To say I am disappointed is a huge understatement

LM team was telling me I had a weak card (GTX580).
Supporting users were telling me my GPU sucked for P3D.

I knew what I was doing, I wasn’t overloading my GPU.

Now I got the GTX980 (no, P3D wasn’t the sole reason…).

And did something I wasn’t expecting change? Do I have more performance in non-GPU-limited scenarios? NO! I do not. The sim is the same slow sim with big airpots, I have some from FSDT and Aerosoft. They are all P3D officially compatible.
Yet none of these scenarios, not even those where my GTX580 VRAM was peaking at 1500MB are faster with GTX980.

OF COURSE, if I pick the scenario where the GTX580 was at GPU Load 100%, I see HUGE improvement in P3D. Obviously. However, airports, aircraft and basically ALL that matters, is still highly CPU-dependable. Also I can load more new “features” into the sim.

A clean reinstallation of the driver has been done.
Shaders deleted.

In the end, I find it soooooo funny, that I was simply saying that my GTX580 isn’t as weak as everyone was pointing out. Now, when I load a bigger airport with the Majestic Dash, I still see the same FPS as before. Granted, now I can crank 2x or 4x SGSS and still be able to fly. At least something…

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76 Responses to To say I am disappointed is a huge understatement

  1. AZWildk4t says:

    So is the conclusion to invest more in the CPU than a high powered GPU like the GTX980?

    • Kosta says:

      I wouldn’t put it that way. You simply need both. The point of the post is, a little weaker GPU, that doesn’t break the bank, doesn’t break the P3D with addons… it’s all about what you want. My wish is: faster sim with certain addons, big airports, ORBX regions etc.
      The fact is, whenever P3D becomes GPU-limited with your current GPU, a new card will bring improvement. And that’s just it: ONLY THEN.
      P3D and some people on P3D forums claimed it’s also an improvement when GPU-Z is not showing GPU Load 100%. Which I refused to believe.
      I don’t want to name names.

  2. Joe says:

    Agree completely with you! Unless your GPU is running at 100% constant usage, then upgrading will bring about minimal FPS improvements to something like FSX/P3D. But hey, at least you got an excellent card at the end, so it’s not all bad 🙂

    • Kosta says:

      Noooo, not at all. Elite and Simcity are running awesome, 60fps or more on highest details incl AA. Those were the prime reasons.

  3. Pe11e says:

    I have GTX560, and i3770k @ 4.5ghz, and P3D2.0 is running really awful. In FSX DX10 in PMDG NGX sitting on Aerosoft EDDM and ton of MyTraffic AI, I usually get around 30-35fps, smooth, no sutters. In P3D2.0 I get 30-40fps in default airplane, medium autogen and scenery settings, no cloud shadows, no scenery shadows, no volumetric fog. So, tell me, why I should switch to P3D2.0? Apsolutely no reason for that, unless of course I’m angry because I wasted money on academic licence. Well, someday with better GPU and when P3D will be 64bit, I will switch.

    • Kosta says:

      The problem, Pete, is that the 560 is slow even for basic ground rendition in P3D. The 580 isn’t.
      Whatever GPU we throw at P3D, it will still be often limited by CPU in the airports and PMDG aircraft. And the performance will be generally worse than FSX.
      I still have to test with some ORBX stuff I have, as they supposedly optimize for P3D.

  4. Rob S says:

    Interesting find. Thanks for the post. I was seriously thinking about a 980 to replace my 580.

    I have moderate settings in P3D. Some sliders full, some almost full. Volumetric fog, and shadows only in the cockpit. No AI. With the Aerosoft 319 at Aerosoft airports, I can hold my locked 33fps. At FSDT airports it drops to about 25. The only thing that really slows me down is heavy cloud cover with rain. In those situations my fps can go down to 10, even with GA planes.

    I think I will try my best to wait another year for the next generation GTX and upgrade my 3770k at the same. Thanks as always for your time you give to the community.

    • Kosta says:

      These are exactly situations which fully load the 580, and this is where one benefits of a stronger card.

      • Rob S says:

        So just to be clear, you’re saying a 980 would indeed help the fps in heavy weather situations? If you say yes, then I may have to get one. Lol. Actually though, I’m having fun with P3D but I’m not fully committed enough to make a big hardware upgrade purchase. Once PMDG releases their stuff in P3D, maybe I’ll reconsider. Thanks again for your time on this.

      • Kosta says:

        Exactly, that is the upside, and that was indeed expected. For example, in FSX, I was more than once caught in a bad weather with SGSS (2x with 580), and my FPS dropped. With 980 I see much better performance. I have saved those scenarios, and when I loaded them with the 980, the FPS were 2-3x higher.

      • Rob S says:

        Ok very good. Guess I’m back on the market for a 980 then. Haha. I don’t know where you find the time being able to provide your findings, but it is certainly always appreciated.

