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ghiom

Potentially back to Flight Simulation - need for advice

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Hello

I have been a flight simmer for 15+ years until stopping in 2017 for various reasons. I was using FS9 and flying commercial aircraft under ATC.

Now I am considering coming back, and would like some recommendations based on my desire to:

1. fly short-medium haul planes like the 737NG, A320 or 717, highly realistic and trustworthy system-wise (I don't care too much about the aerodynamic realism)

2. fly under ATC, but off-line (I used to use RadarContact v4)

3. fly with North America and the Caribbean

4. have an AI environment with fully customizable and up-to-dateas much as practical

Question: P3D, FSX or X Plane?

Is there a forum post that suggests the best/most fit-for-purpose hardware currently available on the market?

 

Thank you

Ghiom

 

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I would say either P3D v4 or X-Plane.  There has been little progress on the offline ATC side of things and I think Radar Contact is now free as the developers have stopped developing it.  Personally on the ATC side I would suggest you take the leap to Vatsim and really up the realism game. AI - Ultimate Traffic was recently updated but I don't have it.  For short haul North American flight you will always find available ATC online.  As for planes...PMDG 737, FSL A329 or the MaddogX would probably be the best of the best in P3D.  I am not an X-Plane user so others will need to advise you there.  You can look at the hardware forum for advice, todays top of the line processors and video cards really make the sim work well.

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1 hour ago, ghiom said:

Is there a forum post that suggests the best/most fit-for-purpose hardware currently available on the market?

Check out our Hardware Forums where the latest is discussed.

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For a PC buying guide, I would recommend reviewing the PC Buying Guide at TechSpot - https://www.techspot.com/guides/buying/.  For P3D, I recommend the components in the Luxury System.  P3D uses more resources with the CPU than the GPU, so get a good CPU.  Recommend at least a i7 7700K or higher.  See my system specs in my signature.

P3D is my choice for the simulator.  It is an upgrade to FSX.  At AVSIM, the P3D Forum is the most popular forum by a very large margin and interest means something.  I have X-Plane too but use P3D the most.

I use Ultimate Traffic Live.  It supposedly places traffic at an airport just like the real thing and in real time.  So, if you see a 747 taxiing for takeoff in the sim, you should see it if you were at the airport too.  It is used off-line.

For P3D aircraft, all commercial aircraft like those at PMDG, Aerosoft, FSLabs, work well.  PMDG has really gotten more realistic.

Hope this helps.

Best regards,

Jim

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Thank you for your input.

Am I going to jump the gun? 

Ghiom

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5 hours ago, ghiom said:

Thank you for your input.

Am I going to jump the gun? 

Ghiom

Not sure what you mean by jumping the gun.  Is the gun, FSX?  FSX will never ever be upgraded.  Lockheed Martin developed P3D which is based off of FSX (read description in the P3D Forum).  It is now a 64 bit application.  With P3D v4.5, I can get over 50 fps most of the time and no blurries, no stuttering, and no other anomalies associated with FSX.  P3D cannot crash because of a lack of Virtual Address Space.

If you are going to jump back into flight simulation, P3D is where you need to go.

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As others have said, FSX is a dead end and should be avoided, either go P3D or Xplane, if you do lots of VFR low and slow in addition to airliner stuff then Xplane will be preferable. If it's just airliners you have more choice of high fidelity airliners (albeit at a higher price an Xplane equivalents), better weather and clouds in P3D. I don't even know if Xplane supports AI.

Don't let others frighten you with recommendation of an i7 to run P3D, you emphatically do not! P3D will run quite nicely on an i5, which is a helluva lot cheaper.

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If you want the greatest realism with respect to airplane systems, you should get P3D with PMDG 737, Flightsimlabs A320 (you need a good CPU for this plane), Tfdi B717, and Majestic Dash-8 Q400. You'll also need a good weather engine (I would suggest Active Sky). For off-line ATC, you can use Radar contact for free, or look into Pro-ATC and VoxATC. The default scenery in P3D is not very good, so you might end up getting ORBX regions and airports from ORBX, Flightbeam, FlyTampa, Aerosoft, ...

