First: X-Plane 10.04 rc3 is live – please grab it – make sure to check “get betas” to get this patch!  (If you are already using 10.04 betas, simply go to the About box to update.)  Because this is a release candidate (we think it’s good to go but we’re not sure) you must still check “get betas” – that check box should really be “get crazy experimental stuff that is not yet officially released to the world.”

I think we are reaching the point where we can slow down the rate of patches just a bit.  Like past X-Plane releases, the first patches came out fast and furious, because we wanted to get critical bug fixes to as many users as possible.  We are now reaching a point where we can slow down and get more done between each beta, which I think will mean better rate of improvement for the sim overall.

Of course, if we get a really huge bug fix (e.g. an ATI performance boost or a fix for NVidia start hangs) we’ll cut a tiny patch off of 10.04 immediately; our source control system lets us do an incremental update very easily.

So with the next patch we will be able to work on some bigger bugs:

  • I think the next patch won’t be a full 64-bit patch, but it will contain a lot of the ground-work to get 64-bit working.  We’ve already started on this code; by splitting it over two patches we can more rapidly deal with any kind of incompatibility introduced by the newer code.  (Our goal is of course to make sure that any machine running 10.04 can run the 32-bit version of X-Plane when we support both bit depths.)
  • Austin received a lot of feedback about the UI while we were in Mallorca, and he has already started this work, although I am not sure what will be released when.
  • I will be digging into “Galloping Gertie” (our internal name for the many weird shapes the roads take when the road-placement code goes haywire).  This is going to require some pretty major work to the road generation code, but of course it’s a critical fix.
  • While the volume of complaints about performance have gone down, there are still one or two performance tuning changes I want to get into the sim.

There are only about four things I work on when I am in the office: performance, fixing bugs, developer tools, and the installer.  Hopefully with 10.04 installer work is done for a while and I can get one major area off my plate.  This should leave more time for developer tools and documents, which I try to leave a fixed amount of time for every week.

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.

40 comments on “10.04 Release Candidate 3 and Future Patches

  1. The thought of you guys actually working on 64bit gives me a really big smile on my face. I cant thank you enough. This will mean a lot for the future of X-Plane.

    Keep up the great work, all of you.

  2. Really excited to hear your already going to be working on 64 bit, had been under the impression it was maybe 6 months or more before you’d even start. I am sure it will greatly improve performance in x-plane for those of us with capable computers. I wonder if you could clarify which aspects would likely benefit from this in particular?


    1. I have done my best to give you guys NO idea of the time frame!!

      There will be only one benefit from 64-bit: for users whose current limitation is running out of virtual memory/address space (e.g. you get a bad alloc _before_ your framerate become unusable) the 64-bit build will remove the address space limitation, revealing the next limitation (e.g. gpu, bus, physical memory, cpu, whatever). This will be a lot more like X-Plane 8 and earlier where the limit to X-Plane was almost always hardware and the failure mode was almost always really bad framerate (and not a crash).

      (Note that the exception to the way it used to be was that some video drivers would hard-fail if the demand on VRAM got too large in some cases.)

      1. This is not an “only”, Ben. It really is very much needed by those who “get a bad alloc _before_ your framerate become unusable”.

        Thanks for keeping the work on 64-bit going!

        1. Of course it is an “only” – and what you describe is _exactly_ what I said. If your bottleneck is VM space, this fixes your problem. For ALL other problems, 64 bit does NOTHING.

          I mention that because a bunch of people have in the past speculated that 64 bit would somehow help with _performance_. It will not. X-Plane is cache bound and it is not at all register bound; changing to the 64 bit ABI is not going to help CPU execution speed, it gives us access to no better OpenGL APIs, and it makes any internal data structures bigger, not smaller.

          When I say “only” I do not mean to pass a value judgment on where this fits in the importance of all possible enhancements. Different enhancements are of value to different users. But what I am trying to say is that 64 bit addresses _only one symptom_ – virtual memory exhaustion. If that’s your problem, this fixes it, if it isn’t, you won’t notice the difference.

          1. An I right in thinking 32 bit can only use 3.5gb of my 8gb ram? So making the extra ram avaliable should give a little extra leg room so to speak? Is that how it works or am I totally wrong?

            At the moment the sim runs very well with usually 40fps min up to about 130fps with HDR off but most other things including textures high. I occasionally crash, sometimes during replays for example. I also crash if I turn up the textures beyond high. I am not sure if that’s because of ram or because of VRAM, although I have 2gb and usually only 500mb is used. Just to clarify are those limitations of my graphics card or something ram will help with?

            Sorry if I am wasting time asking obvious questions. I should also point out that I am already happy with performance and appreciate the amount of work that you are doing!

