64-Bit Is Here

X-Plane 10.20 Beta 1 is now public, and it is available in both 32 and 64-bits.  First, here are some things you should read:

X-Plane 10.20 Beta 1 is a somewhat raw beta.  Our goal is to get 64-bit executables into the hands of as many plugin developers as possible as early as possible.  There are known bugs that we haven't held the beta for.  We have not yet shipped updates to the airplanes or new art assets for autogen.

At this point, this is the info we are looking for:

  • Regressions: if something works in 10.11 but does not work in 10.20, please let us know ASAP.
  • 32-vs-64-bit differences: if sim functionality does not work in 64-bits but does work in 32-bits please let us know.
  • Plugin authors: do report problems with your plugins.

Here are three kinds of problems we do not want to hear about:

  • Long-standing bugs in the sim.  First, if you have already reported a bug, you don't need to report it again.  Second, we aren't really ready for new bugs.  If you report one, that's fine, but we're just going to file it until a later beta.
  • Problems with someone else's plugins.  We really need to hear from the plugin author.  Please don't report plugin bugs on behalf of your add-on maker.
  • Plugins that aren't 64-bit ready.  We do not need any bug reports telling us that a plugin isn't 64-bit ready.  This is normal and to be expected!

Finally, for users who are very excited about 64-bit: please be patient with your add-on makers.  They are only getting a complete set of 64-bit build materials today.  Please give them at least 10 minutes before hounding them for 64-bit updates.

Update: beta 1 has a bug on Mac where X-Plane will ignore keyboard input if it is started in full screen.  If you have a mouse, you can toggle full screen off and on to get keyboard back.  We'll fix this for beta 2 shortly.

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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.
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42 Responses to 64-Bit Is Here

  1. DMLou says:

    Congrats on getting the 64-bit to beta!

  2. Jack McLoughlin says:

    Great news on the release of 64 bit! One issue I've noticed already is keyboard input seems to have gone completely from the 64 bit application, I can't check if it's doing the same in the normal 32 bit app as this is CTD straight away. thought it be best to let you guys know right away.

  3. Markus says:

    Finally there's light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you! I hope this is getting a stable release soon.

  4. Bill Good (sparker) says:

    Just a quick thankyou and reporting that I have built both my 32bit and 64bit version of Xsaitekpanels in Linux and all went well. Next over to my Windows 7 64bit install and see how that goes.

  5. PilotBalu says:

    Congratulations on the 64bit Beta!

    It runs stable and fast on my Windows7 16GB machine, even huge sceneries with 8GB used RAM have no problems. 🙂

  6. This is a huge milestone for X-Plane! Congrats!

    On a personal note, I am happy to report that updating my Xgoflight plugin for 64-bit XP was painless.

  7. Waouh it's there ! I cant't say it too many times, but thank you for developping this masterpiece of software, really !

    No bugs for me. I can finally push my settings to the rooftop without beeing too concerned about the sim crashing out of memory. And the new AA algorithms are really awesome too, FXAA + 2SSA is mine now.

    Now we have to wait for the plane authors to update. Uber cool :).

  8. Jane F says:

    YEY!!! Congratulations Ben, Chris, Andras, Sergio, Austin and rest of team! So nice so hear 64 bit is finally out!

  9. Paul says:

    Been reading this blog for a while and watching the excitement build up towards 64 bits. I don't engage in the Beta program myself, so I'll happily wait until the stable build, but congratulations on the progress so far.

  10. David says:

    The installer does not give me the option of 32 or 64.
    How do I get 64bit and how do I know I have it?
    I am running Win 64.

    Thank you

  11. Ravi says:

    Congrats! Can't wait to try this out!

  12. X-Plane R O C K S! says:

    Meanwhile, at the MSFS studios: http://goo.gl/dToX8 😀

  13. Ronald Denby says:

    Congratulations on getting this out. What you guys have done over the past year in stabilizing and optimizing this sim is quite impressive. Thanks so much for making my hobby so enjoyable.

  14. Ernst Mulder says:

    Well, I'm really happy so far! The future is here.

    Not a single crash yet. I've been experimenting for a couple of hours now. Not a single one. The 32 bits version constantly crashed on me.

    I'm using 64 bit X-Plane on my old 2006 MacPro-1,1. Even though I have hacked my Mac to run 10.8.2 using a custom boot loader, and have installed a Radeon HD 5870.

    For the first time EVER I was able to run my own Netherlands Google Earth based overlay without crashes. Even at Extreme Res. For the first time EVER I could set the number of objects to Exreme. Okay, that slowed down things a bit but X-Plane did not crash.

    By the way, I use a self-modified (fixed, actually) version of the x52control plug-in. I compiled a 64-bit version and installed it next to the 32-bit version. Works fine in both versions of X-Plane.

    Okay, the keyboard doesn't work and the mouse pointer disappears constantly. But those are known issues.

    • Ernst Mulder says:

      Indeed, when I compile my modified x25control plug-in as a fat binary it works fine in both the 64-bit and the 32-bit X-Plane.

