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FlightGear 2.6 requirements

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FlightGear 2.6 requirements

Postby Vinura » Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:46 am

What are the basic requirements to run FlightGear smoothly on a Windows computer?

Like what the best CPU speed is, RAM, video RAM, etc.

When I say smoothly, I don't mean lightning smooth, just to run it at around 30 frames per second. Mine seems to be going at around 10 if I'm lucky.
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Re: FlightGear 2.6 requirements

Postby Omega » Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:09 am

Some good CPUs for FG will probably be an intel i5 or i7 as well as AMD Athlon or Phenom, as long as you have a good video card and RAM then it will run smoothly even with a 2-core CPU.

For GPU, make sure the memory is 512+, I'd suggest a 1GB Graphics Card though.

At last, I'd suggest a 4GB+ RAM. I'm right now using an 8GB one and it runs pretty smoothly.
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Re: FlightGear 2.6 requirements

Postby omega95 » Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:28 pm

Omega wrote in Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:09 am:Some good CPUs for FG will probably be an intel i5 or i7 as well as AMD Athlon or Phenom, as long as you have a good video card and RAM then it will run smoothly even with a 2-core CPU.

For GPU, make sure the memory is 512+, I'd suggest a 1GB Graphics Card though.

At last, I'd suggest a 4GB+ RAM. I'm right now using an 8GB one and it runs pretty smoothly.


I just have an Intel C2D (2.4 GHz), 512 MB ATI HD4500 Graphics Card, 2 GB DDR3 RAM and 2 GB Linux Swap (any effect? :| ) and I get around 30 fps on aircraft like the 744, around 20 to 25 on the new 788, around 40 on the c172p, and around 15 on the IAR80... It's fine enough for me. :)
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Re: FlightGear 2.6 requirements

Postby Hooray » Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:11 pm

Just to be on the safe side (i.e. for the next version), I would recommend:

  • minimum 512 dedicated VRAM card (nvidia/ATI chipset), 1024 even better
  • 4gb total RAM minimum, OS should be picked such that at least 2gb remain free for application use, i.e. by FG, some OS (notably Win7 consume TONS of RAM and leave little remaining!) - i.e. 6-8 gb total RAM recommended
  • duo/quad core CPU ~ 2 ghz (i7, 8-core, recommended)
If you want things to be really fast, get a SSD hard disk, too

Those may seem like "extreme" recommendations, but truth be spoken: If you decide to get a computer with such (or similar) specs now, you are unlikely to have to upgrade anytime soon (even if it's a notebook!), certainly in the context of CPU power.

The FlightGear architecture is still such that it isn't very good at using all the hardware power that's commonly available today, especially in the context of multicore platforms: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=9315&p=93556&hilit=#p92954

In fact, I haven't seen any significant FG performance improvements in quite a while,except of course in the graphics department (i.e. shaders). X-Plane is still much better at making use of idle cores than FlightGear currently. So it is pretty safe to say that modern hardware that you buy these days is going to remain usable for future FlightGear versions. OpenGL and shaders are probably going to be the limiting factors here, because FlightGear is making increasing use of these features these days.

BTW: I recently updated the hardware recommendations here: http://wiki.flightgear.org/FlightGear_H ... mendations
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Re: FlightGear 2.6 requirements

Postby Omega » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:30 pm

omega95 wrote in Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:28 pm:I just have an Intel C2D (2.4 GHz), 512 MB ATI HD4500 Graphics Card, 2 GB DDR3 RAM and 2 GB Linux Swap (any effect? :| ) and I get around 30 fps on aircraft like the 744, around 20 to 25 on the new 788, around 40 on the c172p, and around 15 on the IAR80... It's fine enough for me. :)


I got almost the same framerate as you with my old system at medium settings:

CPU: Intel core 2 quad 2.40 GHz
GPU: GeForce 8600GT
RAM: 2GB

But with my new system I get up to 60 FPS low settings or 30 FPS with full graphic settings:

CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1045T 2.70 GHz
GPU: AMD RADEON HD 6450
RAM: 8GB

So it mostly depends on your FlightGear graphics rendering setup.
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Re: FlightGear 2.6 requirements

Postby Vinura » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:53 am

I'm looking at getting one of these computers:



http://dicksmith.com.au/product/XC7932/ ... x-notebook


Would it be suitable for FG to run at at least 60 fps?
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Re: FlightGear 2.6 requirements

Postby Omega » Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:12 pm

Vinura wrote:Would it be suitable for FG to run at at least 60 fps?

Yes, if you are at low or medium settings.
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Re: FlightGear 2.6 requirements

Postby Hooray » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:15 pm

When buying hardware that is to be specifically used with FG, it is generally a pretty good idea to directly test FG with the hardware. For example, when buying a notebook, you could get a live CD/DVD (or USB memory stick) and boot up FG to see how it performs. You can go to susestudio.com and download the FG 2.60 ISO image there.
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Re: FlightGear 2.6 requirements

Postby omega95 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:12 am

Hooray wrote in Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:15 pm:When buying hardware that is to be specifically used with FG, it is generally a pretty good idea to directly test FG with the hardware. For example, when buying a notebook, you could get a live CD/DVD (or USB memory stick) and boot up FG to see how it performs. You can go to susestudio.com and download the FG 2.60 ISO image there.


Wait, are you saying that like the original GParted, you can START UP the Computer with FlightGear alone?! That'd be amazing! I could simply use just FG and not have the rest of Ubuntu running, that'd be sure to increase frame-rate. :P
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Re: FlightGear 2.6 requirements

Postby Hooray » Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:57 pm

That's the idea of a live CD/DVD - the virtual appliance (VMDK) will need to be run under VMWare though.
Using "unetbootin" you can also easily put an ISO CD/DVD image on a bootable USB memory stick, so that you can simply boot FG like this.

Regarding Ubuntu and frame rates: What I have often been doing is simply adding another fgfs user with a much more lightweight desktop (i.e. xfce or lxde) so that there's no KDE/GNOME bloat loaded when running FG.
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Re: FlightGear 2.6 requirements

Postby JinJin » Sat May 26, 2012 2:11 pm

You can get something like the Radeon HD 7750 ($100 USD). Laptops like the MSI GE70 0NC, GT685, GT783-625US, and GX780R-024CS are all are decent performers.
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Re: FlightGear 2.6 requirements

Postby vtty0 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:40 am

Not sure about 2.6.0 but I've tried FG 2.4.0 on netbook Asus EE PC 1201N: CPU Intel Atom N330, GPU NVidia 9400M, RAM DDR2 2G, OS Debian Wheezy with window manager LXDE. FG works with around 15 FPS at KSFO with thunderstorm (3D effects, shaders, improvements, random objects turned off) and Cessna-172P aircraft.

Assuming FG 2.4.0 looks very friendly to use old hardware. :-)
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