X-Plane 11.50 beta 16 is now out. Probably the most important bug fix is the set of fixes for broken plugin drawing–this affected SkyMaxx Pro and a number of add-ons in pop-out windows. Full notes here.

At this point we think we are good in terms of plugin compatibility APIs – if your add-on still acts funny in beta 16, please let us know ASAP.

Performance Investigations

Sidney and I spent a bunch of time over the last week looking at performance. Here’s what we have found so far:

  1. X-Plane 11.50 beta 14 made cloud performance significantly worse on the GPU. I accidentally turned off optimized off-screen clouds. This is fixed as of beta 15.
  2. X-Plane 11.50 beta 15 made CPU performance worse on AMD cards on Windows during panel drawing – the same bugs that caused the incorrect plugin drawing hit performance as well. This is fixed as of beta 16. (XPD-10943)
  3. X-Plane 11.50 beta 15 leaks VRAM when scenery or the aircraft gets loaded. That doesn’t necessarily hurt performance but it’s definitely not good. This is fixed in beta 16 (XPD-10941). If you had blurry textures, definitely re-test now.
  4. NVidia cards are losing about 1.5 ms of GPU time as a result of the bug fix for wrong reflections in Vulkan. We found the cause of the performance loss but we have not fixed it yet. This was introduced in beta 12 when we fixed the reflections. (XPD-10953)
  5. Temporary slow frame rate or stutters when turning your head with Vulkan. If your frame rate is smooth and good when flying and then temporarily slows down only when your view changes as lot (e.g circling, turning your head, etc.), that’s this bug. The cause is slower draw time when we draw 3-d scenery out of system memory while we wait for the DMA to VRAM to finish. (XPD-10898)

From what we can tell, a huge percentage of the blog comment complaints about performance are all XPD-10898.

At this point, with beta 16, we do not want any additional performance bug reports. Given that we have two performance issues fully diagnosed but not fixed, there’s no point in collecting more data – the two existing problems would mask other ones. We are also drowning in performance bug reports at this point; we don’t have bandwidth to triage additional ones right now.

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.

142 comments on “X-Plane 11.50 Beta 16: Less Weird, Slightly Faster

  1. A gentle reminder to everyone butthurt about this, please don’t forget all the work Ben and Sidney put in to be able to instrument all this performance stuff in the first place, for a product that came out 3.5 years ago. (Meaning, when was the last time you gave Laminar Research any money to do any of this?)

    1. I am often very intense and full of criticism in my comments, but the amount of high quality work such a small team does is unbelievable. Chapeau!

    2. You are assuming that all potential X-Plane 11 customers did buy it already. Maybe a few are still waiting for the promises to fulfill. Or buy Microsoft; whoever delivers first what customers really want.

      1. So you want every one to work with out pay until you are happy? Would you do that in your job?

        I think e are getting an incredible amount of fun for the money. I will refuse to complain. I am glad some one actually want to make this excellent product.

  2. Hi, I didn’t see any mention about the latest Nvidia driver issue, 451.67. As soon as there is some load on the gpu the frametime drops and I experience significant rubberbanding issue.

    I am talking about this, https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/forums/topic/219885-1150b13-and-nvidia-driver-45148-stutters-solved/&page=6&tab=comments#comment-1985859

    I already filed a bug report and did send a performance log after I was contacted, just wondering if this is still being looked at?

    1. That thread you reference shows it was fixed in Beta 14, and I was one of the ones that reported it and I also validated that specific problem to be no longer happening in beta 14.

  3. I’m flying various default aircraft around Los Angeles and the Sierra Nevada Mountains daily in VR. Then I fly around New York City, using on local time zone with matching live weather conditions. Both these locations had nice clouds this morning, after I ingested Beta16 like getting a dose of my daily vitamins. Running i6700K on 1080 in a classic CV1 headset, I enjoyed the performance using Medium World Objects and visuals of 4x SSAA+FXAA Antialiasing. I must balance these two settings to maintain a comfortable 45FPS in VR. Thanks to Laminar Research and the whole team who have built a wonderful general aviation simulator. Combined with my terrabytes of custom Ortho scenery, I can now fly around the world in this thing with friends!

    1. Assuming you are flying GA with what you are mentioning above? How about commercial IFR flights? I cant get above 19 FPS…. 🙁

  4. Ok, so no more bug reports on performance, but what is the primary reason that my frame rate drops from 58-ish in a clear sky drops to 35 when I crank the weather slider to Broken? I’m on an iMac 2017 27″ with Radeon Pro 570. What shall I reduce to have less frame rate impact? I would wish for a slider to make clouds more or less thirsty, like we had back in version 10, since it seems to me that clouds are the major factor for reduced frame rate. At least on my machine. Apar from that I’m a fairly happy bunny 🙂

    1. The clouds affect framerate. This is normal. It’s not good, but it’s normal. If someone said “what’s the reason I have a FPS drop when I go from the middle of the ocean to NYC” we wouldn’t be surprised, right?

