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Author Topic: New PC for SC4 in 2016  (Read 8013 times)

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Offline Ducio

New PC for SC4 in 2016
« on: February 01, 2016, 07:15:07 PM »
Hi,

I am wondering if someone here could help. I want to replace my computer, and I'm wondering if there is anything I should be aware of before buying with respect to playing SC4 on a new machine?

I currently have a Pentium Dual-Core CPU E5700 @ 3.00 GHz CPU and 2G ram. I find the large square cities slow to play and I find when I have all my favorite downloads installed the game takes too long to load for my tastes.

Is it correct to assume that any basic computer will be good enough to play SimCity 4 with all the custom bells and whistles? (I'm currently playing the Origin version but I wish to buy the GOG version in order to be able to change the screen resolution).

Offline speeder

Re: New PC for SC4 in 2016
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2016, 10:17:14 PM »
Someone (you maybe?) asked this on Steam. I will paraphrase my reply there, based on my research.

I can't recommend what to buy, but I can tell you what to NOT get.

1) Don't get switchable graphics, like nVidia Optimus or other similar stuff, SimCity 4 uses the right WinAPI call to get the proper info, but the modern drivers unfortunately are buggy and return wrong information (example: SimCity 4 thinks I have only 32mb of vram).

2) Unless you really want the extra performance, avoid Hyperthreading, SC4 (and many other games) don't play well with it, and when Hyperthreading DOES work, it is not worth the 100USD extra that it costs (when you compare the best i5 processor with a similarly powered i7 that has hyperthreading).


Also, SC4 recently has been running better on Linux using Wine than on Windows, you might consider buying a hardware that can run Linux without headaches, even if you end using only Windows anyway.


Final note: Intel's TurboBoost also is not good for SC4 and many other games, but it is hard to avoid it, on my computer it makes it go 50% faster! (it go from 2ghz to 3ghz!)


EDIT: if you are rich you can buy hyperthreading and disable it later, up to you.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2016, 10:19:18 PM by speeder »

Offline mgb204

Re: New PC for SC4 in 2016
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2016, 12:27:30 AM »
Any modern PC is theoretically capable of working with SC4, it's a 13 year old game and so isn't as intensive as modern applications.

If all you want to do is run SC4, perhaps you might be surprised at how much you would have to pay to get very little performance boost. I'm running an i7 rig with all the bells and whistles, but large tiles still have lag. This is because SC4 uses a simulator that has exponential growth. What that means is that no matter how fast and powerful your CPU, at some point it won't be able to keep up with the game and lag will occur. Simply due to the sheer number of calculations going on in the background.

If you want faster loading times, clean out your plugins folder of all non-SC4 files. DAT-pack your plugins (where suitable) and consider using an SSD for those files. I'd also highly recommend you get more RAM, since 2GB is really not very much. If you do buy a new machine, accept no less than 8GB, but 16GB is more future-proof and recommended.

The biggest single issue facing SC4 players with a new PC is compatibility with the graphics. When trying to avoid integrated or switching graphics, you will find that simply impossible. All PC's work this way today, every single Intel CPU comes with on-board graphics. What you probably need is a dedicated GPU on board also. But even then, GPU drivers in 2016 are simply not designed to work optimally with 13 year old games. By and large most dedicated GPUs will work, but some configurations require SC4 to run in Software Rendering, a big problem if you want the best possible game experience. Not to mention, once you decide on having a dedicated GPU you move well clear of any budget PCs so it will cost you.

There is some hope, Windows 10 includes much better compatibility and drivers for Intel integrated graphics. People will tell you this is hateful, but actually it's perfect for 90% of PC users, who simply never utilise expensive GPUs and would be better served by an on-board system. Yes integrated GPU's used to be terrible, but some people don't want to accept this is no longer the case in the last few years, the modern ones are equivalent to a mid-range GPU in many cases. You don't want one though if you play other modern games and need a beefy GPU to run them.

