Flight Simulator: The Difference 25 Years Makes

Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. macrumors bot

  2. macrumors 68000


    Did he just claim that FSX runs Smoothly? I tried to run FSX on my Gen 1 Mac Pro, It's got 16GB of Ram and the 3.0 GHz Proc, along with an 8800GTX stuffed in there for good measure (it runs Server 2003), and I couldn't get FSX to run respectably. I was trying to get it to run with Graphics pretty well Maxed, but only at 1280x720, and on what was essentially the pinnacle of available hardware from that Era of GPUs. Who knows. Probably the same reason that I have a gaming PC with 2 8800GTs and a 2.66 GHZ C2D and it can't run warhammer online at the same speed that my Mac Pro does with its paltry 7300GT.
  3. macrumors G3


    The latest updates addressed a lot of the FPS issues.

    I've run it on my MacBook Pro smoothly at 1440x900. Although I had little traffic and a low of the detail down. 50fps and pretty smooth.
  4. macrumors 68020


    The graphics look pretty good, but I still think I'd rather choose X-Plane over Flight Simulator.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    This is really strange. It is now a long, long time since I have done any serious gaming. I have played some early flight simulators on my Atari 800.
    I was spending HOURS with AH-3 Thunderstrike on a PC.

    Only now, in comparison, does the graphics seems to be soo awfull. At the time it was the latest and greatest and if you had asked me looked EXACTLY as good as current generation games.
    My perception of it was just as clear as the current hi-res imagery. I think it has to do with the way our brain works. If it lacks input it just generates its own pictures to fill the void...
  6. macrumors newbie

    And I'm sure everyone knows that X-Plane was 100% written on the Apple platform.
  7. macrumors 65816


    The 1983 version looks a lot like the FSII running on an Atari ST. The PC version that came out looked awful; it was something like 4 color, white and blue predominant. At least the others had green.
    As Detektiv-Pinky says, the brain translated the primitive graphics into something more realistic. Something like today's graphics performance on an interactive level would have been unbelievable, although dedicated supercomputers could draw some pretty startling pre-programmed effects (as opposed to calculations on the fly).
  8. macrumors 604


    I tried running both on the same machine, and X-Plane is much better, especially with the flight physics, than M$....
  9. macrumors G3


    Completely disagree.

    FSX default aircraft aren't particularly brilliant, but the addon ones (Wilco 767 for example) that have such realistic flight dynamics are fantastic. The amount of realism in the panels, functionality is literally 99% real.

    X-Plane is more of a "fun" simulator in my eyes. Not even on par with the amount of realism and dynamics FSX offers.
  10. macrumors 604


    Depends on the machine. My HP I used was too whimpy for FSX. This RJ Captain I know uses a Canadiar add-on, mainly for the MFD's and EFIS which are pretty realistic.
  11. macrumors G3


    FPS are key to realism, so I agree with you it depends on the machine. Unless you are getting silky smooth frames, then you won't notice the realistic turbulence effects FSX offers, as well as general flight dynamics. Stuttery frames just doesn't reflect realism.

    I remember playing FS98 on a 166MHz machine (640x480 resolution) and getting about 15fps with everything on low. I had never played a game that game silky smooth fps (Sega Mega Drive) so didn't really care. The computer could barely handle Windows, nevermind FS!
  12. JNB
    macrumors 604


    Considering that X-Plane is a proper simulator and FS is a game (or "software toy" as there's no specified goal), there's no sense comparing the two.
  13. macrumors 68040

    I recently bought X-Plane and after a few days installed the FSX demo. The next day I uninstalled X-Plane and bought FSX. I'm not a real pilot. I can't tell the difference between realistic or unrealistic flight models. FSX is just so much more polished looking (scenery, aircraft, and overall UI) that there was no contest between the two for me.

    After Installing the service packs for FS, I can get 20+ FPS with everything maxed out in most areas.
  14. macrumors G3


    I agree with this. I'd take 60+ FPS with average or even poor graphics over impressive graphics at 25 FPS any day.

