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CrashEd

Which addons are you using with the 744 in FSX?

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As the title says really. I have the UK Horizon VFR scenery textures and airfields and also the 747-400x and I'm getting around 35fps (with water effects and some traffic turned down, most other things on full). PC spec in the sig...Just wondered what other addons people were using (traffic, weather etc) that would enhance the experience with a minimum hit on performance? Some traffic and additional textures (runways etc) would be nice...


Ed Haslam

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Hi EdIn my opinion FEX SHD (Flight Environment X with Super High Definition clouds) is an excellent investment and is something that is used on just about every flight. FEX will also have custom runway textures pretty soon, together with a weather engine and other odds and ends. Even without the extra bits it is a great add-on! Large download though but well worth it!If you like it technical then FS2Crew: FSX PMDG 747 Edition is a good choice.Scenery wise it depends on where you like to fly but I would highly recommend UTX Europe (Ultimate Terrain X) and in a month or two GEX Europe (Ground Environment X) will be available. Both UTX and GEX are also available for USA/Canada/Alaska. If you really want something special and money is no object then Switzerland Professional X from Aerosoft is about as good as it gets scenery wise.Another great looking scenery is Full Terrain X from Orbx Sim in Australia. They have various sections of Australia available + a huge set of freeware GA airports. Well worth a look!Enjoy!Konrad


Konrad

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Hi Konrad,Many thnaks for your reply. Flight Environment X looks really good - I may have to get that! Do you see much of a performance hit when using it - in particular the clouds?I bought FS Crew for the 747 but I haven't used it much though - it does look quite good though in terms of immersion.I mainly fly UK, Europe and US so I'll check out some of the other terrain addons you mentioned.


Ed Haslam

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>Flight Environment X looks really>good - I may have to get that! Do you see much of a>performance hit when using it - in particular the clouds?There is a slight performance hit with FEX SHD as you are using 4069 high res cloud textures. Can't have that for free! You may have to come down a notch or two on autogen, traffic etc but the cloud and other environment visuals more than make up for it. Your pc has more than enough grunt to handle FEX, especially so with the overclock. No doubt about it.Here are a few screenshots with FEX at work (just one cloud theme out of 30+ available). UTX Europe Scenery in first two. 3rd is on approach to KEDW. Hard to capture the 'wispiness' and fine detail of the clouds in small screenshots like these. Looks much better onscreen! http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/191911.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/191912.jpghttp://forums.avsim.net/user_files/191913.jpgAll these products have dedicated support forums just like this one so getting help is pretty easy.Konrad


Konrad

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WOW! The screenshots more than speak for them selves there. Many thanks for taking the time to post them. I'll definitely go for Flight Environment X and possibly UTX Europe as well. They look just like what I'm after.One final question regarding FEX: Is the weather engine linked into ATIS? i.e. if I set the weather conditions in FEX, will they be mirrored in the ATIS report? Or will this be included in a future release?


Ed Haslam

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>One final question regarding FEX: Is the weather engine linked>into ATIS? i.e. if I set the weather conditions in FEX, will>they be mirrored in the ATIS report? Or will this be included>in a future release?FEX's dynamic weather engine is still under development so as we speak there is no direct link available between ATIS/realworld weather and FEX. Weather conditions are set using the FSX weather menu as normal, all FEX does is replace the original cloud, sky and water textures.I suggest you have a look at:http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_topics.asp?FID=34 http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=27383The first sticky is a Weather Engine FAQ which explains it all much better than I can.Active Sky X is the alternative to FEX. I do not own it so cannot comment but worth checking out to be able to compare the two.UTX Europe is a good choice, though by itself it is not really enough to get Europe looking like it should. This is mostly because UTX does not replace enough land texture files (so Italy is still a desert country for example). This is where GEX Europe (soon to be released) comes in with a whole new set of land textures. So you would need both UTX and GEX together. Note that both UTX and GEX will have a further negative impact on your overall FPS.4GB of RAM with a 64bit OS will start to help a lot with all this going on.Konrad


Konrad

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Thanks for the links Konrad. I had a look at ActiveSky last night and it also looks really good. I can't really decide which one to go for. The cloud textures look better in FEX, but ActiveSky already has a weather engine included. Maybe it's worth waiting for the FEX engine? Is there any indication of when it will be released (I couldn't see anything in the forum). And, will it be a free upgrade to existing customers?> So you would need both UTX and GEX togetherOk, thats good to know - I didn't reaslised that the two could be used together.> PMDG MD-11 ;-)Don't think I didn't notice this Tabs! ;-)


Ed Haslam

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>Maybe it's worth waiting for the FEX engine? Is there any indication>of when it will be released (I couldn't see anything in the>forum). And, will it be a free upgrade to existing customers?The FEX weather engine is one of those when it is ready sort of things so no firm idea. Before xmas hopefully. Will it be free? Also not sure. Having said that you can most certainly fly using realword weather in FSX as per normal, it is just that FEX cannot currently alter which cloud theme it uses "in-flight" based on real world weather data. Perhaps someone who uses Active Sky X can comment in more detail. To make things more complicated the term weather engine means different things to different folks. Either way I do not think you will go wrong.>>> So you would need both UTX and GEX together. Ok, thats good to know - I didn't reaslised that the two could be used together.Need? No, not really. Want? Yes. Basically the one picks up where the other left off.Konrad


Konrad

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I've just ordered GEX and UTX for USA and also UTX Europe. There was a sale on at pilotstore, so decided to get the lot. They don't sell FEX, which is a good thing as I'm still undecided whether to go for that or ActiveSky.If there are any ActiveSky users out there it would be great to hear what you think of it...


Ed Haslam

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Before installing UTX and GEX I recommend that you fly one or two of your favourite routes and take a few screenshots. (KSFO to KLAX is a good one as it shows off a lot of what UTX and GEX are about). Then repeat the process after installing only UTX and again after installing GEX. This will allow you to later compare in detail what each addon is actually doing "on the ground". Enable your FPS counter for all your screenshots and you will get a better idea of the FPS impact each add-on has.Don't forget to check for updates for both UTX and GEX, and defragment your drive after installation.And be prepared to come down a notch or two on some settings to keep things smooth, especially below 10000!Enjoy!Konrad


Konrad

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Guest nigvilla

>I've just ordered GEX and UTX for USA and also UTX Europe.>There was a sale on at pilotstore, so decided to get the lot.>They don't sell FEX, which is a good thing as I'm still>undecided whether to go for that or ActiveSky.>>If there are any ActiveSky users out there it would be great>to hear what you think of it... Ed,I have ASX and FEX working well together. As previously stated there is loads of advice on the dedicated forums for each product but in simple terms I use FEX to 'set' the texture themes used in FSX and Active Sky then uses these (indirectly) when setting weather.ASX runs alongside FSX to constantly update real weather but FEX does not ( nor in fact do GEX or UTX which I also have) so I see reasonable FPS with a fairly basic dual core system. With ASX and Radar Contact running , approaches to the bigger hubs like Heathrow, Frankfurt and San Francisco are sometimes a little jittery but then I like the feel of AI and run at about 40%.

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Thanks for all of your advice guys, I'll probably go for FEX for now and just use the FSX weather along side it. I can always get ASX later on if if find that FSX isn't good enough. Or wait for the FES weather engine. For now I'm just after a 'cosmetic' improvement, but I'm sure I'll want to enhance this further down the line.What does ActiveSky X give you that FSX doesn't?


Ed Haslam

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