Whatever you decide, if you can't get full DX compatibility with SC4, there is nothing you can do about it. No point asking your computer store, they won't be able to tell you. It's a lottery, sorry :(. Perhaps some stores may allow you to test SC4 on a PC if you ask kindly, and make it clear that's why you are buying the PC. But that's the only way to be 100% certain. The support threads at Simtropolis are full of users who can't get DX rendering working, the last thing you'll want is to spend a lot of money and end up worse off.

Offline Andreas

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Re: New PC for SC4 in 2016
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2016, 04:18:19 AM »
As mentioned before, SC4 can't really make use of most of the modern features that computers offer, such as hyperthreading, powerful GPUs and the like. In theory, it should be multi-cpu capable, but usually, you have to use the -CPUcount:1 switch, since multi-core CPUs were not available back then, so the game couldn't be tested with those. Hence it's better to find a CPU with a good single-thread performance (mid-range Intel CPUs and the fast AMD models will do fine, I think).

Personally, I am using an AMD A8-7600 CPU with a nominal speed of 3.6 GHz, and I'm using the integrated AMD Radeon graphics, which works surprisingly well. I didn't want to spend a lot of money on my computer, so I compared the "CPU speed/cost" ratio and picked this CPU about a year ago. I installed the game on an SSD, and while loading the game still takes long, working in the city (once it's loaded) is much faster, because the game can load models and textures after zooming or rotating the game much much faster than with a HDD.

So if you have a tight budget, and don't use other programs or games that need powerful hardware, get an AMD system with integrated graphics, 8 GB RAM and 240 GB SSD. If you can spend a little more, an Intel i5 is probably the best choice in the performance/cost ratio. On modern hardware, Windows 10 seems to perform best, but when you have a digital download version of the game, that shouldn't be an issue. Not sure what you mean with changing the screen resolution; I can apply the same command line switches for picking the display resolution in my Origin version that I was using for my CD version before.
Andreas

Offline art128

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Re: New PC for SC4 in 2016
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2016, 05:30:04 AM »
If you know how to build (or are confident you can) your own PC, then do it. It'll cost less than a pre-built one and in the end you'll have total freedom over what hardware to chose.
I can tell you this, don't buy Intel i7. You don't need an i7 unless you are doing heavy 3D modeling/rendering and video editing professionally. Don't buy Xeons either, they're for workstation/servers.
I'd stay away from AMD specially in the GPU market.. Their latest drivers are a total joke and the performance of their cards is nowhere near announced. Don't be fooled by their "8 CORES" CPU, they're false 8 cores. In fact they really are 4 cores divided in two with 8 undertpowered cores. Also they're heat machines.
CPU wise, definitely get a CPU with a 3+GHz frequency.
SC4 isn't a very graphically demanding game so you don't need a ultra high end GPU (which cost around 1k $)... In fact Intel HD should be quite sufficient as mgb stated. If you it indeed gives no graphic glitches.


Quote
It is not worth the 100USD extra that it costs (when you compare the best i5 processor with a similarly powered i7 that has hyperthreading).

Intel i3 also have hyperthreading and cost much less than an i5 and aren't that under-powered. I'm using a 4130 myself and have no problems in SC4 and 3dsmax.


and consider using an SSD for those files.
He's right, using a SSD will drastically reduce loading times for things loading on it. I'd consider a 250GB one since they're very affordable and offer enough space for a full windows install, a good SC4 installation and many software/games.
I find 120GB SSD (which are really 111Gb) a bit too low for everything.

Quote
I'd also highly recommend you get more RAM, since 2GB is really not very much. If you do buy a new machine, accept no less than 8GB, but 16GB is more future-proof and recommended.
Definitely 8GB of memory, no less. It'll help you run things smoothly. 16GB are nice to have but still unnecessary. If all you play is SC4, 8GB will plenty sufficient.

