Was forwarded this really interesting post by Mark Greenblatt on the AvSim forums (http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=121&topic_id=414954&mesg_id=414954&page=). I've copied the contents below, but what I really liked about the post is that instead of simply ranting on how FSX needs faster hardware, it takes a realistic look at how the situation is really blown out of proportion...

This post will be a very unusual one for me as I usually do not involve myself with posting unless it directly affects my work.

This may be quite a bit longer than some other posts but lately I have felt an ever growing need to express my feelings on the subject of FSX.

Every time that a new version of any graphics intensive software is released there is an almost immediate need to upgrade hardware yet on these forums it’s as though this came as a complete shock and in some cases seems to be treated like a personal insult..

It’s hard for me to believe that anyone thought that they could simply install this sim without upgrading? It was apparent from the first public beta that this sim would require a change in hardware.

I run an AMD 6000+ on an EVGA 590 SLI MoBo. Was it expensive? No. Is it top of the line? No. Does it fly FSX beautifully with sliders set very high and 100% AI traffic (WoAI and Ultimate GA) and absolutely no tweaks in the .cfg? You bet it does.

I have 2 GBs of memory with a 7950GT card does that stop me? No. Do I have a problem with blurries? Not particularly. Do I wish that I had an 8800GTS 640? Sure but I can’t afford it and that’s no big deal either.

I don’t use Vista because I don’t think it adds anything to the experience of flying FSX. Do I think that when DX-10 is released I might change my mind? Maybe, but not because of the hype about DX-10 but because I’m in the computer business and feel the need to “keep up”

I love FSX it is the best simulator I have ever flown and I’ve flown them all! It is my heartfelt belief that this community has been blind-sided by misinformation and mythology that in short is destroying the sim and the add-on market.

But I cannot any longer just sit and watch this sim get constantly torn apart and not because I am connected to or in any way receive support from Aces.

I and the people I fly with use multiplayer to travel all over the world and we have a great time. True some places are less detailed than others and it makes you wonder why but others are breathtaking with clouds turned up all the way and real world weather

I use add-ons like UTX, SceneryTech. Cloud9, FsGenesis, UKVFR and many photoreal sceneries like Megascenery So Cal (I live in So Cal) and I love them all. They enhance an already beautiful simulator and have little or no effect on performance.

Those products that don’t work in multi-player I reject so I don’t use Level-D and I won’t use PMDG if it doesn’t work, or any others but I do use The Super MD-80 and many others and find them to be some of the best planes I have ever encountered because they function perfectly in both single and multi-player modes and are both a challenge and a joy to fly.

I look forward to FEX and other add-ons and applaud all those companies who in the face of ever increasing non-productive negativity have brought us great add-ons.

And no, this is neither an endorsement for these products or an indictment but a simple statement of truth based on testing and real life.

So to sum this all up and accommodate those that haven’t the patience to read the whole post I’ll simply state the following:.

FSX is the best simulator I have ever flown. Multi-player through sim-connect is a fantastic concept which has given me hours of enjoyment and a new appreciation of the intricacies of flight far beyond Fs9.

There now I’ve said it. Do I feel better? No because there is more to be said.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and please remember that this commentary is in no way a solicitation for any company or service.

and let the fun begin.

Michael Greenblatt

I think the post itself captures the essence and there is not much for me to comment on. The only thing I would like to add is that users need to keep in mind that every release of Flight Simulator is made to be "future proof". Since there is a 2-3 year gap between release and that the majority of our users tend to upgrade every other version, this means that an individual will use a specific version of Flight Simulator for a period ranging from 4-6 years in average. This is quite a long period of time, and hardware will therefore get faster during that period of time. So yes, if you take a high-end machine today and push all the sliders to the maximum, well the simulation will likely crawl... This is by design, because hardware 4-6 years from now will likely be able to handle the extra work and run smoothly with all settings maxed out...

 

On the other end of the spectrum, with proper slider placement, you can get an experience comparable to FS9, at a speed comparable to FS9 on older hardware. We do add new features and visuals from version to version and the reality is that these additions do not come for free. So yes, if you want to take advantage of all the new features, a 386 isn't going to cut it :) We have also slowly moved the bar up in regards to video card requirements, this is true... There are a few reasons behind this but the main reason is our wish to transition away from "Fixed Pipeline" hardware to hadware that supports shaders. This allows us to keep our code much simpler and reduces the risks of compatibility issues on older hardware.

 

Now, on to the Flight Simulator Acceleration Pack and Service Pack 2... I'm sure i'll get questions such as "What about DirectX10?", "Any new visual features?",... We are actually releasing the final Acceleration Pack and SP2 bits this week and therefore the feature set is finished. However, I cannot mention any specifics just yet until our marketting group defines how and when such information will be spread. However, I will likely start talking about some of the specific enhancements within the next 1-2 weeks...