For what it's worth X-Plane 11

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For what it's worth X-Plane 11

Postby OldAirmail » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:18 pm

Coming sometime in November - X-Plane 11

Not very much useful info, really. And when you watch the video, keep this in mind - they put out the best flight sim previews that I've EVER seen. Much better than what I experienced when I bought X-Plane 10.

Being only a month away, I'm very surprised that they have almost no promo pictures on their site.
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Re: For what it's worth X-Plane 11

Postby Daube » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:36 am

I'm keeping an eye on that XPlane 11.
For the moment, there are not much things to read or see. A few preview videos by beta testers provided some usefull information though.
My current summarized impression is that XPlane 11 is in fact XPlane 10 with a bit more modern graphic engine (especially regarding the airplane materials and texture effects) and some added features for the sim itself. It's not a big leap forward like FS9 -> FSX was. It's more like P3Dv1 -> P3Dv2, something like that. But still, no matter the size, it's still a step in the good direction :)

The video I saw recently was showing the area around Seattle. It's easy to understand that, just like FSX, if you don't have a nice landclass for an area, then the depiction of this area will be quite bad. For example, in the video the Seattle Tacoma airport seems to be surrounded by... villages ? Not exactely the expected density for that area, really :lol: However, it is also easy to understand that with the appropriate landclass addon, the global rendering of the area could become simply superb, and way ahead of anything FSX or P3D could do, due to the way the XPlane engine "builds" the building autogen.

Concerning the aircrafts, XPlane 10 was already on par with FSX and P3D for the realism and avionics complexity, excepted for military systems. The graphic engine (effects, rendering) of XPlane 10 was not as nice as FSX or P3D, but XPlane 11 seems to change this comparison. The night lighting, which was already excellent (and way better than FSX and P3D) in XPlane 10, seems to be even better in XPlane 11.

Last but not least, they have FINALLY reworked totally the graphical interface of the sim. XPlane has been famous for its bad menus, which are especially misleading for the simmers coming from the FSX/P3D world. XPlane 11 has made a drastic change in that area, and that is an excellent news. This, coupled with the 64 bits game engine, will be extremely tempting to me. I never wanted to try the previous versions of XPlane, because of the clumsy menus and the lack of addons. But now, the menu problem is gone, and some very high quality addons (planes and sceneries) are starting to appear for XPlane, so the time to give it a serious try might have come.

Still, TacPack and Accusim do not exist in XPlane, and this is *almost* a showstopper in terms of simming experience.... but since I have a few free gigabytes, I suppose it's worth a shot :D
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Re: For what it's worth X-Plane 11

Postby Daube » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:49 am

Here are two videos which bring quite a good view on what XPlane 11 can do with default scenery:



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Re: For what it's worth X-Plane 11

Postby OldAirmail » Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:08 am

Interesting. When I first saw the announcement there were two short videos, and one video discussion about 11.


There were several things that I disliked about X-Plane 10. Now, remember, I bought X-Plane 10 the first month that it was out.

The biggest problem was that, at the time, you only had one city/airport, Seattle. The rest of the world was just runways. It made me feel like I was in a Stephen King movie - Where did the rest of the world go! :o

The second was the menu system - more like a semi-logical collection of selections. :snooty:

And the most damming of all was the lack of Saitek control interface. Actually, I think that there was a partial "make your own" interface that was under development.


What tipped me towards FSX was all the aircraft & scenery, both freeware and payware, that was available.

To some degree, that has changed now. It's still not close, but much better.


The more that I see of X-Plane 11, the more that I like it.

That's not going to cause me to abandon Prepar3d, but I might consider buying it again.

One plus in that direction is that SPAD.neXt now works with X-Plane 10/11. You can set up your equipment for one and use the same settings in either FSX/P3d or X-Plane 10/11.



Looking at those videos, I can see some things that are better in P3d, and some that are much better in X-Plane 11.

The first thing was the Weight, Balance, & Fuel setting page. Absolutely love it!

