A lot of the tutorials on my blog is, or is going to be, about a PC-based flight simulation. I suspect most of you already have that perfect rig to play with but for those who are just getting into flight simming and building their own A320 components based on my tuts I thought I’d share what sort of computer I use to run it all.
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My first flight sim PC
Yeah, there were times I thought a cheapo would do nicely. It did. Up to a point, that is. I made the unfortunate mistake to go with an AMD CPU based machine. At that time, there weren’t many options to choose from and the Intel CPUs were so goddamn expensive.
I bought a small size pre-built computer. It wasn’t bad but when it came to gaming performance it did lack a lot. I had to take down the graphics details for the X-Plane 10 sim to about the midpoint. It worked but you guessed it, it looked pretty unappealing.
Still, it did work for over a year but when the X-Plane 11 sim was released it was clear to me I need a better rig…
My current machine
Fast forward to about 10 months ago, this is what I’m rocking now. This computer allows me to run X-Plane 11 and FlightFactor A320 Ultimate at second highest graphics settings and still get decent 40 fps even at busier airports.
- SilentiumPC Regnum RG1 TG Pure Black Midi Tower PC Case
- Fortron AX550-60APN – 550W power source
- MSI H310M GAMING ARCTIC – Intel H310 mother board
- Intel Core i5-8400 CPU
- SilentiumPC Fera 3 HE1224 v2 CPU fan
- Crucial Ballistix Sport LT Red 8GB DDR4 2666 RAM memory x2
- ASUS DUAL GeForce GTX 1060 O6G graphics card
- Seagate BarraCuda, 3,5″ – 2TB hard drive x2
The two 2TB hard drives run in a striping RAID configuration to get me a total of 4TB fast access storage for flight sim scenery files. As for the graphics card, I’m sure there are better ones out there but for me it was a decision based on price and the value I get for it. In my opinion, the GTX 1060 O6G gives me enough performance while keeping the costs fairly low.
All of that is connected to a beautiful ultrawide screen 34″ LG 34UM69G computer display.
Obviously, you can run X-Plane flight sim on a Mac computer as well, although you’d need to grab one of the more expensive ones, and not all flight sim titles and add-ons work as well on a Mac as on a Windows PC.
To complete the flight sim experience I also purchased some controllers:
- Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog Flight Stick – solid feel, and according to a real world A320 pilot it has the right stiffness, too.
- Thrustmaster T.Flight Rudder
- Saitek/Logitech G Saitek Pro Flight Throttle Quadrant with my very own A320 Engine Control and Angle Adapter add-on
The A320 Engine Control and Angle Adapter add-on is my own design I did in Fusion 360 and printed on my Ender 3 3D printer. It is a prototype only but the engine master toggles as well as the engine mode rotary switch all work like a charm – check the video below 🙂 I’m working on another version that will look even better and will have the FIRE/FAULT annunciators lights working as well.
I’ll have more details on the add-on in one of my future posts where I’ll describe the ins and outs as well as the schematic and code for it all to work.