Xplane 11 best budget computer.

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Fabio, Jul 19, 2020.

  1. Fabio

    Fabio Pre-Flight

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    Hello
    I am interested in setting up a sim at home to help me stay ifr current in between ifr flights.
    My current home computer is and HP i5 intel based computer with a basic graphic card and not capable of running xplane 11 which I need for the garmin 530.
    Looking at amazon I was wondering if anyone can direct me to a decent budget computer that would run the sim smooth enough with some degree of graphics resolution, or should just invest money in a high end video card and use what I have.
    My budget is around $1000 for the pc desktop.
    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. farangutan

    farangutan Pre-Flight

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    How old is your current computer? If it's within a 1 or 2 years of purchase and you know for sure you can just slide in a graphics card, that could save you some money. Ask a friend that could let you borrow one to test drive setting up a new graphics card. With the money leftover, you can buy more RAM and switch to solid sate storage drives. That way you end up with a decently power PC without spending a 1000 for a less powerful rig out of the box. Xplane should have a page on their website about minimum specs. I have a 5 year old laptop that runs xplane 10 no problem so I doubt you need bleeding edge everything for the newest xplane.
     
  3. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I assume you have the specs from the XPlane website? I run XPlane 10 on a fairly old MacMini - upped the memory to 16 gb (not authorized but who cares?) But XPlane 11 needs a HUGE step up in power which the MacMini doesn't have and I'm not about to spend the $$$. As Farangutan pointed out, increase RAM, and SSD and most important, one of the recommended graphics card. If your CPU can't handle the GPU, then you're stuck with XPlane 10. I took the X11 specs to Microcenter (you give them the specs, they create the box) and they came up with a build that came in under $1000. Unfortunately, you have to buy MS10 with it (I prefer to run Ubuntu).
     
  4. Fabio

    Fabio Pre-Flight

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    Does the xplane 10 version has garmin 530 in it?
     
  5. flyer770

    flyer770 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There's a stock 430 in many of the included planes, but you can add a 530 for about $25. Figure five minutes for install.
     
  6. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    You can download Xplane and fly demo flights. From memory, they are limited to about 10 minutes, but that should be plenty of time for you to discover how the computer performs. After 10 minutes, it locks the controls, so whatever you were doing, you keep doing?
     
  7. Deelee

    Deelee Line Up and Wait

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    I know the default c172 has renditions of both the 530 and 430. It is an odd panel, to be honest. But yes, there is a 530 in there. Maybe the default King Air and Baron have this, too... I can't remember. The c172 definitely has these two in the panel.
     
  8. TipTanks

    TipTanks Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Go to a flight sim forum... they can answer these questions better... also...MSFS 2020 comes out in a month
     
  9. drummer4468

    drummer4468 Pre-Flight

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    I got an old i5 Dell Optiplex small-form-factor for free(you can get em for dirt cheap too). Chucked in 32gb of ram, an SSD, and a 1050ti graphics card. Runs Xplane 11 like a champ. Granted I'm at 1080p and not 4K; it laughed at me when I tried plugging it into my 4K tv. But on my 1080p monitor it runs the 172 flawlessly even with the graphics turned way up. Definitely not bad at all for a ~$350 budget gaming rig.

    I expect as long as you have plenty of ram and a graphics card that can handle the resolution you're shooting for, you can come in well under a grand.
     
  10. JerryT

    JerryT Filing Flight Plan

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    The current beta version of Xplane 11 runs better than before and can run fairly well on lower level graphics cards. As drummer4468 mentions above, Xplane can run fairly well on an older graphics card as long as you stay at 1080p and do not turn the graphics settings too high and create too much of a load on either or both your CPU and graphics card.

    SInce 11.50 is still in beta, I don't think you get that version if you click on 'Try Demo' and expect you will get the older and slower 11.41 version. It may still run good enough but you won't know until you try. The new 11.50 will replace the entire graphics engine and has sped it up anywhere from 25 - 100%; however, that release is still probably a month away of being in production and will be downloadable through the 'Try demo' button.

    Without knowing your graphics card it will be hard to guesstimate how your performance will be.

    I would say download the current demo, set the graphics options low as I don't think they impact the cockpit which is where you will mostly be focused, and see it it meets your needs. If not, waiting for 11.50 to be production or a newer graphics card might be in order.
     
  11. Deelee

    Deelee Line Up and Wait

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    https://forums.x-plane.org/ is your friend. Tons of information there about rigs build specifically for xplane. One thing to note - Xplane doesn't use cores the way other sims/games do. I have an i9-9900k that I have set up to use only 8 cores (no HT turned on) because of this. I'm able to run it cooler that way with a higher OC. Oh, and you will want LOTS of VRAM. I have 1080Ti and it has 11 GB. That combo seems to work really well with the 11.50 beta. Super smooth in VR.
     
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  12. hish747

    hish747 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I use X-plane 11 with an Intel i5-8600K with an nVidia GTX 1070 and it works great especially since X-Plane implemented Vulkan as an alternative to OpenGL. I regularly get 80+fps. You should be able to get this setup or better for well under $1000.

    I know you didn't ask but I also wanted to share some advice about using X-plane for IFR training.

    First, you should purchase the Reality XP 530 and the X-plane version is not exactly like the real thing. The Reality XP version actually runs off of the Garmin GPS simulator so it's right on in terms of 'buttonology'. I became super comfortable as a result of using the Reality XP 430. If you have between $100-$500 you can even get a USB hardware interface that will function just like the 530. It works incredibly well for the tactile muscle memory part of operating the units. The more expensive have an actual screen and the lower ends don't.

    The second suggestion is to use PilotEdge periodically for your flying. It's a paid ATC service which is exactly like flying in the real world. I think it's $15-20 per month. Excellent for practicing real world communications. The only drawback is the geographic area is limited to the southwestern USA.
    Good Luck and Enjoy!
    Hish
     
  13. flyer770

    flyer770 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    PilotEdge at this point is basically all of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico west to the Pacific. You can get your choice of either the LA Basin-Los Vegas-San Diego area or everything else for $19.95 per month, or $34.95 for everything. Overall not a bad coverage area.