Quote
Intel integrated graphics. but actually it's perfect for 90% of PC users, who simply never utilise expensive GPUs and would be better served by an on-board system. Yes integrated GPU's used to be terrible, but some people don't want to accept this is no longer the case in the last few years, the modern ones are equivalent to a mid-range GPU in many cases. You don't want one though if you play other modern games and need a beefy GPU to run them.
The last time I tried to run SC4 on my Intel HD4400 I had severe graphical glitches. I don't know if it still is the case though and I really wish it isn't since I'm really considering it after the latest AMD driver update. (And to give some rest to my trusty 7870 - which is a line of GPU you need SC4 Launcher to not have any glitches............)

If you need any assistance with more knowledge or if you decide to build your own PC and need help picking the hardware, don't hesitate to ask but don't forget to give us a price range you're willing to pay for the machine, we'll gladly help you. :)
But, Definitely ask us first before going to a PC store. They'll try to milk you out of your last cents with unnecessary things.



speeder: Do you have any more infos on SC4 on Linux? I'm considering switching from windows 7 to a distribution of linux. (Haven't decided yet but I already experienced Ubuntu and Xubuntu.) I kinda want to try Arch.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2016, 05:35:40 AM by art128 »
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Offline speeder

Re: New PC for SC4 in 2016
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2016, 08:39:11 AM »
Been a while since I last could play with Linux, my computer is very Linux hostile. (it has a particularly broken implementation of Optimus and some other stuff, the Ubuntu forums has several complaints about my computer model, Optimus, backlight, keyboard light, special keys and wifi, all these require heavy fiddling to work).

I personally love Fedora, but in the Wine app list the SC4 has several "Platinum" or "Gold" ratings in Ubuntu and Arch, the times it is "Gold" rated instead of "Platinum" is due to failure of Fullscreen, but people don't found out yet why sometimes Fullscreen work and sometimes don't.


As for AMD vs Intel: I never liked AMD, and never owned AMD stuff except for a 486DX2 computer. (yep, all my video cards are nVidia).

But nVidia recently have greatly disappointed me for several reasons, and I was researching around, and seemly the newest AMD GPUs actually perform better than nVidia, as long the game don't spam Tesselation... nVidia of course knows that, and people found out that nVidia stuff as much as tesselation as possible in every game they worked in the "Gameworks" program, for example nVidia defaults the Tesselation setting to 64x (while most people don't see any difference beyond 8x), and Tesselate everything in a unecessary manner, for example Crysis 2 the water system spawns water in the entire map, and tesselates it all, even if you are in a mountain, if you activate debug mode, or a no-clip cheat and go below the ground, the water will be there, and calculating tesselation.

AMD then made an algorithm that can detect this, and not waste time calculating that crap, and open sourced the algorithm \o/ (Also made it an option in their drivers).

nVidia don't noticed, and tried to abuse it more in Fallout 4, and had a funny result: after the lastest Fallout 4 patch, that was made mostly by nVidia, the performance of all nVidia cards fell (with older cards falling much more, people suspecting planned obsolescence), while performance of AMD cards improved (due to AMD in the same time patching their drivers to ignore nVidia shenanigans).


So, AMD GPUs seemly are not being that bad.

AMD CPUs... well, right now they suck.

Still, AMD hired Jim Keller some time ago, and he already finished his work, AMD will release this year the work he done, the CPU Zen, and the GPU Polaris, specially the CPU Zen, people are expecting it to be great stuff, maybe it is worth to wait, not buy a computer now, wait for AMD releases, and then see if buying AMD is worth or not.

For those that don't know, Jim Keller invented the Athlons that kicked Intel ass (and spawned the ressurgence of the CPU race, that led to some cool stuff, like Pentium 4 that could reach 4.5GHZ of clock), also he invented AMD64 system for 64bits CPUs (currently in use by Intel too, Intel's own 64bit system ended sucking for gaming), invented Apple's fastest CPUs for iPad and iPhone, and now the next product of his to be released is the Zen CPU, people are with great expectations for that one (it fixed all architectural mistakes that made AMD to become stuck behind Intel, use transistors that are 2nm smaller than Intel's, and AMD promised to launch pure CPU versions of them, for people that don't want any integrated graphics... currently AMD pure CPUs are a generation older than their integrated GPU+CPUs...)