  5. Ian McPhail says:

    Kosta: I have a 790 card and a i79360. Yes, I have found the top card is better, but only subtly. Better smoothness and sharper graphics is one positive. However like you, no real improvement in detailed airports. Still in the low teens. However above say about 2000 agl fps jumps up with the AXE and the iFly. It is better, but LM still needs to work out how to improve performance without depending on hardware upgrades.

    • Kosta says:

      Exactly, they need to work on the engine itself, change it, adapt it, so that 3PD can make content that uses GPU more than CPU. In other games it’s possible, why not in P3D…?

  6. says:

    Kosta, thanks that you shared your experience with us. Do you think that more GPU memory ( 4 or 6 Gb) has more effect on the performance of FSX than higher memoryspeeds of the graphic card?
    And can you tell if you prefer DX10 vs DX9 or visa versa and why?

    Txs Don

    • Kosta says:

      In FSX having more than 1,5GB brings nothing. At Heathrow I had 42fps with 580 and I have 42fps with the 980.
      If I add heavy cloud coverage which then peaks the 580, 980 wins of course, since SGSS is on.

  7. Steve says:

    Hey Kosta, now you can use DSR, isn’t it great? 😉

    Same here. Replaced my 2GB 770 and bought a 4GB 970.
    Guess what? P3D Performance was worser than before! (-1fps in same situation/view/aircraft/weather/time, measured using Fraps).
    Changing between views seems to be slightly faster, and textures are also loading faster.
    All in all it’s wasted money. Wasted money only for P3D, but this is the main “game” I use.
    In 3Dmark my Frames have nearly doubled! How can it be, that I cannot see any FPS improvement in P3D?
    Do I really have to try X-Plane again?
    Yes I will. And I’m sure that I’ll see more improvements than in P3D….

    And now I’ve overclocked my 970. Maybe the performance compared to GTX770 is now at least the same.

    • Kosta says:

      Yes, DSR is a positive side, however DSR is not something I see as a really a huge breakthrough. SGSS delivers the same quality and performance, and the fonts stay the same size. However, it is applicable also there, where SGSS doesn’t work, e.g. in Elite.
      It’s not wasted, DEFINITELY NOT. It is really a great card, performing admirably. I think I’ll get Assassin’s Creed, as that was always one of my favorite games.
      Why you don’t see improvement in P3D, I think I explained quite well in the main post.
      X-Plane will most likely make better use of GTX980. I will try it when I get time.

      • galaio says:

        X-plane will fly for sure 😉

      • Kosta says:

        Indeed it does. But is still very inferior to FSX in many aspects, including weather, aircraft quality etc.

      • galaio says:

        Indeed, for now. For weather i’m using the efass application that does a fine job. You can use also the that performs a good weather implementation.
        Regarding other addons, some starting to appear. But indeed, there’s a huge gap between what you have in fsx and x-plane.

  8. ezio says:

    So, in other words, if P3D is the main reason for upgrading the GPU, saving almost 300 € and buying a 970 rather than a 980 is probably going to be a smart move…isn’t it ?
    My plans were to replace my 680 with a 980 but after reading this thread I am less convinced on spending more than 600 € for a GPU whose benefits may not be in line with the expectations…!

    • Kosta says:

      Yes, in my opinion most likely the best way. As P3D is not the main reason for me, and because I got the 980 for some €420, it was no brainer.

  9. pilip75 says:

    fully agreed,
    no change !
    But that was expected more or less.FSX and Prepar are linked on CPU speed we all known that .
    Nevertheless i was hoping that this new intel generation would bring some productivity benefit compared to the now old I 2600k series (very good cpu) at same speed .

    As i posted previously i changed my CPU 2600k running at 4.7 for a i 4970 K on a Maximus 7 ranger , running at 4.7, and nearly nothing changed.
    Yes on my on my test scene (L A international,fair weather ) i may have 1/2 average fps more ,every setting equals .
    Same for prepar3d V2 .
    Let s see what will happen with the coming intel CPU 14 microns generation, hoping we will be able to overclock them over 5MHZ .

    GPU speaking, i changed my R290X for a second hand 780TI and yes ( thanks kosta) there are some quality improvement .
    Are Nv drivers for FSX still implemented? Could be .
    Besides Nv “surround” drivers, for multiscreens, seems to have been improved compared to AMD who was far better in the near past .Nevertheless they are not yet as stable as AMD ” eyefinity” . Example: i cannot run Nv inspector on my lower forth monitor or any other program when running FSX .With AMD i can ! But when running Prepar 3d v2.4, i can!
    Improvements are more noticeable with Prepar than FSX but in both case, i am more fluid with may be more details .
    I Go card memory less is not a problem (3/4Go) .
    i must now implement correctly Vsync thanks to Nv Inspector.
    In this respect Kosta one question :do i read well your guide if i understand that i have to delete from my FSXcfg the line Vsync=1, if i put in in NI Vsync=1/2?
    Of course my monitors (27″*3) are 60Mhz and FSX frame cursor set at 30fps.

