Last week, Laminar Research rolled out X-Plane 12 into its early access public beta phase, allowing the realistic flight simulator to continue to natively support Linux (something it has done well for years), and now with X-Plane 12, the introduction of Vulkan has allowed it to outperform their long-used OpenGL renderer.
Back in 2020, Laminar Research added optional Vulkan support in X-Plane 11, and now in X-Plane 12, Vulkan plays a much larger role. In the case of this flight simulator calling some plugins, OpenGL is still used, and the development team has been working on using Zink on Windows rather than relying on the relatively poorly performing OpenGL driver on Windows.
Laminar Research recommends using at least an Intel Core i5 8600K or AMD Ryzen 5 3500 CPU with at least 16 to 24 GB of system memory and recommends at least a GeForce GTX 1070 with Vulkan 1.3 compatible drivers. proprietary NVIDIA drivers are supported on Linux, and if you want to use AMD Radeon graphics, at least Mesa 22.0 is required.
X-Plane 12 introduces a photometric HDR lighting engine, a new weather engine, seven new aircraft, volumetric 3D clouds, new visual effects, new forests/water/vegetation and other new landscapes, and much more. Among the new aircraft in this real-world flight simulator are the Airbus A330, Citation X, SR22, F-14 Tomcat, R-22, Lancair Evolution and others.