Public beta 9 is now live – this should fix null texture crashes (we hope – if you still see one in beta 9, please do report it with log files!) and has a performance improvement we’ve been working on for AMD Windows hardware.*

10.52: We do have a back-port to X-Plane 10 for this fix; had we figured this out any later we probably wouldn’t have brought it back. I had 10.52 (which is just 10.51 with an external visual sync fix) staged on the servers when we figured out what to do for AMD cards. My new plan is to recut 10.52 with the AMD fix. This will probably not happen until at least mid February due to other deadlines that come first.

Physics: Austin’s flight model changes for bodies shadowing control surfaces is not in public beta 9; it should be ready for the next beta. While I don’t know exactly how much more beta we have, my hope is that we get to RCs in a few weeks.

Scenery: I have a mostly recut scenery set, but it still has one bad tile. Besides fixing the bad DSF tile, I am still working on how the installer will handle the update. Digital download customers will be able to download this updated global scenery; we are working to make the download separate from sim updates, so that you don’t have to download a 50 GB scenery update to get a 26 MB sim update.

The good news is: the new scenery set will meet our size requirements even with northern latitude included.  So we don’t have to decide between DVDs and Alaska; we can do both.

Alpilotx also has an import of tall buildings outside the US from OSM – this is a really great improvement, particularly for European cities.

Servers: we moved the master copy of X-Plane to a new server, and we’ve gotten some reports of poor download speed from users. At this point we think that this is a temporary slow-down as the content delivery network re-caches the simulator, but we’ll keep monitoring the situation and work with our CDN provider if problems persist.

Clouds: I am still fighting with cloud performance, so this work is not in a public beta yet, because it’s not quite ready for prime-time.

* The short version, for OpenGL nerds, is that we’re using system memory and not an orphaned VBO, to source the quads for text. Because we draw a lot of text and the draw sizes are very small, we appeared to be exhausting the number of orphaned buffers the driver could provide, leading to stalls. I am working on a more advanced solution to the problem, but in the mean time, using system memory for small draws fixes the problem.

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.

90 comments on “X-Plane 11.00 Public Beta 9 – Faster For the Red Team

  1. When will the “XPD-6898 Jagged sky color transition” issue be addressed, it is the only really jarring thing you really notice in the XP11 world, it is not very nice flying at night?

    Otherwise very impressed with XP11. Feeling great.

      1. Is the fact that the Sun and Moon are never directly visible, but their reflections in water are, part of the same bug? If not, I will file one.

        And yes, completely in love with XP11, can’t thank you guys enough 🙂

      2. Ben hi!

        I do like to increase the LOD from X-Plane a little bit more you guy did already such a good job increasing it so much compared with 10, but personally need it a bit more for Ortho4XP then it looks bigger from the sky as it does with real flights from KTMB.

        Field of view sliders can’t do it that’ll make the cockpit way to big, would be very cool to have that as slider option adjusting just the cockpit size!!! hope you can ask Austin about this option?

        Well that’s it thanks ! Many thanks!

        How do I’ll accomplish that by myself?

        1. I don’t think I understand what you are trying to do…are you trying to make the LOD on orthophotos higher? It may not be the LOD that limits seeing them.

          1. No, in graphic settings we can increase the whole scenery with cockpit picture, lateral/verical field of view for monitors, but there the cockpit is scaled up too much and would be nice to seperate that with an additional slider to scale just the aircrafts cockpit. Caus it is good to have the abillity scaling field of view but the cockpit can appear way to huge, realy.

          2. Ah – you can’t separately control the FOV in the 3-d cockpit and outside because that would defy the laws of optics. X-Plane simulates a single 3-d space, with the airplane sitting in a world. So you can’t separately change the FOV for different elements.

          3. Ai.. to bad. Could have been extremely great! …simulation ‘is’ all about scale…

            Still love X-Plane 11! Ortho4XP! PilotEdge!

            Have a great day!

