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DragoB

FSX:SE to P3D v3 or XPlane10

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Hello!) fellow community!

 

Its time for me to get myself another simulator, and what I initially thought was getting p3d. It seemed like the proper choice to make.... but after seeing how good the x-plane iS, I am kinda puzzled as to which simulator to buy. I mainly use GA aircraft and would appreciate the actual aircraft modeling + nicer graphics above everything else. Well; can you guys give me some input as to why x-plane is better than p3d, and just compare the strengths of those two.

 

cheers

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Hi DragoB!

 

Of course each ot them has pluses and minuses, I'll try to give you a survey on the various aspects focusing on X-Plane (waiting for more opinions from others).

 

 

Aircraft modeling:

 

X-Plane has a good choice of payware GA aircrafts available.

If you're looking for a more complex/"study level" GA aircraft (something similar to A2A for P3D), there are two products available:

 

Airfoillabs C172;

SimCoders REP (Reality Expansion Pack) for Carenado F33A , V35B or C210;

 

 

Scenery:

 

The big thing missing in X-Plane scenery, is seasonal textures. That is, you only get summer textures, no spring/fall/winter/snow textures.

 

However, one aspect in which X-Plane is IMO better than even P3D+Orbx, is that you can easily use photoreal (satellite) textures + OSM (OpenStreetMap) buildings. That way, you can get what is probably the most realistic VFR scenery available today on a flight simulator. You can literally fly over your house, if it's been included in OSM. OSM has a good coverage in Europe. I see you're from Sweden, and from a quick check, looks like OSM has excellent coverage in Sweden, so that's good news. If you search on Youtube using "X-Plane W2XP", you'll see some examples of its capabilities.

 

 

Weather:

 

X-Plane default weather is visually poorer compared to FSX/P3D. You can improve it somewhat using freeware or payware add-ons (Skymaxx), however the visual complexity of P3D weather is still ahead that of X-Plane.

 

 

AI/ATC:

 

As above, default AI/ATC is less capable compared to default FSX/P3D. There are a couple of payware AI and ATC addons available though, but I can't be any more specific since I don't use them.

 

 

Rendering engine:

 

Each of the two has different capabilities and flaws.

 

In general, X-Plane requires a powerful PC if you want to make good use of its capabilities. The plus points are:

.) there are no blurries

.) it tends to be smoother (no stutters) compared to FSX/P3D

.) it's 64 bits, so there are no OOM errors even when using very demanding scenery and aircrafts (but you should have no issues in P3D as well, if you only use GA aircrafts).

 

Default night lighting in X-Plane is very good as well.

 

However, there are a couple of aspects in which P3D engine is better:

.) aircraft reflections (there are no aircraft reflections in X-Plane);

.) rain/wet conditions: rain and wet runways are better depicted in P3D.

 

 

These are the first things that came to my mind when comparing the two. I'll let others add their opinions.

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Another big difference between the two sims is the amount of free heigh quality addons.

If you want to start with P3D now it will probably become very expensive. The biggest advantage that P3D has/had that it was rather easy to reuse old FSX add-ons in P3D.

But it starts to feel the pain of this decision, so I wouldn´t be surprised if this changes in P3D v4. Another big difference is the run time of each major version.

When you bought X-Plane 10 in 2012 (a totally different looking program without 64 Bit support..) this version is still totally fine. With the update installer  from the Laminar website it will simply update to 10.45 at the moment, in a few weeks to 10.50. And it will probably be 1 or 2 years till we see X-Plane 11.

In the meantime you would have bought P3D v1, v2, v3 and often a complete reinstall of P3D.

On the other hand P3D and FSX:SE still have much better AI traffic, although you wont use it if you are using IVAO, VATSIM or PilotEdge.

I wouldn´t start with FSX:SE now since I expect that its activity will significantly drop when Dovetail has its own simulator running.

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I just use FSX & XP-10 rather equally. May venture into P3D someday, but I still have too many other interests (hobbies), to do so at this time.  The Airfoillabs C-172 is a nice GA airplane as already mentioned. I like the newer Piper also (can't remember the name).  Wouldn't want to give up Orbx for FSX, and I assume they work in P3D also.  And there are some perfection & free airports for X-Plane, such as those from Mr. X.   I'd say, check out X-Plane, keep FSX, and then possibly P3D. But then I'm not such as serious simmer as I once was. Would like to be, when I see so many screenshots & options, but it's hard to keep up with it all, when I'm still into other hobbies too.  Just not enough time.

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I use both, with XP having the lead in hours spent by far. My two cents (which won't buy you anything where I live):

 

  • X-Plane is less painless to update. I own it through Steam, so it's a matter of clicking a button, waiting for 10 minute, done. Through my time with X-Plane (which has not been anywhere near as long as others here), I have never had to mess with the 'ecosystem' due to an update, meaning, my collection of add-on aircraft and scenery simply stays put - what worked before, works after.  P3D on the other hand... I quit using it for a bit altogether because I had to do a full re-install (not terribly painful), which in turn meant a re-install (and trouble-shooting) of any of my FTX scenery that I wanted to use (very painful).
     