      In particular, the clouds affect GPU fill rate. If you’ve got a 27″ iMac and a 570, and Metal, there’s a very good chance that you’re fill rate bound and clouds make a big difference.

      1. That’s a good clarification. The question remains what to do about it, when you’re flying along and hit IFR conditions and your framerate drops to 9 fps…

        1. According to theory of relativity, people on the ground would see your airplane slowing down like passing by a black hole, its only a relative perception while you still -by numbers- on a 0.5~1.0 mach speed 🙂

      2. I see your point Ben, but I have a slider in the settings to deal with the NYC problem. Not so for clouds.

      3. How about a feature where you set your target fps for the type of gameplay you want, and X-plane automatically reduces the graphics options on the fly? (Pun not intended, or maybe it was.)

        I know that there are many settings that affect fps, but if X-plane could detect that I’m CPU bound when I fly into a dense are like NYC, it could reduce the number of objects for me. I don’t know if this is even possible, but one can always wish 🙂

        I too, must add that I really appreciate this blog and that you take time answering our questions and engage in discussions. Good work!

        1. That would be cool. The problem is we don’t necessarily know _why_ you are CPU bound – it could be a particular scenery pack, a particular airplane, the combination of that with a camera angle. The program to analyze why X-Plane is slow is similar in complexity to the rendering engine itself.

          1. It could be simpler than that. Something akin to the various LUA scripts that are available. Auto LOD and what not. But native and supported between versions. And a big disclaimer: I accept that my visuals sometimes will look like crap for the sake of reasonable FPS, and I promise not to blame Ben for it 🙂

  5. Since b14 I can’t enable Vulkan, it says driver not supported. I already filled a bug report and sent logs but just to be on the safe side I wanted to also report it here…worked fine before nVidia 1080ti with latest drivers, Oculus software in the background for Quest (but not connected)

    1. I had the same problem with B15. Upgrading to the newest Nvidia driver fixed the problem.

  6. Steam version not launching for me after this update.
    (Missing executable) X-Plane.app

      1. Sunnofa…the Mac apps were missing from b16 on Steam. I have _no_ idea how this happened, as the process is completely automatic, but I rebuilt the Steam build…let Steam update the app and it should start working.

  7. Glad to see XPD-10898 on the radar. This bug really makes the Vulkan experience unpleasant for a lot of folks.

  8. This is good stuff. X plane will always compete well while the aircraft look good and, most of all, they move beautifully compared to other sims. Only DCS comes close, That sense of real movement in X-PLANE is at the centre of flight simulation enjoyment and while that smoothness and credible aerodynamic fluidity in movement is there in X plane, X plane is my got to, preffered sim.

  9. In percent, how many of the current CTD are related to art controls scripts or shader hacks. I know it might be hard to pinpoint and not even necessary, but in the ball park would be int. to hear. Many of the “log.txt” files posted online states error message related to plugins or scripts. This would indicate to me that XP 11.50 still have issues with third party scripts amending data refs and art controls. Correct me please if I am wrong. Fully understand also if this is not something that can be addressed.

    1. Of the about 300 crashes auto-submitted for Windows/Linux on 11.50b16, about half have art controls modified. This does not mean that half the crashes are _caused_ by art controls – it just means half of the users reporting crashes happened to have them modified. I can say there are some bugs that _only_ happen when art controls are modified, sometimes for obvious reasons like “these 5 art contrls were never meant to have these values together.” So the usefulness of knowing if they’re modified is: if a crash has 100% art controls set in the crash log, that’s a strong sign (especially if it has a large number of reports) that it’s art control-caused.

  10. Just a random thought this afternoon in case you dont. But might it be worth collecting “didnt crash” reports – at least during the betas.
    Get some more details like min/max fps, driver versions, plugins, art control settings, airports visited etc etc.
    Plus maybe some feedback like “did it stutter” etc.
    Often as important to know what does work as doesnt. (or more importantly half works and is making people grumpy)

    At least sent to your systems, I set send you usage reports to on last time I installed, but pretty sure that is using google analytics which is blocked at the router level.

  11. To the LR Team – I can’t believe I’ve spend exactly $120US on XP over the past six years and this is the level of work and results I am getting in return. Thank you, thank you from this (long time) not current pilot. I have had minimal issues with the beta’s since the process began (knowing each one is a beta). The latest beta version is working just fine for me (as have most others). Please continue to work on the two issues you have identified (neither is an issue for me) and then on to XP12. I would purchase that right now if it were offered. It would help me a bit in not feeling guilty for the minimal amount I’ve spent so far. Not talking about 3rd party stuff. As I said to my flight school many years ago – no matter how much I beg you never let me know how much I’ve spent here…

  12. Hey Ben, thanks for all your hard working.

    I was using 11.50 public beta (via Steam) since the very begining without problems. I run it in a 2017 MacBook Pro.

