Jump to content

Flight sim hardware, advice much appreciated


gt112
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm thinking of messing around with flightsims as a hobby for the winter. In particular the forthcoming magic DCS A-10c. I envisage taking over spare room and building a simple seat (old car seat maybe) with controls handy etc. I hope to use 3 monitors or possibly 4 (Helios)

 

So, I'm starting from scratch with the PC build. Any help or advice or opinion greatly appreciated. What do you think of this to start...

 

(will pick up monitors second hand and maybe use my LED TV or a projector as centre screen, also I already have a 1TB HDD)

 

Intel® Core™ i7 920

6 GB [2 GB X3] DDR3-1600 RAM

600 Watt -- Standard PSU

24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW Drive

 

Now, on to Graphics, I have been advised that flight sims are far more CPU intensive than GPU intensive. I have a requirement for potentially 4 monitors so how about using 2 of these as a cheap graphics solution ?

 

ATI Radeon HD4600 or

 

what about 2 of these - EVGA GeForce GTS 450

 

These would give me 4 DVI outputs and dual processing supported by ATI CrossfireX. I would eventually use all 4 outputs (3 for view, and 1 for cockpit console)

 

Then I would need a motherboard to support the above (2 x PCIe 16x slots) - any recommendations?

 

Am I on the right track? money is an issue? what do you reckon?


Edited by gt112
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would suggest one HD5850 (in all likelihood you'll have other games to play besides DCS:WH, and you'll get much more longevity out of your setup) and a 750 watt PSU. You'll only need a dongle with the HD5850 for quad monitor support.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming | i5 7600K 3.8 GHz | ASRock Z270 Pro4 | Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200 16 GB | PNY CS2030 NVMe SSD 480 GB | WD Blue 7200 RPM 1TB HDD | Corsair Carbide 200R ATX Mid-Tower | Win 10 x64
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would suggest one HD5850 (in all likelihood you'll have other games to play besides DCS:WH, and you'll get much more longevity out of your setup) and a 750 watt PSU. You'll only need a dongle with the HD5850 for quad monitor support.

 

Hi Ghostdog

 

I have looked at the HD5850, I see it has 4 ports, 2 x DVI and 2 x HDMI. Is this how one would achieve the 4 monitors output? or are you talking about EyeFinity?

 

Speaking of EyeFinity, how does that work in terms of connections? is there a multiport dongle with dvi sockets on it or are the monitors chained somehow? (I have read the amd website on it but am still confused)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

actually, I just figured EyeFinity out thanks to this great video -

 

But this raises a new question. If using Eyefinity, are you limited to one combined display?

 

What I mean is this.....

If I am in the A10 cockpit, I have several views accessed by pressing function buttons. Would it be possible to put the top centre view in the middle monitor, the left view in the left monitor and the right view in the right monitor

 

or does Eyefinity limit me to just having one single very wide (3 monitors worth) view of the cockpits top view?

 

Also, what about adding a 4th monitor, can the HD5850 and Eyefinity support this?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eyefinity just gives you one huge monitor. The 4th monitor would just be part of the same display group if you put it on the same card. So perhaps your original idea is better for what you have in mind. But I'm not sure you can display multiple cockpit views on separate displays even with multiple video cards. You CAN output MFD and TV screen views to different displays however, as in this example. Still, I would personally be inclined to buy a higher end card for my primary GPU, and use something cheap for the instrument displays, instead of running two low end cards in CrossFire. I think you'll get better overall value that way. Just my two cents.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming | i5 7600K 3.8 GHz | ASRock Z270 Pro4 | Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200 16 GB | PNY CS2030 NVMe SSD 480 GB | WD Blue 7200 RPM 1TB HDD | Corsair Carbide 200R ATX Mid-Tower | Win 10 x64
Link to comment
Share on other sites

GD, are you sure EyeFinity is limited to just one huge display?

 

Have a look at this faq - http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1476711

Note:If you don't want your desktop to be one continuous mass though, there are options in the drivers.

Also see the official faq here - http://sites.amd.com/us/underground/products/eyefinity/Pages/faq.aspx#link16

 

Can I support different resolutions?

 

All monitors running in a Display Group or cloned modes must be running with the same resolution. If monitors have different native resolutions, the highest common non-native resolution between the monitors will be used when creating Display Groups. Monitors running in extended desktop mode can have independent resolutions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eyefinity is not needed. It requires one display port to be used and 2 other ports. But the display port is passive and requires an adapter to work. Get 2 cards and run 2 monitors from each. The money you save on the adapter will pay partially for the second card.

 

If you can afford i7 go for it. Or check out AMD 6 core. Pick any board that has 2 16x PCI slots as most of the top end features will be unused by you. Grab 4-8gb of ram if you want. Wow, I have been out of the PC realm for 6 months and am totally lost on the GPU wars. No idea what all the different 4xx series cards are. 480/460 were the only ones last I heard. Anyway, I would grab 2x 460 or 2x 5850. All depends on the resolution you are running on all your monitors. I think when Helios is released and shown to work well, I will grab 3x 20-22" touchscreens (front and side panels) and a main 28" 1080p cockpit screen. Just hoping that my current 4890 + ancient 7600GT can drive them all. I am hoping the control panels from Helios do not require huge GPU power so it can be used by the front and main where the MFD and pilot view will be displayed.