Offline Ducio

Re: New PC for SC4 in 2016
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2016, 04:06:53 PM »
Thanks everyone! I appreciate your comments. I've tried to summarize all your thoughts below, for my purposes and anyone else who needs this. I wasn't planning on buying a custom machine, but I'll give it a second thought and look into it more.(Also—thanks for the tip about screen resolutions in Origin—in other forums I had read that custom resolutions weren't possible in Origin).

Overall
-New machines should generally work fine with SC4
-Biggest issue is graphics compatibility

Graphics
-Avoid integrated / switchable graphics (e.g., nVidia Optimus) but this is almost impossible with new machines
-Some graphic glitches with Intel HD 4400I 

CPU
-Avoid Hyperthreading
-Avoid TurboBoost
-Choose CPU with high single-thread performance (e.g., mid-range Intel CPUs and the fast AMD models)
-Recommended AMD system with integrated graphics or Intel i5
-No need for i7 or Xeons
-Suggest CPU with 3+ Ghz
-Some lag will always exist
-Will need to use the -CPUcount:1 command

GPU
-Dedicated GPU recommended (e.g., Intel HD)
-Avoid AMD for GPU

RAM
-8GM Ram recommended (16MB optimal)

Storage
-SSD Recommended

« Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 04:10:07 PM by Ducio »

Offline Andreas

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Re: New PC for SC4 in 2016
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2016, 05:07:53 PM »
Sounds like a solid list, just a few comments: "Dedicated GPU" would mean a separate graphics card, but not "Intel HD" integrated graphics. I don't have any experience with the latter, but they're not intended for gaming at all, even though the game might work. I can only tell that the integrated AMD Radeon graphics in my  CPU seems to work fine.

For SC4, you surely don't need more than 8 GB RAM, 4 would be more than enough (it's a 32 bit program and thus cannot use more than that anyway). And as for the SSD, it's very recommended. It's what boosts the speed more than anything else, compared to a system with a HDD only.
Andreas

Offline speeder

Re: New PC for SC4 in 2016
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2016, 05:35:10 PM »
Reinforcing what Andreas said:

Dedicated GPU means an actual GPU.

They are hard to find today, but do exist, even when you use a CPU that has a GPU in it, there are motherboards that have the option to ignore that fake-GPU on the CPU, and use exclusively only a Dedicated GPU

some laptops are also made that way (Alienware for example, they use Intel Mobile CPUs, that mandatorily come with a crap GPU, but you cannot enable them no matter how hard you try, those machines have a special motherboard designed to ignore the shitty Intel GPU and use whatever real GPU you have).

Avoid Intel GPUs like the plague, use AMD or nVidia... the performance of them is seemly roughly equal again, and then it becomes a question of preference. (I historically have only nVidia GPUs, but I am pissed off with their business practices).


I have a Intel HD 4000 here, SimCity 4 runs hilariously bad on it, with flickering interface, disappearing buttons, solid-black buildings, cars rendering on the top of buildings (like if they were flying), and other funky stuff.


As for SSD: I never used one, because I can't afford it :( But if you use process monitoring systems you will find out that SimCity 4 is constantly both reading and writing to disc, thus having a SSD will greatly speed-up it.

Although it will also wear out your SSD a bit faster... (seriously, SimCity every frame is constantly creating and deleting temporary files... I guess that it was made that way to conserve memory when memory was much more expensive than today).

Offline noahclem

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Re: New PC for SC4 in 2016
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2016, 06:26:21 PM »
As for SSD: I never used one, because I can't afford it :( But if you use process monitoring systems you will find out that SimCity 4 is constantly both reading and writing to disc, thus having a SSD will greatly speed-up it.

