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Running Train Simulator 21 On Mac?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by w.lichko, Feb 14, 2021.

  1. w.lichko

    w.lichko Well-Known Member

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    Hello, fellow train simmers, just popping in from the TSW forum. :)

    I have a question:

    I'm very interested in purchasing TS21, it really appeals to me, plus the current Humble Bundle deal is extremely tempting. Unfortunately, I don't have a Windows gaming PC and I'm not willing to invest in one. I do have an upgraded first-generation Mac Pro, well capable of running TS21. Is it possible by installing Windows using Boot Camp?

    Wondering what the exerience is like, running TS21 in particular on a Mac?
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
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  2. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    I doubt that a first gen Mac Pro would be "well" capable of running TS2021, but it depends on what processor and GPU is it using. What's its spec (RAM, CPU, GPU)?
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
  3. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    Have a search on YouTube. I'm sure I've seen a video showing how to do this.
     
  4. Aryffordd

    Aryffordd Member

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    I’ve only ever run TS1 on a Mac. There’s potentially 3 ways of doing it, but I’ve only found that 2 of them are feasible.

    1) Run it under Bootcamp. This works perfectly well, and I did so on an i5-based MacBook Pro (2017 model). The quality of the graphics will be very dependent on the graphics card your Mac is using - on my former MacBook Pro, it ran ok-ish at fairly low settings (in terms of resolution and in terms of quality settings) using it’s integrated graphics, and quite well when using an external Thunderbolt 3 eGPU with a AMD rx570 card. Unless, that is, London was involved in the route, in which case frame rates dropped precipitously around London! You don’t mention your specs, but as it’s a Mac Pro and you’ve mentioned that its been upgraded, you might well get good results, depending on whether drivers for your graphics card are available for both Mac and Windows.

    2) Run it under Codeweavers CrossOver. This is what I currently do on my current Apple M1-based Mac. For me currently, this is my only option, but it still works well - far better, in fact, than the MacBook Pro with integrated graphics. Codeweavers do a free trial, and as the Humblebundle is so cheap, its probably worth a shot at this option. I was genuinely surprised at how well this worked, but that may have been down to the strength of the Apple silicon CPU and Rosetta 2, combined with a very vast NVMe SSD, allowing for WINE (CrossOver’s underlying technology) to work well. How well it could run on your machine is unknown, but theoretically, with less to go wrong as you’re on an Intel chip, it should be better! One advantage of this route is that a license for CrossOver costs a lot less than a license for Windows 10.

    There is a big caveat though to using CrossOver - I’ve found that there’s the odd route that have a graphics glitch with them that makes them unplayable on my Mac. Your mileage may, as they say, vary. Whether this is down to CrossOver and it’s video drivers or the translation process in Rosetta 2 I don’t know - it may not cause an issue for you on an actual Intel chip. Most routes work perfectly, but on some it goes horribly horribly wrong and nothing I tried in settings in CrossOver or in TS1 made any difference.

    3) Run it under Parallels or VMWare Fusion - this produces appalling results when I tried on my former MacBook Pro. The virtualisation software never seems to be able to deal with the graphics, no matter what the developers claim, either on integrated graphics or under Thunderbolt 3 eGPU. I’d probably not bother, especially as you’re using older hardware.


    In general, something to take into consideration is the speed of your mass storage - TS1 works a lot better on a fast SSD, rather than running from a conventional spinny hard disk.

    There’s another factor to consider, many Xeon processors are designed to concentrate on multi-core and/or multi-CPU processing, However, TS1, while it can take *some* use of additional cores, its predominately a single-core heavy application, that is heavily dependent on the single-core strength of your CPU.

    My advice, for what it’s worth, would be to try Bootcamp first, especially if you own a Windows license. If you don’t already own Windows and money is an issue, try the CrossOver trial.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
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  5. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    All good points. TS sees little advantage from multi-core processors, so single thread performance is more important, and I can't see a 1st gen Mac Pro delivering on that front.
     
