Buying PC for Microsoft Flight Sim 2020

Hey guys
I'm currently looking at this pc
Intel Core i7 7700 3,6-4,2GHz
2 x 8GB 2133MHz DDR4 UDIMM (64GB )
Nvidia 1050 ti 4GB
512GB SSD M.2 2280 NVMe OPAL2.0
Windows 10 PRO 64 Signature ed.
Netkort: Gigabit ethernetkort á móðurborðI
gigabit ethernetcard / motherboard
4 SATA3

I don't know anything about computers
(just copied the description )
want to play it in 1080p if its possible
thanks for the help, from lost girl pilot
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,298   +1,358
Staff member
Is that a second-hand PC or a new one? Either way, that should be fine for 1080p, although the 1050 Ti graphics card is the weakest part in the system - you'll probably have to run the game with the quality settings at Low. FS2020 should still look pretty good, though:


However, the most important thing that I think needs changing is that the only storage drive that system has is a 512 GB SSD. The game will be constantly streaming data across the internet, writing it to the storage drive first, before using it. SSDs wear when they're written to (and deleted from), so I would recommend getting a 2nd large HDD to go with and installing the game on that drive, rather than the SSD.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,298   +1,358
Staff member
That's hard to judge, as it depends a lot on where it's being sold. A good way to look at it, though, is how an equivalent system (using newer components) would be priced - for example:


Now that PC is a lot more capable than the one you listed, but when the Core i7-7700 processor came out in 2017, it was considered to be reasonably high end - which is what the i7-9700 is in the example above.

As you can, see it costs just under $1200 but I would estimate that your PC was around $900 to $1000 (or equivalent) when it was new. Second hand prices for complete systems tend to drop rapidly after 3 or 4 years old, and the i7-7700 is definitely not as good as some of the cheap processors you can get today.

However, without knowing the exact specification (brand, model, etc) of each component, and its usage history, it's too hard to give a reliable estimate but if the choice was entirely down to me, using my own money, I wouldn't pay more than $500 for the whole thing.

Especially when I could something like the following for $800:


Or this, for $850:


Yes, both are a lot more expensive (60% more) but they're both brand new, the central processor is better, and the graphics card is much better (especially in the 2nd PC).
 

AvroArrow

Posts: 60   +56
Hey guys
I'm currently looking at this pc
Intel Core i7 7700 3,6-4,2GHz
2 x 8GB 2133MHz DDR4 UDIMM (64GB )
Nvidia 1050 ti 4GB
512GB SSD M.2 2280 NVMe OPAL2.0
Windows 10 PRO 64 Signature ed.
Netkort: Gigabit ethernetkort á móðurborðI
gigabit ethernetcard / motherboard
4 SATA3

I don't know anything about computers
(just copied the description )
want to play it in 1080p if its possible
thanks for the help, from lost girl pilot
Hah, I'm a pilot too, go figure. I'll be honest with you, the computer that you're looking at is not going to play this game properly at all. According to game-debate.com, the ABSOLUTE BARE MINIMUM video card just for this game to run is the nVidia GTX 770 which is faster than your GTX 1050 Ti. This means that you don't want this setup AT ALL.

Even if you had a GTX 770, you could only expect 720p resolution with potato settings just to get 25-35fps. I would expect the game to going to run badly with lots of lag in really visually heavy places where a lot is going on at once, like airports. Just flying into a medium-sized airport like YYZ or YUL would be laggy to the point that you'd want to scream. Going to an American hub airport like ORD would be almost impossible. Can you imagine getting lag on final when you're only about 50' above the runway?

Also keep in mind that FS 2020 is supposed to be a virual world and if you crash, all the other pilots in the game will know that you did. Do you want to tell the control tower that you crashed because of lag? It would be a great way to get "Potato Lag" as a callsign. You need something a good deal more potent than that if you want to play at 1080p with any of the eye candy that will make FS 2020 worth playing.

