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  1. #1
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    First Time Considering P3D

    I've gone out and searched, and done some initial home work, and understand the basics of it. However, I was looking for more contemporary, right now opinions. Not the old threads from 2016 or whatever.

    I recently got back into FS after years away, and am enjoying the heck out of it. I had FSX:SE, and many payware addons from years back, that I was able to re-download and use again. I have a decent rig, recently upgraded in Dec 2018, hence the "Why not try FSX out again, since it's gotta run good on this hardware..." Still heats the Ryzen 5 2600 up to 68-79 centigrade at the highest I've seen. It's safe, not worried about it too much anymore. For the FPS I can get out of FSX now, I'm fine with that Ryzen heating up to tear through FSX like it does.

    So, my questions are these: I have a relatively stable FSX:SE install running on DX9, with just half a dozen aftermarket ships I love, mostly Carenado, and a couple others. I only care about having my four MegasceneryEarth States installed, which a google search or two showed they should work in P3D. I also LOVE the FTX Global Airports Free Pack, which, research shows that ORBX cares about P3D switchover, and that it should also work. Would REX4 textures and Softclouds work? I also just got ACtiveSkyNext, which is a total sim changer. I will read up on their compatibility, but if re-purchase is necessary for more than one or two of these addons, it may nail the P3D coffin shut before it had a chance.

    The DX10 thing isn't huge, and I'm toying with trying the free DX10 Steve Fixer, but it's not too high on priority. VC Shadows. Ok, if it offered some better CPU/GPU utilization ratios, I'm on it. If not, then no. I can't and won't bring myself to XP-11 for the same kind of reasons; too much stuff I've already bought, got, and love in FSX. And XP-11 is just weird initially, can't get graphics to look at all good, and it's supposed to be lightyears ahead.

    Is it better to just cough up the dough and get P3D, to avoid all the tweaking and stuff? I know it would rectify the 64 bit issue immediately. I've not had an OOM errors or crashes.... yet.... I've done a number of the prominent FSX.CFG tweaks like Highmemfix, Affinity Mask, etc. Seems to run alright. With most sliders over to the right, outside of dense urban areas I can get a solid 50-60 FPS average, over photoscenery. In Phoenix, I'm probably getting a 25-35 ish range.

    What do you all think based on this moderate bit of background? I've heard P3D also has a new learning curve of tweaking and UI stuff; I already have gotten kinda sorta good with FSX tweaking, and it seems to be running well, by my standards.

    Thanks again. I'm super on the fence. I kinda wanna get P3D, but if you guys say it doesn't do a WHOLE LOT more than FSX 32 bit, then I'm probably gonna not fix what ain't broken at the moment.
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  2. #2
    You could get a month's subscription to P3D to try it out. That's what I did and I now use P3D exclusively.
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  3. #3
    Go with the frog's suggestion, a month's subscription is a really good idea.
    I run P3D3 and P3D4 as I own both and P3D3 is a far more stable 'FSX' replacement which handles almost any 32bit add on.
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  4. #4
    From your original message I understand you're looking for a potential new sim to invest your time in. And possibly some money as well...
    You've got two possibilities right now. I'll start with the one you excluded right away, XPlane11, then I'll deal with P3Dv4. I use both of them.

    Xplane11 is totally new for you and it was for me as well. We're both long-time FS-only users so it's quite hard to find our marks in a new, totally different sim. I did that effort however, because I wanted to give it a serious try. Yes, XPlane11 takes some time to configure properly and find the sweet spot. However, the result is quite rewarding.
    The summary is pretty clear: XPlane11, even with just a bunch of freeware addons, makes FSX and even P3Dv4 look ridiculously outdated.

