View Full Version : 32Bit and 64Bit - Some questions re new Sims P3DV4 and FSW

June 15th, 2017, 03:30
Now in considering the future of my current sim setup (FSX-A) on a 64bit Win 7 Machine, I have been pondering the issue of upgrading and changing my PC (a low priority) but more importantly the simulator itself from FSX (32bit) to either P3DV4, FSW but also quite seriously as a viable alternative to them all X-Plane11.

This has particular relevance for simmers like myself, namely I have a host of add-ons especially aircraft that have survived into FSX but were in reality from MS2004, some were upgraded as port-overs and the odd few were proper FSX Native models (Plus a whole bunch of payware stuff built only for FSX). The reality is that quite a few of these models are not going to be redone especially for P3DV4 or FSW, after all there is only so much interest, for example, in pre WW2 flying boats or other aircraft, equally some designers and model builders have gone to an enormous amount of work and trouble to develop and put out very high quality FSX models. As we all know some very talented people simply dropped out of the game altogether when FSX arrived or soon thereafter, so their work is unlikely to be repeated either (Like Tim Conrad, Jens Kristensen, REAL AIR, PLANE DESIGN, etc).

So am I correct in assuming that the FSX era of model is 32bit and therefore cannot be ported across or dropped into the new 64bit sims (Based on some very lucid articles about P3Dv4 for example). As I read it unless the model is rebuilt for the new 64 bit system using the SDK's (a seriously major undertaking) it is effectively end of line for these old birds as far as inclusion into any new 64bit based sim is concerned?

June 15th, 2017, 04:02
The TL;DR version of this is that FSX visual models will work in P3D and FSW, but they won't have the shiny new toys that come with the new sims' new capabilities. Anything that takes information from the sim, however, such as custom gauges, pop-ups, radars, load managers and the like will NOT work in a 64-bit environment, as the memory addresses that they are looking for information from or trying to send information to will have changed.

X-Plane has been 64-bit for a while now and most developers are using the 64-bit code, so most things for XP10 do work in XP11 - but not all. It depends on how old the add-on is and how active the developers are in updating them.

If aircraft functions are pulling from default sim variables that haven't changed name, then the chances are that they will work. If they are directly using an address, they won't, whichever sim platform you are talking about. Unfortunately this does mean that yes, we will almost certainly be further diluting the developer base across platforms and we will absolutely have developers who do not want to recreate their work in the new sims' environments.

X-Plane, in spite of growing popularity and massively increased capability in recent versions, still has nowhere near the coverage in terms of paid or freely available add-ons that the MSFS derived series have. It's an excellent sim, but it's no direct replacement if you use a lot of add-ons to create the world you want to fly in.

Does that help?

Ian P.

June 15th, 2017, 04:08
Also, if it has xml guages, it will work. If they are .dll or .gau, they will not. Note too, that both P3D4 and FSW recommend an 8gb video card, and a 3.5 ghz quad core processor with at least 16gb of ram.

System Requirements Prepar3D v4


Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 SP1 (64-bit)
[N editions require Media Feature Pack]
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Computer Processor
2.2 GHz
Quad Core 3.5 GHz (Per Core) +

Computer Memory
4 GB
16 GB DDR4/2666MHz +

Hard Drive Space
40 GB
(3 GB for the SDK)
M.2 or Solid State Drive (SSD) is strongly recommended

Graphics Card Video Memory
2 GB
8 GB +

Graphics Card Other
Full DirectX 11 Support

Administrator Rights (for installation only)
Microsoft Core XML Services (MSXML) 6.0
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.2
DirectX 11
1024768 minimum screen resolution for primary display

June 15th, 2017, 04:08
It is a bit difficult to answer your questions precisely, but from now we can already say that you can safely forget about FSW for now. That sim is empty, buggy (not finished yet, still early Alpha), less performant and it has no planes.
That leaves XPlane 11 and P3Dv4.
Both of these two sims are extremely good, each have their strong and weak points. It will mostly depend on what kind of addons you are looking for.

XPlane suffers greatly from the lack of good quality planes. There are some excellent (like, blast-FSX-away excellent) helicopters, and some very good VFR props airplanes (two of which have an "Accusim"-like addon made by a third party), and one or two good airliners have appeared very recently. There are some nice-looking WWII airplanes, but unfortunately there is almost NO modern (post WWII) military aircraft with good quality. There is in fact only one, a Tornado, and I don't know how good it really is. On the graphics side, XPlane offers an excellent rendition of the world, especially for photo sceneries and autogen. It also offers the absolute-best night rendering for city areas and airports, putting FSX and P3Dv3 to shame, and being way ahead of P3Dv4.

