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PC PC Experts, please help. Should I buy?

Discussion in 'Assetto Corsa' started by Rob, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. Rob

    XBO: OctoberDusk06 Premium Member

    I have a very good friend who recently upgraded his CPU and is willing to sell me his old one for $200. He says it still outperforms what I could get for triple that price new, and has tested Assetto (the game I really want to play on it) and says it runs fine, but there was an odd quirk about resource allocation:
    2.3 Gameperformance characteristics
    This game runs in three primary CPU threads: Physics, AI for Singleplayer races and the other one for everything else. It is CPU limited in Singleplayer and GPU limited in Multiplayer. In contrast to many other PC games, the Anisotropic Filtering (AF) has a big inpact on FPS. Higher Anti-Aliasing (AA) settings require an increasing amount of GPU memory. Raising a single value, AF or AA, may not result in optimal resource management and/or overall high graphical fidelity. Since AF and AA have almost the same impact on FPS, and AA a high impact on GPU memory, a high AF and a low AA setting provide a compromise in FPS, graphical fidelity and resource usage.
    Other settings with a relative high impact on performance are World Detail, Cubemap Resolution and Faces per Frame for reflection fidelity.

    Here are the specs of the computer he is offering to sell:
    I have monitor I could use (1080p) and a Logitech Momo Racing Wheel that will get me by until I can get a G27.

    Do you think this setup would run Assetto without problems. I'm not looking for the ultimate in settings, but just on par with the new gen consoles, to give you an idea. Thanks.
  2. I think 200 dollars for such a rig is a decent enough price, though as for running AC without issues, with full grids, I don't know. Both the CPU and GPU are weak by today's standards, but should push AC along ok.
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  3. Frank

    Administrator Staff Premium Member

    It will let you run AC fine, however the hardware is old and both the CPU and GPU are limited. With the newer generation of games it is good to have more than 1GB of video memory.

    I say, save up 2 - 300 dollars more and you can get yourself a system that blows this one away. It would be worth it. ;)

    If you simply can't save up for it, then go for it, but just remember it is already considered "old" so it will age fast. (And even for its time these parts wheren't the fastest, but coped well on medium to high settings).
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  4. Amedeo Fiorella

    Amedeo Fiorella
    Premium Member

    For 200$ I think it's worth the price.. The gaming would be pretty decent at low\mediumgrafic settings.

    If you want to buy something new, with a great difference in permormance, you'll pay 4 times that price. To buy something similiar to your friend's pc for new will cost you the double or so, but the difference of price would not be justifyed by a noticiable difference in performance.

    You may buy that pc, start to learn using AC, and when you'll feel ready for an upgrade, sell it and buy a new one!;)
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  5. Rob

    XBO: OctoberDusk06 Premium Member

    Thanks for your comment. It's hard for me to know what "issues" I might have with the weaker CPU and GPU, but I'd guess lag and tearing? Or would it just mainly lower my frame rate?

    Assetto Recommends: DirectX 11 (AMD Radeon HD 7870)
    Assetto Minimum: DirectX 10.1 (AMD Radeon HD 6450)

    I'd get what looks like a DirectX 11 (AMD Radeon HD 6870). I did a little digging and found that the device id -- 1002 6738 is linked to this model (https://pci-ids.ucw.cz/read/PC/1002/6738). PC World was highly impressed with this card, but that was back in late 2010 -- (http://www.pcworld.com/article/208189/radeon_hd_6850_and_6870.html?page=3).

    Average G3D Mark = 2581 for the card I'd be getting (assuming it's a HD 6870 and drivers are up to date);
    but 4261 for the one Assetto Recommends
    and a 289 for the "Minimum" Spec Video Card.)

    I guess what I'm really wondering is what I'd "lose" so to speak. When I searched the web for "AMD Radeon HD 6870 Assetto Corsa" I found comments like this: Published on Nov 24, 2013
    "Early Access version. About 40-50 fps with high quality graphics but turning off one of two Anti Alias filters. Video has lots of compression though."
    The video looks good enough though...but I think you said something about running multiple grids?