One of my best friends (also a pilot) built a PC specifically for FS2020. He bought an Intel i5-10600K and has an nVidia GTX 1080 Ti. He asked me if I wanted to get it and I told him "No thanks, the dumbest people on Earth are early-adopters of Microsoft products." partly just to give him a hard time but partly because it's true. I predict that the initial release of FS 2020 will have more bugs than a swarm of locusts.

My own system is an AMD Ryzen with twin Radeon R9 Furies and 16GB of RAM. It's far more potent than what you've shown here and I still wouldn't bother using it for FS 2020. I would wait until a few months AFTER FS 2020 is released to see actual reviews and what hardware does well. Trying to predict how a Microsoft product will behave is like trying to predict how well a soon-to-be-released Lycoming will handle MOGAS.

I can say for certain however that I would pass on the system you're showing because right off the bat, you'd be looking at AT LEAST another $500 for a video card that can run FS 2020 on top of whatever that system costs. It's just not worth it.

Sources:
Game Debate Minimum Requirements:
Tom's Hardware GPU Hierarchy Chart: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gpu-hierarchy,4388.html
Tom's Hardware Gaming CPU Hierarchy Chart:
 

AvroArrow

Posts: 60   +56
Is that a second-hand PC or a new one? Either way, that should be fine for 1080p, although the 1050 Ti graphics card is the weakest part in the system - you'll probably have to run the game with the quality settings at Low. FS2020 should still look pretty good, though:


However, the most important thing that I think needs changing is that the only storage drive that system has is a 512 GB SSD. The game will be constantly streaming data across the internet, writing it to the storage drive first, before using it. SSDs wear when they're written to (and deleted from), so I would recommend getting a 2nd large HDD to go with and installing the game on that drive, rather than the SSD.
Maybe if she's flying in the bozosphere but that GTX 1050 Ti is well BELOW the absolute minimum to play FS 2020. She wouldn't even get it to run properly at 720p with that card. The CPU is decent but she'd be looking at another $500 or more for a card that can run FS 2020 at 1080p which makes the system she's looking at completely not worth it.
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,298   +1,358
Staff member
Maybe if she's flying in the bozosphere but that GTX 1050 Ti is well BELOW the absolute minimum to play FS 2020.
I would argue that it's not well below it and there's some evidence to support this:


In that video, one can see that it's roughly the same (and times, a little better) than the GTX 770. Yes, the performance won't be amazing, but at 1080p and low settings, it should be fine for around 30 fps - okay enough for a flight simulator.

Claiming that a $500 graphics card is required for 1080p at low settings is not good advice.
 

3volv3d

Posts: 279   +118
One more question
what should a pc like this cost? (its 2yr old)
The requirements for this game are:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-8400 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or better
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • VIDEO CARD: Radeon RX 590 or GeForce GTX 970
  • PIXEL SHADER: 5.1
  • VERTEX SHADER: 5.1
  • FREE DISK SPACE: 150 GB
  • DEDICATED VIDEO RAM: 4096 MB

I am confused as to why you want an i7. If the game doesnt do HT then its just a more expensive CPU. Canyourunit says the game doesnt require it.
The 770 is way out you need at least a 970, which is a 1060, and if they ever make an 11xx series card you are looking at 1150.
You need a decent sized hdd/ssd, and someone selling second hand shouldnt sell you their storage, but if they do w.e. Either get storage for you windows and a secondary for games. You could get away with a 256gb ssd or m.2 here, but you may want some more space eventually.
If it is only for this game, I would buy an i5 with a 1060gtx graphics card, 16gb of ram should be fine.
If you want to future proof, wait a while, people on the net are telling people not to buy right now, people are switching to AMD pc's for gaming, and altho some sticking with the Nvidia graphics cards.
Watch videos on youtube, read about parts, compare parts prices. Look for best bang for your buck.
If you have the money to spend, buy yourself a nice new one, and build it yourself. If you are scared to put bits together, buy a custom build from anyone, if its preconfigured, ring to ask about a different part in the build, they usually compromise.
I would argue that it's not well below it and there's some evidence to support this:


In that video, one can see that it's roughly the same (and times, a little better) than the GTX 770. Yes, the performance won't be amazing, but at 1080p and low settings, it should be fine for around 30 fps - okay enough for a flight simulator.

