Thursday, November 28, 2013

Prepar3D v2 First Trip Report - LFLJ to LOWI!

 http://airdailyx.blogspot.de/2013/11/prepar3d-v2-first-trip-report-lflj-to.html
P3Dv2. I was originally planning on my first trip to be from LHBP to EFHK, but I was unable to get LH Simulation's LHBP scenery to function properly in Prepar3D v2. After looking at the weather and other different options, I decided on a short 270 NM trip from the French Alps to Austria, from the Courchevel (LFLJ) Alitport to Innsbruck Airport.

My goal of this first trip was to be able to ascertain how Prepar3D v2 performs during such a flight when using complex mesh-enhanced scenery, as well as to dispel any notion and sentiment about Prepar3D v2's performance being too sluggish.
Bandwidth Warning! Over 80 high-res screenshots!

I have not had any performance problems, and I suspect that configuration issues are likely the cause of anyone not getting the most out of their fast graphics card. With this in mind, I'd like to point out the importance of configuring the Frame Rate Controls correctly:


It is imperative that you configure your system to have Aero enabled, that you set VSync to On with Triple Buffering selected - see the above screenshot. For this first trip I've specifically chosen Target Frame Rate to be set at Unlimited so that you can see the performance impact in terms of FPS in the Prepar3D v2 screenshots below.

The route I chose from LFLJ to LOWI takes us across the French Alps into Northern Italy, then across Southern Switzerland, with a few more minutes in Italian airspace before we enter Austria and land at Innsbruck:


I found quite a few fixes and navaids from my Jeppesen database missing or named differently in Prepar3D v2. It's a shame that the Flight Planner isn't slightly more sophisticated and I wish it had the ability to share some of the same AIRAC data that add-on aircraft ship with:


In case any of you wish to replicate this flight and compare it with your own Prepar3D v2 setup, the routing was as follows:


The Terminal Forecast for LFLJ and LOWI at the time of departure was given as:


The complex Alpine elevations that are embedded in the NEXTmap France mesh data I used are rendered by Prepar3D v2 in impeccable detail and clarity. The Courchevel airport environment is really stunning and you get a real sense of being up in the Alps:










In FSX and Prepar3D v1.4 I frequently had problems with sloping runways that had an underlying complex mesh, and I can say that none of these problems were evident during today's departure from Courchevel:










The default scenery in this region really doesn't look bad at all, the addition of the high-end mesh and weather environment depicted by OpusFSX really makes a noticeable difference in enhancing the overall look and feel of the world outside of the cockpit:

















Having said that, the change of scenery from default to Switzerland Professional is very noticeable, the beauty of the Swiss Alps and the incredible amount of detail that the add-on offers in conjunction with the NEXTmap Swiss mesh is quite remarkable:







Cruising at FL210, the low lying clouds covering the Swiss Alps confirm the end of one of my biggest gripes with FSX and Prepar3D v1.4, the quivering clouds caused by Z-buffer clipping, they are now a thing of the past:











Descending towards the Austrian border, the complex weather visuals that can be rendered through the use of volumetric clouds and fog are really evident and absolutely stunning:









Intercepting the OEV localizer the Duke turns west towards Innsbruck. The visuals generated by Prepar3D v2 with Austria Professional X along with the NEXTmap Austria mesh don't disappoint:










Descending into LOWI there was a sudden shift in visibility with the airport now visible in the distant haze:









The airport lighting obviously needs to be enhanced, fixed or upgraded in the Aerosoft Innsbruck airport package, as the ALS, REIL and PAPI lights appeared to be off during my approach:









Prior to departing Courchevel I had switched on the Buildings Cast and Receive Shadows options  in the Lighting settings. Using the Time Preview function one can see how the the shadows generated by the buildings shift with time, all with a very acceptable frame rate:



What can I say, the performance is everything and more than what I had expected. In FSX and Prepar3D v1.4 my system (i7-3930K CPU & GTX Titan GPU) was never able to attain a constant frame rate above 25 FPS over complex scenery. The above screenshots clearly demonstrate that Prepar3D v2 not only greatly improves the visual quality, there is a massive performance increase too, one without any sacrifice in terms of scenery complexity and quality when compared to FSX and Prepar3D v1.4.

I hope you've enjoyed this report on my first trip in Prepar3D v2. None of the add-ons I used were specifically designed for Prepar3D v2. With the introduction of DX11 and performance requirements having shifted from the CPU to the GPU, OOMs should be a thing of the past, with those memory demands now being catered for by VRAM. I see tremendous potential in Prepar3D v2 and am excited about the future. Wes and his team have worked very hard and have delivered so much more than just a graphics upgrade with Prepar3D v2.

