And what a Beyatch it was to install! About 2mm too long for my case’s cavity, it took some subtle forcing to get it in correctly. I tellya I was sweating!
As expected, after reading all the benchmarks, the card meets my expectations of around a 50% increase in FPS compared to my trusty 670 OC (for sale if anyone’s interested!).The above video shows off the fluidity in a maxed out P3D setting (haha, and the FPS was much faster in reality, but FRAPS hits the frames a bit).
Here I cover the new experience in the main sims of choice (in my mind, sorry FSXers…)
Loading the default C172 at KSEA Seattle (the infamous FPS killer) saw me idling at 37fps, increasing to 45 as I took off! This was with default graphics settings, no HDR, no high res terrain.
Increasing the scenery density didn’t seem to hit the performance much, a nice bonus. But activating HDR and shadows to medium quality saw the frames go down to a still flyable 23. Hardly stellar when you’re talking about the world’s second fastest GPU (this week at least!), and a massive drop from non-HDR. Upping the cloud details from my measly 17 to 50 crashed the sim.
Interestingly, I noticed that even in default graphics mode (poverty-pack as we say in Oz), the sim jittered or froze for half a second every minute or so. Finally, Xplane has caught up and exceeded FSX!!
A more demanding plane?
I tried loading up my current favourite Xplane, the C90 Kingair from Carenado.
Initial frames at standard settings were OK, at 30, approaching the airport it started going down to 27 and stuttering. Trying to increase graphics settings above default was pointless, as the sim was already leaking memory like a sieve and was very fragile. When I did change settings, the sim crashed (settings in the gallery) How many years has XP10 been out?
The C90 Pics:
Prepar3d Version 2
I used the default Maule for the test. Took off from FSDreamteam’s amazing Vancouver International, using FTX Global. Pretty much all settings maxed, including ground shadows of buildings and objects, but not trees. Autogen, trees and complexity maxed. Internal and external aircraft shadows.Clouds highest density. HDR. Using Opus.
A pleasing non-jittery 28-30fps was experienced on takeoff, immediately shooting to the locked 33 as soon as you faced away from the airport. Really nice. This card totally removes any jitters, and turning around quickly no longer results in a slow loading of textures. It’s very quick!
Initial frames were pleasing, considering the high settings used. So I got cocky and went straight to KJFK NYC, where I have the nightmare combo of FSDT’s KJFK airport AND Aerosoft’s Manhattan X installed.
On the runway I saw a pleasant 22. Taking off, flying around the airport saw the frames stay at a smooth, jitter free 22. Then I headed north to the fabled city, sweat dripping from my palms.
What, 19? 20, 22? Very good considering all sliders were maxed re. scenery density and autogen!
I reduced the scenery density from maximum to ‘dense’. Instant 25fps, rising along at times to 29, amazing stuff.
But what about a tough PLANE as well?
Dino Cattaneo’s amazing freeware F-35 is included with P3D V2. It seems to be a very demanding aircraft when it comes to PC resources, it’s always tanked my system.
It continues to do so! I just fired it up at Vancouver and saw awful 16s, not a good combo. So I wonder what similarly complex planes like the PMDG will produce?
Conversely, the payware quality Carenado A36 performs really well, locked and performing at 33fps at very high settings.
Check out all the pics I took to illustrate and capture the FPS. First series is from KSEA, then Vancouver, then NYC:
Has the new card pushed me back to Xplane?
Sorry, nup. The poor HDR effect, worsened by its massive cost, is the main turn off for me, as well as my well-known whingeing pom harping on, about the far too uniform/bland regional look of the sim. Yes flying at 45fps is pretty cool, but it just feels the same everywhere you fly. Yes the planes are magnificent, but as you know I enjoy the exterior view as well. I’m not giving up on XP, no way. I just want more scenery devs to discover how easy development is for Xplane and come on over. I am an impatient, greedy git. I am a consumer. In any case, I’m now set up to enjoy the best that both sims can offer, with my preference for P3D reinforced by its early days – new developments in aircraft and scenery should be very exciting to see develop.
Hopefully this report might help others in their decision making and in reducing their bank balance! Best of luck with your tweaking and hardware purchases. I’m as happy as a pig in mud.