Misc: Computer Broken Down Update #2

It’s really a mixed feeling if you ask me whether I like the new Windows 8.   Certainly it excels in many ways than Windows 7 but I did spend a lot of time to adapt to the new interface and operation flow.   Over the last few days,  I have reinstalled the OS three times so as to get the system setting up in the way that I want it to be, including minimizing non-flight simulation related software, composing backup and storage structures that best fit current and future needs, etc.

Now, I am at the crossroad wondering which direction to go.

The just launched P3D version 2 seems to to be quite promising and full of potential.  However, I’ve been using FSX for nearly a decade and all my set up, both hardware and software, was built around it.

Does it worth the effort to start over from scratch again?   I am bewitched, bothered and bewildered…

Have found this Prepar3D V2 compatibility list on AVSIM forum.   Also, don’t miss the suggestions from existing P3D users who share their experience with the new version in the Comment section below.

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20 thoughts on “Misc: Computer Broken Down Update #2

  1. Hi Tom

    Just adding my feedback to the mix … but I very much agree with a lot of James findings.

    Like both you guys I’ve invested heavily in Saitek gear and have currently 10 FIP’s and on the Ebay lookout for at least one more to display your wet compass Tom … I really do hope that Lockheed Martin’s V2 take on FSX gives enough return for them to invest in a drastically altered 64 bit version in the future and I hope too that I get my FIP’s working smoothly in this new (interim?) sim.

    For sure this is the best place on the internet for advice and help on FIP’s and more.

    Back to P3D v2 for a moment … you know, somehow I wish all the development for this edition were saved for a 64 bit edition that might come in the future? for sure we can write off our old add-ons for such a jump, but we have always done that, at least I have since being around since FS2 :)

    However … we have what we have and that is P3D V2.0, its good to at least have some sort of simulation to look forward too while MS bailed out on it … MS Flight did not cut it for me.

    Unfortunately my first findings are not too great on P3D v2, the download was slow (not LM’s fault) because of my Scottish Highland technology, but got there after about 8 hours solid downloading, I’d already prepared (no pun intended) my PC for this new install by removing P3D V1.4 cleanly, no way am I un-installing FSX just yet! then did my usual disc and registry cleaning exercises, system seemed good to go and tried installing P3D V2 on to its own 240 GB third gen SSD (freshly Ocz erased and up to latest firmware) and I got right up to near the very end and it went on forever and eventually gave a similar error other users have seen “write to something or other message error” I took a screen shot of it .. but checking on major Sim sites I’m not the only one with this and wonder what the cause was? Perhaps I should have left P3D2 V 1.4 on because apparently V2 and the old ver happily co-exist? and even if I were to try that I’d not have them on the same drive at least!

    After mixed results with P3D I decided to un-install, only it would not let me uninstall? it just de-registerd. tried registering again, then removing … same problem.

    My Win 7 install is getting on now though, so took the plunge and backed up all my FSX log book ETC and re-formatted and here I am late at night on day one of a Win 7 64 fresh polished install and took advantage of getting new firmware for my SSD’s, newer Chipset drivers for my motherboard, and I’m almost ready to give P3d v2 another go :)

    What I did see of P3D V2 was quite nice performance wise (not sure how my install errors impacted yet?) and pushed the sliders to max for a test … I managed a flight with no add ons for about 5 mins and got an OOM error and crash to desktop.

    This is on a well tuned FS rig I’ve been doing for a while now.

    I7E3960X @ 4.6GHz water cooled.
    Asus socket 2011 Rampage Extreme
    four channel ram, 16GB total here
    EVGA GTX 780 3GB Super Clocked
    SSD’s ETC

    Been seeing a lot of reports of P3D v2 maxing the video card VRAM and certainly eating up all my potential 3GB VRAM … who would have thought a graphic card like a GTX 780 with 3GB would be overkill for this years high end games like Far Cry 3 ETC, but only barely being enough for an old (reworked pretender) like P3D.

    Wish I’d saved a bit more for a 6GB GTX Titan now, my resolution of 2560x 1200 must be eating my 3GB vram too.

    Yep potential install errors here, but I’m back to a clean Win 7 Sp1 all updated to try my luck with P3D once more over the weekend.

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  2. Well I’m tweaking the new P3d since last Monday. It’s quite impressive software. Seems less complicate than the FSX and the most important it’s smooooth. I installed the usual addons as FTX Global, some ORBX stuffs, all my Aerosoft airports, REX, Opus etc.
    seems all is running well…….some lightning problems were noted. Opus is quitting time to time, I don’t know why.
    As I wrote it’s very smooth compared to FSX. The fps are not jumping around even on hardcore sceneries. Snow and rain could take few fps but not a big deal.
    The only problem, and this one you will not like it, is that my saitek fips are stealing a big amount of performance. If I leave them feeding from the exe.xml file, it’s getting bad. No smooth at all, blurries and so on. Nevertheless, I gave to P3d some very hard time by adding sceneries, switching weather, time, planes, airports and all these things in the same session, guess what- not even single CTD!
    All other saitek instruments are OK.
    I think that this simulator is the future. The developers will make it live.
    For sure I’ll switch to P3d but in its early beginning I’ll keep FSX for a while.
    Pretty sure their first patch will solve at least 90% of the bugs….

