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Hello, everyone!

 

First post here, but long time fan and follower. Your work and the talent on board is truly a sight (pun intended).

 

I recently purchased a PC for flight simming. I haven't played since Flight Simulator 98, and though I'm excited for MSFS 2020, as it matures I decided I'm going to use P3D v4. And right now I want to take advantage of the sale.

 

I mainly want to fly VFR around California and the rest of the west coast. San Diego especially. So I'm looking at the TrueEarth line. But I'm looking to buy KSAN and KBUR, as well. Are these products compatible or should I buy NA Southern California instead? And if they are, should I skip the global products? I've done some reading but not totally confident on the right products.

 

If there's anyone that can clarify and add some insight I would appreciate it as I'm looking to pull to trigger in the next couple days.

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Hello,

the Global products do greatly improve the quality of the textures themselves (Global base).

the accuracy of their placement (openLC) and the accuracy of coastlines, roads, waterbodies,

pylons and railways (Global Vector).

 

They do this on a Global basis, except the openLC products which are continental.

 

The Orbx regions are still landclass based.

They include all the above features within their boundaries

and add reworked airports and airfields, POIs, some photoscenenic and improved mesh.

 

The True Earth series add photoscenery to the Orbx regions and include all the other features.

You don't need both True Earth and the landclass versions of the same region but they do not

always follow the exact same boundaries.

 

Orbx bespoke airports and airfields are as far as is possible, replicas of the real world items.

 

True Earth products are the better choice for seeing an image of what is actually there, as against

landclass, which is a representation of the same thing.

 

Hopefully this will arm you with the information you need to make your decision.

 

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Welcome Paymon.

 

If you are primarily looking to fly VFR in California and the rest of the west coast, Orbx has it all covered with their TrueEarth line.  Orbx's KSAN and KBUR will both work with the TrueEarth scenery and also with the older NA regions.

 

TrueEarth is based on satellite imagery with 3D buildings and vegetation added.  Typically they are "summer" only.  Large file sizes.  More demanding on PC.

 

The original regions (NA, EU, AU, NZ) are based on traditional FSX scenery layers and "land class".  They all have seasons.  Smaller files sizes.  Less demanding on your PC.

 

The Global line is also based on traditional FSX layers.   

This diagram is helpful in understanding the layers and which products contain which layers.

327692054_Orbxregionvsglobal.thumb.jpg.adf4c432820a6bbec1fc1e2440dd92fa.jpg

 

The TrueEarth line are stand alone products and do not need or benefit from having any of the Global or original regions installed. 

TrueEarth can be installed at the same time as the other products, it just has a higher priority in the scenery library, so you will only see TE.

 

Here are some comparison screenshots of four locations, with 5 different scenery options.

1st: P3Dv4.5 - Orbx Global Base + Vector + openLC NA + Orbx KBUR

2nd: P3Dv4.5 - NA Southern California + Orbx KBUR

3rd: P3Dv4.5 - TrueEarth US Southern California + Orbx KBUR

4th: X-Plane 11 - TrueEarth US Southern California HD

5th: MSFS 2020 - default scenery + Orbx KBUR

 

Over KNRS looking north up San Diego Bay.

1793135024_SD1Global.thumb.jpg.25b6e53c13675b811c49bc7a95750183.jpg

815155339_SD1NASCA.thumb.jpg.e593477fccd94fc69ec805f22005f97b.jpg

288620616_SD1TESC.thumb.jpg.060b026e342876b0b4446836ce7b9ddd.jpg

1774924735_SD1TEUSSoCalXP11.thumb.jpg.7f13464900f44487f57cfba8341fbaf7.jpg

1927601720_SD1MSFS.thumb.jpg.2832d895d1ad2bfd19ec7153deb0aeae.jpg

 

 

San Diego

11869017_SD2Global.thumb.jpg.8996e8ad5c0c6570f26c8cfc0dc2fc33.jpg

901158804_SD2NASCA.thumb.jpg.05f43bf64bffec9e3f29ae6a5a254802.jpg

627933705_SD2TESC.thumb.jpg.f15ebe5826f92af38c1f433e92a48c51.jpg

552368114_SD2TEUSSoCalXP11.thumb.jpg.ab22af541a25a1ce7d9a4007bfde780f.jpg

517614658_SD2MSFS.thumb.jpg.4e6a2e3b831810e952b44255c15eee43.jpg

 

LA from the Hollywood hills.

