Newby seeks hardware advice

Minimum, Recommended, and Ideal PC requirements for Microsoft Flight Simulator – Microsoft Flight Simulator Support (

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I have roughly the same setup, but with 16GB ram, i7-6700, GTX950-1GB, and no SSD. I am reasonably happy with MSFS on it. I suspect that limiting the output to 1920x1080 is what allows this performance to be acceptable.

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I have this config and it gets strained, producing early to mid 20 FPS with minimal to no stuttering at complex airport like Aerosoft Brussles + Fenix a320 + FSLTL AI traffic at 85%. Most settings ultra with Terrain LOD set at 160.

32 Gb RAM @3200 MHz
1 Tb NVme SSD
2K Monitor

I suspect it will perform better with 1080p monitor. If you plan using VR, go with RTX3080 for getting a higher VRAM. 3070 will work but may not be as fluid.

You could run it but you will not experience the true beauty of it. I run only a moderate system …i7 9700k, rtx3060ti,32 gig ddr4 ram,1tb nvme drive. I run in 1080p and everything is on ultra. Very happy with my results.

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Those specs are an absolute joke.

Let’s not sugarcoat it: with your current system, you might be able to start and run MSFS in low settings, at most medium, but you will not enjoy it at high settings @1080p as is your goal.

If you’re looking at acquiring the most cost effective/affordable new system to fulfill your stated goal, here is my suggestion:

5800X3D CPU (going lower is futile for a new build)
Entry level B550 motherboard is fine
16Gb of Ram (2x 8gb) @ 3200 (higher is better)
6700XT Graphics card is the sweet spot budget wise nowadays IMHO, it has plenty of RAM and will do the job very well @1080p

You can buy this new or used. If new, here is a rough budget estimate:

If you buy used, depending on where you live, you could probably shave 100 dollars on the graphics card, or maybe go for a 6800XT instead.
With these specs, you’ll enjoy MSFS very well at 1080p for years to come and you could probably think about going for a higher resolution down the line, with just a new monitor/TV.

An even cheaper alternative, is an XBOX. It will run the game much better than your current specs ever will, but you will lose the ability to use some third party software.

Having said so, your broadband speed is a bit of a problem for MSFS, IMHO. In my area, the available speed went from 20Mbps to 100Mbps, with pings reduced from 25ms+ to less than 5ms. The overall experience was vastly different.

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Nope. MSFS won’t even run on a second generation Core CPU. Everything else about your current machine is bottom line minimum required spec to run MSFS. Assuming you had a compatible CPU, it would run. But I don’t think it would be an experience I’d ever consider playable even with lowest settings.

You may want to re-read the OP’s details. He’s running a 2nd gen i7 CPU. Literally the sim won’t even boot on his system with that CPU as it lacks instruction sets required by MSFS to start up. So he’s not above the minimum spec.


If you want to get a feel for the sim before deciding to buy new hardware, I would suggest looking at Xbox Cloud Gaming (which you can do on PC, despite the name). You can stream MSFS at a decent quality level to try it out. I assume it would work on your PC as it’s basically just streaming video of the game and applying your keyboard / controller inputs.

It would involve buying Xbox Game Pass for a month, but that’s a very small cost compared to new hardware.

Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta) with Xbox Game Pass | Xbox


To answer the second question, what new PC spec - that’s the million dollar question. If you want the no-holds-barred best experience you can get you have to go right to the top of the range. But your ask - 30FPS consistently on High settings (there is no Very High, there is Ultra beyond High) - will still need a pretty beefy PC to achieve.

My $0.02: I would go for a 13th gen Intel CPU, the Core i5 13600K would not be a bad choice but it’s still a 320USD CPU, and the price differential up to the i7 13700K is just another 100USD. Similar (if slightly inflated) prices in my neck of the woods (the UK). I wouldn’t go for an earlier Intel CPU generation because price/performance is just not as good. AMD is a good option also but I don’t really do Ryzen so I can’t advise.

32GB RAM is really the minimum I’d build a PC with these days. I would go for DDR5, but honestly, DDR4 is fine… but you’ll have to pick a motherboard with one or the other kind of slot, none of them have both.

For the GPU, I’d be quite comfortable going for an NVidia 3000 series card, although I wouldn’t go lower than the 3070 and I think the 3080Ti is a good card that’s finally starting to get cheaper (but not much - supply issues with the 4000 series cards mean 3000 series are still overpriced). Some people will say ‘but DLSS 3.0’ which is cool since it can double your FPS, but until there’s AI training data for MSFS in the drivers, the generated frames will be noisy and artefacted. If I were building a PC today I’d still go for the 3000 series.

Disk - NVMe, not SSD and certainly not spinning rust, and as big and as fast as you can afford. MSFS eats storage and it wants to read that data as fast as it can.

Now all of that means a high-end machine, but you would need that to meet your goal IMHO. If you’re willing to be flexible on your goal - lower some settings or your FPS expectation, then you can achieve that with more modest hardware. I tend to think, though, that it’s better to wait until you can invest in a great system than to buy something much more mid-range and then be unhappy with your performance. MSFS is in some ways the new Crysis (as in ‘…but can it run MSFS?’)

And honestly… I’m sure people will be able to chime in here with system specs quite a bit lower than that who get 30FPS most of the time. I just loaned an older i9 9700K + 1080Ti system to a friend and he’s getting 40+FPS outside of the big cities and major PG scenery areas. So take my thoughts with a pinch of salt because I’m well known for over-speccing my hardware :slight_smile:

Hope any of that helps…

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If it wasn’t for scalpers my original specs would have come under $1100 and performed very well for such a resource hungry sim.

