Leej
Topic Author
Posts: 339
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2001 10:39 pm

Rekindling my flightsim - what to do?

Sun Mar 11, 2018 5:13 pm

Boys and girls....
After a 6+ year hiatus of simming I want to start again. An afternoon on the Emirates A380 sim at their centre in East London got me fired up again! I still have my old FS2004 discs - many happy memories. So question is - I have a couple of fairly decent PC's at home, should I re-install, or is there something better, new and improved that I can download? Would love to be able to do on big screen TV. Should I get something on laptop so I can HDMI it? Happy to pay for software but would love to share experience on TV for pals.
 
Raventech
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:25 pm

Re: Rekindling my flightsim - what to do?

Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:06 pm

I would define decent PC. Reason is Prepar3D V4 has gotten to the point where low end gaming rig can play it with decent performace (unlike FSX). FS9 still has great amounts of addons to explore but developers over the last year or two have started to drop FS9 support because of the increase in performance and the lack of compatibility of FS9 add-ons on P3Dv4. So while fs9 still works great, I wouldn't invest any more money in add-ons for it
 
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cpd
Posts: 5551
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:46 am

Re: Rekindling my flightsim - what to do?

Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:58 pm

Go for Lockheed-Martin Prepar3D v4 and invest in some quality payware addons for it. That should give you the experience to make it worth while, instead of the stuttering performance of FSX. Heck, I ran FSX on a powerful Mac Pro and it struggled at 25fps at larger airports, and sometimes it would do worse.

FS9 is simply too old now.

Also it all depends on what your decent PCs are. The typical FSX decent PC was something overclocked to 4.5ghz and with very fast disk drives.
 
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Ruddman
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Re: Rekindling my flightsim - what to do?

Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:37 pm

FS9 is the last of the genuine flight simulators. Forget FSuX and P3Dud. Pureley to satisfy the 'gamer' crowd. Washed out graphics and cartoon features. I downgraded to FSX with ORBX airports/scenery and PMDG and everything else. Realized how crap it was and moved on up to FS9(and iFLY - more comprehensive, more important features then PMDG) and never looked back.

There are still new add-ons and airports being made for FS9. Tons available. freeware. Still the smoothest sim out there.
 
Raventech
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:25 pm

Re: Rekindling my flightsim - what to do?

Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:21 am

Ruddman wrote:
FS9 is the last of the genuine flight simulators. Forget FSuX and P3Dud. Pureley to satisfy the 'gamer' crowd. Washed out graphics and cartoon features. I downgraded to FSX with ORBX airports/scenery and PMDG and everything else. Realized how crap it was and moved on up to FS9(and iFLY - more comprehensive, more important features then PMDG) and never looked back.

There are still new add-ons and airports being made for FS9. Tons available. freeware. Still the smoothest sim out there.


Have you actually used P3D (especially v4). Lockheed Martin has been good stewards of MSFS and arguably P3Dv4 is what was FSX should have been. I was in the FS9 camp until v4.1 because the hit to performance wasn't worth it. That changed for me because I now I can go into big airports in a performance intensive plane such as the NGX and still get good frame rates assuming no AI. Unfortunately AI performance still is crap but funny thing about that....

Turns out that one is not P3D or FSX fault (for the most part). It's that we still built models with tons of drawcalls and assuming that we need ~6 LODs like we did 15+ years ago. I studied this because my feeling is P3D is now at a point to be a viable replacement for FS9 if we can solve this issue then we are about there. In the link is some benchmarks I did using popular AI Aircraft that suffer from the ailments above and models I made using everything I know now to optimize performance and how much it now improves things.

http://www.alpha-india.net/forums/index ... ic=27136.0

My PCs are above the minimum specs but neither of them are at recommended and I still get good performance out of them. What P3D did is actually built a sim that can run on a system with the minimum specs they give unlike when FSX launched. Looking at PCPer.com their low end system, it reaches the minimum specs easily and probably wont have many of the bars far off from the minimum but it will run fine based on my P3D Experience.

https://www.pcper.com/hwlb

Ruddman wrote:
There are still new add-ons and airports being made for FS9. Tons available. freeware. Still the smoothest sim out there.


