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Old 11-07-09, 06:35 PM   #1
mustang1
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Flight Sims (fs04/fsx v x-plane)

Since moving to Mac, I've really been missing Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004. I never got to try FSX as my PC wasn't powerful enough. Now that I'm on Mac, I gave X-Plane a shot. Now I dont know if that's geared at more real-life like pilots, or perhaps I'm just not accustomed to X-Plane, but what I really loved about FS04 was how easy it was to just get into things and start flying. It's not that there wasn't a challenge, sure there was, but back when I was checking out fs04, I had a lot more time on my hands. These days I dont have as much, and learning a new flight sim just isn't happening.

So my conclusion so far is I have a much stronger preference for MS Flight Sims. I was flying the 777 that came with X-Plane and the modelling is rubbish compared to MS FS. The engines for example have no internal fans that spin.

Now I have no idea why MS sold the game studio that develops FS series. So how do you flight simmers feel about these two sims?
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Old 11-07-09, 06:42 PM   #2
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X Plane blows.

Get Parallels or VM Ware, install XP-2 and then MS Flight Sim on your Intel based Mac if it's that important to you. You can do that.
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Old 11-07-09, 07:32 PM   #3
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It was a sad day when FS went away. I have not heard anything about the series continuing.
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Old 11-07-09, 09:44 PM   #4
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X-Plane is much better than FSX for many reasons, not the least of which is support for PFC sim hardware, and FAA Approval as a training program with the right hardware setup and licenses.

FSX can't even get rudder authority right (edit: one very crucial thing you won't be able to do in FSX is an extended slip, which is absolutely necessary for harsh crosswind landings, slipping turns, and other maneuvers requiring prolonged rudder authority), let alone much of anything else with respect to flight modeling, and I shouldn't even mention that they don't even have all of the airport designators correct (for example, they still use N67 for Wings Field 15 years after it was changed to KLOM with the addition of the AWOS).

X-Plane also has much better support for multiple computers (I have three in my setup), and the IOS is really superb.

MS put a lot more work into eye and ear candy than they did into their flight model. The UI is a bit more polished, but is functionally decrepit and unrealistic.

(BTW: I am a pilot)
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Old 11-08-09, 01:55 AM   #5
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Yeah, the physics on X-plane is much more accurate and realistic. Also the scenery out the window is simply AMAZING!
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Old 11-08-09, 02:08 AM   #6
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@pcad: yup, I might just do a dual boot up with xp.
@ehidle&danno: no wonder I'm finding them so hard to land I think FS was more geared towards someone like me, an interest in planes but not *that* much realism in the flgith model. I really wanted to see some more eye candy and the sound effects... argh... I rev the engine up or down and the sounds go up and down in *line* with the keyboard inputs... there's no tail off in the sounds for example when the engine is winding down. I love the sounds and I wanna see the turbines spinning!

EDIT:
I should stop being a wussy and put some effort into x-plane
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Uv9tpoz5co

Last edited by mustang1; 11-08-09 at 02:24 AM. Reason: no more wussy
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Old 11-08-09, 03:50 AM   #7
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Get a joystick and some foot pedals. You'll enjoy the experience a lot more.
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Old 11-08-09, 04:36 AM   #8
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Maybe X-Plane doesn't suck, maybe I suck.
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Old 11-08-09, 06:24 AM   #9
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvIMTE4Sloo

That one blows my mind every time...
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Old 11-08-09, 08:50 AM   #10
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+1 this is exactly what I was going to say - install Parallels or VM Ware and run Windows on your system virtually.

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X Plane blows.

Get Parallels or VM Ware, install XP-2 and then MS Flight Sim on your Intel based Mac if it's that important to you. You can do that.
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Old 11-08-09, 08:57 AM   #11
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@ehidle: Wow!

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Old 11-08-09, 03:15 PM   #12
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mustang1, if you do get it installed and want some non-loggable time, let me know... I can teach you a thing or two about flying (so long as you understand I am not a CFI, and X-Plane is not FAA-Approved for official instruction without the required hardware and licenses, yadda yadda yadda)...
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Old 11-08-09, 03:24 PM   #13
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Hi ehidle thanks very much for your offer. I already installed X-Plane. I've used FS04 for a few years but not heavy duty stuff (pretty much taking the plane off, sticking it on auto pilot for a few hours, letting it fly to it's destination, then me landing it).

