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Thread: New User - Need some advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Arkansas, USA

    Default New User - Need some advice

    I would like to get a Flight Simulator - But not sure which one (aka - the plus, minus, pro, cons) of each one A friend of mine suggested I go with Microsoft, another one suggested X-Plane 11 and another suggested Prepar 3D. My computer is Intel Core i5-6600k CPU @ 3.50 Ghz with 16.00 Gb of RAM. Can anyone give me some friendly suggestions, direction and/or advice. I don't want to spend money and then figure out that I really should have gotten a different software. I have no Flight Sim experience - Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Westminster, CO


    Given your computer, I suspect you'd get the most bang for the buck out of Microsoft's FSX, but you can try the demo of X-Plane yourself -- it's full featured for (I think) 10 minutes. You haven't mentioned anything about what type of controls you may have (stick, yoke, rudder), nor about your interest in aviation, that is, general aviation (light aircraft), airliners, bizjets, military or whatever. You also didn't mention whether you have any actual aviation experience.

    You might note that FSX includes a built-in set of flying lessons, which may be of help to you. Some folks here would prefer FS2004 (don't know where you'd get it these days) since it's not quite as demanding on a computer, but it also lacks a few features, though it still has the lessons.

    I'm sure there will be other thoughts expressed here shortly...

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  3. #3



    The question of hardware has already been addressed but here are some other things worth considering as they may influence your choice of sim:

    What type of flying do you prefer: passenger liners, GA or bush flying, freight, or even seaplanes?

    Are you most intersted in systems modelling or beautiful sunsets and shiny paint-jobs? I imagine that real-world experience will have a bearing on this. Also, have a look around some screenshot sub-forums to get an idea of what each sim looks like. I've appended a couple of FS2004 images. Bear in mind that almost every screenshot you see will be of a modded sim.

    Is real-world, real-time weather important?

    Do you enjoy modifying stuff and just generally tinkering?

    Do you spend a lot of time plane-spotting other traffic or is AI traffic irrelevant?

    Do you intend to fly mostly in one particular part of the world?

    Are real-world approach & departure procedures important to you?

    Will you be spending much time online/multiplayer in your sim or are you likely to use the sim entirely offline (I do)? Some addons will need an internet connection, either briefly at launch or permanently while the sim is running.

    My PC is almost always offline and I'm still using FS2004 in preference to other sims, and even Flight Unlimited from the 90's. I also have a largeish Prepar3d installation and the trial version of X-Plane.

    I have a 3.3 MHz I5-7400, 2 × SSDs, 16 GB ram and a GTX 1060. I find in Prepar3d that I have to reduce the volume of traffic at large & busy airports like Singapore, JFK, Heathrow to keep the framerate above about 20 fps. On the other hand, it runs very well when I'm low down in the middle of nowhere just looking at forests, mountains and lakes.

    Predictably, there are no problems in FS2004 with all settings at max. It's not nearly as rubbish as people make out and if you've not had a flight sim before, it's cheap so possibly a good place to start.

    Personally, I prefer the appearance of unmodded X-Plane to either modded FS2004 or modded P3d. I also prefer the way light aircraft behave in X-Plane. But... X-Plane needs a disk or internet to launch/run, neither of which appeals to me.

    Both X-Plane demo and FS2004 launch infinitely faster that P3d. I can almost cook dinner before a P3d flight is loaded, so if patience is not one of your virtues...

    And finally, to get the best appearance, you'll need a lot of addons: the current main flight sims are ok in their vanilla state but still really just placeholders.

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  4. #4


    Have a look at FlighGear.. Some really detailed planes, & the scenery is excelent.. It's not spoken about because it's if free, but very worthy of looking at.

    Have a look here for images..
    Cape Town, South Africa

  5. #5


    I'd ignored it like so many other people, just because it's free but some of those screenshots look quite impressive.

    I may have to install it, for a trial if nothing else.


    ...and reading back, I see I have the world's slowest processor.

  6. #6


    Being a bit different, there is a bit of a learning curve, but the planes are great. They even have a Space Shuttle that is quite awesome & detailed. It comes with a basic set of planes & scenery & you can install planes from the Aircraft menu, as well as scenery., which, as you can see from the shots, are very impressive. Worth a try, totally configuarable (spelling!) good fun.
    I have an i5 8gb laptop, running FS2004 as my main sim (8 different installs) but thats another story.
    Cape Town, South Africa

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