Computer spec advice needed, don't want to waste money

Hi all
I’m hoping some kind computer wizz could advise me on my next best move to upgrade my graphics card. I know what I can afford and want (the new RTX 3060)
but I don’t know if I need to change my motherboard and processes as well. Maybe I would be better selling it on and starting again?. I’m completely lost on these things and can’t afford to waste money so best budget desicion needed.

I can run msfs fine on high settings except in places like new York were frame rate shudders a bit. I’m looking forward to VR soon and I think I will run into problems then. Any advice is welcome. My computer specs attached :+1:

Your motherboard will accommodate a 3060. But we don’t know about your power supply. Can you show us which PSU you have?

If you buy a 3060 now and expect to upgrade the other components later, the money spent on the 3060 is not wasted.

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No such thing as wasting money on hardware :slight_smile:

Your motherboard supports M.2 storage. I cant stress this enough it is lightening fast on the read write over standard SSD’s. Do yourself a favor and upgrade primary for windows boot drive to M.2 and put FS2020 on it. I have three M.2 slots and they only let me buy 1 as it was still covid time and stock was short. Tried to buy one for windows one for a dedicated MSFS2020 drive. This will happen down the track when the game gets to large due addons :slight_smile:

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New cpu/mainboard/ram should be a priority, upgrade the gpu afterwards - it’s probably the newest thing you got in that build. Unfortunately right now pretty much everything you’d need is either sold out or overpriced soo … yeah, if you want to get something now you’ll probably overspend no matter what you focus on. It’s a tough market right now, I should know, I’m on a similar setup.

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That is very good news indeed. I didn’t want and can’t afford to replace everything. I can’t check the psu right now but will tomorrow. Psu is not so expensive anyways. Looks like I’m going shopping… :grin::grin::grin:

Thank you :+1:

Well good luck! I’m not sure if you’ve tried looking for a 3060ti lately, but unfortunately it’s not as easy as simply purchasing one.

I just seen your reply and see you recommend replacing the lot. You think I can’t get away with the 3060 on that build? :cry:

I will get my calculator out and work out the financial devistation :wink:

What board, cpu, psu, HD, ram, would you recommend. I could get a better estimate if I knew what to buy. I might get the 3070 if starting again though the rtx 30 are scarce at moment.

Thank you

If you are able to perform a complete rebuild, then of course you will see great performance benefits. But CPU, RAM, and Mobo (and reinstallation of Windows) are all required together, which is a big undertaking. If you go that route, a Ryzen build is justifiably popular these days.
But I stand by my recommendation of a 3060ti if you can find one, and if your PSU supports it, because you will see immediate benefits in your current build, even if you’re not seeing its full potential due to the age of the other components. And it can be added very easily compared to the investment in time and money required for replacing the CPU and everything else that requires. And at the point when you upgrade the rest, it can fit nicely in your new build, so there’s no money wasted by doing so.

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I will go with your recommendation subject to my psu being up to scratch. So much easier option as you say and I can add later as I go. I am watching a few 3060 ti auctions on ebay. I think they will probably go at £150 over retail price :roll_eyes:.

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Before you buy anything, check your current bottleneck. Switch on developer mode in the options and enable the fps window during a flight: limited by main thread means your cpu can’t keep up, limited by gpu means … well, that your gpu is too slow. You need to upgrade whichever part limits you most, but looking at your specs I’m willing to bet it’s the cpu.

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Huh - I didn’t know about that option in MSFS. I’ll have to check it out myself - good to know.

Good tip thank you. I will definitely check that.


I tried that out over NYC. I was getting both messages, mostly gpu. Mainthread when in amongst the skyscrapers. Both fine when at a distance from the buildings. I took a video on my phone but too large to upload. Good tip thx though not sure how to interperate the info lol

No don’t replace the GPU pneumewt is exactly right. You are looking at wanting to start a new from scratch computer build. You are going to be CPU bottlenecked no matter what you put on that motherboard. You could put a 3090 on your current setup and it would do you no good at all.

I would recommend a Ryzen 5800X or higher if you can wait for them to become available and if money is no issue.

