Some Notes on X-Plane 11’s System Requirements

We posted the system requirements for X-Plane 11 today. Here're a few notes on the requirements for X-Plane 11.

64-Bit Only

This should be a surprise to no one: X-Plane 11 will be 64-bit only. Add-ons have already gone 64-bit only, over 90% of our user base is already running 64-bit operating systems, and we need 64-bit to be able to utilize the RAM that we need and everyone already has.

Windows: No More XP or Vista

For Windows, we are dropping XP and Vista support and requiring Windows 7 or newer. XP has been end-of-lifed by Microsoft for a while and is therefore not safe to use (due to a lack of security updates).

OS X: Yosemite and Newer

For OS X, we are dropping a number of OS X versions and requiring Yosemite (10.10) or higher. Apple has increased the tempo for OS releases in the last few years, and they don't provide new drivers to old operating systems, so we are pre-emptively cutting down the set of supported operating systems to cut down the number of different 3-d drivers we have to test.

Linux: Proprietary Drivers Required

On Linux, we will continue to support only the proprietary 3-d drivers from AMD and NVidia; these drivers use the same OpenGL stack, so they let us support Linux without the cost of additional 3-d driver testing. We don't officially support the Mesa/Gallium stack for Intel GPUs, but X-Plane Linux users have done a bunch of work to make this unofficially work, and we do our best to not undo their work.

Graphics Cards

We're setting the minimum graphics card at the AMD HD 5000-series line for the red team and the GeForce 400-series for the green team. This ensures that we only support cards with reasonably current drivers, DX11-class capabilities, etc. For Intel, you'll need at least an HD2000 series or newer; figuring out your Intel motherboard graphics is really tricky because their numbering scheme is crazy, but if you don't have at least some kind of "HD" graphics, you definitely can't run.

We recommend a newer graphics card, e.g. at least from the DX12 or newer generations. When it comes to graphics, basically more is more, so whether you need a Titan or Fury or similarly monstrous card depends on things like how big your monitor is.

CPU

CPU requirements are the messiest part of the spec and the source of most of our internal discussion. Simply put, there really aren't good ways for us to simply state what CPU is going to work well or not with X-Plane. X-Plane itself has a huge range of CPU uses based on configuration, and CPUs have a huge range of actual performance that can be hard to predict from some of the simple headline numbers. Clock rate is absolutely not indicative of performance, nor is core count.

A recommended system is pretty simple: we recommend the Intel i5 6600K, which is the current top-speed gamer targeted i5. You can go lower or older and lose significant performance, or you can go faster and really start to pay a lot more money. If you want to invest in 8 Xeon cores, it may help... but we aren't going to go tell you to spend that kind of money for a little more performance.

Practical Recommendations

Here are my practical recommendations for X-Plane 11:

  • If your machine is just barely getting by with X-Plane 10 at the lowest settings, and those hardware requirements seem high because your machine was built several years ago, you may need to upgrade for X-Plane 11. In this case, it could be a good time to upgrade OS and multiple components.
  • If your machine runs X-Plane 10 well, it will almost certainly run X-Plane 11 in some form, with the exception of the very oldest graphics cards. (If you have one of those, I would say your definition for 'run well' is a lot lower than mine is.)
  • If you need to purchase new hardware, I strongly recommend running X-Plane 11 on your existing hardware first and examining performance of the demo (when available) to see where you'll need to upgrade.

Real hardware performance is hugely varied by what you are doing and your particular system components, so trying the demo will tell you more than we can hope to figure out from specs.


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About Ben Supnik

Ben is a software engineer who works on X-Plane; he spends most of his days drinking coffee and swearing at the computer -- sometimes at the same time.
This entry was posted in Development, Hardware, News. Bookmark the permalink.

77 Responses to Some Notes on X-Plane 11’s System Requirements

  1. eric says:

    Are we getting close to a beta release ?

    Cheers.........

  2. Ben,
    Will there be a general shift from CPU to GPU demand? Or to put it this way, will a strong GPU be able to compensate more in a (xp10) CPU limited scenario?

