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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Skill Changes, Part 2 (07/15/21)

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Author Topic: Which aspect of a computer is the most important for Starsector?  (Read 4060 times)

Ishman

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Re: Which aspect of a computer is the most important for Starsector?
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2020, 06:26:03 PM »

Yup but I wouldn't mind been proven wrong actually. Could you link the benchmark you were thinking of, Modo44? Preferably using the Ryzen 3800 or 3700 as base.

He is right that intel holds the lead in single threaded performance, so something like the 9600k outperforms the 3600x by 10-20frames (at 1080p, around 160-180fps)...

But if you step above that entry level and either want your computer to not implode while doing multiple things at once with it, or do anything else with it that can utilize threading, we get to comparisons between a 3900x , versus intel's insanity that is its higher end cpu lineup, like the 10900k. A ~$450 cpu that crushes a cpu that sells so poorly it's discounted by more than a $100 and still ends up ~$900.

And this disregards that it's looking much, much worse in the comparison department with AMD's next design.
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huhn

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Re: Which aspect of a computer is the most important for Starsector?
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2020, 08:01:46 PM »

as an RX 5700 Xt user i'm still daily used to the driver just crashing(usually not affecting the game anymore).
i have serious FPS problem in starsector even vanilla the GPU is not really doing anything when the game runs doesn't even use normal clock or anything but CPU load is very high. but as soon as you even name AMD you just get an "AMD can't do openGL" it's not like starsector is the only openGL game and the GPU isn't really doing anything but you can't get help on this forum to get deeper into it because you named AMD.
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elite24

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Re: Which aspect of a computer is the most important for Starsector?
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2020, 01:15:02 PM »

@huhn The reason you are seeing the "AMD can't do openGL" response is because it really is a brick wall when it comes to running Stsarsector on AMD graphics in Windows. Starsector uses the LWJGL library and openGL graphics, and the AMD drivers for openGL on Windows are pretty much a lost cause for various reasons.

I'd highly suggest following others suggestions on the forums and try running Starsector in Linux. I've heard AMD's openGL drivers for Linux are significantly better and should lead to a much better playing experience.
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elite24

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Re: Which aspect of a computer is the most important for Starsector?
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2020, 01:50:17 PM »

@Ishman: the intel 10900k is not priced at ~$900. It's MSRP is $539.99 and you can currently buy it for that price from Best Buy for example. The price you linked to is a 3rd party reseller selling the CPU at an insane markup. Once Newegg has the CPU back in stock the price will return to MSRP (fair to criticize Intel's lack of supply for the chip of course, but this is a standard thing to see in the tech space, AMD has plenty of experience with paper launches as well). There are also plenty of Intel CPU's that can multi-thread very effectively and not implode, which I discuss in more detail below.


@Cyan Leader: I'd definitely heed the advice seen I a few comments and wait a month if you can. There are some very big and anticipated releases coming from Nvidia's GPU division in September, and AMD's CPU and GPU division in September and October respectively. These releases will potentially have major implications in both the CPU and GPU spaces. For example, it is anticipated that AMD Ryzen 4 CPU's will finally put the last nail in Intel's coffin and close the single-threaded performance gap held by Intel CPU's and really put Intel on the backseat, forcing down prices. Furthermore, the GPU releases from AMD and NVIDIA are suspected to be the most competitive they've been in years (and have led to some wild behind the scenes jujitsu between them with their chip suppliers TMSC and Samsung).

However, the best thing about waiting for these releases is that it will push the previous gen hardware prices down, allowing you to pick up current gen (as of August 2020) components for reduced to significantly reduced prices just by waiting a month. The reseller market will also be filled with excellent deals as people look to sell their current hardware to upgrade to the newly released tech. So buy either the newest stuff or take advantage of the cut prices, either way you win by waiting right now, if you can afford to wait another month or two.

As for a discussion about which CPU is best for you, I'd highly recommend these two videos from Gamers Nexus and Hardware Unboxed (can't go wrong with either):

If I was building a system PURELY for Starsector performance right now, I'd be looking hard at the Intel 10600k. Excellent gaming chip with it's top-of-the-line single threaded performance and with 6-cores/12-threads you have plenty of headroom for other lightly multi-threaded tasks.

