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Flight Simulator X FAQ's - Updated 21 March 2009


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Flight Simulator X Frequently Asked Questions




Microsoft Flight Simulator X requires the following to install:


- Windows XP with Service Pack 2 installed or Windows Vista (beta or above).


- DVD Drive (FSX is only available on DVD media).


- 15Gb Free Hard Drive Space.


Frequently Asked Questions:


1. What are the minimum system requirements?


These are the specs listed by Microsoft:


- Windows XP SP2 with 256 Mb RAM


- Windows Vista with 512 Mb RAM


- 1.0 GHz Processor


- DirectX 9.0c compliant Video Card with 32Mb RAM


- 15 Gb Hard Drive Space


- DVD Drive


Note that these system specs will not really deliver adequate performance with FSX. These are essentially the bare minimum specs needed to actually install the product and get it running. Performance on this system will be very poor and not very useable. We suggest at least the system listed in the recommendations in the following FAQ.


2. What are the recommended system requirements?


- Windows XP SP2 with 1024 Mb RAM


- Windows Vista with 1024 Mb RAM


- 2.0 GHz+ Processor


- DirectX 9.0c compliant Video Card with 256Mb RAM


- 15 Gb Hard Drive Space


- DVD Drive


3. What is the absolute best system to run FSX?


The simple answer to this one is to buy the fastest system you can afford at the time. Focus specifically on the CPU speed, as much fast DDR memory as you can afford and the best video card as well. For a good roundup on what video cards, CPUs and memory are the best, take a look at the hardware guides and benchmark tests of various brands available at websites like www.tomshardware.com and www.anadtech.com


Ideally, a good FSX system will have at least a 3Ghz dual core processor, at least 1Gb DD2 fast memory and a Radeon X800 or Nvidia 7800 series card or better.


4. I have installed FSX and frame rates are poor! Help!


This could be for a number of reasons. It could be that you are simply running it on a system that is not fast enough to run the software well enough. However, in most cases it is because the user has everything (detail, graphic, traffic and scenery-wise) turned up to maximum. Not even the fastest system available right now can probably run FSX with all options maxed out. Microsoft tend to develop software with computer speeds available in 2 years from now in mind. So, to improve your frame rates, you will need to tweak your settings and find a good balance between detail and performance on YOUR individual system. If you are looking for performance gains, try turning down detail settings or options for things like: detailed clouds, traffic % levels, terrain mesh and terrain texture detail, autogen, and external aircraft texture detail (if you always fly from within the cockpit etc).


We have found it is possible to get good frame rates if you are willing to turn down, or turn off some items that aren't as important as others.


Another important factor is how well your hard drive is performing. If you have a drive that is full of unorganized files, it will take FSX longer to find those files on your drive when it needs to load them, causing a drop in performance, and overall frame rates. If the files and organised well on the drive, FSX can find them quickly, load them into memory and ultimately deliver better sim performance. To organise your files on the hard disk you need a defragmentation software program. Windows comes with its own defrag program, but it is a little slow and not the best for obtaining maximum hard drive performance. We recommend a quality defrag software program that is full featured to help maximize hard drive access speed and FSX frame rates. We choose to use Ultimate Defrag for file defragmentation.


Additionally, there is a good tweaking article compiled by Greg Germanowski on how you can improve FSX performance. You can find that article at http://www.flightsimulatorx.it/download/files/09_FSX%20TweakGuide.pdf - You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this document.


5. Will FS2004 aircraft/scenery work with FSX?


There is no easy answer to this one. Basically, you will need to find the devloper/publisher's website of the add-on you are referring to and check their website as to whether their product is compatible with FSX, or whether an update is available for their product to make it FSX compatible. Check the included documentation for contact options for that particular developer's products.


6. Will work with FSX?


See above FAQ.


7. I am getting an error message when loading FSX or FSX will not install...


There are many possible errors that can occur during a setup, however, most are related to your hardware or other software running on your system. Very few are related to actual bad disks. Take a look and read through and foillow all the recomendations posted on the Microsoft website in relation to problems installing or error messages encountered during an installtion. The website is here> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/258496


Also note that Windows XP with Service Pack 2 installed, or Windows Vista is required, as is a DVD drive to install the product from.


8. What is the difference between the standard and deluxe versions?


The deluxe version includes everything the standard version does, plus the following additions:


- 24 airplanes (6 more than standard edition)


- 45 high-detail airports (5 more than standard edition)


- 38 high-detail cities (10 more than standard edition)


- 50+ structured missions (20 more than standard edition)


- Glass panel (G1000) cockpit (not included in standard edition)


- Tower controller application (not included in standard edition).


