Phil Taylor provides a detailed analysis of GPU specs and implications.
Should you have a spare week, browse through this thread on SP2/Acceleration AVSim. Although I don’t agree with all that is said, it seems that many users and developers used the opportunity to vent on FSX/SP1/SP2, and I’m hoping that with that done, the focus will be on how we can all work together productively.
Outside of that thread, Francois posted some of his own thoughts.
Buried in AVSIM thread is an important statement from Phil Taylor: “I meant it when I stated that this was a precursor of things to come, back compat is about to undergo serious changes. In the future it will very likely no longer be possible to resell old content for the new platform. At all, as in the platform will refuse to load it. “
Developers take note. And I don’t see this, with the right support from Aces, as a bad thing.
Now back to Misty Fjords …
Jun Kazama does the most beautiful FSX/DX10 videos I’ve seen. Here’s a couple more:
Bella Coola (110 Mb)
Seasons Greetings (Vancouver+) (295Mb)
Check out Gary’s results on AVSIM.
Mango has published a series of shots showing off DX10 in Vancouver+…
Jun Kazama makes stunning flightsim videos. Here‘s a DX10 FSX video.
Phil Taylor explains why SP2 and FSX Acceleration are two different releases at different times, even though Acceleration includes SP2.
I ran my framerate benchmark on XPack today. Now the thrust of the product is the amazing array of new missions and some cool new aircraft, but some work has been done on performance optimization.
I found an increase of about 11% in frame rates with high autogen and water settings, and a decrease of about the same with those settings set low. So for those who want the eye candy, they may see a slight improvement. Note that these tests all had bloom disabled.
There are also some backward compatibility issues in DX9 which affect third party aircraft and scenery compiled using FS9 tools. These problems can arise when an “alpha” channel is used for transparency or semi-transparency.
We restricted ourselves in Vancouver+ and Victoria+ to only using FS9 compilations when we needed a function not available in FSX, such as seasonal tree textures. We’re looking at how to deal with this.
We’ve not yet thoroughly tested under DX10, and Phil Taylor has made clear that the DX10 “preview” is not necessarily backward compatable. Two old FS8/9 features were model conditions (for such things as seasonal textures), and the ground polygons so important to detailed airports: these may be at risk. DX10 may show some performance improvements. Phil does say in his blog post that MS understands that they need to look closely at making it easier for developers to provide they features they could under previous versions by providing alternative techniques.
Only a couple of more weeks until it hits the shelves … for those keen on experiencing new missions, it’s a great product. If missions are not important to you and/or you want to be sure all your addon scenery products will work for you as they do under SP1, you may want to consider putting that money towards Battlestar Galactica, out a week earlier.
Courtesy of our good friend Jun Kazama, here are some shots of Vancouver+ with DX10. Note that I’m delaying posting my findings with Acceleration as I’m finding some backward compatibility issues with FS9 objects that use transparency, under DX9. Stil working on confirming these issues.
Well, am I in a pickle. Today I plan to post thoughts on the retail version of Acceleration, but, no, I don’t have a DX10 video card so I won’t be taking any screenshots! But here’s a link, and I’ll post more as they become available:
As of now the beta team is downloading the final version of FSX Acceleration/XPack. It’ll hit the streets (boxed version only) on October 23, word is.
The beta team is permitted to talk about the final version (not interim betas or the beta process) and publish screenshots once we have it installed, which I will do by tomorrow. Most of my comments will be around enhancements offered in this release, and other implications, not the missions itself. There are 30 missions in this release, making it great value for anyone who enjoys adventure and challenges. Since 99% of my sim time is on development, there are other folks who will do a much better job than I commenting on those.
I suspect there will be confusion, too, which Phil has worked hard to clear up on his blog post. XPack will include a DX10 “preview”, a set of DX10 enhancements that may not be compatible with some elements of addon sceneries. The user can turn these features, as a set, on or off. XPack will cost money. Service Pack 2, will also inlcude these DX10 enhancements and some DX9 fixes, and will be out before Christmas. SP2 will be a no-charge download.
Phil Taylor has posted details on schedule and technical content on Microsoft’s new addon for FSX, Acceleration Pack (aka XPack), and Service Pack 2 (SP2) for FSX. There’s lots of information there: here are some highlights:
- XPack will be available late October
- SP2 will be available after XPack and before Christmas
- The DX10 aspect of these products will not match the expectations set by the artist’s renditions of a year ago
- Releases with DX10 capability, now and going forward do not promise backward compatibility with earlier versions of FS
- Because of these issues, the DX10 capability (although cool) is marketed as a “preview” and is not considered the primary product
- Phil lists a set of fixes in SP2: 8-core bug, 3G enabling (3Gb RAM usage enabling), exterior shadow quality improvements, blurry fixes, autogen batching, 737/A321 night/taxi light fix, 2D cockpit raindrops, Vista speaker/headphone audio fix, internationalization fixes, saving undocked panels, flight list is now alpha sortable (yay!!!), multiplayer compatibility between SP2 and XPack, FSX remembers last IP used, COM1 shared cockpit sync.
- He points out that the “w” key bug (which restricts side views in cockpit mode to showing the interior of the aircraft with limited visibility out the window, bug introduced in SP1) and autogen fading (rather than having autogen “pop” in and out of view, feature of FS9 dropped in FSX) are not included in these releases
- Phil details the DX10 features that will be included: VC shadows, HDR bloom, water enhancements and efficiency improvements.
Once we’re released from NDA I can talk more about my impressions of the products.
Paul Lange reports that FSX Acceleration is now complete, and they are in the process of regionalization (languages for specific regions).
Once it’s released, I’ll give a run-down.
Phil Taylor posted some important information on the upcoming DX10 update: it’s not just for DX10 but there will be fixes for DX9/XP systems as well. So it’s now called FSX-SP2(DX10). We won’t know until early September which bugs will be fixed or what the DX10 features will be. But this is very good news, hopefully some important outstanding issues will be resolved.
Paul Lange tells us a lot about carrier ops in the upcoming FSX Acceleration, a long awaited capability in MSFS. It seems there should be enough info to allow third parties to develop working carriers (defined as moving, with catapults, lights and arresting cables).
Peter Dowson has released FSUIPC4 version 4.152 for FSX. This interface module is used by many addons, and the payware version has many nifty features.
A link to a higher quality trailer is available, although I understand this is still not reflecting the most recent work from the ACES.
The expansion pack for FSX has been rebranded, “Acceleration” (was Adrenaline).
UPDATE: Paul Lange gives us more details here.