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KSP Computer Building/Buying Megathread


Leonov
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More than 4GB RAM will have no benefit for ksp unless you run a 64bit OS on 64bit hardware (motherboard etc).

That's not quite true. KSP itself can't ever use more than 4GB RAM at present on Windows or OSX. Running a 64-bit OS on a 64-bit CPU doesn't change that, due to the Unity engine having critical flaws which prevent it working on those platforms in 64-bit mode. Linux KSP does run ok as 64-bit, as the Unity flaws don't bite there.

All that said, however, more than 4GB RAM will help KSP performance on all platforms, since KSP is not the only thing using RAM. The OS itself can easily use 1GB RAM, and it's common for people to have various other widgets/gadgets/apps/whatever running at the same time. All those other things use RAM, so having more than 4GB helps to ensure that there's actually 4GB available for the KSP process itself, preventing the system losing performance from excessive paging activity (virtual memory / swap).

Edit: So, to answer the OP's question, I'd definitely prioritise getting more RAM, as 2GB is actually pretty tight these days. If the motherboard supports it, get at least 4GB  RAM pretty cheap, and pretty much the #1 thing you need to ensure good performance, as the performance penalty from having too little RAM is the most severe penalty you'll ever hit (once a system starts paging heavily, performance vanishes rapidly).

Edited by Murph
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Guest Brody_Peffley
Thanks guys,

ill probably upgrade my RAM due to the fact that my budget is less than 100 dollars. But i have taken a look at some custom built PC's and i was thinking of an MSI GT70 notebook. Its a bit spendy, but should serve the purpose for alll my needs!

Again Thanks!

Your graphic card is kinda good. Upgrade your ram first. And then in the future upgrade your cpu and graphics card.

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I used to have almost an identical setup to the one described here. The 3600 graphics card is awfully old, it's time to upgrade it. I would go to the Radeon HD 6450 for a good budget option, it's only about $50 on Newegg. Then use whatever you have left in your budget to pick up some more RAM.

There are, obviously, better cards than the 6450, but I upgraded to it from the 3600 and the difference was night and day. I don't think you'll regret it.

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I used to have almost an identical setup to the one described here. The 3600 graphics card is awfully old, it's time to upgrade it. I would go to the Radeon HD 6450 for a good budget option, it's only about $50 on Newegg. Then use whatever you have left in your budget to pick up some more RAM.

There are, obviously, better cards than the 6450, but I upgraded to it from the 3600 and the difference was night and day. I don't think you'll regret it.

RAM is really the priority here, not the GPU. Lack of RAM will kill performance pretty much completely, no matter how good the GPU is, and 2GB RAM is really very tight these days. An old GPU will perform ok if you keep the graphics settings low/reasonable. Getting to 4GB+ RAM, if the motherboard supports it, is far more important, and the GPU can come later.

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Your graphic card is kinda good. Upgrade your ram first. And then in the future upgrade your cpu and graphics card.

The 3600 series was a midrange card from 08 that was offered in both PCI-E and AGP variants, so I wouldn't expect much performance out of it by today's (or even 08's) standards whether it tastes like PCI-E or stale AGP.

Although 2GB of RAM is quite low. I'd say upgrade both, but that depends on whether we're talking about DDR2 or DDR3, and AGP or PCI-E. There's also a good chance it only has two memory slots already occupied with 1GB each, so going to 4GB might be more than just buying another 2GB and sticking it in.

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The 3600 series was a midrange card from 08 that was offered in both PCI-E and AGP variants, so I wouldn't expect much performance out of it by today's (or even 08's) standards whether it tastes like PCI-E or stale AGP.

Although 2GB of RAM is quite low. I'd say upgrade both, but that depends on whether we're talking about DDR2 or DDR3, and AGP or PCI-E. There's also a good chance it only has two memory slots already occupied with 1GB each, so going to 4GB might be more than just buying another 2GB and sticking it in.

