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Why I really, REALLY like P3D v3

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Checked in at Avsim last night to see how the P3d V3 speculation was going and - whoa! - noticed that it's out. Was a little suprised to see that, after all the months of excitement and random circular threads, there was a distinct lack of enthusiasm for the new release.


So I thought I’d add my comments on why I REALLY like v3, based on my first 24 hours of experience.


Note that my usage is different from many around here in that I fly almost entirely with high-resolution photoscenery + lots of tree autogen. I’m using decent modern system (5820K OC’ed on water) with a pretty good but not world-class video card (EVGA 970 FTW).


For my first flights, I loaded up some photoscenery I’d previously made for v2 – Glacier National Park in Montana, at 25cm per pixel. Just added it straight in via the ‘add scenery’ menu, as expected there’s no problems at all with doing this. I use NuVecta trees with this, set up with sliders to the right, and FS genesis mesh from a previously installed folder.


First impressions were….bad. Horrible water and massive over-contrast. Also some shimmering with buildings.


The water/scenery issues were just the shaders sorting themselves out, a reboot and rerun and everything settled down. The shimmering was due to the default AA settings, crank that up a little in the display menu and everything looked better than I ever remember seeing with V2 (shimmering has always been something I’ve been displeased with, on all of my systems with both FSX and P3D in all its iterations).


The other thing missing was ASN. I find I never enjoy flying these days without that program running - good photoscenery needs a bit of ASN haze and weather to make it look right. Great to see HiFi were so quick with a v3 compatible beta. Note that I had a few ASConnect problems after instaling this – even when you tell it to install into your V3 folder, two of the paths still ended up pointing to my `v2 installation. Simple fix, you just need to go into settings and tell it where two of your v3 folders are - but took me a moment and a quick google to work out why I might be getting this error.


Second impressions:


  • Very, very convincing rendition of the photoscenery. I love the new HDR controls, though wish you could get a preview in-sim (like you can with time preview)
  • Asn worked flawlessly once I’d sorted out my install
  • Great framerates. Using the default Beechcraft Bonanza, it was happily hitting 60 fps with clouds, shadow slider to the right and LOTS of trees. Definitely better than v2.5. The only thing that crushed it was when I turned on the tree shadows with the shadow quality maxed out.
  • More ‘depth’ to the view. Not sure how much is a change to the engine over and above the HDR, but the cockpit experience was the best I’ve seen in an FSX-based sim. Looked ‘next-gen’ rather than the last decade look I associate with FSX. Shadows, gauges, reflections on the wings – all looked great.
  • Smooth – I normally fly in no-cockpit view (with basic home simpit) because I love high framerates and perfect smoothness. With v3, I can get that sort of butter-smooth flight sensation in the virtual cockpit.

All in all, took me an hour or so to get it set up right – I did feel disappointed for the first half hour. Flew it until 2am and end up really, really impressed.


In summary, I’m pretty impressed with what is here for us in week 1. I have been P3D exclusive since the day v1 came out. For a long time, that was not necessarily an obvious/sensible choice – the difference between FSX and V1 was not clear-cut and I certainly went through some NGX withdrawal! With V3, I think we’re really starting to see the promise of a next-gen simulation platform.


So should you buy it? I’d respectfully suggest that you don’t want to be too swayed by the negative opinions of those who haven’t tried it yet. P3D v3 is good - really good.


If you’re still not convinced, look at it this way - you’re signing up for a two year experience – wherever LM decide to take this. I believe that’s a journey that’s well worth supporting.


So now it’s Friday night and I’m home from work. The girlfriend has just flown down to Perth and won’t be back for a week. Did you see that? That…was a single tear: :fool:


OK – now time to load up the NGX and T7 along with some FSDT airports and MT6 and see what this new sim can REALLY do!


Happy flying all,
















Sim rig: i9900K @ 5GHz, 2080 Ti. Flying P3D v5, X-plane 11, Aerofly FS2 and DCS in VR. 

xHQaMSP.jpg CYpqh7S.jpg

"There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."

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Well said and though out post, thanks for sharing your experiences with v3.

Philip Manhart  :American Flag:


- "Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something." ~ Plato

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Is the license a one time fee of $199 or is it only for two years.  ( you mention something about a two year something?)


If I buy a license for version 3 do I automatically get future updates for free.


If I buy a license are there any additional charges for the product?




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Bill, the license extends throughout the life of v3.x as was the case with v1.x and v2.x...


...which will likely be at least two years, if not longer.


All sub-versions updates are free, and will now be accomplished via a new system that will not require a complete re-installation.

Fr. Bill    

AOPA Member: 07141481 AARP Member: 3209010556

Interests: Gauge Programming - 3d Modeling for Milviz

Many Thanks to All That Donated To Our Server Drive!

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You tease us fellow photoscenery lovr's of your .25m scenery without a single screenshot!?!


SHAME ON YOU...  :Shame On You:




P.S. - glad to hear of your initial experience with v3.  Plan to d/l after all the hoopala and reading a first round of reports before I upgrade.


simwestFOTOREAL series
Photoreal scenery you'll want to fly thru, not over


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