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John Heaton

Quality of PREPar3d and other simulators

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I hope this wont get bounced to the PR3d forum because I would like to see a Logical discussion

I said Logical - hoping it wont be one of those "mine is bigger than yours" arguments. 

 

I returned to FS earlier this year after an absence of around 5 years - caused by boredom of much of the sameness - and a solo sailing of the Queensland's Pacific.

I had always used MSFX since the 80s  and returned to it again via Steam - (I couldn't get my FX gold to work again) - and a rebuilt computer.

 

This was in the middle of the Orbx May sale and I bought up big on what was on offer in Australia - UK - and the global aspects.

Yes !! - a definite improvement - but I wanted new aircraft - and the better offers seemed to come in 64bit PRD3 format

- so I swapped my 32 bit  W10 to 64bit esp.in view of the memory.

I also saw that PRd3 should be an improvement  - since most of it was ported across to LM with the same team.

 

That was 2/3 months ago - and I have seen a definite improvement - and I found PRD3 with TE UK South a pleasure to fly in my new Albeo Seneca

 - until I hit London that is - which as I can easily see is my "new" computers failings and short comings to cope with the future of "high quality"

simming in the form of the Orbx TE series to come - and already here in XPLANE 11 - which might lead me to some new reasoning.

 

What that will be  ---- will be based on what I have gleaned in the last 2 months  - (whilst I have been building up my stock of other simulators such as War Flights - 

(DCS and COD)  - Train - Truck - Farming etc -  - a sort of shopping my bets - with my present hardware setup).

 

Being new to PRD3 - I requested notification on all comments in the PRd3 forum - and I am amazed at the number of problems being raised in the last 2 months.

In the last 10 hours since I logged on - 14 problems were brought up and if my old memory serves me right - the average would seem to be at least 5 per day.

(AVSIM PR3d forum is no different). So many (Over 80%) seem to be with the facts that the sim cant keep up with the software being thrown at it in the last 12 months by Orbx.

and Orbx experts having to cope with this sims problems which has LM bringing out "hotspots" every month. (Thinks!!!!!!!!! V5 must surely be on the Horizon)./

Orbx has given us TE UK South which uses 56 gigs of disc space and even the best of us with super Computers - (I9 and 2080 e.g.) seem to have problems. 

 

How will the poor people like me - who can't afford super computers - cope with our eagerly awaited TE North - TE Central - and a probable increased upgrade to TE South.

(probably by other simming sims:rolleyes:)

All of you guys in the US - who also have a tiny taste of TE  - how will you cope with  a TE of the Whole of the States - and apart from the Dutch - what about the rest of Europe - and one day - 

a TE of Australia - all which should put a smile on the future face of Orbx - who surely now have the key to Aviation simming - at least at low level and airports for the  larger birds

 

I'm sure that all 70000 members of this forum have already noted that on XPlane 11 - the combined disc space for TE UK - North - South and Central are around 350 gigs of disc space

To you guys who have invested in the latter - how are you coping - if you only have a mid range computer - eg - I5/I7 - 1080 - 16 ram etc.?? -  i.e. something like J.V.'s spec.

 

If my Computer was a little better - I would take up the offer of a saving of around $A70+ on the TE UK package - which almost equals the $A70 price for XPlane 11 on Steam.

It depends on that answer "TO EXISTING xp11 USERS" - or I'll just wait a few more months - play around in  trains and farming - until hardware prices come down a little - just around the time of Orbx's next big Aussie Autumn sale of 50% OFF all products.

 

Sorry to have been so long winded - but they are my Thoughts on the thread subject - and as the third oldest bloke on this forum - at the moment

- I have lots of time at my disposal  - (apart from trying to setup my Track IR5 and new TM 16000 in DCS    :banghead:

 

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Thanks.

I looked back through your posts and found this

 

Quote

I only have an  I 5 CPU and a 1050TI - 16 Gig Ram

 

Is that still the case?

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2 hours ago, Nick Cooper said:

Thanks.

I looked back through your posts and found this

 

 

Is that still the case?

Hi Nick

Yes - I5 9500 - runs @ 3.9max not clocked in BIOS - 16g RAM DDR4 - 2600 - Gigabyte 1050TI

dead slow 500 G HDDs

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If I make a suggestion: invest in a 2TB SSD because I assume the rest of your HW is actual still sufficient to run P3D in the latest version.

