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hychewright

Pros & Cons of X Plane

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Hello pilots, I am a long time FSX user and now I have been with P3D for a couple of years. Been seeing some fantastic screen shots of X Plane scenery, clouds, haze and mountian ranges and I must say that I am impressed. I know that all flight sims has their strong points and weakness. I am thinking of purchasing X Plane and as X Plane users could you tell me some pros and cons with X Plane.  Thanks. 

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Hi I run all three sims (FSX P3D XP10) - and I agree with you... there are some pluses and minuses to all three

 

Positive things that come to mind about XP:

 

Brilliant night environments - very realistic

Ability to have AP track NAV2

HDR lighting, lights by default cast light on objects (some addons do this in FSX)

Tons of control options, ability to set almost anything you want to peripherals/keyboard controls.

Powerful Camera and Replay tools

 

Not so good things about XP:

 

HDR settings with high AA yields poor performance.  If you run lower AA like me you get bad jaggies especially on poles/fences/horizon etc

Jittery flight models....  this is subjective but some airplanes are so twitchy (not realistic).  XP fans say FSX models fly on rails.  Which in some cases is accurate.  You gotta find the good addons!

Default airports sparse scenery or no buildings at all

Poor weather engine, lots of cloud popping, pretty generalized looking clouds all around.  Some addons help but work is needed

Poor AI system

 

I'm a snobby USA only flyer so I simply purchased the XP10 regional pack off amazon for like $30.  I've spent about 200 USD on addons and the rest is all freeware.  XP10 has some amazing freeware offerings (mostly scenery, a few aircraft)

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if you haven't yet, get the X-Plane 10 demo - it is essentially the full-fledged XP10, just limited to 15 minutes of flight time in the area surrounding Seattle, Washington. You can use the demo to get a sense of how it will perform on your computer, the graphics and flight capabilities, and many of the other differences - positive and negative.

 

X-Plane is a perfectly "capable" flight simulation, but in my opinion it isn't quite as mature or well-rounded as the MSFS-based platforms are. It has some spectacular capabilities (*like the night lighting environment), but others features important to you may be markedly different, incomplete, or outright missing.

 

The demonstration is a good way of checking things out for yourself and getting a sense of what your enjoyment of the full product might be.

 

Enjoy,

-Greg

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Weaknesses:

 

.No seasons (Only summer. Procedural seasons are being worked on and probably we'll have to wait XP11 for them).

.Weather engine is visually less capable compared to FSX, and also a lot more heavy on FPS. A payware addon to improve these issues is available.

.Many airports have no 3D buildings. Airports are crowdsourced by users; currently there are 1730 airports with 3D scenery (worldwide).

.Both ATC and AI are less capable compared to FSX. A plugin for Radar Contact 4 is available.

.Loading times. In my case, it takes a lot more time to load a flight or change airport compared to FSX. Keep in mind I have a slow hard disk though, I see you have SSDs so you should have no issues.

 

 

Strong points:

.Smoothness. In general it tends to be smoother compared to FSX.

.No blurries, no delayed texture loading.

.Atmosphere depiction. Using RealTerraHaze (freeware) gives incredible atmosphere visuals.

.VFR scenery. X-Plane scenery is derived from OpenStreetMap, and where there is good coverage (most Europe, some parts of USA, but also other parts of the world) the scenery is absolutely incredible, and also more detailed, faithful and similar to real life.

.Night lighting is way superior to default FSX (and using a couple of freeware addons it's even better).

.The essential FLCH autopilot mode is implemented in default aircrafts, unlike FSX.

.Freeware addons. You can find a lot of good quality feeware addd-ons, be them utilities, scenery or aircrafts.

.Payware addons. They tend to be cheaper compared to FSX.

 

 

Neither good nor bad:

.The flight models of default aircrafts are quite poor in both X-Plane and FSX. Each of the two has different strong points and weaknesses regarding flight models. In general X-Plane aircrafts tend to be too much nervous.

.Some visual or environmental effects are better in X-Plane, some are worse (e.g. wet or icy runway depiction is poor).

 

 

Keep in mind I have a low-mid spec pc (i5 @ 3 GHz, Radeon HD6650 2GB). As has been mentioned, there's a demo available for download with all the features of the final version but only the Seattle area scenery. If you try it, don't stop to the first impression but take some days to evaluate it. It has a different GUI compared to FSX, and with just a handful of freeware add-ons (utilities, aircrafts) it can be greatly improved. :smile:

 

 

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No seasons

No good ATC addons

No good Ai addons

unrealistic airports

Poor weather representation

very bad interface

Plausible world

Very few addons that can compete with the best that FSX/P3D can offer.