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    1. Thanks Niko for the positive comment on P3D. You are right that FIP compatibility is key to my next step. I am asking feedback from Mario who is testing the new P3D in his 12+ FIP setup. And especially his new hardware is very similar to mine.

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  3. Hi Tom,

    I use Windows 8.1 and have had FSX, P3D 1.4 and I have just installed v2.0. I also have X Plane 10. With FSX I found it impossible with particular issues relating to the controllers disconnecting in Windows 8 – I didn’t get this with P3D and ended up using 1.4 exclusively for the last 18 months. I found it to be much more stable and my investment in add ons wasn’t hit too hard as the vast majority (PMDG not included…yet) works fine with a great migration tool (FSX2P3D). Not only that but most developers are now supporting P3D and the Lockheed Martin support and development team are really great and enthusiastic about the community – check out their forums. I have the Professional $199 license of version 2 just installed. I have an i7 6 core beast at 4.2 GHz and with 2 ATI Radeon 7870’s in Crossfire (currently off) with 16GB RAM and a 500GB SSD for P3D 2.0. My limiting experience so far is very positive. The move to making the GPU do more of the work has resulted in incredible smoothness for me frame wise (around 30FPS) with sliders at around 50-75% – that may sound low but the detail is excellent at this level. Crossfire/SLI support is coming in V2.1 and that will mean I can up the quality further. Water detail for example for me is at Max settings and hasn’t affected FPS. Plus a lot of the developers (Orbx, FSDT, FlyTampa etc) have already started releasing V2.0 installers. That said, even for the ones who haven’t I have used the V2 FSX2P3D migration tool to effectively install other scenery (although just to test – plan to wait for full V2 optimised versions to make use of the new graphics engine) and they seem fine. I flew over the OOM nightmare that used to be New York City X with high res textures and my settings unchanged – I managed a steady 18-26FPS here and no OOM’s.

    It’s going to take some time to settle and people are reporting some issues but if you fancy experimenting I would highly recommend trying it. You can always install it alongside FSX anyway. It does look remarkable compared to FSX out of the box and with FTX Global installed it is like a new sim.

    Hope that helps a bit. Just my experience and I think the mixed reviews are genuinely down to expectations of users and settings being off. If you just experiment you can get some excellent results. Also, it’s very easy and quick to change and test graphics settings.

    Feel free to send me a message or email with any questions.

    James
    Hong Kong

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    1. Hi James, your experience with P3D is quite an encouragement. Frankly speaking, P3D sooner or later is the direction where I will be heading.
      You pointed out a very true fact that it needs time and effort to experiment and tweak it right. That’s the same for FSX — I took vast amount of energy to get it into a satisfied configuration.
      BTW, are you using any Saitek gear? Any problem you encountered?
      Last but not least, so glad to see someone from Hong Kong in my blog. Definitely will send you email or message if I need help on it.
      Tom

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      1. Hi Tom,

        No worries! My experience is positive but I think it may be because I have had realistic expectations and not tried to go crazy! In a year, once developers understand it and people know how to tweak it I think you can probably make a permanent switch. Out of the box though I have not had to tweak any .cfg (yet-may play with affinity mask) and found the settings easy to change and test in sim. I didn’t install REX for clouds as I preferred the default!

        Controller wise I use the Saitek Pro Flight Yoke and Rudder. Fsx and Windows 8 was a no go for me although people have found solutions (massive online forum threads!) but I gave up. Using FSUIPC in P3D 1.4 helped and was stable – very occasional disconnect but seemed to reconnect quickly if you enter menus or change settings. V2 so far had a couple of disconnects but again comes back if you go into a setting change menu. Also V2 much less prone to crashing when going in and out of menus (unlike FSX and occasionally V1.4).

        Still early days though and patience is critical. But a clean install, FTX Global and a couple of airports and it feels like a new sim. FlyTampa Hong Kong looks incredible. 28-35FPS too with high res! Shadows not quite right but will probably be fixed with a V2 installer/patch but I turned them down on buildings anyway – cockpit enough for me! If you do use V2, great tip is to turn terrain shadows off, get rid of the alt menu bar and turn on vsync with around 30FPS limit. Works great for me. FYI I fly in windowed on the middle screen of 3 so none of the black window crashes other users are reporting!

