Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020): PC graphics performance benchmark review

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Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020
Flying first class with Microsofts latest Simulator and 30 GPUs

Updated August 21st:

  • added image quality screenshot comparison
  • added core CPU scaling results
  • added image quality settings performance comparison
  • added Core i9 9900K vs Ryzen 3800XT
  • added DRAM memory scaling, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB.
  • added VRAM scaling with Radeon VII (16GB VRAM) and observe VRAM utilization in normal and dense terrains.

So yes, it is still COVID times, but we can fly again, albeit in a virtual manner. Are you ready to take a short flight with us? We look at one of the most anticipated games of 2020, Microsoft Flight Simulator, in a PC graphics performance and PC gamer way. We'll test the game on the PC platform relative to graphics card performance with the latest AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards. Many graphics cards are being tested and benchmarked. Yes, the game is finally released being updated to 3D offering realistic flight simulations and beautiful sceneries. It'll be a genre for a particular type of end-users though, as we can not even say' game' here. Microsft seems to have created a bit of a diamond here, with a well-executed marketing strategy. They have something special at hand with the 2020 release, and they know it as the prices 'start' at 70 EUR/USD, advancing towards 129 USD/EUR for the premium editions with more details airports and planes. Considering how advanced and refined the title is, we do dare to state it'll be worth the money if you are into the genre.

Please note that the installation size of the game passed 100GB. And even on our 500 Mbit/s connection, we've noticed exorbitantly sluggish download rates. We started downloading the game early in the morning, hours later looking to my right side monitor, we're at 60% of the downloads as the sim keeps fetching .fspackages. A nauseating wait for such a AAA title fetching from the supposably fast Microsoft Azure cloud servers.

That stated this article is not provided or sponsored by Microsoft. We purchased the most premium edition to bring you an unbiased review as tho what you will need for graphics hardware. We assume that any flight-simmer already has a decent PC, so once again we check PC graphics performance over many graphics cards. We'll test the game on the PC platform relative towards graphics card performance with the latest AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards. Many graphics cards are being tested and benchmarked. 


Depending on your set-up, PC owners can expect a range of enhancements from this port, including supporting ultra wide monitors, the ability to run the game at 4K, might be a bit of thing though :) Also, and this has to be stated. In the pasty we have tried reviewing flight sims; however, it takes tremendous amounts of time and effort to even test one graphics card as you need to set up the plane, takeoff, test and move onwards. The underlying problem is that each run needs to be the same way to objectively test performance. And the past experiences have proven that to be complicated. Regardless we'll do our best.


Flight Simulator 2020 scores unusually well in the graphics area. The world scenery looks very good, the lots of cities and airports have been manually revised by hand. The ones that did not get ta premium treatment also look pretty good. The differential is the more personalized stuff, example if you fly over your own house, that's where you'll likely be dissatisfied. What is beautiful in-game is the weather system, real-time data is flowing into the engine, and as such, you get a physical simulation of the weather. That weather is not only beautiful to see, it will of course also have an effect on the flight characteristics of your simulation. The combination of beautiful modelled aircraft, gorgeous landscapes and the weather system that makes this Flight Simulator an excellent new edition.

Flight Simulator makes use of Asobo's in-house developed game engine and uses Bing Maps data, accessing over two petabytes of data from the cloud on-demand. Azure AI analyzes map data and photogrammetry to generate photorealistic 3D models of buildings, trees, terrain, and so on. This allows the simulator to depict most parts of the world in 3D photo-realism and other elements in high definition. The game's engine utilizes satellite imagery or fly-by image scans as the basis for height and terrain texture data. Offline procedural generation AI then reads these textures based on their own parameters and correctly populates terrain with materials, roads, buildings, bushes, trees and more based on brush set assets the developers have made.



For this article, multiple graphics cards are being tested and benchmarked.  You are going to need a reasonably modern PC with at least a mainstream graphics card to run the game nicely. This article will cover benchmarks in the sense of average framerates; we'll look at all popular resolutions scaling from Full HD (1920x1080), WQHD (2560x1440) and of course Ultra HD. UHDTV (3840x2160) pixels which are four times as many pixels as 1920x1080.  We test with the game based on the optimized and available AMD Radeon driver (download) and for Nvidia their GeForce WHQL driver (download). We'll examine the game on the PC platform relative to graphics card performance with the AMD/NVIDIA graphics card drivers.

Welcome aboard Guru3D airlines, your pilot on this flight is captain Hilbert, this flight will go from Amsterdam Schipol Airport where we'll take-off, and gently Brexit into Heathrow Airport *coughs*

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