Initial Impressions from an X-Planer

I fly X-Plane 11.5 with the new Vulkan rendering engine, but I have also flown MSFS since FS4, so having heard so much about the new sim, I splashed out and bought the 10 DVD set from Aerosoft. To be honest?
I was hoping for X-Plane 11+++ but in reality it looks like FSX +
Everything is so greeeeen! And, even with my very limited exposure to MSFS 2020, the flight models don’t come close to X-Plane. Admittedly I am only running in “Medium” Graphics settings. I have Nvidia GTX 1070 GPU card which was running about 40% in MSFS and the CPU was up over 80% . The frame rates, sitting in a Cessna 172 at KROA eventually settled around 45 fps (after a lengthy time whilst everything loaded).
These frame rates are somewhat compatible with what I’d expect from X-Plane with Vulkan (maybe slightly lower). But what I did notice was that when I flew into a “New” area, the fps stuttered down to 11 fps for a considerable time, presumably whilst the new scenery streamed. Certainly enough time to get kicked off Vatsim if they apply the same rules to the MSFS pilot client.

I was not impressed with the clouds, they looked, to me smooth and “blobby”. I run SkyMAxPro in X-Plane and consider that weather generation superior to what I have seen in MSFS2020. Now don’t get me wrong, I am sure MSFS can deliver superb “eye candy” , especially with a high end computer, but for serious flightsimming, especially IFR, Microsoft have a challenge on their hands wrt to X-Plane.

This is a quote to me from someone who was a an Alpha tester for MSFS 2020 “Yeah we complained loudly, and often and they really didn’t listen at all, at least in my opinion. the sheer amount of cameras is nuts. Need 3 have like 6. As I told a friend on here FS2020 is less a sim and more a map explorer made harder by someone who really wanted to show off and use a lot of fancy words”

I have no axe to grind. I loved MSFS from way back in the 70’s and had (have) really high hoped for MSFS, but, so far, it really disappoints.


Hmm well agree to disagree i guess.


Austin, is that you?


Are you serious !!!
the weather machine and rendering is awesome and great beyond SkyMaxPro and co… i.e all others weather machines which are heavy fps consuming.
Personnel I had experience with X enviro and in heavy weather the fps dropped to 10…
None is the case with MSFS2020 : I flew last hours in heavy weather from EGLC ( London City Airport) to Paris- Orly and no fps drops at all with an awesome skies , my Cessna citation was moving with the turbulence, the waves in the sea were high and moving with the wind direction towards the coast…
I should say I Never seen such an amazing thing in X plane, event after years of tweaks and mods…
I am also a real life PPL and often flying XP11.50 and it’s nothing to compare with MSFS2020 for beauty and graphics. You may add a quantity of add-ons, spending hours downloading and installing orthos, and fps are not much better.
MSFS is largely superior in so many aspects… even don’t ask about the horfull X Plane ATC…
Although there is some way to improve aircraft systems and navdatas etc… but globally it’s a real immersion with MSFS2020.


I also fly X-Plane… actually I should clarify, I used to fly it until MSFS 2020. All I can say is more power to you and your opinion… do not agree even a little bit.


XP fan boys coming here to trolling. I thought it would have been ended, when I had leave the XP forum. Dude it doesn’t look near fsx even on medium settings. That the next generation Sim. Hardware upgrade is needed sometimes. With these visuals it is 100 normal to get a bit lower frames than in mincraft XP11. VANILLA COMPARED. Volumetric clouds… I even don’t wanna think about how Xp will perform with these clouds. Xenviro doesn’t come close to those clouds and is even now struggling with performance. This Sim and its flight dynamics is 1 week old, it is just born, we will talk later next year and compare XP vs MSFS. :kissing_smiling_eyes:


Can I get your impression of the manual you received with the disks. This is only available for the media version and I personally thing it should be included as a PDF for the rest of us.

Ho comprehensive is it? Does it cover everything about the sim? Is it written clearly and easy to follow?

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Ok Austin, we know youre scared! Youre comparing 3rd party addons in XP11 to out of the box MSFS20. 3rd party devs are coming and will blow the XP11 addons. The clouds in msfs20 is way better than either xp11’s default or addons so youre also very wrong there.

Theres really no need to elaborate any further since the comparison is neither here nor there and this is a brand new product. Come back to us in few months even a year.


