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MSFS Performance Guide

Intel and Nvidia Windows 10/11 Systems

*** Updated for Sim Update 11 ***

This guide will attempt to optimize the performance of your flight experience for Microsoft Flight Simulator. The end result *may* increase visual quality and frame rates, reduce micro stutters, reduce freezes and crash to desktop issues. As with any recommendations, your mileage may vary.

This abbreviated guide is geared toward Intel and Nvidia-based Windows 10/11 systems only. It assumes a medium amount of knowledge of Windows and File Explorer.

With the oldest of our test hardware, in many cases, we were able to go from “Medium” to “Ultra” for many of the settings. Along with better visuals, the fps increased slightly and maintained ~60fps. Again, your mileage may vary.

  • CPU: Intel i7-7740x (Overclocked to 5.0 GHz)
  • RAM: 32 GB, DDR4, 3200 MHz
  • VIDEO: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (version 517.48)
  • OS: Windows 10 x64 (version 21H2)
  • STORAGE: Samsung 1TB and Intel 2TB M.2
  • VISUALS: 55″ & 46″ LED TV’s @ 1080p & Oculus Rift S

Warning: It is strongly recommended you make a system and/or image backup BEFORE attempting any of these changes.

Seriously, make a system backup!

As always, feel free to meet up with us on Discord or TeamSpeak ( for more explanations/details, or advice.

Windows Settings

Install the latest Windows Updates

  • Start, type “update”
  • click “Check for Windows Update”

Disable unneeded startup tasks – For some programs, it’s smart to have them start with Windows, such as anti-virus and firewall software. However, for most programs, starting them at boot-up just wastes resources and extends startup time.

  • <right-click> Start, “Task Manager”
  • click “Startup”
  • disable as needed

sfc /scannow – The System File Checker will help repair possible corrupted OS files. This is not really needed unless troubleshooting an OS issue but wanted to mention it.

  • Start, type “cmd”, click “Run as administrator”
  • type “sfc /scannow”

netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=normal – The network auto-tuning feature should improve performance for applications that receive TCP data over the LAN and WAN. Although “normal” is the default, it is best to make sure it is not disabled.

  • Start, type “cmd”, click “Run as administrator”
  • type “netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=normal”

Disable NDU – The Network Diagnostic Utility helps Windows communicate with the USB ports to detect any connected USB devices. Disabling NDU might help because NDU will no longer be scanning for new devices all the time. This saves both computational power and system resources like memory usage. It also minimizes non-paged pool memory (Non-paged memory pool is data in RAM used by the kernel and drivers).

  • Start, type “regedit”
  • navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Ndu
  • change DWORD value “Start” from 2 to 4

Disable HPET – The High Precision Event Timer is often used for synchronizing multimedia streams, reducing the need to use other timestamp calculations, and smoothing the playback. When enabled, it will reduce the CPU’s calculation power and game performance.

  • <right-click> Start, “Device Manager”
  • navigate to “System devices”, “High precision event timer”
  • <right-click> and “Disable device”

Turn off “Game Mode” – Designed to reduce system resources during gameplay, but this may not be the case as it can affect stability and performance.

  • Start, type “game”
  • click “Game Mode Settings”
  • set “Game Mode” to OFF

Turn off HAGS – Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling is designed to reduce latency and improve performance, but this may not be the case as it can affect performance, cause capture issues, and have odd interactions with overlay tools when trying to stream games.

  • Start, type “graphics”
  • click “Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling” to OFF

Nvidia Driver Install

Nvidia drivers can have a great amount of bloat and overhead that may directly affect frame rates and stutters. These steps will first clean and uninstall, then selectively install the driver.

Download DDU, NVCleanstall, and the latest Nvidia driver

Unzip DDU and NVCleanstall

Disconnect from Internet and/or WiFi – Disables Windows trying to automatically download and install a baseline Nvidia driver after our clean install.

Boot to Safe Mode – Required to cleanly uninstall all aspects of the current Nvidia driver.

