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Thread: seeking graphics card advice

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by lateagain View Post
    Windows 8? Why would you use that?

    It's as close as you can get to a product that has the core look and feel, and a lifecycle close to 10, but you maintain control of your updates, picking and choosing, old-Windows style. I apply security-only updates monthly and in doing so stay away from new add-on features from a company that can no longer be trusted. When my machine gives up the ghost, 10 will be done by then as well.

    As I listen to all these 10 users get force-updated into some non-working, personal files disappearing, cloud-offloading jackpot, caused by those earlier Win 10 "free upgrades" onto too tiny SSDs from the early SSD years, 8.1 goes down as one of the best decisions I have ever made.

  2. #22
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    Dave the issue isn't whether you can run win7. It's on my machines. The issue is getting hold of a legitimate copy of the software on a new computer today. My "newest" desktop is 5 years old now and the only Win 7 available then was 64bit Pro. I've not seen that as an option for a while now.

    Automatic updates? Well on SWMBO's Win 10 laptop that's not been an issue... BUT there's nothing remotely sim or game related on her laptop so obviously it's not an issue. You can elect to review before installing still surely? Also can you not still revert to earlier versions (as you can with graphics drivers)?

    Early SSD machines I'm 100% with you. Most machines when they came "on scene" had ludicrously small SSD's to run the OS. WAY TOO small. I had to quadruple the size of my first OS SSD.

    But hey there's always been a rule on HDD/SDD size? Work out what you think you'll need and double it..... Then double that and watch how soon that turned out not to be big enough?
    Geoff
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
    UK

  3. #23
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    geepster, My old XP machine was working fine 5-7 years ago, I would never consider retiring a perfectly functioning machine. Guess you could call me the opposite of those who must have the very latest device....I keep my old stuff longer than anybody. The very idea that folks need a new computer of phone every couple of years is offensive to me.

    Yes, the more I run the sim, the more I experience the limitations of the new card. The question now is: are these limitations tolerable or not? The dinosaur in me is still considering a search for a replacement motherboard, the old, and far better, graphics card works fine.

    So, now I know I'm a serious outlier in the world of simming. My only defense, Your Honor, is that I'm sticking with MSTS (and a possible foray into OR) and have no interest in other sims. At 76 years old, I'm motivated to keep the present setup "for the duration", given no further failures.

    Hope my position does not cut me off from further advice. Please know I'm grateful for all the comments, those which were critical of my actions were helpful too.....I may still be forced to go the new computer route.

    AA
    Last edited by agentatascadero; 07-12-2019 at 06:34 PM. Reason: spelling

  4. #24
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    This isn't about any expectation of always having the latest and greatest. It's about knowing when the time comes to make the next jump and not talk yourself out of it all the time, to your own (eventual) detriment.

    I used a circa-2005 XP machine up until 2014. It worked fine and still runs, and I keep it to this day only for attaching my slide scanner as that device will not connect to the new computer (no "old PCI" slot for the adapter card). My XP system motherboard had an AGP-8 video slot and my video card was already the highest it could go. No further upgrades to video were possible. When I started experimenting with Open Rails, I soon realized the video card was unacceptable (most shadows cast from buildings or rolling stock assets had a muddy brown/dark side of the moon appearance) The card was simply inadequate for the technological direction Open Rails was headed. It was not reasonable to launch some worldwide search for a new motherboard to fit the old case, with a 1st gen PCI-E video slot and mate it with the 9 year old old bios/peripherals/XP OS and then go hunt for a new oldie-but-better video card. Although the XP was running, it was simply time to move on.

    What I didn't do is back down and convince myself to stick with MSTS for the rest of my life. I wanted beyond-MSTS options, and went forward when the time was right.

    Be as offended to all the blunt talk you want, but sir, I didn't paint myself into this 15 year old hardware corner. You are hardly a victim of random hardware failure circumstances. There were reasonable upgrade cues, and you missed them all, for whatever personal reasons you were holding near and dear at the time.

  5. #25
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    Geepster, Please don't misunderstand me........the only offense I took/mentioned was about folks who, just as I said, just have to have the greatest, newest stuff. I took zero offense at any of the statements directed to me....on the contrary, I appreciate all who commented, yourself included.

    I make no secret about why I "missed them all" (upgrade cues), it's based on two things......if it ain't broke, don't fix it.....and, for me at least, the intimidation factor, whether about that new computer, of the task of starting MSTS from scratch, is big for me. And, being really old, I had the hope that the old machine would get me to the end.

    Having done what I've done...spent about $350 on this "project" in the hopes that this fix would be adequate. The jury is still out on that factor. Some routes, or locomotives, run better than others, thinking about the braking issues I mentioned previously.
    I seem to get a bit better performance with some of the MSTS sliders adjusted back.

    Worst case scenario for me is that this becomes a $350 detour on the way to that new machine so strongly recommended here. Best case scenario is that the fix turns out to be adequate for my needs.

    Please do not think I've been disdainful of the advice offered here, i appreciate all of it. The detour I took was to accomodate my own needs, and, more importantly to me, "work" within my limitations.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by geepster775 View Post
    This isn't about any expectation of always having the latest and greatest. It's about knowing when the time comes to make the next jump and not talk yourself out of it all the time, to your own (eventual) detriment.
    Exactly!

    I used to build my own PC's, partly because I could build a better spec cheaper. Last one I built would be about the time of your old machine AA.

    Next one I upgraded to because I had a catastrophic (in terms of content) HDD crash. I also had become interested in FSX which was more demanding than MSTS so I wanted a better spec. When I costed the parts I found that the cost of parts was actually dearer than some of the custom built FS boxes that were available here in the UK.

