6 Best Of The Best CPUs for Microsoft Flight Simulator in 2021

— 15 minute read

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is one of the most awaited games after Cyberpunk 2077. Not only its super cool features and graphics, but it has shaken the flying community with its great map and details because of its 37,000 real-world airports, live traffic, and up-to-date weather conditions wherever you fly. Since, you’ll require the best of the best CPU for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 in order to fly like superman.

best cpu for microsoft flight simulator

People often think they need an updated CPU and the most powerful motherboard and RTX 2080 super or something like that. But, Microsoft vanished all these think tanks by revealing that you can fly on a low-budget PC or laptop without having top-notch accessories.

In addition, you can play games with minimum requirements, but they won't entertain you at all, as they will look like flimsy clouds, and you'll feel like you're watching SpongeBob on a 1900s TV. Further, stick to us in order to find the best CPU for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, but before that, let us figure out what makes a CPU best for playing MSFS 2020.

Why do You Need to Get the Best CPU for MSFS 2020? permalink

MSFS isn’t just a blockbuster of games and a live graphical showcase. It's something even more extensive than that, which maxes out your CPU. Along with a powerful and up-to-date GPU, you’ll also need to get a supersonic CPU that comes with superpowers for processing and interpreting all the game’s live data, such as weather and physics simulations. The most important thing is to install the game on a solid-state drive, which makes loading faster and enables you to fetch live data through a fast internet connection.

But where’s my answer? The answer to this question is probably in the above paragraph, but let me clarify everything for you. MSFS retrieves live map data from Bing maps, and it also retrieves live weather from the same platform. The game requires a combination of a multi-core GPU and a multi-thread CPU, which at least has six processing cores, to run smoothly at higher graphics.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020: Why All the Hype?

In the eyes of MSFS, all the hype attributes to Bing maps live data fetching and Microsoft's Azure cloud computing service, which provides a real-time Earth simulation. It means you can fly over real-world airports and cities, as well as experience real-world weather changes. As an example, if it's a thunderstorm in Los Angeles, it's a thunderstorm in the video game. As a result, you get a truly new gaming

The Greatest Tech Battle Ever, AMD Vs. Intel - Which One Is Best for MSFS 2020 permalink

The single-core performance of Intel chips is better than AMD chips regardless of price and latest model. But, AMD manufactures the most powerful multi-core chips for gaming, as the brand’s only purpose is to empower gamers. Secondly, Ryzen’s AMD is best for tasks such as video editing and 3D rendering, as its multi-core performance is unbeatable.

Besides performance, AMD has superior durability when it comes to motherboards. Because MB’s often last more than one generation of CPU, whereas you’ll need to change your mobo if using Intel whenever a new generation shows up. For example, if you have an i5 7600k, and you want to upgrade, no matter what, you’ll need to get a new mobo for optimal performance, so prepare yourself to convert to Ryzen if you don’t want to invest in mobos anywhere.

As mentioned previously, MSFS uses DX 11 and focuses primarily on single-core performance rather than considering the number of cores. Accordingly, Intel's CPUs have a more excellent "per core" performance. Additionally, you could consider AMD Ryzen for 4k or higher performance if you want to beat Intel’s performance, if Asobo releases new updates and shifts the game to DX 12, which we believe will happen soon.

But Who’s the Champion? permalink

For MSFS 2020 specifically, the 10th gen Intel chips currently outrank Ryzen in software programs and games that don’t demand multi-cores. But, overall, if we look deeper, AMD isn’t our champion today 🤐 because our article focuses on Microsoft Flight Simulator 😎.

One more thing, we know that custom builds take time and lots of technical information, and sometimes all the hard work doesn’t pay off due to the lack of perfect knowledge. So, if you’re not tech savvy, and hesitate to build your custom PC, here is the link to some awesome Pre-Build PCs you can consider.

CPU Requirements For Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 permalink

The detailed description of the game above may have given you some insight into how powerful the game is. So, the CPU's performance and power are tied together. Below, you will find some of the best CPUs from the two top brands, AMD and Intel.

Note: All these CPUs require a high-quality thermal paste to overcome overheating and produce the best experience.

MinimumRecommendedIdeal
IntelIntel Core i5-9600KIntel Core i7-9700KIntel Core i9-10900K
AMDAMD Ryzen 5 3600AMD Ryzen 7 5800XAMD Ryzen 9 3950X

6 Best CPU For Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 - High Budget To Low Budget permalink

Now we'll have a fierce argument about which processor for MSFS is the best right now. Additionally, it's your chance to experience virtual moments of your life in the sky. So, let's get started.

