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Sim Racing Components - Value per dolar

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Cristian Haba, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. Cristian Haba

    Cristian Haba
    #555 | Roaring Pipes Maniacs Staff Premium Member

    As the title suggests im looking to increase my digital horsepower to be ready for some leagues and possible next gen simracing titles.

    Things to consider, I dont have the budget to break the bank last gen stuff is ok with me as long as my targets are achieved (more on that later in the post).

    Here is my current situation.

    CPU: i5 4430 @ 3Ghz
    GPU: Zotac GTX660 2 Gb
    Ram: 8 Gb
    Mobo: dunno I could find out if necessary.
    PSU: 500W
    Display: Acer LED 24in.

    This PC will be for AC, GSCE maybe rF2. Going by my steam profile most of the leg work will be done on AC, almost all of it. Through some research and memory work, it seems AC does depend a lot on the CPU more than other titles? Please correct if I'm wrong. Secondly, usual MS Word and associates will be used for work purposes, there's no 3d work that I plan on doing in the near future maybe some skinning if I ever get around to learn it (ie. find the time after hotlaping Monza :p ).

    In the future, ideally id like this build to be able to run AC2 respectably when it comes out. No one knows how games will function in the future but its safe to say that multiple cores and hyper-threading might come into play at some point in that future, when... is another story. Again, if you know more on the subject please share.

    For AC im looking to run it at 1080p or 1440p if it falls within budget. With that here's what I think might help me out.

    CPU: i5 4690k or 6700K
    - both overclock well and have shown in online comparison to be punching at the same weight with i7's when we're looking at gaming in particular. Since this is a budget build i'd assume the last gen will save me around $50 or so.

    GPU: GTX 970 vs R9 390
    - in most cases, perhaps for 1080p, the 390 makes the most sense with 8 gb or ram and 'future proofing' if you will. The drawbacks are power draw which would hurt with my monthly bills and as well I dont think my power supply would suffice anymore, so another additional cost. This is probably the hardest decision in this build.
    - the 970 seems to have slight edge in 1080p, if some of you use it in AC with 1440p please let me know how it performs. The pros here are low power draw and the fact that games might not need it's full 3.5gb of ram yet... i think.

    RAM: easy up to 16gb.

    PSU: an uneccessary expense if I can avoid it I'd like to but, higher grade and maybe 600W would be an option.

    Display: The goal is a BenQ curved 35in monitor, this is the bad boy right here: http://www.ncix.com/detail/benq-xr3501-35in-ultrawide-144hz-26-110108-1073.htm

    - the bad news, it's the cost of my total build plus $400 or so in lottery tickets so not ideal unless I ball out of control soon.
    - my current display is ok, but a bit more real estate would be nice. Ideally above 27in, with response times under 4ms.

    Please elaborate where you can, with either experience or knowledge. Thank you fellow simracers.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Matheus Machado

    Matheus Machado
    #17 Talking Door Racing Staff Premium Member

    I would say the 8B of vram may be a bit of overkill considering those cards can't handle 4k, especially in simracing.
    Also, your mobo probably supports the 4690k, just don't know about overclock.
    Upgrading the PSU will be reccommended in both cases, especially if you are going to do slight overclocking of the components.
    Look for a big sony TV too, they have input lag compared to monitors (3ms difference) and will be a lot cheaper in bigger sizes. Take a look at this database to find out about input lag. http://www.displaylag.com/display-database/
  3. quicksilver384

    Roaring Pipes Maniacs | #85 Staff

    I run an old 4 core amd 3.6ghz cpu, nvidia 960 (i think) with 4 Gb gddr5, 24Gb memory and a 32 hdtv i can run ac, rfactor 2 and many other games of varuous gebres on full. I dont even look and graphic setting i just turn everythink to max. I havnt and wont over clock my kit unless done by factory and have a 650W psu (i think)
  4. quicksilver384

    Roaring Pipes Maniacs | #85 Staff

    P.s. my whole system cost me around £600 without the tv. Graphics card cost me £200.
    I got the cpu and mobo free from my dad so thats not taken into accound with the cost
  5. Cristian Haba

    Cristian Haba
    #555 | Roaring Pipes Maniacs Staff Premium Member


    Got a GTX970 EVGA SSC AC2.0
    - it's a beast works well if a little hot for my liking, 67deg solid under load with almost all maxed settings on AC. Butter smooth so far, takes a little getting used to for some reason. FPS stays solid so far at above 70FPS as a minimum. I haven't seen fps go over 100 yet in game online.

    Added new faster memory. GSkill 1600mhz 16gb kit, that's the speed that my mobo can support, it's a bit old I know but it's an expense I dont want to take on right now as it's really not needed.

    So overall, I went from min 55fps on heavy load (read 10-15 cars on screen in MP) on med to low settings on graphics, to a min of 70-75fps on heavy load and max-ultra settings (I dont like too much smoke as it can be distracting).

    The gfx card I got on a steal at 370 CAD 2 months used, versus 500+ it would have cost me new. Memory was about 100 CAD. So far I'm happy considering the main thing is enjoying simracing.

    My current CPU is aging, but not showing crazy signs of it, I would like to get an i5 4690K but is the added cost going to yield a serious benefit in FPS. On turbo boos and no OCing the 4690 is some 700mhz faster @ 3.9ghz vs 3.2ghz. Is it even worth moving to a higher spec i5 rather then going up to an i7? Obviously I'm still looking for bang for buck and as well longetivity (which only comes with getting the highest grade components you can afford now I know, but price drops in the future...)

    Please advise.
  6. Matheus Machado

    Matheus Machado
    #17 Talking Door Racing Staff Premium Member

    It is only going to increase fps in case the cpu frame times are higher than your gpu. At AC you can look at the graphics stats and check that. If the blue bar is higher or at the same level than your red bar it means the CPU takes more time than the GPU.
  7. xnorb

    Premium Member

    First off: Good pick on the 970!
    For one the 3xx series is just an overclocked 2xx version and then you don't want to struggle with AMD's horrible driver support.

    And 4k ... well, game development is at consoles.
    They can't run 4k, so games will not move over to 4k anytime soon.
    Racing sims could potentially develop in that direction, but due to the mainstream games not moving on to 4k i assume even sims will stick with max 1440p for a longer time.
    IMO VR headsets will change everything anyways...

    I know i will move to the i7 6xxx series once the prices drop a bit.
    My i5-3550 is doing good work for running sims at decent FPS, but when it comes to recording or thinking about streaming more juice is needed.
  8. Cristian Haba

    Cristian Haba
    #555 | Roaring Pipes Maniacs Staff Premium Member

    I noticed there are certain frame lags when tree shadows are over the racing surface, ala monza in late afternoon game time. However there are no hicups on the graphics graph. What I did notice is the draw time for each frame is always at 12.3ms. What I'm wondering is if that's a high number? If it is what can be done about it?
  9. Matheus Machado

    Matheus Machado
    #17 Talking Door Racing Staff Premium Member

    Are you running ultra shadows? It is known to cause some lags.
    Also if the graphics graph is stable you are either limiting FPS or it is a CPU bottleneck.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Cristian Haba

    Cristian Haba
    #555 | Roaring Pipes Maniacs Staff Premium Member

    I think I am running ultra shadows and reflections, should I turn that down then? I think it might be a CPU bottle neck but by how much I dont know. What is your value for that parameter?
  11. Matheus Machado

    Matheus Machado
    #17 Talking Door Racing Staff Premium Member

    I use high shadows and medium reflections and reflection update.
  12. Cristian Haba

    Cristian Haba
    #555 | Roaring Pipes Maniacs Staff Premium Member

    What is your draw time?