vin747

XP11 user coming to P3D V4... need some advice...

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Posted (edited)

Okay, I'm a greedy pig and I want it all !  I use Aerofly FS2 for VR, X-Plane has been my primary sim for past few years and I was in FSX before that.. so now i'm adding P3D V4 to my sim collection mainly for widebodies (and hopefully the ATR-72-600 when it comes out).. So I have some knowledge of ESP platform and what to expect.. but absolutely no experience with P3D as such.. so lot of questions on what add-ons to get etc.. need all of your guidance and advice to get me onboard !

My system specs in my signature (i7 4.4GhZ, GTX 1070) are pretty decent..  and budget is not an issue.. so I need to know what stuff to buy to get the best eye candy.. 

1. The first add-on I have set my eyes on is the QW 787.. how is the performance, esp at night w/dynamic lighting? why doesn't it have wheel chocks like PMDG 747? 

2. Is dynamic lighting still a performance issue in 4.2? will 4.3 fix it? Can i turn OFF shadows, clouds etc at night to allow dynamic lighting? I absolutely need bright apron lights for my Asian airports at night.. so turning OFF dynamic lighting is not an option for me.. 

3. Do i absolutely need PTA or will the new tomato mod suffice or even be better?   

4. I had MyTraffic 6 in FSX.. should i reinstall that or is Just flight global a better option? if so, why?

5. I had REX in FSX.. stick with it or get AS16 + cloud art?

6. Will bring over FTX global and HD trees for sure. do i need ORBX vectors/regions/etc? I mostly fly long hauls..

7. GSX - looking forward to level 2 expansion.. but in its current version, does it provide VDGS or only marshaller.. didn't see too many youtube videos with VDGS.. also, the parking is always misaligned with the markings.. is this something one can configure using GSX parking editor? I used to be able to do this in AES..

8. Can i get 25-30 fps on final approach into KSFO HD on QW 787 with medium graphic settings? Just want to know where 4.2 stands on performance at this point..

9. Will get chaseplane for camera system & FSUIPC for multiple joystick profiles. 

10. any other must have add-ons for long haul wide body flights?  I meant other than aircraft add-ons.. like smart utility tools that enhance the sim.. for e.g does chase plane do replays the way FSrecorder used to do?

Edited by vin747

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Posted (edited)

Your system is probably more suited for getting performance out of XP11 when compared to P3Dv4 but it's still a decent system to get you started. I've a similar set up except I use a GTX970 (soon to be a GTX1070/1080Ti). Anyway, here's what I think:

1. Performance is above average but it could still use some polish (something I'm sure QW are aware of and will deliver). As for the 'no chocks' question, probably best to check with QW.

2. Dynamic lighting (DL) is still on the heavier end of performance. It can be constrained if you keep other settings modest, however. Whether v4.3 will fix the DL issue is up for debate and will only be fully known when v4.3 comes out later this month. You can turn off all shadows and other options that you won't notice when flying at night. They will definitely help the situation. I'm not sure if DL is the driving force for interaction between the ramp lights and the aircraft but even so, the airport developer would have to bring their airport up to speed with that feature. Otherwise, you'll still see the 'legacy' lights so check for the latest updates on your Asian airports and communicate with the dev to see if they have DL implemented.

3. PTA and TomatoShade are not compatible with each other so you'll have to make a choice. TomatoShade offers far more options than PTA and also comes with PBR like reflections, something you're used to in XP11. My opinion would be to go for TomatoShade until PTA introduces something we haven't yet seen.

4. MT6 has been updated to work in P3D but I'm not sure if it's the best option presently. In fact, when it comes to AI, most of the payware AI products are lacking behind the freeware options, especially since the addition of a new way for the add ons to inteact with the sim (XML files). Keeping that in mind, I only know of Ultimate Traffic Live which follows the XML method allowing the sim to boot up pretty quickly. The rest are still using BGL files which can massively slow down the initial boot up of P3D. If you already have MT6, I'd try that with its latest update and if it doesn't fit the bill, you can always come back here and look for reviews on all the other products. However, if you want complete control and the most up to date eye candy models as well as flight plans, going freeware is probably the best route but what you save in money, you will give away in the effort and time it requires.

5. Don't have any REX environment product so can't comment but Active Sky for P3Dv4 plus freeware sky and cloud textures are more than satisfactory for me. I can send you shots via PM if you wish to see what it looks like.

6. ORBX Vector/Regions are somewhat of a per scenario basis kind of product. I've found Vector to be pretty useless for my needs which is mostly simulating commercial airline ops and it's only caused issues with add on scenery. Regions are again something that would be more suited for the low and slow guys. For airlines, you'd hardly notice most of what regions offer. Plus they all tend to deflect performance depending on the situation so I don't see the need for it.

7. GSX currently only comes with the marshaller at all airports except for the ones made by FSDT. The FSDT airports have full integration with GSX and provide a lot more functionality than using a scenery not made by them. VDGS then falls into the hands of the developer of the airport scenery.

8. Yes

9. Good choices

10. I think ChasePlane has the ability for replays. Best check the dev website. Other than that, the following are a few recommendations on what you could get to enhance the experience:

   a. Professional Flight Planner X (Perhaps the best flight planner in the market)

   b. FSRealTime (To solve timezone issues which are still a problem in P3D)

   c. Navigraph Charts Desktop and FMS Manager (They have a bundle on their website. The former provides latest Jeppesen charts via a dedicated app as well as flight             tracking, the latter provides AIRAC data for your add on aircraft)

   d. Lorbi-Si Prepar3D v4 Addon Organizer (An excellent utility to manage pretty much every add on for your sim)

   e. PrecipitFX (Made by the same people that made Chaseplane, offers alternate and much better environment effects for rain/snow, etc)

   f. Aivlasoft EFB v2 (Due to release early next month, offers flight tracking (online and offline) as well as a whole host of other features)

Other than that, I would highly recommend you look into the Majestic Dash 8 Q400. It is probably the best add on when it comes to high fidelity vs performance and it even offers shared cockpit for up to 3 people.