  3. Steve.Wilson says:

    For those that may have some question about their Intel based graphics in Mac products, the following Wiki page might be reassuring: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_graphics_processing_units

  4. Nathan says:

    Hi Ben,

    I've tried to avoid asking performance questions, I'm sure laminar don't have the variety of setups as owned by the community. (i.e. we should wait for the demo and get lots of real world measurements)

    XP 10 is renowned to being locked to single-core cpu-speed, as I've learnt moving from an nvidia 780 to a 1070, and from 1080p to 4K. (Almost no discernible improvement)
    (http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/forums/topic/71725-gpu-comparison-chart/&page=8)

    But what you say hints there may be new code that helps shift the balance of power-required away from the cpu.
    "When it comes to graphics, basically more is more"
    "Clock rate is absolutely not indicative of performance, nor is core count"
    Both these statements are kind of contrary to the high performance system comparisons in the link above...

    Putting the new beautiful new effects aside for a moment, when compared to XP10, does XP11 spend less time per frame on the cpu?

    • Ben Supnik says:

      Clock rate is not indicative because you can get a 3.2 ghz Pentium IV and it will be slower than a 2.6 ghz i5. It doesn't say clock rate is bad, just that clock rate totally depends on context.

      X-Plane 11 does the same work as X-Plane 10 when at its -lowest- settings, but as you turn them up, it can do more (on the CPU) per frame.

      • Nathan says:

        Ah, of course - We should be more clear when talking about how to create new / improve existing PC builds, vs support of old kit.

        I think for me. the best indication of CPU for x-plane is something like the geekbench single-thread scores.

  5. Hi Ben,
    some of the major XP11 improvements are the realistic ground fog and light reflection effects. I suggest, this will basically hit the GPU and not that much the CPU. Am I right?

    In the past there was a statement about the different features and their respective hardware dependencies. No, I am not asking for statements like "you'll need a GTX 1080 for this" or "you at least need an i7 6700K for that". But it would be nice to have a little update like:

    - feature a) is more GPU dependent
    - feature b) is CPU and GPU dependent
    - feature c) is VRAM heavy
    - feature d) is bandwidth dependent
    - etc.

    This would be a great help as a starter for tinkering the settings. I believe we all need to (almost) start from scratch testing all effects and their performance (FPS) hit when upgrading from XP10 to XP11.

    Regards,
    Marc

    • Ben Supnik says:

      Detail in the reflections hits the CPU; quality of lighting and resolution hit the GPU. it's still a little too soon to tell on the final mix though.

  6. david_dtc says:

    too bad, switching to XP11 will have to wit until i have the means to buy a new workstation - the one i use is running OS X 10.9.5 (Mavericks) and will therefore be incompatible. Since i use that machine for X-Plane because it remains fast and has a large screen, my workstation is mainly, well, a workstation, ad one doesn't update those wildly to fit a new version of a flightsim, even if i love x-plane enough to stick to it since v5 if my memory is correct. Actually, one should never update a working workstation without very good reasons - flightsim and x-plane don't make enough of a reason... which is too bad, i was enjoying developing for X-Plane and had taken it up again since 10.50 - that's it then ;(

    Anyhow, this trend in putting such arbitrary limitations and imposing update schedules to users, while not being the "sole propriety" of Laminar, is getting extremely annoying and to say it bluntly, a true f****** pain in the a**- why do you even bother with beta versions? If your betas, carrying the planes, scenery packages and switched-on rendering option they come with by default do not put a machine under heavy stress, X-Plane will mostly run really well in 99% of "normal" situations. Users should actually USE the demos and report to Laminar, who should keep a more open ear (and maybe a "logbook?" as an analysis tool) to the "complaints" they receive from users.

    If the Laminar team took a bit more time to read the few X-Plane Fora out there, they'd know exactly where to place the bar - what i read above seems to have been decided in a meeting room during a not-so-fresh monday morning staff meeting. Not that i'm frustrated, i like my 10.5x as it is and it's not the first time i abandon X-Plane for a few months/years without having to whine about it, but this is becoming such a terribly annoying trend in tech that i must say i'm very disappointed in Laminar for taking the easy road on this one.

