Originally Posted by musman
I have been looking into getting a better GPU for FSX than the one I currently have (look at my sig for my current system). My budget is around $200 or so. Here are a few questions.
#1: Is Nvidia better than ATI for FSX?
#2: Is the card I currently have (4850 512Mb RAM) a bottleneck?
#3: What amount of GPU RAM is sufficient?
#4: Should I just wait a while for priced to come down on current cards?
I also play other games/sims. Crysis, CofD4, X-Plane, GRID...ect
Any suggested cards would be appreciated.
Nvidia is the way to go for FSX. Most benchmarks show Nvidia cards outperforming ATI even when the bottleneck sits on the CPU, which suggests the driver/architecture ATI uses deosn't work as well as Nvidia for FSX.
FSX is always going to be CPU bottlenecked on any modern graphics cards unless you're doing something crazy on the graphics side, which is to say you can in fact make it GPU bottlenecked, but you would have to go out of your way with special settings to do so.
You don't need
a lot of GPU RAM for FSX since it's a CPU hungry game, but with more GPU RAM you can can tweak the engine to take advantage of it, plus with all the 4096 textures comming out these days it would be good to have as much as possible, especially when using memory intensive settings like 8xSQ supersampling via nHancer. If I were buying a new card for FSX I'd want 1GB to ensure I run without compromise.
I'll be waiting for a GT300 series card at the end of the year to replace my 260, which if you check out the rumor mill should be a monster.