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The Best Laptop for Flight Simulator: fsX, X Plane, FS2004

Updated on March 15, 2016
Cross Country Flying on FSX
Cross Country Flying on FSX | Source

Laptops For Microsoft Flight Simulator and beyond

Because you require portability with your passion for flying. For over two years, I have played Flight Simulator X in my basic Intel HD graphics laptop. Although it wasn't quite an experience, it was still satisfying for me because I got to do what I wanted to do - fly!

For aviation and airplane lovers like us, we are just concerned with planes—no matter where we go, what we do and when we go, we are always looking up in the sky. Some are dreaming of flying a real plane some day, and some are wondering if they will be able to land the plane perfectly in the centerline in their laptop in the flight simulator.

Below are the best laptops found today for running flight simulator games like fsX, FS2004 and X-Plane.

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Just took off in this Boeing 777-200ER aircraft in fsx. My laptop with an i3 processor gives up to 35 frames per second.
Just took off in this Boeing 777-200ER aircraft in fsx. My laptop with an i3 processor gives up to 35 frames per second.

Laptop Requirements for Flight Simulator

What makes a laptop compatible for playing flight simulator games?

For all my life, I have envied YouTubers that upload realistic flight sim videos with frame rates jumping to 50 or more. While almost all of them are on desktop computers, some powerful gaming laptops also provide the frame rates.

Look for:

1. At least 8 GB of RAM

The more, the better. I cannot stress enough why having more memory is important. The more RAM the laptop has, the more data it can cache at a single time, providing realistic details everywhere in the gameplay.

2. At least an Intel i5 processor

Why? Because Flight Simulator is a processor-exhaustive video game. The faster the processor, the faster the frame rates. Even RAM does not matter after a certain point. So, if you're looking for a gaming laptop for fsx, look for a powerful processor such as an Intel i5 or Intel i7.

3. A Dedicated Graphics Card

Let’s face it—the graphics card that comes with a laptop is almost never as powerful as what a desktop counterpart would get. But since we are getting a laptop where we can play, we should get the most powerful one. I would personally look for discrete graphics adapter north of NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M or above. Also, note that you should really be looking for a faster and stronger graphics card than focusing on getting a greater RAM. 8-12 GB of RAM is always enough, so bump up the graphics card.

What fight simulator video game do you play?

What is your favorite Flight Simulator?

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Best 17-inch Gaming Laptop

MSI GE72 Apache-264

MSI GE72 is a premium budget gaming laptop
MSI GE72 is a premium budget gaming laptop

Weighs 6.6 lbs and has the powerful NVIDIA Geforce GTX960M graphics adapter with 2 GB memory. RAM size is 12GB with 1TB of hard disk size.

A true HD screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 on a 17.3-inch display creates a perfect HD screen even at high fps rates. Battery life has been tested to be around 4 hours. Runs Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 with fourth generation Intel i7 processor capable of clocking 3.6 GHz max.

Customization

The specs can be customized in four different forms:

  1. 12GB RAM with a 4th-Gen Intel i7 Processor (Windows 8.1)
  2. 16GB RAM with a 5th-Gen Intel i7 Processor (Windows 8.1)
  3. 16GB RAM with a 5th-Gen Intel i7 Processor (Windows 10)
  4. 16GB RAM with a 5th-Gen Intel i7 Processor (Windows 10 and a GeForce 970 graphics card)

GE72 is MSI's leading "G" series laptop for gaming requirements with 80% buyers voting 5 stars
GE72 is MSI's leading "G" series laptop for gaming requirements with 80% buyers voting 5 stars

Best Features

  • Sturdy Hinge
  • In-built VRAM DDR5 Nvidia GeForce GTX960M graphics (a $220 value)
  • Hard drive can clock 7200 RPM, making gameplay speeds soar (normal disk drives can only reach 5400 RPM)
  • Starts $999

Windows 7 or Windows 8 (or Windows 10)?

There are two versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator X which are not compatible with Windows 8: The Version 10 and the Deluxe edition. Most gamers have gold or standard edition. However, please check before buying a Windows 8 or a Windows 10 laptop.

If you are buying a Windows 7 laptop, there is nothing to worry. Every version of Microsoft Flight Simulator is compatible. For more information and to check the compatibility, visit the Windows Compatibility Center at Microsoft. Refer to their individual OS requirements for other flying video games.

Best 15-inch Gaming Laptop

Acer Aspire V15 Nitro

80% of Acer V15 Nitro users rated it over 4.5 stars
80% of Acer V15 Nitro users rated it over 4.5 stars

The very plus point of Acer Aspire V15 Nitro is its weight combined with the graphics adapter of 4GB. When it released, even laptop experts were amazed to see the perfect desktop replacement for a gaming laptop.

At 5.2 lbs, it is at least 1 lbs lighter than the most powerful gaming laptops while providing double the capacity of the discrete graphics adapter (Nvidia GeForce TX 960M). This massive 4GB of graphics coupled with 8GB of RAM gives off smooth rendering and high frame rates. The only downside is the lack of an SSD drive, but who could blame it for the price? At $1100, Acer Aspire V15 is the best laptop for flight simulator.

Highly Realistic Flight Simulator X Gameplay (video)

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