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brianVancouver

X-Plane 11 Hardware Advice Sought

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I am currently a FSX/P3D user but am contemplating trying out X-Plane 11 when it is released.  I will need to update two hardware components and am hoping for some practicable advice.  I'll note, in advance, that I am NOT tech savvy, so hopefully the questions make sense.

 

1. (RAM):  I currently have 8GB ram but understand that 16GB is required.   Would this do the job, or should I be looking for some other feature(s):  "Corsair Vengeance  LPX 16GB (2x8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600).  (Part no. CMK16GX4M2B3200C16R).  And;

 

2. (SSD):  I currently don't have a SSD.  Assuming my OS and any non-X-Plane software are on a separate HDD, what size of SSD is recommended?  Any other characteristics/spec of the SSD that I should insist on?

 

In both cases, I don't want to spend more than necessary (I'm in Canada -- expensive), but don't want to waste money by not buying what is needed to properly do the job.

 

Thanks,

 

Brian

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Most likely the hardware focus (CPU/RAM/GPU) will stay similiar to XP10. In order of importance:

 

CPU-Power. At least 4 cores, more not of real advantage. The single-core-performance is paramount, so rather get fewer fast cores than many slower cores.

 

RAM: 8GB at least, better 16. Make/model/timing etc. is almost irrelevant, in my experience, they are more or less equally performant.

 

GPU: Get at least 4GB of VRAM. Running out of VRAM will KILL your framerate, so that must be avoided at all cost. Lower resolutions look bad! The faster the processorcore, the better, but in general the CPU-speed is more important than the GPU-speed.

 

Harddisk: I have not found substantial increase in loading times with a SSD compared to a conventional HD. AND the loading will happen only once per session. On the other hand, a small SSD is really cheap (256GB), so thats what I would get for my computer anyway (system partition + a few favourite games).

 

here are the relevant links for you to read:

 

http://developer.x-plane.com/2016/11/some-notes-on-x-plane-11s-system-requirements/

 

http://www.x-plane.com/kb/x-plane-11-system-requirements/

 

Just my take, Jan

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Someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the consensus is that 16gb RAM will work for most things, but you'll need 32gb for the following:

 

1) If you want to use the free ultra-high detail terrain mesh available for parts of the world. 

 

2) If you're also running "extended DSF" which means you have much longer draw distance to the horizon. 

 

Frankly, if you're setting up a computer for X-Plane 11, I think it's a good idea to install 32 gb of RAM, which is not very expensive right now. It will give you at least a degree of future-proofing until we get features that push it up to needing more than 32gb. I won't be at all surprised if that happens somewhere in the v11 run.

 

I have 32gb RAM on my computer, and that also helps with other RAM-hungry apps like video editing. The overall operation of Windows 10 just feels a lot smoother when you give it plenty of RAM to work with. 

 

I can't answer for the SSD size requirement because we all have different amounts of scenery installed, and I don't know what a "typical" installation for v11 looks like yet. My installation on a hard drive is fairly small, just 45gb or so, because I don't have the whole world installed, not many HD and UHD tiles, and few custom airports. I haven't noticed any load-time issues running off a modern 1.3 terabyte hard drive so I've never bothered with a SSD.

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Thanks to you both Jan and Paraffin,

 

This is a lot of helpful information.  I hadn't realized that the SSD is primarily intended to allow faster initial loading -- I was going on an assumption that X-Plane regularly accessed the drive during the course of use.  If it is only a loading time issue, I'll likely be satisfied with my existing HDD.

 

I suspect my greater challenge will be with the GPU.  I just updated with a new GTX 1060, but unfortunately it only has 3GB.  Am I correct in understanding that this poses a material limitation to smooth operation in X-Plane?  If yes, I am unlikely to upgrade again anytime soon so I may not be a good X-Plane 11 candidate.  As for my CPU, it is an i5 (2500k) overclocked and cooled safely at 4,5GHz. 

 

Again, thanks for your help,

 

Regards,

 

Brian

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I am currently a FSX/P3D user but am contemplating trying out X-Plane 11 when it is released.  I will need to update two hardware components and am hoping for some practicable advice.  I'll note, in advance, that I am NOT tech savvy, so hopefully the questions make sense.

 

1. (RAM):  I currently have 8GB ram but understand that 16GB is required.   Would this do the job, or should I be looking for some other feature(s):  "Corsair Vengeance  LPX 16GB (2x8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600).  (Part no. CMK16GX4M2B3200C16R).  And;

 

2. (SSD):  I currently don't have a SSD.  Assuming my OS and any non-X-Plane software are on a separate HDD, what size of SSD is recommended?  Any other characteristics/spec of the SSD that I should insist on?