    I would really advise you to spend some more time with the demo. It is limited to 10 minutes of flight time, yes, and that's annoying. However, this is the only limitation. Beside this, you are free to install any plugin, addon plane, addon scenery, replacement textures etc.... so it's good for testing.
    XPlane11 has two main advantages that make is worth a try:
    1. Its physics engine is more pleasing that FSX/P3D. On the ground, it really feels like the plane is rolling, with tires and suspensions, unlike FSX which feels like your plane is kind of sliding on the ground... In the air, the difference is less obvious anyways, but basically it feels newer, so it's nice for the "discovery" feeling.
    2. XPlane can display way more scenery details, with less FPS hit. In FSX or P3D, even with my powerful computer, I have to stay away from major airports because any "complex" scenery objects will cut the FPS in half. This doesn't happen in XPlane. You can get KSEA on screen without seeing your FPS crawling much. This is quite pleasant.


    Anyways, XPlane is definitely worth some investigation. Playing around with the demo and some freeware addons is not going to cost you any penny anyways


    Now, concerning P3Dv4...
    It is basically FSX made better.
    You get better autogen (less popping), better lighting, better colors/contrast adjustments, better shadows (clouds, plane, objects, autogen, anything).
    Flight models and physics engine are exactly the same.
    Controls are almost exactly the same.
    You get 64 bits so memory is not an issue anymore.
    You get a more modern graphic engine so you can switch between tasks and click anywhere without fearing your sim will close down or won't come back up for no reason...
    This sim will basically make you feel at home quite quickly. It's very easy to adapt, when you're coming from FSX.

    There are a few drawbacks though:
    - On some hardware, some people still suffer from ground scenery blurries or late autogen, sometimes. And it makes no sense, there is no logic. For example, on my computer (i7 8700k), I get almost immediate blurries if my HyperThreading is set to OFF, although this settings is often recommended on the forums. If I set it to ON, then no blurries, excepted on very fast flights (Mach 1) over complex sceneries (OrbX). This is a big source of frustration, because it often makes no sense at all, and recommendations from fellow simmers are often useless :/

    - It's not crash-free. It will crash from time to time

    - It's 64 bits so you can forget about all your FSX planes that use .DLL or .GAU gauges. FSX Planes with XML gauges should be fine, though.

    - FS9 planes (portovers) are not supported at all anymore. Same for sceneries (many "FSX"-labelled sceneries are in fact in FS9 format, which was ok in FSX, but not ok anymore in P3D)

    - Some of your payware planes will not work in P3Dv4, until you buy their P3Dv4-specific version. But some will, and that's the same with your sceneries. OrbX sceneries, you won't need to buy again though Stuff like REX (textures) will work as well. You'll have to buy Active Sky 2016 for P3Dv4, because your current ActiveSkyNext won't work. There was a discount for previous owners, not sure if this still applies.

    - It's still vastly depending on your CPU power, just like FSX. It has the same bad sides, performance-wise.

    What else?.... Feel free to ask questions

  5. #5
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    I actually own XP 11. 🤣 I just can't get over the idea of losing my ships and making all my Ortho scenery again. I'll have to tool around with it some more. I don't mind the lack of seasons, as I fly AZ mostly and it's kind of a one season state, in the south. Does XP have a built in weather engine?

    I didn't know FSX planes wouldn't work in P3D; I know the 32-bit models would not work, but most of them I thought offered free p3d switchovers. All of my carenado ships say P3d/FSX, so I assumed they offered the same plane in the installer for P3D, as well. P3D doesn't have a weather download engine built in?

    FSX is, knock on wood, running very stable. I just know it can't handle modern hardware as it was not designed for anything over to cores, really.

    I'll chime back in later when I've thought of more pertinent questions. Thanks guys
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  6. #6
    XPlane has a weather engine and it can dowload the local real weather like FSX does.
    P3D however, cannot download that real weather anymore, if I'm not mistaken.

    The weather depiction in P3D is a bit better than in FSX, thanks to the cloud shadows and the MUCH better representation of the fog (you get volumetric fog).