    I guess it'll be 10.5x for me until this workstation says bye-bye and i chip in for a new one; that will probably happen when v12 is out - great...

    • Ben Supnik says:

      Hi David

      Everything being updated all of the time is the ecosystem we live in; I don't like it at all, but since it is a fact of reality, LR has two choices:

      1. Fight this trend tooth and nail and spend considerable engineering resources trying to make old operating systems that are not supported by their host companies work or:
      2. Go with the flow, limit our exposure, and spend our engineering time making X-Plane better.

      These decisions weren't made in a vacuum; we have detailed usage data about the operating systems our users use, and in the case of OS X, there is a long tale of not-heavily-used old OS versions that don't get updates or driver support.

    • NLS says:

      I don't get what you say really. You blame them for what?
      That you have an 8-year old setup? You know what 8 years is in computing right?
      So a new system with new goodies requires additional resources.
      Well yeah. Fact of Life. Tough luck, this is how things work in computing the last 33 years I am involved in IT.
      New goodies, more resources.
      New requirements FOR the developers are carried over to new requirements from the developers TO the users.
      If you can do ok with less goodies than future version, stay with the previous version.
      Simple.
      X-Plane 10.X will still work and many won't shift immediately anyway.
      Nobody is forcing anybody.
      I guess Laminar is "lucky" because X10 was ok for your workstation, right?
      At least for as long as I remember X-Plane, it could be set to work to rather "light" (for the era) specs. In contrast I remember games (F.E.A.R. was notorious for that IIRC) that were made to be played for... future machines. I guess you would burn their offices, if you were THEIR (prospect) client right? 🙂

      No offence, take this with more humor than it is obvious in my writing, but your post is really weird.

      • david_dtc says:

        @Ben: I'm not "blaming" laminar for cutting the roots or anything else, X-Plane has always been an adventure, dev side and user side. I'd rather blame Laminar for doing so, as you put it, "in vacuum". If you find the time, go over the fora a bit more, you'll notice a huge lot of people who indeed are stuck to an older piece of hardware for a reason that is theirs, or a system version, like the very popular 10.6.8 or 10.9.5 amongst OS X users (i know NLS, but you have to get your phenobarbital before walking time anyhow).

        The reason for this is simple - many people, be it in the US, or outside, cannot afford to throw all their cash at multiple workstation-type computers - that is what it takes to run X-Plane really smooth with all that it PROMISES and that usually makes for a very expensive unit, one you will also use for Audio and Video if your job relies on music production and TV post-prod like mine. Hence, i'm reluctant to upgrade anything on the working workstation i have sitting at home.

        Now rest assured that after my previous post, i went out, got me a second thunderbolt RAID array, a few high performance SSD's and installed Sierra on it - just for X-Plane 11 (which i know i'll be enchanted about and will bring me much in the future) and in order to keep a computer at hand that can actually be upgraded if needed (which won't happen for at least another 3 years - pfiuuuu).

        BTW, please do take notice (i know you do Ben) of what all your users spend moneywise and in terms of time to make your sim the superior one - it's a masterpiece, because Laminar makes it one, and because it is open enough to allow people like me to spend a lot of time making content we rarely get a '' 'at'a'boy' " from users for it (no frustration there, if you think record execs know the words "thank" and "you", you're mistaken) it maybe deserves it, i'm just missing one thing:
        Austin declaring a few years ago that the update and deprecation rhythm of X-Plane was going to slow down... that brought a lot of hope and confidence and i remember people throwing themselves at datarefs and the more obscure sides of the software around that time - to me that was no coincidence, but hey, i might be totally off here.

        Seriously though there are many people who will be stuck with the competition with the next upgrade, maybe you guys could reconsider the range of the deprecation process you're about to engage?

