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CordoganAir

Prepar3D x64 Confirmed! (Sort of)

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Saul the moderator over at P3D forums has confirmed that LM are currently working on the x64 version of P3D and although they will give no roadmap or schedule it's exciting to know that it is sort of officially in the works.

 

LM have far and above exceeded my expectations with P3D and their whole approach to the flightsim genre and community. The interactive and open minded approach to our community and addon devs is such a pleasant surprise given the past attitude from Microsoft and the propensity for us flightsimmers to whine about every little thing. The unwarranted sense of entitlement that I often see on the boards would be enough for me to wring my hands and rid myself of niche that is our hobby so more power to them and all our great addon devs. I have never experienced a stutter, blurry, OOM, with v2 and am loving flying the Accusim 172. I haven't even installed FTX and it still looks stunning with the stock clouds, textures, landclass, and vector information so I can only look forward to how great it's going to look when I get everything installed. With PMDG's stuff coming down the pipe that will just be the icing on the cake.

 

Many good things to come for us in 2015!   

 

P.S. -  Here's the link to the thread over at LM's forums:

http://www.prepar3d.com/forum-5/topic/yet-another-x64-thread/

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The latest information from Prepar3D staff is

 

 

The latest thread i’m aware of was by Wes Bard on on January 20, 2014, 16:33 and said:

 

“…And if we do release a 64 bit version…” [My emphasis]

 

Is there anything later?

 

 

To the best of my knowledge there is nothing later - unless someone has found it. And this quote was after Saul's post  in the same Prepa3d thread..

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Prepar3D staff

 

Saul IS a part of the Prepar3D staff. He is their forum moderator which is stated in his signature, I will quote his post below:

 

LMforum.jpg

 

 

I would think that if he posted something out of line or false about the product for which the forum he moderates serves, he would not be in that position anymore. 

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And every advanced addon available in the market will have to be rebuild to the 64bits version.... :Nail Biting:  let´s see how the market follow this.

We all see this happens before with Xplane.

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And every advanced addon available in the market will have to be rebuild to the 64bits version....   let´s see how the market will follow this.
We all saw this happened before with Xplane.

 

For one example PMDG has confirmed that they are in line w/ P3D and will be prepared to release x64 versions of their products as the platform is released, here'es the quote from RSR:

 

x64 UPDATES:
============
It is anticipated that P3D will be offered in an x64 variation at some point in the future.  PMDG will be monitoring development of the x64 version of P3D in order to manage the process by which we begin offering x64 compatible versions of our products for P3D users.
 
Based on our knowledge of the process at this time, we anticipate that x64 upgrades will be made available to licensed users of PMDG products at no cost.  This information is subject to change pending the development, testing and release of an x64 version of P3D.
 
 
Okay- I think that covers the "officialese" sounding stuff...  (I'm sorry if it all sounds very dry, but I am trying to cover a broad range of topics as concisely as possible while maintaining reasonable expectations for those looking forward to these new product lines...)
 
I will be back to post more information and previews of the upcoming P3D releases as it becomes available!

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We all see this happens before with Xplane.

 

See what happen? What are you talking about?

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And every advanced addon available in the market will have to be rebuild to the 64bits version.... :Nail Biting:  let´s see how the market follow this.

We all see this happens before with Xplane.

I've seen this argument a few times. If they don't want to convert, so be it. Others will fill in the gap if they so choose. That's what an open free market does. Somebody will want to make money.

 

Why limit a platform to the status quo just because stuff won't work with 64bit? Imagine back in the day a company decided not to develop past 16bit and 8bit programs because it might hurt backward compatibility...short sighted, wouldn't you think? Yet, they built 32bit platforms, and wouldn't you know, there were developers who made things that worked on that platform!

 

If LM makes a 64bit platform, there will be those who will make addons for it, no doubt about it. It won't happen over night, but that's normal with progress. I think our "I need it now" society forgets how it was "back in the day" when you actually had to go through the teething in order to make progress!

