How to Test My Computer to See If FSX Will Work

by Ned Millis

Microsoft's FSX Flight Simulator is a realistic game format that involves flying a wide range of aircraft on a computer screen. You can start from ground zero and learn to fly by taking flight lessons from a professional flight instructor. If you have flying experience you can fly a variety of missions to expand your skills and experience. Interactive tutorials teach the user every aspect of flying many types of private and commercial aircraft. The game relies on extensive graphics for realism. Several computer elements are required to support the software for it to run smoothly. Test your computer to see if it is equipped to run FSX.

Determine the operating system on your computer. FSX requires Windows XP with Service Pack 2, Windows Vista or Windows 7. Click on the computer "Start" button. Left click on "Control Panel". Find and click on the "System" icon within the control panel. The window that opens will display basic information about your computer. Look for you operating system to be sure it is one of those noted above.

In the same control panel window locate and note the operating speed of your computer. FSX requires a minimum processor with a speed of 1.0 GHz (Gigahertz). The recommended processor speed is 2.0 GHz. A faster processor will open and run FSX faster, with smoother graphics.

In the same control panel window locate and note the random access memory (RAM) available on the computer. FSX will function on the XP SP2 operating system with 256MB (Megabytes) of RAM. Windows Vista and Windows 7 require 512MB of RAM. For optimum operation a full Gigabyte of RAM is recommended.

Left click on the "Start" button then click on the "Computer" button. This will open a new window that displays the drives on your computer. Right click on the OS (C) drive. This opens a scroll down menu. Right click on "Properties" to show the total size of the main drive on your computer, the amount of space already used and the amount of free space available. FSX requires 15 GB (Gigabytes) of hard disk space to store the FSX program.

FSX makes heavy demands on computer video memory. Check the available video memory on your computer. Open the "Control Panel. Double click on "Display". When the display window opens click the "Advanced Settings" button. A new window will show the total available graphics memory on the computer and the system video memory available. FSX requires a minimum of 32MB of video memory to provide smooth graphics.

Your computer will run FSX if it meets all of the system and video requirements noted here.

The final requirement for running FSX is an internal or external DVD drive. This is used to load the FSX programming information on your computer.


  • check You can run FSX using the keyboard and mouse. The flying is more realistic if you use a joystick or a yoke and throttle setup. Visit the PCAviator site listed in the references for optional equipment to enhance FSX.
  • check FSX will run on a small screen desktop or laptop machine. For maximum enjoyment a large plasma screen displays aircraft control panels that are easier to see.

Items you will need

About the Author

Ned Millis has been published in "Tennis Industry Magazine," "Golf Industry Magazine," "Sales Management Magazine" and other trade publications. He is a graduate of Claremont Men's College.

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Photo Credits

  • photo_camera passenger aircraft image by sasha from