CpnBill

Long time FSX- upgrade to Prepar3d

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Morning all-

I've been looking through the forums, and just had a somewhat simple question, and not trying to open a can of worms or start any fights, but rather just get some information if Prepar3d is a good option for me.  I've had FSX for years, been using Microsoft's FS since the early days...

I upgraded my computer last year and purchased Xplane11.  While obviously it is amazing in a lot of ways, it still doesn't have that FSX feel for me.  In FSX I flew the PMDG 737 primarily, and really enjoyed it.  What I'm curious about is would it be worth it to make the investment in Prepar3d as well?  I'm really just looking for more of that FSX experience, but a few notches above.  From what I've been reading that looks like Prepar3d.  I'm not asking wanting to compare Xplane vs. Prepar3d, just curious if I should spend the money for Prepar3d that might give me the FSX experience I'm looking for but with better upgrades in graphics/aircraft etc.

 

Thanks!

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, CpnBill said:

Morning all-

I've been looking through the forums, and just had a somewhat simple question, and not trying to open a can of worms or start any fights, but rather just get some information if Prepar3d is a good option for me.  I've had FSX for years, been using Microsoft's FS since the early days...

I upgraded my computer last year and purchased Xplane11.  While obviously it is amazing in a lot of ways, it still doesn't have that FSX feel for me.  In FSX I flew the PMDG 737 primarily, and really enjoyed it.  What I'm curious about is would it be worth it to make the investment in Prepar3d as well?  I'm really just looking for more of that FSX experience, but a few notches above.  From what I've been reading that looks like Prepar3d.  I'm not asking wanting to compare Xplane vs. Prepar3d, just curious if I should spend the money for Prepar3d that might give me the FSX experience I'm looking for but with better upgrades in graphics/aircraft etc.

 

Thanks!

Welcome to the forum, Bill(?)

Looking for a FSX experience, but a few notches more, you won't regret to dive into P3D. Many, if not most of your add-ons you were familiar with FSX will be also available also for P3D. Just be careful only to use those which are really P3Dv4 compatible. My suggestion, start wit Active Sky Weather for P3Dv4. You will be blown away if you compare with FSX.

Edited by Nemo
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Yes, it's worth it.  It's an investment in a hobby that I love.  I've never regretted it, and I've left OOM's and frustration behind.   FSX was supposed to be a 64 bit program, but never was.  P3d is a 64 bit program and the visuals are astounding.  To be able to see clear scenery as far as the eye can see is quite a rush.

Stan

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Thanks to both of you!  That's what I'm looking for.....Weather/Scenery are important I think.  This helps me!

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Posted (edited)

I did the same a few months ago. The date on my logbook.bin file in my FSX files folder shows that I have not started up FSX since November 20, 2018.

I always flew the default 737. I switched to P3D (4.3) and the NGX at the end of last year and I haven't looked back. LM gave us 4.4 shortly thereafter, and all I can say now is wow. I managed to fly 3 legs in one session, KMSP to KBOS, KBOS to KIAD, and KIAD to KCLT. All 3 have high quality scenery. I used GSX (L2) for all departures and arrivals. I had tons of AI traffic (AIG OCI), and had Radar Contact running ATC. I did get my license pulled on the last leg to CLT for busting my altitude 4 times. FSDO did not buy my excuse that I was fixing dinner and taking a shower while Otto busted our altitude. At any rate, completing 2 legs back to back in one FSX session was a pipe dream. I tried since 2006. It just always blew up somewhere along the line. And to now be able to do it in such a fully loaded sim, complete with RNAV SIDs and STARs, 2 RNAV approaches, and one Cat III ILS autoland (all the way to thrush reversers) made me want to cry.  

I'll still need to keep up the never ending slew of hardware updates trying to achieve a stutter free, maxed out graphics experience, but at least now I'm cursing stutters caused by 3D lighting, animated ramp attendants, and snow drifts blowing across the runway. Could be worse. The ESP engine just continues to amaze me when I think about how we still haven't been able to throw enough hardware at it to fully satisfy it. How much can we give it before it finally says "Okay. That's all I need or want."? Some people think this is a bad thing. I see it as unlocked future potential. 