B550m mobo, 3800X (includes fan), rtx3060, 16GB fast ram, NVMe 500GB, SSD 500GB. My Case (with PSU) was a neighbor’s discard.

I have upgraded a few bits since but much of it wasn’t really worth the extra expense. The only real exception to that being the CPU to a 5800X which I got for a bargain price but of course then I had to buy a $50 cooling fan.

I have an I7 as well, although slightly bigger 3770.
I have no problem at all with it.
Is there a difference between that and the 2600?

Yes there is. Minimum “official” requirement is a 4th gen i5, although people such as yourself have been able to run it on a 3rd gen CPUs. But there’s something lacking in the 2nd gen CPUs that will completely prevent MSFS from even running at all. It’s not just a performance thing. It simply won’t start. I’m not sure what exactly is missing in those older CPUs, but it’s a show-stopper from getting MSFS to run.

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My opinion. An AMD 6xxx series gpu is too much for 1080p, fps would be great but LOD totally in the cellar and of course stutters

I recently tried both a 3060ti and a 6700xt, back to back at 1080p, on the same system otherwise, with the same settings.
Comparable cards budget wise.

The 3060ti was fine in DX11 but I could not get DX12 to work at all. It was just unplayable.
With the AMD card, my DX12 experience was very good.
Given these two cards have somewhat comparable raw performance, I suspect the better experience in DX12 comes from the additional RAM (12gb instead of 8gb).
Hence the suggestion to go AMD for a budget build.

If money is no object, the top tier Nvidia cards are still better IMHO.

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That isn’t completely true. About 2 years ago, I tried to run MSFS on an i7-860 (released in 2009) with a Geforce 1050 Ti 4GB, and it worked on low/medium settings. Frame rates were in the 20s, but with bigger stutters. Wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, but it worked :wink:

Anyway, haven’t checked it in a while, so I don’t know if they raised the bar with one of the updates in the past 2 years. It might have become impossible to run MSFS on this old CPU by now…


Thanks for all these great answers!

Based on the various suggestions I’m going to go straight to a new PC. The graphics card may well end up being replaced after a year or two (along with the monitor), so I’ll probably go for a modest RTX 3070ti. This should be quite sufficient for 1080p and should work nicely with my current G-Sync monitor. For the rest of the PC I’m thinking the following should hopefully provide at least 6 years of decent gaming: B650 mobo with Ryzen 7 7700X CPU; 32GB DDR5 RAM; 1TB Samsung 990 Pro SSD.

Decided to forget the idea of dipping my toe in the water with the old PC. Main reason in the end was realising that I expect a great chunk of the enjoyment of getting into MSFS will come through undertaking the various tutorials and bush pilot trails that I’ve now read about. It would be a shame to experience that voyage on a reluctant machine.

Thanks again. See you in the blue yonder some day!



Not sure if you are aware of this, but 7700X is not nearly as good as the similarly priced 5800X3D for MSFS, especially @1080p.
Couple that with higher DDR5 costs, you end up with a more expensive system and significantly lower MSFS performance/enjoyment than the previous gen CPU/MB/DDR4 combo would provide.

If you still want to go for the new AMD range of processor, I would suggest waiting for 7800X3D to be released next month (February).

At the very least it will impact the prices of the CPU you’re currently considering. Or you may jump the wagon and go for the latest 3D chip, up to you.

That’s interesting. What about Ryzen 9 7900 (no “X”)? Now wondering whether, if AMD’s ‘Precision Boost 2’ feature can be relied on, I should look for a CPU with a particularly low base power consumption (~65W). (Energy prices have already doubled in the UK - even with government subsidy - and set to go higher still.)

Hmm, since starting this reply I’ve just read a bit more about Precision Boost 2 here and am already losing confidence. Seems to be saying that achieving highest boost is very much a matter of best efforts. Also this rather confusing statement: “It is a good guideline to know that light workloads experience the highest boost frequencies, while heavier multi-core and/or sustained workloads are more likely to encounter a limit and receive less boost.”

[Update] OK, think I may have answered my own question. Ryzen 9 7900 actually has worse single threaded performance than 7700X. Back to the drawing board.

Intel’s 13th gen i7 has a couple of variants (13700, 13700F) where the base power is just 65W and still decent ‘turbo’ performance (if it can be relied on).

My preferred PC builder doesn’t offer 5800X3D. Maybe it’s time to look elsewhere.

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The non-X versions have lower TDP, so generally lower performance than their X counterparts. High performance and low power consumption don’t mix, so if you want something that uses little power you will pay with lower performance.

If you’re that interested in power efficiency, I would stay away from Intel. Their 10nm nodes can use signficantly more power than AMD’s 6nm nodes. When it comes to power effiency, AMD is the better choice.

Yes same here :slight_smile:

I think 5800X3D uses uses lower voltage than others in the 5000 range, due to the thermal limitations of 3D Vcache, this additional cache being the reason why it performs so well for MSFS.
Also, I do not own a 5800X3D, but based on feedback I found on reddit, it would seem when gaming 5800X3D usually draws less than 65W, keeping in mind this is not data specific to MSFS.

You will find MSFS specific power consumption data here:

Given the high costs of energy in the UK, waiting for 7800X3D may be worth it, we’ll find out more when it is available in February. Its advertised TDP is 120W.

Of course, GPU choice is important for power draw.
Also, picking up a good ‘80 plus gold’ PSU is money well spent.

I concur.