If you are fine with never improving a program then FS9 forever will be the choice because P3D will never match FS9 in a raw performance test. Just like every program on earth that iterates periodically, the version from 15 years ago will perform better raw than the newer one because newer versions can do stuff that could not be done before due to improvements in power. That though will mean that you won't get those improvements because you are chasing raw FPS.

BTW FS9 addon development has been put on life support due to P3Dv4. It is only backwards compatible to FSX so in order to develop a project for both you have to design it for one and port it to the other which is not a time friendly task. Personally I have dropped FS9 for my future freeware developments because of the amount of time required to back-port a model to FS9. I would rather spend my time making more models given this situation broke a lot of older AI Aircraft that were only compiled to FS9 MDL standards. I can't think of a payware company still developing for FS9 at this point and the only freeware outfits I know of still doing FS9 stuff regularly is Hiroshi's group TDS and FAIB in the AI Aircraft Relm (and for FAIB the models may have FS9 versions but very few repainters for it are making FS9 versions of thier paints)

Ruddman wrote:
FS9 is the last of the genuine flight simulators.


B.S. That like saying XP was the last genuine version of windows. As someone who develops addons, much like windows, MSFS/P3D at its core is still the same as it was back in FS2002 and possibly before. FDEs have not changed sigificantly at all. You can argue the cartoony look and FSX "gamer" features but simulation wise it is still the same at the core.
 
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cpd
Posts: 5551
Joined: Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:46 am

Re: Rekindling my flightsim - what to do?

Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:53 am

Raventech wrote:
My PCs are above the minimum specs but neither of them are at recommended and I still get good performance out of them. What P3D did is actually built a sim that can run on a system with the minimum specs they give unlike when FSX launched. Looking at PCPer.com their low end system, it reaches the minimum specs easily and probably wont have many of the bars far off from the minimum but it will run fine based on my P3D Experience.


I remember the pre-production versions of FSX that would die if the thing crashed to desktop, and you'd have to kill the whole install (manually, because the uninstall didn't work) and re-install it again from the DVDs. I still have those DVDs here - quite unique looking things with plain detailing. It was a real struggle to run it with the high detail, especially to get the full visuals of birds, ground traffic, etc and everything else on high. Eventually it got better with the RTM and the later updates, plus savvy third party developers finding ways to tweak it. Still, running 2560x1440 resolution severely taxed my a computer, which has a Xeon 3.2ghz processor in it and a decent video card (which was always meaningless for FSX).

Kudos to the LM team for building it to a level where we can all use it without needing super computers.

All that said, I've pretty much left the flight simulator world totally, much as I did taking photos of planes. Found other things I liked more.

Raventech wrote:
Turns out that one is not P3D or FSX fault (for the most part). It's that we still built models with tons of drawcalls and assuming that we need ~6 LODs like we did 15+ years ago.


When I did game development, I hated doing LODs, they were the worst, especially because I was doing fiendishly complicated models as well. Porsche 956C, Porsche 962C (in all of its various forms, from the factory and privateers), Jaguar XJR8, XJR9, Sauber C9, etc. It's a huge amount of work. The 962C for example:

Factory 962C, sprint form
Factory 962C, Le Mans high speed form
Factory 962C, final high downforce form
Thompson Motorsport 962C - remote rear wing
Richard Lloyd Racing 962C - remote rear wing
Alpha Team 962C (fairly similar to the factory Le Mans car)

Plus they all had various different wheels. And the RLR car had it's own little complexities, it didn't have a titanium spool, rather it featured a Salisbury differential, so it was physically a totally different beast to the standard cars, and the Thompson machines had carbon sandwich construction rather than the alluminium monocoque of the standard factory cars. At least they all had basically the same engine with the same noise, so that didn't need to be redone or made custom to each one, that's good because it isn't easy to even get a 962 to record the engine.

Argh, I don't want to do that stuff again. ;) I'll leave that to all of you very clever and dedicated people. I think it was in the FS community where I met some of the most clever developers.

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