Jump to content

KSP Unofficial Official Computer Building/Buying Megathread. (All Questions Acceptable.)


Recommended Posts

Hi there.

Basically, i want to find out just how much of a man your PC has to be to run a modded ksp smoothly.

Do you need a monster graphics card or can you get by with less?

How many CPU cores is enough?

How high should the CPU ghz be?

How beefy does your system have to be to stay at a good fps even when you push limits? 

I'm interested to hear how others fps fluctuates

Edited by TylaJames
I don't think we need to get into technicalities over mods? I have a gfx overall, half a dozen part packs and some utilities.
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/17/2020 at 8:49 PM, TylaJames said:

Do you need a monster graphics card or can you get by with less?

You can get by with integrated graphics (just about) if you don't use graphics mods. With graphics mods, you do need a dedicated video card, but it probably doesn't need to be insane - 2GB memory will most likely do. KSP is mainly a CPU-intensive game.

On 8/17/2020 at 8:49 PM, TylaJames said:

How many CPU cores is enough?

KSP is mostly single-threaded (though I think it uses one thread per separate craft if there are multiple vehicles in the physics range) so the number of cores shouldn't matter too much. My laptop's old i7 has 2 cores (4 threads) and it generally handles the game fine as long as part count is <200.

On 8/17/2020 at 8:49 PM, TylaJames said:

How high should the CPU ghz be?

As far as I know higher = better, but 2.5 GHz or more should suffice. I think most current CPUs have a clock speed of 3.5 GHz out of the box; that would do fine.

On 8/17/2020 at 8:49 PM, TylaJames said:

How beefy does your system have to be to stay at a good fps even when you push limits? 

That really depends on what you define as 'good FPS'. My old laptop (which could fall under the category of 'potato', though that's subjective too) can maintain ~30 FPS with graphics set to medium/low. If part counts are high then it can drop to a more choppy (but still just about playable) ~15 FPS. Generally though any decent modern system should be able to handle normal KSP gameplay no problem.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm running;

B450 motherboard

Ryzen 3200 locked @ 3.6ghz water cooled

XFX RX580 8Gb

16GB RAM @ 3000mhz

64bit, windows 10

Desktop and game runs off 512GB m.2 SSD

Using GEA (Graphics Enhancement Assembly), EVE, removed Scattered and Distant Objects. I do have some additional part packs installed and a couple tools..

Restarting the game fresh, so i can't report on high part count yet, but 80 part vessel i get a constant 35-40fps with max GFX settings and 4xAnti-aliasing. (Terrain -scattering off)

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, TylaJames said:

Using GEA (Graphics Enhancement Assembly), EVE, removed Scattered and Distant Objects.

I can't comment on GEA, but scatterer and EVE (depending on configs) are both performance killers (and doubly so under OpenGL, as I must run). There's a reason stuff like that isn't in the stock game.
You might be interested in the work blackrack has been doing to improve EVE performance.

My moderately modded career install (EVE + Spectra, no scatterer) is getting ~80/110FPS (Kerbin visible/not) at a 105-part station in LKO right now.

Quick and lazy performance references, new sandbox save, on the pad @default launch camera angle:

Unmodded:
212 parts: 100FPS
553 parts:49FPS

Mods as above:
212 parts: 59FPS
553 parts:21FPS

GFX settings on default "fantastic" preset, "ultra" terrain shaders, 4xAA.
[email protected] all cores.
32GB DDR3-1600/CL9 (Quad channel).
GTX1070 8GB (Mild factory OC).
Gentoo GNU/Linux amd64 (so slow-ass OpenGL renderer).

As you can see mods can make a significant difference, but it varies wildly depending on what you have installed and I have never seen anyone committed enough to make any charts.
TBH I only consider my current modded performance acceptable because I'm pretty ruthless in keeping my part-count down, a skill learned back when KSP performance scaling was even worse than it is currently. ;)

General considerations:
CPU: As much single threaded performance, (raw clock and IPC) as you can get, diminishing returns >4 cores.
GPU: Pretty much irrelevant unless you run graphics mods, so long as it's not a main-memory sharing IGPU.
RAM: 4GB minimum, 16GB recommended if modding.

Recommended system for modded KSP: As long as a piece of string. It really depends on the mods you install and what framerate you will tolerate.
 

Edited by steve_v
Link to post
Share on other sites

So currently I have a GTX960 card, my KSP runs the Spectra visual among other assorted companion visual mods. Im getting 100% GPU usage just sitting around in the space center, my CPU is at around 20%.