 

And another thing about free market...people will choose what's best for them. 32bit won't disappear just because they make a 64 bit platform. If you don't want 64bit, don't buy it.

 

I'm not slamming anyone . Just adding my 5 cents (no pennies in Canada anymore!)

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Saul IS a part of the Prepar3D staff.

 

Moderators are not members of Lockheed Martin's staff - check their profiles

 

Anyway Lockheed Martin has said for a long time that 64-bit is on its road map. All  Saul saying is no more than that. Remember, the road might be might be a dead-end

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The trouble with taking over a project and porting it is you don't know what you don't know, until you know it.  I'll be like that until the port is done.  So it's best not to take a head on approach when it comes to a timeline.  You just keep fulfilling other desires of your clients until you can pop the 64bit surprise.  Then it'll be true love.   I think SLI will engage many of us hardcore types when that is settled.  For LM it'll be like "are you still there?" when it comes to the core users because we'll all be so quiet glazed over staring at our sims happily.  If they carry on this path P3D will be as successful as any other Flight Simulator predecessor, probably much more.  The hardware and distribution network is out there now, world wide.  Happy Meals all around.

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LM has said 64 bit is something they are looking at - Saul says they are working on it. Whatever - bottom line - at MINIMUM we are looking at 2 years, and I think that's a conservative estimate, until there is something solid to discuss.

 

From what I've read, some folks seem to think it's as simple as changing a switch on the compiler. Just converting the base product will be a huge task not even considering paying any attention at all to compatibility.

 

Nothing really new here............yet.

 

Vic

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I don't care about backwards compatibility and wouldn't mind starting fresh if that means a much better simulator.

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It could be done in 6 months.  They have probably been working from a 64bit angle from day one.  If they have, it actually could be a compiler switch very soon.  That's what it is when it's time anyways.  Until then it's 32bit code.

 

How about this; P3D 64bit alpha.  No addons, but it's an alpha, or now a beta, so you can't really complain can you.  Fix the old one so most of us glaze over, and an 64bit to fire up the communities imagination, a bone to really chew on (and chew we do).  Lots of fun ahead.

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Anyway, how is the OOM (And this sort of crashs) statistic for P3Dv2? Is there a LOT to justify 64bits now? Look that i put the word "now". Proved by useful information, not people saying "all my God, my p3d is not working, don´t know why". I think some guys got me wrong. Of course, 64bits is fantastic news, but there is a lot to fix before that. I think SLI is much more important now and other issues show in their forum.

 

And don´t say, "if a developer don´t want to go 64bits, so be it". You never know what costs lies below this argument, and remember the good times you had with their addons.

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And don´t say, "if a developer don´t want to go 64bits, so be it". You never know what costs lies below this argument, and remember the good times you had with their addons.

 

I agree, but what can we do about it if they don't?  It's their business, and times change.  Their projects work on a platform built in the early 2000s and released in 2006.  If they don't want to change with the times, then us whining about it won't change anything.  No use in crying over spilled milk...just move on and enjoy the maturation of a much more modern platform.

 

Yet, imagine the possibilities developers would have in a 64 bit world.  Take the fantastic things they have done within the confines of a 32-bit platform, and let them loose.  Good add-on programmers will be able to deliver us much more...the days of the 4G cap would be finished

 

BUT...

 

this comes with a new problem.  Now that they would have more overhead to play with, then we get back into the realm of poor performance due to extreme complexity.  Obviously a balance would have to be reached until we all could afford supercomputers!!  :)

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Providing a 64-bit .exe isn't *that* hard. Doing it without breaking 90% of all add-ons is a different story. However many add-on developers have already charged extra for their P3D installers even though *nothing* changed except a few registry keys and paths, so we have the right to demand 64-bit versions of their add-ons.

 

64-bit isn't magically going to fix all the bugs and make the sim never crash, though. I think a lot of people are overrating the advantage of 64-bit. If anything, 64-bit is actually harder to debug. Also add-on developers will be held back by the graphics and simulation engine.