          2. hi Andy,

            You are correct: the sim can use no more than 3.5 GB of physical RAM, because a program can usually never use more real RAM than virtual memory, and we have a 3.5 GB virtual memory limit. So you’ll be able to crank settings more, using more than 4 GB of RAM, with a 64-bit build.

            In the case of textures, on Mac and Linux, textures live in _both_ VRAM and system memory (using virtual address space). That’s because the driver keeps “backup copies” of all textures. That’s why insane tex res often blows up on Mac (but not windows, where the driver works differently). So you’ll be able to use more of your VRAM once you go 64-bit.

  3. Hi ben. I look forward to 64 bit because i get that bad alloc error sometimes. Much much less than early on . It will be good to use more RAM on mac

    hope to see more tuning to ocean distant shaders and in cloud plane textures


  4. when you release the 64bit version will this be a totaly new version or will the 32bit version be updated to 64 bit .

    1. I don’t know quite what you mean by the question. 64-bits will come by us releasing a web update that will contain a bunch of new stuff, including a 64-bit implementation. The updater will replace your 32-bit app with a new 32-bit app, and it will download a second app, a 64-bit version of the sim too.

      1. I guess what I was asking was if i decided to update to the 64bit version would it involve downloading an extremely large download or is it just a matter of updated code ? I personally have not got any problems with running out of memory but do have a 16 gigs of ram and windows 7 64 . so from what you have said above it would not affect my performance . But if it did not involve a 50 hour down load i would rather run the 64 bit version when its available.

        1. Ooooh….just updated code! So, it’ll be tiny – the size of the 64-bit EXE should be similar to the 32-bit one – maybe 10 MB. Considering that we push new executables in _every_ update we ever do, if you have gotten updates in the past, 64 bits will almost by definition be no worse.

  5. I spent all weekend gathering exact information to put up on the bug list on custom scenery framerate drop…and then B10.04rc3 goes and fixes it.
    The weather download looks right as well. (more research wasted).
    I’m not complaining but relieved as it was hard work finding a compromise to run anything.
    The biggest bonus is that i think you now have a stable platform to set your render settings (adjust) to the scenery and aircraft – If you turn the viewpoint around the framerate now stays stable so if your custom scenery is wanting more you can give it more to compensate its needs were as before this was totally erratic.
    Mostly it was worst in looking out over the panel at the custom scenery as it would put you very quickly into single fr figures.
    So i agree that b10.04cr3 is at this point far more stable and a better platform to build up from.

    64bit would certainly be a revelation In that i am also glad it is on the table.

  6. fine!

    in the next path can you adjust the variable wind turbolence perform?
    in this condicion is not possible fly.


  7. I know 64 bit is the good way to go, but I’m afraid it will not be painless, in regard of the XPL plugins that are not compatible from 32 to 64 bit. Basically, all the top planes with such plugins will not be flyable anymore. So we would have to wait for their update. Plus, worst case scenario, imagine a second they don’t make their update for free, that would be terrible.

    We don’t have much choice anyway.

    1. Yep – it will be similar to the ppc->x86 transition Mac users went through before. The main difference is that during the transitional period (E.g. once 64 bit is available but before plugin adoption is wide-spread) a user with a 64-bit ready OS will have the option to run 32-bits to use an add-on. By comparison, Mac users who had bought a shiny new x86 Mac could only run the ppc version under emulation, which was unusably slow.

  8. Ben, I’m running a 32-bit OS on a pae kernel, which address all 8 GB of my physical memory. When the 64-bit XP 10 ist out, would I have to switch to a 64-bit OS?

    1. I _think_ so but I am not 100% sure. Can you run 64-bit executables? X-Plane will be a “Real” 64-bit executable, not a 32-bit app using PAE extensions.

    1. I think I have better descriptions elsewhere, but plugin authors will have to provide 64-bit versions of their plugins for them to run on the 64-bit version of X-Plane. It’s like having 6 OSes instead of 3. As a user, you’ll have both versions of the sim, so if you want to use a 32-bit-only plugin you can just run the 32-bit version of X-Plane and keep settings lower.

  9. Hi Ben,

    since some developers state that they are waiting with v10 patch-work (carenado e.g.) until XP10 is out of “early beta” I´m asking myself what “early beta” is or when it will end…
    Any ideas?


    1. I have no idea. I would not call X-Plane 10.03 a beta at all – it’s final, let alone an early beta. And it’s not up to me to decide when third parties decide to port. With that in mind, the v10 docs are still very thin and there are a few bugs I know of that are problematic for the airplane guys, so they may wait another release. Some third parties have already jumped in, some are still waiting.

  10. I’d be very interested to hear about some of the UI changes coming up.

    – Are they minor tweaks?
    – A complete redesign?
    – Are you visiting the entire UI system or just moving some buttons around?

    If you need some private beta testers I would enjoy giving you quality feedback about UI changes, including if they are just static concept-images.