My question(s): Can I improve alot by upgrading to lets say a RX5700 card? My framerate sometimes are pretty low and I wonder if im limited by my GPU now.

Any insights are much appreciated.

Edited by AlphaRP
Link to post
Share on other sites

KSP is mostly CPU bound, not GPU bound. So upgrading the CPU would be the best upgrade, followed by more/faster RAM, and then finally the GPU. That being said though

The 960 is a pretty old card, but not terrible. I'd imagine the 2GB of VRAM would be the primary limitation. If the rest of your system is fine, then you might benefit from a new GPU.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Incarnation of Chaos said:

KSP is mostly CPU bound, not GPU bound. So upgrading the CPU would be the best upgrade, followed by more/faster RAM, and then finally the GPU. That being said though

The 960 is a pretty old card, but not terrible. I'd imagine the 2GB of VRAM would be the primary limitation. If the rest of your system is fine, then you might benefit from a new GPU.

I have a Ryzen 5 with 32 gb ram and KSP runs on my NVME. Cpu load is never more then 20%. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, AlphaRP said:

I have a Ryzen 5 with 32 gb ram and KSP runs on my NVME. Cpu load is never more then 20%. 

CPU load is very misleading, as it's a percentage of all threads available vs the ones that are being used. At least on windows. 

So since KSP can't actually use more than one thread for the calculations for the interactions between parts, and uses other threads for background processing/rendering it's never going to eat significant portions of the CPU % wise. 

That all said, from your system description it does definitely seem like the only thing left to upgrade for you would be the GPU. 

Oh and I'd recommend any decently modern GPU, so GTX 1060, 1070, RX 570/580 8Gb or Vega 56/RX 5700 XT. 

But with the next generation of GPU not more than a month away, I wouldn't recommend buying top cards right now unless you just have money to burn.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Incarnation of Chaos said:

CPU load is very misleading, as it's a percentage of all threads available vs the ones that are being used. At least on windows. 

So since KSP can't actually use more than one thread for the calculations for the interactions between parts, and uses other threads for background processing/rendering it's never going to eat significant portions of the CPU % wise. 

That all said, from your system description it does definitely seem like the only thing left to upgrade for you would be the GPU. 

Oh and I'd recommend any decently modern GPU, so GTX 1060, 1070, RX 570/580 8Gb or Vega 56/RX 5700 XT. 

But with the next generation of GPU not more than a month away, I wouldn't recommend buying top cards right now unless you just have money to burn.

I've been eyeing a RX5700 as an upgrade. I knew it was an oldie but since KSP isnt a cutting edge engine id figure it will be fine.

Hmm, new generation cards you say...

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/25/2020 at 10:33 AM, AlphaRP said:

So currently I have a GTX960 card, my KSP runs the Spectra visual among other assorted companion visual mods. Im getting 100% GPU usage just sitting around in the space center, my CPU is at around 20%.

My question(s): Can I improve alot by upgrading to lets say a RX5700 card? My framerate sometimes are pretty low and I wonder if im limited by my GPU now.

Any insights are much appreciated.

I have a GTX980, and KSP has never been a problem with it.

Framerate issues in KSP are usually caused by the physics engine and part count, not by the graphics.

Edited by mikegarrison
Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, mikegarrison said:

I have a GTX980, and KSP has never been a problem with it.

Framerate issues in KSP are usually caused by the physics engine and part count, not by the graphics.

I confess to the part count part...

Anyway, perhaps its best to wait for the new gen cards or better yet for KSP2 :) 

Edited by AlphaRP
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Vanamonde said:

@AlphaRP, your question has been merged into the master thread for this sort of thing. Just to keep things tidy. :)

Thank you, I was not aware of this thread. Perhaps some people here have some insights.

Edit: With a quick readthrough I see its a common occurence, so I'll start reading up!

Edited by AlphaRP
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello again,

I have a quite honestly shallow budget and I need a new computer that will run modded kerbal ( I'm a realism junkie) but still runs like a charm. I have been looking and looking and I have decided to see what the forums have to say.... thanks in advance!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello folks, I'm looking my upgrade my GPU to play KSP 2 and Microsoft Flight Sim 2020. Unfortunately I bought this as a pre built and it only has a 400 watt PSU. I currently have a GTX 1050 2GB and want to upgrade to a GTX 1660 Super soon. Could I still run it on 400 watts? This is my PSU https://www.apexgaming.info/products/copy-of-apexgaming-ai-400-400w80-non-modular-power-supply

For other things that run power:

My CPU: Ryzen 5 2400G 

RAM: 2x8 at 3200mhz

7.4k HDD and a small SSD

Plus a few USB devices

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats no problem. The PSU can deliver 360W of 12V, thew GPU needs about 125W, the CPU including RAM and Mainboard will stay below 125W. Even with the other devices you wont reach more than 300W under full load.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/30/2020 at 6:21 PM, Dfthu said:

Could I still run it on 400 watts?

