Jump to content

KSP Computer Building/Buying Megathread


Leonov
 Share

Recommended Posts

From what i know you would need to install Linux on it first, assuming you have an x86 CPU. But even then it will be realy slow since Chromebooks come with the slowests CPUs available, often a dual core Atom one. You could try the demo before a purchase, but i doubt you will have any fun with this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi.

I'm running KSP on an old office notebook, a MacBook Pro 15, with an i9-8950HK, 32G of RAM at 2400Mhz and a Radeon Pro 560X with 4 GB. It's a pretty good piece of hardware for the work that I'm doing, especially since most development is being done in clouds anyway, but now that my KSP vessels have grown beyond 500 parts (after launch), I'm starting to feel the pain: FPS is down to single digits most of the time; the mission clock doesn't ever show green anymore. I'm not sure what KSP does to my CPU, but it sure as hell gobbles up all the memory, to the point where I'm having trouble running an 8G VM alongside it. Docking a 500 part exploration vessel to an 800 part space station for refuelling is an amazing experience even without the Kraken intervening...

Since removing all competing software from my office notebook isn't an option - I do have to occasionally do some work - I figured it's about time to start thinking of a machine specifically for playing KSP, on which I can tinker with the game's configuration and settings without that nagging feeling that I really shouldn't be doing this on my office laptop. This would be a machine that's designed around KSP, that has the sole purpose of making me not-eat-my-fingernails during docking manoeuvres.

I want to explore two options:

  • A notebook: I figure it'll give you less bang for buck than a desktop solution, but I like being able to drag it along to the back yard and sit in the sun for a bit, with my game of KSP and a cold beer.
  • A desktop: less mobile, but more easily upgradeable, and more power for the same money.

Things to consider:

  • CPU: AMD or Intel? Which has the best IPC and clock speed? Which models have a good cache speed? Where can I get the best single core performance for the notebook and the desktop solution? There's plenty of benchmarks to be found on the web, but which ones are useful for gauging KSP performance?
  • Mainboard: in case of desktop, I'll have to think about the mainboard under my CPU. There's plenty of options for most CPUs on the bench mark lists. What should I look for in a mainboard that's relevant to KSP performance?
  • RAM: more is better; faster is better - I think I will be able to manage that part.
  • GFX card: I'm getting mixed messages from the boards about how much and in what ways KSP performance is affected by which items, but most people seem to agree that if you're not playing with all graphics and visual mods maxed out, then CPU performance is probably more of a limiting factor than GFX card performance. So I'm going to go with a budget card. What affordable cards are available that perform okay for KSP? What should I look for?

Of course I've been reading through these forums, trying to glean some understanding from the discussions here, but there's so many contradicting and/or confusing opinions that I thought I should add some more to the mix. Most of those threads are pretty old anyway - very little info on the most recent Intel/AMD releases, yesno?

(Which brings me to another question: why isn't there a section of the forum dedicated to hardware discussions? Or is there and did I just have the wrong glasses on? Should I move my question somewhere more appropriate?)

So if anyone wants to tell me what hardware they're using to get a decent framerate with 500+ part vessels, or what characteristics I should look at in the bits of hardware I need to purchase for a dedicated KSP machine, I'd appreciate the input!

Gr, H.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Hoozemans I would recommend a desktop because they don't have to compromise power for portability and are more cost effective. Having a beer in your backyard while playing KSP sounds great, but not if you have to put up with 9 frames per second. Besides, you already have a laptop. If you want to do the beer/backyard thing then do it with some smaller ships, then come inside with your desktop when you are ready for the serious 500-part monsters.

Intel had been kicking AMD's behind for a good decade or so, and despite being an AMD fan since the early 2000's even I switched to Intel in 2013, but AMD is back with a vengeance now. I upgraded my PC in March 2020 and went with the Ryzen 3600. That's a popular choice for gamers who are budget conscious.

Mainboards aren't a huge consideration unless you are an overclocker. Get a reliable brand like Gigabyte or ASRock and you'll be happy. Something in the $150 range will ensure you are buying enough quality that it works but not spending extra money for no reason. I never had the need to break the bank on $500+ mainboards.

For graphics, tomshardware has been my go-to for advice. They have a "best for the money" at different budget levels here: https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gpu-buying-guide,5844.html

 

EDIT: PM me with one of your 500 part ships and I'll test-launch it, and tell you my specs and what framerate I'm getting, and on what graphics settings. That can give you an idea of what to expect as you shop for your parts.

