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PC for KSP


DanielHB
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Dear fellow KSPers,

I am looking to buy an actual gaming PC as compared to only using my laptop, and one of the key factors as to which PC I buy is whether it can play KSP smoothly. I was wondering whether the computer in the link would be able to do this.

LINK: HERE

Please let me know.

Many thanks,

Daniel HB

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That is not a gaming PC. There isn't even a videocard installed into it. There's only the CPU-integrated graphics engine.

...mind you, AMD has pretty good CPU-integrated graphics engines, and they're something that can play the odd game when requested to, but they're in no way, shape or form "gamer" hardware. That Ebay seller is counting on people who don't know about hardware to fall for flashy-looking numbers and promises.

Something you should understand: you're not going to get gaming-grade hardware at that price point, because relevant, useful video cards start somewhere around 100 pounds alone (and you'll need to fork over at least twice that if you want something you can actually show off with). The system offered in that link is probably halfway decent for the price, if a bit unbalanced (16 GB RAM and 500W power, seriously?) and will make a good family PC. Just don't call it a "gaming" PC :P

We have a thread on the forums here, I'm sure the people there can help you find a good deal for your budget.

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That's quite a bit better than what I play on, and I find my experience is pretty smooth and only falls off when I have hundreds of parts. My relevant stats:

3 GHz quad core (Intel core 2)

8Gb ram

Nvidia 650TI graphics (not sure how that compares to the AMD HD8570D, but it's a couple years old)

Windows 7 x64 (running KSP 32 bit), Looks like you'll need to buy an OS along with this PC

Only thing I would note is if you plan on using Linux at all you might want to get a PC with a Nvidia graphics card (Benchmark). If you're looking at windows you should be fine.

EDIT: Others bring up good points as well. This would run KSP better than my rig, but that doesn't mean you couldn't do even better. I built my computer 5-6 years ago, so anything recent would probably be better. Also, welcome to the forums!

Edited by Volix
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I don't want to sound unkind, but there's no such thing as an ultra-fast PC for that kind of price. It's also not balanced very well for KSP in particular.

On the other hand, I seriously couldn't build a rig that I would consider good within £300. If your budget isn't flexible, then that may well be the best you'll get. It will of course play KSP, but you may find that your maximum part count before lag is somewhat lower than you'd like.

If you can find some more monetary headroom, then consider that for KSP, the primary bottleneck tends to be single-threaded CPU performance; AMD's per-core performance is poor, and there's no point in having four of them since only one will do any work. On a tight budget, I'd seriously be considering an Intel Pentium Anniversary Edition and overclock the nuts off it. I suspect a reasonable rig aimed at KSP could be built around that for maybe £400-450.

*Disclaimer: my pretty-beefy PC also can't run KSP smoothly in many situations. Spaceplanes over 150 parts at high speed in atmosphere are laggy. Large stations are laggy. Large anything is laggy. A computer isn't really struggling with KSP until you find it won't handle anything past 100 parts.

- - - Updated - - -

That's quite a bit better than what I play on, and I find my experience is pretty smooth and only falls off when I have hundreds of parts. My relevant stats:

It's not a lot better... I'd hazard a guess that it'd bench 20% faster in single-threaded applications. GHz means nothing between brands :/

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I'd stay away from AMD, especially for KSP. With the transition to Unity 5, things may change a bit, but right now it is single threaded performance that means a bit more for KSP and AMD's single thread performance is abysmal in comparison to Intel. On multithreaded, well, things may be somewhat closer there. I can't really speak to whether KSP leverages a lot of integer or floating point calculations, but generally in most gaming comparisons, Intel has quite a lead when you include any discrete graphics card in to the mix.

Honestly, KSP is pretty graphics light. I have a $100 Nvidia GTX750 and it runs KSP smoothly at 1080p and all of the nits turned up. Where I can get stumbling is truely massive ships. My i5-3570 running at 4GHz however can lift most of what is KSP pretty easily however. I can't say I've run a spaceplane with 150 parts in any circumstance, but multi hundred part rockets and space stations don't really cause issues for it.

