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amoraitis

Which NG?

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Hello everyone! First post here so I think I should first take the time to say a couple of things about me and my background to avoid a pointless conversation. :smile: First of all, although I'm not a newcomer at flight simulation I did get back into it only 1.5 month ago after an absence of about 8 years. Long story short I've been meaning to start "flying" again for 3 years but I was stuck with only a netbook computer. A couple of months ago I bought a new laptop with the following specs:

  • Intel Core i5-4210u
  • 4Gb RAM (which I intend to take up to 8 or 16Gb in the near future)
  • AMD Radeon R7 M260 Graphics with 2Gb dedicated memory
  • 256Gb SSD

Going for a laptop was the only choice so please let's not start with the old argument about FSX and laptops. At first I installed FS9 as that was what I had in hand and what I used to use before, I had bought a plethora of addons for it so after beating the whole setup into submision (FS9 & Win10, anyone?) I got back into flight simming. A couple of days ago a good friend of mine gave me his copy of FSX & Acceleration which I proceeded to install. Wow! I knew there were differences but that's unbelievable! After tweaking some settings just to make sure that I wouldn't boil my laptop's internals (thinking of getting a cooler just for good measure, as well) I can say that it runs pretty much the same as FS9, possibly even better (which I believe has to do with the fact it was designed to play with the Vista core which is what Win 7 and later are based on from the get go). I bought myself a copy of FlyTampa's LGAV (my closest commercial airport) and I have nothing but good words to say about that product!

This is where I need your help. In Fs9 I used to fly Wilco's not-so-excellent Airbuses and the PMDG 737NG as my primary aircraft. I will try the Airbuses on FSX as well but I don't know which NG should I buy. I am aware of two popular options, the PMDG NGX and the iFly. I would like your opinion on this, especially if you have both. What I am interested in is getting something as complex as (or as close as possible) to the PMDG 737 that won't bring my computer to its knees and that will have a decent 2D cockpit, preferably with the option to disable the VC. I don't particularly like virtual cockpits as they are heavier on the framerates, and the 15 inch screen combined with my bad eyesight don't help much with growing a fondness for them, either. If they are so simillar that any of the twowould suit me the availability of repaints would seal the deal. Thank you in advance for your responses and excuse me for my long post! :P :smile:

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I have both PMDG and iFly B737's for FSX and I personally prefer the iFly 737 because I can configure the iFly aircraft in precisely the same configuration that we have here at work, whereas the PMDG aircraft cannot be configured precisely to my company spec.

 

So, that is probably not important to a lot of simmers if they have no reason to be aligned for real world purposes.

 

Having said that, the iFly is slightly heavier on frames than the PMDG on my system (i7-3770, GTX970, 16GB RAM) and the PMDG has more options for performance tuning than the iFly, which may be more important to you given your using a laptop.

 

I personally prefer the iFly VC given its aspect and viewpoint is more akin to what I am used to in the RW, as the PMDG has a compromise VC aspect and viewpoint through the windshield to accomodate the way the HUD is presented. The PMDG HUD is excellent though!

 

If the 2D panels are more important, then the iFly has a lot more options in that regard than the PMDG version, and my final comment is that to get the full range that PMDG offers, you have to make two purchases where as iFly has all variants in the one package.

 

You can purchase the iFly from Flight1 with a 30 day money back guarantee however PMDG (insofar as I can recall) don't have that option.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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Before you consider starting big in fsx and pay a lot of money for addons you should maybe have a look at prepar3d v3.1. There is the future and for some addons you have to buy a new lisence again (PMDG).

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Thank you for your replys! I'm afraid I only have more questions, though!

 

Having said that, the iFly is slightly heavier on frames than the PMDG on my system (i7-3770, GTX970, 16GB RAM) and the PMDG has more options for performance tuning than the iFly, which may be more important to you given your use of a laptop.

Could you please elaborate on the performance enhancements that can be used with the PMDG as well as some actual FPS numbers in comparable situations? I do like the price on the iFly more, I have to say, particularly since I'm probably going to need a new weather engine as well.