One more critical announcement, our list will look like this:

  • High-End
  • Mid-Range
  • Budget Friendly

In the above list, we have included both AMD and Intel chips based on the budget and performance. By using this tool, you will be able to choose a product that fits your needs and your wallet will save you time.

1. Best Overall AMD: Ryzen 9 3950X permalink

AMD Ryzen 9 3950X

SpecificationValue
Processor Count/Threads16/32
CPU Speed4.7GHz
CPU SocketSocket AM4
Supported Memory RAMDDR4-3200

The AMD Ryzen 9 is one of the most potent 16 core processos in the world. Similarly, to fly Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 fighter jet without lagging, you can get this processor because its 32 processing threads make it one of the most in-demand 32 threads processors for mainstream desktop.

Its 3.5 GHz base clock and boost clock up to 4.7GHz enable you to play various games with ultra-fast 100+ FPS performance. More so, it’s factory unlocked for overclocking with 72 MB game cache and DDR-3200 support. Don’t worry if you have an advanced AM4 socket because AMD 9 3950x supports PCIe 4.0 on x570 motherboards.

Digging deeper to more technical terms, its 1MB L1 cache, 8MB L2 cache, and 64MB L3 cache makes it eligible to play MSFS at ultra settings if you’ve 50Mbps internet connectivity at the game place. This beast of a CPU utilizes 105 watts. Therefore, we recommend getting a 280 millimeter or larger liquid cooler for maximum performance.

Another thing, if you live somewhere hot, you might want to look for other options because we think that at 95°C max temperature, the AMD 9 overheats, making it unsuitable for hot environments.

ProsCons
Value for the moneyNeed to buy an extra cooler
Supports almost all newer motherboardsBoost speeds claims are BS
Great for online streamersPC shutting down if overheat
State of the Art for the mainstream

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2. Best Overall Intel: Core i9-10900K permalink

Intel core i9 10900K

SpecificationValue
Processor Count/Threads10/20
CPU Speed5.3GHz
CPU SocketLGA 1200
Supported Memory RAMDual Channel DDR4-3200

With a base clock speed up to 3.7 GHz and turbo boost up to 5.3GHz, the Intel Core i9-10900k is our next pick for the most valuable CPU for the ultimate gaming and content creation. Following this, the product supports Intel Optane memory and compatibility with all Intel 400 series chipset-based mobos that support LGA 1200 socket platform.

The CPU also has ten cores and 20 threads, so you can fly on MSFS without experiencing any lag. A vital characteristic of this chipset is that it supports dual-channel DDR4-2933. Plus, you'll get additional overclocking features to maximize performance. Also, this processor will require a 125-watt power supply unit (power supply unit) installed on your desktop before use. Lastly, if you want the chip to work smoothly, you will need to get a thermal/liquid cooler.

ProsCons
Easy to overclockReaches thermal limits if using a cheap cooler
Doesn’t overheat with right liquid cooler
Built-in Intel UHD Graphics 630
Higher per core performance

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3. Mid-Range King AMD: Ryzen 7 5800X permalink

AMD Ryzen 7 5800X

SpecificationValue
Processor Count/Threads8/16
CPU Speed4.7GHz
CPU SocketAM4
Supported Memory RAMDDR4-3200

If you don’t really want to experience the high-level performance of Ryzen 3950X, the Ryzen 7 5800X is a good-to-go choice for you. It’s one of the leading CPUs from AMD Ryzen 7 family before the launch of 3950X, so you can still consider it the best CPU for flight simulator. The CPU offers 8 physical cores with up to 16 processing threads.

Following this, the Ryzen 7 family still delivers 100+ FPS performances in most AAA games. And, you can get one of these thread rippers to render 3D characters and videos. Plus, the CPU features a 4.7 GHz max frequency and 36 Mb gaming cache, and also it supports DDR4 RAM at 3200Mhz. Aside from that, you can install this beast in any X570 and B550 motherboard with AM4 platform and can support PCIe 4.0.

Additionally, install a 105-watt power supply in your computer and pair it with an RX 5600 XT to get better results while enjoying unlimited flights over the virtual world. Due to the same thermal issues, such as heat up, this CPU is somehow overpriced, so you can't get by without a good cooler. But, its in-built eco mode will help you to lower down its temperature by 40% if you turn it on.

ProsCons
8 Core KingRuns hot
Doesn’t cause stability problems or window crashesCurve optimizer
Energy Efficient
Budget king

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4. Mid-Range King Intel: Core i7-9700K permalink

Intel Core i7 9700K

SpecificationValue
Processor Count/Threads8/8
CPU Speed4.90GHz
CPU SocketLGA 1151 300 series
Supported Memory RAMDual Channel DDR4 2666

From 2018 to 2021, the Intel Core i7-9700K is one of the most iconic budget-friendly CPUs Intel has ever produced. It’s the identical house sibling of i9-10900K in terms of gaming performance. Similarly, you can run many heavy chore software when not up in the clouds with this processor because it offers 8 physical cores and 8 computing threads with 12 MB Intel smart cache/gaming cache.