    • Kosta says:

      Exactly. I just recently built a PC for a friend and then ran some CPU tests on both computers. I was really amazed, when both CPUs were turned off HT, clocked to 4.4, the result on the 4790K was just marginally better, AT BEST +8%. Usually below +5%, if even.

      “do i read well your guide if i understand that i have to delete from my FSXcfg the line Vsync=1, if i put in in NI Vsync=1/2?”

      Basically, when running full screen, there is NO need for any VSYNC setting in the FSX.CFG.

      • pilip75 says:

        ok thanks kosta
        So if i get in my FSXcfg a line Vsync=1 which is presently the case and as i am running full screen (5960*1080) i should delete it?
        No need to set it in Vidia inspector at = 1 or 1/2?
        What s about Prepar v2.4?.
        Should i enable Vsybc on Prepar set up display or in Nv inspector, or useless again?
        By the way do you think that REX is a fps killer ?

  10. Steve says:

    Addition: Here’s my Frapslog for OMDB with PMDG777.
    GTX 770: Frames: 5032 – Time: 180000ms – Avg: 27.956 – Min: 13 – Max: 30
    GTX 970: Frames: 5027 – Time: 180000ms – Avg: 27.928 – Min: 19 – Max: 30

    As you can see, FPS are nearly identical, but MIN is much higher with GTX970, ergo: Less variance, overall more smoothness. Especially when switching views (VCOutside)
    Regards, Steve

  11. britfrog says:

    i have an I7 2600k with a gtx 660 and have no problems with speed in p3D however i do have a huge problem with VAS usage in P3D .
    for example using ftx southampton and ftx england and the new aerosoft heathrow, i can fly perfectly happily to the edge of london but as soon as heathrow starts to paint it throws a wobbly with the VAS at 3.3gbs

    the only way I can complete a flight bewteen the same destinations (again using the a320 extended) is to use generation x photoscenery and bin ftx england.

    from all the tests that I have done it is quite clear there are major issues with P3D and large a/c it seems alright using puddle jumpers.

    currently highly cheesed off with p3d as fsx with dx10 is much faster and much more solid

  12. Bob in Tucson says:

    Hello, Kosta. After playing this game for 15 years and using all the tweaks on earth and in heaven and hundreds of equipment upgrades, nothing will get those payware/highend aircraft and airports to play ‘smoothly’, no matter how low your settings go….enjoy the game at the low end and stop investing in highend payware and hardware. If a vendor came out with an addon that reduced the stutters, it would make my day, but, alas, they won’t because they can’t do it.

  13. alain says:

    Kosta, how are you doing, long time no talk, I’ve been out of the loop for some times but still reading on FSX here and there.

    Have you heard of the expression “chasing our tail” ….that is the case here, FSX was coded several years ago, in the game’s industry it’s like lights years ago, on the top of it FSX was done with CPU in mind and not GPU oriented like today’s games are.

    So what do we have here, we have and old simulator (dinosaur era coding) that can’t work packed with all the latest sceneries that big companies put on the market, can the latest CPU/GPU take the edges off of it or remove some stuttering here and there…yes….and that’s it, no matter what new CPU/GPU you’ll get you can’t change the code in FSX, further more (and trust me on this one) Nvidia DOES NOT have FSX in their radar when releasing a new driver, they have the latest games in mind when releasing a new driver, can some new driver’s implementation make a little difference here and there…they may if we are talking about the 1/2 sync or stuff like that but again….that’s it, it’s not “gonna” make FSX run like Crysis 3 with all the bells and whistle on a 4K monitor…ever.

    So, what will make FSX run better….I’ll tell you what….nothing short of rewriting of the whole engine/code in 64-bit with the latest improvements in mind GPU wise period. Now lets talk about P3D…what have they accomplished in the last…. what….4 years…..I’ll tell you what…getting more $$ out of poor FSX user’s pocket by branding a carrot in front of them…you can smell it alright but can you taste it, and don’t get me started with the licensing BS, so going back four years ago would you have bet me a drink that P3D had enough time in four years to make some major improvements to the old FSX….I bet you would have…now I’ll bet you that four years from now we will all be b****ing about the same old FSX’s problems…chasing our tails.

    Also, don’t forget that sceneries companies (I have one in mind) had to come up with the same old s*** wrapped in a new presentation box to stay alive after the Flight’s debacle, can’t I blame them….absolutely not as they are there to make money, they just had to reinvent themselves or should I say FSX with a new name, P3D.

    None the less FSX is the only simulator so far that contain most of what a lot of simmers are looking for…… but keep packing it with eyes candy’s sceneries nonsense and it will go down in spirals again and again and again, clever marketing wise…..disastrous FPS wise.

