Getting the best out of my gaming PC

#1
I am beginning to think that my system is not set up to optomise frame rate and loading times. I am hoping to achieve silky smooth 70fps for MS Flight Simulator X. Currently Its a bit juddery at times. I've got an i7 processor and 6GB DDR RAM, running Win7 Home Premium

Currently I have 1.32TB of storage on my PC, divided up between :-

C: Packard Bell, 500GB. OS and all my MS Office and games and flight sim software loaded on it

D: DATA, currently empty

and E:, a 320GB drive removed from a broken laptop and USB'd to the PC.

Should I put my OS and all the MS Office, Internet browser software on C: ?

All my gaming software on D: ?

And all my backups on E: and remove it after backup.

I believe doing this will also limit viruses to infecting only the C' drive?, but will it cause problems if I want to play online (currently only Rise of Flight requires an online connection, but will work, not very well, without one)

Should I also set up a separate login on startup just for gaming? Will that speed things up?

I read something in PC Pilot mag recently that suggested the above was a good idea, but was very vague on how to do it. I don't want to **** it up and then spend ages repairing it.

Any ideas? Any examples of an optimum setup?

RSVP

[also posted on Hardware forum]

http://www.arrse.co.uk/hardware-pcs...etting-best-out-my-gaming-pc.html#post3582987
 
#2
A decent PC you have there, Mine is very similar and runs quite well. I suspect you have a whole pile of shit running in the background. There is a great program called enditall II which is no longer available for free. Although try here End-It-All 2 - tool quickly and easily closes all or selected running programs.

Run that before starting any resource hungry program and you should be alright.
 
#3
Well, a few things:

If your Windows 7 Home Premium is not x64 bit, it will only utilise some 3.5GB of the 6GB RAM you have in your PC. Your graphics card will affect how well the game plays too, as will the settings you use (high, medium, low etc). Using a lower resolution but higher graphics options usually ups my frame rate and doesn't affect the visuals too much. What card have you got?

Install your games on C:, it won't make a huge difference. Make sure nothing else is running when you start the game up.

Click Start > type 'run' in the search bar at the bottom > click 'run' when it appears > type msconfig and press Enter. Click on the 'Startup' tab, and untick everything in that list (except your anti-virus if you spot it), and click okay or apply, can't remember which you have off the top of my head. Restart the PC. This will ensure you haven't got any shit loading on startup, give you full RAM usage.

Go into control panel and hunt down the display options for the PC, switch Windows 7 to 'classic' mode so it uses less RAM. Won't make a huge difference, but better than nothing. Other than that, not a lot you can do!

Happy gaming. :)
 
#5
If your Motherboard supports SATA 3, then get yourself a SATA 3 HD, it will give you a transfer rate of up to 6GB a sec.......

However as mentioned above, you don't list a graphics card. That might be where your system stutters if its not up to the task
 
#6
If your Motherboard supports SATA 3, then get yourself a SATA 3 HD, it will give you a transfer rate of up to 6GB a sec.......

However as mentioned above, you don't list a graphics card. That might be where your system stutters if its not up to the task
Check your GFX settings, may be that your choosing quality over performance, I have a GTX 275 and I choose a balanced setting because although its still a decent card lets be honest, some games can still beast that when I want resolutions upwards of 1280 and 70+ fps
 
#7
My gfx card is a ATI Radeon HD 5570 1024MB.

Its a desktop 64bit machine.

My monitor is running 1920x1080, its max setting.

Antialiasing and anisotropic filtering are things I can switch on, or probably have already, but I didn't notice the difference.

Keep it coming guys. There's clearly a lot of practical knowledge here. (I got next to **** all from Curry's, where I bought the machine, Q'elle surprise...)
 
#9
Well, a few things:

If your Windows 7 Home Premium is not x64 bit, it will only utilise some 3.5GB of the 6GB RAM you have in your PC. Your graphics card will affect how well the game plays too, as will the settings you use (high, medium, low etc). Using a lower resolution but higher graphics options usually ups my frame rate and doesn't affect the visuals too much. What card have you got?

Install your games on C:, it won't make a huge difference. Make sure nothing else is running when you start the game up.

Click Start > type 'run' in the search bar at the bottom > click 'run' when it appears > type msconfig and press Enter. Click on the 'Startup' tab, and untick everything in that list (except your anti-virus if you spot it), and click okay or apply, can't remember which you have off the top of my head. Restart the PC. This will ensure you haven't got any shit loading on startup, give you full RAM usage.

Go into control panel and hunt down the display options for the PC, switch Windows 7 to 'classic' mode so it uses less RAM. Won't make a huge difference, but better than nothing. Other than that, not a lot you can do!

Happy gaming. :)
Just done that. It listed about a dozen programs, none of which are particularly heavy on processing AFAIK, so I turned off all but the Kaspersky AV. Slight improvement, but still not slick as it could be.

I am also running Track IR5 with all my flight sims, but I don't think that eats up resources much.

