Should I get a PC - Guidance please

I think you should wait for the performance benchmarks from independent reviewers. I take NVidia’s benchmarks with a grain of salt, haha.

But having said that, I think there was a study on price per performance for the 3000 series, meaning which card gave the best value for price, based on the performance (I wish I had the link, but I read that study somewhere and I don’t have the link now). I think the study showed the 3060 Ti or 3070 gave the best value for price, meaning for what you pay, the FPS/$ ratio was the best. The worst value for price was the 3090 or 3090 TI, in that study, if my memory is correct - that is, the FPS/$ ratio was the worst.

Without knowing the performance and price of the 4070 and 4060 though, I would guess that the 4080 should be decent for value per price, if it’s anything like the 3000 series.

It would be between the 4080 and 3080 - is that the best choice point? I would have thought to see some reduction in 3080 price when the 4000 series is launched? Or do they just hold the value up for profit?

If i’m to do it, it will be this year.

IMO, I wouldn’t buy a new 3080 unless it’s 2/3 the price of MRSP, especially with the 4080 coming out. Unfortunately, some vendors refuse to reduces the price of their 3000 cards, because they don’t want to make a loss. If my memory is correct, a lot of vendors refused to reduce the price of their 2000 cards when the 3000 series came out (ironically, those vendors were saved by the increase of GPU prices during covid and the cryptocurrency run).

3080 MSRP is $699. So 2/3 of this is $699 x 2/3 = $466 USD. I wouldn’t buy a new 3080 at this point unless it’s $466 USD or lower. If you can’t get a 3080 for lower than $466 USD, just wait for the 4080 instead. Note that the 3080 does not support DLSS 3. I think the 3000 series only supports DLSS 2. So if you are using DLSS, especially if you are playing at resolutions of 1440p or 4K, you may want to use DLSS 3 with a 4080 card. Check the new video on DLSS 3 for MSFS (it’s using a 4090, I think though, but the 4080 should also give you very good FPS at 4K using DLSS 3): Microsoft Flight Simulator | NVIDIA DLSS 3 - Exclusive First-Look - YouTube

Thanks, i’ll have a look at the video. TBH I have no idea what DLSS would do for me :slight_smile:

I have a slightly strong suspicion prices on the 3080 will be held up to almost full retail, just the way things are going :wink:

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So if you play in 1440p or 4K, DLSS will allow your GPU to process at a lower resolution, but upscale it using AI and interpolation, to a higher resolution. I’m not a DLSS expert, but I think this would mean if you wanted to play MSFS at 4K, using DLSS your GPU would process MSFS at 1440p but output it at 4K. Hence, you get much better FPS at 4K using DLSS, than you would without DLSS. There are some drawbacks though - people have mentioned blurry glass panels using DLSS (but Asobo is planning to fix this by adding a mask around glass panels for DLSS). And of course, using DLSS for 4K will never beat using 4K natively, in terms of image quality. But I think aside from the blurry glass panels which will be fixed, the image quality for DLSS at 4K versus native 4K is pretty close and the average Joe may not notice the difference.

In other words, you can get much better FPS with DLSS at 4K (or DLSS at 1440p) than without it, and you won’t lose much in terms of image quality (assuming Asobo eventually adds the mask around glass panels).

Now NVidia has come out with DLSS 3, as per the video I showed you. DLSS 3 is a new technology and provides better FPS than DLSS 2. The problem is, the 3080 only supports DLSS 2 and not DLSS 3. So this is something you want to take into consideration between the 3080 and 4080, especially for MSFS. IMO, the 3000 series not supporting DLSS 3 is a disadvantage and lowers the value of it, especially with respect to MSFS. And I say this as an owner of a 3060 Ti.

From what i have seen so far, DLSS 3 and 2?) seems to be a setting for some that have this overpowering urge for FPS numbers, personally if it was over 30FPS I think i’d be happy - some days on the X it feels like 2FPS !

I would always opt for higher graphic fidelity over FPS as long as it was over 30, I certainly wouldn’t want to lower image res just to gain a few FPS, i want the maximum resolution image FS2020 is capable of rendering.