Frankly if on a budget, I'd look for something like an Intel i3-4330 processor with 8GB of RAM and something like an Nvidia GTX750 or 750ti to drive it (frankly AMD's current GPUs are also energy thristy without great performance and prices aren't super attractive either). Assembling it yourself you could probably put it all together for $550-650 depending on exact choices in case, SSD/HDD, power supply, etc.

At a price point of $300, you aren't going to be able to assemble anything decent. Really $500 is the starting point for a "decent" gaming system. Obviously an uber awesome one is more like $2,000 but you can make a pretty respectably good one for $500-600.

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It's not a lot better... I'd hazard a guess that it'd bench 20% faster in single-threaded applications. GHz means nothing between brands :/

Fair enough, I haven't looked at processor benchmarks for a long time, and there's a reason I went with Intel over AMD. That's why I threw up the edit, I built mine to be a gaming rig, it's just old.

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To add my opinion to this debate. I work in IT and always build my own machines, plus I know Unity 5 quite well. This machine will do the job and do it well. But if you want to play anything a bit more advanced then you would need to get a new dedicated Graphics Card. yes Intel has better performance for their CPU, but for KSP you will not really notice a great deal of improvement between the two. It is a quad core, it has a lot of RAM. The power supply is perfectly fine. Even upgrading the GPU the 500 would be fine (especially if you go for nVidia rather than AMD).

edit: you will not notice any difference in performance from this cpu and an i3 (An i3 is not an ideal gaming processor at all. Always best to look at i5 or i7)

For the price it is good. But it will not future proof you. But in the future you could re-use parts (like HDD, RAM) in a better machine when you have more cash!

Edited by SpaceChipmunk
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Also not that the machine doesn't come with an operating system, you will need to buy one or use a free one. Alternatively i think you can transfer the licence from your laptop.

- Sam

EDIT: I assume you will also need a monitor and other peripherals?

EDIT2: Apparently you cant transfer licences anymore.

Edited by sam.johnson841
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Also not that the machine doesn't come with an operating system, you will need to buy one or use a free one. Alternatively i think you can transfer the licence from your laptop.

- Sam

technically Microsoft allow you to install your Desktop Windows operating system on your laptop, however I am not sure if it matters whether you do it in reverse?

Though it might be a good move to download an ISO of SteamOS which is Linux based. Make the most use of all that lovely RAM!

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Aye, building something yourself is probably going to be a better bet - even here in the UK. Pre-builts have to cut a fair few corners to get decent looking prices, and you don't want to have re-buy everything further down the line because your PSU failed and fried everything, or the supplied cooling let everything fry itself.

As a general rule, if you see a pre-build with 'ultra fast' or 'gaming' anywhere in the title, I'd stay away.

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To add my opinion to this debate. I work in IT and always build my own machines, plus I know Unity 5 quite well. This machine will do the job and do it well. But if you want to play anything a bit more advanced then you would need to get a new dedicated Graphics Card. yes Intel has better performance for their CPU, but for KSP you will not really notice a great deal of improvement between the two. It is a quad core, it has a lot of RAM. The power supply is perfectly fine. Even upgrading the GPU the 500 would be fine (especially if you go for nVidia rather than AMD).

edit: you will not notice any difference in performance from this cpu and an i3 (An i3 is not an ideal gaming processor at all. Always best to look at i5 or i7)

For the price it is good. But it will not future proof you. But in the future you could re-use parts (like HDD, RAM) in a better machine when you have more cash!

Since KSP is currently a lot more focused on single thread performance...that isn't true at all.

Also back to AMD versus Intel...yeah, you'll probably notice a big difference. My Laptop has roughly similar single thread performance to most of the newer AMD desktop processors. I can tell you I notice a BIG difference between my desktop and laptop with extremely low graphical settings (to ensure zero of the bottlenecks are the iGPU on my laptop). Yeah, my laptop will handle some fairly good sized ships, but my desktop is a beast in comparison. Which it should with a good 60% higher single thread performance.