Image

Essential? No, that can all be figured out by hand. But their way is so much easier. :D

The next one is very small, but like good clouds & weather, something that adds a nice touch of realism - jet engine exhaust! :clap: :clap: :clap:


I never was one of those who insisted that one or the other had to be The Best. It's like anything in this world; No one thing is the best at everything - a car may be the best for most things, but a motorcycle would be better in heavy traffic. And a pickup truck would be the best for hauling building material.

After all, it's not like cheating on both your wife AND your girlfriend. :D
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Re: For what it's worth X-Plane 11

Postby OldAirmail » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:57 am

I went back to their website to take a quick look at what they had to say.

To my surprise they have an X-Plane demo available.

Image

Don't get excited, it's very buggy and VERY short.

How buggy? The mouse cursor didn't show up, making it hard to select what few options you were able to choose (almost nothing).

On top of that, it chose my GPS as the "joystick" of choice. :roll:

The keyboard did work. Somewhat.

But I eventually got a real joystick to work.

I even got it into a free flight. For about 10 - 15 seconds before it closed down.


So here are a couple of screen shots from the demo KSEA area.

BTW - the C172 is the only choice that you get. It did look VERY good, though.

Image

Image


Oh, yeah. I selected to install the demo to my E: drive. It installed to my desktop. Not so good. :snooty:
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Re: For what it's worth X-Plane 11

Postby pegger » Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:31 am

Thanks for the quick review OAM.

That looks more like PHNL...not KSEA. No matter though. Maybe that's another flaw in the demo (among the others you experienced).

That default scenery looks....awkward? I can't think of a better word.
In the first screen cap, the default PHNL airport does not look anything more remarkable than can be found with default fsx.
The area you are flying over in the 2nd screen cap is heavily industrial in the real world, but in the demo looks more like small city/suburban.

Underwhelming to say the least. I will be watching like so many others, and maybe it will surprise us all.
Unfortunately, as most flight sim enthusiasts come to learn, the surprises are usually more like disappointments. One can only hope they are practicing the art of Under-promise/Over-deliver.
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Re: For what it's worth X-Plane 11

Postby papituwall » Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:53 pm

I downloaded and installed, I expect my info. will be useful for others:

Before I took care of the minimum requirements: http://www.x-plane.com/kb/x-plane-11-sy ... uirements/

Minimum Hardware Requirements:
CPU: Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 CPU with 2 or more cores, or AMD equivalent. (Dual-core CPUs slower than 3 GHz should try the demo before purchasing.)
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Video Card: a DirectX 11-capable video card from NVIDIA, AMD or Intel with at least 1 GB VRAM
If your system is borderline, we encourage you to try the demo first. The full version of the simulator will perform exactly the same as the demo—neither better nor worse.

Because my system is CPU borderline (in CPU, i7 2.8GHz) I had no luck, 12 fps and tremendous stutters with the Cessna 172 with cursors at minimum.

Results:

User interface is good. Great improvement (the old interface was horrible). Pedals and yoke easy configuration.

Planes are good.

Scenery is very similar to X-plane 10. It is more luminous, but the scene is more or less the same. For instance the awful and unreal bridges and bridges under roads: I have never understood that in a Sim that has the option of "Airports follow terrain contour" the roads not follow terrain and to be flat the landscape is filled of stupid bridges. This means lots of useless objects.

But while Prepar3D has evolved to be less computer demanding, X-plane has been the opposite.

I have spend a lot of time in tryin to like X-plane 9 and 10 with no success, so no plans for improve a computer that works satisfactorily with P3DV3, FSX-SE and DCS.
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Re: For what it's worth X-Plane 11

Postby Daube » Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:31 pm

pegger wrote:Thanks for the quick review OAM.

That looks more like PHNL...not KSEA. No matter though. Maybe that's another flaw in the demo (among the others you experienced).

That default scenery looks....awkward? I can't think of a better word.
In the first screen cap, the default PHNL airport does not look anything more remarkable than can be found with default fsx.
The area you are flying over in the 2nd screen cap is heavily industrial in the real world, but in the demo looks more like small city/suburban.

