Simulator Hard Discs

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Pablo Edronkin

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Aeronautical Supplies

Hard disks in relation to simulators constitute a significant and delicate topic that deserves special attention due to the difficulties normally encountered in the event that a replacement or expansion becomes necessary after the system becomes operational.

Changing or swapping a HD in a plain vanilla computer on a desktop is a cumbersome process with a lot of hardware factors to consider, plus, a long and tedious software issue because replacing a hard disk usually entails reinstalling an operating system and many different programs; this job can take days un - as we said - an ordinary computer. So, in the event of a simulator, a computer located in the guts of a cockpit and plugged to dozens of peripherals, USB devices, a LAN and so on, plus reinstalling the base simulation software and all its add-ons, plus getting everything to work together at the cockpit level can be, as you probably guessed, quite a problem.

So it is easy to come by to the notion that this topic deserves attention right from the beginning because aside from the inevitable hardware failures that could happen anywhere, anytime, one of the main reasons for a HD change is that the user is left with no storage space after a while for two reasons:

New add-ons for a given system generation (i.e. the same software version) tend to increase in size and complexity, and may end eating away all available HD space, meaning that the owner or user will have to find compromises by deleting some of those add-ons and thus, bringing down the overall quality of the simulation in some cases.

The installation of newer versions of the base software. Experience indicates that new versions of products such as MSFS require new hardware or at least far more requirements than past ones, especially regarding memory, processing power, video rendering and storage capacity.

Thus, it is wise to spend a little more purchasing such capabilities in excess at least in the case of the computer that twill act as the server, assuming that the cockpit sim will run on a local area network, and particularly in the case of memory, HD space and video resources. Remember that changing the configuration of the hardware of a desktop computer is usually a complex thing to do, so imagine what it would be in the event of a full-scale flight simulator.

It takes a lot of computer power to fly a simulator like this one.
It takes a lot of computer power to fly a simulator like this one.

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