 

Other than that lot it's Ok

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i think the xplane demo is pretty bad. of course it comes with default scenery and its nothing impressive. but the freeware posted here are amazing and it makes it look like the pictures you seen. you can even install these freeware scenery on the demo version of xplane 

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Good:

 

- Helicopters.  Perhaps the platform isn't quite as tops as DCS is, but it's pretty much the best available for regular / non-military helicopters.  It helps that some of what's available is nearly on a study-sim level, and oh-so-sweet to look at.  It also helps that, as mentioned above, the sim is silky smooth at it's best, which lends itself remarkably well to flying rotary wing.

 

- Freeware scenery. There really is some stunning scenery available as freeware and/or donationware.  Very much less commercialized.

 

- Night flying.  I never flew at night in FSX.  I love it now.

 

- Openness.  Perhaps not as appreciated by the average simmer, there's a lot of XP that can be fiddled and messed around with, from the scenery all the way to the aircraft.

 

Bad:

 

- Default ATC isn't great, unusable for VFR.

 

- Lack of choice.  Less commercialization in third party addons means less choice.  But this also means you fly what you've got more often.

 

- Performance impact.  There's plenty of innocent seeming things that have a far greater negative impact in XP than in FSX.  If you want to turn things up and make it look truly stunning, it takes some serious horsepower...

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Other than that lot it's Ok

 

Sounds like default FSX or P3D minus the seasons.

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After reading some of this today, I went into my FSX folder and saw, within minutes, why I hadn't flown it in the last couple of years. Buildings at airports?  Yes.  Realistic? No.  Seasons? Yes Did I ever use them? No.

 

The above and during the 30 minutes of trying to use it, it asked for my key 4 times.

 

Back to X-Plane where I set it (some time ago) and fly it - without problems.

 

John

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Jimmy RFR's points summarise why I use Xplane, especially the comments on heli flying.

 

I also find the reproduction of the flight in graphical mode very useful for studying an IFR flight . P3D and FSX are sorely lacking in this area. So for example you can examine how well:  altitude was maintained ,  holding pattterns executed, and most important how well an approach was flown.

 

Paradoxically , weather modelling in XP, as others have mentioned is not brilliant for an IFR sim.

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I think what has been listed so far is pretty accurate. For me, there are a couple of extra points.

 

Bad things

- very poor error trapping. X-Plane can crash to the desktop (CTD) at any time. This can be caused by virtually anything, so it seems. You can be many hours into a flight, and then - nothing. On the other hard, once you get a stable system, it is pretty good.

 

- no pilot log. The inbuilt one is extremely basic, but to make things worse, if something goes wrong in a previous program run, it resets itself! So totally useless.

 

Good points

- active development. If you have a problem, it can be fixed. New versions of XP come out every week or so - quite impressive.

 

- much better depth perception for some reason. Could not go back to FSX now for this reason alone.

 

I used FSX for ages (and every version before that). XP is much better.

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- very poor error trapping. X-Plane can crash to the desktop (CTD) at any time. This can be caused by virtually anything, so it seems. You can be many hours into a flight, and then - nothing. On the other hard, once you get a stable system, it is pretty good.

 

 

 

Never had any crash with XP just suddenly in a middle of a flight.

The only crashes that I had are when Im pushing my rendering settings wayyyy too much for what my PC can handle * , so nothing actually related to Xplane itself.

IMO XP is the most stable platform in this term** , very rare to see it crash , and if it is this may be a defect in some plugin that you installed.

 

 

* Usually when checking how a scenery will look in higher settings , I have a gtx 460 , and well... it just can't handle max shadows , objects , roads , and 8XSSAA , all this combined by extreme textures resolution (I have the 1GB Vram edition so yeah im using more than my VRAM limit , in this situation it'll exhause my RAM).

Even then it'll usually load (very slow) , and with ~1FPS , but sometimes it'll crash because my PC just can't handle that.

 

 

** Depends wether you particapte in those public betas they do , they might be un-stable , but Im talking about versions that are tagged as stable (currently the latest is 10.36)

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Xplane advantages-better vector scenery, night time scnenry, more customizable easier to add scnenry, no blurries, terrain better. I can customize certain items more, the flying feels more fuild.

 

FSX-better daytime sky, clouds, landmarks, load times much shorter with basic add ons, better interface, more planes, more scenery to use.

 

overall, I look outside my window in my c152 in Xplane to vfr far more to land, something never do in fsx as blurries will

happen.

 

Xplane and FSX are neck and neck overall.

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