I'd like to do something similar with XP9 in the begining, so I want to set up the radios, auto pilot, stuff like that. I also like realistic looking airports and I went to London Heathrow (in the sim ) and there was nothing there. Not sure if I need to select a few options, or maybe my computer isn't powerful enough (iMac 2.0GHz, 2GB RAM) so it's defaulted to lower-detail settings, or maybe I need to buy airport add-ons.

At the risk of sounding shallow, I do like eye candy (and sound candy, and so far those turbine engines dont sound too realistic). I also do not have a joystic right now, but may get one by end of the week (along with a Magic Mouse and an iPod ).
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Old 11-08-09, 03:26 PM   #14
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I just downloaded the XP9 demo, and all I can say is wow.
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Old 11-08-09, 07:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mustang1 View Post
Hi ehidle thanks very much for your offer. I already installed X-Plane. I've used FS04 for a few years but not heavy duty stuff (pretty much taking the plane off, sticking it on auto pilot for a few hours, letting it fly to it's destination, then me landing it).

I'd like to do something similar with XP9 in the begining, so I want to set up the radios, auto pilot, stuff like that. I also like realistic looking airports and I went to London Heathrow (in the sim ) and there was nothing there. Not sure if I need to select a few options, or maybe my computer isn't powerful enough (iMac 2.0GHz, 2GB RAM) so it's defaulted to lower-detail settings, or maybe I need to buy airport add-ons.

At the risk of sounding shallow, I do like eye candy (and sound candy, and so far those turbine engines dont sound too realistic). I also do not have a joystic right now, but may get one by end of the week (along with a Magic Mouse and an iPod ).
In the Rendering Settings menu, you can set the level of Airport Detail. I use "TOTALLY INSANE," but you need to have some serious video hardware to play at that level. You can also set your texture resolution higher if you have enough video memory.

If you get the XP9 PDF manual, they have an entire section devoted to figuring out how much stuff you can turn on.

Be sure to turn off the "Use pixel shaders for fog and water effects" and to turn off Anti-Aliasing to start. These two options consume a ton of your video card's resources. You can also turn on the FPS display by going into Settings -> Data Input / Output and checking the right most box on the first line: "frame rate"

Then you can start playing with different options to see what your system can handle...
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Old 11-09-09, 10:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehidle View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvIMTE4Sloo

That one blows my mind every time...
Quote:
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@ehidle: Wow!

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+1

If I had that I'd never get anything done. I had an early version MS Flight Sim, it only had 3 planes and I'd get lost for hours at a time.
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Old 11-09-09, 11:09 AM   #17
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If I had that I'd never get anything done. I had an early version MS Flight Sim, it only had 3 planes and I'd get lost for hours at a time.
Take a moment and learn to use your gauges, geez.
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Old 11-09-09, 03:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ehidle View Post
X-Plane is much better than FSX for many reasons, not the least of which is support for PFC sim hardware, and FAA Approval as a training program with the right hardware setup and licenses.

FSX can't even get rudder authority right (edit: one very crucial thing you won't be able to do in FSX is an extended slip, which is absolutely necessary for harsh crosswind landings, slipping turns, and other maneuvers requiring prolonged rudder authority), let alone much of anything else with respect to flight modeling, and I shouldn't even mention that they don't even have all of the airport designators correct (for example, they still use N67 for Wings Field 15 years after it was changed to KLOM with the addition of the AWOS).

X-Plane also has much better support for multiple computers (I have three in my setup), and the IOS is really superb.

MS put a lot more work into eye and ear candy than they did into their flight model. The UI is a bit more polished, but is functionally decrepit and unrealistic.

(BTW: I am a pilot)
so edit the .air file and aircraft.cfg file till it suits you

you can fix the airport designators as well, AFCAD should do it I believe
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Old 11-09-09, 03:55 PM   #19
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In the Rendering Settings menu, you can set the level of Airport Detail. I use "TOTALLY INSANE," but you need to have some serious video hardware to play at that level. You can also set your texture resolution higher if you have enough video memory.

If you get the XP9 PDF manual, they have an entire section devoted to figuring out how much stuff you can turn on.

