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on 1 March 2010
I'm very much enjoying FSX. About the only fault I can find with the gameplay is some occasionally confusing mission instructions appearing. For example, I played one mission where I had been told to maintain 210 knots. I was then told to descend to a particular height and part way through my rather slow descent, I was told by the control tower to reduce speed to 180 knots. However, when I reached the end of the descent, it told me to level off and maintain 210 knots. It meant 180, but said 210 because it was expecting me to have completed the descent before I was told to reduce speed by the tower. Anyway, only a minor criticism...

The more significant problem is a number of random crashes on Windows 7 64 bit (I don't know if 32 bit is affected). The crashes usually happen when manipulating the menus at the top of the simulator, particularly after the simulator has been running a while. The error log reports problems with UIAutomationCore.dll. Doing some research on the web, it turns out that a number of people have this problem and that there seem to be a few problems with FSX and the new version of the system file, UIAutomationCore.dll, that comes with Windows 7. I managed to find an older version to download (from Vista) and placed it in the Flight Simulator program directory. FSX now operates using this older version and I haven't had a single crash since.

So, pretty disappointing from a Microsoft branded product, but at least it can be fixed if you're prepared to search.

(For those interested, the version of UIAutomationCore.dll that I have with my Windows 7 installation is 7.0.0.0, product version 6.1.7600.16385, file size 733KB. The old version that I downloaded is version 6.0.6001.18000, product version 6.0.6001.18000, file size 148KB. For avoidance of doubt, I would strongly advise against *replacing* the new file, even if you can bypass the system file protection. Placing the older file in the program directory is entirely adequate.)
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on 22 December 2009
First time flight sim user and was very impressed with product. The amount of freebies on the net once you have purchased the basic FSX pack is awesome. Want a different plane? download it. Want a different airport? download it. Want bigger mountains? Buy a new scenery pack. I was so immpressed with FSX Gold. I bought three new widescreen monitors and built a cockpit in my loft. FSX Gold is the foundation stone you need in order to break into this geeky world of armchair pilots. Buy it and prepare to loose hours of your life. Not seen the wife and kids for months, Oh well, Tally Ho! It is now Feb 2012 and I have spent well over 3 grand on this tiny little £20.00 product, adding yokes, pedals, radios, flight computers and nav aid equipment. captain anton tells all on you tube, go see and beware if you have even the slightest inclination of flying an aircraft.
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on 10 November 2008
There's a good variety of planes and helicopters, a stunning choice of airports and comprehensive teaching section. You can choose any weather condition, time of day/night and season, so if you want to put your flying skills to the test you can try to land in a gale force wind. I like the variety of views that are available. The scenery is mostly excellent although there are a few landmarks needing brushed up. This seems to be pretty much a total control program - it would be hard to think what needs to be added to it. Best of all it's easy to just take a leisurely flight anywhere you please if you don't want to tax your brain too much - and it doesn't take too much to get flying. For the realist fans you can make it as close to life as possible. I like the humourous comentaries in the lessons though. At one point (when I missed the runway by several hundred yards) I was told "well, at least you managed to land on airport property". It's not cheap, but it is top quality so is worth buying.
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on 3 July 2009
Anyone buying this game should be aware this isn't an arcade shooter, this is a genuine simulation with 100's of real world airports, accurate plane models and a full living world to fly through.

I've just upgraded my graphics card to an ati 4890 and can now fully appreciate this game. it's almost like flying over Google Earth, but looking down on the roads I can see cars and lorry's cruising up the motorway as I crash into my house!

If you like full on sims this is well worth the money, if you really enjoy it purchase a track ir head tracker too, this allows you look around the cockpit with your head, while you use the mouse and keyboard for just flying the plane, it's very cool.
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on 6 January 2013
This software might be 6 years old but it is extremely impressive and a bargain at £12.50 for the gold edition. It installed quickly from the 3 discs and had no problems activating it, I installed acceleration pack immediately afterwards as this contains the equivalent of FSX service packs 1+2.

When it was first released the game was criticised for the slow frame rate experienced by many users at the time as it required such a powerful system. I was therefore surprised at the great results using modern integrated graphics, I think it was mainly CPU hungry. As there are already a lot of reviews for this product I will speak of my experiences of using an integrated GPU.

Using Ivybridge's HD4000 the game defaulted to ultra high settings for everything, I then activated anisotropic filtering, antialiasing, and pushed texture complexity to 100, mesh resolution to 10m and texture resolution to the lowest value of 7cm. I pretty much maxed everything I could and although frame rates sometimes dropped below the target value of 25fps it was perfectly playable. This was on a 17" monitor (small by modern standards) at it's native resolution of 1024x768 (I am currently waiting for a new HD monitor and Radeon 7850 to be delivered).

I ran this on Windows 8 using a quadcore i5 clocked at 4.3ghz, the integrated GPU is overclocked as well, with 8gb of memory and a SSD drive so it is a fast system. Integrated graphics are really starting to come on now, with Ivybridge's GPU significantly faster than it's predecessor Sandybridge (unlike the CPU), which is set to advance in strides again when Haswell chips are released later this year.

I tried using the DirectX 10 mode, but although water was better, the runway markings flickered so I keep it in DX9, supposedly frame rates are better in DX10.