There is always, like at my side, the knowledge that evolution in the capabilities of future HW never stops and the complexity and demands of SW(FS+Adds) will raise equally.

I'm very curious for the 2020(?) release of the promising new flightsimulator from Microsoft and what the specs will be for fluent HiFi-flights.

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On the other hand, a new SSD, or any SSD, has nothing to do with the problem. IMNSHO, the problem is twofold, i.e. a mid-range CPU and the fact that TE London is a framerate killer on any system. My advice is to just turn down the sliders until the performance is satisfactory. Or, spend a ton of money on a CPU, motherboard, and RAM upgrade an still have the same, although to a lesser degree, problem..........Doug

 

 

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On 9/30/2019 at 5:59 AM, John Heaton said:

I'm sure that all 70000 members of this forum have already noted that on XPlane 11 - the combined disc space for TE UK - North - South and Central are around 350 gigs of disc space

To you guys who have invested in the latter - how are you coping - if you only have a mid range computer - eg - I5/I7 - 1080 - 16 ram etc.?? -  i.e. something like J.V.'s spec.

 

 

On 9/30/2019 at 5:59 AM, John Heaton said:

It depends on that answer "TO EXISTING xp11 USERS"

 

Jonn

 

Well, as an existing XP11 user, with all 3 parts of TE UK running on a now quite ancient 2014 iMac at very reasonable frame rates, all I can say is - it's a joy to behold. And by quite reasonable I mean 30 to 40 fps over most of the UK, down to 25 fps over large cities, with the exception of London which is quite a killer. And that is with 'sensible' settings i.e. one or two notches down from Max.

 

However, there is a caveat. This is ORBX TE on a) XP11 and b) on a Mac under the Mac OSX Operating System, which doesn't mean that it will be the same on P3D or even XP11 on a PC. I've had no issues with any of the TE UK regions, excepting minor frame rate reductions with the release of SP1 for TE South which was to be expected given the upgrade in autogen and PBR. But I'm well aware that others have had significant issues with TE South on P3D and to a lesser extent on XP11 on the PC and even some with XP11 on a Mac.

 

Yes, they are processor and graphics intensive and I imagine the new TE Washington/Oregon HD versions would be virtually unplayable on my iMac which require a minimum GTX 1070 GPU or equivalent given that I'm running it on a mobile Radeon R9 M295X with 4 GB! And the Washington Enhancement Pack it recommends an eye watering Nvidia 1080 class GPU with at least 11GB OF VRAM to use the 1024 and 2048 textures with good FPS.But the same goes for DCS, which I see you also use, where the recommended spec for the F/A18-C & F-14 is a GeForce GTX 1070 / AMD Radeon RX VEGA 56 with 8GB VRAM or better.

 

Of course this issue isn't new - for the last 20 years or so of flight sims have always required a higher spec than the average man in the street could afford. My Amstrad 1640 fared no better then than my iMac does today. But what I have to fly in and around today is light years away from Microsoft Flight Simulator Version 4 back in 1989.

 

For native OSX Mac users XP11& ORBX TE really the only game in town, but believe me, it really is perfectly flyable and very enjoyable too on for me something that is by no stretch of the imagination a games machine! So it 'should' also be fine on your spec PC, providing you're happy not to turn the wick full up, oh, and to avoid London!

 

As a PC user you will also have the benefit of needing a smaller disk space as highlighted by JV in a recent post - P3D seems to use smaller files than XP11. But to be fair, disk space really isn't the issue these days with a standard 4TB HDD coming in at £100 or even a 1TB external SSD (USB3) at £130.

 

So, to answer your question, as an existing XP11 user (albeit not your typical XP11 user), I'm getting on fine with a mid to low range computer. 350 gigs of disk space? Not an issue, and disk space is relatively cheap. Processor - an i7 would be nice, but the i5 still copes OK. Graphics? Always the weak point on a Mac, but the R9 M295X does amazingly well considering. On a PC I'd ideally spend £500 on a 1080Ti with 11 GB of RAM, but that means going back to Windows. The best I can do on a regular Mac is a Radeon Pro Vega 48 with 8GB ! Combine that with an 3.6GHz 8-core i9 32G of RA, a 2TB SSD and a 27" 5K screen and you're heading towards £4,000! 