Claiming that a $500 graphics card is required for 1080p at low settings is not good advice.
Why would anyone compare a 770 to a 1050ti.
770 - 860 - 950 - 1040...
Canyourunit - 1060 - 970 - 880 - 790... (pretty sure that didnt exist)
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,298   +1,358
Staff member
I am confused as to why you want an i7. If the game doesnt do HT then its just a more expensive CPU. Canyourunit says the game doesnt require it.
Games don't decide whether or not HT/SMT is used - that's entirely down to the CPU. The early indications are that FS2020 is somewhat, but certainly not heavily, multithreaded, so a 4C/8T CPU will be of benefit.

You're also quoting Microsoft's 'recommended' specifications, not the minimum ones required for the game, and I have to say that you seemed to have missed a point raised by @henrietta1999 in the first post about her being a novice with computers.

Why would anyone compare a 770 to a 1050ti.
The 'why' is irrelevant. Microsoft states that the minimum graphics card, in terms of performance and feature set, is (for an Nvidia GPU) a GeForce GTX 770. @henrietta1999 is looking to buy a PC that has a GTX 1050 Ti in it - a card that is at least as capable as the 770. It's also designed for gaming at 1080p and for a game that will be predominately CPU-bound on low detail settings, it meets the minimum specification.
 

3volv3d

Posts: 279   +118
I understood that they said novice, however exactly why they should have a look into it all.
Buying a PC second hand or one that comes prebuilt, I ain't keen on. Sure personal preference, but I would like to know what is in mine.
So knowing all the parts to be looking into understanding why not a 770, and why a 1060 or better, is good to know.
Excuse my ignorance on the HT but as far as I had read it was down to the game designers implimentation to use it, whereas others have said it just helps with other background tasks meaning the game can perform better.
I still would not get a pc just yet, I would do the research into PC's while deciding. I wouldn't want to buy something I wasn't happy with, and I would especially think of ditching intel and go for AMD. And don't get anything with an Asus Mobo
Unless you aren't technically minded at all, apple iphone? :p
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,298   +1,358
Staff member
I understood that they said novice, however exactly why they should have a look into it all.
I agree that one should always look into things, but I think it's important to note that if somebody is completely new to anything, suggesting a lengthy list of aspects to consider, tasks to undertake, and so on, may well be counterproductive.

Excuse my ignorance on the HT but as far as I had read it was down to the game designers implimentation to use it, whereas others have said it just helps with other background tasks meaning the game can perform better.
Software can be designed to be multithreaded and if it is, a CPU with HT/SMT enabled will automatically use that functionality. However, no application can make a CPU use it, because the capability resides inside the CPU itself. As to how well HT/SMT helps a game, that all depends on how critical the various threads are to the game - the primary rendering engine is almost always run on just one thread, but other tasks (that need to be done before rendering, such as physics, path finding, shader compiler) can potentially be executed in their own thread.

We've somewhat sidetracked away from @henrietta1999's original query, though.
 

AvroArrow

Posts: 60   +56
I would argue that it's not well below it and there's some evidence to support this:


In that video, one can see that it's roughly the same (and times, a little better) than the GTX 770. Yes, the performance won't be amazing, but at 1080p and low settings, it should be fine for around 30 fps - okay enough for a flight simulator.

