Originally Posted by kpforce1
Really? Like as in combined/distrubuted computing?
well.... distributed in the sense of using one computer per monitor and combining to create large spans of screens with their offsets for multi display setups... Bit like eyefinity but as you're duplicating the complete hardware you don't get any loss in performance with the large resolution... just a loss of liquidity! You can spit the data out to multiple instances of Xplane across a network so have say 4x for displays, 1x for an instructor console and another as a control platforms to drive a servo'd platform. It runs under linux and there are certainly versions of linux that can work as a distributed system (all current supercomputers employ this method for example) but I've not heard about xplane running like that.
Xplane employs a numerical method to calculate the aerodynamic forces on small 'finite elements' of the wings, fuselage etc (called blade elements - hence blade element theory) so it is more computationally intensive than FSX (which looks up tabulated parameters of how the aircraft behaves). This means XPlane can be used to predict the behaviour of new wing designs as well as more accurately model flight behaviour outside of stable flight (stalls, vortex ring states, etc). Xplane even comes with a wing modelling package so you can enter your own geometry for it to model and contains the surface maps of Mars so you can fly your planes there... should you want to... and give it rockets of course!
But, the graphics aren't quite as sweet as Microsofts offering so it depends what you want really