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nandrews

Newbie looking for first steps

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I am new to X-Plane after spending many years with FSX and it's predecessors.

I have bought X-Plane 10 on Steam, but yet to install it.

So I am looking for guideance on how/where best to install.

I have a new PC with three drives

1 500Gb SSD with OS

1 520GB SSD empty

1 2TB hybrid drive slowly filling with apps etc.

I guess I should install X=Plane on the hybrid the same as Steam.

But can I get an advantage in using the SSD for scenery or aircraft that I may add later?

 

Perhaps there is a good noob guide that I should read?

If you can point me to some basic info that would most be welcome.

 

Thanks

Nigel

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Hi Nigel

 

Welcome to X-Plane. There are couple of posts in this forum with similar questions from new users, so have a read through the posts and sticky topics on this forum. If you have any questions then I'm sure people will be happy to help out.

 

Tony

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I started with X-Plane 10 at the start of the year.

Tip 1 Patience! Lots of it - give yourself plenty of time to adjust and don't be too hard on yourself - it took me about two weeks to get used to the new interface and I am still learning.

 

Tip 2 Lots of newer aircraft (Flight factor A350 Boeing 757 and 777 now have mouse-scrolling support for switches - this is new to X-Plane this helps with the transition more than anything else.

Older aircraft have this mouse button interface which looks like ( ) and takes some getting used to.

 

Tip 3 Fly at night, it's awesome (even cool)> 

 

Tip 4. There are some really good addon sceneries out there and some FS9 sceneries can be converted really well with World2Xplane

 

Tip 5 Enjoy!!!!

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Tip 4. There are some really good addon sceneries out there and some FS9 sceneries can be converted really well with World2Xplane

 

You mean FS2XPlane of course :-). 

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Hi Nigel,

 

I'm fairly new to X-Plane myself, and my system has similar specs to yours - 128 GB SSD for OS/"serious" software, 2x256 GB SSD RAID 0 for games and a 1TB Hybrid for backup and other random stuff.

 

I have my sims installed on the RAIDed SSD's and there's very little stutter when loading scenery and weather, so obviously I recommend installing X-Plane on your 520GB SSD.

 

Shane

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You mean FS2XPlane of course :-). 

Sorry Tony, Told you I'm still learning :))))

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Thanks all.

Coming from FSX where I was told no point in installing the sim on an SSD, but if I could have got all the scenery there that would have been good.

But FSX needs the scenery on the same drive as itself.

Hence my query if I can benefit X-Plane by having it on the SSD.

I suspect my scenery content will increase over time and use most of the 2TB so that will be where it has to go.

So long as I can install X-Plane on a diifferent drive and there might be some benefit, I will likely put that on the 'empty' SSD.

 

Nigel

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Hello Nigel, 

I have my X-Plane on an SSD, but the loading times of X-Plane will not be significant and the more scenery you install the longer the loadup time as it reads from the scenery.ini file. 

Having said that, I have no direct comparison between SSD and HDD. At the moment, I have FSX/P3D and X-Plane on a single SSD of 500GB and I have about 150GB free. 

I do not have REX installed, but I do have some ORBX and Flytampa stuff installed,along with NGX and 777 from PMDG on both sims.

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Thanks all.

Coming from FSX where I was told no point in installing the sim on an SSD, but if I could have got all the scenery there that would have been good.

But FSX needs the scenery on the same drive as itself.

Hence my query if I can benefit X-Plane by having it on the SSD.

I suspect my scenery content will increase over time and use most of the 2TB so that will be where it has to go.

So long as I can install X-Plane on a diifferent drive and there might be some benefit, I will likely put that on the 'empty' SSD.

 

Nigel

 

 

the best thing about xplane is that you can move the xplane folder to any of your drives and it would still work. so put it on your HDD first. if the frame rates are good keep it there. if you like more frame rates just move the xplane folder on the ssd and you should be good to go

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Jude,

 

Thanks for that.

Yes I see the advantage. It would be great to have everything on SSD.

