X-Plane version 11.50 released
Dear all, it is a big day for all X-Plane users. Version 11.50 has been out as a beta for quite some time, now it has been released as a production version for everyone who likes. From our users and testing, it shows up to twice the performance of the previous OpenGL iteration.
Just a word of caution, not all previous add-ons work at version 11.50 and are waiting to be updated.
Full press release:
X-Plane 11.50 is a major update that completely rewrites the rendering engine to use modern rendering APIs: Vulkan (on Windows and Linux systems) and Metal (on Mac). It is now out of beta testing and available to all X-Plane users!
This version includes new options in the Graphics Settings screen to enable Vulkan or Metal, which require a restart of the sim to go into effect. Please note that the first load time with Metal and Vulkan will be surprisingly slow. This is lots of shaders/pipelines compiling for the first time; subsequent runs will be faster.
Prior to 11.50, X-Plane used OpenGL exclusively. OpenGL is a standardized way to talk to a computers graphics card and put images on the screen. With version 11.50, X-Plane introduces Vulkan and Metal. These are similar standards but they are more modern and efficient than OpenGL. We chose to undertake this project because we were unsatisfied with the performance of X-Plane running OpenGL. This shortcoming was particularly visible in the form of stuttering, when the sim loses track of time and then jumps ahead.
Vulkan and Metal work in a similar manner to provide images on the screen. Unlike OpenGL though, they were designed with modern hardware in mind. Vulkan and Metal simply reduce the amount of overhead necessary to talk to the graphics card.