Recommendations for building a FSX computer

Pro Member Trainee
vs0u109e Trainee

Hey everyone - I've been searching the web and relevant forums for a few days now trying to find specs of a good system that will run FSX but will no joy.

I was wondering if anyone could recommend me components that I would need if I wanted to build a base unit to specifically just run FSX on? I know its a extremely demanding program so needs a good system to run and Ive been advised to build one rather than buy a gaming machine as it works out a lot cheaper.

I've got a lcd tv which I'm going to run the base unit off so any suggestions on graphics cards, processors, motherboards, memory etc would really be appreciated.

Thanks guys

24 Responses

Pro Member Trainee
kin3 Trainee

Here are my system specs. I run with everything on max and it runs good. I do fps games like Call of Duty 4 and it runs it very well also.

Motherboard: EVGA 780i
Graphic Card: EVGA NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 512
Monitor: Dell 2407WFP-HC
DVD: Philips SPD6104P SCSI DVD
Sound: Creative X-FI Audio
Power Supply: Corsair TX750W
CPU: E8400
Memory: Patriot 4G 2Gx2
Hard Drive: 500G
Case: Antec P182
OS: Windows Vista Home Preium 64

Pro Member First Officer
Bob (Traches) First Officer

There's no perfect system, but there are things you want to focus on...

Graphics card-- Get a good one, but it's not the most important thing to fsx like it is in most other games. I don't know ATI cards as well, but the nVidia 8800 or 9800 with 512 megs of ram should do fairly well. Obviously the more powerful the better.

CPU- This is the important thing. In general, clock speed is more important than the number of cores as FSX doesn't do a terribly good job of using multiple processors. A 3ghz dual core processor will probably do better than a 2 ghz quad core.

Ram-- 4 gigs should be enough. There's fast ram and slow ram, you want the fast kind 🙂

Hard drive-- This really only affects loading times, but still worth attention. Get one that's big enough for your needs, and get a fast one. (look at the rpm, seek times and data transfer rates.)


Pro Member Trainee
Remy (Remyx) Trainee

I can only confirm what Traches recommends.

Unlike most 3D based games, FSX doesn't put a lot of stress on the graphic card (GPU). So don't over spend there. Also graphic cards tend to evole faster than any other PC components. Over paying for a "faster" graphic card right now is not an investment in any way. A year from now it will not be worth much.

CPU: By far the most critical component for FSX. FSX is almost always CPU bound. I have only limited experience with quad core on FSX, but do agree with Traches, a faster dual core will overpower a slower quad.
The best bang for your money right now is an Intel dual core chip. If you are familiar with PC hardware, consider overclocking to squeeze the most out of your CPU. My pick right now would be an Intel E8400 overclocked to around 3.6GHz. This should be doable with any good motherboard and decent heatsink/fan.

Stick to DDR2 Ram right now, DDR3 is way overpriced and will not give you much better performance.

As indicated, several benchmarks tend to show the current Nvidia based cards doing a bit better than ATI units in FSX. Again, this may change as drivers mature, but right now I'd pick a Nvidia 8800 or 9800GT for $120 or so.

good luck.

Pro Member Trainee
Dave Tonks (boleropilot) Trainee

ok guys, the time has come for boleropilot to upgrade

budget is $2k, box only

here we are just over half way through 2010 and i'll bet there is a lot of new stuff around since the last posts in this thread

c'mon guys, the moola is burning a hole in me pocket and my current computer is screaming in agony with the top level stuff i am asking it to process (Orbx YBBN brings it to its knees)

looking forward to your input here



Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

I have the i7 975 and 12gigs ram otherwise very similar (see hardware forum-my rig).
Can you do yours with $2k.


Pro Member Trainee
Dave Tonks (boleropilot) Trainee

hey thanks for the quick reply RadarGuy

had a look at the website, nice spex there

what sort of frame rates do you get when you're at an addon airport with huge amounts of detail, and where are your sliders set?

thanx m8


Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

I'm maxed (all slides) out at 20fps and never drop (no tweaks).
I don't use an AI program...yet.
Like Ultimate Traffic, I don't know if I would take a hit from that.

It has to be the CPU and the 2gig ATi card (and no overclocking).


