Majestic Dash Q400 + Airline2Sim Tutorial Videos

Well well,

Although I never thought of myself flying the prop, being a massive jet-tubeliner junkie, I have to say, I have been massively surprised in the last couple of days.

Since I’ve been planing on getting into Austrian Airlines Virtual yet again, I decided it was time for something new. I received the Q400 and the Airline2Sim videos to start with my “training” of the Q400. I have always been somewhat impressed with the turboprops, but never really dove into them.

I can’t say much about the aircraft yet, as I am now up to the Video #3, which is just prior to take-off, but until now, I have to say, as a NGX junkie and since that aircraft is basically my bar of flight sim quality product, the Dash matches it quite nicely. It is just a mere point in cockpit quality below the NGX, but with somewhat better performance! It’s not magic, but I will say with certainty it is about 20-30% faster. Which is, in an FSX world, a lot.

Now, from the 3 courses I made until now (and I will give you an update when I continue further), I must say I am very impressed with the aircraft and the videos!

You can feel, from the moment you enter Q400 cockpit, that there is a basic difference to any other aircraft out there. Starting from the performance, going over the sounds, how it moves, how it reacts to commands. Wow. Because Q400 basically runs completely independant of FSX flight modelling, it’s allowed to use everything custom, at least that’s my understanding of it. All parts of the sim are outside, and that makes the whole Q400 a whole new experience! Mostly impressive for me are the sounds and how they are controlled. I know FS9 and FSX now for years, and the sound modelling was always the same. Same old boring “problems”. In Q400, I have a feeling it’s completely different – it’s like being “in-there”. Engine sounds respond correctly, they sound like I remember from the Dash flights around Austria… and I hope the aircraft flies like the one I flew recently.
One of the coolest things though, the sounds play externally. It’s like the P3D function of external sounds, but this is in FSX 🙂 Love it. Can calmly switch to another app if I want, without sim breaking off the sound.

Now, the videos…
Thank you Ben!! This is by far the best collection of videos I have come across in a long long time. Not only the fact that they are very detailed and give a lot of information, they are very clear and understandable. It’s always nicely shown what you have to do and where the button is. With a brief explanation of the function. And then there are detailed parts which explain the FMC or whatever else, but I am not yet that far… For me as an experienced 737 sim-pilot, I am able to follow the videos without a single problem. Pausing, setting, listening, pausing, setting… really really great. Beats the PDF reading any day.
And did I mention, Ben actually had a F/O with him in the videos, so he’s the one actually giving the tutorials. So, you are basically learning the Dash off the first hand experience of a real world Dash pilot. I don’t know what else to say, except that the videos are well worth the buy if you are interested into the Dash – and you should be!!

Anyway, while I continue with the videos, I suggest you check both, if you didn’t already:
Majestic Dash Q400
Airline2Sim Q400 Cadet Training Program

All in all, a must have!!

Screenshot

And here is the video of the next day’s landing:

First Landing Q400

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

Breaking news: New VATSIM client

Weeeell,

Finally, after the simple vpilot client, here comes a full sized new client for VATSIM.
So as the presentation goes on, I made couple of simple pictures to show you what is coming on.

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It is called swift. And it is not vpilot 🙂

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It is going to be system independent and will even work with xplane!

Some of the design goals are:
– model matching via database
– open source, except for the VATSIM code which is NDA

so why open source?

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It will also be a cross platform program, so by theory you can run it on windows, Mac, Linux… Any that supports Qt and dbus.

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Write a plugin and you can use the client! Basically, as simple as that!

Modules:

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The dbus system will allow you to run it in many environments and in different setups, and you will have freedom what you run where.
Dbus will allow it easily connect any external programs to it, for example position updates for maps.

Risks:

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Screenshots seen may or may not be the final version!!

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Linking call signs with names is really nice, so you see who you are talking to or flying with!

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Model matching:

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What goes from here?

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So, they do need help!!
They need people who know what they are doing, and are ready to dive in.

