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Virtual Reality

My Review (Medium/Low Rig)

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Dear all,As I was saying earlier, I recieved my copy of X-Plane 10 today, after using it for a good couple of hours, I thought I would share my experiences with it so far.I am using an Alienware M15x Laptop with the included things:

  • Intel i7 740QM (1.73GHz Clock Speed - Can run up to 2.8GHz in Turbo Mode)
  • Nvidia GTX260M
  • 4GB RAM
  • Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 installed
  • SEAGATE 2TB External Hard Drive - Therefore I can install the massive 75GB hard disk space X-Plane 10 requires if the user wishes to install all scenery.
  • Saitek X52 Joystick

Review:Case/Box:I recieved X-Plane 10 through the post after buying it directly from X-Plane.com, the case is low/standard quality, by which I mean, it is not anything you would put up for display. The case is literally made just to hold the disks and included no full manual (the user must visit the URL printed on the case to view the full manual) instead their is a simple guide printed telling the user on how to install X-Plane, launching It and how to configure essentail yoke/joystick functions. It appears that the Installer problem people were saying has been fixed for both Windows and Linux users as there was a label on the case only saying Mac users needed to use the online installer. Their are 8 DVDs included, other than that their is nothing else on or in the case that can't already be found at www.x-plane.comInstalling:I inserted Disk 1 in and up came the familiar X-System (for people who have used previous versions of X-Plane), I went through the list and selected to install the full world onto my SEAGATE 2TB External Hard Drive, which in the long run means I can go anywhere in the X-Plane world and fly, but for installing prepare for the most boring 4-6 hours of your life. On the case it does warn you that installing the whole of X-Plane will require around five to six hours with each disk being thirty to sixty minutes.Therefore I recommend to anyone wanting to install the whole X-Plane world onto their system have something else ready to do while you wait!Launching X-Plane 10:After I had finally installed and updated X-Plane to the lastest version (X-Plane 10 Beta 4) I was ready to test it out. After double clicking the X-Plane 10 shortcut it booted up and launched straight into the simulator itself, which on my system took a good 5 to 10 minutes to load. Once done X-Plane 10 requires you to have Disk 1 in your CD drive otherwise it will keep X-Plane 10 in demo mode only (only allowing the user to play for 10 minutes before it disconnects the Joystick), afterwards it checks whether there are any updates and then your ready to go!Playing X-Plane 10:I tested X-Plane in the following areas: KSEA (Seattle) / TNCM (St.Maarten) / EGKA (Shoreham) / EGKK (Gatwick)The simulator loads you ready on the runaway in the United 747-400, on its default set up. The first thing I went to do was to configure my joystick (Saitek X52), and it if i'm honest, flying an Airbus A380 on final in serve weather conditions is probably easier to do than to go through the X-Plane 10 User Interface (To any hardend X-Plane user, it is probably extremely easy to navigate through the X-Plane user interface, but for a beginner such as myself, it was a nightmare).Controls:So I go to the control settings and firstly you have to configure your controls Axis, which was pretty easy to do, but then you come to the "Buttons" area, (I chose Buttons: Basic, because I wanted to just get up and fly) so slowly you go looking through the options so that you can configure each button to a command, but in some cases they can make you baffled as to why they listed that command as a "Basic Option" but other one's not. Overall after playing around with the buttons I was configured and ready. ( I am annoyed that X-Plane doesn't pick up that my joystick has a Hat-Switch and sets it so I can freely look around which FSX does automatically. It can probably be done, but as a beginner and just setting the Buttons already becoming annoying after keep having to look up and down to find the command you want set to that button frustating, I have left it so far)Rendering Options:I already knew my computer wasn't handling well the current default options X-Plane had set, so the next step was the "Rendering Options" after yet again playing around for a good 10 to 15 minutes of settings I got what in my view was an alright set up. Settings are of personal choice in X-Plane and takes a lot of time to fiddle about with, in order to get that set up your wishing for. I found that it doesn't require settings to be on high/maximum to get a decent looking X-Plane, and on the settings I have, I still get lots of fun out of it.You must remember, just like FSX, in a city area such as Seattle or London you are going to get lower FPS than in a place like St.Maarten, so when going through the rendering options ask yourself whether your more likely to fly from city to city, or be more of an VFR flyer, flying out from small remote areas and base your options around that. There are three main things in X-Plane 10 which will kill your frames from what I have found in my experience so far (this may be different from person to person). 