How to add spoiler tags, edit posts, add images etc. How to - a user's guide to the new version of Boards
Mods please check the Moderators Group for an important update on Mod tools. If you do not have access to the group, please PM Niamh. Thanks!

Advice needed on purchasing a new gaming PC

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,061 ✭✭✭ recode the site

    I need a PC to run Microsoft Flight Simulator.

    System requirements:

    • CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 or AMD Ryzen 3 1200.
    • RAM: 8 GB.
    • OS: Windows 10 64-bit.
    • VIDEO CARD: Radeon RX 570 or GeForce GTX 770.
    • PIXEL SHADER: 5.0.
    • VERTEX SHADER: 5.0.
    • FREE DISK SPACE: 150 GB.

    Any advice on models I might choose with minimum or higher spec. I altready have a MSI Optix G24 gaming monitor 244hz 1ms AMDfreesync


  • Budget?

  • i’m not too restrained on my budget, so I’d like opinions on what is optimal, first, down to what is workable.

  • Xbox series x would give you a great out of the box no messing ms flight sim experience for 500 quid. 4k 30fps. Maybe for about 1/3 cost of the equivalent gaming pc and none of the heartache.

  • It's also not the worst idea considering the terrible state of the PC market right now. Graphics cards are literally double RRP in most cases due to shortages.

  • Is the xbox actully in stock anywhere?

  • Advertisement

  • Unlike the PS5 it's easy enough get with a bit of effort. I got mine a day or two after deciding to get one by keeping an eye online.

  • +1 on the Xbox, and you can get Flight Sim for "free" on Gamepass along with over 100 other games, serious value for money.

    If you do go the PC route budget for a bigger SSD. I doubt Flight Sim would install on that 150gb one as it's about 130gb to install so factor in your OS and other stuff and it would be tight squeeze.


  • Also. It's silent. Which is perfect to keep you in the experience. No noisy fans spinning. And you can stick it under your TV or connect to a 1080p, 1440p, 4K monitor or TV . VRR, HDR, up to 120fps ...

    And if you get bored you can instantly jump to another game and back. Quick resume. Ditto when from console cold boot. Magic. Not on pc.

    I sound like an MS fanboy. But it's amazing what they managed to do for the price point.

    To be honest, one of the main reasons I got a Series x and 3 years cheap GamePass was for Flight Sim ... But I never play it !!! ... It's not my thing ... Yet ... But I do plan to spend some time learning the ropes.

    I did try the east coast of Ireland, New York and Mount Everest on "easy" mode. Felt great with no technical issues, but nothing really like the real thing when you get up close for Ireland. I haven't downloaded the UK and Ireland pack yet. So I'm hoping that has detailed models for Ireland when I do jump back.

    Here's quick resume and flight sim on the lower resolution and even cheaper series s.

  • I'm sorry, but that spec PC is the absolute minimum for what you would need to run Flight Simulator (or any modern game), so assume terrible framerate/resolution and graphics options. Do you have a particular target resolution/framerate in mind. Haven't played flight simulator yet, but assume beauty is important so, for me, 4K would be a must.

    in terms of recommending a build, it's impossible unless you say what your preferences and, most importantly, your budget is (even ballpark figure). If the only thing you are going to be using this computer for is flight simulator, then I would second the advice above and just settle for an xbox. You would spend a lot more on a pc to get the equivalent of an xbox. Said PC would offer a lot more, but if you don't need that, then going down the pc route seems a waste.

    Finally, in case you aren't aware, there is a massive global crisis with regards microchips at the moment. This is affecting everything from cars to games consoles to graphics cards etc (so even getting your hands on an xbox is difficult). But when you add in the crypto mania and the attack from touts, the PC graphics cars market is particularly out of whack price-wise at the moment.

  • I really appreciate the replies.

