A New Computer for a New Sailsimulator?

General question for Sail Simulator (raising sails, pulling sheets, etc.)

A New Computer for a New Sailsimulator?

Postby ajnasreddin » Tue 27 Mar 2007 - 17:48

Hello all,

Barry and I have had a discussion about computers and graphics cards under the "Windmill" thread. I decided to open a new thread to ask for everybody's ideas on the topic.

We have all probably heard now that Windows Vista is out or coming out (depending on where you live) and that DX10 comes with it.

Here are a few links from Wikipedia about DX10 and a couple of graphics cards:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct3D#Direct3D_10

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison ... sing_Units

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison ... sing_Units


Also, if you were wondering what it'd be like to sail the high seas on DX10, Silent Hunter 4 came out recently. Here is a YouTube link to see the intro movie, which has a nice poem by John Milton :D :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSTRSqsm1VY

And yes, it does seem that the weather system in the game is quite good.
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Postby Barry » Thu 19 Apr 2007 - 20:57

Thought I would post afterall, as still trying to glean information for my next new computer. Most of the components on computers seem to have altered since I got this computer, just a few months off 3 years old, and I am beginning to wonder will games/Stentec sailing simulat especially, run on middle range computers.

Although "apparently" not every combintion of components can be catered for we are told, but there are still some questions left unanswered for me.

The next computer I get will have cordless desktop for keyboard and mouse which comes as standard.
It was mentioned this did not work with the current simulator?

Next duo and quadruple processors. I don't think many games/simulators are adapted for them and again duo are now standard in middle range computers and quad in the next range.

One forum I read mentioned the simulator (Not Stentec), had to be run in 640 setting setting, as only half the processor was being used by the simulator and that was with all settings turned down to get it to run.

I think some feedback from Stentec would be apprediated to gve us an outline of what is/might be required as it seems to be a complete fog at present...and computers are an expensive purchase.

Beta testing I think was mentioned for September and perhaps closed in August for annual holidays, so 3 and a bit months?...if not deferred until ............ later?

Barry
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Postby Barry » Tue 08 May 2007 - 13:32

Middle range computers now seem to come with dual core or quad core processors now. Will SS5 be able to take advantage of this or is the processing power available halved.

As just about everything seems to have changed on my 3 year old computer and just trying the make sense out of computer developments.

Perhaps others would like to add to this thread as applicable to everybody, especially if upgrading or buying a new computer and more so if in relation to SS5.

Barry
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Postby ajnasreddin » Tue 08 May 2007 - 15:02

Barry,

A lot of games are being made to run off dual core CPUs. I think Stentec ought to be on top of the game to do the same.

Many people don't realize, but we have reached a technology boundary. With the current technology, it is not possible to get a faster CPU then what is out there. So, to solve this problem, computer guys are using a trick that has been used in mainframes for a long time - spliting the work, running it through the CPU, and putting it all back together again (my father worked (now retired) for IBM). Hence we now have dual and quad core CPU's. Laptops in particular can't deal with the heat generated by the faster CPUs, so they use smaller ones but split the work.

Dual and quad - and more coming - are the future. Stentec ought to have it covered. And I don't think it a huge problem to fix - so no worries! :D
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Postby Barry » Tue 08 May 2007 - 15:20

Thanks AJ

Looks as if I will have to get a quad core one from Evesham as not much more cost than the duo but need that one for the extra slot for dial up modem.

Just that you can choose a range of items to add but from a certain selection and thats the only one that seems to work for what I need and got my last one from Evesham.

Did read on one forum that a chap had to run a simulator (not Stentec) on lowest settings with dual core to get it to run so hope quad core doesn't reduce it to a quarter. :wink:

Hope Stentec give us some more info soon as it's not only the simulator but trying to run it with modern computers that is just as important.

My interest are 2 centuries ago so prefer the old quill/feather pen myself. :wink:

Barry
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Postby ajnasreddin » Tue 08 May 2007 - 16:15

Did read on one forum that a chap had to run a simulator (not Stentec) on lowest settings with dual core to get it to run so hope quad core doesn't reduce it to a quarter.


Barry,

This is a problem for some older games. I read on a forum about Silent Hunter 3 and Rome Total War having these problems - which were fixed, I think, with a patch. At any rate, the newest titles for those games, Silent Hunter 4 and Medieval 2 Total War, work on dual core computers, and SH4 I read somewhere runs well on quad core CPUs.


I'd like to know a bit more about graphics cards and RAM for SS5. A lot of games - and Vista - seem to be asking for 2Gs of RAM and more.
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Postby ajnasreddin » Wed 09 May 2007 - 16:09

A point I just thought about - Is SS5 coming out on a DVD?
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Postby ajnasreddin » Tue 15 May 2007 - 14:57

I've been hearing rumors that Intel may be releasing a new 80 core CPU later this year which will make it many more times faster than what is out there - definitely faster than any dual or quad core CPU on the market now. Apparently AMD is also doing something of the same.