    Seems like Bob from Tuscon got what a lot of simmers don’t want to believe….sorry if I bust a lot of simmers bubbles but it is what it is.

    You all stay safe flying now.


    • pilip75 says:

      yes i fully agree on most of what you says if not all !
      yes FSX/Prepar are the only real flight simulators programs ;
      yes their engine is fully outdated and the only real thing to do would be to rewrite it in 64 bits with a better equilibrium between CPU/GPU ;
      yes most of the twea

    • pilip75 says:

      (sorry i just follow on )
      tweaks ,some of them working, are just a bandage on an incurable wound;
      Nevertheless, now, with a 4.7 Mhz CPU (i2600k/i4970K), a reasonably powerful GPU, preferably Nvidia (780 ti) , i can run FSX ,nearly all cursors right,on my heavy test scene( L A International), at an average 30fps, on a 6012*1080 (3*27″ screens) desk,with 2048 textures ,and various add ons,(REX,UltimateTerrain, Accufeel,Real cockpit effects ,and some ORBX and other makers local scenes).
      to be fully clear , i rather fly “light planes” or fighters at low or medium altitude.
      So who will update or replace FSX/Prepar at the same realistic flight levels?
      enjoy flying

      • Kosta says:

        I bet dovetailgames will release a new sim with full backwards compatibility, yet 64bit and 3x performance of FSX on the same hardware. Alright!? You get me?? I bet that is correct!!

        *joke off.

  14. CordoganAir says:

    What Dovetail is doing is the real joke

  15. ezio says:

    Srdan, and the rest of the simmers community following this blog,
    sadly I regret to say that I confirm what you wrote in the opening post of this thread. At that time, as I was in the process of buying a new and more powerful GPU and I was hoping to myself that you were wrong, but unfortunately my first impressions after replacing my GTX680 with a brand new EVGA GTX970 SC, are confirming your findings.
    This leads me to a question: how can so many people be so enthusiastic about P3D to strongly recommend to fully replace the “old and crappy” FSX with it? I mean, FSX is now a stable and reliable platform, with great visuals, and if properly tweaked and using a modern hardware can perform very well under the most demanding situations. I am frequently flying NGX /PMDGT7/ Aerosoft Airbus in and out of Aerosoft Hethrow V3 (just to make one example of a very demanding scenario) with all sort of goodies such as UTX, FTXG, ASN weather, both online and offline (and you know how crowded is EGLL on Vatsim), without any problem…the new GTX970 has given even more “horsepower” to manage heavy weather situations without compromising the overall visual results …. I haven’t had a CTD or an OOM issue for ages now (touch wood…  ).
    I have recently decided to give P3D V2 a try (you all know how these sort of things go….you never stop looking for something better….) , and I had great expectations indeed. Installed it on a fresh Win7, same PC as FSX but separate drives and OS……all I can say is stutters, poor antialiasing, clouds depiction (I am using ASN for both FSX and P3D but the outcomes are totally different, the clouds look too cartoonish, the visibility layering in FSX is way better IMHO….and so on….unless I am missing something) are making me wonder why should I dismiss FSX for P3D as many people have already done. Just having some nice shadows in the cockpit or some amazing light transitions at dusk and dawn to me is not enough (also considering that the antialiasing issues are making the cockpit shadows edges appear jaggy and trembling).
    The only advantage for P3D is that hopefully this is “work in progress” platform so some sort of improvement is expected in the future (hopefully also on nVidia drivers as well) . But for the moment I am going to put it on the shelf and continue enjoying FSX…
    Despite my expectations quite frankly I am truly disappointed by P3D…

    • pilip75 says:

      you said it Ezio ” work in progress compared to no more work!
      besides Prepar V2.4 is not so bad !
      i use both .
      P R

    • Kosta says:

      How I agree with this:
      “The only advantage for P3D is that hopefully this is “work in progress” platform so some sort of improvement is expected in the future (hopefully also on nVidia drivers as well) . But for the moment I am going to put it on the shelf and continue enjoying FSX…”

  16. niggle says:

    I agree with ezio, “upgrading” to a 9 series card will accomplish very little except cost much more than a 6 series. the only good thing about p3d is that it is being developed , i have 2.4 but it has huge vas problems you cannot fly with an airbus or ngx from ftx soton to heathrow v3 using ftx england it will hang and blow a raspberry at you, fsx with dx10 is soo solid

  17. Alain says:

    Developed??? What about saying “manipulated” as changing 4 quarters for a dollar, with FSX (P3D) to get some improvements you have to take something else away, Like Phil Taylor always said “There is no free lunch.”, so unless somebody rewrite the whole simulator nothing will change you can’t make something out of nothing and rewriting it from the ground up would mean breaking compatibility and kissing goodbye a lot of $$$ you already have invested in FSX/P3D … come the expression “chaising your tail”….