  2. I’m curious if there are any plans to fix the “Bug/feature” of aircraft Disappearing completely from View when viewing from the tower. It’s almost as if the sim is redrawing the backgrounds and completely forgetting to put in any live motion objects like aircraft when viewing through the windows. I don’t know if anyone has reported this. Every time I try to do A tower view I can see the plane until it starts to move past a new Tower window. This Defect has been around for A long long time But I never see any mention of it. The only other issues of note have to do with Net code. And the serious lag issues and inability to synchronize displays when flying close formation. It makes it completely impossible to do any formation flying online. Except for those 2 issues. All in all it’s been an amazing journey and I can’t wait to see how it all comes out. You guys do an amazing job.. One of these days, I will finally get to meet you guys After being with you for some 20+ years. Perhaps At the New England air Museum The next time you’re in town.

    1. This is almost certainly a Z buffer artifact. With that in mind..we don’t have a open bug for this – please file one! Be sure to include screen shots to show the plane disappearing and the airport you tested at!

      1. Hi Ben, you only need to go to KSEA demo area and try to look at your plane from tower view. As you move down the runway at some point the plane will disappear behind tower windows.
        I may send you pics and a bug report tomorrow if I find the time.

        1. This is absolutely correct, it’s a very easy to replicate and has been around for many, many Of the past versions. I’m surprised no one’s reported this. Just start aircraft at the end of the runway go to Tower view and take off past the tower.

          1. “I’m surprised no one’s reported this.”

            Everyone is surprised that no one has reported something…the cause of this is the cause of the surprise itself: everyone thinks someone else will report it.

  3. I’m happy to report that the FPS drops when turning on avionics and using the FMC are resolved. AMD RX470, thank you so much!!

    1. I can happily say “this new update fixed my r9 290x fps drops”!!! Thank you very much Ben and the team for fixing this issue. And sorry for being so repetitive on my commentaries!

    2. Here too, no more problems with connecting avionics, performance keeps it stable.
      FX-8350 and R9-280

  4. Ben,
    thanks for turning a painful beta 8 week into a promising week-end: Although beta 9 keeps on asking for joystick calibration, the flickering start screen issue when loading the Flight Factor Boeing 767-300ER Pro – it prevented me from entering the joystick calibration settings – has gone away! Thanks a lot for this!!

    Just one question: Referreing to the 60°N/60°S scenery issue, you always talk about Alaska. More than that also miss Iceland, Greenland and northern parts of Canada etc.

    Are those scenery areas also included to the announced fix or will that be an item for a future beta version?

    Kind regards,

    1. Right now my expectation is that we will cut a flat latitude line boundary in the scenery, so whatever the northern border is it, it will be consistent. I don’t know whether it will be 70 or 72 – that’ll depend on the details of how much space we have.

      1. “[…] that’ll depend on the details of how much space we have.”

        Sorry for coming back to this – but I just don’t get it: Why would there ever be a limit in 21st century? Call me a mad guy for buying an Intel 750 1.2TB SSD just for X-Plane 11 – but isn’t it up to the user how much storage capacity one will offer to X-Plane? The average HDD/SDD size is growing, not shrinking…

        Also I believe that optical discs already – more and more – loose their importance for software distribution. However: If there is a defined max. number of DVDs planned, why not offer optional scenery downloads even for those people who prefer disc jockey installations?

        Users then can decide on their own what to install – just like for the areas already supported.

        Imho storage capacity is an item not worth thinking too much about – but covering the world with default scenery definitely is.


        1. Marc,

          I am not sure where you are located, but for those of us in urban areas where we are spoiled with high Bandwidth internet connections, it’s not a problem to just download. I love my 200 down. But the fact that more than 80% of the world, US included, is still on dial-up, it is pretty hard if not impossible to download X-Plane.

          So now the folks at Laminar have got to decide which is the best medium to deliver the sim on. Not everyone has a Blueray drive, so 25Gb discs would not make sense. What would be cool is if they could deliver it on a SSD that had multiple connections/transfer options.

