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I'm looking to get a payware 737 for FSX Steam, and wondering which one seems to be the best, in terms of realistic behaviour, detail, and functionality. My use is for training purposes.

 

Thanks in advance.

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1 minute ago, Raging Bull said:

Agree, PMDG 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Daylight then perhaps some freeware offerings. 

Its the only realistic 737 NG available for FSX and P3D. 

I'll keep flying other aircraft for months, then when I come back to the NGX, I get re-addicted to it. It's amazing when you think how long it's been out, yet it is still "Numero Uno". The older it gets, the sweeter it gets.

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Nobody ever mentions the ifly 737. It is a great representation as well for a lot less.

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4 hours ago, jlohrenz said:

Nobody ever mentions the ifly 737. It is a great representation as well for a lot less.

Absolutely agree! Plus there is also the benefit of a 50% discount for previous owners if you upgrade to the P3D4 version whereas with PMDG you have to pay the full price again.

Bill

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Raging Bull said:

Agree, PMDG 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Daylight then perhaps some freeware offerings. 

Its the only realistic 737 NG available for FSX and P3D. 

+1 Once PMDG have updated it with Rainmaker and added the Global Flight Operations there really will be nothing to touch it.

Edited by SierraHotel

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I agree that the PMDG737NG is number I, but the iFly737Ng (now with HD textures in and out) definitely is number 2 and getting quite close. It also is a very advanced and realistic simulation.

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, jlohrenz said:

Nobody ever mentions the ifly 737. It is a great representation as well for a lot less.

I think some people like to pretend it doesn't exist.  A case in point...

8 hours ago, Raging Bull said:

Agree, PMDG 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Daylight then perhaps some freeware offerings. 

Its the only realistic 737 NG available for FSX and P3D. 

...the OP is making a purchasing decision - to make a statement like this looks a lot like deliberate dishonesty or really bad memory, since the poster giving this advice commented (disparagingly, of course) on the new HD iFly graphics only a few days ago, and as such only serves to mislead the OP about the choices available.

(As an aside, I'd be very interested to know which freeware offerings beat the iFly. Perhaps Raging Bull could provide relevant links?)

That said, if for training purposes, I'd put the PMDG in the top slot too. But if bang for your buck is also a consideration, then the OP would surely have to consider iFly, since he won't have to buy it all over again when he moves to P3Dv4, and you get more versions out of the box with the iFly to boot.

 

Edited by Holdit
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Posted (edited)

You've got three choices for the 737 NG. iFly, PMDG and Ariane, plus a few other choices for original and classic variants.

Not much in it between the iFly and the PMDG 737-NGs, assuming you wanted an NG 737 variant (i.e. 600/700/800/900/BBJ). If you wanted an earlier 737 variant (100/200), then you've got Milviz and Just Flight and Captain Sim, who all make versions of those, and of them, I'd say the Milviz one was the best, but since you mentioned it was for training, I'll assume you meant a currently operational 737, so that'd be most likely an NG variant, in which case, it's either the PMDG one or the iFly one you'll be after, the Ariane one is not a good choice.

Of those two remaining NG choices (PMDG and iFly), either will be good. The iFly one offers a bit more bang for your bucks, since you get all the NG variants with it, whereas you only get two variants with the PMDG package, and two more in a further expansion pack should you choose to buy that as well. If you are considering using Track IR/VR, then the PMDG one is a better choice because it has a collimated HGS which works in three dimensions and has correct parallax, whereas the HGS in the iFly one is only 2D, which is fine on a PC monitor, but it won't be an accurate depiction of an HGS if you use Track-IR and move your head around. Beyond this difference, it's really difficult to say which one is better, they're both great and you can't really go wrong with either of them. If I had to choose, I'd say the iFly one, but only because it's more bang for your bucks and because I don't use Track-IR on airliners.

As noted, there is a third option and that's the Ariane 737 NG, but I'd say avoid the Ariane version. Whilst it's a reasonably good simulation of the real thing, it is expensive and the DRM for it to install on your system is draconian, so it is not worth the hassle because it is no better than the iFly or PMDG ones and more expensive too, especially if you want to start adding additional liveries, because you have to pay for those as well.

Other choices...

As far as the current Boeing 737 MAX variant is concerned, iFly, PMDG and Ariane are all working on creating 737 MAX variants, iFly's is slated for a 2020 release date, PMDG have not said when theirs will be available, but it's reasonable to assume it'll be about the same time. Ariane haven't given any date indication for theirs.

On the off chance that you were interested in a 300/400/500 737 variant, your choice is limited to the (quite old) Wilco 737. It's good in terms of system simulation, but as noted, it's quite old now and so don't expect to be blown away by it's graphical appearance, but on the plus side, that does mean it runs great on less well endowed PCs.

