A friend who sent me an email asking my opinion about making the jump from Prepar3D v3 to v4.
One of the biggest reasons he has not yet switching, is that he has TONS of addons for v3, and TONS of modifications that he has made. And he really loathes the thought of having to set everything up again from scratch because he has spent many, many, many hours, getting p3d v3 to the way he has it now.
I guess there are still friends who have similar questions in mind about the switching. So I am posting my replies to him below:
Q: Are v3 aircrafts compatible in v4?
A: In theory yes, at least for those I am using. Many vendors are providing updated installer. However, do note that some aircraft (e.g. A2A) with the new installer are no more installed onto the SimObjects folder but onto a new Add-ons folder under Documents directory. That’s a bit odd to me and I don’t quite understand the logic behind.
Q: I have Orbx, and some Flytampa sceneries, are they compatable with v4 (or do I need to rebuy them from scratch again?)
A: In a way, yes. But you cannot simply move the Orbx scenery from v3 to v4, especially Orbx’s addons now mainly be installed via the FTXCentral. Although the big regional products have been converted but only a few airports are v4 ready so far.
No one (including the company) knows how long it will take to convert them all to v4. Just like their previous conversion from v2 to v3, I don’t think it hasn’t ended before the v4 arrival, if I remember correctly.
For the Flytampa, I haven’t tried them on the v4 yet. But it should be manageable according to what it was from v2 to v3.
Updates from Orbx and most other vendors are free.
Q: Are A2A aircraft compatible? (or do I need to rebuy them from scratch again?)
A: A2A are providing v4 updates for free. You don’t have to buy them again. But as said, the v4 version now installs onto the Add-ons folder rather than the SimObjects folder.
BTW, upgrading to P3Dv4 means that you’ll also need the new FSUIPC 5. There’s no more free version.
Q: Do you see a big performance difference now that it is 64 bit?
A: Frankly speaking, after the excitement in the beginning, I don’t find much performance difference between the two after all.
The 64-bit is supposed to help eliminate CTD (crash-to-desktop) and to allow better use of memory and cpu. However, since I rarely encountered CTD before so it doesn’t have any meaning to me.
For the memory and cpu improvements, I don’t quite feel it yet.
Q: Can you have v3 and v4 installed on the same PC (on the same harddrive)
A: Yes, that’s for sure. I have v3 and v4 installed onto the same P:\ drive under Prepar3Dv3 and Prepar3Dv4 directories. No conflict at all.
Q: And most importantly, is it worth it to switch over to v4? (knowing full well there will be many hours worth of time spent to customize everything).
A: If you are happy with your current set up so far, especially you have done tons of modifications, I wouldn’t recommend you to switch right now.
It simply doesn’t worth the effort because there wouldn’t be much difference and advantages you can enjoy immediately but a lot of “obstacles” you’ll have to overcome.
For one reason, there are still many addons waiting to be updated. You are very likely getting stuck in this transition. I am one example.
I expect the transition will take about 6 to 8 months to have most popular addons to be v4 compatible.
Moreover, according to the upgrade path of P3D in the past, we should be expecting the next v5 coming in about 18 to 24 months. By that time, the product should be more mature with fuller supporting addons available.
Going 64-bit is something we all should do in the end, but not necessarily now.