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Best CPU for Flight Simulator 2020 in 2023

No need for turbulence with one of the best CPUs for Flight Simulator

Updated: Feb 6, 2023 2:08 pm
microsoft flight simulator e3 2019

Flight Simulator is a demanding title that requires a strong CPU to run smoothly. If you’re building a new gaming PC or upgrading your current system, you may be wondering what is the best CPU for Flight Simulator.

In this article, we’ll be discussing two of the best CPUs for running Flight Simulator: the Intel Core i7 13700K and the Intel Core i5 13600K. These processors can easily run the game at high settings and a high refresh rate.

It’s worth noting that you’ll also want to invest in a decent GPU for Flight Simulator. The game is more GPU-bound at higher resolutions, so you’ll want to ensure you have a graphics card that can keep up with your CPU.

Best CPU for Flight Simulator – Intel Core i7 13700K

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Intel Core i7-13700K

Base speed
P-cores 3.4 GHz / E-cores 2.5 GHz
Boost speed
P-cores 5.4 GHz / E-cores 4.2 GHz
125 W / 253 W boost.


  • Boost Clock: 5.4GHz
  • Total Cores/Threads: 16/24
  • Socket: LGA1700
  • TDP: 125W

The Intel Core i7 13700K is an excellent choice for running Flight Simulator. Its high boost clock and strong single-threaded performance ensure smooth gameplay, even on high settings. While Flight Simulator is a highly CPU-bound game, the Intel Core i7 13700K can handle it with ease. 

This is simply because it boasts 16 cores, 24 threads, and more importantly, excellent single-threaded performance. It has a boost clock of up to 5.4GHz, making it one of the best processors around in terms of raw gaming performance. 

It’s also a great choice for productivity and production workloads. The 13700K performs well in programs such as Photoshop, Premiere Pro, AutoDesk Maya, Blender, and more. Right now, it’s also a more practical choice than the expensive and power-hungry Core i9 13900K.

The 13700K is easily one of the best processors money can buy right now. 

Best Budget CPU for Flight Simulator – Intel Core i5 13600K

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Intel Core i5-13600K

Base speed
P-cores 3.5 GHz / E-cores 2.6 GHz
Boost speed
P-cores 5.1 GHz / E-cores 3.9 GHz
125 W / 181 W boost.


  • Speed: 5.1GHz (Boost Clock)
  • Cores/Threads: 14/20
  • Socket: LGA1700
  • TDP: 125W

Our second choice is the Intel Core i5 13600K. This is a mid-range/budget processor that punches well above its weight. It can easily handle modern titles with relative ease, and the performance is on par with last year’s Core i9 12900K.

Usually, an i5 processor would struggle to run Flight Simulator at 1080p, where the game is more CPU-bound. However, the 13600K has no issues thanks to the 14 cores and excellent single-threaded performance.

Is MSFS more CPU or GPU intensive?

While flying in-game, Flight Simulator is more GPU intensive, however, the game requires a strong balance of components to work optimally.

Why is a good CPU important for simulator games?

A good CPU is important for simulator games and here’s why:

  • Complex Calculations: Simulator games often require a large number of calculations to be performed in real-time, such as physics simulations, AI behavior, and environmental rendering. A powerful CPU ensures that these calculations are performed quickly and efficiently.
  • Multitasking: Simulator games often have many complex systems running simultaneously, such as audio, physics, AI, and graphics. A fast CPU is essential for managing and executing these tasks efficiently, allowing the game to run smoothly.
  • High Frame Rates: A good CPU is crucial for maintaining high frame rates and avoiding slowdowns or stuttering. Simulator games often require fast and smooth performance to provide a realistic experience.
  • Overhead: Simulator games often have a large amount of overhead, meaning that the CPU has to manage many tasks simultaneously, such as communicating with peripherals and maintaining system stability. A fast CPU is essential for managing this overhead efficiently.

A good CPU is important for simulator games as it ensures that complex calculations are performed quickly, multitasking is handled efficiently, frame rates are high, and overhead is managed effectively. A powerful CPU is essential for delivering a smooth and immersive experience in simulator games.

Final word

In conclusion, the Intel Core i7 13700K is the best CPU for Flight Simulators right now. It’s the best gaming processor money can buy, and a more practical choice than the Intel Core i9 13900K. On the other hand, the i5 13600K is also a great choice for mid-range and budget systems.

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