Where is my bottleneck? Tips for potential upgrade

Hi everyone,

I believe that an upgrade is in order for my PC. I don’t really game as much as I used to (never really played games other than for FSX). I thought this would run at Ultra out of the box, but obviously not. Getting mainly MainThread limitations, but overall a mix of all kinds of limitations.

I assume waiting for the RTX 3080 and better GPUs will definitely help, but I am definitely looking to upgrade.

Here are my specs as of now:

Mobo : MSI X99S SLI PLUS (MS-7885)
CPU : Intel Core i7 5960X (LGA2011-3) @ 3.0 GHz
GPU : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (11 GB GDDR 5)
RAM : G.Skill F4-2400C15-16GVR x 4 = 64 GB
SSD: Samsung SSD 950 Pro 512GB NVMe M.2
Single monitor : Philips BDM4350 43.0 inches - running it at 2160 x 1440 although native resolution is 4K @ 3840 x 2160.

I do have a few extra SSDs connected and all … but not worth mentioning.

What would you all suggest? I’ve spoken to one person so far and they seem to be getting good results with Ryzen 9 3700X along with tighter-timed RAM (at least 3600 with 14 latency).

Anyhow, there are tons of threads about performance here on the forums. If I could just get a few suggestions so I can go about planning what to do with my build.



This is about the best info , I have seen today.


The core i7 sadly. It is probably great for multi thread workloads but FS2020 relies heavily on a “MainThread” and it’s only single core ghz that solves that. You should get much better performance even with something like my setup, i5-8600K running at 4.8 Ghz (oc).

(RAM speed is also a factor, but if you upgrade CPU you should get some nice 3200 ddr4 anyway)

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All i can add is don’t try to be too cost effective. More power every where to drive that big screen.

Seems 9900k is offering good single core performance. Should I remain with Intel or go the AMD way with a 3900X and Trident Z Neo 3600 RAM?

Yea, cpu and ram unless I can get em to clock at 3000mhz without sacrificing cas. .

High clocks > ram speed imo but not by much

I’m running i9 10900K, 2080 Super and 32Gb RAM and getting 40+ FPS consistently everwhere with the odd drop to 35 in the bigger cities. If you look at my post (see link below), you can see my frame rate bottom right on most screen shots in green from the nVidia overlay. All game setttings on ultra, traffic, ground traffic, draw distance etc on 200. Live traffic on, but not multiplayer.

Using developer mode, shows that my GPU is limiting performance, not my CPU. It runs c. 40% (that is total package, I’ve not checked the cores separately) but developer mode tells you what the limiting area is. GPU is flat out 100% constantly - max temp 80 deg C, so my cooling is working :grin:

Hope this helps.

Here is my thread with pics (look at the later posts for the frame rates - I was cutting it off in the earlier ones):

Honestly, all CPUS struggle with MSFS. A 5960x should be alright with a decent overclock.

A 3700X will not be a huge upgrade, but if you do decide to go with Ryzen, then 3600MHZ RAM will help a lot, do not skimp out on it. I think you already know this though, :slight_smile:

I highly suggest waiting for Ryzen 4000 series as well as further MSFS optimizations.

Also, sidenote - You know that you can run your monitor at 3840x2160, and select render scaling to 60-70% to get a sort of “upscaled image” to your 3840x2160 monitor (if TAA is enabled)

Best of both worlds, performance of 1440p and image quality roughly in between 1440p and 2160p! :smiley:

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I agree with @TheOriginalBabu about the 3700X, and about RAM speed. I would absolutely wait for the 4000 series Ryzen. If rumors are correct that will be the upgrade you want. RAM speed is important, especially with AMD’s Infinity Fabric architecture.

That said, here’s my current build, assembled in April just for Flight Sim, that seems to work very well with very few hiccups so far:

Gigabyte Aorus X570 Elite WiFi
Ryzen 5 3600
Gigabyte Aorus 5700XT
Corsair Vengeance 3200 - 2 X 16GB
Corsair RM850x PSU
Noctua 140 mm fans in a Thermaltake V250 Case, with a Noctua CPU cooler

Temps stay in the low 50’s

Internet speed is stable at 125 Mbps

The GPU driver is the 8/17/20 release - 20.8.2 - this seems to be pretty critical. All the other Gigabyte drivers for that board are current as of early May.

If I were doing this same build today, I would have waited for the 4000 series Ryzen CPUs and put up with my old system a bit longer. If I upgrade my current system this year, that’s the upgrade I’ll be making. The X570 series boards will handle the new 4000 series CPUs. They also have PCIe 4.0 lanes to the chipset, which the B550 boards lack. That said, the B550 will support the new Ryzen 4000 CPUs.

Hope that helps… cheers!

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Your bottleneck will be the i7 and 2400MHz RAM. Cheapest performance upgrade you could make would be RAM to 3200MHz, then CPU and motherboard. Only after those would I look at upgrading from a 1080Ti.

If you’re doing things other than gaming, AMD all the way. Well worth going for 3600MHz RAM to go with a Ryzen so you can run the infinity fabric 1:1.

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Solid advice.

Will the Ryzen 4000 series (ex. 4900X) have as good a single-core performance as the i9-10900?

From what I can see, Flight Sim is very good at utilizing multiple cores. So single thread may not be as big an issue.

An i9-10900 is a ten core CPU, so that sounds like a pretty good choice. The Ryzen CPUs, from what I understand, are not as fast at single thread performance.

I would just add that in my case lowering the GHz and enabling hyperthreading actually improved performance…eliminated stutterign significantly

4.4GHz with 4 threads
was much worse than
4.2 GHz with 8 threads…

my 2 cents

That’s cool… empirical evidence! :slight_smile:

I have a Ryzen 5 3600, which is a six core CPU. It uses all six. No stutters at all.

That is because of the stuttering performance bug, disappearing if setting FlightSim process in low priority mode. For me FS is not very good at utilizing multi cores capping at around 60-70% usage on a 6 core system.

because you have a low core count CPU.

There is a large potential to increase performance if your CPU is 8c/more.

Now that RTX 30 cards are launched and will soon be available to order, is it necessary to dish out the cash for a 3090 or would the 3080 be sufficient?

I know I should also upgrade my CPU and RAM (which entails a new MBD), but I’ve been seeing a quite constant “Limited by GPU” message. I guess now would be a good time to upgrade from my 1080 Ti.

How is performance for you on your current build? Are you happy with how it looks and performs?