NismoRR

New install, considering a new drive...what size?

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Downloaded XP yesterday to my primary SSD which now has ~110 GB available after download.  Haven't installed yet. Thinking of add on scenery and such, contemplating adding another SSD. I'm not they type to download every piece of photo scenery to cover the world. My FSX install was less than 250 gig with a decent amount of photoscenery, FTX, traffic, etc. Thinking 250-500gig should be fine, but just saw a few guys on Steam with 4TB and 8TB drives. What do you think? Can get Samsung 850 for $95/140 (250/500GB) 

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Skip the SSD's.  Just get some mechanical drives for addons.  I personally run 6 1tb drives in a RAID Array and they perform just fine and cause no issues with the sim itself.

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15 minutes ago, NismoRR said:

Downloaded XP yesterday to my primary SSD which now has ~110 GB available after download.  Haven't installed yet. Thinking of add on scenery and such, contemplating adding another SSD. I'm not they type to download every piece of photo scenery to cover the world. My FSX install was less than 250 gig with a decent amount of photoscenery, FTX, traffic, etc. Thinking 250-500gig should be fine, but just saw a few guys on Steam with 4TB and 8TB drives. What do you think? Can get Samsung 850 for $95/140 (250/500GB) 

It depends. If you don't have that many addons (and wont plan on adding them), then storage capacity is not a first rate option, you might as well go for speed, so SSD is not a bad idea. I would still say get 500 GB. The thing is with X-plane, that default ground textures doesn't look that good, so most people are using orthophotos - which in turn can take up enormous space, I have the whole USA covered a separate 3TB hard drive. But if you happen to find yourself in a place where you want to amass orthos, you can still buy a mechanical HDD relatively cheaply later. I use the Samsung 840 for my system, and it still works well after years, so I guess I can recommend that brand.

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Appreciate the replies...Let me ask one quick question, as you Susu are leading me to believe as well as other posts I've been seeing...can I have the main program on my primary drive (C: 500 GB SSD) and put all add ons on a separate drive later on?   I was thinking one extra drive to install the game and all add ons, which is the way I'm leaning. I do like the idea of using orthos, need to learn what it's all about some more. Looks like some guys make it themselves, and others put areas up for download, like Forkboy does, it seems. Then there are other packages to download that seem to work by themselves, or with orthos, like U.S. West "Real Life" 1.2 I saw on the .org site. https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/36109-us-west-real-life/

Anyway, back to the drive, I'm wondering if 500GB will be enough, after what you say about the size of orthoscenery. Let me explain briefly what I'm looking for, and what I really liked in FSX. FTX regions! Lol As far as scenery, I would love to get a similar (or better) environment than that. If there is payware available like that, I'd buy a region right now and get at it. Also used some Megascenery for some areas. So just trying to figure out what I want and "need," and some of the basics to get me started. GA, FS Economy, etc. Been away from flight sim for SIX years now. Hoping XP11 is as good as many say. Very interested in seeing the flight model on the GA planes. 

 

 

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500gb ssd is plenty for most people, i run 3 500gb ssd's  and only use about 125 gb for x-plane, mechanical drives are so outdated, i wouldn't use them unless you are using massive ortho scenery, then a large 5-10 tb mechanical drive would be good, the price is also dropping. forget raid 0 , unless you want to take a chance of losing all your hard work, 2 drives in raid 0 is already risky, but running 5 is crazy.

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I just upgraded drives two days ago. This is what i did. 

Windows on SSD (480GB) Tired of Slow Starts. 

P3Dv4 on SSD (480GB) Tired of slow loading. 

XPlane on 7200 RPM (1TB) 

1TB 7200 RPM for all my addon installers and as a storage drive. 

 

After that I cut down loading times when starting the PC I have XPlane with enough space for the next few years and P3D has all the room and speed it needs with an SSD. 

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Hey,

Yes, you can have your custom scenery files on another drive (you can mix and match, so you can keep some of them on one drive, and other parts on another drive). Under Windows, you need a software called Shell Extensions, which is very easy to use, to create symbolic folder links to fool X-plane into thinking that your scenery files are on the same drive as and folder as X-plane itself. Think of it was Windows shortcuts (unfortunately Windows shortcuts doesn't work, thats why you need symbolic links). I tell my story, it might be helpful, TL,DR: I was a new X-plane pilot, and really loved the sim. My favorite flying area is California, and enjoying the better framerates I decided to stick with X-plane instead of FSX. The only thing missing was ORBX's NORCAL and SOCAL. So I've started looking to enhance the scenery (because default ground textures felt lifeless), and came across Forkboy's ortophotos. The project was fairly new, and he started with California! So, I've downloaded some tiles, and made a flight between from LA to San Francisco. And OH MY GOD... since X-plane puts all streets and buildings where they actually are, they perfectly match the orthophotos underneath. So much better than Megascenery! Everything looked so real, and exciting! Zero repeating patterns, even the smallest towns and rural highways came to life, everything is so unique, so logical, so cool. I couldn't stop staring out of the window... At that point I got hooked, learned how to download orthos myself, bought the 3TB hard drive, and in about a month, I got coverage for the full US. So, originally I never intended to do that, but since I didn't like X-planes default textures, I kind of had to go down the ortho way, if it makes sense.

