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721 of 750 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 20, 2009
Flight simulation for your PC just doesn't get any better than this. Microsoft has been at this for a long time, and they make it better with every release.

A few things seasoned flight simmers will know that new users will certainly WANT to know are:

The system requirements to really make this software work well are dauntingly advanced. You'll need something approaching a top-level gaming machine, with a huge video card, to get the full benefit of the entire visual, audible, advanced controls experience. Got a laptop you think is pretty smokin'? Forget it.

Microsoft follows every release of this product with massive service packs you must download and install, and each one takes a huge chunk out of your hard drive. Be prepared with LOTS of disk space. This particular release (meaning, the "Gold Edition") includes service packs one and two, so you won't need to download them.

An internet connection is required to register the product.

A note to real pilots (I am also a pilot): Keep in mind that this is a $30 product for a home computer, not a Flight Safety training machine. The flight model is basic and stable, and is not intended to simulate extreme attitudes and emergency procedures. If you're looking for a realistic spin trainer, or a procedural instrument trainer there are expensive add-ons that will get you CLOSE, but you should generally be looking elsewhere.

Bottom line is that this is, hands down, the best of the lot, but you really DO need vast hardware resources to run it. If you own those resources, be prepared for a real-time, audio-visual feast.
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178 of 196 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2009
Fun once you've downloaded the three disks. There are over 5,000 Airports, 30 planes plus three if you buy The Gold Version, and Loads of Missions to fly. My Favorite Feature is Free Play. You can take off from your Hometown Airport or any other and vist landmarks like The Egyption Pyramids, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Niagra Falls. You can download any plane you want online like UFO's, Futureristic Fliying Cars, and my favorite, a Thunder Bird version F-16. I love this game. Make sure you buy a controler like A Saitek X52 joystick and throttle. This game is unplay able witout one.
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488 of 553 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2010
As a Pilot, I bought this version because it included the G-1000 glass cockpit. The G-1000 simulator from Garmin is $119, FSX was only $34.95.

So, overall, I got what I wanted. I was very disappointed that MS decided to dumb down the flight physics even more than in FS9. Lot's of silly things too: For example, the left turning tendency is pronounced in a single engine propellor aircraft. This is caused by Torque, P-Factor, Gyroscopic precession and slipstream. Why do the 2 and 4 engine Commercial Jets in FSX also require heavy right rudder on take-off? They are immune to these forces. (They don't have props!) Stalls are so subtle and gentle as to be pointless, FSX wings never drop and full recovery is possible without relieving back pressure on the stick. FSX Planes will not spin, even when forced into cross-controlled flight. It's impossible to get the spin started and spin recovery; one of the most important basic flight skills to master, is impossible to properly simulate in FSX. Forward slips don't work properly and the glide ratios (at least for 172's) are ridiculously exaggerated (maybe I'm flying really "dirty" planes in real life?). I was also disappointed that there are no physics included to simulate the F-18 breaking the sound barrier. :(

It's great for learning instrumentation and navigation, but as a simulation of flight; it is pretty useless. The things this simulator lets you get away with (Yes, on Full Realism) would kill you several times per day in a real aircraft.

Graphics are good, but not the quantum leap you would expect from FS9-FSX (I'm running a quad core i7 940 at 2.93ghz, 6gb ram and a nVidia GTX-260 and have pretty much everything set to medium. Even set that low, NYC can knock me down to 6 FPS.

Buy it for fun, or to experiment with cockpit instumentation (it's really good for that, especially for student pilots training in G-1000 equipped aircraft), but don't fool yourself into believing that it is as Real As It Gets, because it flies like a video game.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2010
I'm using MS Flight Sim with a CH Yoke to practice cockpit procedures as I work through my pilot instrument rating. I'm only using the 172 in the Sim. I set it up to keep practicing in zero visibility, 5000 ft at GQE VOR NW of M01, the airport I normally fly out of.

