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Getting hold of new [old] PCs for FS9

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DanBeeden
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Getting hold of new [old] PCs for FS9

Post by DanBeeden » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:40 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm looking for some guidance/info. I run a Flight Simulator 'ground flight school' at my ATC Squadron (115 Peterborough) for cadets who are interested in a career in flying/air traffic control. We have 5 networked PCs running FS9 with multiple add ons to create a realistic training environment in which cadets work through a 'mini PPL' course starting from the basics and going up to radio navigation, formation flying, cross-country navex's planned using a chart and whizz-wheel, and flying complex singles and small twins. We have an ATC radar simulator which also allows cadets to get some experience of what being an Air Traffic Controller involves.

Most of our machines are second hand ones that I've had donated, and some of them are really good. We do however need to replace a few others that are old or too slow, and expand the suite to get up to 6 or 7 machines in total (so we need four new machines), but my problem is how to go about it whilst keeping the finances sensible?

I'm not keen to move away from FS9 as we have everything set up for FS9, with many add-ons etc being FS9 only. Also, having built up a good understanding of how FS9 works I don't fancy having to start over from scratch with FSX.

I'd be grateful of any thoughts on the below:
(Please note that while I understand FS9 well, I'm not a whizz-kid with PCs so please word answers accordingly!)

1) If we buy new gaming machines, will the OS (Windows 8 I assume) cause problems for FS9?
2) Even if (1) is a 'no', are new machines going to be affordable? They don't need to be top spec, just happy to run FS smoothly during multiplayer, with add-on scenery such as ACG and UK2000 and flying Carenado aircraft and the Aeroworx King Air. We should have some funds available (perhaps £2k) but are new machines the best way to spend it?
3) If so, where is the best place to get new machines for simming and what is a realistic price to expect per unit?
4) Is it easy enough to buy new machines but with Windows 7 if that is better for FS9?
5) Should we instead seek out reconditioned gaming PC's? Likely to be better value but possible issues with warranty etc and we do need them to last a few years.
6) Is it sensible to continue being a stickler for FS9 and resisting the move to FSX? We are more than happy with FS9 so as long as the situation allows us to, I'd like to stick with it? Will it get harder to support FS9 in two, three, four years down the line?
7) If any of you are looking to upgrade and replace your current FS gaming PC, I'd be interested to know, going on the basis that we'd wouldn't get any nasty surprises dealing with a fellow FC'er.

All thoughts welcome, and thanks.

Dan

EGVP
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Re: Getting hold of new [old] PCs for FS9

Post by EGVP » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:58 pm

Lots of questions, will try to answer them all!

1) No, it shouldn't do, but may cause issues trying to get your head around it :P

2) You'll be looking at around £600 new per computer, con including screen, keyboard or mouse (or joystick, etc.!) Alternatively, you can buy components (new ) and do it for a little bit less or buy components second-hand for somewhat less.

3) Depends on the outcome of 2) above!

4) If you're buying new, pre-built machines then no. If you're building them then yes. I would still prefer Windows 7 over 8.

5) All depends on the warranty, where you're getting it from, etc. See 2) above!

6) If FS9 works for you and you don't need the "latest and greatest" then stick with it. If you have all the software you need (i.e. the aircraft/scenery/etc. addons) then there's nothing you'll lose if people stop creating things for FS9.

7) Will check my stores at home but I don't think I have any gaming PCs left, they're all server-type units at the moment.

Hope that helps!?

Chris

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Re: Getting hold of new [old] PCs for FS9

Post by KyleG » Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:36 pm

I can't add much, but FS9 runs like a dream on Windows 7, take my word for it, 8 is ridiculously unintuitive. It is made for tablets. FS9 doesn't need much but your add ons might. CPC(the catalogue) sell good value PCs (desktop for about 300) that might be worth looking into if you want new machines. They're are not the best and most powerful but they will get the job done, depending on the requirements of your add ons.
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DanBeeden
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Re: Getting hold of new [old] PCs for FS9

Post by DanBeeden » Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:17 pm

Many thanks for your replies gents.

By the sounds of it (and from what I've seen on some forums), FS9 could be a headache on Win8, so I'm going to avoid it. Chris, it sounded from your reply that any new machine will come with 8, whether I like it or not. Is this correct?

I'm going to look into reconditioned machines and see what I can find that has a reasonable warranty. I found this which looks promising; any thoughts?

http://www.compu-zone.co.uk/refurbished ... ng-pc.html

No doubt I'll have further questions in due course!

Thanks

DaleRFU
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Re: Getting hold of new [old] PCs for FS9

Post by DaleRFU » Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:08 pm

Check out this machine, my Granddad has just got it and it runs FS9 quite smooth with REX installed and other scenery such as ACG. the price was reasonable and all done and delivered in 5 working days. I has windows 7 on it as well as 2x4 4GB DDR3 duel channel memory.

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showprodu ... =FS-344-OE

overall we are very happy with what we got for the price
Lightnings all the way
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Garysb
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Re: Getting hold of new [old] PCs for FS9

Post by Garysb » Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:47 pm

I believe FS9 only runs on one core
Gary

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ukmil
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Re: Getting hold of new [old] PCs for FS9

Post by ukmil » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:34 pm

I think, you would be better sticking to Windows 7, for FS9. Also, since you are clearly looking for a 'few years' of support, I would seek out a local shop, or PC builder. That way,after the usual 1 year warranty, you still have someone on hand to fix or upgrade the machines as they need it. Shame you are not near me, as I could have assisted you in this
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DanBeeden
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Re: Getting hold of new [old] PCs for FS9

Post by DanBeeden » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:01 am

Gents,
Many thanks for your responses and the kind offers of assistance!

I have found a potential vendor sending what appears to me to be a decent reconditioned machine, importantly for a reasonable price (£205 for the complete bundle) and with a years warranty. Could anyone, before I go to the OC with a recommendation that we buy 4-5 of them, let me know if you think these are decent buy? It almost seems too cheap! Worth paying a bit more for a higher spec graphics card?

Specs at the moment are:

Dell Optiplex Complete Gaming Ready PC Dual Core 2.8Ghz/3GB/80GB/Geforce GT610 19" TFT Win 7 HP - 1 Year Warranty.
Is the Geforce GT610 going to be good enough?

We run FS9 with UK2000 and Flightzone USA scenery, lots of AI traffic, Carenado aircraft.

Some of our current machines really struggle with FPS and I need something that sits happily at about 25 throughout.

Again, many thanks for your help!

Dan

EGVP
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Re: Getting hold of new [old] PCs for FS9

Post by EGVP » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:18 am

The GT610 is designed to display HD movies, not to play games. I would suggest it is no good.

What sort of budget are you looking at (in total/per PC) and do you need a joystick/keyboard/mouse/etc. for each? I missed your reply earlier, but yes, most if not all new PCs will come with Windows 8.

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DanBeeden
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Re: Getting hold of new [old] PCs for FS9

Post by DanBeeden » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:29 am

Hi Chris,

Having seen a couple of reviews on the 610, your comment makes sense - some people have said it has not performed well for FS applications.

The minimum number of new PCs we need is 3, but ideally 4. Each will need to be a complete package so tower/screen/keyboard/mouse.

We need them running Win 7, not Win 8. I have a budget of around £2000 to play with, so if I can get 4 complete PC bundles out of this, that would be great.

We will need two new joysticks (there is a good vendor on ebay selling reconditioned ones that I've bought several of - very good) - they come in at £20 each.

Thanks,

Dan

EGVP
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Re: Getting hold of new [old] PCs for FS9

Post by EGVP » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:57 am

Will drop you a PM, Dan.

Chris

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