Yeah, I've limited the threads on my desktop so I can ensure the "quad core" part wasn't coming in to play (technically, my laptop had more threads because it is hyperthreaded and my desktop isn't).

KSP relies heavily on single thread performance right now.

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I built my gaming rig almost 7 years ago and overclocked it, and it still won't throw in the towel when it comes to performance in new games. Today's computers don't get outdated as quickly as they did 15-20 years ago, so when buying a new computer today, you might indeed spend a few more bucks with a smile, because you know it'll last a long time if you treat it well.

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technically Microsoft allow you to install your Desktop Windows operating system on your laptop, however I am not sure if it matters whether you do it in reverse?

Though it might be a good move to download an ISO of SteamOS which is Linux based. Make the most use of all that lovely RAM!

Err, no, you cannot transfer the license. It is locked to the BIOS. Try to move it to a different machine, unless you are desoldering the BIOS to take it with you, Windows will not activate. Calling MS to explain they MIGHT allow the activation if you are swapping boards within a machine. They likely will not give you a telephone activation code if you are swapping across machines entirely.

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Since KSP is currently a lot more focused on single thread performance...that isn't true at all.

Also back to AMD versus Intel...yeah, you'll probably notice a big difference. My Laptop has roughly similar single thread performance to most of the newer AMD desktop processors. I can tell you I notice a BIG difference between my desktop and laptop with extremely low graphical settings (to ensure zero of the bottlenecks are the iGPU on my laptop). Yeah, my laptop will handle some fairly good sized ships, but my desktop is a beast in comparison. Which it should with a good 60% higher single thread performance.

Yeah, I've limited the threads on my desktop so I can ensure the "quad core" part wasn't coming in to play (technically, my laptop had more threads because it is hyperthreaded and my desktop isn't).

KSP relies heavily on single thread performance right now.

Err, no, you cannot transfer the license. It is locked to the BIOS. Try to move it to a different machine, unless you are desoldering the BIOS to take it with you, Windows will not activate. Calling MS to explain they MIGHT allow the activation if you are swapping boards within a machine. They likely will not give you a telephone activation code if you are swapping across machines entirely.

I'm sorry but you are too focused on the thread issue. While the physics is handled over a single thread (which Unity 5 changes) the application runs like any other application taking whatever thread is available at the time.

I do believe it is stated in the EULA for Microsoft. I have A LOT of dealing with Microsoft when at work. When you have installed several thousand copies of an operating system and had plenty of issues that needed MS input you get to know little quirks in the way they do business.

What makes you think that running an i3 quad will outperform an AMD quad by such a noticeable amount on a game that is quite frankly hardly a CPU hog? It may have a higher cache, maybe a higher FSB. But the difference is seriously tiny when you are running the game.

Edit: Just noticed that you limited the threads on your desktop to make sure the cores were not an issue. In that case if there is really such a large performance hit, then I apologise.

Edit2: Microsoft have withdrawn the ability to install on primary desktop and a laptop. I have been out of the lower end of the support field for longer than I thought it would seem a lot has changed in the past couple of years. So apologies again.

Edited by SpaceChipmunk
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Err, no, you cannot transfer the license. It is locked to the BIOS. Try to move it to a different machine, unless you are desoldering the BIOS to take it with you, Windows will not activate. Calling MS to explain they MIGHT allow the activation if you are swapping boards within a machine. They likely will not give you a telephone activation code if you are swapping across machines entirely.

It depends what kind of license he already has. If he has a "full" type he bought in a store (or online, whatever; it's the $200 or so complete install) he can remove it from the old and put it on the new whenever he wants. If it's an "OEM" license (costs sbout half as much on Newegg OR it was preinstalled by the manufacturer) it was locked to the motherboard model on first activation maybe the BIOS, but I think it's a case of "if your mobo dies, you can swap it with the exact same model and it will be fine". If it was an upgrade, the upgrade itself can be transferred, but the original OS is still subject to the full/OEM restriction.

