Data in the second post | Pre-0.23 data in my blog entry
Updates for KSP version 0.23.5
New CPU Rocket available in the SpacePort; only run the test with the latest version of the rocket.
At some point everyone playing KSP learns that performance drops off significantly with increasing part counts. Whether this is learned through hitting a wall in-game or reading about it online, everyone realizes this eventually. What I want to figure out is how exactly various CPU’s handle crafts with high part counts. I’ve seen lots of vague comments about how such and such CPU performs fine with some arbitrary part count, but what I want is actual data.
So I went ahead and made a CPU performance test rocket. Using all stock parts I created a stable, functional, 600-part rocket. It is setup so that performance can be measured at a variety of part count levels throughout the ascent.
Not having a stack of CPU's available to test, I need others to download and launch the rocket so that I can collect a large amount of data on CPU performance.
This is what I want people to do:
Download the rocket from Spaceport.
Change two values in the settings menu:
Set the physics delta slider all the way to the right; a physics delta-time per frame of 0.03s.
Turn off V-sync.
Launch the rocket without any additions or modifications in a fresh session of KSP (don't launch or fly anything else before this rocket).
Change the camera view to look up; move it enough to keep the horizon out of frame (this avoids most GPU limitations, check the fourth post for more on this), don't go into map view and don't open any menus (ESC, F3).
Fly straight up until out of fuel.
And this is what I want to collect:
.csv file with FRAPS data
The new version of my CPU rocket uses tweakable settings to reduce the fuel load during all stages. This greatly shortens the time required to run the test, from about 9 minutes to just under 4 minutes of in-game time. The staging has also been simplified, now the rockets for the next stage fire at the same time as the decouplers and sepratrons from the previous stage, this eliminates all of the double staging events required. Everything seems stable, I haven't had any issues, but let me know if anyone has problems.
The fifth post has a more detailed look at the new rocket: http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/...l=1#post554432
A few small, but crucial, tweaks have been made for the 0.23.5 version of the rocket. The new joint system was causing struts to hold onto radially decoupled parts a little bit tighter, resulting in hilarious, but less-than-useful effects. Please download the new version for any testing on KSP V0.23.5.
For data gathering, Windows users can download and run FRAPS, the simple, free, frame rate monitoring software. FRAPS has a benchmark function that can be run to capture the frame rate during the entire launch (you can also capture frametime data); this data is then exported into a .csv file which can be opened with Excel or any other spreadsheet software.
By default the benchmark is started and stopped by pushing F11. A green frame rate counter should flash in one of the corners for a few seconds when the benchmark is started, and a red counter will appear when you stop it. Actually displaying the frame rate on-screen can affect performance, so the counter disappears during benchmarking. By default, results are stored in C:\Fraps\Benchmarks.
For OSX I've found a utility for recording framerate, it's fairly simple to use and seems to work ok. You can get it here: http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2255863.
Linux users can try BuGLe if you can figure it out. It's not too difficult to use, but it does take some effort. This post has some instructions on how to set it up.
If you don’t know your clockspeed then you probably aren’t overclocking and the CPU model should be enough to figure it out. But, if you want to know the real value you can use CPU-Z, it’s a good tool for this. Don’t trust the speed given by task manager, this can be wrong.
Other computer details probably aren’t necessary unless you think they are limiting; having 1GB or less of RAM for instance, or something like an Intel HD3000 GPU.
By gathering this data, along with CPU vendor id and clock speed, I hope to create a usable database of CPU performance. This will allow people to estimate how many parts their computer can handle, or to get an idea of which CPU’s perform best and how much overclocking affects performance, or to just be better informed in their bickering.
Data is given in the second post; details about how the data are shown and calculated are in the third post; details about testing conditions are in the fourth post; details about the rocket and its stages are in the fifth post.
You can PM me or leave a link to your results in this thread.
You can download the rocket from the Spaceport, or from the alternate, MediaFire link below: