My Hardware, Cockpit and Hardware Reviews

For the reference use, I’ll post here my hardware and configuration for P3D (previously FSX).

Basically, my configuration consists of a single computer for P3D and general stuff. And no, I have zero problems with it considering the hardware.

My main computer:

  • Motherboard: ASUS Rampage VIII Hero
  • CPU: Intel i7 6700K @ 4.8gHz
  • GPU: Nvidia GTX 980 4GB
  • RAM: 16GB G.Skill Triden Z CL16 3600Mhz
  • Storage: 4x Samsung Pro SSD
  • Sound: Onboard + Focusrite Forte (external)
  • PSU: Corsair AX860
  • Cooling: custom built watercooling (CPU: Swiftech Apogee XT; Pump: Swiftech MCP50X; Radiator: Mo-Ra 2 Pro with 5x low noise Noctua P12 fans at 5V)
  • Peripherals: Keyboard: Logitech K800; Mouse: Logitech G700; Headset: Sennheiser PC166 USB
  • Monitor: 1x Catleap Q270 LED IPS 2560×1440
  • Speakers: Genelec 2.1 Soundsystem
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro

Flight Simulation Hardware:

  • Joystick: Microsoft Force Feedback 2
  • Yoke: PFC Cirrus Saab Yoke (Desktop version)REVIEW
  • Throttles: 2x Saitek Throttle Quadrant and PFC Multi Engine Throttle Quadrant Old Baron Style + Two Engine Jet with GA Button addon REVIEW
  • Pedals: MFG Crosswind
  • GoFlight MCP Pro + EFIS REVIEW

All my simulation hardware is ran and configured via FSUIPC – this is one and only key on having a successful hardware configuration in FSX and P3D across installations. Never again have problems with assigning new hardware after reinstall, hardware change or computer change. My controllers in P3D are DISABLED.

Additionally, FSForce2 for both FSX and P3D provides unsurpassed force feedback effects for the MSFF2.

My view changes are ALL handled by external hardware: EZDok being a center of the whole thing, I am not using internal sim assignments at all. My keyboard buttons 1-0 are mapped to various EZDok views, which are configured each separately for each aircraft as I wish them be. For example: PMDG 737 NGX 1: main, 2: MCP, 3: lights OH, 4: FMC, 5: lower pedestal (radio) etc. This gives me the quickest access to all important views while flying. Additionally I can pan around with the mouse in each view by just pressing a mouse-button (mapped to the V-key), free look around mode configured by EZDok.

Furthermore, I got me a G13 to give me those functions on the keyboard like alt+enter for full screen or GSX view only one key. Including the ability to fast change the chase closer-further view without change of the zoom (usually ctrl +/- in default P3D) to react much faster – this is not possible with a non-macro keyboard.


186 Responses to My Hardware, Cockpit and Hardware Reviews

  1. henry says:

    thx kosta, before i had a 23 i monitor do u think it would be better to go for smaller? if i would go 2 screens which one would be the smother? later on i would like to invest in the full cockpit with overhead from jetmax keep that in mind as well… any advice thx

    • Kosta says:

      shortly said: get 27inches.
      The sheer size and resolution (get 2560) is something I absolutely love with my 27incher.
      But, know that every step up in the resolution also lowers the FPS. I went from 24inch 1920×1200 to 27inch 2560×1440, and my performance dropped (in a CPU limited situation) for about 20%,
      But I rather take 20% FPS drop than a smaller screen, as the immersion is way bigger.
      If I had 1000€ to trash, I would get a good beamer… however with the beamer you span the 1920 picture onto 4 meters, so it is again questionable… that’s why I said trash. I would still keep the 27incher.

  2. Ray Proudfoot says:

    Hi Kosta, your articles are absolutely brilliant. Thank you. I’ve recently upgraded from a Dell 24″ 1920×1200 display to a Sony Bravia 32″ LED TV at 1920×1080. The immersion factor is far greater and FPS doesn’t suffer as the resolution hasn’t increased. Sure, the image isn’t quite as crisp as with my Dell but the bigger screen more than compensates.