  5. YSSY just doesn’t like you Ben … it would be comedy gold if the one bad tile is still this one 😀 (I remember this exact same tile was filled in back in v10 forever).

    Anyways … since you mentioned that you guys are likely separating the DSF recut from the updates does this also mean that default airports will see more frequent updates?

    1. We have been updating default airports with every patch of the sim in v10 – we would like the default airport update frequency to be even higher, but airports are already on a higher frequency than scenery.

  6. Just wanted to thank you guys for the amazing job you are doing. I am an Intel/Nvidia user and haven’t experienced any real issues but a friend of mine has AMD Cpu and gpu. He couldn’t fly for more that 45 mins without a lockup / CTD. Tonight we flew 4 hours on IVAO without a hiccup. Great job with beta 9!

    Proud to support X-Plane and Laminar Research.

    1. Hi Wim,

      I have an open feature request filed to myself to enable hiding the replay bar. I can’t promise it’ll make it into the sim by 11.00, but I’m going to do my best. 🙂

      1. Along the replay slider modification request, can you space the end boxes that take the replay all the way to the beginning and the end of the flight further away from the rewind and fast-forward arrows? There I have been times where I went to rewind a flight, but accidentally clicked the box taking me to the very beginning. This wait can be quite long after a three hour flight, and then long again when I have to click the box to go back to the beginning.


      2. If we could bind some keys to fast forward, stop and play that would be awesome for video recording. I know there are more XP converted by youtube movies than forum readers.

  7. Significant fps increase on Asus Radeon R9 290 Graphics card, just what i needed thank you 🙂

  8. For me, this beta flies just great, best XPlane ever, thank you so much for the work!

  9. Finally some love to AMD cards. Improved my performance by more than 50% on average on my R9 390. Sitting at the runway at ESMS with the default C172, clear weather, 13:00 in the beginning of January now gives about 35 FPS instead of 22 FPS as I had in previous betas.

    Still hoping for more performance of course, hehe, but a major leap forward for sure!

    1. Forgot to mention my settings… Most things at high, textures max, reflections minimal, no ground shadows. Taking a huge FPS hit (roughly 30-50%) if I increase reflections to low, a bit unexpected considering I have a 4960X @ 4.3 GHz.

  10. I’m still getting bad performance on an RX480. Frame rate improved from around 9 FPS to around 12 or 13 on rather low quality settings and maybe 17-19 on very low settings (just starting a new flight in the demo with clear weather). Avionics don’t appear to have an impact though. If there’s anything I can do to help find further bottlenecks, I’ll be glad to do so.

    Some more details:

    I’m seeing maybe 45ms GPU, 55ms CPU, and frame time around the CPU time; Windows resource monitor is showing X-Plane at a steady ~25% CPU load (6-core AMD FX-6300) with no single core “maxed out”, for the GPU, WattMan is showing the load like this: // (and it’s the same on 16.12.2 and 17.1.1 drivers).

  11. What about frame rate improvement ? Will these ever be good and stable as in X-Plane 10 ?

    1. For a fixed machine with fixed hardware…
      With relatively the same rendering settings…

      X-Plane 11 will almost certainly be slower than X-Plane 10 because it’s just doing a lot more stuff.

      With that in mind, I do expect to, in the long term of X-Plane 11, reach BETTER fps stability, and by taking advantage of optimizations v10 does not use, get better overall _efficiency_, to the point where v11 should be totally usable on typical hardware.

      But last year’s version ALWAYS seems fast. When FSX came out, users said “I’m going to stick with FS9, it’s so much faster, FSX is dog slow” Now they prefer FSX because it’s “soooo fast”. When XP10 came out, it was considered a total performance hog. Now the question is “why can’t v11 be that fast.”

