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Three PCs – The Ideal Sim Configuration

(Original thread started on 11-11-13 by Claude)

I am thinking about an ideal (versus cost) PC network configuration for L45 simulator and your experiences will be appreciated. My feeling is to manage the SIM through 4 PC => 1 PC master + 3 PC slaves.


The master (FSX/Prepar3d, external view / multi projectors) with a gamer configuration (i7 CPU LGA 2011 socket / 16 GB Memories / 4820K graphic card) and a lighter configuration for PC slaves ( one for Captain side, one for Pilot side and the last one for FGC / pedestal equipment and flight control) based on buying used PCs.


First Am I right or wrong thinking about such configuration? Then regarding slave PCs, what is the minimum configuration needed (CPU, Memory, Graphic card) to run properly? Thanks for your feedback.


(Posted by Alan Norris on 11-12-13)

In my opinion three is sufficient. Your master (or server as it's called in FSUIPC) is fine, just get the best video card you can afford as the new version of Prepar3d uses DirectX 11 which will use the full potential of the card. For the two slaves (or clients as they are called) I would just use inexpensive Dells. I purchased one for around $400 including free shipping and sales tax, see HERE  I was concerned that the on board video card would not be up to it but I run the three standby gauges as well as the two RMUs and the MFD and they are very smooth.


I would put the Pilots PFD, EICAS and the three standby gauges on one client and the two RMUs, the MFD and the FO PFD on the other. Connect using a Hub and CAT 5 cables -- do not use a wireless network to connect them. You can connect a keyboard and mouse to the server and use RealVNC -- a free program that lets you connect to the two client computers over your network. Once you have the clients set up and RealVNC client software installed you no longer need keyboards or mice connected to those machines.


Don't try and get away with just two PCs. I went that route and had performance issues. The Dells are so cheap that it's not worth trying to make do with two. Whenever the CDU is out then another sub $400 Dell will be on the cards. Hope that helps.


(Posted by Eric Tomlin on 11-12-13)

Hi Claude, my particular sim does use 4 PCs but it's mainly because the 3 clients that run JET45 are much older (really old PCs, like 1.6 Ghz single core) but my sim runs butter smooth. In the future I can imagine that having 3 for myself will be just fine too as Alan pointed out. It never hurts to spread the load out among several machines as you propose. You might just save a little bit of money by trying with three like Alan suggested. Some folks have gotten away with two PCs, but I cannot still figure out how they do it without performance issues. One thing is for sure- adding a CDU will require a third PC almost certainly.


(Posted by Claude on 11-12-13)

Thanks a lot Alan and Eric, I well understood that I must do a big effort (cash) on master PC configuration, regarding the two PC clients. Do you have an idea about CPU required to run properly? In France there are a lot of used PCs on the market and taking into account that the network should run under windows8 I do not want make a wrong choice.


I found Real Virtual Network Computing, in fact I already heard about this software but I totally forgot about it. What do you think about client PCs CPU?


(Posted by Ron Rollo on 11-12-13)

Hey Claude, I am one of the guys who seems to be able to get away with only using two PC's so far anyway, but I am not currently running a CDU and FMS software. Once I get to that point I will more than likely need to expand to three computers.


My i7 2600K server machine runs FSX and a Tripplehead2go unit spanning 210 degrees of view. I run all of my interface cards off of this server along with several other minor programs.


My Client (i3) runs Jet45 AAS and handles the three monitors inside the sim, nothing more because of networking issues.


At the moment, I am getting very favorable frame rates considering the visual system I am running:

Ron 415


In high detail scenery, I get around 22fps. A normal airport will give me 30 to 40fps. And last but not least, Greg and I just over clocked the server computer to 4.2ghz and we were seeing frame rate up and over 100fps at normal scenery situations.


In the near future I will be upgrading my client to an i7 2600K (just like the server) from the i3 and also adding a SSD for it's operating system. Then, I will be starting fresh with Prepared 2.0 to take advantage of what it has to offer. These changes and a few others will do nothing but make things run better than they already do.


You can try to get away with two computers with plans to expand to three if need be and see what happens. You might get lucky.