    • Kosta says:

      Thanks Ray,
      Glad you are enjoying my blog!
      I have already been thinking about going to a bigger screen, be that LCD or a beamer. I believe you when you say you don’t miss the resolution at the “expense” of the bigger screen. I wonder if I will let myself try it sometime 😉

      • Ray Proudfoot says:

        I bought a Smart TV so when it needs replacing with an even larger one I can transfer it to my bedroom and get watch FSX training videos on YouTube as well as normal TV.

        I did try a 40″ in the store but that wasn’t practical and also the limited resolution on such a large display might start to look less impressive. Pete Dowson has a projector and together with his 737 cockpit it’s truly wonderful. But he has a huge house and I don’t!

        That G13 unit looks impressive for FS commands. I use GoFlight modules but each only has 6 buttons / switches. The G13 looks ideal for Ezdok use.

      • Kosta says:

        I could make arrangements to have cellar made for flight simulation. Right now I am on the top floor, but when kids come, I guess I will have to make other arrangements (yeah, poor me :P).

        And yeah, G13 is really good with Ezdok. I have my views there, all nicely selectable in the cockpit, many specific views and easy to switch.

  3. Ray Proudfoot says:

    A cellar and then a projector would be ideal with no natural light. 🙂 And the kids would never know about it.

  4. nikos says:

    κωστα δεν ξερω εαν εισαι ελληνας?? εαν εισαι σε παρακαλω πολυ θελω να με βοηθησεις σε καποιες ερωτησεις ασχολουμε με το MSFS απο το fs2 απο το πρωτο που βγηκε ολοκληρωσα με επιτυχια της γνωσεις μου και της πτησης μου με το fs2004.εδω τωρα με το fsx υπαρχουν τεραστια προβληματα εαν σε παρακαλω μπορεις α ασχοληθεις λιγο με καποια ερωτηματα που εχω και αποριες απαντησε μου εαν μπορεις και με ποιο τροπο μπορουμε να τα πουμε ευχαριστω πολυ

  5. Paolo says:

    hi Kosta, I have taken a second Samsung SSD 840 Pro to install P3D 2.0.
    It is better to install on it also a second copy of Win 7 Pro?

  6. Carlos Iescheck Neto says:

    Hi Kosta, may be a stupid question but how did you manage to make the Microsoft Force Feedback 2 joystick to work in WIndows 7 64 bits?

    • Kosta says:

      By connecting it to my USB port – sorry, I can’t give you any better answer. That’s how it is/was.

      • Carlos Iescheck Neto says:

        Sorry Kosta, the question was not properly elaborated. My doubt was whether or not the FFB2 is compatible with Windows 7, natively. I was outdated since all my Microsoft Joysticks are not recognized by Windows 7, but they are not the “2” generation (FFB is the PRO version). Thank you.

  7. Carlos Iescheck Neto says:

    Hi Kosta. I have a Radeon HD5850 plus Core i7 860 @3.80GHz and descent speed 12GB of RAM, Windows 7 64 Ultimate, ASUS MoBo. Recently I purchased a GTX480 also. Installing it on my computer did not provide improvements in the FPS (did not play with image quality by that time) but I did not try yet your very good recommendations (guide). I can see Nvidia is preferred over Radeon, and also the GTX480 is supposed to be a faster GPU. So, should I invest time in tweaking the GTX480 and expect improvements or should I keep the 5850 (and use your guide) and save the 480 for a new computer, with a faster processor? With the 5850 I can get 25-30fps with PMDG 737 or 777 at KSEA, fair wheather at daylight, plus ORBX Global Scenery and REX Essentials but installing ORBX regional (PNW) scenery or airports changes the scenario to a 20-22 FPS and sttutering during take-off and turns. The same with the GTX480 (actually a little slower). Recent add-ons, like the TBM 850 (Carenado´s version is lighter than WIlco´s) worsen things a little bit, tried only with the 5850. Some time ago I could reach a sweet spot by tweaking the fsx.cfg file (around 25-30fps with ORBX regional scenery at ground and 50FPS at 15,000ft, PMDG 737, KSEA area) but had to reinstall FSX and even having a backup of the cfg file I could not get back to the previous condition. By using your guide I hope I get back there. So, what is the Guru´s recommendation? Thank you!