 

Watched that video. Seems eyefinity is easier to set up than I thought months ago. But, that will just get you a big view stretched over 3 monitors. More FOV, but if you notice in the video, the middle out of the side monitors is distorted. I would choose a portrait monitor setup for the 3 panels side by side. I do not think eyefinity will allow you to have a screen for the panels though. It just turns 3 monitors into one big cockpit view. You do get more FOV so if I had the money to burn, I would get 3x 30" monitors in eyefinitiy portrait, then an additional 3x 22" touch screens for the helios cockpit. This would require 2 5850 with active DP adapters, but would be simply stunning. Would also set me back roughly $3000 probably. So ditch the 30" for 3x 28" 1080p for a savings of at least $1500 probably. Or do what I said above. One main landscape screen and sacrifice the FOV.

 

Aim for 700+ watt PSU. Depending on cards, I would be looking at a 750w.


Edited by power5

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

Aaron

i7 2600k@4.4ghz, GTX1060-6gb, 16gb DDR3, T16000m, Track IR5

 

BS2-A10C-UH1-FC3-M2000-F18C-A4E-F14B-BF109

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks power5,

 

However, as I say, money is an issue. I am struggling to afford one single 5850, never mind two.

Alao, again there seems to be confusion over eyefinity. See my post #6 above. Can anyone clarify if it can be used in individual monitor mode or is it limited to one big combined screen?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never seen an example of eyefinity setup using independent displays. The basic idea of eyefinity is to give the user a massive combined display. I have an HD5850 with dual monitors (I would have three but the wife spiffed the third one in the name of fairness :(), and I'm not aware of any such option. Windows 7 has native support for duplicating the desktop across multiple monitors, but that wouldn't allow you to control the cockpit view in each monitor independently. I don't know of any hardware or software solution that would allow you to do that.

 

I think your most likely solution will be either two lower-midrange cards in SLI or CrossFire (and frankly, I don't think there's much of a cost or performance advantage in that configuration) combined with a software solution like BSVP (if and when it's updated for DCS:WH) or SoftTH, or one upper midrange card combined with a cheapo card and the same software configuration.

 

If you're going to with the crossfire solution, I'd say step up to the 5450 or 5570. It's only going to cost you a few dollars more, (they may even be the same price, depending on where you buy) and you'll get better performance from them than from a pair of 4650s.

 

5850x2 in CrossFire simply isn't worth it IMO. The gains you would get in exchange for the substantial cost and power consumption would be minimal. The main advantage of a CrossFire or SLI setup is extra texture memory and 3d effects rendering when you're playing at ultra-high resolutions, and DCS won't make good use of it. It's a CPU bound game. Even 3d intensive games run without a hiccup at high resolutions on a single 5850, so two is a bit of overkill for most setups.

 

Last thought: I switched from an Nvidia 9800 gtx to the HD5850 and the performance gains were substantial. I think on the whole the HD series is outperforming the latest Nvidia cards. But that may not make much of a practical difference on a midrange setup. The performance will be comparable at medium settings. Those are my thoughts for what it's worth. Hope it helps.

 

P.S. Definitely go with a 700+ watt PSU. Leave yourself some overhead for future upgrades.


Edited by GhostDog
EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming | i5 7600K 3.8 GHz | ASRock Z270 Pro4 | Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200 16 GB | PNY CS2030 NVMe SSD 480 GB | WD Blue 7200 RPM 1TB HDD | Corsair Carbide 200R ATX Mid-Tower | Win 10 x64
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Newegg.com has a power supply calculator it can be found under their power supply section ,

 

http://c1.neweggimages.com/BizIntell/tool/psucalc/index.html?cm_sp=Cat32_PowerSupply_left-_-PowerSupplyFinder030510-_-http%3a%2f%2fpromotions.newegg.com%2fproductfinders%2fpowersupply.jpg

 

Whatever you choose I would definately check this tool to make sure you have adequate power.

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

System Specs

 

Intel I7-3930K, Asrock EXTREME9, EVGA TITAN, Mushkin Chronos SSD, 16GB G.SKILL Ripjaws Z series 2133, TM Warthog and MFD's, Saitek Proflight Combat pedals, TrackIR 5 + TrackClip PRO, Windows 7 x64, 3-Asus VS2248H-P monitors, Thermaltake Level 10 GT, Obutto cockpit

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never seen an example of eyefinity setup using independent displays. The basic idea of eyefinity is to give the user a massive combined display. I have an HD5850 with dual monitors (I would have three but the wife spiffed the third one in the name of fairness :(), and I'm not aware of any such option. Windows 7 has native support for duplicating the desktop across multiple monitors, but that wouldn't allow you to control the cockpit view in each monitor independently. I don't know of any hardware or software solution that would allow you to do that.

 

This is simply not true. The eyefinity cards can run the monitor completely independently. I run 6 separate monitors from one Eyefinity 6 5870 card. I can combine identical monitor resolutions into a monitor group making windows and games seem them as one huge monitor. The reason to do this is game tend to run better in "fullscreen" mode. With one huge monitor you can run in fullscreen mode to gain FPS, but for the DCS games in particular you don't have to. You can just as easily run in windowed mode with out combining the monitors into one big display group. My cockpit has done this for a long time with Black Shark as well as BadCRCs and others.

 

Now be careful as well because there are two kinds of 5xxxx cards. Normal cards have two DVIs, one HDMI and one Display Port. Even though these cards have four connectors they can only drive three monitors simultaneously. In addition if you are driving three monitors you have to use the display port (the HDMI port switches off one of the DVI ports). The second kind of card has 6 mini display ports... these cards can drive 6 monitors simultaneously but you will likely need display port to DVI or VGA adapters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...