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Thread: Decisions when returning to flight simulation

  1. #1

    Question Decisions when returning to flight simulation

    Hello everyone!

    I’m a 23 year old hobby-flightsimmer with quite a few years of simming experience behind me. However, for the last two-three years, I have stayed away from simming completely. I am now feeling a growing interest in flight simming again, but before I go back to flying I have a decision to make. A lot has happened in the world of flight simulation over the last few years, including the launch and subsequent shotdown of MS Flight, and the release of X-Plane 10.

    My main issue here is how to decide which simulator I should go for. I consider FSX and X-Plane (10) the only two real alternatives when it comes to commercial aviation simulation, and as the development of FSX ended long ago, I now recognize X-Plane 10 as a simulator well on par with FSX which I am previously used to, if not even better. Some would agree, some would disagree.

    I am sure there has been an endless amount of endless discussions as to which simulator is the better one, and some might be tired of these discussions. So bear with me on this one – I have not been following the world of flightsimming for the last few years, and thus I am not very familiar with how things have developed on either side. My goal with this thread is not to have people tell me that this or that is the best one – I just want some constructive advice and comments dealing with the pros and cons of one or both simulators, taking into account factors such as overall quality of scenery, flightmodel/physics, the availability and extent of add-ons such as weather, AI-traffic, aircraft and scenery (both payware and freeware). Feel free to add other factors you deem important.

    I am not interested in biased comments involving dissing one simulator in favour of the other. I want objective, constructive advice and comments that will form a solid basis of my final decision – because in the end, that decision is mine to make. So if you have the answer to at least one of my questions, or more, and whether you are excited about FSX or X-Plane – or even if you prefer both – please feel free to help me out with some good advice.

    (I hope I have placed this post in the right place – I didn't want to place it in the FSX or X-Plane sections of the forum as this post deals with both).

  2. #2
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    I have tried both FSX and Xplane.I prefer FSX, as I feel it gave me a more realistic flight experience.Plus there are sooo many add ons for FSX.just never felt comfortable with Xplane! The graphics on FSX are very real, and I only have a mid range computer (2.4 ghz)but it runs FSX good enough for me.
    Last edited by keede; 04-16-2013 at 08:22 AM.

  3. #3

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    Amazon UK sells FSX Gold for £18.92. Why not just try that?

  4. #4
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    I use FSX and have tried the X-Plane 10 demo (multiple updated versions) so I believe I can make these comparisons and they will stand up to scrutiny.

    FSX Pros:
    - Better environmental immersion due to more third-party scenery products, and a seasonal cycle. X-Plane 10 does not have seasons (yet, but it is planned AFAIK).
    - More third-party products such as aircraft, scenery, weather and traffic utilities.
    - Better ATC simulation, and many third-party ATC products to enhance it further.
    - Cheaper (Amazon sells FSX Gold for ~$29.99, or you can download it through Games for Windows Live for $29.99)
    - The highest fidelity third party aircraft such as PMDG, A2A, RealAir, etc. are FSX-exclusive.
    - Large community

    FSX Cons:
    - Tweaking the sim is necessary for best performance and sim stability
    - Possible stability problems based on user's hardware
    - Third-party products necessary to make sim be the best it can be
    - 7 years old, how much longer can it go?

    X-Plane Pros:
    - Constantly being updated (now entering 64-bit era)
    - Next Gen graphics system (at least what we call next gen in the FS community, definitely not Crysis 3... )
    - Plane simulation is supposedly more realistic (up to interpretation)
    - More powerful and easier to use editing tools
    - More powerful user interface

    X-Plane Cons:
    - No seasons
    - High entry cost for World-Wide sim ($69.99)
    - Much smaller third-party developer network when compared to FSX
    - Next gen graphics come at a cost
    - Constant updates can break third-party addons
    - User Interface is difficult to learn
    - Smaller community

    If you are a student, student-pilot, or pilot you could consider getting Prepar3d from Lockheed Martin, which is built using ESP (Microsoft's licensed version of FSX), and is being updated. http://www.prepar3d.com

    Try the demo out for X-Plane 10 if you are interested. http://www.x-plane.com

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by mavrocket View Post
    - Constant updates can break third-party addons
    True, a X-Plane update can make some add-ons incompatible... but updating is not mandatory, and you can also duplicate your X-Plane folder and use several versions if you have enough hard disk space. Just copy your folder. No registry nightmare ! It's my solution when I'm waiting for an add-on update.