 

Before you consider starting big in fsx and pay a lot of money for addons you should maybe have a look at prepar3d v3.1. There is the future and for some addons you have to buy a new lisence again (PMDG).

I have heard great things about P3D but I've also heard that it takes an even beefier computer to run than FSX, doesn't it?

 

Achilleas

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Achilleas,

 

I'm not at home at the moment to turn on the PC and look and I am not much of a "tweaker" - I tuned the PMDG as per the manual when I got it, it has always been fine, so I never have spent anytime fiddling to get it to be smooth - it was great "out of the box" but the key piece I remember is that you can adjust the flight deck textures for performance with a tool that downloads with the airplane. The iFly does not have that option.

 

You said that you mainly use 2D, I don't - and I have a technician over clocked i7, whereas your on a laptop, so FPS comparisons are not going to mean much. However, in any situation in the VC, the iFly is about 2 to 3 frames less than the PMDG, but I fly unlimited frame lock and I am talking PMDG maybe 36 and the iFly 33 in the same situation, so it is academic. If I go into an iFly 2D panel sitting at a 3rd party airport (i.e Fly Tampa Sydney, RWY34R facing the city with FTX Australia SP4) I can get over 100 FPS on a 120 Hz monitor.

 

You can always try iFly first and see if you like each other and it likes your laptop, because you can get your money back in the first 30 days if you buy from Flight1.

 

Re weather engine, I have had in order Rex, FSGRW and ASN. ASN SP4.1 is the one to buy out of those 3 because it dynamically adjusts performance (i.e cloud draw) as you fly so it (in my experience) is much better FPS wise than the other two I own. And there is nothing to do except download it, follow the prompts and fly. You do not have to configure anything - it is all automatic and given I look at a lot of sky for a living, is the best representation of weather I have had. In fact it is pretty spot on. FSGRW comes a close second but to get the best from that program you have to set cloud draw in your FSX.cfg to =12 and even on a computer like mine, can turn bad weather into a bit of a stuttering mess. Anything less than =12 (and remember 8 is the max you can select with the slider) the depiction seems to surround your airplane but does not stretch to the horizon.

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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Hi Mark,

 

Thank you very much for your help! I think the best course of action for me right now would be to get the iFly one, after all if I'm not happy (which I highly doubt but if it does happen) I can return it like you said. Since my FS budget is kinda low I think I'll stick with ASv6.5 now (ancient, I know) and I'll probably go for either the AS Next or the Evolution the first chance I get.

 

Cheers,

Achilleas

 

P.S.: How realistic would you say the Wx radar of the iFly is compared to the real thing in terms of operation and functionality? Is it a real Wx radar or is it like the RealityXP gauge that just displays saved bitmaps that are a vague approximation of the weather you're flying in?

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Hi Mark,

 

Thank you very much for your help! I think the best course of action for me right now would be to get the iFly one, after all if I'm not happy (which I highly doubt but if it does happen) I can return it like you said. Since my FS budget is kinda low I think I'll stick with ASv6.5 now (ancient, I know) and I'll probably go for either the AS Next or the Evolution the first chance I get.

 

Cheers,

Achilleas

 

P.S.: How realistic would you say the Wx radar of the iFly is compared to the real thing in terms of operation and functionality? Is it a real Wx radar or is it like the RealityXP gauge that just displays saved bitmaps that are a vague approximation of the weather you're flying in?

The only realistic radar is PMDG used with ASN. All other radar products on the market are more or less cloud finders.

 

ASN combined with the NGX will give you actual precipitation returns as well as wind shear.

 

Frankly if I were you and you want the overall best 737 get the PMDG.

 

Remember PMDG works with Boeing on their products and the PMDG is a licensed Boeing product. There are levels of detail that differ between officially licensed products and unlicensed products. However paying for officially licensed products usually means a higher cost but also a higher quality product.

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To use the WX radar in either the PMDG or iFly 737, you need ASN. In both aircraft, ASN feeds the display on the ND.

