Well, here’s our latest “position report” with Perry, who advises he has FsX installed properly now on his new PC and is getting used to the ins-and-outs of working with the new SIM, so let’s hear what he has to say:
Flight Simulator X Experiences
Well, I finally get a chance to share my MSFS experiences with you all!
Installation wasn’t too bad. After figuring out that all I had to do was run the .exe that shows up when you put the disk in, it was a breeze. Well, until I started getting a ton of errors after opening the sim. Turns out, you should never install FSX to the Program Files X86 folder, because it causes a number of issues. I reinstalled it to C:/FSX, and all was well!
FSX’s settings are a whole different animal. Being an X-Plane user since 2009 (if I’m correct), I was very acquainted with how to tweak settings within the sim, but FSX has you setup everything BEFORE you actually enter a flight, forcing you to end the flight if you want to go to a different location or switch aircraft. There is, however, a much wider range of settings available in FSX. You can set the amount of traffic, the aircraft detail setting, the scenery mesh resolution, autogen density, and much, much more completely separately, allowing for more precise tweaks.
Performance? I haven’t done any big tweaks yet, but it’s running pretty good on my PC. X-Plane wins the FPS battle, but FSX is more visually appealing. Here are my specs if you want to know…
- Intel i5-2300 @2.8 GHz
- ATI Radeon HD 6570 1GB
- 8GB RAM
Let’s talk about addons real quick! When I purchased FSX at Fry’s, they had the box version of the PMDG 747-400 for only $30! Obviously, I bought. It looks great externally, but you can really see how aged it is by looking at the VC. A lot of the text is blurry and the 3D just isn’t very crisp like it is in Javier’s CRJ-200 for X-Plane. So, the normal $60 is WAY overpriced and I think this particular product is hyped up too much. If I were you, I would get some of the newer PMDG stuff because I’m sure that would show their full potential. They have improved a lot with the 737NGX. The 747 came out a few years ago, so it is a very dated product, so you can’t criticize it too much. Maybe a re-construction of the 3D cockpit would be a good idea in order to get up to date though?
My second add-on I bought was the Carenado Caravan. I have been waiting and waiting for a really nice one to come out for XP, but Carenado still hasn’t done it and Tom Kyler is busy working with Laminar, so his Caravan has been put on hold for a long time now too. Anyway, wow! That plane is a lot of fun! I would recommend it to any GA enthusiast. BTW, that one costs $35 for the basic pack, and $10 for the cargomaster add-on pack. I haven’t bought the cargomaster pack yet, but it’s on my list for the future…
Here are some shots of the Caravan in action!
The third and latest add-on a bought is the A2A simulations Piper J-3 Cub. It costs $25 alone and another $15 if you bundle it with accu-sim, which is a must! Accu-sim creates its own physics to replace and/or add on to those present in MSFS in order to simulate a particular aircraft.
So, why is this important with a plane as simple as a Piper Cub?
Well, accu-sim simulates water behavior, ground behavior, and of course very detailed and realistic flight behavior. Other features include a passenger you can take flying. She has different personalities to choose from, and will comment on your flying. Engine wear is also simulated. If you don’t take care of it and use it well, performance will decrease forcing you to get an overhaul. What I have explained above is just a small fraction of what this aircraft can do in FSX. Go check out their site to see a much more detailed description.
Oh, and it simulated water-assisted landings! This is a technique used by bush pilots which utilizes the big tundra tires skidding over the water to slow the aircraft down. CHECK THIS OUT!!!
Here are some screenshots of the Cub in action!
A trend I did notice in FSX is the price of the addons. They are sky high! Be ready to spend at least $35-50 on a single plane!
Well, here are the links to everything mentioned above, and, well, there you have it!