  • Neither sim is terribly attractive without adding 3rd party scenery or aircraft.
     
  • P3D has a far greater amount of payware scenery available, much of it made to a very high, payware, standard. X-Plane has a very impressive amount of freeware scenery available, much of it made to a very high, payware, standard. See what I did there? :wink:
     
  • P3D has a greater selection available when it comes to a variety of individual aircraft and aircraft types. There's no getting around this. There's more and more top notch aircraft being released for X-Plane all the time, but P3D has the lead there.
     
  • In contrast, X-Plane has a selection of very enjoyable, very high fidelity helicopters that fly quite a bit more realistically than those in P3D. If you are at all interested in (civilian) helicopters, X-Plane is the place to be.
     
  • If you're interested in military aircraft, or want to shoot things (but don't, for some reason, want to play a military flight sim such as DCS), P3D has not only TacPack support, but some of the finest current (looking at you, VRS Superbug) or vintage (looking at you, Milviz F-100D) or very vintage (looking at you, A2A P-51) military aircraft made for any platform.
     
  • X-Plane has better rendition of scenery at a distance. Textures stay sharp at quite far distances, the mesh stays detailed. Whereas in P3D, the textures and mesh are both rather featureless at far distances. In my opinion, this makes mountain flying far more enjoyable in X-Plane than in P3D. If you only fly up super high, or in flat areas, not such a big deal.
     
  • P3D has better support for weather rendering. Some of us have been pushing the depiction of the clouds in X-Plane to a level we've been happy with, but the ability to easily get awesome clouds and weather (via payware, mind you) in P3D is still vastly superior.
     
  • There's a good chance that X-Plane will release the next major version in a year or two. There's a fairly decent chance that when they do so, current scenery and aircraft will be, if not backwards compatible, at least update-able at minimal or little cost. In contrast, there's word that the next major version of P3D will likely be sooner. And since it's rumored to be moving to 64bit, there is a very good chance you will be re-purchasing aircraft and scenery. In short, P3D is already more expensive to fit out with add-ons, but at this point in the product cycle, you may get less use from that expense than you would like.

Given time, I could likely come up with more points back and forth. But the takeaway is that there's things that each sim platform does better. Both are very worthwhile to own, and if any of the individual pros or cons with either platform are a big deal, then it's an easy choice. However, the one thing that would give me pause in recommending P3D to anyone who has zero current investment into aircraft and scenery is that you may be soon looking at a new major version that may or may not require repurchasing add-ons.

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I used to use FSX but have to admit to not having used P3D.

 

I've had about 10 hours of lessons in the real world, so admittedly not many, but X-Plane is miles ahead in the feel of the aircraft over FSX (again, not P3D but aren't the flight dynamics identical?). Not only that, X-Plane often runs at 60fps. You will never see that anywhere but FL30+ in P3D from what I understand. The smoothness makes a big difference for the sensation of flight.

 

X-Planes night lighting is beautiful, and it has free incredibly detailed meshes. I've covered Europe in photoscenery absolutely free, and have very detailed airports, most of which were free. Just have a look at MisterX donationware airports. They're amazing.

 

FSX/P3D does of course have more payware aircraft, but X-Plane currently has..

 

IXEG 737

EADT 737NG (Free!!)

FF 767

FF 757

AirfoilLabs c172

Carenado F33A Bonanza with REP

Carenado F35 Bonanza with REP

Carenado CT210M with REP

PMDG DC-6

MD-10 by Rotate

VFlyteAir PA28

FlyJSim73

FlyJSim72

 

All of these are off the top of my head and this doesn't include any of the incredibly high fidelity choppers and they are all study level (perhaps except the MD-10 - I haven't used it). There are, of course, hundreds more aircraft available including a whole fleet of Carenado GA stuff.

 

For me it's a no brainer. X-Plane is amazing, it feels very close to the real world. The whole bad traffic and AI stuff has always been a nonevent for me as I use Vatsim. 

 

Visit reddit flightsim, you'll notice most of the screenshots are from X-Plane. With the right addons (mainly free), it looks incredible.

 

Get X-Plane :)

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Since I never enable ** any ** shadows in MSFS and derivates, FSX:SE is more than enough for me...  P3D's price is also prohibitive for me, as well as having to pay for updates that taste more like patches...  Will become temptative if / when a 64 bit version is released though...

 

Only aspect I miss is the ability to use the ESP / P3D to easily run an external flight dynamics model, used for instance by Aerowinx PSX through  PSX.P3D.NET and ELITE Flight Simulator...

