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Which new simulator for me?

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With the Steam version of FSX on sale for a song now, I'm starting to wonder if it is time to retire my good old box edition.  I'm one of the few who never had any real problems with FSX box, it seemed to always work well, and ran smoothly, even with add-on aircraft and Active Sky Next.


But the reviews I'm reading say that the Steam edition is even better than the box version, and that P3D is amazing as well.


If it was just a matter of switching base programs there would be no issue at all, but I have a lot of money in add-on aircraft.  I don't know if all of them work with Steam edition for example, and I know that most will not work with P3D.  Some of my fleet are very very ancient and I hate to see them go, but I understand if they must, like the Flight1 ATR and the Level D-767.  


I guess I'm asking for advice on what I should do as far as upgrading, keeping in mind all of payware aircraft (I have learned that ASN will work no matter what sim).  Or should I just stay with my old dinosaur of FSX BOX edition? Or maybe say forget all my payware and just go to P3D (licensing arguments aside for now).


How has your luck been with FSX BOX add-ons on Steam edition?


I also have heard that if you can get a clean install of the steam edition on a PC that never had, or looks like it never had, a FSX install at all, that it will look exactly like the FSX Box version to installers, thereby making it easier for installers to work.  I've also heard horror stories of having to trudge through registries and weird file locations to get all the FSX remnants out.


So IF I do go to the Steam edition, is there a good guide somewhere that will tell me how to completely obliterate FSX Box?


My Payware list (if it helps)



FSPassengers (this is almost a no go, if this don't work, it will be hard to convince me to buy it)

A2A C-182 (pretty sure this one will work)

Carenado F33A

Carenado Baron B58

PMDG Beech 1900


IRIS T-6A Texan 2

Flight1 ATR-72

IRIS f-15


FeelThere E145, e135and the e-jets (175 and 195)

Level D 767



Any advice would be appreciated.

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I'm not sure that changing to FSX-SE would buy you anything meaningful..


I'd say, if FSX-MS is working for you.. enjoy it and go flying!


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 "also have heard that if you can get a clean install of the steam edition on a PC that never had, or looks like it never had, a FSX install at all, that it will look exactly like the FSX Box version to installers, thereby making it easier for installers to work."


Thats is correct. 

There is an outstanding promo pack on sale right now http://store.steampowered.com/sub/85868/ around $10 US for the lot!



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Bert's got it right. Save yourself a lot of frustration and stay where you are. If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.



Intel 10700K @ 5.1Ghz, Asus Hero Maximus motherboard, Noctua NH-U12A cooler, Corsair Vengeance Pro 32GB 3200 MHz RAM, RTX 2060 Super GPU, Cooler Master HAF 932 Tower, Thermaltake 1000W Toughpower PSU, Windows 10 Professional 64-Bit, 100TB of disk storage. Klaatu barada nickto.

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Ah, the urge of new toys  :smile: FSX-SE does offer a few new things, namely the better recompiled code and I found it more stable than the old BOX edition.  Most of your current add-ons will work just fine.  FSX-SE uses the Steam platforms so if there is bug fixes, they are available. Plus if you will change the Windows OS in the future, FSX-SE will continue to be supported whereas the box edition is pretty much dead in future support.  As for me, I am still looking for a sim that will look good, have really good env effect like shadows and run smoothly, has all the niceties, (no XPX ain't it) , alas I am still looking.

Vu Pham

i7-10700K 5.2 GHz OC, 64 GB RAM, GTX4070Ti, SSD for Sim, SSD for system. MSFS2020

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I love my p3d and xp10, had issues forever with fsx. However if fsx is serving you well and you spend most of your time flying instead of "tweaking", then keep that fsx install rolling as long as you can!

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I don't think it'd be worth it. I'm still on FSX boxed because FSX SE just doesn't seem different/new enough for me. I'd try X-Plane if you want something new. Yes, your addons won't work, but it's a whole new experience (and that's the point of getting a new sim, right?). I'm holding out to see what Dovetail drops on us later this year, but till then I'm completely satisfied with FSX boxed and XPX. I'm also different in that I have no interest in P3D at all so that's why I haven't mentioned it.

Ara Mahs, Private Pilot

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FSX:SE is pretty much FSX Gold Edition, no real reason to change. Even Dovetail themselves have said that there's "almost no difference".


P3D has a significantly updated graphics engine, with modern rendering features like dynamic shadows, HDR, tessellation, cloud shadows, no autogen popping etc. It's a significant step up from the 10-year old FSX (that's ancient in computer terms). Most FSX add-ons will work, though some might require the Migration Tool or some manual work. Some developers artificially prevent their products from installing into P3D. In that case, you will have to re-purchase the same add-on for P3D, if available.


As mentioned, there's also X-Plane, a completely different simulator. Not better or worse than the other sims, but definitely different.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also check out the Early Access Aerofly FS 2. They've made some pretty big promises, though the sim is very basic at the moment.

Asus Prime X370 Pro / Ryzen 7 3800X / 32 GB DDR4 3600 MHz / Gainward Ghost RTX 3060 Ti

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My experience with P3D has been amazing! FSX-SE has revitalized the FSX name, but still nothing compares to P3D in my opinion. The smoothness and graphic capabilities are amazing! Add-Ons integrate in the software like it was included in the original installation.

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I would strongly give X-Plane a try... Excellent for modern hardware.

ASUS ROG Maximus Hero XII ▪︎ Intel i9-10900K ▪︎ NVIDIA RTX 3090 FE ▪︎ 64GB Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro ▪︎ Windows 10 Pro (21H1) ▪︎ Samsung 970 EVO Pro 1TB NVME SSD (OS Drive) ▪︎ Samsung 860 EVO 2TB SATA SSD ▪︎ Seagate 4TB SATA HDD ▪︎ Corsair RMx 850W PSU

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Not about X-Plane at all! It's all about choosing FSX:SE!


"Onward & Upward" ...
To the Stars, & Beyond... 

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If you want stability, something modern, something with nice eye candy, something that works with most addons and something you can still get customer support for, then I'd go with P3D. I you don't want any of the above (for whatever strange reason that might be) then go with FSX:SE.


X Plane also has all of the above, except for addon compatibility. It's also the only one that's 64bit (for now). It's a bit of a no brainer for me. I won't say P3D doesn't have it's faults (it does, although they're pretty minor) but it ticks more of the boxes for me than any other platform. LM have a 30 (or is it 60, I can't remember) money back policy if you're not satified (I don't know what the terms are though) and FSX:SE is as cheap as chips, so trying out both is a good idea so you can get a feel.


Just remember, it's your decision, and what works for other people won't necessarily be what works for you. Which I why I suggest you try them both for yourself.

Best regards,


Neal McCullough

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