        And finally yes I am in Hong Kong! Lantau Island is home. Do drop me an email if you need anything :-)

        James

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      2. Thanks for the quick reply, James. You’re right that it’s premature to say P3D V2 is good or no good at this moment. I could wait for update fixes or install both to my new system. Will seriously think about it.
        You are on Lantau? Then I guess you live in Tung Chung.
        I am on your opposite side in Tuen Mun.
        Tom

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      3. Actually live in South Lantau in the quiet with the cows! Great to know there is another flight sim enthusiast in Hong Kong – if you can I would definitely give V2 a try – the Lockheed Martin guys are fully supporting it moving forward and I have found it to be the most stable new sim, alongside X Plane, out of the box so to speak. Very few tweaks so far and it’s working nicely. With time it’ll be great, I can just tell.

        James

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      4. I see.
        Just heard that P3D doesn’t include the C172, which I mainly fly. That’s no good. But yes, I’ll certainly keep on search for more information before I move on.
        Tom

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  4. Hope your work will pay off!!
    As for window 8 as I looked at it I personally don’t like it, maybe it’s the way it as change, granted there is some benefit but I too don’t think I’ll go there!!

    I got P3D Sunday evening as it was lunched, I got the Academic version and…..
    Some scenery seems to look pretty good but no big change in FPS as I don’t have any add on put in and there was some Fatal error already and I could not get in the add on scenery it gives me fatal error all the time but I got a software to install an airport and it was ok that way.

    The fog is very good, the new views like IR and Night Vision is very good, IR sees through the fog.

    The list of aircraft is not great, not what I was expected to be included as it was advertise on the web site, maybe the $ 200.00 version as better planes.
    The page for the malfunctions is better then FSX more choices.

    It starts right into the default flight. wide view was already selected to true in the cfg file. I did put the sliders up and use AA and set it at 40 fps, reflections and sun shadow was good.

    It seems after reading a bit that it is not user friendly to had stuff to it but maybe it’s just me but overall i’m not that impress about it time will tell. PMDG finally announce they will support P3D after all the complaint and reviewing the licenses.

    I’ll stick with my FSX as it was mention above time and money was invested with hardware and it is still looks good enough to me with the new PC and some outside software.

    Mario

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    1. Hi Mario, Thanks for the note and sorry to hear that P3D causes fatal errors. BTW, any incompatible issues found amoung Saitek gears? Niko reported that FIPs kill a lot of system performance. That’s somethings not to be ignored.
      Also, are you putting the P3D onto a seperate drive?

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      1. I Did not try the Saitek gear with P3D just some flight using the mouse yoke!! lol
        Yes I did put it on seperate drive.

        Loading take just as long and even longer to load as FSX.

        I didn’t see much as for as drivers go for the gear so I didn’t try yet plus the PC is not at the cockpit yet!!! SOON!!!! lol
        There is no C172 in the default P3D.
        Beechcraft Baron 58 & G1000
        CT-156 Harvard II SP2
        King Air 350
        T-6A Texan II NTA SP2
        T-6A Texan II SP2
        I.W.E.B. I.W.E.B. Neptune SRM
        Lockheed C69
        C69/049A “Constellation”
        L049A “Constellation”
        P-38F Lightning
        P-38F-4 Lightning
        P-38J Lightning
        P-38J-15LO Lightning
        P-38J-F-5 Lightning
        Maule Orion
        Orion on Skis
        Mooney Acclaim
        Bravo
        Bravo G1000
        Piper J-3 Cub
        Robinson R22 Beta II

        Thats the Aircraft list with P3D Academic. No jets only in the AI list.

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      2. Hello, Im newbie in this blog, Im Nelson Tabarez, from Maldonado / Uruguay. I fly FS from 3.0 version for PC XT .15 years ago. Now I’ m 39 years old, and I fly with FS9 and FSX. My English is poor , Sorry. Now, the matter: You can install C172 from Carenado. Carenado have C172 for X-PLANE, FSX. PREPARD 3D, and JAYBIRD. Well Greetings for all.

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  5. My Windows 7 is doing just fine, for the time being; and I find no motivation to spend additional money to make the switch to Windows 8, atleast for the time being.

    But, migrating to Prepar3D is an idea, I have been toying in my mind for some time now. I have a feeling that P3D is likely to be the future direction of FSX. I would have already purchased it, if it wasn’t for their peculiar licensing structure. With the existing licensing schemes, I’m still not sure, if I’m not breaking ‘some’ law by purchasing it and using it for personal entertainment.

    The Ver 2 is already released for two days now, and after reading various reviews on professional/amateur flight sim sites/blogs/FaceBook pages e.t.c, I don’t find a thumping ‘yes’ to P3D. All reviews are ‘mixed’. Some are delighted with the new release, but most are wondering why they bought it.

    My feelings about the eventual shift to P3D are the same as yours. Over the last decade, I have invested far too much time, money and equipment in FSX; and am now very concerned about making the switch.

    Glad your computer thingy is now sorted out.

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