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Old 10-08-2019, 05:10 AM   #1
everell
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Default Cheap gaming computer with Intel 975 chipset

I built a computer using an Intel 965 chipset motherboard (Gateway) for use with Microsoft flight simulator FSX. Even with a good video card, the frame rate was low and caused jerky motion. My research found that this motherboard was used in a “Multimedia” computer setup. A few weeks ago I found a seller on ebay with Intel 975 chipset motherboards (also Gateway) for $5. Some research indicated that this board was used in Gateway FX530 gaming computer. An article reviewing the FX530 with two other contemporary brands indicated that the FX530 did best on Microsoft flight simulator FSX, just what I was looking for.

I purchased the $5 motherboard, bid on an Intel dual core quad processor Q6700 for $12, and used four sticks of 1 gig memory from my junk box. Had to buy a BTX heat sink which I found on ebay for $10 (shipping cost a little more than the heat sink!). Using a SATA hard drive I already had, and a power supply I repaired. So, cost for this experimental upgrade was very small. To my joy, frame rates were now in the 20 to 30 range, good enough for flight simulator motion.

My budget does not allow me to be a big spender. To my surprise, when the FX530 was new, the price was in the four thousand dollar range. I realize this is now an older computer, but the price was right for my usage. For those who like to tinker – as I do – there are more of these motherboards available. Just do a search on ebay for “Intel 975 motherboard” and set the price range as zero to ten dollars.
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Cheap gaming computer with Intel 975 chipset

975X won't make much of a difference compared to 965. Main difference is that 975X is a workstation chipset so it supports ECC memory (which honestly you rarely care about and unbuffered ECC DDR2 is too expensive anyway), and systems using it were also much more expensive.
CPU will definitely make a difference though. Motherboards using those chipsets typically only support the earlier Core 2 (65nm parts).
Better deal with a 3 or 4-series chipset that supports the later Core 2 (45nm parts) and higher FSB. Or even the Xeon 5400 series if you find a board with good compatibility. They have a pretty interesting performance/price ratio.
Can also find some cheap Chinese RAM sticks to get 4x2GB, I don't really trust them but for now they do the job for me.

People throw away LGA775 systems regularly. Sometimes you are unlucky and you get an old worthless 800-series, sometimes you get lucky and you find a decent 3-series board.

I regularly work on those machines that people throw away. "Refresh" them with better specs (trying to find the best CPU they can take that I have on hand or that doesn't cost too much), It's not extremely common but there are still people that are interested in getting those machines for cheap (I don't intend to make money on that, mostly covering parts cost), but fully working and ready to use. I put W10 on machines that support it, so the ones I can upgrade at least to a Pentium D 9xx or a P4 6xx, the other get a Linux. It's not fast, cannot do much with them, but still usable. Better than them piling up in landfills.
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Last edited by piernov; 10-08-2019 at 10:14 AM..
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cheap gaming computer with Intel 975 chipset

My option would've been to just go with a G41 motherboard and 2x4GB DDR3 sticks (these can't be that expensive, right?) and you'd be set. That'd be about the cheapest you could go without having to drop performance, since these aren't really meant for gaming per se, but can pack a punch with the right parts.
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Old 10-08-2019, 02:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cheap gaming computer with Intel 975 chipset

err... i think u're talking about microsoft flight simulator x or just ms fsx? because i cant find anything called "Microsoft flight simulator FSX" in google. only "microsoft flight simulator x" or "ms fsx"?

anyway, why would ms fsx be slow and jerky when it needs only a p3 or athlon 1 ghz and 32mb directx 9c video card to run? any cpu that that can go on a 965 board should more than exceed or even exceed the recced reqs to run. any pci-e video card should also be fast enuff. usually for games, the video card is the bottleneck but for ms fsx, any pci-e gpu shouldnt cause this type of slow performance.

looks like the 965 system may have a hardware or software configuration issue. one possibility is that the pci-e x16 slot may be running at x1 speed instead of the full x16. bad nb, bad video card or a dirty x16 slot can do that.

the 975 chipset is just merely the fancy version of the 965 like piernov said. no reason for such a huge performance disparity between the two unless something was misconfigured. ms fsx is a single threaded game so a quad core wont help. but im guessing u picked that because the fastest non-extreme dual core for 1066 fsb is also the e6700 which is also clocked at the same speed as the q6700 so might as well just get the quad if it isnt significantly more expensive than the dual core e6700 so i guess u know how to pick the best cost effective cpu for your system.

anyway, yes its a nice board with an equally nice price. i believe this is the ebay link? its 5 bucks plus $8.99 shipping and u can buy more at the same time for a discount but unfortunately its not suitable for me due to the main btx power connector being too close to the pci-e x16 slot. (the second x16 slot runs at only x4 electrically and is connected to the sb instead) i might wanna use a dual slot or 3ple slot gpu cooler and the proximity of the btx connector will limit what gpu and cooler i can use
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Old 10-11-2019, 01:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cheap gaming computer with Intel 975 chipset

Quote:
Originally Posted by everell View Post
I built a computer using an Intel 965 chipset motherboard (Gateway) for use with Microsoft flight simulator FSX. Even with a good video card, the frame rate was low and caused jerky motion.
Just curious, what video card are you using?

20-30 frames per second is not really great, though enough for non-competitive gaming.

I'd look on YouTube for videos with similar PC setups to see how the game runs on those. If you're getting much worse performance that on videos with similar PC sepcs, then I'd suspect a configuration issue on your system (maybe hardware or maybe software/drivers.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan81 View Post
My option would've been to just go with a G41 motherboard and 2x4GB DDR3 sticks (these can't be that expensive, right?) and you'd be set.
I guess the market at your locale are slightly different than what we have here in the US. From what I've seen on eBay and local listings, DDR3 RAM sticks tend to go about $20 per 4 to 8 GB desktop RAM (be it 4x2 GB or 2x4 GB), and that's the cheapest I can find. DDR2, on the other hand, I can often find for $1-2 per GB. If you're willing to buy "scrap" RAM on eBay, you can even find DDR and DDR2 getting as cheap as $0.50 per GB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosLegionnaire View Post
anyway, why would ms fsx be slow and jerky when it needs only a p3 or athlon 1 ghz and 32mb directx 9c video card to run?
Good question.

I think those system req. are for the "super-basic" version.
The Steam version or FSX Acceleration Expansion Pack have higher requirements:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/...m-requirements
https://store.steampowered.com/app/3...Steam_Edition/

Still... for a 2006 game, I'd expect high-end 2006/2007 hardware like the Q6700 to run it flawlessly with a good video card.

On that note, I can run Dirt Rally (a 2015 game with pretty darn good visuals) in 1280x960 at 40-60 FPS without any major frametime spikes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosLegionnaire View Post
usually for games, the video card is the bottleneck
Actually, for a good number of modern games now, especially those with large multi-player, the CPU actually matters more. Fortnite is one such example, and I get pretty bad frame drops / frame times occasionally even on an i5-2500.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosLegionnaire View Post
one possibility is that the pci-e x16 slot may be running at x1 speed instead of the full x16.
Could be, but I doubt it. A game with supposedly such low requirements as FSX shouldn't care even if the video card was running at x1 PCI-E speeds. I've tested, for example, the HL2 engine on a video card running in a 1x slot before, and with a low-end card (Radeon HD2400), there was no difference between that and a full x16 slot - I was still getting about 30-40 FPS @ 1024x768.
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