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To P3D or not to P3D


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I have FSX and P3D installed on my PC. FSX for mainly AIRLINE flights because I have ± 300 payware airports installed of which only 10% are P3D compatible and P3D mainly for GENERAL AIRCRAFT (Carenado, Alabeo, A2A) and mainly ORBX Terrain Scenery (US, EU, UK) and Airports.

IMHO the only thing that P3D has that is 'better' than FSX are ...

  1. Handles VAS better
  2. Shadows in cockpit are nice
  3. Hmmmmm ... that's it ........

After installing the A320X in P3D I've done quite a few flights in and around Europe with the few airports that have P3Dv3 installers and I must say .,.,., shimmering, shimmering all the way; hazy out of focus cockpit displays; visibility that has the one moment a 20-40nm radius and then ALL OF A SUDDEN drops to >10-5nm with AS16 plugin and REX textures. The whole experience with P3D is just different than FSX, and I've said it before that I'm still not convince that P3D is that (so) much better that I will replace FSX with P3D.

Maybe I'm just lucky - but, my FSX setup is pretty much as smooth as can be and only now and then the difference in smoothness with P3D is really noticeable ... or maybe I'm missing something all together with P3D.

My setup:

  • i7 4790 3.6
  • 16GB RAM
  • GTX 750 2GB

Included my prepar3d.cfg and NIP settings ... if anyone has some suggestions for the shimmering and out of focus displays. It's not so obvious with the GA but in the A320X and B738 (PMDG) they are really annoying. 



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Neil K Gardner

Hi Terblanche

I have the same set up, similar specs and I'm having the same debate. I was able to buy the A320 for both P3D and FSX because of the discount for the second, but I'm now looking at PMDG 7474v3 etc and I wont be able to pay twice for that. So, question is whether hether stick with FSX or P3D. With the latter I have far more problems running heavy metal, yet it always feels to me as though P3D is the future. I find FPS fluctuating wildly and blurries on the ground in P3D. With Steve's DX10 fixer I've even got the nice shadows in FSX SE and if I'm being honest, for heavy metal at least, I also have the better experience. Wonder what others think.


Neil G

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Christian Baldauf

Well, Terblanche, I can't give you any P3D hints as I only use FSX, but I'm currently not planning to switch to P3D either.

It's not only a cost factor for me. I'm getting good smoothness results flying the A320 with FSX in windowed mode, vsync (1/2 refresh rate) - after applying the Windows AERO fix (creating a batch file which is loaded through FSUIPC) - and fps limited to 30 with my 60 Hz monitor. I understand the P3D-VAS argument, but we should stay away from those long fps discussions as long as we get a smooth simming experience (my opinion).

For me the actual version leaves an easy-to-deal-with-VAS-footprint so I'm very pleased with FSX at the moment and I hope for two things:

1. continuous support also for FSX users during the next years

2. development for X-Plane 11 :-)



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19 minutes ago, Neil Gardner said:

With Steve's DX10 fixer I've even got the nice shadows in FSX SE and if I'm being honest, for heavy metal at least, I also have the better experience.

Somehow I just couldn't hit the soft-spot with DX10 and after 100 days (three months) I gave up. Somehow the hit on FPS was just too much for me to handle at big airports (EGLL, EDDF, LSZH, EHAM, etc etc) ... and this is not the forum to do it, but don't get me started on the rapacity of PMDG to charge the full price and more for their P3D versions.

20 minutes ago, kriggelb said:

continuous support also for FSX users during the next years

I'm sure that FSX will still be supported for many years because by Nephthys and Anunnaki the production houses and we as consumers have spend thousands and thousands of dollars the last 20 years on aircraft, scenery, and plugins .........

15 minutes ago, Neil Gardner said:

X plane is good for the soul.

........ although I bought X-Plane 11, to start and rebuild the library that I have in FSX in XP will not only cost me another arm, kidney, six toes and a testicle but will take years to get it on the same par. But let's see because the X64 route is most definitely the way to fly.

