Upgrade advice - GPU &/or CPU

Hi all, I’d like some advice from the experts…

I only use VR (can’t go back) - WMR headset, so lower res. Generally fly only airliners (A32NX, PMDG 737).

My current setup gets me about ~20-25FPS. I’m fine with that, really. But 30FPS would be nice. Also slightly higher settings (clouds, vegetation, texture quality) would also be nice

There are some sales going on locally that might put some upgrades in my reach (I’m currently in a life phase that doesn’t really warrant spending on hobbies… most money goes elsewhere).

Current rig;
Ryzen 5 2600
RTX 2060 6GB
16GB ram

Upgrades considering:
Ryzen 5 5600
RX 6600 XT
More ram??

Would I get a noticeable improvement from either or both? If you could only one, which is best?

I don’t get that one? The G2 is WMR and has one of the highest resolutions of consumer headsets currently out there.

My gut feeling is the upgrading the GPU, since VR is mainly GPU intensive. If you’re currently getting reasonable framerates in 2D, it means your CPU is probably sufficient.

To be sure: Enabel developer mode, enabele the FPS window and see what the current bottleneck on your performance is.

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VR in MSFS is generally high res and therefore mostly GPU bound. If you want a 50% increase in VR performance AND higher settings, you’re going to need a much better upgrade than an RX 6600 XT, which is only marginally better than what you have now.

This puts you into 3070/3080 (or AMD equivalent) territory which is probably out of your budget right now but you can probaby get one cheaper in a few months time when they are on run out after the release of 4000 series GPUs.

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Ah thought that all WMR were the same. It’s a Lenovo Explorer, so 1440. Although somewhat future proofing for a higher res headset is probably worth thinking about…

I checked dev mode in 2D last week and was CPU bound. Not sure how to access this in VR though?

Just checking, did you mean GPU, not CPU in your second paragraph?

Ok so that advice (re the 6600) is what I wanted to hear…

Sounds like advice is wait (and maybe grab the Ryzen 5600 on sale). Would it be worth a 3060 if prices come down or is 3070 the point I’d be looking for?

A 3060 is better than a 2060 by roughly 25% max, so IMO you’re not going to see enough of a performance boost for the effort and expense of upgrading to this video card. If you want that 50% boost you’ll need a 3070 (preferably Ti) or better.

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I’ve had excellent luck with the new 5800X3D. I’d grab one of those; I got mine directly from AMD.

I would not, however, suggest a Radeon GPU. I built a rig in April 2020 that used a 5700XT, and over the past couple of years it had been very stable and then, very unstable. Was it the Sim Updates? Driver updates from AMD? Who knows? Using Event Viewer after a CTD event it often showed a “Driver Timeout.” Since installing a 3080 a few months ago I have had rock solid performance and not a single “hang” or CTD event. Even during intense usage (Multiplayer during Cessna Sunday today, on the North European server no less - I am located in California) and six-plus hours of flight time with multiple takeoffs and landings MSFS has been rock solid. I don’t think I could have done that with my old rig and the 5700XT. (That rig had a 5600X by the way, upgraded from a 3600 last year.)

Just my $0.02

Cheers! :slight_smile:

All fantastic answers!

Cool sounds like I might get a new CPU if the right opportunity arises.

Otherwise hang on and hope a 3070 goes for a ludicrously cheap price in the near future! (Or, y’know, I happen to find one on the footpath or something).


In my case installing Windows 11 totally resolved all of my misery with my RT5700XT. For a lower end card I’m pretty impressed with its performance although I’m looking to upgrade when pricing allows me to.

Yes, typo :slight_smile: Sorry for the confusion.
You probably want a new GPU, since VR is mostly GPU bound. However, if you’re currently CPU limited, it’s better to update the CPU :slight_smile:

I did the same with installing Win 11. I also paid attention - carefully - to the drivers. I know you have done the same.

I agree 100% that for the money spent - the 5700XT was half the price of the 3080, even at MSRP - I got good use from the card and (mostly) solid performance. My takeaway is that the Sim Updates and Microsoft server-side issues were a contributing factor. I could go for weeks and weeks with no problems at all, then suffer through “batches” of CTD events.