So in the end, it's really down to iFly and PMDG, and as I say, you can't really go wrong with either of them and the aforementioned HGS difference and the number of variants you get for the money is about the only thing which separates them.

Edited by Chock
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2 hours ago, Holdit said:

I think some people like to pretend it doesn't exist. 

Agreed.  It's confirmation bias for the other product.

I'd wager a good portion that disparage the iFly product have never owned/tried it.

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I have both the PMDG and the iFly 737.  The iFly is a decent add-on, for less money than the PMDG.  IMHO, you get what you pay for...the iFly is fun and flyable; the PMDG is a more refined product in terms of depth and the user interface.

Ariane?  That bunch is associated with Peter Tishma of Papa Tango infamy.  Never, never, EVER in this lifetime. 

Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it:  https://www.avsim.com/pages/0902/pt_again.html

Regards

 

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Uggggg, got the shivers when I saw Ariane. Bought it, - dreadful textures and did not recognize DUB as a waypoint 

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14 minutes ago, w6kd said:

the iFly is fun and flyable

So is the default FSX 737. The iFly is much more than this, though.

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48 minutes ago, Holdit said:

So is the default FSX 737. The iFly is much more than this, though.

While that is true, isn't that a bit going to the extreme? Feature wise you really can't compare them! The default FSX 737 and the iFly/PMDG? Huh? Jeez... 

It's all a matter of personal choice. I'd agree with @w6kd. You get what you pay for. The iFly is enjoyable and fun (I own both products) but IMHO, the PMDG is just a class better. It's a more refined and detailed product and you can feel it, when you enter the flight-deck. There's an atmosphere which is unparalleled, in my opinion. When I return to flying the 737NGX, I'm always amazed and in awe of what PMDG has accomplished with this plane.

I experience the same discussion, when people compare the Aerosoft Airbus A320 with the FSLabs A320-X. Yes, they both model an Airbus A320. But the depth, atmosphere, sound environment and details are just so much better in the FSLabs, in my humble opinion. Yes, there's quite a price difference - but you really do get what you paid for! 

I have tried the iFly version, and while you do get more 'bang-for-your-buck', because of more models, I just don't get the same sensation and feeling when flying it. It's hard to describe. There's just something in the modelling, textures and details in the iFly, which just isn't matched, when looking to the PMDG, IMO. I also found the iFly 737NG version to be heavier on performance, than the PMDG 737NGX.  

Personally there's no doubt in my mind what I would choose. But then again, I'm a huge fan of PMDG's work and abilities ... so perhaps, I'm not totally impartial.

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7 minutes ago, Anders Bermann said:

While that is true, isn't that a bit going to the extreme? Feature wise you really can't compare them! The default FSX 737 and the iFly/PMDG? Huh? Jeez...

That was exactly my point. Even the phrase "fun and flyable", while by no means a criticism, doesn't come close to doing justice to what iFly achieved with that product.

 

8 minutes ago, Anders Bermann said:

It's all a matter of personal choice. I'd agree with @w6kd. You get what you pay for. The iFly is enjoyable and fun (I own both products) but IMHO, the PMDG is just a class better. It's a more refined and detailed product and you can feel it, when you enter the flight-deck. There's an atmosphere which is unparalleled, in my opinion. When I return to flying the 737NGX, I'm always amazed and in awe of what PMDG has accomplished with this plane.

I agree.

8 minutes ago, Anders Bermann said:

I experience the same discussion, when people compare the Aerosoft Airbus A320 with the FSLabs A320-X. Yes, they both model an Airbus A320. But the depth, atmosphere, sound environment and details are just so much better in the FSLabs, in my humble opinion. Yes, there's quite a price difference - but you really do get what you paid for! 

I agree, except that I think the iFly 737 is closer to the PMDG 737 in terms of system modelling than the Aerosoft A320 is to the FSLABS version, but I wouldn't dismiss the Aerosoft Bus as a toy either. I have both, and I was happy - and surprised -  to see that my liking for the FSLABS version did not make me dislike the Aersoft version.

 

11 minutes ago, Anders Bermann said:

I have tried the iFly version, and while you do get more 'bang-for-your-buck', because of more models, I just don't get the same sensation and feeling when flying it. It's hard to describe. There's just something in the modelling, textures and details in the iFly, which just isn't matched, when looking to the PMDG, IMO.

I agree. The PMDG is at the top of the heap without a doubt. But to listen to some of the PMDG faithful, you would think that there are two types of aircraft add-on: PMDG and "toys". This not only unjustifiably dismissive of other developers, it makes for bad advice for someone who is weighing up their purchasing options.

 

13 minutes ago, Anders Bermann said:

Personally there's no doubt in my mind what I would choose. But then again, I'm a huge fan of PMDG's work and abilities ... so perhaps, I'm not totally impartial.

