• Review: Orbx TrueEarth Great Britain North

    As with all Orbx sceneries you will need an account to be able to purchase their material, but this is a two-minute job to set up if you already do not have one. If you already have an account, I am sure you will know what to do, it is just so easy. Being a Windows user, I was able to take advantage of their FTX Central installer to download and install the scenery which is a fabulous way to do things in my opinion, however, if you are using one of the other platforms such as Linux or MacOS, for now, you will have to manually download and install the scenery. To be honest, this shouldn't really be any different to most other scenery packages out there, so not a major showstopper in my opinion. The download is quoted as being about 20.81 GB, so be prepared for a bit of a wait, however I really believe you won't be disappointed. While you wait, why not scroll through the additional screen shots available at the Orbx home page just to get you in the mood, you can then get a further feel of what it is you are about see.

    Orbx - TrueEarth Great Britain North

    Once done, you will end up with additional folders in your Custom Scenery folder with everything you need in there. FTX Central will give you access to the User Guide and a means of uninstalling the scenery if you so wish, however a copy of the 10-page User Guide can also be found within the main scenery folder if you don't want to run the tool every time. One thing to remember is that you may need to re-order your scenery.ini file depending on how you have it organised to ensure the scenery shows up correctly. If you have any issues with scenery not appearing, this is always one of the first things to check in my experience.

    Due to the size of the files and the limitations in my own storage, I ended up storing the TrueEarth files on an alternative hard drive and linking these to X-Plane using a shortcut in my main Custom Scenery folder. I found this works very well and allows me to maximise the usage of my various drives. There is a work around that you can also use which allows FTX Central to recognise the scenery files on a second drive which means they are easy to update. I posted a question on their forum and received a very quick answer on how to do this. Basically, you copy over a second X-Plane.exe file to the folder where you wish to store the scenery files, add a Custom Scenery Folder to put the files in, include a scenery_packs.ini file, then create file shortcuts that you then add to your main Custom Scenery folder. Bob's yer uncle! It works... Next time you then run FTX Central you will see both versions of X-Plane and you can then choose the surrogate and update your scenery accordingly.

    Orbx - TrueEarth Great Britain North

    My assessment of Great Britain North was using X-Plane 11.31 and X-Rotors AW-139 v4.0, my new BFF, by the way. My current system consists of an Intel i7 5820K 3.3 GHz CPU (overclocked to 4.0 GHz), GTX1080Ti 11 GB GPU and 32 GB of Kingston RAM at its core. My system settings are at the high end of the range with objects on max, HDR on, although shadows switched off. I also use SkymaxxPro and I manually selected the weather to be fine with clear skies, a smattering of clouds and visibility of 20 miles or so. Throughout the series of test flights, frame rates were generally in the high 20's to mid-30's, and basically my system was able to cope well with the scenery and the details provided. I had no big issues throughout. It is always difficult to really predict how sceneries will impact the myriad of end user systems, so all I can say is that I didn't see any significant change in performance when using these sceneries. The authors do claim in their literature that they are designed to maximise framerates as much as possible, always a bit subjective I know, but as I said no real issues in my system.

    Orbx - TrueEarth Great Britain North

    In my tests I experimented with a few areas from all over Scotland, from the heavily populated Central Belt including Edinburgh and Glasgow, right up to the stunning and remote Shetland islands just so I could get a good feel for what was on offer. With such a vast area to cover it was not possible to explore every nook and cranny of the northern part of Great Britain, however I believe the areas covered give a pretty good indication of what to expect. Being totally self-indulgent, I also spent an insane amount of time flying around the North East of Scotland... well, how could I resist!


    1 Comment
    1. Coneman's Avatar
      Coneman -
      True Earth is really excellent. However as a P3D user, I'm very disappointed how this rolled out. The Netherlands was released for P3D, then the entire 3-part scenery for England was cranked out for X-Plane, only then did we finally get UK South for P3D. Then it was on to TE PNW for X-Plane after it being stated that it would be coming first for P3D. I would be very surprised if we even see the rest of England this year. Think I'm going to put a hold on Orbx stuff for now.
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