Claiming that a $500 graphics card is required for 1080p at low settings is not good advice.
I didn't know what you were talking about until I saw my post and cringed. I must apologise as I hit the 5 on my keypad instead of the 2. I had meant to say at least a $200 card. If a mod could edit the post to reflect $200, I would really appreciate it because I can't. I was actually thinking RX 580 in my head as I was typing but Radeon cards aren't working well in FS2020 yet so nVidia would be the better choice for her. My buddy is using a GTX 1070 and he's worried that it won't be enough. I'm thinking that for low 1080p a GTX 1060 6GB may be warranted but I'm not certain.

As for how far under minimum it is, it doesn't really matter because it is still under minimum. IF the game even runs with it, the experience will be awful. When I said well under it was because there were several cards on the hierarchy chart between them. That's what I was basing it on.

I'm not trying to scare her but I am trying to prevent her from wasting her money on something that she's going to hate. I can see how it appeared that way because of my (extremely unfortunate) typo. However, the fact remains that the GTX 1050 Ti does not meet minimum requirements so I think that telling her that it will be ok at 1080p (assuming that 720p is minimum) isn't good advice either because it will probably be awful even at 720p.
 
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neeyik

Posts: 1,298   +1,358
Staff member
However, the fact remains that the GTX 1050 Ti does not meet minimum requirements
Except it does - Microsoft list the GeForce GTX 770 as being an example of graphics card that's considered to be of the minimum feature set and performance required, and a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti performs as well or better than it.

This was demonstrated in the YouTube video I put up before, and one can also see it in this review:


That said, Microsoft also say a Radeon RX 570 meets the minimum requirements, and that's significantly better than a GeForce GTX 770 and 1050 Ti:


There's such a big difference in performance, it's somewhat odd that they chose that particular model.

Please don't I'm suggesting, for one moment, that a 1050 Ti is a great card, and that FS2020 will run brilliantly with it. What I am saying, though, is that if Microsoft says a GTX 770 will play the game (obviously at minimum settings), then a 1050 Ti certainly will too.

Replacing it with a better graphics card would be a sensible choice, but if the budget is already tight, then even a $200 second hand one is unlikely to be an option.
 

AvroArrow

Posts: 60   +56
Except it does - Microsoft list the GeForce GTX 770 as being an example of graphics card that's considered to be of the minimum feature set and performance required, and a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti performs as well or better than it.

This was demonstrated in the YouTube video I put up before, and one can also see it in this review:


That said, Microsoft also say a Radeon RX 570 meets the minimum requirements, and that's significantly better than a GeForce GTX 770 and 1050 Ti:


There's such a big difference in performance, it's somewhat odd that they chose that particular model.
I agree that based on the YouTube video that the GTX 1050 Ti performs slightly better. I guess either Tom's is wrong or the difference among all the cards at that level is very slight. The GTX 1050 Ti review has two glaring problems however...
The problems with the review are that it's an overclocked 1050 Ti and the review doesn't specify doesn't say which version of the GTX 770 is being represented. The 2GB model was the standard GTX 770 and does fall a good 20%-30% behind but the 4GB doesn't, it loses MAYBE 10% overall as the YouTube video showed. The minimum spec is a GTX 770 4GB, (SPECIFICALY STATED) not a GTX 770 2GB which could be what the review is referring to. Having said that, proof is proof and I agree that the GTX 1050 Ti will meet the minimums but there's still a major problem with that as I'll explain further down.
Please don't I'm suggesting, for one moment, that a 1050 Ti is a great card, and that FS2020 will run brilliantly with it.
LOL Don't worry, I know that you want to help the OP just as much as I do. :)
What I am saying, though, is that if Microsoft says a GTX 770 will play the game (obviously at minimum settings), then a 1050 Ti certainly will too.
Absolutely I agree but we must remember that the OP said that she wanted to play at 1080p if possible. Well, it won't be even close to possible with that setup. I'm guessing you didn't read the link to Game-Debate that I posted. It's really what made me think that she should take a hard pass on this PC. There's no way that a GTX 1050 Ti would be good at 1080p because it's not THAT much better than the GTX 770. Here are the words that made me think that this machine won't be potent enough:

"Microsoft Flight Simulator needs a graphics card thats at least as powerful as a GeForce GTX 770/Radeon RX 570 4GB paired with Ryzen R3 1200/Core i5-4460 3.2GHz CPU to match the min specs. This PC setup will deliver 25-35 Frame Per Second at Low graphics setting on 720p resolution."