  6. Aryffordd

    Aryffordd Member

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    Might be "good enough" though? Without knowing the OP's specs, its hard to judge, and either way, one thing I've learnt from these forums is that people have very different expectations about what's classed as "acceptable performance".
     
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  7. w.lichko

    w.lichko Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for your very helpful and informative response, I really appreciate it. :)

    I didn’t know about CrossOver (thanks for the tip), but I’ll stick with your advice and try running it under Bootcamp first, then under CrossOver if needed. As you mentioned with the Intel chip in my computer Codeweavers CrossOver should work even better, presumably without that odd graphics glitch.

    Sorry about the late reply, here are the specs:

    It’s a 2010 model (Mac Pro 5,1)
    running macOS 10.14 Mojave
    Xeon 6-core 3.33 GHz
    Radeon RX580 Sapphire Pulse ( 8 GB )
    Main storage is NVMe SSD 970 EVO Plus
    32 GB RAM
    Two displays connected / available: a suitably old school Apple Cinema Display @ 2560 x 1440 and a newer 4K UHD display.

    That’s a pretty badass computer considering it’s 11 years old! :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
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  8. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    That should be OK with medium settings at 1080p but I doubt you'll be using the 4K display. The Xeon's single core performance while running under a layer of emulation will be the issue here. I've got a 6 core processor here... probably the Sandybridge equivalent as it's of a similar age, but it's over clocked at 4.7GHz. At stock speeds (also 3.3GHz base clock) TS chugs quite a bit, and that's running natively on a Windows machine. CPU performance is pretty important with TS. My GPU is on a par with yours, maybe a tad slower (GTX980). I'd say medium to high settings at 1080p would give a fairly good experience. It depends how much of a performance hit Bootcamp gives... not well up on Macs. I'm assuming it is just software emulation? No way to 4k though unless you think around 15fps or lower is playable: That CPU and GPU on an actual PC would not really be able to cope with 4k. 1440 maybe.. again with things dialled back a bit. If Bootcamp has little performance overhead, it may be surprising though. It woudl be interesting to find out. Let us know.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
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  9. w.lichko

    w.lichko Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a lot for the info, yes running at around medium to high settings at 1080p sounds about right to me as well.

    I also unsure if gaming in bootcamp will have a noticeable hit on performance, it’s a possibility. Although according to Aryffordd it works perfectly, so I’ll just have to try it out for myself. Sadly, my exam week starts tomorrow, so I’ll try to install TS21 by the end of next week before the bundle expires. I’ll keep you all updated. :)
     
  10. Aryffordd

    Aryffordd Member

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    Pookey - Apple’s Bootcamp is just dual-booting between macOS and Windows, in much the same way people have dual-boot windows and Linux machines. The only real difference is that Apple installs a few extra drivers to deal with Mac-specific hardware. So there’s no reason to believe that Windows wouldn’t be running at near-identical speeds to a similarly spec’d Windows machine. They’re both just intel PCs at the end of the day, and that’s certainly been my experience in terms of performance.

    It’s not running Windows under emulation, or under a compatibility layer like WINE, it’s just Windows running directly on a slightly differently configured Intel PC with a slightly different EFI.
     
  11. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    Right, so if it's not actually emulation, then he'll get reasonable performance at 1440p I would have thought... maybe. I'm dubious about a 3.3GHz Xeon in a mainly single threaded game though.
     
  12. Aryffordd

    Aryffordd Member

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    It’ll be interesting to see how it runs.
     
  13. w.lichko

    w.lichko Well-Known Member

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    Hallo Pookeyhead and Aryffordd,
    I finally finished updating all the software on my Mac Pro yesterday, I'm quite pleased with the outcome, but I still have a few questions.

    I opted to try CrossOver first (because I don’t own a windows license), and I’m glad I did! CrossOver is awesome, it’s super easy, cheaper, and surprising works very well, thanks a lot for the recommendation, Aryffordd. The only downside is that I believe you can’t use any mods, enhancements or repaints, I could be wrong though.

