Unprecedented Critical Acclaim ✔️
Fan Fanaticism ✔️
Revolutionary Graphics ✔️
Runs on your average PC ❌
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is the new rage across the globe, and why not? The title features mega-realistic scenery and life-like plane controls. The SIM even recreates real-time climatic conditions and lets you emulate cinematic flights. And if that wasn’t all, in case you feel lonely, you can turn on ‘live skies’ and fly with wingmen of your choice.
The SIM fetches digitally distilled images from the cloud server. It generates a 3D-representation of World features including but not limited to trees, terrain, grass, buildings, and water. It has been dubbed “the best looking game ever.” Yes! I agree. All of this sounds very appealing if you are obsessed with gaming, but it comes at a cost- it will burn your average desktop down.
You need a powerful PC!
And while custom designing your PC can save you a couple of hundred bucks, it often helps to go with pre-built models. They have some perks:
- Suits the layman
- Customer Service
Pre-built PCs are often assembled by well-known manufacturers using stable software and hardware configurations. Hence it takes away the hassle of ordering individual components and putting them together. Regardless, the process of scouring the internet for the right pre-built rig requires uncannily diligence. Given the plethora of choices at one’s disposal, it’s difficult to settle for one. Hence, this guide features a list of best pre-built PCs for Microsoft Simulator 2020. Yet, before we do so, let’s discuss minimum system requirements for the AAA title.
System Requirements for Microsoft Flight Simulator permalink
With the game posting a digital replica of the globe, it is easy to assume that you will need a super-computer to run the game. It’s not as if you need an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 GPU, although I would love to have one. Gosh!! Why do I love things I can’t afford? Coming back to the topic, cloud storage manages the backdrop of the game, so all your computer needs to do is load the map in real-time. Sounds excruciating, but it’s just another AAA title with manageable hardware and software requirements.
Let’s address the elephant in the room-the question all of you would be gunning to ask: “Can I run Microsoft Flight Simulator on my PC?”You can, given that your Desktop/Laptop meets the minimum requirements mentioned in the table below. Even if it does, you might want to beef your PC up to the recommended combination to balance visuals and performance and enjoy smoother gameplay.
|Memory||8 GB||16 GB||32 GB|
|Free Disk Space||150 GB||150 GB||150 GB|
|CPU||Intel i5-4460 or AMD Ryzen 3 1200||Intel i5-8400 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X||Intel i7-9800X or Ryzen 7 Pro 2700X|
|GPU||Radeon RX 570 or Nvidia GTX 700||Radeon RX 590 Nvidia GTX 970||Nvidia RTX 2080 or Radeon VII|
|Video Ram||2 GB||4 GB||8 GB|
|Operating System||Windows 10||Windows 10||Windows 10|
Buying Guide for PC for Microsoft Flight Simulator permalink
So, we have already discussed minimum and ideal system requirements for FS 2020, and given you a sneak peek into the best computer for flight simulator 2020, but you don’t want to play that way. Do you?
Or do you just need to know what to look for in a PC?
Well, in that case, I have assembled a list of things to consider before buying Pre-built Desktops and Laptops for MS 2020. Just make sure that your selection ticks all these boxes.
“CPU is the brain of the Computer” ~ literally every book ever!
And while I have my reservations with the aforementioned statement, there is no denying the fact that the CPU determines how swiftly your computer completes tasks. When looking for a processor, one of the key features to look out for is the number of cores and threads. Cores and Threads play a part in parallelism, ensuring multiple tasks can be carried out together. By this logic, having multiple cores ensures smoother gameplay in Flight Simulator. After rigorous testing, our companions at Premium Builds concluded that Flight Simulator 2020 uses 4 threads and can still max out 8 CPUs at a time. So, steer clear of quad-core processors!
Processor speeds play an important part too. Indeed, they are the single most important factor in determining FS performance. Intel i5-4460 or AMD Ryzen 3 1200 are the minimum requirements for FS 2020, and these have a clock speed of 3.2 and 3.1 GHz respectively. So, anything close to that and you are good to go. I would suggest raising that to 3.5 to prevent lag and to boast higher frames per second.
Random Access Memory (RAM) stores temporary data when your computer is performing tasks. So, the more RAM you have on your computer, the greater the number of processes that your computer will be able to perform simultaneously. That being said, the minimum requirement for Flight Simulator 2020 is 8 GB. For the love of God, don’t settle for 8 GB. It will create a bottleneck in your gaming. Even if you want to enjoy half a decent game, the very least you should be looking forward to is 16 GB. And believe me, when I say it, the best PCs for Microsoft Flight Simulators have way more memory than just that.
