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Thread: X-Plane 8,9

  1. #1
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    Default X-Plane 8,9

    If you have been following my sticky thread in the G5 Forum, you know that including all of the worldwide scenery, this can be huge, about a 58GB folder.

    These screenshots are dumbed down for the web which causes the streaking in the sky, water, and runway. The actual game views are great. Today started with an SFO ILS28R approach from outside the Outer Marker flying with trackball and keyboard, B747-400:
    Pic of ILS28R, just about at the Outer Marker which is at the San Mateo bridge.

    500 feet, 28R ahead.

    200 feet, the 3 white and 1 red lights on the left of the runway indicate glide slope and are correct for a heavy. 2 white would be correct for a narrow body aircraft.

    Whew, stopped on the runway in position to taxi off.

    Another view. Rescue balloon in the background.

    k

  2. #2
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    Touchdown SFO 28R with tire smoke

    k

  3. #3
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    I wanted to download the X-Plane 8.30 Beta v10. Currently running 8.21. May new features between those two versions and some speed increases in launch time as well as higher frame rates.

    First download the Installer Macintosh 108 Beta, an 11MB app. Launch it and it provides 4 servers to pick from for the 8.30 beta 10 download. Chose one and it started at 12KB/s for the 511.5MB download with over 2 hours left to install with 2 simultaneous streams. Very slowly increased to 39KB/s On the fly you can change primary servers, does not start over, and it will continue. As I changed server, it continued at 39KB/s and 2 streams. After about a minute it switched to 4 streams and rapidly increased to 100KB/s. Later increase to 115 to 119KB/s. 119 was the max I saw and was what the download ended at.

    So now I have another folder, 518.5MB, for the beta.

    Now about the 8.21 scenery bells and whistles preferences. I cranked up most of the possible selections to much higher but not highest. Of them all, anti-alias level - 4x hardcore seems to be the most demanding (prefs comment, can put a HUGE workload on your graphics card). At the bottom of the prefs window, my X800XT is identified with this comment - VRAM used at these settings 216.4MB.

    That is getting close to the 256MB of the card. SFO 28R ILS with daylight clear conditions at these settings is about 40fps. k

  4. #4
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    I don't like using the original XPLANE8 DL DVD (7.0GB) in order to run the app so I just finished using Toast Titanium v6.1.1 to do a disc to disc DL copy which has both Mac and PC versions on it. My blank was a Verbatim 8.5GB DVD+R DL 2.4X speed write. Burned, verified, and works just great. k

  5. #5
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    The same settings that gave me 40fps daylight SFO ILS 28R taking up 216.4MB VRAM, at night I got a warning message that I had exceeded the VRAM and the app was reducing somewhat my scenery settings. After the warning I checked the prefs and it showed 246+MB. And the fps varied from 18-25 during the remainder of the approach. I have the minimum set for 15fps. Fog would occur below that but I have yet to see any.

    I think an AGP card with 512MB would allow max scenery pref settings or very close to it. k

  6. #6
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    There are various other websites for adding other aircraft to X-Plane tho it already has a lot. I was looking for a B767-300 so went here http://www.x-plane.org/registry/1_Aircraft.shtml and found one free. Not all are free and not all work with v8 of X-Plane.

    Another site for scenery additions is http://www.x-scenery.com/ and again some free, some not, and must be compatible with v8. I downloaded the Golden Gate Bridge, Chicago Sears Tower, the "Encounter" restaurant at Los Angeles Airport, and the Seattle Space Needle. All are much more detailed than the X-Plane v8 scenery and the X-Plane author encourages the work.

    Sometimes the aircraft or scenery are built for a certain version of v8 and may or may not work with 8.21. Just have to try and see. k

  7. #7
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    Yesterday I used the beta installer for 8.30 RC3 update which the author just calls 8.30 since he believes it to be the final RC. This time instead of creating a separate folder, trashed the separate RC2 folder, I just pointed the installer app to the 8.21 folder. The app spent less than a minute deciding what it needed to install for the update and then began the 4 streams download and updated everything to 8.30. Very slick and fast. Last night I ran it positioned for a SFO 28R ILS approach outside the Outer Marker and positioned for a visual approach from just above 1000 feet MSL.

