Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Prepar3D v2 First Impressions!

 http://airdailyx.blogspot.de/2013/11/prepar3d-v2-first-impressions.html
PP3Dv2. We were pleasantly surprised that Lockheed Martin activated the Prepar3D v2 eStore links well before midnight Eastern Time.
Updated - Orbx CYBD/PNW Screenshots added @ 11:00 CET
Updated - Settings, Shadows, ShadowPlay added @ 19:45 CET
Updated - Default Aircraft, French Scenery added @ 22:40 CET
Updated - No Myth - 60 FPS added @ 17:50 PST

At present we know of the following add-ons that are slated as being fully compatible with today's Prepar3D v2 release:


I've received confirmation from various developers concerning progress on updating their current installers, many are waiting for the Prepar3D v2 release version to be live to complete final tests before they make these available to us.

I'm going to break down my first impressions in categories so you have an overview of the look and feel from download to actually firing up the software and flying.

Download and Installation

Lockheed Martin provides all customers with a PDF document that details download and installation instructions. The download comes in two varieties, a single ZIP file that weighs in at around 10.6 GB or eleven individual files, where the majority are around 1 GB in size. The large ZIP file yields the same eleven smaller files once uncompressed.

Installation is simple and straightforward and is clearly outlined in the PDF document provided. This new release is designed to install with or without any existing Prepar3D installation and will live quite happily in a side-by-side configuration should you already have Prepar3D v1.4 installed on your computer.

Depending on your particular configuration, the installation itself is not a 60 second affair, my SSD drive happily breakfasted on 17.6 GB of data-munchies for around 5 minutes before a message informed me that the installation was complete.


The activation procedure was completed within a few seconds of launching Prepar3D v2, and after a short while I was greeted by a black screen that quickly changed to an in-cockpit view of me hurtling down a runway in an F-22 with full afterburners.


Startup and Configuration

I would have preferred the Show Scenario Startup Screen option to be active by default after installation, I hastily hit the Pause key and set about modifying the various configurations available for Graphics, Scenery, Lighting, Weather and Traffic, as well as configuring my joystick, rudder and throttle. Going through the various setup options, this is what's available:








Simulation

After setting everything up to my liking, I changed aircraft and chose ENVA as my airport of choice:


I did notice a few issues with flickering landing lights where they illuminate the runway, though I can't as yet confirm if this is due to any bug in Prepar3D v2 itself or some incompatible NVIDIA Inspector settings. The difference in performance and visual quality is enormous when compared with FSX and Prepar3D v1.4. I was keen to see if the very latest version of OpusFSX would function out-of-the-box and can happily report that it functions flawlessly:


Switching from any simulation view to the menu and then back into the cockpit afterwards seemed to jam the throttle up at max. power everytime for me. Again I don't yet know if this is due to a bug in Prepar3D v2 or if some driver is causing this.

The massive improvement in performance and visual quality plus the overall refinement from the previous DX9 version is immediately apparent and very noticeable. Prepar3D has matured and today's release so far appears to be very stable. Of course throwing some very complex scenery and aircraft at Prepar3D v2 will be more of a test and allow us to highlight DX11 and the changes and improvements it brings with much greater clarity.

Add-Ons and Performance

I've just installed Orbx PNW and Bella Coola (CYBD) airport, as this particular combination has always managed to bring my system to its knees. I'm absolutely amazed by the fluidity at which dense forest areas and autogen in general are displayed, the boost that DX11 brings to the table with Prepar3D v2 is truely remarkable! Coupled with a complex aircraft such as the RealAir Duke B60 Version 2.0, today's release exceeds my expectations, see for yourself (FPS are shown):








There is currently no easy way to install add-ons that don't have a proper Prepar3D v2 installer, it's a bit of a fiddle though the end result is very rewarding, as you can see above.

I'm seeing reports of people having unrealistic 60 FPS expectations with everything close to maxed out. That isn't going to happen, not even with my GTX Titan. Clearly if you have a fast DX11 capable graphics card you're going to benefit, with the NVIDIA 700 and AMD Radeon Rx 200 series able to deliver the kind of next-gen experience and satisfaction that's expected.

