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Ian

Which Flight Sim?

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I am new to this and interested in buying a flight sim program Is MS FS2004 what everyone uses or are there other programs available

 

 

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Peter

 

There are a few different Flight Sim applications out there with the most popular being Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 (commonly just called fs) with another somewhat popular one called X-Plane.

 

X-Plane is very Americanised and is known not to place scenery objects exactly where they belong wheras fs has a world of enhancements available to make your flying very exact in both Freeware (free to download and use) or payware (cost to purchase).

 

I use fs extensively flying a trip that I will be doing for real and without using the built in GPS and just using my real world maps I can navigate in fs using landmarks etc that is pretty well 99.99% accurate. A friend and I have almost finished a CTsw for fs that is close to flying it for real, I just need to tweak the flight dynamics a bit more and the friend is completing the panel and colour scheme.

 

When these forumstransfer to the new site that is being developed (nearly there) I will include a much more expanded section on fs including hints, scenery, aircraft etc.

 

Caution though and that is Microsoft will be releasing the next version of fs at the end of the year AND to get the most out of fs you do need to have a very good PC with a strong processor (AMD are better then Intel and about a 3.0g or better), heaps of ram (1gig is good) and a very good grahics card with at least 128meg of memory on the card.

 

Let me know if you want to know more.

 

 

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Much as I loathe and detest Micro$hafts marketing and (im)moral business practices, I am forced to admit that their FS is the industry leader. There may be other simulators that offer better specific functions, but as an overall package the current FS9 can only be beaten by the forthcoming FSX.

 

The wealth of freeware add-ons for FS9 makes commercial ware just about redundant. An example is the (proudly Aussie and home-grown) Vista Oz, which has set a worlds best standard for FS scenery. It is simply brilliant.

 

Ian, you're right about the demand on hardware, but when you consider what is being done inside the machine to produce a truly life-like simulation of flight, with full flight dynamics, 3D scenery and weather effects, it's hardly surprising.

 

I look forward to your enhanced FS section of the forum.

 

cheers

 

Gregg

 

 

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Peter - sorry to hijack your thread but Gregg has just pointed out about having a decent PC to run fs so I thought I would tell you about the complete new PC that I just acquired for fs. Now this pc is a bit of an overkill but I wanted to get the absolute best I could out of fs whilst being ready for the next version. With my old pc I would get the odd screen flicker and was never able to get really good scenery to show up like all the standard extras that are in fs but you don't get to see unless you crank the scenery up but then you can't fly because the screen keeps freezing eg YSSY tower, ramps etc.

 

The new PC cost around $7000, and yes you could say you could do a lot of flying for that money but then I think about all the hours I do sitting here with the rain pouring down on my roof, the wind howling through the trees almost uprooting the big gums and then just like now, at night, it's dark but I can still fly a Jabiru along the Great Australian bite, a Thruster up the coast past Cairns or a CT over to Broome. But then for fun I could fly a Boeing 777 or an Airbus A340 frome France to Heathrow and more.

 

The new PC is:

 

Antec P180 case $240

 

Antec True Power V2 550w power supply $180

 

Asus A8N SLI Premium (rev 1009) $260

 

AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor 4800+ $1000

 

Zalman 9500 Fan $100

 

Corsair TwinX2048 3200 C2PRO Ram $500

 

2 x Western Digital Raptor 74gig 10k SATA 8meg buffer in Raid0 $500 ($250 each)

 

2 x XFX GEFORCE 7900GTX 512meg Dual DVI EXTREME $1900 ($950 each but non OC'd versions would be cheaper)

 

Creative X-Fi Xtreme Music Sound Card $250

 

Pioneer DVD Burner $80

 

Sony Floppy Drive $25

 

Viewsonic VX922 19" DVI LCD 2ms $600

 

Logitech G-15 USB Gaming Keyboard $120

 

Logitech MX-518 USB Gaming Mouse $75

 

Logitech Z-5400 Dolby Digital 5.1 THX-certified, 310-watt Speaker System $400

 

MS Sidewinder Pro Force Feedback Joystick $120

 

CH Products Yoke with throttle, flaps etc $270

 

CH Products pedals (and can be used for toe brakes) $250

 

20060527_005038_CT.jpg

 

 

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The CT looks great

 

Is my laptop 1.8 Pentium Centrino with 1 gig RAM going to work with FS

 

I have a separate Monitor and a good (for a laptop) graphics card

 

 

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Guest sypkens

Ian,

 

Great PC specs and I wish I could have one but a quick question? Using Dual CPU's on flightsim? I was not aware that Flight sim was developed for dual CPU's (i.e. it will work but does not use the power of both CPU's?). What does your task manager look like when you have flight sim open?

