Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Flight Simulator X: Gold Edition, The Standard of PC Flight Sims

Flight sims for your PC rarely gets any better than FSX. Microsoft has been at this for a long time, and they make it better with every release.
But the system requirements to really make this software work well are still advanced. You'll need a capable gaming machine, with a quality video card, to get the full benefit of the entire visual, audible, advanced controls experience. Got a laptop you think is pretty smokin'? Forget it. Unless you don't mind lag.

Microsoft follows every release of this product with massive service packs you must download and install, and each one takes a huge chunk out of your hard drive. Be prepared with LOTS of disk space. This particular release (meaning, the "Gold Edition") includes service packs one and two, so you won't need to download them.

A note to real pilots: Keep in mind that this is a $30 product for a home computer, not a Flight Safety training machine. The flight model is basic and stable, and is not intended to simulate extreme attitudes and emergency procedures. If you're looking for a realistic spin trainer, or a procedural instrument trainer there are expensive add-ons that will get you CLOSE, but you should generally be looking elsewhere.

Bottom line is that this is, hands down, one of the best, but you really DO need good hardware resources to run it. If you own those resources, be prepared for a real-time, audio-visual feast. FSX is currently a meager $29 on Amazon.com    

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