Fair play to you for acknowledging as much. I also have great respect for PMDG's achievements and abilities - I only own the NGX*, but I've never for one moment regretting buying it. I have the iFly too, and was pleasantly surprised at its depth, which is why I think people are wrong to dismiss it as airily as I've often seen being done. 

 

*If they ever get their act together with the J41 and P3Dv4, I might well own two...

 

 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, SierraHotel said:

+1 Once PMDG have updated it with Rainmaker and added the Global Flight Operations there really will be nothing to touch it.



Would you mind providing a link/source to support your 'word not allowed' supposition'?  Rainmaker is exclusive to the P3D platform; thus, I doubt it will make its way into any FSX variant.  Moreover, while we know PMDG makes amazing aircraft, we also know they're not shy about charging premium prices, again and again and again...  To that end, I doubt they'll push their latest technology into their current 737 product; after all, they need to compel customers to pay full price...AGAIN.  If you consider their current pricing/marking strategies, it's difficult to fathom Rainmaker, or any other significant advancements, making their way into the current 737. Again, they'll need 'justification' to compel us to pay full price on their new 737. 

While I freely admit the PMDG 737 is the superior aircraft (I love it), it's absurd not to consider the iFLY 737. If you consider pricing, the iFLY may represent the far better value.  Specifically, the OP is a current FSX owner, lets consider what it would cost him to move to P3D in a few years:

PMDG

FSX base = $69.99 (737NGX 800/900)
FSX exp = $24.99 (737NGX 600/700)
P3D base = $89.99
P3D exp = $24.99

Total Cost = $209.96

iFLY

iFLY base = $54.95 (737-600/700/700ER/800/900/900ER/BBJ/BBJ2/BBJ3)
P3D upgrade = $27.48 (737-600/700/700ER/800/900/900ER/BBJ/BBJ2/BBJ3)

Total Cost = $82.43

Even if the OP decided to stay with FSX, you're still talking about $94.98 vs $54.95 price gap, assuming the latter was purchased at full price.  Unlike PMDG, iFly does offer periodic discounts. 

So, while  I fully recognize that PMDG is the superior product, I scuff at the notion that it's 172% and/or 55% better.  However, I will credit PMDG for their marketing strategy; they've been able to charge absurd prices while simultaneously making us believe it's 'necessary.'  Interesting considering others in the same marketspace charge 55% less for similar products...

To be clear, I'm not suggesting the OP stay away from PMDG, on the contrary, their 777 remains my favorite aircraft of all time (nearly beating my beloved LD767); nevertheless, what I am suggesting is he/she consider alternatives based on their finical situation and application of 'Total Utility.' iFLY has talented developers and a solid support system; they may not possess PMDG marketing prowess, but they do make fine simulations.  They should be considered...

Edited by kingm56
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4 minutes ago, kingm56 said:

Moreover, while we know PMDG makes amazing aircraft, we also know they're not shy about gouging their customers.  To that end, I doubt they'll push their latest technology into aircraft currently under development; after all, they need to compel customers to pay full price...AGAIN. 

LOL - I'm sorry but what are you talking about??? Either you're trolling or you have a major misconception about how PMDG runs their business!!

Are you seriously suggesting, that PMDG deliberately holds back features and technology, in order to sell more products and/or to make more people upgrade to the next product?! I cannot fathom how you draw the conclusions you do, but if you're meaning, that PMDG just controls the pricing strategies for the whole Fligthsim community, I really think you need a reality check.

Whether or not PMDG's products if ridiculously is ridiculously priced, is you own personal and subjective opinion. Please refrain from stating such claims as facts.

Sorry for ranting, but this post, just got me off the edge... 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Anders Bermann said:

LOL - I'm sorry but what are you talking about??? Either you're trolling or you have a major misconception about how PMDG runs their business!!

Are you seriously suggesting, that PMDG deliberately holds back features and technology, in order to sell more products and/or to make more people upgrade to the next product?! I cannot fathom how you draw the conclusions you do, but if you're meaning, that PMDG just controls the pricing strategies for the whole Fligthsim community, I really think you need a reality check.

Whether or not PMDG's products if ridiculously is ridiculously priced, is you own personal and subjective opinion. Please refrain from stating such claims as facts.

Sorry for ranting, but this post, just got me off the edge... 

Anders,

No need to apologize, Anders; let's just have a discussion, without bias. 

Yes, I believe PMDG won't push Rainmaker, or any other MAJOR advancement, into the current 737. If they improve this product, it would compete against their future 737.  Why do you find this notion so alien? It's actually a pretty standard COA; however, you, and several posters of your ilk, believe PMDG are our 'friends', who wish to do nothing more than contribute to our community. Thus, I don't believe you comprehend the business aspects of their strategy.  Of course, you could quickly dispel my notion by providing evidence that PMDG plans to push RainMaker into their 737.  As always, I'm ready to receive and consider new information.