 

In both cases, I don't want to spend more than necessary (I'm in Canada -- expensive), but don't want to waste money by not buying what is needed to properly do the job.

 

Thanks,

 

Brian

 

I would go with 32GB or ram, unless you are using win 7. Win 7 wont utilize more then 16GB of ram unless you have the professional version.

 

SSD are nice ! But if you don't want to spend the money, mechanical drives are perfectly fine. A new video card would be a better investment.And I wouldn't buy a video card with anything smaller then 8GB of VRAM. If you buy a SSD, don't buy anything smaller then 500GB. My xplane install is 259GB.

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Thanks for the advice Eric,

 

Unfortunately, I just renewed the video card with a GTX 1060, but with only 3GB.  I'm now learning that it is likely not adequate for X-Plane, if true, I'll likely have to stay with other sims.  As for the OS, I am running Win 7 Home Premium, so it sounds like 16GB is pretty much the max available.  That said, the GPU might have limited me out,

 

Regards,

 

Brian

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Thanks to you both Jan and Paraffin,

 

This is a lot of helpful information.  I hadn't realized that the SSD is primarily intended to allow faster initial loading -- I was going on an assumption that X-Plane regularly accessed the drive during the course of use.  If it is only a loading time issue, I'll likely be satisfied with my existing HDD.

 

I suspect my greater challenge will be with the GPU.  I just updated with a new GTX 1060, but unfortunately it only has 3GB.  Am I correct in understanding that this poses a material limitation to smooth operation in X-Plane?  If yes, I am unlikely to upgrade again anytime soon so I may not be a good X-Plane 11 candidate.  As for my CPU, it is an i5 (2500k) overclocked and cooled safely at 4,5GHz. 

 

Again, thanks for your help,

 

Regards,

 

Brian

 

What a waste of a video card ! I am almost using 6GB of vram. But I am using a 4K screen at 42 inches. You will probably have to turned down your rendering settings.

Thanks for the advice Eric,

 

Unfortunately, I just renewed the video card with a GTX 1060, but with only 3GB.  I'm now learning that it is likely not adequate for X-Plane, if true, I'll likely have to stay with other sims.  As for the OS, I am running Win 7 Home Premium, so it sounds like 16GB is pretty much the max available.  That said, the GPU might have limited me out,

 

Regards,

 

Brian

 

You can try the demo and see how it runs !

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Just wait for the demo!

 

No one really knows how it will run

 

Your GTX 1060 might be ok with lower settings. Especially if you're only at 1080P.

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It also depends on what kind of scenery you use. Default or a slightly higher res mesh will likely work fine. Photoreal scenery and tons of OSM data will probably need more.

I wouldn't write XP11 off just because you have 3GB VRAM. The free demo will probably be a good indication of how the full sim will run, assuming it includes a high-detail area such as Seattle.

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Harddisk: I have not found substantial increase in loading times with a SSD compared to a conventional HD. AND the loading will happen only once per session. On the other hand, a small SSD is really cheap (256GB), so thats what I would get for my computer anyway (system partition + a few favourite games).

 

For me, an SSD makes a massive difference with loading times, but then I use lots of photoimagery and OSM scenery :-)

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Same as Tony here but I have 5 TB of photo scenery and that is expensive for SSD's so I have the majority of my Ortho on HDD (Hitachi 7200rpm) and the places where I usually start flying from I have on SSD. X-Plane itself is  installed on an nvme m.2 drive but to be honest it does not make much difference than with a normal SSD. I have my scenery split of 3 different storage devices.

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Gosh 5 TB... do you have the whole world at L19 ? I bet Oscar Pilot got some money awards from HD producers  :wink:

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He he, that even puts my measly 1TB Europe to shame :-)

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Gosh 5 TB... do you have the whole world at L19 ? I bet Oscar Pilot got some money awards from HD producers  :wink:

 

No that is only East and West US , Mid West US, Germany, UK, Scandinavia, Holland , France and Italy. z17 with z18 around some airports. You need to watch JonFly on Twitch he has over 11TB of Ortho :)

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What do you think about this hardware?

 

1 x Intel Core i7 6700K BOX (LGA 1151, 4GHz, Unlocked) CHF 359.00 inkl.

1 x ASUS Maximus VIII Ranger (LGA 1151, Intel Z170, ATX) CHF 201.00 inkl.

1 x HyperX Fury (2x, 16GB, DDR4-2133, DIMM 288) CHF 185.00 inkl.

1 x be quiet! Silent Loop 280mm CHF 175.00 inkl.

1 x ASUS GeForce GTX 1080 STRIX O8G-GAMING (8GB, High End) CHF 899.00 inkl.

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