Rafal

P3Dv4 on an old PC?

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Hello, everyone!

In my view we, simmers, have now come to a point where some definite decisions about our future simming must be made.
I see there are folks flying on so many platforms like FS9, FSX SP2 DX9, FSX SP2 DX10 (myself), FSX SE DX9, FSX SE DX10, P3Dv3, P3Dv4, XP10, XP11, AeroFly, FSW, ... :blink:

I have been on FSX SP2 for many years now. First with DX9 and later DX10 with Steve's Fixer (to avoid OOM). As my FSX is stable and ultimately tweaked according to my needs and possibilities (a rather old PC), honestly I wasn't really interested in going P3D. But when version 4 came bringing 64-bit into the game, I obviously started getting excited. In recent days I have read a lot of posts in this forum (and not only). What particularly drew my attention was a few developers suggesting they are going to drop FSX support quite soon and concentrate on developing for 64-bit. While very disappointing to me, I do understand this point of view.

As a result, I am in two minds about what to do. I consider buying Prepar3Dv4 to initiate my direct experience with this platform. But the problem is my PC is 6 years old now (see the details at the end of my post). Due to some real-life reasons I am not willing/able to buy a brand new PC at the moment.

So the question to you, my friends, especially to those who are using or at least tried to use P3D (especially v4) on an older PC similar to mine, is: does it make sense at all? Does it make sense to buy P3Dv4 and pay for add-ons (sometimes for the second time) like FSUIPC, ActiveSky, FSL A320, PMDG aircraft, etc? Or maybe the verdict is the requirements P3Dv4 has, especially being used with relatively nice settings (having all sliders down to minimum does not make much sense, does it) and quality addons definitely require a modern PC?

I guess my 12 GB RAM may be too little, so this is one thing I could invest in, providing that it makes sense, of course. I also could, maybe, afford a better (nothing top shelf unfortunately) video card in the nearest future, but I am afraid a newer card with and old CPU on an old motherboard makes little sense again?

Any insight from my experienced fellow simmers is highly appreciated and I thank you very much in advance. :smile:

My specs:
- Windows 7 64-bit
- FSX SP2 Acceleration DX10 with Steve's Fixer
- i5-2500k @ 4.0 GHz, GeForce GTX 560 Ti, 12 GB RAM DDR3 Corsair Vengeance, Gigabyte Z68M-D2H mobo
- LG ultrawide 35" monitor

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Don't even think about about it. Your GPU will produce a slide show in 64 bit 

Stay with FSX where it's cpu bound and over clock that thing. 

I have the same cpu oc to 4.3 ghz 

Devs will not drop fsx. It's going to be an economic decision.. Supply and demand and the masses are at fsx. 

The pendulum could swing either way. 

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It does make sense IF you upgrade your GPU in advance of a CPU upgrade later. I have the same CPU overclocked to 4.4 ghz and 16 GB RAM. I upgraded my GPU to a nVidia 1070 GTX (8 GB VRAM) last year and am running P3Dv4 with no issues. For me it's been worth the move to a 64-bit sim.

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You could use p3d v3 on that gpu but with v4 will need more than 2gb vram as disable hardware tessellation/gpu terrain option has been removed.

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Hi Rafal,

LM have a 60 day refund policy, so you can always try I would say.

Maarten

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If you are happy with FSX and it is doing what you want it to do, then you don't need to be concerned about others wanting the latest shiny toy. And even if you are curious, there is nothing stopping you from buying P3D and trying it out, if it doesn't run great, just keep it on one side until you get a windfall or bonus or whatever and then buy a new GPU.

Because coming on Avsim, or other dedicated flight sim websites, can give one a very distorted view of the sim world, since you are far more likely to witness the kind of simmers who upgrade their PCs all the time and tweak the hell out of their sims etc and then post about it. But honestly, such people do not represent the majority who use flight sims, not by a long chalk. If you don't believe me, look at the repeated calls from people on here for PMDG to make a new MD11; you will see threads with what appears to be many people saying they want one, but you will then see developers such as PMDG responding to such calls, saying that those who frequent places such as Avsim are not representative of the majority of their customers and don't necessarily reflect what may be a commercially viable proposition. And that's true for other FS developers too.

