laminar research has announced that X-Plane 11.50 Beta 1 is now live on the Laminar servers, and should be available on Steam later today. They've also released a video demonstrating how to set the rendering options in this new version.
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.
More technical information on the Vulkan update can be found on the Laminar development blog.
About laminar research
laminar research is creator of the X-Plane franchise of flight simulators, including X-Plane 11, the latest desktop version. X-Plane 11 is available in both a consumer and FAA certified professional version. Laminar also offers X-Plane versions for both the iPhone and iPad, as well as other mobile systems. X-Plane 's flight model, scope, versatility, customizability, and 3rd party add-ons make it the ultimate flight simulation experience for Macintosh, Windows, Linux, IOS, and Android platforms.