      There’s nothing surprising here – the bar for what is good hardware constantly moves up and new versions of sims recalibrate. If you really want to see a simulator scream, run x-plane 8 on a modern Windows machine. 😀 😀 😀 😀

      With that in mind, we do expect to devote serious engineering resources to performance. Austin has a long term goal of getting X-Plane to a state where it can be used as a high-end visualization system, which means much work in the rendering engine for high, stable fps.

      1. It’s funny you say that, because that’s exactly what I did today (running XP8 :D)

        I understand what you’re saying, but there’s another comparison I’d like to make: I have the impression that this beta is already more stable than XP10.0 (on my hardware at least)
        Oh wait, 32 bit, so that’s likely another invalid comparison…

        Still, with 10.0 it was more about potential, I was mainly looking forward to what XP10 could become, but now I’m very impressed with what XP11 already IS, that’s the main difference I think 🙂

      2. Curiously, I find that XP11 actually runs better on my hardware than XP10. It’s so much more fluid and stable, even in its beta state, than XP10 has ever been. I’m genuinely baffled, because considering how much better XP11 looks, I naturally expected it to run worse.

  12. Hey Ben, I just tested out the the new beta (XP11.00pb9) and I have AMD R9 390X, not a MAD card anymore with this beta… I just wanted to sing you a small song of my experience:

    I am so happpyyyyy, so happyyyyy, so happyyyyyyyy ‘s can beeeeeeee!
    My frame rates are flyyyyiiiing, now flyyyyyiiiiiiing, and flygggiiiiing so hiiiiiigh!!!

    Prev. flying in the FAOR region, all settings cranked up and with 2560×1080, my fps was around 11-14, so naturally things had to be turned down somewhat, now I have 30-40fps maxed out! 🙂

    1. Further testing shows that almost consistently, noticed this in prev betas too, that when I move into cockpit view, frames drops to about 23 average fps from around 33 in outside view. Perhaps occlusion culling could be implemented?

      Another thing, I still notice that GPU spikes constantly between 100% and 0% with average load GPU load in the 40-60% region. Similar usage spikes are seen in the CPU, constantly varying load. Please note, these results are seen even when stationary on a runway and not changing view, just monitoring load. This makes me think that there is still plenty of computing resources available for even further fps improvements 🙂 wink wink

      Great job so far though! Sim looks fantastic!

      1. I am always very wary of anyone pulling up a third party gpu monitoring tool and going “oh look, half a GPU!”. Modern GPUs are massively over-provisioned for ALU, making it easy to hit “less than peak ALU” by any of:
        – CPU bottleneck…that’s a legit problem to be architecturally addressed.
        – Bottlenecks in wave dispatch…these are miserably tricky to fix; some are unfixable.
        – Bottlenecks in bandwidth/memory…my view is that if you max out the GPU’s memory bus and not the ALU, the red and green teams should think about what they enhance next in their next-gen GPUs.

        (And…they do…that’s why memory compression has become a standard feature. Similarly, both vendors have put quite bit of effort in the last 5 years into faster primitive dispatch, which could, back in the day, sometimes be a bottleneck.)

        The point of my rant here: there will always be a weakest link in the chain, but how much I hear about it mostly depends on how easy it is to monitor that particular link!

        With that in mind, yes, if there is GPU compute resource available, that’s potentially useful. Even if we can’t use it for faster fps, we might be able to use it for higher quality.

        1. Thanks for the reply Ben. The reason why I mentioned the fluctuating GPU load stats is because when I run OpenGL game graphics benchmarks, GPU %load is almost constantly hovering at 100% mark. FPS in other modern and demanding AAA titles I have found to hover at the 60fps mark (V-Sync turned on), with all eye-candy sliders to the max. That is using OpenGL, and not Vulkan (which has average 20-30% improvement) or DX11/DX12. This is why I thought it good to mention that I think there could be significant gains be found for even better eye candy (if it were possible given how fantastic XP11 already looks:) ) or higher fps through optimization. Hence also the mention of the performance drop when moving to cockpit compared to outside view.