    I also found this video card test with the 6870. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like all he did to get to 30fps was lower the "Cubemap Resolution" to low. Then to get to 60fps, he had to take off the "fullscreen rendering"; lower the "faces per frame" to three; reduce the "shadow resolution" to medium; set the "Fast-Approximate Anti-Aliasing" to off; and set the "mirror resolution" to low.

    An Assetto Help Page sort of explained -
    Cube Map Resolution
    Quality and resolution of the reflections. Obviously lapping solo on track, you don’t see any reflections until you look at a replay. Currently the performance hit isn’t that big but once multiplayer and AI are introduced this could be a real FPS killer. Low and medium still look great with better performance.

    Full Screen Rendering
    When checked Assetto Corsa will run in full screen rendering mode. Unchecked it will run in a window.
    NOT using full screen mode can help graphics card compatibility issues, and is generally more windows friendly but you will typically see a performance drop and features such as Crossfire or SLI will not function.
    Leave this checked for best performance
    [not a game killer, but not as good as checked]

    Faces Per Frame
    Faces Per Frame controls how often the reflections are updated. The lower settings can make the reflections ‘jump’ so try to keep this at three or above. Alternatively set it to zero so you just get a static reflection. This will also have a fairly high FPS hit when we have other cars on track.

    Shadow Resolution
    Sharpness and quality of the shadows. Doesn’t appear to be that much of a performance hit, but nor does it seem to make a huge amount of visual difference on the medium to high settings. Medium would seem to be a good starting point.

    Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing (FXAA)
    Uses much less computing power compared to regular AA, but can introduce texture blurring. Worth experimenting with if you want to get rid of jaggies, but don’t have the horsepower for regular AA.
    What I'm really after is the handling you cannot get with a console game. Would this be possible? Thanks.

    The CPU gets a benchmark of 4271 as compared to Assetto's "minimum" getting a benchmark of 1635 and "recommended" somewhere around 5430.
  6. Frank

    Administrator Staff Premium Member

    I used to have a 6870 and a AMD X6 1100T, overclocked. I had to replace them last year cause they simply didn't do the job anymore. Especially the CPU bottlenecked my GPU.

    A simple i3 with a R9 270 will already be quite a bit better than the setup you will buy now. The $200 you spend extra on a setup that will perform better, maybe not by a huge margin but quite a bit still, will also net you an investment in a motherboard with a current gen socket. So you can upgrade your CPU easy in the future if you feel like it. With that AMD setup you will have to replace everything all over again in a few years, so it will cost you a lot more on the long term :).
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  7. Rob

    XBO: OctoberDusk06 Premium Member

    I appreciate your comments. However, I think my expectations are quite a bit lower than many PC players since I have only been on a 360 xbox. The real question for me is this -- will this computer give me Assetto is a form that resembles, say, Forza5 or Project Cars on an xbox one? If so, I'll indeed take those "years" you speak of and be satisfied.

    It is worth mentioning that the guy in the video I posted had a CPU that was benchmarked at around 9600 or so. Very fast, but there is a downside to this, no? Like you said, too fast a CPU can "bottleneck" your GPU, if I'm reading you right. If you have a CPU an a GPU that are just average, then you won't get the best performance, but you shouldn't have compatibility issues I would think.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
  8. Frank

    Administrator Staff Premium Member

    Nope, the Xbox one has newer and more advanced hardware. But why don't you try the system first? Since it is a friend I am sure he will let you install AC on it and try it out yourself, I think your best judgement on if you are happy with the quality you see, is what you can do yourself.
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  9. Hi Robert,

    short comment from my side:
    your friend is offering you the whole system for 200, not just the cpu, right?

    Don't buy any phenoms x4 and no 6870. Both are old and there are other ones with adequate price performance ratio available today. Especially the 6870 simply won't be enough in MP, with the LODs of Kunos & mod cars. I upgraded my GPU two years ago and forgone this gpu even then.