This may not be the best CPU for you however! It all depends on what you plan to do with your PC and what your budget is. If you are building a performance gaming PC, the 10600k is likely the one for you, but if you plan on doing any rendering or workstation-esque workloads then you should be looking at Ryzen (in general, there are 10900k exceptions, and this doesn't touch on used hardware). There is no one best PC or processor these days, it all depends on what you want to do with your computer. The videos linked above do a great job breaking this down.

Bottom line, consider waiting and seeing how the landscape shapes out, as we are right on the inflection point. But still check out the videos above as they give a great feel for the current landscape and an excellent benchmark to compare against when things change.


« Last Edit: August 27, 2020, 02:17:58 PM by elite24 »
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jlrperkins

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Re: Which aspect of a computer is the most important for Starsector?
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2020, 11:26:20 AM »

Also keep in mind performance will be appalling with AMD video cards on Windows, but less so on Linux...
I was thinking of upgrading GTX 980 to RX 5700 XT recently and I would have ordered the card already if i didn't run into posts like these. I am in a really big dilemma because funny enough starsector is that good of a game that I'm thinking of going for 2070 SUPER instead, but I'd rather have a dualboot with linux if that would gurantee me at least similar performance to my GTX 980. If anyone tech-savvy could confirm this for me I'd greatly appreciate it.

Alright, from my experience as the owner of a RX 5700, I can tell you that this card is absolutely NOT recommended for Starsector. The problem is that the newer AMD cards have subpar OpenGL support, and when it comes to older revisions of the OpenGL standard (like Starsector uses), support goes from subpar to literally non-existant. Seriously, an old game I have no longer benefits from any form of hardware acceleration and is now executed on the CPU...

If you have an older (4 years or so) AMD card you will probably have a much better experience, at the time AMD had not gone full-bore on Vulkan and was still paying some attention to OpenGL. However you will probably have to hunt for a specific set of drivers for the card (there's a post somewhere in these forums where an user tells the exact version of the Detonator AMD drivers that actually worked fine for the game).

And if this all sounds like the hassle it is, you can simply opt for a nVidia card and sidestep it completely...
« Last Edit: August 28, 2020, 11:29:07 AM by jlrperkins »
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Flix

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Re: Which aspect of a computer is the most important for Starsector?
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2020, 01:02:40 PM »

Also keep in mind performance will be appalling with AMD video cards on Windows, but less so on Linux...
I was thinking of upgrading GTX 980 to RX 5700 XT recently and I would have ordered the card already if i didn't run into posts like these. I am in a really big dilemma because funny enough starsector is that good of a game that I'm thinking of going for 2070 SUPER instead, but I'd rather have a dualboot with linux if that would gurantee me at least similar performance to my GTX 980. If anyone tech-savvy could confirm this for me I'd greatly appreciate it.

Alright, from my experience as the owner of a RX 5700, I can tell you that this card is absolutely NOT recommended for Starsector. The problem is that the newer AMD cards have subpar OpenGL support, and when it comes to older revisions of the OpenGL standard (like Starsector uses), support goes from subpar to literally non-existant. Seriously, an old game I have no longer benefits from any form of hardware acceleration and is now executed on the CPU...

If you have an older (4 years or so) AMD card you will probably have a much better experience, at the time AMD had not gone full-bore on Vulkan and was still paying some attention to OpenGL. However you will probably have to hunt for a specific set of drivers for the card (there's a post somewhere in these forums where an user tells the exact version of the Detonator AMD drivers that actually worked fine for the game).

And if this all sounds like the hassle it is, you can simply opt for a nVidia card and sidestep it completely...

This really explains a lot, thanks. If this is so it would explain why I haven't been having all these AMD problems with my r9 390 (5 year old card). I will definitely wait and see what new hardware is coming from AMD/Nvidia since i want to upgrade the card and Starsector is one of the main games I play.
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Schwartz

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Re: Which aspect of a computer is the most important for Starsector?
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2020, 02:14:34 PM »

The problem is that AMD can't afford the driver teams. They are throwing some OpenGL fixes at Linux - where it makes sense - and almost exclusively DirectX fixes at Windows. They even let the 5700 lineup suffer bad Dx9 performance because it's old and may not be as relevant as newer tech (I disagree). They also discontinued all Windows 8 drivers for the same reason. Cutting spending where it hurts the least. This is the result of years of not turning a profit.

As far as importance, it's definitely the CPU. But I don't agree that this has to be an all-or-nothing decision. Always be price/performance conscious. I recently got a 3700X because it's just a beast for productivity stuff. And even when I play Starsector, I may be wanting to stream, or encode a movie, or have other stuff happen at the same time.