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54 minutes ago, njflyer said:

Cloud shadows are not bad either :)


Again, same as can be done with Mr.Steve in DX10 (for a small donation).  I'm on FSX on DX10 and am happy as clam.  No more OOMs either.

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Antonis Kastrinakis

Another FSX user's two aussie cents...

I did mull over the idea of P3D. However, P3D still is 32bit (as is FSX). It is also undergoing development (with all the associated hiccups that can bring - witness the latest OOM problem). My current FSX setup is burbling along just fine with my older add-ons, aircraft and scenery including the demanding but oh so rewarding A320X. Yes, the cockpit shadows are nice and add realism to the desktop flight experience but thanks to Steve I could take the DX10 path at some point and get similar eye candy in FSX as well.

I have an older 120GB SSD lying in a drawer which I could potentially use as my P3D drive should I ever decide to take the plunge but as things stand at the moment I am perfectly happy with how FSX looks and performs. My only concern is that developers will slowly abandon development for FSX as it happened during my FS9 days. I will cross that bridge when I come to it though.

For now my Foxtrot Sierra Lima 320 and I are very happy within the FSX universe.


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Victor Tsvetkov

I used FSX for many years till this summer. But after HiFi announcement that Active Sky 2016 will be purchased different for FSX and P3D I considered that it's better to spend money for developing new platform. It took me about 2 or 3 days to move to P3D v3 and I don't regret.

About topic starters PC spec. P3D is much more demanding for GPU and GTX750 can be not enough  for good P3D experience.

My rig is i7 2600K 4.4 GHz, 8GB RAM, GTX 780.

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Even if only 10% are 'officially' compatible it diesnt mean that the 90% other wont work, ive got fsx only scenery working as a charm

Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk

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Peter Pukhnoy

I prefer FSX in DX10 mode. 

Prepar3d has ugly clouds, ugly water, ugly horizon. Many people use HDR for some reason, which to me doesn't look natural at all. I don't know, maybe I have different eyes.  In p3d, you get higher input lag the lower the frame rate. The only thing that is better about P3d is shadows. With my GTX 970, I had stuttering with cockpit shadows and terrible lags with cloud shadows at dusk/dawn. The latter is experienced even by people with high-end GPU's.

About VAS: I've never had a single OOM in FSX despite using Vector+global+openlc and complex sceneries. I just don't understand how some people manage to get them all the time. 

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11 minutes ago, ilya_e said:

And don't even get me started on "this hotfix may break xxx" and "this hotfix may break yyy".

True ... I always smile when I read this. Hold and behold nothing has been broken yet. Maybe because ORBX is ORBX and Carenado/Alabeo is what it is and it doesn't matter how P3D change, fart, or update - the basics stays the same.


On 2/1/2017 at 4:35 PM, Yolo Swaggins said:

Many people use HDR for some reason

Mine is turned off for the exact reason - it looks unnatural and it eats up FPS.

On 2/1/2017 at 9:55 AM, Cmbaviator said:

it diesnt mean that the 90% other wont work

I've tried a few and the night lightning was a mess .... from thereon I just stick with whatever comes out with P3Dv3 installers. Although 90% of my flights in P3D are with twin and single prop aircraft and mainly with ORBX scenery and airports.

On 1/31/2017 at 9:44 PM, deltamike172 said:

My favorite part of P3D is the volumetric fog.

They are cool but with AS16 you have to manually tune the weather because it is very rare that you find it in the right spot to give you the P3D effect or maybe it's only on my rig.


Despite all the hype and considering the price for P3D and the fact that producers like PMDG want the FULL price + 40% for their P3D installers ... I'm pretty sure that for the foreseeable future P3D will not even come close to replace my FSX. Just like @Yolo Swaggins I haven't had any problems with FSX and the only OOMs I've experienced were with Aerosoft's EDDF but after lowering water to 1x when I want to fly to EDDF that is also sorted out.

Okidoki - let's get back into the cockpit and chase some bad-mad weather.



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