Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020
Developed by French studio, Asobo Studio, the long-awaited flight sim was released by Microsoft this month to huge critical acclaim and deservedly so. The sim — whatever you do, don’t refer to MFS as a game — delivers on what it promised in spades. Weather and air traffic are in real-time and the map of the world as seen from above is absolutely breathtaking. To fly anywhere in the world, using a plane of your choice and to fly through clouds that could actually be forming in real life around you is a surreal yet beautiful experience. But to enjoy this flight time to the fullest you’re going to need a very powerful PC.
My computer is no slouch, running on a Ryzen 2600x six core, twelve thread CPU with 32GB of memory, an RX580 8GB GPU, with MFS installed on an M.2 SATA drive and in order to fly at a smooth frame rate I have the graphic settings at medium. Even then I’m lucky to top out at 45 fps, with the sim often eating up 16GB of RAM and 6GB of VRAM. When I first built this PC, it was the mutt’s nuts, at least as far as I’m concerned. But tech never stands still and to meet the demands of new, erm games, the time comes when upgrading your PC becomes only a matter of time and money.
Time To Upgrade Your PC?
Will I be upgrading mine? Not in the very near future, unless I can beam myself over to the first world with a fistful of dollars, but even then the choice of hardware would be very expensive. For example, if you’re upgrading your car or motorcycle it has to be a significant upgrade, not a sideways move and by that I mean that I would probably need to spend $1500-$2000 to make the upgrade viable. But many enthusiasts will upgrade their hardware and according to John Peddie research, hardware upgrades over the next three years could generate around $2.6 billion. The fact is, Microsoft Flight Simulator is one of those advanced projects, much like Crysis was in 2007, written for hardware that doesn’t yet exist. But it will exist very soon as AMD, Nvidia, Intel, and others never stop in their quest for faster CPUs, GPUs, and sexier PC peripherals.
Some flight sim enthusiasts will pay anything from $10,000 to $100,000 for the ultimate set up, whilst others probably scrimp and save for a more modest arrangement.
For my part, I opted for a new Logitech Extreme 3D Pro joystick which has improved my enjoyment of the
game sim by more than 100%.
Will you be upgrading?