More notes on XPack – FSX Acceleration
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. ;)