Edited by krazyk
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Cannot answer them, all but perhaps a few.

1.I personally would go pmdg before qw,I have both and as far as i'm concerned the 747 is the more finished article but heavier on system 

4.I have created my own ai setup which while time consuming initially can become quite addictive and is much more tailored to where i fly.The bonus is it can be done pretty much for free as most of the ai models can be downloaded from here and are of far better quality than my traffic6 and i believe the same models are used in the just flight option as the freeware ones, with possibly a couple of exceptions.

5.get AS16

6.Vector is a bit of a hog but can be turned down to suit your needs.Regions make the whole sim look better over the vanilla textures of p3d.

8. Yes I can on mine, but again depends on your settings 

10. If your flying longhaul liners then airport addons a must fsdt,fly tampa,flightbeam, aerosoft,dzrewski, all do some outstanding addon airports.Pfpx is a really good flight planner, aivlasoft efb is also good 

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Posted (edited)

2) Dynamic lighting I only get issues with at some addon airports (specifically JustSim Dusseldorf , it's fine at UK2000 Xtreme). I've always kept my shadows on low and they don't seem too taxing. You can see my settings here and you can see my hardware in my profile.

3) I manage fine without any tweaks or shaders

5) REX4 is very much worthwhile, it will sharpen up the taxiways, runways etc as well as clouds. AS16 is not the same thing, it's a weather engine not environmental textures, even ASCA will make clouds for you. I'm using free FSXWX weather engine in P3D with REX4 clouds just fine, equally AS16 will work with REX4 clouds too.

6) A global texture replacement such as FTX Global is a must. Regions are overkill for airliner flying really, but OpenLC is worth it for areas you regularly fly over. Vector you will only really notice VFR or flying along coastlines.

P3D really doesn't need the same amount of tweaks throwing at it as FSX did. But one thing your list is missing is mesh, makes a huge difference when flying over mountains, FreeMeshX would be my go to package for that.

Edited by ckyliu
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Thanks guys.. Very very useful inputs.. Keep them coming.. 

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is the free AI tool "world of AI" by any chance? i remember that from my FSX days.. better models, but also more FPS hungry..

I assume UT Live is better than Just FLight & MT6?

one of my key requirements is to be able to toggle the traffic ON/OFF in real time.. for e.g, when i'm on final and i see an AI encroaching the RWY, need to be able to toggle traffic OFF and then turn it back ON after landing & exiting RWY..

During FSX days i had a complex workaround for this.. i disabled one RWY in a multiple RWY airport using AFCAD so that i didnt have to bother with ATC and could reserve a RWY just for myself.. i know its not realistic, but hey i am flying aircraft that need a dedicated copilot to work the radios and talk to ATC.. it wouldn't be realistic if i did all the workload myself either!

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10 minutes ago, vin747 said:

is the free AI tool "world of AI" by any chance? i remember that from my FSX days.. better models, but also more FPS hungry..

I assume UT Live is better than Just FLight & MT6?

one of my key requirements is to be able to toggle the traffic ON/OFF in real time.. for e.g, when i'm on final and i see an AI encroaching the RWY, need to be able to toggle traffic OFF and then turn it back ON after landing & exiting RWY..

During FSX days i had a complex workaround for this.. i disabled one RWY in a multiple RWY airport using AFCAD so that i didnt have to bother with ATC and could reserve a RWY just for myself.. i know its not realistic, but hey i am flying aircraft that need a dedicated copilot to work the radios and talk to ATC.. it wouldn't be realistic if i did all the workload myself either!

There are several different freeware AI models, liveries, flight plans, etc but you'd have to compile them yourself to get the most up to date versions. I don't know if WOAI is still current.

UTL is better in the sense that it follows the XML method for traffic injection and once the PowerPack tool is released, you'll be able to set up new flight plans within minutes and stay up to date. However, the models still fall behind in terms of eye candy.

UTL allows you to toggle the AI with a press of a button in real time so that fits your requirement. Don't know if the other payware options allow that. 

One thing I forgot to mention is specifically for online flying and model matching. If you do fly on any online network, you can use BVAI model set which has collected all the best looking freeware models (similar to what you would get if you created your own traffic package from scouting sources online) and is continually updated as they get permission from model makers. Comes with a handy UI as well so updating it is as simple as 2 clicks on your mouse but these are only models so you won't get to see them offline. I keep BVAI for online use and UTL for offline.

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No not woai, its actually very simple and can produce great results

I started a long time ago using ut2 and then bought utl as an upgrade but have since deleted utl as my own setup i think is better.

To create your own setup all you need are the models and plans which are available from the alpha india group website and avsim.Its then a process of matching plans to models.

In the end its kind of your call how acurate you want your airports to look, and how much time you wish to spend getting it to look the way you want.As creating the plans can become addictive(at least for me anyway)

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Posted (edited)

It looks like the SODE developer has done some work on VDGS and will be releasing it in July or Aug.. read that in his forums.. maybe he is timing it with the release of GSX level 2 release which is also slated around that time.. 

Are all Flytampa, Taxi2Gate, Flightbeam & FSDT airports updated to V4 yet with new installers, DL, VDGS, etc? I still see a lot of youtube vids where these features are still missing even a whole year after V4 was released.. for e.g, FT EHAM still doesnt have DL.. and this is one of their latest products.. Is there a master list somewhere that shows what airports are updated to V4 with all native features?

Edited by vin747

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