The simulation of cross winds, VOR operation, compass acceleration - deceleration and turning errors, operation of the cockpit controls is faithful to what I see in the real airplane. I believe its saving me 100s of dollars to practice cognitive and interpretation skills before going out and spending big bucks flying them in a real airplane, when I'm much busier. It's been great for basic maneuvers, flying VOR radial intercepts, and holds.

I can't log the time, but it is better than sitting in an empty room using an imaginary airplane. The ability to review the ground track and altitude control afterwards is really helpful too. Of course it doesn't feel exactly like an airplane, it's my desk, and it drives me nuts the GPS always operates track up, but I just fly it, it's great. I operate dual screen, it's easy to set up a side window if I want, but I don't use for VFR at all. The scenery is off.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2009
I got this product a couple weeks ago, and finally had a chance to use it. I had hoped/expected to be able to have Flight Sim 2004 and Flight Sim X on the same machine at the same time. No such luck. However, after using X for a few days, I doubt I'd use 2004 much, anyway.

Observations: More missions, more planes, and if you have the Deluxe Version (Gold includes Deluxe and the Accelerator) you can fly with a glass cockpit, which is the wave of the future for aviation.

In 2004, I had to move the instrument panel down to see much sky out the windshield, and then move it up to check the switches and flap indicator. With X, the panel is fixed, but you can select several additional views of the instrument panel just be selecting that view from the View drop down menu. I like to fly with the switch panel displayed, but that obscures the G-1000 soft keys.

Flight Sim 2004 also had the W key, which cycles through views, but I never really used it. I need to use the W key in X, because the primary G-1000 display takes up 3/4s of the display, which is leaves enough sky for takeoff and cruise, but not enough for landing. The first W press gives me the landing view, which is about 1/2 the screen as windshield. That's almost enough for landing. The second W press gives you a full exterior view, except for the 6 pack of steam gauges (vacuum), and the third gives you a full exteriour view, no gauges. The fourth press brings you back to the original display.

After I had it installed, and was flying, the simulator seemed to be unstable because it would stop responding properly, would crash, or would just exit with mo warning. I researched the problem on the Microsoft Web site, and found that turning some services off would solve the problem. I ended up completely unchecking one box, and in the second tab, left all the Microsoft services on, and turned a few select non Microsoft services off. That seemed to solve the problem.

I have a seriously fast machine. Its not the ultimate, but it has a quad core Xenon (I think) Intel processor running at 2.66 GHz, 9 G bytes of RAM, a recent high end N-Vidia Graphics card. In fact, the game rating for my computer is 5.9. Flight Sim X's minimum is 3.0 and the recommended rating is 5.0. I have the graphics mostly on medium high, and yet the frame rate is low enough I see jerkiness.

I have all the controls set to maximum sensitivity, with no null spots. When I tried to do a run-up with full power, the brakes wouldn't hold the plane. You need to do that to check mags before the flight. Also, I can't see the ailerons move, and can barely see the rudder move.

I'm using the older USB CH Products yoke and rudder pedals. From what I've read, the newer yoke is easier to use, but I'm working on practicing division of attention, so I don't want the plane to be well trimmed so I learn not to pay too much attention to everything.

So, I'm glad I bought this product, even though its not perfet.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2010
I have enjoyed PC flight sims as long as I've had a computer. The first one I had was Chuck Yeager's Flight Trainer and that was back in the 1980's. Needless to say, the technology has evolved by leaps and bounds since then but the thrill of flight is still the same. FSX is first and foremost a beautiful looking recreational flight sim GAME. It is not a super-realistic flight trainer or anything of the sort. The flight characteristics are still very realistic, the real-time weather is a cool feature, but the missions (from the starting tutorials to the more difficult flights) are where you'll find the real meat of the game as you start out in an ultralight and advance to jumbo jets and fighter planes. I was not impressed by the variety of aircraft included (luckily the Gold edition adds the P-51, one of my favorites), but there are enough to keep you entertained for a while and supposedly you can download more online (I haven't had much luck, though).

