Several years ago now, I ran across a free R\C flight sim called Flying Model Simulator (FMS). Its a good program that will run on most any hardware setup. However, FMS has questionably unrealistic flight physics. So, with the last of my college funds, I purchased the popular RealFlight simulator version 3.0. I got the free upgrade to version 3.5. Even though my computer is far above the minimum specifications, I had to turn the graphic settings down when flying. Also the ground handling left something to be desired, no bumps on takeoff or landing! G4 was coming out, and I didn't want to spend the money upgrade but I wanted a new sim.
I ran across the Phoenix simulator and I saw a huge lists of pluses. The Phoenix sim offers free down-loadable upgrades between versions, its cheaper than Realflight, and you always use your own transmitter as the controller. My wonderfully supportive wife saw that I had my eye's on a new sim, so she bought it for me for Valentines day. And as far as simulators go, I couldn't be happier with the Phoenix sim. The graphics are superb, and my computer runs this sim without bogging down. Handling on the ground and in the air, seems very realistic. There is a multitude of airplanes and helicopters to fly, with more being continually developed. Since I've owned the sim, multiple updates have been made available, and it just keeps getting better and better. I'd give this sim five stars, I fly with it whenever I can. If your wondering what sim to get, this is the one.