(Posted by Alan Norris on 11-13-13)

Ron, you were lucky because the two I was running were as fast as -- if not faster (well the client anyway) as yours. IMHO for $400 it's not worth the risk. Spend big bucks on the server and buy two $400 Dells for the clients.


Claude, as I mentioned earlier get a couple of cheap computers for your clients like this:


If you can find a couple of used ones then go ahead and get those but don't forget that whatever you buy make sure it's compatible with Windows 7 -- I would stay away from Windows 8 if I were you as it's really meant for tablet PCs which use a touch screen interface. WIN7 is a perfectly good OS and supports DirectX 11. I wouldn't worry too much about the client CPU and video cards as there is really not a lot of load running JET45. Eric T. uses some really old PCs and they run JET45 okay. As I mentioned earlier I was concerned that the cheap Dell on board video card would not be good enough to run JET45 but it's just fine.


(Posted by Eric Tomlin on 11-13-13)

Yes, I would leave Windows 8 alone at this point regarding anything to do with Simulators. That could change one day, but right now there have been several issues reported between 8 and a handful of FS related software/hardware. Also keep in mind that if you use JET45, we have done no testing at all with Windows 8 and it is currently unsupported as a JET45 operating system.


(Posted by Claude on 11-13-13)

Thanks a lot Guys for your interesting comments. I will spend more money on the PC server and try to find two additional used PCs cheaper on the used market.


Alan, you are probably right regarding Windows 8 more dedicated to touch-screen technology interfaces, in addition if the "father" of Jet45 AAS, says that no test have been performed with Windows 8, there is no reasons for me to run under Windows 8. I will stay with Windows 7 and associated DirectX 11.  Again, thanks for your feedback.


(Posted by Randy Buchanan on 12-10-13)

I would like to offer a couple of suggestions which may be helpful to you. The current best CPU is the Intel i7 Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell 3.5GHz LGA 1150 84W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80646I74770K. The mother board of choice would be something like ASUS MAXIMUS VI EXTREME LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard.


At any rate, the video card is just as important as the CPU. And the video card will cost more than the CPU and mother board combined but if you want real quality performance and multiple screens, I think it is the way to go. The video card with comparable power to i7 is the GTX780. ASUS GTX780-DC2OC-3GD5 GeForce GTX 780 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card. This is the machine I am going to build so I can give a report back as soon as I get to it. and there are some other suggestions if anyone is working on a machine like this one. Cooling and not over clocking the video card at all would be important.


(Posted by Mark Speechley on 02-20-14)

I have a suspicion that FSUIPC may need another update. I am happily flying along and then I started randomly getting network problems which send the Jet45 as a whole and mainly the EICAS bananas. It is usually first seen in Dave Ault's gauges and they squawk and flash the worst. Which leads me to think possibly WideFS?


(Posted by Ron Rollo on 02-20-14)

If your running Jet45 on another computer (separate from P3D) which I think you are, have you set the priority of WideFS to HIGH ? With all the information running back and forth, if wideFS is not set to ABOVE NORMAL or HIGH, I get the same results. Once I do that, I never see that issue. The only thing that sucks is it has to be set every time we start up the sim, minor issue.


(Posted by Eric Tomlin on 02-20-14)

I would like to know how many PCs are running your sim. I'm going to guess that maybe you have all your DUs running via one PC, or two?


(Posted by Mark Speechley on 02-21-14)

I have two computers. Both fast and have very good dual video cards. I have a SWITCH linking the computers. One is only for P3D, with a three screen visual setup plus one accessory screen. No.2 is for the DU's with Jet45. This also has the three MIP screens plus one accessory. I run on No.2.


1. Jet45

2. Interface IT

3. Mark L's Pokey utility.

4. Dave Ault's gauges

5. PM Sounds

6. Flight sim Commander 9.4 (Just to be naughty sometimes)


So what I have I experimented with so far for a fix ? Ron's advice for the Priority definitely made a difference for the better. My first flight P3D v2.1 was uneventful. Second one started the slow rot setting in. Swapped to P3D 1.4 went better but eventually once it gets going gets more frequent and intense. I have stopped PM Sounds and gotten out of FS Commander. By then too late the only thing that really restores it to normal is if I shut down the EICAS.