Free Flight mode is fun, since you can take off from nearly anywhere in the world (including our local landing strip out here in the sticks) and explore on your own. The view is not true-to-life, but the roads and rivers and terrain is accurate. I was hoping for a satellite view, similar to what you would see in Google Earth, but this is nowhere close. You basically get a generic landscape based on the climate you're in and a generic town/city layout when you're flying over a populated area. More famous locations like Las Vegas, New York, etc are much more detailed. There is also a racing mode that is very challenging once you master the controls of the acrobatic planes.

There are many concerns about what sort of PC power it takes to run this game. I've got mine running at max detail on most settings and it runs very smooth, even in the cities. This is using an Intel i3-550 dual core @ 3.2 ghz, nVidia GTS-450 1gig video card, 8gig RAM on Windows 7 Pro. That isn't really a high-end machine by todays standards, but certainly is no slouch. FSX does not come close to using all of that RAM, though, and I think 4gig would be plenty. I was disappointed, though, that the game would not play in wide-screen. Instead it resizes itself to a normal 4:3 window on my wide-screen monitor.

Overall, this is a very enjoyable casual game that anyone of any age would enjoy if they are interested in aircraft and flight.
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44 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2009
If you are a student pilot you are going to love this game! It helped me on my VFR pilot training. Now that I'm thinking about getting my instrument rating, I know this software is going to help me a lot as well! You have to have a very good graphics card on your system to fully enjoy it.
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 6, 2010
As a kid, our family owned one of the first IBM PCs, and MS Flight Simulator version 1! Over the years, I've bought each new version of Flight Simulator and usually I bought a new PC to fly it. When FS-X came out, I don't think there was a PC on the planet that could fly FS-X with all the settings on max. (Well, maybe Microsoft had some, and maybe a few people built their own machines that came close, but I'm still not sure that in Oct 2006 when X first came out, that flying the simulator with all settings maxed out was a good experience for anyone). Almost everyone's review says the same thing, basically, "you will need a very powerful PC and a huge/fast graphics card, lots of memory, etc..."

But the question remained, just how much of a PC do you need if you want a good experience with all the settings maxed out? A few weeks ago, I took delivery of a new PC with:

* Intel Quad Core i7-920 2.66GHz
* ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics card (1GB of memory on the video card)
* 12GB tri-channel 1066 memory on the mother board
* Windows 7 Pro (64bit)
* A 7200rpm 1TB Hard drive

And yes, now I can max out all the settings in Flight Sim X and still get 20-30 frames per second, very smooth! In populated cities (with all the settings on Max, and I do mean all) you will see frame rates at times like 15-20 but the planes are still very flyable, and it's not too jerky).

I am not over clocking my CPUs, and even though I know we can get faster CPUs, I do believe the Intel Core i7 920 2.66GHz processor is fast enough for most of us to get FS-X running well -- but only if you also get a very large and fast video card. In my case, the manufacturer of my PC (the one in Texas) offered a few graphics cards, and I just got the biggest one they had (some of you know you that you can put 2 video cards - connected, in a PC for a lot of money, but I don't think that's needed for this simulator). I'm guessing that anything smaller or slower than my card would have some impact on some of the settings in FS-X (my card supports DirectX 11, though DirectX 10 might have been enough). I do know that 12Gigs of Ram is overkill for FS-X; you don't need that much to max out the settings in FS-X (I'd recommend at least 4Gigs of ram, more if you want to run other larger programs at the same time.

Win 7 Pro (and Ultimate) let you run older programs in compatibility mode, such as Win XP, or Win 95 mode. I'm running FS-X in native Win 7 mode. My Win 7 is 64 bit, which helps the operating system address (support) more than a few Gigs of memory, among other benefits, but it's possible if you had Win7 32bit with 4Gigs of ram and a very fast video card - you would also be pleased with the Flight Sim X performance.