As to the upgrade. Just flipping do it already.

 

Edited by MDFlier
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I've been from MS FS4 (Bruce Artwick) through FS5 (still DOS), FS98 (Windows), FS2002 (I loved it and the famous 767), FS2004 CoF. With FS2004 I stayed a lot of years very happy, until FSX Steam Edition came out. I was also happy with this, but the OOM's! I bought P3D V4 one day after it's release and I still love it. I'm not hunting FPS, I never use any tweek , no. I want all that bells and whistles like cars on the road, ships moving over the sea, AI Traffic moving around, all that Orbx stuff and ActiveSky. And just like MDFlier wrote: I fly and fly and fly without any issues, sometimes with horrible FPS at very large airports at sunset, but flying through clouds in a golden light is worth it. 

Sorry for this corus of praise, grab your credit card and go for it! 

Kurt

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1 hour ago, Nemo said:

Looking for a FSX experience, but a few notches more, you won't regret to dive into P3D. Many, if not most of your add-ons you were familiar with FSX will be also available also for P3D. Just be careful only to use those which are really P3Dv4 compatible.

I too am interested.  My current system specs (see below) appear marginal for P3D v4.4 so would require some system surgery.  Here is my profile. I fly mostly general aviation and have a large collection of  freeware add-on airports.  My log shows that I have flown into and out of over 300 airports since migrating to FSX in 2010. A small handful of smaller airports I use are Orbx Global freeware, but most are created with tools like ADE and use FSX objects or 3rd party object libraries.

I am keenly interested in any P3D 4.4 user experience with my freeware airport for Bloomington, Indiana, USA, KBMG.  That add-on airprot pulls objects from Sidney Schwartz's GA Hangers v3 "ga_hangers_ss_v3.zip" , and John Stinstrom's Military Cargo Objects  "mao_js.zip".  Both of those were originally created for FS2004. 

Is anyone using my airport?  I would like feedback. Bloomington is my second most frequent base of operation.

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If it is more of FSX that you want, then I'd say P3Dv4 is the only way to go at this point. By all means, P3Dv4 has been incredibly stable for me, and even though it has its annoyance,s I've been lucky (?) to not have had any major issues with it in the 10 months or so since I started using it on a new rig, built specifically with Prepar3Dv4 in mind. The other day I was doing KMIA-MGGT using a Martinair PMDG 747BCF, and as I was climbing to cruise altitidue while looking at the keys slowly fading into the distance, I could only think: "Wow, how FS has come a long way!".

And then a bug splat on the wind shield of my 747... And where normally I would go "ugh", here I was gaping and thinking: "wow, PMDG simulated bug splats..."

There are frequent warnings not to use P3Dv4 non-compliant scenery, but in my own experience I have never had any issues with them. You will find some work better than others, but on the whole most of the ones I tried have worked almost flawlessly (or if there are issues, apparently they are sufficiently small for me not to notice them). The thing that's usually a little broken is the casting of various kinds of shadows on ground polies, such as aircraft, building and cloud shadows. But, on the whole I'm perfectly able to use all, if not most of LatinVFR's old South and Central American sceneries, some of Taxi2Gate's older sceneries, as well as a bunch of TropicalSim and Aerosoft sceneries that were never updated to P3Dv4. So, in all honesty, you can switch to P3Dv4 without totally breaking your bank. That said, you must get P3Dv4-compliant versions of addons if they require any sort of proprietary modules o gauges, as P3Dv4 is 64 bit and therefore you shouldn't expect older (32 bit) modules and gauges to work. Now that could mess up your sim!

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Benjamin,
You mention sceneries, but the ones you call out are all 3rd party commercial, or payware. Most of where I fly into and out of are 3rd party freeware.  Much smaller airports that will likely not be done by commercial developers.

That said, are the P3D v4.4 default smaller airports any improvement over FSX default for the same airports?

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1 hour ago, fppilot said:

That said, are the P3D v4.4 default smaller airports any improvement over FSX default for the same airports?

Typically, no.