    But with the beta 16 release that I’ve got today, it screw up my installation.

    Here’s the thing: due to the fact that MacOs’s Finder is not clever enough and don’t know how to automatically merge folders, since beta 16 does not carry X-Plane.app and other executables, they were vanished from X-Plane’s installation folder. Thus the game do not start anymore.

    I’ve tried to fix it in all of the recommended ways (check installation files integrity, for example), but no good.

    I’m very sad. My MacBook can only get decent fps using Metal, so using X-plane 11.41 is a problem.

    1. See Ben’s comment above. Here’s the relevant part:
      Sunnofa…the Mac apps were missing from b16 on Steam. I have _no_ idea how this happened, as the process is completely automatic, but I rebuilt the Steam build…let Steam update the app and it should start working.

    2. Don’t know why an XP installation would be affected by the Finder but it can and does easily merge files including across a set of nested sub-folders. Just press the OPT key and drag and drop them select the Merge option that comes up. Works fine!

  13. First of all I want to appreciate the effort and work of the x plane team to keep it as good as possible.
    I am not very demanding, with it working and flying fluid is enough for me. I was very happy with beta 15, but when I installed beta 16 I cracked the simulator.
    It would be good at least in beta versions to put an option to return to the previous beta when the last one installed does not work.
    thank you

    1. Simply make a copy of your xplane folder before you update it isnt that hard, cant go forward if they keep going back.

    2. May I ask why you wish to step back to an older version in beta testing? Go forward, test the new beta, help to find the last bugs so the beta phase may come to an end.

  14. Hi Ben & Laminar team,

    I found an interesting issue that may be related to the vsync checkbox while flying in full screen mode, but I wasn’t sure if there’s some new way I should set things? … I had recently reported that after beta 13, I notice in b14, 15, and 16 my FPS would go from 60 on the airport ramp down to a fixed 30 when viewed at certain angles from above, but oddly the cpu and gpu readings in the output would not change for the worse. To add to this oddity, if I alt-tabbed to a small window such as the task manager with X-Plane still showing in the background, the frames shot up to 55-60. But once back in sim, back to 30.

    I later found after my initial bug report (with multiple ETW traces attached) that if I go into the graphics menu and deselect the vsync checkbox, the sim FPS behaved consistently well but in the sim and out of the sim at all viewing angles. My Nvidia vsync is set to ON (full) with triple buffering as always, but it seems to be the checkbox in X-Plane that triggers the issue. Again, this was not an issue in beta 13 (I still have a copy of it).

    1. Correct me anybody if I’m wrong, but I think going down to 30 fps as long as 60 fps can’t be maintained, is not a bug, but the best solution.

      Constant 30 fps are much smoother than e.g. 45 fps, because 45 fps could only be achieved by showing 1 frame for 1 monitor refresh and next frame for 2 refresh cycles and next again for 1 refresh cycle and so on.

      Or e.g. 59 fps would be 59 frames for 1 refresh cycle and then 1 frame for 2 cycles. A typical “I have a micro stutter once every second”.

      (All above given, you have a 60 Hz monitor and vsync activated.)

      That would feel very stuttery. And AFAIK triple buffering would not help, because in the end the GPU still has to distribute 45 (or whatever) frames on 60 monitor refresh cycles.

      When XP goes to the background, probably vsync gets deactivated and so you get the best possible frame rate, regardless of monitor refresh. But, so, with tearing.

      BTW, as I already wrote on last b15 thread, it also (on my system) works perfectly together with g-sync/freesync.

      So, IMHO, though it makes the fps numbers look worse, this is one of the best improvements regarding smoothness since Vulkan started.

      1. Agreed. I lock my frames to 30 in the nvidia control panel and set the Oculus ASW to 30 as well and it is perfectly smooth. If I don’t do that it gets a bit jittery while the fps is jumping up and down. Not sure why everyone feels the need for a bazillion FPS. 30fps is giving a perfectly fluid and smooth experience. I don’t think it would be any more fluid or smooth at 60fps. Just my humble opinion.

        1. Well, I personally feel 60 fps are much smoother than 30, but 30 are definately ok (not talking about VR here). TV has 25 or 30 fps, cinema 24 fps. (Ok there is motion blur, that helps a lot to make it smooth.)

          And, to be clear, the locking to 30 fps (= half refresh rate) only happens, when 60 are not possible. As soon as the render times are fast enough for 60 fps for some time (a few seconds I guess), it goes up to 60 again.