    • Kosta says:

      Oh come on Alain. Not that we don’t agree, but being this pessimistic about everything doesn’t bring anything to anyone.

      • Alain says:

        Dear Kosta,
        I am in no way pessimistic, I would rater say realistic, I am not writing here or anywhere else to take anything away from anyone “au contraire” I aplaude ANY effort that will make or runFSX better, the first one in mind is Nick’s bible, the other one would be Steve’s DX10 fixer (some fixes) just to take these two, but I don’t have my head buried in the sand about what it would take to make FSX the way a lot of simmers would like to see it run and it’s not related to hardware.

        To whom want to spend thousand of $$ on a new hardware or a complete PC thinking that it will make FSX/P3D run like a dream be my guess, it will not hurt anything but your wallets only…. but short of a re-writing of the code using DX10/DX11 in 64-bit we are stuck with what we have and like I said before, in four to five years from now the same complaints discussed today will be discussed as they were four to five years ago because of the way FSX is coded.

        There is no holy grail’s tweak hidden somewhere….one thing is for sure though….you can’t stop a simmer’s loving heart.



      • tiotony says:

        Hi Kosta!

        Have you tried FSX Steam.. I’m seeing a nice improvement on Framerates compared to the disc version.. please verify ifyou can.. All sliders maxed.. in 20FPS.. no tweaks.

      • Kosta says:

        No, not yet. I heard that it’s better, however I missed the €5 sale. I wanted to buy it, however the system wouldn’t allow me, I wasn’t able to press the buy button (it wasn’t doing anything). So for €12,50, nope, not gonna buy, rather wait and see where it’s heading.

  18. 5 buck sale back on! So Ive heard anyway.

  19. VC10 says:

    Alain is correct – P3D is a lot of smoke and mirrors at the moment and heavily evangelised by a clique of users at Avsim.

    Kosta showed many months ago now that despite claims about P3D2 making good use of a modern, powerful graphics card it is still a very heavily CPU bound programme. Fundamentally it’s a re-badged ESP with DX11 lipstick and marginally better VAS overhead.

    Lots of the claims about amazingly smooth performance were down to people comparing their virgin P3D2 installation to an old FSX installation weighed down with tonnes of addons (exactly the same thing is happening now with FSX Steam Edition). Most people by now realise once you start cramming addons into P3D2 it runs just the same as FSX. I suspect if most people totally uninstalled FSX and then reinstalled without installing any addons or just keeping to a minimal number of addons they would be blown away by how much better it runs.

    Last year I did a side by side comparison of a virgin FSX and virgin P3D2 and found there was very, *very* little to choose between them in terms of performance.

    Now bear in mind the claim by some P3D2 proponents that it just works and needs no tweaks at all. Funny then that the Avsim P3D2 forum has many threads discussing cfg and graphics driver tweaks. If you check right now you’ll even see Avsim’s P3D2 evangelist-in-chief has a thread proclaiming a simple tweak that will increase framerates by 40%….

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    For me at least P3D2 simply doesn’t offer a significant, tangible improvement over FSX in any way for me to use it. In fact, many of my initial fears about how some developers might handle pricing for P3D2 addons are being confirmed. So switching to a sim that offers no real improvement in performance, no improvements at all in the core flight simulation aspects, isn’t compatible with a significant number of addons I have accumulated over the years and its “serious professional simulation” credentials are being used for some good old price gouging…. it’s just not worth the effort.

    Honestly, FSX is still doing pretty good for me. I have my expectations realistically set and know how far I can push the sim before it chokes. FS9 is still going strong on my computer too with a combination of weather, airport scenery and AI traffic that would make FSX and P3D2 have a heart attack, and I am also enjoying X-Plane 10 – ironically the only civilian flight sim that even begins to fully utilise modern hardware, yet is derided and snorted at in disgust by the P3D2 enlightened.

    However, Alain is correct – if we are truly to push the genre forward and achieve the kind of simulation that many appear to want, we aren’t going to get there by slapping some lipstick on a pig. We need something totally new built from the ground up for both contemporary and future hardware. If that means totally breaking backward compatibility then it’s something we will have to deal with or forever be stuck with flight sims built around old, hopelessly outdated and overloaded architecture.

  20. VC10 says:

    In fact just perusing the thread I mentioned above I see the person in question is now saying they want to see a 64bit P3D2 because improvements in memory management aren’t enough.

    Funny then that not that long ago (before the 64bit version was confirmed as in development) the same person was saying 64bit wasn’t really necessary because LM could improve the memory management of the 32bit version and we’d have no more OOMs *and* retain compatibility with all our addons.

    I don’t really like the term “fanboy” but there’s an awful lot of them over at Avsim as far as P3D2 is concerned.