    • Kosta says:

      I have very little experience with such low hardware, I can’t tell you what impact my guide would have on your system, nor how these two GPUs compare. Nvidia has always been better but in this case it doesn’t have to be so.
      The best thing is to try them both. Not even sure that BP=0 is going to work well due to relatively slow GPUs…

  8. Jeroen says:

    Hi Kosta,

    First of all many thanks for your extremely usefull blog !
    It helped me a lot already in the past 🙂

    I have one question and hope you can give me some advise.
    Currently i’m using the nvidia gtx 570 as gpu.
    But I’m thinking about buying a new one.

    Have searched already a lot, but don’t know which is the best for the moment also taken into account that I maybe want to switch to p3d v2 once that platform is more stable, …

    Currently I’m thinking about buying the New gtx 780ti, but do you thinking there is a big difference between the 780ti and the normal780 ?

    Would love to hear your thoughts/advise, which much appreciated !

    Thanks !


    • Kosta says:

      Thank you very much.
      As for the card, looking at the benchmarks, it’s simply faster, but also way more expensive. v2 will benefit from it, but only for the GPU stuff, not the basic sim (see my benchmarks). I would probably get the Ti if I were buying a new card now. The “only” 3GB actually bothers me a little with this card, as I see v2 pushing the VRAM even over 5GB usage… I would seriuosly consider Titan over Ti, OR I would probably wait for the 6GB TI version, it’s announced btw.

      • Jeroen says:

        Hi Kosta,

        Thanks your reply !
        After checking seems the Titan will be for the moment the only card with 6GB VRAM.
        According EVA’s site, 780Ti updated version will remain 3GB VRAM.
        So most probably I will go for the Titan, but hopefully they will reduce the price a little bit in the near future :-).
        Currently I’m only using FSX, maybe in a later stage I will switch to P3D V2.
        Does FSX will also benefit from the Titan card?
        Thanks again for your help & wish you very nice Christmas days ! 🙂

      • Kosta says:

        There is a GPU comparison test testing the Titan on FSX. Make your own conclusion 😉

  9. Kris says:

    Hello, Kosta
    question about Discs drives. I Have Samsung SSD 128GB and 2xWDCaviarBlack 7200rpm 1TB (SATAIII) in RAID0 config. How to instala win7x64 and P3Dv2 (on which drives?)
    SSD for Windows only
    and WDC for P3D,
    or SSD for Windows and P3D but all the addons on WDC ?
    My HW config: i54670K, asrock z87 ext4, 8G RAM, GTX650TiBoost.
    I have home made cocpit so i use p3d in multimode window, also have some home made OVHD and AP panel connected to PC via MJoy16. All this works cocpit works great in fs9 (in old hw), but now I’m switchin to p3d with new HW and want to do the best config.
    Best regards

    • Kosta says:

      Hard to say. I couldn’t decide myself what to do, so I did what most did: 128GB SSD for Windows + 256/512GB SSD for FSX/P3D.
      But if I had to do it, I’d say probably Windows onto SSD.

      • Kris says:

        Yeah, 2 SDD sound great, but I only have one and small SSD (128G) but 2 big WDCaviar Black (2x1T), so I’ll put Win on SDD and P3D on WDC.
        Thanks a lot and Merry Christmas

  10. Mehmet Can says:

    Hello Kosta
    İ want to use fsx at Asus gamebook ,Intel® Core™ i7 , 4700HQ Processor , Windows 8 Pro Intel® HM87 Express Chipset , DDR3L 1600 MHz SDRAM, 32 G , 17.3″ 16:9 FHD EWV LED Backlight/Full HD 3D , 1TB HDD 5400 RPM With 512 GB SSD 
    Any problem waiting for me ?

    • Kosta says:

      What is the GPU in this can? The HDD is slow too, you should look into getting an SSD. For low and slow, easy-on-fps aircraft, it should be fine, provided the GPU supports it.

      • Mehmet Can says:

        GPU : NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5 VRAM
        I will use 512 SSD for FSX

      • Kosta says:

        In that case fine, GPU is enough. However still, the CPU is at lower frequency, so that means nothing else but going for NGX and alike will be hard on frames. It is with 4.5Ghz too, so anything lower won’t be better.