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As you can see, no release date. Only guesstimates depending how many people help as it is a joint venture…
It’s gonna be this decade 😉

Credits:

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Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

W14 Vatsim Conference

Very interesting, informative and lots of cool guys. Finally having a chance to meet some guys I was talking online only.
Unfortunately initially I wasn’t planing on going, but I got the last minute opportunity, so thank you Morten!!

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Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Prepar3D v2.2 is out!

And I must say, the first impression is – most impressive!!

I really don’t have much time to play with it long, there are these things called “working days”… but, two things I noticed immediately: smoother all around, when paning, or flying or turning, and way lower VAS consumption, even after loading back and forth, situation after situation, I am still at 2.1GB, which is even lower than an initial load of v2.1.

Go to LM, download and install it. I think everyone will be much surprised 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | 63 Comments

New section – Mouse-Cursor FPS Drop

I created a new section in the guide about the mouse-cursor FPS drop.

Just open my guide and use the browser find text button (just use the term “mouse”, I believe a 2nd search is the right one). It’s just before my FSX settings (screenshots).

Posted in FSX Tweaking | 9 Comments

P3Dv2 vs FSX: Addons Comparison

My dear simmers!

This is the 3rd and most probably the last comparison I will do for P3Dv2. It has become apparent that my tests are considered unrealistic, and bogus if you will. The thing is, I read many forums, including the biggest ones too, and I see many negative reactions to my tests. I see also many happy simmers out there, and I don’t want to the one to sour the apple.

The thing is, P3Dv2 isn’t at all that bad, as some have come to conclude from my tests. People, I do the test, I look at the results and share them with you. Nothing else. And this test was actually a positive one, but more on that later.

This test was constructed to see the difference between the sims when using addons. I have chosen two really great products that I own:

Flightbeam KPHX
Aerosoft Airbus Extended

Let’s begin with showing off my basic situation, from which I conducted the test:

FSX:

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P3D:

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And the settings used:

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As you can see, autogen is maxed, scenery is maxed, GPU stuff is turned off. In both sims, I have comparable settings (no, autogen is NOT comparable, but max nonetheless).

So what happens when we add Flightbeam KPHX, observe:

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Alright, Aerosoft Airbus Extended:

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Well, I can only say disappointing. Or, is it?

Now let’s do another another small step, which I admit didn’t want to do, but did it to really compare apples to apples. Let’s try what happens if I remove ALL the tweaks from FSX, and leave stock FSX + these addons. And for the sake of being correct, I made a screenshot with both mouse off and mouse on the sim results, as we all known that mouse on lowers the FPS in FSX.

FSX, mouse off:

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FSX, mouse on:

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And then, P3Dv2 (no mouse bug):

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And this is what I was talking about before.

P3Dv2 actually performs on par with UNTWEAKED FSX. Not better, not worse. So LM team did a good job of importing many good stuff into the sim while retaining the performance of the STOCK FSX.

With my guide, users have become used to having good performance in FSX, under certain conditions of the tweaking guide.

I also now do understand why there are users out there reporting great results with P3Dv2:
These people are MOST LIKELY those that never had anything better than stock FSX running and were used to poor performance. To them, P3Dv2 is god-given, if it has no bugs. It is smoother than FSX, retains the “low” FPS number and it retains it steadily. But since I have a highly tweaked FSX, my FSX is performing better than P3Dv2 does. And the tweaks aren’t really working in P3Dv2.

To even throw a twist into the whole performance thing, I hit the situation with and manual overcast via weather page, and got this:

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As the conclusion, I will simply say this:
If you had FSX running well and tweaked according to my guide, P3Dv2 is most likely going to be a slight disappointment. It will perform slower when it comes to FPS.
However, if you did not, P3Dv2 will be a joy, since the performance is same (or maybe even better?) and the stability is given or coming.
They still need to fix some quirks and give it Nvidia support, but to achieve the tweaked FSX level, they will need something else. Whatever that might be.