    Bit of a long story, but cut short, friend in tech career found, due to unforeseen circumstances, they no longer had use of a brand new pc (unopened from box in a year), spec as below:

    Processor - Intel Core i3-8100 Processor (6MB Cache, 3.60GHz)

    Operating System - Windows 10 Home 64

    Operating System Language - Windows 10 Home 64 English

    Form Factor - Tower B360 210W 85%

    Memory - 12GB (4x3) DDR4 2666MHz UDIMM

    Video Adapter - Integrated Graphic Card

    First Graphic Dongle - DisplayPort to VGA Adapter

    First Hard Drive - 1TB Hard Drive, 7200 RPM, 3.5", SATA3

    Networking - Integrated Intel Gigabit Ethernet

    Keyboard - USB Traditional Keyboard Black English (UK)

    Pointing Device - USB Calliope Mouse Black

    Speakers - Internal Speaker Tower

    Publications Pack - Publication-English

    Warranty - 3 Year On-site

    I cannot get the machine to boot as per another thread, and was considering another machine, as I had originally done.

    Budget wise I can go up to, maybe, €1500, if absolutely needs be. I used to fly real airplanes myself on my own, so simulation keeps some of the enjoyment knowledge going for this av geek! I already have FS purchased for Windows 10, just that the PC I have for essential purposes just can’t accommodate it.

  • Advertisement

  • Your better off posting in the pc building and upgrading forum than here.

    The lads will get you the best bang for buck for your budget.

    Maybe the mods can move across?

  • Just don’t know my way around this forum especially the way it is.

  • The way it is, I am pretty clueless in the whole area. The original PC was very kindly given by a friend who happened to cave had a career in tech, who by circumstances unforeseen, was unable to make further use of this particular PC, at least for the time being. To put a story pretty succinctly short it was a matter of “you’d better having it now”.

    Decades ago, I used to have a private pilot’s license, and thought I might have some further enjoyment through modern Microsoft Flight Simulator.

  • On that budget, I would recommend staying with HD for now or maybe stretch to QHD (the graphics cards need to power 4K would destroy your budget 😉).

    Basically, the higher the resolution, the better the game will look and feel and refers to the number of pixels (or dots) that make up the image on the screen. HD (or 1920 x 1080) has been around for a long time and you are probably already familiar with it with regards HDTV/Blurays etc. QHD (2560 x 1440) has been popular for a while now and looks even better. 4K (3840 x 2160) is absolutely amazing, but requires a very high end-graphics card to play many games. It has also become the standard for TVs these days. Besides the monitor, the other main factor is the graphics card (or GPU). This is what does all the calculations necessary to determine what appears on the screen in reaction to your movements. The performance is typically measured in FPS (or Frames per Second). The higher the resolution, the more demanding the game is and the higher you have set the individual settings within the game, the more powerful a GPU you will need to get adequate FPS. Typically, you are looking at wanting to get 30-60 FPS for the game to run smoothly. You can always play at a resolution lower than your monitor supports, but not higher. Finally, as I already mentioned, the bad news is there is a global shortage of microchips, combined with Crypto mania (most crypto coins are mined with GPUs) means GPU prices have skyrocketed over the last 2 years (more than double in many cases)

    For Flight Simulator, I haven't played it yet, but from what I have heard, 30FPS should be fine as it is not a fast moving game (say like Call of Duty etc). However, it does appear to be very demanding game, not just on the GPU, but also on the CPU and RAM. At that rate, you might be wanting to look at an i7 CPU and at least 16GB of RAM (32GB would be nice), which will also will eat up a lot of your budget.

    As per above, I would recommend posting in the PC_Building forum. There's always plenty of people will to help make recommendations. One thing, when posting, include all the info you have given above while also trying to answer the following questions (with this layout to make it easy for people to see the answers) (I have also pre-answered questions 1, 7 and 10 for you - feel free to change it!):

    1. What is your budget? ~1,500

    2. What will be the main purpose of the computer?

    3. Do you need a copy of Windows?

    4. Can you use any parts from an old computer?

    5. Do you need a monitor?

    6. Do you need any of these peripherals (wireless card, monitor keyboard, mouse, microphone, webcam)?

    7. Are you willing to try overclocking? No

    8. How can you pay?

    9. When are you purchasing?

    10. If you need help building it, where are you based ? I will want it prebuilt, as I am not sure what I am doing any want to make sure it works.

  • 1. What is your budget? ~1,500

    Somewhat Flexible

    2. What will be the main purpose of the computer?

    Microsoft Flight Simulator + another device for ordinary office type stuff, eg tax returns.