The SIM needs 150 GB of dedicated storage capacity. If you are setting up a gaming PC, that shouldn’t be a problem. Also, look out for SSDs. SSDs are costlier than HDDs, but make up for the difference with their superior performance. These are faster than traditional Hard Drives, aren’t subject to wear and tear, and don’t produce as much noise or heat.
Video/Graphics Card permalink
Flight Simulator simulates a 3-D representation of the Earth’s terrain by retrieving data from a cloud server. This equates to some serious graphical power. The official minimum requirements mention 2 GB of VRAM, but based on our testing you will want to have at least 4-6 GB for a buttery smooth look. This game tests your GPU like no other, so you may want one of the newer ones.
Flight Simulator will punish your GPU and CPU like no other game. With the GPU and the CPUs maxing out, your rig is bound to heat up like a microwave oven. Hence, in order to keep computer components within permitting operating temperatures, you will need an efficient cooling system to remove waste heat. This can be achieved by overall case fans, dedicated CPU fans, or an advanced liquid cooling system. All the best gaming PCs for Microsoft Flight Simulator employ more than one means to cool a system.
This debate is up there with the Egg-Hen debate, and I almost brushed it off! Where are my manners? The first thing that you should consider before buying a PC for FS, or in that regard, any game whatsoever, is whether you want a Desktop or a Laptop. CPU, GPU, and other hardware/software configurations should be an after-thought.
If you haven’t made up your mind by now, the comparison below can help.
|Characteristic||Gaming Desktop||Gaming Laptop|
*A custom desktop is cheaper than a laptop, but that’s before you add the cost of Peripherals and Displays.
Performance-wise a desktop edges out a laptop by the barest of margins, but if you prefer gaming on the go, you should get a Laptop.
I do realize this is one of the more grey areas- to each, his own. So, we are not going to get our hands any dirtier in this unending debate. We will be mentioning the best pre-built desktops and laptops for Flight Simulator 2020.
6 Best Computers for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 permalink
As mentioned already, we will be dealing with Laptops and Desktops separately. We will be mentioning 3 builds of both Laptops and Desktops pertaining to budget considerations. All of these have been comprehensively scrutinized against the metrics mentioned above.
1. Dell Alienware Aurora R11: Best High-end Gaming Desktop permalink
And we have an UNDISPUTED CHAMPION! Dell Alienware Aurora R11 is undoubtedly the best PC for gaming. You could make do with a much cheaper/ less powerful rig, but if you like to splash the cash for the best product on the market, you need to buy this one. Microsoft Simulator 2020 may be an ambitious game, but this machine eats it for breakfast!
Aurora 11 has everything working for it: sleek design, upgradeability, and unmatched performance. We will get to each of them one by one.
Aurora R11 features a sleek design that’s neither too loud nor too flashy. It’s neither too dull, so you definitely feel part of the clout without overkilling it. In that regard, it has subtle lightening strips alongside oblong chassis. You get to choose from two colors of chassis: lunar light chassis and the dark side of moon chassis. Most importantly, you don’t need tools to open up the chassis. The only slight downside (to some people) is that it measures 17 x 8.8 x 18.9 inches, so it does cover up significant space.
And while you won’t need any further upgrades for a while, you can easily keep Aurora R11 up to date. The motherboard uses an Intel Z490 Chipset with a bus speed of 8 GTs, hence fully supporting overclocking. There is room for additional disks. During our testing process, we found that one could adjust two additional 2.5-inch hard-drives. Opting for a liquid-cooled version could limit your options, though, solely because of compatibility concerns. If you do, your upgrade options would be limited.
When I said, “Aurora 11 eats Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 for breakfast”, I was hardly exaggerating. The PC has been engineered with 10th generation Intel Processors. You get to choose from i5-i9, with the choice of individual components affecting the price. Most versions are acquainted with 16 GB HyperX™ FURY DDR4 XMP (at 2933MHz), but you get to choose between 8 GB and 64 GB. The higher this number, the better the performance (and multi-tasking capabilities).
As far as graphics are concerned, the PC supports GPUs ranging from Nvidia GTX 1650 to Nvidia RTX 2080 Super. The former isn’t capable of ray tracing or 4K resolution, but will still easily handle Microsoft Simulator 2020.
Alienware Aurora R11 offers superior ventilation, ensuring an 8% reduction in temperatures at the voltage regulator heat sink. In case you opt for a liquid-cooled graphics option, this percentage can rise as high as 19.5% percent. When you are playing as memory intensive as Flight Simulator, keeping components at optimum temperature comes in handy.