If anyone has any info on this, it'd be great to hear.
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Postby Barry » Tue 15 May 2007 - 19:41

Monitors. Apparently all the computers in the series from where I buy from are now flat screen. Mine is still cathode tube from 3 years ago.

I notice some now are also flat widescreen 22", TFT from the firm I buy mine from, and extra £30 for 19" flat sccren DVI TFT.

Will wide screen 22" distort the picture sideways for the Stentec simulators (seeing as the thread is for SS5). But think I will get normal ratio 19" or 20" DVI TFT , not widescreen as a bit wary about that.

As mentioned just about everything has altered with the components on the computer since I bought this one 3 years or so ago.
------
AJ..... I have seen the quad processor advertised and seen 8 mentioned.
80 would seem enormous?
----------------

So many questions and few answers? :wink:

Barry
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Postby ED50 » Tue 15 May 2007 - 20:39

Hi all,
I am using a flat widescreen 22" TFT since February with the old SS4 and I am very happy with it. The brilliance and the 3D impression is very much better than with my old 17" cathode tube monitor.

So I am not expecting any problems with SS5.

By the way: I read in a thread concerns regarding the wireless keyboard and mouse. I must say I am using this since my very first beginning with SailSim and I never had problems.

Bye
Ralf
http://www.ed50.de
ed50_sail_sim(at)yahoo.de {(at)=@ to avoid spam mails}
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Postby Barry » Tue 15 May 2007 - 22:32

Thanks Ralf for feedback and thanks also for adding the link back on your site.

Barry
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Postby ajnasreddin » Thu 17 May 2007 - 14:58

About the 80 core CPU - sorry. What I meant was that they are now putting 80 transistors on a chip rather than the 50 that they put now. I know that 30 more doesn't seem like a lot, but the speed increases greatly.

Actually, there is a misconception that dual or quad core is much faster. The main purpose is to break up the work a bit so that the CPU is not taxed too much and crashes. Imagine if you had a couple of trucks that could only 30 k/hour - sure you could hual more dirt, but it still gets there at the same speed.

On the other hand, adding more transistors to the chip is supposed to speed everything up.
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Postby Barry » Sun 27 May 2007 - 12:51

Posts at present are very sparse on the forum and looks as if it will stay that way until ss5 appears, hopefully later this year, etc. However this thread is always applicable to the stentec simulators and especially SS5.

This week was a milestone in the life of my computer as just up to the 3 year mark and no hardware problems during it's lifespan.

Been looking at how the prices move and each few months the prices move downwards on the medium range as the latest "cutting-edge" hardware becomes available. Or alternatively you get better components for the same price as the older ones.

So far the AMD 64 X2 6000+ dual core processor sems to be applicable for the range I am interested in (medium price). The only problem is the maximum heat dissipation is up to 125 watts I think, although I think there is an energy saving mechanism to reduce the heat from 35 to 125 watts.

My current computer uses amd Athlon 64 3000.
Again the current computer has an ati radeon 9800 pro card
and for the next looking at ati X1950 Pro

Toms Hardware looks a useful site for reviews
http://tomshardware.co.uk/index.html

Will check again in a month or 2 with Evesham and probably the choice of components may alter again, but better for the same price.
Nice way to save money though.
:wink:

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Postby Barry » Tue 05 Jun 2007 - 14:50

Are twin hardrives preferable to one.
I read of more problems with Vista (Not this simulator), and to get it to work best to use administrator rights?

The post read Vista likes it own drive for its own files and games and ones own programs installed on a seperate drive.
I have the choice for the computer I might buy of a 320 g hardrive or Twin 160GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drives .

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Postby ajnasreddin » Sat 09 Jun 2007 - 19:59

Barry,

Having 2 or more hard drives is great if you work with graphics and like to use graphics intensive programs.

I don't know how Vista will be set up, but in XP a virtual RAM is created on the hard drive - look under Control Panel / System / Advanced - click on Performance Settings / Advanced - look at the bottom "Virtual Memory." Usually the size changes according to how Windows sees the need. Sometimes setting a large size will increase performance. You might play around with it and see if you notice any differences.

The great thing about 2 hard drives is that the virtual memory is on one drive while your program runs off the other drive. This speeds things up a bit - most notably if your program is loading info into memory a lot. So, one disk reads the info while the other disk writes it pretty much at the same time - this instead of reading all the info, putting it into RAM, then writing it in another spot on the same disk.

Of course, you can have more than one division on the same hard drive (which will appear as drive C:, D:, E:, etc.). So, Vista will probably be on drive "C:" while other programs are placed on other drives. I usually place various programs in other places other than my C drive as it is now. I only have computer or system related programs on my C drive, and other programs on other drives (I have 5 drives on 2 physical hard drives).

Personally, I would get as much space as I can - it seems programs are getting very, very big these days. Microsoft Flight Simulator X takes up 15 GBs! The biggest I know of so far. Most seem to take up aroung the 5 GB range. But if your choice is this or that - I'd go for 2 160 GB drives - putting Vista on one with its virtual memory, and SS5 on the other :wink: .
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