Best hardware for FSX

FSX is an old application. This means that it can and will not use new technologies. That makes it possible that hardware that gets higher scores in benchmarks can get lower scores in FSX. To see what hardware is the best for FSX I made the overview below.

Basic setup.
At the moment I have a PC with the hardware mentioned in ‘Equipment”. In the (near) future some of these parts will be replaced with new parts. The old parts will form another PC that can be used instead of the very old PC I am using now for Plan-G and FS Commander.

Not every part will have to be bought in one go. A videocard can be bought beforehand and placed in the current PC.

Inside the case you must have a good (cooling) climate. Not only the parts with their own cooling will have to stay cool, also the other parts inside must be able to get a good cooling. The first thing to take care of is a cable management that will guide the cables behind the motherboard. Suiteable cases are:
Corsair Obsidian 650D (midi tower)
Cooler Master HAF 932 /X (full tower)

Power supply.
The power supply must be capable enough to supplyall parts with enough current. For use with a single videocard you need a minimum of 750, when two GPU’s are used the minimum will be 850 Watt. At hte moment I have a Corsair GS800 which will be placed in the new setup. For the current case I still have a power supply available. Suiteable power supplies are:
Corsair, Seasonic, Cooler Master en SilverStone.

At the moment a motherboard based on the Intel Z77 chip is the recommended model. ASUS is known for its excellent motherboards to overclock. A DeLuxe model has the advantage that you can use a frontbay. Suiteable motherboards are:
ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe.

At hte moment Intel has two processor families, Sandy Bridge (i7-2700K) and the newer Ivy Bridge (i7-3770K). The Ivy Bridge processor gives better benchmark results (10.454 as opposed to 9.307, both with 3.5Ghz), but is harder to overclock to a decent value. Therefore the best choice at the moment is:
Intel i7-2700K.

To be abe to reach a goor overclock value a good cooling is of the essential. Preferred cooling is watercooling. A suiteable cooling is:
Corsair Hydro Series H-100.

Good memory depends on two things, the memry speed and the CAS Latency (CL). The first value has to be as high as possible (2133 MHz or even 2400 MHz), the second as low as possible (CL9). Besides that the memory must be approved by the manufacturer of the motherboard..FSX has no use for memory above 8GB and can address a maximum of 2 banks. A suitable size is 8GB (2x 4GB). The fastest memory supported for an ASUS P8Z77-V Deluxe motherboard is 1866 MHz.Suiteable memory is:
Corsair Vengeance 8GB(2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz CL9.

The faster the storage the shorter the scenery is loaded. SSD’s are preferred. Especially the OCZ SSD’s perform well. These are already present in the current PC and earmarked for FSX. Suiteable storage is:
OCZ Vertex 3.

Videocard (GPU).
FSXis written for the possibilities of the Nvidia cards. The newest series is the GTX6xx serie, most used is the GTX5xx series. Although the newest series get (slightly) better benchmarks (GTX680: 4.046, GTX670: 4.073, GTX580: 3.969), they don’t give better results in FSX than a GTX580.

The advantage of a GTX6xx series is that it can use all four outputs. A maximum of three outputs can be used to give one image spread over three screens. This comparable to a Matrox Triple Head 2 Go, but with a much higher resolution. Where the TH2GO stops at a maximum of 5040×1050 (3x 1680×1050), a GTX6xx series can go as high as a maximum of 7680×1600 (3X 2560×1600).

CPU’s can be overclocked too. Almost all manufacturors have their own software for overclocking. The best softrware is supplied by EVGA (which has also the fastest GPU). The price is comparable to a GTX580, therefor the GTX670 has a slight advantage. Suiteable cards are:
EVGA GTX580 1536Mb Super Over Clocked.
EVGA GTX670 2048 MB.

Hyper Threading.
This a technology that FSX cannot use. For best results switch hyperthreading off in the BIOS.

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