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Thread: Upgrading my computer for OR. A few questions

  1. #1

    Default Upgrading my computer for OR. A few questions

    Hi all.

    I searched for a few threads about OR's performance and how to improve it. So I have taken a few notes.

    I am running the program on an Acer Predator G3620 with an Acer motherboard, a Intel Core i5 3350P @ 3.10GHz, 12GB RAM and an old NVIDIA GeForce GT 640.

    When I first started running OR on this machine 3 years ago, it was quite smooth, and even today I can run some quite heavy detailed routes without too many issues, but I would really like that extra push that makes everything run smoother.
    I am starting out by doing a complete re-install of my computer, Windows and everything to get rid of any background programs that might have been messing with the performance in the recent year.

    I know an SSD card is a good investment, so I have added that to my list. But what about a GPU?
    The problem is that the G3620 is an extremely annoying machine to upgrade, because there is a limit to what I can use together with the Acer motherboard (according to discussions online). But considering I run an UEFI bios, it SHOULD work with a newer GPU.

    According to this website
    I should be able to use a GTX 1060, but I am actually aiming for the slightly cheaper GTX 1050-ti.

    Since a little stuttering is the only problem I have and OR is the only game I play, would it even be worth to invest in a new GPU or can I rely on the SSD alone to take care of these issues?
    With the current CPU I have, would a new GPU even make a difference?

    Thank you for your time guys =)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006


    Your GPU upgrade should be the priority. A 1060 with 6gb is a touch better than my flawless running 970 with 4gb, but the 1050ti lags both by a wider margin. When you skimp on GPU specs to save 30-50 bucks you are pretty much going to be upgrading again sooner than you otherwise would have had to.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    known universe


    For OR, in order of importance... ( in agreement with everything geepster posted)
    1. best GPU you can afford
    2. SSD and over 2GB memory
    3. multicore processor
    4. there are advantages to 64bit OS
    Have you read the specs here >>>
    Cheers, R. Steele [Gerry] It's my railroad and I'll do what I want! Historically accurate attitude of US Railroad Barons.

  4. #4


    Thank you so much!
    This is why I love this forum. People are always so super helpful =)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    The problem with Nvidia cards is, there's so many models to choose from. My recent PC I built the plan was for about a 1050, then you think "well, it's not much more for A 1050ti" decide on that..then think...."'s not much more for a 1060 than a 1050ti". Long story short, I ended up buying a 11gb 1080ti.

    Now is good time to buy second hand, the recent release of the RTX cards has seen people upgrading, and the crypto boom is dropping at the moment. I'd look for a second hand one, but just make sure the seller hasn't got quite a few. Try to avoid ones that have been used for crypto mining.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    New York, USA.



    From my experience - your CPU clock speed gives you the most bang for the buck - I'm running my old 2700K Sandy at 4.7Ghz which is a pretty substantial overclock - if I set it back to default clock speed of 3.5Ghz - it's a vastly different machine... Obviously you need some aftermarket cooling to keep the temps under control - I like Noctua air coolers... OC's have been essential for Flight Sims for many years - and almost everyone uses it on that side of the fence... I don't see or hear about it as much over here which is a odd...


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    New England


    Right now, Open Rails benefits from CPU clock speed as a priority. Moving forward, GPU capability will become more and more critical -- but don't skimp on the GPU right now, either. Especially since many trainsim users don't refresh their computer hardware frequently, buy a system with good performance for the future now.

    Being old software, MSTS ran great on even minimally-capable modern hardware as long as it had Nvidia graphics. Open Rails has the technical foundation to begin "pushing the envelope" of hardware capability with improved physics and complex train operations. I suspect that overclocking CPUs and the related case/cooling considerations will become more and more important for OR performance. When I built high-end computer about three years ago, I used flight simulator requirements as the base performance benchmark, and then added requirements for modern gaming on top of that. That meant going all-out with an overclockable i7 processor, liquid cooling, and a higher-end graphics card. I haven't found anything Open Rails can do that stresses it, so it's ready for just about anything OR will do in the reasonable future. Modern gaming can usually trade some CPU speed for maximum graphics performance. Flight simulators and Open Rails need raw computing performance on the CPU, and can trade off a little GPU performance -- although there's a slow, steady increase in GPU demand there as textures and scenery continually improve.

