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KSP Computer Building/Buying Megathread


Leonov
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There is no FX 8750, only an Phenom x3 8750. But this CPU is for the AM2+ Socket, but you bought a FX990 Mainboard, which is maybe the cause of your problems...

I'd say he probably meant the FX 8350, which is AM3+, (FX990 is AM3+). Mainly because the pin positions on the Phenom x3 series and FX series are quite different so you would know if it was the wrong slot straight away.

My suggestion would be that you didn't plug in the 8 pin cpu power, A single beep suggests the bios is working fine, so at that point it's the cpu which is the next problem to go to. Continuous beeping (not one long beep but like beep, beep, beep) is the RAM error, so if it keeps beeping check to make sure the ram is in properly. (Probably isn't ram since the fans turned off which indicates the pc turned off, so probably is just a cpu problem).

Anyway onto my build, no pictures at the moment but

Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper

CPU: AMD FX 6350 Overclocked to 4.45GHz

CPU cooling: Corsair H80i

RAM: 16GB DDR3 Crucial Ballistic sports 1600MHz

Storage: 1x 256GB SSD, 1x 1TB HDD. (Planning on upgrading to 4 SSD's completely get rid of the HDD and then have a smaller SSD for OS's)

PSU: Corsair CX750M (upgrading to a 1200 or 1500 soon)

7x 120mm Fans (two for liquid cooling)

1x 200mm top exhaust.

Graphics: 1x AMD Radeon 7970 3GB Overclocked to 950MHz clock speed 6000MHz(1500) memory clock. (I am planning to add in a R9 280x Crossfired with this, at that point i will overclock a bit more to get speeds matching rather than the 280x scaling down).

I might add pictures at some point but there is nothing pretty to see really.

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Guys, can you tell me where to look for cheap-ish 1TB drives?

I got my WD Blue from Amazon for about $60.

As a mini-rant, man it sucks to know that my KSP crashes and (I think) full system hangs are because I've been bumping up against the vram limit on my gtx 760 and causing an access violation in d3d. No need to get the 4gb version of a midrange card, they said. It won't matter unless you're running 1080p on at least 3 monitors, they said. Apparently "they" never heard of KSP. Active texture management seems to have alleviated it, but still. At least I think it's that after skimming the error log, I think I was making about 3.2gb for Ksp.exe which should be fine, I'm keeping an eye on it though...

I just invested in a 250gb SSD, so maybe that will take my mind off it.

Edited by Duke23
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Ok, I found the problem...kind of. I've narrowed it down at least. My original PSU was faulty, which may have either damaged my motherboard or SSD. I replaced all of those parts and it works fine, so any of them could have been faulty and the source of the issue. I wouldn't be surprised if they were all broken, as I also received a pretty useless optical drive as well.

//typed on my new computer

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I got my WD Blue from Amazon for about $60.

I think that's what I got mine for a few months ago

As a mini-rant, man it sucks to know that my KSP crashes and (I think) full system hangs are because I've been bumping up against the vram limit on my gtx 760 and causing an access violation in d3d. No need to get the 4gb version of a midrange card, they said. It won't matter unless you're running 1080p on at least 3 monitors, they said. Apparently "they" never heard of KSP. Active texture management seems to have alleviated it, but still. At least I think it's that after skimming the error log, I think I was making about 3.2gb for Ksp.exe which should be fine, I'm keeping an eye on it though... .

I have a GTX 440, the 2GB version. The only time I had an issue was when I started a career in KSP. Every time I got Jeb out of the command pod, the screen turned black. I deleted the save and started a new one. It's not happened since.

As for my build:

cpu-z2.jpg

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That's strange, seems like it would at least be consistent.. Mine started gradually being a pain as I tweaked things. Better graphics card (went from r7-260x oc to r9-270x gaming to the gtx-760), higher resolutions, more mods, bigger ships, etc.

It seems to be working fine now, but I do run 1080p with all settings maxed out. Seemed to crash more while using SCANSat crafts until I installed active texture management. I started looking harder at the graphics card because when I had both monitors enabled it would freeze the whole system with no errors, with one activated it would act up less and just crash KSP throwing the same access violation in d3d.exe error every time (out of memory) and I was below the 32bit ram cap. Now I'm running both monitors (one with telemachus, a video, or a webpage) with no problems so far.

