I am going to build a new system for FSX, then what specs?

Pro Member Captain
nottobe Captain

Hi all, I know there is a sticky "Will My PC Run", but it didnt answer
my question. And if somebody already asked the same question sorry
I just cant find it.
I have been with FS9 so far, I thought I would wait till FS11 comes out.
But now it seems that FSX maybe the last version we have, and we'll probably have to stay with it for a long time. So I decide to jump on it now.
My question is, what specs should I build?
This computer will be dedicated to FSX, I want to see traffic on the roads, I want to see animals and birds with 16+ frames per second, even at a busy airport. Some people say CPU isnt that important, an Intel dual core should do it. What matters is the video card, so some people say GEForce 9800 will do what I want. And I am going to put in 6GB memory..
Will this suffice my needs? specifically what kind of dual core and what speed. thanks in advance...

1 Responses

Pro Member First Officer
Bob (Traches) First Officer

Just so you know, to crank your settings up to max in fsx, you're going to have to put down some cash. FSX can bring seriously powerful computers to their knees.

With most 3d games, you are limited by the power of your graphics card. FSX is different; it's usually your CPU that is the bottleneck. (This is because of all the extra behind-the-scenes calculations that it needs to perform; such as for weather and AI traffic.) I'd go with the most powerful quad core you can get your hands on; and at least 4 gigs of fast ram. (Learn about ram timings, not all ram is created equal.) You want to go with a 64 bit operating system rather than a 32 bit; you'll get better performance out of the processor and you'll be able to use more ram.

The GFX card isn't as critical as the CPU, but it's still good to have some horsepower here. I'd look into the nVidia 8800 or 9800 series or better, with at least 512megs of vram. You might look into doing an SLI setup, though the cost to performance ratio on that isn't as good as just investing in a single more powerful card.

For the motherboard, get a decent one that will support all of your other hardware. If you go with an intel processor, you probably want nVidia graphics and chipset. If you go AMD, you probably want ATI. (That's not a hard and fast rule though, my mobo runs an AMD processor and an nVidia chipset 😀)

The hard drive only really impacts your loading times; but it's nice to have a real big fat one for all of your scenery addons... I'd recommend at the very least 250 gigs and 10,000 rpm. Look at the seek times and bandwidth; Also you want to get a SATA drive over an IDE drive.

If you're going to run a lot of addons such as Active Sky X or mytraffic X, it's possible to set these up to run on a separate computer and free up resources on the main computer. I've never done it, but I believe that widefs and fsuipc are the ticket to making it work.

Run a non-windows-default defrag pretty frequently; ultimate defrag is a freaking amazingly fantastic program that can put more important files on the faster parts of your hard drive, giving huge performance benefits. I highly recommend it.

Also learn how to go through your startup folder and pull out everything possible. The only things you really need to run on startup are your antivirus, and any hardware drivers that are necessary for the device to function. (HP printer drivers don't need to run on startup for your printer to work.)

Everything else is pretty easy to figure out... Get a freaking big monitor, and consider doing a dual monitor setup. (Dual monitors are nice!)

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