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Laminar Research have now released a huge upgrade to their flight simulator with X-Plane 11.50, which brings in lots of rendering changes and advancements.

A massive release, since they completely rewrote their rendering engine to provide Vulkan (on Windows and Linux systems) and Metal (on Mac). This should provide X-Plane 11 players with smoother frame rates, with far less stuttering and better performance overall. For the Linux version you need at least NVIDIA 440.26 and for AMD they're supporting the 'official AMD GPU drivers' along with amdvlk but they didn't state any particular version.

Pictured - X-Plane 11.50 on Linux.

What else does it bring in? Looking over what they've done it adds:

  • 498 new airports
  • 1,742 airports had either no scenery or 2D-only scenery in 11.40, but have 3-D scenery in 11.50
  • 2,427 airports gained some new scenery
  • Tons of bug fixes

That's a huge amount that went into it, all in addition to a much more modern and performant rendering engine.

It may take a while for things to settle down, especially when it comes to all the addons since a lot of them need updating for the new systems. According to the release announcement, it's a staggered release. With the standalone you can manually check for an update, whereas on Steam it's still in a Beta branch but it seems they will push that to the main install for everyone tomorrow.

You can pick up X-Plane 11 on Steam and their website.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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Runs great on my system. Gave me roughly 10 more FPS, and it's silky smooth. Took a flight through New York City which is kind of the "iron man" test of flight simulators because of how dense the scenery is, and it hovered around 30 frames per second.
iiari 11 Sep
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Quoting: Mountain ManRuns great on my system. Gave me roughly 10 more FPS, and it's silky smooth. Took a flight through New York City which is kind of the "iron man" test of flight simulators because of how dense the scenery is, and it hovered around 30 frames per second.
That's been my experience as well. I use NYC as the same "gauntlet" FPS test (as well as San Diego's runway 27 approach or anything at LAX) and I'd say I'm maybe getting 30% better FPS, around 30 FPS myself over NYC, vs prehaps 20-25 before (or worse) on high settings with ortho, weather add-on, shadow add-on, XPRealistic, etc with a 1080ti in 3440x1440. Not bad.

Interestingly, when the first Vulkan builds came out, the FPS gains were crazy, like 100% (double) improvement, but as they've worked on it and stamped out bugs the gain has notably dropped.

Just FYI for everyone, these kinds of FPS results are common for flight sims. These aren't competitive first person shooters, and don't require crazy high 60-90+ FPS. 30-40 FPS is the sweet spot, higher isn't really noticeable. For comparison, BTW, MSFS on my Windows drive (the only reason I have a Windows drive) gets about 35-45 FPS for me.

Fun fact: One of the most notable XP independent add-on devs, mSparks, is a Linux guy, developing all of his stuff on Linux and then porting out to other OS's... He's the "Cloud Art" dev and assisting on the (excellent) freeware volumetric cloud add on "Enhanced Cloudscapes."


Last edited by iiari on 11 September 2020 at 12:50 am UTC
slaapliedje 11 Sep
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I was going to install it and try it out, but apparently only have half the required disk space... need to beat Witcher 2 to free some up...
Avikarr 11 Sep
X-Plane 11 is still just awesome. In my opinion it has better flight physics and overall simulation aspect, then new Micro$oft Flight Sim. It also has a lot of community created content for free, and new Vulkan API works even better on Linux, than on Windows (!). Especialy if you have older PC, and I am one of these poor guys, you'll feel the difference. Totally worth it and still kicking. Plus - with mods, and some of many paid weather engines, it still can look just as beautiful as new MSFS. Of course, world scenery in MSFS is soooo much better and realistic... but it's obvious. And of course ATC. ATC in X-Plane sucks balls :/


Last edited by Avikarr on 11 September 2020 at 9:24 pm UTC
Avikarr 11 Sep
Oh, and here is my screenshot from X-plane. I took it couple of days ago. Cool, right? No paid scenery or weather was used. Just free mods for weather. Swiss mountains!
Screenshot (open in new tab)


Last edited by Avikarr on 11 September 2020 at 9:16 pm UTC
14 12 Sep
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This game sounds great.
robredz 15 Sep
The dealbreaker for many in UK will be the online connection speed, Ok the MSFS will look awesome, but looing at specs, I'd get away with high, but would need aCPU and GPU upgrade sonner rather than later. Am looking at the RTX3070 but not right away. Problem is the Cryptominers might try to grab all the cards again.
Ehvis 15 Sep
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Quoting: robredzThe dealbreaker for many in UK will be the online connection speed, Ok the MSFS will look awesome, but looing at specs, I'd get away with high, but would need aCPU and GPU upgrade sonner rather than later. Am looking at the RTX3070 but not right away. Problem is the Cryptominers might try to grab all the cards again.

The dealbreaker for MSFS2020 should be that it is not only a microsoft product, but a microsoft lock in. Eventually microsoft is going to want a return on their investment. Of course they're playing nice now, but it won't stay that way. Having microsoft in a niche product is a scary thing. There is a reason why they got rid of fsx and nothing has changed since then.
robredz 15 Sep
Quoting: Ehvis
Quoting: robredzThe dealbreaker for many in UK will be the online connection speed, Ok the MSFS will look awesome, but looing at specs, I'd get away with high, but would need aCPU and GPU upgrade sonner rather than later. Am looking at the RTX3070 but not right away. Problem is the Cryptominers might try to grab all the cards again.

The dealbreaker for MSFS2020 should be that it is not only a microsoft product, but a microsoft lock in. Eventually microsoft is going to want a return on their investment. Of course they're playing nice now, but it won't stay that way. Having microsoft in a niche product is a scary thing. There is a reason why they got rid of fsx and nothing has changed since then.
Absolutely Ehvis, Microshaft cannot be trusted, they flogged FSX to Dovetail for the FSX Steam edition didn't they? Other issue is its equally for Console, and sometimes like DNF the console centric development kills the spirit of a game. Hope X Pane can get something that more than competes, sometimes the eye candy seduces, but soon falls short in some way.
Ehvis 15 Sep
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Quoting: robredzHope X Pane can get something that more than competes, sometimes the eye candy seduces, but soon falls short in some way.

I don't think that is realistic. The resources that need to be put into it are way beyond the total size of the flight simming market. The only reason microsoft can do it is because they can leech of their bing maps. And even then I'm highly suspicious about them actually covering the cost. At least X-Plane is an open platform with a large community that brings us stuff like Ortho4xp that allows us to do it ourselves.
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