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Thread: Seeking Help with Choosing Software/Hardware For Xmas Gift

  1. #1

    Default Seeking Help with Choosing Software/Hardware For Xmas Gift

    My 16 year old nephew is taking flying lessons in a Cirrus SR-20. I would like to buy him flight sim software and controller for Xmas so that he can "practice" between actual lessons.

    His PC specs are:

    CPU: I5 9600 KF (3.7 Ghz, 6 cores)
    Ram: 8 Gigs
    OS: Win 10 64 bit
    Videocard: Nvidea Geforce 1030

    All of his current gaming is thru Steam. I'm told that his PC has no CD or DVD Drive so I'm looking for a flight sim that would run on his system, includes the Cirrus SR-20, and is downloadable from Steam.

    I'd also like to purchase a controller that would reasonably simulate the controls on an SR-20 as well.

    Could anyone offer suggestions that might fit the bill? Perhaps along with links to purchase from?

    Thanks!
    Bert

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    The reason you don't have any response, is that the system specs you posted really won't run any modern software well. You could probably run an old software like FS2002 on a GT1030. That videocard is really a business software product, it will work fine on spreadsheets and word processing. In particular, the system is hampered by the lack of a Cd drive, which really eliminates FS2002.
    I7-9700K, RTX-2070, Asus Strix Z-390-H MB, 32gb G Skill 3000 CL15, Corsair Obsidian 750D case, WD Black 1tb M.2, Crucial CT500MX SSD, Seasonic Prime 750W Titanium PSU

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by plainsman View Post
    The reason you don't have any response, is that the system specs you posted really won't run any modern software well. You could probably run an old software like FS2002 on a GT1030. That videocard is really a business software product, it will work fine on spreadsheets and word processing. In particular, the system is hampered by the lack of a Cd drive, which really eliminates FS2002.
    Well that's disappointing. I'll have to change my plans, I guess.

    Thanks for your response and explanation.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by newbert View Post
    Well that's disappointing. I'll have to change my plans, I guess.

    Thanks for your response and explanation.
    Not necessarily.

    Why not try the demo version of X-Plane 11:

    https://www.x-plane.com/desktop/try-it/

    Whilst it's true X-Plane 11 won't run at high settings; you should still be able to get satisfactory framerates if you're clever.

    For example, here is a video of X-Plane 11, with the same card mentioned, but with a much slower CPU:



    You nephew's CPU is a six core i5, whilst the processor in the video is dual core chip with hyperthreading. I mention this because X-Plane 11 (with Vulkan) takes advantage of additional cores:



    If you find that X-Plane runs well enough, then you could perhaps check out the Cirrus here:

    https://store.flightsim.com/product/...0-for-x-plane/

    It's quite a complex model graphically, so you might have to be savvy in where you fly (no heavy autogen for example).

    Try the demo and see how you get on.

    Dominic

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by DominicS View Post
    Not necessarily.

    Why not try the demo version of X-Plane 11:

    https://www.x-plane.com/desktop/try-it/

    Whilst it's true X-Plane 11 won't run at high settings; you should still be able to get satisfactory framerates if you're clever.

    For example, here is a video of X-Plane 11, with the same card mentioned, but with a much slower CPU:



    You nephew's CPU is a six core i5, whilst the processor in the video is dual core chip with hyperthreading. I mention this because X-Plane 11 (with Vulkan) takes advantage of additional cores:



    If you find that X-Plane runs well enough, then you could perhaps check out the Cirrus here:

    https://store.flightsim.com/product/...0-for-x-plane/

    It's quite a complex model graphically, so you might have to be savvy in where you fly (no heavy autogen for example).

    Try the demo and see how you get on.

    Dominic
    Pretty impressive. Based on this info, I suppose that it's possible to run X-Plane 11 on his system. But it looks like it'll involve some tweaking (ie - overclocking). He's not very computer savvy and I live hundreds of miles away so couldn't help him with it. So, I'm not sure how viable an option this is.

    However, if he gets an external CD drive and I get him FS2002, that might be more straightforward to get running, no? My main question about FS2002 though, is whether it will run under Windows 10?