Although it will also wear out your SSD a bit faster... (seriously, SimCity every frame is constantly creating and deleting temporary files... I guess that it was made that way to conserve memory when memory was much more expensive than today).

That might help explain why my first one on this 3.5 year old MSI 17" laptop broke and the second one was giving frightening warnings before I upgraded from that 128GB to a 512GB drive :D  The performance difference seems massive though and the difference in startup time between my SSD and my HDD is really something. Despite my trouble I'd never want to play SC4 without an SSD again if I could help it.

I have a question about this topic too, though I'm afraid I may already know the answer. If I bought an MS Surface tablet without a dedicated GPU would I be unable to run hardware rendering? Would love something like that to use as a mobile secondary computer and would love to relegate this laptop to being mostly stationary as the hinges around the monitor are getting seriously worn out and I really don't want it to broken by being moved repeatedly if I can avoid it.

Offline speeder

Re: New PC for SC4 in 2016
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2016, 06:54:03 PM »
I have a question about this topic too, though I'm afraid I may already know the answer. If I bought an MS Surface tablet without a dedicated GPU would I be unable to run hardware rendering? Would love something like that to use as a mobile secondary computer and would love to relegate this laptop to being mostly stationary as the hinges around the monitor are getting seriously worn out and I really don't want it to broken by being moved repeatedly if I can avoid it.

Yes, out of curiosity I went to check...

The surface tablets have a shitty video worse than the HD4000 that I have.

the surface book i3 has a intel shitty video only.

the i5 and i7 surface books have nVidia Optimus, and don't come with nVidia control panel installed, seemly they are a serious pain to make any game work properly out of the box (also they sometimes bug on the wrong side and decide to use nVidia all the time and drain all your battery).

Offline noahclem

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Re: New PC for SC4 in 2016
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2016, 07:25:42 PM »
Thanks :)  So you think the i5 and i7 versions might play nice with SC4 in hardware mode? That would definitely reignite my interest in one as I want a compact machine and haven't seen an alternative to the surfaces that doesn't have similar sacrifices with video cards and other things.

Also, would you please not use the word "shitty" here? Most of us couldn't be bothered less by it but we want to keep this place welcoming for younger city builders too ;)

Offline mgb204

Re: New PC for SC4 in 2016
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2016, 01:21:44 AM »
I have an Intel HD 4600 which came with my CPU, I never "wanted" it per-se, but to say it's not for gaming assumes you will be running the latest games at the highest settings.

Two games aside, this internal GPU which runs with less electric consumption and at cooler temperatures from a dedicated GPU, ran everything in full HD. Doom 3 just wouldn't play nice, too unstable (CTDs) and SC4 would only work with software rendering. OpenGL would work with SC4, but with terrible glitching.

I was a little disappointed, after all I bought my machine primarily to play SC4, although I am an enthusiast too. I just stuck my old ATI HD 3870 into the new PC and used that to play SC4 in Hardware Rendering, all fine since SC4 will not push any modern GPU. Anyhow the ATI overheated (was old), so I replaced it with an Nvidia GTX 750ti which supports hardware just fine. This is all using Windows 7.

The Intel GPU is more than capable of playing SC4, in addition to many other games too. Actually I like it most because it supports 3 simultaneous 1080p displays, my dedicated Nvidia can't do that! It's only if you want to run the latest and greatest games or really need a lot of GPU oomph when you need to consider a dedicated board. But if you only play SC4, or are not into all the modern titles, it's not necessary to add the expense of a dedicated GPU to your system.

Many people using Windows 7 / 8 reported the same problems with Intel GPUs (newer ones from Core i processors) and SC4. This is nothing about it's capability as a GPU, the problem is a simply a lack of driver support for the antiquated systems SC4 uses. Intel were not making GPUs in 2003 when SC4 was launched. So whilst ATI and NVidia have a great record with continuing support for older games, Intel never had such a legacy. Intel are not a gaming company, they couldn't justify making their GPU's compatible with all old games, this really isn't Intel being evil, just business. Despite this, Windows 10 has huge changes to WDDM and drivers, the upshot of which is, if you have an Intel GPU, now they will use DirectX rendering without problems in many cases. I follow a lot of the support threads on these issues, so I've a very good understanding of the problems affecting players here.