But I would be worried in your situation if I wanted to add much more scenery. Then having to shift or reinstall everything on a larger drive.

I am currently part way thru' a world trip and will likely be adding more scenery as I go. So there is a big risk I could be in the same boat.

It looks like it's all going to have to go on the large hybrid drive. Maybe I won't find a use for the second SSD!

Thanks again

Nigel


saed45,

Well if it's as easy as you suggest I may do the opposite

But I'm realising the key question I still need an answer to is, can I install the add-on sceneries (Mesh etc), and aircaft to a different drive from the Xplane program?

If it is OK then I may go at least for the program on SSD - if only because it will be wasted otherwise.

Then maybe if I need to move things around I can do it easily.

 

I was told, and tried, to move FSX around but it didn't work well after that. So I had to remove and reinstall it.

 

Nigel

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But I'm realising the key question I still need an answer to is, can I install the add-on sceneries (Mesh etc), and aircaft to a different drive from the Xplane program?

If it is OK then I may go at least for the program on SSD - if only because it will be wasted otherwise.

Nigel

Yes you can. Just put a link to your scenery, which can be anywhere, in the scenery directory under main Xplain folder. I have all my meshes in D: for example and airport scenery in C:

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Thanks Desaix,

I am so new to X-Plane I've not even installed it on my new PC yet!

But I'm sure that will all make sense soon.

 

Nigel

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OK so now I have installed it after 10 hours downloading on Steam and I am rather dumbstruck!

The initial 'demo' flight had me carreering off through the buildings and no idea how to control it (or even stop the flight)!

Then when I restarted and set a "quick flight" in a Cessa 172, I was presented with my nose against the glaresheild, an engine sounding like a helicopter starting up!

Then a DC10 overtook me and taxied across the grass lurchign and setpping as it went. The visuals generally look like a cheap game on a PC from about 20 years ago!

 

Fortunately I have seen the YouTube videos and know what this can do but where do I start to get it looking and behaving like that?

 

I have a i7 proc witha 980 card and a 4k monitor - so this should look great (at least as good as FSX does!)

I am guess I am looking for a guide to how to start using X-plane and how to tune the major settings.

Help please!

 

Nigel

P.S. I did get the 172 off the ground and flew a sort of circuit to land again. But I was not impressed.

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OK so now I have installed it after 10 hours downloading on Steam and I am rather dumbstruck!

The initial 'demo' flight had me carreering off through the buildings and no idea how to control it (or even stop the flight)!

Well, this is easy. X-Plane deepends on the rudder control, at least as long as you are on the ground.

X-Plane behaves differently. They aren't as stable. If you want to see similar behaviour in FSX you wtill have to look at the A2A planes, although even a Carenado CT210 with an Reality Expansion Pack can't quite match an A2A Comanche in atmosphere.

 

If you look at the sounds: The default X-Plane has a very limited sound engine (due to its multi system approach). That's one of the reasons why most payware planes bring their own sound engine withg them and there are tools like SoundMaxx that replace and enhance most of the system sounds, but this is payware,too.

 

Then your scenery is limited since it only depends on the original default DSF files.

This can be replaced by the HD Mesh ( http://www.alpilotx.net/downloads/x-plane-10-hd-mesh-scenery-v3/ ). Contrary to FSX this doesn't only influence your terrain, but also the landclasses and the AutoGen.

 

Furthermpre, since you use steam this is only the "old" 10.36 release. Among other things (faster loadfing, long disrtance view and so on) this means that the system doesn't have several default options, but only the lowest settings, if you haven't changed your display settings extensively you only look at the lowest settings X-Plane has. It switched to a more leveled approach just recently with the 10.40 betas.

 

But If I look at your computing power: Since you have a 4K monitor your system is limited. Even the best systems today can't handle X-Plane with everything turned to extreme, especially with OSM or World2XPlane buildings and some od the huge number of freeware airports, that normally use additional libraries too.

Even my 770 sometimes runs out of VRAM, since it only has 4 GB.