1856437215_LAGlobal.thumb.jpg.75185779109a2ca2139ba765fedcaebf.jpg

2071006115_LANASCA.thumb.jpg.766460cf4aa84e78fb0561aaf550cfc1.jpg

714842397_LATESC.thumb.jpg.49370e01fef04e1f94dcb207b1859975.jpg

295829750_LATEUSSoCalXP11.thumb.jpg.a045b2c002966a25529034d1daaa51a8.jpg

896086_LAMSFS.thumb.jpg.ac366959d6631aed3b5f7e23ecca6990.jpg

 

 

Hollywood sign looking north at Burbank.  (Orbx KBUR is installed so the P3D scenery looks mostly the same due to the coverage area of KBUR.)

501692897_BURGlobal.thumb.jpg.5fa491882255ecc04adf5cab9da11031.jpg

772585740_BURNASCA.thumb.jpg.26661cb2f29cfd5816e0b7143b5ae1dd.jpg

364296019_BURTESC.thumb.jpg.765ba1cfaab9c0585f90f808e0761716.jpg

447006145_BURTEUSSoCalXP11.thumb.jpg.87b3d53e81ca082db3dfd6bffe39bfb2.jpg

1166192182_BURMSFSKBUR.thumb.jpg.7ba12f7ef26028c887d1bf97915bec6c.jpg

 

 

I own P3Dv4.5, XP11, and MSFS.  If you are starting from scratch, I would not really recommend P3Dv4 as the place to start. 

For VFR flying, I think I would buy MSFS.  No, it isn't perfect and there are not as many aircraft and add-ons available yet, but it is the future.  You can see how good just the default scenery looks.  The Orbx airports for it are fantastic and look much better than P3D.

 

My second choice would be XP11.  Buy the Orbx TrueEarth US scenery for the west coast and you have a huge area that looks great and will have smoother performance that you will probably have in P3D. 

 

I also have all the TrueEarth west coast for P3Dv4.5.  It looks good, but not as good as MSFS or XP11 IMHO.  Performance can also be an issue. (My PC specs in my signature block)  I have poor FPS flying around KBUR for instance.  Out in the mountains and desert (away from thousands of 3D buildings) FPS is flyable with sliders set fairly high.  

 

Sorry, I got a bit carried away comparing the scenery!

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Matt McGee said:

Welcome Paymon.

 

If you are primarily looking to fly VFR in California and the rest of the west coast, Orbx has it all covered with their TrueEarth line.  Orbx's KSAN and KBUR will both work with the TrueEarth scenery and also with the older NA regions.

 

TrueEarth is based on satellite imagery with 3D buildings and vegetation added.  Typically they are "summer" only.  Large file sizes.  More demanding on PC.

 

The original regions (NA, EU, AU, NZ) are based on traditional FSX scenery layers and "land class".  They all have seasons.  Smaller files sizes.  Less demanding on your PC.

 

The Global line is also based on traditional FSX layers.   

This diagram is helpful in understanding the layers and which products contain which layers.

327692054_Orbxregionvsglobal.thumb.jpg.adf4c432820a6bbec1fc1e2440dd92fa.jpg

 

The TrueEarth line are stand alone products and do not need or benefit from having any of the Global or original regions installed. 

TrueEarth can be installed at the same time as the other products, it just has a higher priority in the scenery library, so you will only see TE.

 

Here are some comparison screenshots of four locations, with 5 different scenery options.

1st: P3Dv4.5 - Orbx Global Base + Vector + openLC NA + Orbx KBUR

2nd: P3Dv4.5 - NA Southern California + Orbx KBUR

3rd: P3Dv4.5 - TrueEarth US Southern California + Orbx KBUR

4th: X-Plane 11 - TrueEarth US Southern California HD

5th: MSFS 2020 - default scenery + Orbx KBUR

 

Over KNRS looking north up San Diego Bay.

1793135024_SD1Global.thumb.jpg.25b6e53c13675b811c49bc7a95750183.jpg

815155339_SD1NASCA.thumb.jpg.e593477fccd94fc69ec805f22005f97b.jpg

288620616_SD1TESC.thumb.jpg.060b026e342876b0b4446836ce7b9ddd.jpg

1774924735_SD1TEUSSoCalXP11.thumb.jpg.7f13464900f44487f57cfba8341fbaf7.jpg

1927601720_SD1MSFS.thumb.jpg.2832d895d1ad2bfd19ec7153deb0aeae.jpg

 

 

San Diego

11869017_SD2Global.thumb.jpg.8996e8ad5c0c6570f26c8cfc0dc2fc33.jpg

901158804_SD2NASCA.thumb.jpg.05f43bf64bffec9e3f29ae6a5a254802.jpg

627933705_SD2TESC.thumb.jpg.f15ebe5826f92af38c1f433e92a48c51.jpg

552368114_SD2TEUSSoCalXP11.thumb.jpg.ab22af541a25a1ce7d9a4007bfde780f.jpg

517614658_SD2MSFS.thumb.jpg.4e6a2e3b831810e952b44255c15eee43.jpg

 

LA from the Hollywood hills.