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1 hour ago, Benjamin J said:

If it is more of FSX that you want, then I'd say P3Dv4 is the only way to go at this point. By all means, P3Dv4 has been incredibly stable for me, and even though it has its annoyance,s I've been lucky (?) to not have had any major issues with it in the 10 months or so since I started using it on a new rig, built specifically with Prepar3Dv4 in mind. The other day I was doing KMIA-MGGT using a Martinair PMDG 747BCF, and as I was climbing to cruise altitidue while looking at the keys slowly fading into the distance, I could only think: "Wow, how FS has come a long way!".

Not to hijack, but how did you get a 747 into MGGT?

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21 minutes ago, Mace said:

Not to hijack, but how did you get a 747 into MGGT?

Chart says the rwy is 9800x197 feet. A 747 can get into that assuming the runway structure (which p3d would not know anything about beyond surface type) can take the weight. Wikipedia lists Cargolux as an airline that uses it, and they only fly 747-400's and -8's.

 

 

 

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53 minutes ago, Mace said:

Not to hijack, but how did you get a 747 into MGGT?

Martinair flies into MGGT with their 747 pretty much every week, hence I knew I could 😉 The runway is long enough and there is a cargo stand that can handle a plane the size of a 747. If you go to airliners.net and search for "Martinair MGGT", you will find a bunch of photographs, too. The trouble is taxiing off the runway and to the cargo stand though... Everything is so small and tight that it's hard to imagine the length airport staff has to go through to keep aprons off the taxiways clear so the 747 doesn't clip its wings.

Then again, the LatinVFR scenery is some 9 years old at this point. I can imagine the airport has been renovated and expanded to better accommodate the 747 in the meantime.

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2 hours ago, fppilot said:

Benjamin,
You mention sceneries, but the ones you call out are all 3rd party commercial, or payware. Most of where I fly into and out of are 3rd party freeware.  Much smaller airports that will likely not be done by commercial developers.

That said, are the P3D v4.4 default smaller airports any improvement over FSX default for the same airports?

Hi Frank, my comment was not specifically directed at you, more towards the OP to (re-)assure him that any addons he may have right now don't necessarily need to go out of the window. Indeed I mostly use payware airports as I prefer the quality that those airports generally display, and am usually happy to pay for it if it is up to par. That said, 98% of the sceneries I buy, I get while they are on sale, so...

I have actually never operated at default airports since I started with P3Dv4, and even while I was using P3Dv3 I'm not sure I ever used default airports. That said, I can't imagine them being any better than what they were back in FSX... I'm afraid I'm probably not the one to ask about airport that are any smaller than, say, the average US regional airport (KAMA, KEGE, KCHA etc). If I'd hazard a guess, I'd say that 75% of the payware airports I own are intermediate or major international airports. The only small airports I use are those developed by OrbX for GA (typically that would be my A2A C172), or small commercial fields in the Caribbean...

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My advice would be to wait a few weeks after version 4.5 is released. Then dive in. P3dv4 unlike fsx is still being developed and there seems to be an update around every six months or so. Read docs on how to install scenery outside the p3d folder too , So it's not a full reinstall everytime an update is released. Also there are developers that really Jack up the prices on there addons. Mainly pmdg. No more 80 dollar aircraft. LoL. Still worth it seeing how much enjoyment I get out of it. But I no longer just buy everything. I'm more selective. 

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37 minutes ago, MrSpeaker said:

My advice would be to wait a few weeks after version 4.5 is released.

Knew that.  Still I surely wish graphics card prices would equalize. I can easily afford the best, but I am more discerning than to spend so much to support one activity.  Flight simulation is my only "gaming" activity, and my primary PC is used more many other purposes.  I am considering a sim-only build, but then I must realize I am also nearing four years of age on my current multi-purpose system.

2 hours ago, Benjamin J said:

Hi Frank, my comment was not specifically directed at you,

Understand.  I believe I need to start a new topic to find out about 4.4 and above and user/ADE designed airports.

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5 minutes ago, fppilot said:

Understand.  I believe I need to start a new topic to find out about 4.4 and above and user/ADE designed airports.