    GPU choice is all about "pushing pixels". The larger your screen is (or the more screens you run, for multi-screen setups), and the higher its resolution is, the more the pixel count goes up. The more pixels that have to be driven by the GPU, the more cores it needs, so you have to step up in the model offerings as your screen demands more performance.

    With Nvidia graphics, the "60" series cards are typically the mainstream best-value performers. They'll deliver good performance on "high" and even "ultra" settings in games. (A 1060 is likely to be just fine for Open Rails for the foreseeable future, unless you want to run multiple screens or a huge ultrawide monitor) The "50" series will give acceptable performance, but be prepared to dial graphics options in games and software back to "medium" and lower. The "80" series is downright necessary on the multi-monitor setups or ultra-wide screens often used in flight simulators and increasingly popular for first-person shooter games. The "70" series is the compromise model -- close to the "80" series (but not quite) in performance, and usually attractively priced for its performance level. The "Ti" designation indicates a performance boost to the given GPU model in terms of speed and/or some extra cores. There's some overlap in performance between model numbers with the "Ti" designation versus non-"Ti" versions of higher model numbers. It gets into splitting hairs sometimes.

    The worst time to have to buy a graphics card is when a new series is coming out. The old, outgoing series is often attractively priced for a while, but as supplies dwindle and demand goes up, they become impossible to find. The new cards are sold at minimal discounts, so they're expensive and you often can't afford the performance level you want. I had this happen when I built my high-end system. So I grabbed a 960 card with the best specs I could find at a discount, before it was too late and supplies ran out. It was under-powered for what I wanted, but 1080 cards were new and ridiculously costly. Two years later though, a 1080 card was more affordable so I upgraded.

    For anyone wondering about 4K... First off, Open Rails is probably a long way off from 4K to begin with. Second, very few games can maintain stable frame rates at 4K even with ultra-expensive 1080Ti (or new 2080Ti) cards without dialing back some of the overall graphics settings... which kind of defeats the purpose of 4K.

    Any monitor capable of 1440p vertical resolution is noticeably better than the typical 1080p vertical resolution, and much easier to drive smoothly with a 1060/1070/1080 card. That tends to make 1440p setups a better value unless you're dead-set on 4K "bragging rights".


    With Open Rails and ZDSimulator

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    near Jacksonville, TX


    Also, remember to check the vertical sync option in video settings, as that will greatly increase the computing efficiency for the rest of the simulation. I am running 1920X1200 on a 24 inch monitor with a maximum refresh rate of 60. If your computer is cranking out 150 frames per second, and your monitor can only use 60 you are wasting computation for other data.

  9. #9


    Just want to give an update as I have more questions.
    So I just finished upgrading my PC, wiped all my hard drives and made a clean install of Windows.
    So currently, my specs are:

    System: Windows 10
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 1060
    CPU: Intel Core 5i 3350P
    RAM: 12 GB
    250 GB SSD
    1000 TB HDD

    I installed Open Rails on the SSD and installed MSTS on it's own seperate drive.
    I have the latest driver for my GPU, and I set the vertical sync option to "adaptive". I also enabled it in the Open Rails settings.

    I have tried testing different routes. When driving on one of the default MSTS routes I am on a constant 60 FPS which is perfect, but as soon as I switch to the newer and larger routes such as Trat 321 and Alföld, I am stuttering across at 45 FPS even with all the details set to minimum. I have seen people on Youtube drive smoothly on these routes with a good FPS.
    Is my current specs really not enough? I have made a couple of benchmark tests and they all come out positive. Heck, my CPU even performs better than expected now due to me changing to a better fan and adding new cooling paste.

    Is 45 FPS really acceptable when running a GTX 1060?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    SW MO


    Where do you have your content?
    Mine used to stutter until I put my MSTS folders on an SSD.


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