Flight Simulator Video Card

What features should I be looking for in a graphics card for flight simulators? Most benchmarks and reviews only test games like doom, Fear, and half-life. Are they most dependent on memory size, clock speed, pipelines, memory bandwidtch, etc...?

I know that I can buy a 7900GT and be safe, but I always wonder if it is overkill for most flight sims that may not take advantage of it's more advanced features.

Any help is much appreciated.
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  1. Flight sims are benchmarked too, but not as often.

    Search google for the particular simulator's name and the word benchmark...

    Alot of newer sims are pushing graphics cards hard... lomac, X3, MS Flight Simulator...
  2. The only fight simulation that has been used as a benchmark is X3: Reunion in Anandtech's review of video cards.

    X3 is actually a space simulation that is heavy on gaphics and is a bit bound to the CPU, so maybe that's a good benchmark for you.
  3. Firingsquad routinely uses Pacific Fighters and LOMAC in their benchmark suite...
  4. im a flight simmer...
    i play il2 sturmovik, ms flight sim 2004 and others
    i'lll tell you this, you'll never ever have enough power for any flight sim.
    Flight sims are probably THE most graphically demanding of any real-time interactive 3D game out there.
    OF course you can set the details to very low settings, but in most flight sims you can tweak the game and raise the level of settings not just in the game settings but through configuration files and other things which makes the game require incredible amount of resoruces.
    Il2 is one of these.
    Even running a single Geforce 7950 GX2 from a standard PC system while playing Il2 with tweaked settings for better graphics running in a resolution of 1600x1200 requires more resources than the graphics card can handle.

    That just gives you an idea of how demanding flight simulators can get.
    Oriingially they have their settings on very low so everyoen can play them.
    Also il2 uses a game engine thats about 3 years old now.
    It's because it has to render such huge worlds and because people insert tons upon tons of objects into a single world/map the amount of resoruces required to process them is enormous.
    So for flight sims there is never enough. Because in flight sims we always aim to make it as reaslidstic as possible which means we are always using every resource and taking the PC system to its fullest capabilities.
    So the more powerful the better is always the case with simulatoin especially flights sims.
  5. my thoughts exactly. I want a good setup that will work well, not just default settings, with X-Plane and FSX when available.

    What are your thoughts with this config?
    AMD X2 4200+
    2Gb RAM
    ASUS Mobo with SLI (future proofing for 2nd 7900Gt if needed)

    I figure this config will allow me to turn all setting to ~85% on any game/sim with 60+ FPS. Yes?
  6. msflightsim 2004 is more cpu bound than gpu bound
    just about any descent graphics card will do
    for msflightsim 04 that is
    the upcoming flight sim x will be a diff story
    and i cant wait for it
  7. MS Flight Sim is the most graphics demanding game out there. It takes lots more video processing power then the top first person shooter games. You can never have enough graphics processing power for flight sim. I have a friend who has two 7900GTXs and he has maxed out their potenital. The reason is flight sim has so much more world to draw around the plane, when you pan around the plane in external view, frame rates drop, when you are in cockpit view it has to render all the "glass cockpit" and the outside view, very difficult. As you add add-ins that make realistic clouds, much more detailed airports and cities, air traffic and super high detailed versions of the planes the game gets more complex and needs more GPU power. For flight sim I recommend get as much graphics processing power as you can afford.
  8. Quote:
    MS Flight Sim is the most graphics demanding game out there. It takes lots more video processing power then the top first person shooter games.

    Bah! Baloney! M$ Flight Sim takes next to no resources, you really should update that timex sinclair, and you friend's SLi setup needs a CPU obviously! 8O

    Heck my original PC could play that on 128KB, and when we upgraded to 640 it was rockin!

    Now M$ FS X and 2K+ are different stories, they're killer !
    But man you must have a ton of virus, mallware and I don't know what if you're having trouble with M$ Flight Sim. :twisted: :tongue: :twisted:
  9. thanks
  10. i think four 7950 GX2 cards on a gigabyte 4-pci slot royal motherboard and custom drivers for this double/quad SLi setup would do the job nicely
  11. Quote:
    MS Flight Sim is the most graphics demanding game out there.

    Not really: it just has a sucky graphics engine. As far as I can see, it spends most of its time transferring textures in and out of video memory.

    I really hope they do a major rewrite for the next version.
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