I actually was blaming my mobo at first because I've heard of people having issues with 125w processors (mine is FX-4350) on the 970a-g46 boards even though they were "supposed" to be upgraded to support them. I figured if anything would give the VRMs a workout it'd be KSP.

Edited by Duke23
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Ok, I found the problem...kind of. I've narrowed it down at least. My original PSU was faulty, which may have either damaged my motherboard or SSD. I replaced all of those parts and it works fine, so any of them could have been faulty and the source of the issue. I wouldn't be surprised if they were all broken, as I also received a pretty useless optical drive as well.

Great news. Did you buy them all at the same supplier? Warranty issues where one part breaks the others always are a little easier when the parts are coming from the same source.

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I have an extreme modded KSP but i wont get over 1000mb VRAM usage, no matter what i do. I doubt that this is a problem...

Can you post a screenshot of your VRAM usage?

Okay, I think you're right. I went ahead and "assumed" (you know what that's good for) it was the VRAM because the error was graphics related. Although I swear I saw it say out of VRAM on one of the errors but I'm not seeing it now. Here's what I got after playing around with a few things including SCANSat. Loading up the big map increased both VRAM usage and RAM usage, most significantly the RAM. Both are at the highest that I observed during this particular run which lasted about 15 minutes or so in this screenshot. Although the max on my graph says 1253, I'm not sure whether that's since the last reboot or ever, but I would have been using active texture management since the last reboot. I'm thinking there's a memory leak somewhere. Both numbers kept slowly rising, and it never usually crashed until I was a couple hours into the game. However when I changed ships or went back to the KSC screen the VRAM seemed to be properly releasing what it didn't need while the RAM usage seemed to slowly grow, then release a tiny bit, then grow more than it released. I have 8gb RAM by the way, my usage goes up to around 75% or so when running KSP, a web browser with endless tabs, and a media player.

ram.png~original

vram.png~original

Sigh, technology is a fickle mistress. I'm going to go hook up my SSD now and cry a little. lol

ETA: got the SSD installed (250gb Samsung 840 Evo). I had to do some shrinking and moving and symbolic links to get it the way I wanted without reinstalling all my stuff completely, but it appears to all be in order now. Man, this thing is snappy. Not really seeing a big increase in KSP load times but it seems to run more smoothly and everything else has seen noticeable speed gains. Login, opening programs, clicking a bunch of stuff as soon as the desktop pops up... Where has this been all my life? No more defrag! Well actually that's a lie because I still have 3 HDDs, but it sounded good.

Edited by Duke23
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ETA: got the SSD installed (250gb Samsung 840 Evo). I had to do some shrinking and moving and symbolic links to get it the way I wanted without reinstalling all my stuff completely, but it appears to all be in order now. Man, this thing is snappy. Not really seeing a big increase in KSP load times but it seems to run more smoothly and everything else has seen noticeable speed gains. Login, opening programs, clicking a bunch of stuff as soon as the desktop pops up... Where has this been all my life? No more defrag! Well actually that's a lie because I still have 3 HDDs, but it sounded good.

I would really strongy recommend a fresh unstall and not a migration, but hey, it works for now. A fresh SSD is truly a joy, I just reinstalled mine today and I am in love all over again.

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Haven't had any such problems myself, but I think would be some cable not properly connected. My guess at this would be the 8-pin CPU power cable. Would have tried if pulling it out led to a similar failure on my computer if my CPU fan wasn't so huge that I can barely touch that cable.

Sounds very much like the P4/P8 power cable indeed - something that is often overlooked. In this picture it should be in the middle top left somewhere, just outside the picture.

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I would really strongy recommend a fresh unstall and not a migration, but hey, it works for now. A fresh SSD is truly a joy, I just reinstalled mine today and I am in love all over again.

Would I expect the same sort of gains compared to my current configuration as I would from a fresh hdd install? I understand that an OS's performance degrades over time but I've tried to be gentle and keep up with the maintenance overall and I built the computer about 6 months ago.

What I mean to say is, why is it better to fresh install on an SSD as opposed to migration of a relatively clean system? I don't think I've ever seen that answered in a good way.. Is it because of ahci issues, sequential vs random reads, or...? Sorry if that's a dumb question, I'm a nerd who finally got his first SSD. I do notice that it's performing under spec, but I hadn't finished setting up all the system tweaks before I ran the benchmark (and it was still quite impressive).