 

At the end of the day, neither completely function as per the real airplane, but they are more than adequate for simulation purposes. I don't have a strong opinion either way as to which one is better in this regard - I tend to fly and use what is presented rather than over analyse one product over the other.

 

As I previously said, I prefer the iFly airplane because it can be configured precisely to my company spec, and everything is in the same spot (perhaps iFly modelled their airplane on our variant - I have no idea). That does not mean it is better - it just means it more closely matches my particular needs.

 

If you fly 2D, then iFly has a full 2D suite whereas PMDG does not 2D to the same level although it has a main 2D panel.

 

You can get your money back within 30 days with iFly, with PMDG you can't.

 

However, as Jim said above, you can't go wrong with PMDG, it is a licensed Boeing product, the other offering is not (although from a line flying point of view I would struggle to find a meaningful difference). No doubt PMDG is preferred by the vast majority of users so although I may appear to swim against that very strong tide, it is for a discrete reason.

 

Either way you will be happy, provided they play nice on a laptop(which I have no experience to share).

 

Let us know what you decide!

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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To use the WX radar in either the PMDG or iFly 737, you need ASN. In both aircraft, ASN feeds the display on the ND.

 

At the end of the day, neither completely function as per the real airplane, but they are more than adequate for simulation purposes. I don't have a strong opinion either way as to which one is better in this regard - I tend to fly and use what is presented rather than over analyse one product over the other.

 

As I previously said, I prefer the iFly airplane because it can be configured precisely to my company spec, and everything is in the same spot (perhaps iFly modelled their airplane on our variant - I have no idea). That does not mean it is better - it just means it more closely matches my particular needs.

 

If you fly 2D, then iFly has a full 2D suite whereas PMDG does not 2D to the same level although it has a main 2D panel.

 

You can get your money back within 30 days with iFly, with PMDG you can't.

 

However, as Jim said above, you can't go wrong with PMDG, it is a licensed Boeing product, the other offering is not (although from a line flying point of view I would struggle to find a meaningful difference). No doubt PMDG is preferred by the vast majority of users so although I may appear to swim against that very strong tide, it is for a discrete reason.

 

Either way you will be happy, provided they play nice on a laptop(which I have no experience to share).

 

Let us know what you decide!

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

PMDG has a panel configuration setting to let you adjust way more than the iFly. I do not understand what you mean by "ifly lets me configure more than pmdg" You cannot even change the registration sticker in the cockpit on the iFly.

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Guys thank you very much for your help. I have decided to go for the iFly at the moment since if it doesn't meet my needs I can return it whereas I do not have that option with the PMDG product. I will let you know how it goes as soon as possible.

Cheers,

Achilleas

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I did not say iFly lets me configure more than PMDG so I don't understand the source of the quote.

 

Both products have configuration tools. Both largely do the same thing.

 

If you pick up a 737 FCOM, you will see throughout an annotation (as installed) - just like a car owners manual! It just so happens that on a couple of (as installed) items on the PMDG model, they cannot be removed / selected by the configuration tool. They are part of the model code and our 737 RW fleet does not have those items.

 

That is not a criticism, it is just a fact. Whereas two in particular are choices on the iFly so I choose not to have the item installed which therefore does not effect my scan when I am using the sim for some prep purposes.

 

In other words, my scan on PMDG is interrupted by an instrument that does not appear on our flight decks which I can't remove but I can remove it with the other product.

 

Also, the centre console on the PMDG model is laid out quite differently to our fleet at work whilst iFly with one exception is the same.

 

I reiterate, it does not mean one is better, just more suited for a particular, discrete purpose that would be irrelevant to the greater majority.

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Quick update, I did go ahead and order the iFly package, I'm having a slight problem with the payment being allowed (capital controls are in place in Greece since July regarding the flow of money out of the country) but I have high hopes that I'll be able to resolve it by Friday at the most so that should leave me most of the weekend to carry out extensive testing and report back on the performance on my system.

 

Cheers,

Achilleas

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Hi everyone,

 

My payment to Flight1 came through today so I have the iFly package! I'll test it over the next days and see if it fits my needs.