As you all are screaming the answer at me, it is a network problem. I looked into the WideFS log and it was full of errors. There is a few parameters in the WideFS .ini I could change that may 'keep me afloat' but that will take some trial and error time which I will do shortly. The other short term fix maybe to ditch the switch and just re attach the network through the router.


You are all going to strongly advise me to have two computers at least for Jet45 and attending screens. If that is what you all chortle then it shall be done. What is the best hardware/software combination for Jet45 with two computers then?


(Posted by Eric Williams on 02-23-14)

For what its worth. I have a fairly decent PC running the DU's only. A separate very low power/old junk PC runs the center monitor (RMUs, Standby's, CWP). I use a switch for network. An i7 runs FSX. Another old PC runs REX and EFB. No issues at all. The only time I ran into stutters, delays and errors was when I had an insufficient PC running the DU's. No end of problems as they do indeed take some serious bandwidth and graphics processing.


(Posted by Mark Speechley on 02-21-14)

I think it is pretty clear cut from the thread replies that to run our Lears' with present hardware you will still need a minimum three computers. With the P3D1.4, P3D v2.1, Jet45, Interface IT, CWP, ORBX updates, Global,Vector, EFB, FS Commander, ATC programs, Flight plan programs etc. difficult to spread the love around to only two computers. Probably would've helped us all if everything moved to 64 bit and we utilized the hardware the way it was designed for? (As of 07-01-17, Prepar3D v4 64bit is available!)


I will find another computer and confirm what you are all telling me. You've given me some work to do though Eric as I'll need to move the RMU's to one PoKeys and the DU buttons and encoders to the other PoKeys. Love this hobby. This will shut me up for awhile. Thanks to all for advice.


(Posted by Alan Norris on 02-22-14)

Mark, I wouldn't move your hardware, just put the gauges and a couple of DUs on the third PC.


(Posted by Ron Rollo on 02-22-14)

Another thing that your can try is to put your InterfaceIT, PMsounds and a few other programs on your Server computer rather than the Client. I only use my second computer for the Jet45 software. I run my set up with two computers like this with very few issues, none that I can think of but one.


The only issue I am currently having is Dave's gauges will drop out from time to time. On a long flight, (30 minutes or longer), I can expect one of the three to go down. A third computer may fix this issue, but I want to try every possible solution first for the sake of just knowing and sharing the information I come up with. Anyone running three computers experience issues with the standby gauges dropping?


(Posted by Mark Speechley on 02-22-14)

The money seems to be on the third computer from those who have already been there. I am in the Ron camp trying to nut out the reason why some of us can get away with 2 computers. We also have the combination where 2 works intermittently. I have burnt off a quite a few hours going through the torture of people running the gauntlet of Peter Dowson. I came across Alan in his quest with Pete Dowson back in May 2013 with exactly our problems. In the end I think we were all none the wiser and he finished off with read the manual!


What does not make sense is if the bandwidth was not high enough for all the data to be sent by our Jet45 computer and hence the delay back log causes the errors then Why does it work sometimes when the math doesn't add up? I tried again this morning every couple of minutes loading everything ( even the CWP that had the Dowson finger pointing) using P3D2.1 and it worked flawlessly. Now I need to do it again and then leave it to run on autopilot for hours and see if she crashes. Maybe it is the order we start programs?


Funny you noticed as well Ron, but Dave's gauges are always the first to drop out for me. Will chip away with different combinations..............................and then give up! I still need to do Pete Dowson's advice of changing the Network hardware, check memory etc.


(Posted by Alan Norris on 02-24-14)

The gauges were always the first to go haywire followed by the values for fuel flow on the EICAS. Putting the gauges and my MFD on a third cheap ($399 Dell) instantly solved the problem. As to why Ron can get away with two baffles me (and probably Ron too). I tried all the tricks -- high speed switch, CAT 6 cables, setting the priority to HIGH, etc., to no avail. For me jumping through hoops and spending money on fancy cables and such trying to get it to work on 2 PCs when spending $399 fixes the problem is a no-brainer.