Underwhelming to say the least. I will be watching like so many others, and maybe it will surprise us all.
Unfortunately, as most flight sim enthusiasts come to learn, the surprises are usually more like disappointments. One can only hope they are practicing the art of Under-promise/Over-deliver.


I think the most important thing would be, after all these years of simming, to STOP expecting anything from default sceneries.
XPlane, just like FSX or P3D, are just platforms made to receive addons.
To make the world look detailed is the job of the addons. The job of the simulator graphic engine is to make these addons look as good as possible.
I'm not really concerned by Seattle or Honolulu looking sparse, as long as it's possible to improve them with an addon scenery. ;)

What is crucial is the way Xplane draws an airport and the autogen. And in both cases, it just blows FSX and P3D away, thanks to the better lighting, the non-flat ground, and the more detailled autogen items.
Thanks to these elements, an addon that makes the area more detailled (for example, a landclass addon) could solve the problems in a very effective way, to say the least :)
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Re: For what it's worth X-Plane 11

Postby Daube » Sun Nov 27, 2016 1:40 pm

papituwall wrote:I downloaded and installed, I expect my info. will be useful for others:

Before I took care of the minimum requirements: http://www.x-plane.com/kb/x-plane-11-sy ... uirements/

Minimum Hardware Requirements:
CPU: Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 CPU with 2 or more cores, or AMD equivalent. (Dual-core CPUs slower than 3 GHz should try the demo before purchasing.)
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Video Card: a DirectX 11-capable video card from NVIDIA, AMD or Intel with at least 1 GB VRAM
If your system is borderline, we encourage you to try the demo first. The full version of the simulator will perform exactly the same as the demo—neither better nor worse.

Because my system is CPU borderline (in CPU, i7 2.8GHz) I had no luck, 12 fps and tremendous stutters with the Cessna 172 with cursors at minimum.

Results:

User interface is good. Great improvement (the old interface was horrible). Pedals and yoke easy configuration.

Planes are good.

Scenery is very similar to X-plane 10. It is more luminous, but the scene is more or less the same. For instance the awful and unreal bridges and bridges under roads: I have never understood that in a Sim that has the option of "Airports follow terrain contour" the roads not follow terrain and to be flat the landscape is filled of stupid bridges. This means lots of useless objects.

But while Prepar3D has evolved to be less computer demanding, X-plane has been the opposite.

I have spend a lot of time in tryin to like X-plane 9 and 10 with no success, so no plans for improve a computer that works satisfactorily with P3DV3, FSX-SE and DCS.


I am reading the various feedbacks on various forums.
It seems you are not alone to experience bad performance. However, the XPlane devs have stated that they are still working on the performance optimizations, and that bad performance doesn't need to be reported for now... that means they are well aware of the problem and already working on a solution that should be ready soon.


Also, I read that some settings are FPS killers, like the reflections slider for example. Did you also play around with that one ?
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Re: For what it's worth X-Plane 11

Postby papituwall » Sun Nov 27, 2016 3:15 pm

Thanks Daube.

All sliders at minimum (full left). I assume that the main cause of the problem is my CPU, no complains on that.
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Re: For what it's worth X-Plane 11

Postby OldAirmail » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:34 pm

You guys must not have had problems with your mouse cursor! I spent almost the entire time trying to make my GPS do ANYTHING (because the X-Plane demo chose that instead of the joystick), and then trying to make an invisible cursor find the buttons. :lol:

That's why at the end I only had about 15 seconds of aircraft control.


As to Honolulu. Once I got off the ground I thought that I saw Diamond Head in the background. But the only option for takeoff was KSEA ???

Must have covered a lot of ground in 15 seconds.


As to the scenery. I remember HATING the scenery is FSX. I really wanted to toss it out it was so bad. One thing that I learned VERY early was not to fly near your home. ABSOLUTLY NOTHING will look right. Fly anywhere else and.... "Yeah, it could possibly look like that". :think:

The other thing to understand when looking at those pictures - as a demo they were probably set to the lowest level. So I can't fault them for that. Even without any add-ons, I'm sure you can set the buildings and vegetation higher.


