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JDWalley

Why P3D?

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First of all, I apologize if this comes across as troll-bait.  Although I could see some people concluding that this was my intention; it isn't -- this is actually a sincere question.

 

I'm on the verge of a long-overdue computer rebuild, going from an AMD FX-6300-based system (no nasty comments, please) to either a 5820K or Skylake build. I've been running the boxed FSX for years, and picked up FSX:SE during Steam's summer sale.

 

When I finish my new (re)build, I would prefer to have just one version of the sim running on the revised system, to avoid any conflicts between the two.  That would seem to imply FSX:SE as the natural choice; however, I can't help noticing that P3D's academic edition is only around $60.

 

In looking over opinions about the two, there's a lot of divergence.  A number of posters (particularly, to no one's surprise, on this forum) rave about what a breakthrough P3D is and how, once you've tried it, you'll quickly banish all versions of FSX from your system.  Others (once again, unsurprisingly, NOT found on this forum) claim that there's currently very little difference between FSX and P3D, except for some anti-aliasing problems with the latter.

 

So, my question to those here:  what differences between the two could you cite as good reasons why I should spend the extra cash for P3D (and any add-ons like PMDG that require a full-price repurchase) rather than sticking with FSX:SE?  Note that I am specifically speaking of current differences/improvements with P3D; while it may be the case that we may eventually see something like a 64-bit version from LM, it's not absolutely certain that we will, nor that any such revision would be the panacea many on AvSim are hoping for.  So, I'm wondering what benefits I would experience in the here-and-now by opting for P3D over FSX.  In what way would it "knock my socks off," since a number of people here have said that, indeed, P3D does just that when compared with its earlier incarnation from Redmond?

 

Once again, please understand that I am not trying to troll the forum; I really want to find out answers to my question before I commit myself to going with one program over the other when I put together my revised desktop build.  Thanks for any guidance you can give me.

 

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- Pop free autogen. It's not entirely pop free but a GIANT improvement over the FSX popping: this alone already is a reason for me to use P3D!

- Cloud shadows. This really make a huge difference in making things look more real! It makes the sun shine and imho FSX looks flat and dull in comparison, as if it is a rainy autumn day all the time. 

- I can enable all shadows and reflections with a far lesser penalty on performance compared to FSX. This obviously makes things look more real too, specially when flying low over the water.

- I personally like the HDR although not everyone does.

 

I am a low and slow flyer btw so these things are important to me: a high and dry flyer might not see these things as major reasons to use P3D. 

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Simple enough question, simple enough answer

 

Prepar3d is a considerable advance on FSX (and Steam Edition which has yet to show any code breakthroughs unrelated to its delivery method and is unlikely to, given the age and ownership of the code). P3D has advanced considerably over what can be achieved with FSX and continues to progress as a `live` project. FSX is a dead project and has been for some years. Still a twitching corpse, but dead.

 

Any purchase NOW will most likely NOT achieve 64-bit compliance as that will most likely be a separate purchase - possibly breaking compatibility with older product but as no-one knows, none can say. And those that know, can't say.

 

As long as you meet the requirements for the license (and we dont discuss that here) your best bet is buy the product - it comes with a full 60-day refund so you can test it against your own system and your own sim requirements. If you don't see the benefit for your needs, refund. You can safely install it alongside FSX.

 

Personally, I've long-since taken FSX off my system. I do miss some of the products that haven't been ported but I don't use migration tools or forced installations of old FSX product, I manage very carefully what I allow to be installed and regularly remove anything that isn't being used or accessed frequently enough to justify its presence - scenery, aircraft or special addons. i don't aggressively tweak the Prepar3d.cfg as in my view it's unnecessary for most people, most of the time, and I carefully research ANY mods before trying them myself.

 

Overall, I say that P3D with features active is at least 40% ahead of a tweaked FSX setup nowadays, but it depends on what your system can support and how you fly - if truth be told from 35,000 ft the ground looks pretty much the same in P3D as FSX. But then add cloud shadows and HDR and then there's no comparison, not even with a DX10 modded FSX.