1. AI Planes 2. Shadows 3. CloudsOn a positive note though, like I said earlier, X-Plane doesn't require a hardcore gaming rig in order for it to look nice and it really depends on one's taste and what they are willing to "accept" as good and bad.Flight Model:Flight model is on par with previous version's of X-Plane and simulate pretty well the flight dymanics of aircraft. I cannot say on my heart whether they are "just like real-life" as I am not a pilot myself, other than flying a couple of hours in different GA aircraft, but on the whole they do offer a challenge and do add that extra touch. Although I have found especially in the Cessna 172 that sometimes a simple touch of the controls can make the plane go into a beserk state and flip over.Clouds:Clouds are no way near REX standard of clouds, but unlike FSX all of them are from what I can guess, appear to be 3D. Flying through them is a bliss and feels just like the real thing and they are effected by time of day etc.. (If your flying in the evening some of the clouds will have that orange glow on them from the sun, while others will appear dark and gloomy. Just like real life) Also from what I've heard, you should never see two of the same clouds which I thought was really good, as when do you see two of the same clouds in real life? The downside though is that because all the clouds are 3D they are a big frame rate killer.AI:AI Planes: While they may be lovely to look at, follow ATC perfectly, I feel this to be probably the worse problem with X-Plane 10. To sum it up take FSX, the AI in it uses basic models which look pretty, but don't include systems or anything fancy, because at the end of the day you just want them to look nice and fly from point A to B. Now instead take that PMDG 747 your flying in (with it's systems and attention to detail) and use that as your AI. What do you get? A stupid AI system which not only kills your frames but allows you to only have about 20-30 AI aircraft if your lucky before you overload your computer/laptop. This is exactly what X-Plane has.Therefore I have turned the AI Planes off.AI Cars/Trains: On the other hand, the AI Cars and Trains are 10 times better than the FSX cars and don't require a lot of FPS until you start to choose the higher settings. It is a great addition and always a pleasure to look at while flying.Scenery:Scenery is brilliant, if your computer can handle it, your in for a treat. All buildings are 3D and don't have ugly flat roof's on them like FSX does. From flying around buildings don't appear on roads, but next to them which therefore adds to the realism. Roads are placed on their real life position, to give you an example I even found the road where I live at! The scenery textures on high/extreme res look beautiful at low-level and overall I am generally pleased. On a X-Plane playing field it is a huge improvement over X-Plane 9, but at the moment if your using FSX with Orbx scenery there's no rush to change.Seattle appears to be the only airport i've been to that includes airport buildings, but i'll have a look around to see if I can find any more places.Overall I was very happy with the scenery.Default User Planes:Default planes are nothing special although do add a bit more than the default FSX planes do (such as some include virtual cabins) some of the default plane's have been updated to show X-Plane 10's new protential, such as the United 747-400, with a nice looking VC, but other planes have been imported from previous versions such as the British Airways 777.ATC:Best default ATC I have seen, and probably the closest you can get to real ATC in a simulation, too much to discuss and I haven't done a proper IFR flight yet, but top marks for it. Although VATSIM clearly is better because of obvious reasons.Night:I had to save the best till last. If there's something in X-Plane which makes you go "yep that alone makes my $90/£60 worth it" it would be at night. Night lighting is incredible, almost eye-popping. Cars and Trains all have their own lights (headlights etc..), every road is lit with its own street light's, your lights have an affect on the world, such as your landing lights shining on the car traffic below are exactly like that in real life and the whole X-Plane world really does comes to life at night!Overall:There' so much I still haven't done or found out yet, but I hope my review can give any potential people thinking about whether to buy X-Plane 10 or not a little bit more insight. If your an X-Plane 9 user, X-Plane 10 is a must have upgrade and certainly worth your money. For FS2004 or FSX users it depends. Addons are lacking compared to FSX/FS2004 and while there are many things X-Plane 10 has which FSX does not, its a learning curve and a really comes down to personal taste. Not to mention Flight being around the corner.To best sum it up to you, Your either going to love it or hate it. Personally for me (as an FS2004/FSX/X-Plane 9/X-Plane 10 user) I love it and will be the platform I use for my VFR flying from now on, but for IFR I will stick with FSX.Finally it seems Austin and the X-Plane team have put a lot of hard work and effort into X-Plane 10 and I congratulate them for that, it really is the best X-Plane made so far and I will be playing it for a great deal of time. Seeing as it's my first Chirstmas present I am extremely happy with it and would recommend it to anyone who asked.I hope this mini review has been helpful.Many thanks,Matt

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thank you for your efforts this is appreciatedLove.gifThe 4 PAN hat switchs are best set to "pan left fast...etc..." (lower right of 'Buttons: Basic' page)and have a keyboard shortcut to > "View/3D cockpit command look" and a button one too as this can come in handy to get back inside the cockpit in case of an emergency LOL, this view toggled will enable your hat to move about fluidlyAlso make sure there are not two assignments to the roll axis as this can induce a roll after takeoff with no way of correcting it.ONLY KSEA has buildings, but you can import scenery from FSX using a tool calld FSX2XP (Google that)And I conclude by saying that XP10 is good for xcountry IFR, just not for the heavy metal/big city type of IFR.