There are also cases though, where ATI and Nvidia cards, mostly new ones with recent drivers, will also not work with Direct X / SC4. Even the specialists aren't looking to 13 year old simulators when designing cards. Sometimes to push the hardware, support for out of date content must be restricted. So if you think by buying a dedicated GPU you are guaranteed not to run into this problem, you need to think again.

My advice: Assuming you don't have other uses for an expensive GPU, buy an integrated GPU solution and save the money, especially if you will use Win10. Can you install a new GPU? If so  you can see how the internal GPU works out, before deciding if you need a dedicated one. Also, if you are selective about where you buy such a GPU, you'd probably have the option to return if, should things not work out. Bear in mind, if you have a working PC now, in such a scenario, you could simply reuse the old GPU in the new machine. Provided the same OS and drivers were used, you can be 100% sure it will work as well as it does now.

I'd say these days ATI/AMD's CPU's are fine, but I'd still go with a Intel every time. At one time or another, I've built a lot of PCs, way over 100. Only 2 ever had AMD processors, I cursed myself on both occasions for being cheap. They just weren't reliable in operation, which is a problem when you feel obliged to support the person you sold it to. After the second I swore off them for life, no Intel PC with an Intel chipset ever caused me such headaches.

Offline Andreas

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Re: New PC for SC4 in 2016
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2016, 03:00:51 AM »
Well, I don't want to turn this thread into another "Intel vs. AMD war", but I can only tell from experience, having assembled a large number of AMD systems, either for me or for other people, and every single of them was running fine. It was never the CPU itself that caused any problems, but rather cheap mainboards, exotic RAM and no-name power supplies that caused unstable systems, and I strongly advise to buy those without cutting corners just because you want to save money.

After all, you already saved money with buying the AMD CPU, and the fact that you basically get an entry-level GPU along with it that has much less driver problems than the Intel GPUs (they're not bad per se, but as you were telling, they tend to fail running either the latest or very old games) is definitely a plus. The ability to play SC4 was the key for me to pick an AMD in favor over an Intel CPU, and I spent just 80 EUR for it, while a similar Intel with dedicated entry-level graphics card would have doubled that price easily. You can get a 240 GB SSD for around 80 EUR these days, so it's definitely worth to consider going that way. :)
Andreas

Offline JoeST

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Re: New PC for SC4 in 2016
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2016, 04:24:10 AM »
To derail the topic a little further, here's my old avatar

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Offline mgb204

Re: New PC for SC4 in 2016
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2016, 04:24:25 AM »
Well, I don't want to turn this thread into another "Intel vs. AMD war"...

You won't, it's personal preference only. I've always used ATI GPUs until the most recent one. I would have bought an AMD, but at that the time the R series had just launched, the cards I wanted were all inflated in price because of low supplies. I didn't want to wait 4 months with an overheating GPU (fan dying) to play SC4, so I bought a reasonably priced NVidia.

Of those two machines I mention, one was much better after I replaced the RAM. But it was a budget machine for a friend. At the time that was £450, you couldn't make a PC cheaper, despite my advice I understood it had to be built to a price. But that RAM wiped out any money I made on the bulid and cost me besides. The support calls didn't end entirely either :(.

The others was for my brother, it wasn't quite so bad, but still unstable. One day I fried the CPU switching it on with the cooler not quite secure. It went poof in a split second. A few weeks later I was glad I'd killed it, the Pentium III that went in it's place never gave me any trouble. Ultimately my stupidity cost me the new gear.

But this was a long time ago, the world is not the same. I agree ATI have something to offer in the CPU arena today, I'd rather an integrated AMD GPU than Intel for example. But I've always used Intel, they've never let me down, they just don't break if you don't mess with them. Every one has been retired from useful life, I have most of them just in case in my box of junk - anyone need a Pentium 200 MMX or Celeron 400?