With all that being said, you can expect a buttery 50 to 60 Frames per second in maxed-out settings.
|Sleek Design||Cheaper Alternatives Available|
|10th generation Processors|
|Liquid Cooled GPUs|
|Alien Command Center|
View / Check Price on Amazon
2. Razer Blade 15: Best High-end Gaming Laptop permalink
Razer Blade 15 is the best gaming laptop for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. If you are looking for gaming on the move, Razer Blade 15 is all you want and much more. It combines together 10th generation Intel Processors with the latest Nvidia GPUs (Up to Nvidia RTX 2080 Super Max-Q), and incredible display options to deliver a power-packed performance. This thing will conveniently manage Flight Simulator and more!
If you haven’t left for the tore already, let’s discuss a few features.
Design and Display
Razer Blade is svelte and sophisticated, with thin bezels, and a graceful aluminum chassis. It’s so aesthetically pleasing that a part of me wants to justify its towering price tag. Moving on, it comes with numerous display options, including 144Hz, 300Hz, and OLED 4K 60Hz screens. With 4K OLED, you are bound to get 1 ms response time and a wide color range, ensuring vibrant visuals. The screen is also 15.6’’ in size, and as far as I am concerned, that is the optimal size for flying your aircraft across the World.
Engineered with 10th generation Intel Processors, this beast of a machine can clock up to 5. 1 GHz. Different configurations come with as much as 16 GB Ram, 1 TB SSD, and an all-powerful Nvidia RTX 2080 Super Max-Q. If you are still skeptical of this machine’s ability to run Microsoft Simulator, then compare these specs with Flight Simulator requirements mentioned above.
Battery and Cooling
We conducted a few tests on Razer 15 Basic version. This included surfing across the web and playing Flight Simulator 2020 to discern battery life. And while I will abstain from quoting the exact figure, due to variations, the battery lasted 5-7 hours during browsing. This time decreases while playing games, but Razer 15 definitely has a solid battery time for a gaming laptop.
And while the product comes with a “unique vacuum-sealed, liquid-filled copper vapor chamber”, it does heat up very quickly. The temperature of the bottom can eclipse the 100 Fahrenheit threshold if you simply watch a 15-minute video on full-screen mode.
Regardless, expect a smooth sailing (see what I did there?).
|Exceptionally Powerful||Exorbitantly Expensive|
|Long-lasting battery||Heats up|
|Impressive Build Quality|
|Elegant Aluminum Chassis|
View / Check Price on Amazon
3. Omen by HP Obelisk: Best Mid-Tier Gaming Desktop permalink
Omen has everything you need in a PC-upgradeability, solid performance, and an exquisite look. What it doesn’t have, however, are the unnecessary frills that pad-up the price. And that’s one of the many reasons why Omen by HP Obelisk is the best mid-range gaming pc on the planet.
By now, you must have a rough idea about the aptness of Omen Obelisk for a game as intensive as Microsoft Flight Simulator. So, let’s drill into details.
HP Omen has a clean, classist design. It’s a handsome tower, with a glass side panel (optional) that lets you show off the innards. The HP logo is etched to the upper section and is backlit by customizable RGB lighting. To another hard-core gamer, the design may be a bit underwhelming, but I find it classy! The ventilation is in a criss-cross pattern. With only 5 mm of space between the bottom of the case and the vents at the bottom and only one 120 mm case fan, airflow is an issue. The GPU has a blower-style cooler. This means that although the GPU doesn’t rely on the single case fan, although it may not be cooled as well as other video cards.
While the more expensive versions are future-proof, cheaper ones may not stand the test of time. Thankfully, the PC is highly upgradeable with a spacious interior and tool-less access. There may be a couple of limitations, though. The motherboard has only 2 DIMMs. That means that you can’t expand beyond the 32GB threshold on memory. Similarly, it only has one additional memory bay. Regardless, if you want to buy a prebuilt PC for Microsoft Flight Simulator, 32 GB memory, a 2 TB HDD, and a 512 MB SSD are pretty much all you need and much more.
Like all other PCs on this list, HP Omen features very powerful components. It is highly customizable too so that you can choose all the way from GTX 1660 Super and Ryzen 5 3500 to an RTX 2080 and 9th generation i9-9900 Processor. More expensive configurations are also compatible with ray tracing. Regardless, almost all configurations could guarantee you a silky Flight Simulator stream.
|Unmatched Power||Some configurations can be really expensive|
|Tool-less Access||Messy Internal Wiring|
|Easy to Upgrade||Needs better Air-flow|
|Sophisticated Design||Limited Memory Expansion Options|
|Reduces needless frills to reduce cost||The motherboard has 2 DIMMs only|
|Solid Build||The motherboard has 1 additional Storage Bay|
View / Check Price on Amazon
4. ASUS TUF A15: Best mid-Range Gaming Laptop permalink
With powerful specs and a relatively reasonable price, ASUS TUF A15 is the best mid-tier gaming Laptop in 2020. It may not be the most powerful pc out there, but it offers an impressive 1080 performance for its price.
