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Prepar3D V5 or MSFS2020 in today's climate?

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Not sure if this is the correct place to post this, but here goes.  I know this question has probably been asked a gazillion times before, but my situation is a bit unique.  I've only ever really used FSX and haven't invested in any 3rd party add-ons. Now I want to try a more advanced sim and there seems to be two main contenders: Prepar3D and (obviously) MSFS2020.

Although MSFS2020 may seem like the obvious choice, I have read that it's not so good for setting up a home cockpit with triple monitors, whereas Prepar3D excels in this area.  So is Prepar3D still worth it for someone who isn't tied to any particular flight sim yet and wants to use triple monitors? Also, it seems that using Orbx add-ons with Prepar3D will give scenery just as good (or perhaps nearly as good) as MSFS2020, which I'd buy if I go down the Prepar3D path.

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In my opinion, P3D does not, or rather, did not, excel with three monitors in any way, shape or form. FPS suffered dramatically with two monitors, and three dragged it to its knees. The same applied to FSX. It was great with one monitor and I am basing this statement on the tribulations I went through a few years ago.  

To be very honest, I think XPlane11 is a better prospect although I have to admit that I have never tried it with multiple monitors.  I used to fly FS2004 with 8 monitors which it handled very well and I very rarely visited P3D versions 2, 3, 4 because of that very fact. I was happy with XPlane 9, 10 and 11 but only with single monitors.

I now fly XPlane11 and MSFS2020 predominently but only with VR ... both perform very well and VR negates any advantage using multi monitors. P3D has recently taken a back seat but I just downloaded (today) P3Dv5.3 and have yet to make a flight, so I cannot make a comparative statement on its performance at this time.

MSFS2020 however, out of the box, is to my mind much better graphically than either XPlane11 or P3Dv5.2 fully loaded and further, it has a better frame rate (in VR) than its competition.

The downside to MSFS2020 is its instability built into each and every update which creates it own bugs and problems.  Once sorted, however, it reigns supreme graphically and is almost on a par with both XPlane and P3D in flight dynamics and add-ons availability. As previously stated, I have yet to fly with P3Dv5.3 so I cannot make a judgement there. Another thing to note is that XPlane 12 is very close to release and we have no real idea what that will be like.

My advice would be to upgrade to P3Dv5.3 (free upgrade if you have P3Dv5) and to also invest in MSFS2020 simply because there is a lot of good quality freeware (scenery, aircraft and utilities) which can enhance your flightsim experience considerably

I also thing you should consider investing in a VR headset which is a vastly superior experience in comparison to 3 monitors with any Sim platform.     

Lastly, and this should have be firstly, welcome to AVSIM and my this be a fruitful and enjoyable experience in the future.


Tony Chilcott

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Tony Chilcott.


My System. Motherboard. ASRock Taichi X570 CPU Ryzen 9 3900x (not yet overclocked). RAM 32gb Corsair Vengeance (2x16) 3200mhz. 1 x Gigabyte Aorus GTX1080ti Extreme and a 1200watt PSU.

1 x 1tb SSD 3 x 240BG SSD and 4 x 2TB HDD

OS Win 10 Pro 64bit. Simulators ... FS2004/P3Dv4.5/Xplane.DCS/Aeroflyfs2...MSFS to come for sure.

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While MFS doesn't shape into something I can really believe, I'm good with P3D, now v5.3, and looking forward for the release of X-Plane 12.

I honestly hope X-Plane 12 can become civil sim of choice, but one never knows, and meanwhile P3D is giving me a great time using the FSLabs 319 / 20... with consistent weather depiction and parameters provided by ActiveSky P3D.

MFS for me is on a big hold. I'll probably revisit it only when the "gliders expansion" becomes available, if they plan to do it that way...


Main Simulation Rig:

Ryzen 5600x, 32GB RAM, Nvidia RTX 3060 Ti, 1 TB & 500 GB M.2 nvme disks, Win11.

Glider pilot since October 1980...

Avid simmer since 1992...

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Good advice above. And welcome to the forum(s) - Doug

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Intel 10700K @ 5.1Ghz, Asus Hero Maximus motherboard, Noctua NH-U12A cooler, Corsair Vengeance Pro 32GB 3200 MHz RAM, RTX 2060 Super GPU, Cooler Master HAF 932 Tower, Thermaltake 1000W Toughpower PSU, Windows 10 Professional 64-Bit, 100TB of disk storage. Klaatu barada nickto.

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Thanks for your very informative replies, certainty has made me reconsider my options.  

I did actually try the trial version of Xplane a while ago (version 11, I think), but wasn't particularly impressed with it.  For me it seemed that the flight model was a little too "bouncy" with the larger airliners.  Has anyone else found this? It seemed better suited to smaller aircraft, and as I prefer the larger airliners I decided to give it a miss.  Maybe they have improved the flight model since then?

Interestingly, I do have a VR headset, it's just a first generation WMR, and I have used it with FSX using the Flyinside add-on.  I have to agree with you John, that VR is a vastly superior experience, but the biggest issues I had was using the controls with the mouse and looking at flight charts.  How do you get around these issues?  Having physical controls in a cockpit with triple monitors would be easier, although somewhat less immersive than VR.  One of my favorite aircraft is the Just Flight DC-10 HD, which is apparently compatible with PD3 versions 4 and 5 (as well as the older 32 bit versions).  Flying this in VR with its old-school steam gauges is truly amazing.  This reason alone would almost tip the scales toward PD3, and I don't believe that MSFS2020 has a DC-10.

