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Mid life PC upgrade


Gibsonm
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Hi,

I'm looking at an upgrade to the XP Pro machine that runs SB Pro PE (and some other stuff).

Looking at upgrading from 1Gb to 2Gb of RAM (presumably no one thinks this is a bad thing)?

Also looking at going from a Nvidia GEforce 6600GT 256Mb to a Nvidia GEforce 8800GT (512Mb).

Have people here found the 8800 GT acceptable? I'm working on the assumption that doubling the VRAM will improve graphics quality and frame rates which is currently acceptable but I figure can always be improved upon.

Thoughts?

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Looking at upgrading from 1Gb to 2Gb of RAM (presumably no one thinks this is a bad thing)?

It's not a bad thing per se, though SB Pro PE will probably not profit from it. 1 GByte is plenty for it already.

Also looking at going from a Nvidia GEforce 6600GT 256Mb to a Nvidia GEforce 8800GT (512Mb).

Have people here found the 8800 GT acceptable? I'm working on the assumption that doubling the VRAM will improve graphics quality and frame rates which is currently acceptable but I figure can always be improved upon.

More video ram will not increase the image quality per se, and the 256 MB are plenty in excess of the 64 MByte minimum which is needed to load all the stock textures for all objects and the terrain in a given scenario. However, it will give you plenty of headroom to get yourself high resolution texture mods without running out of video ram. I'm not sure if there are enough high resolution texture mods out there that would exceed a total of 256 MByte.

Having said this, other games may profit from more video RAM.

The 8800 will however be a dramatic improvement over the 6600 simply because of the increased computing power. It can churn through the polygons faster, so you will definitely see a higher frame rate and it will allow you to use a bigger screen resolution. That alone may be worth it.

Strictly from a utilitarian perspective and from the point of view from SB Pro PE you may not see dramatic improvements other than a higher frame rate, higher screen resolutions, and eventually benefit from a permanently activated anti aliasing.

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Ssnake,

Thanks for the response and feedback.

I just wanted to ensure that there were no "gotchas" with this card from a SB Pro PE point of view.

Didn't want to do the upgrade just to find that SB Pro PE would no longer work , lockup or somesuch.

As I'm happy with the machine in most other respects, this investment should future proof it to a certain extent.

Thanks again.

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No objections.

The old adage remains true however that consumer electronics are about the worst possible investment, especially if you are buying equipment "with growth potential" for future use. It's cheaper to buy hardware only when you absolutely need it RIGHT AWAY. I don't think that the 8800 is a bad choice, it certainly is a good card. The question however is whether it's so much better for purely DirectX 9 applications since its DX10 capability will remain unused due to your lack of Windows Vista. On the other hand, a pure DirectX 9 chip generation, e.g. 7950 GT, might be equally fast and cheaper.

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I think DX10 Videocards shouldn't be considered at all for at least 1 year or so. The new Windows Millenium 2.0 err. sorry Longhorn err. wrong again "Vista" is a waste of time and a lot of money in hardware.

I'm running SB Pro on 3 different systems right now and I must say a lot depends on your CPU's horsepower - Dual core is definiatly the way to go I think - although it runs OK a single core P4 3Ghz machine as well.

As for the videocard - I'd suggest getting at least one from the so called "mid-range" video cards of the DX9 series.

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Thanks.

The card is primarily required for another (more graphically demanding) simulation. The other product will run with the Nvidia GEforce 6600GT 256Mb but it requires that the various graphic settings be in the mediocre range rather than high quality range.

I wanted to make sure though that buying it wouldn't stop me from playing SB Pro PE.

The box its going into runs Win XP Pro and wont be "upgraded" to Vista (not if I can help it) for the next 4 - 5 years. Once its going well I'm going to leave it alone.

My primary machines are Mac and I wouldn't touch Windows for work with a barge pole. Happily though SB Pro PE works really well under Boot Camp, so I can go to the "dark side" when I'm after some relaxation.

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I think DX10 Videocards shouldn't be considered at all for at least 1 year or so. The new Windows Millenium 2.0 err. sorry Longhorn err. wrong again "Vista" is a waste of time and a lot of money in hardware.

I'm running SB Pro on 3 different systems right now and I must say a lot depends on your CPU's horsepower - Dual core is definiatly the way to go I think - although it runs OK a single core P4 3Ghz machine as well.