The impressive list of features ensures that this one can handle Flight Simulator 2020 quite conveniently. Don’t believe me? Well, here’s one thing I can do.
Design and Display
Measuring 14.5 x 10.1 x 0.98 inches and weighing 5.07 pounds, the design may come across as sturdy and robust. So, if you are really into aesthetics, this may underwhelm you. The upside is that it has thin bezels and a 15.6-inch display screen. Talking of the screen, ASUS TUF A15 has a full HD IPS 144 Hz (1920 x 1080) screen. Unless you want to fly at 4K, this shall suffice you.
ASUS TUF A15 is a beast! It outperforms costlier PCs and that shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that it has an AMD Ryzen 5 4600H Processor beating down its chest. Couple that to cutting-edge Nvidia GPUs- the pc can house up to Nvidia RTX 2060- and the laptop offers a streamless experience, especially because it can accommodate up to 16GB DDR4-2666 memory and a 1TB NVMe SSD. With such specs, you can expect smooth gameplay at 1080.
|Reasonably Priced||Not the most powerful|
|New AMD Processors||Noisy|
|Impressive Battery Life (90 WH Battery)||Sturdy Design|
|144 Hz FHD Screen|
View / Check Price on Amazon
5. Cyberpower PC Gamer Extreme VR: Best Budget Gaming Desktop permalink
Given the graphical requirements of the game, your options are pretty limited if you are short on the stack. Regardless, there are a few PCs that may just suffice you in your desires. Cyberpower PC Gamer Extreme is one such PC and is arguably the best budget gaming PC of 2020.
Given its relatively low price tag, the PC packs a punch. This is, by all means, a “killer deal”.
Design and Upgradeability
On the offset, Cyberpower Gamer Extreme is a tad bit too bulky. It weighs around 27.3 pounds, and measures around 18.5 x 7.9 x 17.9 inches. It isn’t ugly-not by a long shot, featuring tempered glass panels on the front and side. The PC also provides tool-less access to its innards for any future updates.
Packed with an Intel Core i5 processor, and Nvidia GTX 1660, this PC can handle mainstream games at maxed-out settings. Yes, 8 GB Ram and 120 GB SSD (costlier configurations come with 256 GB), are a bit underwhelming, but Gamer Extreme is by far the best PC in its price range. It meets Flight Simulator’s requirements and performs admirably well. We tested it out and were overwhelmed by the frame rate. Unless you expect to sail at 4K**, this PC won’t disappoint**.
|Uncanny performance per Dollar||Limited SSD Storage|
View / Check Price on Amazon
6. Dell G3 15: Best Budget Gaming Laptop permalink
With numerous inexpensive configuration options, and strong overall performance, Dell G3 15 Gaming Laptop is undoubtedly the best cheap gaming laptop under $1000. It may not be the prettiest, or the most powerful, but it gets the job done.
Unconvinced? Hold on!
Design and Display
Dell G3 15 features a matte-black plastic design, that won’t appeal to your aesthetic sense. It does, however, have slim bezels around its 15.6-inch display that give it a modern look. 1920 by 1080 display is super-dull-especially when away from the mains. Doesn’t sound too promising? Well, cut some slack. This thing is super inexpensive.
Don’t let the price tag deceive you. This one comes with powerful components, including but not limited to 10th generation Intel i7-10750H Processors (not all configurations), and 512GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive. It can accommodate up to 16 GB DDR4 (at 2933 MHZ), and an all-powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (6 GB GDDR6). All of these surpass Flight Simulator’s minimum requirements. Hence, you can even play the game at an entry-level configuration-albeit with less aesthetic graphics.
|Long-lasting battery life||Dull Display|
View / Check Price on Amazon
Which of these Pre-Built PCs should I buy for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020? permalink
Each of the above-mentioned PCs is a winner in its own right. While some are inexpensive, others are exceptionally powerful. All of these eclipse Flight Simulator’s minimum requirements and will conveniently handle the game (some won’t even break a sweat doing that). Hence, your choice comes down to two things:
- Are you ready to break the bank for a PC?
- What is your preference between a Desktop and a Laptop?
Once you can answer these questions, my choice won’t even matter.
Yet, if you still can’t decide and desperately need by nonsensical opinion, go for the Mid-Tier ones. They get the job done, and are relatively inexpensive. Plus, you can always opt for an upgrade anytime you want. So, either Omen by HP Obelisk or ASUF TUF A15.