Your comments jcomm about PD3 v5.3 is reassuring.  Do you use it with triple monitors?

So it seems that I am favoring PD3 atm, and will seriously look at MSFS once it matures. Once again, thanks for your inputs.



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@Mainlander, what do you have (regarding hardware) and what do you like to fly (airliners, GA, VFR, IFR) ? I'm on the fence regarding V5, but I have both V4 and MSFS (and have spent some money in both). Both sims have their strengths. It's not exactly that one sim is overall better than the other one.

Also, where do you like to fly? I find that MSFS scenery is not as good where I usually fly (Argentina, Colombia and some parts of Brazil and Panama).

Edit: I see you answered my questions while I was replying...

Edited by Luis Hernandez

Best regards,
Luis Hernández 20px-Flag_of_Colombia.svg.png20px-Flag_of_Argentina.svg.png

Main rig: self built, AMD Ryzen 5 5600X with PBO enabled (but default settings and SMT off), 2x16 GB DDR4-3200 RAM, Nvidia RTX3060 Ti 8GB, 256 GB M.2 SSD (OS+apps) + 2x1 TB SATA III SSD (sims) + 1 TB 7200 rpm HDD (storage), Viewsonic VX2458-MHD 1920x1080@23-144 Hz (locked at 120 Hz), Windows 10 Pro. Runing FSX-SE, MSFS and P3D v5.4 (with v4.5 default airports; the best of both worlds!).

Mobile rig: ASUS Zenbook UM425QA (AMD Ryzen 7 5800H APU @3.2 GHz and boost disabled, 1 TB M.2 SSD, 16 GB RAM, Windows 11 Pro). Running FS9 there... sometimes on just battery! FSX-SE also installed, just in case. 

VKB Gladiator NXT Premium Left + GNX THQ as primary controllers. Xbox Series X|S wireless controller as standby/travel.

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I also have the same question. Currently I am still on p3d v4 and seeing so much addons being released for msfs has forced me to wonder should I go ahead with p3d v5 (hopefully there is still time for p3d v6) or msfs.

I like to fly civilian ifr routes and my computer setup is pretty simple with still using 1080 8gb graphics card and dual monitor setup.

My question for msfs would be can I do long haul IFR flights with civilian aircraft. Are MSFS team interested in bringing seasons into the sim?

With p3d my question would can I still utilize 1080 8gb graphics. If I can't I may need to invest in new pc as my current setup is bit outdated in terms of cpu and hardware storage.

Also with p3d should I wait for p3d v6 or its safe to buy v5.3. And is it safe to stick with p3d considering msfs popularity growth.


Bilal Asif Khan

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I am quite happy with my home cockpit and P3Dv5 :


It is quite stable, I had not a single crash during the entire year. It is bit of effort to let P3Dv5 look pretty, but it is really worth it. As already has been mentioned, with ActiveSky you get a very convincing weather depiction, capable of serious flight planning.

I currently have 220 Addon airports installed, so everything you need is probably already there.

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1. A320 home cockpit (FSLabs, Skalarki), P3Dv5  Main PC : I7-12700K, GTX3080Ti

2. FSLabs A3xx, P3Dv5. Gigabyte Aorus 17G YC, I7-10700K, RTX 3080

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37 minutes ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

I posted settings over on the Orbx forum.

Cheers, Rob.

wow, impressive settings. What hardware is behind that ?


1. A320 home cockpit (FSLabs, Skalarki), P3Dv5  Main PC : I7-12700K, GTX3080Ti

2. FSLabs A3xx, P3Dv5. Gigabyte Aorus 17G YC, I7-10700K, RTX 3080

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Thanks for all your replies.

Mikealhpa, that's an awesome cockpit.  I doubt I have the resources to build something like that, but if I go down the home cockpit path it will probably be something more like a simpit as Rob_Ainscough puts it.  I too, like to fly more than one type of aircraft and don't want to be locked into one.  Your simpit build is incredible, my one will be much simpler.  When you mention using the virtual cockpit for the views what are you actually referring to?  The beauty of VR is you can experience any cockpit you want in complete immersion.  It's just a pity that interacting with the controls fall a little short and reading flight charts is awkward.   

That Orbx scenery looks fantastic.  I often fly in south-east asia, particularly the KL - Jakarta route, but unfortunately it seems there is no Orbx scenery for this region.  I also fly in the Australia and New Zealand regions, which is supported by Orbx, and going by the images on their website it looks very impressive. 

Regarding my hardware, it's modest; I run an i7-7700 with a Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics card.  Would this setup run PD3 v5.3 adequately with triple monitors? Currently I have a racing sim rig setup, but want to modify it so I can convert it to a flight sim whenever I want.  I'll look at upgrading eventually, but atm it's rather low on the priority list.  Going by the comments, it seems PD3 v5.3 is the best option atm and it certainty does look good with the add-ons.

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Thanks for clarifying about using the virtual cockpit.  I am using 1080p monitors, so I'll probably use reduced graphics settings until such time that I upgrade.

Here's a very useful Youtube video I found about setting up triple monitors with PD3:  

I assume this is the virtual cockpit you were talking about.

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