 

Whatever the cost of a decent machine to run the latest ORBX eye candy, just bear a thought for us (idiots?) who wish to fly on a Mac - 4 grand would get you one stunningly awesome PC!

 

Tony

 

 

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35 minutes ago, Tornado16 said:

The best I can do on a regular Mac is a Radeon Pro Vega 48 with 8GB ! Combine that with an 3.6GHz 8-core i9 32G of RA, a 2TB SSD and a 27" 5K screen and you're heading towards £4,000!

I probably stand corrected. It's been some time since I last built a PC. It would appear that a PC with similar spec to the iMac from one on the UK's advertising Flight Sim PC builders, turned out only £300 cheaper than the Mac. The cost of the PC increases significantly with a 5k 27" screen comparable to the iMac, and the iMac price can be reduced by using Crucial RAM upgrade from 8 to 32 GB rather than Apple's exhorbitant prices. Either way, its still a large slice for any of us on a pension!

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The ORBX software has already outrun the mid range hardware.

This will not improve regardless of anything that can be done.

My computer specs are listed below. Close to as good as what is available.

P3DV4.5 runs wide open for me......smooth as can be.

I've tried True Earth.....In my opinion it is the absolute most my rig can handle....

So I do not use it.

When the better hardware comes along......I will.

It will be interesting to see what the new Microsoft entry does to the game.

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I'm of the opinion that ORBX in it's quest for better more realistic software,  is not taking into account the $$ that a lot of simmers on pensions have available to spend on flight sim rigs and software. There are a lot that are still bringing in an income but also still have limited resources to spend on flight simming, in the same boat. I consider my rig to be close to midrange -

i5 9600K @ 3.7GHz 6 Core  NIV GTX1080 8GB Turbo, 16GB DDR 3000 RAM, and yet it still struggles with high density software like YBCG very slow to draw amongst other problems. If my system is not mid range, could somebody let me know where it falls short. Thanks

 

Don 

    

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1 hour ago, Aussieflyer38 said:

I'm of the opinion that ORBX in it's quest for better more realistic software,  is not taking into account the $$ that a lot of simmers on pensions have available to spend on flight sim rigs and software. There are a lot that are still bringing in an income but also still have limited resources to spend on flight simming, in the same boat. I consider my rig to be close to midrange -

i5 9600K @ 3.7GHz 6 Core  NIV GTX1080 8GB Turbo, 16GB DDR 3000 RAM, and yet it still struggles with high density software like YBCG very slow to draw amongst other problems. If my system is not mid range, could somebody let me know where it falls short. Thanks

 

Don 

    

 

I think everyone and everything is taken into account.  The fact is you don't need to purchase the latest software from Orbx to enjoy flightsimming, particularly in Australia.  With OZx and AUV2 and any airports you may have already purchased, there are thousands of flights and circuits you can undertake across the length and breadth of the country.  You can also get freeware scenery covering large areas of the globe if you need to go further afield.

 

Purchasing an Orbx scenery is purely a lifestyle choice.  It's a luxury yes, but it can never be called a necessity.  And just about every airport such as YBCG and Gold Coast Cityscene can be run on an i5 with a GTX970 or better, you just have to configure the options in the scenery and the sim to suit your rig. 

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3 hours ago, John Dow said:

 

I think everyone and everything is taken into account.  The fact is you don't need to purchase the latest software from Orbx to enjoy flightsimming, particularly in Australia.  With OZx and AUV2 and any airports you may have already purchased, there are thousands of flights and circuits you can undertake across the length and breadth of the country.  You can also get freeware scenery covering large areas of the globe if you need to go further afield.

 

Purchasing an Orbx scenery is purely a lifestyle choice.  It's a luxury yes, but it can never be called a necessity.  And just about every airport such as YBCG and Gold Coast Cityscene can be run on an i5 with a GTX970 or better, you just have to configure the options in the scenery and the sim to suit your rig. 

I must say the same can be said for North America--the USA and Canada.  There are hundreds of freeware airports available from Orbx, stretching from far western Alaska and the Aleutians eastward across Canada all the way to Newfoundland Island; and from the west coast of California eastward all the way to the Florida Keys and to the Northeast along the Maine-Nova Scotia border.  This does not include the many payware airports Orbx offers for these same regions.  Plenty of flying opportunities galore, and one doesn't need multi-terrabytes of storage to do it.