        @NLS: 'no offense' is an easy one after such a post, so what i'm going to do is just plain ignore it , mainly because you seem to be absolutely missing the point, and i'll go live on in my "weirdness" with my 2 year old Mac i needed to spend a fortune on ('cuz win and linux do not support crucial software that i need), thank you. Seriously though, and again, here's the golden rule of any audio, video or cinema producer out there: "DO NOT F*** WITH A WORKSTATION THAT ACTUALLY WORKS" - Do you have any idea of the compatibility issues an OS update brings with it when using hosting a 100+K audio workstation? Well, about a hundred thousand, plus the hundred hours needed to get it all up to date, not mentioning tools that do not exist anymore, that one can't even validate anymore because the company who once made it vanished. Or software that is BOUND to one MAC address+some checksum and that forces you to buy one licence per machine - those usually cost about the same as the workstation itself. And NO, i don't have enough cash on the side to toss out another 5K€ for another workstation, sorry for being that poor... - the whole post rests on that NLS...

      • Jan Vogel says:

        I am totally with Ben and NLS on this one. Flightsimulators have been on the bleeding edge of hardware development for the last 30 years, and will be for some time. I applaud that! I want the very best experience when I spend what little time I have with this hobby, not be hobbled by users that aren´t willing to upgrade to stay with the program. No one is taking XP10 (or 9, or 8, or...) away. If you have an old system, you are limited to old games.

  7. Lozz says:

    So a quite high end GTX 1070 is the recommended card for XP11? Will users of mainstream cards such as the GTX 1060 and RX 480 have to compromise much on rendering settings? How much eye candy can a user of say an iMac or MacBook Pro with a mobile GPU expect to see?

    • Ben Supnik says:

      It entirely depends on your screen resolution. If you have a MBP with a mobile GPU and it's very new (e.g. the last few AMD laptops, it won't be bad -if- you turn the screen res down).

      • Lozz says:

        Is the recommendation of a GTX 1070 for UHD resolutions? If so, I'm guessing a GTX 1060 or equivalent will perform equally well at 1920x1080 with the same settings.

        • Ben Supnik says:

          I don't know what you mean by UHD - but if you mean 4K then no. It's for 1440p.

          • Lozz says:

            Thanks for taking the time to answer everyone's questions Ben.
            Can anyone tell me if doubling the total pixels (assuming no other bottlenecks) will halve the frame rate? Or is it more complicated than that?

          • Ben Supnik says:

            No it's not that direct. Doubling pixels halves the per-frame GPU work but not the GPU work done to prep things like shadow maps, so the loss isn't straight 1:1. And it only matters if you are GPU bound.

            Edit: the loss can be even < 1:1 because modern GPUs have color buffer compression and at really high res it can kick in I think.

  8. Alberto says:

    Hi Ben, will be also possible to choose DirectX or OpenGL in XP11? thanks

  9. Dmitry says:

    NVidia still released driver updates for 200 series GFX cards if I'm not mistaken, at least I made relatively recent updates to my drivers although I think they were mostly to do with 3D stuff. Well looks like I'll need to get an update.

    • Ben Supnik says:

      The 200 series is -not- on the main driver release stream for NV. The other reason to drop them is that they're getting long in the tooth. Only the -very- best of the unsupported GPUs are even reasonable choices for v11. So if you have a GF280 GTX, then maybe it could limp by. If you have a GF260, that wouldn't even work.

    • Elios says:

      a 1050Ti a $150usd card beats ALL 200 series cards

  10. Hector says:

    Regarding the dropping of support for earlier OSes like Mac OS X 10.9. Is this just a lack of official support but we can still install on the OS if we wish to or would there be a system check and prevent installing on unsupported OSes.

    I, and I believe some people, have specific reasons to stay on an older OS due to other software/hardware compatibility. (I believe you might be familiar with one of mine called Pro Tools) I hope that there might still be a chance for it to run on slightly older albeit unsupported OSes.

    • Ben Supnik says:

      We've talked about this internally, and our thinking is that there basically needs to be three levels of support.
      1. Supported: says it works on the box, and if it doesn't, we have to stop doing what we're doing and fix it, no matter how long that takes, even if the break isn't our fault. Hardware in this bucket has to KEEP working for the entire version run.