You will then have an excellent flight simulator, but as you can see, you will have to pay quite a bit for all of this. I would say that X-Plane 11 out of the box offers more than a vanilla P3D and would be considerably cheaper. There are some good planes available for it, but they are not quite at the level (both in quality and price) of PMDG, for instance. Also, off-line ATC may be an issue. Active Sky as weather engine has been released recently.

Peter

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Thank you for your feedback, very much appreciated.

If I was sure the system was bug free and troubleshoot time was going to be reduced to min, I would probably come back. I have come across a few reports that suggest that each and every add-on in this world is more or less plagued with minor but annoying bugs (Like in my days). Is this shared by the guys here?

Ghiom

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Another question:

How does the X Plane 737 Ultimate version compare with the PMDG version in P3D?

 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/14/2019 at 3:47 AM, ghiom said:

I have come across a few reports that suggest that each and every add-on in this world is more or less plagued with minor but annoying bugs (Like in my days). Is this shared by the guys here?

I would say that depends to a good degree on the user. I am very happy with P3D (including many addons). It runs stable, rarely crashes, and enables me to simulate all kinds of flights in great detail. Other users might be unhappy about the occasional cloud popping up, about the fact that a specific airplane model misses a secondary instrument, that VNAV doesn't work properly, or about the imprecise phraseology of an ATC addon program. I simply work around such things.

As for X-plane, I am fairly new to it. It has great potential and many developers have started to create addons for it only during the last 1-2 years. However, it crashes every 3-4 flights on my system, which I am not so happy about. It could be that one can fix that by carefully going through every addon (in particular, older sceneries I have read), but I haven't tried that yet. 

If you want to avoid annoyances as much as possible, I would go with P3D, the Majestic Dash 8 Q400 or a PMDG plane, and Active Sky. Those addons are virtually guaranteed to not have annoying mistakes on any system. However, in this configuration airport layouts will be about 12 years old. For newer layouts you'll need addon sceneries.

For flight planning and a moving map, I would recommend Aivlasoft EFB (payware), Littlenavmap (freeware) and Simbrief (free). If ATC is important to you, there is no substitute for online services; all off-line ATC programs have their own little problems. I would then recommend Vatsim (free, worldwide, but limited ATC cover) or Pilotedge (subscription, only western US). If you use one of these, a subscription for the latest AIRAC cycles from Navigraph or Aerosoft is recommended.

Peter

Edited by qqwertzde

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On 5/6/2019 at 3:27 AM, ghiom said:

Hello

I have been a flight simmer for 15+ years until stopping in 2017 for various reasons. I was using FS9 and flying commercial aircraft under ATC.

Now I am considering coming back, and would like some recommendations based on my desire to:

1. fly short-medium haul planes like the 737NG, A320 or 717, highly realistic and trustworthy system-wise (I don't care too much about the aerodynamic realism)

2. fly under ATC, but off-line (I used to use RadarContact v4)

3. fly with North America and the Caribbean

4. have an AI environment with fully customizable and up-to-dateas much as practical

Question: P3D, FSX or X Plane?

Is there a forum post that suggests the best/most fit-for-purpose hardware currently available on the market?

 

Thank you

Ghiom

 

Both sims if you have space for them.  Xplane11 used to lag behind when it came to aircraft add ons in the Payware environment, but it does not now and its aerodynamic realism is a plus in well modeled payware.  Both P3D4.x and Xplane11.3x are wonderful compliments to each other, they cover IMHO as much of real life flying as a home computer can support, and who knows what the future will bring.  And if your system meets or exceeds my specs, you will have hour upon hour of fun, stable, no CTD flight (although I always suggest running without background apps like virus protection and running after a clean boot or running a memory optimizer, I use the free Wise memory optimizer.

John

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