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Thanks for the excellent balanced view.I like you enjoy X-plane but am still amazed at the poor documentation associated with what is an extremely complex piece of software. Not exactly User and in-particular New User friendly.TIM

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Thanks Virtual Reality for the complete review !I just got my XP10 tonight, have flown above my region in Jura, Switzerland and I'm really impressed ! I realize that the Seattle demo is very hard on framerate, because here in my country I can max trees, buildings and roads, and even activate high shadows and HDR ! (ok, I just bought a Geforce gtx560ti 2Gig on Linux, it helps). That's where I realized that shadows are of much better quality with HDR on. And both give an amazing depth to the landscape ! With such settings I have around 20-25 fps, this is the limit, but I had to see that to believe !Yes, night lighting is something never seen before. Flying just above cars, trains and houses at the end of the day, with HDR on, is a quasi hypnotic experience ! I'm sure it has some therapeutic effects ! LOL.gifThere has been years I have not been that much excited with a new sim !Cheers !

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Not newbie friendly, perhaps, but if you take some time to read the manual and learn your away around the interface then you'll be up and running pretty quickly. The learning curve is more because it's so different from Microsoft Flight Simulator and not because X-Plane in and of itself is difficult to use.

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Dear all,As I was saying earlier, I recieved my copy of X-Plane 10 today, after using it for a good couple of hours, I thought I would share my experiences with it so far.I am using an Alienware M15x Laptop with the included things:
  • Intel i7 740QM (1.73GHz Clock Speed - Can run up to 2.8GHz in Turbo Mode)
  • Nvidia GTX260M
  • 4GB RAM
  • Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 installed
  • SEAGATE 2TB External Hard Drive - Therefore I can install the massive 75GB hard disk space X-Plane 10 requires if the user wishes to install all scenery.
  • Saitek X52 Joystick