We feel these extra additions are well worth the additional purchase price. When FS2000 was first released, standard and deluxe additions were also made available and we had many disappointed customers who purchased the standard version and found they couldn't use many of the add-ons made for the product later on. This is a similar situation with FSX. Also, there is no upgrade option from the standard to the deluxe version, so we recommend grabbing the Deluxe version of FSX first up to avoid disappointment and possibly extra cost further down the road.


9. FSX Disc #2 wont detect or read, or wont install properly


This seems to be a problem some users are having. It is hard to tell where the issue lies, although it seems to be either software related (other software not the actual software on the FSX disc itself), or hardware related (DVD drive not reading the disc properly).


To try solve this issue, follow these steps in order. If the problem is solved after step 1 (for example) you do not need to follow the instructions following that step. if not solved, move to the next step in the chain.


1. Some DVD readers can take up to 2 minutes to detect disc #2 (for reasons unknown). If the disc appears not to be detecting, just leave the computer for a few minutes and come back and check. Some users have reported that the disc #2 finally detects and installs correctly several minutes after inserting the DVD into the drive.


2. Manually browse the Disc #2 file contents in either Windows Explorer, or by accessing the DVD through the "My Computer" option and check the files on Disc#2 are actually different to those on Disc #1.


3. If you have the hard drive space available, copy the contents of both DVDs to a temporary folder on your hard drive, and install the product from the hard drive copies.


4. Read this Microsoft Tech article and follow instructions > http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290301



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  • 1 year later...

Don't forget that the first post in this thread is coming up to being 2 years old now so I am unsure of its currency However I have found the document in Italy and updated the link in the post to it so it should work now


Oh, it is in English not Italian 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif



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  • 6 months later...
Guest Brett Campany

FSX Service Pack 1 & 2 Download Links


G'day fellas, just to update Ian's post here, FSX now has Service Pack 1 & 2 available.


If you have not done so, it is highly recommended to download SP1. Do this from here


Flight Simulator X Service Pack 1


If you have not yet bought FSX Acceleration, then you can download and install SP2 from here.


Flight Simulator X Service Pack 2


If you go out and buy FSX Acceleration then prior to installation you must uninstall FSX SP2.


If you get an error message after downloading SP2 then chances are you need to upgrade your computer. You will also get this message if your computer doesn't meet the FSX Acceleration Pack specs as below.


  • Flight Simulator X
  • Microsoft® Windows® XP SP2 / Vista
  • PC with 2 GHz equivalent or higher processor
  • 1 GB of system RAM
  • 4 GB or more of available hard disk space
  • DirectX 9 or higher compatible video card required
  • 128 MB video RAM or higher, Shader Model 1.1 or higher
  • Sound card, speakers or headphones required for audio
  • Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device
  • 56.6 Kbps or better modem for online play




Flight Simulator X Acceleration Expansion Pack


Here's a demo found on youTube.




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So, Brett, for people starting out in flying or SIMs, what is the best 'basic' Flt. SIM package to start with - demoing the basics of control inputs and outputs without scarying them off... ?



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Guest Brett Campany

I'd highly recommend Flight Sim X if your computer meets the requirements or Flight Sim 2004 if your computer is a bit older.


After that, get a joystick and then do some of the updates. For FS2004 users I'll get the scenery and update links up here today and sticky them.


Just give me a yell if you need a hand!



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I'd highly recommend Flight Sim X if your computer meets the requirements or Flight Sim 2004 if your computer is a bit older.After that, get a joystick and then do some of the updates. For FS2004 users I'll get the scenery and update links up here today and sticky them.


Just give me a yell if you need a hand!

Do you know if Ian has Sim X in the shop? I cant get it to load tonight...



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Guest Brett Campany
Do you know if Ian has Sim X in the shop? I cant get it to load tonight...

I know you can get it online at various website but it's such a huge program, I don't think you'd want to download it. Ian might look at getting it in the shop, I'll make the suggestion.



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  • 3 weeks later...



G'day Brett,


We've just purchased the flt sim X last week, and I just thought I'd ask if there was any worth while additives we should get (free preferably) to add on?


We got a joy stick, and rudder pedals as well (the joystick is a feedback one)...


A suggestions are welcome...


Thanks a lot,



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Go to : News and download the Australian airfields. There are over 200 fields added that don't come with FSX and most are very good. They are free.


If you like RA then go to FSnordic.net and grab the Evektor EV97 Eurostar. Make sure you grab the 1.1 patch too.




I would also (did!) spend the $$ at Full Terrain Experience - Flight Simulator X Scenery for to grab the Australian scenery as it is brilliant compared to the FSX mess that is called Australia.



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