    • Rod O. says:

      At avsim I posted that when Dovetail games releases their own “MS Flight Simulation” platform it will have a more recent “flight engine” than does P3D. The P3D fanboys there then proceeded to fall over themselves to tell me off, though they all ignored my point completely, i.e. newer Flight Engine, and instead expounded its superior “lipstick”, which I agree does look mighty fine, but it’s still that same crotchety bitch underneath it all. That’s not to say though that the remains of Flight that DTG has isn’t anything more than FSX’s little sister; we have to wait to see.

      I really don’t know why LM bothers at all with P3D. The industrial market has far better and more capable flight simulation tools available. I imagine that their sales are mostly to flight schools and aviation focused institutions, and to flight and FS enthusiasts, with the latter by far being the bulk of their customers. It really irks me that I must lie to myself to get their $60 license (though they don’t seem to care at all), and $200 is simply as you say gouging, and IMO too much to pay for a beta-in-progress product. I think Dovetail games has a really good opportunity to knock P3D out of the consumer (vs. commericial) FS market if they can do the right thing.

      • Kosta says:

        Indeed, I think so too. If Dovetail continues on the right path of fixing and not breaking FSX, then also communicating with Nvidia and updating the driver, updating the FSX engine in the right direction… however, just see how LM has taken a long time to do some stuff. The question is if Dovetail can do better.

    • Kosta says:

      Well, all things aside, it seems that Dovetail is already bringing the first patches. They are not the world of difference, but at least a step in the right direction. And it is an entertainment version, which will surely make it more approachable.

      • Rod O. says:

        LM is a defense contractor, the largest in the world. They sign multimillion and occasionally billion dollar contracts to make really serious stuff. P3D is such small peanuts for them; I would not be surprised if LM uses P3D as filler job for their software engineers between their real contract assignments and hence its sporadic and problematic development cycles, though there are most likely a few “full timers” to oversee its development. Fortunately for P3D users LM is currently riding a crest of success at the moment; but a significant drop in their mainline business could possibly result in P3D development being discontinued. If DTG is the first to market with a quality 64-bit FSX-like platform and lines up 3PD to support it, P3D will be rendered a has-been in the FS community in a moments notice.

      • Kosta says:

        “If DTG is the first to market with a quality 64-bit FSX-like platform and lines up 3PD to support it, P3D will be rendered a has-been in the FS community in a moments notice.”
        You’ve said it.
        The problem is not only their sporadic updating, but also the price of some very-wanted addons coming out: PMDG. They announced the price of the T7 addon for P3D to be “sub $200”. Come on… sub $200, while you have to pay $60/200 for the sim? How many only sporadic customers are gonna buy that. It will never ever be a mass product, except that PMDG will probably make good profit on it, since it probably doesn’t need too much updating and changes.

  21. Amen to that Kosta. Seems for these PPers moneys no object. Rob and this Richard just fork over the cash for Software and hardware no matter what the cost. The elitist/royalist finally have their own personal Flight Simulator! 🙂

  22. VC10 says:

    You’re absolutely right P3D2 is becoming the elitist’s flight sim of choice, which is ironic because I see it as the inferior platform right now, with FSX, XP10 and even FS9 being superior in many respects.

    The more I see of the direction things are going with P3D2 the more I believe it is most certainly *not* the future of flight simulation as its supporters want to tell everyone. It’s not a product licensed for entertainment usage and as such is not available from the regular video game retail outlets. The licensing issues considered with the price LM are selling it for…. well the most significant thing P3D2 has achieved is to raise the bar for entry into the flight simulation hobby even further, which will discourage new people from taking up flight simming and we will have even less new people coming into the hobby and supporting freeware and payware developers. When you then look at how some developers are using P3D2 licensing as an excuse to start raising prices even further then things look even more worrying for the future of the hobby.

    That right there is the fundamental problem P3D2 has when it comes to “the future of flight simulation”.

    I’ve no doubt there will be the usual suspects plastering Avsim with screenshots of their not so new PMDG 777 P3D2 version for which they just forked out $199, fawning over the DX11 shaders and volumetric fog….. yet failing to even acknowledge it’s exactly the same aircraft as it was in FSX, and that they’re *still* getting poor framerates and OOMs on their $4,000 systems.

    That’s not to say DTG is the future either… looking at their business model with Train Sim you can get a rough idea of what to expect from them.

    • Rod O. says:

      For now I give DTG the benefit of the doubt for what the future holds for flight sim, for I’ve got nothing to lose in doing so. On the avsim home page there is a very recently (this week) conducted interview with a DTG rep discussing their development plans for a revamped MSFS and it sounds it could be very promising, that is if what that say can be trusted. At least they are showing an awareness of the opportunity and responsibility of what is before them in their FS endeavor. Let’s just hope they get it right.

  23. Afterburner says:

    Hi Kosta, thanks for sharing your results. Speaking of FSX, I have experienced that you will only benefit considerably from a premium graphics card if you:

    – Set Anti Aliasing to high levels (SGSS)
    – Fly through dense cumulus clouds
    – Insist on flying at frame rates of 100+ at scenarios where the CPU is not stressed.

