I'm new too! I'm waiting for the CH Fighterstick and Pro Throttle that I ordered (by the way, I advice against ordering from SimWare Simulations, they've been nothing but a frustration since the 7th that I clicked to order, all they've done is ignore all my questions and delay the shipping with no explanation, on the 10th they finally told me that my Visa was declined, then within 30 minutes I paid via Paypal, then they stopped responding again and finally after contacting aerosoft which bought them in 2012 I got them to tell me they got the payment on the 11th and it would be shipped on the 14th, but I have had no confirmation so I don't know if they did and they never answered my questions or explain what caused all the delays or even apologise). I bought it for upcoming not-sims like Star Citizen or Elite Dangerous and older classics I never got into like Freespace 2, Wing Commander and Independence War 2. So, video games, but I figure since I now have the means (I know, no pedals, I'll set the rudder on the throttle's analog stick for now, it was already too much of an investment for me) I might as well try sims! My PC is an i7 3770K with 16GB DDR3 and a 7970 3GB OC running Windows 8.1. This is the sim related software I acquired: FSX Gold, Falcon 4.0 Allied Force, Rise of Flight free version, X-Plane 10 demo, IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946, DCS World free version, Flight Gear and Fly! Legacy. I'm leaving out less realistic games I got like Wings of Prey and War Thunder, they're more in line with the games I mentioned I ordered the CH Products equipment for and they shouldn't need instructions or anything. Having tried them (I won't get into any before my gear arrives), Falcon 4.0 Allied Forces doesn't perform well for no reason, IL-2 Sturmovik: 1946 performs flawlessly even though it's not quite as old and looks a little more advanced, Rise of Flight is also flawless although I didn't get in complex scenarios, FSX Gold performs badly (even after much tweaking) but going by google that's apparently and sadly to be expected depending on the scenario, X-Plane 10 didn't perform great, I guess for similar reasons to FSX Gold and DCS World is also a slow beast but justifies it. The software I encountered real problems with is Flight Gear and Fly! Legacy, both didn't work right or crashed shortly after loading, every time, so I hope later versions will work. So yeah, hello and sorry for the info dump! If anyone has tips on making Allied Force perform good like it does for others, I'm all ears (keep in mind it's not the original Falcon 4.0 for which there are the fan updated versions and it's with the last official patch). Similarly for FSX Gold, well known tweaks like HIGHMEMFIX didn't do much. I'm also all ears for other software recommendations and recommendations for other steps I should take. Being a total beginner perhaps I don't even need my sim of choice to be all encompassing, I can deal with something of a smaller scope (few planes and locations, but well done ) if it provides a fun intuitive experience and teaches things that will carry over when I seriously move to the likes of FSX Gold. I don't mind old technology and graphics, as long as they weren't artistically ugly even for their time and they aren't plagued by incosistency or performance issues on top of that. I play tons of 90s games for PC and other systems if they're good so I suppose the same would apply to a simulator. Perhaps some of what I said should be go in other forum sections but I figured it might be rude to spam all of them with questions from the get go so here I am, now I've introduced myself. So, respond to what's appropriate!
By the way, my first experience with a sim was in the 90s with Taito's coin operated Landing Gear. It had 3D graphics, a bench, a joystick and throttle. It tasked players with doing increasingly harder landing (possibly take off too, I forget) procedures, from a small propeller plane in a lake to a commercial airliner in an airport at night after a tight turn, to a fighter jet on a carrier, to a space shuttle's re-entry and landing. All sims should have such scenarios to retry and play like an arcade game until you get it! Google tells me that was a whole series, the last was Landing High Japan in 1999. I wish I could have played that, it had a yoke and everything! Then they made a few console games. They had more crazy coin op sims, google for Taito's Power Shovel!