      With a policy like that, you can see why I'd rather not just throw any old config into that bucket because it "seems okay" right now.

      (What might not be obvious from these posts is how much engineering time I -lose- on specific random configurations that don't work as expected; when this happens, if that configuration is both (1) rarely used by users and (2) performs poorly with X-Plane, that's not a good use of engineering time.

      2. Unsupported: if you want to try it, go ahead. If it doesn't work, please don't tell us; we don't want to know, we told you so, etc. Maybe you get lucky. But don't get mad if one day you wake up and it stops working.

      3. Banned: the sim actively refuses to run on this hardware. This is for the case where we know the sim is just going to crash and we want to present a clean explanation to the user of what's going on.

      Old OS X versions are almost certainly going to be in bucket 2.

      For Linux we have an alert box that says "don't do this", but you can use a command line option to get around it...that was our way of putting certain hardware in bucket 2 and making sure users understood it.

      (The problem in the Linux case is that the hardware works well enough that you think it's supported but tends to be broken by updates, so we didn't want users to be surprised.)

  11. Mike Davis says:

    Have 11 on order so as above, will wait and test 11 before upgrading if needed my, motherboard/cpu/graphic card

  12. Sam sparro says:

    Will xp11 properly run on 4k ? thx

    • Ben Supnik says:

      Depends on your card - basically if you want to increase the screen size, you need more GPU power.

      Personally I do -not- recommend 4k...my view is that you'd be better off spending the GPU power on anti-aliasing than higher res, because you get more quality for less GPU power with anti-aliasing than just making the image huge.

  13. Simon Charman says:

    Hi Ben

    As regards the XP11 demo, how long will it run before we get locked out and have to re-start. If memory serves me right for XP10 it was 15 mins which was never long enough if tweaking settings etc. Could this time be increased?

  14. Lars Thorsson says:

    Do you have to buy the XP11 to test if it will run on my computer, or there will be a test?

  15. Ruud G. says:

    THIS:
    >Practical Recommendations
    >...
    > If your machine runs X-Plane 10 well, it will almost certainly run X-Plane 11
    >in some form, with the exception of the very oldest graphics cards. (If you have
    >one of those, I would say your definition for ‘run well’ is a lot lower than mine is.)

    contradicts with THIS:
    >Minimum Hardware Requirements:
    >
    > CPU: Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 CPU with 2 or more cores, or AMD equivalent.
    >(Dual-core CPUs slower than 3 GHz should try the demo before purchasing.)
    > Memory: 8 GB RAM

    The amount of RAM contradicts the most. If a PC with 4GB of RAM works ok with XP10, how come XP11 has a minimum RAM CAP limit set to 8GB? Is XP11 using 8GB of RAM in 800x600 with all settings being set on minimum? I hope not...

    BR,
    Ruud G.

    • Robert Oates says:

      Upgrade your RAM man! 32Bit support is being dropped from X-Plane 11, and with it the absolute minimum requirement to support 4GB (which was the maximum amount that 32bit could support). If you are running X-Plane 10.51 64bit with the extend DSF option ON, which I imagine will always be on in X-Plane 11, then you really need a minimum of 8GB of RAM.

  16. Mirage34 says:

    It's a shame Xplane 11 do not manage multi-GPU cores or SLI !

    Your answer below is simply amazing. How can you think hardcore simmers are using a single monitor ?

    [quote]No. We may look at using multiple GPUs for multiple monitors, but I don’t think we will spend any time making two GPUs feed one monitor. It’s poorly supported in OpenGL, entirely app-provided in Vulkan (which means the cost isn’t worth it), and frankly for a single monitor, a single big GPU is the better investment.[/quote]

    Rather than adding visual effects that many of us don't care, and thus imposing hardware changes to many customers, you'd better optimize your code.
    There would be real gain here.

    • Ben Supnik says:

      I don't understand how what I said is out of step with what you said.

      I said that I don't think two GPUs -> 1 monitor is a priority.
      I said that two GPUs -> two monitors should be a priority.

      You said "how can you think hardcore simmers are using a single monitor".

