Also check the multi-display page!
A good Graphical Board can give a significantly better performance of Flight Simulator frame rates. But do you really need the top end X800 board?
As you can see at Toms hardware page you definitely don't need the most expensive boards to have a good framerate.
In my opinion the you will have "most frames for your money" with the Nvidia 6600GT board. Conclusion in the test at Toms hardware page:
In Flight Simulator 2004 the X700 XT begins starts out leading its direct competitor. Once the resolution is cranked up, however, the GeForce 6600 GT sneaks by it. The X700 XT actually returned better results without the A.I. optimizations.
AGP, PCI-Express and SLI
At this moment there is a bit confusion about the new standards for graphical boards: PCI express is a new port for graphical devices on Mainboards. Most new mainboards included the PCI-Express slot and it's clear that it will replace the AGP port in the near future.
So beware that if you upgrade your AGP graphical card at an old Mainboard it's likely that you can't use it anymore when you upgrade your mainboard. New mainboards will probably no longer support AGP....
SLI is a solution to use connect two PCI-express graphical boards to boost performance. Right now (March 2005) the drivers need a "profile" for the games to use SLI , and FS2004 isnt "supported" by SLI yet. Soon, newer drivers will allow you to manualy set up SLI modes in games to test which is best. But right now its locked....
SLI needs a special mainboard at this moment. I guess it's better to wait and see what happens in the near future. Don't buy the expensive SLI boards for FS2004 now (March 2005).
Read more about SLI at this page.
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