    The weather depiction in XPlane is also a bit better in some situations than FSX or P3D, thanks to the way the clouds are drawn. It looks, to me, a bit more realistic, even with the default clouds (honnestly, it's quite good). However, the weather transitions from a zone to another is not that great. But XP is still being worked on and receives regular updates.

    Concerning your FSX planes in P3D, it will also be a matter of luck. Some older planes are labelled FSX-only, although they work perfectly in P3Dv4. It's just that P3D didn't exist back when these planes got released Sometimes it's very easy, sometimes you have to cheat a bit with the installer program, etc...
    In reality, a lot of FSX-native planes do work well in P3Dv4. But not all.

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    Thank you again, for your detailed and thoughtful replies.

    I suppose, in this meantime, since I already own XP-11, I'll fiddle around with it some more. If it can do photo scenery like ortho4xp and have autogen on top of it somewhat neatly, that'll be a game changer.

    I've heard that there are many many great freeware everythings for Xplane, along with XP10 stuff working fine in 11.

    I'll keep all the old FSX stuff so that when I build my sons a gaming computer, they can have a decent Sim pretty much ready to rock and roll.

    I will probably stand down for now on p3d, for the reasons stated above. It is a decent continuation of FSX, but it is just that. Its foundation is still technically much older stuff although they've improved the foundation. X-Plane 11 seems like it's ready to move forward from now.

    With my hardware configuration do you see X-Plane 11 running reasonably well, or not so much?

    Another X-Plane 11 question, one thing that turned me off, was the fact that you can not zoom back out in the VC past a certain point. I love that you can use the mouse wheel for it, that was ingenious. In FSX, I generally fly most planes at .40, or .30 zoom even in some cases.

    And.... Then to re-learn how to modify plane config files In a whole new world... 😱🤣🤣🤣

  8. #8
    The limiting factor on native FSX planes working in P3Dv4 is the gauges.
    If it has .xml gauges, usually contained in a .cab file but sometimes loose in a folder it will work just fine.
    If it has .gau gauges it wont work, or at least the gauges wont.
    If it has .dll gauges it depends if there 32bit or 64bit so if updated .dll's have been released they will work.

    The only other thing to look out for is so called FSX compatible planes that are really FS9 planes that have been ported over.
    There easy to spot by looking in the model folder. they will only have 1 .mdl file where as native FSX planes will have 2, one for the exterior and one for the VC.
    FS9 portovers will be invisible in P3Dv4.
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    Forgot above, no X-Plane forum here at SOH? Didn't see it, but I am on mobile.

    How well should I expect to run X-Plane 11 on my rig in signature?
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    It's tough. X-Plane has tons of potential. And will require lots of money to get the planes I want.

    That sf260 I saw is not free... Though it was but didn't read far enough ..
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  11. #11
    Don't invest any money until you got confortable with the sim and you managed to make it look like you want/need.
    It took me almost a year before I bought my first payware for that sim.
    Take your time.

    And the Xplane section of SOH is just a bit more down in the list. You just need to scroll a bit.
    Here is the link: http://www.sim-outhouse.com/sohforum...php/64-X-Plane

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daube View Post
    Don't invest any money until you got confortable with the sim and you managed to make it look like you want/need.
    It took me almost a year before I bought my first payware for that sim.
    Take your time.

    And the Xplane section of SOH is just a bit more down in the list. You just need to scroll a bit.
    Here is the link: http://www.sim-outhouse.com/sohforum...php/64-X-Plane
    Definitely, on all accounts. I'm gonna just tool around with it. Maybe do some photo real ortho stuff. I'll buy something when I'm like 'Yeah, this is what we're doing from now on.'
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  13. #13
    I made the jump last year and went into v4 from the start. Relearning the file structure and how to add my FSX port-overs took time, but most sim utilities were already working. I was surprised with a few payware developers that offered free updates to P3D, saving me some headaches trying to figure out the port process of both free and payware. The SOH compatibility thread helped. I have a few rotary models I'm trying to get to work, but most of my favorite military themed aircraft work fine.