    1. No complete redesign. Austin is looking at airplane selection and something like a “quick flight” dialog (a few settings for all aspects of the sim, easy to use). Chris will look at joystick and hardware separately, and it may take longer since the low level code needs some work.

  11. Hi Ben,

    I’ve been flying Flight Simulators (well you got the tricky word) back from 1994 maybe. Once I switched to Macs few years ago, I was using bootcamp to keep the passioin running, up to the point I found out about X-Plane. Demo really got me from the beginning, making a must have and my overseas buy (indeed with a lot of Brazilian taxes included).

    Unfortunatly (and I know these are minor things to you guys!) at Ilha do Governador (Governator’s Island – SBGL – Aprox -22.786311,-43.156972), there is a vertix that extrapolates the bounaries, generating a non-real piece of land.

    Also Santos Dumont airport – SBRJ (one of the busiest air route in world with SBSP – Ponte Aerea Rio-Sao Paulo) looks like the airport is few hundreds of feets above sea level – together with the piece of land around the airport.

    SDIN – my base airport in real life – has the following info

    PRIV UTC-3
    07 – (400 x 30 GRASS 2500Kg/0.50MPa) – 25
    15 – (350 x 20 GRASS 2500Kg/0.50MPa) – 33
    03 – (380 x 16 GRASS 2500Kg/0.50MPa) – 21

    Don’t know if this is the proper place to report, but i’ve not a developer and after few attempts of unsuccessfully solving this myself, I got to this point!

    You guys are doing a great job! Keep that up!
    Best wishes looking forward to the future updates (64b as well!)

  12. Will some of the “UI” changes include being able to “turn” knobs using the mouse-wheel?

    This has been a long time issue of mine that I was hoping would be implemented at some point.

    1. Not the ones I was referring to, no.
      Scroll-wheel manipulation may be addressed at some point in the future, but the UI in question was simulator UI, not airplane UI.

  13. Three things I don’t get from this rc-2/ or have not explored yet enough

    1. if this update is so much better as people are reporting, why were the release notes so sparse of this patch?

    2. also, I still see similar frame rates, often still 19fps pending what angle, same as other betas. I did notice some increase in other areas but nothing major as of this moment.

    3. with ben saying they can slow down the patch rate, that bothers me because that means we have to wait longer for patches, features and bug fixes

  14. you may want to keep your website updated ,


    There is now an X-Plane 10 patch: 10.04B4 available for download.

    just might help to stay up to date and maybe title a final patch as “final” 10.03 final, 10.04 final. So everyone knows 100% that it is done, not a candidate.

    These are minute details likely in your guys’s minds, understandable but still important to keep current. Regardless, fixing bugs and performance still comes first so whatever. water shaders and clouds still need work also.

  15. Hi Ben,

    About revising the GUI. Is 720p support still on your todo list? Looks like the main reason why this resolution doesn’t work currently is because the GUI is hard-coded for 768 pixels.

  16. Regarding performance I have to admit that shadows became quite cheap for me during patches and with the new drivers (on Nividia gtx560) which is very nice. But I´m still wondering if the shadow rendering is how it should be. In the VC shadows move when moving the view (not plausible, isn’t it?), also some strange flickering on the interior and abrupt light changes with clouds. To be honest: I can run globel medium shadows performance-wise, but I don’t because it looks rather irritating most of the time. Is it just me, the video-card-driver or is the shadow system still a workzone?
    Sorry if I missed a former blog-entry on this matter…


  17. Hope you can fix in future patches the following items

    Winter textures
    – No winter textures is shown at all

    A tool for correcting the curved runways
    – Several have to jagged runways, several places there are jumps in the runway

    Landing lights Beech 58
    – Does not aluminate the runway escpecially good

    Engine fire at 3000 feet when flying from ENKJ to Oslo down town
    – This is an ongoing occurance, when ever I fly this route I get engine fire, even with the settings of or all working

    More options for adjusting the clouds
    – There are now just one slider for quality, but It should have been
    1. One for how much layers you want to render
    2. One for quality
    3. Size

    It seems that when on multiplayer the clouds starts to flicker with rapidietly motions.
    On – Off – On – Off ….

    1. Hi Tom,

      I have said this before but I must say it again.


      Anything that is wrong with the sim (like landing lights not lighting up the runway) will be IGNORED if you post it to the blog. Post a bug or we don’t know about it.

      Seriously, we _never_ look back over the blog for anything that even remotely looks like a bug report.

      1. Thank you Ben, I do appologies and I will not of course post any such comments again. I will redirect my bug report to the appropriate email. Thanks for emphasizing this again as I have not seen such message before. Point taken!

        Please amend the previous post or delete it 🙂 But besides that I do hope will be seeing some winter landscapes in X-plane in the future. Good luck with the development, you do a fine job and I read your blog with the up most enjoyment.

        Regards from

Comments are closed.