As for the videocard - I'd suggest getting at least one from the so called "mid-range" video cards of the DX9 series.

What would some typical mid-range DX9 video cards be? I'm looking to do a major upgrade with a new motherboard, CPU, video card, sound card, RAM, etc.

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The card is primarily required for another (more graphically demanding) simulation. The other product will run with the Nvidia GEforce 6600GT 256Mb but it requires that the various graphic settings be in the mediocre range rather than high quality range.

Just out of curiosity, what is the other simulation?

I just upgraded from a 7300 GT to a slightly overclocked 8800 GT. I posted in another thread about my frame rates. You can max the settings for two of the sliders in SB Pro, but ground cover is a real frame rate killer. I dropped it back from 100 to 30 and got an additional 10 frames per second. You could probably run it maxed if you really wanted.

My computer originally came with a 6600 GT. It was a great card, much better than the 7300. But it didn't like having dust in the fan. :D Heck, I didn't even know it HAD a fan!

If that other simulation is, by any chance, Microsoft Flight Simulator X, don't expect much improvement by the video card upgrade. The biggest boost you'll get from the better card is the ability to run higher screen resolutions at similar frame rates.

Larry

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No nothing from Microsloth (running their operating system is bad enough).

Its Combat Mission:Shock Force (ready for Ssnake to edit this out).

I'm on the beta test team for it and while the smallish scenarios run well (MOUT in a few city blocks) anything with room to move (maps 4km x 4km or so with trees and forests and burning vehicles, etc.) have a marked effect on performance.

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Its Combat Mission:Shock Force (ready for Ssnake to edit this out).

Not meaning to derail the thread, but...

  1. Just because I might disagree with an opinion or I would not like seeing favorable discussions about competing products (just for the sake of the discussion assuming that this would be the case), I would still not edit any user's post.
    Never.
    Besides, it's not violating the forum rules - a reason less to meddle with your posts
  2. Just because my initial reaction ot CMSF hasn't been too favorable it doesn't mean that I hate it. Quite the contrary, I'm very happy that CM made the transition from WW2 to modern, it's just that I had higher hopes for it.

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Well while the chain gang works to repair the railway...

I put that in as I fully understand that a forum devoted to product X probably wouldn't like a discussion about product Y, hence my initial reference to "another simulation product". Indeed happy for you to edit as appropriate (as long as there is some reason as to why included).

I see the two products filling two discrete niches. As mentioned the other product does have issues with even small manoeuvre boxes and unless you want to be in a AFV "knife fight" (Battle Sabot everytime) its probably not for those here.

Also you can't man crew positions, the Tac AI is different, etc.

They are two very different views on a similar area.

Meanwhile back at the graphic cards ...

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...I fully understand that a forum devoted to product X probably wouldn't like a discussion about product Y...

Yeah, I see the logic behind this, but it always looks like a lack of self-confidence to me when others do this.

I don't claim that SB Pro PE is the best thing there ever was and will be (though I think that we managed to put a decent product together here about which we certainly need not be ashamed). So, why would we fear honest comparisons?

Others may feel that they need to suppress dissenting opinions that are threatening their fragile bubble of hype, but that's not eSim's policy.

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Just because my initial reaction ot CMSF hasn't been too favorable it doesn't mean that I hate it. Quite the contrary, I'm very happy that CM made the transition from WW2 to modern, it's just that I had higher hopes for it.

Slight OT:

Myself and Zipuli have developed two very challenging scenarios for it so if you want to have a go send us a PM!!

Plus if you can handle the crazy PBEM file sizes feel free to send me a challenge to a game :)

/OT

back on track....

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Not saying these are the only ones but the Nvidia 7 Series seems to fit the bill.
Thanks. I was looking at the 7600GT, so it is good to know that it would work with Pro PE.
Here's an article that may be useful to you:http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/01/03/the_best_gaming_graphics/

You can also find more info on that website too.

That's a great website where I have already done some looking.

If that other simulation is, by any chance, Microsoft Flight Simulator X, don't expect much improvement by the video card upgrade. The biggest boost you'll get from the better card is the ability to run higher screen resolutions at similar frame rates.

My "other simulation" is not Flight Simulator X, but Flight Simulator 2004. That is my other major reason for upgrading. It definitely is hardware-intensive.

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