Pro Member Trainee
Dave Tonks (boleropilot) Trainee



Pro Member Trainee
Dave Tonks (boleropilot) Trainee

hey guys

spent a lot of time on forums and reading reviews and have settled on:

cpu amd phenom 2 6 core 1090t 3.2ghz
mobo gigabyte ga 880 rev 2.1
hd1 ssd ultra 2 60gb
hd2 hitachi 1tb deskstar 7,200rpm
gpu his ati hd 5870 eyefinity 6 ed pci 2gb gddr5 850/4800mhz
4gb corsair matched
antec true power 850w quattro
corsair H50 liquid cooling
windows 7 home premium 64 bit
antec DF85 case

should do FSX well methinks



Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Looking better than good.
A bigger p/s (1000w) would serve that better if you add more ram which the 64bit system can handle.
Always get a name brand p/s, others are usually poor long term performers.


Pro Member Trainee
Dave Tonks (boleropilot) Trainee

yeh thanx m8

i'll see how it goes with the antec 850w, easy enuff to up that if need be

parts are starting to trickle in to the shop, caint wait to see that beast of a case...



FSEHSNed Guest

"FSX is made as a jack-of-all-trades. It needs to adhere to Gliders over the Alps, Helicopters at Monaco Heliport and747's at Amsterdam Schipol.
Each type of flying requires a different setup." Mathijs Kok of Aerosoft.

Every decent computer can run FSX, I have an i5 2600K @ 3.2Ghz, an ATI Radeon 6950 @ 2.00Ghz and 12GB RAM, and because I run different settings for different types of flying, I can achieve well over 40FPS, usually never dropping below 25.

If you want to improve Frame-Rates, get issue 74 of PC Pilot. There's a 4 page article on improving rates, and they work.

Happy Landings,
Ned 🙂

Pro Member Trainee
Dave Tonks (boleropilot) Trainee

g'day guys

from day 1, the big news was bootup time - with my old system it took almost 2 minutes to get there

with SSDs (solid state hard drives - took some good advice and spent some bucks here) and a clean install (before i started adding all my stuff) the bootup was SEVEN SECONDS

a bit slower now with lotsa aircraft and scenery, but it is still doing the business in about 20 seconds - unbelievable how fast SSDs are with the startup

FPS is brilliant, as an average i would say about 40fps

only problem i have is the occasional jerk, every now and then there is a little hiccup, like it all stops for a quarter of a second then away we go again - wierd

very happy simmer here folks



fredtheguest Guest

hi every one i'm a new gaming pc and i'm wondering if you could tel me what i can get out of fsx.
so my pc thats arriving has as its specs:
AMD althon x2 3.0GHz
fast gigerbite MB
4 GB DDR 3
nvidia GT 520 1GB
500 GB HDD i think it got 6GB/s

PS: sorry for spelling

fredtheguest Guest

I'm going to get a gaming pc sorry

fredtheguest Guest

I'm going to get a gaming pc sorry

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain


Wall Bashing Wall Bashing Wall Bashing Wall Bashing Wall Bashing Wall Bashing Wall Bashing

Pro Member Captain
Welshflyer Captain

Play nice TH 😀 !

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

Negative. No more 'Mr. Nice Guy'. I can feel a Basil Fawlty moment coming on Angry

Where have you been hiding anyway - this place is falling apart without you... another prolonged absence like this one and you'll be demoted ❗


Pro Member Chief Captain
Cheeks Chief Captain

Have fun wasting your money Fred! 🙂

fredtheguest Guest

only if i had that advice before this is my first buy so i get trial and error and that was an error i had a buget of 300£ and is dosen't go above 16fps in gatwick extrim uk2000 addon and i get: A fatal error has occored. wich i am really anoyed about but is my compuiter woth 300£ ?

Pro Member Chief Captain
Cheeks Chief Captain

only if i had that advice before

You did.

I don't know about the others, but I'm not wasting my time trying to help you now. You might just throw away the advice we give you again. 🙄

fredtheguest Guest

that first mesage was just after i bort it i'm not complaining to any one but i still get medium and 17fps in a big airport

boblehew Guest

Every time I shutdown or reboot, I have to reset each of my 12 Saitek Instruments, which is really a pain. I'm told they have no memory, so that's the way it must be. Any suggestions??

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