    At “high” graphical quality settings I’m running at an average of 15 fps at “medium” graphical quality settings I’m running at an average of 30 fps. I’m still fiddling with the Anti-Aliasing and Texture Filtering, haven’t found the optimal settings and balance yet. Overall its actually a pretty good experience.

    I’ve noticed steam or specifically TS21 only uses at 4 GB of my total RAM, and seems to be capped at that amount. I believe it's impacting my performance as well. I have two functional 16 GB sticks installed. Is there any way to enable steam or TS21 to utilize the rest of my RAM?

    Also I downloaded “DirectX for Modern Games” are there any other tools I should download? What about DXVK, or no?

    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  14. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    When I was running TS on machines with integrated graphics I found the best approach was to turn everything down then push up one setting or other a bit at a time and see if the difference was worth any frame rate hit- although FPS was pretty terrible generally so it could be hard to perceive a difference. The things I wouldn't compromise on we're scenery density and viewing distance having gaps in the scenery and features popping into existence in the middle distance being more distracting than low FPS in my humble- YMMV of course. Antialiasing is a bit of a fudge to make lower resolution pictures look better. Running at QHD, unless you're using a very big screen, you probably don't need to push that too hard.

    Firstly are you running the 64 bit version? TS was 32 bit only until 2019 so incapable of accessing more than 4GB and, while the recent New Zealand route and a few third party routes recommend using the 64 bit .exe, most were created before then with that 4GB limit in mind. It's no bad thing to have the elbow room but it's likely that the routes and scenarios you've tried just don't need to use more than 4GB.
     
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  15. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    Are you using the 32bit version of Train SImulator? If so, 4GB is the max you can use. Run the 64bit version and it will use what it needs beyond that.

    As for settings.. here's mine, and I'm running a very similar chip (Sandybridge E) and my GPU is of a similar performance. Basically my i7-3960X is just a non-Xeon version of the same CPU, so apart from not having ECC memory support, there's almost no difference. I do however, clock mine at 4.7GHz, and TS is quite CPU dependent.

    Here's the main screen. I have Dynamic Clouds turned off because I have the Armstrong Powerhouse Sky & Weather Enhancement pack installed.
    20210223125247_1.jpg

    Here's advanced screen 1 showing my anti-aliasing settings. Water quality is quite a frame hit, but I tell no difference between max and one notch down except 5 fps... so knock that down one.
    20210223125258_1.jpg

    Here's advanced screen 2. Ambient occlusion is off because I have RW Enhancer Pro taking care of that for me. Depth of Field is off because it's rubbish LOL.
    20210223125303_1.jpg

    I get around 25 to 35fps @ 2560x1600, and that's with RW Enhancer and Reshade adding 6 extra shading effects. So if after setting yours the same you can't get there, then it must be an emulation overhead, or just a difference in performance between Macs and PCs, or my higher clock speed... or a combination of any of those.

    Glad you got it working though, as there's life in these old machines yet.
     
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  16. w.lichko

    w.lichko Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all for the setting tips and for sharing your (Pookeyhead) personal settings as well, it's very helpful for a PC gaming newbie like me. :)

    Sorry I forgot to mention that I am running the 64bit version of train simulator. I guess it always depends on the route and scenario, I'm just wondering if the RAM memory regularly exceeds exceeds 4 GB in the 64bit version, in a general sense.

    Thanks that's a good approach, I'll try it out once I have more time to spare.

    In order to achieve 25-35 fps, I found my slider settings (Scenery quality, Scenery Density, etc.) have to be set slightly more in the middle range. However the exact same Anti-Aliasing and Texture Filtering settings work quite well for me too.
     
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  17. Aryffordd

    Aryffordd Member

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    Really glad this is working for you, Wolfgang.