As always, your mileage may differ, but I finally have a PC that can flight Slight Sim X really nicely!
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2010
This is a great sim and by great i mean.I have no other words to express how well this sim looks,flys,and operates on my PC.(My PC: Phenom 9600 AM2+, ATI 4800 Vid Card with 1GB of GDR 5 RAM,an old Soundblaster audigy zs 2 plat sound card, and 4 GB of PC 6400 DDR2 RAM.h BTW the rig I had when this game came out was a MSI motherbord with SLI(1st gen) with PCIe 1.0 with 2 Evga 6800GT 256 Vid cards,2GBs of 533 Mhz DDR2 RAM,and an AMD 3800 (2.6 Ghz) scockett 939 single core processor,oh yeah,and the above mentioned sound card all runing on XP pro with SP2.The sim worked well on that system too.As you can see,neither system was nowhere near the top of the line system but I can have my aircraft models on ultra high,global graphics set on ultra and my FPS set at a constant 24FPS even going into KLAX. I haven't tried Tokyo yet but I'm sure it'll be flyable. As for all you people having install problems;I had the budget version of FSX installed with service pk 2 since they were available.I had the budget version of FSX and I was very excited to get all the extra aircraft that FSX Gold edition has in in anticipation of the delivery of this excellent combo pk I did a complete uninstall of FSX and saved all my screens. When the great little package with the smiley face appeared at my door,I rushed back to my computer room and opened everything like it was a Christmas present and installed FSX delux first...long install as both disks are DVDs packed with flightsiming goodness.I excepted the EULA and did one intro flight in the Goose,which the budget version doesn't have.I landed the goose off of Redondo Beach and shut down FSX and and installed the Acceleration pk.The add on that makes this flight better.Acceleration not only gives you New aircraft,Missions,Air Races,Red Bull Aerobatic competition,Aircraft carriers that move,excellent graphics,every airport in the world and ,all the service pk and fixes but,also has one of the most vibrant,helpful and friendly, active communities on the internet,such as sim-outhouse .The folks who are having problems would be well served by checking out the forums on the community sites,like the one mentioned above,or google FSX,you'll be amazed at the amount of info out there. All this in one package for fifty bucks makes,Flight Simulator X Gold Edition.....The Best Flight Sim ever. BTW I posted some screens on the main page...check em out.
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142 of 185 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2009
The graphics are awesome. The simulation is great. Lots of fun.
You get all that....if it works.
Beware, if you do not have a stable, up-to-date, top of the line system, it will not work. If you have a computer over 1 year old running XP or Vista, it is most likely will not be stable. If you cannot or do not do windows updates, you are not current. All your drivers, video/audio cards need to be current.
Your video card needs to be at least 256 Mb, 512 Mb is best. You need at least 2 Gb of memory, 4 Gb is best, with dual core and at least 2 GHz speed.
If all of that fits your situation, and you are still interested, make sure you get it with the Acceleration package. It has the SP1 and SP2 updates and some fixes not available anywhere else.
Hint.If the short-cut icon does not appear on your desktop after the install, you may have problems. Also, if your do an uninstall, even a REVO uninstall, it will not be completely uninstalled. Microsoft should give you a complete list of the things you need to do to do a complete uninstall, because each time you do a reinstall, it will just make things worse.
I got my FSX and ACC package for XMAS along with a new Saiteck top of the line joystick and pedals. Along with the FSX book for pilots. An outlay of around $200.
I installed the FSX package and not the Acc package, It installed ok, but would not start up. So, uninstalled it (MSFTs recomendation and my first mistake). Installed it again with the Acc package, this time it started up but I would get a fatal windows error when trying a few things.
My computer is a Notebook and is a 'gamer' notebook. Pretty much top of the line in terms of performance. Got it in March of 2008.
After doing several uninstalls and reinstalls, I called MSFT support and paid the $39 fee for help.
After about 10 days of trouble shooting and trying this and that, MSFT finally told me I would have to do clean formatted reinstall of vista.
MY registry was so contaminated with FSX entries that it would take a life time to remove them all. The REVO uninstaller, which is the most complete freeware uninstaller in the business (even used by MSFT), could not clean up everything.
Not doing the Vista reinstall, now haggling with MSFT to get a refund.
Good luck,
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