256: Switching to P3D — An Afterthought

I being as a long-time FSX users switched to P3D recently, followings are my thoughts given to a friend who asked if it’s worth to “upgrade” from FSX to P3D.

Merely as a general pilot flight training aid, P3D doesn’t differ much from FSX in my experience.

Therefore, its $199.99 Professional (I’d rather call it a Basic) Licence price-tag is comparatively quite high.   If someone wants to develop software for it, he/she has to pay an extra $9.95 to Lockheed Martin every month.

Even though its $59.95 Academic Licence seems to be more reasonable, users of this Licence should note that they are positioning themselves as undergraduate or K-12 or pilot students.  I wonder how many users of this group are actually coming from the defined categories.

Moreover, Continue reading

239: P3D v2.2 Part 4 – Settings

As known, the more complex and demanding the settings are, the more impacts will be on the simulator.  Followings are my current choices and preferences:

P3Dv22-Setting 01

♦  Disable FXAA improves image sharpness
♦  Found very slight difference among 2, 4 and 8 Samples in MSAA
♦  Texture Filtering=8 gives the best balance
♦  Similarly, found no obvious difference in higer texture resolution

Continue reading

238: P3D v2.2 Part 3 – Prepar3D.cfg

The current performance of my P3D platform as shown in post 237 can’t be said flawless.   There are still occasional stutters especially while the plane is in steep turns.  And the range of crystal clear texture rendering is limited to a not so big area surrounding the aircraft.

Nevertheless, I am quite happy with what it so far achieved.  And in many ways, I think P3D v2.2 now has excelled FSX in my setup.   Followings talk about changes I made to the configuration file.

Continue reading

237: P3D v2.2 Part 2 – Video Preview

Regarding the autogen and texture problems reported in last post, the issues actually had been solved.   I was just splitting the story into 2 or 3 episodes to arouse sharings and suggestions, from which I might possible push the result further for the sweet spot.

Unexpectedly, I have some priorities to deal with in the next few weeks.   So I made the following movie clip as a Preview to Part 2 (or to be Part 2 itself).

It is also my first attempt to include video in FSX Times.  The clip was taken by iPhone over Vancouver with most autogens Continue reading

236: P3D v2.2 Part 1 – Still No Good ?!

With the launch of the P3D v2.2 on Monday, I did a clean install with the hope that it would bring better performance to the LM platform while solving many of its earlier reported issues, especially the three ghosts that had been haunting my system since the beginning — namely, stutters, Saitek Flight Instrument Panel (FIP) sluggishness and texture blurriness.
P3Dv22-Blurry00

Actually, over the last few weeks, the first ghost, stutters, was in general removed through the increase of the BufferPool to 900 millions as described in Post 234.

The FIP smoothness was also enhanced by assigning the first 2 CPU cores via Set Affinity option under Windows Task Manager.  Similarly, the texture blurriness was improved with the AffinityMask set to 252, which dedicated the last 6 CPU cores for the simulator.

Although it still couldn’t be said ideal, P3D v2.1 at that moment was pretty close to what FSX was performing on my rig.  Continue reading

234: Prepar3D.cfg – BufferPools

As explained in Post 90, BufferPools could effectively reduce stutters on some systems.    Actually I was quite happy with its value set to 4,000 for a long time, until recently I upgraded to my current hardware on which FSX seems no longer benefited from it.

My Prepar3D V2 platform, on the other hand, reacts drastically different under the new 3-monitor setup.    Stutters are virtually removed when Continue reading

Misc: P3D V2 and Saitek FIP

Installation so far so good but tried for a few hours and still unable to add Saitek’s FIPs to the P3D system. P3DInstall

Appreciate suggestions from anyone who has installed FIPs successfully with P3D.

Update 1:
Was wondering where to put those Saitek drivrs.  Now I see the exe.xml file doesn’t exist by default and I have to create it or copy it from FSX manually.  Big thanks to John, Dave and HBE66 for your quick advices.  Will do it and try it later.

Update 2:
Just copied the exe.xml file from FSX and the FIPs now work in P3D.