    The visual approach is VERY busy because you gotta get everything configured, gear and flaps down, slowed way down, and get down to the runway and land without blowing a tire. The 747-400 autobrakes still seem too sensitive even with autobrakes set to minimum selection and will almost always cause a tire to blow so I've been landing with autobrakes disarmed and then manually apply them after reverse thrust. Seems to me autobrakes are being applied just a tad too early in the touchdown/rollout phase. All these with keyboard commands or with cursor moving the actual item on the panels.

    But the huge number of improvements in 8.30 are much better than 8.21 both visually outside and how the simulator does fly. Of course a G5, Tiger, and a fast OpenGL video card with lots of VRAM brings it all together. k

  8. #8
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    I am up to v8.32 now and it runs quite well. There is a beta-1 out for 8.40 but I'm going to wait on that. It boasts several new features, the main one being it works very speedy on Intel Macs. k

  9. #9
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    X-Plane is going thru betas of v8.40 so I downloaded X-Plane 840 Beta-2. v8.32 was 5.4MB. v8.40 Beta-2 is 12MB and get Info Kind: is now Application (Universal). Last night I ran the beta on approaches to SFO 28R and the scenery cranked up more than before is breathtaking at 20-21fps. This morning in daylight, 22-24fps. Both times the app sez I am using 237 of 256MB available on the X800XT.

    My X-Plane folder is still about 58GB even tho I have both v8.32 and the v8.40 Beta-2 installed as well as both versions of the other apps, Airfoil-Maker, Briefer, Plane-Maker, and World-Maker. k

  10. #10
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    One thing I got a kick out of in Beta-2 was this fix:
    The "drop anchor" function on the seaplanes where you drop anchor by hitting (OR LEAVING ON) the brakes is now GONE. Nobody understood it. Everybody kept dropping anchor and then wondering why they could not move their seaplanes, and the planes pulled to the side as if... as if... AS IF THEY WERE DRAGGING AN ANCHOR FROM THE FRIGGING NOSE!
    This feature was nothing but trouble. It's now GONE.
    k

  11. #11
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    I'm on beta-5 now. Working good. Someone on the Xplane Tech Forum (I receive emails everytime there are 25 entries) asked about locations of long runways 20,000 feet or more. What got my attention was that someone mentioned Area 51/Groom Lake, NV being in Xplane and sure enough. So I went over there and shot an approach to 31L which is currently 27,000 feet long. Here is a screenshot at 1000' above the airport which is at 4612' MSL.
    The shot shows the blue lights of taxiways and aprons.

    I taxied around to see if there were any buildings depicted, none. but I suppose they would have to kill me if there were. This is what does show

    k

  12. #12
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    My GigaMDD G4 with 9800 Pro ME 128MB, I installed Xplane, just the application and US scenery only on my 10.4.5 boot disk and updated Xplane to 8.40 beta-6. The folder is about 9.4GB. The bells and whistles scenery were left at default as was resolution at 1024x768 (my G5 I run at 1600x1200 Xplane window). At this setting, Xplane was running 27+ fps and about 10+ nautical miles visibility, foggy beyond that. It was using 77.28MB of the 9800's 128MB.

    I cranked up number of objects to the next setting, a lot (trees, buildings, etc), and widened the field of view from 70 to 100 degrees giving me 30 more degrees on the left side and using up to 108+MB of 128MB at about 22+ fps and 10+ miles. Trying to go beyond those two, Xplane complained and pushed back some settings.

    Good scenery if somewhat muddied, definitely flyable but a 256MB 9800 would make a world of difference. k

  13. #13
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    On my G5, one of the last betas before the current final v8.40, had a very strange cockpit, like being in a helo with a B747 panel. Took more from the 256MB of the X800XT ME too and therefore fogged the distance. Here is what it looked like at about 7nm from the end of the runway dumbed down for the web:

    k

  14. #14
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    From Austin the owner and programmer:
    PS:

    A FASCINATING NOTE:
    We have run X-Plane 8.40 on BOTH MAC-OS AND WINDOWS VERSIONS on the
    SAME computer thanks to the new Macintosh's ability to run Windows...
    care to guess which version ran faster?

    The MAC version running on Mac OS-X ran about 10% to 15% FASTER than
    the Windows version on the same computer.

    This clearly indicates that the MacOS (combined with the compiler used
    to generate the Mac version) is more efficient and speedy than Windows
    for the X-Plane application.

