The Engine You Need To Power Microsoft Flight Simulator

Source: Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN The Engine You Need To Power Microsoft Flight Simulator

Let’s Go Fly A Plane

It has been 37 years since the first Microsoft Flight Simulator was released and boy how things have changed.  The new version has just arrived for one and all, as long as you have a large SSD to devote specifically to the game that is, as it currently weighs in around 150GB.  The question remains as to what level of quality you can hope for.

Firstly, you will need Windows 10 1909, aka the November Update in order to play so if you have been holding off you may wish to reconsider.  For the bare minimum you will need a system with a Core i5 4460 or Ryzen 3 1200, 8GB of RAM and a GTX 770 or Radeon RX 570 and a 5Mbs connection.

For a more reasonable 1080p experience, try a Core i5-8400 or Ryzen 5 1550X with 16GB of system RAM, a GTX 970 or Radeon RX 590 and a 10Mbs connection while to have even a hope of seeing high end try a Core i7-9800X or Ryzen 7 Pro 2700X, 32GB RAM, an RTX 2080 or AMD Radeon VII and a 50Mbps connection.

Thankfully as this is a PC game you are given more options than just Low-End, Medium, High-End and Ultra presets.  Along with a variety of level of detail settings, lens flare and windshield effects it also offers render scaling to lower the resolution on your screen to give better performance without stretching.

Rock, Paper, SHOTGUN delves into performance testing, at 1080p and a bit of 1440p, which you are going to want an RTX 2060 to hit playable frame rates at 1440p.  To see what Ultra looks like you had better start saving for an RTX 3090,  or at least a 2080 Ti.

I’ll be upfront. Microsoft Flight Simulator is one of those games that’s definitely built with future tech in mind. As our friends at Digital Foundry have previously reported, even today’s best hardware will struggle to run this game on max settings at higher resolutions, so it’s important to keep expectations in check when you’re configuring the game’s many, many graphics settings.

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About The Author

Jeremy Hellstrom

Call it,, or PC Perspective, Jeremy has been hanging out and then working with the gang here for years. Apart from the front page you might find him on the BOINC Forums or possibly the Fraggin' Frogs if he has the time.


  1. Bob

    Can it play Flight Simulator

  2. jOhn

    Surely MBs should be Mbs.

    • Sebastian Peak

      Fixed. And stop calling him Shirley. It’s Jeremy.

  3. Dvon of Edzore

    You missed a couple of MBs references (unless the cache hasn’t updated yet) plus “16BG of system RAM”.

    Quite a departure from the original subLOGIC Flight Simulator for the Apple ][ in 1979, which could load from cassette tape. Meigs Field forever!

  4. jEWl

    Wow, I forgot that the apple 2 had tapes, I always remember the vic 20 with the tapes, apple had that HUGE 5.25 with that big ass plastic door clip thingy

    • Dvon of Edzore

      That was the standard Seagate drive of that year. (IBM used the same kind of drives in their original PC.) The half-height unts with the small load lever came later. Most of the electronics Seagate usually shipped were missing, however. Woz replaced the standard circuit board full of parts, about a 5″ square, with around 6 chips of the 8 on the interface card inside the Apple. I was amazed when IBM still used a big pile of parts for the PC floppies several years later.

      By the way, for the Mac which was released several months after the PC, Apple had a single custom chip called the “integrated Woz Machine” to do the same thing.


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