    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Yes, FS2002 should run on Win 10, but I'd suggest you go with FS2004, rather than FS2002 if you proceed in this. It's much improved over FS2002, and should run satisfactorily on that system. With my 11 year old Win 7 system, FS2004 runs just fine, though I long ago updated to FSX and then to Prepar3d V2, though I did update my graphics card 5 or 6 years back. My system has a Core i7 960 running at 3.2 GHz with 4 cores, and my graphics card is a GTX 970.

    You don't have to run the program at 30 plus frames per second, but the program can target that while automatically reducing the rate when needed. Even up through FSX and P3D V2, the big cities are the real killers in performance, while near smaller towns is much better.

    Since the purpose is "so that he can "practice" between actual lessons," I think I should mention that although FS will make a dandy procedural trainer, any aircraft in these sims is unlikely to handle the way that the real aircraft do -- most flight models are somewhat flawed -- and even the finest, most expensive controls won't duplicate the feel, but the navigation systems, airport lighting, traffic patterns and other such will do just fine procedurally.

    Best of luck.

    Larry N.

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

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by newbert View Post
    But it looks like it'll involve some tweaking (ie - overclocking).
    Hi Bert,

    I don't think any overclocking would be needed on his system in which to get satisfactory results.

    By using X-Plane 11, your nephew would also have the benefit of having sloped runways and live weather, which would be ideal for practicing in the Cirrus. The only reason I mention live weather is because I'm not sure if it's still available in FS2004 without a third-party add-on. I could be wrong there, but I'm pretty sure the last time I fired up FS2004, live weather was unavailable.


    However, if his system does indeed struggle with X-Plane 11, I would suggest Larry's route and go for FS2004. It's a major improvement over FS2002 and if your nephew does run into issues, he can always ask for support here in the forums :-)

    Dominic

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the good info guys!

    Since this is supposed to be a surprise, trying the X-Plane demo on my nephew's PC isn't an option unfortunately. I need to be pretty darn sure that what I decide on will run.

    I see that FS2004 is also available on Amazon, although in short supply currently..... That said, the fact that X-Plane 11 has a Cirrus SR-20 add-on available would certainly fit the bill - if only I was sure that it'll run on his system.

    Larry - Thanks for explaining where Flight sims fall short of realistic feel. Practicing the procedures is what I had in mind. Related to that thought, I'm considering this and this for his controllers to add some realism .... Would these apply to flying the Cirrus SR-20?

    Thanks again!

    EDIT: Whoops, I don't think my nephew's PC has enough RAM (8 Gigs) for X-Plane 11 (16 Gigs required). Right?

    EDIT 2: Just spoke with his father. His PC is upgradeble and has 2 empty RAM slots available. So RAM may not be an issue after all. So, I guess it comes down to FS2004 vs X-Plane 11. I'd love to get him X-Plane 11 (for the SR-20 add-on), but the question is how to try the demo out on his PC beforehand without him knowing - especially since he only has 8 Gigs Ram at the present time....
    Last edited by newbert; 12-02-2021 at 11:45 AM.

  9. #9

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    Hi Bert,

    The video in my initial reply shows the sim running with 8GB RAM, a GT 1030 and an i3 CPU, so it should give you some idea to performance.

    Just bear in mind that the Cirrus model in question does use quite a bit of VRAM, so flying into busy airports would probably reduce framerates quite a bit.

    Here is a review of the model in question:

    https://www.flightsim.com/vbfs/conte...20-for-X-Plane

    Dominic

  10. #10
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    I'm considering this and this for his controllers to add some realism .... Would these apply to flying the Cirrus SR-20?
    The rudder pedals would apply directly, but the Cirrus has a side stick rather than a yoke, and the only Cirrus-style stick I know of is rather expensive, plus you'd need to add the throttle quadrant from elsewhere. See this page from Sporty's Pilot Shop for some stick choices: https://www.sportys.com/flight-simul...ght-stick.html most of which are intended to be used with the right hand, while the cirrus stick is used with the left hand.

    You can see this page for pictures of the Cirrus cockpit, with the sidestick in several shots and the throttle on the lower center console visible in a few.

    All the above being said, most newer civilian light aircraft do use a yoke (used with the left hand) and it's likely that over the years he'll fly other types too, so your choices might be fine, especially since it won't matter a lot for many of the procedures he'll be doing for a Private Pilot's license.

    Larry N.

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

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