Newbie question... is my laptop sufficient to run a FS

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Newbie question... is my laptop sufficient to run a FS

Postby Johnnynz » Sat Jun 27, 2020 4:29 pm

Hey guys and gals :)
I'm sorry if you get these sorts of questions all the time but... I would love some advice and to hear your thoughts as I am a complete and utter rookie when it comes to computer tec.
I am a RAANZ pilot who just wants to fly more for less, and looking to flight simulators to see if that will help scratch the itch, as well as getting to fly into some strips I haven't yet flown.
The laptop I have is a HP with windows 10, intel core i5-2450m, cpu @2.50ghz, 2501 mhz, 2 core, 4 logical processors, 8G Ram. And my wife has a DELL laptop with windows 10 pro, intel core i7-7500U CPU @ 2.7GHz, 2901mhz, 2 core, 4 processors, 8GB RAM.
As the wife works from home she has it paired to a much larger screen I was hoping to use.
Apologies if that is all irrelevant info.

So my question is... would either of these laptops be able to run a flight sim effectively/realistically or am I trying to run a Pratt & Whitney PT6 in a Bantam?
If so what sim would be best and because most of my flying is in tecnams and RV I would need to purchase a stick so I welcome any pointers there too.
All responses will be much appreciated!
Thanks Johnny
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Re: Newbie question... is my laptop sufficient to run a FS

Postby chopper_nut » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:48 pm

Hi Johnny, welcome
Your limiting factor with both of those machines is processing speed. You aren't going to be able to run VR on them but all sims except maybe the new Microsoft one will physically run. What graphics cards do they have? I'm running a gaming laptop that only has an i7 2.2ghz and I can run XP11, DCS, P3d all reasonably well.
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Re: Newbie question... is my laptop sufficient to run a FS

Postby Johnnynz » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:40 pm

Thanks for the reply! Much appreciated.
Umm looks like a Intel(R) HD Graphics 620
Do you think that will suffice?
When you say it won't do vr do you mean it won't be able to run the vr goggles, or a feature of the program? Sorry I'm very green to all this :lol:
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Re: Newbie question... is my laptop sufficient to run a FS

Postby chopper_nut » Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:15 am

So that's probably going to be an issue too. Those types of 'built in' cards don't usually cut it. In terms of VR, a lot of modern computers will run the googles OK. The problem comes when it has to run software. It basically has to generate the image twice and that's where computers run out of resources.
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Re: Newbie question... is my laptop sufficient to run a FS

Postby Radar88 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:05 am

Hi Johnny, also another welcome to the forum.

Both laptops would likely be considered in the range of Minimum system requirement to run a Flight Simulator.

They will be able to run a Flight Simulator, however likely performance will lean towards the below average level side.

With the Dell spec's leading over the HP spec's. Now depending on the age of the Laptops you may see a Label on the outside of the Laptop like NVIDIA GeForce this would indicate that the Laptop has a secondary discrete intergrated NVIDIA GeForce GPU inside.

To confirm if this is the case try and locate on each Laptop the Device Manager (right mouse button click on the Windows 10 Start symbol pane bottom left corner of screen) open this up and then locate Display adaptors expand this down, you may see Intel(R) HD Graphics 620 that will be the primary Graphics Processor Unit GPU

If you see something like NVIDIA GeForce GT ??? underneath then you have a secondary High Performance NVIDIA GPU Processor, that you could potentially use as a preferred graphics processor for running a Flight Simulator program. If you have this in either of the Laptops you would need to located the NVIDIA Control Panel to manage 3D settings for some tips watch this youtube clip Nvidia Control Panel Best Settings for Gaming and Performance Guide 2020.

Depending on where your starting at as a Rookie Flight Simmer, you will need to consider and investigate what Flight Simulator you want to use. A brand new Microsoft Flight Simulator is currently in development and is expected to be available later in the year. You may wish to wait and leave it for now, perhaps look at upgrading to a gaming laptop or desktop PC in the future.

If your looking for something right now to get started. You may consider the current stock of popular Flight Simulator's in the marketplace.

Options being;

1. Lockheed Martin Prepar3D check out here it's System requirements. If you want to purchase a Licence check out here Prepar3d Store.

2. Laminar Research X-Plane 11.

3. IPACS Aerofly FS Flight Simulator.

Both the Flight Simulator's X-Plane 11 and Aerofly FS Flight Simulator are available to purchase on the Steam gaming platform. If your not sure of what Steam is check out this link What is Steam.

Steam is currently running their Northern Hemisphere Summer Sale.