Review:Case/Box:I recieved X-Plane 10 through the post after buying it directly from X-Plane.com, the case is low/standard quality, by which I mean, it is not anything you would put up for display. The case is literally made just to hold the disks and included no full manual (the user must visit the URL printed on the case to view the full manual) instead their is a simple guide printed telling the user on how to install X-Plane, launching It and how to configure essentail yoke/joystick functions. It appears that the Installer problem people were saying has been fixed for both Windows and Linux users as there was a label on the case only saying Mac users needed to use the online installer. Their are 8 DVDs included, other than that their is nothing else on or in the case that can't already be found at www.x-plane.comInstalling:I inserted Disk 1 in and up came the familiar X-System (for people who have used previous versions of X-Plane), I went through the list and selected to install the full world onto my SEAGATE 2TB External Hard Drive, which in the long run means I can go anywhere in the X-Plane world and fly, but for installing prepare for the most boring 4-6 hours of your life. On the case it does warn you that installing the whole of X-Plane will require around five to six hours with each disk being thirty to sixty minutes.Therefore I recommend to anyone wanting to install the whole X-Plane world onto their system have something else ready to do while you wait!Launching X-Plane 10:After I had finally installed and updated X-Plane to the lastest version (X-Plane 10 Beta 4) I was ready to test it out. After double clicking the X-Plane 10 shortcut it booted up and launched straight into the simulator itself, which on my system took a good 5 to 10 minutes to load. Once done X-Plane 10 requires you to have Disk 1 in your CD drive otherwise it will keep X-Plane 10 in demo mode only (only allowing the user to play for 10 minutes before it disconnects the Joystick), afterwards it checks whether there are any updates and then your ready to go!Playing X-Plane 10:I tested X-Plane in the following areas: KSEA (Seattle) / TNCM (St.Maarten) / EGKA (Shoreham) / EGKK (Gatwick)The simulator loads you ready on the runaway in the United 747-400, on its default set up. The first thing I went to do was to configure my joystick (Saitek X52), and it if i'm honest, flying an Airbus A380 on final in serve weather conditions is probably easier to do than to go through the X-Plane 10 User Interface (To any hardend X-Plane user, it is probably extremely easy to navigate through the X-Plane user interface, but for a beginner such as myself, it was a nightmare).Controls:So I go to the control settings and firstly you have to configure your controls Axis, which was pretty easy to do, but then you come to the "Buttons" area, (I chose Buttons: Basic, because I wanted to just get up and fly) so slowly you go looking through the options so that you can configure each button to a command, but in some cases they can make you baffled as to why they listed that command as a "Basic Option" but other one's not. Overall after playing around with the buttons I was configured and ready. ( I am annoyed that X-Plane doesn't pick up that my joystick has a Hat-Switch and sets it so I can freely look around which FSX does automatically. It can probably be done, but as a beginner and just setting the Buttons already becoming annoying after keep having to look up and down to find the command you want set to that button frustating, I have left it so far)Rendering Options:I already knew my computer wasn't handling well the current default options X-Plane had set, so the next step was the "Rendering Options" after yet again playing around for a good 10 to 15 minutes of settings I got what in my view was an alright set up. Settings are of personal choice in X-Plane and takes a lot of time to fiddle about with, in order to get that set up your wishing for. I found that it doesn't require settings to be on high/maximum to get a decent looking X-Plane, and on the settings I have, I still get lots of fun out of it.You must remember, just like FSX, in a city area such as Seattle or London you are going to get lower FPS than in a place like St.Maarten, so when going through the rendering options ask yourself whether your more likely to fly from city to city, or be more of an VFR flyer, flying out from small remote areas and base your options around that. There are three main things in X-Plane 10 which will kill your frames from what I have found in my experience so far (this may be different from person to person). 1. AI Planes 2. Shadows 3. CloudsOn a positive note though, like I said earlier, X-Plane doesn't require a hardcore gaming rig in order for it to look nice and it really depends on one's taste and what they are willing to "accept" as good and bad.Flight Model:Flight model is on par with previous version's of X-Plane and simulate pretty well the flight dymanics of aircraft. I cannot say on my heart whether they are "just like real-life" as I am not a pilot myself, other than flying a couple of hours in different GA aircraft, but on the whole they do offer a challenge and do add that extra touch. Although I have found especially in the Cessna 172 that sometimes a simple touch of the controls can make the plane go into a beserk state and flip over.Clouds:Clouds are no way near REX standard of clouds, but unlike FSX all of them are from what I can guess, appear to be 3D. Flying through them is a bliss and feels just like the real thing and they are effected by time of day etc.. (If your flying in the evening some of the clouds will have that orange glow on them from the sun, while others will appear dark and gloomy. Just like real life) Also from what I've heard, you should never see two of the same clouds which I thought was really good, as when do you see two of the same clouds in real life? The downside though is that because all the clouds are 3D they are a big frame rate killer.AI:AI Planes: While they may be lovely to look at, follow ATC perfectly, I feel this to be probably the worse problem with X-Plane 10. To sum it up take FSX, the AI in it uses basic models which look pretty, but don't include systems or anything fancy, because at the end of the day you just want them to look nice and fly from point A to B. Now instead take that PMDG 747 your flying in (with it's systems and attention to detail) and use that as your AI. What do you get? A stupid AI system which not only kills your frames but allows you to only have about 20-30 AI aircraft if your lucky before you overload your computer/laptop. This is exactly what X-Plane has.Therefore I have turned the AI Planes off.AI Cars/Trains: On the other hand, the AI Cars and Trains are 10 times better than the FSX cars and don't require a lot of FPS until you start to choose the higher settings. It is a great addition and always a pleasure to look at while flying.Scenery:Scenery is brilliant, if your computer can handle it, your in for a treat. All buildings are 3D and don't have ugly flat roof's on them like FSX does. From flying around buildings don't appear on roads, but next to them which therefore adds to the realism. Roads are placed on their real life position, to give you an example I even found the road where I live at! The scenery textures on high/extreme res look beautiful at low-level and overall I am generally pleased. On a X-Plane playing field it is a huge improvement over X-Plane 9, but at the moment if your using FSX with Orbx scenery there's no rush to change.Seattle appears to be the only airport i've been to that includes airport buildings, but i'll have a look around to see if I can find any more places.Overall I was very happy with the scenery.Default User Planes:Default planes are nothing special although do add a bit more than the default FSX planes do (such as some include virtual cabins) some of the default plane's have been updated to show X-Plane 10's new protential, such as the United 747-400, with a nice looking VC, but other planes have been imported from previous versions such as the British Airways 777.ATC:Best default ATC I have seen, and probably the closest you can get to real ATC in a simulation, too much to discuss and I haven't done a proper IFR flight yet, but top marks for it. Although VATSIM clearly is better because of obvious reasons.Night:I had to save the best till last. If there's something in X-Plane which makes you go "yep that alone makes my $90/£60 worth it" it would be at night. Night lighting is incredible, almost eye-popping. Cars and Trains all have their own lights (headlights etc..), every road is lit with its own street light's, your lights have an affect on the world, such as your landing lights shining on the car traffic below are exactly like that in real life and the whole X-Plane world really does comes to life at night!Overall:There' so much I still haven't done or found out yet, but I hope my review can give any potential people thinking about whether to buy X-Plane 10 or not a little bit more insight. If your an X-Plane 9 user, X-Plane 10 is a must have upgrade and certainly worth your money. For FS2004 or FSX users it depends. Addons are lacking compared to FSX/FS2004 and while there are many things X-Plane 10 has which FSX does not, its a learning curve and a really comes down to personal taste. Not to mention Flight being around the corner.To best sum it up to you, Your either going to love it or hate it. Personally for me (as an FS2004/FSX/X-Plane 9/X-Plane 10 user) I love it and will be the platform I use for my VFR flying from now on, but for IFR I will stick with FSX.Finally it seems Austin and the X-Plane team have put a lot of hard work and effort into X-Plane 10 and I congratulate them for that, it really is the best X-Plane made so far and I will be playing it for a great deal of time. Seeing as it's my first Chirstmas present I am extremely happy with it and would recommend it to anyone who asked.I hope this mini review has been helpful.Many thanks,Matt