  11. alexplgr says:

    Hello Kosta, i would like to ask you about my hardware,i have ASUS P8 Z68 V-PRO–I7 2600K 4.5 Ghz — RAM 16 GB 1600 MHZ–(ASUS GTX 580 without overclock.)
    My question is about the RAM. i will change my Ram and i dont know what frequency it will be ok i thing about 2000 mhz,that is ok?

    • Kosta says:

      If I am not mistaken, you can’t run 2000mhz on the Z68 (please look it up in the motherboard manual). I think 1866 or 2133 is possible only. Get the RAM speed that the mobo can run. However, I do wonder why you are upgrading your RAM…

  12. alexplgr says:

    Thanks Kosta,
    I would like to upgrade my RAM just to help FSX to run better,i dont know if i will get better performance.What u propose ,is it better higher CPU overcloking.2)To upgrade RAM to 2133 MHz or both more cpu overcloking and 2133 MHz RAM

    I have anather question,if i have higher frequency RAM,for example 2133 MHz ,this can help for better cpu overcloking

    • Kosta says:

      “I would like to upgrade my RAM just to help FSX to run better,i dont know if i will get better performance.”
      I am pretty sure that the performance boost will be either none or very minimal.

      “What u propose ,is it better higher CPU overcloking.2)To upgrade RAM to 2133 MHz or both more cpu overcloking and 2133 MHz RAM ”
      A bit of a stupid question. Of course the best thing is both! CPU overclocking is what brings the most out of the sim, and RAM simply helps with higher CPU clocks. But doing RAM overclocking or buying new RAM is a futile attempt, without CPU overclocking.

      “I have anather question,if i have higher frequency RAM,for example 2133 MHz ,this can help for better cpu overcloking”
      Not as much as you would expect, the CPU will overclock with 1600Mhz RAM too, but the potential might be somewhat higher. You have the 2600K at 4.5 already, so going to 4.8 or 5.0 will 1) degrade your CPU quicker than at 4.5 2) usually require way more voltage than 4.5 3) require way better cooling.
      The result of 4.5 -> 4.8 (5.0 which is very unlikely) is NOT going to yield much higher FPS, we are talking 10% in best case, if even that much. So, if you get 20fps in a heavy situation, you will get 22fps after the whole ordeal. Really want to go through with that?

      So, what is your current cooling? What is your current vCore under load? What are your temperatures under load?

      The only viable and probably fruitful solution is going 4770K, de-lidding it, putting watercooling/phasechange on it, overclocking to 5.0 with very high Vcore (with an risk-acceptance that the CPU won’t live long), and then you will be seeing >>maybe<< 20-30% boost.

      And then the GPU also has to be taken into consideration, what if you run into cloudy situation and your AA is high, 660 won't carry the load.

  13. Peter Sotneham says:

    Hi Kosta. Thanks very much for everything – your hardware tweaks made it a completely new sim experience for me.

    My question is about MS Force Feedback Pro 2 joystick: I use FSX Gold, your HW tweaks & Win 7 64-bit. Drivers installed fine. However, using 100% settings in-game, the MSFF2 joystick feel is sloppy and has weak, undefined feeling. I use Logitech G25 in race sims and am used to tweaking FF settings and .cfg/.ini files. It feels like it needs force effects reversed to me.

    Is there any fsx.cfg settings you recommend? I don’t have FSUIPC, but am willing to buy. Can I configure the force feedback settings in FSUIPC? Is there anything I need to do in fsx.cfg?



    • Kosta says:

      I understand you are using FF2 with native FSX forces? If so, that sucks. Seriously sucks.
      My suggestion is to use FSUIPC to configure how much and what reacts in FSX, it is much more precise and you can set it up better, and then use FSForce to define forces. The joystick will become more still (for the lack of the better wording), and it will have certain forces better defined.
      There is no cfg mod you can apply here, as I saif, FF in FSX default S-U-C-K-S 😉

  14. Peter Stoneham says:

    HI Kosta – thanks very much – that is just what I wanted to know. I forgot about FSForce. Yes, I was using native FSX for all controller setup, but my setup was simple – actually my Cougar HOTAS & TM pedals w/ minimal configuration. When I read you used a MSFFB2, I bought one on ebay as possible replacement. I will buy FSUIPC and FSForce & give it a try.

