This is my first communication on this restored site. I can’t see anything wrong with it at the moment although I may have deleted one of my old websites and I think that has gone forever. I’m sure one of the spare hard drives knocking around will have a copy but it’s whether I can be bothered to go and look for it. There’s a time/reward concept I’m trying to develop and the ratio is pretty low for that one.
Since 17th March 2020 I have spent just one day in work and that was voluntary. I helped supervise those children of keyworkers on Monday and it was nice to be somewhere else. While I feel OK 80% of the time I’m sure a change in scenery helped me for a few days. It’s been over a week since I was last feeling rather desperate. The big news, buried in this paragraph, is that the lockdown is costing me quite a bit in terms of technology that I keep buying. I think I’m done for now, but the most recent purchase was a new PC. I had a situation with the old one and although I think that was largely my fault – I was removing a headphone jack when it powered down – the headphone jack is close to the power button and I think it activated it -the PC was old and I decided that a new purchase would last a good five or six years and need to be quite good for gaming.
So, the PC has 16GB ram, an Intel Core i5 and a RTX 2070 graphics card. So far I have been very impressed although I’ve also upgraded some of the infrastructure surrounding the PC to suit the new machine. Setting up the PC was straight forward and installing all the relevant software that I wanted was easy and took about a day. A bonus of getting a new PC is the ability to break the old one down and use its components. So, the old SSD is now installed on the PS4 as extra storage space and that works well. I bought a cheap enclosure for the SSD and now have an extra 500GB storage on that. I had a back up hard drive running in the old PC also and that has found its way into the new machine and still runs as a back up to the NAS.
The most important bonus of this new machine is that it runs X-Plane quite well. There is no stuttering under high graphics settings and while I’m not fussed about super realistic VFR graphics, the whole simulator runs really well. I have bought some aircraft in the past, most notably an F18, F35B and a V-22. I wanted something a little simpler to fly but also fast. There are quite a few prop planes included in X-Plane but they don’t fly that fast and what you want to do when playing is get up quick, do some aero, shoot some stuff down and then get somewhere else quick.
I had a look at AOA Simulations as they are people I have bought from before and they had an advanced trainer jet for sale. It’s the T-7A Red Hawk. It’s a nice looking plane and so I paid for it. Some of the freeware on X-Plane is pretty good but the level of detail on the payware is delightful. I’m aiming to upload some videos of this beauty to YouTube and will do so once i figure it out. But, screenshots are easy and here are some I’ve taken.
Someday soon I’ll give more details and links to lovely stuff as I explore this aircraft and X-Plane a little more. Just as a guide I used to get around 15-20 FPS on my old PC and the bottleneck was the processor. On this current/new machine I’m getting 50-60 FPS. Now, to you ultra-gamers out there 50-60 might not seem like much but I have to tell you that X-Plane is a stupid simulator and anything more than 30 is a decent job. Have a look at the forums and see people complain about clouds and almost everything getting in the way of frame rates above 20. Anyway, I’ve got places to fly.