      Clearly less than 100% of hard core simers are dual monitor. For those that are dual monitor, clearly I -am- thinking about it. And for the >0% that aren't, I'm just saying for one monitor two GPUs doesn't make sense.

      • John Rogers says:

        I am currently running X-Plane 10 on 4 monitors in a T configuration. Although I have a second video card installed in Crossfire configuration, I don't see any change when Crossfire is enabled vs. disabled. I would like to put in my vote for adding support for multiple video cards feeding multiple monitors.

        • Ben Supnik says:

          Right - crossfire is not what we need for this.

          In Crossfire/SLI two cards make one frame and it's a mess of complexity - it's like two cooks sharing a frying pan.

          I'm looking at each card taking its own monitor so there's less cross-talk.

          • Mike says:

            > I’m looking at each card taking its own monitor so there’s less cross-talk.

            Would be a great feature!

  17. NLS says:

    Any news on Vulcan front?
    I know Apple doesn't support it for some unknown reason (ok the reason is that they want to support their own Metal API, like a new Sony with betamax, minidisks, memory sticks etc. - which rendered Sony to be just the PS maker and head in no other market), but it will most probably be the next universal API for the rest and IS the child of OpenGL.
    So... thinking about it?

    • Ben Supnik says:

      We are not going to start the Vulkan port until after 11.0 ships. But since we know it's coming, it informs how we proceed in all code.

      • Elios says:

        hope you guys are up the challenge so far DX12 and Vulkan ports have been pretty bad all around and running SLOWER then DX11

        supporting Vulkan means YOU THE DEVS have optimize FOR EVER SINGLE GPU architecture you want to support

        and Apple seems set on Metal imo it would be better to go Metal / DX11 at this point now

        in fact porting to DX11 would easier and faster then Vulkan or Metal with the tools that MS provides

        your going to have support 2 APIs (3 if you count continuing to support OpenGL) any way why make even more work for what could 0 or negative gain

        • Ben Supnik says:

          Porting to DX11 solves none of the problems we want to solve. The killer features are:

          1. Complete thread independence for actual multi-core that works.
          2. Zero hidden driver costs for deterministic performance.
          We have a long term roadmap for the engine that requires these things.

          DX11 gets us nothing - we run on the same hardware as GL and we get the same limitations on threads and performance.

          Regarding games with Vulkan renderers running slower than DX11 - this isn't super surprising - the IHVs have spent HUGE amounts of resources optimizing the DX11 drivers, often with complete knowledge of the specific hardware. If the app devs don't do everything perfectly, they're going to see perf loss.

          There are two possibilities:
          1. This trend will never change. App vendors will never be in a position to really leverage a low level API or invest the necessary development resources.

          If this is the case, then both Vulkan and DX12 are mis-designed and have too low of an abstraction level, and the right thing to do would have been a higher level API (driver does memory management, transition management, bla bla bla) but with the same thread and performance guarantees.

          2. This trend will change. The app developers haven't had time to take advantage of the architecturally unique properties of DX12 or Vulkan, so they're competing against DX11 on DX11's turf. Once they start doing multi-core rendering and other new-API-only possible features, they'll be able to get perf that will not be possible on DX11, and they will just have to get 'close' to the DX11 driver on the low level stuff.

          So everyone in the industry is hoping it's bucket 2 and not bucket 1.

          In X-Plane's case, there are two big problems we have now that I think only get fixed with a new API:
          1. We need determinism - we need to be sure that 100% of slow ops are on a background thread so we don't stutter while flying.
          2. We need to be able to safely move those ops to a background thread, which requires modern threading rules.

  18. Bruce Lee says:

    What about the impact of more cores, e.g. Is there value opting for six-core or an 8 core CPU versus a quad-core machine, perhaps not for 11.0 but over the V11 run?

    • Ben Supnik says:

      There is value - but the pricing is not very friendly. It's hard for me to quantify how you should trade a potential perf improvement mid-version that we haven't coded vs your own value of money...lots of unknowns! 🙂

  19. OK, taking the risk that some people would like to shoot me after reading this, I anyway will say it: Nobody is forced to upgrade to XP11. If one feels happy running XP10 - just go ahead. There won't be anybody destroying XP10 just because XP11 comes out. There are a lot of people still running XP9!