Time will tell if the swap will fix the problem completely, but so far so good.



I am using 3770k+1070 to play games happily

I think the Nvidia GPUs (and drivers) are more stable than the GPUs and drivers from AMD.

AMD CPUs seem solid though; I’ve been using AMD CPUs for over twenty years.

Hi all,

Looking for recommendations to upgrade MB/CPU or GPU (one or the other for now, not both)

My current rig specs: ASUS STRIX Z270E MB w 32 GB RAM
CPU i7-7700 @ 4.2GHz
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080
Storage: all SSDs

Currently MSFS frame rate is mostly around 30 (sometimes 31 or 32) with most graphics settings on Ultra

At many US airports, frame rate bogs down to the teens. At most European airports, FPS is smooth at the usual 30 FPS.

I currently have a 50 Gb coax internet pipe. Considering going up to 100 Mb fiber.

Any suggestions? Thanks for your time.

The best way to know which component to upgrade is to turn on Developer Mode and the FPS view in MSFS and see what main thread (CPU) vs GPU frame times are in a scenario you normally fly in.

If one is much greater than the other then that respective component is the one to upgrade. If they are close together then you’d likely need to upgrade both components because if you do just one, the other becomes the weakest link and sets your maximum performance to not much more than what you had before.

If you have trouble interpreting the FPS view data, post a screenshot of it here and we’ll tell you what’s going on.

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Thanks a lot for your advice. I’ll give it a shot.

What I’ve been recently doing to assess frame rate and GPU / CPU burden is use the XBox game bar (windows key + g). It usually shows the video card and CPU pretty much equally taxed, but neither seemingly overwhelmed.

I’m looking for frame rate improvement without sacrificing graphic quality. As mentioned, most of my settings are currently “Ultra” but I wouldn’t mind seeing frames in the 40 - 50 FPS range.

I’m wondering why many mid-size US airports sink my frames into the teens. Starting off cold and dark in several different aircraft at certain airports (for example AGC, Allegheny county in PA and RNT, Renton in WA), I’m in the high teens with FPS until airborne. Then everything is fine. There is little traffic activity (ground as well as air) at these places and they are default airports, not graphically enhanced add-ons. Same aircraft at larger, more active European airports and my cold-and-dark FPS in normal, in the 30s.

Thanks again for your reply.

I was having poor performance around non-PG US cities too, until I tried this. The theory is that PG cities being installed affects performance not only non-PG cities in the same region that PG covers but also in other PG countries. eg. you can have UK PG cities installed and it affects non-PG US cities!

Anyway, since I applied this workaround, performance is significantly improved on the ground. Asobo is aware of the issue and will hopefully address it in SU10 so we can have our photogrammetry cities back without performance penalty.

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Since MSFS is most often main thread limited, I would recommend the 5800X3D processor. It will probably give you the most performance boost. It’s currently the best AMD CPU for MSFS because of it’s larger cache.
A better GPU and more RAM surely wouldn’t hurt. But I see your CPU as the most important bottleneck.

The 7 photogrammetry cities in Content Manager I already have installed. They are all apparently non-US regions, except perhaps GOTY cities. I should uninstall all of these?

I’m beginning to wonder if my problem may be with trees / vegetation. As previously mentioned, I only have poor frame rates on the ground at certain airports, then everything’s fine once wheels-up. I’ll try bumping my trees and vegetation settings down a notch from “ultra” and see what happens.

Yes all of them. As I said before, PG cities in other countries are affecting performance in the US, so that is why all of them. If you look at the size of the files, they are tiny and very quick to reinstall.

Some people reinstall the PG cities for the country in which they are going to fly, as having a single PG city does not kill performance anywhere near as much as having them all installed. I haven’t bothered to reinstall them however as I don’t really notice any visual difference without them.

Possibly, but I doubt it. I run trees, grass and buildings on ultra in VR and it barely impacts FPS. Just give the PG cities workaround a try first.