FS 2004 - Specification - Advice Please

Profile picture for user Jamie-Southend

Member for

13 years 11 months

Posts: 436

Hello, Firstly I do not usually frequent the Flight Sim forum, and normally live over the the Historic forum, so please bear with me! As summer and light evenings will soon be gone, I need a winter project. So I propose to build my own PC, but I only want it to use MS Flight Sim 2004, and nothing else. I have checked out the minimum specifications on the MS site, but I just thought I would ask you guys for some up to date information on which spec I would need. i.e. Processor, Ram & Graphics card etc. Here’s what I would ideally like to archive. MS Flight Sim 2004 Ability to add Airfield Add on`s for mainly the UK to get just about everything in detail right down to farm strips. Ability to add on extra aircraft. I would like a graphics card that supports 1 17” LCD screen and 2 additional 15” LCD`s placed at the sides for left and right hand views. And of course a yoke and pedals. Any advice please?
Original post
Profile picture for user adamdowley

Member for

16 years 3 months

Posts: 1,381

To be honest with you there really is no point doing what you want to do - with FS 2004, that is. The new version is coming out sometime Christmas/New Year. So, i suggest building your new computer for 'Flight Simulator X' as it is called - release is expected soon ('soon' being in time for Christmas). If you want to go further, also think about building the computer to use Microsofts new operating system - Windows Vista, which i think is also planned as a Xmas/New Year release - Vista is supposed to provide even more of an experience for 'FSX'. the hardware you i think you will be looking for is an 'AMD' processor - not Intel - as AMD processors handle games better (and as a bonus, AMD have dramatically reduced the retail prices of their processors - you can get some incredible hardware from AMD for under £100), atleast 1 GB RAM (some sources on the internet are suggesting 2GB will be needed for Vista). Look for a processor such as the 'AMD 64 3800+ 940 pin'. for under £100 you can have a powerful processor, such as that one. If you want to spend more, have a look at AMD dual core processors, but im not sure if they are really worth the extra expense - right now, that is. See, i think that in order for dual core processors to really show off, they need to be used with applications and software that is designed to utilise effectively two processors, and those sort of programmes just arent around yet, but Im not 100% sure on that. As for graphics cards, the Nvidia Geforce 7 series is impressive, but expensive. i'm not too sure about adding multiple monitors - i know it can be done, but dont know how. I think some members on here have such things and may be able to help. don't take what i have written to be all the advice you need - do a little research, ask around, and it may be worth waiting a while for FSX and Vista. As for adding aircraft and installing scenery add-ons, we can all do that. for UK airports, have a look at Gary Summons 'UK2000 scenery' series - covers all the airports and most, if not all, active airfields in the UK. the original series is quite old, but Gary is working on replacing his old sceneries of the main airports - so far, he has done Gatwick and Glasgow - he is working on Stansted now. Very impressive sceneries. Check out the wonderful freeware addon aircraft and scenery available from the internet - one of the things that make flight sim what it is - we're very lucky to have people that are willing to spend time providing us simmers with quality addons that are free. i hope that helps, happy simming! :)

Member for

14 years 7 months

Posts: 232

I would agree with most of what Adam says but add the folllowing : First up don't worry too much about Windows Vista, from what I've seen so far it doesn't do anything a lot better than XP but it is prettier and has lots of bells and whistles which means it needs a higher spec machine. Any reasonable spec machine built today should be able to run Vista as and when it appears. Flight sim has always been a very CPU hungry application and I'm sure FS X will be the same. So buy the best you can afford. If you are going the Athlon 64bit CPU route spend the extra and buy the new x2 'dual core' chip. It may well cost a little more but will be worth the investment in the long run. Bare in mind these are available in the exisiting Socket 939 type as well as the new format. This means that S939 processors are starting to become obselete so avoid them if you can. This will also affect the choice of motherboard you buy as well of course. With regard to multiple monitors this is something I've dabbled with in the past. Most decent graphics cards will let you run two monitors on one PC, however I wouldn't consider using both for the main 3d window of flightsim because of the massive performance hit, even on a high end PC doing this with FS2004 makes it pretty much unplayable. When I use two monitors I tend to use one for the main FS window and the second for the radio stack, nav instruments, GPS and so on. Because these things are only 2D the performance hit is barely noticeable. There are two solutions to using 3 or more monitors with FS, one would be a program called 'wideview' (http://www.wideview.it) Wideview allows you to network several seperate PCs running flight sim and therefore synchronse the views to run one simulator with several PCs (expensive if they are all high end !) Alternatively Matrox produce a peice of hardware called 'TripleHead2Go' (http://matrox.com/graphics/offhome/th2go/home.cfm) which is an external device that allows you to connect mutiple monitors to one graphics card. I've no idea how good it is though so somne research is needed. Yet another option would be to buy a widescreen monitor (prices are dropping a lot at the moment) On a final note don't forget to budget for a good set of flight controls (CH Products or Saitek seem the best value depending on whether you are a stick or yoke man !) and consider Track IR, it really is the worth every penny. Best Wishes, Bruce P.S. I hope we haven't put you off your new hobby already ! It's not as daunting as I think I may have made it sound !