          1. Since b16 my V-Sync broke too.

            Without V-Sync I am getting 60++ fps.
            b15 with V-Sync = slows down to 60 fps
            b16 with V-Sync = slows down to 30 fps
            Absolutely nothing changed on my system but the b16 update.

        2. Actually I think it depends on the number of pixels that chance between frames. When flying at high speed in low altitude, more than 30 FPS may look nice. At FL 320 15 FPS may be OK.

      2. I don’t think it’s an automated feature, at least it’s never been in the simulator, nor do I think it should. Given the fact that no one from Laminar hasn’t confirmed or chimed in, I’m thinking it’s something that has unintentionally arisen during the progression of these betas. Or maybe I should’ve just said, bug.

        Traditionally the triple buffering is always gone hand in hand with turning vsync on in the Nvidia CP. I’ve explored all the stuff in great detail in the past, and without the triple buffering clicked on I remember the smoothness deteriorating as well as the frames.

        1. Well, the whole vsync topic is indeed much more complex than one would think (we did not even talk about the physics calculations: Before the graphics rendering starts, all objects – esp. the camera/aircraft – need to know exactly where they are at the moment the frame will get displayed, otherwise you might have smooth frames but non-smooth motion).
          Would be great to get a word from the devs about it at some point. As they probably have nothing else to do… ; )

          Also, sorry for hammering on this topic, but as Vulkan is all about smoothness, I think it is quite important.

          Anyway, if I’m not totally wrong:
          Let’s say CPU and/or GPU need a little more than 1/60 of a second to render the frame, for example 1/59 sec. With vsync (and with or without triple buffering), there are only 2 ways to distribute those 59 frames that can be rendered in a second to the 60 refresh cycles of the monitor:
          1. Display 58 frames for 1 refresh cycle and 1 frame for 2 refresh cycles
          -> That gives a microstutter once a second, because fps always drop from 60 to 30 for one frame then.
          2. With triple buffering (as done in video editing when converting frame rates) you could blend or morph frames.
          -> Blending: That does not look good and is not really smooth (everyone who ever tried to convert a 25Hz video recording to 24Hz cinematic look knows that, without changing the speed of course)
          -> Morphing: Looks strange sometimes and is no option here anyway, as it needs far too much GPU time.

          I think, before Vulkan the microstutters of option 1 were hidden in between those many stutters we were used to (not only by X-Plane).
          Now with Vulkan, the very most of the “regular” stutters are eliminated and so those “vsync microstutters” become an issue.

          1. Hi 3J,

            Right – you are correct that if the sim produces FPS at a frequency unrelated to the actual frame rate but their display is _delayed_ by the driver (at our request) to the nearest vsync, a user will perceive uneven notion. This is because X-Plane currently assumes even time intervals between frames.

            In _theory_ we could build an engine that, in a mixed VSYNC case( e.g the sim sending out to the glass at 30 ms, 15 ms, 30 ms, 15 ms) anticipates this pattern perfectly and…I honestly don’t know what this would look like. Update would be uneven but motion would be correct. But it’d be a non-trivial thing to code and isn’t standard pracice. More common is to just lock down to 30 fps full stop.

            In terms of needing to know the display deadline before we start rendering, VR makes this very explicit – the VR headset won’t tell you the predicted render position too far in advance because it is _guessing_ based on when the frame will display. This introduces the concept of when the camera is resolved as an external timing event and not just something we learn part-way through rendering. The advice of the VR headset makers is to start rendering before the camera location is known. This is crazy at the extreme but potentially possible in smaller ways. For example, we could start rendering the panel after physics are done but before we know where the camera is. This would not help “normal” X-Plane but it would help VR (where the time from when we ask where the HMD is to when we draw must be as short as possible).

            For regular rendering, since the frame latency is just the total CPU time until we finish the frame, it’s mostly just “can we get through all of this code faster than the refresh rate.”

          2. Hi Ben,

            many thanks for taking the time, highly appreciated as this blog in general!

            Yes, mixed fps patterns with even motion surely will not feel very smooth and very likely are not worth the effort.

            Still best for smooth experience is to maintain perfect frame (depends on monitor or HMD and personal taste) rate by
            1. make the rendering as fast, smart and balanced as possible (your job, very impressive progress)
            2. chose settings, scenery and plugins reasonable for the hardware (our job, very often failed by myself as well…)

  15. I wonder what’s so special about March 19.
    “sim/cockpit2/clock_timer/current_day” and ” … _month” has been stuck at that date since I dunno.

  16. Still kinda bummed out that vulkan does not work with mesa vulkan driver 🙁 Too bad OpenSUSE does not provide amdvlk.

    1. This is definitely something we cannot spend time on – we’ve already had to spend more time on Linux than we like in a release because using new drivers brings out platform specific weirdness.