 

As for which flightsim, I grew up playing FS from version 1 (just a line for a horison) to the current version. I have recently purchased X-plane after playing it at a friends house. If you are looking for eye candy, support and plenty of downloads and add-ons, FS is the go. However if you are looking for as close to real life flight dynamics give X-plane a go. Apparently Burt Rutan used it for Spaceship one's development. X-Plane is also the only flightsim that will allow you to fly in space and mars (if you are that way inclined ).

 

BTW You can purchase an add-on pack for X-Plane that comes in the form of a couple of DVD's that is a scenery add-on. It basically gives you real geometry in scenery based upon the data from that spaceship mission that scanned the earth's surface a few years ago. So in essence mountains look real wherever you are. With FS there are plenty of downloads for scenery. In a previous thread somebody mentioned VOZ. I can highly recommend it. But as Ian mentions there is a lot more support for FS.

 

Either way you can't go wrong. They both provide countless hours of fun and I am convinced in my case it helped me when I was doing my flight training. Also have a look on Ebay for hardware, joysticks and flight yokes. I bought an older CH products yoke and pedals recently on ebay for $100. It came with an old game port connection whereas everything these days are USB. Not a problem as Dick Smith in New Zealand sells a gameport to USB converter that works great (unfortunate thing is it is not available in Australia). I have now combined my force feedback joystick (that does not have a twist rudder like the current models) with my pedals and love the flying.

 

 

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Guest sypkens
The CT looks great Is my laptop 1.8 Pentium Centrino with 1 gig RAM going to work with FS

 

I have a separate Monitor and a good (for a laptop) graphics card

I play FS on my laptop 2Ghz Centrino with 1 gig Ram and it plays ok, not great, but ok. Also will depend on how you want to tweak FS. Some things require more memory etc.

Jan

 

 

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Sypkens - yes fs 2004, the current version, will only use a single channel of a dual channel processor which is a problem but hopefully the new fsx when it comes out will make use of the more current dual channel processors like the AMD 4800+ that I have. What you can do is start fs, use your task manager to find fs9.exe, right click and select Infinity and deselect one of the channels which forces fs to only use one channel. There is a another way that will always set fs to run on channel 0 but that's a more involved process but you only need to do it once. By forcing fs to only run on channel 0 means you can then force your other apps like addons etc to run on channel 1 allowing fs to fully utilise channel 0 on its own. I have overclocked the processor from a 2.4gig to 2.64gig with temps and performance very stable plus I have just got some Arctic Silver 5 processor to heatsink paste which when I get time to apply it I should be able to rev her up further to about 2.8gig which is like reving the 4800+ to a 5600+.

 

Peter - I feel that your 1.8g laptop may be pushing it a bit and whilst fs may run reasonably in a stock standard install you may not be able to push up the scenery to better reflect what it does really look like when flying for real. You would still possibly be able to practice landings at one of the Aussie airstrips that don't need much power to display their detail and also do some cross country navigating.

 

 

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Guest sypkens

FS must be smooth flying on that machine? I have been putting of getting a new machine because I dont get as much time as I used to, to do simming (prefer to do the real thing now). but I saw FS on a friends brand new machine the other day and it just screamed get a new pc!

 

Jan

 

 

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I have used X-Plane for nearly 2 years and found it acceptable, then I was given fs. There is not a lot of difference between them in my opinion, they are both more difficult to fly than the real thing. X-Plane does have the ability to create your own plane. I have the Corby Starlet which performs much as the real thing except that I can't control the swing on takeoff, but I have the same problem with fs anyway. I would do better with a better joystick and some rudder pedals.

 

Concerning Microsoft which we all love to hate, just remember pre Microsoft when we had to use the keyboard for all commands and remember all the commands.

 

 

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Guest Rickey

Ian,

 

How where can I go to get a copy of the CT model for Flight Simulator 9? I like the picture you posted of the FS9 model. I currently flight a Phantom UL in the US but loves the CTSW. I cannot afford to order one at this time but would love to give one a spin in FS9.

 

 

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Hi Rickey

 

Firstly, welcome to the forums - we all hope you enjoy your stay here.

 

I will have to dig up the files as I have backed them up somewhere but as soon as I can I will send them to you

 

 

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