My 2 cents.
The ATI Radeon HD 5450 is a $35 Graphics card.!@!
Try a significantly better Graphics Card, prefereably Nvideo.
The Nvidea drivers seem to be far more P3D friendly than the ATI ones.
Comparison, running P3D in Free Flight (same high settings)
37 fps Nvidia GeForce GTX 480 (1.5 GB)
35 fps ATI Radeon HD 5870 (1 GB)
34 fps Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 (1.2 GB)
32 fps ATI Radeon HD 5850 (1 GB)
30 fps Nvidia GeForce GTX 465 (1 GB)
24 fps Nvidia GeForce GT 240 (1 GB)
?? fps ATI Radeon HD 5450 ( was not worth testing !! )
As far as CPUs, I have found that provided you are not trying to run a whole lot of other JUNK, at the same time as P3D, a FASTER Dual Core, is better than a slower Quad Core.
256 kbps Network traffic is really Insignificant, compaired with everything else the CPU is doing.
Definatly Consider going to 64 bit OS .. P3D runs well on W7 64, and will make use of the bigger memeory addressing space. (> 2 gigs Virtual memory) Try 6-8 Gigs - Ram is cheap !
When putting so much time and money into development of an expensive, low volume solution, it does not seem to make a lot of sense to skimp on the PC hardware, that is really only a very small part of the overall cost.
The Nvidia GeForce GTX 295 and ATI Radeon 5970 has tested to be a
significant performance decrease to FSX. This is due to their integrated dual