X-plane- performance tech inquiry

Discussion in 'iMac' started by lifeguard90, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. lifeguard90 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 25, 2010
    Hey everyone, like all of you, I can't wait for a new 2012 iMac, before I get into ranting and hoping for one like all the other threads we use, my questions pertains to iMac specs & X-plane 10.

    Who uses X-Plane 10?

    Regardless of new models , the premise should remain the same- In regards to the current iMac which does offer i5 or i7 hyper threading , in terms of X-Plane performance only; ( not other games) do you know how much difference an i7 hyper thread actually gives vs the i5 without hyper thread, mind you the .xx ghz speed bump is marginal 3.1 to 3.4 I believe, 27" iMac. I am also unsure of how much actual initial load time difference i should expect with i5 vs i7 and or paired with ssd or hdd.

    * I will get 8-16gb third party ram and the best gbu BTO option.

    so one i need to know would i loose a lot of performance / fps going with i5?

    I ask because my options are 27" iMac best gpu, more ram but:

    i5 with ssd/hdd combo
    i7 with hdd only

    with the 256GB -251GB formatted user space on current iMac, I would have enough space for xplane, especially since Ben supnik is adding a feature to allow custom scenery package links to the ssd but house the real folders on hdd to save space . ///-- Unless, performance of the sad with the OS on it will really degrade fast if i put xplane on it; which in turn I will not do so.

  2. andydckent macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2009
    Edinburgh, Scotland

    Just wrote a reply but its gone awol so here goes again.

    It has been said that x-plane 10 will not run at full settings on any current generation computer. With that in mind I would strongly suggest that you go with the fastest cpu that you can afford.

    I am currently running x-plane 10 on a top of the range i7 imac. The game runs well at reasonable settings. CPU wise I have the roads and buildings set to 'loads' but the cars turned down to 'kansas residentual' as they eat cpu and framerate. Clouds are set to 40%. With these settings I generally get fps of 40 or above up to about 120 sometimes. However in built up areas such as Los Angeles at low altitude this can drop to between 15 and 20 fps which is still easily playable but noticable.

    The big thing I am missing though is the HDR lighting which I have to turn off. It looks beautiful if you can afford to run it but has at least a 10fps hit on the cpu. This means that it is useable in rural areas without a lot of buildings and roads but really slows things down in built up areas, again I am thinking LA, about 11fps, 40fps at altitude.

    I currently have to have the texture resolutions set to 'normal' (though airport details are at 'insane') and not compressed. The game runs fine most of the time set at 'high' but it often crashes because it runs out of memory with custom scenery and airports as it is currently only 32bit and can only use 3.5gb of ram. This problem will go away when they release the 64bit patch and the textures should be usable at 'insane' provided you have a good enough cpu.

    X-plane 10 is a great platform with a small but dedicated team of developers working on it and is frequently updated and bugs fixed as quick as they can. There are now also a substantial number of 3rd party developers moving over from FSX so there will be some great custom planes, airports and scenery on the way.

    In summary, X-plane 10 is great but very demanding on both CPU and GPU and I would recommend that you buy the best and fastest iMac (or PC) that you can afford to run it. I can't comment on what it would be like on the i5 but anything much slower than my i7 and I imagine it wouldn't be much fun.

    Hope that this helps.



    Oh and on initial load time, for me it take a min or two to load up, and maybe a min if your moving to a new starting location. I imagine an ssd would make this a bit faster but honestly I don't think initial load time is that important as once its done its done and you can then spend many uninterupted hours on your 6 hour flight across the US from LAX to Newark........ :eek:
  3. lifeguard90 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 25, 2010
    Thank you very much Andy, this post helps me compare and decide. I think i will go for the best i7 possible, best gnu & RAM 3rd party, especially when xp goes 64bit. The only thing bad about 64bit is some plugins may take a long time to be updated, if ever.

    SSD would be nice, but my xplane library grows each week with airports, acf, patches etc. So my ssd used space + buffer free space to keep performance up would drain fast. I forgot where I read this online but someone said that the ssd load time was not significantly instant faster than 7200hdd. So off of todays iMac model I would have to pass. Well see what 2012 brings, just come soon!


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