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Dedicated Sim Computer Specs

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by synthetic.angel, Feb 11, 2020.

  1. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    Hi Guys

    I am about to acquire a new PC tower, which I intend to use only for simulation software. The main purpose is to "research" the likes of iRacing, BeamNG, rFactor2, GPBikes and a clutch of other serious PC/Steam exclusive motor-racing simulations/projects, but also TS2020 and TSW (on PC), and perhaps Derail and the upcoming Tran-Siberian Railway Simulation (the one where most of the time you hunt wolves and drink very alcoholic clear liquids, and then wander around a blizzard with a chainsaw cutting down trees....).

    I intend to rig the PC graphics card outputs to a 55" 4k TV via HDMI, a smaller monitor (HDMI or RGB) for viewing keyboard inputs, and a PS4 PlayStation VR decoder (which I reckon I can hack to run on a PC's HDMI out).

    I have found a Windows 10 PC, for just under £900, with following specs:
    • AMD Ryzen 7 2700X Eight Core 4.3GHz Turbo CPU
    • 16GB 2400MHz DDR4 RAM / 480GB SSD + 1TB Hard Drive
    • Radeon RX 5700 XT 8GB HDMI Graphics Card / HDMI 4K, USB 3.0, WiFi
    I believe the GPU will be an ASUS brand, and will have x3 HDMI out. I was very surprised to see this spec, at this price, and I think I would normally expect to pay £1200 for it, so I am going to snap it up....

    But before I do.... I thought I'd ask for your opinions

    The spec seems to easily clear the recommended specification for TS2020 (as published on Steam), although I am unclear if the RAM, at a potentially sluggish 2400MHz will be a bottleneck.

    Questions:
    - Will this PC run TS2020 and TSW, with any performance advantage over the published Steam spec?
    - Is there anything about the spec that makes you think "ouch", bearing in mind the £900 cost?
    - Is there any clear advatage, with TS2020 and TSW, in getting a completely different CPU chipset and better RAM, and stumping up another £200 to £300 quid?

    Also - I am a sofa sitter, so I am assuming that when Steam says that TS2020 can be played with an XBox controller, does that actually mean that it can be played on the PC with an XBox controller? The idea of using a keyboard for TS2020 and TSW makes me feel slightly ill, even a backlit keyboard, because, oh, I dunno, I probably have no short-term memory... or I really can't be bothered to learn key combinations....

    Any and all views appreciated - especially if you think that this set up is crazy-stupid.


     
  2. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    You can drive some trains with the Xbox 360 Controller plugged in to your PCs USB
    The General instructions can be found in the Manual which show the buttons to use to perform various tasks
    But a lot of 3rd party add ons don't work with the Xbox 360 and there are no train specific instructions for the Xbox

    Peter
     
  3. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    Very many thanks. I wasn't expecting the controller functionality to be DLC/train specific.... How very odd.... It's almost like the DLC themselves contain all of the functionality...

    I had wondered if I would have to map an XBox controller (or any controller) to the keyboard and mouse..., but if the 360 controller works with DTG default content, including the South London Network, then that would be enough for me, and if it doesn't work with free content, then it's not a loss.

    Anyway, thanks again....!
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
  4. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    The DLC is designed to contain the functionality.
    I use my Keyboard as it's easier than the mouse as I don't need to look at some of the controls to see the effect they are having
    So whatever train I drive I know W puts it in to Forward, A applies power, D decreases power, ' applies the brakes and ; releases them.
    The system maps the Xbox 360 to the same key functions.

    When I said 3rd party add-ons I meant Paid for Add-ons like Armstrong Powerhouse which ave a lot of extra features
    On their website you find this
    Please note, this pack is NOT compatible with any external controllers such as the XBOX or RailDriver.

    Worth a check for such things if you purchase any 3rd party stuff

    If you have an Xbox controller plug it in and try - nothing lost but do it before starting the game

    Peter
     
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  5. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    Oh wow - brilliant advice - thanks! I don't actually have XBox, or any handheld controller designed for PC, so I will have to buy one - and I'll research it very carefully given what you have said. I will need one anyway, for the GPBikes sim. Maybe I should just get a wireless backlit keyboard after all..... Thanks for your warnings.

    Anyway - the WAD layout seems vaguely familiar to me... must be something to do with having very briefly tinkered with Trainz or MSTS very many years ago, or with the LUL simulator I have knocking about somewhere. Or maybe it was Manic Miner on the ZX Spectrum... who knows...? ;-)

    I'd add that I am slightly surprised that it is in any way complicated on TS2020 to have a six-axis 12 button controller... a basic controller.... and for it not to be completely standard. Really weird...! I have TSW on PS4, and broadly speaking the Dual Shock does an excellent job, and it's very tactile. Hence my reluctance to go for a keyboard... I sometimes drop in a WiFi USB keyboard to tinker with the HUD on TSW, although they haven't mapped the brake...