You can overclock this CPU’s base clock frequency from 3.60 GHz up to 4.90 GHz turbo with an in-built Intel smart optimizer. More so, the processor consists of Intel UHD Graphics 630, which powers daily life tasks if not used for AAA games or heavy chore projects. After that, it supports up to 64 GB DDR4 2666 MHz dual-channel RAM with max memory bandwidth at 41 GB/s.

Get a 95 watt PSU along with a motherboard that supports Intel 300 Series chipsets in order to control your flights daily. Furthermore, it lacks PCIe 4.0 support, which may delay the high-speed transfer of data from the graphics card.

ProsCons
Easy to lockHeat sink and cooling fan not included
Lightning fast at its price pointHyper-Threading not supported
Deals with high load (4K) gaming very wellPCI Express 4.0 not supported
Excellent single core performance

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5. Budget-Friendly AMD: Ryzen 5 3600 permalink

AMD Ryzen 5 3600

SpecificationValue
Processor Count/Threads6/12
CPU Speed4.2GHz
CPU SocketAM4
Supported Memory RAMDDR4 3200

To meet fanatic world-class hardware requirements on a low budget, you need a processor that offers high performance and high FPS gaming performance that AMD Ryzen 5 3600 fulfills for under $300. This CPU comes with six physical cores and 12 processing threads to outperform your competitors in all AAA games. More so, with an in-box quite AMD Wraith cooler, you can control its temperature and limit it to a maximum of 95°C.

Further, with an up-to-date PCIe 4.0 version and DDR4 3200 memory RAM support, you can beat superman in flying MSFS jets. The CPU also offers 4.2 GHz maximum frequency with a 35 MB gaming cache when installed on a socket AM4 supported motherboards, including all X570 mobos. Plugin the Wraith cooler and a 65 watt PSU to get all the benefits of this budget-beast.

The CPU lacks a dedicated graphics unit, which all Intel CPUs at the same price point have. A dedicated unit maximizes productivity for non-gamers and for people who do not perform heavy tasks on their PC.

ProsCons
Supports existing AM4 motherboardsNo integrated graphics
Low power consumptionHampers performance
Excellent base clock speed
Excellent boost clock speed for gaming and single-thread tasks

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6. Budget-Friendly Intel: Core i5-9600K permalink

Intel core i5 9600K

SpecificationValue
Processor Count/Threads6/6
CPU Speed4.60GHz
CPU SocketLGA 1151
Supported Memory RAMDDR4 2666

Intel offers the Core i5-9600K as a budget-friendly processor with 6 cores and 6 threads with enabled hyper-threading. It’s not the most powerful processor on our list. Still, I ensure that it can run Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 without lagging. At this price point, you can overclock the CPU from its initial 3.70 GHz frequency to 4.60 GHz, and you can run any software with the 9 MB Intel Smart Cache.

More importantly, the processor consists of Intel UHD Graphics 630 for powering daily office tasks. It also supports Intel Optane Memory. Further, you can install this budget beast only on Motherboards which supports Intel 300 series chipsets. Another thing, this 9th Gen desktop brain only supports dual channel DDR4 2666MHz RAM, which guarantees maximum productivity.

The only problem with these old chips is that they can overheat when playing for long periods. As we all know, streamers don't buy cheap products. Yes, it's an excellent product for occasional gamers, but not for the pilots who love to watch flights for 9 or 10 hours on autopilot. 😂

ProsCons
Over clocks like a champDoesn’t come with an in-box cooler
Excellent base clock speedOverheats
Best for multitasking
Easy to install

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That’s It permalink

Now here we’ll take off from you and if you’re still looking for the best CPU for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, then I suggest you choose either AMD Ryzen 9 3950X or Intel Core i9-10900K, depending on whether you’re a fan of AMD of intel. I think I’m not wrong by saying that these processors have the same level of performance, so it breaks down to price, brand following and which socket your motherboard has.

Similarly, for budget gamers who want to save bucks and can handle flight on lower settings, then they can go with either AMD Ryzen 5 3600 or Intel Core i5-9600K. We recommend going with AMD series 5 because its newer model, budget-friendly and the best CPU for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 for occasional gamers.

The controller can be controlled easily with one hand, without hesitation, and with a single finger. Take a look at the best controllers for MSFS 2020 in order to become a real Pilot.

It's all over, I hope you liked our updated and all-in-one article, and you can benefit from it. Lastly, I would like to thank you for sticking with us.

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