  • Start, click Power icon
  • Press and hold SHIFT key, and click “Restart”
  • click “Troubleshoot”, “Advanced Options”, “Startup Settings”, “Restart”
  • click option #4 to “Restart to safe mode”

The system should reboot to safe mode.

Display Driver Uninstaller – This will cleanly uninstall the various components of the Nvidia drivers.

  • click “—select device type—” as “GPU”
  • click “—select device—” as “NVIDIA”
  • click “Clean and Restart”

The system should reboot normally, but without Nvidia drivers.

NVCleanstall – This will install only the components required for MSFS, keeping the driver’s background tasks at a minimum.

  • click “Use driver files on disk”
  • browse and select the newly downloaded Nvidia driver
  • click “Next”

Under “Select Components to install”

  • Enable/check “Disable Installer Telemetry & Advertising”
    • This removes the installer-level “baked-in” tracking services related to collecting data related to your use of the hardware, crash reporting, etc.
  • Enable/check “Unattended Express Installation”
    • This is the non-prompt install of the install executable that is being created.
  • Enable/check “Show Expert Tweaks”
    • Enable/check “Disable Driver Telemetry”
      • This removes the driver-level “baked-in” tracking services, network bandwidth, congestion, error, latency, and scheduler tasks related to tracking and collecting data related to your use of the hardware, crash reporting, etc.
    • Enable/check “Disable Nvidia HD Audio device sleep timer”
      • Keeps the installer from erroring due to HDMI audio not being installed and how it interacts with select VR headsets.
    • Enable/check “Enable Message Signaled Interrupts”
      • An interrupt message is a particular value that a device writes to a particular address to trigger an interrupt. Unlike line-based interrupts, message-signaled interrupts have edge semantics. The device sends a message but does not receive any hardware acknowledgment that the interrupt was received. Windows Vista or later should use this newer MSI method.
    • Enable/check “Disable HDCP”
      • High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection can be disabled as it refers to copy-protection being supported over HDMI and not a requirement for MSFS.
    • Enable/check “Use method compatible with Easy-Anti-Cheat”
      • EAC is used to detect memory alterations, unknown game files, unknown file versions, and untrusted system files from the standpoint of cheating. This is used in MSFS during contests and/or races.
  • click “Next”

Note: “Perform a Clean Installation” is not needed as this was already done during NVCleanstall

Under “Finished”

  • Select “Build Package”
  • Exit NVCleanstall
  • Launch “NVCleanstall_NVIDIA_<version>_Setup.exe”

MSFS Settings

Microsoft Flight Simulator “Options”, “General Options”, “Graphics”

  • Display Mode: FULL SCREEN
  • Full Screen Resolution: 1920×1080 (or native resolution)
  • Anti-Aliasing: TAA
  • Render Scaling: 100
  • AMD FidelityFX Sharpening: 50
  • V-sync: ON
  • Frame Rate Limit: 100%
  • HDR10: ON
  • DirectX Version: DX11
  • Global Rendering Quality: ULTRA (to start with)
  • Terrain Level of Detail: 100
  • Off Screen Terrain Pre-Caching: LOW
  • Terrain Vector Data: ULTRA
  • Buildings: HIGH
  • Trees: ULTRA
  • Grass and Bushes: ULTRA
  • Objects Level of Detail: 200
  • Volumetric Clouds: HIGH
  • Texture Resolution: HIGH
  • Anisotropic Filtering: 16X
  • Texture Supersampling: 6×6
  • Texture Synthesis: HIGH
  • Water Waves: HIGH
  • Shadow Maps: 1024
  • Terrain Shadows: 512
  • Contact Shadows: HIGH
  • Windshield Effects: HIGH
  • Ambient Occlusion: LOW
  • Cubemap Reflections: 192
  • Raymarched Reflections: HIGH
  • Light Shafts: ULTRA
  • Bloom: ON
  • Depth of Field: OFF
  • Motion Blur: OFF
  • Lens Correction: OFF
  • Lens Flare: ON
  • Glass Cockpit Refresh Rate: MEDIUM

Microsoft Flight Simulator “Options”, “General Options”, “Data”

  • After each major sim update, it is recommended to delete the rolling cached data.