    If AA is set at lower levels, such as 8xMSAA (which is enough for me), even a good $70 video card will be limited by the CPU most of the time. If you limit your frame rate inside FSX additionally (let’s say to 30, which is a popular number – sometimes I limit it to 36 at a screen refresh rate of 72, which provides great smoothness), the GPU will be charged even less. I have experimented with different target frame rate settings. Under clear skies, if the slider is set to unlimited and you position yourself with the default Trike at a place where there is few AI traffic and anything that demands CPU power, your frame rates are likely to be very high, in the 200+ range. Checking the GPU load reveals that the video card works at almost 100%. Now if you limit your target frame rate to 30, you can see that the GPU load has reduced immensely, to let’s say only 20 or 30%. If you add clouds, the usage will go up, but you would have to work really hard to hit the 100% mark while the fps limiter is active. If you deactivate the fps limiter, the frame rate will go up to a level that will stress the GPU completely. If you now add CPU-hungry elements, especially a complex airliner, the CPU will become the bottleneck even if it is classified as a flagship model. In that situation, the graphics card will work at relatively low loads. (And I am still talking about an inexpensive GPU).

  24. galaio says:

    PMDG 777 is out for P3D at some price.

    • Kosta says:

      No thanks. Too much for me as a current user in FSX. They demand the same price all over again for the same product. A disgrace if you ask me.

      • galaio says:

        I also disagree. Paying for the same piece of code. I though current users didn’t had to pay.

      • Kosta says:

        No, look, I’d pay like $20 or something. For their “trouble” of getting it compatible. For free would be too much to expect IMO. But since it is virtually the same product, surely not the full price of the original product. No way.

  25. VC10 says:

    I can’t say I’m surprised at the news PMDG are effectively asking everyone to pay for the same product all over again.

    First of all it was PMDG with the 777 – and Flight 1 with the King Air B200 – who were to my knowledge the only developers to go out of their way to purposefully code their products not to work in P3D.

    The thread over at Avsim has some interesting points – most notably that PMDG specifically state the P3D 777 is for personal use only and is *not* for training or professional use….. which of course doesn’t quite tally with the P3D EULA, but let’s not go there….. So then, if the P3D compatible 777 is being sold to us under pretty much exactly the same terms as the FSX version, why do we have to pay again for it?

    The answer of course lies in the fact this is the way PMDG operate. They are a business and they are very good at what they do. They have always been right at the front of pushing the price for addons higher and higher with every release and are effectively elevated to the status of demi gods by the FS community, hence they think they can pull a move like this and everybody will just suck it up because it’s PMDG. Remember a few years ago they switched from selling their products in US Dollars to Euros overnight, but didn’t adjust for the exchange rate. The reasoning was most of their customers are from Europe so it made sense to sell their wares in Euros. Of course the effective 15% price hike overnight was just a coincidence.

    They’ll keep doing it until enough customers begin voting with their wallets.

  26. Renard says:

    Kosta, how does the autogen popup in P3D latest versions compare to that in FSX? I have seen some people saying it is a lot better, much less noticeable in the scenery close to the aircraft you are flying. On a French board, someone says P3D’s treatment has improved so much it is a “revolution” – no more trees popping up like mushrooms around the plane. Others say it is about the same … or even worse.

    • Kosta says:

      i would say it is better. it does not pop up as in fsx. however the density below aircraft is less than in fsx, making screenshots outside the aircraft a bit “empty” if you will.

      Von meinem iPad gesendet


  27. Krisztian Katona says:

    Hi Kosta!

    Hopefully you can help me, because I couldn’t find a solution for my problem! Finally a I got a good performance after tweaking and reading forums since I got my new pc. It’s a I7 4790 (not the K version) with GTX970 4 GB and 8GB RAM 1633 MHZ. I’m using vsync 1/2 refresh rate with inspector at 30 fps limit. With many addons and pmdg I’m at 30 FPS all the time. I’m aboslutley satisfied but when I change to outside views (ezdok) fsx is stuttering without any FPS drops!??
    I have this only in outside views. I have tried with the basic planes and the same happend. No FPS drops below 30 but If I move the aircraft up or down or turns It’s sttuttering (lagging) Have you got an idea what could be the problem? Thank you!


    • Kosta says:

      Really no idea off the top of my head. Did you try without ezdok? If you are using it, I would think of it as a first culprit. Try disabling and using FSX only views, see if you have the same problem.

      • Krisztian Katona says:

        Oh, thank you for the quick response! I’ve already unistalled ezdok just to see what happens but I still have the problem even in case of the basic ultra trike. Maybe I just let things in cfg, camera, and exe files. I will check it tomorrow because my “boss” 🙂 needs me next to her in front of the sunday family movie. I will write tomorrow! Thanks again!