If it were not true, developers of lower end FS add-ons, such as Virtualcol or Abacus, would have been out of business years ago, and they quite clearly are not out of business, in fact they are doing great and releasing products regularly, for example, Virtualcol released their new CRJ pack just the other day, and it is compatible with FSX SP2, FSX-SE, P3D v1, v2 and v3 and v4; i.e. it came out this week and is still supporting the FSX version which MS dropped years ago. So don't bet on every developer dropping FSX, let alone the SE version. Sure, a few have said they will (for example FlyTampa, but since I've literally never bought anything from them, personally I couldn't care less if they do), I can guarantee you that more developers will not be dropping FSX for quite a while, since they are quite aware that not everyone has unlimited funds to be constantly buying the latest 1,000 quid graphics card and sticking a new motherboard and CPU in their PC case every five minutes, but they do have the funds to buy the odd add-on aeroplane or scenery now and again. Shrewd developers are very well aware that some people have more important priorities or limited budgets or whatever, but just because someone is a bit strapped for cash (and god knows we've all been like that at some point), or has other things to spend their money on, doesn't mean they don't want to continue using FSX on their current PC and buying stuff for that sim when it won't break the bank like buying a new PC would.

DTG have said that they are not dropping FSX-SE for the foreseeable future, even when FSW comes out. Some people may consider FSX as a 'dead product', but it's not really, you can buy it right now off Steam and if a tweak was necessary to it in order to solve some contemporary problem, DTG would do it (and have said they would), since it is one of their money makers, so, like Samuel Langhorne Clemens, reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated.

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Gentlemen,

Thanks a million for your replies! :smile:
What a great community we have here (not that I ever had any doubts about it).

 

3 hours ago, Venturi said:

I have the same cpu oc to 4.3 ghz

I have overclocked mine in BIOS. 4.0 is the max I can use 100% stable.
When I tried higher values I was getting blue screens.
But, never say never...
 

3 hours ago, RudiJG1 said:

It does make sense IF you upgrade your GPU in advance of a CPU upgrade later. (...) I upgraded my GPU to a nVidia 1070 GTX (8 GB VRAM) last year and am running P3Dv4 with no issues

That is an idea to be considered.
However I see 1070 is quite expensive while I believe this is the minimum which must be spent.
 

2 hours ago, mawibo said:

LM have a 60 day refund policy, so you can always try

Hah, you see, I didn't know that.
I will consider this option. Thanks, Maarten!
 

2 hours ago, Chock said:

If you are happy with FSX and it is doing what you want it to do, then you don't need to be concerned about others wanting the latest shiny toy.

That is absolutely very true. It is the boy's part of me that wants a toy others are screaming about. :wink:
 

2 hours ago, Chock said:

reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated.

That is my view also, especially that I exchanged emails with a few colleagues using FSX and it looks like none of them is going P3D at the moment due to reasons similar to mine.
I perfectly understand the hype both developers and simmers spread, and I can feel it too, but the financial reality is as it is and for some of us it just sometimes cannot be jumped over.

 

Thank you for all your valuable posts.
Keep them coming, please.

Enjoy the weekend, eveyone! :smile:

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I just bought a GTX 1060 with 6 GB vRam for around $250. I am running version 3.4, but it runs great and I have a i5 at 3.1 Ghz and only 8 Gb ram ( max my motherboard will hold). I too am not willing to drop around $1200 to buy a new PC just to say I am running 64 bit when I have never had an OOm anyway. . 

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I am in a similar situation to Rafal. I have a 7 year old Dell system. I run FSX Gold on Windows 7 64 bit, i7 860 CPU @ 2.80 GHz, GeForce GTS 240 video card (1 GB VRAM), and 8 GB DDR3 RAM (recently upgraded from 4 GB). I have a 350 W PSU. I too am not in a position to buy a new system, so I am looking for ways to give my system a modest upgrade to give it a few more years of life.

From what I can tell, Dell do not allow overclocking of their PCs. Turbo Boost Technology is also not available in the BIOS. Also it seems that the greatest clock speed that my mobo would accept is 3.07 GHZ, so this minimal gain is not worth the outlay. So I am wondering whether a GPU upgrade would give me any appreciable increase in performance? With the recent arrival of P3D v4 I am now weighing up staying with FSX against making the jump to P3D (ideally v4, but maybe v3).