Probably that would be the best thing to do, but I think it's hard to give a general rule. The issue being, as you hinted at yourself, that many freeware sceneries tend to involve libraries that were made 'back in the day' and are unlikely to be kept up properly. Thus they may have models going back all the way to FS2004. While I'm personally lenient with sceneries designed for P3Dv1-3, and I do use the occasional FSX scenery, anything older than that would be an outright no-no, and quite possibly wouldn't even work. Now, if you reference sceneries that use purely and only ADE's capabilities, than that is a scenery that can probably just be re-opened in ADE and recompiled for P3Dv4 without issue. But, as I said, if you're using third party libraries, you're starting to get into muddier waters.

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3 hours ago, Benjamin J said:

Martinair flies into MGGT with their 747 pretty much every week, hence I knew I could 😉 The runway is long enough and there is a cargo stand that can handle a plane the size of a 747. If you go to airliners.net and search for "Martinair MGGT", you will find a bunch of photographs, too. The trouble is taxiing off the runway and to the cargo stand though... Everything is so small and tight that it's hard to imagine the length airport staff has to go through to keep aprons off the taxiways clear so the 747 doesn't clip its wings.

Then again, the LatinVFR scenery is some 9 years old at this point. I can imagine the airport has been renovated and expanded to better accommodate the 747 in the meantime.

I did some work to fix LatinVFR's MGGT up for P3Dv4, mainly to eliminate the duplicate taxiway signs, z-fighting issues, etc. and as a part of that, I did some research via satellite as to "what might fit" as to parking -- and I remember thinking 'surely only 767's or smaller' -- but I am wrong!   A little surprised, and thanks for the info.

And to eslader's point above, it's not the length of the runway that was the issue, it was the cozyness of the taxiways and objects.  For example, I'm going to have to revisit my mods and the real-world sat pics as it pertains to the localizer assembly...would be tight with a 747's span.

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Morning-

 I didn't see your comment about waiting until 4.5 came out, I purchased it last night, is it safe to say that I can upgrade to 4.5 at no additional cost?

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23 hours ago, CpnBill said:

Thanks to both of you!  That's what I'm looking for.....Weather/Scenery are important I think.  This helps me!

Don't forget PTA. It transforms the visuals of the sim.

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1 hour ago, CpnBill said:

Morning-

 I didn't see your comment about waiting until 4.5 came out, I purchased it last night, is it safe to say that I can upgrade to 4.5 at no additional cost?

I would say yes, but perhaps those that have owned more versions than I have could comment on this....

IMHO you made the right choice in getting v4.4 now, there's no time like the present to start familiarizing yourself with the new platform, and to benefiting from the vast trove of skills and knowledge that are available to you through this community, which I think you'll find to be extraordinarily helpful, and willing to share information, tips, suggestions, and "fixes" etc...

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What I did like......

 

I installed, opened it up, and all of my old FSX keys worked, it was awesome.

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When I say keys....I mean, keyboard shortcuts, just like it was FSX.

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2 hours ago, CpnBill said:

When I say keys....I mean, keyboard shortcuts, just like it was FSX.

Well, P3D is in more ways than one "FSX on steroids", so this shouldn't be particularly surprising. The entire engine is essentially the same engine, but greatly enhanced. You will find many things that are similar, but have been upgraded. I think you made the right decision to get 4.4 now, and yes 4.5 will be a free upgrade. That said, you may want to hold off installing each and every thing you own, given that 4.5 is rumored to incorporate some features that would make a full reinstall the best solution. The more you install, the more painful such installation will be...

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4 hours ago, CpnBill said:

Morning-

 I didn't see your comment about waiting until 4.5 came out, I purchased it last night, is it safe to say that I can upgrade to 4.5 at no additional cost?

Yes..."point" upgrades (e.g. 4.3 to 4.4) have always been without charge.  And there's a reasonably good mechanism to upgrade without having to rebuild Rome.  I generally wait a while (at least a month) after the upgrades come out so that the supporting software and add-ons can catch-up.  As mentioned, there has been a steady stream of updates...I personally wouldn't counsel waiting, as the update-after-next is already being worked even as a new one is released, and there's nothing of significance broken and waiting on a fix in this version.

Regards

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