    Thanks again for the fast reply & good info. Also again for the excellent HW tweaks – they changed everything in this sim for me. I had given up on FSX because of poor FPS & video performance. Now I fly it all the time.


  15. CalebW says:

    Hi Kosta, your guides are fantastic it’s made a massive improvement to my FSX. I wanted to ask about overclocking FSX, I managed to overclock my i7 4770k to 4.3Ghz, however when I fire up fsx I see no marked improvement is my multiplayer to low? I am also using a corsair H-80i many thanks!

    • Kosta says:

      Thank you.
      If you have 4.3Ghz, then you should maybe describe in what situation you don’t see any improvement? Multiplier has nothing to do with performance. It raises the clock.
      And I don’t need to know what cooler you use, but rather what your Tmax is on full 4-core Prime95 load after something like 30minutes…

  16. CalebW says:

    Hi Kosta,thanks, my Tmax after about an hour on p95 is 79c with a Vcore of 1,22. After about 6hrs though I do get a BSOD. My CPU ring multi is 3000mhz and ring voltage on auto. Everything else is also, as I’ve been told haswell doesn’t need much adjusting. Also new to overclocking!

    • CalebW says:

      Everything else in bios is left auto, I don’t see frame improvement in FSX, with or without addon aircraft and scenery. I’m presuming I’m really going wrong somewhere

    • Kosta says:

      You should *not* be getting a BSOD at *any* given point! Not 6 hours, not 6 days, not 6 seconds. What is a CPU ring and ring voltage?? Are you overclocking in Windows???
      You might have been told various things, but there is one truth and one truth ONLY: the real overclocking, the most stable and reliable one, is done in BIOS, by giving the system settings on the BIOS level to make the CPU stable.
      For a dirty and fast overclocking, like you did, in Windows (which I am guessing from what you wrote), is something I would never *ever* touch! But if it’s stable, well, I guess it does the work. AND, it doesn’t mean the CPU performs badly, only possibly unstable like you discovered.

      You still did not answer: how do you set up your FSX to see for any FPS improvement?

  17. CalebW says:

    Hi Kosta, I’m not overclocking in Windows,I’m overclocking in the UEFI bios,all I’m changing is the CPU frequency multiplier and voltage, from what I’ve read people have suggested on forums to change the CPU ring frequency and ring voltage. But I haven’t changed any of that.

    The improvements I’ve made to my fsx.cfg are:
    Sliders medium high,autogen full,traffic 0.

    I would really appreciate the help!
    Thanks again!

    • Kosta says:

      You still fail to explain a simple question:
      How do you set up your FSX to see for any FPS improvement?

  18. CalebW says:

    Hi Kosta,when I say I see no improvement I mean whilst overclocking. Maybe I made it sounded confusing, following your guide I see improvement in FPS over default FSX settings (with the changes listed in previous answer). But while overclocking, the FPS is still the same as if I wasn’t overclocking in the first place. And while I am overclocking I don’t make any changes to FSX? Are you needing me to list my fsx settings? Hope this helps

    • Kosta says:

      I did understand what you mean. You overclock and you see no benefit in FSX…

      So let me put my stupid question into more stupid and blunt questions 🙂
      What is your FPS set to in FSX while doing comparisons?
      What situation are you using, what aircraft, airport, addon, whatever needs to be put here?
      Then yes, list all the FSX settings, but please a short selfwritten list, do not post the CFG.
      Then list the Nvidia Inspector settings you have, if same as mine, just leave it and tell me its like that.
      What is your CPU-Z reported speed when at idle and what is the speed when static in FSX at some airport?
      What is your GPU-Z load on the GPU when doing that same above scenario?
      Is your HT off or on?
      And what is your GPU anyway???