    Third-party add-ons in X-Plane generally last longer than in Flight Simulator. Example here, the famous Mitsubishi MU-2B Marquise by X-Scenery:



    I bought this add-on for X-Plane 9. I received a free patch when X-Plane 9.31 came out. Now this version still works great with the current X-Plane 10.21 beta 2 (32-bit). I can also use most X-Plane 8 add-ons !

    Who is still using FS2004 payware add-ons in FSX ?

    Happy flying.
    Last edited by MdMax; 04-17-2013 at 07:35 AM.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the advice, folks! I think I will be landing on FSX, as I am used to it and it offers such a vast array of add-ons with regard to both aircraft and scenery. Affordability is another factor that really matters to a student, which is yet another reason for me to go for FSX this time.

    I have tried out X-Plane before, and what I will miss is the way X-Plane really made me feel like flying an aircraft. FSX cannot compete with X-Plane on this, in my opinion. It seems a bit more static, the way the flight model behaves. Nevertheless, one has to make some sacrifices as none of the simulators offers it all (yet).
    Last edited by LN-OSR; 04-23-2013 at 08:10 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by LN-OSR View Post
    I have tried out X-Plane before, and what I will miss is the way X-Plane really made me feel like flying an aircraft. FSX cannot compete with X-Plane on this, in my opinion. It seems a bit more static, the way the flight model behaves. Nevertheless, one has to make some sacrifices as none of the simulators offers it all (yet).
    Make sure to try out the X-Plane demo before you go full tilt with FSX, just to make sure!

    As far as flight model fidelity, I've found that it all depends on the plane's developer. I'd hold any recent A2A aircraft (such as their P-51) up against any X-Plane model anyday. Not only do you have the flight model being simulated, but each individual cylinder in the engine... makes for a lot of fun.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by mavrocket View Post
    FSX Cons:
    - Tweaking the sim is necessary for best performance and sim stability
    - Possible stability problems based on user's hardware
    - Third-party products necessary to make sim be the best it can be
    - 7 years old, how much longer can it go?
    Also, consider P3D.

    Prepar3D pros:
    -Less tweaking necessary. Runs better out of the box
    -Most FSX stability issues fixed
    -Most FSX third-party products are compatible
    -Actively developed. P3D 1.4 came out in August 2012 with many small tweaks and fixes to the legacy FSX/ESP codebase. 2.0 coming in 2013 with a completely new rendering engine based on DirectX 11.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmi_Swe View Post
    Also, consider P3D.

    Prepar3D pros:
    -Less tweaking necessary. Runs better out of the box
    -Most FSX stability issues fixed
    -Most FSX third-party products are compatible
    -Actively developed. P3D 1.4 came out in August 2012 with many small tweaks and fixes to the legacy FSX/ESP codebase. 2.0 coming in 2013 with a completely new rendering engine based on DirectX 11.
    I know, and can't wait. The only thing that keeps me using FSX is the PMDG products and the problems with Windows 8 and P3D 1.4.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmi_Swe View Post
    Also, consider P3D.

    Prepar3D pros:
    -Less tweaking necessary. Runs better out of the box
    -Most FSX stability issues fixed
    -Most FSX third-party products are compatible
    -Actively developed. P3D 1.4 came out in August 2012 with many small tweaks and fixes to the legacy FSX/ESP codebase. 2.0 coming in 2013 with a completely new rendering engine based on DirectX 11.
    I think if you are planning to use multiple monitors for viewing (not just the radio stack and such) P3D is the hands down winner.

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