What are the advantages of X-plane 12?


Final Approach
Apr 24, 2012
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Brian Flynn
What is different? Better, worse? Is it worth the upgrade?
Improvements from X-Plane 11 to X-Plane 12:
  • much, much better Weather (clouds, precip, icing, runway surface conditions, etc)
  • seasons (e.g. green trees in spring, golden trees in autumn, snow in winter)
  • better visualizations (in the direction of MSFS2020) -- IMHO more important to gamers and less important to IRL pilots
I run on a simple iMac and the performance on XP12 is similar and maybe slightly better than XP11.
For those of us with the cost of operating aircraft IRL... the <US$100 upgrade is very much worth it.
I haven't flown it yet since I don't have flight controls overseas with me, but there has been a lot written about the vast improvements to the flight model, too.
I'm thinking about dropping some coin on the Turtle Beach Velocity One yoke setup. By all indications it works with XP11, thought TB doesn't "officially" claim so. I haven't seen any reports that it will work with XP12 on a Mac. If so, it's another reason in favor of making the purchase.
We have 3 iMacs and 2 Macbooks in the house, the newest of the bunch belongs to my 10yo. I'm sure he'll let dad "borrow it to play his flying game".
I can't speak to the Turtle Beach yoke, but the Honeycomb setup is pretty great. I can't speak to its compatibility with your Macs because I use it on Windows.
The honeycomb is pretty good. Doing it again, I would get a force feedback yoke. Trimming is hard when the yoke is spring loaded and you can’t feel the pressure come off the yoke.
Force feedback would be nice, but I don't think there are any reasonably priced ones on the market. Quick search came up with $1000+.
What is different? Better, worse? Is it worth the upgrade?

Nothing better, I would stay away from XP12 unless you want a lot of pain and frustration.

No, the Flight model / dynamics in all of the GAs, is not better, if anything it's worse.

In the 172 X1000 you cannot see the left side knobs to use the unit, the Auto exposure is poorly implemented and it uses a lot of resources.

If you do not have at least a CPU running at 5 GHz, at least a Video in the 3080 performance range and 32GB of RAM don't try using it. If you want VR you need at least a 4090.

They've had the problem with the 172 since they implemented the auto exposure, over 4 mts?, and they are still not fixing it, as if they don"t even care about the GA.
Implementing the Ortho imagery, which is must, because the default scenery is useless if you want to use it for ground referencing, and because the 3D water makes the shores look terrible, 3D trees, horrible WX / turbulence implementation, puddles all over the runways that look like hundred of dogies relived themselves, as soon as you select a layer of clouds and some wind, with a 172 going over small bump shakes the heck out of it....

In addition if you get the Digital / download version and you do not have the Inet available it's rendered useless due to having to verify registration.
If you need a sim and want XP get XP11, at this point, as much as I dislike, the Assobo MSFS I would suggest to everyone to go that route.

There are so many smaller wrong things about it that it's embarrassing to post them al. It's like some 10 years old decided to write a sim and know nothing
about flying or writing code.
Embarrassing coming from them really, they've been at it for a while. I am not sure if they are interested in the small users, they seem to look more for commercial use, is what some users say, or they lost their main code writer / manager.

I'm using XP12 primarily for IFR work and on an iMac (largely with the stock C172/G1000 and SR22) and have none of the issues

These are not issues, these are built in "features" as considered by the designers.
Try 100m visibility with the Sun just above horizon looking into that direction. You can see the horizon and or the stars and moon at night, it makes for a poor IFR tool with that behavior. Set about 20 KIAS xwind, easily done in a real 172, and try to taxi, do a slow flight, 40 deg bank, full flaps, and see what happens around 50 KIAS, not to mention the over banking, no actual straight and level fully coordinated indication, trees in the wrong places....

But by all means if it works for you you keep using it, is is just not something that I would recommend to others, until they get it fixed. None / very few of these issues in XP11.

TreesWrng.jpg C172InCpit.jpg ClrDryPdls.jpg LowVisSun.jpg
Doesnt sound much different than when MSFS was released earlier than it should have been. Thats disappointing.
I am not a fan of the "new" failure mode where everything turns magenta and white. When it is working as it should though, it is a clear upgrade to XP11 in many aspects.
Reluctant to change what I currently have and take the risk it won't run. I added a new power unit and Graphics card in 2021 to get X 11 up and running. I used it only to help with the IFR training, so imagery really isn't important to me.

Until they stop supporting 11 and/or it stops working on its own, I'll probably stick with 11 unless there is a significant improvement that supports IFR simulation.

(It was the bit coin graphic card craze - I had to wait two months, show up at 7:00 in the morning one day to get a lottery ticket, which informed me as to what time slot that morning I could come back and buy whatever was left of the shipment that came in the night before. Good times.....)
I haven't taken the leap yet simply because I mostly fly the HotStart TBM 930 which is still only on 11 (I think).

I would LOVE more accurate weather and the ability to update my databases for the G1000 but other than that I'm just fine with 11 for IFR practice.
I saw that one too when I was looking, I'm intrigued as well.
Here's the iMac I'm running (the extra memory is important):
View attachment 116359
Hi Wayne.
The extra memory, User RAM, from 16 to 24 to 32 is Not a huge factor in the XP12, in a PC, somewhat more important in a Mac. The VRAM is.
The system you have is Not qualified to run XP12 in any useful mode, your Video, 4GB is a bottle neck, needs to be 12 or higher, and the CPU needs to be at least 4.8 or above. Yes I know that the minimum posted may be what they say it will run on, but it is not true.
Test your FPS and see what you have, depending on your settings you may not be running Real time (RT), if you are below 24 FPS XPlane slows down trying to give you some use of it but if you time your approaches you may find out that a 20 s time make take 30 or more in RT.
Post here if you need more info on how to run FPS or want a Script to show it.
My slowest system is 2x as powerful as yours and can barely get 25 FPS with reasonable settings, way below max.


@bluesideup I'm wondering if you have a GPU or memory failure going on.

\No problem with my systems I can run XP11 in settings maxed out at 60-70 FPS in my slow system and over 80 in my high end. I also work with others that have 4090 and CPU that run at 5.1 that they are not able to max everything in 4K.
This is one inefficient sim.
@bluesideup , I'm getting 18-to-24 fps on, for my needs, reasonable graphics settings.
Thanks for the info,
X12 is the first instance that runs reasonably on a laptop. It’s Apple silicon native. Can’t comment on most of what others have impeached it by as my screen is always white and rainy. Great for practicing flows and new to me things like a G1000. Tedious to use regardless, like most sims.
Nice thing is they make it free (and easy) to try. I have run 11 for almost 2 years. Primarily GA, but do like flying the Zibo 737 sometimes - just to pretend what it’s like to sit at the big kids table. I did a free trial when 12 first released, then again a few weeks ago. It is a full download, limited by key to location and flight duration, but you get full function. I am ‘new’ here, so can’t post a link - but the demo link is easy to find. IMO - I’m sticking with 11 for a while longer due to performance issues with GA.
I have both. XP12 is definitely not fully baked yet, but certainly will be. I decided to early adopt because of price. Same price as XP11 (how often does that happen in a post-covid world) and it will update as the game gets better.

My complaint is when using reality XP 650, it seems there is a problem getting the software to load w/o a workaround.

Also, when trying to fly IR approaches, my airports never seem to be where they are supposed to be, so great for practicing missed approaches.

Finally, planes that are supposed to be direct transfer from 11 to 12 sometimes don't transfer fully.

Again, small issues, but enough to keep me using 11 for now.