PC Requirements

PC-based heavy equipment simulatorThe simulators offered by VISTA Trainingare real-time 3D applications, so your PC (Personal Computer) will need to have sufficient computing and graphics horsepower. That is why many PCs, even new ones, are unsuitable, especially those that feature "integrated CPU-graphics systems" which may be 20-40 times slower than PCs with separate graphics cards.

In the following table, we present VISTA's PC Requirements to obtain good-to-superior performance for all of our products. Note that the specifications are typical of high-powered "gaming" computers, but it may be possible to use less powerful computers for some VISTA products.

Component Desktop PC Laptop PC
Operating System Windows 10 Pro Windows 10 Pro
CPU Intel Core i7 @ 3.0GHz or better Intel Core i7 @ 3.0GHz or better
RAM (main memory) 8GB of RAM 8GB of RAM
Graphics Card a high performance graphics card such as the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 or higher with at least 8GB GDDR5 (videoRAM)
(NVDIA Quadro and AMD/ATI cards are not supported)
a high performance graphics card such as the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 or higher with at least 8GB GDDR5 (videoRAM)
(NVDIA Quadro and AMD/ATI cards are not supported)
Hard Drive at least 2GB of unused capacity
(free disk space)
at least 2GB of unused capacity
(free disk space)
(see note about displays)
(see note about displays)

Enough USB ports for your simulator controls, 1 audio output, and a CD/DVD player for installing software

(see note about sounds)

Enough USB ports for your simulator controls, 1 audio output, and a CD/DVD player for installing software

(see note about sounds)
Webbrowser (HMTLViewer) Internet Explorer 8 or higher Internet Explorer 8 or higher

About displays

Today, many VISTA customers are using large displays (typically sold as "flat screen" TVs) and so VISTA has prepared some display recommendations. If you plan to use such a display, please be sure that your PC has a corresponding port e.g. HDMI 1.4. (DVI and VGA are older standards that provide less image information and no sound, compared to HDMI.)

About PC support for multiple displays

VISTA's multi-display configurations need multiple video output signals from your PC. In the case of three displays placed in front of your simulator controls, they need to form a single Windows desktop and that can be done in several ways:

  • A desktop PC with one high-performance NVIDIA graphics card with 3 or more video outputs (one display per output).
  • A desktop PC with 2 identical high-performance NVIDIA graphics cards linked in an NVIDIA SLI configuration with 3 or more total video outputs (one display per output, spread across the 2 cards).
  • A desktop or laptop PC with a high-performance NVIDIA graphics card but only one DisplayPort video output, connected to an external multi-display adaptor to drive the 3 displays (VISTA recommends the Matrox TripleHead2Go Digital SE).

Note that depending on the choice you make, you may also need video port adapters to connect the video outputs to the video inputs of your displays.

Note: For minimum PC requirements when using multiple displays please contact VISTA Training..

About sounds

To properly hear the sounds generated by your Personal Simulator, VISTA recommends a high fidelity sound card for your PC, either integrated with the PC motherboard, or on a separate sound card e.g. from Creative Labs or Asus.

Quality speakers will enhance the training experience and here VISTA recommends a "2.1" stereo sound system composed of small left and right speakers, along with a larger sub-woofer to better hear lower frequencies (such as engine sounds). For simulator labs, you may instead consider having headphones at each station to minimize audio distraction among simulator users.

About simulator controls

Simulator controls range from a pair of joysticks to more advanced multi-purpose configurations. With the more advanced configurations, with several controller devices all plugged into your PC via USB ports, it is possible that with Windows 8 or Windows 10, the order of these controller devices can change after you power up your PC. For this reason, if your simulator has several controllers, you may consider, if possible, Windows 7 rather than Windows 8 or Windows 10.

About networking your computers

In the case of simulator labs, if you have licensed your simulation software to work with VISTA's Simulation Manager, then VISTA recommends that you co-locate and connect all your PCs using a dedicated network. If instead you try to use your existing school-wide or company-wide network, you may encounter security or permissions problems, depending on the configuration of that network. Practically, those networks are typically designed to be very careful about sharing files among PCs, but this is exactly what VISTA software requires. Therefore, if you prepare a dedicated network for just your (VISTA) PCs, file sharing can be allowed without compromising the security of your other network.

About electricity

Finally, VISTA recommends the use of a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) to protect your PC from problems with electrical quality or reliability leading to "brown-outs" or "black-outs" e.g. when equipment turning on or off on the same circuit causes surges and changes in voltage. In most cases, a "moderate strength" UPS will provide enough protection to properly regulate electricity to your PC, and can be configured to allow your PC shut down safely in the case of power failure. For most desktop PCs, a UPS in the range of 1500 VA should be sufficient, depending on the quality of the available electrical supply. Laptop PCs may use a smaller UPS (e.g. 750 VA) due to their lower power requirements. In all cases, refer to the specifications of your PC for details.


If you have any additional questions about the computer hardware needed to support these simulators, please contact VISTA Training.