The following add-ons were used for the above trip report:

RealAir Duke B60 Version 2.0
OpusFSX Weather
NEXTmap Mesh France
TRUElandscape France Landclass
LLH Créations Courchevel Altiport
NEXTmap Mesh Switzerland
FlyLogic/Aerosoft Switzerland Professional
NEXTmap Mesh Austria
Aerosoft Austria Professional X
Aerosoft Approaching Innsbruck
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31 comments:

Calum said...

It would be great if you could share if you use any other addons? E.g. a shader tool, rex.

Jean-Marc. said...

Hi. Nice update. Someone else asked this yesterday but how did you get your Courchavel airport to install with summer textures? I installed into Prepar3d v2 last night and whilst the mountain scenery was obviously summer the airfield seemed to be completely white and rendered for winter?

Cheers.

Sean said...

excellent trip report. as someone that still uses FS9, it seems holding out was worth while and looks like the end is finally here for my FS9.

Fonzzy3D said...

WOW is all I can say, Nice screenshots and flight report. I hope to pick up my copy of P3D V2 this weekend, Looking forward to it!!!

Brett Culley said...

can someone offer to say if windows 7 runs p3d v2 better than windows 8.1, i am having nothing but hardware problems and crashes, i am about to just leave it alone and stay with fsx, at least it was stable on my system

Jerome Zimmermann said...

Hi Calum,

No shaders, no REX, all stock weather textures.

I've added a list with details of the add-ons used.

Best regards,

Jerome

Jerome Zimmermann said...

Bonjour Jean-Marc,

Merci beaucoup :-)

It installed with summer textures by default for me. To change between textures you just activate the winter texture BGL files in the LLH5 scenery folder and deactivate the summer ones.

Best regards,

Jerome

Jerome Zimmermann said...

Thanks, it was a ton of work ;-)

Jerome Zimmermann said...

Thanks Sean! Glad you enjoyed it :-)

Charles said...

Have to figure out a way to hack RXP GNS GPS's into this!

Jerome Zimmermann said...

Hi Brett,

I use Windows 7 64-bit and as you can see it runs amazingly well.

I suggest you contact LM in their forum:

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

They offer top-notch support!

Best regards,

Jerome

Wayne Gretzky said...

haha! I aswell will be looking forward to a long awaited retirement for my FS9. Proud to say I was able to hold off FSX like the plague... ;)

Even with my FS9, I am always fascinated by watching the airplane zip through the clouds. I can imagine it would be something spectacular to witness in P3D.

How was the ac performance inregards to icing?????? any noticeable difference?
I'm still curious as to how well the sim performs in relation too slick runways/ thermals/ icing... yadda yadda yadda, all the good stuff.

Nice shots Jerome

Cory Baxes said...

How did you get your anti-aliasing to look so good on those settings? Mine doesn't look like that and Nvidia Inspector doesn't seem to do anything. Maybe you could post a picture of your Inspector settings?

James Long said...

Thanks Jerome for this - really interesting and some useful tips on settings which I need to try. I have things up and running and frames are pretty smooth so far.

Need FSUPIC to work to get the controls in order. Using Windows 8.1 and (touchwood) no issues for me so far. I have used the updated Migration Tool on a couple of scenery add ons and they look good. Where possible though I'd recommend waiting for the main guys (FSDT, FlyTampa, FlightBeam and Orbx) to come out with the V2 updates/installers to make sure we are getting the best out of it. Same goes for REX for me - installed the textures but lost volumetric clouds and the default clouds looked better. They are releasing something to address this.

I have two 2GB ATI 7870's in Crossfire - Crossfire is currently off for me and I'm really torn between waiting for SLI/Crossfire support to be added in the next point release or just going for a new beefy card now. Crossfire outside of flight simming works really well for me and has great performance...the sim is running ok now but the temptation to see what it can really do is there...patience! I think a year down the line we will really know where we are.

ALX WNT said...

As V2 user, there's still way to go. V2 is still 32 bit based system, doesnt support sli, and will give you horrible performance unless you dont have GTX Titan or 780 at least. I'm testing since last night 3 sims (V1.4, V2 and FSX) and i'm getting good FPS rates with NGX + NYC or any other demanding area in FSX while i have 7 FPS in P3D despite i'm running with lowest settings possible.

Stay away from V2 if you dont have GTX 7xx card (It is still 32bit, and still Sli noob anyway, when they add sli support you will have to reinstall everything)

Yeah, volumetric fog and shadows are neat stuff, but they are useless if you're getting 7-15FPS.

DAndre Newman said...