 

Cheers,

Achilleas

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Hi everyone,

 

My payment to Flight1 came through today so I have the iFly package! I'll test it over the next days and see if it fits my needs.

 

Cheers,

Achilleas

 

I'll be anxious to hear your impressions.   I'm attempting to reach a purchase decision also.

 

Ernie

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Hello again!

Here I am with the results of my extensive testing of the iFly 737NG package. First of all let me say that I've always had a soft spot for the 737 even though I mostly fly the A320 series nowadays (I think the approximately 7000 hours on VATSIM alone that I had accumulated before on the 737 Classics and NGs are a good testimony of how much I like those planes :wink:). I started my evaluation coming from the original PMDG 737NG as well as the Wilco 737 PIC, both of those planes were quite the in-depth simulations of their time. My expectations were pretty high regarding both the systems' simulation as well as the model itself.

I began by installing some repaints and setting them up to my liking. Talk about being spoilt for choice! As a matter of fact it took me a good 15 minutes just to set up those 2 repaints I had downloaded and test the results in FSX so iFly has already earned points in my book on first impressions alone.

Then I had a look at the exterior model, mainly the -700 as that's my favourite of the NG line. Pretty detailed, certainly more than both of my previous 737 models and compared to photos I found on the Internet it's pretty spot on. I'm certain Mark and others who fly or have flown those birds for real, having hours of external inspections etc. will find flaws but for my needs it's a very good and accurate representation of the 737NG series. Extra points there for taking the time to actually make different models for the BBJs and not just overlay BBJ repaints over the passenger models!

The moment of truth: entering the cockpit! My first impression upon "entering" the cockpit was that it felt much more "realistic" and "being in the real thing" than the PMDG and the Wilco, their use of shadows and colours really manage to make you feel like it's a bit more than a computer screen you're looking at. I proceeded to "awake the beast", to get the plane from parked, cold & dark to ready for takeoff at the holding point. For anyone who has spent some time in either of the two planes I've mentioned it shouldn't be hard to get it done, only a couple of steps are different from the PMDG 737 (due to the iFly being an even better systems' simulator than the PMDG) but overall you should have no issues. Cleared for takeoff, last checks, transponder and TCAS active, landing and strobe lights on, T/O thrust set and we are rolling! I hand flew the departure (which being an Airbus guy lately I don't do much, let the automation work for you is the name of the game there) and it did feel very nice and responsive to my control inputs. Again, I'm not a pilot IRL and I've certainly never flown a 737 (or anything bigger than a kite really and I was not very successful at that, either... :Tounge: ), I'm just judging its handling based on what I've experienced in other 737 addons and what my perception of its handling while being a passenger has been. The climb performance is indeed affected by the model of engines you've chosen to have installed so, overall, good work on that, too, iFly.

On descent I was a bit troubled by the fact that the plane was not very easy to slow down but I think that Mark is really the one person who can actually say if it is realistic or not in that aspect. I'm basing my opinion solely on the fact that in the PMDG I rarely needed to deploy the spoilers on descent while I had to with the iFly. Approach and landing are what I have come to expect from the 737.

That's that for flying this addon, I'm very happy with it and I think that if the descent performance is indeed realistic then this is as close as you can get to flying the real thing on your home PC.

Let's get to the technical part of it! FPS wise this plane is no worse than my Wilco Airbus Evolution planes, I will try to disable the VC and test again. I'm also in the process of tweaking FSX to run as smoothly as it can on my hardware and it is in fact a slow and ongoing process so I'd refrain from saying if it's a light or a heavy addon. For those who'd like some rough figures we're talking around 13 FPS in FlyTampa Athens (online at VATSIM with some traffic and AS6.5 real weather) spot view and panning around, around 20 FPS taxing straight ahead in 2D cockpit and 30 (that's where my limiter is set at) while climbing through clouds (again all of these numbers are on VATSIM with vPilot, some mild traffic and AS6.5 real weather - I do know I need to get a new weather engine or at least one that isn't ten years old). Not bad at all for my specs (for anyone who hasn't followed this thread from the first post that's where you'll find my specs) and I'm hoping I can get 3 or 4 more frames by tweaking FSX a tad more.