    2. You should file a bug report with the amd mesa driver developers. A linux x-plane demo with vulkan support would help along greatly though.

      1. Is the issue that it actually doesn’t work, or that we have some nastigram that is like “Y U NO HAVE NVIDIA DRIVER???”

        If the error is a spec one (e.g. we need Vulkan 1.1 and they got 1.0) we’re not gonna mess with it but if it’s more like a safety check (e.g. we want this driver version or newer) we can have a command line flag to turn the safeties off, if we don’t already have one.

        1. A vulkan-enabled demo would help the devs reproduce the issues on their own systems instead of having to go through the bug-reporter, which is often less than ideal (as you probably experience every day first-hand yourself :P).

          Here’s one of the currently open tickets that deals with amd drivers: https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/mesa/mesa/-/issues/3257

          1. The demo _is_ Vulkan enabled – no driver dev has to buy x-plane to repro bugs. That’s why it’d be useful to know where it falls down – we could put a bypass to those warnings. If you’re shopping bugs to the Mesa team, contact us and we can get you some command line options that can make the bugs more straight-up reproducible.

          2. Linux + AMD Vega64 + Mesa 19.2.8 + Vulkan works out of the box and very beautifully here. Also

            https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=xplane-11-vulkan&num=1

            report success on many AMD cards and even find here

            https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=radeon-xplane-vulkan&num=1

            that the Mesa RADV+ACO driver outperforms the proprietary AMD driver. So there is hope that also the other bugs like the one mentioned by Alexander will be fixed.

            So many thanks to Ben and Sid for having found the reason for XPD-10898 and working on it.

  17. Well after beta 9 performance using amd card + amd cpu went downstairs…. but sim is superstable right now. Mostly getting higher cpu frametimes so had to turn down world object to medium or low. Fpswise have almost same fps than using OGL. Vulkan seems smoother but the fps count is almost the same. I have a RYZEN 5 3600 @4200 + RX590 8Gb with beta9 i could move the cpu/gpu sliders all the way up no fps drain.

  18. Hi, I am loving vulkan so far and the previous Beta was amazing for me however in this one i keep getting the crash where everything seems normal but then I get this message at the end. –=={This application has crashed!}==–
    (Art controls are modified.) I have sent the bug report via the xplane bug reporter but it would be nice to see how I can resolve this.

    1. Hi,
      Have you already found a solution? I am observing the same issue.
      Is it possible to read the “bug report”?

  19. Guys, something odd happened when I tried to launch B16.
    Loading flight on a Baron 58 at KLGA (Drzewiecki-NY city, airports Volume 1 and 2) it just crashes.
    It was working fine on B15, but not anymore.
    X-Plane have automatically submitted a bug report, I checked the logs and see that it finds a huge amount of errors on the scenery… not sure if I should contact the scenery developer and ask him to look into it.
    Please let me know what should I do.

    1. I have found the problem, it was not actually related to the scenery, it was related to LiveTraffic plugin and XPMP2, it got fixed on LiveTraffic 2.08
      Now it is working fine again.

  20. Kind Greetings LR Team,

    1. Has there been any progress with the black patterns that appear on Apple computers? You can always see them when the Visual Effects slider is set to the highest position on the ground or when in flight close to the ground. It has been reported many times already but I don’t know if an XPD was assigned to it. This issue has existed since the earliest beta versions.

    2. Will the GPU counter in the frame rate display be fixed for Apple computers?

    Thank you.

  21. someone already had this problem at an airport Could not find an appropriate flow at ?

  22. I would like to see the graphics sliders set up in the same manner as the joystick profiles. Every aircraft and every scenery has it’s quirks and quarks. Wouldn’t it be good for all if we could set up and save individual graphics profiles to suit . I feel that would cut down on the frustration factor with heavy graphics loads. That would eliminate going back and forth to the graphics screen to tweak acceptable FPS

    Enjoying b16.

    1. I didn’t want to irritate anyone at LR, but I’ve been thinking the same thing for a long time.

  23. Oh. BTW. What happened to Austin’s Lancair?? Thought it was going to be added to the Laminar aircraft stable.

    Branch Covidian

  24. Please fix the isuue that fps tanks when panning or switching views. Long standing Critical bug, reported by many users. Bug report submitted previously. The solution may also lead to determine that cause of low fps in general. XP not performing.

    1. A critical bug is when something important does not work st all. A temporary drop of frame rate is not a critical bug. It may be annoying, but it’s not critical.