    ... in what world is any of this stuff complicated....(?) .... but I guess that now I know.... *shrugs*
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
  6. Scottish Train Girl

    Scottish Train Girl Member

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    Sometimes i use a Playstation Dualshock 4 and it works beautifully with some of my Steam games such as the Witcher 3, i just plug in Steam recognises it straight away. Cannot say about Train Simulator though as I much prefer using a keyboard it feels more natural for trains.

    Stephanie
     
  7. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    Thank you - that's good to know, as I have a few DS4s hanging around, and there's maybe a chance that they'll at least be good for the GPBike community sim stuff and maybe Flight Simulator if I get that. Also... maybe there'll be a way to hack to get it to run TS202x, assuming there's some commonality between an XBox controller and a DS4 (two-stick, six, axis, 2x4 button clusters... etc...).

    But you've said something that intrigues me, and maybe this is a very silly question...

    Does TS202x have to be online and connected to Steam to actually run?

    I don't have anything to do with Steam at the moment (and I have a feeling that this might be one of the main reasons why I always turned away from it...). But this tower will be Steam enabled - and it sure as hell won't have any of my life history personal information on it though... not even shopping... (except, for Steam...) ;-)
     
  8. Scottish Train Girl

    Scottish Train Girl Member

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    You can run Steam in offline mode and still run Train Simulator. Hope this helps.

    Ps: I also have Train Sim World on PS4 but im getting it soon again for the Pc as the Dualshock 4 drives me crazy playing that lol.

    Stephanie
     
  9. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    Okay - that's great... (re Steam). Thanks!

    And yeah - we're complete opposites re the DS4...! I do wonder why DS4 drives you crazy - I find it pretty much ideal. Although, if you are running older diesels and some very old German electrics, then the L1 button (brake release) can cause issues, if you hold it too long (and this will not happen with taps on a keyboard). I have a feeling that you are going to much prefer TSW on the PC, and not just because of the keyboard - a key thing that is missing on PS4 is the mouse zoom....

    EDITED TO ADD: Just realised that I will probably get an XBox controller for the PC anyway, because some of the titles I am after are XBox titles, although preferably they'll all work with my wheel.
     
  10. Scottish Train Girl

    Scottish Train Girl Member

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    Well for one thing, playing TSW on the ps4 is not immersive enough for me, i mean sitting on the couch just doesn’t feel the same like when I am on my desk with Train Simulator and for some reason It also makes me nauseous. Hopefully I will be able to finally enjoy TSW once i get it again on Steam.

    Stephanie
     
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  11. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    A silly part of the Steam set up is you need to be Online to then go Offline.
    I don't bother going Offline in Steam but instead I just disconnect my cable to my Internet Hub.
    Which stops Win 10 doing things in the background

    Peter
     
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  12. aeunexcore

    aeunexcore New Member

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    I believe AMD utilizes higher speed RAMs better. If you can get yourself at least a 3200MHz, i think you'll be set
     
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  13. Michael Newbury

    Michael Newbury Well-Known Member

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    I had a issue last night while trying to do a run on the Peninsula Corridor in TSW and during the run I encountered larger hang ups in the game. I have never encountered such hang ups before. I was able to finish the run, but once I got out of the game Steam ran a update while I was playing and required a restart. This is not the first time this has happened, and it upsets me because I have the extra layer of login security. Which means if I want to login back in I need to turn my cell phone back on. I have also had this happen while playing TS2020 sadly when it happens in this game it locks up entirely and I end up having to restart the computer.

    There has to be a way to prevent the Steam app from updating while you are playing.
     
  14. Tomas9970

    Tomas9970 Well-Known Member

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    It's in the Steam settings under downloads. You must have enabled it at some point because it's disabled by default.
     
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  15. Michael Newbury

    Michael Newbury Well-Known Member

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    Under settings and going into downloads the only I can see has a check mark is throttle downloads while streaming, the other two options allow downloads during gameplay and display download rates in bits per sec are unchecked.

    When I get some time I will email Steam to see if they have a solution for this, as it is very annoying.
     
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  16. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for this - and to everyone else that provided superb advice on controllers, and getting started with TS2020, etc.

    After about four weeks of thinking, and some intensive research on RAM speeds (etc).... it turns out that 3200 MHz is potentially the sweet spot, for absolute outright performance with just a CPU in low core. But with multi-cores, coupled with a 8Gb GPU, the 2400Mhz performs really quite well, and sometimes (but rarely) better than 3200Mhz, especially with the applications I am interested in (most of which will run at 120 to 200 FPS with the system I am getting...!). At worst, the 2400 Mhz is apparently about 2% slower than 3200 Mhz, but it runs everything cooler as well... And it's cheaper. And I am probably at about the limit of where I can go without getting extra cooling kit (so cheaper again) - cos it is a cool running processor as well (albeit not mega powerful). If anything, it looks like the CPU is now the bottleneck (given the GPU power), but I am fine with that.

    I don't actually need the PC until the summer, but with the Covid-19 playing havoc, I am going to pick up the PC now, just in case the worst happens with chip supply, etc, pushing prices through the roof.

    So, I will finally be ordering this PC this weekend - and if it arrives on time, then I might get TS2020 on it, in the March madness sale.... ;-)

    So thanks again chaps.... and chapesses....!
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2020
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