Starting again

Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by James Chant, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. James Chant

    James Chant

    So, after a massive 6 year hiatus, I am looking at getting back into sim racing as a hobby, but I need to start again with a new PC as the old one wasnt very good 6 years ago.

    Bearing in mind I won't use the PC for anything other than sim racing, what do we think the best options are for me in regards to keeping the budget tight, but maxmising the performance? Worst frame muncher I imagine will be rF2.

    What are most of the drivers using sim wise these days? Last time I raced rF2 was in early beta and it was awful on my old machine. rF1 race 07, GSC etc all ok.

    The old PC suffered terribly from blue screening, i'm guessing from either overheating or underpowered PSU, never got round to investigating that. Might even have been dodgy ram.

    CPU: Intel v AMD?

    GPU: Nvida v AMD?

    OS: win 7 or 10?

    Gonna stick to the G25 for now with a mind to upgrading IF it either breaks or I get more comptetive.
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Emery


    CPU: always safe with Intel, but really any recent CPU is good enough.
    GPU: nVidia is fastest, uses less energy, get 970 or higher(*); only real arguments for AMD are cost and better-looking antialiasing.
    OS: Win10, for the future.

    (*) To some people, this might be considered overkill for a single 1080p screen, but consider it a cushion for future games and it is adequate for current-generation VR.

    AC (Assetto Corsa) is the most popular, particularly for public pickup racing, with PCARS not far behind for single-player. R3E (Raceroom Racing Experience) and rF2 are running just about neck & neck at a significantly lower popularity behind AC (neither are appearing to beat rF1 online users though, but good luck finding the rF1 mods being used). AMS (Automobilista) is even less popular, particularly online.

    If I look at my own playtime, rF2 is my obvious #1 interest, followed by a tie between AC & R3E, and then AMS (which I've played about as much as I've played Wreckfest, LOL). rF2 has the best racing experience in my opinion and I like R3E for the packaged content that makes sense with artistic tracks. The AC driving experience has improved with the latest release to where I am finally beginning to like it, but it still lacks my desired racing features and the content is still a mishmash where you have to buy all the content if you want to race online. AMS graphics put me off ever so slightly and the content is not quite what I'm looking for, but it does offer a good racing experience, the graphics matter less when you're involved in a good race, and it the least demanding of hardware. PCARS is just a visual experience of content, the content is a mishmash, with little to recommend as a racing sim.

    G25 (or any Logitech wheel for that matter) is least satisfying in rF2. Enough so that I begrudgingly opened my wallet and upgraded as soon as I found an opportunity.
  3. Andrew

    Out of my mind! Back in five minutes. Staff Premium

    Welcome back . :)
  4. Turk


    I'd agree with everything Emery said. Intel and Nvidia are the best in the industry, you know what you're getting and their position in the market mean you're unlikely to run into to many problems because software is made with those two in mind. I don't really know much about AMD, they're probably fine if you put in the right research. But we're probably talking about the difference between a BMW and a Hyundai. The Hyundai is perfectly fine, but the BMW is better.

    I know some people have issues with windows 10 but I've never had any issues with it and think it's their best operating system since XP. I wouldn't consider going back to win 7.

    I love AC, I'm at a bit of a loss though, I've been battling a failing wheel and pedals for the last few months and while I'll tolerate them in AC for a while, games like Dirt Rally literally breaks the wheel and I can't play it. I've avoided rF2 and automobilista because of it so I can't say much else other than I love AC.
  5. Bram Hengeveld

    Bram Hengeveld
    Founder Staff Premium

  6. m_mirk


    Welcome back @James Chant . I would recommend you to have a look at Automobilista. It is very good and you have fantastic club races going on here!

    For the Hardware they give good hints at computerbase, which to use for different amounts of money, if you scroll down a little. Its in German, but I hope its useful.

    This would be a nice 900€ set from the page above. As an alternative you can also go for a Gainward GTX 1060 6GB

    You can use a lot of money on your graphics card (GTX 1070 or GTX 1080), but you wont need it, if you dont use VR equipment or very high resolutions. Better spent it on a new wheel, if not needed.
  7. Rupe Wilson

    Rupe Wilson
    rFactor Senior Club Manager Premium

    Hi there James, its great to hear you thinking of making a return to racing,
    just done that myself, after a little break. Never realized how much i had missed it until my first race back, Adrenalin buzz in overdrive.. and im hooked already, slowly finding my speed again.

    Sorry i cant help to much with the latest tech out there.
    I tend to buy second had and a have a ok pc if a little dated for very little money.
    im still running
    i5 2500k had this now about 4 years and still going strong.
    H80 water cooled.
    memory was new 1600mhz
    Titan 6gb card (just bought a second one real cheap on ebay £150) so now i can go sli
    power supply was new also Corsair 850 gold. around £100
    second hand motherboard around £100
    240 gig ssd for operating system and my 2 favorite sims £60
    and a 1td hard drive for all other stuff £50
    3 x benQ 120htz screens all shop soiled. ex display models roughly 3 for the price of 1
    this set up works great and on a single screen its looks amazing to me, also ok with my triples now with sli on any sim or game i play.
    windows 10 pro for me now, bought a key of the web for £40

    I do own a G25 also, but decided to upgrade to a T500 instead of busting the bank on a brand new pc
    Don't get me wrong id love some of the latest tech but i just cant afford the extra cost just yet..

    You can get some good deals in second hand market if you look...
    you pay the price and take your chance,

    If your into classic car racing, come and pay us a visit at the HistorX club here at RD
  8. ionONE1


    • Like Like x 1
  9. rocafella1978


    avoid X99 boards and Z87 boards at all cost! (massive USB issues, especially for us simulator users with many peripheral USB devices, boards do NOT POST/ boot, and known issues with these two chipsets!) i have X99 Asus Rampage V Extreme, two systems, different BIOS versions and massive issues with USB. have to disconnect all USB devices to boot and then now looking to get active/ powered (with on/ off switch) USB hub, which is pretty sad considering my board comes with dozen or more USB ports...

    for gaming, Z270 + i7 CPU.
  10. Jeremy Ford

    Jeremy Ford

    Great point about USB problems and motherboard chipsets. I have a Z87 Asus motherboard and I do indeed have USB issues with some of my sim peripherals, of which can be up to 9 simracing specific USB devices at once, and not mentioning the keyboard, mouse, and other devices.

    The sim peripherals, for whatever reason are the only culprits. Some prevent my PC posting, and others have to be plugged into either a PCI USB card, or onboard USB 2.0, and some are fine whatever the configuration. It's wasn't too difficult to work this all out, using a USB hub with a switch etc. But it's certainly a consideration.

    Back to the original question, depends on budget. You can build a great sim racing PC on AMD GPU and CPU. You'll save a lot compared to an Intel/Nivida build. For balance of cost/performance, then and AMD CPU (the new ryzen CPU), and Nvidia GPU would be the sweet spot.
  11. PsyaNyde


    I wouldn't go the AMD Ryzen root just yet, the gaming benchmarks leave a lot to be desired at the moment.