Settings

I'm fortunate to have a pretty decent setup that includes an i7-3930K CPU and a GTX Titan graphics card. Without going completely crazy and overboard on choosing ultra-high settings, I currently get a pretty steady 30 fps using the following:





As you can see, my Autogen density is pretty much maxed out, so are the individual terrain settings. The shadows are obviously going to impact fluidity more than anything else, so I've tried to not go completely overboard there, though I have not had the time yet to search for absolute optimum settings.

Shadows and ShadowPlay

One pretty cool feature is the Time Preview function, something that allows you to change the Time Offset and Rate of Time Change:


You have the option to either manually change the Time Offset or play your selection with the chosen Rate of Time Change. With RealAir's Duke 2 parked at Orbx's Broome International (YBRM) airport, and OpusFSX managing the weather, the results look pretty spectacular:












I'm not sure if any Orbx sceneries are fully Prepar3D v2 compatible at present, as you can see from the above screenshots, the aircraft's shadow isn't visible, the actual shadow is covered by the tarmac layer.

I also noticed an issue with NVIDIA's ShadowPlay, which is not working at all with Prepar3D v2 at present. This is a real shame, as I was hoping to be able to use ShadowPlay to quickly record some videos for you to see.

Default Aircraft and French Scenery

Carenado was one of the first developers to offer their aircraft for Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D platform and today's release ships with Carenado's beautiful A36 Bonanza. I installed France VFR's very complex NEXTMesh 4,75 meter France mesh along with LLH Créations' Courchevel (LFLJ) Alpine airport and scenery. For the most part I'm still seeing a steady 30 fps, this is along with OpusFSX managing the weather:









The complex add-on mesh along with the advanced techniques that Carenado use to model their aircraft really demonstrate the visual complexity and quality that Prepar3D v2 can deliver without sacrificing performance. I did notice some weird performance spikes today, and have the impression that this is associated with a bug relating to how the full-screen mode was implemented. At times a black line from the bottom windows desktop bar bleeds through and has a noticeable effect on frame rates.

No Myth - 60 FPS

If you've been following the comments below, you will notice that several people have questioned why I run Prepar3D v2 with my frame rates purposely limited to 30 FPS, especially considering that my GPU is a GTX Titan.

I realise that my particular setup with the GTX Titan has the ability to let Prepar3D v2 hum along at 60 FPS quite comfortably, even with very high lighting and scenery settings. The problem is that there will always be some dips and it will never be constant. Considering that so far I've only seen less than 30 fps a mere handful of times, I would prefer to increase the complexity and retain a high frame rate, rather than having an unlimited and non-constant ultra high frame rate.

You may agree, you may disagree, it's my personal preference at present and I've only just started exploring the many lighting and scenery complexity combinations that exist. That being said, I did get a fairly constant 60 FPS around FlyTampa's spectacular Dubai scenery earlier on this evening:













I haven't noticed any night texture glitches that were common with FSX running in DX10, the image quality is absolutely superb, the lighting in general feels much more crisp and refined. 

As I wrap things up for what has been a tremendously exciting Prepar3D v2 release day, I would like to leave you with one thought:

If aircraft and scenery add-ons that were not specifically designed for Prepar3D v2 already look this good and perform this well, can you imagine the potential that's there for aircraft and scenery that is purposely designed to take advantage of DX11 and everything else that Prepar3D v 2 uniquely has to offer.

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75 comments:

hdiallo said...

Same throttle at max here....the jet fighter that first loaded was at max power as well...I will calibrate controls and see...

James Long said...

Just about to run the installer myself...FTX Global and Opus are the two add-on's I'll be trying. I will also be trying to get the FS Global Mesh 2010 on although not sure if this will work...

The only add ons I'm really curious about right now are REX for textures and a couple of the aircraft (Majestic, Aerosoft Twin Otter/Airbus) - be great to hear your successes etc. Also the FSDT and FlightBeam Airports - FSDT sound like they're updating some (CYVR) so probably best to wait for that! Imagine Vancouver with less OOM's...the dream!

