PC
Performance Guide

This guide is a research tool developed to provide flight sim enthusiasts and DIY pc builders a quick and easy resource to determine the best performance components for your flight sim rig. Jetline recommends upgrading your system in the following priority to maximize Flight Simulator Performance:
  • Intel Core i7 4790K (Overclocked 4.6GHz) Quad Core
    95%
  • Intel Core i5 4690K (Overclocked 4.4GHz) Quad Core
    90%
  • Intel Core i7 4790K (Stock Speed) Quad Core
    80%
  • Intel Core i5 4690K (Stock Speed) Quad Core
    77%
  • AMD FX-9590 (4.7GHz) Eight Core
    67%
  • AMD FX-8350 (4.2GHz) Eight Core
    65%
  • AMD FX-6300 (4.1GHz) Hex Core
    63%

Choosing your Processor

The processor is the most important component you will choose in a high performance flight sim pc. Make this component priority one when planning your system specs. Currently Jetline Systems strongly recommends Intel processors as they have consistently outperformed AMD in Flight Simulator.

FSX Performance

Up to 75% of your frame rate is produced from the CPU. Flight Simulator X is almost always limited at the CPU. With FSX, the processor has to do an enormous amount of physics and calculus computations to render not only the simulation but also the scenery.

Intel Core i7 technology and professional overclocking has proven to be the biggest impact upgrade for FSX performance. The latest Core i7 Haswell CPU’s have proven to be the best performing
CPU’s for FSX. The 4790k and 4690k processors provide top performance while running demanding aircraft, traffic and scenery add-on programs.

Prepar3D Performance

The same rules apply here with Prepar3D with one small nuance. Prepar3D has updated their coding to better utilize the graphics cards. This is allowing better performance with CPU intensive simulations

Memory Performance (Clock Speed)

  • circle1
    96%
    DDR3 SDRAM (2133 MHz)
  • circle2
    90%
    DDR3 SDRAM (1866 MHz)
  • circle3
    82%
    DDR3 SDRAM (1333 MHz)

Memory Performance (CAS Latency)

  • circle4
    90%
    DDR3 SDRAM (CL 8)
  • circle5
    82%
    DDR3 SDRAM (CL 9)
  • circle6
    75%
    DDR3 SDRAM (CL 10)

Choosing Your Memory

Consider both memory clock speed and CAS latency timings when selecting a performance memory configuration. Jetline uses only low latency memory.

FSX Performance

Memory clock speed is an important component to any high end rig. The secret to high performance memory is the CAS latency(CL #). This information is not commonly published in off-the-shelf computers. CAS latency is a timing reference to how many processing cycles are required to read 1 pass of memory data. The lower the CL number the faster the memory.

Good: 8GB DDR3 SDRAM @ 1600MHz (CL10)

Better: 8GB DDR3 SDRAM @ 1866MHz (CL9)

Best: 8GB DDR3 SDRAM @ 1866MHz (CL8)

Gaming Performance

  • Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X (12 GB)
    95%
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 (4 GB)
    85%
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 (4 GB)
    77%
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 (2 GB)
    60%

Effective Performance (Flight Simulator X) 1920 x 1200, AA, AF

  • Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan X (12 GB)
    95%
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 (4 GB)
    95%
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 (4 GB)
    92%
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 (2 GB)
    85%

FSX Performance

Only up to 25% of your total frame rate is generated from your graphics engine. We recommend the Nvidia GTX 980 (4 GB) graphics card for best performance now and keeping your rig ready for future.

Multi-GPU Impact on FSX and Prepar3D

Our testing has proved that SLI and Crossfire graphics will only decrease the overall performance in FSX. The new 900 series cards have the ability to run 3 monitors from a single card either individually or spanned (TH2GO effect) The GTX 970 and 980 are strongly recommended for muli-display simming. [Update] P3D now includes multi-GPU support.

Prepar3D Performance

Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D is significantly more reliant on the graphics engine than FSX. Preapr3D, in updating their coding, have moved a lot of the workload from the CPU to the graphics card. In testing, this has been most beneficial to complex add on aircraft. The CPU can now dedicate itself more toward the simulation resulting in smoother flight in complex aircraft.

Advanced Display Performance

In the testing lab, Jetline has tested performance in both FSX and Prepar3D with many different monitor/TV/projector setups. Everything from a single standard monitor to multiple large-scale TV’s to ultra sharp and 4K resolution displays have been tested and compared. In Prepar3D especially, it is extremely important to get the best graphics card possible with multiple monitors or extreme resolutions.

In one test we compared a 3-screen visual using Prepar3D with the GTX 770 versus the newer GTX 970. Using the same settings in the same system we observed over 30 frames/second better performance with the GTX 970.

HDD/SSD Performance

  • Samsung 850 EVO Professional(SSD)
    97%
  • Samsung 850 EVO (SSD)
    92%
  • WD Velociraptor 10000 RPM, SATA 6GB/s
    65%
  • WD Black Edition 7200 RPM, SATA
    55%

Drive Configuration Performance, FSX/Prepar3D

  • FSX Performance On a Single SSD
    95%
  • FSX Performance on SSD Accelerated HDD Drive
    90%
  • FSX Performance on a Single HDD
    85%

Choosing a Hard Drive Configuration

Jetline recommends a single solid state drive to run both the operating system and simulation program. With recent technology advances in solid state technology SSD drives have not only been 10 times faster than a traditional drive but also more reliable.

Jetline offers a secondary hard drive to hold data and backups, not to install flight simulation software.

Common Configuration Example:

Primary Hard Drive: 500GB Solid State Drive
Secondary Hard Drive: 1TB Western Digital 7200 RPM HDD

In this configuration the simulation software and operating system will be installed on the SSD and the 1TB would hold all downloads, pictures, videos, and any other data that does not require the speed of the SSD.

RAID 0 Impact on FSX

Many gaming PC companies are offering RAID 0 performance configurations. This is a good configuration for PC GAMES, but not Flight Simulator Programs. Onboard RAID 0(pairing hdd’s) can significantly reduce FSX performance and stability.