Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is a demanding game that requires quite the beefy PC with serious specifications. In order to enjoy the game at various popular screen resolutions, you're going to need to choose the best graphics card for your monitor. We've rounded up some of the best GPUs for playing Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Best AMD for 4K
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is a little too demanding for most GPUs at 4K, but XFX's AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT is a good match simply because of the specifications it comes with out-the-box. You'll need to turn down a few settings here and there, but the game will run fine at 4K.
Best NVIDIA for 4K
The new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 is about as good as you can get from NVIDIA right now. Even though it's considerably more powerful than the AMD RX 5700, you will be able to crank all the settings up high on your beautiful 4K monitor.
Best AMD for 1440p
This GPU may look the same as our AMD 4K pick, but it's really not. This is the RX 5600 XT, which is a little less powerful than the RX 5700 XT. We kept with the same vendor here since XFX makes some killer GPUs and this is a fine example for 1440p gaming.
Best NVIDIA for 1440p
Need a mid-tier NVIDIA GeForce GPU? That would go to the RTX 2060 SUPER, which was born to render most modern PC games at 1440p. Even Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 would run well on this GPU at this resolution, allowing you to take to the skies with a moderately powerful gaming rig.
Best AMD for 1080p
The best budget GPU from AMD is the RX 5500 XT for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. It's overkill compared to the minimum specifications but will allow you to crank most settings way up high for 1080p gaming. Don't expect the best visual experience here, but it's an awesome value.
Best NVIDIA for 1080p
You'll struggle to find a more affordable GPU than the GTX 1660 SUPER from NVIDIA that's actually worth buying. This GPU won't necessarily play games well, but it will be able to handle Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 on a 1080p monitor. Money saved with this GPU could be better spent on a HOTAS setup.
Choosing the right GPU
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The graphics card is the most important component that decides just how well a game can be displayed on a monitor. The more money you invest here, the better the end results will be. For AMD FreeSync monitors, you'll need to stick with AMD GPUs (unless the monitor supports NVIDIA G-Sync) and NVIDIA G-Sync monitors will only synchronize with NVIDIA GPUs.
If you plan to enjoy games like Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 at 1440p and plan to move to 4K at a later date (or have a 4K display already and want to try it out), you may want to look at the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT or NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090. These are among the best GPUs available from either company.
You can save a little without sacrificing too much on performance, however, and the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER are awesome mid-tier GPUs and are perfect for 1440p gaming. They will be able to handle Microsoft Flight Simulator well enough while also leaving you with some budget to spare for accessories like the best joysticks and flightsticks.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a 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 on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.