The FSX2P3D migration tool will be updated in a couple of days according the FlightsimEstonia so it shouldn't be too long before we know what's what!

Look forward to the updates from you.

James

hdiallo said...

Same power at max here...actually jet at first initialization was at max power and just spinning...will calibrate controls and go from there...

Brett Culley said...

my plane did the same thing and no matter how i calibrated my saitek pro flight yoke the planes spin to the left, outside of that the visuals are 10x better than fsx, i wish i knew how to install my addons sooner, the default planes are much to be desired.

Douglas said...

Orbx PNW and CYBD are already fully compatible with version v2 or you used a program to migrate?

Jerome Zimmermann said...

Hi Douglas,

It's actually quite simple, if you have P3D v1.4 installed, you can use regedit to point to the v2 directory and then any existing v1.4 installer will place the files in v2.

With Orbx there is some manual work with the scenery.cfg file, but it's relatively simple.

Best regards,

Jerome





Jacob Wiqvist said...

What settings can you run?

Douglas said...

I'm beginning to understand hehehehe ... in my case I will have the first version of Prepar3D if v2, can I install global FTX PNW and walk straight or will I need to make some changes? I'm kinda lost it yet so the fear of buying (sorry my english)

Craig Bishop said...

It runs amazingly on my setup :)

21231 said...

What are your PC specs?

Sid said...

Wonderful first impression post DAndre! Staying tuned and looking forward to intermittently checking and following this thread over the day/days! In your own time buddy...can't imagine how busy you are but you're doing a grand job! Keep it up! Good times friends!

Thank you for such efforts in bringing all this to us!
All the best,
Sid

Sid said...

Sorry, I just realised its Jerome doing it...so I guess meant to direct that thank you to you Jerome! I'm sure DAndre's very busy doing his bit too, perhaps bringing the website closer but this really is a great thread you bring us Jerome so a big thank you!
Looking forward to hearing what works already.

Alex said...

I tried today and have my first OOM !!! :-(
My specs : i7 2600k (no oc), EVGA Gtx Titan, samsung SSD.

My setup options were not to the max (near the max but not the max) and I have a lot of stutters.

I still search for the best performance.

Jacob Wiqvist said...

Xsimreviews doesn't seem impressed?

DAndre Newman said...

Yeah we read his blog. I think he doesn't understand this is just a start to all the improvements leading up to the 64bit. But he is expecting perhaps a bit much especially with his equipment...

DAndre Newman said...

At those settings...

Jacob Wiqvist said...

But what is the bottleneck on his system. I have 2700k and a GTX680 and am a little worried it will not be enough? Will that be enough to have some goodies?

Route Clearance said...

Yeah, a 64 bit version you'll have to pay for all over again like we did with V2. Much like version 1.4, 2.0 will continue to gather dust on my HDD.

Alfredo M said...

Expecting a bit much with an i7 3770k Overclocked to 4.6 ghz. A GTX 670 OC Ti. 8 Gigs of ram???...i think that gig is top notch specially when a lot of simmers cant just go out and buy 780's and marginally better CPU's. The only way to know is to transfer all FSX addons to P3Dv2.0 and see the increase in FPS. XSIMREVIEWS expectations, imho, are not farfetched given the fact that we expected the tweaks to have been discovered already and improved upon. If people are only gonna transfer everything FSX to P3D for cockpit shadows and DX11, then some people might as well wait for further developments of P3D, or at least when tweaks start to emerge. Cost-Benefit.

Biggie Smalls said...

I was wondering if one of you would be kind enough to grab a screen shot of a stock terminal at a regional airport such as Albany KALB?

I am curious to see the enhancements that have been made over FSX in both 3D design for the terminal and Jetway's.

Jerome Zimmermann said...

The GTX 670 was launched around 18 months ago, so as far as GPU hardware is concerned, it's already old technology.