(Posted by Eric Tomlin on 02-24-14)

Mark S- As Alan said, the fix is to simply get another machine if you want it to work well for you immediately. If you want to play around with settings, moving items (software) around, etc. ad nausea then continue seeking the 2 PC solution.


Ron has very similar hardware to Alan, but as for Alan it simply did not work and trust me, he and I spent (dare I say "wasted"?) far too many breaths trying to get him going on 1 PC for JET45 alone. Especially since we recommend this kind of setup time and again. In other words, if you can get away with 1 PC alone for JET45, then you're fortunate.


However, if you think that a long flight is 30 minutes or longer, then I hate to imagine trying to ever enjoy flying a "super long flight", i.e. 2+ hours which is far more realistic and likely when you factor in full check lists, ATC, vectoring, weather, traffic delays, etc. Don't get me wrong- the less PCs the more "ideal" but at this point it's not all that suitable.


(Posted by Mark Speechley on 02-24-14)

You win. I am not going to re-invent the wheel just go with the experiences of those that have been before me. Have an old computer or two laying around so will fire it up. Thanks for persevering!


(Posted by Will Sasse on 07-14-14)

Hello Hangar45 members and Lear45 enthusiast! I am seriously considering changing to two PC's for my MIP, as suggested by many. Given most of our MIP's have 3 monitors, running Jet45 and Dave Aults gauges, with Left (Pilot PFD& MFD), center (RMU x 2 + Dave's gauges), Right (Copilot PFD & MFD).


I was wondering for those of you who have a 2 PC MIP, how you divide your monitors between PC's?


I know from experience that Dave's gauges are resource hogs, they need a good feed, so I am pondering running Jet45 on Left and Right monitors from one PC, and the center monitor (RMU & Daves gauges) from a separate PC.


Whilst on the subject, an additional screen has been added to the list just to complicate things, the CDU - where do you (or plan to) connect that one?


(Posted by Ron Rollo on 07-15-14)

Your on the money! If your going to go with three PC's for your sim, this is how you will want to set them up:


Server-PC will run your Prepar3D flight simulator program, outside visuals, and the majority of your interface cards.


Client1-PC will run the two LCD screens on your MIP that cover DU 1,2,3, and 4. You will want to have a decent video card with dual VGA or HDMI ports so that the quality of all your Display Units will be exactly the same.


Client2-PC will run your center MIP screen which has Dave's gauges and the two RMUs. This PC will be able to handle at least one of your CDU/FMS. The current FMS software with the Arduino Nanos is designed to run two CDUs with software on one computer so depending if you are only planning on one CDU or two you should be good to go.


This is what I plan on doing once I get all of the hardware stuff complete and I am fully ready to take the sim to the next level of performance!

Hey guys,

Maciej called and asked what I know about building a computer from scratch for today's flight sim.  Honestly, not as much as I did several years ago.  The bar is always rising when it comes to computer tech and what we know today might not apply a year from now.

I would start with this video, although 11 months old now, it will give us a really good idea of what the latest technology will get you without breaking the bank.

I got it sorted out in no time. Standby for updates.

With current PC performance do we still need three PC's?

I was hoping to use one PC for Prepar3d and module interfaces, and another for everything else.



If you are referring to Jet45 V2 interfaces, they are integrated into the graphics modules. So DU1 module runs the Arduino for DU1 and EFIS controls.

I’ve experimented with using 1 PC to run the cockpit, but it needs to drive up to 6 monitors (1 left-MIP, 2x center MIP, 1 right MIP) and 2 CDUs. Along with this all of the non graphical modules for the lower MIP, center pedestal and FGC.

There are several reasons this is not the way to go but if for some reason a module or display locks up, you loose the whole cockpit during a PC restart. It is also going to result in really high CPU usage with all of this running and since the FMS needs to run fast when it’s flying the aircraft, I like to give it lots of headroom on a PC.