    3. Do you need a copy of Windows?

    Yes, key purchased is Windows

    4. Can you use any parts from an old computer? 


    5. Do you need a monitor?

    Have an MSI Optix G24 1500R, I believe it should do the job

    6. Do you need any of these peripherals (wireless card, monitor keyboard, mouse, microphone, webcam)?

    No, except I do intend to get toe-brake rudder pedals to simulate real interaction, having formerly had a real world pilot’s license. Since failing the medical I ca

    7. Are you willing to try overclocking?


    8. How can you pay? 

    Card, PayPal, other ways

    9. When are you purchasing? 

    Trying to get a machine I was given working first to see if it can do the job, as per a parallel thread I opened. It has 12GB RAM which I believe is doable but would not be best. Trying to see overall what my options may be

    10. If you need help building it, where are you based ? I will want it prebuilt, as I am not sure what I am doing any want to make sure it works.


  • Your friend's PC is of no use. It has a weakish processor and also only a 200w power supply which is useless for powering anything other than a very low-level graphics card.

    At this point your best bet is to just buy a pre-built from the likes of Dell, PC Specialist or Currys.

    I'm not saying buy this one but to give you an idea -

    It would run FS perfectly at ultra settings.

    Or this is a bit cheaper with a slightly weaker graphics card, but still fine for ultra.

    As stated, there is zero value for money right now with the long-running insane shortages and everything is far more expensive than it should be.

  • That was the type of machine I originally had in mind. For me to fly a real airplane (which is something I recommend anyone to try out!) for €1600 I would get (ballpark) over 5 hour long flights with supervising instructor. With my prior experience I get to conduct flight from start up to shut down. Much easier than flight simulator, which is more challenging but less dangerous if you don’t get it right every time. If I invest in a suitable new pc I can have endless flying time without the turbulence and actually hone my skills for the next real life experience.

  • I'd keep your existing pc for office, non graphics work, trade in the windows flight sim copy for the Xbox version or GamePass and get a Series S or X. It's literally plug and play and no heartache. And you'll save a load of money and time.

  • I’ve no room left in my gaff for any more tech stuff 😱😱😱 and have a fine Helios Predator laptop for office work, it even has some gaming capacity. Anyway, all food for thought.

  • Advertisement

  • Ok. Sell the PC. 😊

  • If I can’t resolve it, I intend to return it to original owner who is, after all, an IT professional (even though they might not use it for original intended purpose) and if they can’t resolve it, the warranty is in their name and it can be resolved from there and they themselves might want to either keep it or sell it. It’s not worth anyone losing sleep over.

  • Former PC sent to original owner to see if they can get using it/invoke the warranty.

    Having weighed up advice, I have now ordered what I think should be a pretty decent build to get the best out of Flight Simulator and serve me well for other purposes too.

    Here’s the major spec which should provide the performance needed with room for upgrade where necessary.

  • Looks pretty good. Should have zero problem handling Flight Simulator at HD quality (and possibly better while still maintaining a decent frame rate)

    one thing seems strange though. Going for a 2TB SATA SSD while only getting a 512GB M.2. Given the prices typically don't differ much, and M.2 is far superior (and typically with only 1 slot so any future upgrades involve throwing away the old SSD as opposed to adding to it), can you not get the 2TB as M.2. and have the smaller drive be the SATA one? Also, the Samsung 870 QVO you have above is the cheap version of SSD (known as TLC). It's not bad, but it has it's limitations and wouldn't be in the same league as the EVO (or EVO Plus) range. Just so you are aware.

  • I swapped around the options within my budget, otherwise I was going to exceed a budget I had already expanded on. I just had to draw the line somewhere, otherwise I would have gone into silly money. I want a nice game experience, and hopefully this will provide it. I was looking on various sites for similar as well as upgraded bundles of spec for my purpose at some shocking prices.

  • Don't worry. It was only a small thing I noticed in the grand scheme of things. And you're right, budgets can rapidly expand as you try to improve one small thing after another. It still looks like a very good setup and should give you no problems for Flight simulator. Hope you enjoy!