This game (simulator) only arrived from Amazon this morning, I have done several of the missions and am on the way to becoming a competent flight simulator pilot (still loads to learn, will keep me occupied for ages). I have done several free flights to admire scenery, flying around London sightseeing, touring New York following the river and flying under bridges in the Learjet. I have downloaded a free version of my local airport and will download some additional scenery and planes soon.

A fanastic piece of software! I wish Microsoft would have carried on developing it further.

I read through a lot of the review comments on here before purchasing, one of them is by Captain Anton, he has built an amazing cockpit in his loft, check him out on Youtube lol Wish I could afford to build my own cockpit, maybe one day ...
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 February 2012
I bought this flight simulator to test the performance of my Asus G74SX laptop, and yes the laptop really makes this simulator quite a joy. Thank you Terry on Amazon discussion - your query encouraged me to try out this simulator. I always declared myself as a no gaming person, but now I see myself enjoying a bit and from time to time don't mind trying to fly and land safely (though not at that stage yet). The realism of the simulator is quite impressive.

If you ever face problems in running this game trouble free (as the previous reviewer, but one, has indicated) please make sure that you have a PC with adequate computing and graphics resources. This game is not yet 100% perfect on Windows 7 64-bit platform but still enjoyable, resources permitting.

The one issue I noted was that when FSX is launched, it changes the Windows colour to Basic and I suspect this is because it cannot handle the Aero Desktop Composition; the change will be restored when FSX is exited, so the annoyance factor is nearly zero. Considering the original release date of FS, I think it is coping well with the very modernish Windows 7 platform. I hope Microsoft will release a fully compatible edition, with zero or minimal cost upgrade path for FSX (and FS9) fans.

Another issue I came across was that after installing SP1 and SP2, I then attempted to install the Acceleration Expansion Pack (which comes with FSX). This prompted me to uninstall SP2 before installing the Acceleration Expansion Pack. In fact, later I realised that I overlooked something important in the documentation, to the effect that if you're installing the Acceleration Expansion Pack, you shouldn't install SP2 at all (I presume the Expansion Pack has SP2 built-in).

To enjoy this simulator with a smooth control, a good quality flight stick is a must. I found the SPEEDLINK Black Widow Flightstick to be a good match for its reasonable price.

This is a great game but may only be fully enjoyed with a PC equipped with good CPU, GPU and memory. The laptop I tried on has the following (high end) spec; CPU: Intel i7 2630QM Processor 2.0GHz; GPU: nVidia GeForce GTX 560M with 3GB dedicated GDDR5 VRAM; RAM: 16GB; OS: Windows 7 64-bit; Other: FSX installed and run from HDD on D drive although laptop is equipped with SSD as C drive for other programs often used.
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on 26 June 2009
My two grandsons and myself have had lots of enjoyment flying various aircraft around areas that we know. I was amazed at the quality of the product and marvel at the hours and technical knowledge of those computer programmers to made this Flight Simulator possible. What was not clear on the advert for the Gold Edition was the tremendous number of airfields and airports from all over the world that are catered for on this version. They even include small airfields near to where we live in Shropshire. I would recommend this Flight Simulator,which is very cheap when you consider all the work that has gone into it. I would also recommend that you buy a joystick to operate it which is much easier and lifelike than controlling aircraft by keyboard or mouse. Bob Mills.
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on 10 October 2009
Wow! I have been reading up on this simulator for years and was always impressed then, since buying a pc capable of running this beast of a game this feeling has only got greater. The graphics are mind boggling and the detailing on the aircraft is unbelievable. This is certainly the best version of the game, containing the original, service pack 1 and the the 'acceleration' service pack 2.

The virtual cockpit is a joy to fly in as you make your way across the world, either on your own accord using the free flight function - where you plan your own route, aircraft, or through one of the many missions which test every bit of your flying capabilities. I have since spent many hours piloting my way across the UK flying from airport to airport around my local area.

The airports themselves are spectcular with moving traffic and the ground service system including jet ways, fuel trucks and the pushback functions. Just taxi-ing around heathrow is just as much fun as flying upside down over the fields.

However i must warn, this is not a game and is a true simluator, it is possible to just go fly, hwoever to make the full functions of the game you really need to know what your doing, and to experience the full graphics at there best, it does require the latest graphics cards and computer memory to make the best of it.

Hope u will enjoy flying as much as i do!
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on 30 April 2013
Reported to Amazon that Microsoft does not support this software on Windows 8. Thank you for warning about this now, due at least in part to my feedback.
Tried to install it on Windows 7.. It worked only once as the computer was not on the internet due to lack of Antivirus on the windows 7 computer. It can not now be registered on the net and so is now unusable. Solution??
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on 7 June 2010
After not flying real planes for 10 years I came across this "game". Although you can't really say it is a game. Pretty much a poor man's simulator. Just wanted to see if I could still pick up flying skills again. This does it. The single engine and light twin turbines I have flown are easy to fly in this "game". A challenge is to fly the big jets and fighters, really nice. I think this software can help you keep up your instrument flying skills as well. Nice scenery, although the emphasis is on flying, as it should be. Works immediately after easy install on my Windows 7 64 bit . Graphic card ATI Radeon HD 4650 Athlon x4 620 and 4 gb of memory
At this price a real steal!
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