    I also have MSE AZ, as a recent transplant last year and have had great framerates even as I continue to add AI (mostly military) models recently converted to P3D. Running ASN, but didn't load up my REX from FSX (still researching that one). I also got the PTA, but have not really messed with it much. Overall happy with the swap, only a few CTDs and most seem to be related to port-overs.
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    Spent the evening getting my very default, bland X-Plane 11 up to basic speed.

    My first night flight with zero add-ons.... X-Plane won, hands down. Gorgeous and unbelievable night lighting and even colored red tail lights and white headlights on the freeways.

    Spent a couple hours relearning Ortho4XP, yes I've done it before.

    Just learning how to get scenery installed, and getting the 8,247 scenery libraries required. 😐🤣

    Weather and clouds even at default look amazing in XP-11. Frame rates are steady around 28-36 but for the level of detail I get, I don't care. Planes even bounce a bit as they taxi, uneven runways just like in real life, taxiway lights modeled. Awesome.

    Truly unique in sim experiences. FSX and it's add-ons will remain stored for when my kids are older and want a decent ready to fly sim. 🙂

    Thanks again for getting me to retry what k already had, and just kinda gave up on, due to extensive FSX collections. The move will take time, but will be worth it.
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    Spent the evening getting my very default, bland X-Plane 11 up to basic speed.

    My first night flight with zero add-ons.... X-Plane won, hands down. Gorgeous and unbelievable night lighting and even colored red tail lights and white headlights on the freeways.

    Spent a couple hours relearning Ortho4XP, yes I've done it before.

    Just learning how to get scenery installed, and getting the 8,247 scenery libraries required. 😐🤣

    Weather and clouds even at default look amazing in XP-11. Frame rates are steady around 28-36 but for the level of detail I get, I don't care. Planes even bounce a bit as they taxi, uneven runways just like in real life, taxiway lights modeled. Awesome.

    Truly unique in sim experiences. FSX and its add-ons will remain stored for when my kids are older and want a decent ready to fly sim. 🙂

    Thanks again for getting me to retry what I already had, and just kinda gave up on, due to extensive FSX collections. The move will take time, but will be worth it.
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  16. #16
    Ah yes, XPlane by night is kind of a slap in the face of FSX and P3D. They really managed to make something impressive with their lights.
    I don't know if you noticed, but all lights are real emissive ones. Here is a stupid example: if you land on the highway; you will notice that not only the light poles illuminate your plane, but also the head lights of the cars and trucs on the road will illuminate you !
    The K and L keys will adjust the day time on the fly, just keep them pressed for a slow adjustment... or just SHIFT+K and SHIFT+L for a much faster adjustment
    I would also recommend you to install an addon named vivid sky. It changes the sky colors to give some better rendering, especially and dawn and dusk.

    In P3Dv4, I'm using the freeware HDEv2.1 package to replace my sky textures and my cumulus textures (I didn't use the other textures for cirrus and stratus...).
    I also use an utility named TomatoShade which alter the shader to make the colors way more vibrant and the atmospheric effect more blueish like in my region. I like it so much.

  17. #17
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    Rock on. I'll look for those. In the mean time, daube, I installed a bunch of scenery libraries to get some sceneries working. However, my taxiway signs are all shot up.

    Again, I'm only getting about 30 frames on average but it's pretty consistent and for the level of detail I don't mind. Pointing at downtown Phoenix and sky harbor doesn't kill the frame rates like in other Sims.

    I'm also going to need to know how to migrate this X-Plane install over to the SSD with FSX on it since I installed it on a smaller separate SSD to just try it.

    I know that should probably go any xplane forum but since we are here in this is current.
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  18. #18
    There was a recent addon for taxiway markings. I have seen it mentioned in one of these videos where they list the best freeware addons for XPlane, I don't remember the title...
    Concerning the performances:
    - be very careful of your antialiasing settings.
    - be very careful of the shadows

    From my side, my quality slider is set to high (one crank below the max) and the antialiasing is set to FXAA + 2xMSAA if I'm not mistaken...

