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.
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.
For more information on Laminar Research and X-Plane: www.x-plane.com