  19. CalebW says:

    Hi Kosta as requested:

    FPS set unlimited in FSX
    Tested PMDG 737NGX,UK2000,ORBX Global,REX4,Day,clear skies, no wind, viz unlimited

    FSX settings:
    Graphics: filtering antisotropic with AA,global text high,lens flare
    Aircraft: ultra high, a/c casts shadows on ground and self
    Scenery: LVL detail large,mesh comp 100%,mesh res 76m,water eff 2.x, scen comp very large,autogen dense,special eff high
    Weather: cloud dist 70mi,detail clouds,coverage density max
    Traffic: airline 0%,GA 40%,airport traffic Low,road 20%,ships 11%, boats 11%

    Nvidia inspector – same as yours 🙂
    CPU-Z reads 4300Mhz idle, same speed at airport and static
    GPU-Z reads: load- 30-33% MCU 3

    HT – ON
    GPU: GTX 650 MSI 1GB

    Really hope this helps!! I do apologize for my misunderstanding
    Thanks Kosta

    • Kosta says:

      Well, one of the first things I can tell you is that cars and traffic seriously eat up the CPU.

      The 2nd thing is, you completely missed (or you didn’t read into detail) a segment about affinity mask, hyper-threading and setting it correctly! Please reread. And while at that, you should really read the whole document, and not just set what I have. That brings troubles. I mean that honestly.

      First set the AM correctly (I’ll let you calculate it after reading the doc 🙂 ) and then test with and without OC again. It is virtually impossible that you see no boost in FSX, since with NGX you are definitely CPU limited. And then tell me what is your FPS before and after OC. It must remain the SAME situation. Same zoom, same place, same aircraft, no clouds, same addons, ALL.

  20. CalebW says:

    Hi Kosta,

    Great re-read AM and used the calculator and set 84 for HT on. And set Vsync tweak and locked my fps to 30, and already noticing how smooth my fsx is, no stutters or blurries! Even with VC mode fps does drop but doesn’t stutter or lag! Will let you know how overclock,will keep reading the guide once again, and let you know goes many thanks again!

  21. Rob says:

    Hi Kosta,
    I know you probably don’t use it any more, but I was wondering if you could run a dead zone test for me on your Saitek yoke [only if you still have the drivers installed] or perhaps anyone else who reads this and has the Saitek pro flight yoke.

    With the pc up and running, plug the yoke usb in. Call up the Saitek cp and observe that any dead zone is evenly centred around the yokes at-rest position.
    Then without unplugging the usb, either put the computer to sleep and wake it up, or restart the computer, or switch it off and restart it. Go to the cp again and observe that the dead zone is now not centred and has moved fully to the pitch up and roll left side of centre.

    I have been cooking up a simple circuit to overcome the dead zone issue but have been thwarted to some extent by this ‘offsetting of the dead zone’ behaviour.
    I’ve posted this issue in their forum
    but it seems to be a bit of an empty car park over there with only the odd tumbleweed blowing through it! 🙂

    • Kosta says:

      You are right, neither using it nor owning it any more. Hope someone else can help.
      Btw. when I was using, there was some post on Saitek forums about removing some registry entries that might help with the issue.
      I can’t tell you the name of the thread, but if you do some searching, I am sure the thread will pop up. Search for calibration, registry, and it was back in 2007 or about.

      • Rob says:

        Cheers Kosta, had a bad feeling I might hit a cliff here….CFIT…. 🙂
        I’ve also read about reg keys, will hunt around again.
        btw, have you ever had a chance to try out any force feedback yokes?

      • Kosta says:

        These reg-keys supposedly hold the initial configuration of the joysticks and/or controllers, it’s something windows creates, as far as I can remember. Happy hunting.

        No, never tried them, but there is something you should keep your mind open about:
        Very cool concept and if it works as advertised, will most probably kill any other desktop yoke on the market, including PFC. Especially at the price.

  22. Rob says:

    Hi Kosta,
    Finally figured out the truth with the Saitek as per my updated thread on their forum.
    I found the reg keys thread [2007] but nope, that doesn’t fix anything, it only ‘appears’ to fix but that’s only because the usb was unplugged and re-plugged with the pc running.

    Yes, I had seen that irisdynamics yoke, looks real interesting!
    Are you still using the saab yoke? Is it free of dead zone?

    • Kosta says:

      Now that you posted the link I did a quick search. Take a look here:

      • Rob says:

        Yeah that’s the one, doesn’t get you anywhere. The only reason it initially seems to fix is because the usb was unplugged and re-plugged, not the deletion of the keys.
        As soon as you sleep/wake or restart the computer, your back in the same boat as has been observed by others on that forum.