What would you suggest? Is there any point in considering P3D v4? If so, what sort of GPU should I look at that would be compatible with my system? Or should I stick with FSX or P3D v3 - and if so, with what sort of GPU? Many thanks.

Adrian

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Four things you should give a try if you use FSX, and/or are on a limited budget, are:

Use the Steam version of FSX, because it definitely runs better than the old boxed (or D/L) versions of Microsoft FSX with SP2/Acceleration; it is cheap (20 quid normally, but sometimes you find it on sale for a fiver) and has all the extra bits and bobs with it as well, so no need to install any SPs or Acceleration or whatever.

Try FSX Booster Live and FSX Fiber Accelerator, both of them are inexpensive, but they can squeeze some extra performance out of an older PC. Now obviously they can't work miracles, but they almost certainly will gain you some frame rates.

Steve's DX10 Fixer (with the cloud shadows add on too) is another one worth trying, since that is fairly cheap as well and will sort out a lot of issues with such an old sim as FSX and of course will also give you cloud shadows on the terrain, which is one of the things that you might otherwise miss in not using P3D.

On the plus side, one thing you won't miss with not using P3D, is any additional expense with having to buy new stuff for your sim again, and you will also miss out on the tedious P3D downloading and installing process it makes you endure lol; nothing can 'Pr3p4r3' you for that one, or the 30 Gigs of space you need to fit it on your HD. :laugh:

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If you are going to consider giving P3D a try, one thing I can tell you is that you might actually be pleasantly surprised how well it can run on a fairly crappy old PC, so long as you don't go mental with the graphics sliders. To prove that is true, I have P3D V4 installed on a PC with these specs, which look on the face of it like they would never run P3D well, if at all:

Intel i7 2600 (not overclocked at all, so, running at 3.40Ghz), 8 Gb of DDR 3 memory and a AMD Radeon 6900 2Gb GPU at 800Mhz.

Now, you would think that running it on something that old and poorly-endowed would make it a slideshow, but it doesn't, far from it in fact, because don't forget that P3D V4 is heavily souped up and optimised to use the GPU, and with all due respect to Aces and Lockheed Martin, all ESP-based sims hardly have graphics which would put something like Call of Duty to shame, so in fact it actually runs really well on the default settings with about 20 percent on all the traffic sliders when it can use the GPU and not rely solely on the CPU.

Being able to spread the processing workload more like a modern sim or game means it actually runs a bit better than FSX-SE does on that same computer. P3D V4 gets about 30-40 fps in the VC with the default Beechcraft Bonanza, and between about 30-50 fps on external views (the fps number fluctuates a bit, but is always fluid), with absolutely no stuttering at all. FSX-SE gets about 2/3rds of those figures with some judicious tweaking of sliders and things such as Live Booster and Fiber Frame Accelerator helping it out.

When you think about it, this actually makes sense, because we've been so used to having to get a GPU sledgehammer to crack a walnut in order to get decent performance out of the CPU-bound FSX (improved a little by the Steam version of course), so when we finally end up with something which can allocate memory better and offload the visuals to the GPU, the results are that it does what more modern games and sims do, i.e. runs okay without you having to spend 5,000 quid on some overblown gaming powerhouse of a PC. And why shouldn't it? I am willing to bet that if your PC could get fluid frame rates on AeroFly FS2, then it would also get them on P3D V4, because in addition to them both being 64 bit, both of them are not bound to the CPU.

Just to prove it, here is a shot of that Bonanza in P3D V4 getting fps which was fluctuating between 30-50 fps as it took off from an airport on that very computer which i listed the specs for above on this post. You can see from the frame rate counter that it is getting the lower end of that figure as I snapped the screenshot, but I can promise you, that is about as low as the fps counter gets, and let's not forget that the default Bonanza in P3D is actually a (normally payware) Carenado aeroplane:

bonanza%20P3D%20V4_zpsugktkdjy.png

 

 

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I would urge a great deal of caution before jumping into expensive hadware upgrades.

There is a great deal of churn yet to happen as the software developers bed down their products in the P3Dv4 environment. This will inevitably take a number of weeks/months. Until then, I plan on continuing to install the upgraded products on my ancient (i7-2600K, 8GB RAM, 2 x GTX590) PC.