Hello Virtual Reality,Glad you like X-Plane, i myself like all of the sims one thing in your post really PUZZLES me though, you say you use x-plane 9, but then find setting your Saitek X52 up a real nightmare. The controls assignment are just like they are in XP9, I would think it would be logical to set up XP10 the same as XP9. is that not so? Just curious!

Donald E. Donovan

Flying is the 2nd greatest thrill known to man

The 1st is landing.

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Hey everyone,Thank you for your kind words and advice, I am slowly getting more into X-Plane everytime I use it, always something new that I haven't seen as of yet! Thanks peppy for telling me how to get the pan system to work in X-Plane, i'll do that in a moment. Donald I do have X-Plane 9, but have only used it briefly, just as a benchmark against Flight Simulator 2004, having only played it for about 2-3 weeks I decided I would stick with FS2004 (and at the time didn't have my SEAGATE external hard drive for which to have X-Plane on). That is why I didn't get the controls properly figured (other than the Axis of course)!I do agree though, that with time and reading more into it, through the manual and guides on the internet, I am starting to get to grips with the user interface and gameplay now, I will even look at converting FSX scenery over to it and doing that XCountry as the X-Plane King Air does look great to fly over a long distance!I hope my review was balanced as I didn't want to be on either side, but to give a person who reads it a bit more insight into what I experienced, as from previous exeriences better knowledge of a program before buying it is always a great help!Cheers,Matt

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Matt,Great Honest review,Thank You.I'm a long time Flight Sim, FSX user and I'm presently using the X-Plane 10 demo.I can safely say that after working with the demo for a week I'm in love with the sim.I find The feeling of flight and Air Speed to be totally immersive in X-Plane.I'm having a very hard time returning to FSX now.I ordered my full version of X-Plane 10 through Aerosoft last week,I can't wait.p.s. Thanks Peppy for the HatSwitch Tip.Cheers!


File-Jul-21-6-32-57-PM.png

Patrick

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Hey everyone,Thank you for your kind words and advice, I am slowly getting more into X-Plane everytime I use it, always something new that I haven't seen as of yet! Thanks peppy for telling me how to get the pan system to work in X-Plane, i'll do that in a moment. Donald I do have X-Plane 9, but have only used it briefly, just as a benchmark against Flight Simulator 2004, having only played it for about 2-3 weeks I decided I would stick with FS2004 (and at the time didn't have my SEAGATE external hard drive for which to have X-Plane on). That is why I didn't get the controls properly figured (other than the Axis of course)!I do agree though, that with time and reading more into it, through the manual and guides on the internet, I am starting to get to grips with the user interface and gameplay now, I will even look at converting FSX scenery over to it and doing that XCountry as the X-Plane King Air does look great to fly over a long distance!I hope my review was balanced as I didn't want to be on either side, but to give a person who reads it a bit more insight into what I experienced, as from previous exeriences better knowledge of a program before buying it is always a great help!Cheers,Matt
Great Matt,Ok, I was just curios. That's the great thing about these forums, one can always ask for help. Angel.gif

Donald E. Donovan

Flying is the 2nd greatest thrill known to man

The 1st is landing.

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