        But now that I know what’s going on, I can get back to the hangar and fix my sloppy ailerons! 🙂

      • Kosta says:

        Ok, sorry, don’t know what else to suggest.
        Btw. the Pfc works perfectly, also coming from sleep. Never had any troubles.

  23. Rob says:

    Hey no probs Kosta, I now know what to do to tame the beast! 🙂

  24. Alfons says:

    Hi Dear Kosta ,

    What do you think about my selected Hardware which I’m going to use for P3D v.2 ?

    Main :

    -(Gigabyte)–> GA-Z97X-SOC FORCE

    CPU :

    -Intel Core i7-4790K

    GPU :

    – (Gigabyte)–> Nvidia Geforce GTX 770 OC WF 3X 2GB GDDR5

    RAM :

    – G.Skill Ares 2×4= 8 GB DDR3 2133MHz CL9

    HDD :

    – (Western Digital) –> Caviar Black 64MB SATA6.0Gb/s 7200RPM 1TB

    CPU Fan :

    – (Thermal Right)–> Air Cooler: Silver Arrow SB-E Extreme

    PSU :

    – 750W (OC Series)

    • Kosta says:

      Should be fine regarding the CPU/GPU/MEM.
      But WHY, OH WHY do you (or generally people) always choose a SINGLE HDD DRIVE for an FSX system? Didn’t I give a good explanation in my guide on how the hardware should look? Don’t get me wrong, but I get often the same kind of post. You take hardest choice on hardware, but then you poo-out on the drive. Days of HDDs for operating systems and general usage are OVER. SSD is a way to go. It’s a standard, it’s reasonably priced and no matter how “good” the HDD is, it will never replace an SSD.
      HDD is only for data. Photos, music, videos, documents, but NOT productive system storage.
      So yes, I think it’s a kinda shitty setup based on the drive choice – the HDD will pull it down SO much, that the rest of the hardware almost won’t matter. Put two nice SSDs in it, 256GB for Windows and 512GB for FSX, or at least 128 for win and 256 for FSX, and you’ll have a happy running system.
      Alright? 🙂

      • Alfons says:

        Thanks dear Kosta for the reply .

        First I should say that I will run P3D instead of FSX .

        And about the Hard Disc Drive I should say that I don’t know the reason why others choose HDD , but my only reason is the “PRICE” , because I don’t live in the U.S. and Solid State Drives are still SUPER EXPENSIVE in my Country .

        For example , if I’d like to buy a 128GB for Windows and a 256GB for P3D , then I should pay 4 times the price of the HDD I chose and the price of two SSDs would be equal to the price of my GPU .

        By the way , I replaced my RAM with “G.Skill TridentX 8GB DDR3 2400MHz CL10” .

      • Kosta says:

        Sorry for the overreaction a little bit. I’m under a lot of pressure lately, including my kid coming somewhere this week, so…
        Anyway, I guess the price is always the reason, however so is the performance. Here one pays around 80€ for the 128GB, and about 120€ for the 256GB, simply over Amazon Germany.
        If you are from where your IP is saying you are from, you are in Europe too, so you should be able to order from any Amazon too. Or am I mistaken?

  25. Alfons says:

    Dear Kosta ,

    It’s O.K.

    You don’t need to say Sorry !

    I live in the Middle East ( Not Europe ) . We have to change our IP because some Homepages are banned by our government . For example “” is also banned and I have to change my IP , if I would like to read your Articles and ask questions .

    So , as you said , you should pay 200 Euro for those two SSDs .

    200 Euro = 270.47 USD

    After doing a Calculation regarding our Currency and based on the rate of exchange , I should pay 406$ for those two SSDs !

    406 USD = 300.20 Euro

    That’s TOO MUCH in my Country .

    So , I prefer to pay that price for my GPU .

    By the way , Do you still think that the same GPU as mine but with 4GB Memory would be better for P3D (version 2.21) ?

    • Kosta says:

      OK, those really are steep prices. 2GB is cutting it short for P3D. It will virtually eat your RAM. 4GB is definitely a way to go.