In my opinion, a 3 PC cockpit + 1 FS PC is still the best option and provide the most flexibility and overall performance.  And since the PCs to run the cockpit can be quite low end, it’s good value for the flexibility.

Jason Hite FlightDeckSoft

Hi all,

Well, I'm getting back in the Hangar45 cockpit after being AWOL for the last two months. Did anyone mention a full knee reco for the boss and before you ask I aint the boss !

After catching up and reading this thread I had to chime in. I stand to be corrected but I think I've had the longest running cockpit utilising Jet45, so I have a little bit of experience to date.

Jason had come to his conclusion that I had years ago. You are going to need, as in my case, 4 computers, but you might be able to get away with three. If you are trying to keep everything cheap by using less I warn you that it doesn't work like that.....yet.

In my case I have ;

1/ P3D computer . AMD 5900X CPU and Nvidia 3080 GPU

It runs 3 projectors and one monitor. the CPU is overclocked up to about 4.8 Ghz

It needs to run ;

Windows ( 10 in my case )

P3D V5.3

REX Skyforce  Weather

Immersive Display Warping software


AIG Ai aircraft ( or you wont see much flying about )

2 Pokey modules for TQ and Yokes.

USB for Rudder pedals

and various other addons such as moving map software for iPad.

2/ Computer 2 . Needs to run three screens. Windows monitor, Monitor for DU1 and 2 and CDU screen.

Also runs the software server for Jet45 and its hardware modules.

FSUIPC client

Navigraph program for updating FMS database.

3/ Computer 3. Needs to run 2 screens. Windows monitor and screen for DU3 and 4.

Jet 45 Arduino boards and software for DU3 and 4.

Also runs Interface IT board for all processes not yet wired to Jet45 arduino.

Radar Contact ( IFR air traffic control. alternative to using P3D ATC )

FSUIPC client

4/ Computer 4. Runs two screens. Windows monitor and center screen for RMUs and standby gauges.

Jet45 modules for RMU 1 and 2 and FGC

FSUIPC client

So as you can see the list is large and I have left more software out, that you will add as you go along, to make the Lear flying experience more realistic.

P3D has some quirks that make it harder to run than MSFS. It is still quite CPU intensive so if you load it up with too many jobs then your frame rates will suffer. Consider also that to really get the experience you will need wrap around graphics from either projectors or monitors. either way that will be alot of pixels over three screens to visualise. Computer wise you will get what you pay for.

If anyone thinks 4 computers is alot, consider This is a magnificent fixed base 747 cockpit that you will see in World flight each year. It runs on 12 computers.

In my version of Jet45 that still utilises FSUIPC for client communication, If I set the frame rate in P3D more than 40, then the P3D computer works quite hard to maintain that frame rate making less headroom for the FSUIPC clients communication. The reverse is also a problem. If I lower the frame rate to say 32 and choose say dusk and maybe bad weather, in an urban area then the frame rate could drop to the teens before I've even moved. Apart from jerky visuals you will also see that the FSUIPC clients fps connect drops also accordingly. That means the Jet45 communication with P3D is hindered which can create problems.

So. In summary there are some problems you will encounter but could not plan for as they only come up once you are up and running. You will make life so much easier for yourself if you can get a medium to top notch computer with a CPU that is overclockable and the best GPU you can afford.

Do not settle on price, but the real world performance on benchmarking websites.

To reiterate what Jason has just written.

It is also going to result in really high CPU usage with all of this running and since the FMS needs to run fast when it’s flying the aircraft, I like to give it lots of headroom on a PC.

Bring on P3D v6 and the merry go round starts again.

Mark S.


Very helpful advice, thanks Jason and Mark !

More PC's coming !

So far still running  on 2 PC's (and a management laptop) .
1  High-end Windows 11 machine with P3D 5.3 , Active Sky , Alpha India (also MSFS installed)
1  Low-end Windows 11 machine with Airmanager , 20 usb port internal card,  and all display's connected to video card with 5 mini hdmi ports.

Performance still good.!!
Now i do have to add my FMS to that PC as well, so it will be 5 screens to that one pc, so now i don't know if that will work.....

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