    Users have their own choice to upgrade or not, but preventing further development of X-Plane will take this choice away.

    If someone wants more, he needs to also upgrade the system - just like Ben said: It is the cycle of life! Obviously we cannot have both: All the eyecandy effects AND a software running just fine on a historic computer.

    I feel really happy that XP11 now dares to go ahead on the eyecandy side. The only way to achieve this is to cut off old standards. Actually I was wondering why Laminar spent so much time trying to make XP run on 10 year old notebooks - be it Linux, Mac or Windows. Trying to keep old stuff alive also means to prevent innovation and progress.

    XP10 lived for 5 years and received regular updates. This matches the average lifetime of a computer. I think it is a really smart version change cycle.

    Just my 2 cents here.

    Regards,
    Marc

  20. Bruce Lee says:

    Agreed, lots of unknowns, sorry for the lack of bounding. Things like the new airport vehicles, auto traffic, ATC/AI aircraft all seem to be designed to take advantage of cores/threads, but those are enhancements to the primary experience. Are there any elements of primary sim performance (flight model/rendering) that can be noticeably improved through additional cores/threading? Or will the CPU/RAM + GPU/VRAM continue to govern primary performance for the foreseeable future?

    • Ben Supnik says:

      Scenery loading while you fly is all multi-core, as our AI planes. There are some other random background functions that affect fps, but it's a small percent of the fps-affecting code, but right now multiple aircraft and smooth flight while loading scenery are the main uses of multi-core.

      Over time we hope to get more of the per-frame stuff to be multi-core, to bring the headline framerate up. This includes amortizing some of the cost of multiple monitors.

  21. Samsung says:

    Are you guys still on track for Nov release.

  22. Enric says:

    Hi Ben,

    This is my first comment on this blog so first I have to thank you for such a comprehensive array of posts about X-Plane behind the scenes.

    Next month we'll have to configure our X-Plane 11 installs and the fps_test command line switch is pretty helpful to benchmark X-Plane. I was wondering if there will be some way to change, programatically, the configs so that we can automatically find the sweet post that works on our machines.

    This would allow loading a test flight on, say, a pregenerated scenery for a huge city, a medium city, and a rural area, and in different weather conditions so we can also compare reproducibly how the settings affect the performances.

    Would this be available?

    Cheers!

    • Ben Supnik says:

      There is (in v10 and v11) command line control of the rendering settings, rendering presets, and fps test, so you have a lot of flexibility here. I'll update the article we have on command-line control of settings once we ship.

  23. Michael P says:

    When I first started with x-plane 10, I had no idea how my PC would cope. An old i7-920 (1st gen) running at I think 2.67GHz with an AMD 6870 with 1Gb vram.
    I was pleasantly surprised, maybe because my expectations were low. I've always used HDR (the lights are just better) and tweaked the cloud-puffs and texture compression to get a frame-rate around 30. Some planes are lighter, and some Airports were slide-show time.
    I've recently upgraded to a GTX960 4Gb and 15Gb ram, but I've always been surprised at what I can manage compared to others with better gear who seem to struggle. Maybe it is more black-art than science
    Anyway, I'm looking forward to trying the xp11 demo and seeing what my antique CPU can manage.
    Cheers, Michael.

  24. Mirage34 says:

    Thank you for your comment and precision you give.

    I run an AMD R9-295X - 4Go GDDR5 with a triple screen Samsung MD23 @ 5760x1080, and I flight poorly between 14 and 24 fps, the second engine of the card isn't used.
    I'm very unhappy with this situation and I would have thought the primarly goal of Xplane 11 would be to improve this, rather than upgrade the hardware to run smoothly with unrelevant new visual effects.

    So... it's not a good news for me.

  25. John says:

    Is there an early access beta program for 3rd party devs?

  26. Hi Ben,

    Looking forward to the release!