 

Hope this helps !

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We know that V3 is coming in the next couple of months so guess P3D is still been developed and worked on, that would be a good enough reason or me anyway 

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We know that V3 is coming in the next couple of months so guess P3D is still been developed and worked on, that would be a good enough reason or me anyway 

 

No we don't. Speculation is not the same as `knowing`. Can you point to the L-M confirmation ?

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I'm not aware of any version 2.6 ... I am aware of a version 3.0 (and a few other things) ;)

 

If the man himself thinks it,  that's good enough for me  B)


And a few other things eh!!   Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh what can they be,  lets speculate...................................

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Clouds ( default ) as well as many other "scenery" details look a lot better to me in P3dv2.5 than in any version of FSX I had used.

 

I wasn't expecting the smoothness I have in 2.5 ( bought it last week ) because the first time I bought v2, when it was released, I even returned it ( using p3d return policy ) and with the money invested in IL2 Battle of Stalingrad :-)  but truth is, the version i nstalled last week and have been using with no special tweaks other than the OPTIMIZE_PARTS=1, is, on the very same old rig I own, a considerable evolution over the first I had tested.

 

Then, the support the this platform receives from a company with a name like Lockheed Martin is a certificate of quality and dedication to objectives like computer-based training that we do not have from the FSX game-oriented alternatives...

 

I am using ASN, and it works great with P3Dv2, and was surprised that, against what I was expecting, using P3dV2 as a visuals generator for my Boeing 747-400 simulator ( Aerowinx PSX ) is actually a LOT smoother than with either FSX Gold or FSX:SE.

 

Just in case you also consider XP10, which I used for quite a while, IMHO it really can't compare - I am sorry ... For me, in the civil aviation market, the perfect choice is P3dV2 at this moment ...

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If the man himself thinks it,  that's good enough for me  B)

And a few other things eh!!   Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh what can they be,  lets speculate...................................

 

Like I said, no delivery schedule there. So can you point to the L-M confirmation ? 

 

Gustave Le Bon said it best

 

 

The thing affirmed comes by repetition to fix itself in the mind in such a way that it is accepted in the end as a demonstrated truth. 

 

Here there is speculation, unconfirmed. That V3 is `on the horizon`, I have no doubt.

That it will be a 64-bit application is nothing more than wishing.

When it will arrive, only L-M can say.

 

And they never do - unless you can point us to their post ?

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On my system (I would say mid-range), P3D has an incredibly better performance than FSX. I switched because of a FSX problem that couldn't be resolved (http://forum.simflight.com/topic/68382-fsx-fails-to-run-after-fsuipc4-first-installed/) but I do not look back. I am mostly flying jets and larger turboprops, so typically between FL200 and 400. With P3D and addons like QW BaE 146 or Majestic Dash 8 I can easily get frame rates of 50 fps, and that's with a dense mesh, FTX Global and Vector, ASN, REX4, and medium scenery settings. Even at FlyTampa's Toronto I can get 15-20 fps with the same settings. With FSX, I was happy to get to 25 fps with much lower graphics settings. And Toronto was almost a no-fly zone for me (< 10 fps even with very low graphics settings and the lite version of FlyTampa's scenery).

 

The one disadvantage of P3D is that PMDG charges an outrageous amount of money for their planes, with no possibility to transfer your existing license. I personally have decided to replace their planes with alternatives and I am quite happy with the P3D fleet that I have.

 

Peter

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Like I said, no delivery schedule there. So can you point to the L-M confirmation ? 

They have confirmed a V3 alright, they just haven't told anyone yet  (big meanys) 

 

V3 is being worked on, we know that much. Nuff said. 

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Yes, that is so true Peter  - some developers offer an identical product at an excessive price, hiding behind license excuses. Guess they think the hobby is called fleece simulation, not flight simulation, to maximise the simulation of being fleeced.

 

On the other hand, as the platform continues to develop, they will be caught with their hands on our wallets if their expensive product is NOT kept up-to-date at no further cost to the consumer.