P3Dv4 is the most promising sim for the FS community at the moment. The airplanes from FSX or P3Dv3 are fully compatible, as long as they are not FS9 portovers in disguise, and they don't use external gauges in .DLL or .GAU format. Airplanes with XML gauges will work out of the box. From the features, it feels like home because it's more or less the same than FSX anyways, so it's easy to adapt (XPlane might require more effort... new keyboard shortcuts etc... nothing critical of course). On the graphical side, P3Dv4 (and v3) offers much better shadows than FSX, better lighting as well, and better performance too (as long as you configure it properly based on your hardware). Sceneries are fully compatible too (FSX format without external DLLs). This means the amount of addons is already very high for that sim.

But there's also an outsider, announced just a few days ago.
It's a new sim, with a new engine.... and nevertheless it accepts the planes from FSX !
It's made by FlyInside, the team who made that software to use the VR headsets in FSX... it looks like they made their own sim, but we don't have much information yet. You might want to keep an eye on it, though.

So, at this very moment, the conclusion is:
- give a try to XPlane 11 demo. But give it a SERIOUS TRY, not just a 30 seconds "not what I'm used too whaaaaaaa" like we saw many times on the forums. That sim feels good. The autogen looks fantastic, it's REALLY worth your investigations. And the demo is free :P
- P3Dv4 is probably the sim you're looking for. The "Academic" version is 60 dollars approximatively. You should take the time to read the various feedback topics here on SOH to get a better idea about it.

June 15th, 2017, 04:50
Well stated!:encouragement:

June 15th, 2017, 05:09
- P3Dv4 is probably the sim you're looking for. The "Academic" version is 60 dollars approximatively. You should take the time to read the various feedback topics here on SOH to get a better idea about it.

Even better, you can get a one month subs for $9.95 to try it out!

June 16th, 2017, 02:28
Thanks for the thoughtful replies. It is indeed a quandry, much the same as what happened with Win98 (Win what?) in some ways. I guess the relative dominance of MSFS or FSX has been a very good thing on lots of levels, particularly as with work FS9 stuff could be made to work quite well in FSX. I guess like the CFS devotees my quandry is not the capacity of the new sims but the fact that probably about 70% of the stuff I have in FSX is of the FS9 generation and is irreplaceable, for example, all the models produced by Jens Kristensen of aircraft of the era between 1920 through to the 1950's or Milton Shupe's classic renditions of early pistons of various types.

I appreciate the work done by LM with respect to P3D to move it to 64 bit architecture it is well overdue but effectively a lot of lets call it legacy stuff will not run for obvious reasons, not compatible and underlying coded scripts from legacy programs not supported and I well understand why they would not want to do this, not worth the effort and creates too many other downstream problems. The other issue is well addressed, simply, some very high quality FSX work will not be remade for 64 bit architecture because the designers and builders have neither the inclination or time to do this.

Technically there is no reason whatsoever for me not to continue to use FSX-A into the future and probably for at least another decade, which is ok with me as I have FSX running as smoothly as one can expect and my preferences for the collection of aircraft and other add-ons I have, for example, there is a lot of very very high quality scenery being produced out of the Japanese sim community that simply is well brilliant, this will not be redone for 64 bit stuff either in my humble opinion, it represents years and years of painstaking work.

Again this has all helped me clarify my thinking about what to do from here - the solution, well mine, is I will keep running FSX probably into the forseeable future and go for X-Plane as my replacement sim, I like the open source architecture, the multiple platform capacity and the support from those with an engineering bent. Most importantly I know I can port over FSX models in X-Plane (minus the internal models) but will be able to access the tools to redo the VC's if one has the time and inclination. Besides there is a hell of a lot of life left in FSX yet. I guess then it will go into a box with ATP SubLogic and MS98 flight sim as a momento of dinosaur computer programs.

June 16th, 2017, 05:42
Just an FYI, Mr. Shupe's planes work well in P3D4. I have the Aero Commanders, the Beech 18 Float, and the Spartan installed, all work just fine. To my immense pleasure !