[HOW-TO] Graphics Settings and Performance Guide - Discussion Thread

On my very gpu limited system I set Vsync off and the sliders at 50, I then adjust all the other settings to medium or high except the gpu heavy one’s which stay at low (for now). I then push up LOD until my fps is down to about 30 (over mixed terrain). Then I set clouds and waves high and drop renderscale a notch or not as the case may be.

With these settings I can go just about anywhere without dropping much below 25fps

Edit: things have changed, not least in that I bought a new GPU and we’ve had SU6 since but broadly this advice is still good.


Is there an update planned now that SU6 has been released?

SU7 is already planned, I think for December. However there could still be a hotfix for any serious bugs caused by SU6 and perhaps they would include stuff that never quite made the Oct 19 deadline … I guess they will have to evaluate the need first.

i rather thought of an update of this guide here :wink:


Oh yes I see your point. Well at least I can start that for 1080p with a gpu limited card.

Rather than upscaling to 4k it is possible to hit another ‘natural’ renderscale in 1440p by editing UserCfg.opt secondary scaling to 1.333333 (credit to Svenz for this) and in the sim set renderscale to 100. Then go to NVCP global settings and set DSR by up to 4x (I prefer 2x for GA). The difference between this and 4k on a 1080p monitor is indiscernible but it will give considerably better framerates. On my rtx 3060 (not Ti) I average a smooth 40-50 fps at ultra and can hit 60 by dropping LOD to 200 and clouds to high, obviously cities and large airports still give a hit but I’m never below 30fp.

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sorry we are still not talking about the same, I mean the complete “graphic settings and performance guide” :wink: this one:

SU6 has some sliders and options more :wink: this one is SU5.

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Tbf not much has changed since SU5 except the LOD slider … I think DX12 will be the next major change


Another performance oriented link that is sometimes overlooked and should be included in this discussion thread is:
All versions - How to improve the performance – Microsoft Flight Simulator Support (zendesk.com)


Problems with this.

Baseline fps performance is way to low to measure statistically significant differences.

Secondly, settings affect performance differently depending on weather and if you are using photogrammetry or Ai generated scenery.

Dawn and dusk are also significant fps killers for obvious reasons.

There are at least 3 or 4 different configurations required depending on what, when and where one is flying.

Just experiment. Don’t blindly follow thse suggestions. No such thing as " One size fits all".


Yup things get changed every update and at the end of the day there’s gpu limited systems and there’s cpu limited systems out there so one man’s meat is another man’s gravy … I literally have nothing in the background except Afterburner so if on the dev mode fps counter I see it flicking between gpu limited and mainthread limited then I know I’m on the right track and that I can expect a smooth performance. I tend to use secondary scaling to achieve this.

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For anyone who hasn’t realised yet … cloudy weather has a massive impact, especially if clouds are set to Ultra.

Dropping to High reduced my GPU limitation 99 percent, to 89 percent and my FPS was back to normal.

And not a huge drop in visual candy either.


I have the 3080 TI running mostly ultra and don’t even use ultra settings for cloud since it takes a beating on FPS by quite a bit. Unless you plan to fly on a sunny day only and no clouds then sure.

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Very useful and much appreciated.

I have few questions though (I have Nvidia RTX 3080):

  1. I understand you made the evaluation with HAGS - Do you recommend setting HAGS to ON?
  2. In one of your post you recommended to leave the “stock” config in the Nvidia Control Panel. Do you mean to set it to “let the application decide” and “reset default” to MSFS?

Many thanks for your help

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I am just about to upgrade to a RTX 3070Ti and i5-12600k with 32GB memory.

I will be playing at 1440p.

I wonder if anyone can provide any hints on ideal Graphic settings, especially for cities where things might slow down.

I note the Digital Foundry ones that several have recommended, but they are quite old now and I don’t know if they are relevant with sim updates.

Any guides or links would be much appreciated.

  1. HAGS makes little to none difference, but I have it enabled personally
  2. Yes, no alterations made to MSFS profile. I think the only ones that work anyways are texture filtering and LOD bias.
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I used @Grabber523 tweaking settings and hit the sweet spot for CPU/GPU balance. Honestly even with an OP graphics card, you won’t get the most out of it because you’ll be main thread limited, but the sim will be smooth if you follow his tips. Just search his posts on the search bar with an @ symbol and you’ll see the threads he’s commented on.


Well said. He really deserves all the credit he can get.

The annoying thing can be when you apply his settings and it works amazingly well then all of a sudden your mainthread limited and no lod lowering gets you back to GPU limited.

Seems like Windows can just sabotage you sometimes.

Then it starts working again. If you’re trying to find the balance during a Windows flareup it’s almost impossible. This must be where a lot of people fail (my self included for a long time)

It’s still deflating when your mid flight and then all of a sudden CPU limited and stuttering.


That’s really helpful, I have had a quick look at @Grabber523 posts and there is a lot of detail there. So it should be helpful. I am just trying to work ahead before I get my new build.

Reading the various posts from @Grabber523 has left me wondering if I can as a temporary measure build my new PC (i5-12600k / 32GB 3600) and hold off getting my new GPU (when/if prices stabilise or I can in early when FE cards land). On my current PC I have a GTX 1660 super, I wonder what level of performance I might see with that card paired to the new i5-12600k if following @Grabber523 settings.


Has anyone on here watched this video?(shared on a thread elasewhere here) I was skeptical about it until I followed every step last night and am getting super silky smooth stutterless performance in FS. Probably the best I’ve seen so far when panning views in scenic dense airports during takeoff/landing.


I use some of his settings and some from other sources however also prefer to let Nvidia handle textures, aliasing, filters etc. where it can. Note these settings I use when limiting my fps to 30fps in MSFS while recording (1080p) and particulary over PG, otherwise I leave them uncapped but enable Vsync in NVCP which limits fps to my screen refresh rate (60Hrz) even in the menus. Apart from the high DSR setting they are fine for 4k too.

One glaring mistake … In Global settings antialiasing mode should be to override

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