So, along with getting the new PC was the general concept that I would have a machine capable of running X-Plane which has ridiculous graphics simulation algorithms. I’m sure there could be flight simulators that run quicker and also look better but because of the physics engine employed by X-Plane it is the most accurate in terms of aircraft movement through the air. It used to be that to run X-Plane I had to turn off any clouds. These seem to really mess with the frame rate and the bottleneck occurs on the bus between the CPU RAM. I had spent a lot of time reading about finely tuning the software to give the best compromise between frame rate and looks. The new PC doesn’t really seem to have any problems and I just turn everything up to 11.
Browsing for a slightly better looking Great Britain I found, I don’t remember how, a website offering sexy GB scenery. I had to pay for it but it did look good. I was concerned about splashing out without being able to test the software but the company had a Demo area around Southampton. Orbx have a selection of payware airports along with GB scenery. I downloaded the Demo area and flew from Southampton Airport over Portsmouth and Gosport. The fact that I could see aircraft carriers in the harbour along with HMS Victory and the forts in the Solent meant I was smitten. The whole area looked great. So, I took the plunge and bought some scenery of GB. I had some cash stashed away from the sale of my old graphics card and those proceeds went to these views.
I have not been disappointed. There is now 367GB of GB scenery on the hard drive and while load times feel like forever, X-Plane is terrible at some things, the whole of the island of Great Britain looks spectacular. I’ve flown from Manston to Lydd to Southend to Heathrow. I’ve also covered Cornwall along with the Lake District. Next steps will be Wales and Scotland, specifically the Mach Loop and Lock Ness. Below is a gallery of some sights so far. After flying for a little while I turned some clouds on just to make it look more realistic. I know I’ve got the frame rate showing up in the top left corner and you might think that 30fps isn’t that great. Trust me, I would have had around 2fps using the old PC and these settings. I’m not really into bragging rights about fps and anything more that 50 seems iffy, not worth it? Happy to be proved wrong on that. Also, below, are a couple of pictures of the F-35B using the old scenery. Hopefully you can see the difference.