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I have an old system. 10 year old motherboard, AMD 4 core native 3.6 ghz processor which I was able to overclock to 4.165 ghz on the first two cores while leaving the other two to 3.6 ghz.  I have a GTX 970 which I bought used on Ebay, 16 gigs of ram, and a 1 TB SSD.  I am still running FSXA with DX10 and Sky Force 3D.  Fly mostly A2A up and down the West coast.  I have tweaked this thing until I occasionally hit 50 fps in cockpit and occasionally hit 100 fps in external view flying around eastern Oregon where there is not much of anything, plus parts of British Columbia and Alaska.  However, on the ground at SFO I get 8 to 12 fps so I stay away from built up areas.  Most of the time frame rates can vary considerably from the high teens to mid 30's depending on where and what I am flying.  I am providing this detail because I am guessing that going to 64 bit P3D I might see a small improvement on frame rates if I work at it.  If anyone can provide a educated guess on that possibility I would appreciate it.

Edited by Bullfox

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13 hours ago, John Dow said:

 

I think everyone and everything is taken into account.  The fact is you don't need to purchase the latest software from Orbx to enjoy flightsimming, particularly in Australia.  With OZx and AUV2 and any airports you may have already purchased, there are thousands of flights and circuits you can undertake across the length and breadth of the country.  You can also get freeware scenery covering large areas of the globe if you need to go further afield.

 

Purchasing an Orbx scenery is purely a lifestyle choice.  It's a luxury yes, but it can never be called a necessity.  And just about every airport such as YBCG and Gold Coast Cityscene can be run on an i5 with a GTX970 or better, you just have to configure the options in the scenery and the sim to suit your rig. 

 

Understand what you are saying John, my point being that IF you want to stay with ORBX they are making it very difficult price and technical wise. I have heaps of scenery and can fly the world when I choose to do so, I was commenting on ORBX scenery development, and regarding AUv2 - which I rarely fly these days because of faults, YBCG and Gold Coast City Scene, no matter where I set my sliders etc, its black or blurred until I'm almost on top of it. 

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Wll my system is very midrange now and I get good reulsts rthere so maybe there's something else going on in your system

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I have long been of the opinion that you have to get over 4 ghz with your processor before you start getting decent performance, which is why I overclocked my AMD processor on at least two cores to get over 4 ghz.  Some experts have over clocked the I5 9600 to 5 ghz which ought to give  anybody with a GTX 970 or better blazing performace.  My rule of thumb is that just about any relatively experienced simmer ought to be able to overclock by at least 18% which would take 3.7 ghz to about 4.36 which ought to do really nice, but it also depends on the motherboard and cooling since overclocking is heat intensive for the processor. 

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When you look at specs we seem to have cornered the market with 4790K and 1080GTX, me included. These hardware are no longer available but the new stuff out there works great too. Keep in mind the new Flight Sim will be out soon so I would wait and see what that requires before a major upgrade, that way you pave the way for the future as well.

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12 hours ago, John Dow said:

Wll my system is very midrange now and I get good reulsts rthere so maybe there's something else going on in your system

 

Hope not John, I just had the CPU upgraded and a complete system check by a pro Tech who says all okay.

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3 hours ago, Matthew Kane said:

When you look at specs we seem to have cornered the market with 4790K and 1080GTX, me included. These hardware are no longer available but the new stuff out there works great too. Keep in mind the new Flight Sim will be out soon so I would wait and see what that requires before a major upgrade, that way you pave the way for the future as well.

 

Good thinking mate :smile:

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6 hours ago, Bullfox said:

I have long been of the opinion that you have to get over 4 ghz with your processor before you start getting decent performance, which is why I overclocked my AMD processor on at least two cores to get over 4 ghz. 

 

This really depends on the CPU with P3Dv4, as high clock speed is no longer king.

I run my Ryzen 1700 at just 3.4 GHz, and get fantastic performance without stutter because it uses all 16 available threads to the max, with P3Dv4.