Posted in Testing | 69 Comments

Result of a GPU comparison on P3Dv2

Hello again!

A very nice guy, Ben, who also posted here on my blog, was very kind to “lend” me his PC for an hour this evening, let me have his P3Dv2 installation as a test-bed for a comparison between my (supposedly weak GPU according to some people out there) GTX580 and his GTX Titan.

My hardware is as listed, shortly i7-2600K currently at 4.6Ghz, GTX580 1.5GB and 8GB of RAM and his system is i7-3770K @ 4.7Ghz and GTX Titan, and not sure how much RAM, but it ain’t relevant in this case. Anyway, his system is supposedly much more potent than mine, especially through the GPU.

So I went along and set up a small series of running P3Dv2 situations, just to see, if I were to decide to buy a Titan according to some high recommendations out there, if I would see better performance in the P3Dv2.

No, obviously, I can’t test beyond the capabilities of my GPU, as in that case the Titan would win hands down, being simply stronger. My intention is to give a system a test in a simple scenarios and see how it holds. And then finally, how it performs vs FSX (this was done on my computer only, and will be put at the end).

Beau, a developer of P3Dv2, told me that autogen has been improved as to include instancing, so it should, by theory, perform better, making less draw calls on the system. And it should be most prominent in heavy scenarios. So I included all of those.

Also, as I am connected via Teamviewer on his computer, (and we checked this!!), the FPS are lost by a very small margin, talking about 3-5% or even less when connected. The FPS when disconnected are the same in most of situations, so if you see them a little lower, that is due to Teamviewer connection.

Let’s begin with a shot showing our GPUs:

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And the same shot, showing the GPU load. This situation (previous, and next, being the same, features full scenery and autogen sliders).

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In conclusion to this part, what we see is simply half of GPU usage on the Titan from the one of the GTX580, but the FPS remained the same, pointing out for me personally, that the P3Dv2 is still highly CPU-dependent.

Moving on, I wouldn’t like to leave, even the “weak-ish” GPU like my own, without doing some decent work, so let’s give it more or less 100%. I tried to not overload the card, giving it exactly 100%, and I think I succeeded. And I am gonna tell you why.
Because the Titan, in the SAME situation, SAME settings, gives again, yeah, you guessed it, same FPS.

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This situation incorporates default shader settings, but the slider on max, max water setting, including all checkboxes set, vol. fog on, cars on 100%, HDR on. So now we see GTX580 is on max, and the Titan about 67%. This gives me a solid result that the Titan is about 50% faster than the GTX580. This result goes hand in hand with my GPU comparison result within FSX some time ago. Yet, since I didn’t overload my GTX580 really, the FPS are still the same.

This goes to contrary what is being said about P3Dv2 all the time: no matter what, stronger hardware will benefit P3Dv2. IT WILL NOT. At least not as long as you don’t ask too much of it. This is an old game, and the game hasn’t changed.

And finally, let’s add Aerosoft Airbus to the mix, and see how it performs. Yet again between the two systems:

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Well, best thing I can say, I am disappointed.

Even on a significantly stronger hardware, P3Dv2 doesn’t benefit of the better hardware, as long as you don’t overload the current hardware.
At the same time, LM recommends the latest hardware, yet the benefit isn’t there except if you load all bells and whistles.

Also, what will happen if we were to load the PMDG NGX or 777 when it comes out for P3Dv2 into P3Dv2? If the overhead in the P3Dv2 is already so small and fragile, a monster airplane like PMDG will push the FPS waaaaay down below, way lower than FSX ever was. Into areas of non-playability…

Can anyone prove me otherwise? Can anyone post their 1:1 comparison and prove me wrong? Show me something, anything beside those meaningless subjective opinions I read everywhere…

And the said comparison of P3D and FSX @ Flightbeam KPHX and Aerosoft Airbus?… I’ll put that in another post, too late today already…

And finally, thank you Ben for lending me your computer for an hour, it was an eye-opener and helped me decide what I want to do next.

Posted in Testing | 43 Comments