My first $2,400 IBM compatible was a 386DX with 4 MEG of memory. My boss asked me why I needed such a powerful computer. :lol: :lol: :lol:

X-Plane may be pushing the minimums now, but should run just fine on the minimum computer in three or four years.

Computer power increases over the years, and it's games that push it ever forward.
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Re: For what it's worth X-Plane 11

Postby Daube » Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:15 am

I couldn't resist and I downloaded and installed the XPlane 11 demo, keeping in mind it's still a beta... well, a demo of a beta, that is...
You get the point, I wasn't too optimistic.
Things went surprisingly well though :)

First of all, a very good point is the automatic installer for the sim. All in one click after choosing the install path. It's as easy as FSX-Steam.
Then I went on and started configuring the sim. Based on previous user feedbacks on the forums, I carefully set the Antialiasing setting to one crank above the minimum only, and set the reflections to minimum.

The first flight was set in Seattle Tacoma KSEA. The performance was not so bad: my FPS stayed around 23 in average.
The developpers stated clearly that the current performance of this beta version is not as good as it's supposed to be, and they are working to fix that. That means these 23 FPS I was getting are the minimum value I could get... That quite a good news, I would say.

Since I'm a FSX/P3D OrbX PNW addict, the subsequent flights were launched from Concrete Municipal and Darrington Municipal. I wanted to check how big was the demo area. I received a warning message telling the area was not covered by addons, asking me if I wanted to relocate or continue "flying over water". I chose that later one... and found some very nice mountains and forests around me, as expected. In both cases (Concrete and Darrington), the airfield was not populated with building. However, the local towns were there, and the global rendering of the landscape was quite nice, close-enough to OrbX PNW (not as detailled, but not bad). Ah yeah, I got several deers running and crossing the runway in front of me :shock:

I then tried to go a bit farther, by selecting one of the most famous airfield in the PNW area for FSX and P3D simmers: Bowerman KHQM.
This time though, the warning message was different: it told me I got out of the demo area :?
However, that was it. I confirmed my choice and found a very nice airfield, with buildings on it for hangars and the cafe. In fact, the rendition of the airfield was much nicer than I expected. So I took off to check the surrounding area, and compare it with the freeware Bowerman made by OrbX for PNW...

Of course, the OrbX rendition was way better, yes. There was no photorealistic ground imagery in the XPlane 11 version, and the autogen was not so accurately placed. But honnestly, the global rendition of the area was quite good nevertheless. The town was there with all the main streets, the shorelines were precise enough, the ground textures were good enough, and the XPlane 11 graphic and autogen engines were making it even better. Flying around that airfield was almost as pleasant as with FSX or P3D, which is quite surprising considering it's a demo or a totally generic area. That tells a lot about what it could be with a good addon...

Ah yes, the FPS was good in these small airports. Depending on the direction I was looking, the FPS could raise up to 35. I even decided to raise the reflections settings to "Medium", which activated the reflection of the landscape on the water surface. The FPS cost was small, like 3 FPS lost in average, something like that. So, depending on the direction, the FPS was going to a minimum of 20 up to a maximum of 33 FPS, and the sim was smooth all the time.

Ah, and no OOM errors :lol:
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Re: For what it's worth X-Plane 11

Postby papituwall » Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:08 am

Do you have a Nvidia Card?. If yes, have you tested Threaded optimization= OFF?

http://forums.simviation.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=176307

I had no answers to this post.
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Re: For what it's worth X-Plane 11

Postby Daube » Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:44 pm

Yes it's the very first thing I did in fact :)
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Re: For what it's worth X-Plane 11

Postby Sprocket » Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:52 am

Downloaded the demo but it is totally unplayable on my setup. :(

ASUS Mobo, i7 CPU @ 3.4 Ghz, Win 10 64 bit, 8 Gb Ram, Nvidia GTX 770

I get about 1FPS. I done the Inspector settings as recommended.
http://forums.simviation.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=176307

My FSX runs as smooth as silk at about 45 fps most areas with ORBX . (I run unlimited frame rate settings)
As for Xplane, am I overlooking something else?

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