In theory, but only if it can really provide clean 400W. Some of the cheaper brands become very unstable at their peak rating, and you can reliably count only on about 3/4 or less, and that's cutting it awfully close with your proposed setup. Given that PSU failures can cause damage to your other components, I personally wouldn't want to risk it. If you can spare the cost, I would go for something in 450-500W range from a brand with good reputation and a model with good reviews.

Also, when looking at PSU reviews, don't just look at the score. Look at the actual bad reviews. I've encountered one model a few years back that had very few bad reviews, but nearly all of them were, "started pouring smoke," or "caught fire." Even with best reviews, you aren't guaranteed that your PSU won't die on you, but fire is definitely a failure mode you want to avoid.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, K^2 said:

Also, when looking at PSU reviews, don't just look at the score. Look at the actual bad reviews.

This ^. Also customer reviews are pretty worthless in general, particularly the mindless "good price works good" ones that tend to push ratings up.

 

On 8/31/2020 at 1:21 PM, Dfthu said:

I bought this as a pre built and it only has a 400 watt PSU.

Prebuilt and PSU are two words that make me cringe when found in the same sentence. Off the shelf PC builders have a long history of installing the cheapest nastiest PSUs they can find.
A good 400W PSU will be fine. A cheap "400W*" PSU won't.

I've never heard of "Apex Gaming", so I won't comment on that particular unit. I can't find any teardowns or any information on the OEM either (ed. probably Solytech, yuck). Personally, I wouldn't trust it anywhere near as far as I could throw it.


If you're buying a PSU, find a real review by someone with a proper test rig and some electrical engineering knowledge. Like this guy for example. If they didn't take it apart and they didn't post any scope captures or put it in a hot box, the "review" is worthless.
Don't cheap out, and don't judge anything by the shiny box or RGB fans, it's the design and build quality of the (usually made by someone other than the name on the box) board inside that matters. The return on that higher price tag is that a good quality PSU will last you many, many years, whereas a cheap one might cost you a motherboard when it dies, or even a house.


FWIW, I have personally experienced a PSU fire... As in proper flames. As in crispy fried PCB and copious smoke. Smoke alarms at 4am and all that jazz.
It was a 4 year old lightly-loaded 750W from a well known name brand, a brand I had had excellent reliability from in the  past... But they "refreshed" their line and switched from Delta internals to some unknown Chinese crap, and they did it quietly.
Shame on me for making assumptions based on box brand, I was in a hurry when I bought it and didn't follow my own advice... And it was suspiciously cheap.

Edited by steve_v
Link to post
Share on other sites

So... not totally a building/ buying question, but related. 

I bought a new GPU, to delete the old drivers I booted in safe mode (windows 10 pro). I booted from msconfig > boot options > safe mode. But windows did not accepted my password, I tried going to troubleshoot and booting to prompt but it asked for my Microsoft password, it didn't accepted it, I changed it, but still nothing. 

Now I'm stuck in safe mode and can't do nothing. Any help besides formatting?

If the only option is formatting, I changed windows documents/ desktop/ images/ etc folders to D: (a different drive, not a partition) and most of my programs are installed there. What would happen to them?

Thanks a lot and sorry if this is not the correct thread. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry for not responding, but thanks for the help guys. Turns out one of my friends are upgrading their own PSU and is going to give me their old one. Its a Insignia 450 Watt PSU. More power and actually has a 8 pin PCI-E Cable (Turns out I only had a 6 pin) Although its really cheap. Pretty good reviews though https://www.bestbuy.com/site/insignia-450w-atx12v-2-4-eps12v-2-92-80-plus-power-supply-gray/5976300.p?acampID=0&irclickid=w6zWtJXnIxyOTa7xTSQPxVT4UkiVoy1p0S%3A8X40&irgwc=1&loc=Bing+Rebates+by+Microsoft&mpid=2003851&ref=198&skuId=5976300

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...