FlightGear Hardware Recommendations
These hardware recommendations for FlightGear are based on community feedback, be sure to consult other sources before making serious decisions regarding computer hardware.
You may also want to check out the following article on building your own FlightGear box based on decommissioned and refurbished server: Howto: Build a cheap FlightGear box.
Recommended hardware for FlightGear 2.10+
- A screen with a resolution of at least 1024x768 @32bpp (most GUI dialogs cannot be used otherwise currently)
- A 3D video card (with Nvidia, or AMD/ATI chipset, Nvidia recommended!) with support for OpenGL 2.1 or better and at least 1 Gb of dedicated DDR3+ (DDR5 preferred) VRAM (i.e. 512 Mb VRAM minimum). Flightgear requires a OpenGL 2.1-compliant hardware accelerated 3D video card to run at reasonable frame-rates. Most modern PCs have hardware accelerated 3D cards. If your FlightGear video is not running smoothly, see Configuring OpenGL. See Supported Video Cards) for a list of video cards known to work with FlightGear. Note that cards with working shader support will enable FlightGear to run with more visual effects. If you are serious about running FlightGear, you should avoid Intel HD/GMA cards at all costs - these are integrated chipsets that provide only basic OpenGL/GLSL support.
- At least 1-2 Gb free RAM (and more is better). FlightGear uses more than 500 Mb of RAM by default. If less free RAM is available, FlightGear would be slowed down significantly due to OS swapping. When buying a new computer, you shouldn't buy computers with less than 4-6 Gb of total RAM these days.
- CPU: At least a dual/quad core processor with ~2 GHz each, 64bit architecture (and operating system) recommended (multi-core processors have benefits for some FlightGear components such as the threaded tile loader). When buying a new computer, buying at least a quad core computer (i.e. i7) is a good idea these days.
- 2 Gb HD space for a minimum installation (the installer download itself is about 800MB), approx. 10 Gb if you want to compile it yourself, plus up to 8 Gb for optional world-wide scenery. More space is required for people wanting to check out the latest base package from Git. People using Scripted Compilation on Linux Debian/Ubuntu, will approximately need 30 gb of disk space in total.
- A 3 button mouse or 2 button mouse with scroll wheel
- An optional sound card, Soundblaster compatible, preferably with EAX support
- An optional joystick/yoke and/or pedals - Gameport or USB (HID compatible), see $FG_ROOT/Input for a list of input hardware known to work with FlightGear.
If you are interested in running FlightGear on a notebook, you may also want to check out Notebooks known to run FlightGear.
A list of video cards that may not properly run FlightGear can be found at Problematic Video Cards.