        1. If that’s critical bug, what is a machine crash, an application crash or data corruption then?

  25. ill keep repeating the same bug I have had sins the start of B10,
    everything is smooth as silk on the ground and in the Air.. 45 FPS solid apart from a few areas that are rly rly rly annoying me and destroys gameplay… Parked at EGLL or flying over EHAM I loose 10FPS and it becomes a stutter fest.. EGSS , EGCC , EDLW all fine solid 45 without a single stutter and my system has the power.. everythings defult including the scenery

    yesterday reinstalled WIndows 10 and a new copy of Xplane to confirm it wasn’t something in my OS causing it. if I look in one direction its fine but look in another and its just hopeless.. for me all major airports cannot be used and its been like this for months now..
    my settings are not high what so ever and lowing the scenery dose not change a thing the stutters are still there at bigger airports…

    I7 9700K o/c 5.0
    32G Ram
    1080Ti sc2
    Oculus rift

    looking forward to actually flying from heathrow or Gatwick but this problem has been there now for so many months im loosing hope

  26. Hi guys, can anyone comment on the performance / expected performance on the MacBook Pro 16″ with AMD 5600m? currently I have a 2017 iMac 8GB gpu but debating about going mobile with a mbp or waiting for the new/refreshed intel iMac. I use Metal, and without it so many add ons are not usable, the system grinds to 1fps. Clouds also are a killer. Thanks

    1. I am also intersted. Any chance to get info about FPS test 3 on MBP 16″ with AMD 5500 or 5600 ?

  27. Anyone else experienced cloud and atmosphere flickering during flight, farther ahead of the aircraft? Big areas where air and cloud are like if lights are being switched up and down in every few seconds. Appeared mid-flight…

    1. in all fairness this update has the best clouds FPS to date. last 2 flights passing though 3 layers of heavy overcast and not a single stutter in VR.. IMO the defult clouds look very realistic when smooth

      1. As it turned out afterwards, Windows 10 update 2004 was standing by in the background, ready to reboot my PC. That flicker could have been well caused by that, acting silently in the background… Today I did not experience anything like yesterday, so I assume everything is OK, and the flickering phenomenon yesterday was a one time issue.

      2. Read a review of a pre-release of Microsoft’s sim, claiming they have 60 layers of sim weather built from real weather data…

  28. I hope x-plane can act audio-wise as other windows apps, now I cant switch output source in windows after x-plane is launched. Most other apps this is not a problem.

    1. I’m waiting also Chris.It would be neat to see the Laminar version of the city. To be able to look out when you are on long final for 31 L is superb.

  29. Hi Ben,

    When can i expect XPD-10905 to be fixed ? can’t keep restarting the system after every time i use XP and want to redo a flight. I get 10 fps from 35.

    There are cracks still appearing in orthos for which i have submitted the bug report.

    About device calibration , i am using homemade controls and during calibration if i disconnect any control device i need to forcefully shut XP , don’t know if this is related to my devices but a bug report has been filed.

    Rgds.

    Zulfikar

  30. Nice job guys! Much faster frame rates with clouds than previously! Thank you!

    Did you get any more insight into the device loss errors? I can get them by cranking up Object settings to medium or high, and in a multimonitor setup, there seems to be some confusion in the program.

    I just use a larger monitor for flying and a smaller one to manage the flight and browse while in cruise. When both display are set to “duplicate” xp runs fine… but when i “extend” them, and want xp full screen on the non-main display… observing fps issues and sometimes straight up device loss.

    Dont know if i should file a bug or not ….

    re:addons, i had filed a bug re: the Carenado REP plugin and the Cessna210 Centurion add-on. A few gauges… Airspeed, RPM, Artificial Horizon, Fuel flow… are just static, while other gauges work. Not an xp issue, and Carenado could release an update….

    but letting you know about addon issues as requested !

    Thanks agsin!

  31. made some progress with the huge loss of fps at some airports,

    fresh install all stock doing tight 360’s on the ground med settings its very clear the stutters are located with in the Aerosoft EGLL scenery its self, fps are 22 when the terminal building came into sight and silk smooth 60 + all other directions, removed the folder witch didn’t affect the airport that much and lost only few terminal builds but 70% of the airport was still there, all the stutters was gone, sim jumped back to sold 60 + fps in all directions.. put the file back and the sim Tanks back to 22 when panning past the main terminal included in the aerosoft egll folder, for VR not possible.

    perhaps the aerosoft addons that’s shipped with xplane isn’t compatible with vulkan? lowing the scenery to low dose not change the impact of the terminal buildings FPS hit +

    I can normally run orbix with uk2000 at all max settings in VR locked at 45 and the sim looks and feels so real.

    Russ

    1. Hi Russ,
      Since years I have heard many suggest to disabke aerosoft airports and download free alternatives.
      Why dont you give this a try, it might save you the headache.