That said, Intel chips are so much more efficient than ATI chips, even if ATI are beginning to catch up, they also run cooler. This is why I'd always advise against ATI in a laptop, I see more dead ATI/AMDs that Intel's here, although many manufactures have very poor cooling for laptops these days, it's exacerbated with hotter chips.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2016, 04:25:58 AM by mgb204 »

Offline art128

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Re: New PC for SC4 in 2016
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2016, 05:18:26 AM »
I'm going to add an example to what Andreas said concerning the AMD systems:

It's true that AMD itself isn't bad (though they're far behind Intel/Nvidia.. Analysts think by 2020 AMD will be no more.).. I had myself an AMD system, my first ever custom built PC, and boy did I learn from my mistakes....
I fell for the AMD 8 cores meme. Since I had a limited budget I had to save on the motherboard and memory, well it gave me more problem than anything. Out of the four ram sticks, only one is still working today. The two motherboards (cheap Asrock) are dead as well.

To sum up: Don't skimp on anything, really.

Before you go on your way to buy the computer, if you could tell us what will be the main task you're going to use it for (SC4 + internet? , 3D, photoshop etc etc etc) so we can help you decide which component to use.

As other said, the SSD is what will give you the most performance boost for SC4. If you get a good one (Samsung EVO or Pro, Crucial MX200) you'll be good to go for several years. In fact according to CrystalDisk, my 840EVO (I've had it for two years now of daily use) still has 10 years to go.
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Offline SimNation

Re: New PC for SC4 in 2016
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2016, 10:02:57 AM »
Hi,

I am wondering if someone here could help. I want to replace my computer, and I'm wondering if there is anything I should be aware of before buying with respect to playing SC4 on a new machine?

I currently have a Pentium Dual-Core CPU E5700 @ 3.00 GHz CPU and 2G ram. I find the large square cities slow to play and I find when I have all my favorite downloads installed the game takes too long to load for my tastes.

Is it correct to assume that any basic computer will be good enough to play SimCity 4 with all the custom bells and whistles? (I'm currently playing the Origin version but I wish to buy the GOG version in order to be able to change the screen resolution).

Before any recommending I could throw your way, what is your spending budget going to be for your new pc? Also you should be aware, but the new INTEL and AMD Cpus are coming out this year. AMDs Zen, and Intels Skylake. So you might want to research them and wait for them to release and the flood of benchmarks to come before deciding on a build.Also caution, the new AMD and Intels will only support Win10 & ddr4.

Now with current AMD , Intel & Nvidia's only in mind
As for the CPU, ever since the Core2's, Intel CPUs have been better at performance core for core compared to AMD. As for GPU, Nvidia's are more compatible with games over AMD gpus. Driver wise, both Nvidia and AMD GPUs tend to be fodder so upgrading to the newest driver is not always recommended until they patch the issues with it.

Without knowing your budget,computer usage amounts, I say get the intel gamer standard i5.Stay away from i3s and i7s there hyperthreading is useless for gaming since video games do not utilize it well if at all. An i3 though lower priced, will not multi-task at the same level as a i5.

If you go the AMD route, get their 4 or 6 core. Reason i say the 6 is for future proofing and a 6 core AMD costs $110 so might as well get that extra 2 IF you will be multi-tasking with heavy programs. One VERY important thing which was not mentioned by anyone from what I can see. RAM, stick with ddr3. Reason I say this is because ddr4 will be improving by jumps over the next 1-2 years so building a ddr3 machine will be your best bet. You could get a motherboard that allows for both ddr3/4 but id just stick with a ddr3 machine and toss 12-16gb of ram on it.

Personally I have no real preference. Intels cost more than AMDs but their core to core power is stronger than AMD which is why I pay for intels. Nvidia's gfx cards just work better for me with games + have physX support (very few games use this) so I use them.