The thing is, KSP is very playable on a Radeon 2600 Pro if you pick reasonable settings, but will never run smoothly if the total active memory demand is pushing past 100%. Sure, the memory upgrade might be discarding 2x1Gb for 2x2Gb, but you should be able to pick up older spec 2Gb sticks pretty cheaply.

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I would recommend getting a new computer, even though you do not have the means to do so.

What you really need is a new CPU, so replace that if you can. RAM or a better GPU will have little impact compared to a good CPU.

You will really enjoy the game if you have a computer that is capable of running it, but yours seems to be lacking in several fields: You need to upgrade your OS, get at least 4 GB of ram, 8 at most, and a much faster CPU. KSP is CPU intensive, so that's were you will want to dump your money if you only play KSP. It is not particularly GPU intensive to my knowledge, so don't worry to much on that end unless you plan on playing BF4, etc.

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I would recommend getting a new computer, even though you do not have the means to do so.

What you really need is a new CPU, so replace that if you can. RAM or a better GPU will have little impact compared to a good CPU.

You will really enjoy the game if you have a computer that is capable of running it, but yours seems to be lacking in several fields: You need to upgrade your OS, get at least 4 GB of ram, 8 at most, and a much faster CPU. KSP is CPU intensive, so that's were you will want to dump your money if you only play KSP. It is not particularly GPU intensive to my knowledge, so don't worry to much on that end unless you plan on playing BF4, etc.

In order to upgrade the CPU of a 6 year old system, he would have to pay out the nose for some rare can't-find-it-any-more hardware, or upgrade the entire system due to the fact that modern CPU's require a different socket, which means a different motherboard, which means different memory too.

I say save up for a new system, I would budget $800 bare minimum (a third to half of this will go towards the GPU), $1500 for a nice, relatively future proof system.

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The thing is, KSP is very playable on a Radeon 2600 Pro if you pick reasonable settings, but will never run smoothly if the total active memory demand is pushing past 100%. Sure, the memory upgrade might be discarding 2x1Gb for 2x2Gb, but you should be able to pick up older spec 2Gb sticks pretty cheaply.

Yes, memory is much more important, and that video card may be capable of being decent for KSP. But after looking around a bit, I haven't seen a single card suitable for gaming at all in the $50 range so upgrading both probably isn't the best idea then.

What you really need is a new CPU, so replace that if you can. RAM or a better GPU will have little impact compared to a good CPU.

The core count and clock speed doesn't mean much if you don't know what the processor actually is. It could be either a Core 2 Q6600 or a first gen Phenom X4, both being 2.4GHz quad cores. The C2Q would be faster overall, and loves a brutal overclocking; the Phenom.. well, it processes. I wouldn't consider either one to be a bottleneck if the system only has 2GB of RAM to work with.

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I am in a similar situation, as I play on my Lenovo laptop with a 2.4GHZ dual core and mobility HD3650, initially I had 4GB ram and noticed the game was using it all and so I upgraded the ram to 8GB which also helps on Win 7 x64, although it still lags it is better and was the cheaper option, hope this helps and happy new year to all.

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Thanks guys,

ill probably upgrade my RAM due to the fact that my budget is less than 100 dollars. But i have taken a look at some custom built PC's and i was thinking of an MSI GT70 notebook. Its a bit spendy, but should serve the purpose for alll my needs!

Again Thanks!

I literally just received my GT70 yesterday! Upgrading from a Surface Pro, it's a blessing!

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Ok, there is something I really don't understand... After two days of unsuccessful tries to boot my computer that always led to the same error, my windows finally decided to boot !! I don't understand what is happening... But I don't trust my HDD anymore, it always show 99% (but doesn't freeze), so I have already ordered another one, a seagate barracuda 1To

I am starting to think the hard drive might not be the problem. My computer just passed near 24h straight without freezing, I passed test on it, watched videos, did a lot of usual things. But as soon as I plugged something in the HDMI port, it freezed and resulted in a blue screen... I already have reinstalled my video card drivers

Edit:

Or maybe it is... In my BIOS, my HDD is now recognized as "777777777777" instead of it model name like it did in the past...

