Brand new Mac (my first) and was to play Flight Simulator X.....advice please!

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Jukes, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. Jukes macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    #1
    Hi,

    I've just bought a pretty nifty Mac Pro custom system (spec is on my signature) and want to run Microsoft Flight Simulator X at the maximum settings possible. Two questions :

    1. Would a Mac of my spec be capable of running FSX on maximum settings?

    2. I've heard of things like Bootcamp etc., what would you recommend to do this as well as possible?

    Thanks
     
  2. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a

    ildondeigiocchi

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal
    #2
    Congrats on the system. I also have a Mac Pro except mine is a 2.66GHZ octocore. I also am an aviation enthusiast. I run FS2004 and FSX with multiple addons in Windows7. I have a Radeon 4870 and it runs the game on high settings at 1600 by 1200 resolution. The Mac Pro handles the game well. To be able to play FSX you'll have to do the following.

    1. Either buy a seperate HDD or SSD to run Windows on or partition your current HDD with the use of Bootcamp Assistant (an app found in OSX) to run Windows on. I strongly suggest you get an SSD for Windows. I have an Intel one dedicated for Windows 7 and it rocks.

    2. Next you'll have to buy a copy of Windows. I suggest Win7 Ultimate 64bit. Make sure to buy a FULL version and not UPGRADE one. Buy an OEM version as they are cheaper. Check out newegg.com for a copy.

    3. Run Bootcamp assistant. Depending on your choice in my first step. You will either have to partition your current HDD and then launch the windows installer or simply dedicate a full drive for windows. You'll have the complete choice on what to do. There is a manual online on Apple's website for Bootcamp use.

    4. Once you are done with the installation of Win7. Load your SL disk and search for Bootcamp64.msi. It can be found under Apple then Drivers within the CD files. Run the msi file in compatibility mode for it to work. This will install all appropriate drivers.

    5. Install FSX and enjoy. I suggest you get a joystick. :)


    I strongly suggest you opt for an SSD to run Win7 on. Seeing you bought a Mac Pro money must not be an issue. An SSD is really a wise investment. Make sure that it has a large capacity. 80GB or greater. You'll truly enjoy FSX! Hope this clears some light on the issue. Feel free to ask any questions :D
     
  3. Jukes thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    #3
    Thanks

    Hi,

    Thanks for taking the time to me help on this, it's very informative. Just a few clarifications if you wouldn't mind:

    I'll go with your advice on the separate SSD for Windows - that being the case is Bootcamp still required? And does the SSD work on a plug and play basis which then enables you to install Windows to it and just run all things Windows-related from that SSD?

    Excuse my ignorance but what is meant by OEM? Again I'll take your advice on the Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit but not sure about the OEM part.

    Thanks again,

    James
     
  4. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a

    ildondeigiocchi

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal
    #4
    Bootcamp is useful in the sense that it somewhat aids you in installing windows by partitioning your drive. However you can also install windows simply by booting from the Win7 CD. You hold down the C key on the keyboard upon bootup. This will make your Mac Pro boot to the Win7 CD. Next you simply start the Windows installation and select the SSD you want to install windows on and format it as NTFS. Then continue the install. I've always used bootcamp. It allows you to run Windows natively: meaning you can use any windows apps. The SSD is "plug and play" in the sense that you just insert it in the system, install windows on it and use it how you want. Oh also make sure to get a 2.5" to 3.5" Adapter for the SSD. I strongly suggest you buy your SSD from Maxupgrades.com. It comes with the adapter included. With regard to the OEM question. Win7 retail costs roughly 300+ dollars whereas OEM costs only ~210$. OEM means you'll only get the Windows 7 CD and the papers it comes with in a shipping box rather than the fancy packaging which comes with the Retail Version. Trust me paying one hundred and some extra dollars for a fancy box isn't worth it. Plus OEM works great. OEM= Original Equipment Manufacturer.

    I strongly suggest you get an Intel SSD. Make sure to get a G2 drive. Either the Intel X-25M 80GB or the 160Gb versions. They are the best drives on the market. I suggest you order from:http://www.maxupgrades.com/istore/i...y&product_id=180&CFID=454807&CFTOKEN=31819973 They're reliable and ship internationally.

    Maxupgrades are very reliable and their adapter is not only elegant but sturdy and complements the Mac Pros sleek design. Good luck. Feel free to ask any other questions you may have. :)
     
  5. Jukes thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    #5
  6. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a

    ildondeigiocchi

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal
    #6
    Yup you should be able. He has a GTS 250 and is running it like that. However, I must warn you FSX is not really optimized at a hardware graphics level. It seems to not like ATI cards. Runs much better with NVIDIA cards. Nonetheless, your 4870 should crank 25-30 FPS in Win7 since FSX runs better in 7 than in XP. Enjoy your system and keep me posted with how it works. :D
     
  7. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a

    ildondeigiocchi

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal
    #7
    Just an update. After installing SP2 of FSX and installing it on Win7. I get 40 FPS or more on Ultra High settings at a resolution of 2048 by 1536 in DX10. Seems its bottleneck was Win XP and DX9. Keep me updated on how your system works out! :D
     
  8. Jukes thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
    #8
    Hi mate,

    I'm all set up with my new gear now, followed your advice (thanks again) although have partitioned my MAc drive for now while I'm waiting for the SSD to arrive.

    FSX is running beautifully and the graphics and frame rate is truly mind blowing, couldn't be better. Monitor-wise I'm running on the Apple HD 30" at 2560 x 1600 which helps :D FSX is a truly amazing piece of software and was clearly built for high spec machines like ours, I remember trying it on a bog standard PC a while ago and although it run and achieved a semi-respectable frame rate it wasn't a patch on this.

    One question - how do I check what frame rate I'm getting?

    Cheers
     
  9. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a

    ildondeigiocchi

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal
    #9
    Nice to hear everything is running well. Once you get the SSD it'll make a world's difference. It loads a mission or flight in 5 seconds! :eek: As for the framerate just download this app FRAPS Just launch it every time before playing a game and it'll display the framerate. :) Cheers.
     

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