      Cheers

  32. The big problem that Laminar Research has is the excessive consumption of one of the “many” processor cores, which heats it to the maximum of the processor specifications. He does not distribute it equally among all the others and causes that stuttering so “characteristic” and “UNPLEASANT” of X Plane 11 in Vulkan. As you do not fix this you will not end the betas ever……………………………………………………………….

    1. The stuttering we have seen in beta 16 (which is a known filed bug) is *not* caused by thermal throttling of one processor core. It is caused by the working set of 3-d meshes we have to draw temporarily being located in system memory as views change.

        1. Yes – the 3-d meshes that are in system memory, temporarily, slowing down perf when someone changes their view, are the main cause of stutters. We have seen a few -random- stutters, but at no point have we seen any indication that single core thermal throttling is causing the issues people are complaining about.

          1. agree ben, i wouldnt say its a core issue mine isn’t maxed @5.0Ghz the entire world is stutter free for me at all altertudes low or high land or sea the fact it only happens at some airports narrows it down a little, forgive me for asking but you said 3d Mesh? as in building or terrain? so the bug your aware of is that connected to the problems i am having?

            my stutters are not from changing views because im in VR, assuming that would have a even bigger impact ?… i fly from EGSS to EDLW or LEPA without a single stutter locked at 45 but feels more like 60..

            its truly amazing and i think most of us should be sending you some beer tokens for all the work your doing.

  33. Hi Ben,

    Is there a trade off between stutters and FPS. It just seems like Beta 1 was great (plug in issues aside) for FPS but had problems with stutters particularly on Metal. Have you any idea if you can achieve high FPS without stutters? I’ve been using the same graphics setting all along: 1920×1080, HDR, Max quality, high objects, min reflection detail, 2x SSAA+FFAA, shadows on scenery. FPS down from around 40 to mid 20s since Beta 1.

    iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2019)
    3.6 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9
    Radeon Pro Vega 48 8 GB

    1. stutters vs FPS – there’s some tension in that:
      – The faster the FPS, the smaller of a change in frame time you can feel as a stutter.
      – If we have an optimization to improve FPS that requires ‘maintenance time’ that code can stutter if we’re not careful.
      With that in mind, the current sources of stutters we’ve seen are mostly bugs and paging issues, and most of the FPS issues have been bugs. So I don’t think there’s a lot of correlation here.

  34. After X-Plane 11, looking beyond X-Plane 12. Laminar team think about removing “versions” and providing the product just as “X-Plane” as an ongoing development program ? Laminar did this with X-Plane mobile (it was X-Plane 10 now is just X-Plane Flight Simulator)…

    1. It’s worth noting how different mobile and desktop are as marketplaces for software. Mobile went from “free with in-app purchase” to “subscription”, but the app stores make paid major version upgrades basically impossible.

    2. And what if the “next update” makes it unusable for your hardware? i.e.: You installed the update and then you realize that it won’t work any more (meaning performance is very poor, and you’ll have to replace the hardware).
      I had noticed that for X-plane 10 with my hardware. Wanting X-Plane 11, I bought an add-on GFX card (AMD), but still performance is not good enough yet.

  35. I didn’t send you my details of my framerate lows because I didn’t want to send skewed data. I reset everything including a reset of my shader cache, it worked to a point… but I am now confused? set the graphic setting for efficiency with low settings and the framerate goes to the wall, set it all the other way at mostly maximum and my frame rate goes good in the mid – 30s and 40s? which is normal with the plugins and features (reflections) I use? confused yes, why is my frame rate so good at the full settings but so poor at the lower settings, that does not simply make sense? I think we need a post of details on how Vulkan is related to the graphic settings? on a side note I found that areas of high autogen are now hurting more than in the early betas, somewhere in the beta process the autogen efficiency got lost.

    1. The beta numbering scheme can handle 100 internal builds, of which the internal build count is up to 28 (!) – this includes the public betas and the developer preview/private builds. It’s likely that something will fail before we hit 99 internal builds though, like my sanity or will to live.

      1. I have actually done it for 10.50. Just waiting for it to come out of beta so WED will post.

    1. Negative.

      The purpose of betas is to find new bugs not to retest what is working already. If you want to compare beta versions you need to create a copy before you update. If you can’t fly because a beta broke the sim you should not participate in the beta program and stick to the released version until the next version is released.

      1. When 11.0 came out, I had several beta versions checked into git using Linux. Actually git was not designed to manage such a large number of binary files, but if you have enough RAM, CPU power, disk space (git basically stores differences only) and time, you could go that way.
        I didn’t do it to go back to old versions, but to see what actually changed (usually more than the release notes say).
        Among the things I saw was trailing spaces at end of text lines, many empty lines at end of text files, “float” numbers being written with too many fractional digits, causing “changes” that were not really changes, files being renamed, and all such stuff.
        On Windows I also have several directories with old and ancient X-Plane versions (like 5), but who really wants to use them?
        On current hardware those old versions load amazingly fast, however 😉

    2. No, the dev team needs that all reports are made on the latest beta for them to be of any use. Users who (a) do not participate in the beta program or (b) are (for one reason or another) not ready to accept bugs/bad performance/issues should revert to the stable version 11.41 and wait until the beta cycle is finished and 11.50 hits stable.