I’m an Xplane simmer myself, having crawled through Flight Simulator ever since it was a Sublogic product and run on a C64 after 20 minutes of cassette tape loading… things of the other century I suppose.
Anyway, I flew MSFS up until versión A century of Flight, then gave Xplane a chance and it blew my mind… after a lot of learning and tweaking with commands and buttons.
Now I just made the Vulkan update and with some third party airplanes (the Maddog, the A320 from Jardesign, a Cessna 152) and lots of freeware airports and HD scenery I have what I need for IFR flights (what I like most is procedures, from cold and dark panels to up and running with all the steps expected from a commercial pilot that I could never be).
Then MSFS2020 came in, with lots of Youtube videos showing stunning scenery and smooth clouds… and I fell in love with it, I had to have it, I waited as thousand of simmers the fatal day, that 18th of August (that incidentally is my father’s birthday too). I made my way through the hectic downloading procedure, and there I am, on a 152 (that I flew as student pilot for a 20-25 hours before having to suspend training for familiar issues). Spectacular views, nothing to add to what has been told here and there again. But for IFR procedures I stills go for XPlane, until there will be a 737 or an A320 decently modeled and add-ons like Ground Handling and Better Pushback to add reality to the sim.
I guess I will be flying both simulators, until eventually MSFS will get so good there will be no need for an XPlane any more…
And then, XPlane 2021 will arrive…


When I read reviews like this, I wonder if I am using a different simulator.


A pdf of the DVD manual not being available just makes NO sense. I mean none.


Uninstalled X-plane 5 days ago , not looking back. I sometimes wonder if people are using the same MSFS 2020 that I am.

Flying in the last 10-15 years has not changed a lot. Most of the information that is lacking as far as documentation goes can easily be found with a quick google search.


The media version (box of DVDs) includes a printed manual. I’m suggesting they supply the rest of us with a PDF of the manual. Which makes a lot of sense.

Hear! HEAR!! (or here, here) :wink:

When I read those comments, I wonder if I am the only one who knows that this Sim was just born. Even if I see JarDesign A320. If u said Ffa320 or Toliss Airbus than OK you would have my respect but JD? You can’t be serious! If you like IFR flying, take a Cessna in MSFS and fly IFR blind through real volumetric clouds which doesn’t rotate next to you as it does in XP. There is nothing to compare about between XP 4 years old fully stuffed with addons to MSFS born just now. I am also looking very forward to a study level Airbus in MSFS, but it will come. As thousands of other great addons in the near and far future.


MSFS 2020 (when you manage to install it :hot_face: :face_with_raised_eyebrow:) is made for modern and future hardware.
If you are running it medium graphics, forget it and go back to Xplane until you upgrade.
I run it at 40 fps in nearly ultra settings on an 1600x2650 monitor with a i7 4790k , 32GB DDR3, and a GTX1080, which is a medium system for now.
To run it in 100% ultra I already upgrade for a ryzen 7 3700 X, 32GB DDR4, and will take a RTX 3070 ti as soon as it’s out.
Anyway, a agree that it can be frustrating when you run it at medium settings but I don’t think it has been designed for that.

Remember, we all come from different experience levels and some might benefit from more instruction on using the sim. Particularly if they are growing the community. But for me, just understanding what you can do in the sim, like proper use of the cameras, best practice use of the features of the sim, would benefit greatly. As I mentioned, I’m constantly surprised by features or better ways of doing something that simply isn’t obvious.

The other day I learned that if you click on a plane flying a route, you can grab the flight plan and fly it yourself.


This forum is your friend. Click on the search icon and type in what you would like to know or what problem you’ve got. I am pretty sure u will find a topic with questions you’ve got, answered. I was able to set my camera views/settings pretty much the same as I have in XP except some views MSFS isn’t able to.

Hi Austin.


And some, particularly a number of alpha testers, dont want to acknowledge the issues that rushing this product to market has exposed, things that should have been sorted out before it ever came to market. FS has massive potential, anybody that thinks otherwise is just wrong I think but I can honestly tell you that my local airport in FS is a cartoon at present compared to my X-plane version.

And yes, my XP includes addons but even with those addons ported over to FS, those payware airports just dont have the same level of finesse as the XP version, particularly where ground textures and surface polys are concerned. In XP a taxi line can include green lighting hard baked into it, in this sim they have to exist as separate elements and they dont line up well.