Best video card for MS Flight Sim?

Davegod75

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2000
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Looking to get a new card for playing the newest ms flight simulator. It's for my dad and he currently has a evga geforce2 mx with dual monitor capability.

the new card must be able to hook up to 2 monitors. under 200 is great.

He's running and orignal athlon @ 900mhz with 256mb ram so am i correct in assuming any new card will most likely need to be paired up with a new chip/mobo to take advantage of the speed?


Thanks
 

Soulkeeper

Diamond Member
Nov 23, 2001
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get a radeon 8500
they have that hydra vision or whatever they call the dual monitor support
their antialiasing is good too which is perfect for a flight sim and they are cheap (under 100)

if you wanna spend a little more you can consider the 9500
but i'm not too sure about the radeon 9500 offerings and dual monitor support i'll let others comment on them
 

Davegod75

Diamond Member
Jun 27, 2000
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do the 8500 and 9500 use the newest ati chip or are they just renamed "older" chips.

I know the 9700 uses the newest chip.
 

titanmiller

Platinum Member
Jan 5, 2003
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I'm a flight simmer too! And CPU preformance is really the only deciding factor especially with MSFS 2002. I have a 1.2ghz Athlon and a GF4 Ti4400 and I get the exact same preformance as with my old GF2 Pro. It is almost all dependant on your cpu speed.
 

titanmiller

Platinum Member
Jan 5, 2003
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Originally posted by: Davegod75
do the 8500 and 9500 use the newest ati chip or are they just renamed "older" chips.

I know the 9700 uses the newest chip.

The 8500 is a different chip, the 9700 and 9500 use the same chip just at lower clock speeds (on the 9500) the 9500 also only has 4 pipelines.
 

Duvie

Elite Member
Feb 5, 2001
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I agree I have quite a few vid cards and I notice no improvement and I run with all settings maxed anyways.....

I would look at a good GF4 mx 440 or above and save the money and avoid the ati driver hassles. Get a good gf4 with 128mb and vivo options for as much as a retail 8500 which is all I would look at...Avoid the Le crap!!
 

Killrose

Diamond Member
Oct 26, 1999
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R200= Radeon 8500
R300= Radeon 9500 non-pro 64mb, 4pipes,128-bit
R300= Radeon 9500 non-pro 128mb, 4pipes, 256-bit
R300= Radeon 9500 Pro 128mb, 8 pipes, 128-bit
R300= Radeon 9700 non-pro 128mb, 8 pipes, 256-bit
R300= Radeon 9700 Pro 128mb, 8 pipes, 256-bit
ect, ect. et. all
 

blcjr

Golden Member
Oct 28, 1999
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None of the newer, high end cards, are likely to improve the performance of FS2002 given the CPU in question. The performance of FS2002 depends far more on the CPU than the vid card. My main rig is used exclusively for FS2002. I'm in the process of overhauling it. I recently got a Radeon 9500 which I like. I was one of the lucky who could softpatch it to near 9700 Pro specs. Even without that, at half the price of a 9700 Pro, you are better getting the 9500 (I paid $160) and spending what you save on a processor or cpu/mobo upgrade. Depending on your mobo, you might be able to get an Athlon with quite a bit more performance with the money you'd save. Otherwise, you might need a new mobo.

Here's what I've bought, and spent, on my current upgrade, all for the purpose of using FS2002:

Vid card: Radeon 9500 (not Pro) for $160.

Mobo: ABIT NF7 for $118.

CPU: Athlon 2100+ OEM for $95.

[Edit] OPPS...left out the 512 MB of 400 DDR memory for $105. All of the replaced components will go toward a computer for my daughter, so I don't consider this too expensive of an upgrade.

The 2100+ will replace a 1.4 Tbird. Actually, I'm getting pretty nice performance with the current state of the upgrade (NF7 mobo, 9500 vid card, and the 1.4 Tbird CPU). But the 2100+ is supposed to be pretty overclockable, so I'm hoping for about a 25% increase in FS2002 performance with it.

-Baz
 

Gouv

Member
Jul 28, 2002
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The video card does matter (somewhat - FS is really CPU dependent), but it depends on how old it is.

The game was somewhat playable on my old Celeron 400 with a V2 SLI at 800x600 with a medium level of detail. Then, I upgraded to a P4 1.6a. I ran the same V2s in there for a while and saw a moderate performance jump, but that card was definately holding me back. A friend gave me his old TNT2 which did better than the V2s, but was still choppy. After using that for a couple weeks I received a Radeon 8500LE. Now I can play everything on full detail 1024x768/full settings at 1.6GHz.

When I overclocked my processor for kicks, the framerate increase was huge -- even at 1024x768 (I didn't get this with the TNT2).

A Radeon 8500 should help because that MX is probably antiquated enough. However, a new processor might be a wise investment depending on your budget. With Radeon 8500s well under $100, you could probably get a significantly faster FS2002 CPU/mobo/R8500 combo without going too much over $200.
 

Gouv

Member
Jul 28, 2002
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blcjr,

With the 9500 you should easily get a 25% increase by switching CPUs. I got about a 30% increase overclocking to 2133 on my system. This defiately shows that sims are CPU dependent with resonably modern video cards.
 

titanmiller

Platinum Member
Jan 5, 2003
2,123
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Originally posted by: Gouv
The video card does matter (somewhat - FS is really CPU dependent), but it depends on how old it is.

The game was somewhat playable on my old Celeron 400 with a V2 SLI at 800x600 with a medium level of detail. Then, I upgraded to a P4 1.6a. I ran the same V2s in there for a while and saw a moderate performance jump, but that card was definately holding me back. A friend gave me his old TNT2 which did better than the V2s, but was still choppy. After using that for a couple weeks I received a Radeon 8500LE. Now I can play everything on full detail 1024x768/full settings at 1.6GHz.

When I overclocked my processor for kicks, the framerate increase was huge -- even at 1024x768 (I didn't get this with the TNT2).

A Radeon 8500 should help because that MX is probably antiquated enough. However, a new processor might be a wise investment depending on your budget. With Radeon 8500s well under $100, you could probably get a significantly faster FS2002 CPU/mobo/R8500 combo without going too much over $200.


I fully agree, once you get above a GF2 MX or so it is all CPU dependant. But the same goes for most games.