MSFS Laptop?

As MSFS is now three years old and laptop tech has improved since it launched I was wondering whether it was worth investing in a laptop.

I currently fly MSFS on my Xbox Series X and am reasonably happy with it but I’d love to try vatsim and the Fenix 320. I need a laptop anyway so I may just get one for general use that can run MSFS at 1080p in high/ultra settings.

Does anyone else run MSFS on a laptop? Any advice or thoughts?

I run MSFS on a laptop since release:
Acer predator laptop
Intel(R) Core™ i7-10750H CPU
NVIDIA Geforce RTX 2080 Super with max Q

Had first everything on ultra, now switched some back to high. Sim runs fine, have only the small familliar/notorious stutters once in a while. Fenix a320 flies well on low dens airports. PMDG planes without any problem.

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Lenovo Legion i7-12700, 3070ti, 16GB RAM

MSFS and DCS run great driving an HP x34 wide-screen monitor and a tobii eye tracker.

Spent many hours optimising the graphics settings though

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With decent gaming laptops now costing almost as much as a small house I’d be inclined to keep a decent PC at home and use xbox cloud gaming on a tablet or netbook while on my travels.

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My latest short gameplay in 2021 gaming laptop.
Just rtx 3060 version.

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Yes that’s pretty good for a middling gaming laptop but on my PC I also have an rtx3060. My gameplay is totally smooth with considerably more fps, all ultra graphics and at higher e.g. 2k plus resolutions. It’s very hard to find any laptop that doesn’t throttle to keep cool … do they even exist?

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Thanks for your comments and the discussion. I’m going to choose a laptop rather than a PC as I want to use it around the house and potentially in our camper van. The Xbox has been great and is getting better in the past few months and with the addition of WASM planes shortly.

My current laptop is seven years old and I haven’t booted it for several years so my need is probably a general purpose laptop but with the ability to use Fenix planes and vatsim. I’m guessing that it’s going to be a compromise on both sides (general use and gaming).

I’ve just had a look at the Lenovo Legion laptops and will have a look at the Acer ones too (thanks @vulcan123 and @PHJAAP ).


That I can agree with … I spent many a rainy day with GTA5 on my vacations - on a self built 45w 12 volt PC with a fanless GT1030 @ 720p hooked up to a battery. I was amazed it ran so well.

I have been running MSFS since launch on a HP G3 laptop and it still runs smoothly.

I will offer my words of caution. Last year in January, I asked the same question. I really wanted to laptop for the mobility. And I eventually got an Alienware laptop. Things worked great for months, but then I did the Windows 11 upgrade. After I did that, there was some driver or something that didn’t work right. I would only be able to be in MSFS about 30 minutes and then the laptop would overheat and lock up. I tried dealing with Alienware, and they had no clue why the laptop now would lock up after 30 minutes. I tried just about everything.

I finally bought a Corsair Vengeance I7400 last month. I’m back to flying again, this time with better FPS than ever. I’m able to do VR. Before on the laptop, I was never able to get my HP Reverb G2 to work right.

I didn’t want to hear it last year, I was already sold on the purchase of a laptop. But now having had the bad experiences, I will always now stick with a desktop that has lots of cooling.

I’ve always run on a laptop, simply because I haven’t yet gathered the money for the desktop setup I want, and I’ve been more than happy with it!

My specs:
Dell G15 5510 gaming laptop
RTX 3060 (laptop GPU)
Intel i7-10870H
512 GB SSD (Mine came with an extra SSD slot, so I added a 1 TB SSD since MSFS takes up more and more of space with every update.)
Windows 10

If you’re considering a laptop for flight sim, I would highly recommend a Dell gaming laptop. I purchased this one almost two years ago for $1,200, and my wife recently bought a Dell G16 with better specs for about $1,000 on sale.

The major downside for me is the instability of the Alienware Control Center software that controls the fans. I always run MSFS at max fan speed, and AWCC likes to frequently update and not work after, thus not allowing max fan speed. My fix for this is to delete the UpdateServices folder and then update AWCC again.

The major upsides are the impressive performance of the laptop 3060, the cooling performance of the G15 fans (G16 are even better), and the fact that I can easily transport it.

I’ve got a 2018 Razer Blade 15” Advanced Model.

It runs the sim well on the default High-End settings (what the sim recommends for itself). I really like the Razer and it’s quality is very high.

My biggest complaint with the laptop experience is the fan noise. No joke, it’s ridiculously loud. Of course, it is understandable why the fans need to be howling at max speeds given the strain the system is under being packaged into such a small space, but it is tiring. Wearing headphones helps cutdown on the nuisance, but sometimes I really don’t want to wear headphones either. Plus, others around me have to hear the fans.

I picked up the Razer laptop stand to help elevate the underside fan intake vents for maximum cooling. I do believe this helps the temperatures. With the laptop sitting flat on a surface, there is too much radiant heat from the aluminum case pre-heating the intake air.

It’s mega nice to have the ability to take the sim with me when I travel.

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I’m in exactly the same position as you with the same dilemma.

The experience on Xbox currently is really good, but for me I just can’t help but feel I’m missing out on the customisation of the sim with addons etc…

I want a PC, but I don’t want to compromise on the experience, particularly the visuals. A good quality gaming laptop for me seems like the “next step” and compromise between very expensive desktop and the Xbox.

Interesting to see others opinions, particularly those who are actually running it on a laptop.

I’ve been considering both MSI GE Raider’s and Asus Rog Scar laoptops.

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Hold that thought! … WASM support for Xbox is going to change things dramatically, of course you won’t get to use those many old almost directly ported FXS mods (tbh I don’t even want them on my PC) but you will get the choice of mods actually created for MSFS, many of which will be freebies - of that I’m certain.

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WASM is not opening up the Xbox to free mod support. It’s allowing us to utilize the more complex aircraft on the Marketplace currently only available for PC — provided the developers choose to offer them for Xbox.

WASM isn’t a gateway to free mods. The Marketplace hasn’t shown any signs of being a location for free mod downloads.

Yet Jörg has said MS and Asobo are open to the idea … Build it and they will come

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Sure, but your prior post made it seem imminent, which it isn’t.

One step at a time before we start getting excited.

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I wanna know if anyone has ran the sim on one of the handheld PC’s i.e gpd/steam deck etc…
Also to O.P, a laptop is/will be fine to run the sim. Keep aware of the needs for it to breath and aim for one that has a native resolution which you plan to run. Personally I’d shoot for 2k display over 4k because you might not get away with 4k without turning down a bunch of settings due to thermal throttling.

Laptop users,
Have any of you flown irl while running the sim?
Which platform (steam/ms store)?
I’m guessing steam vs would need to be launched while still on ground with wifi available (i realize the sim can run offline, but steam seems to need a connection to launch)
Did it use cached scenery? How was the experience overall?

I’m not too well informed but I think [currently] 1080p is the max, as I understand it only your inputs are local and everything else happens in Azure. What you see is actually a video.

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