 

Interesting times we live in. Caveat Emptor never more true than today ! I just bought a wet/dry vacuum cleaner for the office that broke down as soon as it was asked to clean up a spill. Asked for a refund, was told that water damage wasn't included - short story, not only have I got the money back, I've cancelled the follow-on order for 200+ units for our various sites and locations.

 

Caveat emptor = Lorem periculosa.


They have confirmed a V3 alright, they just haven't told anyone yet  (big meanys) 

 

V3 is being worked on, we know that much. Nuff said. 

 

Glass half empty/glass half full - they haven't confirmed when it's coming nor what it will contain. A cautious approach to reading into what you read is the smart move, particularly in a disinformation prevalent market like this.

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Been flying FS since the first version. P3D is the best thing I have flown, ever, no question about it. Like trying to explain why a brand new car is better than a 15 year old car. As far as versions go, Microsoft is probably working on Windows 11 already. That would not be a reason not to get Windows 10. 

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I tried the latest version and compared to my FSX SE setup. FSX SE beat it hands down in fps and smoothness and that is with most of the fancy PD3 settings turned to low or off. I gave it a fair chance and it failed so refunded.

 

My pc is up to spec for either sim (i7 5930k clocked to 4.4, three gtx 980 gpu's) so it should have run PD3 at max settings but it did not. I run FSX at max settings and this was against PD3 at low or off settings. 

 

Most devs still produce FSX product first and PD3 product is secondary so I will stick with number one for now.

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Been flying FS since the first version. P3D is the best thing I have flown, ever, no question about it. Like trying to explain why a brand new car is better than a 15 year old car. As far as versions go, Microsoft is probably working on Windows 11 already. That would not be a reason not to get Windows 10. 

Microsoft have stated that Windows 10 is the last version of Windows. They're now moving to a model like OS X, with a continually upgraded operating system instead.

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Good:

 

Cloud shadows, nearly non-popping autogen, continuing development, performance.

 

Bad:

 

The price of P3D compatible aircraft.

 

I primarily use P3D for IFR and low-level VFR nav training.

 

If you just fly big jets at FL370 all day you may find less benefit switching to P3D.

 

That's my take! Hope this helps.

 

 

Adam

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If you remove the HDR and cockpit shadows, then there really isn't much to contrast, as shown in the video below.

 

 

Cockpit shadows are great, but easily achievable with a fixed DX10.

 

The HDR is sort of a drawback in P3D. It's very dark and not realistic. On a sunny day, the game should be very bright. Even the stock FSX is not bright enough for me, so I just use SweetFX to get my desired look.

 

If you go through one of Matt Davies' P3D videos, and then fast forward to where he's flying above the clouds, it does not look natural. It's very dark and dim. The clouds are gray! Clouds should be bright and white when directly facing sunlight. I mean what the hell is that all about!? That really puts me off.

 

 

Clouds should be this color on a sunny day.

 

LvnzJ2h.png

 

Under the hood, P3D does perform better in rendering, but the explosion in v2.5 OOM reports has put me off some. Meanwhile, I've logged 512 hours in FSX:SE and I've had no OOMs. Maybe I just don't have enough addons?

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I would also post the same question in the FSX forum and ask "why should I stay with FSX?"  While many have touted particulars that make P3D excel, I'll sum it up like this from my own experience since using it from version P3D1.2

 

Smoother flying

Less tweaking - more flying

Better immersion

 

I would "rent" P3D for a month or two, keep FSX installed and compare the two for yourself.  Only you can make the final decision despite all the accolades and dismissals on the product.  Then you will be able to help other newbies when they try to decide which direction to take.

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Yes, that is so true Peter  - some developers offer an identical product at an excessive price, hiding behind license excuses. Guess they think the hobby is called fleece simulation, not flight simulation, to maximise the simulation of being fleeced.

 

On the other hand, as the platform continues to develop, they will be caught with their hands on our wallets if their expensive product is NOT kept up-to-date at no further cost to the consumer.

