Maximum Graphics at 4K Weather Performance

There is another aspect to the performance of this game, and that is the weather setting.  On the previous page, we used the “Few Clouds” preset.  We wanted to test a few more weather presets just to see how it changes performance. This game also supports real time weather.

For this test we are doing something different as well, we are performing a take-off to a landing in the same recording, again at the same Seattle airport.

Take Off to Landing – External View – Clear Sky

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 4K Maximum Graphics Settings Clear Sky Performance

In this performance graph we are using maximum game settings at 4K but with “Clear Skies” enabled.  There are no clouds in the sky at all here.  You can see that performance starts out pretty low at 20-25 FPS, barely reaches 30 before it drops again to under 25 FPS the whole time.  There is even one of those game pauses that happens that brought performance to nothing as the game paused for a few seconds.  Even with no clouds, performance is still this low at max settings at 4K.

Take Off to Landing – External View – Broken Clouds

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 4K Maximum Graphics Settings Broken Clouds Performance

In this graph we have “Broken Clouds” turned on.  This creates large puffy clouds in the sky we have to fly through.  Performance starts off slow as usual, but this time, once we get up into the air performance is even worse than Clear Sky, dropping below 20 FPS a lot of the time while we fly through a big thick cloud.

Take Off to Landing – External View – Rain

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 4K Maximum Graphics Settings Rain Performance

In this one we are using the Rain setting.  Performance starts off a lot worse than the others, down at 20 FPS and below.  The extra reflections on the ground with the rain is bringing performance down further.  However, ignore that last bit where it goes up to 30 FPS, for some reason our test didn’t complete correctly and the plane never landed, so we actually started rising to above 10K feet, and then performance went way up as expected.

There’s a ton of more weather options we could manipulate, as well as time of day, but that will have to be for a future article.

Recent Posts

Brent Justice

Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components for 20+ years, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer oriented...

Join the Conversation

12 Comments

  1. I was impressed by the promo videos, but not by the actual product. It doesn’t look nearly as good. My biggest disappointment is the ai generated terrain. It’s awful. I loaded up a city I know, I expected much better, most buildings doesn’t have the right shape or even their height I’ve seen a lot of multi storey buildings that were just one level here. And they didn’t even try to use real world textures. All the buildings in the entire city use the same brownish grey canned texture, which makes it look a kind of north korea, zero variation, zero color. Then there are rivers flowing over bridges. And cars drive underwater, where there is no bridge, cars that seem giant compared to everything else. And the bing aerial imagery is just very lowres and misaligned for the most part. Google earth’s ai generated 3D terrain is 100 times closer to reality. I’d actually prefer to fly over that to this. I was struggling to get my bearings things are so off. Plus I noticed a lot of fake light sources just floating in the air, not attached to a building or a light pole.

    As for the performance it seemed good enough for me, I definitely didn’t notice drops to 10 fps, I played at 3840×1600, but also have 32GB of ram.
    But this is the type of game where low fps is not that big of an issue to me.

  2. I do agree with you on the terrain, I have noticed it can look low quality at times when it really shouldn’t.

    I also wish they had used Google Maps, but it’s Microsoft, they have to try and make it look like Bing is worth it.

  3. I do agree with you on the terrain, I have noticed it can look low quality at times when it really shouldn’t.

    I also wish they had used Google Maps, but it’s Microsoft, they have to try and make it look like Bing is worth it.

    Have you tried the game with 32GB to see how it affects performance?

  4. I do agree with you on the terrain, I have noticed it can look low quality at times when it really shouldn’t.

    I also wish they had used Google Maps, but it’s Microsoft, they have to try and make it look like Bing is worth it.

    How long before someone makes a mod that uses Google Maps instead of Bing though?

  5. I’d guess: Never? You can’t extract actual raw data from google earth. Only map tiles as 2D images.
  6. I’d guess: Never? You can’t extract actual raw data from google earth. Only map tiles as 2D images.

    Oh I did not know that. I definitely assumed that data was available for download. Seems if Microsoft allows or has that ability they got something on Google Maps/Earth.

  7. Oh I did not know that. I definitely assumed that data was available for download. Seems if Microsoft allows or has that ability they got something on Google Maps/Earth.

    Well, there are things you can do when you own the service that aren’t necessarily offered to everyone…

  8. Well, there are things you can do when you own the service that aren’t necessarily offered to everyone…

    I thought about that, too. Though, it seems a lot of the data is entered by a third party person. I seen an article that had a 212 story building in the Sim that was only supposed to be 2 stories tall. Turns out, someone who was entering data for a University project had a typo and entered 212 instead of 2.

    While that doesn’t mean anyone can, it does seem to lean towards it being more open than Google Earth possibly.

  9. I thought about that, too. Though, it seems a lot of the data is entered by a third party person. I seen an article that had a 212 story building in the Sim that was only supposed to be 2 stories tall. Turns out, someone who was entering data for a University project had a typo and entered 212 instead of 2.

    While that doesn’t mean anyone can, it does seem to lean towards it being more open than Google Earth possibly.

    MS used an outside contractor to do the world terrain: blackshark.ai. I bet they used various databases and the kitchen sink to fill in all the blanks, and then used ai to fill what was still missing. It is safe to say they didn’t use the best data available, just what they could get their hands on for cheap or free. So university project falls right into that.

  10. Seen over 20gb of system ram usage on TR 3760x system with 64gb and 1080 Ti. 1080 Ti was using around 9.8gb average. 1440p Ultra settings

    For 16gb Ryzen 2700x system with Radeon FE, 11gb-12gb for system ram and over 15gb at times on the Radeon FE. Looks like the game can use the vram if you have it if the system memory is restrictive. 3440x1440p Ultra settings.

    The 5700 XT AE system with 32gb of ram, Ryzen 3900x, 19gb-20gb system ram and up to 7.8gb vram. Radeon 5700 XT AE has issues flying around the San Francisco/Oakland area with frame time spikes going up to close to 200ns. Other areas or locations so far are OK. 1440p Ultra settings.

    Brent please compare 32gb to 16gb system memory if you can update your computer.

Leave a comment