Because my niche is as a PMDG 777-300ER longhauler, I know where my target is. As I gain experience with the new softwares, I shall come to a conclusion on the new PC configuration that will support my flying interests for at least the next 5 years.

HTH

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24 minutes ago, Richard McDonald Woods said:

3DI would urge a great deal of caution before jumping into expensive hadware upgrades.

There is a great deal of churn yet to happen as the software developers bed down their products in the P3Dv4 environment. This will inevitably take a number of weeks/months. Until then, I plan on continuing to install the upgraded products on my ancient (i7-2600K, 8GB RAM, 2 x GTX590) PC.

Because my niche is as a PMDG 777-300ER longhauler, I know where my target is. As I gain experience with the new softwares, I shall come to a conclusion on the new PC configuration that will support my flying interests for at least the next 5 years.

HTH

I think this is spot on.  We've waited for years for a 64 bit flight simulator and a couple of months won't make any difference now if what you have is currently doing what you want.  There's not only the cost of buying new kit but the effort of reinstalling all your various add-ons. There are three things all arguing for delay if you don't HAVE to buy new hardware now:

1) P3D V4 will be tweaked to iron out the inevitable early bugs and the specification needed to run it well will become clearer.  It's one thing spending a fortune and another spending a fortune on something that isn't quite right.

2) Software developers will refine their products for the 64bit environment.  Wait until the pain of that is past.

3) All the while, hardware will be evolving and what's top of the pile now may be one layer down in price when the time comes.

I'm sure I'll buy a new machine to switch from FSX to P3D V4 before long.  But not just yet....

There's a definition of a pioneer: a man lying in a desert with an arrow in his back.  I'm genuinely grateful to all the early adopters: I'm right behind you! 

 

 

 

 

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Please- don't sit in the fence. Get the trial. Turn off dynamic lighting. Turn down autogen.  I'm sure you will love it. 

Dont monitor frame rate - just watch how smooth it is. 

I7 laptop 2.4ghz with 3.2 turbo boost. 

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Hello,

Not being very in tuned with today's hardware Ill give you my system and thoughts on P3D.

 

I have an older system as well, I5 3.2 GHZ with 8gb ram and a GTX 660 2gb of ram, I have been using fs9 up until recently where I wanted to skip fsx and go directly to P3D. With my older system I don't regret going over to P3D, Sure I dont run sliders full right and I also don't run a crazy amounts of scenery, Im not sure how my system would handle that as Ive never tried. Having said that the P3D experience with modest settings are more than enough for me to not look back. Someone mentioned above to not worry about frames and worry about your flight experience, well that's what I do, Im not so concerned about my frames but more so in my general sim experience.

 

Thats not to say that someday im not going to upgrade for the ultimate sim experience, but for now this is more than adequate...  I very much enjoyed my MSFS years, however I dont think I could go back!!

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I want to make the switch to P3D from FSX soon and I also have an older pc that is not a power house. If a GTX 1070 or 1080's price is out of your budget consider the GTX 1060 6gb version as an affordable upgrade for your older PC. Here is a video of the card in action. The person also runs other test so have a look at the performance numbers.

https://youtu.be/IV-Q8l2EkvM

Keep in mind that the card is paired with an Intel i7 but with lower settings I don't see why an i5 paired with a mid range card can't  run P3D v4 smoothly. I personally have an i5 but I am going to upgrade to the MSI Gaming X gtx 1070. Bit by bit I will upgrade other components. 

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Not quite on-topic, but also not completely off-topic: Will V4 start up and run on a graphics card with less than 2 GB? My 580 only has 1,5, and I'd like to know if I can test V4 a little before forking out the money for hardware upgrades.

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On 17/06/2017 at 11:43 PM, Chock said:

Four things you should give a try if you use FSX, and/or are on a limited budget, are:

Use the Steam version of FSX, because it definitely runs better than the old boxed (or D/L) versions of Microsoft FSX with SP2/Acceleration; it is cheap (20 quid normally, but sometimes you find it on sale for a fiver) and has all the extra bits and bobs with it as well, so no need to install any SPs or Acceleration or whatever.