The raw computing power is only one of the critical factors, often enough VRAM or the system bandwith are the real issue.

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Longranger,

 

Thanks for that. I appreciate that the supplied scenery will be limited (I was used to that with FSX and so went for Orbx). But this default seems to be less defined, aswell as less detailed.

I have d/l HDMesh - so far only for the UK. I have yet to install that and maybe I will see the change. Aswell has having Aerosoft Heathrow which I hope will also show a big improvement.

I'm not sure what you mean "Since you have a 4K monitor your system is limited." I have set the monitor resolution into X-Plane, but it didn't change the display at all - still lots of 'jaggies'.

I also appreciate that the default aircraft models won't be up to much. Again I am used to that from FSX (so bought A2A), but these still seem to be less good.

Apart from fumbling around and setting basic joystick controls and the resolution, it has the same set-up it came with.

 

I guess as I said, that I am looking for an 'X-plane guide to first use' or the 'missing X-plane manual'.

Otherwise it's very much, look around until you find something to change!

I'd be prepared to pay for a manual/guide if there is such a thing.

 

Thanks again

Nigel

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P.S. I did get the 172 off the ground and flew a sort of circuit to land again. But I was not impressed.

 

I do recall trying the demo / starting area a long time ago, and leaving feeling, well, unimpressed. ^_^

 

(Please keep in mind that I'm new to X-Plane as well, so feel free to take anything I'm going to say with a grain of salt.  I may or may not know what the heck I'm doing!)

 

Just like FSX / P3D / FS9, X-Plane needs you to do stuff to make it look nice...

 

First of all, disable those silly default AI planes.  They just distract you while you're trying to get things sorted out.  In the top menu, select Aircraft > Aircraft & Situations, choose the Other Aircraft tab, and reduce the number of aircraft to 1 (you).  When you are ready, you can always enable them again, or look at other AI options (if there is indeed any).

 

The Settings > Joysticks and Equipment tab is incredibly versatile; one thing I thought I'd miss from FSX is FSUIPC, but XP gives you freedom to set up your hardware controls pretty much however you like.  If you want persistence between aircraft, use a plugin called X-Assign.

 

The final big menu is Settings > Rendering Options.  Here's where all the eye candy is.  By default, stuff is kept pretty low; but turn it up bit by bit, and experiment to see how it affects performance.  Unfortunately, it's all personal preference here.  Your 4K monitor might mean that you have to turn things down lower than those rocking 1080p; I run at 1440p, and I do have to balance settings somewhat conservatively.

 

From there, everything else that makes XP look good is downloadable.  HD Mesh V3 should be your first priority, possibly followed by the W2XP osm files pre-compiled from Simheaven. Then hit up x-plane.org for some nice free airports and a few decent free aircraft.  I highly recommend PAJN by MisterX, it's really superb, even if you're familiar with the FTX version in FSX.  RealTerraHaze, often just referred to as RTH, is also almost essential, it makes things look eerily realistic.

 

Once you've got all that straightened away, then look to a bit of payware perhaps. I'm rather enjoying the Dreamfoil R22 at the moment; it's incredibly immersive and well done.  I've also added SkyMaxx pro recently, and it makes my sky look a bit closer to what I'm used to in FSX, as well as helping with performance a bit.

 

Hope a bit of that helps!!

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Jimmy,

Thanks for that advice it will be really useful. I will certainly try all you suggest.

I'm just surprised there isn't a 'go to' source for getting everything upto a good working level - from which then you persoanlise it.

But not to take away from your good advice here.

 

I pick up on your reference to my 4K monitor (as with Longranger). Maybe there is a misunderstanding, but it is as far as I'm concerned the b-leading edge of PC monitors, turning in 3840 x 2160! After all 4K is what people are talking about in TV's these days.

Along with an i7 and the 980 I am expecting this new set is pretty much top line. So I would expect to be able to run both FSX and X-Plane at or near to the highest settings.

 

Thanks again

Nigel

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Nigel,

 

I don't know what Steam give you, but you said that there was no manual.

