Scott writes in with a hardware question.
Question:Every time I run Microsoft Flight Simulator X the graphics cause my computer to slow down or temporarily freeze up. Do I need to install a better graphics card?
Answer: Poor performance with games can be caused by many reasons. The most common is a lack of memory. Flight Simulator should not be as intense as many of the other 3D games out there but it will take some memory to run. If you don't have at least 512MB of RAM in your system you should look into getting more. Windows XP will run on less but I find it needs 512MB or more to run at its best. RAM is cheap and easy to install so it makes for a good upgrade.
If your computer has onboard video rather than a separate video card it is most likely using system RAM for its memory which means that its taking away from your total RAM to apply to the video card. These onboard cards usually don't allocate enough memory to themselves for high end gaming. I would look into an AGP video card with at least 128MB or more of onboard RAM for your game. If you already have an AGP video card then you can upgrade it to a higher model.
It may also be freezing up if your card is not using a supported chipset for the game such as NVIDIA or ATI etc. It should say on the box what the requirements are.