If the GTX 770 4GB can only deliver between 25 and 35fps at 720p (which is absolutely terrible by itself), do you really think that the GTX 1050 Ti will offer a good experience at 1080p? I really don't. I think that it'll be awful. Let's say that the GTX 1050 Ti is, on average, about 8-10% faster than the GTX 770 which I think is a fair assessment (based on the video you posted). I'll be generous and say 10%. Add 10% to 25-35fps and you get 27.5-38.5 at 720p. There's no way she's getting to play at 1080p with that card. There's no way she's getting a good potato experience at 720p with everything turned off either. I still think that she should take a hard pass on this PC. I agree that $200 would stretch her budget but paying anything for a PC that won't play FS2020 properly is a complete waste.

One thing that I know about Flight Simulators is that they are extremely effective at bring hardware to its knees. FSX did it quite well (and still does to some extent) and X-Plane also does it. To play FS2020 at high settings:

"To run Microsoft Flight Simulator on high graphics settings your PC will require at least a 8GB GeForce RTX 2080 / Radeon VII 16GB with a Core i7-9800X 8-Core 3.8GHz or Ryzen 7 2700X CPU. 32 GB will also be needed to achieve the Microsoft Flight Simulator rec specs and get 60FPS. "

Ladies and gentlemen, behold Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and despair, for it is surely THE NEW CRYSIS!!!
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,298   +1,358
Staff member
The minimum spec is a GTX 770 4GB, (SPECIFICALY STATED) not a GTX 770 2GB which could be what the review is referring to.
Actually, Microsoft themselves say 2 GB is the minimum VRAM requirement:


It's also worth noting that the 'Can You Run It?' service doesn't actually test the performance of games, it's an estimation system.

There has been some attempts by YouTubers to see how well the game responds on low end hardware:



Neither system demonstrated is using an old CPU, but the first one is with an RX 580 and the second one with a GTX 1050 Ti. Both are running at 1080p with low settings.

The second system definitely seems to be performing better than the first one, but I strongly suspect that this is the superior CPU at play.

Edit: Managed to find another one using a 1050 Ti, this time with an '8th gen i5'


It does seem to run okay with that GPU at 1080p low settings.
 
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AvroArrow

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Actually, Microsoft themselves say 2 GB is the minimum VRAM requirement:


It's also worth noting that the 'Can You Run It?' service doesn't actually test the performance of games, it's an estimation system.

There has been some attempts by YouTubers to see how well the game responds on low end hardware:



Neither system demonstrated is using an old CPU, but the first one is with an RX 580 and the second one with a GTX 1050 Ti. Both are running at 1080p with low settings.

The second system definitely seems to be performing better than the first one, but I strongly suspect that this is the superior CPU at play.

Edit: Managed to find another one using a 1050 Ti, this time with an '8th gen i5'


It does seem to run okay with that GPU at 1080p low settings.
Well, I'm glad to see that. I had hopes that it would get benchmarked early and I really don't think that an i7-7700 will bottleneck at GTX 1050 Ti. Believe me when I say that if I'm wrong, I'm glad. I don't want the OP to have to spend more, but even more than that, I don't want her to be wasting money either. If it looks good and runs smoothly, then I'm all for her taking that system. More than anything I just wanted her to wait at least until its release instead of spending money based on our speculations. Ideally, she would wait until the bugs are ironed out because I'm sure we all know just how "ready" Microsoft products are upon release but I understand her excitement because I felt the same way when Ace Combat 7 came out. It's tough to wait for something for more than a decade and FSX came out in 2006, even before the release of the nVidia 8800 GTX.

