A New Computer for a New Sailsimulator?

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

Postby Barry » Sat 09 Jun 2007 - 20:27

Thanks A.J.

We are gradually building up the info.
Could do with a few others posting as regards what graphics cards they use, etc.

I had another look at the computer site and noticed the prices had dropped another notch for middle range computers with the same components of 3 months back or so.

Will give it another 3 months and will order one to get the price down a bit more and then use this computer as a back up.

Hope Stentec come up with some "goodies" as regards realism, to interest me as rarely use the current Stentec simulators at present.

Barry
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Postby ajnasreddin » Sat 09 Jun 2007 - 21:15

Barry,

I'd like some other postings too! Not that I don't enjoy your company.

I was talking the other day with a friend; seems everything's in flux. He was telling me to think about RAM and system cache, as that is very important in performance, perhaps more than a graphics card.

Still, I have to do some research and reading more than I have time for. It'd be nice if someone could point out a simple and clear source of information that can explain everything without hurting the brain too much, or having to take a refresher course in computerspeak.

I'd still hold out on buying a computer, at least until the end of summer or more. Dropping prices either mean the economy is bad, or some new technology is coming along to make all those computers out there obselete (in which case you ought to get an outstanding bargain!).

I have a friend who is a financial analyst, and he says he can't sleep at night with what's going on in the markets these days. He says the end of civilization is coming. Lucky for me, I don't understand all the business news, so I'm sleeping OK and still have hope to get a copy of SS5 before the end. :D
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Postby Barry » Wed 01 Aug 2007 - 12:50

Got as far as ordering new computer and got about 3.25 years out of this one with ati radeon 9800 pro card. and writing on half a screen with other half flickering as I think the the card has given up. Had to format hard-drive and reinstall windows from BIOS to try and get computer to start up without graphics drivers and software as had got into a loop start up and then shuts down and so on.

Next one middle of range dual core 2.4 intel e6600.
256MB 8600GTS card. 2 gb ram because of vista.
To get a better graphics card costs too much and don't really need it as long as the sailsim will run on it OK.

Hopefully the sailing simulator will continue in a user friendly mode with scenery designer and boat and object editor as now but with improved functions.

Personally I don't need all the fancy effects with shadows (using an upside down boat on the hull, and complex relections on the water unless they can be turned off, as all drains the frame rates and prefer flexibility in scenery design so we can design most parts of the world fairly easily and perhaps scenEries could be made seperately to enable a reasonble resolution but perhaps automatically load as you sail into the next adjacent scenery. Also semi transparent water would help the basic realism so part of the ships hull is visible and seabed and sandbanks below water could be seen in the shallows, although no idea how that is programmed.

Don't know if some sort of LOD (basic details of boat for distant views changing to more detail as you get nearer) will be used if boat traffic is introduced as the technical details of sailsim 5 seems a bit sparse at present.

Keeping away from the cordless keyboard amd mouse for now and as optical mouse and logitech keyboard work well enough for me.

Corrected most of the typing errors but each time I move the window can only read half and have to reset the text size to get it clearer.

Barry
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Postby Barry » Sat 04 Aug 2007 - 12:14

Just wondering about the setting up of new computer when it arrives in a week or so as regards the Stentec simulator and Vista.

Read that some games won't run unless set for administrator rights and no idea of the difference or any special requirements for the Stentec current simulators and SS5 with Vista.

Hope there is more feedback and discussion when SS5 finally arrives than now with advice, etc, but in the meanwhile still want to be able to run the current sailsimulator and scenery designer OK with Vista.

Incidentally what is the recommended file texture type for content creation. Is it bmp or tga and what happens when some are tga and some bmp. Assume 32 bit textures will needed, tga, for vegetation, trees, etc in SS5 as now, and will be available in SS5 as in current Stentec motorboat simulator functions?

Barry

Image from my tutorial build a boat with half a line with Blender.

Sailing flats 2 centuries (maybe) ago.

Image
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Postby ajnasreddin » Sat 04 Aug 2007 - 14:35

Sorry I can't help you there, Barry.

But keep us posted as I will probably be getting a new computer in a couple of months. I may put it off as I am worried about the whole Vista change. It looks as if I'll need new software all around which is something I'm not too keen about at the moment.

Anyway, I'd be interested about your experiences with the new os.

I take it that you managed to avoid the floods there in England. You hadn't posted in a bit; I thought you might be under water. Hope things are well there for you and your family.
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Postby Barry » Fri 07 Sep 2007 - 01:28

Just a brief note.
New computer and Vista, so far can't connect to internet (using the old computer to connect) and Stentec sailsim doesn't run. Have placed the required missing file in the Stentec installation folder as not in Vista.

Can't be bothered trying the m/b sim.

So if don't post for a week or few years you will know no longer interested.

Stentec will have to bring out a demo of SS5 before I consider buying it now!

Barry
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Postby Barry » Sat 08 Sep 2007 - 13:50

An update to the previous post.
Apparently the modem, not recognised when queried on new computer so will have to return it under the warranty for them to replace/fix modem.

Finally got the default route to load in stentec sail sim.
Don't forget need to download update from Stentec or runs at 1 frame a decond. and also d3drm.dll for vista I put in Windows folder as sail sim wont load with it in Sailsim folder.

Maybe once I sort things out may feel happier but not too impressed with everything at present.

I have deleted previous posts about Liverpool Docks etc as pointless posting on the forum these days as most seem to have left long ago.

Perhaps things may change later with ss5 (maybe).

I will start a seperate thread for d3dr.dll file.
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Postby Barry » Sat 08 Sep 2007 - 16:02

A bit more to add.

PART 1
nvidia 8600 gts. 256.
Intel Processor. dual core. 2 x 2.33 ghz.
Vista.
19 in flatscreen monitor.

