X Plane 10 or Microsoft Flight Simulator

Discussion in 'iMac' started by tommy0614, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. tommy0614 macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2013
    I would like your opinion. I have the imac 27, I7 3.4 processor, 680 card. Would I get better performance playing microsoft flight simulator on win 7 bootcamp or playing flight simulator 10 for mac on my mac os?
  2. crows macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2012
    for straight up performance probably flight simulator would be a choice because its not a new simulator its pretty old now so the newer hardware can run it with no problems, on the other hand x-plane 10 is new and I have it installed on my iMac same specs as yours and I can run at 40-60 fps with the textures at extreme res, full screen native res, 8xAA, 4xAnisotropic and all other settings default which looks pretty good.

    Don't even bother trying to run at all max its well known there isn't a computer that can run x-plane 10 all maxed with good frame rates, I don't think its optimized for multiple gpu's either, I mean todays top hardware has problems running X-plane 9 all maxed so you get my point, of course it might be that the software needs optimizing.

    In my humble opinion if your looking for the better simulator I vote for x-plane the aircraft behave more realistic, although I have my frustrations when using weather to simulate crosswinds its not very realistic on that part, I can say this because I am a pilot, if your just looking for some sim fun then either one is fine, just please don't get Microsoft Flight thats a joke.
  3. drambuie macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2010
    The main functional difference with FSX and X-Plane 10 is that FSX is CPU intensive, whereas X-Plane 10 is CPU and GPU intensive. As crows indicated the 2012 iMac with the i7 3770 will run FSX smoothly with all settings maxed. X-Plane 9 will probably also run well. X-Plane 10 uses 1.5GB of VRAM at max settings, so the 2GB 680MX gives a bit of headroom. An issue with the 2012 iMac is that you will need the Superdrive or other USB drive attached, but X-Plane now has a home use USB key for $30.

    If you have the fusion drive, one problem I see with installing X-Plane with all scenery is that you're going to use up about 70GB of the precious 128GB SSD space, as there's no way to force it to the HDD. This is one app that would benefit from being installed on an external RAID 0 Thunderbolt drive.

    With version 10.20 X-Plane becomes a 64 bit app that can use 16GB+ of memory. It installs both the 32 and 64 bit versions. Here's interesting info on 64 bit X-Plane:

  4. tommy0614 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2013
    Thank you both very much. I am a pilot also so I am going to go with Crows advice. I have the super drive. Did you indicate that the cd has to be installed in order to run the game. I would also like to ask do you download the mac game right from the superdrive and it leaves the icon on your desktop? I am a windows guy and just bought this iMac this week.
  5. bropheus macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2013
    I just purchased a 27" iMac for my family, and I added the 680MX and the 3.4 i7 for flight simming. I have a 5 year old custom built PC that runs FSX just fine, but as many simmers know, the flight physics in FSX aren't modeled as realistically as in Xplane 10. I am looking forward to running XP10 on the iMac as I haven't flown it yet.

    I am worried about the learning curve because it seems complex to learn and I don't have a ton of time to tinker or troubleshoot. Hopefully I can get it up and going without having to troubleshoot too much. Is there a good beginners guide out there that anyone would suggest?
  6. drambuie macrumors 6502a

    Feb 16, 2010
    Disk 1 has to be in the optical drive before you start X-Plane, and must remain there the whole time you're using the sim, as it checks for the disk every ten minutes. If the disk is not found, X-Plane goes into 10 minute demo mode, then the flight controls freeze. If you're in the US or Canada you can get the North America scenery version, which takes a lot less disk space, and and is less than half the price. The full version is the global scenery version, that takes around 70GB if all scenery is installed, but you can install the minimum for your area and insert disks as required for a flight.

    X-Plane will install into the applications folder. It can be started via the apps icon in the dock, the launchpad, or you can put an icon on the desktop. Unlike Windows users, Mac users seem to like a clean desktop, with only the dock.
  7. crows macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2012
    heres what you do to take care of the optical drive not included problem, just use your old computer that has an optical drive to rip the dvd to a .iso image then on your iMac connect your external hard drive where you saved your .iso image and just double click the XPLANE10.iso has to be the 1st disk and x-plane won't bother you about the cd not on a drive... my point is it can be a image on a virtual dvd drive and it will run with no problems.

    on windows ImgBurn is the one I used to create the x-plane disc image when I got my iMac I just plugged in my external hdd and double clicked the x-plane image I installed x-plane from the image, it works fine like this, there are no checks to see if its a virtual drive or anything.
  8. gmanist1000 macrumors 68030


    Sep 22, 2009
    X-Plane 10 uses an insane amount of the computer's power. Even if you had a 12-core Mac Pro with 64GB of RAM it would still struggle to play it at MAX settings.

    X-Plane 10 is 64-bit now, so it would definitely help to have a lot of RAM installed so it can utilize every bite.
  9. FreemanW macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2012
    The Real Northern California
    X-Plane now offers a USB key that provides this validation function for those without an optical drive.

    Check it out for yourself at the X-Plane Store

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