    There is a silver lining for Windows users though... more tests show
    that the fastest Windows machines are FASTER than the fastest Macs, so
    with a dose of hi-powered Windows hardware you can MORE than make up
    for the greater efficiency of the MacOS.

    Bottom line: The MacOS works out to be about 15% faster than Windows,
    but the Windows HARDWARE can be faster than the Mac hardware, MORE
    than making up for the OS.

    This will turn around when Apple releases the DESKTOPS, though, because
    those will have HARDWARE to rival the fastest WINDOWS machines.. with
    the tighter OS to boot.
    k

  15. #15
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    Been running version 8.40 for several months now. v8.50 beta-1, I decided to wait so when beta-2 appeared yesterday I decided to try it since I had just used SuperDuper Smart Backup to backup my primary boot drive with v8.40 on both drives.

    beta-2 hosed X-Plane. I have a number of custom resource files on 8.40 for enhancing SFO, LAX, BOS, JFK, HNL, as well as some international airports. During launch X-Plane looks at everything and will report any problems and quit which is what it did with beta-2. Right after that experience, received an email from the author that the 8.50 beta-2 (and beta-1) are currently unable to deal with custom files. He was just a little too late for me.

    I tried dragging the 8.40 folder from my backup boot drive to my primary boot drive Applications folder. Finder got almost all the way thru the copy when a window appeared that a resource file was not able to be copied and the copying stopped. OK, I trashed all of what it did copy. Decided to try Tri-BACKUP 4 Restore which I know will copy folder contents. That worked just fine, just took a long time, and it reported no errors in the Errors window. I have not tried SuperDuper for restoring a folder yet. k

  16. #16
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    Lightbulb X-Plane - 8.50b3

    What's new in this version:
    This should address problems of prop engines not really developing power, not sarting up at the proper location and attitude, and a bunch of other stuff as well.

    http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/4986

    Synk $12 is a nice OS X program for smart synchronize and backup when you just need to deal with folders and not volumes.

  17. #17
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    I'm going to wait awhile on these betas. I looked at Synk and may give it a go. Tri-BACKUP worked but very slow. It is a 58GB folder however. I do like its Errors window. And I very seldom need to restore a folder. The X-Plane beta page is long. k

  18. #18
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    Even tho I was itching to try some of the later betas, I waited for the final version 8.50. Unfortunately it broke some of the LAX custom scenery I had purchased (3rd party) that worked fine in 8.40. The application warned me of the problem and then quit. I also have custom scenery for BOS, JFK, SFO, and Dubai. Fix one and maybe the next app launch would warn of another.

    Not knowing which custom scenery was broke, I trashed the 58GB X-Plane folder and started over with the 8.21 install DVD and the 6 world scenery DVDs plus 2 Mars CDs. All those installations took about 3 hours on my G5. Once installed I updated to 8.50 which required a lot of changes and presented a window asking if I wanted to replace all of the changes or just some. I chose all, not knowing if some would cause problems. Folder size is still 58GB.

    So far, tho I don't have all of the prefs set for what I want, it runs just fine and is definitely faster than 8.40. And the fps is around 40-50. What I didn't like is that all of the icons inside the folder were generic. So I copied and pasted the 5 icons from my backup boot drive 8.40 to fix that. Once I play with the prefs more, I'm sure the fps will decrease. k

  19. #19
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    Have been adding more scenery bells and whistles in the prefs. Now getting 38-40fps with much more than I ever had in 8.40. And still only using about 189MB of my 256MB ATI X800 XT card.

    http://www.x-plane.com/default.html now has a complete list of the changes since 8.40. It is huge. one of the small details is that if you set autobrakes to a high setting, you can hear and see the autobrakes chattering, momentarily releasing and reapplying, neat affect and like the real 747. Many more tweaks. k

  20. #20
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    Default what the?

    I've been using X-plane since v5 on a dual g4, now have a dual 2 g5 (8 slot) with 4 GB ram and the 800xt video card. On version 8.x (now on 8.5) i get tons of fog even on modest settings. I expected a huge performance increase when i moved up to the dual 2 g5, but am still frustrated and not fully enjoying x-plane yet. i'm running x-plane from my second internal drive. how can i get less fog with high detail? any help would be appreciated.

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