 

Go here - http://www.x-plane.com/support/manuals/ - and download the PDF manual for X-Plane if you haven't already.  It will explain a lot that would take a lot of long posts here.  

 

Of course, if you have already done this, what I have said here is for naught, but I believe that you haven't seen it based on your statement.

 

Also, as has been said, we are always glad to offer any help you might need.  You will not be disappointed for long.

 

John 

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I also run an i7-4790K with a 4GB GTX980.  The problem with sims like X-Plane is that when you have the AA and FA turned up and distance set to max, resolution maxed and other sliders pushed, you run out of VRAM with "only" 4GB.  I have done that frequently during "tuning."  The problem is that the graphics are loaded into VRAM, up-sized for the AA and FA filtering, then downsized and sent to the monitor for display.  That sucks up a lot of VRAM.

 

This works fine as long as your total VRAM load stays below your card's capacity.  Once you exceed that VRAM load, the GPU swaps data to RAM which slows things down greatly.  Obviously with a big 4K monitor, your card must handle a LOT more load so your graphics settings must be reduced in order to handle the extra pixel load.  I just lost a monitor and while I was thinking of getting a 4K monitor, I don't think my 4GB 980 will handle it adequately, not to mention the problem with tiny, almost unreadable text at that resolution. - something I have trouble with on my laptop.

 

So my choice right now is to eiher buy a new 4K AND a new Titan-X (16GB) card, or keep the GTX980 and stick with a normal 1980x1080 monitor.  I don't think a 980 is enough for 4K.  Those who are using that combination, please speak up!

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John,

 

Many thanks. No I haven't found a manual (that's not to say it isn't there).

So your link will be very helpful.

The simulation certainly doesn't show you what you can do and how.

 

Thanks

Nigel


mdavis,

Thanks for that. I take your point that the 4K requires more from the card in itself, ontop of what settings there in the sim (glad you recognize the 4K as a highend monitor!)

I set the monitor resolution and also set High in the render settings.

I am seeing stepping as I turn and occasional pauses. But that maybe due to something else I have yet to uncover,

The i7 was overclocked up to 4.3 GHz on delivery (with 32GB RAM), but the graphics card is default.

I am too nervous really to try overclocking for myself, tho' I expect there are gains to be had.

 

Thanks

Nigel

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I'm not sure what you mean "Since you have a 4K monitor your system is limited." I have set the monitor resolution into X-Plane, but it didn't change the display at all - still lots of 'jaggies'.

Well, to get rid of the Jaggies you have to turn on HDR and use the HDR anti-aliasing settings

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pick up on your reference to my 4K monitor (as with Longranger). Maybe there is a misunderstanding, but it is as far as I'm concerned the b-leading edge of PC monitors, turning in 3840 x 2160! After all 4K is what people are talking about in TV's these days.

Along with an i7 and the 980 I am expecting this new set is pretty much top line. So I would expect to be able to run both FSX and X-Plane at or near to the highest settings.

 

Yes, 4K may be close to 'top of the line' or 'bleeding edge'; but the truth is that even for mainstream gaming in 4K you need a heck of a rig to run it, with folks usually turning to SLI to do so.

 

While you'll likely get decent performance with your setup, you'll likely find that the demands placed upon your system at 4K will require careful balancing of your settings.  You've already mentioned the 'jaggies'; turning on HDR along with setting something like 4X SSAA (or higher) will help with that.  But higher levels of AA will hurt performance, and it will be more noticeable the larger your resolution is.

 

So when it was mentioned that your 'system is limited' by 4K, it was more to point out that the requirement of running 4K in X-Plane will place large demands on your system, not that it's in any way inferior.

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Thanks for the last 3 comments. I didn't get an email ntice for those so I am slo to respond.

Jimmy I understand now you comment re. 4K

I will try all your suggestions and be aware of the implications.

 

I am now more comfortable with X-plane at this end of the day than I was at the start!

Thanks

Nigel

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