  28. I just got a 980 gtx also.. I can’t say I’m disappointed because I didn’t expect the world after upgrading from a 750ti, however its clear P3D needs a serious CPU.. and when I say serious CPU I mean probably one doesn’t exist that can do max settings on everything and still get great FPS

    This is my rig

    i7 2600 at 3.4 GHz (Sandy bridge)
    16 GB Ram
    256 GB Samsung SSD
    Windows 8.1
    GTX 980 (Gigabyte)

    so obviously I can upgrade my sandy bridge with a new motherboard and CPU (next thing I will do), but an i7 Sandy Bridge at 3.4 GHz isn’t exactly “slow”, its benchmarked as fast as the latest i5s running at a similar clockspeed

    so basically you need the latest i7 Haswell, OVERCLOCKED to 4 GHz + or Xeon processor and then you can start talking… lol

    I’m not even using multiple screens

    but to be honest I am a happy man, I can run a decent 30-40 FPS on above average (but not full settings)… my only problem is LGAV, when I take off and get in the vicinity of Athens City (Greece) I get a hopeless drop in frame rate to about 20…. clearly CPU limited

    • Kosta says:

      Not even 4Ghz+ Haswell-E is going to give you what you want. What you would need is 5Ghz+, water/phase-cooling, extreme overclocking and speeds way beyond specification.

      • Kosta why do you think this is ? because of programming of original FSX code? high power graphics cards were available then also (2007)… as well as multicore (dual core was already out then). Anyway it is ridiculous for me to get a liquid nitrogen cooled 5 GHZ Haswell E to play P3D… (I would do it personally but my wife would divorce me), so I’m trying FSPS fIbre expander to get a few more FPS, it is logical (reduced scenery complexity in airports / cities etc and at low altitudes, automatically) and I get decent results on my rig

  29. alain says:

    Again…….To whom want to spend thousand of $$ on a new hardware or a complete PC thinking that it will make FSX/P3D run like a dream be my guess, it will not hurt anything but your wallets only…. but short of a re-writing of the code using DX10/DX11 in 64-bit we are stuck with what we have and like I said before, in four to five years from now the same complaints discussed today will be discussed as they were four to five years ago because of the way FSX is coded.

  30. Jan says:

    “(I would do it personally but my wife would divorce me)” Really? Buy it and divorce the bitch. What is it with “men” nowadays? Women lib gone too far? I think so… Agree with Alain, nothing will change with more hardware, forget this shit, enjoy what you have AND ADJUST THE SLIDERS TO FIT IT!!!! I could run FSX perfectly fine on my noob AMD Phenom 9650 CPU at 2.3 Ghz with a 9600 GTX card back in 2009. Sliders, gents, sliders, do not forget them sliders.

    • sorry jan i dont agree
      With a second hand I72600/2700k you can buy for 50$, a related mother board and a good air or water cooling ,you will have a CPU reaching more than 4.2 Ghz and you will see a real change (fps and sliders much more on the right ) compared to your 2.3 AMD Ghz .
      Hardware and specially CPU matters for FSX effficieny, but ok no need for overkill capacity hardware !.
      P R

  31. yeah, Jan makes some decent points there.. but really I just need to overclock my CPU, unfortunately I have a non overclockable CPU and m’board combo (i7 2600, H67 motherboard) so I need a new m’board and CPU… but yeah FSX and P3D work off one core so clockspeed is everything…

  32. Tom G. says:

    Thanks again for all your good advice. I just purchased the Catleap Q270 after reading your review, and I love the monitor. However, my old GTX460 is not able to handle any degree of SGSS at the new resolution. I have not been following video cards for the past few years, so I’m not sure about what is on the market at the moment. If you had to recommend a new GPU (but <$400 USD) for FSX to run alongside an overclocked i5-2500k, what would you pick? I only use FSX and the one catleap monitor.

    Greetings from Chicago!

  33. Rotten Pilot says:

    Guys, I love flight simulators and I have looked for every possible tweak or magic piece of hardware to make things faster and smoother. I work in a lab environment and recently ran a 3770k at 6.4 ghz on liquid nitrogen. To my surprise, the performance was not much better than I observed at 5ghz. Sure it was a few frames (maybe 8 FPS higher in densely populated airports making them usable, but it was not the be all end all. I believe we will be waiting many many more years for CPUs to give us what we are looking for. In the end, a 64 bit rewrite along with faster CPUs will make things better. I say this because the focus on CPUs is based in improving efficiency. Performance per watt, not total performance. Companies like Intel are interested in making architectures smaller and smaller. This makes a big improvement in reducing power consumption and TDP, unfortunately, it does not help pushing clocks spend into the stratosphere. It seems that notebooks and tablets have the lion share of the future business and desktops are a dying breed. I believe that we will continue to see improvements in the amount of instructions per second with each new generation, we just won’t have the headroom to turn things up like we have seen in years past.

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