You can purchase X-Plane 11 from now through until 10 July for NZ$ 52.79

Check your Laptop spec's with the X-Plane 11 Steam System spec's.
Image

If you are only interested in wanting to fly in the Tecnams and Van's RV, then the Xplane.org has available to purchase these Tecnam P92 US$14.95 or the Tecnam P2002 US$22.00

They also have the Van's RV-8 /8A Duo US$32.00

You can purchase currently Aerofly FS 2 Flight Simulator on Steam for NZ$ 49.49 until 10 July.

I believe that a Tecnam is available for Aerofly FS 2, but not sure about the Van's RV home build light aircraft for recreational flyers.

If you decide to go for Lockheed Martin Prepar3D or the now older outdated FSX then you could look at the Orbx Van's RV 4

In terms of purchasing a flight stick. A hands on throttle-and-stick HOTAS could be considered. You may liked to look at perhaps the Thrustmaster T16000M FCS HOTAS (Joystick & Throttle) from PBTech or just the Thrustmaster T-16000M Joystick on it's own from Mighty Ape.

It's best to have a look around to see whats going to fit with you and depending on how much your willing to spend these days, in setting yourself up to complement your real life RAANZ flying of the Tecnams and Van's RV.

I would also recommend checking out the SimHanger Flight Simulation Youtube channel Mark is very good at making some useful information videos, he has just recently done this one Flight Simulation In 2020 | Which Graphic Card is Right for You?.

If your interested in getting into Virtual Reality VR Flying and wearing a Headset Mounted Display HMD ie; the vr goggles.

Mark from SimHanger Flight Simulation has also done a video HP REVERB G2 | Specifications now out | What you need to know.

This VR HMD will be available later this year in New Zealand with the (estimated) release date 30th September, 2020. Price NZ$1099.00 on the Mighty Ape website being linked here HP VR 3000 Windows Mixed Reality 4K Reverb G2 HMD.

As it stands both your Dell and HP Laptops are likely not VR ready, meaning it won't be able to run, VR supported program applications which require a VR Headset ie; the VR goggles.
The best way to confirm is for you to check out and do a SteamVR Performance Test for Free and read the RoadtoVR article here How to Tell if your PC is VR Ready. Or do a Windows Mixed Reality PC Check Free app from the Microsoft Store.

Hope this goes someway in helping out, in the decision making process.
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Re: Newbie question... is my laptop sufficient to run a FS

Postby deeknow » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:09 pm

Hey Jonny. Welcome to NZFF bud. Hope you enjoy your stay :)

Re the laptops, you've had some good input already but here's my $0.02. Sadly neither of them will be stellar performers. Your wife's machine has a better CPU but yours has a better GPU (graphics chip) but neither of those GPUs is great for gaming.

I can't speak to X-Plane or Aerofly performance but FSX/P3D are both going to struggle I'm afraid. Some of the things that really kills these games are auto generated/complex scenery and AI aircraft. Sounds like you're more of a VFR flyer so if happy to turn off AI traffic and turn the scenery sliders down a bit you should be OK.

Personally I'd just start setting aside a few pesos for a new gaming laptop or even a new (or second hand) desktop machine. For around $1000-1500 or so you could get something you'd be happy with. For around $2k (this is NZ pesos BTW) you will get something solid. Over $2500 and you're really talking.
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Re: Newbie question... is my laptop sufficient to run a FS

Postby Johnnynz » Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:20 pm

Wow I am blown away with the help and friendliness of this community!
Thanks everybody especially you Radar88 :D
I'll check out all the links you have attached and comprise a wee shopping list and hopefully educate myself a little in the process.
p.s I did install and have a little play with fsx demo version but it did leave a lot to be desired so I figured that maybe its time to bite the bullet and build a pc that will run the new version when it comes out (also it would be nice to have a pc that runs some of our video editing and cad software without breaking a sweat).
Is there any particular pc building shop that you would recommend?
Many thanks Johnny
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Re: Newbie question... is my laptop sufficient to run a FS

Postby jpreou » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:39 am

My last flight sim build was by PBTech and updated a couple of times since then.
Not really simming right now; lost a bit of interest since a) I stopped flying IRL and b) started paragliding IRL.
Even so, I have my eyes on the new HP Reverb G2 VR later this year.
I have quite a bit of hardware on my sim as the original use case was like you ... 'trying out' real flights (in Waikato area) before doing them for real ... and circuit training.
If you can't get VR, then do yourself a solid and get TrackIR instead ... and pedals (mine, unfortunately, are currently broke; rudder is fine, but the r/h brake remains locked on so I can only taxy in circles, or burn the brakes out trying to keep straight!)
Good luck :)
-- Jeff, Rolleston, NZ
P3Dv4.x and a bunch of add-on stuff... some 'global' products, but otherwise NZ-only
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