When I start thinking of the GeForce 8000 series, I feel old. When I think about how I once had a RIVA TNT2 VANTA, I feel geriatric. When I think about how my first video card was an ATi EGA Wonder... "Where's my pyramid?" LOL
 

neeyik

Posts: 1,298   +1,358
Staff member
Well, I'm glad to see that. I had hopes that it would get benchmarked early and I really don't think that an i7-7700 will bottleneck at GTX 1050 Ti.
I was somewhat surprised by how smooth it looked, especially on the 3700X system, but I do wonder what impact the net connection is having on the frame rate here.

When I start thinking of the GeForce 8000 series, I feel old. When I think about how I once had a RIVA TNT2 VANTA, I feel geriatric. When I think about how my first video card was an ATi EGA Wonder...
That makes you officially a fossil :laughing:
 
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AvroArrow

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A Fossil? Huh, I wondered why there seems to be so much calcium in my joints. Like other fossils, I've been calcified! :p

I found a chart on Guru3D that shows what cards are doing what and at what resolutions. Hilbert seemed to be very specific that 30fps is fine in a flight simulator. This makes sense to me because when in flight, the Earth appears to move extremely slowly (because you have a gigantic field of view) so there won't be any of the fast movement that exists in action games to cause stutter or appear abrupt. The GTX 1050 doesn't even appear on this list but this is 1080p at Ultra Settings. There's no way to know what kind of performance would come at lower 1080p settings or 720p.

Source: https://www.guru3d.com/articles_pag..._graphics_performance_benchmark_review,6.html
As you can see, the numbers seem to be all over the place. There doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason as to what makes a card perform well in this game. There are several things here that have me scratching my head:

  1. The RTX 2060 scores higher than the RX 5700 XT AND Radeon VII?
  2. The GTX 1660 scores higher than the GTX 1070?
  3. The RX 580 scores higher than the GTX 1060?
  4. The R9 Fury tanks badly but is more potent than five cards ahead of it. The RX 470, 570, 480, 580 and 5500 XT are all weaker than the aging beast.

As I expected, Microsoft's optimisation is either non-existent or just bass-ackwards. They'll probably release "service packs" for FS2020 (LOL). I also watched Steve Walton of Hardware Unboxed do something similar and at medium settings, the GTX 1060's performance jumps from 25fps to 44fps. That's a massive 76% improvement from 1080p Ultra to 1080p Medium. Since the GTX 1050 Ti can't be far off from that, I expect that it should get at least 30fps at 1080p medium. Of course, seeing how the cards are all over the place for no apparent reason, of course, I'm just guessing but it seems likely.
 
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neeyik

Posts: 1,298   +1,358
Staff member
From our own testing:



A 1650 is right at the bottom of the list, at 1080p Medium, but the small difference between the average fps and the 1% low suggests that frame rate is playable for a flight sim, and at low settings, it would be better still.

When we tested the 1650 against the 1050 Ti in a range of games, it was 35% better on average, so the latter wouldn't be so great at Medium settings, but should be okay at the lowest - which explains why it looked fairly smooth in those videos.

At least we now know that FS2020 doesn't load up on CPU threads - 4 are heavy, any others are very light.
 
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AvroArrow

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From our own testing:



A 1650 is right at the bottom of the list, at 1080p Medium, but the small difference between the average fps and the 1% low suggests that frame rate is playable for a flight sim, and at low settings, it would be better still.

When we tested the 1650 against the 1050 Ti in a range of games, it was 35% better on average, so the latter wouldn't be so great at Medium settings, but should be okay at the lowest - which explains why it looked fairly smooth in those videos.

At least we now know that FS2020 doesn't load up on CPU threads - 4 are heavy, any others are very light.
Ah, FINALLY! I was looking for Steve's article but couldn't find it so I had to use Hilbert's. The medium numbers I read off of his HU vid. That simulator is a mess with typical Microsoft (lack of) optimisation. LOL