Could it be a mediocre gfx card then?
 
#12
I did google your card, there is ONE card I can recommend if your counting your pennies, an Nvidia 7950 GX2, its one of the fastest dx9 cards from the Gefore 7 series, can still deliver a serious kicking, and is quad sli capable as its basically 2 GPUs whacked into one graphics card, and since its a rather old piece of kit you can pick one up on ebay for under £60 if you look right
 
#13
I definately think your graphics card is one of the significant limiting factors in your setup. The 5570 is toward the lower end of the ATI card now.

Bare in mind though, that a reasonable graphics card upgrade may well require a power supply upgrade aswell. The majority of 'pre built' systems only have a power supply that is sufficient to run the components it is shipped with, an graphics upgrade will almost always require more power.
 
#14
I definately think your graphics card is one of the significant limiting factors in your setup. The 5570 is toward the lower end of the ATI card now.

Bare in mind though, that a reasonable graphics card upgrade may well require a power supply upgrade aswell. The majority of 'pre built' systems only have a power supply that is sufficient to run the components it is shipped with, an graphics upgrade will almost always require more power.
Couldn't have put it better myself, if yous want some trade prices on components gimme a shout I have a trade account with spire from when I used to built systems
 
#15
Have you looked at your windows score yet? It should tell you where the weakest point is on your setup. I'll bet it’s the HDD, which looking at your setup seems to be the weakest area.

As a propeller head myself, as my son so lovingly calls me, I have been tweaking my systems for the last few years since FSX hit the shops. You will find that graphics cards make little improvement on your FPS for this particular programme as it is written to take advantage of processor power. You are almost there with an i7 and 6gb ram. Look at getting a fast HDD, probably smaller than the one you have which will be the cheapest unit curry's could find to throw into the box.
One of the fastest on the market, not solid state which is a whole new world of speed, is the WD raptor series.
I have two 500gb of these set in raid 0 which means it writes marginally faster than a single drive. So before you splash out on a bottom end graphics card, try and get the fastest HDD you can afford.
 
#16
Also bear in mind that if its still under warranty from curry's, you should consider the risk of voiding it before stamping in there with your size 10's.

Good luck with the 70fps, I'm lucky if I get 30-40 on a good day with the wind behind me....parrrp.
 
#17
Thanks KW, I might ask you to do some shopping on my behalf soon.

Northern Biff, I asked in PC World (Why do I bother?) about solid state drives only to be told there is no such thing, but I'll take a look at the WD Raptors.

If you are getting 30-40 fps, your going twice as fast as me!

I won't be chopping in any new components until at least Oct 11, as thats when the warranty expires.




But what about overclocking? Or is this a mod too far with too many associated risks?
 
#18
did you find out your windows performance scores and where it is weakest?
 
#19
Thanks KW, I might ask you to do some shopping on my behalf soon.

Northern Biff, I asked in PC World (Why do I bother?) about solid state drives only to be told there is no such thing, but I'll take a look at the WD Raptors.
Faster hard drives will not impact framerate much but they will improve loading times.

SSDs are fantastically more expensive per GB than HDDs, sometimes by a factor of 10.

If you are getting 30-40 fps, your going twice as fast as me!

I won't be chopping in any new components until at least Oct 11, as thats when the warranty expires.

But what about overclocking? Or is this a mod too far with too many associated risks?
If you have to ask whether you should overclock, then you probably shouldn't. You have to have a powerful PSU, good motherboard, fast RAM, and very good cooling to overclock, so it's not really a cheap solution, since uour average manufacturer would not have included such equipment.
 
#20
errr.

4. I have installed FSX and frame rates are poor! Help!
This could be for a number of reasons. It could be that you are simply running it on a system that is not fast enough to run the software well enough. However, in most cases it is because the user has everything (detail, graphic, traffic and scenery-wise) turned up to maximum. Not even the fastest system available right now can probably run FSX with all options maxed out. Microsoft tend to develop software with computer speeds available in 2 years from now in mind. So, to improve your frame rates, you will need to tweak your settings and find a good balance between detail and performance on YOUR individual system. If you are looking for performance gains, try turning down detail settings or options for things like: detailed clouds, traffic % levels, terrain mesh and terrain texture detail, autogen, and external aircraft texture detail (if you always fly from within the cockpit etc).

We have found it is possible to get good frame rates if you are willing to turn down, or turn off some items that aren't as important as others.

Another important factor is how well your hard drive is performing. If you have a drive that is full of unorganized files, it will take FSX longer to find those files on your drive when it needs to load them, causing a drop in performance, and overall frame rates. If the files and organised well on the drive, FSX can find them quickly, load them into memory and ultimately deliver better sim performance. To organise your files on the hard disk you need a defragmentation software program. Windows comes with its own defrag program, but it is a little slow and not the best for obtaining maximum hard drive performance. We recommend a quality defrag software program that is full featured to help maximize hard drive access speed and FSX frame rates.

FSX Frequently Asked Questions
 

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