From my photography history, I know upsampling & interpolation are graphically damaging so would want 4 native support,

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Keep in mind though, if you like to play at higher resolutions like 4K, the more add-ons you pile into MSFS, the lower your FPS is. If DLSS 3 provides a slightly lower image quality, but it allows you to keep a decent FPS at 4K, while using all your add-ons it may be worth it. Also, I think the CEO of NVidia mentioned that DLSS 3 may help to overcome games that are limited by the CPU, rather than the GPU, and he specifically mentioned MSFS as an example of a game that is limited by the CPU - my understanding is that DLSS 2 doesn’t have this same technology as DLSS 3, to help overcome the issue that MSFS is often limited by the CPU.

Typical add-ons people like to use would be like the Fenix A320 (which is a little tougher on FPS), plus a complex airport add-on, plus AIG, plus GSX, plus perhaps more add-ons (ie. if you’re flying in New York, some people like the Sam Scene New York scenery add-on). When people pile on all these add-ons in, they may get under 30 FPS in 4K. So DLSS would allow these people to still play at 4K and get over 30 FPS, but perhaps with a slight degradation in image quality (I think for some people, the image quality for DLSS may be good enough that they can’t tell the difference between DLSS and native resolution).

I don’t own a 3080 and I myself play at 1920x1080 resolution, so I don’t have a need for DLSS at the resolution that I play at. You may ask around for other people that do play at 4K and are using a 3080 and are using all the add-ons that I mentioned above, and what their performance is without DLSS.

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Or get an AIO solution, plug it in, and forget about it. It doesn’t have to be stellar to outperform air cooling. I have a two fan Corsair H115i that worked very well with my 9900K, as well as my 11900K, and is near silent when it needs to be.

While I’m still holding on prices,
Is this type of spec suitable to run VR on a HP Reverb G2 v2 at high res ??

Hi Dave,

I am a little way up the road from you in Essex. I’ve been to Duxford many times, and I love your opening post. I built myself a pc early last year for using MSFS, so I’d like to contribute a little of my own experience if it could be helpful.
I went for an i7 processor like the one above but knowing what I know now and how heavily the sim pushes the CPU, I would strongly recommend you go for the fastest one you can find like the i9 12900k or even a 13th gen if you can wait for them. This is the absolutely one of the most important fundamentals - if the processor can’t draw and push the images fast enough, nothing else you do downstream will make up for it.
You definitely want the sim on a good-sized M2 NVME drive and 32GB’s of fast RAM, so those choices look good.
If you’ll be using multiple screens, 4K and maybe VR in the future then the 3080 ti gives you most of the performance available at the moment. The CPU is usually the bottleneck in MSFS if you’re pushing the settings up, so I guess whether or not you go for a 4080 or 3080 might not make a huge difference in MSFS right now, although that will not be the case with other applications. The latest GPU would give you a few years of future proofing though.
For reasons of space my pc is on a shelf next to my desk at seated head height, so noise is an important consideration for me, especially when using MSFS! I initially had a Seasonic PSU and a Corsair CPU cooler with their own fans, plus some additional Corsair fans in the case. These have all now been replaced with items from be quiet! and the difference in noise is unbelievable, so I really can’t recommend these guys enough. I took the opportunity to upgrade to a 1000W titanium rated PSU, and given how the power demands of the latest GPU’s and CPU’s is edging upwards, something similar might be a safer bet for your proposed PC.
Something else to consider is the peripherals you’ll be using to fly. I started out with a Thrustmaster HOTAS but this really is very entry-level and I would recommend you look considerably higher up the chain, especially given the spec of your pc. Products from the likes of VKB, Virpil, MFG and Honeycomb are a big improvement over the more basic offerings, but ask around and check reviews to get a feel for what you fancy using. Plenty of people have both joysticks and yokes, depending on what aircraft they’re flying and how deep you want the immersion. As well as pitch and roll on the stick or yoke, you’ll be needing a throttle and some rudder pedals too, the latter of which make a huge difference to flying in MSFS. Good luck!

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Thanks for that info, I’m used to my Velocity One yoke and quadrant but would look at auxiliaries as later add-ons as they change all the time.

The main hold-back at present is uncertainty in the pricing of 3000 series video cards - I have a sneaky feeling they will be held up for a fair while yet. I would be looking at buying in October some time, certainly this side of Christmas.

VR is looking very interesting to me now, but would want a system that can do both good VR and fallback to good screen if it turns out i could not get on with VR for some reason.

This sort of spec look better? (no idea of cooling really yet)

Hi again!

Apologies, I didn’t notice you already had a yoke and quadrant but that’s one less thing to worry about.