I don't mind buying the extra HDD, my flight simming experience is better than ever. This greatness got me into payware airport design as well. I just recently seen some P3D footage taken over an ORBX region. Even though they used to look great to me, now, that I'm spoiled by orthos, they look like patchwork to me, and lost their charm. Another great thing is, that unlike FSX, X-plane only loads scenery it actually needs. So, my loading times for European airports are exactly the same, despite 3tb of USA data. And even in the US, the loading times are not that bad, around 2-3 minutes with ZL16 orthos (same as Forkoys orthos quality). So I would say, install 2-3 tiles (of course only applicable is you fly above the US), and see how you like it. With my setup, I have X-plane on an SSD, while the orthos on a HDD. US West Real life is changing the actual buidings that goes atop your photoscenery, and I really like it (of course it works without photoscenery, too). Long post, sorry!

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Hey Susu, first of all, don't apologize for the long post! Extremely pertinent info addressing my exact questions, and then some. I'm especially interested in the fact that you seem to really like orthos more than ORBX and Megascenery. Now that is VERY promising! Hopefully that's true for low level GA flights as well. 

Saw Forkboys Southern California  download is 73 GB (including the Vegas area where I now live) Washington is 20 or so, another area (PNW) I enjoy. So I'm figuring the 500 gig SSD should be good to get started. If I go crazy with orthos or find I need more than 500 GB later on, I'll deal with another drive then, and there was a thread on here in the scenery section where guys are using external (5400rpm) drives to store their orthos files. 

Really appreciate all this great info! 

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1 hour ago, NismoRR said:

Hey Susu, first of all, don't apologize for the long post! Extremely pertinent info addressing my exact questions, and then some. I'm especially interested in the fact that you seem to really like orthos more than ORBX and Megascenery. Now that is VERY promising! Hopefully that's true for low level GA flights as well. 

Saw Forkboys Southern California  download is 73 GB (including the Vegas area where I now live) Washington is 20 or so, another area (PNW) I enjoy. So I'm figuring the 500 gig SSD should be good to get started. If I go crazy with orthos or find I need more than 500 GB later on, I'll deal with another drive then, and there was a thread on here in the scenery section where guys are using external (5400rpm) drives to store their orthos files. 

Really appreciate all this great info! 

Sure, no problem :)

For your low level question: I almost always fly GA, low and slow, cruising about at 5000 feet or so, and find the resolution ZL16 okay. Forkboy orthos have another neat trick: they have an increased resolution (ZL17 or 18) in the 3 km radius of most airports, where you're closer to the ground anyway. ZL18 looks great, very close to the resolution I use when designing my payware airports, but it comes with a much larger filesize and memory footprint. But since it's only used around airports, it won't add to much extra space, so it's a very smart way of adding high res where you need it the most. This is a function of Ortho4XP, and anyone can replicate it when using this tool get make orthos from themselves. For most areas (forest, deserts) you don't really need higher resolution, and this way file sizes remain sort-of-manageable. Anyway, I think I've talked enough about orthos. The best thing you can do is to have a trial flight with orthos installed, and then you will see how much you like it (for me it's a no-brainer, and you probably will like them too, but we are all different, and some people reject the idea of orthophotos on various grounds - you can read about that if you search various forums). And as you've said, you can always buy a bigger drive later in case you need it. Just for info: my X-plane installation (without the orthos) of course is about 77GB, so I think 500GB will serve you well.

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Just ordered the drive. Going to wait till it gets here to install XP. I noticed how Forkboy did the orthos increasing resolution near the airports and thought that was brilliant. I also looked at some of the Ortho4xp tutorials on YouTube. Noticed a lot of people have issues getting them to work, but I'll try to be prepared before I get involved with it. For the time being, my plan is to get XP installed and get acquainted with it, and download Forkboys Southern California along with U.S. West real life, a traffic program(WT 3.0?), and see how it's working then. Then I'll try doing my own orthos, maybe. Lol

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Doing your own orthos with Ortho4XP is laughably easy. Once the config file is set up (any you only need to change 2-3 things from default), it's just a matter of a few mouseclicks, and it's downloading the proper orthos already. Anyway, Forkboy's orthos are ready made and great, and if you are new to X-plane, there will be a ton of stuff to learn anyway :) You can also PM if you get lost somewhere. I also recommend WT 3.0, which unlike X-life, displays the proper airlines at the proper places. It's ATC isn't really good, but there will be probably an integration with third-party ATC program in the future. I would stay take it step by step, so you will appreciate what every new addon brings to X-plane. There might be some things you'll miss from FSX at the beginning, but X-plane gains momentum, there will be less-and-less difference. And you will probably enjoy the more fluid framerates, and the handling of the aircraft. I recommend using a twist grip joystick, or if have the means, rudder pedals, too. Some planes can be tricky to control while take off, I think Laminar has the propeller torque a little bit overdone on the ground. But in the air, the aircrafts feel alive, way more than in FSX. :)

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From the videos I've seen, the flight model does look very good. Active seems to be a good way to describe it. Can't wait to check it out. For controls, I'm covered with CH stuff; yoke, fighter stick, rudder pedals, and throttle quadrant. 

You hit the nail on the head when you say there will tons to learn inside XP. (And outside) I understand this and that's why I'll pick up an area or two of completed orthos as I concentrate on many other things. 

And thanks for the PM offer. I'm sure I'll be in touch! 

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