    Question (slightly off topic): Are seasonal textures something which is being considered for the X-Plane 11 development/release cycle? For MSFS users thinking of adopting X-Plane as their primary sim, this is a feature many would like to see included.

    Keep up the great work!!

    Dom

  27. Richard Boesen says:

    10.51 is an excellent accomplishment and would be something all are very well satisfied with had Laminar not previewed features of Version 11.
    It should be obvious that Laminar is not going to have enuf income for all the engineering and coding that is going to need to be done IF the huge variety of older hardware is going to be supported when they are charging so little for the "consumer grade" version of the new program for those of us who have pre-paid.
    The "Commercial" version of the program where they can have great influence over the type of hardware that it will be running on is obviously where the main part of their income is being derived. The rest of us are getting to ride along on it's coattails extraordinarily inexpensively for the amount of support and feedback they are giving us up-to and including Ver. 10.51.
    Their commitment has always been and can certainly be expected to be in the future to work WITH ALL the USERS of the program both Commercial and us, the General Public.
    Since a GREAT MANY of us, if not mose of us, are ( from what I can see on the .org forum ) likely in the "soon to be Fixed Income" demographic if we aren't there already, hardware cost is probably a real concern. But, we've gotten by extraordinarily inexpensively compared to other genera of software ( both business and entertainment ).
    The "General Recommendations" Ben has given ( ESPECIALLY the last one ) are entirely reasonable and should have probably been the intro to the preview of the features of Ver.11 before getting us all excited. Tho I do understand how excited Laminar is to be where they are with it.
    We ALL need to remember that the "Serious" competition that Laminar has for the "Commercial" version is LOCKHEED and their vast pool of talent and money for developing P3D into what could be a "standard tool" for training of "First Responders" and Civil Engineers "worldwide". We are lucky to be allowed into that world with x-plane ( especially with the features previewed for 11 AND with the expanded emphasis On and Open Access To tools for creation of ADDITIONAL Ground Based rather than Flight Based components - For ALL OS Platforms to-boot.
    "Saving-up" for improved hardware may be something we've ( I'm speaking us older folks who are near the end of our "employable" lives ) not been accustomed to recently. But it AND the waiting it may require for many of us will be worth it. The scenery improvements of Ver. 10 have opened up an exciting future for those of us who prefer "low and slow", and especially for helicopter pilots.
    An exciting time well worth waiting for the full blossoming of it's potential.
    The "DEMO" will be an extremely useful and instructive tool for us to evaluate our hardware ( and probably for those who are "generic system builders too" ).

  28. Dear Ben,

    Thanks a lot for your hard work and for keeping us informed on such a regular basis. Much appreciated.

    I don't know if this is the right place to ask my question. I got my hands yesterday on X-Plane 11 Beta 11 and all my XP10 models looks like aluminium with a huge amount of reflections.

    I discovered a lot of new attributes in the OBJ files of the builtin models. Unfortunately, the OBj file specification is not yet updated. Could you please direct us, the addons developers, to a more recent version, or share a small part of your wisdom with us 🙂

    Thanks in advance for your time and all my apologize if my question is out of scope.

  29. Andrzej says:

    Hi Ben,

    Where is the place to discuss things Fabrice asked about, than?

  30. andreea says:

    Hi Ben,

    Can I ask you if is possible in XPL11 to have the option to load the sceneries from a different drive or multiple drives?

    Will be very helpful for people using SSD's.

    Thanks

  31. RichR says:

    Ben-
    In considering graphics card+monitor setups, how much benefit could I expect in XP11 with FreeSync or G-Sync? For me a G-Sync setup is cost prohibitive, so I would have to go with an AMD card.

  32. Stephan says:

    Hi Ben,
    as a proud owner of the C2 Professional Flight Console (PrecisionFlightControls, USB version) I just have a question concerning 64 bit support with x-plane 11.
    As of today, this Flight Console is plugin driven (but only a 32 bit windows-plugin is available for X-Plane 10). Will there be a native support for this hardware within X-Plane 11 or did you check with the guys from FlyPfc for a 64-bit plugin supporting X-Plane 11?
    Thanks for your support.

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