Edited by Duke23
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Would I expect the same sort of gains compared to my current configuration as I would from a fresh hdd install? I understand that an OS's performance degrades over time but I've tried to be gentle and keep up with the maintenance overall and I built the computer about 6 months ago.

Not enough to go through the hassle to do it again, since it works and seems to work all right. In general, if you are going to do a migration you might as well do a fresh install. It really is not that much more trouble, if at all, and you prevent migrating seen and unseen trouble along with your OS.

What I mean to say is, why is it better to fresh install on an SSD as opposed to migration of a relatively clean system? I don't think I've ever seen that answered in a good way.. Is it because of ahci issues, sequential vs random reads, or...? Sorry if that's a dumb question, I'm a nerd who finally got his first SSD. I do notice that it's performing under spec, but I hadn't finished setting up all the system tweaks before I ran the benchmark (and it was still quite impressive).

Well, it is not that complicated actually. Windows, however well maintained, tends to build up clutter behind the screens. If you migrate your installation rather than do a fresh installation, you take that clutter with you. Plus of course the risk of taking no longer relevant (but trouble causing) configurations with you, as well as the chance that things go wrong during the migration and stuff ends up really messed up.

Any significant change in configuration warrants a fresh install - a new (type of) motherboard, for example, but now also a SSD. It is just good practice and the best insurance against all kinds of vague problems down the line. Another added bonus is that you get to update all your drivers and software at once so that you are at peak performance and security, as some programs tend to be forgotten while updating, leaving security holes.

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Okay that's kind of what I expected, thanks. I pretty much have a tolerance system in my head for whether I do a fresh install or not when swapping out hardware (or any time really). It's a carefully balanced ratio of how much more difficult and time consuming it would be to set everything back up the way it needs to be versus the overall current performance of the system compared to what it should be. I say that tongue in cheek but it's pretty accurate... In this one's case the biggest bottleneck I've had since I upgraded graphics card was the hard drive itself (literally, see below) so I just opted to do a pretty direct swap. I'm very happy with it so far. Everything pretty much doubled after tweaks and enabling RAPID mode (above the "maximum" for sequential read/write?), but the random write and especially the read still look a bit sluggish to me. I think I know why some of that is though and will be looking into it soon.

Before SSD:

performancebeforessd.png~original

After SSD

performanceafterssd.png~original

Read/Write speeds. dark blue = hard drive (WD Blue 1tb), light blue = SSD before optimization, green = SSD after optimization. Makes me want to benchmark a floppy drive just to make my hdd not look so bad ;)

ssdperformancecomaprison.png~original

Last benchmark, doesn't look right. Obviously I can't complain TOO much when looking at the comparison above but it's bugging me to see the random read speed significantly below advertised.

ssdbenchmark.png~original

Edited by Duke23
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You might want to reconsider using RAPID. It is a fancy trick to up the benchmark numbers, but since you put a lot of data in your RAM without your system knowing that it has not been written to disk yet, you stand to lose it in case of a power failure. It is, in my opinion, not worth the risk, since the gains are not noticeable for any human being.

What software do you use to compare the drives?

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I see, I kind of figured that's how RAPID works but thought I'd try it. After reading up on it a bit more I see what you mean about the gain not being that much for most applications, although it did seem to speed up my frequently used programs even more. Kind of wish I could keep just the read cache. I was using Samsung Magician that came with the drive, it was convenient at the time. Since you asked that I'm kind of curious if they would fudge the numbers to make themselves look better. Seems a bit unnecessary though... Here's what CrystalDiskMark has to say.

From left to right: SSD without RAPID, SSD with RAPID, WD Blue 1TB

crystalbenchnorapid.png~original

From left to right: WD MyBook 3TB USB3.0, Seagate Backup Plus 1TB USB3.0, Seagate Freeagent Go 320GB USB2.0

externalbenchmarks.png~original

I might have too many hard drives.

Edited by Duke23
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Since you asked that I'm kind of curious if they would fudge the numbers to make themselves look better. Seems a bit unnecessary though... Here's what CrystalDiskMark has to say.