      Now if only there was an easy way to have a separate set of rendering options per version. For now I just swap out the preferences folder.

  15. steve amsden says:


    I have installed the beta 64-bit in addition to version 10.11 on the same computer, different partitions though. At first it worked but then the popup message saying pretty much that two copies were installed. Is there a way to have 2 versions installed? I like the stability of 10.11 but keen to check out 64-version. Cheers

    • Ben Supnik says:

      You can have two copies installed. You can't have two copies _running_ at the same time. So - quit one copy or check your process manager to see if one crashed but didn't quit.

      • steve amsden says:

        I was hoping you would say that Ben...;) What am I looking for in the process manager...is it just "x-plane|" or some other name.



        • steve amsden says:

          Sorry, that was a classic "brain fart" moment.... all sorted now (32-bit was secretly still running) cheers, steve

  16. Flightime56 says:

    When the developers make the add-ons 64bit are they backward compatible to 32bit?
    Or will we have to keep two versions?

    I understand that 64bit is the default, but do we need a type or logo to say you are starting up in 64bit or 32bit, it may seem add but i did it twice because my menu bar is still 32bit and it thought I was in 64bit. You can tell the small differences but hey it looks exactly the same!

    • Ben Supnik says:

      The developer has the option of including both 32 AND 64 bit binaries in a single plugin (this is an extension of the "Fat" plugin concept that already allows a plugin to work on many operating systems). The author could in theory DROP 32 bits but I think this is unlikely; since the plugin started as 32-bits why drop it.

      The startup screen and about box now show bit depth.

  17. {P says:

    ok.... 128 bit just in time for the quantum cpu/gpu systems

    keep up the good work

  18. Alex Scenery says:

    Congratulations is great progress on this simulator.
    Successfully update and application startup super fast but crash experimented when HDR enabled on cloud glsl shaders, on Nvidia GTS250. i think because beta right? Will wait updates...

    Also the performance is better in my case...I wait to can enable HDR too.

  19. Peter says:

    Yay 64 bits! Seems to be running fine on my computer (I7 with Radeon 7580, 6 gb). It's smooth as silk, and i'm using pretty extreme settings. What a marvel of technology Xplane has become :). Makes the competition (what little there is) pale in comparison. Keep up the good work mr Supnik!

  20. Tom Curtis says:

    I know you've been trying to downplay the notion that the 64 bit version will speed things up, but I haven't seen anyone address this aspect and benefit of the 64 bit version. I run X-Plane on a Mac Pro 4.1 (2.93 ghz Quad core with 16 gb Ram and a "flashed" PC Radeon 5870 with 2gb VRAM. Not only does it allow me to actually run the sim with settings nearly maxed out, but it's cut the load time down from 57 seconds on my SSD to 32 seconds on the same drive.

    WAY TO GO!!!!!

    • Ben Supnik says:

      I have no idea what the effect of 32/64 bits is on load time (SSD or magnetic storage) on any operating system -- I haven't had time to investigate.

      I can say that for fps, 32-bit and 64-bit is the same, and if anyone reports a difference, my strongest suspicion is prefs changing!

  21. Victor says:

    64 bit works nicely!

    Thanks to the dev's for the early Beta's.

    Runs smooth as I predicted with medium settings!

  22. steve amsden says:

    I can also confirm that with pretty much everything maxed out in 64bit, am getting much higher fps compared to 10.11. 8Gb RAM and i5-750 o/c to 4GHz.
    Excellent work. Now all we need are the blasted plugins....;)


  23. steve amsden says:

    Just on a side note - Firstly, I am not a programmer. What is the actual process in converting a 32bit plugin to run in 64bit? Reason I ask is,being semi-retired,have a fair amount of time. So, could have a crack at this perhaps?

    All the best

    • Ben Supnik says:

      The programmer has to adopt the 2.1 API, which means a quick search & replace of long with intptr_t in a few places, fix any plugin code that assumes that a ptr is 4 bytes, then recompile/relink with 64-bit settings in the IDE/makefile.

      It's not hard unless:
      1. The plugin has lots of really nasty int/ptr conversion stuff...hopefully not needed or
      2. The plugin uses lots of libraries - finding 64-bit variants of libs can sometimes be tedious.

  24. kellpossible says:

    Wow, thanks guys, this working fantastically! Finally was able to make the switch from windows to linux for x-plane. (it no longer crashes all the time in linux due to lack of memory available 🙂 ). And although, I don't think 32-64 bit improved performance, moving to linux certainly improved it a heap ton!

  25. PhM says:

    No problem with building the 64 bits version of my plug-ins. Only thing I had to do was insert the SDK libraries names in the already modified projects, rebuild, test and I was done.

    This transition to 64 bits has been very well done, congratulations,


  26. Markus Borgmann says:

    Even after removing all plugins, the 64 bit version gives me about 50% more frames - or the 32bit 50% less. I assume the latter is the case. I noticed this since 10.20, will retry with the last 10.11.

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