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September 23, 2021, 03:16:38 AM

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Author Topic: Performance characteristics of SC4 and the various tools we use  (Read 2046 times)

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Offline deadwoods

Performance characteristics of SC4 and the various tools we use
« on: February 25, 2011, 06:48:41 PM »
In looking to my next PC I've been doing a lot of reading here around recommended specs for SC4 machines.

The two key performance characteristics I've found for SC4 itself is that 1) it's single threaded, and 2) that it's CPU bound. This means that the best machine for SC4 should have the fastest processor available, but having dual-, quad- or hex-cores does not matter as SC4 will only ever use one of them. I'm wondering if this is a linear statement; the game will keep wanting more speed out of the processor and it will never reach a point (for some game activities) where it's not trying to use 90+% of the processor. It's probably a moot point as processors seem to have hit the limit of speed for one core (3.2GHz) and are getting more speed by adding more cores (which is fine for multi-threaded processes).

What about memory? I know my old P4 Dell 8250 max's out on CPU and doesn't use a ton of memory. Do we know what drives memory usage; what's loaded up in cache and held there? Is it just the appropriate city file and references to all the lots/props/textures etc. (which still reside on disk and have to be read when you move around)? Are there other significant memory usages by the game? Is there a way to tell it to load up more into memory to reduce disk access time.

The other factor is disk. I've seen Andreas and others talking about using SSD's rather than the old spinning disk. Obviously disk access is a key factor in startup and when you open a new city, and I know mine gets hammered every time I move around a city at higher zoom levels. Obviously this will be improved by faster disk access 7,200rpm -> 10,000rpm -> SSD. Is a faster graphics card with more on-card cache going to help, or is the graphics display detail only part of that high-disk activity?

Perhaps I'm looking for a SC4 Performance and Tuning Guide like we have with many of the products I support.  ;D

In addition to the game, I use the normal set of tools, BAT, LE, PIM-X, Reader etc. I know some of these will benefit from (heaps) more memory and faster processors. Are they multi-threaded and will benefit from multi-core CPU's?

Sorry if this appears a rambling set of thoughts and questions (I blame the head cold turning by brain to mush).
David, aka deadwoods

Offline gazac48

Re: Performance characteristics of SC4 and the various tools we use
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2011, 10:04:06 PM »
In looking to my next PC I've been doing a lot of reading here around recommended specs for SC4 machines.

Hi deadwood
My system plays Simcity4 great

  > Operating System : Windows 7 Professional Professional 6.01.7601 Service Pack 1 (x64)
  > Mainboard : Gigabyte GA-MA790FX-DQ6
  > Chipset : AMD 790FX
  > Processor : AMD Phenom II X4 940 @ 3500 MHz
  > Physical Memory : 8192 MB (4 x 2048 DDR2-SDRAM )
  > Video Card : ATI Radeon HD 5850 Series
  > Hard Disk : G.SKILL SSD (128 GB)
  > Hard Disk : SAMSUNG (1000 GB)
  > DVD-Rom Drive : TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S203D ATA Device
  > Monitor Type : ASUS VW220 - 22 inches
  > Monitor Type : Samsung SyncMaster - 22 inches
  > Device Audio : Sound Blaster Music X-Fi

Found adding the 8gigs of memory the one thing that helped Simcity4, the other was the SSD it reads my 2gigs of plugins fast.
as for the CPU I have no problems with using a 4 core, but you have set the Data Execution Prevention (DEP) for Simcity4 to run right
to set DEP go to System Properties/Advanced/Seting/Data Execution Prevention tab then add Simcity4.exe (your CPU has to have DEP also)
I also added to DEP Simcity4 LotEditor & Plugin Manager

As for the Video Card, when I had a 500meg 4870 it did play ok, but it did gets hammered every time I move around a city at higher zoom levels
this all went away when I got a 1gig card, & the SSD made it even better.

Hopes this helps Gary

PS I use lots of your Mods, love the OZ shops, when will we see Coles/Woolworths/Kmar/BigW
What state are you in, I'am in Sydney
Gaza