The only negative thing I have to say for this product is this... iFly please, some of us have some very bad eyesight and laptop monitors so next time try to make those panels a little bigger! I believe I can zoom it in (basically something like the zoom panel the PMDG 737 had) but being new to FSX and all I still havent found how.

All in all an excellent addon and a steal for the price, I'm glad I got it and I'm sure that once I iron out some performance issues on my end it will give me lots of hours of happy flying! :smile:

I would like to thank everyone for steering me towards this product!

 

Cheers,

Achilleas

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PMDG would get my vote, but then, I don't have the iFly, so can't really comment....

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Just to clarify my previous post every mention of PMDG refers to the original FS2004 product, I just re-read it and I didn't quite clarify that. :smile:

 

Cheers,

Achilleas

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Hi Achilleas,

 

To be honest, I have never looked around the exterior of the iFly, PMDG or any other airplane I have other than panning around when I first load the sim to pre load the video buffer. I am always amazed to read when people find small glitches in brake line graphics etc of a model I have had for ages and I have never noticed...

 

However, on to something I can talk about - speed.

 

Most modern jets including the 737 don't like to go down and slow down at the same time. Descent at idle power modes in VNAV or LVL CHG are done at selected speed. Anything steeper requires either speedbrake or a speed increase to a higher selected speed. You do this in the FMS for VNAV or the speed window for LVL CHG.

 

If a gentler descent is required, selecting a lower V/S will change the autopilot mode out of VNAV or LVL CHG and it will (try to) fly the airplane at the selected ROD and the selected speed in the speed window.

 

To get the best rate of descent at any speed use LVL CHG and Speedbrake, remembering that VNAV will follow the planned path at the expense of speed, thus planned is the optimum word there, so if your environment changes ie tailwind, reach for the speedbrake as the FMS will display the drag required message.

 

The 737 is a great glider!

 

Cheers,

 

Mark

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Hi Mark,

 

Thank you very much for the "inside"/RL info there! I suspected this was probably the case, the A320s I've tried in the sim as well as the A320s I've been on as a passenger behave pretty much the same, I guess we've reached a point in designing planes that we've managed to make them so aerodynamic that they need some very cautious calculations to get them down! Thanks again for helping me with my NG dilemma! :smile:

 

Cheers,

Achilleas

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I had to look at some youtube videos to fresh up my memory of why I deleted my IFly in favor for the PMDG 737.  

Pmdg has sharper & more real looking VC. Better work on the PFD, ND, EICAS, HGS, overhead panel...lets just say it's better overall looking IMHO.

But the most important thing is that PMDG has a hot-line to Boeing engineers, they did the 737 & 777 with the help from Boeing themselves. They have a very good relationship with Boeing.

If you want "as real as it gets" PMDG is the choice. :wink:

 

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I found the opposite to be true. As in the case of a real pilot

 

 

Think  you will find that  the person you quoted  is  a rw  ng  pilot  and  think he  would  know 

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Hi everyone!

 

While I understand that everyone has their favourite addon maker in this hobby let's try not to turn this thread into a "mine is better than yours" thread. I have great respect for the folks at PMDG, they've given me thousands of hours of fun in their 737 (the original FS2002/2004 product) but in this case I find that the iFly package is realistic enough to keep me occupied for the foreseeable future and I still have some money left to purchase Heraklion X or some other addon, especially seeing that I'm mostly flying the -700 which would mean that I'd end up paying significantly more for the PMDG for features I don't need. This hobby of ours, flight simulation, it's unlike any other. We have fun and relax by making ourselves "work". :wink: It's perfectly normal after the many hours we spend in our "cockpits" that we become obsessed with particular products. That does not, however, mean that what someone else might be using is bad. Let's do what we know how to do best in this community, respect each other, praise the others' virtues and help them overcome their shortcomings. :smile:

Speech over! :smile:

 

Cheers,

Achilleas

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