Just a quick tip on tuning X-Plane’s rendering performance: if you see your fps start off strong and then drop over time to a crawl, with low GPU, turn down the cars.
Here’s the problem: cars are spawned over time. The way the car engine works is that X-Plane comes up with a budget for cars based on rendering settings, and adds a few more every frame as long as it’s under budget; if it is over budget it simply doesn’t replace cars that are killed by being too far from your plane or reaching a dead end.
It can easily take several minutes for car traffic to build up.
And the thing about the car traffic is: it’s incredibly CPU intensive. This is something that I am working on and it may get better for future patches, but for now just consider this: a reasonable setting for cars (for your computer) should be based on the framerate after several minutes, not the one you instantly get when there are virtually no cars!