Edited by Xavven
Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Hoozemans

Im not sure if you can check the current clockspeed of the CPU during KSP on a Mac, you would need some kind of overlay for that and i have no idea if that stuff is possible on a Mac. But that i9 isnt much slower in single-core speed than even the fastest desktop CPUs, its only possible that it throttles due to bad cooling in the laptop. So if there is no throtteling you wont get a noticable gain with even an i9-10900k since that runs only about 10% faster...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, Xavven said:

@Hoozemans PM me with one of your 500 part ships and I'll test-launch it

I would love to, but I'll have to dig for the actual launch files of the bugger. It's a 555 part exploration vessel, and assembling it from its constituent parts in orbit was such a hellish experience that I chucked the craft files, so it only exists fully assembled in a savefile right now. Thanks for the advice, though!

(EDIT: I did find some of the staging files, though - they're older versions than the ones I eventually launched, though.)

Edited by Hoozemans
update
Link to comment
Share on other sites

58 minutes ago, Hoozemans said:

I would love to, but I'll have to dig for the actual launch files of the bugger. It's a 555 part exploration vessel, and assembling it from its constituent parts in orbit was such a hellish experience that I chucked the craft files, so it only exists fully assembled in a savefile right now. Thanks for the advice, though!

(EDIT: I did find some of the staging files, though - they're older versions than the ones I eventually launched, though.)

https://www.kerbaltek.com/craftkitchen

Bottom of page.  Last time I tried this, it still worked.  Upload your save file, and it will pop out a zip folder with individual .craft files of all the ships in flight in the entire save.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Geonovast said:

I tried that shortly after I chucked the craft files, but I can't load the results. My game was stock plus both DLC's, and a single mod that allows you to reconfigure tanks (Configurable Containers). I haven't tried to debug the code yet, but I'm guessing that mod is what kills the export.

Soit. Since I'm a couple of hundred bucks away from my savings target for the new machine, I can think about whether I want a desktop or flaptop a bit longer. And perhaps find other ways to optimize the game as well. I've always wanted a bit more realistic gameplay (ie. limited life support etc.) but at the same time play as stock as possible - but all of this has made me set up a few new copies of the game for checking out USI/MKS and such.

Wouldn't it be something if I end up buying this complete beast of a computer, only to have KSP2 solve all the issues I was having a few months later? Nah, who am I kidding: I'm doing this for the joy of buying spiffy new kit as well as playing games :)

Edited by Hoozemans
typo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/4/2020 at 7:32 PM, Elthy said:

@Hoozemans

So if there is no throtteling you wont get a noticable gain with even an i9-10900k since that runs only about 10% faster...

Yeah, I'm keeping that in mind as well: it's likely that new kit will help a bit, but that we really need a software breakthrough to make it work. I wonder how the KSP2 dev team are hoping to tackle the issue. I have some vague ideas for using GPU's for physics calculation based on how libraries like Tensorflow do their thing, but I'm likely to be miles off :)

Anyway, it's still not a bad idea to have a dedicated machine, optimized for playing KSP.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was just wondering if Kerbal Space Program will run well (at least 30 fps, 1080 by 720 resolution, medium settings (low if needed)) on my low spec laptop.

 

SPECS:

OS: Windows 10 pro, version 2004, build 19640.1

CPU: 2-core intel i3-8130U (clock speed: 2.208 ghz), 4 logical processors

System Type: x64 64 bit

Laptop Model: HP Laptop 14-cf0xxx

Installed RAM: 8.00 gigabytes (7.87 GB usable)

VRAM: 128 megabytes

GPU: intel UHD graphics 620

Storage: samsung MZNLN128HAHQ-000H1 SATA SSD (118.01 GB, 56.22 GB free) (NTFS file system)

 

All windows settings and intel graphics settings are set to max performance.

I just want to know if KSP will run well, I don't want to spend $40 on a game that will run at like 10 fps or something.

Thanks for any replies!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ran KSP for years until recently on a slightly lesser machine.   Your definition of "well" will vary.   But the 30fps with any reasonably sized ship is a pipe dream. 

Edited by Gargamel
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Gargamel said:

I ran KSP for years until recently on a slightly lesser machine.   Your definition of "well" will vary.   But the 30fps with any reasonably sized ship is a pipe dream. 

 thanks! I will consider buying. I wish the demo still existed though...
 

