225: Will Prepar3D be My New Cup of Tea?

A big thanks to Mario Cote, James Long, Niko Grozdanov and Colin Moir, who shared with me their experiences with P3D while I was wondering over the last few days if I should turn to this new simulator platform.  But unfortunately, both pros and cons have their supportees.  Also, I found the more I researched, the more I was perplexed.

Since I always emphasize that our systems are in general unique from each other, trying the P3D on my own system seems to be the only way to find out whether it will be my new cup of tea.    If it is no good, I could join the FSX league again at anytime.

So, here are a few screen shots from my first flight under P3D with all settings slided to maximum.   My new i7 4700K computer is running at stock speed without overclocking and tweaks.

P3D-01_resizeS P3D-02_resizeS P3D-03_resizeS P3D-04_resizeS

You may have a question why the photos are a bit dark.   Yes, that’s exactly the instant impression I had with the product: the tone is dark and the color is not as vibrant as in FSX.    Also, the lights at night scene are poor.

Besides that, I flew around in the default area with my favorite C172 SP imported from FSX for over 30 mins, everything works just fine and smooth.

Also, it comes with some nice features, such as the Time Preview and Pilot Records, that are not found in FSX.   In particular, the shadow rendering is a big improvement over FSX.   You won’t see the shadow casting on the panel in FSX as shown in the picture below (note that the contrast of the photo was brightened.)  Probably that’s a reason why the color tone is implemented that way.


At this moment, I can say that I am not disappointed with what’s P3D is performing.   Of course, whether it will become my new simulation platform, it will depend on the addons and peripherals I am going to install in the next few days.

Stay tuned.

12 thoughts on “225: Will Prepar3D be My New Cup of Tea?

  1. Hi Tom, interesting discusion you have started here. Recently have been following Frooglepete’s vids about x-plane as well.
    Indeed utopia does not exsist :) and we have to make decissions about where to go next all the time.
    Have been considering getting P3D on several occasions for testing and comparing after the MS Flight disaster and x-plane does not really do it for me.
    Was wondering how the Saitek equipment runs with P3D as I do not want to do without your wonderful creations.


    1. Hi Hans, that’s a main concern to me as well. so far, have tested the Yoke, TPM, and trim wheel all running perfectly on USB 3.0 ports. Yes, USB 3.0 not 2.0
      Will get USB 3.0 hubs for FIPs and other panels today and tomorrow. Will update how it goes.


  2. Great work Tom! The lighting may be a result of the HDR setting that Lockheed Martin have introduced. You can play with these settings in the menu – one example for their use is when you are flying into the sun the panels in the cockpit will be very dark as they would be in real life.

    One thing also, your stock textures out of the box will be very much like FSX textures. This may be why they don’t look great and night lights look a bit odd, particularly with HDR on. I personally have FTX Global on top (awaiting a few of the smaller regions to get the V2 upgrade) – the overall look of the sim is greatly enhanced and the night lighting is fantastic. There is a Vector update coming out in December which will mean we can fly over real world textures with real world rivers, roads etc. Orbx are also releasing regional land class products. You may want to try their Iceland Demo on their website which is free. I am half Icelandic so know Iceland well. I have combined this with FS Global 2010 mesh and it’s stunning. Will really show you what V2.0 and a good texture, vector, landclass and mesh upgrade can do…and Iceland is free to try! And great for GA flying to boot!

    What’s your email? I’ll try and send you a couple of screen shots later to show you what I mean. I’d also recommend using Process Explorer to monitor VAS usage. I last night quickly tested CYVR scenery with a default aircraft and got a max load of 2.8 GB VAS usage. This scenery used to cause OOM’s in minutes in FSX and 1.4. If I add a complex aircraft I may have issues but the way V2.0 manages memory is impressive.

    Keep playing with it and let me know if you need anything. I’ve just order a GTX780 Ti…future SLI I think when V2.1 supports it!



    1. Hi James,

      After a few hours with the P3D, you are right that many things could be tweaked. Also, many things need to be reconfigured, such as yoke and TPM settings. I have UTX and GEX products but I don’t think I will put them to the new system. FS Global 2010…hm…I never tried it before. I’ll think about it.

      At the moment, I am backing up every stage of my installation. The next one will definitely be the FTX Global and then theirs or other’s sceneries. Look forward to getting screen shots from you.



  3. .. looking good .. but from the overall reactions on different forums, I see tons of issues, bugs, problems that users encountered … P3D will probably, put the end to the aging FSX ..of course it intend to close a technological gap, & we can tell that LM is putting lots of affords to achieve it, but the questions are still, are we goanna relay on geeks Gurus & endless hours of Tweaking in order to get the best out of our hardware software and invested hours of sweat & frustrations , or are we back to what most of us are here for … FLYING …. FLYING ….. and of course FLYING …… ?????


      1. Hello Tom !
        I fully agree with you … and I think P3D, In the nearest future will be our only choice, though I’m not that technically oriented, It doesn’t seems to me that LM came with something revolutionary, but rather took it from where MS left, which make a lot of sense and will make transition & migration respectively easy and smooth for most of us.
        I personally, will keep flying with FSX and experiment with P3D




      2. Exactly, P3D for the moment is our only choice if we are not satisfy with FSX.

        Regarding trials and tweaks, aren’t we also spend numerous time and effort to get what we have now in FSX? After the few hours with the product, many FSX tweaks seem to be applicable to P3D even though I haven’t put my hands on it. This confidence really is stemmed from numerous hours and frustrations I had with FSX before.

        P3D is not perfect, that’s for sure. There are many things I don’t like. But if I didn’t get it and try for it myself, I will never know about it.

        It’s pretty much like reading a hifi equipment review. People tell you it is good in this and good in that, and bad in this and bad in that. Many time we just pretend we know what they are talking about with reference to our own personal experience. But all these understandings are simply based on our own imagination.

        Actually, even though you have a chance to audition an equipment in person in a showroom, you still can’t say 100 percent sure that it will seemless fit into your own system.

        I am not saying other’s reviews and suggestions like yours are useless. On the contrary, they provide a good ground base when I try on it myself and allow me to avoid many possible causes of error.

        I was wondering over the last days because I just got a new computer and it’s a perfect moment to do the switching if it is really as good as the company and some supporters say. You know the most tricky thing about reinstalling the simulator on a new computer is not the simulator itself but the rest of the system, in order to give the simulator an optimized platform. Afterall, perfectness doesn’t exist on this world.

        Anyway, I have made a step forward. If P3D is not my cup of tea, I could simply discard it and reinstall FSX again without much effort. Moneywise, the company has a refund policy, isn’t it?


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