    You can add enhancement packs and what not, but it depends on the installers. Here's what to do...

    In Crossover, select the bottle that TS is in the lefthand pane and it'll show you some options...

    Screenshot 2021-02-23 at 13.46.32.png

    double-click the "Run command..." option and navigate to the addon's installer file...

    Screenshot 2021-02-23 at 13.51.07.png

    Click on "Run" and it should work as you'd expect on a Windows machine. At least, some of them do...

    Screenshot 2021-02-23 at 13.47.36.png

    (Apologies if you've already worked this out!)
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
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  18. Aryffordd

    Aryffordd Member

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    Oh, by the way, I'd be *really* interested to know if Fife Circle Line works for you! (But don't buy it especially, heh). That's the route I have colossal problems with.
     
  19. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    As for RAM use... here's mine running WCML South at Euston, which is pretty intense.
    Screenshot 2021-02-23 14.02.44.png

    So total system usage is just under 10GB. However... when I look at the use of each application...
    Screenshot 2021-02-23 14.06.34.png

    ..then Railworks64.exe is only using 3.7GB. How are you measuring it? Total system use, or just the application alone?

    My CPU use is low when running TS actually (21%) so maybe not as CPU intensive as others would have you believe Screenshot 2021-02-23 14.06.02.png ... in fact, CPU usage was so low, and clock speeds tended to hover around 4.1 to 4.3GHz while running the game. Having said all this, it is only really using 2 cores, and 1 core is being absolutely ravaged! LOL... so 1.5 out of 6 cores will never really show more than twenty something percent total usage... so maybe it is CPU intensive... just only one of them. Why it didn't clock up to 4.7 with one core at 100% though is weird... but that's neither here nor there... I'll dig into my BIOS later.

    My GPU however, was being hammered at between 95 and 100% all the time. (where it ramps up to 100 is where I started the game).
    Screenshot 2021-02-23 14.03.42.png

    I'm not sure how helpful this is, but interesting to take a look at nonetheless.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
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  20. w.lichko

    w.lichko Well-Known Member

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    I'm very happy too, considering my computer is as old as the Train Simulator game engine :D

    Sweet, I didn't even know that, thanks for the step by step guide/screenshots. That means I can install the AP Sky&Weather pack and possibly other 3rd party enhancements/add-ons!

    I played the route yesterday and today and it works very well, without any issues, could be because I'm on an actual intel chip as you mentioned earlier. Except for this black water texturing glitch (but I think that's unrelated), so it's certainly not unplayable for me. Screen Shot 2021-02-23 at 3.51.05 PM.png


    I measure the usage with iStat Menus.

    It is interesting indeed, here are my stats running the Norddeutsche Bahn:

    My CPU (intensively using few cores) at around 50% and interestingly my GPU running quite low.
    Screen Shot 2021-02-23 at 4.13.06 PM.png

    Sensors and temperatures:
    Screen Shot 2021-02-23 at 4.15.28 PM.png

    And Steam's memory usage is under 4 GB:
    Screen Shot 2021-02-23 at 4.25.52 PM.png
     
  21. Aryffordd

    Aryffordd Member

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    Maybe I need to buy a cheap 10 year old mac then! Here's some fun from when I play it. I'm convinced there's something slightly different about how the route is built... :)

    Screenshot_Fife Circle Line Edinburgh to Dunfermline_56.00848--3.39244_17-33-18.jpg Screenshot_Fife Circle Line Edinburgh to Dunfermline_55.95132--3.19343_14-01-50.jpg Screenshot_Fife Circle Line Edinburgh to Dunfermline_55.93970--3.24505_11-12-26.jpg Screenshot_Fife Circle Line Edinburgh to Dunfermline_55.94054--3.24044_11-12-42.jpg
     
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  22. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. Looks like with my machine the GPU is doing most of the heavy lifting, yet on yours, it's CPU. I wonder if this is anything to do with not natively running windows/Direct X?
     
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