 64bit install discs though otherwise you will have to send off for the disks from MS, which costs about another £7 and takes a couple of weeks to turn up if my experience is anything to go by.

Vista Ultimate comes with both 32bit and 64bit disks in the box but it is much more expensive than home premium.

Well, this is what it says on their web site:

"Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-BIT (Genuine DVD & COA Included)".

So it looks as if the disks are included, though I don't know what COA is/means?

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Hello Arnold,

COA stands for "Certificate of Authenticity".

Thanks Shaun.

Just a final question.

Am I paying over the top here at £1093 or is that a reasonable price for this system?

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The D0 revision number can be found in the code on the box or on the cpu head. You will have to pick up the phone and check with the supplier, this is not something usually mentioned as part of the spec on websites.

I7-920

If it says SLBCH it is C0 stepping

If it says SLBEJ it is the newer D0 stepping

For the GTX260 it should say on the box "Core 216" or something along these lines. Again phone and ask to make sure.

No second hard drive? Perhaps you have an extra SATA drive already?

Sharrow, yes I already have a 2nd external hard drive at home.

I think it is either 500Gb or 320GB.

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To be honest you do really want 2 hard drives in your PC, one for the operating system and all your day to day programs and you can also store all your FSX add-ons and stuff there too. And then you want another drive just for FSX and FS9 if you still use it. I have 3 500Gb drives in my machine and use the 3rd drive for Photo scenery products and FS9/X add-ons. It makes life much easier as the FSX drive and scenery drive hardly ever need defragmenting because the OS in on its own drive along with all my other day to day programs and stuff.

External drives should only really be used for back up purposes especially if they are connected by USB. ESATA drives are OK as they are just as fast as an internal SATA drive, but you would probably be better of removing the drive from the enclosure and putting it in the case with the other drives anyway.

The price of that system is not overly excessive but I would shop around a little more first before you part with your hard earned cash.

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To be honest you do really want 2 hard drives in your PC, one for the operating system and all your day to day programs and you can also store all your FSX add-ons and stuff there too. And then you want another drive just for FSX and FS9 if you still use it. I have 3 500Gb drives in my machine and use the 3rd drive for Photo scenery products and FS9/X add-ons. It makes life much easier as the FSX drive and scenery drive hardly ever need defragmenting because the OS in on its own drive along with all my other day to day programs and stuff.

External drives should only really be used for back up purposes especially if they are connected by USB. ESATA drives are OK as they are just as fast as an internal SATA drive, but you would probably be better of removing the drive from the enclosure and putting it in the case with the other drives anyway.

The price of that system is not overly excessive but I would shop around a little more first before you part with your hard earned cash.

Thanks Andy.

Sounds like good advice.

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Could anyone please explain why I should choose an Intel i7 above a dual core or a quad core?

Thanks for letting me know.

Arnold.

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Without launching into an essay on the technical differences the easiest way to state this is to say that Core2 is the past (and present) and i7 is the future. Sure, you pay a premium for i7 but this premium has come down a lot since i7 was first released. More important than just the cpu itself here is the x58/DDR3 platform you need for i7. x58 will be certified for the next generation 32nm cpu's from intel (through a BIOS update) which means no need to upgrade the whole system in 2 or 3 or 4 years time, just drop in a brand new cpu.

Do you need i7 today? No, not really. Will you need it in 2 years time? Yes. Buy Core2 Quad today and you will be upgrading your WHOLE system in 2 years time. Buy Core2 Dual today and it will last you an even shorter time.

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Isn't it time we move on to May, now? It's still called, "what hardware to buy , january". I have also noticed that the i7 920 is coming down in price. My question is, is there a lot of difference in performance when it comes to FS9 between an AMD4200+ and the i7 920? Or should I wait for the faster ones to become more affordable?

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Isn't it time we move on to May, now? It's still called, "what hardware to buy , january". I have also noticed that the i7 920 is coming down in price. My question is, is there a lot of difference in performance when it comes to FS9 between an AMD4200+ and the i7 920? Or should I wait for the faster ones to become more affordable?

There is a big difference in performance, but not definitive for FSX. Personally I think Intel got the lead on performance, even considering price and I would not know of any AMD CPU I would like to buy at this moment. For every market section Intel seems to have a better choice at this moment. We are considering opening a special hardware forum and that's why the topic is a bit outdated.

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Will be published next month (but it will be German). We'll have it online though and the statistics and images show the story rather well. The bottom line however is simple... FSX is fastest on a 32 bits OS and using a simple graphics card. The more expensive the GPU, the more there is a problem in timing.

Is that Hardware article finished yet?. I am looking forward to it. Thanks

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