 

X-Plane has nice night lighting, and more elaborate rotary wing fight dynamics. Sloped runways / taxiways, with higher definition mesh like Andras's mesh v3, can also be interesting and something not available in FSX / P3D unless for some specific airfields ( probably no longer compatible with the latest p3d version ? ) .

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There's a good chance that X-Plane will release the next major version in a year or two. There's a fairly decent chance that when they do so, current scenery and aircraft will be, if not backwards compatible

 

A lot of v9 and older scenery still works in v10, and I think this is likely to stay the case from 10 to 11 unless they drastically change the scenery system and deprecate everything, which I think would be suicide. If they add PBR support, then I guess it will be an extension to the current shaders and not a replacement. Some planes still work as well, and even the transition from 32-bit to 64-bit was relatively painless with most planes being updated for free within a few months. In comparison to P3D, you'll will get far more for your money. All big updates in the 10 cycle (GPS, 64-bit, etc) have been free and long-term support is excellent.

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whilst I am still a fsx/fsxse user as well as p3d I am watching the great progress being made in x plane. It is my opinion that if p3d doesnt go 64 bit by xmas 16 it will be history, as they have tinkered around under the covers long enough  and marginally improved fsx but to no great significance whereas x plane , since they opened it up to 3rd party devs is racing along, and the next version does show some significant improvements. However for the moment i prefer fsx/fsx se as it is solid and never crashes  (if you use dx10)  maybe next year will see the long awaited migration to x plane,,  time will tell.

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I have and use both, the plus side for me is with X-Plane performance is much better, I very rarely get stutters and I don't have to worry about OOM's which are a problem in P3d v3 (even though they happen less now than they did in previous versions), night lighting is also better (loads better), also there is loads of high quality freeware for X-plane that if you wanted the same quality in p3d you would have to pay for. Now the downsides of X-plane for me, the main one being the lack of study level airliners, I own PMDG's 737, 777 and Majestics's Q400 for p3d the only study level airliner for X-plane i'm aware of is IXEG 737 Classic, which unfortunately as great as it may be neither of the VA's I fly for use this aircraft so I don't use it. The other downside for X-plane is the weather rendering which I think is really poor and that with me owning SkyMaxx v3 and RWC. 

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MM, seems like I am getting myself x-plane. P3D sounds like a big upgrade of FSX:SE which tackles most of the issues, but the cost is to much for me to pay. X-plane offers better quality graphics almost for no extra sxpense (saw some youtube vids.) + focuses on actual aircraft performance, especially GA's (which I do fly often). I will probably buy P3D some day, but untill that day comes, I am sticking to X-plane and FSX:SE. Thanks a lot guys!

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This video got me to buy it XD

 

One more question fellas.

Should I Download X-plane via steam or via its site Xplane.com?  Is there any difference with regards to configuration and performance?

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This video got me to buy it 

 

What you see in that video, is not planned for the current live cycle of X-Plane (10), but is planned for the next release (11), and you will need to pay again for it. 

 

There is no reason not to jump aboard now (estimates are X-plane 11 is still 1 to 2 years away (rumour mill !) ) but I don't want to dissapoint you.

Best is to download the demo, and see if you like it.

 

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One more question fellas.

Should I Download X-plane via steam or via its site Xplane.com?  Is there any difference with regards to configuration and performance?

 

If you buy X-Plane via Steam, the major difference is that Beta releases are not available on Steam. So, when a new Beta is released, if you bought it on Steam you will have to wait until it becomes a "Release Candidate" before you can upgrade it. This usually means waiting several weeks.

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If you buy X-Plane via Steam, the major difference is that Beta releases are not available on Steam. So, when a new Beta is released, if you bought it on Steam you will have to wait until it becomes a "Release Candidate" before you can upgrade it. This usually means waiting several weeks.

Via the website it is!

 

What you see in that video, is not planned for the current live cycle of X-Plane (10), but is planned for the next release (11), and you will need to pay again for it. 

 

There is no reason not to jump aboard now (estimates are X-plane 11 is still 1 to 2 years away (rumour mill !) ) but I don't want to dissapoint you.

Best is to download the demo, and see if you like it.

 

I am pretty damn sure they said 10.50 in the video. If you check out the comments made, they too imply that those changes will come in 10.50

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I am pretty damn sure they said 10.50 in the video. If you check out the comments made, they too imply that those changes will come in 10.50

 

The beginning of the presentation showed some new additions/changes for 10.5.  The latter part of the presentation was about future development.

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The beginning of the presentation showed some new additions/changes for 10.5.  The latter part of the presentation was about future development.

aha, tnx a lot man! X-plane, here I come!

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Just take the time to get things right.

Out of the box, it's going to disappoint, or at least it did me (and that's a common theme). But there's tons of freeware that gets things up to par.

W2XP and HDMeshv3 are musts for me.

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Steam is really interesting to get it when it is on sale. Other than that you can easily get it through their website.

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