Be sure to turn off the "Use pixel shaders for fog and water effects" and to turn off Anti-Aliasing to start. These two options consume a ton of your video card's resources. You can also turn on the FPS display by going into Settings -> Data Input / Output and checking the right most box on the first line: "frame rate"

Then you can start playing with different options to see what your system can handle...
the big difference on frame rates tween fs2004 and FSX is the texture formats, the new format uses lots of overhead.......one of the mods some guys have done is simply replace them with a simpler format

As far as I know, even an uber high end rig still won't play FSX with good framerates with all the eye candy turned on.....like FS2004 it will take quite awhile for hardware to get caught up with what the game is capable of. Just to max out FS2004 you need a 3ghz CPU and up around a nvidia 6800 or better to get 30fps under most conditions with all details turned on. With FSX that same hardware will literally choke to death. What sucks is the flight sims are very very CPU intensive, a killer graphics system won't do as much as it will with some other games. Plus they are single threaded and no physx support. To play FSX really well you'd need a CPU that can clock in at like 5.5-6Ghz.

XP9 has all sorts of tricks you can use, the entire game is quite hackable. You can use all the tricks that work with other games like changing textures, making sure your openGL is working properly, and just being smart about what you do with it. It will be awhile before hardware catches up with it too just not nearly as bad as FSX. OpenGL itself makes the game unavailable to lots of people, via chipsets will crash, when openGL got updated it broke it for people with via chipsets.

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Old 11-10-09, 08:40 AM   #20
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Quote:
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As far as I know, even an uber high end rig still won't play FSX with good framerates with all the eye candy turned on.....like FS2004 it will take quite awhile for hardware to get caught up with what the game is capable of. Just to max out FS2004 you need a 3ghz CPU and up around a nvidia 6800 or better to get 30fps under most conditions with all details turned on. With FSX that same hardware will literally choke to death. What sucks is the flight sims are very very CPU intensive, a killer graphics system won't do as much as it will with some other games. Plus they are single threaded and no physx support. To play FSX really well you'd need a CPU that can clock in at like 5.5-6Ghz.
You can modify FSX to run on two cores (I don't know about 4 since I haven't needed to) and it's true that it depends on a great processor rather than graphics cards. I used to chuckle when I would run FSX on my old P4 3.0Ghz much better than the brand spanking new (at the time) Core 2 Duo 1.8Ghz before anyone knew how to modify the config file to use both cores.

To answer the OPs question, I think the true die-hards consider X-plane to be a simulator/hobby and FSX is an arcade game.
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Old 11-10-09, 09:54 AM   #21
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You can modify FSX to run on two cores (I don't know about 4 since I haven't needed to) and it's true that it depends on a great processor rather than graphics cards. I used to chuckle when I would run FSX on my old P4 3.0Ghz much better than the brand spanking new (at the time) Core 2 Duo 1.8Ghz before anyone knew how to modify the config file to use both cores.

To answer the OPs question, I think the true die-hards consider X-plane to be a simulator/hobby and FSX is an arcade game.
The die-hards consider X-Plane to be an authentic flight simulation platform used for FAA-approved flight training as well as in-home realistic flight simulation.

X-Plane does not depend on a great processor or a great graphics card. X-Plane can run on very modest PC hardware.

If you read the X-Plane manual, there is a chapter devoted to explaining what parts of X-plane are more CPU-dependent (like the number of rendered objects) and what parts are more GPU dependent (like Anti-Aliasing and Water effects).

The important thing is to configure your X-Plane installation to balance out the use of both CPU and GPU to get the maximum available performance. It takes some knob turning, but you can get a lot out of it:

http://picasaweb.google.com/eric.hid...71062279634322

Sorry for the video quality - I run out of resources trying to capture anything in high resolution with all my graphics stuff maxed out (be sure to click the "View HQ video" link)

edit: PS, anyone know how to convert quicktime to "something else" without losing quality? I tried using VLC to go from quicktime to AVI and the file went from 300MB to 3.5GB, and trying other formats ended up degrading the quality...
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Last edited by ehidle; 11-10-09 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 11-11-09, 01:28 AM   #22
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Use this SUPER programme to convert between any video format to any video format.
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Old 11-11-09, 04:37 AM   #23
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Thanks Danno... they need to get a non-advertising-sponsored host though. It's very difficult to find the download link among all the ads for that other conversion program... heh..
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