Specs for MS flight simulator?


macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 15, 2012
My Uncle and Aunt are about to buy a new computer, mainly for the basic things (surfing on the web, looking at photo's, movies etc), and my Uncle likes to play Flight simulator.

This is also the reason they probably won't go for a mac, as FS isn't available for mac (they could ofcourse run windows on it, but imo that kinda ruins the poiint of getting a mac if you are only going to use windows on it).

So I have no experience with FS, and was wondering if someone here does, and what would be the minimum requirements to play it on highest settings.

A salesman tried to sell them a 900 euro (euro not dollar!) machine, which is ofcourse ridiculously overpowered (but hey, he's a salesman).


macrumors 604
Sep 8, 2002
The Netherlands
What about X-Plane 10 for Mac?

In all circumstances, whatever flightsim you wish to use, the specs for the hardware are: M A X I M U M you can afford. No PC or Mac can handle the huge performance required to run the sim at maximum settings.

X-Plane 10 is going 64 bits soon, so the 3 GB RAM limit (in practice the RAM limit of X-Plane 10 running in 32 bits mode) won't be the limiting factor anymore, if your hardware can handle it...
MS FlightSimulator X is pretty much dead as there is no new development.

X-Plane 10 is more realistic flying, MS FlightSimulator X has more eye-candy.
For X-Plane 10 there is a huge amount of freeware and payware scenery and airports add-ons, lots of fun plugins and of course many, many, many freeware and payware aircraft you can download. Get them at X-Plane.org

Because of the endless development of X-Plane 10 and the ever-growing database of extras for it, I would recommend X-Plane 10.

Just try to get the best hardware....;)


macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
The Misty Mountains
I frequently boot into Windows to play games and think it's worth it. However is your Uncle flying a flight sim just to enjoy flying or to fight other aircraft?

If the former, I suggest XPlane. For the latter there are some Mac native combat sims but it's been so long since I've played them I can't recommend them for lack of familiarity, but there are out there.

Like this: http://www.donsgames.com/index.php_page=sf1945.php.html
Don't know how this runs on new Macs. Course there is a free download to check it out.

Online only as I recall.



macrumors newbie
Jan 3, 2016
It seems that I can't set X-PLane 10 max settings even on the late 2015 iMac Retina.


macrumors 604
Sep 8, 2002
The Netherlands
It seems that I can't set X-PLane 10 max settings even on the late 2015 iMac Retina.
Not with heavy add-on scenery, you can't.

Install the pay ware Manhattan scenery (http://store.x-plane.org/New-York-City-XP-_p_431.html) combined with the hi-res pay ware NYC airports (KLGA, KJFK, KEWR) on max settings, you will need about 8 GB of VRAM, and even if you have > 8 GB VRAM then the grfx card is choked.