I think the rest of the revised system looks really good, although personally I would look at an all-in-one liquid CPU cooler for peace of mind and thermal stability over long flights. My one has needed no maintenance or refilling, so has been no more hassle than a passive cooler. I think the additional tube of thermal paste you have listed is probably superfluous as coolers tend to come with it already applied, although for £7 it can’t hurt to have some spare!

This is personal experience and preference to a degree, but I built my son’s PC using his choice of a Corsair Carbide case, which is similar in price to the 4000D. Having also built my own machine in the (£25 more expensive) be quiet! 500 DX case, I would strongly lean towards the be quiet! range of cases, PSU’s and cooling solutions over Corsair. The fans are way less noisy and their cases have more options for layout, come with a longer warranty and are just nicer to build in.

I totally understand the quandary about the GPU’s - I was thinking of upgrading my 3070 ti shortly, but while the 3080 ti would be better, I don’t think it would make much difference in MSFS for me as I only use a 2k 1440p monitor. DLSS does not make any improvement in my system - sure, GPU usage is down but the optics aren’t as good as with TAA Anti-Aliasing, which the current card can handle fine. Given the CPU bottleneck it’s doubtful if a 40 series card would make a huge difference, but you might see the 3080 ti’s drop a bit from the current £900 - £950 ish level when the new cards are out. Then again, if the 4080 is priced about the same (and obtainable) I’d go for one of those.

I also think VR is very interesting although I haven’t decided on a headset as yet. My son has a Quest 2 that I have used with MSFS on my pc, and the results are impressive - very different from a 2d monitor and totally exhilarating! It is fiddly to use however, and the field of view and graphics quality / smoothness do take a very noticeable hit compared to a good monitor.
The most common preference among MSFS users seems to be for the HP Reverb G2 headset, with others liking the more expensive offerings from Valve, HTC, Pimax and Varjo. VR performance is much more dependent on the GPU though, so if you think VR is a likelihood for the future then you definitely want a 3080 ti or even better. Any GPU at that level or above will make a very decent job of VR and be excellent with your monitors. I guess the 40 series cards will be a step up again, but there’s no way of knowing until they are actually available.

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I think cooling is sorted now?

Current list stands like this…

You are like an old flight simmer who stepped out of a time capsule. What’s TrackIR? Hold your horses boys, you’ll just have to slow them horses down a bit boys. :smile:

I recommend a store bought unit with a 3080Ti in it, and a TrackIR Pro. That’s a leap forward to start. Of course, in a couple of years you’ll have all the toys, and then you’ll be thinking about an upgrade…

LOL, I did look at TrackIR recently but from what I saw on various videos, it didn’t rock my boat, I only have a 32" monitor so to look 90deg i’ll be looking right at the edge of the panel I think?

Shop bought PC, yes, I have no issues with that but cannot find one thats future-proofed enough to be worth it, they seem to cut costs on CPU and/or GPU, RAM, Storage etc.

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My last one was an ABS from Newegg. I would definitely buy from them again!

I could be slightly biased here, but I think that pc looks pretty awesome! No particular reason but I personally like the look of Gigabyte GPU’s and motherboards, but my son’s PC uses Asus and they were very easy to set up and have been faultlessly reliable.

I do understand the appeal of a store-bought, assembled and tested pc, but the DIY route allows you to pick the best components for the precise tasks you want it to do, and that spec will make a great job of MSFS and be lightning fast at everything else. The be quiet! case helpfully gives you USB 3 and USB C on the front panel which is perfect for tethered VR, and you get three of their super quiet fans included.

Had the 12th gen CPU’s been available when I built my pc, and if I had the knowledge that I do now after 18 months and 1,500 hours experience in the sim plus many online chats and problem-solving sessions, that’s what I would have built. It should perform really well with your monitor on ultra settings, and will be as good as pretty much anything out there should you want to try VR too.

I got my components over several months, mostly from a couple of the big suppliers you’ve mentioned in the various build lists above. I don’t know if they would be able to do anything, but it’s probably worth a call to the bigger shops to ask if they could do you a good deal on a bundle of whichever parts they carry.

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Could anyone throw some light on Windows please?

I guess we are looking Win11 ?? Pro or Home?

Pricing seems odd - its listed at around £120 but I also see license packs for around £25 - what goes here?

When I was installing Win 7 for my day job many years ago we just used the one CD to install and bought however many license packs/keycodes we needed and all seemed ok - does this still work?