    3. Repeated over and over, make a second copy and use it for the beta, and make a copy of teh copy each time before you update, if the update works delete the previous beta, it isnt hard. Just copy whole folder and make new shortcut.

  36. Great job all. You’re getting closer. I’m having CTD after the Vulcan Lost connection error msg. Seem to be more common when accelerating time. Alt+T Happened twice today after more than 20 hours of flight time with no issues in 16b. Only changes in my system were adding the SR22 from TorqueSim and the X-CPL-Pilot Plugin. Will try removing Plugin to see if that is the cause.

  37. Sorry this is a bit off topic; but does x-plane have to re-generate all scenery data for each frame for non-moving objects? Or is it able to cache geometry data scene to scene?

    In terms of calculating render distance and drawing in new objects, say you go 50 feet in a frame, do you have to draw in all the new objects that are last frame render distance + 50 feet* field of view?

    This is not a perf complaint, rather it’s a result of (I know, booooo) futzing with the art controls (primarily AutoLOD) and noticing wierd things like, sitting at LaGuardia and zooming out to Manhattan and cranking reflections and object density and SSO and shadows and it rendering nyc at an absurdly high fps, but zooming in toward the airport, it gets slammed (autolod brings the draw distance down to compensate) and x-plane tends to get a pretty massive fps boost when paused.

    It made me kinda wonder (as a curiosity, not a complaint) if there is performance being left on the table due to, not sheer objects, not sheer rendering effects, but some sort of… hit the cpu/bus hard as a result of trying to do a lot of repeat work each frame, or doing system cpu/ram heavy read ins when new geometry is needed. (Hence why I could crank everything in nyc with my plane sitting at the airport, or when paused (not moving) like is there a “do I need to draw new objects?” Call that runs every frame instead of like, every 2 seconds?

    Again, this is not a complaint at all and I know it’s off topic.

    Thanks for humoring me, or atleast tolerating.

    1. Almost no geometry is regenerated between frames; all meshes are saved permanently except for the UI and the particle systems, which are quite dynamic and evolve every frame.

      The positions of meshes is a mixed bag – permanent clusters of simple objects are permanently grouped and sent to VRAM, but in some cases the sim will discover groups of other objects based on what’s visible on frame and send that to the GPU – this data isn’t very big though.

      Materials also live on the GPU; environment data is sent per frame but we only have to send it once per frame, so that’s a lot cheaper.

      1. Cool! Thanks for responding a little on this. This is really interesting to me. It’s kind of amazing how much geometry you can slap on the screen many times a second. As someone born in the 1980s flying F-19 from microprose, what x-plane does is absolutely mind blowing.

  38. Is anyone or have any complaints of strange sound interference. Kind of like a computerized buzzing interference sound pretty frequently

    1. Occasionally I had quite odd sounds from jet engines, but whenever I tried to record those for demonstration, I could not repeat them 8-(

  39. You have said about SkyMaxx in connection to Vulkan but what about Metal on Mac? SkyMaxx its not working. Weather data is not transmitted or not accepted. I get rain effect with blue sky while real weather on XP tells that it is stormy weather. Additionally fog during descent was freezing as blurry white ceiling….

    1. You’d have to check SkyMaxx’s statements for their exact compatibility, but my expectation is that a fully updated cloud add-on would work on Vulkan and OpenGL but _not_ Metal. Apple does not provide a VRAM bridging API for full 3-d surfaces on Metal, so we do not have a full 3-d bridge. Plugins that use the new 11.50 “modern 3d” callback to do 3-d rendering in OpenGL can only do this on Vulkan. This is not something we expect to fix any time soon. We looked at work-arounds but we didn’t see any that would have real-time performance.

  40. Hi guys…
    I’m very satisfed of this latest beta..very stable and much better performance..
    Just one big annoying bug for me is the blurry terrain textures that I can see from some distance onwards.
    Could you confirm that this is a unresolved bug?
    I will file also a bug report with an attached image
    cheers

  41. Hello, good afternoon, greetings from Costa Rica.
    I bought the A350 before the new update. How do I update it?

    1. When you got it from the xporg store, then run x-updater with beta set

      For other stores you need to wait that it will be available there as download

  42. Is it better/required to have latest nvidea driver 451.67 to run b17? This latest driver seems to be locking my computer with the msi afterburner

  43. Any progress with improving VR performance. It’s gone downhill no smooth head movements. B14 was perfect.

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