When it comes to flight simulators, it really is all about X-Plane these days. Microsoft Flight Sim has faded away behind the facade of GFWL, handing X-Plane the limelight. The latest of these, X-Plane 11, is out at the end of this month. It packs a major new graphics engine overhaul compared to X-Plane 10 and you're going to need a much beefier PC to match the X-Plane 11 system requirements.

X-Plane 11 Minimum System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 64-bit 
  • CPU: Intel Core i3-540 3.06 GHz or AMD Athlon X4 730 2.8 GHz
  • RAM: 8 GB System Memory
  • GPU RAM: 512 MB Video Memory
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce 605 or AMD Radeon HD 4850
  • DX: DirectX 11
  • HDD: 20 GB available space

X-Plane 11 Recommended System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-6600K 3.5 GHz or AMD FX-8370 4.1 GHz
  • RAM: 16 GB System Memory
  • GPU RAM: 4 GB Video Memory
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon RX 480 4GB
  • DX: DirectX 12
  • HDD: 20 GB available space

As you've probably noticed, the performance delta between the minimum and recommended specs for X-Plane 11 really is quite something. This is evidently an extremely scalable game depending on just how much environmental detail you're after. A lot of the time you're just going to be up above the clouds anyway, so it makes a lot of sense to prioritize cockpit interior visuals over scenery if you're struggling for FPS in X-Plane 11.

Back in the day, flight simulators used to be ultimate showcase of what a PC was capable of. The various MS Flight Sims were the most demanding games of their era. All that's tailed off a bit lately, but it's evident X-Plane 11 is targeting the enthusiasts with those recommended specs. You're going to need a very powerful rig indeed to max out X-Plane 11 at 1080p. You're looking at a top-end quad-core processor and a DirectX 12 graphics card with 4GB VRAM, along with a mammoth 16GB RAM.

Fortunately the minimum requirements for X-Plane 11 are a different matter entirely. Basically any graphics card from the last five years will do, alongside a low-end dual-core CPU. You may not be be able to turn on all the graphical bells and whistles, but you will at least be able to run X-Plane 11.

Those looking to mod X-Plane 11 should also bear in mind that the system requirements may rise if you start loading it up with mods.

As ever, remember you can always check out how well your PC can run the X-Plane 11 System Requirements here, where you can check benchmarking and performance from other users. Compare your graphics card to the X-Plane 11 GPU benchmark chart and we also have a X-Plane 11 Frames Per Second system performance chart for you to check out.