P.S. wdym by "reasonably sized ship"

do you mean this:A small step for Jebediah, a giant step for Kerbinkind « Otaku ...

this:

Mun/Minmus rocket for beginners - The Spacecraft Exchange - Kerbal ...

this:

Kerbal Space Program - Sacred Space Astronomy

this:

Share your ships. - Kerbal Space Program - Giant Bomb

or this:

What's the highest mass you've ever put into Kerbin orbit with a ...

Edited by superscooper123
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Somewhere around ship #2 you will notice some lag.  You don't need high frame rates to have fun with KSP.  I used auto pilots a lot to do most of the flying once I had learned to do them manually, that way I avoided most of the lag headaches. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Gargamel said:

Somewhere around ship #2 you will notice some lag.  You don't need high frame rates to have fun with KSP.  I used auto pilots a lot to do most of the flying once I had learned to do them manually, that way I avoided most of the lag headaches. 

 

if i wanted bigger ships, i could probably turn down the graphics settings and resolution

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/6/2020 at 12:30 AM, superscooper123 said:

if i wanted bigger ships, i could probably turn down the graphics settings and resolution

Not realy, large partcounts will mostly stress the CPU. But even high end PCs are not able to launch something like in your last picture smoothly...

There is also a Demo of KSP which is quite old (Version 1.0), you could try that. Not sure where to find it, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, LandSeerZzZ said:

Hello Everyone! I want to buy a new comp that will be good for playing ksp with visual mods but also with ksp ie, usi... I really don't know what comp under 500 will be good for games like KSP, Stellaris, Overwatch and Fallout. Please Help!

My personal cheap wishlist looks like this: https://geizhals.de/?cat=WL-1434413

The GPU is a already discontinued model and you could swap the CPU for a 3300X which has less cores but more power per core. I guess you can't go much cheaper without sacrificing some vital component.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You could try to save some money with buying a used GPU or CPU, there should be lots of Ryzen 1000/2000 available since a lot of people upgraded to an 3000 series one. Similary with RX 470/480/570/580.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/8/2020 at 12:06 PM, Elthy said:

lots of Ryzen 1000

I wouldn't buy a first generation Ryzen because their memory controllers are extremely picky. And just to be clear: the 1600 [12nm]/[AF] from the list posted above is actually a second generation Ryzen with a horribly confusing name.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[Edit3] 

Never mind! I was just about to post on the tech support forums, but tried to fire it up again to test I don't even remember what and it worked perfectly. 1080p, settings all on very high or max, plenty of mods (yet none visual), and 80~90 fps. I'm a happy camper. Apparently all it needed was a few Windows restarts to update all the drivers and all that.

It hiccups a bit on load but maybe it'll one day be fixed by upgrading to an SSD (SSD is life).

Sweet!

So after all, it's an old and cheap system, but apparently I can be one more to recommend the Ryzen 3 2200g with Vega 8 onboard graphics for a budget yet very decent KSP experience.

I've been reading that a second RAM stick on dual channel (alternate slots(1 and 3 or 2 and 4) can vastly improve performance, so that should be the next step. 

[/Edit3] 

Oh boy, talk about disappointment. 

I play KSP on a potato (a laptop with a celeron and onboard graphics so you get the gist). After my save grew too much I was getting tired of playing with 6fps on larger vessels (even though I got 20~30 on small ones, which was good enough).

Anyway, so after reading a lot of reviews etc. and even watching benchmark videos, I went out and got a Ryzen 3 2200g (edit and 8Gb RAM /edit). I wasn't expecting stellar performance or anything, and maybe one day I could just stick a dedicated GPU in there for more demanding games. But KSP was my focus and I'm not desperate for heavy/visual mods so I thought it was a good compromise.

Load the game up on first launch and... 5fps on the menu screen. After changing resolution from 1080p to 720p, it went up to 7. Changed most if not all settings to a minimum and, alas, 10~12 fps. What? I don't get it. :blush:

 

Edit2: and the problem seems to be with KSP. I fired up Portal 2 to test it. I got 60 fps with 720p and no AA; and 30 fps with either 1080p no AA or with 720p and 2x AA. Not stellar but within what I expected as a ballpark. :science:

Edited by luizsilveira
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, luizsilveira said:

I've been reading that a second RAM stick on dual channel (alternate slots(1 and 3 or 2 and 4) can vastly improve performance, so that should be the next step. 

Also fast RAM (3000-3200MHz). Especially the GPU part is starving if you don't give it enough memory bandwidth to work with.

Link to comment
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.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...