Edited by Moustachauve
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More than 4GB RAM will have no benefit for ksp unless you run a 64bit OS on 64bit hardware (motherboard etc).

Yes, but if you have more than 4GB of RAM it means that KSP can have 4GB all to itself, instead of KSP sharing that 4GB with everything else running on your system.

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I am starting to think the hard drive might not be the problem. My computer just passed near 24h straight without freezing, I passed test on it, watched videos, did a lot of usual things. But as soon as I plugged something in the HDMI port, it freezed and resulted in a blue screen... I already have reinstalled my video card drivers

Edit:

Or maybe it is... In my BIOS, my HDD is now recognized as "777777777777" instead of it model name like it did in the past...

As the expression goes, "make hay while the sun shines". Take everything important off and order a new one.

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If you want to have two graphics cards on a motherboard, do they have to be the same cards?

As far as I know, yes. They have to be matching cards both in model and ram on board. I have two graphic cards on my three year old system. They are tied together with a jumper between cards. They behave as a single card having twice the on board ram.

In the case of adding a graphic card when you have one built in the motherboard, the lower performing motherboard card is disabled.

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If you want to have two graphics cards on a motherboard, do they have to be the same cards?

It depends on which cards are we talking here?, Nividia Cards or AMD cards, The AMD chips crossfire different the how Nividia Cards do SLI. I would suggest reading into it more on your own.

Certian AMD cards can crossfire outside their model range for example a Rhadeon HD 7970 and a R9 280X can both crossfire and a R9 280X can crossfire with another R9 280X. SLI on the other hand has to be the same model of card, for example a GTX 660 can SLI with another GTX 660. a GTX 660 however will not SLI with a GTX 680.

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Certian AMD cards can crossfire outside their model range for example a Rhadeon HD 7970 and a R9 280X can both crossfire and a R9 280X can crossfire with another R9 280X.

Funny you mention cards that are all basically the same card, but in general you are right. Cards do not have to match make and model, but the down side is that the faster card will run at slower speeds to make everything work properly. So mixing is generally not advised, unless you can get a good deal on a card or something.

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Hey folks so I am nearly finished buying parts. How did I do so far?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor (Purchased For $80.00)

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (Purchased For $30.00)

Motherboard: Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard (Purchased For $76.00)

Memory: Kingston Black 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (Purchased For $70.00)

Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($98.98 @ OutletPC)

Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (Purchased For $59.99)

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($250.00)

Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case (Purchased For $70.00)

Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (Purchased For $50.00)

Total: $784.97

(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-03 13:20 EST-0500)

I am trying to decide on a GPU. So far the MSI and EVGA GTX 760 have been recommened, but I am also considering stepping down to the R9 270x ($70 cheaper). What would you recommend?

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Received my new HDD today, I installed win 8.1, my drivers, firefox, skype. Everything went fine. I try to hook my new moniter using a spare HDMI cable from bell, a asdl tv service company. Hdd show 100% usage again. I rapidly unplug it, a couple of minute laters everything come down to 0. I try with another HDMI cable in my television, no problem. In my monitor, no problem. I try again with the bell cable, hdd 100%, computer crash and wont boot anymore "Disk read error". Can an HDMI cable do this? What am I doing wrong?

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Funny you mention cards that are all basically the same card, but in general you are right. Cards do not have to match make and model, but the down side is that the faster card will run at slower speeds to make everything work properly. So mixing is generally not advised, unless you can get a good deal on a card or something.

Good Eye, Tis' the season for reboots.

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Received my new HDD today, I installed win 8.1, my drivers, firefox, skype. Everything went fine. I try to hook my new moniter using a spare HDMI cable from bell, a asdl tv service company. Hdd show 100% usage again. I rapidly unplug it, a couple of minute laters everything come down to 0. I try with another HDMI cable in my television, no problem. In my monitor, no problem. I try again with the bell cable, hdd 100%, computer crash and wont boot anymore "Disk read error". Can an HDMI cable do this? What am I doing wrong?

Have you tried a different Sata Port? Is the cable good?

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