    A simple rule of thumb is: buy the best cpu you can afford, choose the gpu according to what you want to do with it - gaming, workstation processing, bit coin mining, etc

    I mean no disrespect, even with a today's midranged cpu/gpu combo you'll be able to see an enormous difference between your xbox 360 and AC on ~mid settings, it's not even close.

    Driving games require a minimum of decent, 50, better 60 or event 80, 120 fps and a gpu that doesn't produce a lot of fps varience and fps spikes for a smooth picture.


    You may read up on that here

    Even with a decent pair of cpu/gpu today, you'll have a hard time to resemble Forza 5 or even Project cars. The former is optimized for one specific piece of hardware and the latter has even greater performance requirements than AC odes. Project Cars especially benefits from higher resolutions, which in of themselves are one of three major graphics settings apart form AA & AF.

    Finally, let yourself be recommended other hardware. Start with your budget first. Remember that you are going to be investing not just to play games, like you only can do with the consoles apart from some gimmics here and there, but you'll have a whole workstation for fast office work, video encoding, parallel task processing, etc.

    For further reading:
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
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  10. You say he is selling you his CPU, but I think you mean a complete computer. If you were talking of using this $200 computer for anything but gaming then it would fit a computing need. But for race sim gaming running something like AC, pCARS, rFactor2, R2E, etc., then you will most likely be disappointed, especially if you are using Forza 5 on an X1 as a gauge.
    Now if you stick with something like the Codemaster games (F1, GRID, Dirt) then it may run those OK but the newer "sims" need more horsepower than that setup. My $.02
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  11. With that setup you'll be able to run hotlaps fine, but adding AI or more than a couple of cars in MP will kill performance.

    Dont bother. You're far better off waiting and saving up some more money for a far better rig. AC will be a disappointing experience with that rig.
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  12. Rob

    XBO: OctoberDusk06 Premium Member

    I think I get the picture loud and clear and am very appreciative that you all have taken your time to respond. I think the best thing to do is enjoy my xbox one (with Thustmaster TX) and pant/salivate until Project Cars comes out, then oogle Assetto from afar knowing I'm probably having just as good of an experience (fingers crossed...but with much hope from the good reviews by the PC guys) with it and save and save and buy a very specific gaming system that is state of the art, but very focused on gaming, whether used, new, built myself, or gifted. It's much clearer now that PCs can be a much better experience (150fps wow) but only if you plan accordingly and do your research and stay focused on a gaming rig. I'll do that. Thanks again.
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  13. Frank

    Administrator Staff Premium Member

    PC gaming is investing, however the experience you will get will greatly outdo anything you are used to on console. Good to hear you atleast got something out of the help we offered you :).
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  14. Fred Locklear

    Fred Locklear
    Moving bollard Premium Member

    Like others said, I would pass on the computer. Mainly because it would be marginal at best for running AC, and the deal killer would be the lack of upgradability. I built my last computer about 4 years ago and it had a Phenom II X4 955 BE + a Radeon 5770. I have it overclocked to 3.82GHz.

    It ran AC OK fine in hotlap mode @ 1600x1200 resolution. When AI was released, the system was pushing it. I ended up getting a new video card (GTX 760) and new 1080p monitor, and then later changed to a SSD for drive. I am perfectly happy now with the performance that the new video card gives. I ran one of the EU RD races yesterday with 20 drivers without a problem. But my motherboard is an AM3 socket and I am at a dead end for CPU upgrades.

    If you had a system that you could easily upgrade the CPU then I would say go for it, but because the Motherboard is likely an AM3 or AM3+ socket, you really have no room to improve on the CPU you have. Save the money up to invest in a newer computer that may have some upgrade options in the future.
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  15. If you just wan't to try the game you should buy that rig. If you want this game to be your main choice than go for better rig.
    Simple as that.