As a die-hard FS9 fan, FSX in it's current state was never an adequate replacement for FS9. LM is deffo on the right track with P3D though. I imagine we are going to start to see more of the staunch FS9 users migrate to P3D.

But I do keep my FS9 installed and I will continue do so until a 64bit version of P3D is ready.

DAndre Newman said...

I disagree with you ALX regarding the card. I'm using a 2GB 660Ti and it's performing just fine in V2 with settings above medium. The Titan is the crown jewel but not compulsory to enjoy v2.

RK Software said...

Hi,

Don't listen to ALX regarding GTX card!
I use a GTX570 on my I7-920-3GHz-Win8.1 system.
It is butter smooth

ALX WNT said...

I have the same card, i never saw 30FPS with NGX no matter what i did, average, below medium settings all same, if you're using default aircraft, you might fly just smooth

Danny Terrazza said...

Will using P3D 2.0 make a performance increase in my setup compared to FSX? Macbook Pro i7 2.3 (Turbo 3.3), 8gb Ram, nVidia GT650M

Erwin Vorenhout said...

Hi there,

I just bought p3d on the release day.
I've got a Ati HD7700 with a AMD A8-3870 and 8GB Ram.
In flight simulator X i normally get round 40 FPS with the A2A cessna 172 , but in P3D i get like 2-4FPS , Does anyone know why?

DAndre Newman said...

@ Erwin:

P3D V2 has far more settings than FSX. My guess is, you have some things activated in V2 that don't exist in FSX.

Jerome Zimmermann said...

Yes!

Jerome Zimmermann said...

Hi Erwin,

My guess is you haven't got things configured properly.

I suggest you contact LM in their forum:

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

They offer top-notch support!

Best regards,

Jerome

Brett Culley said...

i am happy to report i have all my addons working in p3d v2 accept for a traffic program, trafic x pro installs but crashes the sim, ftx global, 4 fsdreamteam airports plus gsx, active sky 2012,taxi2gate kmco, quality wings 757,latinvfr sandiego,hdx runway and taxi runway textures amd the quality wings 146 collection, and with the newest migration tool most older planes i tested work as well, such as the majority of planes from cls, so far so good. 25-30 fps and smooth on a gtx 780 and a i7 4770k at 4.2 ghz.

Luis said...

I think for sure. Although i am still not 100% happy with it, too many bugs, when you do get it sorted out in settings and can get to fly it looks great.

Luis said...

Would you mind giving me some hints how you got NGX to work with v2? I ahve it working with 1.4 perfectly but I did the same for v2 and when I launch it crashes. I know it is not supported oficially but it is my key plane. Maybe better by mail: luisclement@gmail.com. Thank you in advance.

Andreas Woerner said...

My FS9 has become dateless, either. I still got some Aircrafts and Sceneries for FS9 only, that never want to miss.

With P3D now, I got three Sim´s in parallel operation, each of them with it´s own assets and rights to exists.

But, as nice. as P3D looks : at present, I am not able and willing to fund such a large ammount for Addons, as I invested in FSX, split over the last 7 years.

It will take lots of time (and money) to enhance P3D to the same scenery coverage and aircrafts availability, as I already have on FSX. My FSX´s scenery.cfg is counting "AREA=1244" now, so I expect 4-5 years is realistic, unless P3D is able to take place of FSX as my primary Sim.

Todd said...

Same here. GTX 660Ti and my P3Dv2 is very smooth.

Fabio Anzalone said...

Hi, i enjoyed the report
I want to ask if is possibile to know all your settings and if you tweak sth in your cfg.
I have an i7-2600k 4,8ghz and gtx 660ti.
Thank you in advice

Jerome Zimmermann said...

Ciao Fabio :-)

You can see all my settings in my First Impressions report here:

http://airdailyx.blogspot.de/2013/11/prepar3d-v2-first-impressions.html

The only thing I really changed since then for the screenshots you see above is this:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-p0zQtzMDne4/UpU1_5T6LmI/AAAAAAAAAl4/F-UZxHFdvBc/s1600/setting_vsync.png

Some people are recommending to do this:

1. In Prepar3D v2 set MSAA to 4x, FXAA off.

2. In Nvidia Inspector set the following options in the Prepar3D profile:

a) Antialiasing - Mode: "Enhance the application setting" (NOT "override any application setting").

b) Antialiasing - Setting: 4x Multisampling. Not sure this is necessary, but seems best to match the app setting.

c) Antialiasing - Transparency Supersampling: 4x Sparse Grid Supersampling.

It really depends what graphics card you own and how much impact on performance different settings have on your system.

Cordiali saluti,

Jerome

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