Need to upgrade pc. please help!

I have a computer with the following specs:
Computer: Dell Studio XPS43T/9000

Processor: 64-bit processor and operating system

OS: Windows 10 Pro 10.0.19041 build 19041

Processor: Intel i7 975@ 3.33Ghz 3334Mhz, 4 Cores 8 Logical Process

Memory: 16 GB RAM (4X 4GB 512M x 64-Bit x 2 pcs, DDR3-1600)

Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950 2 Gb

Storage: 800 GB Free space (With Microsoft flight simulator installed)

Display: Current 1920X1089 (maximum Capable is 2560 x 1440 at 60 Hz)

When I run Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, I get the following message “Your computer does not meet the minimum requirements. As a result, you may experience errors during the game.”

I need help optimizing this computer, I only want to run FS on one monitor. I presume I need to upgrade the graphics card. What would be the recommended graphics card to optimize the computer? Thank you for your help.

Thank you for your assistance.

I have a second computer I plan to use for Airmanager so I run instruments for IFR training.

You may want to start from scratch. The hardware you have listed above is at End-Of-Life. In our company we’d be building (or buying… cheaper these days) a new machine.

Just my $0.02 worth…


You may have to look in the direction of getting an entire new build I’m afraid. What’s your budget?

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I thought I could get by with a graphics card upgrade. I thought I was meeting at least the minimum requirement with the processor and RAM.

Minimum specs

Processor: Intel i5-4460 | AMD Ryzen 3 1200
Video card: NVIDIA GTX 770 | AMD Radeon RX 570.

Recommended specs

Processor: Intel i5-8400 | AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
Video card: NVIDIA GTX 970 | AMD Radeon RX 590

A good graphics card right now will run $1,000.00 or more. A great graphics card will cost nearly $2,000.00

That’s why - at the moment - a pre-built machine may be the way to go.

Even though they are at similar frequencies, i7 975 is slower in some tasks compared to i5 4460.
MSFS is heavily CPU bound, so better graphics card may not even do any difference.
Also DD3 memory is slower than current DDR4.

Many in this forum are having to be very conscious of budgets, while others can afford whatever they want (when in stock). Yet, it is widely considered fact that a beefy computer is simply a must in order for MSFS to run efficiently.

When you try flight simulation with a minimal specs pc, you will spend most of your time trying to keep from stutters, freeze-ups, and crashing to your desktop with no error message to inform what the problem is.

When it comes to graphics card, I have an RTX 2070 Super, and some might consider that a mid-level card.

You might be taking a risk by spending any money trying to upgrade an older system.

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Ignore the warning, set resolution 720p and get saving for a new rig but of course if you are happy to self build then start with a good card as it’s foundation.

With just 2GB vram you are probably best flying in dev mode with volumetrics turned off.

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Thanks for your insight. Certainly buying a new computer would be a simple answer but, I believe there may still be enough power with what I have to get by. What graphics card would you advise obtaining?

That depends entirely on your budget. I have “made do” with a rtx3060 that cost me €200 more than I wanted to spend and it was still €200 less than I could find a new 2070ti for (and I didn’t want to risk getting an ex miner). Prices are crazy!

And to be honest great that the graphics upgrade from a €100 GT1030 is, it hasn’t really added a fantastic amount to the fun factor… €600 can buy a lot of beer, now that really would be fun. :beers:

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Like they said above, you’re gonna pa a grand for a decent graphics card.

You can get a whole machine, with a decent card for $1400 US.

I paid $1500 for my Omen 2 years ago which is now obsolete hardware.

Time for an upgrade, but the sim does run great.


This is a red flag to me. My ram is literally twice as fast and I observed ~8FPS gain moving from 2400 to 3200 speed ram. You may want to check if your motherboard supports faster ram. Even if it does, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to find any, because DDR4 is now current.

I found the GTX 970 to be a really good card for this generation. I have never tried it on MSFS.

Does the error allow you to continue? What is the ingame experience like?

edit: specifically for graphics card - I am getting 40fps at 3440x1440 with an RTX 2060 and Ryzen 7 3700X, I doubt anything higher-end would matter because you’d be CPU bound. In your shoes, if you’re insistent on a graphics card upgrade, I’d look for a used 10-series.