    2. FAOR = ORT International? If so, are you using the default scenery and airport, or do you have a better one?

  13. The null texture issue I was having in PB8 is now gone. Thank you everyone for the great work!

  14. A note to download speeds: I downloaded X-Plane 11 two weeks ago and the speed was kind of sluggish (my connection is able to handle up to 1.5MB/s, but I got mostly 500-600kb/s). Also, the connection appeared to crash frequently after the speed dropped down (message appeared saying the connection was lost) but fixed itself after ~5-10 min waiting. A few tests indicated that my connection was interruption free (more exactly: I was on Teamspeak all the time with < 30 ms ping and no UDP packet loss. DNS was also up & running).

    After all, this slowed down the download so it took me about 2 days to download the full scenery and sim.

  15. Hi Ben, don’t spend time on separating Scenery from sim D/L. We will/want upgraded scenery anyhow, so it is perfectly OK when it comes alng with the next update. A hint about prolonged D/L time in the release notes is sufficient.
    Thanks for your time and determination hunting down those nasty GPU bugs!

      1. Has there been thought in optimizing the down load size/areas? Some of them are fairly tiny in comparison and could be expanded. The South Pacific islands show a 0MB down load size currently, yet the section with Hawaii has 91, it seems strange as well that the south pacific Island section includes the Aleutians, yet the Hawaiians which are closer, does not. Making the downloads smaller in total will help those who have to plan for data amounts and time as well. Another example of needing optimization is the South American continent, its one shot and is nearly 8 gigs.

  16. So pleased you guys are getting better fps on beta9.
    On my late 2012 21.5″ iMac, 2.9GHz 5 core, with GT650M 512 MB and 8 GB 1600MHz DDR3:-
    At KSEA, with the King Air on 16L, I got 16fps using beta8 and ‘almost’ 17 fps using beta9.
    I now know that X-Pane 11 is just that step too far for me, even with pretty low settings.
    Give Ben his due, he warned me that I might be pushing things with my system. I just wonder how many others, who can’t afford to upgrade feel as sad as I do.

    1. “I just wonder how many others, who can’t afford to upgrade feel as sad as I do.”

      I think there’s no reason to feel sad. If your hardware is not capable of running XP11 – XP10 is still available and will even receive another update to 10.52.

      Every hardware is turning to legacy stuff quickly and software continues demanding even more. We either accept it or we need to stick with software which was designed for older hardware – also meaning the end of development and progress too.

      How funny: Thinking back of my 1988 ATARI ST with 1MB RAM and a 720k 3.5″ floppy drive, I still need the same time for typing letters as on today’s multi core CPU systems with SSD drives and monster GPUs… *g*


      1. I hate to say this, but that “sadness” means we (LR) are doing our job right.

        If people looked at X-Plane 11 and went “y’know, I have an 8 year old Mac Pro, but that’s fine, because X-Plane 10 does everything I want and X-Plane 11 isn’t any better”, then we would have a serious problem!

        1. Sorry Ben, but with such low fps and in demo mode I can’t tell whether 11 is better than 10 in only 15 minutes! (Although I’m sure it is given the work you guys put in.)

  17. Ben how are you. Being that we’re on the subject of scenery, is it safe to say that the current state of scenery related formats like agb, agp and ags should remain unchanged for the foreseeable future?


    1. “Unchanged” is not a great term to describe scenery. We maintain a lot of backward compatibility in the scenery formats; scenery that was current in X-Plane 8 ten years ago probably still just works.

      But we do periodically add _new_ features to the file formats. If you are creating art assets, this should not affect you; if you create valid art assets based on the old format it will just work.

      If you are _parsing_ our art assets (for some reason) then you have to be careful about forward compatibility, or you might not be able to _read_ newer art assets. But this case is basically never a factor for third party developers.

  18. Thanks a lot for the great development.
    Just a note…in my Installer Log file I always see the following message:
    WARNING: we are missing the texture: RESOURCE:black_opaque.png.
    Should I take care about that? Don’t know if it’s a bug or what else.

