Best Laptop for X-Plane 11

X-Plane 11 gameplay

Are you a serious flight sim enthusiast or a student pilot? Or do you just have a thing for aircrafts? If so, X-Plane 11 should not be a stranger to you. This state-of-the-art flight simulator is the closest thing we have to a real aircraft cockpit. The level of realism combined with the intensity of the simulation make for a great experience. But what about hardware? Is it possible to run X-Plane 11 with a laptop?

That's a big question, and the answer is yes. As a technology enthusiast and hardcore flight sim enthusiast, I'm here to help you pick the best laptop for X-Plane 11. I'll look at what specs you'll need, what machines are available on the market and lastly, my personal recommendations. Let's get ready to fly!

My processor recommendations for playing X-Plane 11

Processor

One of the biggest factors for a smooth gameplay is your CPU. But how do you pick the best one? It all depends on your laptop's budget and performance needs. That's why I'm outlining all the options to help you choose the best CPU for X-Plane 11.

Requirements

The game doesn't specify any particular processor, but that doesn't mean you should take any risks. I recommend an Intel Core i5 CPU or AMD Ryzen 3, both with an option for high performance – it's worth the extra money.

Recommendations

Choosing the best CPU for X-Plane 11 is tough given so many different options. But I'll give you my suggestions for picking up a new processor:

  • Intel Core i5-10310U – minimum required to play X-Plane 11; powerful enough to enjoy the game on high graphics settings without noticing any slowdowns; perfect for 1080p resolution screens; good for VR; not well optimized for AMD processors; pricey.
  • AMD Ryzen 3 2200U – less expensive than Intel's counterparts, but still powerful enough to enjoy X-Plane 11 on high graphics settings; well optimized for AMD processors; subpar VR performance; subpar at higher resolutions (above 1080p).
TL;DR
  • any processor will do, but Intel Core i5 and AMD Ryzen 3 are the best choices
  • Intel Core i5-10310U is the minimum required to play X-Plane 11
  • AMD Ryzen 3 2200U is cheaper than Intel's counterparts, but still powerful enough to enjoy X-Plane 11 on high graphics settings

Graphics card

Minimum graphics (under $1000)

Graphics card

As the minimum graphics card for playing X-Plane 11, we should ideally aim for a DirectX 11-capable video card from NVIDIA or AMD with 4 GB VRAM.

Recommended graphics ($1000 – $2000)

For a recommended GPU, we're looking at the DirectX 12-capable GPUs from NVIDIA or AMD with 4 GB VRAM (GeForce GTX 1070 or better or similar from AMD).

Best graphics ($2000 and up)

Finally, for the best possible video card, we'll need to reach for Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti and AMD Radeon VII. Both these cards come with 8 GB VRAM and should be more than enough to run X-Plane 11 on its highest settings.

TL;DR
  • if you're playing X-Plane 11, aim for a 4 GB GPU from NVIDIA or AMD with DirectX 11 support
  • a GeForce GTX 1070 or better is a good start for a GPU, and Radeon VII or RTX 2080 Ti is best

Memory for X-Plane 11

Minimum (8-16 GB)

Memory ram

First of all, I should mention that you could get away buying an 8GB RAM laptop. Though that's acceptable in a single situation – you're on an uncomfortably tight budget, and you could upgrade the 8GB laptop with an extra RAM stick.

Recommended (16 GB)

If you aren't in this situation – stick with 16 GB. That's the sweet spot for gaming, work, and everything in-between. I might consider 32 GB to be more future-oriented than 16 GB, but if you don't particularly care whether you're ahead of the pack or not – 16 GB is still a considerable amount of memory for most.

Best (32 GB)

Let me ask you a couple of questions. Do you care about streaming your gameplay, keeping multiple games open, or using Chrome 100 tabs open? If that sounds like you – consider paying a premium for a 32GB model. Is there a benefit going beyond that? Sure, the more, the merrier, but it's not necessary by any standard, and I'd instead invest in other components, such as CPU or GPU.

How to choose the right storage for playing X-Plane 11?

Is HDD an option?

ssd hdd inside pc

SSDs are best, but if you're on a budget, HDDs are the way to go. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on laptops with SSDs.

Picking an SSD

We've sorted through specs and picked out our favorite SSDs for X-Plane 11. But don't worry – it's not as hard as it sounds. We've checked for NVMe support and made sure that there is an expansion slot for upgrades. On top of that, some benchmarks just for kicks – read/write speeds, data rates, IOPS – all that good stuff. If you're still unsure about what to get – check out our shortlist below:

  • A 256 GB SSD is entry-level and will fill up quickly
  • 512 GB is a lot more (yes, I know, twice as more) and a good starting point
  • 1 TB SSD is plenty for most people
  • 2 TB SSD and more is perfect for comprehensive collection of games, movies, and what have you.
TL;DR
  • don't get a HDD – get an SSD instead
  • get a 256 GB SSD if you're on a budget and you'll need plenty of space
  • get a 512 GB SSD if you need a lot of space and/or you don't want to upgrade in the future
  • get a 1 TB SSD if you need even more space and/or you want to store all your games on one drive (in case your other drives fail)

Choosing a display

selecting display for gamming

What should you look for in a laptop display for playing X-Plane 11? Honestly, I can't say. The game is visually unimpressive, and the quality of the display is not what makes it worth playing. There are other factors that you might be more interested in – framerate, response time, adaptive sync. But if you're an aviation fanatic who wants to fly this game at homeanything will do.

TL;DR

X-Plane 11 is not particularly demanding, so any laptop display will do. If you're an aviation fanatic who wants to fly this game at home, you can use anything. I can't say.