There are no screenshots posted there of what settings were used, so one can only speculate as to what settings were applied. On top of this he obviously had 60 fps expectations, something which is totally unrealistic for his setup.

AFAC said...

In other words: it seems that a "NASA mainframe" is still needed to fly P3D over 30FPS. Sad news.

Chris Strobel said...

So does Ezdok work with this?

Belisar said...

Those specs look solid to me. He can safely expect what he wants from them. The point is the hype on P3D is way beyond what it offers now. 2 years from now? With new updates? With new updates to addons? Who knows...

Brett Culley said...

it's a shame with this new game engine being so much better than fsx that more addon developers were not onboard with this release, sadly i am gonna have to reinstall fsx to be able to use my most used addons, in the active sky forums they replied they would be right on top of it if there was an install problem, 12 hours later i have still had no response in the forums, the quality wings 146 collection does install into p3dv2 but doesn't function correctly and crashes the game, i have rex but i have no idea if it works or how to install it into p3d v2, i was so excited after 7 years to move over from fsx right to p3d v2, i have the recent kmco from taxi2gate, 5 airports from fsdreamteam, kiad from flightbeam, and no responses from anybody, sad.

DAndre Newman said...

I was assuming he was maxing his settings. I get that "feeling" from his article.

Sean McFadden said...

The only thing sad here is your lack of patience!

Dave said...

But Brett, this happened exactly the same way with Fs2004 to FSX AND FS2000 to FS2004 AND FS98 to FS2000 AND FS95 to FS98 AND, AND, AND etc. It has always been like this and always will be.

I think your expectations for developers to be ready immediately upon release is ..... well let me just say unreasonable and narrow minded.

Have both sims on your pc and gradually make the move fulltime to P3d. Quite simple really.

Marek said...

"I'm seeing reports of people having unrealistic 60 FPS expectations with everything close to maxed out. That isn't going to happen, not even with my GTX Titan."

man, and have you noticed that you have target FPS of 30?? :D

dapilot said...

you can't seriously expect them to have fixes just yet, it's been less than 24 hours since released.

Jerome Zimmermann said...

Hi Marek,

Yes, I chose 30 since it's the closest to half the refresh rate of my monitor and is most likely to be constantly attainable on my system for add-ons of varying complexity.

Best regards,

Jerome

Marek said...

ok man, but how the hell you want to reach 60 FPS when you have locked them to 30?? :D Dont talk about "I cant get them with my Titan" when you have locked them... just... what can I say

Jerome Zimmermann said...

I never said I wanted 60 fps! Stop inventing stuff...

Marek said...

"That isn't going to happen, not even with my GTX Titan."

so how do you know that, when you locked yours and you cant see where you can go with them?

Jakub Compel said...

to Jerome Zimmermann - you are intentionally set to 30fps ? To have more than 30 fps then set unlimited ...OMG ... what do you talking about ?

Jerome Zimmermann said...

"so how do you know that, when you locked yours and you cant see where you can go with them?"

Common sense coupled with over 25 years experience with computer graphics technology ;-)

Marek said...

experience.. :D

why dont you test it with unlimited what it will give? Then I'll be happy, but with these informations and impressions I can't see that you are somewhere close to computer technology ;-)

Kristian Holzhausen said...

@ Marek @ Jakub

You guys may be new to this, but it's common knowledge that a setting of 30 fps limited will in general give much smoother visuals and prevent stutter.

Brett Culley said...

thanks for pounding me guys, i have only owned fsx and now moving to p3d v2, i have never had to deal with this situation before, yes maybe i do seem a little impatient, as far as p3d v2 guys the package itself is everything i expected from LM and it will only get better.

Marek said...

Well, if 20 fps is smooth for you, have fun

Sean McFadden said...

Nobody is pounding you, just have some patience ;-)

Brett Culley said...

are anyone else having problems when using 2 monitors, everytime i set to full screen and end the sim and go back to fly both screens are black, and i have to reset my cfg, so as of the moment i am leaving it in the default windows mode.

Sean McFadden said...