    This is a big reason why I've liked X-Plane - I've always seemed to get better frame rates with average hardware. It's been awhile since I've used either, so perhaps the situation has changed.
  15. macrumors G3


    Even if you were a 'real pilot', I don't think your decision would have been any different. Pilots have a tendency to get involved in these X-Plane vs. MSFS conversations thinking their opinions somehow carry more weight. At the end of the day, everyone here is using the sim for fun. If you enjoy MSFS more than X-Plane, that's all that matters.
  16. Administrator


    Microsoft Flight Simulator 3.0 for the PC was basically a port of Flight Simulator II for the Atari ST / Amiga. The ST / Amiga ver was so far ahead of the other versions when it was released it's insane. Well beyond the 8-bit versions. But then only on the PC did it move forward, from that point.

    (I spent hours on the ST with FS II and did 2-player over modem, as well.)

  17. Administrator


    FSX just looks far better to me than X-Plane. I own both, FSX and X-Plane 9. I have both installed, but I far prefer FSX. I believe X-Plane is the more realistic simulator as far as aircraft dynamics, but FSX just looks way better.

    And for those that doubt, I am running FSX SP1 on XP with a P4 3.2GHz (HT) + 1GB RAM + GeForce 6600 GT (PCI-Express). Running at 1024x768 with default effects in place, just tweaked up (made more complex) very slightly.

    You can see the vid. Clearly it's smooth. I bought the F-14 aircraft for $29 from ... what's the name? Juno? Something like that.

  18. Administrator


    That said, I love X-Plane 9 on the iPhone. Read my review.

  19. JNB
    macrumors 604


    Actually, it predates that. There was SubLogic's A2-FS2 (on cassette, no less!) for the Apple ][. All wire-frame and speaker clicks for engine sound. MS purchased the rights to publish FS under their banner, and part of the agreement was that SubLogic couldn't publish a competing sim using that same code base. We all know how that turned out. They were only one of the early casualties of the MS business model. SubLogic attempted to recreate using original programming in the mid-'90's, and that never went very far.

    To their credit, MS has taken MSFS pretty far, and from a simply entertainment-oriented, eye-candy perspective, it is definitely up there, but then they've had 20-some odd years and an entire dev team to work on it. X-Plane is predominately the work of one individual, and he started it while in his teens.

    If they both continue the development and enhancement pace they've kept in their respective histories, X-Plane will be walking away from MSFS by in the next couple versions. What will keep MSFS stronger, though, is the plethora of add-ons and user content that's developed around it. More's the pity, too.
  20. macrumors G3


    That's one of the cool things I like about X-Plane. It's basically the product of a single guy fighting Microsoft's machine.
  21. macrumors regular

    You people know that MS FS you guys are are talking about is a consumer level program. MS also has a version that is used by professional and simulators. MS FS also has a huge modder community.
  22. macrumors G3


    Such as who? Not that I don't believe you, but I'd be curious to know.
  23. macrumors newbie


    Mac Pro Tower running FS One

    I have X-Plane and love the look and aerodynamics.
    I design and fly radio control gliders off the slopes of Newport and Jamestown and although X-Plane is great it does not mimic the same flight characteristics of an RC glider.

    Which is why I've been trying to get my mac to run FS One.
    Does anyone know how I can get that to happen?
    Here are my specs on the situation:

    Mac Pro Tower
    OS 10.5.5
    Single 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors
    4GB of 800 MHz DDR2 ECC fully-buffered DIMM
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT with 256MB of GDDR3 memory
    EFI Driver Version: 01.00.252 (Latest Version)
    500GB 3Gb/s 7200-rpm SATA hard drive
    16x double-layer SuperDrive
    Boot Camp installed

    PC Section
    Windows XP Professional
    VMware Fusion
    40GB Hardrive
    FS One installed successfully
    Disengaged Norton Utility during operation.

    All I get is a small black window flashing once. then a large white window flashing once.

    Any help would be appreciated!!!
  24. macrumors 68040


    FS was great...no time for that stuff anymore but growing up I had a lot of fun with those games...

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