P3D2: FSX on Steroids?

“Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love. Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate!”

This passage of Romeo and Juliet illustrates well that quite often the antonyms love/hate walk together to describe the same feeling. How this applies to flightsim? Indeed it does! Let us analyse for example the binomial  FSX vs Prepar3D. Nothing illustrates better the feelings people have about these (similar) simulators than to quote some sentences posted in different forums.


“…I am another who considered the switch to P3D but I have stuck so far with FSX. This is mainly because P3D is still a relatively new simulator which is yet to be supported by addon makers….”

“…I tried P3D and found out that I need a new video card to enjoy the new features and most of my addons don’t work. So, I’ll stick with FSX.”

” .. P3D stutters – FSX does not (given similar hardware and settings).  That said, P3D has more visual potential. Once the stuttering is resolved I would say there will be no reason to be on FSX anymore, save for any add ons that aren’t yet P3D ready.”

“…Stutters? My P3dV2.2 does not stutter and just looks far superior to FSX – no oom, no crashes, no graphic issues at all …. when I used FSX I  had lots of crashes and blue screens …”

“…I bought P3D2 three weeks ago and I can’t help but feeling a bit disappointed in it.”

“…P3D is a game changer, in the way you will view flight simulation products into the future…”

“…For me the main advantages of P3D are superior performance …the shadow system (incredible!), popup free autogen (priceless!) and the overall color and mood.”

“...Fantastic clouds and shadows, but I would need better looking terrain graphics.”

“…Right now, P3Dv2.2 IS the next best thing.”

“… FSX is Entertainment software and P3D is not.”

“… I am back to FSX. Why? Prepar3d 2.2 give me no more than 3 to 12 FPS. FSX 30 FPS steady FPS… Prepar3d better graphics but very blurry and very low FPS….”.

“…I’m very satisfied with Prepar3d V2.2 and will never go back to FSX.”


As you can read…some people love it, other hate it! But of course, as everything in life, P3D2 have pros and cons. The latter includes volumetric fog, no autogen popping, new features notably cloud and terrain shadows, etc. For the cons one may note that, contrarily to FSX, P3D2 has restrictions in its use (it shouldn’t be used for entertainment purposes – but please, don´t discuss this issue here!) and there are still a bunch of prime addons (PMDG aircraft, Majestic Q400, etc.) that are yet to be available for P3D2. Yet, addon compatibility with the LM simulator is definitively increasing day by day.  Moreover, in terms of development, FSX is moribund and the developers of P3D2 are quite active and they prepare updates on a regular basis.


So, what is the verdict? It is certainly not clear from the text above (sorry…) and it is not certainly a collective opinion that P3D2 is the future. But it may not be now, but it will undoubtedly be in a not long distant future! In addition, there is a hope that LM may prepare a 64-bit P3D edition and  re-engineers the entire simulator – P3D will then be the perfect and obvious choice for us all (at least for those who can get any of P3D license options)!


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Saturday, June 28, 2014 22:55

A lot of console software developers would dearly love it to be illegal to sell or pass on “pre-owned” software. It isn’t. But, if the license you agree to says “non-transferable” then if you try to transfer it, your break the licensing agreement and the software you pass on may well become unusable as a result. It is usually illegal to reverse engineer software and, in many countries, it is now illegal to bypass protection which enforces licensing. However, you aren’t going to end up in jail just because you happened to use P3D to fly under the Golden Gate… Read more »

Colin Ware
Saturday, June 28, 2014 22:41

If LM doesn’t care, why should you?

Saturday, June 28, 2014 21:50

Thanks for your reply, Bob. I am greatly reassured that I can now pass on some of my sim software to friends and not be in trouble with the developers as I will only be in breach of license. I didn’t realise this before.

Saturday, June 28, 2014 11:35

The use of P3D for entertainment purposes is not illegal Dijvid,- it is “use in breach of license”. While both legal terms, “in breach of license” and “illegal” mean very different things and have very different results. Also, many of us are not using P3D in breach of the license. I am a licensed Private Pilot who, as I cannot currently fly for several reasons, finds a desktop simulator very useful to maintain skills. I also develop add-ons that are designed to be compatible with both FSX and P3D, Additionally, I have a direct professional commercial interest in the sim,… Read more »

Saturday, June 28, 2014 08:50

These comments make fascinating reading but doesn’t anyone realise that to use P3D for entertainment purposes is against LM’s EULA and is therefore illegal?

Colin Ware
Saturday, June 28, 2014 22:40
Reply to  Dijvid

I just don’t understand these posts. What are you trying to say? That you are smarter than everyone else? Lockheed Martin is happy to sell its software to anyone with an interest in simulation and they have made it quite clear that they don’t consider this community the “entertainment” community. Can we finally put an moratorium on these ridiculous posts and instead just discuss if the sim is worth the cost vs. other options. If you want to pick nits, go to law school or something…

Colin WAre
Saturday, June 28, 2014 22:42
Reply to  Dijvid

Heck, they even participate openly in the AVSIM forums…they know who is buying the software. There is nothing going on here that is in any way secret.