A 2D OpenGL game is not going to be a good universal benchmark for future computing. A setup that plays the game well is good enough for me.
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Ishman

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Re: Which aspect of a computer is the most important for Starsector?
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2020, 09:09:46 AM »

snip

MSRP doesn't matter if there's no supply. You could get the 1080ti for $500 in 2018, the 2080ti is ONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED right now, but good luck picking one of those up for less than $1500.
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elite24

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Re: Which aspect of a computer is the most important for Starsector?
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2020, 11:13:07 PM »

snip

MSRP doesn't matter if there's no supply. You could get the 1080ti for $500 in 2018, the 2080ti is ONE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED right now, but good luck picking one of those up for less than $1500.

Yep MSRP isn't always the best metric, and supply is often a limiting factor when it comes to tech purchases (see AMD threadripper and Radeon VII, Intel X-series, and the Nvidia 2080 Ti as you mentioned). However, it's certainly a better price to performance metric than a 3rd party reseller selling the chip at a 200% markup because the chip is out of stock (and it's certainly not discounted). Context on pricing is key, because pricing changes (and in this case will return to MSRP once a new batch is shipped out, Intel is really pushing their 14 nm process to the edge of the sector and it's showing).

There is more that makes price to performance calculations difficult of course. Prices can vary wildly depending on which region you are buying in, along with a variety of other factors (don't forget to check the used hardware market!). But that's a much wider convo.
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eidolad

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Re: Which aspect of a computer is the most important for Starsector?
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2020, 05:56:00 PM »

Not all AMD owners have issues in Star Sector.  Newest hardware AMD with their middle-grade GPU card is just fine for me.

Last December, I upgraded my 10 year old system, and definitely had Starsector performance as a checklist item once the build was done.

I took my hoarded funds and hand built with 32gb ram, AMD 3900x cpu, AMD 5700xt Sapphire Nitro and went live December 19th.  The 5700xt is a "tide me over several years until AMD comes out with the next generation".  Yes, I build and buy non-Intel/NVidia to keep competition and price pressure alive.  I tend to keep the same core hardware for about a decade of run time before building a new one.

I won't go into the other hardware specifics much but I bought a generously spec'ed: motherboard, bespoke cpu fan, power supply, creative labs sound card, and even threw in one of those sick Sabrent 4TB NVMes.  I upgrade the AMD drivers on a regular basis.

I run @20 mods including usually 4-5 large faction mods.  Not once have I seen any performance degradation on this new rig in Starsector.  The system doesn't even break a sweat...no lagging even in [Redacted] fleet battles with clouds of fighters and ordnance all lighting up the screen and me backing off my ship with frantic pounding of the keys, or in Archean Order mod which made me lean heavily towards carrier fleet builds.

I do run in a lower resolution than likely most people so that I can read the UI fonts...so that may skew my system towards a lighter load perhaps.

Other games demonstrate the limits of the 5700xt, such as Mount and Blade, Prophesy of Pendor mod...I have to back down to medium graphics to get reasonable frame rates for the largest battles.
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Havoc

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Re: Which aspect of a computer is the most important for Starsector?
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2020, 01:38:18 AM »

is anyone playing on linux?
are (AMD) openGl driver better with linux than with win?

i 'll change my os to linux when zen3 is out
and maybe graphicscard back to amd
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SaberCherry

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Re: Which aspect of a computer is the most important for Starsector?
« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2020, 07:03:57 PM »

Just to post a single information point, I am using an i9-9900 with integrated graphics and it plays Starsector flawlessly in vanilla.  I was very worried about adding mods that require graphicslib but after playing through on vanilla I did it anyway and there's no trouble (adding like 20 mods, half of which require graphicslib).  I'm only in the early game (since using graphicslib) so for all I know bigger battles could break things but with ~6 frigates or destroyers on screen (at 2.5kx1.4k) there's no problem.

I also have a low-tier Radeon card installed (RX550) but from the comments I'm scared to use it; I'd have to move my HDMI cable to a different slot and since everything works now, I don't really want to do that.  Might be less noisy though so if that generates less heat than Intel integrated graphics I'd love to hear it.

BTW this is on Win10 which I would never recommend to anyone.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2020, 07:07:05 PM by SaberCherry »
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