 

Interesting times we live in. Caveat Emptor never more true than today ! I just bought a wet/dry vacuum cleaner for the office that broke down as soon as it was asked to clean up a spill. Asked for a refund, was told that water damage wasn't included - short story, not only have I got the money back, I've cancelled the follow-on order for 200+ units for our various sites and locations.

 

Caveat emptor = Lorem periculosa.

 

Glass half empty/glass half full - they haven't confirmed when it's coming nor what it will contain. A cautious approach to reading into what you read is the smart move, particularly in a disinformation prevalent market like this.

 

I debated about getting the P3D PMDG 737, and I had already owned the first version in FS9 and X. I decided that the price was way too high, so I got the Airbus A 319-321 for a less money and I hate to admit it, but I have grown to love this aircraft in just a couple of days. And the best feature for me is it doesn't have a big impact on frame rates which is one of my biggest considerations when considering an add on. I am now an Aerosoft convert. 

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I would also post the same question in the FSX forum and ask "why should I stay with FSX?"  While many have touted particulars that make P3D excel, I'll sum it up like this from my own experience since using it from version P3D1.2

 

Smoother flying

Less tweaking - more flying

Better immersion

 

I would "rent" P3D for a month or two, keep FSX installed and compare the two for yourself.  Only you can make the final decision despite all the accolades and dismissals on the product.  Then you will be able to help other newbies when they try to decide which direction to take.

+1 with Clutch Cargo. That would be the best way to determine which is best for you.  I switched to P3D last year and have not looked back since.

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Also agree with the above about giving it a go to come to your own fair conclusion (the "test drive" is only $10...!).

 

And there are no issues installing P3D alongside an existing FSX installation as there are no dependencies. I had that setup running for a while (albeit on separate drives).

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Also agree with the above about giving it a go to come to your own fair conclusion (the "test drive" is only $10...!).

 

And there are no issues installing P3D alongside an existing FSX installation as there are no dependencies. I had that setup running for a while (albeit on separate drives).

 

That what I did , paid the $10 for a month, flew a couple of hours, and purchased it. 

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Prepar3d is a considerable advance on FSX (and Steam Edition which has yet to show any code breakthroughs unrelated to its delivery method and is unlikely to, given the age and ownership of the code).

 

You are right visually there are no improvements in FSX-SE, but then none were expected, and by contract they are prohibited to implement even if DTG wanted to. Internally it's a different story, It's been recompiled with a more up to date compiler, and has considerably  improved VAS management more so then P3D. You're more likely to OOM in P3D at the end of a flight then you would i FSXSE in a similar situation. The improvements, have also made the sim much smoother then FSXMS, and probably equal to P3D, and of course the biggest negative of P3D is it's price (Unless you qualify for the Academic Version) and the higher price of addons in P3D.

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You're more likely to OOM in P3D at the end of a flight then you would i FSXSE in a similar situation.

I have yet to get an OOM in P3D, despite having flown flights like (Aerosoft) BIKF to (FlyTampa) CYYZ in the Aerosoft A320. Maybe that's because I'm not flying PMDG anymore  ^_^ 

 

Peter

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Took the v2.5 $10 "test drive" as well and was not moved to move  - the biggest annoyance was the sound - lots of snaps, crackles and pop problems that searching the forums seemed to provide no concrete answer for - and while visually it is certainly very nice, it is not so staggeringly better than my current FSX rendering that it left me massively disappointed in comparison. I find the UI organization to be really annoying (purely a personal preference I'll grant you), and I don't like losing the use of my second screen for some 2D items- so in the end, with the new box I just built, FSX is running very,very well indeed for me in just about every aspect, and combined with having tons of things I don't want to currently buy twice (some at ridiculously inflated prices  due to the licensing), I will continue to hold off.

 

However, I can see the day coming when I will begin the transition, just not yet...

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An active team of full time programmers who have been working for years, added thousands of man hours, well over 100 significant updates to the code that was ESP, and still people say that it's just cloud shadows and HDR .  This topic has been discussed ad nauseam and yet each time some "very uninformed" people claim that, it's basically FSX. I suggest that you read each individual update from LM beginning with 1.0. Only then will you get the answer you seek.

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