Try FSX Booster Live and FSX Fiber Accelerator, both of them are inexpensive, but they can squeeze some extra performance out of an older PC. Now obviously they can't work miracles, but they almost certainly will gain you some frame rates.

Steve's DX10 Fixer (with the cloud shadows add on too) is another one worth trying, since that is fairly cheap as well and will sort out a lot of issues with such an old sim as FSX and of course will also give you cloud shadows on the terrain, which is one of the things that you might otherwise miss in not using P3D.

On the plus side, one thing you won't miss with not using P3D, is any additional expense with having to buy new stuff for your sim again, and you will also miss out on the tedious P3D downloading and installing process it makes you endure lol; nothing can 'Pr3p4r3' you for that one, or the 30 Gigs of space you need to fit it on your HD. :laugh:

Chock, you're suggesting acquiring a bucket full of programs just to try and tweak and patch an obsolete flight sim that was abandoned by its developers a decade ago.

The world moves on, we're now in the 64-bit era. Rather than throwing more money at a sim that's now well past it's prime, I suggest that anyone who's seriously interested in flight simulation take the plunge and move to P3D v4.

You don't need a top of the range system to run it, as some of the above posts indicate. Most of the key software already runs on this version, and by purchasing the P3D versions of addons moving forward, you'll be making a much sounder investment than if you pour more money into our old friend, FSX.

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2 hours ago, OzWhitey said:

Chock, you're suggesting acquiring a bucket full of programs just to try and tweak and patch an obsolete flight sim that was abandoned by its developers a decade ago.

The world moves on, we're now in the 64-bit era. Rather than throwing more money at a sim that's now well past it's prime, I suggest that anyone who's seriously interested in flight simulation take the plunge and move to P3D v4.

You don't need a top of the range system to run it, as some of the above posts indicate. Most of the key software already runs on this version, and by purchasing the P3D versions of addons moving forward, you'll be making a much sounder investment than if you pour more money into our old friend, FSX.

 That is why I wrote 'If you are happy with FSX and it is doing what you want it to do' to preface those suggestions of how you can speed things up in FSX if you want to stay with it on a prior post, and also why about three posts below the one you quoted, I pointed out that I have P3D V4 running on a very modest system, where I quoted its specs etc.

All those suggestions I made for products are very inexpensive, and so they might suit someone for whom P3D will not run well and who are not in a position to spend a lot of money. Don't forget that although we are seeing many old FSX products gaining P3D installers of late, there are still many products you will need to buy to flesh out P3D if you do switch, and it is still the case that there are vastly more products out there for the older sim, many of which, long term users will already own. So it's not just about moving on, it's also about the cost of moving on, and not everyone is in a position to do that from a financial standpoint.

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4 minutes ago, Chock said:

That is why i wrote 'If you are happy with FSX and it is doing what you want it to do' to preface those suggestions of how you can speed things up in FSX if you want to stay with it on a prior post, and also why about three posts below the one you quoted, I pointed out that I have P3D V4 running on a very modest system, where I quoted its specs etc.

If someone is happy with FSX and it is doing what they want, why would they buy FSX-SE and three new addons to try and make it work? :)

I priced your "very inexpensive" addons:

  • FSX-SE: US $25
  • Steve's DX fixer: around $30 USD
  • FSX booster live: EU 12.90
  • FSX Fibre Accelerator: EU 14.90

That's around US $85 to try and make an ancient sim perform at an acceptable standard. When you finally move to Prepar3d or another platform in a year, or two years, or three years - that's money down the drain. 

Upgrade to P3D v4 now, and you're investing in the future. You'll get continuous improvements for the next two years, and can still keep FSX to fly the older scenery and planes that will never be updated to 64 bit.

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On 6/17/2017 at 1:30 PM, Chock said:

reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated.

Agreed, yet many here seem to be not only anticipating its death, but want a stake driven through its heart as soon as possible. As you rightly point out, though, AVSIM != The World.

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1 hour ago, OzWhitey said:

If someone is happy with FSX and it is doing what they want, why would they buy FSX-SE and three new addons to try and make it work? :)

I priced your "very inexpensive" addons:

  • FSX-SE: US $25
  • Steve's DX fixer: around $30 USD
  • FSX booster live: EU 12.90
  • FSX Fibre Accelerator: EU 14.90

That's around US $85 to try and make an ancient sim perform at an acceptable standard. When you finally move to Prepar3d or another platform in a year, or two years, or three years - that's money down the drain. 