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If you could, i would squeeze an i3 into your desktop over any "A Series" chip, it will help with cpu bound games such as KSP, this is due to better instructions per clock than AMD rivals. It also has all right integrated graphics, (source: I use them for a while). Not they will be up to much in games other than KSP and TF2, which you may have to turn settings down for it to run smoothly. A large amount depends on what other things you might want to do/play. How much of a budget you have. Do you have the full licence, as detailed above and what/if any parts do you have already (screen, keyboard, mouse ECT)

:D

- Sam

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yes Intel has better performance for their CPU, but for KSP you will not really notice a great deal of improvement between the two.

This statement couldn't be more wrong, you notice a HUGE difference between Intel/AMD, moreso in KSP than in other games even. Which is saying a lot.

A stock I5 will will give you a good 20-fps advantage over a heavily clocked AMD quad/octo core cpu.

And when you overclock the I5....the fps difference widens even more.

Do not buy AMD for KSP, even a dual core intel will be faster. Look up Dmagic's thread from a while back, it's a fairly thorough comparison and will show you what I've just said is true.

I know this is from an older version of KSP, but performance is roughly the same now as it was then.

AMD does not do well for KSP.

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/42877-CPU-Performance-Database

Edited by _Aramchek_
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This statement couldn't be more wrong, you notice a HUGE difference between Intel/AMD, moreso in KSP than in other games even. Which is saying a lot.

A stock I5 will will give you a good 20-fps advantage over a heavily clocked AMD quad/octo core cpu.

I know this is from an older version of KSP, but performance is roughly the same now as it was then.

AMD does not do well for KSP.

http://forum.kerbalspaceprogram.com/threads/42877-CPU-Performance-Database

And when you overclock the I5....the fps difference widens even more.

Do not buy AMD for KSP, even a dual core intel will be faster. Look up Dmagic's thread from a while back, it's a fairly thorough comparison and will show you what I've just said is true.

I since retracted the statement. But we were not talkin about an i5. We were talking about an i3 its little brother. The i3 has smaller cache and a cut down command set. Yet lazarus has pointed out that he has tested the two, so I am willing to concede the point.

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You are right on that count. But we should assume he still wants to use his laptop :P…

That is a decision he will need to consider himself, but it is a fair point. Alternately, he could consider a Linux distro for one or both computers.

Newegg has OEM versions of both 7 and 8.1 home/pro for $99/140, or full versions (transferrable) of 8.1 For $120/200. Either of these offer free upgrades to win10 for the first year (your old computer probably qualifies too, if it's 7 or 8).

…Been using it for a few months and it is brilliant. :sticktongue:
Glad to hear this. Edited by Red Iron Crown
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I since retracted the statement. But we were not talkin about an i5. We were talking about an i3 its little brother. The i3 has smaller cache and a cut down command set. Yet lazarus has pointed out that he has tested the two, so I am willing to concede the point.

An I3 will still be faster than any quad/octo AMD cpu as well, I know from personal experience/have tried various cpu's in the game myself.

A dual core I3 will wipe the floor with whatever AMD cpu you compare it to, especially in this game. IPC is king for physics calc's, and those calc's are the biggest bottleneck of the game.

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An I3 will still be faster than any quad/octo AMD cpu as well, I know from personal experience/have tried various cpu's in the game myself.

A dual core I3 will wipe the floor with whatever AMD cpu you compare it to, especially in this game. IPC is king for physics calc's, and those calc's are the biggest bottleneck of the game.

Apologies for double post. This is only true with some games and applications. Some levels of AMD, normally their hex and octo cores are far superior to the i3, but then they are more expensive and really get destroyed by the Intel equivalents. I was running a 7 year old i7 and it completely wiped the floor with my brothers year old octo core AMD. I now use an OC'd i5 and it still outperforms his machine.

Edited by Red Iron Crown
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