  19. My hardware is AMD, CPU and GPU.
    X-Plane PB9 for me a great event, excellent.
    Also happy with possibility of X-Plane 10.52, with improvement for AMD platform.
    LM team deserves respect, making repair on a version that is already passed translates as consideration with users.
    Thank you very much.

    João Alfredo

  20. My GPU is AMD Fury which is the fastest up to date. i’m on 4K, my fps went from 28 to 35 in pb9. System is less stable but the gain is quite noticeable, it’s more fluid now. Many thanks!

  21. Will the Cessna 172SP be able to ID the navaids? Currently the only plane that will do that , that I have found is the Barron B58.

  22. Hi Ben,

    About :
    ” The good news is: the new scenery set will meet our size requirements even with northern latitude included. So we don’t have to decide between DVDs and Alaska; we can do both.” :

    I cannot imagine you succeeded to add more tiles without increasing data size, so I’m afraid about what was removed !
    Did you reduced the resolution of meshes ? Or removed some data from dsf ?

    Perhaps around the same thing : I saw in X-Plane 11 the directory Resources\map data\water that contains the same structure than Global Scenery, but with files .shp and .shx, for 397 Mo in 35694 files, so they are covering 17847 tiles while there is only 16006 DSF tiles !
    I have the feeling that these files contains beach and water borders, but can’t them merged in the global scenery DSF files ?

    BTW, thanks for everything, as for devs than for answers here !

    1. I neither removed mesh res or other data…I fixed a bug, thanks to the help of a third party developer, who keenly observed that his DSF encoder was way more efficient than mine was.

      As it turned out, the 64-bit DSF encoder from the scenery tools base was not correctly merging shared vertices to save disk space, artificially inflating DSF size. With this bug fixed, we can include more tiles.

      re: the map – these tiles are specifically not fixed so that the map can contain lower resolution, simpler data than the DSFs themselves…this is intentional. The map can have better performance if it is not tied to the physical scenery. This also matches real life; the moving map in your airplane does not have as good resolution as the real world below. 🙂

  23. Did something change that effects the Memory Usage?
    it increased over 4gb compared to previous betas (nvidia hardware)

    Thanks guys for all the hard work – and keeping us posted on all the changes 🙂
    Great Job!

  24. Ben, regarding the speedup for the red team hardware: I had set my eyes on a AMD 480 gfx card instead of the Gfx 1060.
    Would this in your opinion be a bad choice and give lower performance with X-Plane all other things considered equal (i5 7600K CPU)

  25. Hey Ben, how is the new water going on? The old one is much too fps unfriendly :/ despite my good system ( I7 4770, GTX 1070, 16Gb ram) I can’t even turn it one notch up without a significant fps dicrease.

    1. There is no setting to “turn up the water.” What setting are you actually referring to?

      3-d water is on the back burner while I fix more pressing bugs … my guess is we release it in 11.10 or something.

      1. I was reffering to the reflection settings. When I increase them, I automatically increase the water reflections inside my sim.

        1. The reflection setting is mostly -not- increasing the water reflection, it’s mostly increasing the responsiveness of the reflectiveness of everything in the sim via PBR! So that’s why it’s way more expensive.

          I have a note to tune this more, e.g. to give some intermediate options with more water reflection and less PBR reflection.

  26. Hello Ben…Does then also have a setting to disable “draw hi-res planet from textures from orbit” how XP 10? Because for wide scenery views (mountains) is not looks so nice…

    Thanks for answer.

    1. There are definitely bugs right now where the planet code and fog code fight, but if you see something looking funny, please file a bug! Our goal is to have NO planet artifacts, so the setting can be always on. And turning it off just give you the same bugs at lower tex res, so the setting never was a solution!!

  27. Question – I used to play Microsoft Flight sim and remember all of the AI traffic flying around and taking off. I dont see any in XPLANE -IS this going to happen?

Comments are closed.