      • Alfons says:

        Dear Kosta ,

        A friend of mine recommended GTX 780 for P3D , since he’s gotten much better results with this Card compared with GTX 770 .

        I’ve also heard that GTX 770 uses the same chip (GK104) as GTX 680 . In other words , it’s an overclocked GTX 680 . GPUs that use GK114 chip at the moment are Titan and GTX 780 .

        Would you prefer GTX 770 OC because of its higher Clock speed and 1GB more VRam or GTX 780 OC because of its higher texture and pixel rate and more render output Processors ?

        Keep in mind that I use P3D v 2.21 .

      • Kosta says:

        The recommendation is good. Fast card and lots of memory is what P3D needs. The best choice is the new Titan. But also the most expensive too.

        However do keep in mind too that P3D is still very CPU intensive, so if you go easy on GPU stuff like shadows and lighting, you will find yourself CPU limited VERY quickly.

  26. Alfons says:

    Dear Kosta ,

    I’ve chosen Intel Core i7-4790K as the CPU .

    Which Brand of GPU would you prefer ?

    – Asus GTX 780 OC DCII 3GB GDDR5


    – Gigabyte GTX 780 OC WF 3X 3GB GDDR5

  27. w says:

    Kosta says:
    “13/12/2013 at 07:32

    I have very little experience with such low hardware”

    Umm I run a ATI 7700 ($80) on a I5 3750K ($200), running FSX and XP. My entire rig was under $800-including mouse, monitor (24 in) etc.. I strive for 60 FPS and will get that usually with certain aircraft and scenery. Orbx is crap for frame rate–I’m not sure why peopl like it so much–OrbX doesnt care about frames at all. There is freeware out there that rival Orbx that is great on frames–so OrbX is soing something wrong. Some Carenado are great, some are bad. Both the Carenado TBM and Wilco TBM are horrible on both fps and memory, especially the Wilco. Other Wilco such as the Phenom are great–one of my favorite planes.

    Anyway the moral of this story is, you CAN indeed get 60 FPS with a medium processor and a cheap GPU. with my set up I can guarantee all addons even with Orbx still run at about 30 fps. I don’t need “high” hardware for these things. It is a combo of overclocked processor (not too much 4.1 Ghz) and a highly tweaked fsxcfg and a frame limiter.

    My recommendations for great FPS friendly aircraft with great looks are: Carenado Baron and Bonanzas except the A36, and my personal favorite is the Carenado AC11 (Commander 114). Note, these do not have glass cockpits, for that I like the Wilco Phenom, and Majestic Dash 8 come in close seconds. Also, The Australian Sim Glasair and Ant’s Tecnams are good too. Avoid Wilco TBM, Carenado Cirrus, Carenado T182 HD, Caren TBM, Caren Seneca V.

    • Kosta says:

      Well, if you can’t afford a better computer, I understand you being pissed at ORBX and their FPS. They deliver top-of-the-line sceneries, they look and perform great on modern computers.
      Of course you can get 60fps with a low hardware, I never said you can’t. I had E6600 and GTX285, and I was able to achieve 60fps, by using the default scenery and sliders much left. That’s not the point of my post. Point being: I use and tweak on strong CPUs and GPUs, because my tweaking method requires a strong Nvidia card.
      And btw., your CPU ain’t THAT weak… it’s basically all that FSX requires, if you don’t use high or any Antialiasing.

  28. simon says:

    were did you find the pluings for g13?

  29. Simnut99 says:

    Love your system pics, How much did it all cost?
    My estimate from your pics and description would be 9 thousand bucks at least

    • Kosta says:

      I really cannot say how much, I never put it on paper really, and I am not sure I really want to 🙂
      But when you count in all parts like computer-parts, screens, water-cooling, accessories, flightsim-hardware and all software, I reckon you quickly approach 10k.
      I did however get many things quite cheap, like my monitor didn’t cost even $300, from Korea… but that’s another story 😉

  30. samaritan0 says:

    Hello Kostas,
    I was wondering if you have a guide on how to setup the Logitech G13 with P3D or FSX? I am specifically looking to use the little joystick on the G13 as a Hat Switch and I have not been able to do it. Searching in google brings me to “a v s i m” but it looks like they erase all your content.

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