    I also noticed a rather significant increase in PSU power used in many newer boxes. Reading the tech articles I soon realised that things had moved on it just about all the components power demands. I mention this because it also made me realise that the spec of just about EVERY component had significantly improved. There are endless reviews and rather silly point scoring quibbles about graphics cards, probably because the only folk who care are gamers (?), but the reality is that just like cars EVERY component has improved.

    My point is it's not "The Latest" or "The Greatest"..... It's that if you're going to spend money you are always going to get a bigger bang for your buck by buying a completely new machine. Upgrading various components piecemeal really is doing things the hard way.

    BTW I'm completely with you on upgrading stuff every couple of years. I've been trying to get my daughter to realise she's paying over twice as much as she need do on her cell phone ....but none so deaf as those who don't want to hear?
    Geoff
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
    UK

  7. #27
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    The thing to remember is that computer technology is a never-ending treadmill run. "Planned obsolescence" may be a major annoyance with things like appliances and automobiles, but computer hardware technology is driven far more by constantly-improving hardware and software. There will always be something that's genuinely a little better next week, next month, next year. You have to first decide when it's time to spend money on an adequate or cutting-edge system, and then again decide when it's more cost-effective to bite the bullet and move on to newer tech instead of keeping something old alive. Once you buy a computer, you're committed to possibly mildly upgrading, and then replacing it. It will happen.

    I still miss a very exotic Macintosh PowerBook Duo system I had in the mid/late 1990's -- A laptop that slid into a desktop housing, that connected to multiple monitors, printers, scanner and external high-capacity hard drives, but could still un-dock and go on the road. It was amazingly useful and productive in its day. But it was eventually necessary to replace it with a PowerMac desktop tower and a ThinkPadlaptop. Those got replaced by a Mac Mini and another ThinkPad, and those too replaced with a custom PC tower and recently a high-end Asus laptop. And along the way, a small galaxy of iPhones, iPads, and Android mobiles. Tech moves on. Software is even more sophisticated and requires faster, more capable hardware. There's no sign of it ending. At some point, it's more cost-effective to more to the current, newest tech than it is to stay on an old platform.

    For most folks, that means buying a mid-range desktop or laptop that will last for six or seven years without needing anything other than a memory and/or hard drive upgrade (if even that). It will probably be able to do anything asked of it until it's cheaper to just buy another mid-range system.

    Even power-users don't have to spend money like drunken sailors to keep up. With laptops, buy mid-to-high-end ones with long useful life expectancies, upgrade their memory and hard drives midway through their (reasonably long) lives, and bump them down to secondary uses when they're replaced with newer ones so you're still getting your money's worth. Custom desktops often follow the Ship of Theseus model, where the components and even the case tend to get slowly replaced individually over time so that once nearly a decade has passed, there's nothing left of the original system as the part-by-part rebuilds keep it reasonably up to date without having to spend all at once for a new computer. And parts tend to trickle down into secondary-use computers along the way, meaning those can be built largely out of spare parts for less than the cost of new computers. But none of this works unless you go in expecting to upgrade in some way periodically -- which gives you more usefulness for your money than just running an old system into the ground.


    MSTS-Roundhouse

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  8. #28
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    All of the advice and suggestions are worthy and useful, but if you haven't got the "buck" or in my case the pound, then buying a new desktop/laptop is probably out of the question. With limited funds buying replacement parts may be the more economic solution.
    Creating L&YR Wagons - see HERE and L&NWR Coaches - see HERE.

  9. #29
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    OK, here's the final report....well, for now, at least. I've made many hours of runs now, on multiple routes, free and payware, using steam and diesel.

    Turning back some of the sliders, easing off on the distance parameters, made the jerkiness much less intrusive. Controls work OK.....even the brakes.

    I've decided this is adequate for my MSTS needs. I do appreciate all the advice....even the "testy" stuff. I do realize that anybody else would have gone with the new machine, and probably years ago. Just realize that I'm a guy who still plays records on my excellent stereo, still drive a stick shift, still misses steam....AND who is satisfied, mostly that is, with the computer as exists....for now at least.

    AA

  10. #30
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    I've been reasonably lucky with parts acquisition over the years, so I'll probably build a new computer myself one more time, soon. Key point: I can reuse some parts to keep cost down, and optimize power consumption. The last is an issue with modern desktops since they seem to be built for one of three markets: servers (high power), gamers (high power), and stripped-down corporate machines replacing dumb terminals (low power and minimal performance). Almost all else is laptops or tablets (or phones).

    Yes, I know, a laptop can have a dock allowing connection of a good monitor and keyboard. All that does is give you an expensive (because laptop) lower-performance (for the money, because laptop) desktop.

    Power is an issue for me. While modern CPUs are generally better on power than the old Core2 beast I have now, the GPUs more than make up for it. Seems to be difficult to find a machine that works well and will run on a 500W or lower p/s (which my old one does) other than a laptop or one of those micro terminal things. As far as the monitoring software for my UPS is concerned, the current beast (now that I finally got rid of the CRT monitor) pulls between 100 and 175 watts for the computer and monitor (usually close to the low end of the range), with a CPU rated at 135W TDP (and always stays cool with the big copper cooler) and a GPU that requires no supplemental power (GTX 750ti); so, it's easily served by a 500W-class p/s (I think it's actually 450). While the GTX 1050ti (slightly newer and better than what I have) is still available, it's getting long in the tooth, and nothing like those models (that run entirely from the PCIe bus power budget) seems to exist in the current GPU lines. The typical gaming-capable (for MSTS but mostly Open Rails) non-Intel GPUs available now would push me up to a 600-700W p/s requirement. So, still shopping for the right combination of capability, power, and price. I guess I'm into trailing edge technology, but not so far as running older Windows (everything is on Win10 1903, yes, even the 15 year old desktop and 10 year old laptop which run it fine).

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