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Hi all … X-Plane 11.50b1 has been released. Many questions, many expectations, many doubts or not?

When you want to try it – remember, I’m working and running X-plane on macOS Catalina – I suggest that you install a separate version of X-plane on your desktop or if not too big, make a copy of your current X-Plane and name it in such a way that you know that this is 11.50b1.

Anyway, I did a quick test on my iMac Pro and I was positively surprised. My default X-Plane configuration which is just a basic X-Plane ran in a certain condition 65 FPS but with “Metal” selected, and after a restart, I had under the same conditions 97-99 FPS. Again, it’s just a basic X-Plane configuration with no add on aircraft or airports installed. Yes, you would say .. that’s not fair. We don’t fly with a basic clean X-Plane configuration. Right, I don’t do that either, but for comparison reasons it is a quick and easy way to see what happens when you tick or activate Metal in the Rendering Settings – Graphics.

Do you want to give it a try? It’s worth it although you need to keep in mind that it’s b (beta)1, and please test it with a separate X-Plane package, not your regular package. Questions, thoughts, own experience, just ask or let us know!

Adding to this, incoming news from Laminar Research.

Laminar normally does not publish press releases for beta versions of X-Plane, but the Vulkan release is so important to the X-Plane 11 roadmap that we decided to publicly announce it before the final-release version is available.  
Vulkan (PC) and Metal (Mac) are rendering level APIs that change how X-Plane interacts with the graphics card. They are faster than OpenGL that X-Plane has used in the past. 
Overall, most users will see improved frame rates and reduced stutters when using Vulkan or Metal.
In X-Plane 11.50 Beta, there is a check-box in the rendering settings that enables Vulkan or Metal.  A restart of X-Plane is necessary for the change to take effect. 
If for some reason a user encounters problems while using Vulkan or Metal, OpenGL is still available by simply unchecking the Vulkan/Metal check-box.
X-Plane 11.50 has been in private beta testing since the end of 2019. During the long development cycle for the 11.50 Beta, better handling of plugin drawing was added, 
a new process for texture paging was added and iterated 3 times, and multiple fixes to increase performance were added. 
X-Plane 11.50 Beta is now available to all X-Plane 11 users on both the Laminar and Steam sites through the X-Plane 11 update feature.
More technical information on the Vulkan update can be found on the Laminar development blog.