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Author Topic: 737NG - FSX(XPlane10) and Sim-Avionics(ProSim) Computer Requirements?  (Read 3075 times)

Offline sagrada737

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Hi Folks,

I'm moving forward with my plan to build up a full-scale 737NG simulator.  I am getting ready to settle on a computer systems configuration for my initial737NG setup running FSX (X-Plane10) and Sim-Avionics (ProSim) - leaning toward FSX and Sim-Avionics.

It is my understanding that the most powerful computer in the simulator system needs to run with FSX as the "Server", with perhaps a less powerful computer (Client) for the 737NG model platform using Sim-Avionics - and perhaps even less performance requirments for some of the other Client computers that may be required running Pilot/CoPilot systems, Overhead, etc.

I wanted to get some detailed feedback on the specs for each of these computers.  I was considering the following specs for the FSX computer:
- ASRock Z77 Motherboard
- Intel i7 3770 3.6GHz Quad CPU
- 32GB Ram 1600Mhz DDR3 Memory
- Raden HD 7970 video graphics card (up to 4 monitors)
- 240Gb SolidState HD (500Mb/sec)

My plan is to purchase the FSX MIP package to help bootstrap the project.   I plan to buy the EFI and MCP, perhaps from CPFlight.  I would like to build up other systems over time.  I am thinking it would be good to use FDS's InterfaceIT I/O hardware/drivers, along with other I/O modules eg. Phidgets, Bodnar, etc., in order to begin experimenting with the real-world of switches/potentiometers/indicators/motor control, etc.

My goal initially, is to get a basic 737NG system up and running that supports FSX and Sim-Avionics running on multiple computers via WideClient, with FSUIPC4 operations, etc.  I will initially use a simple multiple monitor setup for the outside display, with the goal of building a 220 degree wrap-around projector setup (perhaps with separate computers for the Left-Center-Right display requirements.  Thus the FSX computer will need to allow for a high-end display system in the future.

Anyway, all this will take time and there is lots to consider, but I need to get some feedback on the computer system requirements in order to minimize going down the wrong path in this project.  I suspect that good performance of the 737NG simulator will depend highly on a fast and stable platform running FSX and Sim-Avionics.  Your helpful comments are greatly appreciated.

Keep your airspeed up!
Mike Sherick
« Last Edit: November 27, 2012, 10:49:22 AM by sagrada737 »
P3d v3.x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT180 projection display driven by a single nvidia GTX980.

Offline NAX228

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737NG - FSX(XPlane10) and Sim-Avionics(ProSim) Computer Requirements?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2012, 02:01:42 PM »
Sim-avionics is one software, prosim is another one. Dont mix them up, but be sure what you want to buy.
-------------------
1 step forward, 2 steps back...

Offline fordgt40

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Re: 737NG - FSX(XPlane10) and Sim-Avionics(ProSim) Computer Requirements?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2012, 03:21:24 PM »
Mike

FSX demands high cpu clock rates as it cannot take real advantage of the I7`s multiple cores. Suggest you go for an already overclocked and stabilised setup with an I7 running at 4.5ghz.

David

Offline XOrionFE

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Re: 737NG - FSX(XPlane10) and Sim-Avionics(ProSim) Computer Requirements?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2012, 07:50:57 PM »
Good plan Mike and I agree with David.   That said I believe X-plane can take advantage of the extra cores so if you want to have the X-Plane option then good to have the extra cores but also go for the overclocked speed like David says.   Sim-Avionics is the best way to go if you want to run X-Plane.   fDS MIP is an awesome choice and place to start.   And as I mentioned before, you are welcome by my sim anytime you can make it out to my area.

Scott

Offline sagrada737

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Re: 737NG - FSX(XPlane10) and Sim-Avionics(ProSim) Computer Requirements?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2012, 09:27:18 PM »
Thanks for the comments guys.   It seems clear that the fastest computer possible is desired for either FSX or XPlane10.

Currently, the Intel i7 3770 seems to be the processor of choice.  But it is also clear that to overclock the CPU will void the warranty.  I guess that is the price to pay for higher performance/frame rates with FSX or XPlane10.  Does anyone know what the noticeable difference is when using this CPU unclocked vs. overclocked?  Is it that big a difference, or is there only a slight difference?  Essentially 3.6GHz vs. 4.5GHz.  So... with overclocking, the computer system needs to have a bulletproof cooling system.  What CPU cooling are folks using successfully?

Also, is this configuration typically using a SolidState HD with a high RPM HD (which typically generate a lot of heat)?

Comments appreciated.
Mike
P3d v3.x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT180 projection display driven by a single nvidia GTX980.