Jerome mentioned 30 fps, not 20 fps. And yes, 30 fps limited can be very smooth, much smoother than unlimited fps jumping from 24 to 55 to 36 to 44 etc.

Jerome Zimmermann said...

Take a look here:

http://www.prepar3d.com/forum-5/?mingleforumaction=viewtopic&t=3801

Your comments are welcome, for any support issues we recommend you use the official Prepar3D forum:

http://www.prepar3d.com/forum-5/

Kristian Holzhausen said...

I agree, there is a reason that P3D v2 by default is set to limited and not unlimited!

Allie McBiel said...

How did you get that Courchevel insalled here?

I brought it over from FSX. But most part of Courchavel is plain white.. I thought it was not compaitlbe iwht FDX DX10.. But the same thing is happening in DX11

Allie McBiel said...

How did you get that LLH Courchevel working so good?

My courchevel I linked to the FSX folder is not good, I can see the high resol8ution part of the scnery texture and part of the runway..but I also see a plain white shet on the most part of the scenery.

Jerome Zimmermann said...

I did nothing unusual, I installed it directly into the Prepar3D v2 folder.

Craig Bishop said...

i7 extreme oc 4.5Ghz - 8Gigs Ram, Two Titans in SLI

Warren Alexander said...

James, apart from the cost, I can't figure what are the exact differences between the Academic and Professional license. For a regular person flying with FSX which one is recommeded?

Craig Bishop said...

Sorry, 12 gigs of Ram

Warren Alexander said...

Please excuse my ignorance - but can DX11 simply be downloaded for W8.1? Thank you.

Jerome Zimmermann said...

Hi Warren,

DX11 should already be present on your system. You can test this by:

Windows 8.1 or Windows 8
Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search. (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.) Type dxdiag in the search box, and then tap on click dxdiag.exe.

Detailed instructions and support is available here:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/179113

Best regards,

Jerome

Fighting for the 99% said...

Rex works fine in V2 all you have to do is point the rex config to your V2 folder then click install textures.

Fighting for the 99% said...

Any chance you can explain how you did it?

Brett Culley said...

i don't know why some people are so overheated about frame per second, if you can set it to 20-30 fps and it is smooth, what difrence does it make. at current i have p3d v2 and ftx global base installed and have my fps locked to 35 and even when it does drop some, the sim is smooth as silk for me which to me is what we are all trying to achieve, good visuals and smooth performance, i am running on a i7 4770k at 4 ghz downclocked from 4.4 ghz and a gtx 780, my only real complaint at present is a nasty bug that p3d listed in the forums about full screen going black on alot of people's screen, i have to stay in windowed mode until a fix, if anyone can tell me how to save a difrent default location i would love to know how.i am not an expert at this. so far i have spent more time getting the sim working the way i want to my likings than actually flying and trying to get a good balance between performance and visuals, thats my review for release day.

Brett Culley said...

one last comment that might help folks out, i had wiped my pc and just installed p3d v2, if you currently have fsx installed side by side with p3d v2 i would keep it awhile, thats a big mistake i made, now i am having to reinstall fsx until developers create installers for p3d v2 and that could be weeks or months for all we know.

Ben said...

well...don´t wanna spoil the party, but i tried Airbus X with p3dv2 and í don´t like the fps. got a nice rig with i7 @4.8 and a titan and in fsx it´s a smooth cat. ftxg and rex on top. go ahead and try the heavy weights, not the small planes and you will realize, fsx will be needed for some time till they improve those things. AA is a mess, fake fullscreen-mode is basically a shame. Aero needs to be on ON to have VSync advantages. Don´t get me wrong: it´s a nice start, but much much work and tweaking ahead. Am tired of tweaking. So i will stick with FSX and enjoy the ride.i gonna keep p3dv2 and wait for some milestone updates to check it out again. To be honest, i expected much more concerning frame rates at similar settings.
now go ahead and bash me ;-)

Snyboon said...

Thanks Jerome for this quick n dirty but very informative 'unpacking P3D'. ADX always has the goods :)

ALX WNT said...

