For now I will try to hold off - there are a few basic things we can do with beta 3 that will change not only the performance of the sim, but also how the rendering settings are organized.
For now a few immediate thoughts:
- If you are looking at a new graphics card, don't plan your hardware purchases on the beta. Wait for a final build to evaluate.
- There is no free lunch - settings that don't exist in v9 (volumetric fog, reflective water, forests) are going to cause lower fps than 864. (You could set the forest setting to "insane" in v864 with no penalty, as long as you had no forest add-ons installed.)
The highest rendering settings represent the most detailed output our engine can make, and the most data we have (based on what fits on the DVDs). We provide this very high rendering setting because:
- A user might want a lot of detail in one area and not others. You can run on "insane" roads if you leave the other settings dialed down, or reflective water can be on if you don't have a lot of objects or world LOD. So even if having ALL settings on maximum kills virtually any computer made today, having some settings on maximum can be useful.
- If you buy X-Plane 9 now you are entitled to every patch (and then you may use it long after the version run is over). So you might be using X-Plane 9 for 2, 3, or 4 years. Settings that are impossible to reach on today's hardware may be very usable on future computers.
Please understand that the settings are not calibrated the same as X-Plane 8. If you set the rendering screen to look "as close" to x-plane 8 as possible, you are almost definitely not getting the same amount of detail (and the same load on hardware) as you were in 864. They are not comparable. Trust what you see out the window while flying, not what's on the rendering settings screen.