Microsoft Flight Simulator Is Officially the New Benchmark Game

But can it play Microsoft Flight Simulator?

By Gabriel Moss

August 23, 2020

No matter how much money you’ve sunk into a state-of-the-art gaming PC in 2020, the likelihood is, you can’t truly play Microsoft Flight Simulator on it. Yes, even if you’re Henry Cavill.

According to some Microsoft Flight Simulator benchmarking insights from John Papadopoulos of DSOGaming, it’s impossible to break a consistent framerate of 60fps (frames per second) on some of the most cutting edge modern gaming hardware available.

In this case, that gaming hardware amounted to an Intel i9 9900K, 16GB of DDR4 RAM at 3600Mhz, an Nvidia RTX 2080Ti, Windows 10, and a Samsung 970 Pro NVMe SSD.

“There is currently no CPU that can run the game with 60fps on High or Ultra setting,” Papadopoulos reported. “This is currently one of the most CPU-bound games on the PC, and one that it really needs a new generation of CPUs in order to shine.”

In other words: Microsoft Flight Simulator is the new Crysis— or rather the next game to truly push gaming hardware well beyond its current limits.

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Papadopoulos was only able to hit a frame cap of 50fps while playing Flight Simulator on a 1440p resolution. That, however, was not the norm in most locations that were more densely packed, such as cities. The framerates spanned between 30-50 on average, obviously slowing down when the CPU was forced to process more things at one time.

Interestingly enough, Papadopoulos discovered that activating Hyper-Threading did nothing to quell the bottlenecks, but overclocking one of the 9900K’s cores to 5.0 Ghz (from a stock clock of 3.6 Ghz) did help somewhat.

It may finally be time to put away that common hyperbole in PC gaming that a machine is a “potato” if it struggles to run Crysis, a game that released 13 years ago and initially thrust PC gaming hardware specs into the future. Microsoft Flight Simulator is the new kid on the block, but it’s already making modern $3,000+ PCs look like, well, potatoes.

If you either somehow own a supercomputer or are impartial to framerates lower than 60fps, there are some particularly interesting things to check out inside of Flight Simulator. Last week we reported on Survivor fans taking “authentic” trips out to a certain special island, and you can already purchase and visit a thoroughly-realized version of London for a fee.

Regardless, you can now download and play Microsoft Flight Simulator on the PC. Or you can just opt-out and play Crysis on the Nintendo Switch.

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