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Sino

New to Prepar3d! Couple of questions...

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Hello guys,

 

I am switching from X-Plane to Prepar3d these days, since I find it better for my purpose, at the moment.

I am new to this world and I already noticed is quite different from X-Plane system (I never used any FS version nor P3D before..). I am doing my best with research but sometimes I can only find outdated infos (especially now that v3 is not out since a long time...), so I had the idea to create this thread where I can ask about.

 

A bit of background is of course useful:

I use the simulator for a single purpose: fly an Airbus A320 (Aerosoft), mainly IFR, across Europe, offline, on VATSIM and IVAO.

 

HARDWARE

Asus X87 Motherboard

Intel i7-k4770 3.50 GHz

16GB RAM DDR3

nVidia GEForce GTX770 with 4GB DDR5

 

For a single 27" display

 

-Trusthmaster T.16000 as a sidestick

-2x Saitek USB Throttle Quadrant (Spoilers, Thrust Levers, Flaps)

-1x Saitek Rudder Pedals

 

SOFTWARE

At the moment I am quite satisfied with the way I was able to set up the sim.

 

I followed the advice of many so I bought Active Sky Next as a weather engine, and REX 4 Texture + Soft Clouds for some visual improvement.

I also bought and set up EZ Camera to have a view management more similar to the one in X-Plane.

 

I am considering some more purchases and here we come to the first QUESTIONS!

 

-FSUIPC: I downloaded the software and I am currently using the free version. I have trouble to fully understand this software - everybody says is a must have.. why? I understand is some kind of software to talk to external apps. I know most of these app can install and use the features of the free versions. On the other hand I see many addons have their own (ASN use ASConnect, EZ Camera uses SimConnect, ...)

 

I can't find proper documentation, all I found across the web looks really outdated. My question is... Is there any reason to buy the payware version, with my configuration? I heard one reason is to map the controls. However, at the moment I am satisfied with the default P3D control options, I was able to map everything I need. Will FSUIPC bring a huge, money-worth improvement?

 

-SCENERY: I read some review about the ORBX FTX stuff. It really looks amazing and I am considering a purchase since they have almost 40% off this month! However, the whole package (Base + Vector + OpenCL) is quite a lot of money and I have the impression that for my purpose the Base would be enough, just to give a different look to the textures. (since I am not flying low altitude except for departures and approaches, and I almost all cases I am not flying and navigating in reference to terrain, I think I don't need Vector for the moment). What is your opinion?

 

That's it for the moment! Thanks to everybody who will answer :)

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You "need" the whole ORBX (Base + Vector + OpenLC EU) to have a credible "look"... you may decide to go for the base only (as you may decide to not install REX .. but just a serie of free HD textures), but it's really worth it. Also, OpenLC USA is around the corner.. so prepare for it as well (if you will ever fly over USA).

For the rest.. you're OK with the above (FSUIPC is not needed for your configuration, but comes in handy in many other situation.. the free version costs nothing and it doesn't impact your performance, so why not?).

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Your scenario is very similar to mine so if you don't mind reading about my experience...

 

First off, I LOVE Aerosoft's Airbus series.  I try to fly them all, when I can but am currently stocking up on strategic airports.  I currently have most of the UK2000 airports installed and then a few of those so-called strategic airports installed as well, such as EKCH from FlyTampa and UUEE from Ed Z (cannot spell or pronouce the poor guys name to save my life).  I have FTX Global as well as Vector and OpenLC EU but NO regions currently installed, despite owning them.  Global, OpenLC and Vector will get you a very good rendition, but as npole stated, having regions would up the scenery eye candy more, but could cost you some performance.

 

ASN with REX is almost a requirement these days, as they work perfectly together.  I cannot fly without them and I'm sure you already know this.  I don't own FSUIPC, with the exception of the basic version being installed through PMDG's aircraft installs, so I cannot comment on it's use and functionality.  To be honest, not having it installed for what I fly, I see no impact.

 

So far, and I don't suspect anything will change, my P3D config is purring like a kitten and for the first time since I don't know when, I have zero issues firing up P3D, selecting my aircraft and airport and starting a flight.  Short hauls and long hauls alike, no problems and the scenery is just plain beautiful.

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I give you my 2 cents....

 

FSUIPC:

Besides being an interface to FS/P3D, the payed version will give you more (granual) control over your hardware, like specific axis assignments, button assignments not able to set using P3D.
Also you can tweak the WX system a bit better and tweak visiblity settings.
However if you are happy with the way your controls currently are operating, you probably will not need the payware version. You can upgrade anyway in the future if you need to.

