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Microsoft's Flight Simulator won't require a super-powerful PC rig

For best results, though, you'll likely need a high-end CPU and GPU.


One of the most anticipated games this year is Microsoft’s Flight Simulator 2020. Not only do the graphics look lush and detailed, but it’ll simulate the entire flying world, including all 37,000 real-world airports, real-life air traffic and up-to-date weather conditions. You’d think all that would require quite a powerful PC rig, but Microsoft has just unveiled the machine specifications for Flight Simulator 2020 and you won’t necessarily need the latest and fastest gear.

Microsoft Flight Simulator required PC specifications

A minimum spec machine requires at least an AMD Ryzen 3 1200 or Intel i5-4460 CPU, both of which are several generations old. You’ll also need either a Radeon RX 570 or NVIDIA GTX 770 GPU with at least 2GB of VRAM, along with 8GB of RAM, a 150GB hard drive and a 5 Mbps connection.

While those are very modest specs indeed, it’s fair to say they won’t give you the kind of realistic graphics and satellite-image-quality environments that Microsoft has showed off so far. To get the best results, you’ll probably want something close to Microsoft’s “Ideal Spec.” That requires much more recent Ryzen 7 Pro 2700X or Intel i7-9800X CPUs, along with high-end AMD Radeon VII and NVIDIA RTX 2080 GPUs with 8GB of VRAM at least. You’ll also need no less than 32GB of RAM, a 150GB SSD and a 50 Mbps connection, at least.

I’m on the alpha program and have played Flight Sim 2020 on both a laptop with a GTX 1070 GPU and desktop PC with an RTX 2080 Ti GPU. Suffice to say, there’s a pretty big difference in performance and graphics quality between the two machines, and the laptop is no slouch. If enjoying the incredibly detailed environment is more important than practicing your flying skills, I think it’s fair to say that you’ll have a better experience with a high-end PC and fast internet connection — just as you’d expect. .