1856437215_LAGlobal.thumb.jpg.75185779109a2ca2139ba765fedcaebf.jpg

2071006115_LANASCA.thumb.jpg.766460cf4aa84e78fb0561aaf550cfc1.jpg

714842397_LATESC.thumb.jpg.49370e01fef04e1f94dcb207b1859975.jpg

295829750_LATEUSSoCalXP11.thumb.jpg.a045b2c002966a25529034d1daaa51a8.jpg

896086_LAMSFS.thumb.jpg.ac366959d6631aed3b5f7e23ecca6990.jpg

 

 

Hollywood sign looking north at Burbank.  (Orbx KBUR is installed so the P3D scenery looks mostly the same due to the coverage area of KBUR.)

501692897_BURGlobal.thumb.jpg.5fa491882255ecc04adf5cab9da11031.jpg

772585740_BURNASCA.thumb.jpg.26661cb2f29cfd5816e0b7143b5ae1dd.jpg

364296019_BURTESC.thumb.jpg.765ba1cfaab9c0585f90f808e0761716.jpg

447006145_BURTEUSSoCalXP11.thumb.jpg.87b3d53e81ca082db3dfd6bffe39bfb2.jpg

1166192182_BURMSFSKBUR.thumb.jpg.7ba12f7ef26028c887d1bf97915bec6c.jpg

 

 

I own P3Dv4.5, XP11, and MSFS.  If you are starting from scratch, I would not really recommend P3Dv4 as the place to start. 

For VFR flying, I think I would buy MSFS.  No, it isn't perfect and there are not as many aircraft and add-ons available yet, but it is the future.  You can see how good just the default scenery looks.  The Orbx airports for it are fantastic and look much better than P3D.

 

My second choice would be XP11.  Buy the Orbx TrueEarth US scenery for the west coast and you have a huge area that looks great and will have smoother performance that you will probably have in P3D. 

 

I also have all the TrueEarth west coast for P3Dv4.5.  It looks good, but not as good as MSFS or XP11 IMHO.  Performance can also be an issue. (My PC specs in my signature block)  I have poor FPS flying around KBUR for instance.  Out in the mountains and desert (away from thousands of 3D buildings) FPS is flyable with sliders set fairly high.  

 

Sorry, I got a bit carried away comparing the scenery!

 

 

Wow Matt! A lot of work and love is in your post. Tank you!

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Thank you, Nick! That does clarify quite a bit and is most helpful.

 

And Matt, your reply was exactly what I was looking for! You've given me a lot to think about RE: XP11 vs P3D. MSFS looks even better around San Diego too, which is where I'm from.

 

My only reservation now is performance. Which you've highlighted. My specs don't quite match yours, either:
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB GDDR6

10th Gen Intel Core i5 10600KF (4.1Ghz to 4.8GHz)

16GB Dual Channel HyperX(FM) FURY DDR4 XMP at 2933MHz

1TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s

 

Much appreciated, gents!

 
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28 minutes ago, Paymon said:

My only reservation now is performance.

It seems like you can never have enough performance!  Every time I upgrade, something new comes along that demands more performance.

I find it difficult to figure out what hardware and what software settings will help make the sims run and look as good as they can.   What works for one, doesn't always work in another.  Though it seems the balance of visual details versus FPS is constant! 

I just want perfect detail and super smooth FPS darn it!! :D

 

There are a lot of factors that you could consider in addition to what will run best on your current hardware.

How good does the default sim look in the places you like to fly?  Is there addon scenery to make it better?  What about flying in other locations?

What aircraft are included?  What addon aircraft are available or being developed?  How detailed and accurate are they?

Do you care about weather?  Seasons?

Is file size an issue?  Load times?  Stability?

How much future development and support will there be?

Virtual airlines?

Multiplayer?

And on, and on, and on...

 

The trick is to find what works best for you!

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