Here is the documentation:

http://forum.simflight.com/topic/66137-documentation/

 

Scenery:

There are a lot of good scenery developers and ORBX indeed is one of them.
You can start with FTX Global (textures) and expand later if you like.
Orbx normally have twice a year discounted sales: now and in December
 

Another 'must' is ActiveSkyNext which is (in my opinion) the best realtime Weather Engine. The default P3D/FSX wx engine s.cks.
http://www.hifisimtech.com/

It seems they have sale now, so you can get it discounted.

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the whole package (Base + Vector + OpenCL) is quite a lot of money and I have the impression that for my purpose the Base would be enough

 

Orbx Global Base will give your Sim Textures a nice lift and there is very little to No FPS hit.   Vector can be hard on FPS and in some cases problematic.  

 

Start with Orbx Base only and go from there.  

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You also may want to download 'Freemesh', which is freeware mesh (terrain height definitions) for P3D

 

Oh very good, That to ^^

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Performance and frame rate hits are no longer an issue with Vector, IF it is configured correctly.  Again, there are some great threads over at the ORBX official forum that outlines needs, performance impacts, etc.  For my laptop rig, I am able to run Vector with no performance issues, if secondary and tertiary road networks as well as rails and tunnels are unchecked.  I also unchecked the beaches and golf courses too.  If you are a tubliner flyer, these are not needed and you won't miss anything in terms of scenery eye candy.

 

The Pilot's FTX Global Mesh is sufficient, albeit pricey but guaranteed to work well with the other FTX line of products.  Personally, I wanted to maintain consistency so I purchased and use the "big three", which are Mesh+Global+Vector.

 

A good rule of thumb is to start off small and fly a little and then evaluate whether you need to add more.  ORBX typically creates detailed scenery for GA flyers, who appreciate the best detail while flying at lower altitudes.  High flyers don't see the benefit and wind up turning off a lot so their performance hits have little impact on long haul flights because in reality, you really don't see detailed scenery much, only during takeoff and landing and your concentration is more on the aircraft rather than whether you can see your house. :)

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Thanks to everybody for the precious answers.

In regard of performance I have to say after a lot of tweaking I am running quite smoothly between 25 and 30fps (I use "aiming to 30")

 

Some updates

 

-I downloaded and installed FreeMeshX.

-I bought the "FTX Trio", with the may sale was 99$. :P

-I installed FTX Global and Vector: as you suggested I tried first to complete a flight with global only and I then added the vector and did the same procedure. In both cases I noticed a great improvement at almost zero performance cost.

 

I am downloading now the OpenLC (I have an average of 1.3MB/sec from the servers so it takes quite long).

 

In regard of airports, do you have any "must have", freeware scenery for Europe?

 

Do you have any "one fit all" settings for REX 4? Is there a thread where we can share settings?

I am triying some generic setting and the mode where it creates the preset from the weather.

 

ASN is absolutely amazing, what impresses me is that in flight it is transitioning quite smoothly from one loaded weather situation to the other.

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In regard of airports, do you have any "must have", freeware scenery for Europe?

Well, I can get technical and say that airports and scenery are two different hings, but in general, with FTX Global and OpenLC installed on your machine, take it slow and enjoy the views because there is a lot of area to cover.

 

I don't have any freeware airports personally, as I want to have the full experience of detailed texturing, not the default look of the airports.  I do stand corrected though, as ORBX does have a couple of airport freeware packs on their site, one for North America and the other for Europe.  They also have some other standalone freeware airports that are not part of a pack that you can download.

 

For paid airports that don't break the bank, I like UK2000 airports.  The only caveat is that the airports are constrained to the British Isles (save Jersey).  They are pretty well done, easy on resources and Gary, the developer, is very receptive to issues, suggestions and the like.  I haven't had a bad experience using those airports.  From there, many other devs have good airports, but you have to keep an eagle eye out for those that are compatible with P3D v3.

 

With regards to weather, I personally use ASN, on the recommendation of quite a few people.  Since I mostly fly tubeliners, having accurate weather data fed to my FMC is plus.  I do love how ASN depicts weather (as you have mentioned aboveabout weather transitions), and yes, before anyone questions whether I have tried other applications, I used to run FSGRW many moons ago.  ASN works closely with PMDG aircraft, specifically the B777.  If you get REX TD w/Soft Clouds, there is a themes section where you can download and install themes from the REX community, or you can create your own.  There is so much to choose from, you will probably hear people say they use theme XX or use the following settings with a long list, but with REX, you can come up with your own themes and base it on individual tastes.

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