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64-bit is actually harder to debug.

 

Can you elaborate? What makes a 64 bit application harder to debug?

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The only thing 64 bit is going to fix is OOM  - 64 bit code for the most part runs a few % slower. If they can manage to offload more off the main CPU thread so that the program isn't just limited by single thread performance that would be nice.

 

I've often wondered why if some devs like Majestic can make their flight model run external to the sim then why can't LM peel that part of their code out and make it run in a separate thread, same for traffic and for gauges /displays  - Those are the biggest performance killers IMO.

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Agree Slayer!

Something like UT2 do, manage it in another SO process. Or even a service. Some developers already do it, why the simulator itself can´t? The only answer to this, i think, is a huge re-work of the code witch they don´t want to face. And yes, 64bits will only fix OOM, that´s why i asked what is the OOM statistic for P3D.

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If 3rd party developers want to stay in business, I suspect they well start creating their products in 64-bit. That's my .02

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Devin hit the nail on the head.  No need to fear compatibility.  The 32 bit will always be around as well as the addons. 

But to progress and innovate, things will break. When things break it leads to bigger and better things. 

We've been stuck at this foundation for a while now since FSX. Its now coming up on 2015. Its time for a change. 

If its feasible, then by all means bring it on!

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Providing a 64-bit .exe isn't *that* hard. Doing it without breaking 90% of all add-ons is a different story.

 

Actually that's not true in the case of P3D. P3d which contains FSX legacy code from decades ago, that can't simply be converted, as it is in lower level languages like assembler. This code needs to be located, stripped out and rewritten in a higher level language, without breaking any other part of the sim. This takes time and a lot of testing, to make sure nothing was missed. X-Plane 10 was able to convert more easily, because it's code was already written in higher level languages like C C++, which are much easier to convert.

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64 bit code for the most part runs a few % slower. If they can manage to offload more off the main CPU thread so that the program isn't just limited by single thread performance that would be nice.

 

No it really doesn't does it? If you recompile something for 64 bit an run it on a 64 bit windows you will actually see a 5-15% increase in performance AFAIK.

 

But it is not that easy to just recompile such a software. They will need to clean up data type incompatibility and such.

 

But the OOM issues are actually a big deal and it is worth porting the platform to 64 bit. It will be vital for the platform to survive.

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The only thing 64 bit is going to fix is OOM

 

Hmmm... Really? 

 

Let me use my imagination. Yes OOM would  be rare for the level of addons we now have.

 

But, Add on vendors would now add lots more details and autogens and buildings and moving trees and maybe even animated moving grass by the side of runways.... and shiny other objects... making it the 64 bit addons developed specifically for the new 64 bit sim even more gorgeous (assuming new faster chips to and video cards along with this).

 

Of course the dreaded OOM maybe back again in another 10-15 years,,, (or in 4 years).

 

In the mean time,,, its all good!

 

Go 64bit... forget about the 8bit naysayers I says. :)

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I agree lets move forward... I am just happy someone like "LM" is working on making our simulator experience better. Bring on the new year :)  

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I'm not a software expert but it appears to me as if LM is taking a systematic approach to weeding out the old junk buried deep in ESP and step by step bringing it on par. In my opinion we are sort of beta testers for them as they develop this to an unprecedented level of realism for commercial applications. Our academic and pro licenses keep the the studio in the black while they develop it to a level marketable to serious commercial end users. One of my hockey buddies is a SWA driver and came over and I showed him v2.4 w accusim 172 and he was thoroughly impressed with the visual immersiveness and the flight dynamics (he owns a 172 so that's saying something). He said the commercial sims they use at SWA are obviously better on the hardware side with the hydraulic motion and the full cockpit but that the visuals and immersion come nowhere close to V2.4 and that if they coupled the visuals of P3D w the motion based sim that they would really have something. We are the toughest critics on the visual and performance side because real world pilots are just in there for training and don't care as much but this is a win win LM gets a marketable commercial level sim and we get what we've always wanted in he process. Love it!

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