Best CPU for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

Microsoft Flight Simulator A320neo Delta
Microsoft Flight Simulator A320neo Delta (Image credit: Windows Central)

Want to take to the skies in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and witness some truly breathtaking views of our planet? You're going to need the best graphics card for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 as well as a capable processor. We've rounded up some awesome CPUs that span multiple price ranges.

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AMD Ryzen 9 3900X (opens in new tab)

AMD Performance

AMD's Ryzen 9 3900X is an insane CPU for the price. It offers tremendous value, offering 12 physical cores and 24 threads, which was previously exclusive to the enthusiast Threadripper family of processors. This is a perfect match for Microsoft Flight Simulator.

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Intel Core i9-10900K (opens in new tab)

Intel Performance

Like the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, Intel's Core i9-10900K is a monster of a desktop CPU. It's not quite as good as AMD's offering with only ten cores and 20 threads, but it makes up for this shortfall in per-core performance. If you prefer Intel, this is the CPU for you.

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AMD Ryzen 7 3800X (opens in new tab)

Mid-Range AMD

If you don't really need AMD Ryzen 9 3900X levels of performance, the Ryzen 7 3800X is an excellent second choice. The Ryzen 7 family of processors used to be the leading edge from AMD before the Ryzen 9 3900X launched, so you know these are still fairly powerful.

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Intel Core i7-10700K (opens in new tab)

Mid-Range Intel

Intel's Core i7-10700K is about as good as its i9-10900K sibling in terms of gaming performance, but you do save a little in the process. Should you not find yourself running any demanding software when not up in the clouds, this processor may be the better buy.

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AMD Ryzen 3 3100 (opens in new tab)

Budget AMD

The AMD Ryzen 3 3100 CPU is one of the most affordable processors you can buy from the company, but it still comes equipped with four physical cores and eight threads. That's amazing when you consider quad-core processors used to be a premium purchase.

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Intel Core i3-10100 (opens in new tab)

Budget AMD

Intel offers the Core i3-10100 as a budget-friendly processor with four cores and Hyperthreading. It's not the most powerful CPU by any stretch but will be able to fire up Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. You just won't be able to overclock the CPU or do much else with it.

Choosing the best CPU for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

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Are you looking for the best experience in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020? You'll want to choose either the AMD Ryzen 3900X (opens in new tab) or Intel Core i9-10900K (opens in new tab), depending on whether you prefer AMD or Intel. It's worth noting that these processors will provide similar experiences, so it largely comes down to price, brand loyalty, and which socket your motherboard has.

For more budget-conscious gamers, you'll want to save a little and install the AMD Ryzen 7 3800X (opens in new tab) or Intel Core i7-10700K (opens in new tab) inside your PC. Should you have a compatible motherboard, you'll be able to fire up Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 with no problem at all.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.