Airbus Extended is crap when it comes to performance. I had better framerates with old Airbus, still having more FPS with NGX with HD textures settings...

Luis said...

Hello all and thanks for the great information, anyone tried to bring 737NGX in to it already? It is what I fly all the time on my current P3D v 1.4 and wondering if it will work as well. (I know not officially supported)
BR//Luis.

ALX WNT said...

It's working. But it's terrible at framerates

Brett Culley said...

to be honest with p3d v2 i feel more like a beta tester then someone that just purchased a new product thats suppose to work out of the box, i did install fsx back and took me 3 hours to do it, but as posted above i will keep p3d until some improvements are made.

Luis said...

Thank for the feedback, I will try as well and let you all know what I manged.

FSX Simmer said...

Thx. It shows that I have DX11. Still wondering if you can help me decide which of the licenses is better: the Academic or Professional. I have a Dell XPS laptop.

Luis said...

Just spent some time testing with my rig and a GTX780. Not so impressed yet as I am getting full power on it's on and the left turning wheel becoming very difficult to take off.
Also installed 737NGX but very slow to respond to commands...Guess will be sticking to 1.4... :-(

Luis said...

Later last nigh I installed the ORBX Global which now is available for v2. Installer worked well identifying all versions v1.4 v2 fsx and did not ask registration again. Unfortunately after that when v2 is launched I get the plane running but black screen, no image...bad

Anonymous said...

If you also have rudder pedals, select the pedals in the configuration option and just delete all the unnecessary items. Looks like all the items from the yoke are duplicated. Once done the throttle handles correct.

Rob

Chuck Reed said...

Any more info about the 737GX with P3D V2?

Chas

David Courtney said...

"Switching from any simulation view to the menu and then back into the cockpit afterwards seemed to jam the throttle up at max. power everytime for me."

Did you ever solve this problem? I have the same issue. I have calibrated and re-calibrated my flight controls, but nothing works. Very irritating problem to have.

Jerome Zimmermann said...

Hi David,

Calibration doesn't solve the problem, what does is checking what axis are assigned and making sure you only have one throttle axis actively assigned on one particular flight control. I discovered that both my CH Products Throttle and my CH Products Joystick had an active throttle axis assignment. I simply deleted the one referencing the throttle wheel on the joystick and that did the trick.

Best regards,

Jerome

David Courtney said...

I think I found the problem, but I don't know how to solve it. I have a Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS X. On the throttle portion of the stick, it has a Slider control on the back of the throttle. (If you do a google search for Thrustmaster T.Flight HOTAS X, you'll see a picture of the control and you can see the slider on the back of the throttle to see what I'm talking about.)

The slider defaults to center. (It's spring loaded, so it can't be changed. It's like a hat switch in the sense that when you let go, it recenters itself.)

The problem appears to be that Prepar3D wants to read the input from this slider control to set the throttle. I went into the controls and deleted the assignment but button 7 (which is my slider control), but every time the sim starts, it still wants to default to half throttle because this slider control sits in the center.

How can I force Prepar3D to ignore the slider input?

David Courtney said...

Does anyone else have the problem of bringing up the Flight Planner and having the sim crash? With a default installation of Prepar3D v2, I can consistently cause a crash simply by opening Prepare3D, and once it's loaded go to the Flights menu, then Flight Planner.

Note that *usually* the first time I go to Flight Planner after starting the sim, it will work. But the second time I go to Flight Planner, it *always* causes a crash. 100% of the time.

Example video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2pui9IGNto

David Courtney said...

Yes Brett, I've noticed the same exact problem. (It took me a while to figure out that deleting the cfg file would "fix" it.)

I tried the suggestion in the link that Jerome posted, but it didn't help. :(

I like this sim, but at this point I feel like I'm paying them to beta test their product.

Joseph Wander said...

Oh well....if you like to deal with bugs all the time and pull your hairs out....be my guest......cough, cough....I prefer to fly instead.

I will talk to all of you again when 2.5 is released and it's beta tested by all of you...wink, wink.

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