Upgrade to P3D v4 now, and you're investing in the future. You'll get continuous improvements for the next two years, and can still keep FSX to fly the older scenery and planes that will never be updated to 64 bit.

Can buy fsx se for 5 bucks during the many steam sales and DX10 fixer brings it up to p3d  v3 standards without the multiple re buys of pmdg etc. The other two tweak programs should be avoided unless your on a home lap top IMO they can cause big problems. 

Gonna wait a couple of years until all the posts I'm seeing with guys complaining about stuttering and lag and with a gtx 1080 no less! In v4 are sorted 

IMO anyone holding a gtx 780 or less should not  go near v4 and wait for the many bugs and dev compatibility  to be updated 

Dont worry about supporting LM they have many millions x your bank balance :-):-)

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42 minutes ago, OzWhitey said:

If someone is happy with FSX and it is doing what they want, why would they buy FSX-SE and three new addons to try and make it work? :)

I priced your "very inexpensive" addons:

  • FSX-SE: US $25
  • Steve's DX fixer: around $30 USD
  • FSX booster live: EU 12.90
  • FSX Fibre Accelerator: EU 14.90

That's around US $85 to try and make an ancient sim perform at an acceptable standard. When you finally move to Prepar3d or another platform in a year, or two years, or three years - that's money down the drain. 

Upgrade to P3D v4 now, and you're investing in the future. You'll get continuous improvements for the next two years, and can still keep FSX to fly the older scenery and planes that will never be updated to 64 bit.

Oh for... Look, there has been more than one question posed on this thread, read the entire thread for chrissakes. Thus I made THREE posts to address the different questions, with different suggestions depending on people's financial circumstances, from trying P3D to see how it runs, to trying things designed to speed matters up a bit; things which cost considerably less than buying new hardware if someone is not in a position financially to pay 200 quid for P3D and to possibly have to buy new hardware as well. In other words, a few options. So cherry picking one of the THREE POSTS I MADE, and taking it right out of the context and situation it was intended to address in order to suggest I did not say try P3D, is disingenuous to say the least. I even posted a pic of P3D V4 running on a crappy PC at decent frame rates on one of those previous three posts, to prove it could be done.

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2 hours ago, Chock said:

Oh for... Look, there has been more than one question posed on this thread, read the entire thread for chrissakes. Thus I made THREE posts to address the different questions, with different suggestions depending on people's financial circumstances, from trying P3D to see how it runs, to trying things designed to speed matters up a bit; things which cost considerably less than buying new hardware if someone is not in a position financially to pay 200 quid for P3D and to possibly have to buy new hardware as well. In other words, a few options. So cherry picking one of the THREE POSTS I MADE, and taking it right out of the context and situation it was intended to address in order to suggest I did not say try P3D, is disingenuous to say the least. I even posted a pic of P3D V4 running on a crappy PC at decent frame rates on one of those previous three posts, to prove it could be done.

The thread is not even two pages long, mate, trust me I read it...:blink:

You use the word 'disingenuous' and claim that I'm 'cherry picking'. I quoted your whole post (did you want me to quote all three for some reason???), and then responded to the argument that you made in reply to this.

My point is very simple, and not all that controversial - the time for spending money on trying to bring FSX up to modern standards is past, IMHO. That made sense five years ago, now its time to move on, and as you've noted in your third post hardware isn't really an impediment to joining the P3D train.

Some people - lots of people - will likely disagree. and stay with FSX for years to come. That's cool, it's a discussion forum, we're discussing things.

As per your signature, re: the 'ten year tear-strewn contrail of discarded payware' - Alan, it seems that this 64-bit transition is taking an emotional toll on you!

:happy:

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6 minutes ago, OzWhitey said:

TAs per your signature, re: the 'ten year tear-strewn contrail of discarded payware' - Alan, it seems that this 64-bit transition is taking an emotional toll on you!

:happy:

Nah, not really, as every flight simmer knows, if we can't take a joke, we'd better not get into flight simming. How do you make God laugh..? Tell him your plans.

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