Edit: I just seen you mentioned budget. There’s been pretty good deals on 9900k lately check around on NewEgg for CPU/Motherboard combos. I guess you could go the route of getting the 3060Ti but you are going to be bottlenecked by your CPU until you get that upgraded, especially if you are running at lower 1080P resolutions. To be honest too budget and VR MSFS really don’t mix together well. If you are wanting a decent experience you are going to have to pony up some money, one way or another.

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It;s an i5 4690k. I don’t think it takes much looking to see what the bottleneck is.

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I wish there was an easy answer for you other than telling you to build a new PC.

Not to start fights on here, and everyone has an opinion of course. But…

I wouldn’t upgrade your SSD, if Flight Simulator is on your SSD that is, and not your 2TB hard drive. Most people can’t tell the difference between an $80 ssd connected with a sata cable and a $400 Gen4 m2 nvme drive plugged directly into the motherboard when loading up Windows and their games.

You could throw a new GPU in there, and you’ll get a few more frames per second sometimes, but then you will always be “limited by main thread”. Your CPU is going to hold you back more than anything as that 3060 will always be waiting on that i5. And upgrading to something that’s going to make a significant difference means a new motherboard, and ram, and that means taking the entire computer apart. You might as well just build a new one :\

The AMD Ryzen 5600x is cheaper (when bought at retail) than the i9-9900k cited above… and it’s faster for Flight Simulator. The problem is, as also mentioned above, it’s really tough to find right now (when bought at retail price). It can be done though. If you have the time and patience, there are live streams that check availability of these processors and send alerts when they become available. That’s how I bought mine, and it took a few days of monitoring and a few failed attempts. But it’s supposedly getting easier and easier by the day. Hopefully after the holidays it’s even easier still.

If you don’t want to screw around with all of that, then my honest advice would be to simply wait. Flight Simulator is going to be upgraded to Direct3D 12 in (summer of?) 2021. The market will hopefully calm down by then. A whole new array of CPUs and GPUs will be out by mid-2021. The entire landscape is going to look different by then, and that includes Flight Simulator. What works best now, may not be the best option in 6 months. And once the dust settles, you might be able to find some deals too.


What program gave you that view?

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Its funny how this has gone from wanting to buy an RTX 3060 $800 to what seems to be a solution of build a new PC.

There are some cheaper prebuilt PCs out there that are better than what you have… do more research and look at what you can afford. Start with CPU and Motherboard and utilize what you already have and build on it as time goes by. Then better storage RAM Graphics etc


The 3060 ti is $400 if you can wait, or have the patience and nerves to monitor availability as it comes in. These cards come up every day for sale, so it can be done.

Since Flight Simulator needs CPU more than anything. Most bang for the buck solution if you want to take the computer apart, would be that Ryzen 5600x ($300) a motherboard that supports it (probably could be cheap here and get one for $100-150), and adequate RAM (<$100). And then keep your 1060 for now. You’re not too far off the price of that 3060ti. And then you’d essentially have the fastest possible processor you can reasonably get for Flight Simulator… for a couple months that is until something else comes out or Flight Simulator gets upgraded.

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This is fantastic advice. I’d go a step further and say do everything you can to get rid of that spinner (physical hard drive) completely, unless you have a large amount of videos and/or movies. Playing movies is about the only thing a spinner is good for in 2020.

This I’m a little less gung-ho about. While it’s true that on paper a NVMe drive is quite a bit faster than a SATA SSD, all the testing I’ve seen and done seems to point to it being hardly noticeable in the real world. Having said that, any SSD is better than a spinner, whether NVMe or SATA.

If you can afford enough NVMe storage for Windows and FS2020 (including add-ons and cache), then absolutely do so. In fact, absolutely do so for at least your OS and associated files. I myself have the base MSFS on my boot NVMe, but I put my 100GB cache on a separate SATA SSD, and I’m not sure I see any difference. I’m quite sure a benchmark would, but I’m not a benchmark.

In fact, it’s hard to not get an NVMe that’s big enough for Windows and the base MSFS files, it’s when you wanna go crazy and give it 100GB of cache to play with (and it “uses” every bit, even if it doesn’t have 100GB worth of actual cache stored (yet)) that you may run into issues.

Anyway, I hope that was helpful, and happy simming!

The skies are calling…

PS… The Samsung 970 that was recommended is a fantastic choice. I’d go with at least the 1TB version, 2TB if that fits your budget. Then the issue of where you put your cache is a moot point.

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