Article Last Updated: 3/13/2023

Software Release Year: 2021


From the Developers:

"You asked and we delivered! FSX Play is the next evolution of true-to-life graphics in golf simulation. With a whole new graphics engine, you’ll experience the game like never before. Rich textures, 3D grass, enhanced lighting, updated UI and HUD, and ultra-smooth gameplay make you feel like you’re on the course."

SurfThing Testing Methodology

Modern simulator software is almost completely dependent on the graphics card installed in the computer. Because of this, we do not concern our software testing with reviewing a wide range of processors as the simulator performance is not affected by a change in the processor model, as long as you are using one from the latest generation. (Processor power comes into play, in large part, when a golfer wants to incorporate other programs like swing capture software utilizing high speed cameras).

Our testing, therefore, will focus solely on the graphics card performance (Nvidia cards only, as many of the software publishers only certify for Nvidia cards). The rest of the system specifications for testing will always use an i9 processor from the latest generation at the time of software release, with at least 16GB of RAM and a solid state NVMe drive.

Our testing results are given in FPS (frames per second). The target goal for an immersive golfing experience is as close to 60 FPS as you can get (note, all golf software companies have capped the FPS to 60). Anything above 30 FPS is considered playable with occasional visual performance dips and graphical tearing, depending on how close to the 30 FPS mark you are at. Anything below 30 FPS begins to be noticeable, unenjoyable, and depending on how low, downright unplayable -- in some cases making the ball flight take twice as long as it normally would.

We test the software on each system in both standard HD (1080P) and Ultra HD (4K) resolutions, so you can select the proper computer for the display type you plan to use. The software is otherwise left in its default settings for the testing. Some software packages have the ability to reduce the visual fidelity in order to increase performance of the software. If a particular software has this capability, we will highlight this fact after the testing results.

We test each graphics card on a wide variety of courses and holes for each resolution. Because each course can have a variety of different foliage and 3D models, each course can bring with it different performance values. The average frames per second taken for each card is the spectrum average of all courses and holes sampled across that resolution.

FSX PLAY Performance Results

  • RTX 3060

    1080P HD

    40 FPS

  • 4K UHD

    13 FPS

  • RTX 3070

    1080P HD

    48 FPS

  • 4K UHD

    18 FPS

  • RTX 3080

    1080P HD

    58 FPS

  • 4K UHD

    28 FPS

  • RTX 4080

    1080P HD

    60 FPS

  • 4K UHD

    56 FPS

  • RTX 4090

    1080P HD

    60 FPS

  • 4K UHD

    57 FPS

Test Conclusions and Recommendations

1080P HD:
The RTX 3060 is the clear starting point for running in 1080P. While there were some courses and holes that would push down closer to the 30 FPS threshold of maintaining an enjoyable performance, the dips were not overly frequent and did not disrupt gameplay in a detrimental manner. If you are running on old system hardware generations, we would recommend at least a RTX 2070 or GTX 1080 Ti for reliable 1080P performance (although, we do not have official testing results for these cards).

If you wish to have the BEST 1080P experience, purchasing a system with a RTX 3080 graphics card or better will get you that consistent 60 FPS buttery smooth performance you are after.


The RTX 3080 just squeezes in as the most budget conscious option for starting with 4K. At just 28 FPS, it gives the user a playable experiences with occasional performance dips that might pull a little bit from the immersion of the game. FSX Play does allow for some graphics setting tweaks (unlike some other options on the market) that allow the user to reduce the visual fidelity of the software to increase the framerate of the game. This does jump the average framerate above the 30 FPS mark, but it is at the cost of some visual eye candy -- subjectively, you may lose as much as you gain by going to the 4K resolution.

For those who want the BEST experience at 4K, you can start with the RTX 4080 at an average of 56 FPS. The performance gap between the RTX 4080 and RTX 4090 is negligible (1 FPS) while the price difference is noticeable. For those looking for the best of the best and don't want to have to change out their computer components for years to come, the RTX 4090 is the undeniable king of the arena right now, but for those who want just enough to get close that that 60 FPS sweet spot, the RTX 4080 is the answer.

SurfThing Desktop Selection

Step 1: Identify the performance level you need.

Step 2: Pick the best video card for your performance level.

Step 3: Select a SurfThing PC that matches, and we'll install the software for you!

Choose your GPU


RTX 4080


RTX 4070


RTX 4060


RTX 4070 (Mobile)

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