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[Updated] After Sim Update 9, Microsoft Flight Simulator is an Unstable Mess

Crashes, freezes, and stutters.

Stuart Breckenridge
Stuart Breckenridge
2 min read
[Updated] After Sim Update 9, Microsoft Flight Simulator is an Unstable Mess

Update 03-Jul-22: Oops.

At the same time SU9 came out I increased the amount of RAM in my machine (from 2x 16GB to 4x 16GB). Everything—except MSFS and Bus Simulator 21—was stable. MSFS had wild frame rates and would frequently crash with memory read errors (it was more frequent with the Fenix than PMDG). I blamed everything else—SU9, Nvidia, Windows—before blaming the RAM (Windows reinstalled, MSFS reinstalled, etc., all with the same result).

I started looking at the RAM and memtest86 threw up a few errors, although they were inconsistent. So, I went back to 2x 16GB and everything—including MSFS which is silky smooth again. (It didn't matter which two of the four RAM modules were used.)

Moral of the story: check your motherboard's manual to see if the RAM you have is supported in a 4x configuration! I lost days to this.

Original Post

Since Asobo released Sim Update 9, I've had nothing but trouble. Things are so bad that it comes as a surprise when I can finish a flight. My simming experience since the end of May:

  • ✅ San Francisco to Palm Springs (custom scenery), Fenix A320
  • ✅ Kuala Lumpur (custom scenery) to Singapore (custom scenery), Fenix A320
  • ❌ Palm Springs (custom scenery) to Los Angeles, Fenix A320 (Crash to Desktop on Final — Unable to Read Memory)
  • ✅ Sacramento (custom scenery) to Carson City, PMDG 737
  • ❌ Denver to Colorado, Fenix A320 (Crash to Desktop on Final — Unable to Read Memory)
  • ❌ Singapore (custom scenery) to Kuala Lumpur (custom scenery), Fenix A320 (Crash to Desktop during Pre-flight — Unable to Read Memory)
  • ✅ Denver to Colorado, PMDG-737
  • ❌ Perth (custom scenery) to Singapore (custom scenery), Asobo B787 (MSFS freeze during Cruise)
  • ❌ Dublin to London Heathrow (custom scenery), Fenix A320 (Crash to Desktop during Cruise — no error message)
  • ❌ Ayers Rock (custom scenery) to Perth (custom scenery), Fenix A320 (MSFS freeze during Pre-flight)
  • ❌ After a full reinstall of Flight Simulator (Crash to Desktop while downloading Marketplace content — Unable to Read Memory)

After publishing this post, I spent around 11 hours reinstalling Windows followed by Flight Simulator and its add-ons. I've completed numerous stress tests of my hardware and found no issues. The below set of bullets outlines my experience since the full reinstall.

  • ❌ Singapore (custom scenery) to Kuala Lumpur, PMDG 737 (MSFS freeze during Pre-flight)
  • ✅ Glasgow (custom scenery) to Belfast, PMDG-737
  • ❌ São Paulo to Santos Dumont, Fenix A320 (Crash to Desktop, 0x000000C5)

I tried using memtest86 and on the first run, it detected five errors. I've since removed and reintroduced the RAM modules one by one, re-run the tests, and now the errors have gone.

  • ✅ São Paulo to Santos Dumont, Fenix A320

On top of the crashes, general game performance has dropped with frame rate issues throughout—particularly at custom airports when on the ground.[1] I don't see that any of this can be down to my (relatively new[2]) computer. It plays every other game I have at 2K, 120FPS+ without breaking a sweat.

So, given that it's almost two years since Flight Simulator was released, it's really an embarrassing state of stability.

  1. Just watch some streams on Twitch and you'll see stutters everywhere. ↩︎

  2. Core i5 12600KF, EVGA 3080Ti, 2x 1TB nVME M.2, 64GB 3600Mhz Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro RAM. ↩︎