Nice comparison :) The numbers look impressive for sure. The problem is the reliability issue I mentioned, combined with the fact that the numbers do not really translate to a better user experience. If you look at measured loading times and stuff like that - things that actually change your experience - you quickly see that there is little benefit attached to the impressive numbers from the benchmarks, if there is any at all.

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Right, that's actually the same article I was looking at. I couldn't tell any difference whatsoever except for example when I ran GIMP it would take a few seconds to pop up, but with RAPID it was almost instantaneous because it was already in memory from running it earlier. Useful but not really a godsend since I'd probably keep it guessing about what to store for quick access. Now if I could just get it to load up KSP textures at boot and keep them there that would be something. Although I could make a RAMdisk... Experiment time.

After seeing those numbers verified I'm not too worried about RAPID anyway and I do value reliability because Murphy's Law. But more than double the sequential speeds and random is completely blown out of the water, I can live with that! :)

Edit again: well I guess I know what I'm buying next - more RAM. At least I have control over that.

Screenshot_2014-06-16-13-53-56-1.jpg

Edited by Duke23
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Although I could make a RAMdisk... Experiment time.

Funnily enough I checked that out yesterday or the day before and it seems there are little to no gains. KSP is internally bottlenecked by something, there seems to be a point where all the hardware in the world does not improve anything. A faster CPU, GPU or HDD/SSD/RAMDisk does not do a thing.

Edit again: well I guess I know what I'm buying next - more RAM. At least I have control over that.

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b161/duke396/Screenshot_2014-06-16-13-53-56-1.jpg

Haha, yes, I did exactly the same when I made my RAMDisk :) I was just thinking about buying more RAM actually, as I have started virtualizing certain things and having a bigger RAMDisk is also a big plus. Sadly the prices have gone up quite a bit since I bought the sticks currently in my machine and at the moment I am bleeding cash on a big non-computer related project.

Ideally I would add another 16 GB to make a total of 24 GB. The 8 GB I have now is plenty, until you start fiddling with RAMDisks and virtualization. Well, ideally it would be 32 GB, but that is just silly.

Edited by Camacha
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Confirmed again... The SSD seemed to help "a little" but the RAMDisk didn't change anything.

That's the boat I'm in Camacha. I have 2x4gb G.Skill Ripjaws X that I paid ~$55 for, now the same kit is almost double that! I must have caught a sale or something. I'm looking at a 16gb kit to do the same thing you're talking about but I got 8-8-8-24 timing on the ones I have and the lowest I can find in 16gb kit is 9-9-9-24 so I don't know if they will play nice for dual channel mode. If it slows down the ones I have I guess it's no big deal. I could always try to crank them all up to 1866mhz to compensate :wink:

Edited by Duke23
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I have been experimenting a bit with sandboxing and virtualization via Hyper-V. I am looking to install an obscure software package that I do not fully trust and hoped these methods would help mitigate the risks. Unfortunately installing it in a sandbox will not work because of the complexity of the package and running it in a virtual machine is too slow (although Hyper-V makes it very doable). Guess I will have to bite the bullet and roll the dice. I checked and rechecked the files in every way I know and found little to worry about. That does necessarily mean it is safe, of course, but it is good start.

I do love the sandboxing though, it is a great way of seperating risks from your system and testing stuff without permanent consequences. Well worth the trouble.

That's the boat I'm in Camacha. I have 2x4gb G.Skill Ripjaws X that I paid ~$55 for, now the same kit is almost double that! I must have caught a sale or something.

Not a sale actually; prices were quite low about two years ago. After that, a number of manufacturers reduced production because they were losing money by selling the RAM at that price and now prices have almost doubled.

Unfortunately, these developments are to be expected. Every type of RAM until now has been very expensive when introduced, then gradually got cheaper only to become very expensive again when superseded. Look at DDR2 prices, they will really scare you. Even though DDR4 is not really available yet, the trend is already visible. DDR4 is getting cheaper and DDR3 is only getting more expensive. That is one of the reasons I do not want to wait too long: this computer is probably going to last me a fair bit longer and I would hate to pay even more than what the sticks go for now. I might upgrade hard drives and GPU's, but the basis is still quite quick and money is better spent in other areas of my life. No need to blow cash on a Haswell that is barely any quicker than what I have got now.

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