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X-Plane 11.50 Now Released


X-Plane 11.50 is a major update that completely rewrites therendering engine to use modern rendering APIs: Vulkan (on Windows andLinux systems) and Metal (on Mac). It is now out of beta testing andavailable to all X-Plane users!

This version includes new options in the Graphics Settings screento enable Vulkan or Metal, which require a restart of the sim to gointo effect. Please note that the first load time with Metal andVulkan will be surprisingly slow. This is lots of shaders/pipelinescompiling for the first time; subsequent runs will be faster.

Prior to 11.50, X-Plane used OpenGL exclusively. OpenGL is astandardized way to talk to a computers graphics card and put imageson the screen. With version 11.50, X-Plane introduces Vulkan andMetal. These are similar standards but they are more modern andefficient than OpenGL. We chose to undertake this project because wewere unsatisfied with the performance of X-Plane running OpenGL. Thisshortcoming was particularly visible in the form of stuttering, whenthe sim loses track of time and then jumps ahead.

Vulkan and Metal work in a similar manner to provide images on thescreen. Unlike OpenGL though, they were designed with modern hardwarein mind. Vulkan and Metal simply reduce the amount of overheadnecessary to talk to the graphics card.

See the full release notes here for the list of all updatedairports and the full list of changes/bug fixes. You can findinstructions on how to update X-Plane here!


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