I am a Microsoft Flight Simulation veteran and have used it for over 25 years. Since FSX/Acceleration came out I have used it on a number of different computers.
Recently I purchased a new computer system and loaded FSX/Acc as well as P3D. Without going into detailed comparisons my main issue at present is the P3D image quality in comparison with FSX/Acc. The P3D artefact quality I referred to has in the past been described as “swimming textures”, “shimmering” on far-field details such as roofs, poles etc and closer micro details. This also manifests itself as small “jaggies” along aircraft edges. The effect is not that noticeable on still images but quite noticeable with any movement and is quite annoying. My current set-up of FSX/Acc does not have this issue now to any noticeable degree but P3D still suffers from this effect irrespective of the settings internally or on the graphics card.
However let me first provide some background on the set-up of FSX/Acc as that may point to the root cause.
My current system uses a water-cooled Intel i7-3960X Extreme CPU 6 core, 15 MB cache over clocked to 4.2 GHz. The Graphics card is ATI HD 7970, 3GB. I have 16 GB of RAM. I use a resolution of 3840 x 1024 x 32 across three screens (1280 x 1024 each) using Triple Head To Go.
When I first set up FSX/Acc on the new machine with both internal Anisotropic and Anti-Aliasing ticked On I also had this problem and comparing it with P3D using the Maule Aircraft, P3D appears similar with the same settings (I used 1024 x 1024 textures in P3D as they are in FSX). The FSX result was interesting since on my older computer with a ATI Series 5000 card I was not getting any noticeable edge/distance artefacts.
Finally because no other option worked in the new setup of FSX/Acc, I switched on the “Preview DirectX 10” option and the improvement was quite apparent with virtually no noticeable artefacts described above. All edges are now relatively smooth and shimmering at a distance in minimal. But in P3D even if I set the video card Catalyst Control setting to their highest levels and bypass the internal P3D settings the image is still not as good as the FSX/Acc with only internal Anisotropic , Anti-Aliasing and DirectX 10 settings.
So not knowing what has changed in the P3D code my questions are: is P3D still set perhaps set to DirectX 9, that is, is the code still essentially pre the Acceleration modifications? For example looking at the cfg files FSX/Acc has Acceleration pack settings and a “shader-cache-primed 10” statement while the P3D cfg file does not. Is that significant?
I look forward to your comments, as P3D seems to be the future of the FSX/Acc platform and also to future further improvements.