Concerning your second supposition, I don't know how you could possibly derive that conclusion from my post.  I, in NO way, suggested PMDG drives pricing for the entire Flt Sim community. In fact, I suggested just the opposite; specifically, that PMDG is operating in contrast to other key players in the Flt Sim market.  They are, in a way, positioning themselves to be the Rolls Royce of the Flight Sim Community.  As you can see from the sanctimonious attitudes displayed in this thread, it appears to be working.  Perhaps it's not I who needs a reality check, but you.  Let me provide some tangible examples:

PMDG 747 V2 = $54.99 on par with similar products

PMDG MD-11 = 74.99 slightly higher (12%) than similar products (LD767)

PMDG 737 FSX = 69.99 + 24.99 = $94.98 (55% higher than similar products/iFLY)

PMDG 777 P3D = $134.99 + 69.99 = $164.98 (189% increase over similar products)

PMDG 748 P3D = $139.99 + 69.99 = $209.98 (350% increase over similar products/iFLY)

These pricing escalations are based on a defined strategy and not predicated on any inflation/CPI. Indeed, we were given reasons, which we're precluded from discussing via this forum; however, said reasons don't seem to impact other major flight simulator developers.  If you wish to see these types of escalations, then by all means, burry your head in the sand and continue with phrases like "please pmdg, take my wallet" or "my credit card is ready."  As a community, we should be demanding better....

Edited by kingm56
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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Anders Bermann said:

Are you seriously suggesting, that PMDG deliberately holds back features and technology, in order to sell more products and/or to make more people upgrade to the next product?

I don't know if PMDG does that and I don't care if they do. But I have been to mayor worldwide companies R&D facilities and have seen just that.

Anyway, If I ever go back to tube flying I will probably get the iFly737-MAX (expected release 2020)

Edited by RamonB
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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, RamonB said:

I don't know if PMDG does that and I don't care if they do. But I have been to mayor worldwide companies R&D facilities and have seen just that.

Anyway, If I ever go back to tube flying I will probably bet the iFly737-MAX (expected release 2020)

Its actually pretty standard in every segment, Ramon.  For example, in the car industry, certain options are precluded from cheaper cars in an effort to entice consumers to buy more expensive options.  For example, Subaru won't place a turbo in the BRZ; if they did so, it would directly compete against the much more expensive WRX.  Again, this pretty standard operating procedures; to that point, I don't begrudge PMDG from employing said tactics.  My opposition was directed at posters disseminating disinformation to bolster one company, while simultaneously berating another. 

Edited by kingm56
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Well since this thread has offered an number of options which go beyond the scope of the OP's original inquiry, I'll add another option. X-Plane 11 comes with a 737NG which is not a contended of itself when compared to the NGX but there is a freeware Mod called the ZIBO Mod and I can tell you after installing that MOD for me It was very much akin to the NGX and in fact I preferred it because I had to eat my words about flight dynamic once I took the time and spent the money on X-Plane 11. I have no payware for X-plane 11 and it is IMO specifically the better option for the 737NG. One caveat, I am no anorak when it comes to systems. No offense to the anorak's! 😁

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I think it all boils down to what the OP means by "training". While I won't judge the extent to which either PMDG or iFly contribute to "training" I can say that I own them both and have over 50 hours in a Southwest 737-700 Level-D simulator. To my mind the iFly, as compared the the PMDG, comes no where near the "feel" or the systems function/complexity of the real thing. I have no doubt that, for anyone serious about 737's, the only choice is PMDG. Just MNSHO and all mileage is, of course, variable...............Doug

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Posted (edited)

I'm building a full scale 737 simulator.  My options were ifly, which offers a cockpit builders edition for cheap change of $500, PMDG, which has no builder options, or Pro-Sim which is $1600.  Of the three, if you want full scale simulator quality, Pro-Sim simulated every aspect of the 737, multiple computer compatibility, all features simulated all for a price.  Next is I-Fly, multi-computer compatible, majority of systems simulated for about a third of the price, and PMDG, which requires another software for multi-computer compatibility, similar systems simulated, and about the same price of pro-sim.

It really depends on what level you want to go with for training purposes. 

For me, since building the simulator is a significant expense, I went with I-Fly.  I can enjoy it on my temporary setup AND use it in my cockpit.  Someday when I want to bump the realism up a bit more I'll be skipping over PMDG and go straight to Pro-Sim.

With the recent release of the HD pack for the iFly, the differences between PMDG and iFly are not significant enough to warrant significant more expense.

Edited by jlohrenz
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