Sailing Simulator.
Running my own scenery that includes miles of Liverpool Docks and numerous floating static boats.
Frame rates are not good. All settings to maximum for sim. down to about 7 fps in the dock area, more when less objects.
But the programming I think calculates even the static floating boats as sailing? so methinks little use for my interests.

PART 2.

The motorboat simulator is an entirely different story on my same scenery. Lowest frame rates at maximum settings were about 23 frames rising to about 50 fps in the more open areas, running nice and smooth.

If SS5 approximates to that then OK.....BUT if the programming knocks the frame rates right down to ss 4.2 sailsimulator rates then not for me.

Must add just on my new computer with all settings at maximum and graphics card could be set differently maybe.
May be entirely different results on yours.
Also using Vista which I think is also for dx10?.

Incidentally ss4.2 runs about the same as on xp but not very stable when changing the settings as picture disappears with just a white screen if changing settings. time etc, so won't be using it again.

Personally I think ss 4.2 is well past it's sell by date (over 5 years old or so with just the one update years ago) as regards running the current sailsimulator on a modern computer with VISTA but Motorboat simulator no problems as mentioned and runs nicely!

This is just my own opinion, rUnning the simulator on my computer with Vista.
Others may get entirely different results and it may run O.K.

Incidentally I got no reply on forum about the results for exporting textures with Blender using the latest 2 versions using vrml2. I think the earlier version 2.42a works OK.

So far it doesn't on new computer or on the old computer. Blender itself works fine, no problems and just refers to the script file for vrml2 files.


Barry
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Postby ajnasreddin » Sun 09 Sep 2007 - 17:56

Thanks for the update Barry. I get a sinking feeling when I think about all the problems with Vista. My friend in the software business tells me that Vista is basically Windows NT with a lot of added eye candy - and Microsoft seems to add bugs just to annoy people. I don't know what to think but I wouldn't be surprised.

Of course there are changes in graphics rendering - and with DX10, I'd think Stentec would be making a sim for that and not the old DX9+. :?

Here we are in September - I wonder how SS5 is coming along? Wasn't the beta version supposed to be out this month?
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Postby Barry » Sun 09 Sep 2007 - 22:33

A.J. There is supposed to be a patch out shortly for vista so maybe thet might improve the drivers situation for peripheral programs if you have a few to sort out.

Days left to register keep counting down.
Have to send new computer back as modem not working and need that working to register vista or goes into basic mode.

I think you can register the 25 digit code by phone but will wait and see if they fix the modem.

Good job the old computer is still part working.
Linux sounds complicated and I think only a few games etc work with it so carry on I suppose with Vista..

Barry
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Postby ajnasreddin » Tue 11 Sep 2007 - 17:51

Barry,

You didn't mention how much RAM your new computer has. I imagine just 2GB? If you can, try to double that, 4GB - or 3GB at least. I've been told that this will help with framerates in general.
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Postby Barry » Tue 11 Sep 2007 - 19:43

ajnasreddin wrote:Barry,

You didn't mention how much RAM your new computer has. I imagine just 2GB? If you can, try to double that, 4GB - or 3GB at least. I've been told that this will help with framerates in general.


Hello AJ

2000 RAM to allow for Vista.
500 with this older computer typing on now with XP.

The problem I think is the sailsimulator not the ram.
Exactly the same in XP sailsim always ran a lot worse than motorboat sim.

Vista. This time I put the sliders to max and about the same or not as stable as when changing settings, time, wind, etc,
Motorboat simulator runs lot better than sailsim with XP and Vista.

I seem to remember Stentec mentioning a long time ago even static floating boats were calculated as sailing and used the most intensive part of my route the Lioverpool docks that has lots of floating boats.

I think it is all to do with the programming by Stentec how the sim runs as regards frame rates if you have a reasonable computer.

But won't be using sailsim 4.2.

Barry
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Postby ajnasreddin » Thu 13 Sep 2007 - 08:10

Barry,

When they say you need 2GB for Vista, it's because Vista uses quite a bit. On my computer I have 1GB, and half of that is used for things like XP, my anti-virus program, etc. If I turn off all the extra programs, I have something around 700MB to use from the RAM. Most graphics intensive programs need quite a lot of free RAM - and the faster your computer can access it, the better.

A lot of people are telling me that 2GB with Vista is the least you should have. If you want you sims to run smoothly, most of my friends say to throw in another 2GB. SS5 looks like it'll need a lot too.

As for SS4.2, yes you're right. It's dead in the water - time to move on.
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Postby Barry » Thu 13 Sep 2007 - 12:50

A.J.

Trouble with computers is I need to remember the cost of each component and everything is out of date as soon as bought.

4000 ram would put another £100 or more onto the price.
RAM itself seems to come in 2 varieties which could add even more to the price getter the higher grade.

With the graphics card I ordered nvidia 8600 gts midddle of the range. The next one up 8800 gts I read did not show a great deal of inprovement over 8600...but also that would need a more powerful powerful supply 700 w instead of 600 w which again is another about £20 more and so it goes on.

I have now changed my tactics and buy just what will run what I use, reasonably well, and should last up to 2 to 3 years.
By then probably everthing will have changed and will replace the computer.

The wireless keyboard and mouse seems to need batteries in it, bought the ordinary keyboard to plug in and optical mouse as don't need anything else which could add more problems and expense.

Each computer I get has better components than the previous one but also is cheaper by £££.

Barry

P.S. I think 1000 RAM is enough for basic things with Vista and 2000 will be OK for me.
If doing a lot of graphics or intensive art work or running games/simulators with settings at maximum and you want perfection etc maybe 4000 but 2000 more than enough for me.
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