Offline Flying_Fox

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Re: 737NG - FSX(XPlane10) and Sim-Avionics(ProSim) Computer Requirements?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2012, 10:19:53 PM »
I overclock my i7 2600K to 4.6 GHz with hyperthreading off. It makes essential difference with FSX and 3 projectors setup, adding 3-4 FPS just to make the acceptable performance on the runway within 15-18 FPS range.

I do not have liquid cooling or anything super. I installed Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus and in FSX the core temperatures never go over the range 60-65 degrees (reaches 65 on one core only) which is well below the max allowed  TJMax (~ +95 degrees range).

I do not overclock RAM or video card so far.

I use two SSDs (60 and 120 GB and one HDD 500 GB)

Nick

Offline fordgt40

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Re: 737NG - FSX(XPlane10) and Sim-Avionics(ProSim) Computer Requirements?
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2012, 05:10:15 AM »
Suggest you go for an already overclocked and stabilised setup with an I7 running at 4.5ghz.

Mike

I meant purchase an overclocked PC from new - no warranty issues or getting your hands dirty.

There are a number of suppliers who do this in the UK, so must be some stateside

David

Offline sagrada737

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Re: 737NG - FSX(XPlane10) and Sim-Avionics(ProSim) Computer Requirements?
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2012, 02:22:14 PM »
Thanks for the feedback on the computer specs for FSX and/or XPlane.  It looks like I can have a system made up here in Las Cruces by our local computer store that will be similar to the sim compuers offered by Jetline systems.
http://www.jetlinesystems.com/store/

I can get the same configuration for around $2,500 USD, but of course, the CPU is not warranteed for overclocking.  However, the system will be supported locally and that is a plus if I have any problems.  Also, if you look closely at Jetline's warranty, it is a little vague, and at their discretion as to whether or not they will cover certain problems - the overclocked CPU being the big issue. 

In any case, it looks like I have zero'd in on a computer specs for the FSX and/or XPlane computer, depending on which sim program I will go with.   I need to next think about the advantages of XPlane10 vs. FSX (if any).  But, I think I have finalized my decision on using Sim-Avionics for the 737NG platform.

It goes without saying that it is important to have commonality with other 737NG sim users using the same or similar hardware and software.  In that regard, I greatly appreciate the feedback from the folks on this forum.

Thanks again for your comments.   Keep your airspeed up!
Mike
P3d v3.x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT180 projection display driven by a single nvidia GTX980.

Offline jskibo

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Re: 737NG - FSX(XPlane10) and Sim-Avionics(ProSim) Computer Requirements?
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2012, 03:06:55 PM »
Just FYI, I've been overclocking PC's since 1999 and have never had a CPU fail or require warranty, so limited value in worrying about that
John
http://www.737nextgensim.com/

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Offline XOrionFE

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Re: 737NG - FSX(XPlane10) and Sim-Avionics(ProSim) Computer Requirements?
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2012, 03:52:37 PM »
Thanks for the feedback on the computer specs for FSX and/or XPlane.  It looks like I can have a system made up here in Las Cruces by our local computer store that will be similar to the sim compuers offered by Jetline systems.
http://www.jetlinesystems.com/store/


One of the builders here, Firstinflight, is a good friend of mine and he recently bought a Jetline systems pc and said the service was execellent.   I have another friend that writes articles for Computer Pilot Magazine, Doug Horton, who also knows the owner and has nothing but good to say about them.   Biggest thing is they now what works for FSX and they do the proper overclocking and use the right integrated components.  I would be hard pressed to trust the local computer store guys to know better unless they are FSX afficianados so beware.   I really think that if you dont know what your doing with computers enough to build your own and overclock them yourself then you are much much better off going with the Jetline system.   In fact, I know systems really well and have always built my own PCs but I would probably just buy fromJetline myself next time as well.   

Just my .02 and no I am not affiated with them in anyway but have heard nothing but good things about them.

Scott

Offline sagrada737

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Re: 737NG - FSX(XPlane10) and Sim-Avionics(ProSim) Computer Requirements?
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2012, 04:20:54 PM »
Thanks for the comments Scott.  I too have built up many PCs, but never an overclocked system.  Your advice concerning the overclocking profiles is well noted.  I will consider Jetline more deeply in my purchase decision.  As you point out, sometimes paying a little more is well worth the extra expense.

John - Thanks for your comments.  Nice web site and it looks like you have a nice project going right now - not to mention your cute co-pilot.  Reminds me when my kids were that little.  Anyway, good to hear that your overclocking experience has been reliable.  Thanks.

Mike
P3d v3.x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP, 3-Optoma HD GT180 projection display driven by a single nvidia GTX980.

 

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