See here     https://imgur.com/a/LuU1ruC

 

With a 1080 (not Ti version) in 4K, I set max FR to 30 fps, and on max sliders I get smooth 30 fps everywhere except the heavy areas of TEGBS (London City), which gives me 12 to 20 fps on max sliders at low altitude or on the ground, but back to 30 fps at altitude. Rather than turn my settings down - always on max - I just fly somewhere else less demanding. The Scilly Isles and along the South Coast of England, for instance, I get 30 fps at 4K max settings in TEGBS, just not in London.

 

@John Heaton

It is a good thing that software developers push the envelope with ever increasing detail, because there is the choice to lower the setting to match what your hardware puts out, and we get the choice to use ever more realistic scenery and aircraft when we have the hardware. Sims look so much better today.

 

There are many sims and they are all good, but I almost exclusively use P3Dv4 because it runs better than any of the other sims with the scenery and aircraft detail that I like - for me. Everyone else will have different preferences, and they are right - for them.

 

My R1700 is now 2.5 years old and is available cheap, as there are 2 newer generations available, that run even better. For best performance, IMO you need first a good graphics card, then next a good CPU preferably with many cores\threads. Note - the 9700K does not multithread, which limits its performance in P3Dv4 and may not be the best choice for P3Dv4 performance. Hard drive space is becoming irrelevant as prices drop. I got a 6 Tb drive in Officeworks last month for AU $218, but use a 1 TB SSD exclusively for P3Dv4. An SSD really helps with simming, because there is a huge amount of file reading when running a flight sim. It doesn't change the fps, but reduces lag when flying into different areas, and with view changes.

 

Just turn down the settings to get an acceptable framerate, and as you upgrade hardware in time, you'll get to take advantage of the better detail and performance available.

Edited by ozboater
Grammar and address OP directly

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My Thanks go to all of you  who took the trouble to comment - and discuss - and from those opinions I made a 3 decisions 

 

My computer will remain as is since I can't afford the monies needed to bring it up to the standard some of you have.

It doesn't appear that 2020 will be here just yet and it may only need a similar computer to what I have - and I have good Internet

 

I will buy a new HDD of 2TBs at the best speed I can afford - and reload it with PRD3 and all my current Orbx products and concentrate 

on flying just around Australia - purchase Orbx NZ in the next sale as well as a few more aussie and Kiwi airfields.(and the PNG ones)

 

I cleaned up an existing  (9 yo) 500 gig  Hdd  and bought the package  - Steam X Plane 11 at 20% off - and the Orbx bundled special of TE Britain

Installed Orbx Central for the first time - and 6 hours later had a new sim with no problems. It took 450 gigs of space - with 2 small aircrafts.

(So step 3 - looks like another 2TB drive needed and another clean - full - download).

 

I feel I must comment on  my first start up of XP11 - my Computer is inline with the recommendations of Xp11 - it loaded to splash screen 

- in way less time than PD3 - and it recognised my old Saitek Yoke and my T/Master pedals that PRd 3 never did - and even suggested a binding.

Tested loading an a/c and airfield in TE Central and it loaded in 4 mins!!    Not flown yet - but will do tomorrow.

 

In addition I bought 2 A/c from vFlyte simulations - a Cherokee 140 (newly produced for XP11) - an Arrow 111 XP 11 -

and still thinking about their Twin Commanche - all of which will complete all the aircraft I trained in 48 years ago - in Moorabin Victoria - 

These will allow me to go Low and Slow VFR over my TE Birth country  - and over here in the antipodes - a land I have also flown all over in myPA32 - 

in VFR and learned to love.the Outback

I could only fly VFR because I am colour blind and was never allowed to get an instrument licence - or fly in the dark

but now with Flight sims - who needs a licence to practise ?? - and with Gold coast city and airport - even ILS approaches ETC.

 

So all that remains is to put it all together:rolleyes:

 

 

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Good luck John all sounds great. Hope you enjoy lots of enjoyable days flying, and who knows what the year 2020 will bring and the MS new sim.

 

Don 

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1 hour ago, Aussieflyer38 said:

Good luck John all sounds great. Hope you enjoy lots of enjoyable days flying, and who knows what the year 2020 will bring and the MS new sim.

 

Don 

Thanks for that and for your earlier advice

 

What it won't do Don - is bring the temperatures you had today ---- and tomorrow.:o

 

(My Grandson in Law teaches High school in Ipswich - and every time we see the forecast Temp

we say "poor Michael" since his school is one of the many without Air Con)

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