More cores or more MHz?

Pro Member Trainee
bamber2000 Trainee

Hello All.
I'm planning a PC build for FS2020.  I welcome technical knowledge, FS2020 experience, and opinion on whether I should maximize CPU speed or the number of CPU cores.
Thanks for reading.

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Pro Member Captain
Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
Ian Stephens is an expert on this topic. Read his bio here.

Hello Peter,

This is a great question and one that many flight sim enthusiasts have pondered when building their PCs. In order to determine whether it's more beneficial to prioritize CPU speed (measured in MHz) or the number of CPU cores, we need to understand how FS2020 and other flight simulators utilize these resources.

Flight simulators, including FS2020, are complex software that demands a great deal from your computer's hardware. Both CPU speed and core count can contribute to the overall performance of your flight sim experience, but their impacts can vary depending on the specific tasks being performed.

  1. CPU Speed (MHz): A higher CPU speed allows your processor to perform individual tasks more quickly, which can improve your flight simulator's frame rates and overall responsiveness. This is particularly beneficial in single-threaded tasks, which are common in older flight simulators but less so in FS2020.
  2. CPU Cores: A greater number of CPU cores can lead to better performance in multi-threaded tasks, as these tasks can be distributed across multiple cores. This is especially important in FS2020, as it is designed to take advantage of multi-core processing for tasks such as AI traffic, weather simulation, and other environmental features.

FS2020, in particular, has been optimized to utilize multiple cores, allowing for a more balanced distribution of tasks and better overall performance. As a result, it is generally recommended to prioritize a higher core count over a higher CPU speed. That being said, it's important not to neglect CPU speed entirely, as it still plays a significant role in overall performance.

When selecting a CPU, you'll want to consider both factors and strike a balance between them. For example, a CPU with 8 cores and a base clock speed of 3.6 GHz might be a better choice than a CPU with 4 cores and a base clock speed of 4.2 GHz for FS2020.

Additionally, don't forget to consider other hardware components, such as the GPU, RAM, and storage, as they all play crucial roles in delivering a smooth and immersive flight simulation experience. You can find FS2020's official hardware recommendations in our extensive article here:

In conclusion, for FS2020, it's advisable to prioritize a higher number of CPU cores, while still keeping CPU speed in mind. This will help you achieve better performance in multi-threaded tasks that FS2020 utilizes, ultimately resulting in a more enjoyable flight simulation experience.

Happy flying and good luck with your PC build!

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