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Table of Best Laptops for {topic}

LaptopPrice (approx)

X-Plane 11 FAQs

What laptop should I buy for X-Plane 11?

That depends on your budget and expectations. For example, the GIGABYTE A5 K1 is an excellent value for money at $790, whereas the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Gen 5 has much higher specs and is priced at $4,230. We recommend taking a look at the recommendations table to find a laptop that fits your needs.

What specs do I need to run X-Plane 11?

We recommend having a GTX 1650 or better graphics card, at least 8 GB of RAM, 1 TB HDD or 256 GB SSD storage, FHD, TN or better display, and a Ryzen 5 3500U or better processor to get the best experience out of X-Plane 11.

Can you play X-Plane 11 on a laptop?

Absolutely. X-Plane 11 can be run on most laptops, depending on their specs.

Is RTX 2070 good for X-Plane 11?

Yes, the RTX 2070 is a great graphics card for X-Plane 11. You'll be able to play with excellent graphics settings and have a smooth gameplay experience.

What is the minimum RAM for X-Plane 11 on a laptop?

We recommend having at least 8 GB of RAM to get the best performance from X-Plane 11.

Is Core i7 required for X-Plane 11?

It's not required, but it would certainly provide better performance and better frame rates.

Can X-Plane 11 run on a 4GB RAM laptop?

X-Plane 11 can technically be run on a laptop with 4GB of RAM, but we recommend having at least 8GB to get the best performance out of the game.

What is the best processor for X-Plane 11?

It really depends on your budget and your expectations, but we recommend at least an Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor.

What graphics card do I need to run X-Plane 11?

We recommend having a GTX 1650 or better for the best performance and graphics settings.

Is an SSD necessary to run X-Plane 11 on a laptop?

It is not necessary, but an SSD will certainly improve the loading times and make the game run more smoothly.

6 Best Laptops for X-Plane 11

ASUS Zenbook

1
A Sleek and Versatile Choice for X-Plane 11 Pilots
Price
$640
Ryzen 5 5500U | MX450 | 8 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 14″ IPS; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Robust 63 Wh battery life
  • Fast and reliable processor
Cons
  • Soldered RAM that cant be expanded
  • No finger-sensor or touchscreen option
Alternatives
$740
HP Victus 15
Pros
  • Solid performance for X-Plane 11
  • Lots of port options
Cons
  • Battery life could be better
  • Limited graphics performance
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ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

2
A Lightweight and Compact High-Performance Laptop for X-Plane 11
Price
$1320
Ryzen 9 5900HS | RTX 3060 | 40 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 14″; 2560×1440
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Bright and accurate 120 Hz QHD display
  • Compact and lightweight case
Cons
  • RAM partially soldered
  • Lower-than-state-of-the-art 8 GB VRAM for high-end GPUs
Alternatives
$1,300
Acer Predator Triton 500
Pros
  • Fast WiFi 2.5 Gbit Ethernet for lag-free online gaming
  • Bright 240-Hz display for clear visuals
Cons
  • Soldered-in RAM and inaccessible SSD limits upgradability
  • Fan noise and warm palm rest during extended gaming sessions
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ASUS ROG Strix Scar

3
A Powerful High-Performance Laptop for X-Plane 11
Price
$2310
Ryzen 9 5900HX | RTX 3080 | 64 GB RAM | 4000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS-level G-Sync; 1920×1080
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Impressive Core i9-12900H and RTX 3070 Ti performance
  • Sturdy construction and Dolby Vision support
Cons
  • Limited display angle
  • No biometric login for extra security
Alternatives
$2,560
Acer Predator Triton 500
Pros
  • Sleek, robust aluminum case
  • Fast WiFi and Ethernet
Cons
  • Soldered-in RAM
  • Inaccessible SSD
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Acer Predator Triton 500

4
A Powerful and Stylish Laptop with Room for Improvement
Price
$2500
i9-12900H | RTX 3080 Ti | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 16″ IPS G-Sync; 2560×1600
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Robust and slim aluminum case
  • Fast WiFi and Ethernet connection
Cons
  • Soldered-in RAM limits upgradeability
  • Inaccessible SSD for maintenance and repair
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ASUS ROG Strix Scar G733CX-XS97

5
A Smooth Flight for X-Plane 11
Price
$3800
i9-12950HX | RTX 3080 Ti | 32 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 17.3″ IPS; 2560×1440
Pros and cons
Pros
  • High 240 Hz QHD panel for fluid visuals
  • Thunderbolt 4 Wi-Fi 6E for reliable connection
Cons
  • No webcam for online connection
  • No dedicated graphics card for high-end gaming
Alternatives
$4,700
Lenovo ThinkPad P15
Pros
  • Unparalleled durability and reliability.
  • Ample ports for expansion.
Cons
  • Gets hotter and louder than competitors.
  • No buttons on trackpad.
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ASUS ROG Strix Scar

6
A Stylish Powerhouse for X-Plane 11!
Price
$4500
i9-12950HX | RTX 3080 Ti | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 17.3″; 2560×1440
Pros and cons
Pros
  • Bright and Vivid QHD Display
  • TB4 and Wi-Fi 6E for High Speeds
Cons
  • No Webcam Included
  • Relatively Expensive
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Table of the Best Laptops for X-Plane 11

LaptopPrice (approx)
ASUS Zenbook$640
ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14$1320
ASUS ROG Strix Scar$2310
Acer Predator Triton 500$2500
ASUS ROG Strix Scar G733CX-XS97$3800
ASUS ROG Strix Scar$4500

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