    You can also take a look at a plugin named 3J-FPS. It will automatically adjust some internal display settings during the flight to help maintain a target FPS level. It is crucial for me, since I fly with a VR helmet. This tool helps me maintain the FPS around 45 (90 FPS when VR is disabled). It will for example change the LOD of the clouds and the terrain, stuff like that, as soon as the FPS reach a level that is too low, to push them up later. I love that plugin so much !

  19. #19
    Concerning the migration, just move the folder as you want.
    Xplane does not use any registry key. You can move the folder anywhere anytime, the sim won't care.

  20. #20
    Er, nothing against X-Plane, but this is becoming a X-Plane thread NC

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Daube View Post

    In P3Dv4, I'm using the freeware HDEv2.1 package to replace my sky textures and my cumulus textures (I didn't use the other textures for cirrus and stratus...).
    I also use an utility named TomatoShade which alter the shader to make the colors way more vibrant and the atmospheric effect more blueish like in my region. I like it so much.
    Currently in re-building mode of everything

    It is good to hear that HDEv2.1 works in P3D4. Thanks for the tip.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daube View Post
    Concerning the migration, just move the folder as you want.
    Xplane does not use any registry key. You can move the folder anywhere anytime, the sim won't care.
    Both your posts, awesome stuff. I can't believe that they would make it that easy. I'm sold so hard LOLOL easy to move it I'm so good with that.
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    I know, Navy Chief LOL I'll be packing up and moving over there. Thanks for all the help, guys.
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  24. #24
    You guys are terrible putting forth all this X-Plane propaganda in the P3D Forum.

    As someone who has tried both and have stuck with P3D, mainly because of usability, since I have used the MS flight sims for a very long time moving to P3D was a no brainer, while I continually struggle to figure out how to do simple things in XP. While I agree v11 is better than those before, (I have tried every version since v8) remember the slogan for v11 is "More powerful. Made usable", meaning they admit all previous versions were unusable and I think they still have a way to go, but since this is a p3d forum I wont go into detail.

    As to using FSX aircraft in P3D, the vast majority I have tried work great in V4, and I have a lot of them in my collection. Notable AC that did not work are those by Captain sim and CLS. I have seen some missing gauges, mostly in 2D panels I can live without.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blanston12 View Post
    You guys are terrible putting forth all this X-Plane propaganda in the P3D Forum.

    As someone who has tried both and have stuck with P3D, mainly because of usability, since I have used the MS flight sims for a very long time moving to P3D was a no brainer, while I continually struggle to figure out how to do simple things in XP. While I agree v11 is better than those before, (I have tried every version since v8) remember the slogan for v11 is "More powerful. Made usable", meaning they admit all previous versions were unusable and I think they still have a way to go, but since this is a p3d forum I wont go into detail.

    As to using FSX aircraft in P3D, the vast majority I have tried work great in V4, and I have a lot of them in my collection. Notable AC that did not work are those by Captain sim and CLS. I have seen some missing gauges, mostly in 2D panels I can live without.
    It wasn't the goal initially. I said I'd be happy to move over there. I do agree with you on P3D being a no brainer, hence why I was seriously considering it. I don't like that X-Plane doesn't have many features it should. I also hate to pretty much lose my personally built payware fleet. That saddens me. No More Waco YMF-5, which I JUST Bought, and many others, including my brand new Xtreme Lear 20 Series.

    I can't keep both sims installed, as of right now. FSX is on my bigger SSD, by itself. XP is on the smaller one, so I'm going to have to Nuke FSX to make room for it; With my four MSE States, it won't fit anywhere else. I could, however, move it to my HDD, but I have no idea where to start on moving an FSX installation and have it remain crash free, no pun intended. I wish moving FSX was as easy as X-Plane, without the registry stuff.
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